Dec 03 2014 -
2014 - A Retrospective
| new year is dawning and before we start to make – and break ? – our New Year's resolutions all over again, let us reflect awhile on the year gone by.|
Is there a better way to start off a new year than listening to inspiring stories of true Tibian friendships that have been nurtured through the years? Hardly! So to celebrate Tibia's 17th birthday in January, we held a special contest in which players could nominate fellow Tibians to receive a small gift as a token of gratitude for being a great friend in and beyond the game.
Moreover, there was quite some action on Testa and Testera during the month since we ran two performance tests. The new island Roshamuul and the vile beast Gaz'haragoth challenged daring adventurers and anniversary boss raids as well as two monster rampages took place to entertain players.
In February, we completed our literary journey with the enigmatic game content designer Knightmare who let us in on the secrets and challenges of creating lore and bringing it to the players.
Furthermore, we conducted a customer survey about various aspects of your Tibia experience. 6875 Tibians filled in the corresponding feedback form. Interested to see how Tibians answered on some of the questions? Click on the image to the right to find out more!
March was quite a busy month since two big announcements were made. At the beginning of the month, we informed the community about our plans to address shifts of player population by merging low populated game worlds. On a world with a high enough population density, players have more possibilities to team up, connect and compete with others.
In a poll, we asked you about the population number below which you consider a game world "underpopulated". Moreover, we put a feedback form online to find out which approach on merging worlds players would prefer.
While many players were open-minded about mergers, the question of how to deal with houses quickly evolved into one of the most controversially discussed topics.
At the end of the month, we published an important open letter written from the managing directors of CipSoft. Durin and Steve announced an upcoming raise of Premium Scroll prices and extra services and explained why this is a necessary step to ensure that we can maintain and further improve our quality and service level.
In April, game designer Evonary was officially introduced to the community and has been taking care of several previews and dev notes since then. The first dev note followed swiftly after her introduction and presented the concept of a fun PvP server, a special server that would allow individual players to engage in large-scale PvP battles without negative consequences for dying or killing other players. There was quite some interest in this idea and we collected valuable feedback on what could be done to make such a server type attractive. While we may take up this topic in the future, there are no concrete plans for such a server type at the moment, though.
We had also planned the release of the already announced new pricing structure for the middle of the month. It was to be accompanied by the implementation of a new, more convenient payment system offering additional payment options. Due to an unexpected technical issue that arose during our internal testing phase, we had to postpone this release to the end of the month.
Throughout April, all premium players could also access the frosty new island Chyllfroest and try to get their hands on one of the cool ursagrodon mounts. Some were even so lucky as to spot a few yetis there.
In May, we conducted a first test in preparation of the summer update. On Aurora, players could already get a first glimpse of the increased shared experience bonus.
Yet, something completely different attracted the attention of many Tibians at that time. In order to distribute Tibia more easily to adventurers all around the world, we put it on Steam Greenlight and asked you to give Tibia your support there. Thanks to our dedicated community it did not take long until Tibia was greenlit. We received lots of encouraging feedback but also honest criticism and requests to focus more strongly on addressing Tibia's biggest problems, mainly the botting situation. Besides numerous other projects, we have been working towards making Tibia available via Steam since then and also tried to get all the details sorted out. Unfortunately, this whole project is still in the making and progress is going slowly so we cannot provide you with new information about this topic at the moment. We have to wait and see how things will unfold throughout 2015.
In the middle of the month, we also announced an upcoming preview involving a redesigned unjustified kill system for Open PvP worlds. In our featured article, we interviewed Tibia's lead product manager Craban and game designer Evonary on this topic to give you a first impression on what to expect.
June started off with the release of a small, but handy feature: Automatic remount upon leaving a protecting zone. Also, the temporarily available jersey outfit allowed fans of Tibian football to dress up properly and sport the colours of their favourite team. Besides thrilling football games, letters sent from the mysterious isle Oramond kept players in suspense about Tibia's summer update. These letters told us about an industry based on glooth, a more combative race of minotaurs, and about Rathleton, a city where every citizen can participate in politics and where illustrious houses wait for sophisticated tenants.
Also, the announced preview featuring a redesigned unjustified kill system started on Aurora and Aurera in mid-June. Our decision to turn off double experience and double skill gain after this preview to align the level progression with that of other game worlds was received with harsh criticism by some players, mainly inhabitants of Aurora and Aurera. Nevertheless, this was a necessary step to make sure that preview game worlds continue to serve their purpose and allow for comparisons to regular game worlds.
Furthermore, the first game world merger united inhabitants of Nebula, Thoria and Kyra on the newly created world Kenora.
In July, the summer update was released and players could finally explore the new city Rathleton and its surroundings. Also, the increased shared experience bonus that was tested in May was implemented. Shortly afterwards, we also released a bunch of new, improved animations to adorn the Tibian world.
In order to celebrate the victorious German football team, double experience and skill gain was temporarily activated on all game worlds in mid-July.
Later that month, we updated the Tibia payment system with new products to buy. Besides the express character world transfer, we added 12 different mounts which were exclusively available via the payment system. We were aware that this was a controversial step and that it would likely raise questions about future offers so we already provided some information about our plans together with the release.
The biggest surprise of the month followed swiftly when we informed the community of an important change of opinion regarding players' requests to offer some kind of retro gameplay in Tibia. The idea of Retro Open PvP worlds was welcomed with huge enthusiasm by players. The feedback we received via different channels and the almost overwhelming approval of the general idea in the corresponding poll quickly convinced us to go through with this plan and start developing Retro Open PvP. Despite this positive response, players also voiced some concerns and criticism. The decision to allow experience vouchers on these worlds was one of the most controversially discussed topics. Moreover, there were also players who asked us to take this whole idea further by adding retro gameplay features to go beyond PvP or to even provide a full old version of Tibia. At the moment, though, there are no concrete plans to pursue these proposals in the near future. Of course, we will let you know if anything should change here.
After these lively days, August already brought the next action packed events. A test server was set up again to allow players to try out some long-awaited adjustments of the popular Rise of Devovorga world event and the world change Their Master's Voice before their final release. In addition, players could check out improved party buff spells. Due to the feedback on party spells, game designer Evonary took this topic up once more later that month by presenting a few adjustments of the original concept and asking players for further input.
August also saw an important release: After an extensive preview phase, the redesigned unjustified kill system was implemented to address some of the criticism from 2013, when the new basic PvP rule set had gone live.
Furthermore, we ran yet another test and also a new preview in August. On Testa and Testera, players could try out Dawnport, a completely new beginner's island that was created to smoothen the starting experience and to better guide new players through the basics of the game. On Aurora and Aurera, an increased experience gain for all characters below level 50 could be tested in a preview.
Last but not least, 15 game worlds were merged into 5 new worlds in August and Quilia and Hydera, two completely new worlds which are blocked for character world transfers, were set up and caused quite a run.
Both the increased experience gain as well as Dawnport were released in September. Along with Dawnport, we also implemented further improved animations, most notably fancy spell animations. Furthermore, hotkey presets finally became available for stand-alone client users as well.
Also, the payment system was spiced up with new cosmetic stuff: Three distinguished outfits were added and the opulent conjurer outfit quickly emerged as a favourite. Since then, we have been updating the payment system with further mounts and outfits so that quite a varied selection is now available for interested players.
October was mainly characterised by PvP old school style! The month started with a preview of Retro Open PvP and a poll in which players could decide about the names for the two new Retro Open PvP game worlds. Shortly afterwards, the first Retro Open PvP worlds saw the light of day: Morta and Mortera, both blocked for character world transfers. Also, the free-to-move worlds Calva and Calvera were transformed from Hardcore PvP into Retro Open PvP worlds. Morta and Mortera have enjoyed a high popularity ever since. Immediately after their release, long waiting lists emerged and players urged us to set up further blocked Retro Open PvP worlds to ease the situation.
In late October, we broached two important topics which are often mentioned by players when it comes to Tibia's biggest problems.
Botting is still one of the biggest challenges we are being faced with. Our efforts to improve the situation have been significantly stepped up this year, and in order to provide players with some numbers, we have resumed publishing the number of accounts deleted for using unofficial software each month. Meanwhile, we will continue to work on tweaking our measures further to improve the situation.
At the end of October, we approached the community with another big topic:
Vocation definitions. Game designer Evonary presented rough drafts of characteristics and skills that may define each of the four vocations in the future. The feedback players submitted is being used to review these concepts. As soon as we have new information on how we will proceed with this topic, we will let you know.
After a double experience weekend following Halloween, November marked the start of the winter update teasers. Besides new things to do in Rathleton and some other places in Tibia, lots of new administrative features for guilds will be introduced with the forthcoming update. Most of them are based on community proposals we have been collecting on this matter over the years. During the test of the winter update players already got a first-hand look at all the new stuff.
We also set up two new blocked Retro Open PvP worlds in November. If you are interested in PvP like it used to be back in the days, Chrona and Eldera are a good choice to set out on a new adventure since they are currently less crowded than Morta and Mortera.
With only a few weeks left in the year, the winter update will mark the last big release in December before we enter the holiday season and recharge for what will hopefully be a very exciting 2015.
So what is on our agenda for the upcoming year?
Of course, the fight against botting will continue to be one of our top priorities. Vocation definitions will certainly keep us busy throughout the year. Furthermore, we hope to be able to share some news with you about our progress with the new Tibia client that has been in development for some time now and that is meant to unite the advantages of both existing clients. We will explore the possibilities of locating servers in Brazil, and we will continue working towards a release of Tibia on Steam.
Tibians, thank you for all your feedback, contributions and support throughout 2014! An eventful new year full of adventures and opportunities lies ahead of us and we hope you will join us for the journey!
See you in Tibia!
Your Community Managers