Entropia News: Communication and development roadmap

Discussion in 'Entropia News' started by EP-Newsbot, May 28, 2014.

  1. Hi Alien,

    Yes, Crytek CryEngine 2 is old hat, games of yester-year that no one really bothers with anymore.

    We started an upgrade in 2008 to Cry2, since then 6 years have passed, we are going soon into year 7.
    Very old hat I would say. CryEngine 3 is far better optimised and has many new features.

    As can be seen here:

    Upgrading to DX11 or soon 12 with also support for the AMD Mantle API in their next release update will require Cry3.

    This is my point. In 2003 Entropia went gold, 2008 Cry2 (5 yr period) and now another 6 have passed, we are overdue for this update. Of course it was a huge undertaking going from Gamebyro Engine to Cry2Engine due to it being a completely different engine. However the transition from Cry2 to Cry3 is rather smooth from what I have read thus far. Even with the lack of developer documentation produced by CryTek (Something CryTek are looking to change with the new monthly subscription earnings)

    Only minor changes need to be made if the old models are used. These can be upgraded later with time.

    So I would expect such a change to occur within a 3 to 6 month period, all planets additional content which is rather small to the core content of Calypso inclusive.

    It will be a necessary move at some point. It is just a question of when.

    Asking the 2 mil USD purchase price for BAD deeds (Battle Arena Deeds) is justified if this is to occur.
    BAD deeds will be available to all planet partners as far as I understand it since it is a MindArk initiative.

    I would like to see a justification for asking such an outrageous price to produce something that has been seen on kickstarter several times in the past for under 100k USD to produce. (Similar concept).

    Sure the Entropia one integrates somewhat with other systems, yet the core of what they are doing with the BA system has been done before in other games and is nothing new.

    So yes, please upgrade to latest compliancies DX11/12/Mantle and the latest Engine supporting these technologies CryTek Cry3.

    We play the most expensive MMO game known in the history of the gaming industry;

    Is it too much to ask for MindArk to keep up with the times and provide a quality game, both keeping up with technology and gameplay features and functionality to justify what they charge us in cost to play ?
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  2. I got this odd feeling that MA just may be moving us on to the Cry Engine 3. Not sure, but when I read that Taming is going to be released I remember the first time MA did this...:barefoot:
  3. Read a bit about the migration from Cry2 to Cry3, it is rather smooth and easy with little complications.
    You can use the old coding and models, then work on improving everything later.

    There is no need like last time going from GameByro to Cry2 style development work involved.

    At the end of the day, this needs to be done.
    Cry2 and DX9 just won't cut it for what they are looking to achieve with these new systems. Sure they can do it, but it will be a piss poor implementation with much diminished quality to what it could offer if done right.

    Technology is improving, the gameboy generation of gamers today are demanding quality, performance, gameplay features and functionality that will blow them away and hold their somewhat short attention spans for longer periods than what would be normally held. (This is what makes a game stand out amongst the crowd of the many other games available to them and keeps them coming back)

    Entropia is yet to achieve this level of standard being requested/demanded by today's generation of gamers.

    This is where the core of the market dollars lay.
    Not with us older farts, but with the younger 20 - 30yr crowd.

    Entropia needs new blood and to obtain this new blood they first must know where it is located.
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  4. Well read up on the last big update and you may get the joke here.

    But yes, I know it would be a great idea but MA can't just go Cry3 that easily since they have a custom coded Cry2 Engine which they would need to request a new version from CryTek for a big some of money. So yes, Cry3 would be GREAT but MA is still to small of a staff to take on this type of project overnight.

    But we are getting off the humor here. Read up on what we lost with the last update and what we soon will be finally (maybe) getting again very soon if not next year or so. :)
  5. I saw the joke.
    MindArk does something, they break several other things in doing so. Or leave them out entirely.
    Lack of foresight and quality control to sum it up.

    However there is a time for joking and a time for giving the benefit of the doubt that they may get it right.
    That is what I am giving MindArk this time around and staying somewhat positive about it.

    The Cry2 change was before your time, I was here when Marco made the promises he made about taming being reintroduced shortly after the initial change amongst other things, and SEE and the years since. At the time before CE2 I sold off my 7k+ whip skill that I gathered on whipping drones for almost a year back then prior for dodge skill ups.

    The proposed taming system that Kim kept carrying on about forever in a day never made it past a footnote on one of his journal to-do pages, we were promised many things and how grand it would be when it finally arrived. That is the fact of it. Just like fishing, in concept stages, just another footnote journal entry.

    Sure he is an ideas man, and the son of Jan, but when it comes to the crunch he seems to lack what is needed to get it from ideas stage past the concept stage it seems.

    (No offense Kim if you read this, history tells its tale is all I will say. I understand it is not all your fault, but you say, you do, you do not make excuses to your customers and pass the blame, the buck must stop somewhere and your as much a part of MA as part of Calypso (Also MA)

    Never the less, there are also a lot of reasons why he could not persue those ideas that he wished to due to the limitations of the cry2engine platform mechanics that had been (and could be) developed with the cry2engine.

    The custom coding is neither here nor there. MindArk would not have signed the deal for a once off engine purchase with no upgrade path. Fact is this is primarily what they looked for when making the massive change they did in negotiations in 2007 with CryTek.

    I realise it is not an overnight transition. No one said it would be, however the ball needs to start rolling on it at some point. At the same time, do not make out that custom coded engines are an epic undertaking as they are not. What they have done with Cry2 can also be implemented in Cry3 as well with relative ease.
  6. Well I did get the skill wrong, it was 7k clubs and 5k whips back then.

    skills_1.jpg skills_2.jpg skills_3.jpg
  7. If you have yet to experience a Cry3 capable game, then try this one out.

    Keep in mind this one is for Xbox-One and has diminished quality compared to PC which can be rendered in 10 times the amount of polygons on what I would call a sub-standard PC, being a i7 4th gen 16Gb memory and min 700 series Nvidia or R7 series AMD video card (XB1 has its limits like all consoles of today)

    But even with this much reduced quality and processing power found in todays consoles, it does give a good taste of Cry3's capabilities.

  8. This is what I hope for Entropia (one day in the future). A game that provides feature rich gameplay.

    Newly released. These are the games the current 'Gameboy' generation of gamers are looking for.
    (Today's generation of gamers are known as the gameboy generation, where the money spenders are)
    Also games upcoming like DA3, Witcher 3. etc.


    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  9. Welcome back! Why you change your name here in the forum btw?

    But yes, you got it kind of right..I was joking on the positive side here and I say we will get Cry3 soon as taming is released again! :)
  10. It is a new gaming account for Entropia. The old one is retired and closed. Ingame and on forums.
    The old name is used in other games of interest, it will not longer have any attachment with Entropia.
    This character is a casual player, still deposits heavy, plays mostly low level gathering resources and storing them only for the time being for potential later use and/or sale.

    I will decide on the future further level of involvement financially with Entropia at a later stage, 12 months+

    We shall see, only time will tell. For now I am taking MindArk at their word. Not that it means much to many these days, but an attitude change in the community needs to start somewhere to give MindArk a chance again to make and do it right.

    This communique (announcement) from MindArk is a step in the right direction, hopefully MindArk will stay true to their outlined path this time of the many times prior.

    Call me a sucker for punishment, but there is still a dwindle of hope left after all these years.
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. dalewj

    dalewj StoryTeller/Nerd/Gamer

    an upgrade from cry2-3 I think would be a problem as most of the devs in the first upgrade left the company. the self sourced code to make cry 2 fit MA is possibly in someones head who is no longer in MA. then again its always possible a dev actually left notes but I wouldn't put my money on it.

    saying that a engine that worked across platforms would be the way to go for the young ones coming up and their fancy ps3's
  12. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Ignoring the Cry 2-3 4 whatever issue for the minute,... actually no. Yes there are massive efficiency improvements from 2 to 3 and "4" yes the engine development doesn't stop. It is a work in progress with new features and efficiencies/optimisations being added all the time. The reality is though, that while Entropia may benefit from a more streamlined/efficient base engine/underlying code, these complaints are actually nonsensical.

    What makes Entropia look bad isn't the engine, it is the care of design and detail of the various locations on the planets. Move engine? Sure no problem, the lighting will be better, the frame rate will be higher but Zychion will still be Zychion. Those blocky old fashioned cubes will still be there. Don't believe me? Simple, go compare Thule to the older parts of Calypso or how about the old Corinth to the new Corinth? Really there is no comparison. If Entropia wants to improve it needs more artists, not coders reinventing the wheel all for a slightly better renderer.

    It isn't even a recent problem, MA's use of Gamebryo made it look 5 years older than the Elderscrolls use of it. Similarly if you compare Entropia now to Crysis. You will find the former (old game) looks shinier even in dx9 mode.

    Still, it isn't exactly fair to compare them though... but I don't want to go into all that again.
    At the end of the day, there hasn't been an engine that has blown me away since ce2, everything since has just been candles on an already plenty pretty enough cake. Its all about how the engines are used now not having a higher number on the resume. You ask for MA to waste time going from 2 to 3? Well I ask them to make use of the aspects of ce2 they didn't use yet.

    Anyhow this is all rather fruitless since we all know damn well nothing we ever say or do on these forums makes a jot of difference. MA are for MA and MA will always do what MA pleases. MA don't provide any information so no one can ever really make any detailed suggestions or offer any help/guidance. Even the PP's struggle from that respect.

    We always have to start from "assuming things work in this one imaginary way that we just guessed at.... could MA maybe do such and such?" and of course the answer is most frequently silence or "no because of some secret reason". We can't come back on that and say "aha I get you, good point the <secret reason> would indeed be an obstacle but have you heard of "this"?" cause we don't have the internal intel for that kind of discussion.

    Classsic example:

    Community: "Dear MA, we used to be able to sit down, can we do that again?"
    MA: "oh no, just imagine if we had to make a sit down gesture that worked with every chair? it would take ages"
    Community: "er.... that is indeed a valid point but we didn't ask for that. We just want the old animation back... you know? the one where it does exactly the same thing regardless of if you are sitting/laying on the floor, a chair, a gigantic spike of doom - it doesn't matter if it doesen't always look right, it never did before and no one cared, besides,...mainly, we just want to sit on the floor"
    MA: <silence>
    Community: "Hello?"
    MA: What?
    Community: "The sit down thing? yeh? Can we have it?"
    MA: "You want to sit down?"
    Community: "Yes... er.. like... we... just... said? You do remember right?"
    MA: <Silence>

    and so has been, and so it will always be. MA won't change.

    As for today's announcement of them turning over a new leaf and being more communicative. No, it won't happen. Talk is cheap and MA know that better than anyone. Until I see a detailed blog post of "a day in the life of an MA coder" detailing exactly how their day went, what systems they worked on, what interesting bugs they encountered, so on and so forth, I won't believe a word of it.

    As for those systems talked about, it seems MA have forgotten their own schedule. If "it" (to mean any thing) doesn't get released before July it won't get released till late September, if it doesn't get released by late September it won't get released till Christmas or Feb 2015. Case in point, the chat update.

    I don't really believe anything* in that plan as much as I didn't believe anything in the state of the universe address this year (actually WAS there anything to believe in that? I seem to remember it had less actual contents than a magazine with the first 5 pages ripped out). Yes I know, I'm a cynic but after 10 years I won't believe anything MA say they are going to do until they do it or provide plausible evidence (ie in depth technical discussion or a video/in game demo).

    If they do, great, but I won't believe in fairies any more.


    * I do believe in the mob inhabiting system since this has already been demonstrated in a crude manner live in game. I'll be very interested to see how they eventually do it and if it resembles any of the ideas put forward years ago (good god! 8 years ago) http://www.planetcalypsoforum.com/forums/showthread.php?15848-Play-as-mob-Here-s-how! That said, the "when"? Well, I'm doubtful it will be next month. September seems more likely, and MA will have forgotten to test it as per usual plus, when the release comes, our left arms will suddenly bend round our necks when we equip a Vivo and the jump animation won't work when weapons are held.

    As for the taming...? and the online battle thing...? Lets get serious here. MA have already said that taming was flawed before so bringing it back in its original guise, even as a first step, is something they are highly unlikely to do. The time frames are very lack lustre too. No... taming won't happen this year and nor will the citizen/property system. If it does, I will be very very surprised

    PS Think I'm being too harsh about MA and testing? OK how about you log in and try doing the "move along" gesture ,-)
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Can I just add that I love the fact that the banner for this article was the old pic of space flight from way back when. Ahhh...
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. Wistrel,

    While I totally agree with you on the development work should go into remodelling, upgrading artwork & textures, etc etc. This is step 2 and jumping the gun. CE3 or 4 by the next big update will give the ability to do much much more than CE2 can provide, and no I am not talking graphics wise as CE2 is fine for that. I am talking mechanics coding and backend systems integration.

    CE2 is fine as far as shiny eye candy graphics go, however CE3+ will allow the development and programming of certain features in the game that would be a huge undertaking in CE2.

    Anyway about the communications part, yes I agree with you.

    This is what I would like to see, a "Path of Exile" style "Development Manifesto"



    "Communication is Important
    At Grinding Gear Games, we've always treated communication with the community as a priority. I spend several hours of each day on external communication (that's not counting answering emails), but feel that we can still improve the way that we communicate with you guys. This article explains some of the ways that we're planning on improving communication in the short term:

    The Development Manifesto
    The purpose of this development manifesto forum is for us to open topics on specific issues that we're working on so that we can explain how they're going to work. It's also a great place to discuss specific design philosophies that we base many of our decisions around. Please note that there are still plenty of topics that will be posted! This initial set are just the ones that we have ready in the first pass. More will be added in the coming days/weeks.

    How Manifesto Updates Will Work
    Initially, the manifesto will be updated by adding more topics. As they become out of date, we'll update the existing posts to make sure that they always accurately reflect our current line of thinking on those issues. When there's a meaningful update to a manifest post, I'll mention it in the daily news. Keep an eye on both that forum and this one to stay up to date :)

    Explanations in Patch Notes
    Starting with update 1.1.2b, our patch notes have included much more detailed explanations of changes than before. A lot of thinking goes into any rebalancing that we do, so we're going to be as detailed about this process as possible. In some cases, a rebalance may be foreshadowed by a post in this development manifesto forum, so that people are aware of it in advance.

    Daily News
    We post an update in the news every New Zealand weekday. Sometimes it's about a new game feature, other times it's about an upcoming patch or microtransaction. I'm very proud that we've kept this routine up for so long, because so much of our feedback comes from news posts. They're a great place for us to reach out with updates about small topics or to call out awesome community efforts. We will continue these daily news posts.

    Build of the Week
    These are an incredibly powerful marketing tool, so we've resumed releasing one per week."
  15. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Good points about infrastructure/flexibility of coding. I don't know much about ce3 development from those perspectives. Out of interest how many other companies have released cryengine2 or later based games... and how many mmo's now? I remember there were a few at one stage in development but Entropia was the first one that made it to fruition I think...

    I can imagine even if other games/developers have found a change from ce2 to ce3 relatively painless I suspect MA would struggle due to how much they had to change it to make it support their vision. I have a feeling that their way of doing things... might not be too... neat? Simply due to the number and frequency of the seemingly in-explainable bugs that crop up. I once found a Sabakuma in my inventory... try and explain that one!

    On the reporting subject. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I would like to see updates like those from Planet Explorers from MA as a starter!

    To take a quick break from MA bashing though. I was looking into Eve the other day and how their Avatar development program was moving along. I was sad to see that it never went beyond a bit of walking round a space ship and that comment from the Devs was that it was kinda shelved for the forseeable future.

    Some time ago I noted that Entropia was trying to become Eve and Eve was trying to become Entropia or at least head towards each other in terms of scope of game. I was fairly convinced that Eve would get there first. The reality is though that they gave up and MA succeeded in producing a (rudimentary) space game/mechanic. Kudos to MA there then cause there are no other games where you can run about on a planet doing all sorts of stuff then fly up into space for some dogfights then board a capital ship that you can walk about on while someone else pilots it to another planet where you can then fly down and experience a whole other place.

    Seriously, despite that space isn't "right" yet. That is quite an achievement. Additionally Cryengine was all about small level based "man with a gun" games. It was never meant to accommodate sprawling planets of seemless content.... let alone a 3d space flying game... lord knows how starcitizen devs are finding it for that sort of thing.

  16. Hi Wistrel,

    Yes, CE3 is being used for Star Citizen IIRC.

    Also on the Pathea website 'Planet Explorers', the developers are very active with the community.
    Even on steam they take an active role in listening to the community, Zede05 is ace.

    Just a teaser for you on 0.8 - http://steamcommunity.com/games/237870/announcements/detail/1749957631379537862

    Really looking forward to the copy to ISO function for my epic base under construction *grins*
    2014-03-25_00001.jpg 2014-03-25_00002.jpg 2014-03-25_00003.jpg 2014-03-26_00004.jpg 2014-03-26_00008.jpg 2014-03-27_00005.jpg
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  17. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Sorry back on the play as a mob discussion. I was re reading my old thread and laughing a lot. There are quite a few classics from people later on including this one:

    Be better to have Lycanthropy skills.

    Given this power, my Soc could, as one, all turn into Repesilex Prowlers (does such a beast exist?) and become seething dots of hate. Or Merp Stalkers and spoil every party we go to. Or better still.... eight Itumatrox Dominants all wearing "Clint Eastwood" overcoats, advancing in death-laden hops towards their foes..... LOL

    edit: cracking up now imagining a squad of tooled-up Itumatrox with Maddox IV's and Axe 5x0's lol
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. Amber Knightley

    Amber Knightley I see dead people.

    Did someone say gotta catch 'em all?! This sounds like a big scale implementation of Pokémon into our universe. What happened to the planned ability to ride my allo into the sunset :(
    I really hope taming wont be limited to certain controlled areas...
    Though I must say it sounds somewhat fun but I doubt this will engage the EU community at a high level unless we're allowed to bring the pets into the open world!!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    YAWN ...
    Another announcement, more broken promises, more delay notes ... I don't want to read more of them. After nearly nine years I can only lough about this
    Wistrel is right with her example of sit/lay down. THAT should be brougt back/improved. But hey, MA won't finish anything. Don't set high hopes into this announcement. It will end up like all the other announcements in the past.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Hello person I met in game yesterday! and now I see you on forum :D

    Yeh my old soc leader likened it to pokemon. I've never played so don't know that one but yeh how about MA finish off/revise the android crafting app first before more external content?

    As for enraging the community well it is sure to happen, the people with the previously invested money in pet deeds and skills will probably be shafted. I think the reality is as they say "Entropia is Dynamic" I think MA are realising that more and more now, more so than they even thought they did. Case in point, yesterday I bought a rather nice Rusty red coat for TT+40 rather than the massive cost of the traditional Master coat. OK it isn't the same as the Master coat and isn't customisable but hey who cares? It looks cool. In my view, cooler.

    Coat Killer2.jpg

    This is the problem with clothes, traditionally clothes (lets be honest) were kinda crap, looking a little like something from Eurovision or a 70's scifi view of the future. The planet partners seem to be counteracting that now (and I bet they are being restricted even in what they do come out with) but of course this will always shaft the values/demand of/for existing clothes. I suspect what is happening now is that MA are taking a "fashions" approach. Possibly thinking of Entropia in the long run and going ok sure that stuff was popular/expensive during the first decade but then tech and stuff moved on and more interesting clothing came out so that old stuff declined into being just about rarity/uniqueness (for which it will always maintain some novely value).

    Anyhow, I digress, as regards taming and the other alleged updates. I'd be happy if I can have a little spider bomber bot follow me round and maybe do some tricks. They are cute and I think its appropriate for a colonist of the future to have a robot pet rather than a flesh one.

    That said, I guess a Lemi Dragon or Hiryuu might be kinda cool to fly around on? Indeed though I won't hold my breath until I can "ride off into the sunset on my Atrox". ;)

    Maybe I can have a pet Marco?

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
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