Hello Bannermen! With the team well into our AvA revamp, we wanted to update you on the status of the AvA revamp.
The AvA UI updates are designed and ready for the web version of the game. We’re continuing to design and cut up the UI for iOS and Android. We plan to have some screenshots from functioning (meaning, populated with real data and in the game) UI in the next few weeks.
Server-side Performance and Implementation
In the last AvA blog post, we mentioned that performance changes would be the least discussed but most important part of our AvA revamp. For the last month, our engineering team has been working on those performance improvements for AvA. In essence, we’re re-architecting large portions of AvA to perform better, specifically during periods of high traffic.
We have completed backend engineering work for camps, rewards, actions, and database updates so far. Those systems are now under internal testing. Backend engineering for the Battle Log, silver pool / debuffs, and polish on existing systems continues.
Performance and load testing of AvA server-side updates will continue until we feel confident that AvA can handle the load we have seen in the past (and then some).
Client-side implementation means making all the screens work and do what they should. We have been working on this, and will continue to work on it throughout August. This is the bulk of the work left in AvA, as we take the UI elements and attach them to server-side actions.
Game Mechanic Changes
Our design team is planning to have updated VP scales posted in the next two weeks, along with an updated GP scale. Part of our design mandate was providing a lot more flexibility for AvA - better ways to modify VP scales, GP scales, camp requirements, and everything in between. This gives us a lot of ways to respond to your feedback and make changes throughout AvA testing.
And so we come to the most important part of the update - AvA testing! We are currently testing the changes internally. A lot of that testing is making sure that the systems work, that the game talks to the database correctly, that the game updates the database correctly, and that the client reflects those server and database updates. That testing will continue until we’re confident AvA is ready to go.
Our goal is to have a playable AvA build in the next weeks. We cannot say the exact week, because it depends heavily on how our internal testing and development goes. That build will most likely be opened for a handful of people at first - Alliance players who can dissect the system and find bugs or broken functionality. After that testing is done and we’ve fixed any issues that come up, we’ll open it up for broader testing.
AvA testing has always been difficult. Without large numbers of players, it’s tricky to identify problems related to performance. And without meaningful rewards to strive for, a lot of testing doesn’t mirror actual AvA play that we see on the live game. With that in mind, we’re still determining whether we’ll test in short (3 day?) spurts on the live game, or whether we’ll incentivize testing on a private server through new titles given to testers or something similar.
AvA Revamp Continues
As we continue working on the AvA revamp, we’re also touching other areas of the game which needed improvement or hadn’t been touched in a long time. Updating duplicate item images, redoing the daily favors, and changing some rarely-used Talents are all examples of what our team is doing alongside the AvA revamp. These are small but meaningful changes that can be done while the majority of the team continues to work on AvA.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!