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Wxcougar
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re: EE15 Projection

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From Bob:

We're making lots of progress toward EE 15, but it's proving more complicated and less predictable than we'd hoped. I'm starting this thread to keep you all updated on our progress, and to explain a little bit about the process we'll be going through while getting EE 15 ready to deploy.

A few weeks ago, we finished up all the known, planned work for EE 15 and began testing the work done so far. That testing is done on our local machines, running simplified servers on the same machine as the client, with generally only one hex running at a time. At that stage, we're looking primarily to see if updates are operating as expected, and if there are any big chunks of work remaining that we hadn't originally realized would be needed. Because EE 15 was dependent on a lot of untested assets, and on a lot of existing code features that hadn't yet been tried out with structure upgrades active, we weren't sure exactly what we'd find. Unfortunately, we found more problems than anticipated, but we should have all of those issues closed up within a week or so.

At that point, we'll be ready to move on to the next stage, where we start making full builds and running them on our internal server. That server runs a fairly small chunk of the world, about 63 hexes near Thornkeep, and makes it a lot easier for us to test out multiplayer scenarios, or issues where companies need to hold multiple hexes, like when we want to test out different DI scenarios. At that point, we're usually looking for more obscure bugs, or things that feel like they need more polish. We anticipate that we'll spend a week or so testing on the internal server, with any changes getting a quick local test before being re-deployed to the internal server. Again, EE 15 has been very unpredictable, so there's a good chance it will take longer there than hoped.

Once we're satisfied that the build is ready to be seen by everyone, we'll move it up to Zog, our official test server. We generally try to avoid going to Zog until we have what we consider to be a Release Candidate, meaning a build that doesn't have any known issues serious enough to prevent it from going to Live. However, sometimes we'll put something a little rougher up if we really want to get more feedback upfront, and we may do that in this case. Many of our updates only need to spend a few days up on Zog, though we usually assume that big updates will 1-2 iterations as new issues are uncovered. Each of those iterations gets tested both locally and on the internal servers before being re-deployed to Zog. Depending on how tricky the issues are, builds may go up the day after an issue is found, or several days later, particularly if multiple issues come up. In the case of EE 15, given how complicated the update is, there may very well be more iterations than usual, or the issues may require longer periods between builds if particularly tricky issues are found.

We usually try to leave the last Zog build up through at least one Daily Maintenance, no matter how small the changes are between that and the previous build. Overall, I'd anticipate another week or so on Zog, but we'll generally know within a couple days of the first Zog deployment whether we're just looking at a few quick issues to track down or at deeper issues that will require multiple large iterations.

I'll keep updating this thread every 2-3 days to let you all know how things are progressing, and feel free to ask questions along the way.

On a related note, I've contacted all the settlement owners at this point about distributing any remaining structure kits. If you think you should have been contacted but haven't heard from me yet, send email to customer.support@goblinworks.com and we'll get things sorted out. You'll definitely want at least your Keep Structure Kit +0 ready to place on the first day of EE 15. I'd also recommend grabbing whatever territory you need and upgrading your holdings before the first day so that you can maximize your initial DI and get the DI you need to upgrade your structures as quickly as possible.

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As a note, Bob will be giving us a Keep +0 structure to put down - the current one is not upgradable and the easiest way to fix that problem is to erase it and hand out the kit.



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