This latest update took a while; this was in part because I was sick for most of it, and in part because it’s just a lot of changes (this is the first build where it’s gotten through the build server and been up on Steam before I finished typing up the changelog!)
I hope you enjoy these adjustments to the game!
- A new challenge for people: all game regions now have a maximum capacity. Currently, this capacity is 500 users per region. When a region is full, more users trying to log in will go into a login queue, and will log in only once there is space. Additionally, overloaded regions tend to generate bugs somewhat faster than normal.
A common problem I’ve seen in virtually every saved game other people have given me is having just one starting area, and having far too many subscribers in that starting area. This leads to all sorts of problems, most notably that there simply aren’t enough monsters and monster areas to support so many subscribers in a small space, so those subscribers are unable to gain experience points to gain levels, everyone becomes unhappy, and things just spiral out of control.
In an effort to solve this problem by adjusting the game rules, I’ve set it up so that people can no longer log into regions which have too many people in them. Now, the game provides more feedback about that problem, and guidance about how to work around it (for example, by adding more regions, so that folks can more evenly balance their subscribers between different areas)
You can view how many players are currently waiting in a region’s login queue by selecting the region. Regions nearing their maximum capacity draw their mountain borders in red, instead of black. Users can always travel between regions, even if one or both regions are already overloaded; it is only logging into an overloaded region that is now restricted.
Related to the above, if all regions containing starting areas for level 1 players are overloaded, you will receive no new subscribers until there’s space available for them to connect for the first time. (Those potential-subscribers who try but fail to subscribe do not currently provide negative publicity, but that’s likely something I should add in future)
If you’ve got lots of money, you can now place extra servers in a region. Each extra server provides an extra 100-subscriber capacity to that region. Servers are very expensive, though, and consume a lot of bandwidth. In virtually every case, you’re much better off setting up an extra region instead of installing new servers into an existing region!
Extra servers must be connected directly to your network grid and be fully powered, in order to function. I recommend connecting them directly to an uplink via network fiber.
- Adds an “Alert” system. When certain events occur, a colored indicator will appear along the right edge of the screen. You can click on that to get information about what has happened, and (when relevant) zoom the camera to the location.
There aren’t many alerts right now. The major ones are notifications about regions which have become overloaded, and about the “you can’t get new subscribers right now” condition.
Some old functions have been converted into alerts; most notably, the daily financial update, and the notification of having won an award now both appear as alerts, instead of as pop-up windows.
I expect that a lot of new functionality is going to be added to this system; it’s something we’ve needed for a very long time!
- Increased the cost of network uplinks from $2,000 to $5,000.
- Decreased the cost of network fiber from $20 / meter to $2 / meter.
The combination of these two changes (increasing the cost of uplinks and decreasing the cost of network fiber) means that it’s now usually a good deal cheaper to run network fiber to siphon bandwidth from one region into another, instead of placing new uplinks into each new region.
Also, network fiber was absurdly expensive before. I totally failed at economy design when I initially priced it!
Fixed a bug where subscribers who completed a quest by visiting a building were getting confused, and acting as though the NPC quest-giver was immediately outside the building. As a result, these subscribers would turn in their completed quest immediately after walking out of the building. This is now fixed; subscribers do now return to the quest-giver to turn in their completed fetch quests. (when the quest requires that)
Fixed characters sometimes appearing larger or smaller than they should.
Various optimizations when the game is paused.
Walls now obey region tint.
New model for the turrets on walls.
“Current users online” display now scales to 10,000 users (was 1,000 users)
GUI meters can now display values greater than their declared maximum.
I forgot to mention this change in the original changelog, so I’ll just put it here:
- Starting points no longer work if they aren’t connected to the network grid.
Previously, new subscribers could spawn at “starting point” structures, even when those starting point structures weren’t connected to the network. Oops! Now those starting points are considered invalid whenever they’re disconnected from the grid.