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Ymil’s Revenge

Forge has been a very special world for us and we’ve always had very big plans for it. However, we have not always executed perfectly and the road to the Forge Universe has been bumpy to say the least. However, thanks to all of you, we have learned a lot over the past few years. We have learned from our mistakes and are eager to put what you’ve taught us to the test.

As many of you know, raising funding to finish Forge:War has been a challenging task, forcing us to bootstrap and follow a lean methodology when it comes to development. Over the summer we employed a different tact by designing a more casual version of Forge targeting a more casual audience with the potential to be multi-platform. The hope being that if we could make a successful second game we could then do justice for Forge:War. Well, we were successful in raising some funds for this approach and over the summer began development on a new, more casual version of Forge:War.

Casual can mean many things but for us we wanted a version of Forge that is much more accessible to a greater audience. Forge:War was developed for the hardcore player. We needed something for the player who is interested in Forge’s gameplay, but perhaps isn’t quite ready for the intense skill required. We needed a title that can almost act as an entrée to Forge:War, an appetizer of sorts. One that gets players used to skill based abilities and PvP mechanics without overwhelming them. A game with tons of depth for those who want it, but without the steep learning curve required to get there. And a game that experiments with a few new innovative game modes to boot!

Learning from our mistakes, we are not going to release an incomplete product. Instead, we are going to use the new tools Steam has to offer for games in Beta allowing the community to help build the game. We are going to lean heavily on you to help make this the best game possible.

It is then with great excitement and enthusiasm that we announce the next game in the Forge Universe: Ymil’s Revenge. Ymil’s Revenge is a multiplayer platform action game with multiple game modes including 5v1 asymmetric play! We’re really excited about this new game mode – called Labyrinth – where you can play as a dungeon boss or as one of the original 5 Forge Characters in an assault type map. We think 5v1asymmetric gameplay is something unique and different. Oh, and something that’s tons of fun to play!

We invite everyone to sign up for the Alpha, try out the game and give us some welcome feedback. We’re also looking for new ideas for Game Modes – so if you have an idea – let us know! For more information or to sign up for the Alpha please visit: www.ymilsrevenge.com.

You have been an amazing community and we can’t wait to continue working with you in the Forge Universe.

Patch 1.15 Teams

Lojki's Helms

These patch notes are intended to highlight the most significant changes but don’t cover every modification to the game as part of this update.

Key New Features

  • FORGE Teams!
  • Lojki’s Undraskalmor Helm
  • Fixed stability issues
  • Added Shaman Pioneer Armor Set

UI

  • Added Loading screens between store, Guilds, and Teams
  • Created new Character main menu item. Level up is now a sub menu of Character
  • Added a new Player Profile screen to view your badges. Currently only the Lojki’s April Exclusive badge is there.
  • Ability to receive Admin messages.

Teams

  • Ability to Create, join, and manage teams. Players get one team slot for free. VIP players get 3 team slots for free. Additional team slots can be purchased for $0.99 USD in the store.
  • New Lobby system allows members to queue up without needing to be Steam friends first.
  • New chat system is more redundant then the previous chat used for Guild. Guild chat was also updated.
  • Team badges allow teams to level up. Current badges include Seasons, Attendance, Win Streak, and Games played. More to come.
  • First Beta Season has started and runs through the end of April.
  • Season winners are determined by ELO. Your team’s ELO goes up and down based on wins and losses and the ELO of the team you played. Our algorithm is similar to standard ELO algorithms and includes a momentum variable meant to help teams get to their estimated ELO’s quickly but once there to give them more stability. This way a team is not afraid to keep playing once they reach a higher ELO.

Undraskalmor Helm

  • All classes have a new Helm which has green accents. These helms will only be available in April. Once you receive one, you will always have it.
  • The Assassin, Pathfinder, Pyromancer, Shaman, and Warden will all be given away for playing different amounts of Forge.
  • The Ravager and Tinker will be available for $1.99 USD each in the FORGE store.
  • If you collect all 5 Helms from playing in April you will receive the Lojki’s Helm badge.

Beyond Teams

Beyond Teams

First, before I talk about what’s beyond teams I want to give a quick update. Teams has officially entered Closed Beta. If you are a Closed Beta Tester you can view directions on how to access Teans in the CB forums. FORGE Teams is very close to the game design that you all came up with. I had to make a couple slight changes/modifications as well as added a few additional features. I think you will be very happy with the results.

As you know, we’ve identified player retention as the biggest issue right now with FORGE. Most agree that the core gameplay is really fun and enjoyable. We keep getting messages from players saying FORGE is the PvP game they’ve always been looking for – and that’s actually why we made it. However, we don’t have all the hooks in place to keep players engaged. FORGE is fun, but there’s nothing really egging you on to keep playing. And, getting and finding a game with the players you want to play with can be difficult. We don’t want to add gimmicks like some Facebook game to keep you engaged, but rather the support features you want. So, we’re looking in the immediate short term to add player badges to reward you for achievements while playing. Item drops that occur after playing with different rarity sets based on your performance. Crafting of item drops into real items like exclusive Armor Sets. A Reward page after each game showing your level up progress as well as any drops/rewards you achieved from playing. And finally a new play/lobby area that uses the new lobby system from Teams to allow you to easily find players to play with, for forming groups, and just for playing together in general.

Moving ahead slightly more in the future we plan on attacking the New Player Experience so that by the time a new player plays their first pub match they have all the skills they need to be competitive. We’ll also be adding character slots so you can customize multiple characters, and a new timed Guild vs Boss mode that guilds can play together. And don’t forget that with Teams comes seasons with the first season starting shortly after release.

Thank you to all of you for coming up with many of the ideas listed here. Very exciting times ahead for FORGE!

Patch 1.14

This patch contains a lot of behind the scenes changes that aren’t very visible. We’ve been able to make significant savings on our infrastructure by moving our data center. That’s not really noticeable to you except that we can move more funds from our infrastructure costs towards development going forward. Updating our game server build was the final step of this process.

We also found what we believe to be the infamous game server crash bug. While it’s hard to test this without putting it under load we are confident that we have fixed at least one of the issues that could cause this to happen. If you do experience a game server crash please report it right away so we can grab the logs. Your help led to the fix of the current crash bug.

We are experimenting with adding more chat options to the client with a roadmap of having chat in the lobby, play area, and teams. We’ve added chat to the guilds area to further test our chat server. While it’s not perfect at this point, it will allow us to start gathering metrics and tweak it while it’s live. This way, when we do release it in a more high traffic feature it will be more polished and ready. So, think of the chat in guilds as an open beta.

This release contains our Exclusive Pioneer Armor Set that is given to players who purchased Forge before it went F2P. I know it’s not the completely new modeled Armor Set that you deserve, but we’re trying to do the best we can with the resources we have. The Shaman didn’t make it into this release but will make it into the next one. More on the next release below.

These patch notes are intended to highlight the most significant changes but don’t cover every modification to the game as part of this update.

Key New Features:
  • Guilds Chat – The Guilds page now contains a chat room to help guilds recruit new players and communicate about upcoming games.
  • Game Server Crash Bug – An issue with the game server collecting inventory items that was causing infinite loops has been fixed.
  • Organized Play – The main menu item “Community” was changed to “Organized Play” in preparation for Teams.
  • Play Guild Game – The sub-menu item “Guild Group” was changed to be less confusing.
  • Low Population Matching – The matchmaker will now override game-types and match players together during low population times of the day.
  • Pioneer Armor Sets – Exclusive Pioneer Armor Sets for the Assassin, Pathfinder, Pyromancer, and Warden were given to players who purchased Forge before it went F2P.


Looking to the future we have another patch coming down the pipeline. 1.15 is expected to be in Closed Beta within the next couple weeks with Teams being the main feature. Teams was a community experiment where you all helped design this feature. Looking further to next month we plan on improving the new play experience.

Thanks for all of your support and look forward to seeing you all in Forge!

Teams

I know that teams and ranked arena is very important to all of you. You’ve been posting on it for at least a year now. This is a critical feature to have in a competitive game and I think it’s time we got it in there. However, this is a very critical feature that I don’t want to get wrong. You all seem to have a vision for what it should look like. We have always been listening to you and to keep with that theme I’d like to propose an experiment in game design where you design the feature. That way I get it exactly the way you (or most of you) want it. To be clear, there aren’t a lot of variables in a team’s system for design – it should be pretty straight forward. However, there are a few details that will really make or break the feature.

So, for the next week in our forums I’d like to have a discussion on these details. Then, at the beginning of next year I will post a draft game design document based on your input. Hopefully we can reach a consensus. As soon as the draft is approved by you we will continue development on it. We’ve already been working on a base foundation but it is flexible enough to accommodate your designs as long as they stay within the constraints which I will list below. My goal is to have teams in an open beta state by the end of January. This of course depends on the scope of the final design you all decide on.

As for reaching a consensus with a large group of designers (all of you) my hope is that we can have a good debate on any details that are not agreed on. If we really can’t reach a consensus then I will post a poll. For business or resource reasons I will have the final decision but it is my own personal goal to not interfere and to go with whatever you decide. Again, this is an experiment and if it goes horrible I will simply take back design decisions – but I really want this to work as I really need your help to make this feature exactly the way you want it as you are the competitive players that this feature is for.

So, what kind of details are we looking at? Well, for starters we need a gametype. My best guess from reading all of your posts is that you’d like team ranked arena. But, this is up for debate. Team size my best guess is 3v3, but again, that’s up to you. As for where the teams reside, my hope is that they are part of the guild system – that a team is a subset of a guild. I think if we added an abbreviated system for guild names and used it as a prefix or suffix for a team name that would be cool. Like OP-Legends. But you tell me what you want. Also need to discuss if teams are part of guilds, how does that feed into the Guild XP system? Then there’s the ranking system – are you happy with the ELO system we have for ranked arena now? Do you want to see a monthly or bi-monthly leaderboard with winners? What should the prizes be? Can two teams within the same guild play each other? Can a player be on two teams at the same time? Is there a team captain and if so what is their role? And remember, we don’t currently have the resources to create a new armor set, so it will have to re-use something we already have.

Here are the constraints:

  • We have limited resources, so be mindful of that with the design. I will be able to provide feedback if something will take more resources then we have.
  • We must use the current lobby system that groups and guilds currently use.
  • I would prefer using the guilds framework for teams as this will save resources/time. However, if you have a really good argument for having teams outside of guilds please present it.
  • We must use one of the current gametypes and we don’t have the resources to make major changes to them.
 

I really believe that you have great ideas for this game and that is why I’m trying to harness that into a feature. Again, this is an experiment; if it doesn’t work out I will still shoot for end of January for Teams. But my hope is that I will get it right and have a better feature with your help.