I was wandering through the world of Erasan earlier today, and I asked myself the question: what’s actually left to do?! Because in this world I can now walk, talk, sit, fight, trade, gain levels and skills, cast spells, complete quests, and almost get killed by a group of maggots which have 'mysteriously' discovered the secrets of fire magic.
Although we’ve given you a to-do list, we’ve kept you mostly in the dark about our exact progress. But take a seat at the bar, and I'll explain exactly what is left to do.
The internal alpha test has seen some amazing progress thanks to hard work from both Robbert and Tobias. The most recently completed server feature was a group/party system. In terms of what’s left on the server side there are only a few more features which need to be completed, most notably: item effects on a character (meaning potions, eating food, etc.), improved monster/boss AI and the guardian admin interface. But those features aside, server focus from now on is mainly going to be bug fixing and content (meaning creature/item stats, spells, damage formulae and a hell of a lot of balancing). Balancing will be an ongoing thing, of course. But we hope to be able to straighten out any major problems during the ongoing alpha and future beta test server. The client is also nearing completion with just a few features left, most importantly: private messaging and improving the spellbook.
As you can see from the to-do list, the remaining material for graphics is in environment, buildings and items/equipment. The environment and buildings part are also graphics required to map the final area which will be accessible at release. The remaining 5% in items/equipment is mainly quest items and a few extra armours which are necessary for balancing.
As in the to-do list, our NPCs are almost all done, and the final 5% on the to-do list is largely error checking. On top of that there are a few more NPCs being added which are required for certain quests. There will also be some small adjustments to NPC conversations to make NPCs more ‘human’ and generally easier to interact with; but that isn’t actually required for release, and so will be left until later. Similarly, the final 5% in books is really just spelling and grammar checking. As I've said before: quests are the only area where I feel that the writing department is behind. But we're working on that.
As far as the map is looking, with the few new graphics that are required the last 5% will take about a month, plus time to fix map bugs. Fully implementing the transparent water that you might have seen in a teaser a little while ago will also take a bit of time on top of that. But still, I think you'll agree that it’s a price worth paying.
So, just one question...
How much are you looking forward to playing Phobos in 2012?