Alganon relaunched itself yesterday after a tumultuous four months in the game's development cycle. WarCry had the chance to speak to Alganon's Derek Smart about Alganon's relaunch and its first day. Check it out!
How has Alganon 2.0's first day gone?
Well funny enough I was expecting some serious issues given the massive nature of the update - especially to new subscribers. However, things went reasonably well.
I have this picture in my mind that the server CPU would take one look at the inbound noise, then jump clear out of the socket, speed past the memory chips, make a left at the memory controller to say goodbye, then high-tail it past the graphics chip, giving it a snarly look, then dive clean out the back of the rack leaving a puzzled "What the....?" look on the PSU's face as the fan hummed along, completely oblivious to what had just happened.
Any numbers you can give us in terms of server load or downloads?
Unfortunately I don't have access to those metrics, but we are getting an influx of users new and old. Our CDN (we use EdgeCast Networks) can pretty much handle anything we throw at it, so we're not concerned about that at all.
Have you seen a spike in interest in Alganon in the days leading up to release?
Yes! In fact that spike has been curving upwards since it was made public that I was at QOL and thus taking over Alganon.
As I've said before, I know that the game is not going to appeal to everyone; and frankly I don't care about that. What I care about is that the game is finished and that those who paid for it can get their money's worth. My ultimate goal is to keep Alganon in its own niche and see how far I can take it. Time and patience are everything because an MMO is a different beast in terms of planning and long term prospects.
In this industry climate and given the disastrous December 2009 launch, it could be an insurmountable task to be sure, but being a goal driven person, I love a good challenge. :)
Why was the Alganon downloader not been updated to v2.0 to avoid a ponderous patching process?
Actually, all the downloade does is grab the latest patch. The issue is that there are pre-existing users, some going all the way back to the original Dec 2009 launch. That was a 1.0x build. So anyone with that build and who hasn't patched since then, will have a major patch to download.
However, those who have been following the game, updating it etc only have a 1GB patch to go from their March 1.0x patch version to this final 2.0x update.
If you bought the game today from any source other than directly from QOL, you will be getting the original 1.0x release from Dec 2009. After installing and running that build, the downloader will grab the 2.0x build and this is almost a 2GB download.
Anyone buying the game directly from QOL as of the 2.0x release will be downloading the latest 3.3GB build and thus no patch to download after installation.
Any reaction from Alganon's users?
Well judging from the forums, they seem pretty happy. But it's still early yet to tell how they feel about the full picture. We're monitoring the situation closely.
Have you been in game yet?
Yes I have and sometime today I intend to go through the latest build again. As I've said before, this is not my type of game so I tend not to spend too much time with it. The team in place built this game and they are very good at what they do, so I live vicariously through them for the most part.
I'm not a fan of fantasy games at all; never have been. In fact, I'm probably the only one on the planet who has never - ever - played WoW. Though I do buy fantasy games for my massive library, the last fantasy based game I played was probably Ultima Online. I kid you not.
What are some of the player stats? Most created character archetype, etc.?
I really don't know tbh. But looking at the new stats on the Alganon website, it appears that quite a few people are creating Healers.
What are developers' plans for May? June?
Our most immediate plan of action is to monitor the game for the next month or so and focus on releasing hotfixes for exploits, bugs we missed etc.
There are some minor tweaks we're looking to do within that timeframe as well e.g. we need a confirmation screen for the purchasing of Tributes because we've had some people purchasing them under the guise of "testing" it, then wanting refunds. Yes, seriously. Refunds. For a $1 purchase. Yah.
We're also going to be doing the subscription refunds next week. We're just waiting for Aria (our third-party processor) to do the batch process for that.
We're also going to be scrubbing the trial servers and have people play on the production servers so that if they decide to purchase the game, we don't have to worry about doing character transfers and such.
Beyond that, we're looking to implement a consignment house, add one or two new classes and implement support for companions (aka pets) which can also fight alongside their owners.
In the long term we are looking to implement PvP, further overhaul of the networking layer, create new content in the form of paid DLC (quests, new areas, items etc), add more items to the Tribute store and perhaps overhaul some of the 3D content (e.g. the character models can be better).
Be sure to check out Alganon's overhauled (and very nice looking) website.