While there isn't much "new" to report, I did want to give you guys an update. Overall In general, progress across most fronts is slow - this isn't a surprise to anyone who is around. The fact of the matter is, a lot of time and resources were poured into the new client (at the expense of content and other fixes/updates). And given the state of the new client, despite the "upgrades" it has over the old, it's obvious that it hasn't been doing well. And to be frank, Pox was not doing so hot when DOG took back over. SOE was set to shut the game down when DOG took it back. DOG then spent a lot of time and money trying to revive the game (e.g. features such as the Forge, the new league system, etc.), and it did have some success on that front, but not enough to really justify continuing to put the entire team of resources into it. Thus, the team had to start doing other work to supplement the cost of running DOG and to ensure the studio itself had a future beyond Pox. This is why the team worked on the Huntsman game, and agreed to contract on SpaceWars as well. That said, population seems to be improving lately. And some players are working on what will be an officially sponsored tournament with prizes provided by DOG. Stay tuned for that. In general, there is no shortage of ideas to make Pox work. The reality is getting the money/resources to do the thing, and whether that investment pays for itself. And unfortunately, "just do X" or "just do Y" is generally far more optimistic than most people realize. Even those of us in the industry frequently overestimate the impact of our ideas, especially on a product of this age and with the amount of baggage that it has. Client Specifically, the new client ended up being a lot more work than anticipated, particularly for features like the rune manager which took months to do. There are many reasons for this, some technical, some personnel based, but at the end of the day the result is still the same - the new client took about 3 times longer than it should have (and costed about 4x more), and when it launched it really wasn't ready, but it had already been delayed many times so there was really no choice. The initial fixes to the new client focused largely on overall stability and usability. Work continues on fixing the issues with the client, particularly in-game issues. This is a slow going process, mostly due to the aforementioned lack of resources, but it's NOT abandoned. As I have said before, I don't believe anyone is more frustrated than me with the new client. From my perspective, it was an opportunity to improve usability and get many QOL improvements... instead, it has decreased usability Bugs One of the main focuses since I came back has been bugs. It's hard to overestimate the amount of time that has been spent by the team on bugs. Unfortunately, the game has a huge backlog of bugs. When I left SOE, there were THOUSANDS of bug tickets in their system... which DOG was not allowed to have, so we've had to "start over" with confirming bugs etc. At the same time, many bugs are such core issues that it's not so easy to fix (at least without breaking a bunch of other stuff). The reality is that a bug free game (especially one with the complexities of interactions as Pox) is mostly a pipedream, but Pox is obviously well on the wrong side of this. I personally spend a great deal of time confirming bugs and fixing what ones I can. But not being a programmer this is mostly low level stuff or "hacky" stuff which doesn't address the issue on a core level. I also have the ability to design around bugs, which I have often done - just eliminated the problem ability/interaction. If something isn't working right, and there's no fix in sight, it seems better to go avoid the problem altogether. Balance/Meta Another core focus for me is balance and trying to keep the meta fresh. Balance wise, the game is in a fairly good state - certainly there are always problems/issues but that's the nature of this type of game. However, most indicators point to the fact that there is a lot that's runnable now. Some new things coming down the pipe that people should be aware of: Removal of Possession Cliff-diving Previously, KB Cliff-diving was removed, and now Possession has also been fixed The fix is that non-Flying units simply see Chasms the same way they see other impassable tiles Flying units can still fly over Chasms, and if they lose Flying they will still be destroyed Possession effects are being buffed Sacrifice mechanic is being removed Sacrifice is a half-implemented, semi-buggy problem, and I have decided to try and remove it The goal is to simplify the whole "destroy" vs "sacrifice" idea and just have things be 100% consistent Runes that are problematic when "sacrificed" will instead get Warding or Pariah as appropriate Also potentially expect some on-death effects to be changed due to this adjustment This is going to be a long-term adjustment, so don't expect it all to be phased out or working amazingly right off the bat Charged abilities is being reworked Charges is a fun mechanic that, unfortunately, is extremely unwieldly both in terms of design space and usability After the update, most charged abilities will generate their own charges so we can get rid of all the extra abilities on champions that generate charges If time allows, I will also update some existing abilities that need counters to use Charges such as Ammunition and Ancient Corruption General Balance Changes (off the top of my head): Frost Amp Seism/Relic HP Pass Preparation/Ranged Stance Random Buffs Specifically, I know I buffed some Spiders and G'hern recently, but there's always lots of these kinds of adjustments Next Patch Unfortunately, I have no idea when this will be as this is mostly dependent on when major pieces of client work is completed and ready to be pushed. In the meantime, I am continuing to work on what I can. Currently, I am finishing up the Charges update, following which I will be working on the Sacrifice mechanic. Beyond that, I have been paying attention to the bug forums and fixing what I can. Next Expansion As you know, both the mid-terms and new expansion were largely ready long before the new client was done, but were held off. I do not have a date for when the next expansion will drop. I do know that after all this time, I will need to do another design pass on them to make sure they are ok before launching, but code-wide the expansion is complete (not that there was much code, as that was the point of an expansion with almost no new abilities). ~ Sorry for the lack of real news, but this is more or less the extent of what I know. I will try and do a post like this once a month or so.