Dearest Skylords, Skyladies, Skythings,
I'm sure most of you have an idea what this announcement is going to be about, given the latest status on Open Beta. As you all have realised, we haven't quite made our promised release goal of week 8. This mainly has to do with PvE breaking way more badly than we expected and fixing taking a lot more time than anticipated. How much time will this take? Well, please allow me a bit more space to explain.
The Skylords community has grown bigger and better than ever before, for almost 3 years now. We are growing closer to the public beta release of the game, and we're growing more hyped and enthusiastic with every development update Fiki posts. This is a fantastic thing; the BattleForge community has always been my favourite community around, where everyone is relatively friendly and inviting, has fun together and creates a warm, comforting atmosphere. However, as with most hyped projects, enthusiasm can rapidly take over and make both community and developer overexcited. This is generally a great thing, except when it concerns voluntary development as is the case with Skylords Reborn. Don't get me wrong, it's great that you are all so excited about the game; it's really mostly on our side that causes issues.
The programming team is just as excited about this as you are, and they are working tirelessly to make Open Beta a reality as soon as possible. However, with great hype and little experiences with such projects and group communities, comes great positivity. As you may know from the past, we have always been quite generous with our milestone and deadline estimations, striving every single day to make you all as happy and enthusiastic as possible, pushing our limits to satisfy you, the community, as well as we can. In our combined enthusiasm and desire to bring back a great game to you all, we have been blind to the risks of game development, and made completion date estimates very positively; but game development doesn't work like that. Something will always break, and several things have broken and put us back, changed things up, turned our schedule around. Real life has interfered, servers have been crashed, and the programming team has generally just been looking at the development cycle way too positively and have given themselves way too little time to work with in case things wouldn't go as planned. This has created a lot of frustration on the team and we have been rushing while we shouldn't rush.
Especially in this week of hype, the entire team has experienced the results of massive hype. Tonnes of repeated questions, lots of enthusiasm, but also lots of doubt, lots of impatience, and foremost, intense amounts of pressure on all of our shoulders. The drive and need to meet our target time got so emphasised, and the expectations were unfathomably high. And sadly I have to say that it is taking its toll on some of our team members, even outside of the programming department; we're being hit very hard, but we remain steadfast, for all of you!. We are doing our utmost best to keep you all informed, engaged, and excited about the project, and the last thing we want to do is to disappoint you; and every single time that we may have to, every single time that things go wrong and Open Beta ETA's have proven to be just a little too generous, we disappoint you. And I am certain that I can speak for the entire team if I say that it sometimes genuinely does feel like we fail you all with these hopes we work up for you and end up being forced to shatter. Please be aware that this was never our intention, and unforeseen consequences have resulted in many delays. This has driven the team to a very important and hard decision.
We are not going to give you any exact Open Beta completion times anymore. We will be more broad in our approach, and development timeframes will be larger.
I regret to announce that this is something that really must happen; but I truly care about you all as a community and it breaks my heart every single time we awaken hopes in you that turn out to be false, disappoint and fail you with declaring that we haven't met our terms... needless to say it hurts all of us, the SR team. We're done making unrealistic promises to you guys, and we are sick, tired, and exhausted of disappointing this amazing community over and over. You don't deserve that, and so we will broaden our estimations widely.
This means that any development estimated times will be longer, but also more uncertain.
This does by no means imply that we are slowing down development. On the contrary! We are working and progressing harder than ever, as many Closed Beta testers can actively tell you. We understand you may be doubting us at this point, we understand you feel like the project isn't progressing enough, and we truly do understand you all want to play; but just short of a hundred testers can tell you that we are making massive progress every day. This project is happening right now as we speak, and those who doubted we would ever get the game online have been proven wrong, and we strive to keep proving doubters wrong as we progress daily. With this new way of announcing progression, it would mean less stress on the team, hopefully no heavy disappointment to the community, and the more exciting and enjoyable the moment is if we finish way ahead of schedule (which is now also way more likely). Hopefully this will give you all a better impression and allow for more realistic expectations.
Game development can take a lot of time, and especially for SR, it is extremely unpredictable. Things can suddenly go wrong, or we can suddenly make huge surges of progress. The most important thing remains that we don't want to rush things. When we release Open Beta we want stable servers, and the best experience for every single one of you. Coding under pressure will only create more bugs, flaws, crashes, and mental problems for our programmers, so we are giving them the time they need. We hope that you can understand this.
That being said, with some of the issues persisting, we will have to give Fiki and his majestic team of programmers some additional time to iron out the remaining bugs, memory leaks, and other annoyances before we allow you all in. Trust us when we say that we don't want you to get hyped, enter the servers, and have an uncomfortable experience or have the servers crash. That would be awful, and we don't want to kill off your enjoyment like that.
------TL;DR? Start here-------
The programming department has stated that they will need some more time to fix these issues. Although we consider this to be able to be completed sooner rather than later, we need to take risks and possible further delays into account. If we do end up knowing when we're releasing Open Beta with absolute certainty, you bet we'll have you know when! -- Remember, we could be done way sooner or later than expected! Check the devplatform for the most up-to-date status of the game and/or release predictions: http://dev.skylords.eu/
Another very important note: There has been some false information that has been spread through the community on several different platforms, causing a lot of unnecessary havoc and stress for both community and staff. We would like to remind you that you can find all relevant and correct news and announcements on our official social media, but most importantly forum posts that keep you up to date. Please do not blindly trust any dates or information given to you by community members that you don't know, especially if it sounds groundbreaking or impactful; if you can't find it on the forums, it's probably not true. Remember, content written by any member with a coloured name are staff posts; official announcements made by them are to be considered as true. Confused as to who is part of the team? Follow this link for a list: https://forum.skylords.eu/index.php?/staff/
But there's some positive news too!
> The launcher is coming along nicely, and has been worked on separately from the server. That means that once server work is done, we won't also have to start making the launcher from scratch, which will save a lot of time!
> Many of you have expressed that they missed the original Booster Simulator. Now, the simulator is back in action and better than ever, integrated in our new cardbase, accurately supporting the booster ratios that will be in-game. Find it here: https://allcards.skylords.eu/booster.html
> Additionally, we have noticed a huge amount of questions for when Open Beta starts. Trust me when I say there will be a giant thread when Open Beta is released that will explain everything to you! Please be patient with your Open Beta questions until it starts; it will all be revealed.
> Feeling like you may have been too enthusiastic about Closed Beta giveaways? We will assure you that if you have been blacklisted on our Discord server and prevented from entering Closed Beta, your bans will be revoked and you will be given a second chance for Open Beta. Please don't break anything
> We have upgraded the forums to handle more traffic. You should all have a way smoother experience than before; our server was running at 220% CPU capacity, ouch! We're now running more smoothly, so you should experience faster loading times and a better overall connection to this website.
> During this upgrade, however, we almost lost the forum database because of all the problems linked to our server. We managed to save it just in time!
> The next big announcement we will make will be the Open Beta Announcement, which we will stream on our Twitch channel (https://www.twitch.tv/skylordsreborn). In the meantime, it is possible that we will stream some BattleForge on the official channel to give you an idea of how everything runs while we work on getting a good Open Beta working for you.
We would like to once again apologise for yet another delay and future vagueness on estimated times, and we would like to reassure you that it's healthier for the game's development, safety, stability, and enjoyability, as well as it is better for the health of the team, as we can take things easier on the moderation team, and allow the programmers to prioritise quality over time. We will do our utmost best to bring Open Beta to you as soon as we can, without the pains and frustrations and disappointment of further delays. We hope that you can understand and respect this decision, have the courage and determination to be patient for just a little longer, and that we may stand strong as a community, and that we may remain the most welcoming, friendly and comfortable community out there. Together we will soon reclaim the Forge and protect the lands of Nyn once again!
Sincerely, and on behalf of the entire Skylords Reborn Team,
MrXLink, your Community Manager
"Wasn't there a date in here?" Yes, that is correct, and we removed it for good reason. Refer to this post for details.