Here we go with another Not a Blog! Sorry for the delay on this.
Here's what's up-
I was out of town Monday and Tuesday for my mother's birthday, so I did a lot of make-up during the late evenings and the weekend. I'll go into the most detail about what I did, because that's what I know firsthand, and a rough idea of what others were doing (although they could go into much finer detail than I can)
I'm close to wrapping polish on Act 2. All area spawnclasses, monsters, and champ packs are 'done'. ( Although I usually end up adding a few new variants for remaining boss battles )
I completed a polish pass on two boss battles. (Well, I'm completing the second half of one this evening, but it should be done for tomorrow )
I have 2 boss battles remaining to complete, and 3 special desert champions for an event need some love. I also need to set up a proper 'collapse' particle system for sand constructs.
I completed polish work on 4 monsters, and added 3 new monster variants that I felt were needed to flesh out the spawnclasses in some areas.
I also added random tornados to the southern region of Act 2 Part 2 that can spring up and damage you, and 'Nether Storms' for another area that I'm not going to go into much detail about.
I switched gears a little to implement a handful of tier bonus upgrades ( i.e. fancier versions of the tier bonuses we already had ) for the Embermage, and those went pretty quickly.
I fixed a random assortment of bugs ( an animated particle bug, some issues with teleportation resistance when applied to yourself, various other odds and ends )
I tuned up various particles, sounds, and camera shakes on some act 2 events to have a little more punch (or where they didn't exist, but should have). I fixed some quest bugs. I updated several old and over-blurry particle systems to make them less spammy.
Other stuff that happened this week - (not a complete list, just stuff I'm picking out from memory )
During the beta we decided that we were going to merge the functionality of Waypoints and Town Portals, so that they were more useful in general. This week Matt got that taken care of.
Now, if you open a Town Portal, you can use it just like a Waypoint - you can jump to any other Waypoint in the act, or the town, or directly to another player or another player's portal. This lets you skip a trip back to town to perform direct player or Waypoint warps and is just nicer overall.
Now you have Waypoint Scrolls instead of Town Portal Scrolls as a result.
Matt also fixed some issues with weapon-skill synchronization when skills are cast by an item in multiplayer.
Matt added random affixes to endgame maps.
Patrick set up a few new 'camp' events in Act 2 with some of the newer monster setups and spawners, and added some cool new visual FX to the unmentioned area with the Nether Storms.
Greg set it up so that recipes at the item combiner can be hidden until they are performed once.
Matt Uelmen put together a lot of new background ambient audio and Patrick integrated that between the areas.
Marsh continued his work in Act 3 and made good progress - (he is working this weekend too) - I'm sure there are a ton of specific details to this but I don't have them in front of me at present.
Erich added some new boss-specific loot.
Continued polish on all fronts in all departments.
To give you an idea about what sort of stuff we are touching - most everything we are changing is media related ( layouts, monster data, particles, abilities, events ), with very little code altered - here are some quick numbers -
Since last Friday there have been 475 Media checkins ( that isn't actually a file count - it's a source-control checkin, and each one can be comprised of a number of files, or just 1 - they are very roughly comparable to a 'task' though ) These can be incredibly trivial ( like fixing a spelling mistake ) or a big deal ( a slew of files related to a boss battle or event, and there are many, many files associated with a given event, from layouts, to particles, to unit data, to spawnclasses, and so on )
There have been only 71 source checkins ( these are primarily bugfixes, and the aforementioned changes for waypoints/town portals and recipes. A task can often have multiple checkins associated with it, and then rounds of bugfixes after implementation. )
In the upcoming week, it is my aim to complete Act 2 polish entirely if I can, and then to do go through all the class skills and do a tier polish pass - then I will move on to help Marsh out in his pass on Act 3. Then we'll both jump to Act 4 and polish the last short stretch of the game together, doing some passes through NG+ stuff as we do ( Matt will be working on that as well, probably while we're still wrapping Act 3 ). After that, well, we're done.
Next week QA will be hitting Act 2 hard now that it is nearly tied off, looking for balance issues and any progression bugs that may have cropped up due to my changes, or obscure network issues with scripted events ( the more complicated they are, the more testing they require in multiplayer )
Hopefully that gives you a pretty good idea of what we're up to, and you can get a sense of how far down the field we move each week based on previous posts. I hope it also gives you a general sense of the items that remain to be done before ship. Sorry I don't have a sweet infographic this week! Too busy just workin' on the game.