It has been three years since we first launched the Dragon's Prophet server, and a lot has changed (at least behind the scenes).

As with the last years update, the biggest change has been the data tool and how far we have gotten with it. We are now able to start adding actual data and the like to the game, as well as find some of the issues that the server suffered (looking at you 102 quests). While we have mostly stuck to smaller things such as adding new dragons and utilitarian items, we are going to start looking at doing other data changes and adding new content soon. Before we start doing more content changes however, we are going to be re-doing our data tool and moving it to a webapp, so that we can have multiple people working on data at one time. You'll notice how we will sometimes have issues with data updates, and that is normally because two people will overwrite each other updates, and it's a bit hard to manage the current workflow. Moving to a web app will mean we can have multiple people working and publishing changes with an approval system, as well as allow us to add people who can do translations so we can do more than just the ENEU language.

Another update is that we have finally completed a compiled client that is in feature parity with the current client; this means that there are no major bugs and that we are looking at releasing an update to run it live. This will allow us to add new functionality and look at fixing some of the issues with Dragon's Prophet stability. One of the first things we are going to start looking at is either updating Scaleform (the UI engine used for Dragon's Prophet) or seeing if the actual UI is portable to HTML. Updating Scaleform may increase performance up to 40%, and work better on modern CPU/GPU, while moving to HTML would give better performance while also giving us more flexibility and the ability to offer a new UI entirely. We will still need to judge which solution is more viable, and which will offer the best benefit to the game. We are still dealing with a rubberbanding issue on the compiled server, so we are still having to work on that as well before we can fully take over what we want to do on Dragon's Prophet, but hey, at least some progress.

Going back to content and data changes, we have fixed and compiled the exporter tool, but have absolutely no idea in how it works, or whether it works at all. Dragon’s Prophet uses its own custom format for skeletons, data models and animations, so once we figure all that out Aiden can start doing some custom models. We have also gotten the map tool to work, though we have not really worked with that much as priorities have been on other things. As with the exporter, we will need to figure out how the tool works and see whether it is in a condition to be usable or if it needs more adjustment.

In the last year we have fixed the Laedis 102 questline and added several new Dragons to the game. While this doesn’t seem like much to some, this is quite a big step considering the complicated nature of data and content in Dragon’s Prophet. It has also allowed us to learn more about the game and how to work out some of the issues and problems that go into working on it. There are still tasks that we have wanted to do that we are still researching (Like B19 territory war), but as soon as we discover them, we will implement them once we know they work without issues.

I’ve mentioned a few of our future and current plans in the paragraphs above, but a few of the things we will be working on initially for the rest of the year are as follows. First, I will be looking at finally finishing up the second part of the Dungeon Dragon rollout; other things have taken priority as each dungeon will require about 4-10 restarts and that is around 15-20 minutes each restart… So very time consuming. Aiden will also begin working on at least one new Dragon soon, though that is mostly dependent on her availability and how in-depth the design she goes with will be. I will also be going over suggestions and plans we have received or discussed internally and see if any of them can start to be implemented into the game at the current stage we are at, or if we can start laying the foundation for future updates now.

Once we reach the next stage of development, we will likely begin looking at releasing the next Laedis equipment set and working on new maps and dungeons. However, that is dependent on getting the proper tools working, learning how to use them, and documenting things so that I can spread out some of the work to others, so I am not stuck doing everything.