07/04/2020

All-Backers Access & Apr 12 Cities Q&A


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

It’s now been 2 weeks since Alpha 2 – Test 2 has gone live. We’ve released a few hotfix patches, we have a more substantial new version coming in a couple days, and we are ready to spice things up with a big surprise!

And the surprise is…

All-Backers Access

Yes, you’re guessing it right: the doors of Alpha 2 – Test 2 are soon going to be open to all users with a pledge/founder pack in the first All-Backers Access event in the history of Fractured!

This means that even the cheapest option in the Fractured Store, the Adept pack, will allow you to login and play the game!

The All-Backers Access event is starting on Friday, April 10, at 4pm CEST (10am EDT) and will run until Sunday, April 19. After that, access will revert to backers with Alpha 2 access only (Legend pack or higher).

There are two reasons we’re launching this event now:

  • Our new early game experience (starting area + tutorial) wasn’t live yet during the open playtest we’ve run in February, so we haven’t had the chance to stress-test it yet;
  • A certain virus is messing with humanity these days, and we know a lot of you are forced to stay home – just like us. This will hopefully make isolation feel a little better 🙂

As with the Open Playtest, we’re asking for your help to spread the word about this event. You can also get a game key for having done so – check out this forum thread!

Player Cities Q&A Livestream

Player cities are the next big feature coming to the world of Fractured. The first iteration of the system is going live in Alpha 2 – Test 3, but we’d like to take a moment to discuss it with you beforehand… and that’s going to happen in a new live Q&A with Dynamight’s CEO Jacopo Gallelli!

One again, the livestream will take place on Oxfurd’s Twitch Channel. The time is 7pm CEST (1pm EDT ) on Sunday, April 12!

Feel free to drop your questions in this forum thread or in the dedicated april_12_player_cities_qna channel on our Discord.

Like last time, at the end of the livestream we’re going to gift a few keys to those who asked meaningful questions. Make sure you don’t miss it!

March 29 Q&A Recording

Unlike the upcoming Q&A, the last one wasn’t focused on a specific topic. Instead, the host Oxfurd selected a few questions among the ones that were posted beforehand or asked live – well actually, a lot, not a few! 😉

The full recording is now available on YouTube and consists of about 1h20m of Q&A, followed by some “homemade arena” fun with a group of players in the game.

Here’s a list of the main topics discussed:

  • The current condition of the studio;
  • Why we decided to open testing so early;
  • How we feel about our current development speed;
  • Specialization of crafters in the game;
  • The results of the February survey and how they’ll affect the development of the game;
  • In-game politics and conflict in Fractured;
  • Fast travelling;
  • The role of food and cultivations.

Thank you all and… see you soon in game! 😉

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27/03/2020

Mar 29 Q&A Livestream + Free Alpha Keys


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

Alpha 2 – Test 2 has been running strong for 2 days now, and we know many of you have questions about the game, while others would like to try it out but can’t commit to purchasing a Founder Pack for the time being.

Well, we have some good news for both of you. Read on to find them out!

Q&A Livestream

Got a few questions about the past, present & future of Fractured? Interested in having Dynamight’s CEO Jacopo Gallelli replying to them, live? You’re in luck – there’s a live Q&A coming!

The livestream will take place on Oxfurd’s Twitch Channel on Sunday, March 29, starting at 6pm CET (1pm EDT)!

To tune in, just click on the link above a few minutes before the time announced, so we can chat a little before the Q&A session begins 🙂

Free Alpha Keys

Even if not a backer, here are a couple ways you can win a limited Alpha key that grants access to Alpha 2 – Test 2:

  • Tune in to this Sunday’s Q&A livestream and ask a (meaningful) question! At the end of the livestream you could be one of the lucky winners who will be sent a key via private message!
  • As with the previous tests, you have the chance to win a key by helping us spread the word about the game. How this works in practice? Just talk about Fractured and post a link or screenshot to your contribution in this forum thread!

Game keys can be activated in you account management page.

Fractured Partner Program

If you run a Twitch channel with over 1,000 followers or a YouTube channel with over 2,000 followers, you are officially eligible to join our Influencers Program!

Joining the program provides you with:

  • A key that grants permanent access to the game;
  • Revenue sharing: claim your unique link, share it and get 20% of the revenues from all purchases made by players who reached Fractured clicking on your link!
  • A discount code to share with your followers.

We can’t wait to have you on board!


Thank you all and… talk to you soon 😉

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16/03/2020

Alpha 2 – Test 2 Launch Day Revealed


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

The official announcement has arrived: Alpha 2 – Test 2 (A2-T2) is starting on Wednesday, March 25, at 4pm CET (10am ET)!

Being a proper testing phase, A2-T2 is going to last for a minimum of 2 weeks and can be accessed only by backers with a Legend Founder Pack or higher. Client download will be made available soon before the test begins.

This time, everything that was announced in our roadmap back in late December has made it as planned… actually, we’ve added a lot more than planned!

In the February Open Playtest, all registered users had the chance to preview some of the changes/additions coming in A2-T2, namely:

  • Enchanting
  • Shields
  • New terrain and water shaders
  • Various graphical improvements

Now, all the rest and more is coming. Read on for all the details!

Social Features

Yes, they’re all coming as planned, ready to (finally!) allow you to play properly with your friends.

Parties are non-persistent associations of players that allow sharing monster kill rights and a private global chat channel. By “non-persistent” we mean all parties are deleted in the event of a server restart – you aren’t removed from party if you log out.

Guilds are persistent associations of players with a unique name and tag. They provide the same advantages as parties but include more options such as the possibility of declaring wars and forming alliances (not yet implemented), and are crucially related to the upcoming player-run cities.

If you own a piece of land, you can now add other players as friends or co-owners of your claim. Plus, you can decide who has access to each item in your claim choosing between several options (only you, co-owners, friends, party members, guild members, everyone).

This means you can actually share a plot of land with friends, and can use chests to trade with other players – a handy temporary solution until we implement proper player trading!

New Player Experience

As mentioned in our last update, feedback from the February Open Playtest convinced us to anticipate the introduction of a proper “early game experience” that is closer to the final one and can teach the fundamentals of Fractured.

The result is a whole new starting area that includes:

  • A local bank to store your items;
  • Fields, crafting station and a tavern to rest at;
  • A series of tutorial quests that showcase the Knowledge System and other game mechanics;
  • New “starter” foes to defeat (Young Wolf, Black Bear, Black Widow Hatchling).

Thanks to the new starting area (+ player cities, in the future), owning a land parcel is no longer a strict requirement for player progression!

Abilities & Creatures

In Alpha 2 – Test 2, you’ll be able to acquire the following spells that didn’t exist in Alpha 1 – Test 1:

  • Assassination
    • Shadow Dance
    • Shadow Step
    • Shadow Walk
  • Hunting (formerly: Marksmanship)
    • Powershot
    • Ricochet
  • Warfare
    • Shield Block
    • Shockwave*
  • Abjuration
    • Absorb*m
    • Protection From Poison
  • Alteration
    • Verdant Regrowth*
  • Conjuration
    • Infectious Burst
    • Totem Of Decay
  • Invocation
    • Frost Blast*
    • Shocking Lash*
  • Restoration
    • Minor Healing*

All the spells marked with an asterisk were already available for preview in the February Open Playtest, added to creatures already seen in Alpha 2 – Test 1. The others can instead be obtained defeating the following new foes:

  • Goblin Archer
  • Goblin Shadowdancer
  • Goblin Death Shaman (Boss)

Together with some of the old goblins, they can all be found in the encampments at the entrance of the Vale of Shadows.

The area populated in this first iteration of the Vale is large, grim and often spectacular… and the following ones will be even more so! 😉

Stealth

Stealth is the main new mechanic coming with the abilities you’ll be able to discover in Alpha 2 – Test 2.

Once in Stealth mode, your character becomes invisible to all but yourself and your fellow party/guild members. There’s a catch though: when you’re within 6 meters from any creature (monster or player), a short timer starts ticking unless you move further away. Its duration depends on your Stealth modifier (based on Dexterity) and the revealing creature’s Detection (depending on Perception).

When the timer runs out (or whenever you get more than 100 damage at once from any source), you’re instantly revealed, so watch out and be tactical about your movements!

Others

On top of the “major” features above, here are a few “minor” changes and additions coming in A2-T2:

  • The previously mentioned Bank system.
  • Various UI improvements here and there. Will you spot them all?
  • Mage staff – a new ranged weapon type that allows casting “mage” spells.
  • …speaking of spells, we’ve reviewed spellcasting armor/weapon requirements to make them easier to understand.
  • New house blueprints for your claim – from humble huts to large mansions!
  • Better AIs for all monsters.

Alright, this was the longest “new features” review we ever released for a new testing phase. Next week we’re also going to sum it up in a video, but for now let’s stop here and…

…see you soon in game!

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06/03/2020

Fractured Store & Foundation Updates


Hi everyone!

It’s been over a couple weeks since we’ve sent out our feedback survey for the February Open Playtest, and the time has come to update you on how the data we gathered from it is affecting the Fractured Store and Alpha 2 – Test 2.

…oh, and we got this Covid-19 thing going on here in the North of Italy, don’t we? Before you ask*:

  • Yes, we’re quarantined-but-not-really-quarantined. Don’t ask us what that means: we still have to figure it out ourselves.
  • Yes, we’re all healthy. Well… as healthy as devs of an indie studio making an MMO can be, I mean.
  • No, the situation is not impacting the development of Fractured. Alpha 2 – Test 2 is coming a little later than expected, but that’s only because we’re adding a lot of unplanned content to it!

So, without further ado, let’s get to the news!

*maybe you never actually wanted to ask, but we replied anyway 😉

Store Expansion

New Founder Packs

The Fractured Store has been under maintenance for a few days and just came back online. As some of you had guessed already, that’s because new Founder Packs were being added to it!

Deciding the pricing and content of the new packs has been a tough decision for us. On one hand, there’s been a steady request for old Kickstarter packs to make it back to the store since we removed them. This demand was also confirmed by our recent survey. On the other hand, we have a lot of backers who pledged for Fractured when the game was barely a prototype, and we didn’t want to devaluate the risk they took.

In the end, we decided to follow the same path we walked when we released the Adept, Master & Legends packs: create equivalents of the old Kickstarter offers price-wise, but with fewer rewards. The results are the Champion and Eternal Founder Packs!

These two new tasty options are equivalents of the old Knight and Immortal pledges – as you could have guessed by their name. They come with plenty of Dynamight Gold and VIP time – including the much-requested lifetime VIP, but without most of the other perks. Specifically, they’re missing the following elements:

  • Champion vs Knight: less VIP time (1 year vs 2), fewer character slots (2 vs 6), no “reserve guild name”, no Knight horse and armor skins, no baby dragon, no statue.
  • Eternal vs Immortal: all that’s missing from previous packs (since rewards are cumulative), no lifetime NPC carpenter.

All current Founder Packs will be available for the whole Alpha development cycle, and likely be phased out some time during Beta. You can upgrade from the old Kickstarter packs to the current ones, provided your pledge was less expensive (that means at Patron tier or lower).

We sincerely hope we managed to strike a good balance between the wishes and feelings of different segments of the community here!

Gifting

Another frequently requested feature (not included in the survey) was gifting – and here it comes!

You can now buy Founder Packs and Dynamight Gold and have them assigned to other Fractured accounts instead of yours. When purchasing, you’ll be asked to verify the username of the recipient, which is also going to determine whether the latter can actually receive the gift and its price (in the case of Founder Packs).

The Foundation

Since we’ve expanded our “paid options” in the store, we felt it’d be nice to extend the “free” tiers of The Foundation in the same update.

That’s why we’ve added 50 new levels of progression to The Foundation, including more Dynamight Gold, chests with skin rewards, and titles. Plus, we’ve committed to bringing all the missing reward tiers to life during the course of Alpha. They’re currently planned until level 400, so we got a way to go!

Alpha 2 – Test 2

The new testing phase was meant to start in early March, but we’ve decided to postpone it a little due to the feedback we’ve received during and after the open playtest. Specifically, the following issues concerned us the most:

  • It was hard for new players to figure out what to do in the game aside from claiming a plot of land and building in it.
  • Land claiming was a must, since it was the only way to store items and craft, but finding free parcels could get difficult, and not everyone likes building.

To improve the situation, we’ve decided to completely overhaul our early game experience with a whole new starting area that includes a local bank for storage and crafting stations, plus a series of tutorial quests to educate new players on the Knowledge System and other game mechanics.

All this added content is the reason of the short delay we’re having, so the 3rd week of March is the new target period for the launch. We’re going to confirm the exact date next week, so stay tuned!


That’s it for today. We can’t wait to let you into Alpha 2 – Test 2!

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10/02/2020

February 2020 Playtest Review


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

Our first open testing week has ended, and it’s been one of the busiest and most exciting times in the development of Fractured so far.

Back in December, our first attempt at a stress test was short-lived due to some server issues that came up soon after launch – both in the game code and in our own web infrastructure. Very few of you actually managed to play, which means we didn’t have the chance to assess the consequences of heavy load from a game design rather than a technical perspective.

This time, however, the test ran smooth as silk, and we got all the data we need. Let’s move on to our findings then!

The Good

Servers held flawlessly

Within a month from the previous “failed” test, we fixed all server code issues and completely rewrote our web API, login server and chat server. These changes delivered the expected results: we had hundreds of players logged in the game at peak times, with no sign of overload. Even better, we estimated we could have borne a much higher load!

In this regard, we’d like to express our gratitude to the Improbable engineers. Their help was invaluable, as they quickly solved the issues we had run into in December and supported us during the course of this test, even outside of office hours!

Massive interest again

Our first (attempt at a) stress test in December already revealed a great interest in Fractured – but this one surpassed it greatly.

Over 6,000 new accounts have been created in the last couple weeks, and almost 20,000 characters (belonging to ~15,000 distinct accounts) have been created during the playtest. There were even login queues after new patches were deployed and servers restarted – luckily short and not too annoying.

We now have over 70,000 registered users – thank you all for being here!

Good sales

As expected, the success of the test reflected positively on our sales. We’ve gained over 400 new backers in the last few days, and the flow doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

This increase is great for us but also for other backers, since it’s going to make future testing phases more active and populated, which is great news.

Very few bugs

The work we’ve done in the latest testing phases to reduce the bug count has paid off. We had very few bug reports this time, the main (and truly annoying one) being the infamous “handcart stuck in pavement” bug, which is not going to be around any longer in the next testing phase. Promised! 😉

The Bad

Free land hard to find

The land claiming and management system we’ve used in the playtest was still incomplete, and it was likely the largest issue most testers had to face.

Getting a parcel was completely free (no need to spend game currency), the 3 possible spawn points for new players were relatively close to each other, and land sharing was still under implementation. This terrible combo made it so that all plots around spawn points were quickly occupied, forcing users who joined later to walk for hours (literally) to find free ones.

This game-breaking scenario is the reason we’ve decided to prioritize the completion of the land claiming system and have it ready for Alpha 2 – Test 2.

What do I do now?

This question is one we heard from several players after they were done building their house, crafting stations, etc. The Knowledge System was there and made use of popups and notifications, yet for most testers it wasn’t clear that character progression is based on defeating monsters, filling their bestiary entries and learning their abilities. This requires exploring the world, and the lack of indications on points of interest in the world map definitely made things worse.

Given this feedback and the land claiming issues detailed above, we’re now exploring how to quickly implement a whole new early game experience that’s closer to the one at full release. More details on this topic will be released in future updates!

Griefers & hacks

Since day one, we’ve always taken a lot of pride in our community – one made of kind, friendly and welcoming people.

Sadly, an event like this one tends to draw in some individuals who have no interest in testing the game, but only in spoiling other players’ fun. While there were actually very few, some managed to become a real annoyance in the global chat, and we didn’t have a 24/7 moderation team to deal with them.

Some hackers also found vulnerabilities that could be exploited within character creation and in-game (related to movement and attacks). A couple we were already aware of, a couple were new and unexpected. They’re all gone already (they were trivial to fix), but we clearly wish some of you didn’t have to put up with the people abusing them.

What’s next?

It’s Alpha 2 – Test 2! Starting in late February / early March (exact date to be announced) and bringing to life:

  • Parties;
  • Guilds;
  • Land parcel management (friends & access levels);
  • The first iteration of the Vale of Shadows.

Before that happens, we’ll send out a survey to aggregate feedback from the past Open Playtest. That will award you with Foundation Points, so stay tuned!

Enjoy Fractured!

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29/01/2020

February 2020 Open Playtest


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

Our first open stress test in December generated a massive interest in Fractured, but was rather short-lived due to some server stability issues we’ve described in this blog post.

As explained in our roadmap, the issues were identified and resolved quickly in the following week, but the fact the test was meant to last from Friday evening to Sunday night meant that only a few hundred users managed to play.

This outcome saddened us a lot – while the purpose of a stress test is to “break stuff”, that happened way too early, since we actually wanted to let you all play for the whole weekend!

That, my friends, is why…

Here we go again

Yes, a new open test is coming – and this time it’s going to last for almost a full week!

To spread the influx of new players over a longer period of time, we’ve decided to split the test in two phases. For the first 2 days, only backers will be allowed to play, then it’s free for everyone!

Here’s the exact schedule:

  • Tuesday, February 4, 2pm CET (8am ET): access is granted to all backers, disregarding the type of pledge pack / founder pack.
  • Thursday, February 6, 2pm CET (8am ET): access is granted to all registered users – no pledge needed!
  • Monday, February 10, 10am CET (2am ET): the open playtest is over.

What’s new

Other than the server stability fixes and the new web infrastructure (web API + login server + chat server), taking part in the February 2020 Open Playtest will allow you to preview some of the features coming in Alpha 2 – Test 2, such as:

  • Enchanting – gather reagents from plants and creatures in the world to assign new properties to your equipment.
  • Material selection – choose among different types of cloth, hide and leather for your armor pieces.
  • Shields – better protection for your melee-oriented characters.
  • New shaders & lighting – significant graphical improvements all-around.

We truly hope this test will run smooth as silk and you’ll be able to enjoy the experience you’ve missed last time.

Let’s spread the word and see each other soon in game!

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26/12/2019

Roadmap To Alpha 2 – Test 2


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

Alpha 2 – Test 1 has come and gone last November/December, and has been (by far!) our longest and most populated testing phase ever.

In order to keep you all more engaged and receive more frequent feedback, we’ve decided to shorten the time between each testing phase. That is why we’re glad to announce that we are targeting the end of February for the start of Alpha 2 – Test 2!

Some of the most requested features in the history of Fractured will be going live then – and you’ll have the chance to preview a few of them even earlier in a new open test!

Read on for all the details!

Social Features

Parties

Even before guilds, parties are the base of social interaction in the world of Fractured. They allow players to:

  • Share kill rights to monsters (influencing both loot rights and knowledge gains);
  • Share a private global chat with other party members;
  • See the location of other party members on the minimap;
  • Allow other party members to loot their own corpse;
  • Enjoy the effect of beneficial AOE spells cast by other party members;
  • Not be affected by offensive AOE spells cast by other party members.

As of today, each party can hold a maximum of 20 members, but this number could change in the future.

Guilds

Unlikely parties, guilds are persistent social structures. They allow players to:

  • Share a private global chat with other guild members;
  • Share access to houses and house items such as containers;
  • See the location of other guild members on the minimap;
  • Form alliances with other guilds;
  • Wage war to other guilds.

We have no plan to limit the amount of players that can be members of the same guild, but this is something we might reconsider in the future.

Claim Management

This has always been one of the most frequently requested features, so we’re really glad to finally deliver it.

In Alpha 2 – Test 2, you will be able add other players as friends or co-owners of your land parcel. Then, you’ll be able to set the access level of your house door, your crafting stations and your containers – including your handcarts!

Access levels are set singularly on each world item by choosing one or more of the following:

  • Co-owners;
  • Friends;
  • Guild;
  • Party;
  • Everyone;

Land sharing in Fractured will finally be a thing!

Enchanting

This feature was already announced in the roadmap to Alpha 2, but we didn’t have time to complete its implementation in time – so let’s go through it again!

Enchanting is one of the key parts of equipment progression and customization. It allows you to add modifiers to a piece of equipment in a predictable way, with a minor RNG component.

Let’s explain it in brief bullet points:

  • Reagents are items that function as “fuel” for an enchanting procedure. They can be harvested from plants and trees, mined from mineral deposits, looted from monster corpses, or crafted from other materials. Each reagent comes with different properties, called “power aspects”, and an intensity for each property. There are three categories of aspects: “primal” (mind, body, soul), “manipulation” (create, destroy, negate, transform, transfer) and “universal” (air, earth, fire, water, death, life, chaos, order, time, energy, knowledge)
  • To enchant a piece of equipment, the item must be put into an “enchanting station” together with up to 5 reagents. The combined type and intensity of the aspects of the reagents determines the modifier(s) assigned to the item. One unit of each reagent is consumed when enchanting.

Thanks to enchanting, all creatures and plants already implemented will finally have useful items to loot / harvest!

Vale Of Shadows

After the Deadwoods in Alpha 1 and the Goblin Hills + Heartwood in Alpha 2 – Test 1, our focus for world building has now shifted to the Vale of Shadows!

More than just a region, the Vale of Shadows is a large-scale open-world dungeon, filled with points of interest such as the Goblin Camp, the Cursed Battlefield, the Ruined Necropolis, the Graveyard, the Temple of Babilis, the Dead Forest and the Hidden Camp.

Want to find out more about how it came to be? Have a look at the paragraph below!

Lore

Long before the Fracture, the area where the Vale of Shadows now lies was inhabited by demons and humans devoted to Babilis, the Goddess of Chaos. Within their city, they erected a great temple to the evil goddess, where they performed unholy rituals – including sacrifices, or so is whispered in the old tales – to further develop their necromantic powers and please their patron.

Over the years the once small community grew in numbers and power, until Babilis decided to reveal to her twisted followers the secrets of the Dark Ascension, an ancient and forbidden ritual that could turn everyone deemed worthy into an immortal being with enhanced magical abilities and affinity for necromantic powers.

The aim of Babilis was to create her own invincible army to spread her cult over Elysium, but she was not to follow her plans unchallenged. Tyros, the God of Light and Justice, knew about his sister’s machinations by virtue of the prophecies of Oxos contained in his Book of Knowledge, and immediately made his move to stop her.

As quickly as mortal times allowed, Tyros assembled his own army of humans, beastmen and sky dragons – rare and powerful creatures which strive to cleanse the world from any trace of evil, and sent them to eradicate all the followers of Babilis within the Vale. What Tyros didn’t know was that the ritual was fueled by the blood of the living, and he was but a piece of her sister’s scheme.

The battle raged for days, with every death in the army of Tyros contributing to the completion of the Dark Ascension. The effects of the ritual started to show on the third day, as a dark wave of shadow and blood started to raise and spread all over the Vale. Dead bodies began twitching, showing the signs of an imminent return to life as undeads.

Once Tyros understood the trap he had fallen for, he knew he had to stop the ritual right away. Thus, he bestowed to his followers the Righteous Flame, a powerful blessing that allowed the recipient to exceed its limits, becoming a true champion of Light for a limited amount of time – fearless, resolute, and enveloped by a bright white flame that banishes all evil.

Now feeling invincible, a good portion of the army charged through the enemy lines, right to the entrance of the temple of Babilis. Many fell in the effort, but enough of them reached the site of the ritual. In a matter of minutes every every dark priest was covered in blood and flames, sealing the victory of Tyros over Babilis.

While the plan of the dark goddess was averted at large, the end of this story is not a pleasant one. Silencing everyone in shock and terror, a feminine lough echoed through the Vale, releasing the remainder of the dark energy accumulated by the ritual, spreading death and decay for miles. The lives of all creatures, Good and Evil, were taken that night, their spirits trapped in a never-ending war in the now-cursed region know as the Vale of Shadows.

Creatures & Abilities

As the background story above clearly suggests, the Vale of Shadows is mainly undead and ghost-themed. These are the creatures that populate the terrifying region:

  • Goblins
    • Archer
    • Shadowdancer
    • Death Shaman (Boss)
  • Undeads
    • Ghoul
    • Felghoul
    • Haze Fiend
    • Restless Spirit
    • Shadow
    • Shadow Dragon (Boss)
    • Shadow Fiend (Boss)
    • Skeleton
    • Skeletal Knight
    • Skeletal Warrior
    • Skeletal Dragon (Boss)
    • Zombie
  • Primordials
    • Blight Wisp

Not all of them will see the light in the next test, but we’ll try to implement as many as possible.

As always, with new creatures come plenty of new abilities to learn! Our aim is to raise the total available in the game from 40 to 55-60 – a hefty 40-50% increase!

You’ll be able to manipulate the minds of your opponents through the all-new magic school of Illusionism, hide in the shadows with new Assassination spells and steal the energy of your opponents thanks to several additions to Necromancy… and this is just to name a few!

Others

Shields

Another frequently requested feature and a must for many warrior builds, shields offer additional defensive capabilities by increasing the user’s armor ratings and allowing the use of a few dedicated abilities.

Shields are split in three categories: Light, Medium and Heavy. Light shields (such as bucklers) are less protective but allow the user to cast spells of all schools aside from Invocation and Conjuration!

Terrain & Water Shaders

From day one, we’ve always considered our terrains and water bodies (rivers, lakes, seas) to be some of the weakest-looking components of the game. Worst of all, they weren’t only less-than-average looking, but also heavy on framerate!

We’ve rewritten them both from scratch, and now:

  • Terrain textures look more 3D, crisp and detailed;
  • We can use up to 16 different terrain textures for each continent instead of 8 without any performance hit…
  • …actually, Fractured gained about 10 FPS at Ultra settings in every world location on our default benchmark machine (equipped with a GTX 970)!
  • Water looks more realistic and different water bodies blend better with each other;
  • There’s no longer any framerate loss when having water in sight!

Server Issues Fix

As many of you likely know, our latest stress test generated way more interest than expected and crashed the servers real good. We’ve got good news in this regard: a new open test is coming soon, and it should work way better!

We’re so optimistic because…

  • The SpatialOS engineers quickly figured out the wrong setting we were using in our server configuration that was the main culprit of the game server issues we’ve suffered;
  • We’ve overhauled our web APIs to sustain high loads;
  • We’ve implemented a login server to properly queue up logging players instead of featuring the previous “the one who spams the login button the most gets in first”.

Stay tuned for the announcement then – the open test will also feature part of the new content listed above!

See you soon in game!

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09/12/2019

December 2019 Stress Test Review


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

Our stress test weekend has ended, and it’s been a great… mess! Not uncommon for a stress test, but perhaps a little worse than expected 😉

When we announced it, we asked ourselves the following questions:

  1. Client patcher – will download be as fast as it is now?
  2. Login server – will there be queues?
  3. Server workers – will the processes that simulate the world server-side be able to handle a lot of concurrent users?
  4. Game world – will the map get too busy or will it become too hard to find a free plot of land?

I can say we have the answer to all but the last, so let’s get to them!

The Good

Workers were stable

Workers are the Unity processes that take care of simulating the world in the server. Each worker controls a portion of our open world, and players don’t perceive anything when transitioning from one to another thanks to the magic of SpatialOS that stitches them together.

During the stress test, workers showed no sign of overload. Both those that controlled areas that included new player spawn points and those that controlled hotspots where intense PvE action was taking place were running smoothly. This is great news for us gameplay-wise because it shows we can already handle large PvE/PvP battles, but also financially, since it means we need less powerful servers.

Interest was high

The Open Test Weekend revealed an amount of interest in Fractured that surprised us – and greatly contributed to the demise of the server 😉

Over 4,000 new accounts were created from the day the test was announced (Wednesday) until it was closed (Saturday). Almost 13,000 characters were created during the test (belonging to ~9,000 distinct accounts).

In the very moment we would open up the servers after a patch, dozens of users would try to login at the same time (RIP login server). This was exciting to watch and we look forward to what will happen during our next stress test!

The Bad

Server-killing issue

This is something we started experiencing soon after opening on Friday and immediately made public on our forums. Once a few hundred concurrent users are connected and actively playing, something goes wild (<= getting very technical there) in a component of our backend engine (SpatialOS). This component is called the “runtime”, and is in charge of handling persistent data and communication between workers (both clients and servers).

Over the weekend, we tried to solve the issue working on a few possible culprits. We dropped a quick patch on Friday evening, another one deep into Friday night, then the final one on Saturday afternoon. Given that the issue was internal to the engine, however, we were shooting in the dark – and guess what? None of our attempts nailed it. It was clear we had to wait for the support of the SpatialOS engineers on Monday to figure it out.

On Saturday night, we faced a choice: leave the stress test running with a strongly limited amount of concurrent users and endless queues to login, or end it early and run a new stress test in the (close) future. We picked the latter.

Inadequate web infrastructure

As of today, our login server and web API are the most “alpha” components of Fractured. They’re deployed on a very weak machine and lack basic functionalities such as login queues.

We didn’t think the stress test would put much pressure on our web infrastructure, but it did and it was very obvious. At peak times, it would take a while just to be able to login and reach character selection. The cap on concurrent users we had to put in place to due the issue described above made things worse, increasing the number of players in the hands of the login server.

The good news here is that we just have to move these services to a proper scalable host and expand them a little – a relatively quick job we’ll get done before the next stress test.

What’s next?

A new stress test open to all registered users! This one starting early in the week perhaps, when we can work with the SpatialOS engineers right away if something goes wrong.

Before that happens, we are also considering running a stress test open to all backers – which means including Beta2/Beta1 pledges, but not free accounts. The number of concurrent users during such a test would be a lot smaller, but hopefully enough to reveal if the issue is resolved before moving to the large-scale test.

When the latter is going to be is impossible to tell – we’d love to launch it before Christmas, since we know many of you are eager to test more and some didn’t manage to login at all. However, we can’t make any meaningful prediction on how long it will take to sort the bug out. If not December, it will be January though, so stay tuned and…

…fingers crossed!

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04/12/2019

Open Alpha 2 Weekend & Test Extension


Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

We hinted to it before Alpha 2 started, but didn’t have enough time to actually make it happen. We haven’t forgotten about it though, so here it comes: the Open Alpha 2 Weekend is bringing 3 days of free access to Fractured for everyone!

The unique event is starting on Friday, December 6, at 4pm CET (10am ET) and ending on Monday, December 9, at 12pm CET (6am ET).

How to be part of it? It’s easier done than said: just register a Fractured account (if you haven’t already), download the game client and wait for the doors of Myr to be opened!

Why This?

A stress test is a crucial step in the development of an MMO. More in detail, the Open Alpha 2 Weekend will allow us to assess the performance of the following systems under heavy load:

  • Client patcher – will download be as fast as it is now?
  • Login server – will there be queues?
  • Server workers  – will the processes that simulate the world server-side be able to handle a lot of concurrent users?
  • Game world – will the map get too busy or will it become too hard to find a free plot of land?

Before the weekend, all plots of land will be freed and wiped – a sad but necessary move for the accuracy of the test.

Leaving the page to rejoice already? Hold on, we’re not done yet!

Alpha 2 – Test 1 Extension

In its announcement, we stated that Alpha 2 was set to last for two weeks. Since it started on November 20, it should be over today, right?

Wrong! 😉

Due to the stress test, we’ve decided to let everyone who has access to Alpha 2 play until Monday, December 16, at 12pm CET (6am ET). That’s a whole week after the end of the Open Test Weekend! A week to play for everyone who’s arrived late to the party, and a week for us to fix more bugs and introduce other QOL improvements.


Excited? Spread the word – and see you soon in game!

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31/10/2019

No Trick, Big Treat: Alpha 2 Launch Revealed


Dear Fractured followers, the time has come: we’re finally ready to announce the opening day of Alpha 2!

The first testing phase, labeled Alpha 2 – Test 1, is starting on Wednesday, November 20, at 4pm CET (10am ET), and is expected to last for at least two weeks.

While Alpha 1 – Test 2 was largely focused on adding new content to the game, Alpha 2 – Test 1 includes:

  • A large tech upgrade (Unity + SpatialOS + Launcher), which delivered shorter loading times, better framerate and more stable connections.
  • The first iteration of the Knowledge System, Fractured’s unique take on horizontal progression in an MMO.
  • 40+ abilities to learn from 23 different foes.
  • Two new points of interest: Heartwood and the Goblin Territories.
  • Handcarts to move heavy materials.

Regarding the tech upgrade mentioned above, the porting test weekend we’ve run a couple weeks ago has been extremely useful for us. Here are some findings we owe it:

  • The new Fractured Launcher is working well. Nobody reported having troubles with it, so we can finally archive the SpatialOS Launcher for good!
  • The new game version crashes right away on some Windows 7 machines. This is likely a Unity issue. We still haven’t figured it out, but we’re on it!
  • The new networking protocol fixed connection issues for most players, but they persisted in a couple cases. We’re still investigating and will provide new client versions to those players to test before Alpha 2 starts.
  • There were several bugs due to the porting – some serious, some trivial, and some hilarious. Overall fewer than expected, and we’ve fixed them all quite easily.

So… Are you ready to draw your swords once again? Read on for more info!

Alpha 2 – Test 1 FAQ

1. Who has access to Alpha 2 – Test 1?

Alpha 2 – Test 1 is open to all players who have pledged to Patron or higher in the old store or on Kickstarter, plus all players who have purchased (or will purchase) a Legend pack in the new Fractured Store.

2. I have access! How do I get my key?

You don’t need to redeem a key. Your account is automatically granted access to the game!

3. Are servers going to be up all the time?

Servers should be online most of the time, aside during patch deployment and unless major issues occur.

4. What happens after?

We’ll collect your feedback and your bug reports, wipe the world and all characters, then start working towards Alpha 2 – Test 2, planned for Q1 2020.

Public servers won’t be available in the meantime unless we run a “test weekend”.

5. Did you manage to implement all that was planned?

Almost all of what was announced in the roadmap will be there. Only equipment Enchanting will likely be postponed to the following test.

6. How do I download the game?

On this web page. The download link will for the launcher be available a few days before it the test begins.

7. Is Alpha covered by an NDA?

It’s not. You can stream, make videos, post screenshots, write articles, anything you like!

8. Will there be any testing weekend before Alpha 2?

If everything goes well, there’s going to be a pre-testing weekend for Alpha 1 backers only starting Friday 15. Not guaranteed, so fingers crossed! 


See you soon in game!

DISCUSS