CEO Outlines Upcoming Earth Eternal Features

Sparkplay Media CEO Matt Mihaly has published a lengthy letter outlining the new content that's coming this year to Earth Eternal, the free-to-play browser-based MMO featuring anthropomorphic animals. He started off by stating that the game's technical performance will be improved, and then dived right into the features that are coming in 2010.

Earth Eternal will be getting more quests, improved AI for boss encounters, pets that start off as cosmetic but will ultimately help you in combat, greater clan capabilities, and PvP arenas this year. Groves, which are the game's customizable environments for players and clans, are also scheduled to launch in 2010.

You can read Mihaly's full letter after the jump.

I hope that your real lives are fantastic this year and that you find a lot of fun, enjoyment, and community in Earth Eternal. Our team had its fair share of joy and pain getting Earth Eternal into open beta on our relatively small budget but I think we’ve got a solid foundation for a great game, and in 2010 we hope to really take advantage of that potential. It’s going to be a really exciting year all around, with new areas, new creatures, new game systems, and lots of performance gains.

I want to acknowledge up-front that EE’s technical performance is not where we want it. Frames-per-second is too low on all but the more recent systems, loading times are too long, the system requirements should be lower than they are, and of course, there are lag problems. I bring those up specifically so that you don’t think that we’re in denial about the technical work that needs to be done. We are in beta, but everyone on the EE team knows this work has to be done, and we have multiple people on these issues full-time. We’re also bringing the creator of Ogre 3D, the rendering engine we use, on board half-time to help improve performance. We should see some significant improvements in the next few months, and of course bug fixing is something we're always working on.

What kinds of things should you be looking for in 2010 besides performance improvements though? Why should you be excited? The answers are below, in no particular order.

First of all, you’re going to see more quests as well as new types of quests. We need to ensure that you can level while working on quests all the time. Pure grinding without a quest is something we want to avoid going forward.

Second, you’re going to see improved AI for boss encounters. Currently, most bosses are really just larger versions of other creatures who hit harder and can take more damage. You’ll see custom AI strategies implemented for different bosses.

Third, you’re going to get pets. At first, pets are going to be purely cosmetic, simply following you around, but with time we’ll add more things that they can do, from performing tricks to helping you in combat.

Fourth, we’ll see greater clan capabilities and purposes. More ways for clans to organize themselves and some goals for clans to work towards.

Fifth, expect Groves, EE’s customizable environments for players and clans, to be released this year. Initially, like pets, Groves will have only basic functionality but we will soon start changing that. We believe this will be one of our defining features.

Sixth, PvP will be released this year, in stages. The first stage is going to be an Arena system that’ll allow for 1v1 as well as group vs. group combat. No promises as to when it’ll be released, but we’re aiming to have this in within 3 months. The next stage of PvP will isn’t something we want to talk about yet, but will involve somewhat more free-form PvP than just battling in Arenas.

Plus, there are a bunch of other surprises that we’re going to keep quiet about until they’re ready, and even we don’t know everything we’ll work on in 2010 yet.

Lastly, please be patient. All of these features will not happen at once. We’re adding to the team so we can get more done, but these things still take time.

So, thanks to all of you for being part of EE, and let’s make 2010 an awesome 12 months!


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