This is a somewhat different type of post, there is a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment and so I feel it’s appropriate to say a few words.
As many of you will know HWS has been around a long time now, very close to when the game actually was released way back in Pre-Alpha.
Since the start the server has come a long, long way…with a huge amount of dedication from our founder RexXxuS and co-founder Jascha. We are where we are today through thousands of hours of work, Hundreds of feedback posts from the community and most important hundreds of loyal and new supporters that keep us alive by playing on the server and through donations.
I’ve been knocking around over a year and since becoming and Admin about 10 months ago I have dedicated a lot of my time to help keep this amazing creation going. We have over the past months grown and have a great new member to the team who most of you know, that is Hopscotch.
Now we all know how much you guys appreciate the work we put it, this is what drives us, The idea that we are bringing a great community together where they can have great fun together and become a part of this amazing journey.
So, with that said, we are always looking at developing, making things better…ultimately…for all of you guys.
What makes us?
What makes us unique, apart from the active and dedicated admins there is a lot…a few here just to mention
We have some awesome and unique features such as Orbital Cargo Drone
We Put a lot of thought into the universe and create missions, Role play and experiences you can’t get elsewhere such as Reputation system, the different unique origins.
We cater for as many people as we can to play the way they want
We have a website, we allow you to manage the game outside the game and in it with HWS connect and the active forum
And a lot more…
Whats the story?
HWS is always looking at developing and giving more and more, Every season we add lots and lots as the game grows we grow, We get more numbers wanting to get involved in the game and we see the crazy number of 177 players online at once on EU.
This is always what drives us, It’s amazing and we enjoy it…but
We have a problem
The more working parts you add, the more problems you encounter. This is true as in life and it is true here.
Since 2,5+ years everything always starts for me on paper…
HWS 1 universe found at least in my analog archieve:
Any of you remember this?
Back then HWS was simple but complex, Simple in that from an admin side besides are features the only in game things we had to worry about was universe set up, changing the biomes to look cool and what should be set to PVE/PVP…then it was just down to helping players in game.
Complex because we had our innovative features that where for ever being worked on to add more depth to a game that had very little.
This is where I joined and played, I fell in love with HWS and the features and it was awesome, I could check my bank every day and see how much interest I got…I could play around with my OCD managing items things where great…I mean if we had 40 players on it was a great night, so many people we thought!
I loved PVE and PVP…Performance was an issue, but not really a game breaking one…yes there where bugs, but that didn’t stop me and really the biggest stress I had was finding players to fight, it was a large universe and most of the planets where empty…apart from those carebears that never leave PVE I used to think
But this for me, was and still is my favourite universe. It was easy. Build. Fight, rebuild.
So then this came…
Wow, It was massive…we had new features added, we had so many more planets, we had a HWS campaign…I mean it was daunting, so much to explore!!
I remember day 1…performance was bad, a lot of rage quits…
like 2.0 the universe design was simple, What resources should be where, what POI should go here…I mean it would take Rex maybe 1 week to build the universe and we had a lot of features but again all was very manageable for the players and the admin staff. It was always then just the in game help that players needed that was the focus.
Then this bad boy came
Like the ones before it wasn’t too hard to make, I mean you have 2 choices at the start, do I go PVE or PVP…
We introduced as always new things, Origin planets, Donator planets, gold planet (the first real HUB for PVP fights)
You decided what Origin you wanted to be, but no no it wasn’t as easy as selecting you had to put a certain character in your faction name. So Traders your faction would be SAT, MAT, DAT and you would need the word ‘Trader’ or ‘Traders’ in the name…this is how much work had gone in behind the scenes, We could actually push the story and role play…was it exploitable, hell yea…but it was leaps ahead what the game was doing.
Again like with the past builds it had its pros and cons and its problems, We found performance was an issue as always but it was manageable, we had wipes and introduced limits of BA,SV, CV so things could run as smooth as possible. Again yes there was bugs with the official builds that always hindered our progress and made more work but never anything that wasn’t manageable.
The next one was this…
So much progress, we had implemented so many more features, EGS, HWS garage…the official origins meant unique starters for all…a lot of work went into this bad boy. The universe was BIG and donator planets grew which helped us to maintain.
Again the number one problem with our progress…performance…let down always our ambition by the reality of this Alpha game.
Still we live and we learn, We work hard…try to always make so much for the players, thinking about performance but not letting it guide the way totally.
At this point the game was changing a lot and our work load was getting more and more, The more Eleon added, the more Admins were required to help the players with bugs, The more features we added the more time to fine tune, bug fix, the more overall changes the more we had to work…the hours become more and more.
Then after a long 6 months…6.0 finally arrives
So here we are now, and here comes the main reason for the post.
The patch was huge, unlike anything we have EVER had before, this meant not a week or so prep of the universe, it meant MONTHS of work to make sure we could adapt to all the changes…we had our own HWS features and ideas and wanted to implement them so again we had to allow time for this, each time changes come officially in the closed versions we have to change things here and there…To really say how much time I cannot, personally maybe it took over 300 hours.
We have a great universe, great features and an ever growing community…
So whats the issue?
We have always had problems with performance, but this is intense, things are not working as they should, our tool is at 100%. The server CPU is at 100%… and more so, our founder Rex is at 200%…
So it’s not just about performance…
We are all really feeling it at the moment, we can’t keep up…such a small team and so much to contend with it consumes any spare time we have. What started as a passion is becoming something that consumes all life…
Rex is super human, but he is human…and us others, we have real life to contend with also like the rest of you, I work 11 hour days in the shitty real world and what used to be my escape (HWS Admin), is becoming more of a prison job.
Now don’t me wrong, I and we are not giving up, but let’s just say how things are, they are not manageable. They are not stable, for the server things aren’t stable and in real life things are not stable.
So the reason I show you the past and the start of it all is simple, What started as something out of passion and was manageable is something that has grown well above expectation, The game has developed way more than any of us could of bet and HWS has a massive amazing community that has grown with it, The only thing that hasn’t grown much is the team, We are now 4 people instead of 3.
So what does this all mean?
There is going to be some changes coming, what changes we can’t say just yet. The focus will be on these areas
PERFORMANCE = without this being stable, Things will go south very quick.
MANAGEMENT = The real life cost, There is so much now we have to contend with it really does take up so much time and we are missing out on doing what is most important as an admin…helping the players.
What kind of changes may we have to implement?
Universe size - Open playfields is a massive problem for performance, the more open…the worse it is. We may focus on a smaller universe filled with very detailed and thought out planets and areas that you WILL want to explore.
Donator planets - Linked with the one above, We really do rely on donations to run the servers, but, with 14 extra open playfields…it kills the performance. So these may come under review.
Wipes - Now that we can display loads of details about playfields, we can have wipes and the players can see. They just open up the map where as before it meant logging in here. Perhaps we can have special zones that wipe every few weeks.
Indestructible terrain - Personally I love digging, we should definitely always have this but on some playfields going forward it will be essential to have indestructible terrain on some NONE wipe planets.
Number of players able to join the server - This is hopefully only something that would be temporary. If we make changes to other areas this should only ever be temp, right now on EU we allow 177 players.
This is maybe the biggest one, our job as ADMIN is to help you. Help with bugs, help with making the server the best it can be. Right now, we are fighting a losing battle. So many dramas we have a list of hundreds and messages from lots of players in need of help/advice/questions.
We need to find a way that this can become our priority once again, so we will have time to put you first. So changes will be coming so that if we log on in an evening, we can spend 2 hours helping you guys…not 2 hours trying to fix things the whole time you get ignored and frustrated with the performance and the lack of help
The aim of this post is to just try and show people the reasons why things need to change, So that when they come it isn’t met with hostility and negativity.
Looking to the future you can expect a better performing server with all our features that we have nice and polished, A universe that may not be huge but will have so much to offer and excite you, a fantastic balance of PVP and PVE and a story that you will love to jump into, an up to date guide that you know won’t change every month and be a centre of confusion and you will have admins that can help you out with the real sucky things that an Alpha game brings.
Please over the next month or so be patient as a lot of these things are not quick fixes, expect to see the first real massive step coming in HWS 6.0 Season 2
How can you help?
Let us know what you think, Changes will be coming, let us know what changes you’d like to see and what things you really don’t want to change.
always considering what is best for the server, not just 1 player.
Thanks for reading