The Beta Announcement

After more than a year of work on EmpireMUD 2.0, we are finally ready to end alpha and begin the beta phase. This is an exciting announcement after all the work and planning that has gone into the game. The official date for the start of beta is May 2, 2015.

More about EmpireMUD 2.0 beta:

  • There will be a full player wipe.
  • There will be a new, bigger map (see a sample).
  • Core features are considered complete.
  • Code changes will focus on game balance and stabilization.
  • You can still expect to see new abilities, and changes to existing abilities.
  • Alpha players will receive a starting bonus.

Why a player wipe?
It’s important to get a real test of game systems. We know some players have built up huge empires, inventory, and territory. We’d all hate to lose that, too. But one of the things we need to know in beta is “Can a player still build up an empire that large?” We’re hoping the same people will do it all over again, to show us how fast and how big an empire can grow. There’s also a lot of “junk data” sitting around in alpha — items that aren’t available any more, stats set by abilities that have changed, rooms that no longer exist. We need a clean start.

What kind of incentives will alpha players receive?
We’re not sure yet, but it’s going to be a “head start”, and will be something that new players could always catch up to. We don’t want to create any kind of unfair advantage. We think the incentive might include:

  • A single-use teleport token that lets you quickly travel to the place of your choice. This will help you get to the remote region of the map where you’ve chosen to build your new empire. (One per character.)
  • A single-use tomb building so you can make a respawn point on your new island right away.
  • A getting-started resource pack that includes logs, lumber, sticks, rocks, bricks, blocks, iron ore, and nails. These are all low-level resources and will save some time setting up your first few buildings. (One per account/empire.)
  • A quick-start skill boost: two skills of your choice raised to 75 (maybe 100). This gives you quick access to higher-level abilities while the game is brand new. (Maybe two characters per account.)
  • These incentives will only be allowed for a limited time. We only expect to give them out to former alpha players during the first month of beta.

What will the new map be like?
The new map is going to be bigger. There will be more land available than the 800×600 map we used in alpha, but there will also be a LOT more ocean. The continents won’t be crammed together as much. We’re looking at as much as 80% ocean, compared to 40% on the beta map.

If beta is feature-complete, why would there still be new abilities?
Work on the classes isn’t really done, because it’s been hard to tell what abilities they still need. A big part of this is game balance: We want each of the classes to be equally appealing, and we don’t want a situation where you need one class over another in your party. This means adding, changing, and removing abilities — along with other changes such as tweaks to scaling.

How long will beta run?
There isn’t a set schedule. We weren’t able to predict the length of alpha until its last few months. EmpireMUD is a hobby project with no set schedule or hard deadlines. Our hope is to eventually get the game to the point where we’re happy with it and it’s all very stable, and then start working on big new “expansion pack” features. But we have no idea how long it will take to get to that point.