KaiyonAlatar graciously asked a few of the alpha testers to be guest bloggers to share some experiences from our point of view. Hope you enjoy our articles from the “other side”.
I have to say, I distinctly remember when one of the Alphateers entered the game for the first time, and I was chuckling with glee as they posted to global (and frankly was also shocked at the time that the game did not crash since global was still being a bit persnickety at the time). The global chat box was filled with OMG’s and Squee’s at the total excitement of this new player. I think I enjoyed it so much because it was it was exactly the way I felt the first time I entered Eleven, but I did not vocalize it to the group. Truth be told, it is how I feel whenever there is an update with new stuff for us to test; except now, I am trying to be a bit better at sharing it with the other players and developers (devs) in global (which, by the way, is much more stable now – the game has come a long way in a few months).
So to write this article, I pondered back to my first day in the game. I remember choking up as the loading screen displayed and I heard that familiar tune. First, I was floored that I was a second round draft pick in Jan 2015. Since I did not really know this dev team, I honestly did not think I would be chosen until maybe closed Beta at the earliest. Second, I still could not believe that the game was being rebuilt. Third, I was excited beyond words since in a few moments I was going to experience the game again.
While waiting for the game to load, I remembered the “’Two Years Past’ or ‘Welcome Home’” blog by KaiyonAlatar that talked about being able to “roam a single street”, “having a long way to go”, and “the most minimal of functions” when they allowed the original alpha testers into the game in Dec 2014. So I thought when I got into the game, I would just see Gregarious Grange and that would probably be it. Maybe, if we were super fortunate at this stage (only a month later), they might have all of Groddle Meadow rebuilt. I remember being a late Alpha tester for Glitch and all we had was Groddle, Ix, and Uralia. So, being in early Alpha for this rebuild, I was expecting that we would all be predominately running around the one street, and just happy to see the game working and having fun with the other testers. It would be a big bonus if we could interact with the various items in game, and huge if we could roam around all of Groddle Meadow. I was nervous because I did not want to be disappointed with my grand expectations.
Holy moly!! Did I completely underestimate the progress this dev team has made – silly me. I could not believe that most of the persistent part of Ur was available to us to run through – not just Gregarious Grange, but ALL of the main map and the Ilmenskie areas. WOW! And then I had my own first day OMG and Squee moments…
OMG, I could change streets, and explore most of Ur again!
OMG, I could water trees.
OMG, I could pet trees.
OMG, I could harvest trees.
Squee, there were cool sounds (some that I didn’t remember) when harvesting trees.
OMG, I could plant seeds in community plots.
OMG, I could dig for peat and scrape barnacles.
OMG, the vendors were around, and I could purchase things from them.
OMG, bags, bags and more bags…and toolboxes too!
Squee, I could jump!
OMG, upgrade cards.
Squee, I could make food and drinks!
OMG, mining worked too!
When I started, we were not able to collect quoins. Oh how they taunted us. Hanging there so pretty. We could jump, but it did not have any effect since “collisions” were not implemented yet. Eventually with one of the updates, the quoins did not taunt us any longer, and we were able to interact with them, along with various other portals. It was amazing to see how many things were interconnected based on the way we interacted with them in the game.
Squee, I could jump for quoins again.
OMG, I could now jump into the Big Hole to Ix.
OMG, I could climb the ladder to Groddle and get into Groddle instead of being stopped at the top.
OMG, I could now jump into the snow storm and enter the Wintry Place.
OMG, the dust traps now worked…which meant…Squee we now had herb seeds!!
In the early days of testing, we did not have animals (so sad), and the devs would drop us resources in Gregarious Grange. There were piles of meat, milk, and bales of grain that had to be regularly dropped off so we could test out recipes. Boy, we hated bugging the devs for more stuff to be dropped off since we all knew they had more important things to do to get the game running. At one point, they provided us a tester tool and one of the menu choices was “items” which provided us a stack of that item (meat, milk, grain, emblems, fiber, etc) into our inventories. Finally, the devs no longer had to babysit us for our perpetual resource demands. Eventually, when animals were added to the game, it brought a whole new set of OMG’s and Squee’s.
OMG, I could pet piggies.
OMG, I could nibble piggies.
OMG, I got bacon as an alternate drop to meat from piggies.
Squee, I could squeeze chickens.
Whoa, I could butter up chickens (when did that happen?).
OMG, I could massage and milk butterflies.
Squee, I can pet the helikitties!
Aw, the helikitties purr when you pet them!
However, even though we had animals, we were not able to interact with them in the ways we were used to because we still had some issues with the skills trees. So, the developers provided the testers a special option on our tester tool to be able to complete formerly uncompleteable skills (long story for another blog post maybe). We are now able to learn the higher level animal skills, and even more OMG’s and Squee’s were introduced.
OMG, I could name a whole street of piggies after famous Bacons – Kevin, Sir Francis, Nathaniel (yes, that is usually me).
OMG, I could name the butterflies “Flutter By” again (guilty).
OMG, I could name the chickens evil names because they still will not incubate our eggs yet.
OMG, I can finally get snails by feeding metal to sloths!
Squee, the sloths spit snails again!
There is so much that works in the game now. I cannot really begin to list everything. I still marvel at all the things we CAN do. In just the past few months, so many more things are working than when I first got into the game. While there are still many things for the devs to implement, they have come a long way to piecing Ur back together again for all of us. It is a glorious sight to behold, and they have done an amazing job to get Eleven to where it is today.
But, I am just wondering, what do you think will be your big OMG or Squee when you get back into the game?