There's an old saying that says "There's no such thing as a free lunch" which basically means that everything has a cost. In my experience, that's true. From basic human interaction, to game development to the physical laws that govern the universe... everything is a balancing act.
Frostval is still going on and we don't plan on ending the event until well into January, and the feedback has been mixed. Some people love the layout of the event, others not so much. I wanted to explain some of the thought that went into how this event was laid out... where we may have succeeded and where we went wrong.
People loved Mogloween but one of the few complaints with the event was that people were done with the entire quest chain and had most of the items crafted within a single weekend. You guys wanted an event that took longer. One of our goals with Frostval was to try and use the tools that we have in the game to give you an event that took longer to complete and since we decided that Frostval shouldn't require keys, it meant that we were could open it up to a lot more farming to complete.
Some people loved this. Others disliked the randomness to complete the first two quests. Others didn't mind the RNG aspects but didn't like that you couldn't begin crafting until completed the quests. Others were fine with the quests and just didn't like the lower drop-rates for farmable items or the higher crafting requirements... There was a lot to consider.
We know that you guys are all different, and all want something different out of AQ3D. Some of you like an involved story while others like nothing but action. Some of you are hardcore grinders who love to earn a hard-won item and others are more casual and just want some quick and easy fun. Some like things dark and serious and others play our games just for the corny humor.
We know that we can't please everyone, but when a lot of you ask for the same thing and it's a reasonable thing, we try and give it to you.
We added length to Frostval but sacrificed some of the quick fun. We gave you a longer, more challenging holiday event but It's not exactly what some of you had in mind. That's OK. This is a young game. we are still finding our footing and we are going to make mistakes. This is exactly the kind of feedback we are looking for from you guys and next time we will go a different direction. Every attempt will get us closer to the mark.
I like giving you guys a look into the real development of AQ3D showing some of the challenges that we face making this game for you. The balancing act doesn't end with the holidays.
Many of you have been playing our games for a long time and expect a certain release schedule. You want a new event every week, but designing content for AQ3D is several orders of magnitude more difficult than it is in one of our Flash games. We're a small team with limited resources which means we have to make some tough choices.
Do we make VERY small releases every week (like a few items and a quest or two) but neglect testing and the larger game world's development?
Do we go spend time on a whole area full of NPCs, story lines, a deeper plot, tons of items, maybe new classes and get everything as close to perfect as we can, but lose many of you would grow impatient?
Right now, we're somewhere between the two options trying to stay balanced between giving you something fast and giving you something great.
We're trying some new stuff in the first part of Ashfall and we want to make sure that it works so we're pushing Ashfall's release back a bit. Since we're breaking new ground, I don't want to give an exact release date yet but it will be very soon.
The first chapter of the Dragons of Ashfall will feature an entire camp of Dragonslayers, a new enemy is Dragonlord Talyn, four new maps to explore (counting the interior of the Dragonslayer's War Tent), several new monsters, TONS of new NPCs, around 30 new quests, 9 dialogue cutscenes, Lots of craftable Dragonslayer items and the beginning of the biggest area story we've had so far.
Just know know that the more time we spend on a new release or new function, the polished and fun it will be when it's released.