Hello everyone - I hope you have all had a nice January!

18.7 On The Horizon

The past several weeks have been devoted to making 18.7 ready to step back into the spotlight. The 18.7.0 patch will be one of the largest patches to drop in quite some time, with a list of changes that would rival a booster pack or expansion. Perhaps the largest two items to be delivered with this patch is an updated New Player Experience, as well as a round of profession rebalancing. This patch holds a lot of personal significance, as it represents efforts of many members of the AO development team, past and present; I still clearly remember the early planning meetings for the New Player Experience, and sitting through lengthy meetings regarding systems changes. Sentimentality aside, this will be a patch of considerable size and reach, which we are very eager to release onto Testlive. This is something I intend to see happen within the next couple of weeks.

As a note, the initial patch is mostly to collect the systems changes that have been performed since the last 18.7 Testlive patch and now, and making them available to be tested and reviewed. Changes to the New Player Experience, as well as some general changes on the to-do list, will not be present initially, but will hopefully arrive over the course of February.

With regards to the rebalance changes themselves, I will be open to criticism, and will expect a fair amount of feedback. We have started initiating a number of new Professionals, who I greatly look forward to working with, and I hope to fill some of the remaining vacancies once these changes start reaching Testlive. Once again, thank you to everyone who provided 18.7 feedback - Many of the modifications made were directly inspired by our Professionals and general feedback.

This round of systems changes will affect many breed/profession perks, profession nanos, and introduce some item changes to reflect some of the aforementioned perk/nano changes. I will leave the specifics of the changes to the Update Notes posts, to allow for the full extent of the changes to be viewed at once.

Many new and exciting changes are coming. Overall, this round of systems changes is a compilation of the original rebalance documents, changes made in the previous 18.7 version, and some long-term wish list requests. I look forward to unleashing this patch to the masses, and making 18.7 something that we all will enjoy and look forward to.

Valentine's Day

It is nearing that time of year again when everyone seems to turn heart-shaped and perhaps a shade of red or pink. Valentine's Day will be returning to Rubi-Ka starting mid-February, and will last until the start of March. Adrienne Lefebvre, Qi Qiao Jie, and a small cast of other familiar characters will be making their annual appearances. Also, all subscribing accounts will receive a free reward for logging in during this period of time - Be sure to claim it while you can!

Until Next Time...

That's all I have for now. Thank you all, congratulations to our new Professionals, and I hope to see you on Testlive once it has been patched up to 18.7.

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