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    by Published on 06-08-2017 20:24     Number of Views: 3911 
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    Developer Notes #11 - Loot 2.0

    Later this month, MindArk will be releasing a special Loot 2.0 Version Update that will overhaul the way in which hunting loot is calculated and distributed. Many of the features and systems added over the past few years have gradually led to this update, which will significantly improve overall loot returns for the vast majority (upwards of 98%) of participants.

    The information in this Developer Notes article is intended to inform participants of the upcoming changes and to gather initial impressions and feedback to help ensure a smooth implementation of this exciting update. Please bear in mind that the changes described below are still being finalized and tested, so some specific details may be changed upon release, while other changes may require additional refinement or testing and therefore may not appear in the initial Loot 2.0 release, but instead in subsequent patches or Version Updates.

    Loot Changes
    • Loot calculations will be optimized and improved to better factor in the various costs associated with hunting activity, including: healing, ammo consumption, buffs, tool and armor deterioration, attachments, and more.
    • A special hunting bonus pool will be implemented that will distribute funds from various sources, including skill misses, PVP, marketing and special events, which will improve overall loot returns for all participants.
    • A new Economy rating parameter will be introduced, on a scale of 1-100, that indicates the efficiency of a tool and which influences loot calculations. This change from the once dominant damage/pec model will provide the design team with more freedom to release exciting and interesting items with a wider range of damage output and special effects. For example, our team will have the ability to create powerful new items that provide access to challenging and exciting content without dramatically increasing cost to play. Existing items will be assigned Economy values that reflect their relative efficiency to one another and to the entire array of items in the universe.
    • Avatar skills will play a role in loot calculations and this role will be expanded in future Version Updates. Imagine new professions that offer hunting specialization opportunities and a way to incrementally increase net loot returns for dedicated and active hunters.
    • MindArk has been monitoring the community discussions concerning so-called 'loot waves' and will implement changes in the Loot 2.0 and subsequent Version Updates that will address this issue by improving the distribution of resources and items, with the goal of ensuring that loot opportunities are more interesting, dynamic and fair for all participants
    • Ammunition will be removed from hunting loot. This change has been requested by many participants over the years and will assist participants in more accurately tracking their results.
    • Loot value calculations and the composition of the items in loot will be affected by properly matching avatar skills and gear to the creature being hunted, rewarding efficient kills with more interesting loot. For optimal loot, it will be important to avoid inefficiencies such as low damage output compared to creature health, excessive time and cost to kill, overkill damage, unmaxed weapons and other factors. This system is intended to reward game knowledge, which has traditionally been an important and unique aspect of success in Entropia Universe, and to provide opportunities for participants to improve their loot returns via experimentation, optimization and specialization.


    Also in the Loot 2.0 Version Update will be a range of improvements to various other systems with a eye toward lowering costs and increasing enjoyment for all Entropians. An example of such are the following planned changes to armor:

    Armor Changes
    • Armor now decays significantly less per point of damage absorbed.
    • Armor no longer has a minimum decay based on total protection, it will now always decay proportionally to the amount of damage absorbed.
    • Armor can now absorb all incoming damage down to a minimum of 0.1 point of damage taken, instead of the previous 1.0 points of damage.
    • Armor and armor platings now decay independently based on the amount of damage they each actually absorb, rather than both decaying as if absorbing the full amount of received damage.
    • Armor decay is now linear per point of damage absorbed, rather than increasing in cost per damage absorbed.
    • A profession level requirement will be introduced for non-(L) armors. Meeting the required level results in the armor offering full protection at all condition values. If the profession requirement is not met, armor works as before, with protection decreasing relative to condition.


    Our design and development teams have been working very hard on these important changes for many months now, and MindArk looks forward to incorporating valuable feedback from our wonderful and passionate community leading up to the release of Loot 2.0!

    Discussion Thread

    Originally Posted Here
    by Published on 05-23-2017 14:45     Number of Views: 3944 
    1. Categories:
    2. Support,
    3. Dev Notes

    In light of the recent malware and ransomware attacks, including WannaCry, MindArk has performed a comprehensive review of its security policies and procedures.

    In order to ensure an appropriate level of account security for our customers, MindArk has decided to discontinue support for Windows XP and older operating systems starting in Q4 of 2017.

    We urge any Entropia Universe participants still using Windows XP or older versions of Windows to upgrade their operating systems within the next several months. MindArk will provide information and support once the upgrade deadline approaches later this year.

    Account security is MindArk’s highest priority; we appreciate your understanding and cooperation in helping to keep Entropia Universe safe and secure for all participants.

    We also encourage all participants to secure their Entropia Universe accounts with the Entropia Pocket two-factor security system.

    Klas Moreau
    CEO MindArk

    Originally Posted Here

    Forum Thread
    by Published on 01-16-2015 13:31
    1. Categories:
    2. Dev Notes,
    3. General



    Some time ago Elias posted his introductions on Calypso forum. I suspect it was then that I decided to contact him for an interview, although I'm not entirely certain of this.

    I contacted Elias because I thought music is often an overlooked aspect of game development and not discussed as often as other aspects e.g. game graphics. I am very interested in knowing your thoughts on this and if I made a good choice.

    Elias has been a pleasure to work with. I sent him a rather random and disordered list of questions. No complaints-he just sent a professional reply back. When I contacted Elias again later to ask for some pictures, and he did one better. Not only did he send in some pics, but also some more detailed responses. Going beyond the call of duty is always appreciated.


    Tell us a little about yourself, where you were born etc.
    I was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden where I still live and work. I became interested in music at the age of nine years old when I started to practice the piano. Apart from music, programming has always been an interest as well, and thus I’m quite happy to be able to do both at MindArk now, especially since I have higher education in both software engineering and music.

    How long have you been working in the music business?
    I have been doing studio work from time to time for about fifteen years now. Usually I get hired by bands that need some keyboard work, arrangements etc. Prior to working as a musician at Mindark, I composed music for a couple of other games for PC/Xbox360 and iOS. I also play keyboards in a symphonic metal band called Dragonland. So far we’ve released five albums and toured countries like England and Japan.

    When did you realise music was your calling?
    When I was about nineteen years old I discovered the music of Rachmaninov and started practicing his C# prelude feverishly. Before that I had been playing with different bands, both keyboard and drums, but it was from this point that I really started to practice methodically and started to learn more advanced music theory.

    Is there anything special that inspires you to write your music?
    Rain and gloomy weather in general, which makes Gothenburg an ideal place to work.

    What do you think about writing music for games?
    I love it - running around the beautiful environments of for example the Calypso Thule area and just letting the inspiration flow is a great experience.

    Have you worked in any other role apart from a musician?
    Indeed, at Mindark I am employed as both software engineer and musician.

    Tell us a little about Sweden
    Sweden is a quite large country geographically in relation to its small population. For being so few, we have a great music export and an excellent games industry.

    Whats your favourite film? what do you like about it?
    If I have to name an all-time favorite I think that would have to be Gladiator, and especially the powerful and emotional score that Hans Zimmer created for it.

    Name some of your fav pop music? what do you like about it?
    Some popular groups that I like are Muse, Solar Fields, Mitch Murder, Crystal Castles, Daft Punk, Soilwork, Electric Youth and Finntroll. I also listen a lot to classical music; composers like Beethoven, Domenico Scarlatti, Brahms and Rachmaninov. Film/Game music as well of course – everything by Hans Zimmer, Brian Tyler, Steve Jablonsky and Jesper Kyd. In general, I’m attracted to interesting/emotional chord progressions and strong melodies, usually regardless of genre.

    Which band do you particularly like and why?
    My favorite band will always be Bal-Sagoth, a symphonic black-metal band from England. What I love about them is the extremely keyboard driven and forceful music with melodies and harmonies like no other (certain melodies from the Planet Suite by Gustav Holst would be the closest as well as some parts of the scores that Basil Poledouris wrote for the Conan movies).

    Whats your fav book? what do you like about it?
    This is a hard one, but if I’d have to choose I’d probably choose one of the novel collections that I have by H. P. Lovecraft. The sense of creeping horror that he manages to give his readers is astounding.


    What attracted you to work for MindArk?
    MindArk has been one of the foremost game companies in Gothenburg for quite some time now and when the opportunity came I applied for a job immediately since I always wanted to work in the game development business.

    What do you like about your role at MindArk?
    That I have the privilege to work with both code and music since I always thought that would be an ideal situation for me.


    What equipment do you use to create your masterpieces at MindArk?
    I use Cubase with plugins such as East West libraries, Symphobia, Zebra2 and Omnisphere. Wavelab for mastering. As master keyboard I use my good old Korg N5EX.

    What advice would you give our budding musicians reading this article?
    Study some fundamental music theory, it’ll always come in handy when inspiration is lacking.

    Which music software would you recommend for beginner music hobbyists?
    I started out with sequencing using Cakewalk which at that time was a user-friendly and simple sequencer. Nowadays I don’t know, but if there are some stripped down and cheaper versions of Cubase they might be worth checking out.

    Is the music all your work?
    So far, I’ve done music for various dungeons, the title screen, Calypso start room and Thule. When it comes to Calypso I’ve done all the music for the quite recently revamped Cape Corinth server. For the remaining servers, most music was done by a previously employed musician named Lars Falk.

    Is it under your sole control? or do you work as part of a team?
    Yes, the only musician working here is me.

    Do you commission external musicians to create new tracks?
    No, not at MindArk and Calypso, the other planet partners might have done that though.

    Any news on some upcoming music tracks?
    Currently, work is being done on various Calypso background ambient tracks, as well as more action oriented tracks (for hunting, using vehicles etc). I designed a system for handling the dynamic alteration of music for different in-game situations a while back. So far, the system has been utilized for Cape Corinth (as well as some dungeons). A long term project is to make use of this system across the entirety of Calypso.

    How important is music to a game?
    For me, game music is of uttermost importance in order to enhance player immersion. If done properly it can really make you feel part of the game.

    How important is music from a global community perspective? taking into account the internet and it's impact on global communities...
    We use Soundcloud to make people more aware of the music. Hopefully some people hear it before knowing what Entropia Universe is, enjoy it, and give the game a shot. Furthermore, given the sheer scale of the game, new musical content might easily be missed, so to be sure to hear new tunes it’s a good idea to check out the Soundcloud page. It can be accessed at: soundcloud.com/entropiauniverse

    The name Elias features in all three main religions and refers to a name adopted by a prophet. Does this give you any special powers from time to time? prophetic visions about EU or in general life perhaps?
    Of course! I hereby predict that Entropia Universe will be greatly improved and enhanced over the course of the next few years, both content-wise and from a player experience point of view. We have a great team now of experienced people and we’re working hard to make Entropia Universe an even greater game. Also, expect some nice new music flowing through your headphones in the near future.



    Sadly it is here we must end this interview, and thank Elias for taking the time to entertain our curiosities. Although I am tempted to ask Elias exactly what these "greatly improved and enhanced" aspects will be, I leave that to you, our enquiringly savvy readers.

    Discussion Thread
    by Published on 11-13-2014 12:18     Number of Views: 3990 
    1. Categories:
    2. Dev Notes


    In the upcoming Entropia Universe Version Update 15.1 (currently scheduled for early December), planet-specific auction sections will be removed. This change will result in a single unified auction, something that many participants have requested and something that MindArk believes will result in a more efficient and dynamic interplanetary economy.

    After VU 15.1, buyers will have three options when winning an auction that was listed from a planet that differs from that of the buyer:

    1. Pickup at Origin - Items won from auction will be placed into the buyer’s inventory on the planet of origin (the planet where the auction was created). Buyer must then travel to the planet of origin to retrieve the items from storage.
    2. Normal Delivery - Items won from auction will be transported to the buyer’s storage at the buyer’s current location after a specified period of time (TBD, approximately 1-4 hours). This option will incur a small transport fee, based on the weight of the items to be transported.
    3. Instant Delivery - Items won from auction will be transported immediately to the buyer’s storage at the buyer’s current location. This option will incur the same transport fee as Normal Delivery, along with an extra convenience fee.



    The transport fees collected for the Normal and Instant Delivery options will be held in a special transport fee pool. In a subsequent Version Update, transport missions will be made available that can be claimed by spaceship pilots via a queue system that incorporates the available transport fee pool, pilot skills, time limitations, and ship cargo capacities.

    Those missions will take the form of cargo boxes which must be delivered to a destination in return for a PED reward funded by the transport fee pool. Cargo boxes are at risk of being looted by other participants in cases where the transporting ship is defeated in space combat; the looted cargo boxes can then be delivered to the assigned destination by the looter to claim the original transport mission reward. Note that the cargo boxes will correspond to the value of the transport mission reward rather than the actual items traded via auction sales. In this way piracy of cargo boxes will not negatively impact interplanetary trade.

    It will still be possible to transport goods and resources through space in the current manner, though changes will be made in upcoming Version Updates to address currently existing issues and loopholes that allow for risk-free transport of goods and materials through space.

    MindArk believes that this new Galactic Transport system will result in increased activity and efficiency in the interplanetary market for goods and materials, along with more accurate and informative market history data that will benefit participants on all planets. It will also make for a much more exciting and engaging gameplay experience in space and pave the way for further development of space systems including combat, hunting, transport and resource gathering.


    Originally Posted Here

    Discussion Thread
    by Published on 05-29-2014 06:47
    1. Categories:
    2. Dev Notes



    Communication and Development Roadmap

    Dear Entropians,

    Given the real-cash aspect of the Entropia Universe economy, it has historically been MindArk’s policy to be very careful when releasing information related to future development plans, mainly to prevent undue disruption of the economy. However, considering the plethora of information channels now available to participants to stay up to date on official Entropia Universe and Planet Partner announcements (the Client Loader, Facebook, Entropia Buzz, information from which is also syndicated on many community and planet forums), MindArk has made a decision to be more active in sharing its future development plans with participants.

    And the sharing starts now!

    Below is a summary of some of the projects the MindArk design and development teams are currently focused on. In future communications we will give increasingly more detailed information on each of these projects, and announce additional projects as they become closer to implementation.

    Client & Server Stability

    MindArk’s highest priority during the next several releases will be improving stability of the Entropia Universe client. Several of the most common causes of recent client crashes have been identified and our developers are hard at work on resolving those to improve the Entropia Universe experience for all participants.

    New Player Experience

    Ongoing improvements to the New Player Experience have been implemented with every platform and planet partner release so far this year. These efforts will continue to be a top priority during the rest of 2014 and into 2015 in order to maximise the marketing efforts of MindArk and the planet partners.

    Creature Control System Stage 1 - (Planned for June 2014 Release)

    You may already be aware of a new feature introduced not long ago which allows officials and planet partners to control various creatures during special events. This system will be extended to participants in the form of Creature Control Capsules, consumable items that will allow you to transform your avatar into a specific creature for a limited time. This fun feature will be made available exclusively through the loot system, and will be monitored closely to prevent abuse.

    Taming Stage 1 - (Planned for Autumn 2014 Release)

    Some of you will be happy to hear that we plan to (finally) reintroduce Taming to Entropia Universe. In the first stage the core functionality will be quite similar to the original taming system, with added improvements to usability and fun-factor. Initially, pets will be to able accompany your avatar in its Entropia Universe travels, with more pet abilities and features planned for later stages (see below).

    PVP Improvements - (Planned for Autumn 2014 Release)

    Various improvements to PVP combat have already been implemented this year and more are planned after the summer, including adjustments to the landgrab and fort systems.

    Taming Stage 2 - (Planned for Late 2014 / Early 2015 Release)

    In this stage it is planned to implement additional skill-based taming abilities which will expand the capabilities of tamed creatures beyond the pre-VU10 taming system. In addition, a limited number of stables will be made available that will fulfill various roles within the taming system such as stabling, feeding, expert training, trading and more.

    Creature Control System Stage 2 - (Planned for Winter 2014 Release)

    Through a new Battle Octagon interface, your avatar will be able to control various creatures and challenge other avatars to battle in special CCS octagons. With lots of options for attack and defense customisation, each battle promises to be unique and exciting, especially considering the possibility of creatures and robots from different planets engaging in reckless combat against one another!

    Taming Stage 3 - (Planned for Early 2015 Release)

    Battle Arenas will be introduced which will allow tamed creatures to battle one another. Each battle will be unique, with a wide range of offensive and defensive pet buffs and upgrades along with customisable attack and defense profiles.

    Web-Based Battle Arena - (Planned for Early 2015 Release)

    A web-based Battle Arena game is planned for early 2015. The game will be developed as a cross-platform solution available on the web and for mobile devices, and will have direct ties to the Entropia Universe taming! system. Players will have the opportunity to acquire, upgrade and customise their pets for battle against the pets of others.

    Entropia Universe participants will have the ability to acquire Battle Arena Deeds and share in the revenue and excitement of the Battle Arena action. 200,000 Battle Arena Deeds will be offered via the Entropia Universe in-game auction and upcoming webshop at 100 PED each. Revenues generated from the Battle Arena Deed offering will be used exclusively for Battle Arena development and marketing. More detailed information about the Battle Arena Deeds will be made available very soon.

    Affiliate System - (Planned for Early 2015 Release)

    Work is moving forward on the affiliate program mentioned in the State of the Universe Address 2014, though the expected release date has been revised to 2015 due to integration requirements with other planned projects.

    Citizenship & Political System - (Planned for Early 2015 Release)

    The announced political and housing system is still in the initial design and development stage. As with the taming system, we expect to roll out this system in several stages during 2015. Further information will be made available as each development milestone draws closer.

    Regards,

    David Simmonds
    CEO MindArk PE AB



    Originally Posted Here

    Discussion Thread
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