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Development Update 12/4/23

Hello again everybody, Keeko here, writing to you on behalf of the Primordial team. No, I'm not here to announce 2.2's full release, but that is a subject I will touch on, as well as some others. For those who have enjoyed or are currently enjoying the 2.2 Beta, we're all so glad to see the immensely positive reception! We couldn't be happier that the project we've poured our heart and souls into over the past three years has been loved by our community. But we're not done yet!

 

FULL RELEASE WHEN?


Great question, astute reader! I, in typical fashion, do not have a solid answer for that. Unfortunately, it is seeming more and more likely that full release will not make it before the end of the year. We were really hoping to make that deadline but given some technical difficulties, as there always are, full release is pushed back to January at the earliest.


Our main issue has been a particularly nasty one found in the Beta. Without spoiling anything, we use a few experimental Minecraft features that include an unsolved major bug where the player's scoreboard data file is sometimes erased if their computer crashes or the world is not properly saved. This basically makes the map unbeatable as all progress is erased and certain things are inaccessible. We planned on having our first Beta patch out sooner but this issue has extended out our timeline significantly. Luckily, Zerdguyyy, one of our datapack coders, has developed a solution:


Basically, each scoreboard value in the game sets a block down in this array. Towers, story locations, Mythicals, Legendaries, if you've even started the game, all of that is tied to the scoreboard and has a corresponding block. If the player finds themselves subject to the scoreboard wipe crash, the game will automatically read the array and try to reset everything to how it was. Of course, not literally everything, but everything important. This has taken a really long time to put together because there's a lot of different scoreboards and Zerdguyyy and the other coders have limited availability, but it's done and we're in the final stages of internal testing before releasing the patch.


Of course, there will most likely be more Beta patches after that, as we have some changes and small additions bundled in that are somewhat experimental and we want player feedback on. Also, bugs. There will always be more bugs.

 

WHAT ELSE IS IN THE PATCH?


Because of the scoreboard issue taking so long to solve, we've been able to add a lot more to the first Beta patch than we originally anticipated. This is on top of some basic fixes; ones such as patching out the Scale duplication trade loop and other bugs, both minor and major. Among these larger changes include: various changes to post-75% story progression to make things clearer and less obtuse, retextured Runic Catalysts & Amplifiers, nerfs/buffs to a large number of Mythicals, Legendaries, and Relics, and many more fixes and tweaks.


Chief among these changes is a Devotion overhaul. During the Beta, we noticed a few issues with its current implementation. Players would often try to max out an altar as soon as it was found, players would not engage with the offering hints, and players would tear apart buildings to grant offerings. This resulted in a mostly unsatisfying process where the enjoyment was frontloaded; you'd have fun figuring out what to offer, and then spend however long trying to gather as much of that item as possible in as short a time as possible.


Our new approach has a few important changes:

  • Greatly reducing the amount of accepted items (most deities accepted 20 different items before, now they only accept 8)

  • Making offering hints a lot more obvious

What this enables is a Devotion system that is less based on player intuition, and instead focuses on allowing players to follow these hints and explore the world to find what a deity would enjoy. Players are, hopefully, less likely to max out an altar as fast as possible and instead engage with the world on a deeper level, looking for the different items their chosen deity preferred. This does mean that maxing out an altar is a longer process that will take multiple trips over the course of a playthrough, but while this new system does have some issues that we aim to solve in future patches, we believe it is a stronger basis to build Devotion off of.


First and foremost, we want player feedback on this new approach. Keep an open mind as you engage with it, but be sure to give honest, direct, and constructive criticism.


We're hoping to have this patch out before Christmas, but of course, I cannot make any promises. If you're looking to do a second playthrough or play 2.2 for the first time, I would suggest waiting. We want as much feedback on the changes as possible, and there's a lot of important tweaks and fixes that we believe will improve the experience.

 

BEYOND 2.2


So, what're our plans once 2.2's fully released? Well, we're really hoping to port the update to Minecraft 1.20 as soon as possible. This update, tentatively called 2.2.1, will bring with it much more optimized code and an overall smoother experience (our favorite reptilian boss should work much better). Most of these changes will be backend, so don't expect much new content. You'll be able to find Smithing Templates and Sniffers, but new block types will be found only through new traders, and more significant features like the Warden, archaeology, and increased world height/depth will have to wait for 2.3.


About that - 2.3! As you might've heard, the dev team has started work on our next major update. Yes, before our current one is even out! Currently, we only have the build team working on the update, so no resources are being diverted away from 2.2 development. Builders have had nothing to do for the past year, so excuse us for getting a bit eager. We would've started sooner if we could!


Briefly, I would like to cover our core design pillars for 2.3. Basically, it outlines what we aim to achieve and ties together the themes of the update. I will not elaborate on the specifics of what these mean and will save that for a future blogpost... but you'll get the gist of it.

  1. Revitalizing older experiences

  2. Bringing life (and death) to the world

  3. Putting the "survival" back into "survival-adventure"

  4. Post-75% improvements

Additionally, expect more transparency on what exactly 2.3 will entail. The update is much less focused on new content compared to 2.2, so we're more comfortable sharing the nitty gritty details. There'll still be plenty of surprises, but don't expect... y'know. If you know, you know.


We're also much more dedicated to keeping the scope of 2.3 in check. Do not expect something the size of 2.2 ever again. As wonderful as updates that size can be, we want to release content at a more regular cadence and sooner than later be 'done' with Drehmal. We want to move on to different projects at some point, and if we had another behemoth of an update planned, we'd be done in 2026 at the earliest.


That's all for this development update! Some words on 2.2's full release, what to expect in the first Beta patch (and why it has taken so long), and what to expect post-2.2. Thank you for reading and playing!


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