Dragon Empires newsletter - 15 August 2003
Testing is underway!
Well it has been a very busy week here with the Dragon Empires team. Testing is underway and the bug reports are coming in and everything feels a little more hectic than it did last month. So far we're learning a lot but we've also been quite pleased that nothing game breaking (that we didn't know about!) has popped up. Still, there's a lot more work to do and that's our focus till our next milestone at the end of October.

I know a lot of you want to get involved but I just have to ask you to be patient for now. We will be adding more testers at each major milestone with the numbers really climbing towards the end of the year. Meanwhile we will use these newsletters and beta reports to keep you up to date on what is going on in testing with reports and pictures.

Right now we're working on testing the formal battle system mentioned in earlier newsletters. The system seems to be working well with teams being formed and moved to their start points and scoring keeping track of who is winning. It makes a fun diversion from random PvP or wandering the world.

Feature of the week: Monster AI

Monster AI is one of those features that if it is bad can utterly frustrate and annoy players. For this reason we have been working hard on creating interesting creatures that act in a variety of interesting ways. Firstly, every creature has different levels of intelligence. Some are stupid and will only attack the last person to hit them, some are smart and will focus on the person who seems most dangerous, or the weakest. What's more, some creatures hate certain races or even specific items or colours. You can use this to your advantage when hunting or if you're not careful it could be your downfall as you, quite literally, do the red rag and bull thing.

Also, every monster can learn from their experiences. If a monster is wounded and escapes from the players (some will try to avoid all players) it might get angry and the next players it sees it will try to fight, perhaps totally out of character for its species. Monsters as a group can learn too. Spawns may move as a monster group finds success or failure in an area and some monsters will be strictly nocturnal.

We believe this combination of interesting features will help to make monster hunting less of a chore and more of an adventure. While experienced players will get a feeling for the behaviour of each monster there will always be the chance of the monster doing something unexpected to keep things exciting!

read more Letter from Gadsolme
"It has been brought to my attention that some of you may desire to know a tad more of the religions of Fortitude. I am sure that you all have your own empire's patron god as much as you have your own dragon marshal. It is, however, interesting to note the differences of worship that occur across the borders and boundaries of Fortitude"...

Dev Chat
There will be a Stratics House of Commons developer chat on Monday the 25th of August at 8pm GMT and 8pm PST. To learn more about Stratics chats head to http://chat.stratics.com. On the night connect to irc.stratics.com #de-devchat to take part. The chat will be moderated.

Hot News
- RPG dot interview (part 1) is available.
- RPG Vault Q&A 31 on quests has been posted.
- Adam Parsons, Lead Artists, wrote a dev diary.
- Designer Mark Zechiel joined in on another RPG Vault round table, this one on the levelling treadmill.

Forum post of the week
Come check the Greenvale Pivot - http://community.codemasters.com/forum . If you want to do a little roleplaying come to the Greenvale Pivot, Dragon Empire's very own roleplaying tavern where adventure awaits you every day (for the cost of a rumour from the barman! ;).

Fan site of the month
DE-Forum - http://www.de-forum.com/
A new site in German and English covering Dragon Empires new and information. Welcome to the network!


Peter Tyson
Community Liaison Manager - Dragon Empires


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