Author Archive

Fort battle – mixing things up

September 19th, 2013 3 comments

As you all might know there are some problems in the actual state of the fort battles. We think the addition of the resistance and damage formula were a good step into the right direction, but there are still lots of balance issues left and we are aware of it. But as usual the main problem is “where should we start to find a better balance” there are tons of advices from players through all the market forums and of course a lot on the public beta.

Maybe some of you know already that i made a first step to find a better balance on public beta weeks ago my approach was to switch the stamina skill with fine motor skills. I thought and still think it is a step in the right direction, because actually attackers have much more advantages with red skills then defenders have. The outcome is just simple if defender and attackers are equal at health points its 95% clear that the attacker will win, so one thing is clear we need to change something!

After lot of research, mining data and internal discussion we agreed on a more general approach. As first step, which is not really related to the actual balance situation, we want to bring more players to the fort battles with less restriction and easy attending. I will show up how we want to approach that

–       You will no longer need to belong to a town to attend on fort battles

–       We want to add an attending button in the fort battle overview

–       A player does not be present at a fort to register, just during the battle

–       Fort battles of my alliance will be more highlighted in fort overview

–       Screen to choose your side will be reworked and simplified

–       The tactic screen will be simplified and will give you an overview what is required todo

–       You will get a kind of buff icon if you are attending to a battle which also shows the timer when the battle starts and reminds you to travel

–       There will be chat announcements if battles starts within an hour and not full yet

–       You will have the option to get a reminder mail for fort battles


With these changes we hope to get more players back to the fort battles.

As our second step we definitely want to do something about the balance lot of player are very unhappy with the actual situation. Health points and red skills are more or less the only viable option and for the evaluating health points are the most important value.

So we finally want to try to change things, but it is very complicated to start and we are aware that we will need to test a lot and a long time and we will need to change many things for example all the fort battle items and sets.

Nevertheless I finally created a prototype of 2 absolute new formulas, which I want to test with you on public beta. The goal or better my intend why I created two new formulas instead of change the old one is I think that the old formula have to much problems in itself and it is not transparent enough for player. Another problem, which many players also mention, is that the old formula has such a very high luck factor in it.

Finally I will present my first version of the formulas to you right now, please keep in mind it is just an idea for now and most of the factors are more or less a blind guess. This is the reason why I want to test it a lot and then adjust it with the feedback the community gives, because I think I am not able to create the perfect formula it should be developed hand in hand with the community / public beta players.

First we have a new hit chance formula, which looks like that:

50 + Leadership^0.3 + Aim^0.4 + Hide^0.5 + ownSectorBonus * 0,5 (max 5%) + offenseBonus * 0,5  (max 5%) – distance^0.6 – targetSectorBonus * 0,5 (max 10%)  // (max 90% hit chance)


With this formula is a max value of 90% possible, this means even with more skill points on aim or leadership I cannot get over 90%, but I should think about if I go a little over the top because the distance will be a minus value for myself and the enemy sector bonus will also be a minus value of max -10% (this equals for now a fully build town on biggest fort), with this knowledge it might make sense to skill a little bit over the top to compensate those factors. Just as remark a non – fort battle skilled player will have at least 50% hit – distance – targetSectorBonus.

Second we have a new dodge formula, which looks like that:

5 + Leadership^0.3 + Dodge^0.4 + Endurance^0.5 + defenseBonus * 0,5 (max 5%) // (max 40% dodge)


We will also do some smaller adjustments to the resistance and damage formula:

Damage: Weapondmg + Pitfall^0.7

Resistance: resistance(items) + Trade^0.7


If Player A hits Player B the Player B has the possibility to dodge with this formula with a max value of 40% I cannot get more that these 40% and I have at least 5%.

So the sequence changes a bit:

–       Player A attacks Player B

–       Player A needs to calc hit chance

–       If he hits Player B calc dodge chance

–       If Player B fails to dodge the damage and resistance will be calculated still in the same way


What is the goal of that changes and the 2 formulas?

Quite a lot people will now say that it becomes even more worse, because you will have 2 chances to miss/dodge and this is more or less right. Since we have a calculation for hit and one for dodge there will be another new luck factor, but both new formulas are more stable in their luck behavior and we have some kind of minimal values, which every player reaches. In the actual system it is possible to counter a set of skill directly but it is now that viable, so many player invest most of the points in health points.

So back to the goal of the 2 new formula first we want to reduce the luck factor this is why we added a minimal value and added some caps like (max 10% sector bonus) this also sets the focus back to the skill points. Another goal we want to achieve: make other skills more viable beside health points. We want to see other directions of skill sets such as tanks with much life and a high dodge value or some kind of a sniper with an incredible high amount of hit but low life and dodge, who is protected by the team tanks and stuff like that J

And last but now least we want a system which is more transparent to the player this means that in the evaluating overview the leader will see any hit/dodge/damage/resistance and life values and can do a better decision making. You will also be able to see those stats in the battle in future.

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Be ready for 2.0 public beta

August 13th, 2012 7 comments


i am proud to announce that the development of the version 2.0 has reached a beta state. We plan to update the public beta this week, more precisely on Thursday. We await your feedback and we know that we have still a lot to do and of course we will have a lot more to do if we get the first wave of feedbacks. 🙂
Public beta World 2 (Amchitka) will get the update first. After that we will launch a new world 3 which will get the 2.0 update too. World 1 is planned for next week, the reason for that is simple: we have to migrate stuff like towns etc on the new map and we want to make sure that everything works fine. On world 2 there are just less towns and player. On a new world we don’t have any problems with migrations.

Explore the feature list here

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

Interface implementation started

July 5th, 2012 10 comments

We started last week with the implementation of the new interface and of course i will show you the first elements 🙂 First of all here is the new status bar with the standard information like bonds, money, deposit and nuggets. With the nugget button in the middle you will get to the premium window to active or longer premium bonuses, with the plus button in the nuggets label you will be redirected to the premium buy window.

We have a new bottom bar with buttons for the common windows there are 4 kinds of buttons: normal, non active if a feature is not available yet (for example crafting before you reach level 20 or town button before you are a member of a town), hover if you mouse over and active if a window is already opened

Last element for this week is the chat. This is how the chat looks if you login into the game it just shows you how many friends online and if you got some new friend requests or chat messages. If there are new chat messages or friendrequests the button will start to blink. To see chatrooms and friends you will need to open that box (i will show the opened box view in the next blog post).

We are very very busy at this point of development we have already a little delay. There is a lot of javascript code which has to be changed, because we will finally get rid of mootools. There are also a lot of changes in backend for example changes for storing and loading the new map, chat improvements, daemon improvements. We are very excited how the 2.0 version will perform on client machines and on our servers because we invested a lot of time in optimization of code in the 2.0 development.

On graphical side the new map is nearly finished. There is one map editor left, who does the finishing at the moment.

The internal beta version is planned for the beginning of the next week it is a very hard deadline but we will do our best.

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

We are making Progress …

June 21st, 2012 39 comments

I leaked some screenshots …. I hope you enjoy

Some new  mountains, a small town, a lot of wood and rivers are shown here. Note town graphics are not final at all and this border will not stay :p

Some desert with a lot of details on the ground. A new job icon placed right in the middle. Our problem at the moment: Job-Icons at the actual state are not clear enough. If someone has good ideas feel free to post 🙂

And another screenshot with some roads towns, job icons, rivers and trees.

We are very happy about our progress and we are looking forward that we can announce  a date for any kind of public beta in the near future.

But there happened also a lot more changes in the development. We converted some more screen to new design Sheriff, Bank, a lot of fort buildings. We are nearly done with converting any windows to new design. i will hand out screenshots for the new windows later, because i don’t have the new screen on my development machine at the moment.

The development for new Interface has taken place and makes a good progress, hopefully i can present some pictures next week and tell you something more whats this all about.

Last but not least for this week we did a lot of optimization for php backend and also our chat server and still will go on a while. Our technical goal for 2.0 is it to get more performance out of the game this belongs to chat, server backend request and also the new interface and javascript code. It is our goal to get West 2.0 more smooth to play and everything should work with shorter response time.

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

Addition to new job system

June 14th, 2012 28 comments

As promised yesterday here is the addition to the new job system from our Game-Designer Ashock


The injury system will also be changed a bit in the new The West version. Only the probability to get an injury will be influenced by the job-points and no longer the damage. The damage will be a set amount of percentage rate based on the player’s maximum health. Thus a player with a huge health pool will have the same chance to seriously injure himself as does a ‘normal’ player.

This change should increase the ‘thrill’ in working as you never know if this work might kill you. There should no longer be messages like ‘someone shot you. You lose 1 health point.’, but rather ‘someone shot you. You lose 1500 health points.’.


The dropchance system for items will not be changed drastically. The drop values will be calculated the same as before but there will be a bonus on drops for shorter worktimes.

For products on the other hand the system will be changed a bit. The displayed dropchance for a product in each job counts for every task. For each task it is no longer possible to find more products but only one. If there is a 50% dropchance for a 15 second task, the players will get a product statistically every 30 seconds. For a 50% dropchance in a 2 hours task, the player will get a product statistically every 4 hours. This will of course have a major impact on the crafting system, which will be completely revised.

This new system should lessen the confusion about the drops of products and should give the player an easier understandable model for price calculation.

Experience and Money

As with the new job system the worktime can no longer be influenced every job will have a fixed experience value. The money value will still be influenced for every job by the workpoint bonus of the player. There will be a bonus on experience and money for shorter worktimes.

Further the needed experience to level-up has been increased by 3 times, but also the offered experience by jobs, quests, achievements, etc. were increased by the same amount. The necessity of this was plainly the fact that jobs at a worktime of 15 seconds produced experience values of less than 1.


The questsystem will get a slight change, as the quest requirement ‘worktime’ no longer fits the new job system. This requirement will be change to a requirement ‘task.done’, which requires a certain amount of finished jobs

Motivation and Energy

Every job will reduce the work motivation by 5% independent of the worktime for this specific job. For every day the motivation will be increased by 25% at midnight. Jobs with a motivation of 0 will no longer yield experience, money or item drops. Product drops are still possible.

Observed over a longer time period, jobs with a lesser worktime will need more energy than jobs with a longer worktime.

Both systems are to counter the offered bonuses for jobs with a lesser worktime, to prevent players from abusing the new system.

I read already a lot of misunderstandings and questions i hope this words will make some things more clear. But i think there will be still questions unanswered. I will try to collect all this misunderstandings and questions and try to answer them in this post, so beware of daily updates 🙂

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

Development for The West 2.0 started

June 13th, 2012 13 comments

Hi there,

i am happy to tell you that we already started with the development of Version 2.0 and we make good progress. I want to keep you informed about some states of the development in this post. So i try to make weekly updates, but first i have to secure that i am allowed to give out this informations 🙂

Before you will get a look into the development progress. Here is a list of all related topics for Version 2.0

New Map

The biggest change in Version 2.0 will be the change of the whole map. We will introduce new graphics and we will scale the new map to fullscreen.

Interface Redesign

The whole Interface of The-West will be changed, but don’t be scared our goals are: Get the interface more clear and more harmonious with the new windows. In the same task we will bring all windows into the new window style with Version 2.0.

Get a better start

With Version 2.0 one of our goals is: Bring new players to the game. In fact of that goal we will introduce some changes to the beginning of the game:

  •  New Tutorial
  • First jobs will take less time
  • Movement speed will be buffed until you reached a specific level
  • You are not able to use difficult features e.g. market , until a specific level


There will be some changes in jobsystem. Make things easier to understand like gain expierence, gain money, find items and make stuff more clear for the player. Every job will have a fixed duration in version 2.0 so you don’t have to choose any duration for jobs anymore. We also recalculate formulas for new durations and  modified the hurt formula with version 2.0. So if you hurt yourself by robbing trains it can be possible to lose much live or even die.

Here some words to the upcoming changes from our Game-Designer Ashock

In The West 2.0 the jobs will be fundamentally reworked in both visual representation and functionality. There will be less job icons on the map as up to five jobs will be grouped under one major job-group.  This job-group will be placed on the map as an interactive icon and opens upon clicking a radial-menu showing the five sub-jobs of this group. All current jobs will be represented by 28 job-groups with varying occurrences. In each county there are four common and two rare job-group occurrences, which accumulate to a total of 90 job-groups per county. Not all job-groups consist of five jobs, which leaves us the space to introduce new jobs in the future.

This change to the existing job-system was mainly done to improve the visual representation of the map and better blend the jobs into the map environment. Another aspect of the change was a better usability for the player as he will be able to find different jobs much easier due to an improved job screen, which will no longer only be usable for premium players.
The worktime system of the current version will be totally changed in The West 2.0. Each job will offer a unique worktime and the player will no longer be able to select different worktimes for each job. Also the shortest worktime will be drastically reduced to 15 seconds. This means that some jobs require a worktime of 15 seconds, while for example others require 1 minute, 30 minutes or 2 hours. For each range of job-difficulty there will be different worktimes available, while the majority of the jobs switch from fast to slow jobs for higher jobpoint requirements. For example ‘scare birds from field’ needs 15 seconds and ‘free slaves’ needs 2 hours of worktime. To reward active playing we introduce a bonus for jobs with lesser worktime.

The reason for this change is that we want to offer a more active play style, which doesn’t force the player to passiveness especially in the beginning. This change is based on some analysis we made that most players quit the game in the beginning after they are forced into a longer waiting time. Nevertheless we still offer jobs for every range with a longer worktime to still support player who prefer a less active play session.


Preview Section – please keep in mind i just want to keep you informed everything i will post below are screenshots and / or  concepts from our development machines, so this are very very early versions. Most of them are not tested, finished or final.

2012-06-13: Some preview from the last week of development

Questbook, Saloon and Employer

We started to get the questbook into the new design

First we have the saloon with just a few changes its a little bit bigger and we use the new tab style, on the second tab your questbook with all quests which are not solved yet and on the third tab there are all solved quests. The saloon graphics has a bit too much light at the moment and the color are to bright. This will be changed in some days.

If you click on an employer you will get a window like that the employer will show you on the left site which quests are available and ready to accept. If you click on one of those quests on the left site you will get the detailed informations on the right site including things like description, rewards, requirements.

The new duel screen in tactical overview

Npc duel screen

Several other Windows were changed to new design but with no or less modifications:

Fingerboard, Buildingpages of fort, ranking, town overview, sheriff other town, ghosttowns, town invitations, found fort, you have no town window

Technical Development:

We have already completed some parts of the backend implementation of the new map this includes kind of caching systems, distribute systems and data structures. There is still a lot work in progress of course. From the graphical view there are round about 15 people at the moment which generate the map with our given editor. As soon as they finish their work we can bring it all together. I know this will be the most interesting part. Please stay tuned i don’t know when i can show you some preview of the new map.

Next big tasks for our development team: new job window, get new map backend working with new interface and on fullscreen with any resolution, modify backend for the new job system (fixed duration, new formulas), clean up a lot of old code in backend and frontend

I hope to hear from you and stay tuned for the next update from my site next week

P.S. In the next days i will post some more details about the job formula changes with another quote of our Game-Designer

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

World Migration coming soon …

April 12th, 2012 63 comments

Today i want to introduce a really big topic which was discussed a lot in the past and finally we can tell you something what this all about.

So what is this all about?
With the world migration you will be able to move your favorite character to another World in your market for example if i am playing with my main character on world 1 in germany i can move it to another world in germany.

Can i transfer to every world? Can i also transfer from a non premium to a premium world or opposite?
Not as default. Every Community-Manager of any market will be able to create “migration-routes” this means he can decide from which to which world you will be able to transfer. There will also be in game announces if you are able to migrate from your world.

If a route exists do i have to transfer/migrate my character and what is happened if i have already a character on the new world?
First of course you don’t have to migrate any character it is your decision, but keep in mind the idea of migration is to get much as possible players to the same worlds and remove old, empty worlds. If you have already a character on the world you want to migrate to, you will need to delete that character first. We don’t want to do this by script because of the support cost if character was wrong migrated or deleted. So if you want to migrate one character to another world you have to secure that there is no character on this world.

What will be migrated?
Your character with all of his stats, inventory, skills, profession, recipes, quests, achievements, avatar, premium settings.

What will not be migrated?
Your messages, forts, town. This means you will leave your town / alliance and you will be townless on the world.

How to migrate a character?
The migration will be located in the settings page if there is an available route from your world to another you can migrate your character. If you choose to migrate you have to secure that you have no auctions, tasks or other stuff left equals to deletion requirements. Another thing i talked already about, you have to secure that there is no character on the world you migrate to. Problem in this case could be that you will have to wait 5 days until the character will be deleted. If everything is fine your character moves to a migration state this means you will not be able to log in into both worlds until the migration is finished which normally should be executed at night.

I hope i could give you a small overview over this feature which will be released soon. If you have any questions please ask i will comment them or add them to this post.


Version 1.36 is largely finished already and will be deployed soon, i will write down the change log in the next days.

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Lets start into the new year on DevBlog

February 6th, 2012 24 comments

Hi all,

there wasn’t so much interessting stuff the last few months as you now we changed inventory, traders and market. There were some issue with the graphics some were too small some were ok. Now in the beginning of 1.35 i think we are fine with inventory, trader and market and a big topic was born “Union Pacific Shop” as you know there will be included the daily activity list. Another change which might not be that interessting i am using the U.S. keyboard layout from now on for programming (so features will take longer until i get used to it) 😀

I think the union pacific trader is an interessting topic but i don’t want to talk much about it because there are so many disccusions and informations in the forums. So i made the decision to tell you and show you something you should not already know 🙂

At the moment we are doing some prototyping for the new map, please keep in mind that everything i will show you is just a proof of concept and prototypes there is nothing final, nothing finished yet and the whole map thing is planned for 3rd quarter this year.

Some desert i already love it 😀 I know there are not that much details right now but you know the existing map i think everything will be better or even can be better =)

 Here we have some mountains, towns and a change over from greenlands to desert.

And last but not least i have a more technical screenshot from our prototype editor to make some proofs of concept. As i said we have already some cool designs but there is no final concept right now i can only say it will change the whole game ….

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Upcoming Inventory Changes – The dream of a Developer

October 25th, 2011 15 comments

Hi guys,

i am actually working on some inventory changes as you may noticed on Beta. We have several problems with the inventory because the actual inventory system is a whole mess :'(. First of all we always request the whole inventory by every inventory request which really really sucks for both client performance and server performance. In my first changes already live on Beta i changes this and just request the inventory once if its not loaded and then just exchange the changes on the inventory insetad of loading everythin again and again. The second thing which i every dislike is the sorting. All items are sorted by itemid but if we buy something or have changes in inventory there going on some serious choking on the actual Beta version i commited its even more worse. Third problem if you craft something or reward an item it will not be added to your inventory. Its there after reloading inventory. On Beta version i already implemented some listeners to get items more “live”, so if crafting finished the item should be instantly added to your inventory if its opened.

Why all these changes or what we want to do with that? Well my dream is we just have one inventory / bagback instead of hundreds copies for every single traders. I think it will take a while to change everything but my vision is to have one inventory where we can change all things which happening during the game and we are able to make it more “live”, using less performace on server and client.

What you gain? I think we can reduce the amount of loaded items and stuff which will make the game more smooth and i also think it is much easier to handle just one inventory instead of a whole bunch.

What it could look like?

I know already you will hate the numbers for different pages, but if there are big inventories its a mess to render every item at one view for every browser and thats one reason why inventory is really slow for people who have big inventories. Please keep in mind that its a preview and the tooltip won’t be implemented like that its just a dummy. Our plan is that the inventory can be docked to traders or your equipmentwindow, but maybe it will become his own inventory place we are not sure about it now.

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Upcoming Changes with 1.3x or maybe 1.4? ;)

September 27th, 2011 33 comments

Hi all,

always when i look on the dev Blog i realize that i make to less posts 😉 But at the moment i can’t tell that much we are doing a lot of backend Stuff in 1.33 and trying to get out more server performance and we have some good results already achieved. In Frontend development there a lot of old screens transformed to the new layout some are good some are still bad and need some work, so we made a lot of rollouts on public beta and had a lot of bugs then we did a lot of bug fixing, rollout etc. But after that more maintain version 1.33 we want to implement some more cool stuff 😀

Stuff like the new Town overview and Building placement. I think zet posted some ideas long time ago and finally we have a concept but its not finalized yet so i can’t tell you that much. But you will be able to build your “own” town which means different graphic sets, you can place your buildings on other locations, you are able place stuff like trees, seas and some new things you will need some material for it. The other new thing to the town is our plan is that buildings can get damaged over time and you have to repair it or you will loose a whole building 🙂 I have also one screenshot for you guys (notice this is an really early screenshot and it is not completly :D)

Second upcoming change will be to improve the market i know a lot of ppl ask for it days? months? years? I don’t know but the good news are we will do something 😀 We have a really great list of improvements which are requested by the players and we hope we can improve the market so that everyone will like it 🙂 (In the next days i will write more about it, this is my hint to not forget about it)

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