[A Tale in the Desert] Beta 2 for the Third Telling of A Tale in the Desert (or “ATitD 3,” if you are so inclined) starts Friday, May 5, at noon EST. The announcement after the first beta is below the break. You can download the client for Windows, Linux, or Mac through link right there. I might also recommend ATitD.net as the site of the long-running forums, a great place to learn more. There should be a link there to the ATitD wiki and other fun. It is a rather complex game, so read up before you ask newb questions out-of-game. In-game, people will line up to help you; on the forums, they will give you a link and ask you to read a few pages.
No, I have no idea how ATitD is these days. I stopped keeping track after the Events team mostly dissolved early in the Second Telling.
Citizens of Egypt,
Thanks to all those that participated in the first Beta of A Tale in the Desert III. I’d like to give my thoughts and observations on the beta, and then announce our final, 3-week Beta. BTW, I want to get into some detailed ATITD 3 game design stuff with this newsletter, so if you just want to find out when Beta 2 starts, skip down to the bottom.
Technically this first Beta went very well. There were no server crashes. Some of the new content had bugs, but I was able to fix all the significant ones within minutes-to-hours of their being reported.
Progress in the beta was not as fast as I had estimated. The server was open for almost 6 days exactly, and in that time, the highest level attained was level 6. If I had been asked beforehand how far I thought we would progress in 6 days, I’d have figured the top players would have hit level 10. Here are the first 15 ways to gain levels, as configured for Beta 1:
Level 0: Citizenship
Level 1: Principles of Architecture, Principles of the Human Body, Principles of Leadership
Level 2: Principles of Worship, Principles of Art and Music, Principles of Thought
Level 3: Principles of the Obelisk, Principles of the Demi-Pharaoh
Level 4: Principles of Harmony, Principles of the Acrobat,
Level 5: Principles of the Vigil, Principles of the Prophet
Level 6: Principles of Khefrey’s Children, Principles of the Pathmaker
The column at the left is the level required to attempt each Principle. Passing any Principle increases your level by one. Principles are always fixed-goals, and are intended to be something that a veteran ATITD player would find pretty easy.
So if my math is right, the players that did reach Level 6 had 9 choices on how to reach Level 7. That seems like about the right “bushiness”, so why the (from my perspective at least) slow progress? I think the answer lies in the Level 2 Principles: Worship requires several kinds of items that Egypt can not create right away, including Camel Milk and Grilled Fish, and Thought does also. So even though you’ve gained a post-Citizen level, you don’t *really* have a lot more choices of what to do next at Level 2. Perhaps compacting the above schedule just slightly around Level 2 would relieve this bottleneck, which would have the side effect of making an umber of early skills much faster to get. I’m going to try this for Beta 2.
The final item from the Beta that I want to discuss is the Events system. We ran two events, both of which I was able to code during the beta. The first was a “dig” event with some interesting scoring features. The second was a Tug tournament in the Wepwawet Spirit Arena. Technically both worked well, but I thought that each needed to provide more information after the event on how Egypt did, as a whole. For instance, as a player I would have liked to know who won the Tug tournament, what rank they reached, how many participated in total, that sort of thing. As developer I could retrieve that information, but really it needs to be accessible to the Events team that will run many such things during live. So, that’s something I’ll work on in Beta 2. Which brings me to the announcement. A Tale in the Desert III, Beta 2 will begin:
Friday, May 5, at 12:00 Noon EST (GMT-0500)
I expect the Beta to last for about 3 weeks, and I’m going to set a goal. Let’s see how many of us can reach Level 7. It’s an individual goal, but it’s also an Egypt-wide goal because the Principles and Technologies needed to *easily* let others reach Level 7 must be unlocked as a community. Keep in mind that nobody in Beta 1 would have attained this. Does anyone have a prediction for Beta 2 on how many will?
On the Nile,