Developer Log - June 2024 — Project Epoch (2024)

At the end of last month we gave an initial post-beta update from the team letting you know the current state of development and what we needed to do. Since then we've been working hard on a lot of big picture issues and working in close collaboration with the QA & Bug Triage team. While we still stand on a "When it's cooked." stance we wanted to give you yet another update.

QA & Bug Triage

Following our last quality post the QA & Bug Triage team has been expanded to 5 members who have made a phenomenal contribution even in just this first month. We do not intend to name who in the community they are as they may not want to be hassled on their final game characters. However we still wanted to express gratitude to them for their diligence and willingness to dive into the large chunk of reported issues and help the development team get reliable and reproducible bugs. Not only that, they have been diving into larger systems of the game such as Scavenging to locate unreported issues and give concentrated feedback on the overall implementation.

General State

When we last gave an update we stated we had 7,044 issues still open across a broad spectrum of the game. As of this post this now stands at 4,442. Meaning that the QA & Bug Triage team alongside our developers have been able to close 2,602 issues. Many of these being simply duplicates closing and merging into a singular issue, but also a meaningful amount of actual fixes. We've been updating the internal realm with new fixes and improvements on a weekly basis and are happy with the amount of progress that has been made in that time.

The primary focus of this first month has been the big ticket issues that are the root of tens if not hundreds of issues at a time. While we will be reserving full patch notes for later down the line through this post we intend to detail some of the key fixes from this month.

Instance Upgrades

Last month we mentioned that work had begun on overhauling our worst offender of a dungeon, Stratholme. This was a ground up rewrite which required various upgrades to the tools we use. This gives us much greater control of the lifecycle of an instance and saving / loading arbritary data associated with an instance save.

We are happy to report that this work is completed resolving a large swathe of issues and bringing the quality of this dungeon up to our standards. This also allowed us to ensure that all creature and boss abilities are impacted by our creature scaling too so expect a more evenly paced challenge throughout.

Some of these fixes include:

  • Boss and Door states are now correctly and frequently saved to the database after key events.
  • Players should no longer get stuck by an erroneous door when first engaging the Slaughter Square.
  • Ramstein can no longer spawn twice.
  • Rares such as Stonespine, Skul, Hearthsinger Forresten are no longer guaranteed spawns.
  • Black Guard Swordsmith now correctly spawn from Blacksmithing Plans and will persist server restarts.
  • Crimson Hammersmith now correctly spawn from Blacksmithing Plans and will persist server restarts.
  • Magistrate Barthilas will now flee from the area if players enter via the Service Gate. He will be found near Slaughter Square if this occurs. He has received a new encounter script.
  • Implemented all plagued critter trap doors.
  • Reworked The Unforgiven spawn logic, he will now also persist server restarts.
  • Implemented the Baron Run and all related RP events.
  • Creatures spawned by Supply Crates should now correctly attack on create.
  • Postmaster Malown will now correctly spawn after 3 mailboxes have been used and has received a new encounter script.
  • Improved spawning of Undead Postman when opening post boxes.
  • Postbox Parcel's will now spawn in post boxes after they are opened.
  • Timmy the Cruel will now spawn after Scarlet members within Crusader' Square have been cleared and has received a new encounter script.
  • Baroness Anastari has received a new encounter script.
  • Service Gate achievement now in Dungeons category not Raids.
  • All bosses are now correctly influenced by our health and damage scaling including their used spells.
  • Fixed various bugs with the Cannon Master fight and buffed the output damage of the usable cannons.
  • Jarien and Sothos now have correct encounter scripts as well as intro / outro rp.
  • Aurius will now help during the Rivendare encounter if he is given a Medallion of Faith.

The above was so effective we then decided to turn our attention to the dungeon that was essentially the second most reported offender, The Sunken Temple. With many reported bugs, missing RP and in general suffering from similar issues as Stratholme with regards to server restarts making a dungeon not completable.

Much like Stratholme this has now received a ground up rewrite to be both more stable and more accurate to the original Blizzard intent while allowing our custom content within to still function.

Now uses the same system as the Stratholme rework for improved stability.

  • The 6 troll priests now correctly have a channeling visual.
  • The room to Jammal'an now correctly has a door blocking it that will only fall once all priests are dead.
  • Added RP for when the door falls.
  • Engaging Jammal'an will now correctly pull his entire room if not cleared.
  • Weaver and Dreamscythe now consistently spawn after Jammal'an dies and will persist server restarts.
  • Hazzas and Morphaz now consistently spawn after Weaver and Dreamscythe have been cleared.
  • Shade of Eranikus can no longer be engaged before the summoned dragons are killed.
  • Engaging the Shade of Eranikus will now pull all remaining Dragonkin in the instance.
  • Shade of Hakkar can no longer be spawned repeatedly and will persist server restarts based on the phase of the encounter you're in eg pre-ritual and after completing ritual.
  • Chosen word for the Atal'ai Statue puzzle will now persist server restarts and the final pedestal can be interacted with after Atal'alarion has been summoned.
  • Atal'alarion will now persist server restarts after he's summoned if not killed.
  • Added new RP visuals for when the puzzle is completed.

Alongside the above the QA & Triage team spent a good chunk of time confirming fixes we've made with regards to instance ID's disappearing under some circ*mstances and we feel most of these have been plugged. There is one known outstanding case that we aim to have resolved before our next update. This is one of the most important fixes we need to nail down so we are happy with this progress.

Loot Rework

Ever since Beta 1 we've hit issue after issue with regards to loot tables not matching what is expected. While we had successfully removed non Vanilla items this was done in a brute force way that could lead to no loot dropping in some circ*mstances. The over abundance of Greens and Blue's dropping in the world and dungeon trash has been felt repeatedly and other attempts to curb that without rebuilding full loot tables have proven lacking.

The most accurate source that exists for loot tables in a Vanilla world objectively comes from the vMangos project and it's many contributors. We built a system that converts all of the vMangos loot tables (except fishing, by design) to our TrinityCore base alongside their conditions. Factoring in the progressive loot tables of vMangos to focus on 1.12.1 drops and then afterwards pruning things we felt weren't relevant in our current patch timeline.

In one swoop this has essentially fixed almost every reported loot complaint we've experienced in betas and allowed us to cull all of the hacks we had in place before. Due to the very different structure of these new loot tables this required us to adjust all of our custom content additions with regards to boss drops. This has overall felt like a drastic quality improvement for Project Epoch and we look forward to getting your feedback in future tests.

This means that we have basically rebuilt the loot tables for:

  • 4,177 Blizzlike Creatures Standard Loot Tables.
  • 981 Blizzlike Creatures Skinning Loot Tables.
  • 1,680 Blizzlike Creature Pickpocket Loot Tables.
  • 624 Blizzlike Chest / Profession Node Loot Tables.
  • 1,827 Blizzlike Item Disenchanting Loot Tables.
  • 182 Blizzlike Item Container Loot Tables.

We still have a bit of work to do with regards to some custom creatures cloning loot from sources that don't quite make sense however we have isolated them and have a plan of action to work through them quickly.

After working on the above something stood out like a sore thumb... Clams. They still weren't dropping the correct loot. This sent the development team down a rabbit hole to discover that somehow we'd missed 1,000 items in the conversion from 3.3.5 -> 1.12.1 itemization. This included the category that Clams live within. Once we recognized this we quickly went to work correcting them which also greatly improves the quality of loot and items within Project Epoch.

Scavenging Rework

Alongside the above loot changes we have a key Epoch Tailoring feature that we had to take into consideration in the form of Cloth Scavenging. Since this needed to be revisited anyway the development team worked in close collaboration to not only iron out issues but to rework it at a game play level to feel better.

This now behaves much closer to Northrend scavenging and is now much more simple to explain. When cloth drops, any cloth, there is a 25% chance for an extra piece to drop. We've had many reports of scavenging feeling so not worth it in prior betas that it felt bugged and we feel this is a great improvement. We are hoping this is a continued trend of us being able to iterate on game feel not just bugs alongside the QA team.

Onyxia's Lair v3

Not everything we work on is explicitly a bug. Beta's help us narrow down design issues and spot problems related to timing of abilities and so on. With that in mind we've taken another pass at Onyxia's Lair both mechanically and artistically. Ensuring Ortorg can no longer be cheesed and improving his mechanics. Adding new trash types for variety. And entirely reworking Atressian's room to fit new mechanics now that we know how capable you are.

Molten Woah

And since we were given some more time before launch for artist's to cook we thought we'd give you a preview of what awaits you within the Molten Core...

Stay Tuned

With our next development update we intend on sharing some of the mechanical and tuning changes that have occurred since the end of the last beta with the aim of keeping you informed ahead of future test sessions. We are considering a short form test in the not too distant future focused specifically on the improvements made to dungeons, loot and system issues that have been resolved.

Developer Log - June 2024 — Project Epoch (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Roderick King

Last Updated:

Views: 5981

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Roderick King

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: 3782 Madge Knoll, East Dudley, MA 63913

Phone: +2521695290067

Job: Customer Sales Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Embroidery, Parkour, Kitesurfing, Rock climbing, Sand art, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Roderick King, I am a cute, splendid, excited, perfect, gentle, funny, vivacious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.