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Looking At Legion: July Update

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by jitsuc4, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. jitsuc4

    jitsuc4 Moderator

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    Welcome to this month’s (slightly belated :rolleyes:) Looking At Legion! If you’re interested in the previous episodes, check out last month’s post here. One big step has been taken towards a more scalable client, and with that we’re getting one step closer to the future F2P weekend. Since the launch back in 2017, much has changed and to freshen up the game’s look, Curing is working on new visual illustrations.

    Game Client Overhaul
    Two of the Lobby 2.0 milestones hit the live servers recently, Parties 2.0 and Chat 2.0 (or 3.0, however you wanna look at it), which both make the game more scalable in the future. In the past months, Lobby 2.0 was the main focus of development and in that regard, it will continue that way for another couple of months, since matchmaking and login queues also need a rework to scale better with more players. Postponing this lengthy process unfortunately would only make it harder to implement. Ideally the way it's gonna work now would've been the way to launch the game back then, but that only came with experience and since then there never was a really good time to get the rework done, due to its large scope.

    Custom game rooms are another aspect that will see some overhaul at one point further down the road. While it’s already possible to select a bunch of different game modes and change starting conditions for all players individually, future rooms for example will include custom names, passwords and more game options.

    Restructuring the Discord
    The Discord is currently being restructured, to make it easier for the devs to follow balance feedback and game related questions as well as providing a better overview of discussions. In addition to that, updating the code of conduct and moderation rules in an effort to make it more transparent and understandable.

    Content and Balancing
    It’s been a month in the new season, which featured a couple of major game play changes. To not risk having to revert any balance/content changes and thus generating unnecessary workload (because content changes can be tricky to revert under some circumstances), there’s been a break in that regard. But with the Parties/Chat patch being stable so far, the next patch will include the new Shrine T4 and probably some changes to game balancing. Work on the remaining two Shrine units and additional mercenaries continues at a steady pace.

    Upcoming Tournament
    It’s been slightly over a year since the first Masters Cup and so far there have been three official tournaments and one unofficial hosted by Seraphin. This time around, Seraphin is organizing the Masters Cup IV on July 27-28 and in case you’ve missed it, there’s still some time until the sign-up ends on Thursday, July 25 at 11pm CEST. So make sure to grab a teammate and sign-up completely free. All teams with an average peak rating above 1400 qualify. Check out the the tournament thread for more information.

    To close off this month’s post, instead of a sneak peek, here’s a little illustration of an old acquaintance.​

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Themryon

    Themryon Member

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    Probably not relevant for most people but i would love some technical details about the scaling to multiple servers. As a developer i think it s totally normal that if you dont expect this big of an (possible) audience you dont overdue your first release and upscale it later when seems necessary. However i dont understand that this process takes this long, but i might understand it( if explained).
     
  3. EpvpDani

    EpvpDani Developer Staff Member

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    Hey, thanks for your interest, I'm not sure how much I can go into details but the old lobby structure is not scaleable because it tries to handle a lot of stuff on its own (party, matchmaking, chat, etc.) and it is not able to communicate with other instances. So even if we would boot up a second instance of a lobby those would be completly seperate with a new global chat where you can only see people on the same instance of that lobby server and same goes for party/matchmaking (you would only be able to party/matchmake with people on the same lobby as you)
    All of that is extra problematic because the lobby can support only about 1000-3000 players until it starts getting issues (as the launch obviously showed)

    So the new approach with lobby 2.0 is first to outsource certain functionality that requires communication between lobby instances (such as chat) to make sure we can automaticly scale up servers and run multiple lobbies when needed and also to delegate traffic to third party that are specialized in scaleability (we use photon for the chat and playfab for most other backend stuff like storing player data). Also we started using redis which functions as a shared cache for profile information etc. to reduce API calls to playfab.

    Next steps would be polishing of chat 2.0 (and maybe some new functionalities) and parties and after that probably matchmaking 2.0 and gameservers 2.0 (move game server backend from amazon AWS to microsoft azure since playfab was recently aquired by microsoft which will allow us easier access to logs which makes debugging easier)

    Hope I could make it bit easier to understand, let me know if you still have questions
     
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  4. Mick

    Mick Member

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    First of all, thanks for the update :D

    Then I want to ask a question on the above, because I am curious about the strategy. You say there's been a break in balancing because of other activities. So were you aware of that before you released this highly experimental patch? And have you thought of it before doing this what you could do if the patch needed fixing? Asking this because reading this, it's hard for me to understand why you would release an experimental patch when you know you aren't able to fix things that can go wrong in a reasonable amount of time (for example, player numbers went down a lot because the patch wasn't that good with the imbalances).
     
  5. jitsuc4

    jitsuc4 Moderator

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    Rereading it, I think it came across wrong. I was referring to the 4.01 Parties/Chat patch, which didn't include any balance/content changes, in case they needed to revert the patch (as had happened before in 3.16). The reasons to revert the patch would've been technical as opposed to player reception, as in if the client becomes unstable or the game is unplayable (aside from balancing :p). So the revert path would've been going back from 4.01 to 4.00 and not change anything content-wise.

    I'm not sure if I got it right, but I guess you're referring to the 4.00 patch with the major gameplay changes as the highly experimental patch? Let me know if this is right. In case it is, Jules already mentioned in the Discord that they had to try something completely different, as the player numbers were already going down before 4.00 (even before the announcement) and that doing nothing seemed worse than doing something.

    If 4.01 needed fixing, they'd probably just revert in case it's not an easy fix. And 4.00 technically didn't need any fixes (I'm aware of), so if 4.00 and 4.01 are stable, there's no need to revert patches. Instead they can just do balance changes and so on in let's say 4.02.
     
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  6. Mick

    Mick Member

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    Right, I see I interpreted that sentence differently than your intention. I read it as: We did not do any balancing after 4.00 anymore, because it would generate more work load when we want to focus on other things, whereas you wanted to say that 4.01 had no balancing in it, because it might complicate things in case it had to be reverted. I can understand that position :D

    Thank you for clarifying!
     
  7. Seraphin

    Seraphin Member

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    This part is really important for the future and that's a really good step done in this way. Cannot wait to see more players :D

    That's a definitely good idea. At the moment there is (more or less) only one channel use (General) for any kind of feedback. It will be easier for you as for players if there is a part for bug/technical troubles, balance feedback, design feedback (for @Curing).
    Maybe some players will be happy to hear you will be more transparent concerning rules. Let's hope it will be, indeed, more understandable ^^

    Cannot wait the next patch :D :D

    Thank you for the advertisement ^^. At the moment, there are 13 teams including really old players like @Akitos @Kingdanzz @AshtonButcher. There will be also our favorite dev, I call, @Lisk.
    I just would like to precise something : even if I organize this tournament, this is still an official tournament which will be sponsored by AutoAttack!
    Don't hesitate more to subscribe to the tournament :D

    Finally, I would like to thank you again for the communication about what you did past months and what you have planned to do for next weeks. I appreciate it personnaly :)
     
  8. Cornep

    Cornep Member

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    So the last month+ has been spent on redoing discord ( this takes more than an hour?), republishing chat 2.0 and an intentional break from balancing because the patch was... too solid?

    I get working on scalability for the last 18 months or so? This is indeed important, but seeing as daily player count has been steadily going from 4k to 100~ maybe player retention would be a good priority? I mean it is a lot easier to keep an already existing player than to get new ones. ( im assuming the behaviour between players and devs is similar to customer and salesperson, do correct me if im totally wrong on this one).

    I want to play the game, but i just can't touch the game in its current state...

    PS.
    I love your jokes Seraphin, never change
     
  9. EpvpDani

    EpvpDani Developer Staff Member

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    Nope, discord revamp shouldve been handled by lisk first who obviously had higher priority tasks (like lobby 2.0) and it was recently passed to jules who also has higher priority things to do (accounting, legal stuff, other management related tasks etc.). It is mostly done but still pending some fine tuning regarding specific rules and channels so its currently on standby until we are all happy with the state and then it will get published (aimed ETA was this week but not sure if possible since they are both working on the 4.02 patch now) - so there isnt really any active work that takes hours, days or longer for the discord revamp, its just still on the schedule since its pending

    Also balancing wasnt on a break because it was "too solid", lobby 2.0 just had higher priority and took longer than expected (original plan was to just keep the old schedule with alternating between 2 weeks patch/content and 2 weeks longterm/lobby2.0 but we wanted to get the first stage done so lisk had to take more time for the lobby 2.0 and we had to merge two different lobby 2.0 stages (chat 2.0 and party 2.0) which took a lot of time to QA + fix which is also why we were pretty happy and surprised it was running well on deployment without any lobby crashes and why it wasnt worth doing a content patch if we expected to revert anyway. Now that this is done and we are confident with the lobby 2.0 update we can continue doing regular patches while improving lobby 2.0 stuff
     
  10. Seraphin

    Seraphin Member

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    Well, actually, they worked on scalability only for 8-9 months max. Between November 2018 and February 2019, they worked on the Unity Upcrade.

    Concerning scalability, I think it was a good strategy. They did not create Legion TD 2 for 4k players. They would like to attract more players. It's true, a lot of players just left because of last patch. However, why would you want to deploy a new awesome patch when you cannot have more than 10k players in game ? So, my opinion is it was better to accept having a lot of players left the game in order to attract a lot more in future. When everything will be done for scalability, I'm pretty sure they will deliver all efforts necessary to make the game as best as it could be !

    Clearly, I won't change it. Personnaly, I didn't see a lot of studio which communicate every month about what they did, what they do and what they have planned to do. So yeah, I appreciate this communication effort and I want to point it out ! ;)
     
  11. Nimea23

    Nimea23 Member

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    Ye big studios like riot do it on a weekly base.

    Lobby 2.0 is important but it doesn't matter when the game is dead before the release. Keeping already existing player is way more important. New player won't come with a new patch but old player with leave. Also if you look at the steam charts the game looks pretty dead, player won't stay if there are no other player anymore.
     
  12. Seraphin

    Seraphin Member

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    Yeah they do it now...after almost 9 years without it XD. Just sayin.

    Well, if you can keep your player and still develop lobby 2.0, yeah of course you should not leave your players. But when you have to do a choice, I think it's better to bet on the future rather than keeping the game perfect for only 300 players simultanously whhen AA would like to have more than 1k...That's just strategy.
     
  13. Nimea23

    Nimea23 Member

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    Riot has been doing that for years...

    No its the wrong way seraphin. The game will die before lobby 2.0 is done, a f2p weekend might get you 100 sales, but they won't stay when there are no other players left after the f2p weekend
     
  14. Seraphin

    Seraphin Member

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    Well I guess we don't talk about the same thing haha. I played since season 3 and I don't remember they talk that much with the community. More precisely, they didn't give details like AA does at the moment. Riot just said "Yeah we work on scalability". Okay, cool but what does it mean? How it will impact the game etc...
    So as I said, for me AA does well (even if they can still do better ^^) actually concerning communication.

    I absolutely don't agree...To be honest, you don't care if 2 or 3k players leave the game if your target is 50k players. If most players leave the game, they will just have to attract them again or others people like they did when they make LTD2 available on steam.
    you can consider us (players) as a user experience for AA and not as client at the moment.
    I'm happy that you don't establish the strategy for a company hahaha :p
     
  15. Nimea23

    Nimea23 Member

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    What are you smoking? Like seriously.

    A lot of people already know about ltd2, they won't come back. Attracting new players for a 2 (or 3 1/2) years old game? A tower defense... good luck, stop dreaming.
     
  16. Themryon

    Themryon Member

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    I dont agree. It is maybe sad to say but if you leave now, and they do a big anouncement with the f2play weekend, i can guarantee you that you and 90%of the old players will come back and try it out.
     
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  17. Nimea23

    Nimea23 Member

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    Why should OLD player come back when they already own the game? Doesn't make much that much sense. Maybe some ppl will be reminded but they lost of them because of reasons
     
  18. EpvpDani

    EpvpDani Developer Staff Member

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    First of all, please stay impersonal, there is no need for such provocative question.
    Secondly, I kinda disagree with that, I think you are underestimating the size of the market. Recently a pretty big german streamer picked up the game for their LAN event (twice) and once the stream had about 2k viewers, other time about 1,5k (and both times it was at like 3-6 a.m.) and I noticed that there were only a hand full of people who actually knew the game and could give tips, a lot of those 1k+ viewers never saw the game before, even funnier because they played the legion td mod in dota 2 before and still nobody mentioned legion td 2 and there were a lot of people saying they like the game and they would buy it (if it were on a sale).
    And I'm pretty sure that we could reach a lot of new players if we did some effort in marketing but at this moment it doesnt make sense. However we will try some smaller (but more consistent) marketing soon and see if it helps with the player numbers.

    I can only speak for myself but I had several games that I played a lot in the past and that I quit for months or years and still I returned and played for another several years (especially league of legends that I started in first season and an older MMORPG called Flyff)
    Also like you said people are reminded about it, which I also saw during the stream I mentioned earlier. People said they havent touched the game since release day 2 years ago and now started playing again because so much stuff changed
     
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  19. Marchombre

    Marchombre Member

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    People might come back.
    After all, I did play a few games of Troll and Elves on war3 this week, when I hadn't played that mode for years.

    But I think what may be an issue is the way players quitted.
    One might come back when he have some good memories about the game. Others will have some troubles to get over the shit storm (justified or not, I'm not here to discuss that) that occured.
     
  20. Seraphin

    Seraphin Member

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    That's true but not only and particularly for a multiplayer game. They will probably come back one day anyways if the game knows a success. If the playerbase is multiplied by 100 or 1000, they will obviously come back just by curiosity. ;)
    Even if this is a pain to see a "lot" of players leave the game at the moment, that's the reason is not a HUGE problem I think. At least, this is my opinion. :)