Game of Thrones Ascent - Product Roadmap Spring 2014

Hi everyone!  We wanted to share a high-level overview of the things we’ll be working on over the next few months.  There are three big themes to what we’re working on:

  • Making alliances and alliance conflict more exciting
  • Expanding the depth and scope of the crafting system
  • Bringing Game of Thrones Ascent to tablets and starting work on smartphones

Most of what’s in this roadmap is still being designed.  We’re really interested in your feedback, as it will have an impact on how these systems are finally realized!  However, keep in mind that the timing--and the specific details--could still change a lot.

Expanding Adventure Parties

Adventure Parties was added several weeks ago, and during that time many of you have used this feature to send your sworn swords off on large expeditions for experience and treasure. For those of you with a lot of sworn swords, this has dramatically cut down on the level of tedium.

Next, we’d like to incorporate a similar system into Alliance vs. Alliance, to make it easier for you to wage even bigger battles—focusing more on strategy and diplomacy, and less on the minutiae.

Alliance Achievements, Perks and General Enhancements

We want to give alliances even more reasons to work together, and toward that end we’re going to create a system of perks your alliance can earn in exchange for accomplishing great deeds.  These perks will give your members certain benefits for being members of your alliance.  Different perks will involve some choices that your leader can make, to allow alliances to provide certain bonuses in line with their overall strategic goals.

We’re also going to make a bit easier for new players to find their way into a good alliance: when new players look at alliances they could join, we’ll be suggesting alliances based on their recent activity level (rather than the randomized list of suggestions we currently provide). We’ll also be creating a quest series, mostly for new players, that provides some personal rewards for joining and then making positive contributions to an alliance.


Crafting System Expansion

One of the most exciting expansions we have planned is to the game’s current crafting system.  Here are a few of the main things we’re working on:

  • Adding a new tier of craftable items, which will use a new class of rarer materials you’ll be able to gain through adventuring.
  • We’re creating a system of “upgrade paths” for all items in the game. Currently, you can make your items better by applying seals to them—this system would supplement that, by giving you a way to evolve the underlying item into a new and more powerful type of item.  For example, you’ll be able to reforge an Ancestral Valyrian Steel Greatsword into a Brilliant Valyrian Steel Greatsword, or a Direwolf Patriarch into a Direwolf Grandsire

A few more details:

  • Item permanence, unique names and seals applied to the base item will carry over to the upgraded item.
  • We’d like to make it possible for you to salvage your older, unused items as one of the possible materials into the upgrade process—basically giving you a way to salvage things you no longer care about, allowing you to end up with something better.
  • The upgrade process will give you a chance of success each time you try it, and different items will have a varying chance of success depending on how powerful the potential upgrade is.  However, we’re going to give you credit for any failed attempts, so that each subsequent attempt gives you an increasing chance to succeed at the upgraded version—and we’ll clearly show you this chance, and your progress toward the upgrades.
  • As part of this, we’re going to retrofit the Dragon quickening and hatching system to use this same progress mechanic based on prior failures: so if you’ve already tried to hatch a dragon before—you’ll get a boost towards your next attempts.  We’re carefully keeping track of every dragon hatching attempt that’s been made to date, so if this is something you’ve done or are still doing—we’ll be giving you retroactive credit towards this progress (similarly, if you’re currently working on hatching a dragon—any failures will continue to credit forward to this new system—so there’s no need to stop and wait).  Keep in mind that dragons are still going to be quite rare and hard—but we wanted to give people who have done this a lot of times a reasonable chance of success in exchange for their determination.
  • We’ll be rolling out the next age grouping for dragons.  We expect that there will be a few more baby dragons in the world soon—so soon you’ll be able to rear your baby dragon into a juvenile (again, built around the enhancements to the crafting system).

Alliance World Events

We want to expand on the current Alliance vs. Alliance system to provide more epic story and possibilities for accomplishment.  In future AvA phases, here are a few things that will happen:

To give each phase more unique flavor, we’re going to create a unique theme—along with a story and set of special challenges—that appear during the phase, concluding with an epic “world event” that will happen after the end of the open conflict (that 7-10 day period of time we currently insert between AvA hostilities).

A few things that will impact this:

  • Special mid-phase alliance challenges: as your alliance succeeds at building camps and vanquishing your opponents, your alliance will gain progress toward unlocking special rewards and buffs/debuffs to a region that can alter the strategic landscape: for example, you could win a challenge that results in a big boost to Barter in a given region for a period of time, given you an additional strategic avenue to help your allies and harm your foes. In addition, the rewards you gain during these mid-phase challenges will be useful in succeeding at the world event that happens between phases.
  • When the open conflict is finished, we’ll shift to a special world event which will function similarly to a massive boss quest.  These will be special events which will be unique to each phase, with special rewards that won’t appear in the game again.  Anyone will be able to participate in this event, but the alliances who were most active during the AvA phase will have some special advantages in this final, brutal battle. Unlike the AvA conflict itself, success in this phase will be oriented towards cooperation, crafting and exploiting the reward-items you received during AvA (with a decreased emphasis on silver).

Play here, play there, play anywhere with GoTA mobile and tablet versions!

We want you to be able to rule your holdings from wherever you are, on whatever devices you use! We’re about to launch an iPad version of Game of Thrones Ascent (some of you in Canada and Australia have already been playing it!) and within the near future we’ll be releasing a version for Android tablets like the Galaxy Tab as well.  We will also be starting work on iPhone and Android phone versions, which will similar to the iPad/tablet versions except that we’ll have reworked some of the interfaces to work better on a small display.


We'd love to hear from you!

Please feel free to comment on this blog post--or join us in the forums, where we'll have more detailed conversations with you about specific areas of the roadmap: