Improbable Island: Season One
Thursday, June 12 2008 @ 08:35 AM UTC
On the first of July, Improbable Island will come out of beta and into Season One! What does this mean for you? Read on to find out...
What will happen to my character?
You'll be able to log in as normal, but as of July 1st you'll be a Newbie again. Any experience, items or other goodies will disappear, and you'll essentially start from scratch along with everybody else. As a thank-you for participating in the beta, you'll get two cigarettes for every Drive Kill you had under your belt before the reset. And if you've ever donated, you'll get any Donator Points back to spend again (yes, even if you donated a buck two months ago and spent it straight away).
What will happen to the game?
Big changes! I don't want to give too much away, so here's an incomplete list:
Three new races, for a total of ten!
Six new Implants, for a total of ten again, making for one hundred possible starting combinations!
Over 150 unique pieces of equipment!
Better clan balance!
More Dwelling types!
An advertising bonanza to bring in lots of newbies!
Tattoos and Jewellery will actually do something!
Why is this happening?
All games have a beta period, and with most MMOG's and PBBG's there's some sort of reset involved. Generally what happens is that admins start the game off running how they think it should run, and then learn better later on as they're exposed to the way players play the game, which can't really be predicted. In Improbable Island's case, there were a lot of bugs, and a lot of ways for players to exploit the game's various loopholes in order to advance quickly. Closing those loopholes and then forcing new players to struggle through the game at a much harder difficulty level than the ones who came before them just didn't seem fair. Also, there's a lot of stuff I'd like to have in there, but would be much better off to start players with than to introduce later. Basically, it was either do a complete reset, or only add piddling little features every coupla months from now until eternity, putting up with woefully unbalanced gameplay along the way.
Another idea was to keep the "old" instance of the game running, advertise the "new" version, and try to get people to migrate across of their own free will. Fat chance - then we'd just end up with two fragmented servers, one steadily growing while the other dies a lingering, depressing death. Much better to make a clean break and put everyone through the new experience at once.
Will this happen again?
Maybe. One day. I'd like to say "No, of course not!" but that would be assuming that I get everything right this time, and nobody can say that with authority and not be lying.
With the new setup, I can't see any reason why we'd need another reset, but I didn't think I'd ever do this when I started the game either. Time will tell.
What about clans?
Clan Hall records will be lost. Feel free to rebuild your clan, and its corresponding buffs - you'll certainly have enough cigarettes. However, the upper member limit will be lowered. This is to prevent Improbable Island turning into a one-clan game (cough cough ROCKIN' INTO MORDOR cough).
What's this cryptic talk I've heard about a sister server?
Well, there will be another instance of the game running alongside the main game. This sister game will have slightly altered (IE accelerated) gameplay, and will reset each month. A high-score list will be maintained, showing the people who have gotten the highest amount of Various Things in each month. This'll give everyone a level playing field every month, so even the noobiest of noobs can get a fair shake at glory.
Clarify that crazy Donations talk of yours.
It's very simple. There are two bits of info stored about your character's donations - one is how many Donator Points you've accumulated, and one is how many Donator Points you've spent. When we reset the server, the game will forget how many Donator Points you've spent, but it'll remember how many Donator Points you've accumulated. So, if you've ever donated to the site (or gotten hold of Donator Points in some other fashion), you'll effectively get to spend those points twice - once in the current game, and then again in the new game.
Say you've donated twenty bucks, and blown it all on cigarettes - when the game resets, you'll get those twenty bucks' worth of Donator Points back to spend again.
This is all very well and good, but... well, you suck, and I'm gonna go and sulk.
Have fun! I'll be over here, playing the new and improved Improbable Island with everyone else.
Will the game be harder?
Yes and no. The aim is to make the game harder for the people who find it easy, and easier for the people who find it hard. The game will be simpler for nooblets, and become gradually more complex. The difficulty curve will be levelled out a bit, and the available Weapons and Armour etc will gradually gain more complicated effects as players advance through Drive Kills.
Does that mean that there'll be less stuff to see as a Newbie when the server is reset?
Yes, it does. There's a whole load of new stuff in the new version, adding up to a game roughly double the size of the current version - but most of it will be unlockable after a set number of drive kills, and new ways to play will be presented to you as you gain experience.
To start with, you'll be Human, with a choice of one of two Implants (one of which is new to Improbable Island). There are fifteen different weapons, fifteen sets of armour, and three each of gloves, boots and helmets. By your fifth DK, you'll have forty weapons to choose from, five races, and four Implants. The more you play, the more complex the game becomes.
One of the problems in the current version is that after seven Drive Kills, there's nothing new to see. In the new version, there are weapons unlockable up to fifty DK's (at launch - new ones will follow). With players currently reaching 100DK's on this version and having no sort of fanfare, I thought it wise to space the new content out a bit so that frequent players would experience the thrill of discovery.
Another benefit is that the game gets more complex the further you advance - which means things are nice and simple for the nooblets, and more interesting for the more experienced players.
I hope this has cleared everything up, and that you'll still be with us in July. Thanks for playing!