A Quick Recap and Our Thoughts
So it goes without saying this Dracona season has been an absolute disaster. While issues happen on launches and are often to have some be expected, this Dracona has been an absolute trainwreck and not at all acceptable to us or the community. A nearly unbearable state of lag, this has not reflected what we wanted for a Dracona or Archlight season. While yes, player population has dramatically increased on Dracona over the last year, and further on this seasons launch, the lag issues have continued to escalate.
Now, most of the community knows our team works on multiple projects, Ravendawn being the biggest in the public eye along with Archlight. We have pulled all programmers off of Ravendawn to focus fully on Archlight to make sure that not only is it in a strong playable state of no lag with 500+ online, but ideally no limit at all. This is obviously a big commitment for our team to refocus all our resources towards Archlight, but we feel it is absolutely neccesary to make up this truly pathetic of a Dracona season to all of you. Now, we're going to tell you how we plan to fix that over the next few weeks.
Fixing The Problem
Our entire programming team is commited to improving the lag situation on Archlight, and, in a perfect world, have no limits to how many players any of our servers can hold. We will be doing this through a new layering system. Essentially, we will have a main hub server, and as players go into different instances, dungeons, events, quests, wargates, and even some parts of the game world, they will be layered off onto a new server machine. However, from a player perspective, your experience will likely not change much if at all. You will still be able to freely communicate and interact with your friends, if you have played world of warcraft, if will feel very similar to that. This technically means we could support unlimited amounts of people in different parts of the game world all simulataneously with no lag by splitting the load across multiple server machines.
Additionally, we have brought on a full-time programmer to purely address optimization issues and search for memory leaks that cause the server lag to continue to spike forcing daily (sometimes multiple a day) reboots. These will obviously solve the lag situations at medium server population, but we want a long-term plan to address even 1500-2000 players, and that's where the layering system comes in. These optimizations are of course neccesary regardless though to allow each server machine to contain more players in general.
The Plan to Redemption
We have to make this Dracona season up to the Dracona players. It has been quite a miserable excuse of a season, and we want to make it right. We have debated over many possible ways to do this, and we feel the best way to do this is a fully new Dracona Season in roughly 1 months time (but firm date TBD).
The current roadmap for the new Dracona Season:
Phase 1: Finishing Development & In-House Testing of Layering System
Phase 1.1: Server Optimizations and Memory Leaks Found & Solved
Phase 2: Deployment of Layering System on Dracona Server for Stress Testing
Phase 3: Solving any Issues with Layering System
Phase 4: Announce New Dracona Season Date with 7-14 Day Notice.
Phase 5: New Dracona Season Launches With Server Optimizations & More Importantly A Full Layering System.
We are aiming for this entire proceess to take 5 weeks. But we need to make it very clear that this is assuming all things go good with the layering system, this is not a small task to implement. This is our full focus though, and will be deployed as fast as possible.
Now many of you may be upset about a reset, totally fair, let us explain how we're going to make it up to all of you.
In the end a full reset sucks, but this Dracona season has not been much fun for anyone involved, everyone wants a hype, exciting, lag-free Archlight Experience. This will let us provide that to all of you without waiting 4 more months for the next Dracona Season or simply chalking this Dracona season up as an excruciating season and moving on to Ildar. Additionally, we're going to make sure everyones time & donations on this Dracona Season was not wasted, and continued playing until the end of the season is rewarded in multiple fold!
#1 - We will be reapplying every donation made this Dracona Season back to everyones account as a fresh donation on Launch Day. That includes all wheel spins as well of course (however, if you spun and got a charizard/butterfree, you will retain those, and simply reduce a spin for each you keep), so those unlucky spins you'll get another chance on ;) What this means is if you donated let's say 3 times $80 over the last 3 weeks, you will receive 3 x $80 packs on your account ready for launch! However much you donated, it will be sitting there the minute Dracona goes live as if you donated right then for it. Any of the heirloom items purchased like the doorbuster shader bonus or wheel spin prizes you do, will still be on your account (also waiting there for you on launch!). We will not have new launch doorbusters so there will not be another thing for you to purchase on launch. To be clear, this will be for any donations made from now until the reset as well. So if you donate over the next month, those donations will come right back to you on the relaunch.
#2 - We will be Trippling all Heirloom Points earned from this season.
#3 - All Players of this season will also be receiving 6 Free Store Addon Dolls & 6 Free Store Mount Dolls at the start of the new season. These will be soulbound to the character & account and untradable.
#4 - All the cosmetic rewards from this season are being upgraded from T3 to T5 Heirlooms. Additionally all race rewards will be made unlimited for all those who complete the requirements.
#5 - We will also have an exclusive T5 Bug Knight Cosmetic that everyone can get by simply doing some dungeons, events, wargates and solo quests once the layering system is implemented! This will help us stress test the system, earn you extra heirloom points and also a free T5 cosmetic! (Usually these go for 8-10 LAT's!)
#6 - If you "won" any of the races, you will receive a duplicate copy of the heirloom you won that you can give away, sell, use on an alt, whatever you wish.
Additionally, we will be tackling of course a handful of the other bugs during this time, as well as making some tuning changing to wargates experience & overall experience for the launch to give a smoother and deeper progression experience. We will also be working on some minor class tuning during this time going into the new season as well.
Now, lastly we want to give the community a chance to chime in on some discussions we've had as a team on how you guys would like to see this new Dracona season happen! Please take a moment to vote on the following things on what you would like. We will be rewarding you for voting as well, for every 10 reactions (total from all) we will give out a 500 coin pack for the relaunch! You can vote on these all on our discord announcement 30 minutes after this post is live.
1. Normal Launch Start or Awakening Level 1 Start (React 1 for Normal Start, 2 for Awakening Level 1 Start)
2. Guildhall Contribution Time Removed? (React 1 for Yes, 2 for No)
3. Guildhalls Enabled on Launch? (React 1 for Yes, 2 for No)
4. Sieges Enabled on Launch? (React 1 for Yes, 2 for No)
5. Solo Quest Time to do after completing regular quest reduced from 7 days to 1. (React 1 for Yes, 2 for No)
6. Should we do any experience boosts on Launch? (React 1 for Yes have some boosts, 2 for no keep it like a true fresh season)
7. Should we add a "Peddler NPC" into the game. This would be an NPC that sells very old exclusive cosmetics so that everyone can be on a fair playing field. This has been requested endless times now with our team so we will let you all vote on it! (React 1 for Yes add it, 2 for No dont)