The development team has been slowly trucking away towards the release of the XP leveling system and as it stands on the pre-release branch it’s looking as though it’s nearly ready to go. The team has advised in their recent DevBlog that they’re aiming for the next forced wipe happening on the 8th of July (AEST/Brisbane) but it’s not completely set in stone, more a goal, so we’ll see what happens. We’re keen to get in and play the thing when it’s live to see how it’s going to change the gameplay dynamic. The system has been designed to reward more community-based members and stop people getting too powerful too fast, we shall see.
Coming with the next forced wipe the team will be introducing the new Barren map as an option for server owners. It’s another procedural map of around 3000m2 but it has no grass, bushes, and rock décor. You’ll still find the regular things like Trees, Ore, Water (of course), etc., but with the decor missing it’s been designed to give players with potato PCs a bit of a performance boost. We won’t be running the Barren map on our servers but if you’re interested jump into the server browser and search for it to try it out. We’ve jumped onto the pre-release branch to test it out and it’s super bare. Coming from a populated map with décor it’s really weird going to one with none at all but the performance increase was real and we saw a rough 10fps increase on average. Your mileage will probably vary.
Decay has been one of those features the team has tweaked constantly over time and even switch on and off from time to time but never really perfected. With this update further tweaks have been made to the decay system to allow server owners to easily scale it to meet their needs. The decay system was introduced to help high population servers clear away abandoned bases thus reducing the entity count which when it gets too high can cause all sorts of issues. With this update deployable decay has been tweaked so that most of them will have a 2-day decay delay (the time before they’ll start to decay if you don’t use them), and 2-day decay duration (the time it takes to fully break once decay starts). Boxes and furnaces have a delay of 2 days and duration of 4 days. We turn decay off on our servers; our entity counts aren’t high enough to bother with them but as we get busier and busier that might change. If we do enable it we’ll probably adjust the scale so things don’t decay quickly as that keeps people busy repairing constantly.
Next week we should be hopefully seeing the introduction of the new music system that’s been under constant development for months now. The different tracks for different moods are really cool and Alex has been spending a huge amount of time getting it right. Atmospheric elements like music can really make a huge change to how the game is perceived and we’re looking forward to trying it out. It sounds like it’ll be disabled by default but something you can turn on if you want to try it.
Finally, we’ve hit one of those funny wipe cycles where the first Thursday/Friday differs depending on where you are in the world so as a result this wipe cycle gets an extra week.