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Community report #1


The West Team
Fort battle changes
One of the most discussed topic has been the fort battles and fort battle balancing for a long time. We have done a few changes already but neither we nor you, the active players are fully satisfied with what we did. That's why we want to continue testing new formulas and balancing changes in the Public Beta worlds. One more thing we want to do is make the fort battles easily accessible and more prominent so that new players will find them and overall more players find out how awesome the fort battles are. The fort battles are the coolest feature we have for sure, no other Browsergame has got a feature like this and it is important for us to do what the fort battle deserve: Trying to convince as many players as possible from that idea.
Our Lead Developer Thorben shared what we are working on at the moment: http://devblog.the-west.net/?p=1228&lang=en

Multiplayer Instances
We haven't talked a lot about the Multiplayer Instances (MPI) yet. Most of you will probably only know them from our Roadmap but they are a really big and cool feature that is based on the fort battle mechanics but still different and much more flexible. We finished concepts for the MPI and started working on them a few weeks ago.
So what exactly are the MPI?
Multiplayer Instances are interactive real time adventures that small groups of players can do together. Examples are Bear hunt, Stage coach robbery or fighting a bandit gang. So just imagine a nice looking fort battle map with a few NPC bears that you need to shoot but be careful they don’t come to close to you or they will hit you or a train driving slowly through the map that is defended by NPCs and you need to try to stop the train build blocks on the track or shoot the bandits driving the locomotive. The MPIs will be a feature that you can use while for example waiting for your energy to reload or while waiting for a 2-hour job to end. The MPIs are an independent feature that is a level above the actual game and we even try to make it a market-wide feature so that players from different worlds can play together.
For now we are working on a map editor, graphics and the Screendesign. Nothing is final yet though and it will take a few months before we can actually play the first Instances.
More information on that topic will follow on the devblog in a few weeks probably.

Fighting zero motivation duelers
Another problem that has been here for quite some time. We have discussed this internally so many times but never found a solution we were all completely satisfied with. We do want to change something now finally and will therefore soon split the NPC and PvP duel motivation and test this on the Beta. That change alone will not solve the problem though and further changes need to be done. One idea is to set both motivations back to 100% every night. This would mean that many consumables become useless and there’s nothing to stop duelers from permanently dueling anymore. That doesn't have to be a bad thing but something that would change the playstyle and game mechanics a lot.

The future of dueling
Talking about duels, we want to talk a little about bigger ideas we have in mind for dueling. We have worked on a prototype for an interactive duel system with abilities that can be used and a special skill tree for duels. We plan to keep and implement this idea but it's a lot of Game Design effort and needs some more thinking. On top of that we just discussed an Arena system for duels which would be an area on the map (Any idea where that could be? ;) ). PvP Dueling would only be possible in the arena, nowhere else on the map anymore except from arranged duels. Players who don't want to be dueled and KOed would be saved and duelers would have a cool place where they will always find opponents. In order to compensate the opponent loss that duelers would have for sure we want to put some NPCs on the map that are available in different strength levels. Possibly would also be to have some moving NPC bosses that give higher experience and the chance to get a rare item as a reward.
This is a just born idea though, nothing we will implement in the near future.

The main story
After we brought hundreds of new quests into the game we think and that was confirmed by many players and new users that we invited for user tests, that the story in The West lacks a golden thread. A story that leads through the whole game that tells your character's story. We are working on that and call it the Main Story. The main story will have 9 parts. Each part requires a certain character level, the last one starts at level 91. We will release the Main Story part by part (1 part every few weeks), beginning end of October.

Other stuff
-2.07 will include the Friends bar which is an interface element that shows your friends, town members and alliance members. Via the bar you can quickly whisper them, send them telegrams or center them on the map
-We are working on a concept for direct player to player trading
-In order to improve the performance of our quest system, we will probably add some new requirements (Finish tutorial quest line, id 544 or low level requirements) to a couple of quest lines.
-We are working on a cool and funny event that we're sure you will enjoy!

Please keep in mind that this is a rough overview about internal happenings in our team. Most of it is not final and subject to change. We want to openly communicate such stuff better in the future; this works only if you respect our decisions and what we plan for you. We are excited and looking forward to your feedback!

You can discuss this here.
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