Right off the bat, all the stuff below is the information we originally intended to tell you in a stream.
The next weeks are however filled with members of the team finally catching up on vacation, now that the release and the big stress periods are behind us and that’s certainly nothing we want to deny them, especially since it’s the first vacation of the year for some of them.
So before we put people in front of a camera who don’t feel comfortable there, or urge anyone to stream from the beach for us, we figured we’d write you a bit of a letter instead!
Even though that means our communication won’t lead us to as direct of exchange as Twitch chat would usually be, we didn’t want to leave you entirely in the dark for a couple more weeks.
While that means that the topics today will be discussed with an unusual lack of stupid hats (which might arguably be a relief to some of you), we definitely want to do further streams in the future.
Now without further ado, let’s talk!
Most of you will have guessed it, given the end date of Season 1:
The second iteration of our purely cosmetic Battle Pass starts on September 2nd!
Going through all the items in there was planned to be one of the topics of the stream, but alas, here we are. While there will be a separate post for the shop update, we wanted to mention it quickly.
Season 2 will be less thematically tied together (e.g. Summer themed), but still, feature a handful of new and exciting shinies. Personal highlights are the “Mechanical Warrior’s Arm”, a big armored limb floating over your shoulder, as well as “Little Emberjaw”, an adorable cat pet.
The pass will be priced at 1900 Crimson Coins again and follow the same “10 tokens a day, 320 points, 6 weeks” system that the last one did. There’ll also be another free track for everyone, which earns you materials and equipment pieces if you complete the tasks.
We’ve gotten quite a few inquiries about raid drops, or moreso lack thereof.
How does the system work? Does the system work? I only got 1 drop and my friend got 12! Why do Koalas eat exclusively Eucalyptus even though it’s bad for them?
The short answer to all of those questions is: It’s complicated.
Though we have to stay a bit vague here still, as we confirmed on Discord before there is a system in place that guarantees you a drop every now and then. Whether or not you get more than this guaranteed minimum of drops is then dependent on RNG, meaning lucky players will finish their raiding week with more drops than their unlucky counterparts.
All of this logic aside, however, it is obvious that the system currently feels bad to players only ever getting the minimum amount of drops and we have noticed some outliers in our monitoring of the drops throughout the last weeks, which is why we continue to discuss this topic and potential ways to improve the drop experience with the developers, to make this more satisfying for players.
If you’re totally out of the loop on this one, we recently published a post looking for volunteers to help us playtest upcoming content, like new raids, to then identify issues but also give feedback before the release of said content.
Parts of this were clearly not communicated well enough, as shortly thereafter the narrative turned into us looking for professional QAs, which we wanted to work at full time for no pay.
We did want to take the time to clarify the specifics here in more detail, as some residual confusion seems to remain.
The intention of the said post was not to find explicitly people with QA experience or even full-fledged QAs but to find experienced and active players, who are able to provide early and meaningful feedback on the content in the pre-release phase. We believe giving users a chance to get involved like this will enable us to improve the game in the best way (and we promise not to take up 40 hours of their time…or anything remotely close to that). As for the NDA that threw some people off, as we are speaking exclusively about non-released content here that is standard procedure to ensure we can still announce upcoming stuff when we feel comfortable doing so.
We hope the explanation above helps to shed some more light on what exactly that program is about. For our side we’ve definitely taken some lessons in communication out of it, to ensure everyone gets a clear grasp of our intentions from the things we say and write.
We usually incorporate some vague form of “Further translation polishing” in our patch notes, though understandably we’ve gotten questions wondering why we aren’t being more specific and whether we are even fixing anything at all.
The reason we don’t point to specific fixes is that these polishing rounds are usually applied all over the game, not just targeted at one specific system or UI element each time.
Additionally, the amount of retouching is simply too high and what is being done is rarely exciting.
Most fixes here have been focused on resolving inconsistencies, be that in dialogues, names or item descriptions.
Overall the localization team has reviewed about 800k words across 3 languages since launch and continues to do so and implement those adjustments on a regular basis.
Similarly, missing or unsatisfactory VOs are constantly worked on and improved upon.
While it can be hard to see the actual effect or even existence of those changes at first glance, we do believe to have made significant progress here, even if we are not yet fully satisfied.
We’ve made some updates to the roadmap we shared around the release!
As that one was fairly cryptic regarding the last third of the year we fleshed that part out.
Additionally, quite a few of you have reached out to us with concern over more difficult content, specifically the harder difficulties and when they will be coming to the game.
In an effort to provide our dedicated players with the challenging content they yearn for, we’ve pulled the “Extreme” difficulty for our existing dungeons ahead in the schedule and plan to implement it in 2 patches in the early and mid of September, respectively, so that our players can enjoy these challenges sooner than originally planned.
We’re then looking into bringing you the “Hard” difficulty for the existing Raids, to make sure that those of you who have already mastered the bosses are able to take it to the next level with some greater difficulties and gear.
Next to extreme raids and more seasonal events you can then look forward to a big update in November, bringing GvG and some other features to the game.
As for 2022…well let’s just say it might be time to open pandora’s fox.
We’re fully aware that there are topics out there we didn’t touch upon today.
The ones we chose here were points of discussion we figured were either most exciting from an upcoming content standpoint or issues that were discussed quite vocally throughout the last weeks.
Even if something isn’t mentioned here, it’s likely we have or are currently discussing it with our partners over at Wangyuan Shengtang. Realistically we won’t be able to change everything at once, but we continue to be committed to the idea of implementing improvements according to player feedback.
As for right now, we’ll get back to working on the patch for next week…or the beach, for a lucky few of us. Do let us know what you think about posts like this one! Does it help you gain some insights? It’s not a perfect replacement for streams, but we do hope to have it bridge the gap a little.
We’ll see you soon Immortals!
The SOLO Team