Monday, 21 April 2008

Big changes afoot!

Cluster 2 (gameworlds 4, 5 and 7) will be seeing some big changes in the FML universe this week:

  • It's update week
We'll be getting the latest FML code, hopefully on Wednesday - at this stage, we're getting closer to retail so there won't be too many 'wacky' changes or massive new features, but SI have been busily beavering away at solving lag/freeze issues, so hopefully that will improve an experience that is already pretty good in my opinion.

  • Tactics Skills
This will be the contentious issue of the week - I've discussed these in the last post I made, but this is the week we get to get hands-on. We have to remember that a new user coming in to a new gameworld, such as at retail, probably won't blink an eyelid at having to learn skills for tactics. I for one am looking forward to improved default tactics!

  • Injuries
It's long been a bugbear of mine that we do not see anywhere near enough injuries in FML - typically there have been about 0.5% of attached players out injured at any given time, which means teams can get away with running 16 man squads and avoiding games when 1 player is out injured. The update will raise this to around 4%, which is a much healthier figure - still low for real life, but should bring something of a challenge. I've heard rumours that the number of training injuries will be lowered in the near future, so most injuries should be in-game ones that stick. The likelihood of an injury sticking changes with activity, so casual and hardcore players should see similar rates - neither will be advantaged or disadvantages, like now.

  • Finances
We'll also be seeing some big changes in how the game handles debt. Many of the batch of managers added last week really struggled with the finances, and got themselves into debt - often having to restart having just bought their favourite player in real life, even though they couldn't afford him. Once I've figured out what the deal is, I'll post back here.

  • Cluster revamp
The fundamentals of how FML clusters are arranged and the overall architechture are being revamped. The bottom line for Cluster 2 is that our hardware is going to be moved into the Cluster 1 enclosure.

The knock on is that we'll be getting code weekly like Cluster 1 (and in some cases more than once per week). This is not expected to lead to any slowdown for users.

  • Forums
The FML forums will also be getting a new skin and there will be snazzy new logos coming which will wow you all, I'm sure. I've seen the work-in-progress new skin, and it's very nice indeed.

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