A good two weeks has passed since the last developer update and what a fortnight it was! Since the last I spoke to you guys Journey Online has started its closed alpha and we had quite a few people trying it out and giving us feedback. The alpha testing started with the patch 0.1.8, which was released on the same day as alpha opened. The focus of that update was improving the gameplay and to create a small system for events. The Events systems focus was mostly on the API side, however, at the same time I wanted to get some actual feedback from how it will act with players. I pushed for the Monthly Login events and squeezed them in literally the same day as the closed alpha was open to its testers. As everyone knows, doing that is always really smart (saaaaarcaaaasm) since what could possibly go wrong :). Never the less it needed some fixes and still needs some fixes after the 0.1.9.
Two weeks in to the alpha test I prepared another update. The 0.1.9 updates focus was the improvement of our Barmaid in the guild hall.
The barmaid, called Diana, will help out all of our new players to get started. She will explain key features of the game while trying to push you forward to experience Journey Online. Another major feature was added, however, mostly to the API side. This feature is one of the first key elements that will create the majority of the content at the release of the game. Its focus was to implement 5 tiers of different base equipment that players will obtain from hunting in fields or exploring around the real world. While these items can’t be obtained in the game at the moment, all alpha tester accounts were spawned with at least a few of them so they can give it a test.
At the same time as the equipment was created I also added the element of level requirements on items and improved the item view window. Level requirements will define the raw power of each adventurer depending on what level gear he can equip. This was higher level adventures will have an advantage over the lower level adventurers.
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As mentioned in the previous blog the key focus till the end of December will be improvements on the core gameplay experience and all the systems that are currently already implemented. However, improvements wont be the only thing that I will focus on. As Journey Online is reaching a soft release in to open beta on the Google play store I am preparing enough content so that Adventurers will be able to progress all the way to level 20. There are plans to add 3 more monster themes. Each monster theme will also be represented by a unique Monster Field. Another thing I am preparing is a plan on how players will have to progress through tiers to first reach level 20 and start their preparations on obtaining the rarest gear types.
These features will come in two updates. The first update will most likely be released in two weeks as a regular periodic update and the big major one will be released at the start of December.
Predicted content for patch 0.1.10: Daily quests, Squad Chat, bug fixes
Predicted content for patch 0.2.0: Progress content for open beta, if time battle formation consumables
That about sums up the future goals for Journey Onlines challenge to reach Open Beta. As a surprise to anyone who read this far – The feedback from alpha testers clearly pointed towards the likeness of location based cooperative play, that is why, the first major update after 0.2.0 will be Cooperative focus Raid dungeons in the real world with geo location. These raid dungeons will follow the concepts written down in the previous blog, with an addition, of players having a difficulty gauge that will increase the reward and difficulty for players with more skill while at the same time pushing them to the limit of what strategy can offer.
Alas! Off I go to write more code!
Jure Veler, Creator of Journey Online