Revenge of the Fallen – Closed Testing: Start!

Hey all! The end of the month is fast approaching, and, yes—that means CT is starting. When, you ask? The first phase of Closed Testing begins on Wednesday, February 24th. So let’s talk about what that means.

stolen from inspired by osu’s patcher.

We’ve been working on this for nearly two years now, and this is the first time we’re going to get to throw some of what we’ve been doing at you guys. Closed Testing is an opportunity for us to get an initial feel for stability, balance, and game “feel” (more or less in that order). MMOs don’t truly get tested until they’ve experienced scale, and this will be rotf2’s first exposure to a concurrent playercount over ten.

What I’m trying to say is, I expect things to blow up. Hard. But I also think that we have a good team, a good community, and a (very eager) group of Closed Testers to help us fix everything. We’re committed to making something that we ourselves want to play, and we expect to be doing a lot more before we reach that goal.

made in the source engine

For the initial round of CT, the plan is to run an intense, 2-3 day server stability test, with real players. During this time, we’ll be monitoring everything that works (and everything that doesn’t), and pushing out rapid fixes and improvements as things come up. We’re currently looking to test the easy, early-game content, so we’re setting up the playable realms and dungeons accordingly.

As we’ve mentioned (like, a lot), despite how long we’ve been working on this, rotf is still very early on in its development. MMOs take a long time to build. While the default assumption should be that nothing you see during CT is final, I’d like to specifically point out that these features are incomplete or missing entirely:

  • General balance (can’t balance effectively until players join)
  • Stat/skill trees (masterwork nodes not done)
  • Rune choices (only a few implemented atm)
  • Tutorial (completely missing)
  • Progression explanation (what is “easy/medium/hard,” what does HST do, etc)
  • Enchanting (not ready yet)
  • Realms (missing of a LOT of polish)
  • Classes (bare minimum for CT is enabled, but the Subclass tree + many class abilities are not ready yet)
  • Item storage (a barebones “vault” system is implemented but not available)

I could go on, but at some point, we have to put our pencils down, and see how things look. We’re both nervous and ecstatic to see what people think of this early-stage preview of rotf2.

For those of you that don’t have a CT key, hang in there! We’ll be funneling more players in as long as stability looks promising. For those of you that DO have a CT key, you’ll get an email from us (using your sign-up email) on the 24th, with information on how to download, play, and provide feedback.

We’ll update this post with a key in 15 minutes. If stability is good, we’ll also begin distributing keys to content creators, so if that’s your thing, keep an eye out (spamming our DMs is not a great way to get a key).

Anyhoo. This should be fun. https://rotf.io/register

Closed Testing key: MW[1]Z-T[2]9V-QS[3]2-O[4]YV

[1] The first letter of the name of a once-proud spear-man in legacy rotf.
[2] The first letter of the name of the boss that dropped a primal Soul Bottle.
[3] The first letter of the alternate name for the Market. The “_ _ _ _ _ _ _” House
[4] The first letter of the name of the water-based dragon event in legacy rotf.

Revenge of the Fallen: Runes + the NEW Skill Tree

Hey all! This is a sort of “backstage” post about the new Rune + Skill Tree system in rotf2. We started designing components of this system back in September, but this is the first time we’ve had something in-game that we can show off.

some of the early concept designs for the new skill tree.

After talking to a lot of players about which design they preferred, one thing that we heard consistently was that the stat preview in design #2 should definitely be in whichever iteration we decide to use. With that in mind, we started building out the skill tree’s layout in the editor.

it’s… alive…? dear god

So, yikes. But that was (obviously) just a first attempt at figuring out where everything should be positionednot how everything should look. Making the lines appear at the correct positions, even, was a challenge…

THESE LINES AREN’T EVEN IN THE RIGHT PLACE, OR THE RIGHT COLOR, OR KLFJDLKGJKLGDJKLG

But we got there eventually.

we did it we did it we did it we did it

We’re pretty proud of how it’s going, and how well we were able to follow our original design goals, but we ‘re definitely not done with this thing. Some things to note:

  • Runes slots now have names! Arcane (blue), Chrysalis (green), Impact (orange), and Adaptive (clear).
  • The Overview tab on the right allows you to live-preview your build as you develop it. The All Stats button will give you a more detailed overview (including things like primal effects on items, and reactive effects from runes), but we’re still working on that.
  • Masterwork nodes literally don’t do anything yet. We’re still figuring out how we want to keep the choices thematically exciting (i.e. matching their core rune), without taking away too much variety from the build system. Their sprites are also completely placeholder (lol).
  • You might have noticed a mini-node for Hastethis is a cdr-like stat that should be relevant for some classes, since many abilities now have cooldowns (as opposed to just mana costs).
  • Runes don’t have tooltips yet, but they will. The UI in general is still WIP.
  • The sword and shield in the video are not actually UT. The tier system from legacy won’t be returning as-was, and we haven’t had a chance to finish implementing the new system yet.
  • what’s this new area we’re standing in o_O

We’re hoping that the new skill tree system will continue to encourage players to seek out diverse builds and playstyles. We think it’s going to be pretty sick, especially when combined with the Class Tree (more on that some other time).

For now, another Closed Testing key! Use at https://rotf.io/register.

(Post will be updated in 15 minutes with the key to give you time to read the post. EDIT: Here it is!)

Closed Testing key: [1]V2E-[2]TXR-O0[3]U-X[4]NO

[1] The first letter of the blue rune in legacy rotf that gave increased loot chance for rare drops, but prevented you from looting any other items.
[2] The first letter of the stat in legacy rotf, scaling with speed, that gave you a % chance to dodge an incoming attack.
[3] The first letter of the boss of the legacy rotf Showcase dungeon.
[4] The first letter of the realm event in legacy rotf that threw playing cards everywhere.

Revenge of the Fallen: Loki & Hela, Asgard Dungeon Preview continued

Hello everybody! It is I, patpot, here once again to brief you all on what we’ve been working on. Last week, the team took on the first two bosses of the Asgard dungeon. For those who missed, it I highly recommend checking it out.

While the All-father himself won’t be making his debut in this post, we’re excited to show you some gameplay of the team taking on two of his children, Loki and Hela.

part 2 electri- wait, no, Thor was in the first video

So, that’s Loki and Hela. Some things to point out from the video:

  • Miniguy can’t dod-. For paycheck reasons I cannot finish that sentence

But more seriously:

  • As you might have noticed from our last few updates, we’re really trying to up our visual game. We’ve picked up some lighting tricks, many of which are on display in the Helheim (Hela) segment. Quaximi and MrFoucs went pretty hard.
  • While the numbers on everything are still placeholder, we have now completed a “first pass” of all four root classes and their abilities. We’re hoping to say more about them soon, but for now, you can watch the video and speculate.
  • Placeholder (but functional) death UI has been added. Being the responsible developer that I am, I died in the video to test it out. We have a lot of plans for permadeath in RotF, but this will work for now.
  • The 3D terrain and architecture throughout this dungeon looks great, but there are a few times where it can occlude your vision—particularly noticeable during Thor’s fight from last week. This will be fixed, and we appreciate all the feedback you’ve given us about the issue.
  • We’re still polishing Loki’s arena, which has a few unintended safe spots (notably, if you’re like Miniguy, you can literally just walk out of the pit when you fail to dodge). This issue will be fixed before release. We expect design issues like these to show up periodically in more subtle ways, so keep giving us feedback!

Here are some snippets from the video that we’re especially proud of.

Making your way to Hela:

it’s glowing…

During the Loki fight:

little lokis love lasers!

Fighting Hela: (good luck)

holy hel…

For those interested in joining us for Closed Testing, this post will be updated in 15 minutes time with a fun trivia game. As per usual, solve it first, and you’ll have yourself a key!

Also, since this post is a bit late, we’ll throw a second key up tomorrow. Thank you very much for reading.

Now, the third and final key for this post! (use at https://rotf.io/register)
[1]FK6-[2]P1V-[3]JZKOP[4]L
There’s been a lot of trivia going around, so to spice things up, I hid the missing letters in the two images on this post. Each letter is numbered, if you look really closely. I’m sure you can piece it together. Fill in the key as usual, and enjoy the hunt!

Here’s the promised second key! (use at https://rotf.io/register)
[1]6PGUXX[2]-W[3A][3B]U-[4]V18

[1] The first letter of the name of the testing period RotF is planned to enter this month
[2] The first letter of the type of previews the last two blog posts have been
[3A, 3B] The time span closed testing was originally meant to release in (2 characters)
[4] The first letter of the name of the senior designer in charge of all our 3d work

First key: (use at https://rotf.io/register)

[1]X56-[2]PDM-[3]07Z-YL8[4]

[1] The first letter of the name of the Underworld in Norse mythology.
[2] The first letter of the name of the Allfather mentioned at the beginning of this post.
[3] The first letter of the name of the god of mischief.
[4] The first letter of the name of the legacy RotF Necropolis item that gave invisible, damaging, berserk, speedy, and darkness (not including the word “the”). The *_ _ _ of Twilight

Revenge of the Fallen: Website Overhaul

Hi all! It’s Miniguy again. This is going to be a fairly quick update. As we continue development of in-game content for Closed Testing, we realized it was time to revisit a (fairly overlooked) portion of our code: the RotF website.

it’s so… purple..?

Don’t get me wrongI’m proud of that thing! But I also made it in, like, 2017, and I’ve since learned a lot about programming and design. I’ve also learned, regrettably, that as much as I like the color purple, the legacy rotf website may have been a little bit excessively purple.

admittedly, none of these people were actually talking about the website in these messages, but i promise people have been complaining. which makes sense. the website is ugly.

So, we’re overhauling it!

wow, vignette!

I’m still learning how a lot of these webdev tools work, so if things blow up, please let me know! I’m pretty proud of how everything looks, though.

is this a fungal abode spoiler?

I hope you guys like the new look! The new website is live now at https://rotf.io/, so go check it out 🙂

As always, this post will be updated within 10 minutes of its publication with a Closed Testing Key. Hit those F5 buttons!

Closed testing key: TA7[1][2]PEJ-JZ[3]W-[4]9Z3

[1] The first letter of the legacy rotf class that used shurikens.
[2] The first letter of the name of the first dungeon in rotf to drop primal items.
[3] The number of times you could get the “First Born” fame boost in legacy rotf. (lol)
[4] The first letter of the legacy rotf rune that would give several buffs after consuming HP/MP potions.

Use at https://rotf.io/register. Good luck!

Revenge of the Fallen: Gate to the Underworld biome showcase.

Hi all, thanks for stopping in for another one of our weekly blog posts. For this weeks post, it will be I, patpot, taking you through some of the Gate to the Underworld biome—one component of a hard biome/dungeon pair that will be available in closed testing for ro2f.

Some of you might recognize the name of the biome if you watched our Q&A from a couple of months back. During the Q&A, I mentioned GTU in particular, as it’s going to be the biggest dungeon we have brought to this game so far. Plus, the biome holds some pretty nifty enemies.

The narrative for the Gate to the Underworld will become clear when you play it firsthand (biome lord dialogue has been removed from the video—no spoilers, sorry to the three players interested in lore). But without saying too much, the GTU area is themed around ancient Egyptian mythology. You’ll battle mythical creatures from one of Egypt’s great deserts (the biome), and face even more treacherous encounters within the Underworld (the dungeon).

Finally, you might notice increased contrast between projectiles (the foreground) and tiles/environment (the background). We recently re-implemented projectile lighting, and while we think this choice will allow us to make a better looking game, we’re still tweaking the values to make it look nice. So for all of the projectiles that burn your eyes: we’re fixing them!

With all of that said, preview time! Don’t step too close: this sarcophagus offers you a brief trip out of your dimension, and into his (far spikier) dimension.

A bouncy mummy, a winged griffin who has forgotten how to fly, and a very energetic looking sphinx.

And lastly, the high priestess. I wouldn’t let her near anybody low on health.

Now we move onto the biome lord himself, the Cursed Pharaoh!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this preview of the Gate to the Underworld. Thanks for reading, as always—and enjoy the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Closed Testing key will be added to this post within 10 minutes of its publication. Hit those F5 buttons!

Closed Testing key:

YQ[1]O-[2]3GL-[3]LAQ-B[4]G4

[1] The first letter of both of the new class special abilities showcased last week for Mages and Summoners.

[2] Rare drops in legacy rotf were accompanied by a loot popup. If the popup was purple, what was the first letter of rare drop type?

[3] Skilled players should be rewarded, one rune made sure that anybody able to dodge gained an increase damage output. What was the first letter of the name of this rune?

[4] In the old galaxy system, how many tiers of galaxies were there?

Use at https://rotf.io/register. Good luck!

RotF: Closed Testing Pushed to February

As you might have heard, the start of RotF’s Closed Testing period is being pushed back to February.

It’s not a decision that we’re making lightly—our goal with Closed Testing is to iron out as many game-breaking bugs (particularly server-breaking bugs) as testers can find, and then polish individual pieces of content. But the period between bug-fixing and polishing is finite. Stability determines whether or not we have a playerbase. We need time to do limited playtests internally, before the start of Closed Testing.

Several games (in this genre!) have learned this the hard way. Realm of the Mad God, Trials of Titan, Domain of Magica, Desolate Lands—all of these games have seen fresh ideas and content, but due to stability issues, don’t have the sizeable playerbases you’d expect. Day1 stability matters a lot, and it can affect sentiment around the quality of your game, long-term.

So even if we have all of the playable content “ready” by Q4 2020, we don’t feel comfortable thrusting it into your hands, yet. In particular, there are six areas that we still want to improve before CT:

  • Build variety (through class skill tree, stat skill tree, and runes)
  • Primal + legendary items and their niches
  • Class special moves, abilities
  • World bosses + their loot
  • General midgame content
  • Internal stability testing

By the end of February, we think we can check these things off, and begin Closed Testing.

Until then, however, we know we need to do a better job of communicating where our progress is at. We’ll be doing weekly progress updates on Saturdays, here on aced.gg. It feels like a consolation prize to us (and it probably does to you, too), but we believe that this is the best way to make good on our promise of creating the game that legacy Revenge of the Fallen was meant to be.