Category: Dev Blog

Month 2: Perpetual Progress


Nians,
Our next phase of development is already underway and would like to share details of the upcoming patch this weekend, and sneak peek the one coming after.
This Sunday at the regular patch time there are a great number of changes, bug fixes, features, and new content based on our roadmap and your feedback!

Highlights for Patch 2018/06/10

Balance:

All Mk1 Haulers have been given an increase in cargo sizes by at least 50% to as much as 500%+!
Most are simple increases, however a major change to the nature of how the Scarab operates was introduced to move it into a new role as truly a “Freighter” type hauler.
The Scarab is given an enormous cargo, more tank, but is much slower.  This type of hauler is not something that travels alone, and not without mobile teleports.  The idea was to move the focus away from having a caravan of scarabs to move massive amounts of goods, but to involve more players together in a teamed-activity of combat-escort.  Only one player will be needed to run the hauler, while others will need to actively scout and defend when the Scarab is vulnerable.  We think this will move the logistics-meta into a corp and squad-based activity.  Solo players will still have the Lithus and the other classes to use, all of which will now have greatly expanded cargoes.

Pelistal Mk1s have been given an increase in CPU on all bots, a slight increase to the Waspish’s Accumulator, and increased the optimal range on small missiles.  Based on community feedback, the Pelistal toe-to-toe with other faction variants seemed to under-perform in most cases.  Pelistal is a problematic faction to balance because the weapon system and tanking specialty is unique.  How they perform varies greatly with circumstance, situation, squad composition, and player skill.  We will continue to watch balancing issues carefully to ensure all factions and classes have a place and purpose players can find for them.

Assignments:

Squad payouts have increased the per-participant reward from 2.5% to 5% per participant.  This is only computed after the mission completes, it will not appear in the estimate.  With 10 (max) participants in the mission, you can receive as much as 150% more NIC.

NPCs:

Our content team is proud to introduce a slew of new NPCs to the world to provide new experiences and opportunities to get the goods to fuel the economy!
First the Omega boss-spawns have been greatly increased in their loot potentials, more kernels, more fragments, and don’t forget the high-tech gear they already drop!
To follow up adding low-level Nian-faction spawns to New Virginia  and Hershfield to provide some source of factional material on the starting zones.  These are designed to be soloable at sufficient level of player progression.  We heard you: the spawns are too big, too high level, too fast.  Stepping stones are needed.  Now those are in place!
Further more, the Syndicate NPCs on alpha, specifically some of the mech/Heavy-mech spawns had their fits adjusted to make them more Alpha-player friendly.  Even though the Syndicate npcs may still be more challenging, their loot will reward you for your efforts.
Finally, we now introduce you to William H Bonney, and his band of Rough Riders!

 

This rogue faction of Syndicate Agents have rebelled and are attempting to control a portion of New Virginia for themselves!  Bonney has stolen the Syndicate’s technology and is said to posses a number of prototypes.  If you take up the call to dispatch these scoundrels, you may reclaim the stolen goods!  More details to be posted the Syndicate News in game!

Beta Changes:

Beta presents great rewards to those that organize and put the effort into leveraging the mechanics and tools of the sandbox to mitigate the risk that Open-PVP zones introduce.  This is the principal of Risk:Reward.  Where it is found to deviate too far in either way, it will be balanced.

Thus we introduce the following changes:

  • Probes will despawn after 8 hours.
  • Interzones Mobile Teleports are smaller, maskier, and will no longer reveal their destination to non-squad members.
  • Assignment return-teleports will last half as long on Beta: 2.5 minutes.

Overall this adds risk, so the reward is increased in-kind:

  • Beta now has island-wide Aura effect that increases ore and harvest yield by +25%.

These changes will make beta more attractive, more active, and borders more permeable.  Remember, just as easily as you can move about, so can your enemy.

What’s Next?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(It’s happening)

Details to follow in the next blog.

See you in game Agent o7

-The OP Team

Month One: Perpetuum Begins!

Agents of Nia!
It has been a fantastic, explosive, and productive one month since our official launch of the OpenPerpetuum server!  A quick summary of all that has been accomplished by the team and all of you wonderful players since April 14th.

We have seen 120+ concurrent players on, and averaged above 50 throughout the weeks.  Since launch we have more than 750+ accounts created. We have had record highs on steam: Perpetuum has not seen this many concurrent steam players January 2017!  (Steam’s numbers do not include any duplicate steam clients nor legacy non-steam clients.)  With your donations we have launched the first ever crowd-funded campaign to promote Perpetuum Online and to tell people about the game and the new server!

 

The dev team has delivered several patches to the live server including things that have radically improved server performance, NPC AI improvements, fixed bugs with things like the Most-dangerous agents reporting, and spun up the API for a killboard!  Not only that, we have listened to all the voices and concerns in the community to address issues, find bugs, exploits, and adjust balance and content changes to address the feedback we get from all of you. These community-driven items include: rebalance on Mk1 bots, Hershfield observer changes, Stronghold respawn timer fixes, additional spawns on alpha, and more!

Looking forward we are working on new features, balance, and implementation of exciting new content outlined in our Beta Phase of the Roadmap blog.  We are looking forward to telling you all about our ideas and getting your feedback on all of this new material!

In the meantime, the OPP team would like to thank every player, new and old, indy and ganker, every member of the community for your dedication to the game and its future.  An MMO is nothing without its players; this game is for ALL of you.

Keep getting out there and generating content!  The sandbox is open to your actions to sculpt it and create player-driven content, markets, industry, war and more!  We hope you see an opportunity here to promote activity in the sandbox through gameplay.  Every player can contribute to the growth of the game everyday.  Every interaction matters. You matter.

This is your world is yours to shape Agent!  And it is only just beginning…

-OPP Team

Screenshot credit: Singleton
Submit your screenshots on Discord under #op-media!

Launch Day!

We are going live Saturday April 14th, 2018, 20:00 UTC!

Pew!

What you need to know:

  • All character data will be wiped from the pre-alpha server.
  • The (pre-alpha) Live server will likely go down in advance of this time in order to prepare and verify the integrity of the live server (by 4/12).
  • The Live server will have the same IP, be publicly listed, and have open registration (but will now require email verification following our registration system changes on 4/8).
  • There will be no further wipes or resets. 

Patches will continue to be applied to the live server Sundays 8pm EDT (Monday 00:00 UTC).  If nothing is ready at this time, this will be the weekly downtime.  The length of these downtimes will be a few minutes.

As server use increases, more frequent downtimes may be required.  We will update the community to provide notice of more frequent downtimes.

How to Register

Hello and welcome to OpenPerpetuum!

To play Perpetuum on the OpenPerpetuum server, you will need to register with an email which we will ask you to verify with an email sent to the provided address.

You may register an account using one of two different interfaces:

  • The Perpetuum Game Client (v3.9+) as developed by Avatar Creations and distributed on Steam.
  • Any modern browser.

Notes:

  • This system will not be live until April 8th, 2018 at 23:59 UTC.
  • You should only use one of these methods!
  • Registration using the game client will take ~2 minutes to send you an email from the time you register.

 

Registration using the Website

  1. Navigate to https://register.openperpetuum.com
  2. Fill out the form with your valid email address, and desired password for your account.
  3. You will immediately receive an email which will include a link to click in order to verify your email.
  4. Upon clicking the link and receiving a success message, you will be able to login to the game and play without restriction.

Registration using the Perpetuum Game Client

  1. Connect to the OpenPerpetuum Live Server.
  2. Click “Register”.
  3. Type in a valid email (to which a verification email will be sent), and desired password.
  4. Submit your registration.  (At this time you may login immediately with the same credentials you just registered with.)
  5. Check your email (and spam folder)!
  6. Click the link!
  7. Upon receiving a success message on the page the link takes you to, you may exit the tutorial and play!

Notes:

  • If you fail to click on the verification link sent to your account’s email address, you will be restricted to the tutorial island until you verify your email.

Here are the same steps in pictures!

Registration with Game Client (Pictures)

This is what happens if you don't type in an email!

Pre-Alpha Registration System Test

Agents of Nia,

The Live launch date will be… announced soon!
In the meantime we have an important event to announce that we need ALL of your participation in (if you are so inclined to help us test things).

We have been hard at work getting some last-minute polishes in and our registration system up and running.  Internal tests have proved to be successful. Now we need you, the Pre-Alpha Participants to help test this one last thing!

The registration system will be integrated with the live pre-alpha server at Sunday’s patch time.  We will post more details about how to participate and get registered. Most importantly, those that do participate will receive rewards for being a pre-alpha participant!  What do Pre-Alpha Participants get?! Among some other helpful items to kick start things for your fits and the economy, we are also including a Limited Edition Pink Arkhe! Only available to accounts that register during this event!

Note:  This will not go into effect until the patch to the live server.  Please wait for Sunday’s patch (2018/04/08 23:59 UTC)!

Please standby for instructions which will be posted at that time.

It is very important that if you want to receive a Pink Arkhe that you register and verify an email-based account on the Pre-Alpha server when the registration system is integrated on Sunday.  You will have the following week to register your account and report any issues you may be having.

Thank you for your continued patience and participation in the Open Test of our Pre-Alpha Server!
Live is approaching…

The Road Ahead

 

The Plan

The original timeline was VASTLY accelerated to go live due to the announcement of the official going down and demands from the community.  To support these demands we have adopted an incremental development strategy, where we focus on core issues, and then build out from there.  The idea is to dock broken content, fixes, bugs, and balance that are non-essential to the core game, and allow the team to work on these issues over a more reasonable timeline.  We have also felt that the PVE experience needed further attention as well as the above mentioned fixes and balance issues.  It is our belief that this will allow for the most enjoyable Perpetuum experience and progression.  Attention will then go on end-game content, post-release, game balance in other areas, and entirely new content to integrate seamlessly along the way.

What does this mean for you?

Effectively as you progress, content will be reintroduced into the game. This also allows for greater consideration by the dev teams on what the content should be rather than tweaking a few numbers tossing it all into the server and hoping for the best.  This also means introducing exciting new content that will keep things fresh and exciting for all players for the years to come.

The Phases

Phase One: Pre-Alpha (Late 2017)

This is an Open Testing phase, designed to allow the community en-masse, to test, poke, prod and otherwise play and have fun, with the primary objective of eliciting feedback on major changes, bugs, the fixes, and other latent issues that emerge only after running testing at-scale.  This also allows us more freedom with changes, and more rapid development cycles as the players become part of the testing team in this phase. It also acknowledges that while we are a diverse dev team, we can always learn and take on valid suggestions from those participating in the Pre-alpha. As a sweetener for your participation, participants will also receive a reward for their participation!  The details of this will be announced at a later date.

Phase Two: Alpha (Early 2018)

  • Live, persistent server with no resets.
  • Integrated registration and verification system with website, forums, and other web-facing content (ie. Killboard).
  • Redesigned world and island layout.
  • MK1 bot balance for Nian and Syndicate factions.
  • T1-T4 Module balance.
  • New Syndicate and Nian NPCs.
  • First Stronghold (Open-world Dungeon) Island + unique method to travel to Strongholds.

Phase Three: Beta (Late 2018)

  • MK2 bot re-release.
  • Market NPC AI
  • More Stronghold Islands
  • New sparks
  • Open-world landmarks
  • Robot Paint

Phase Four: Gamma (Early 2019)

  • Gamma re-release
  • New siege mechanics – Bots, Modules, and more!
  • New islands
  • NPC AI overhaul
  • New Field devices

And still more to come after this!

Some of these are wish-list items, some of these are essential to the progress of the project.  As you are aware some of these above are big changes.  Big changes also come with big problems, and we have learned many lessons from the follies of our ancestors.  So our development model and delivery may not be in big chunks as these phases suggest.  Instead, think of these phases as windows of time where these features will appear in the game.

We are also aware of some major technical hurdles with the client that prevent or create significant difficulty with some of our ambitions.  We know what the limitations are and we hope with some help from the AC devs we can potentially do a lot more, but this is contingent on their own volunteering to help the project.  It is important to remember, we, and any ex-AC devs, are doing this on their free-time.  Creating an expectation of work is unfair to them and the work they have already done.

 

…Now to what everyone was reading this blog for:

When do we go Live?

(When is the last wipe)?

This is when the last wipe will take place and when the persistent Perpetuum universe will begin anew for everyone.  However, this is contingent on team progress on a few issues.  When we have a solid release date, we will announce and host a release day event!

 

Finally, we would like to close with sincere gratitude to everyone that has made this project a reality:

The AC devs for making this possible and all of the work they have done, and continue to do to make this a great game.  We are in awe of what Avatar Creations has done over the past decade in building this game we so can enjoy it, and for opening the server code to the community so we can help develop it further.

The OPP team and contributors for dedicating their time and expertise to make the best Perpetuum we can.

The OPP Patreons for contributing of their own hard earned money to fund the server.

The community and players like YOU that have made this all possible through your support, feedback, testing, playing, shooting, mining, building, destroying, fighting and coming together to unify for a common cause: the future of Perpetuum!

OpenPerpetuum: Who we are and What we stand for

Before we dive into our Roadmap blog, it is perhaps worth establishing our directives in how we proceed into the future of the project and reintroducing ourselves to the community at large. The project was established in September of last year shortly following the closure and announcement of the standalone server from AC.  We first announced our formation and began our work to prepare for the standalone release, and have been working ever since.  However it seems fitting to write a bit about who we are and why we are here.

OpenPerpetuum is comprised of players like you from all sides and times of Perpetuum, from beta to its final days. Players of all playstyles, expertise, and interests, working together for a common cause.  We want a server that best serves the whole community, and to actively promote discussion and testing to make it better.  An MMO’s lifeblood is its community.  You are that community.  Come Join Us,

The Founding Principles

OpenPerpetuum was founded for the sole purpose of making Perpetuum better and hosting a server for the whole community.  Anyone can play, of any playstyle.  PVP, PVE, Industry, lone-wolf or megacorp, all are welcome and can find value in their activities on the OPP Server.  Game balance and content will be in support of all playstyles, and new content will be developed to support and enrich all activities.

Our Goals

  • To actively develop and refine the Perpetuum game to make it a compelling choice for sci-fi mmo sandbox players for years to come.
  • To grow the server community beyond the bounds of its current audience, while still maintaining its core values, game design principles, features, and genre.
  • To make and maintain one server for everyone.

Our Promise

  • The server will be free to register and play, forever.
  • The server will run as long as we have donations to fund it.
  • We will actively develop and add content to the game as long as the community supports us.

 

If you don’t like what we are doing let us know, and more importantly how to make it better!  Or take an active role and join the team!

Stay Tuned for our Roadmap Blog and see where this is all going!

 

Screen from our PVP event testing weekend

 

Pre-Alpha is Live!

Open Perpetuum Project Live Pre-Alpha Server
IP: 142.44.143.226:17700

How do I register?
Under Open Registration, you can freely create an account with any username and password.
In the future, we will have Registration integrated with our website, which in turn will allow us to support more web-facing content and features (think API’s).

How do I login?
With the same credentials you registered with.

What clients work with this (or other) standalone servers?
Any Perpetuum client of version 3.9 or greater.  Steam is the only distributor of the official client at this time.

What is “Pre-alpha”?
Pre-Alpha is a our Open-Testing phase.  This was the result of an accelerated timeline to meet the Official’s shutdown on January 25th, 2018.  This phase will end with a reset because of the volatile nature of what is being introduced or changed, and ensure all players start with the same advantage when we enter our Alpha phase.  Essentially we are jumping ahead of a typical software development cycle to get a persistent server to the Perpetuum Community faster!

When will the game start “for real” (no wipes)?
As soon as possible!  Our tentative deadline is March, 2018 to do our complete reset and launch in a completely persistent state, no wipes.

Please join, come play and/or test.
Get a sneak peek of all the changes, get ready for launch!
THE HYPE IS REAL!

See you on the killing fields Agent o7
-The OP Team

Test-Event Announcement!

We need YOU to play on our server!

Avatar Creations has now formally announced the shutdown of their official server and associated services.  The server code has been released, and we have long since forked and begun the long journey of fixes and features that we have waited months for.  We are humbled and honored to have been mentioned.  This only gives us more resolve to make this the best Perpetuum we can.  A Perpetuum all can play and be proud of.
Alas I wanted so much to post an actual dev-blog, however things are moving so fast I must skip straight to important announcements!

Two Major Events are scheduled.  One such event where you could be playing on a server of ours as early as THIS WEEKEND!

The “Pre-Alpha”

There will be a public, open registration server, for all players to join by Feb 1st, 2018* which will remain under active development for months to come.  Ending with a wipe and launch into our alpha phase (after which there will be no wipes).  See previous blog.

Sneak-peek Open-Test Event Weekend!

There will be a temporary open-test session on our self-hosted server THIS WEEKEND from Friday Jan. 19th, 23:59 UTC to Sunday Jan. 21st, 23:59 UTC.  With a special 2 hour server-wide test-event at 20:00-22:00 UTC Saturday.  This server will be open-registration for this weekend only, and primarily to load-test and profile server performance under current configurations and server build.  A) This gives us better understanding of performance under load, peak and average demands, bandwidth, and speeds.  B) Gives us a rough player-count to expect on our dedicated test platform.  During this first test-weekend, you may play however you like, but please do be online and attend the event on Saturday.  The more players participating will mean better server performance for the game later.  Your participation will not go unnoticed.

The test-server link is here

To register click the “Register” button on the client’s login page, enter an email and password, and then you can immediately login with the same credentials.

Accounts can be registered freely during the test weekend.  Shortly after the event, the server will go back into internal testing only and the server will be wiped of account data.

We have also update the Volunteer Survey and blog to reflect current realities (the blog was written even before server-source was promised, just rumored).  And our Patreon is online and accepting donations now!  If we can reach our next goal we can secure a much better performing server and service for the dedicated platform.

 

Hey, those name look familiar…

OpenPerpetuum Server: Open Pre-Alpha!

Fellow Nians,

We are going Live!

Following the surprise announcement of the official server closing we have taken this as a call to action.  We had a much longer term plan for design, implementation and testing a fully featured, stable release, for our server.  Given this accelerated deadline, and loss of a guaranteed source for your perpetuum fix, we are preparing to offer: an open registration, dedicated hosting, server that will be live patched with all of our developments as they break.

That’s right.  We are preparing to release a Pre-Alpha server where we will accommodate a completely unrestricted playerbase and participation among members of the community to meet the estimated shutdown of the official at the end of January.

If you want to join just to play and learn the game: we welcome you!

If you want to help us test and find bugs: you can help!

YOU will be on the front-lines of the new era of Perpetuum!

What’s the catch?

It is still a testing and development platform.  We will actively seek feedback from all participants, bugs, balance, etc.  We will also perform a complete wipe and reset of all player data at the end of this testing phase, and potentially during, to support testing and fixes.  Again, there are many aspects of the game that are unrefined, the server is ripe with old and new bugs introduced in recent weeks with the standalone patches.  The experience will be rough.  I cannot emphasize enough how truly pre-alpha this server will be.  In essence, we are committing to opening a clone of our development server, and properly hosting it for mass player participation.

This will also mean our Patreon will be open for funding beginning immediately to cover the costs of the dedicated server host.

Challenges for going live

Our primary challenge is that we do NOT have server source code, as promised by the AC devs (as of 12/31/2017).  We can only speculate that the standalone changes, and subsequent bug fixes, are causing some hesitation to release the source as the patching may be an ongoing process.  It is our attitude that open-sourcing now will allow us to directly assist in that effort, because one way or another, the bug must be fixed.  This means that all changes we know to be server-side, or bugs that are isolated to the server, can not be addressed until AFTER the code is released.  This will compress the time our developers have to work on this problems, and may mean further delay in the case of a number of game-breaking issues.  In the short term, bugs that cause crashes, if isolatable, will have associated content disabled to mitigate damage and interruptions of the game experience.  We have already found some that not only tank the client but wreak havoc on the server process and cause wicked side-effects to all players.

The second challenge is tool development and the Developer Client.  We are already actively developing tools to assist our game design teams in committing and testing changes they have been sketching out over the last months.  These tools will radically reduce turnaround from design, to implementation for all team members.  This however is a great deal of work, compounded with a rushed release date will make things hectic.  Second, the Developer Client has features that GREATLY enhance the ability for even a lay-user to manipulate the layer data of zones.  Without it, we will be stuck developing our tool that will likely be primarily a rasterized interface.  For sculpting altitudes, and placing decor, this is a tremendously frustrating task without a directly rendered 3d environment and computed slopes in the preview of each change.  What we know about the developer client is hearsay, but the features we know about are tools that would take our team months to develop internally (as it is essentially a 3D client in its own right).

These are not insignificant challenges and a lot is dependent on externalities that we don’t control.  But our core principle to serve the Perpetuum community as a whole, and help it grow. This demands a playable server that can provide the perpetuum experience for players that will be missed if no server is available after the official goes down.  While we would like for things to be more stable and have time to implement our fixes, changes, and new content, before going into an open-test phase, it seems we do not have that luxury.

Despite the circumstances we will do this to the best of our ability because the community needs a server for all to play.  Stay tuned for further announcements and links to the server when live, and upcoming dev blogs on all the work we have been doing!

Until next time,

-The OpenPerpetuum Team