I wanted to take some time to talk about the Celestial Throne update now that it's been out for a week. We've gotten some amazing feedback from you all and I wanted to assure you that we always keep our hearts open and our eyes peeled for amazing feedback. We've made dozens of adjustments based on that principle.
The game is doing fantastic. Since we launched the patch, we've seen our peak concurrency numbers roughly double and sustain at a much higher level than before.
It's still early but we're also seeing people spend 15-20% more time in the game on average as well. We've seen our new users per day double from pre-launch. We've jumped up 8 places on the best selling charts too.
However, I understand that many of you have been unhappy with some of the recent changes we've made to gameplay, including fixing the gliding glitch and some of the dungeon mechanics we've introduced, and want to explain some of our thought process behind making breaking changes like this.
At a high level, while we take player feedback really seriously, we will never reverse a decision we feel *strongly* is right for our playerbase due to a minority of people that disagree.
To give some context on how we make big decisions like this.
Every change we make is meant to strengthen the game overall and broaden Zenith's overall appeal. After all, we hope Zenith is still around in 20 or even 30 years. It's an evolving game (some would say an entire digital world), not a singular artifact. As a result, unlike other games that become stale over time, you can expect core systems within Zenith to continue evolving over time, to be sleeker, better balanced, and more well thought out.
We realize that this means some changes that will make some users unhappy, but we will always do our best to respect the grind and be clear about when big changes are coming down the pipeline.
In this case, it was clear to us that the gliding exploit/glitch:
- Destroyed any semblance of the scale and distance of the world -- allowing people to go anywhere almost instantly
- Was impossible to tutorialize and poorly understood by most of our community (half of our team internally were not able to master it fully after multiple attempts) thus putting the majority of the userbase at a significant disadvantage.
- Didn't make much sense from an immersion standpoint to "master" since the motions required were esoteric.
Based on those strong reasons, we removed it from the game.
That being said -- we know that this was a glitch many of you grew to embrace and love, and so we made significant adjustments on regular gliding. From overall feedback, most people love the new changes:
- Increase max gliding speed
- Increase takeoff velocity maximum significantly
- Reduce jumping stamina required
- Reduce stamina consumption while gliding by ~20%
In addition to this, we know how much y'all want a feature that properly allows folks to fly in the game, so we'll be noodling on how to introduce a limited flying feature sometime in the future, TBD
There are other features and systems that we've added that we know need a lot of polish. In particular we've received feedback that Vulkane is a bit too hard, and that there is still a fair amount of cheesing in the dungeons. We hope to rectify all of that soon.
Our long term intention is to make rank 1 raids completable by a pick-up group, and as is the case with many raid dungeons in other MMOs, we expect the difficulty of those dungeons to taper as people gear up, and as we tune for more accessibility in the coming months. We'll also be opening up more challenging ranks of raid dungeons, so that the hardcore players will have a ton of challenging content to race against and complete.
We'll be releasing a new hotfix later today that should address some of the issues around cheesing and fix some critical issues we've seen with crashing.
We made these changes as a direct result of engaging with and reading the feedback many of you made, and I hope this will set the record straight: Feedback is the lifeblood of our company and we care a lot about it.
We have even more exciting features that we're working on now, and we can't wait to share them with you. (Yes, Cyberninja is one of them :) )