Adventures have been on the public beta for almost two weeks now and we are very happy with how things are going. The servers are stable (and bored, which is good thing to be when you’re a server) and we notice – and get – hardly any bug reports. Players do keep reporting connection issues but those are harder to resolve unfortunately. But most importantly, the feedback that you, our players, give us is extremely positive and we’re very glad that you enjoy the adventures. To give you some numbers: more than 5 000 adventures were played in the first week of release. With each match taking about 15 minutes that’s a playtime of 1 250 hours – or 1 250 fort battles. In total, more than 40 000 (non-unique) players played the adventures, an average of eight players / adventure. Again, that would mean you could fill up more than 150 (big) fort battles – which is almost a year worth of big fort battles on most worlds.
Looking at those numbers, we concluded that the adventures beta-launch was very successful and that the work we put into the adventures, even though we’re knowingly opening another job-site, was The Right Thing to do.
You want more numbers? Sure! For example, 1.3 million abilities have been executed – Move and Attack obviously leading the ranking, followed by current meta ability selection of Quickshot, Snakeshot and Heal. Coming back to the Move ability, players walked more than 2 million fields. If we define one field to equal one meter, you guys walked about 2 131 km. That’s about the distance from our HQ in Hamburg to the most southern part of Italy and it would take you about 446 hours (according to Google Maps). Apart from that, 93 million damage has been dealt in total. As healing is not that effective, more than 28 000 players were knocked out – and, unfortunately, more than 1 200 players were shot in the back by their friends.
So, what’s next?
We’re now finalising The Last Things that need to be done before we can launch worldwide. We’re still working on improvements from user feedback, adding more gameplay information (like a scoreboard at the end of a game) and making the adventures in general easier to pick up and play. We’re adding more stuff to earn from playing adventures (the most obvious are achievements) and, post-launch, we’ll add a new map every now and then. We also know about the issues of afk-players and lobby-leavers and have several ideas and things in the making to reduce the pain those players cause, e.g. a ready-dialog before the lobby opens (the elite testers do know that one already) but haven’t decided on a solution yet. So there’s still a lot going on and a lot of things which will change – and hopefully create an even better experience. It’s honestly a very exciting time to play, keep playing or come back to The West.
A Happy Goodbye
With all that good news, there’s one sad piece of news as well – this is my last devblog post because I am leaving the team to start working on a new project. I have been working for The West almost three years now and I am glad that I was able to do so. The West changed a lot in those three years, for better or worse and I got to know quite a lot of players and people. It’s always nice to talk to actual people (and then being surprised that they are able to talk and criticise in a constructive way instead of flaming only ;)). However, I’m very happy that you, the players, have lifted the burden from our shoulders concerning the adventures as it was my last big project with a lot of uncertainty and high risks. I’m sad that I won’t be able to escort the adventures into the real life actively, but I’ll follow its progress for sure and hope that the rest of the world thinks the same as the players who have been able to test them already on beta.
So long, thanks for your time. My horse and I keep riding into the setting sun.