As we go into 2020, we wanted to put forth for you some ideas we have on how we see Imperian going. In this upcoming year our priorities are to finish some of our long term projects, add some more events, and keep more updates happening.
There are a lot of existing projects that need work, and one of our top priorities going into 2020 is to work on those projects.
Top of mind, obviously, are the still pending classleads. These need to be completed so that we can open up a new round and get back to balancing the PVP aspect of the game. This has been difficult, as the environment that the game was in when they were filed isn’t the same as the one we find ourselves in now, but it’s something we’re committed to seeing through.
Next up is the new Aspect system released late in 2019. There are some additional features slated for release that we’d like to finish up before moving on to another project. These are mostly finished, so we feel that it’s worth taking the time to put a bit of polish on them and put them in the hands of players.
Once the existing long-term projects are cleared out, we’re going to focus on a few smaller pockets of things at once. Rather than full classleads, for example, we’re looking at focusing on a single class at a time to try to fine tune the balance. The exact form that these smaller projects will take is still up in the air, but the important part is that we want to iterate quicker and get things into players’ hands faster.
The two most requested things are (1) another look at balancing player combat, and (2) new events to push roleplay and the Imperian storyline forward. Unfortunately, these two priorities tend to steal resources from each other and neither impacts the other in any way. We do not have enough people to do both effectively right now, but we are working to rectify that. We’re going to seek out another coder to help fill in the ranks and more entities to help with RP. Bringing new Entities on board is always a challenge, as it means removing someone from the game that is likely a big part of its current roleplay culture, and taking time off of other projects to newbie entities up to speed, but having new blood is also important.
This somewhat leads into…
A new focus for Eoghan
First off let me make it clear that I’m not stepping away from Imperian, nor do I intend for my presence to diminish. What I do plan to do is spend less time buried in code and in issues, and more time focusing on another aspect of Imperian: the story. My engagement with the community will remain the same – I’ll still respond to messages, still handle single-player issues (like housing tokens, mechanics questions, and the like), and I’ll still be active on Discord. I’ll even still be providing some support on the code side. What I won’t be doing, though, is focusing all of my time and attention on new features and new code. It’s my goal in 2020 to have a renewed focus in Imperian on roleplay and story, and the only way to do that is to dedicate significant time to it.
A change like this is going to need to be watched, to make sure that we don’t lean too far one way or the other and that we keep our projects moving forward. As a part of that, we need you, the community, to continue giving us feedback so we know if we’re going in the right direction. One of the avenues to do that will be…
Monthly Town Hall
Continuing the recent transparency and engagement that we’ve been pushing, I’m going to introduce a new monthly trend: a forum townhall. This is like a normal townhall – in that people can come in and ask questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them – but it’ll happen asynchronously on our forums. Put another way: it’s a monthly Q&A we’ll hold on the forums. Players will also be able to submit questions via in-game messages if they’d prefer to remain anonymous. The thread will remain open for the first week or so of the month, then we’ll come through and answer some (but not necessarily all) of the questions.
One of the things that we specifically mentioned when going to our current free model was that we wouldn’t have the resources to dedicate to promotions every month. That is still the plan going forward, but we’ve heard from you, and several folks have been very vocal in their disappointment when a promotion is released to other Iron Realms games but doesn’t come to Imperian. To try to temper that a bit, we’ve decided on the following compromise: if implementing a new promotion would take a significant amount of time, such that dedicating the resources to it is impractical, we will either have another coder from Iron Realms work to implement it in Imperian, or we’ll run an existing promotion instead. This means that some months, our promotions won’t match the rest of IRE, but that we’ll always have something going each month.
What about Dec?
Dec hasn’t been around and visible quite as much, but he’s still alive and well, happy to let Eoghan handle most of the player facing aspects of the game. Dec will be working mostly behind the scenes to implement the bigger projects and hopefully allowing Eoghan to get their hands dirty with RP.