Wyvern Beta Test
Wyvern is in Beta Test. I had various specific goals before I was ready to put the game into Beta Test. Here's a brief summary:
- Accessibility - just about anyone can play the
game now, including on the Macintosh (OS/X). I have
not heard any reports (for months) of people not being
able to play the game, since I deployed the
Java WebStart Client.
There are now also installers
available for all platforms that support Java.
- Data Integrity - we no longer have problems with
getting corrupted player files or vaults. There are
a few (very rare) cases of people losing inventory items,
but it happens so infrequently that we can deal with them
on an individual basis.
- Server Stability - the server is remarkably stable.
The game crashes very rarely - only maybe once a month, if
that. And when the game does go down, it resets itself
automatically. We've only had one extended outage (longer
than 20 minutes) in the past 3 months, and it was my fault
for forgetting to restart the watchdog process. My ISP has
glitches now and again, sometimes lasting an hour or two,
but they are rare, and I think that overall they're quite
- Performance - I've put a lot of work into the game's
performance in the past 3 months, both client-side and
server-side. The game plays well over a 28.8 modem, and
we've never had enough players online to make the server
lag - it would take over 50 at once, all fighting or
running around. Also, the wizard Caius has come up with
some performance enhancements that should allow us to
support well over 500 players on the same server.
- Ease of Use - the game is still tricky to learn,
and could be made better. However, the player community
is quick to teach new people how to play, so I haven't
had a lot of people complain about the usability. The
game richly rewards those who take the time to learn it.
- Game Balance - this is a neverending, multifaceted
problem. Parts of the game are still too easy or too
hard. However, it's balanced enough to keep people
playing it for months without getting bored, so I'd say
the balance is good enough for Beta.
- Wizard Support - we've got several Wizards, all
of whom are creating new areas for the game. There is
definitely more work to do here, and this will be the
primary focus of my development efforts during Beta test.
However, the fact that we've got an active wiz community
just proves that the game has reached at least a Beta
level of quality.
- Features - we continue to add new features to the
game, and there are lots more I want to add during Beta.
But realistically, we will always be adding new
features, and we've definitely got enough content to be
competitive with most of the other online RPGs out there.
- Bugs - yes, the game still has tons of bugs. That's
to be expected from a system of this size and complexity
(over 400,000 lines of code and counting!) However, most
of the really critical bugs have been fixed, and at this
point I'm fixing medium-severity issues, so I feel it's
OK to put the game into Beta test. Hopefully our players