Hey everyone, whoever is still here. We are all very aware of the drought of players and content so might as well poke fun at it. It's been a long time since I properly wrote a Developer Blog to update everyone on what's going with us. I'll be giving status updates on the future of Duck from MY (Joorji) perspective.
What Happened: The Team Morale & Life
We know that a lot of people have stopped playing and quit and that's unfortunate. However, we saw this coming for a long time now. I'm just recently coming out of a much needed development break. Previously, we patched multiple times a week or at the most, once every week and a half. It was extremely tiring to keep up with alongside other real life responsibilities.
The other developers and I have to remind people that this is a hobby and not a job. We don't really get paid for this at all. Most of the donations just go to the upkeep of the server. Any leftovers just go to savings for tech upgrades or other acquisitions. That being said, please be understanding when we decide to take breaks. It's for our own mental well-being and for us to recharge and get back to work in the future to give everyone quality content.
Responsibilities: What Do I Do?
I'll tell it to you straight up. I'm a university student, I have a part time job, and I live with my mother. On top of juggling school, work, and social life, I committed work on Project Duck. Recently, when I have any amount of free time, I spend my time working on Project Duck or playing other games to relax. Working on the game feels nice. I like developing because it gives me a purpose and a project to work on. That's why it was painful but also necessary to take a break a couple months ago. I wanted to keep working on Project Duck, but I didn't have the drive/motivation to do so.
As one of the few developers for Project Duck, I'm in charge of PvE content. I have my hand in class balancing as well. However, that's more up Kozima's alley. I, alongside Vahr, create and balance nests, materials, items, equipment, dragon gems, plates, etc. The thing that I have the most jurisdiction over is the progression pathway. I decide how we progress in gear with each nest and material you get.
I know there are a lot of improvements to be made and I am working towards that. Given that it's a small team and it's mostly just me (with the assistance of Vahr) working on the progression pathway, things can't happen as fast as I would like. Hiring more developers would help but also cause a lot of confusion because we like to have things focused and with more brains means more people to get in sync with our direction.
What's Coming: More Content
I know we've had IDNHC, Granom, and Guardian Nest for a long time now and people are sick of it. People are tired of having nothing to do. With the future updates, we decided to stretch out the gearing process a little more. You can expect things like new enhancable Dragon Gems, new Expedition Plates with many different rolls (low or high stat), two new raids (Ice Dragon Nest Vahrcore which has unique mechanics and a brand new boss, and Green Dragon Nest Time Attack), one unannounced six-man trial nest, and one new "dungeon", and a old nest brought back with a twist (think Vahrcore, but Joorjicore???)
In terms of what is done and ready to ship, the Dragon Gems and Expedition Plates are in the final phases of quality assurance. However, the nests and raids will take a good amount of time. As the new gems and plates will be acquired from the new content, we will have to wait to release everything at the same time.
When this update comes out, we hope to have all of the following in the coming patches (most of the content in a single expansion patch):
- Ice Dragon Nest Vahrcore (brand new mechs, bosses, and BGM)
- Green Dragon Nest Time Attack (very similar to official servers)
- 1 Trial Nest
- 1 New "Dungeon"
- 1 New Nest
- Access to +20 and above Midnight Frost equipment
- Access to Evolving Radiance Tier VI
- Class Balancing (hopefully including reworks)
- Update Skill Descriptions, Quality of Life
- Improve Skill Visual Clarity
- New Tier of Dragon Gems with Custom Icons
- New Tier of Expedition Plates with Custom Icons
- New Materials to Collect
- Improve New Player Progression Revamp
- NPC Shops Reorganized and Clarified
- Update Our Outdated "Gacha System" for unique/rare cosmetics (NO P2W STATS)
- Skitzovania Environment Updated
- New Skitzovania BGM
After all of these are done, I'll start working on Solo Content™, War Mage rework, and designing the framework of Rune Dragon Nest Progression.