New content and patch cycle – Daniel Ullrich, Director Product Management at Frogster
In my last posting I introduced myself but for those who are new to MMORPG.com’s developer blogs, I’m Daniel Ullrich, Director Product Management at Frogster. Today I would like to talk about Runes of Magic’s new patch cycle.
Like I mentioned before, over the last several weeks, we’ve had exhausting, but great meetings with Runewaker to talk about everything necessary to prepare the coming Chapter II of Runes of Magic. One of the topics we discussed was how we can make the game experience for players better and how we can increase the amount of fun players will have with new content. As one of many improvements over the next few months, we’ve already implemented a new patch cycle and have upgraded our test server system with a lot of hardware to allow hundreds of users to test new and upcoming features and content.
But maybe it’s a good idea to start right at the beginning.
In Closed Beta, we started with a “direct-to-server” strategy which meant that patches didn’t last long on the test and QA servers. The reason for this system is very easy. We wanted and of course still want to work with our community on content and features. The community’s opinion is always important to Runewaker and Frogster, so we provided our players as early as possible with new under-development content on a weekly basis. With very early feedback from the community on new features, new areas and gameplay, we were able to react quickly to wishes and suggestions, and were able to improve a lot of things on the live server.
For those who don’t know, Runewaker is the developer of the game but they also give Frogster the opportunity to design game mechanics and features. So Frogster established a sub-department in the Product Management department dedicated to producing the game. And because I am the Director of this department, I know most of those discussions and of course, am involved most of the time. It is very cool to see the ideas our community submits, even if of course a lot of it is unfortunately not that easy to integrate into Runes of Magic. Generally, I like the idea of a completely destructible environment, but as I mentioned before, features like this are not that easy to integrate.
Anyway, I was talking about the new patch cycle. The new patch cycle will be on a 4-week frequency, which means that Runes of Magic will have more exciting content each month. Runewaker and Frogster decided on this frequency, because it will give us a consistent schedule where you the community can expect changes to the game.
The time the content received on our brand-new test server system, will increase the quality and fun factor. Like I mentioned above, we would like to have community feedback as well, so we’ll let a lot of players on the test server system within the next few weeks. Some of those players will be selected as special alpha testers who will be able to see parts of the new content at a very early development stage. If you are interested in becoming an alpha tester keep, an eye on the forums. We’ll select people who are very active in the community and the game. If you have already written constructive feedback it’s of course a plus.
In one of the upcoming blogs, I’ll write more about the content of the patches and upcoming features. As the system gets up in running over the next few months, we will patch in larger content, and graphic and sound updates, to prepare the world for Chapter II of Runes of Magic. But, first a smaller patch will hit the live servers on Jun3rd, so start your client and log in.
I hope to see you in game and in our forums.