Hello everyone,

For over a month now I have been suffering from a constant headache that has totally consumed my life, I’ve had time off of work, lots of tests done and spent a lot of time at home being very unproductive. The root cause of this is still unknown and my diagnosis continues, but I have learned to manage it a bit and as such will resume working on Mirage in my free time when I feel up to it.

A new rule is coming into effect this weekend

The first order of business is a significant change to the rules, that is, a new rule is being added. Rule 10 makes it against the rules to have more than one account logged in at any time outside of town, let’s take a quick look at it:


10. Using multiple clients
Mirage is designed so you can meet other players and interact socially, it is not intended that players will have lots of accounts (or “alts” as they are called) that they use to help give themselves an advantage. As such, any player found to be using their own alt accounts to gain an advantage will have all of their accounts immediately permanently banned without warning. As such, you are under no circumstances allowed to:


– Log in on multiple accounts outside of town at the same time

This rule is very specific, and allows you to use an alt account to work around some features lacking in the game. You are allowed to:

– Have an alt online in town to buy / sell items
– Have an alt online in town to transfer items between characters
– Have an alt online in town to chat with other players

The realm rules

This rule is coming into full affect as of Saturday the 20th of April 2019, and is aimed at forcing people to play together more. This is a zero tolerance policy and players will be perma-banned when they are caught so please read, understand, and adhere to this new policy if you value your heroes!

Roadmap for the future

I have taken some time to look at what the game currently is, and what I want to do to progress it. As such I now have a roadmap for the next few months of what I would like to achieve, and I thought it might be nice if I shared that with you guys. As always it is likely over-ambitious, but I’m an overly ambitious guy.

April

  • Client networking overhaul
  • EXP calculation pass for mobs
  • Currency calculation pass for mobs
  • DB migration to liquibase
  • Bug fix sweep

May

  • Party System
  • In-App Purchases
  • Find and hire an Accountant
  • Link to rules in-game

June

  • Technical debt sweep (code architecture)
  • Bug fix sweep
  • Unlock skills and stats for all classes
  • Block % applies to magic also
  • Internationalisation (multi-language client)

These are my own objectives as they are written on my whiteboard so some of it may not make sense. Let me explain them in order 🙂

The client networking overhaul is the second phase of the re-architecture of the server, and once it is done it will be way easier for me to add new features to the game in general so it is a big win for us to get that out of the way.

The EXP and currency calculation passes are actually going to involve implementing an algorithm that will assist me in auto-generating suggested EXP and money drops for mobs based on their stats. At the moment it is all entirely manual and guesswork, but I want it to always be better exp to hunt stronger things if you can and for some of the harder mobs to be a bit more forgiving with their currency drops.

The DB migration to liquibase automates what is currently an extremely manual process. Whenever I want to make even the slightest change to the items or monsters in Mirage that involves me performing a manual database migration of the specific tables that have changed over to a copy of the current live version of the database which is time consuming and error prone. Liquibase is a technology that allows me to fully automate database upgrades so this is going to be removing a huge barrier for getting content changes out faster.

The first bug fix sweep here will fix some really annoying things:

  • Line of sight checks not being both ways
  • Being disconnected when speaking to a shopkeeper from a distance when lagging
  • A bug that can result in you being desynchronized from game state if you logout with PZ lock as you switch between maps
  • Arrow usage not being accurate
  • Mobs being left standing with 0hp above their own bodies if you enter a map the same frame they are killed
  • The knight’s missing foot pixel!

So this month is really about continuing to tidy things up and continue with my mission to remove development obstacles and put us on the right footing for the future. The next month is a bit more impactful to players…

The party system! It is about a third complete at the moment however I am putting it off until after the client-side networking rewrite as it will greatly simplify the implementation. It is actually this that made me decide to stop in my tracks and get this out of the way as there is a lot of new packets to support this system.

In-App purchases are of course something we’ve all known is coming for a long time. I lost a lot of money due to the paypal issues, I lost all of the game money and most of my own savings so I am pretty keen to see something coming back in again. The scrolls you will be able to buy are already in-game and being given out to players as rewards for reporting bugs and such, this bit of work is to implement a store in-game so you can buy them using your google account. The scrolls that will be available at launch are:

  • Realm EXP event scroll
  • Realm skill training event scroll
  • Realm currency drop event scroll
  • Realm drop rate event scroll
  • Realm potion effectiveness event scroll
  • Gender change scroll
  • Rename character scroll

As this means there will be legitimate, actual money coming in (hopefully.. if anyone buys anything!) I am going to get myself an accountant and register Mirage as a business. This is the first real step towards making this game a legitimate thing and stepping away from the bedroom hobby project it has been for so long now.

Lastly, I will be adding a link from the menu to the in-game rules on the website to increase visibility for new players and possibly introducing a terms of service that you will have to digitally sign when you create an account.

June gives me a little bit of breathing room while I sit back and watch how the store and party system works in practise (remember you guys are alpha testers!) so I want to take the time to rewrite some large parts of game logic on the server that are a real problem – namely the way the combat system currently works. I need to do this in order to fix a few things like players being able to target stuff through a wall then nobody can push them despite the fact they aren’t actually attacking anything, and to pave the way for the skull system punishments (red skulls) and actual death penalties.

The bug fix sweep will be around fixing whatever new and wonderful things that are broken as a result of the party system, and internationalisation means making the client multi-lingual so you will no longer have to read everything in English. I will be looking for help from the community with translating everything as I am thick and only speak English and Java.

Unlocking skill and traits for all classes means everyone will have access to magic, distance and melee (regardless of class) and you will be able to equip whatever you like, the skills themselves will just train at vastly different speeds for each class so building a ranger mage will be possible but it might take you 15 years to get decent enough distance to make it work. As such, traits such as Accuracy, Crit and Block will be unlocked for all classes and will be able to drop on any gear.

That’s all I have to say for the time being, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who is watching and taking part in this project either just as a player or giving me feedback – I know on discord I can be… direct with you guys but honestly this game means so much to me and none of it would be possible without each and every one of you. Even the morons 🙂

All the best,
Liam

Hey everyone,

Another small weekend update here to address some things and continue to expand the hunting zones. A major problem over the last week has been the massive amount of player killing and giant balls of people training together in low level areas, blocking passage ways and preventing newer players from hunting. To address that, PVP has been removed from all zones pre-hell (there are 4 100×100 imp maps in Hell, go and train there!) and some low level areas have been further expanded.

  • PVP removed from all maps prior to hell
  • Cyclops mountain area much larger
  • Ember Wyrm mines area much larger
  • Extra Felwalkers area added
  • Various changes to mob distributions on maps
  • Abyss stairs are now surrounded by safe tiles
  • Fixes to behemoth furniture being walkable

There are no code fixes or changes going in this week as I am unwell with a headache that I have now had for nearly 3 weeks, I am seeing a neurologist tomorrow evening who can hopefully help me out. You can thank Mombi and Egon for the map updates here, and me for ruining training ermahgerd.

Stay classy,
Liam

Hello,

This morning despite the donations account being closed and donations not having been active for over a month, chargebacks started happening again from as far back as January. As my account is closed, I cannot simply respond and pay them off and paypal over the phone can’t think of a way to help me so this time rather than just take the hit and pay it off it looks like I get to have debt collectors chasing me for scammed money and possibly get to go to court when I refuse to hand it over. Excellent!

My initial reaction to this was to take the server down and just push Mirage out of my life as being bankrupted by some asshole in Brazil who thinks they are clever was really not my objective when I committed to spending tens of thousands of hours to developing something cool for free, so that’s what I did. After thinking about it a bit more though, my objective was to create something fun and although it is still early days I think I am achieving that, so tearing the game server down to shield myself from the stress of it simple existing is me spiting myself, and I think I wanted to do it so whoever it is that is taking all of this money from me and my family can’t play anymore – which is pretty short sighted and petty.

So, thinking logically about this, the game server will remain online and I am going to go to court against PayPal if I have to – because really, it is these guys that are the problem. I have done nothing wrong whatsoever, Mirage is totally non-profit, I am not a business, I am just a bloke building a thing that put in a mechanism so players could help out with the costs associated with running this stuff if they wanted, and some dickhead a million miles away has found a way of reversing that sentiment and costing me money. Paypal, instead of looking at the evidence, immediately get out their biggest gun and point it directly at me – wtf?

So yeah, this is going to go to debt collectors who will harass me and my family for months, and then yes, it will possibly go to court where I will likely lose because I know nothing about the legal system – but I’m happy to do it at this point, because fuck you paypal.

Just remember when you pass me homeless on the street to say hello!
Liam

Hiya, weekend update is here 🙂

  • Fixes for chat related kicks
  • Significantly toned down sprite scaling after level 100
  • Potions now weigh half as much
  • High level mobs currency drops increased
  • Hell is now 25x bigger
  • Felwalkers now 4x bigger
  • New behemoths zone
  • Engine updates to allow for new types of map linking

Careful, it’s easy to get lost down here

From the feedback we have received since the temporary dynamic party system went in it was clear the imp zone, hell and inferno were the most cramped and frustrating zones in the game to hunt. As such this underworld area is now absolutely massive and there should be plenty of space for you all to hunt peacefully. The felwalker zone has also been increased but we will be keeping an eye on if this needs increased further. Other zones such as Slimes, Spiders and Cyclopses will be getting increased further in the near future.

Cheers,

Mombi, Egon and Liam

Mid-week update time!

I know how much you guys love it when I just log in and boot everyone off without warning so here we are 🙂

I’m not where you think I am

  • Fix for NPC resists not showing
  • Donate button removed from portrait mode
  • Player details screen tidied up
  • Excess UI borders removed from all over the place
  • EXP bar transparency
  • Player enter / exit transition animations added
  • Abyss greatly expanded

This should hopefully be the start of a new trend of much smaller, granular updates being deployed more frequently. There are some quality of life changes here I have been wanting to do for a long time, the map transitions and sorting the excessive black lines around UI elements has been on my to-do list since day one. Expect more hunting zone expansions in the near future, as well as v1 of the party system coming soon.

Liam

Morning everyone,

Small hotfix release:

  • Training weapons can now hit a max of 1% of the target’s health
  • Training weapons now only take into account up to 50 offensive skill, further capping their max damage output
  • Training weapons can no longer CRIT
  • HP does not regenerate when using a training weapon
  • Combat cooldown reduced to 30 seconds
  • Defence stat increased in potency by 100%

Liam

Hey everyone,

This release is a big big change to how the game works so it is important you take a moment to read these patch notes carefully! The main major changes centre around the new transparent party system, so experience and loot is now given to the players who are most active in a fight rather than to everyone involved. A full party system will be added on top of these changes in the next major update, consider these changes the start of us steering into that system and putting an end to the 50 player afk death balls that have plagued mirage as of late.

  • Mobs now only reward experience to the blocker and top 5 damaging players
    • The experience calculation is now simply mob exp / number of players (max of 6)
    • All mobs have had their base exp significantly increased to compensate for this
    • High level mobs (such as behemoths and beyond) are now much easier to kill so you can take them as 6
  • Elite mobs have been removed from the game
  • All mobs have had their HP and damage reworked
  • Player damage dealt and taken is now calculated totally differently
    • Your skills are now much more important than your equipment
    • Everyone should now be hitting harder
  • Knight axe AOE removed (you could farm some insane exp on low mobs with it)
  • Various map fixes for all kinds of little map bugs
  • Fix for getting booted when sending short chat commands
  • Fix for weird client scaling errors all over the place (rolled back version of LibGDX)
  • Added new health and mana potions
    • Costs reworked
    • Weight reworked (You might now be over your carrying capacity as a result)
  • Standard combat lock increased to 1 minute
  • Fixes for the skull system going bonkers
  • Health and Mana regen now fixed at a standard rate rather than a percentage of max
  • Health and Mana regen is now always active, unless you are in a safe zone
  • Staffs mana usage tweaked – mages can now run out of mana
  • Currency drop rates increased across the board
  • Hedgehogs

This is by no means the final balance pass on mob exp / hp / damage so please report back anything you think seems a bit out of whack. I am going to work on a fair way of dynamically calculating what the EXP of a given mob should be based on its HP and skills for the next release, ensuring stronger mobs give more exp-per-hit to encourage you guys to always want to fight the hardest stuff you can. The state of play with this patch is manually tweaked based on test server feedback, so I’m sure there’s a few silly mistakes in there somewhere.

See you in-game,

Liam

Hiya!

I am extremely excited to announce the long-awaited deployment of the big back-end networking and database layer rewrite has now gone live!

A whole neeeew wooooooooooorld

Amongst other things, the big and obvious change for you guys is the roll-out of a world-revamp. Every zone has been reworked and redrawn, we wanted you guys to see the project is being taken seriously in 2019 and this is just a small taste of what is to come. Patch notes are as follows:

  • World revamp, all new world and graphics
  • Removal of /gender command
  • Donation system completely removed
  • Addition of event scrolls
  • You can no longer log in with account names, you must use your email address
  • The email relay service we use is now DNS authenticated
  • Complete rewrite of the server-side networking and packet handling
  • Complete rewrite of the server-side database layer
  • Migration to MariaDB
  • Friends list limited to 25 friends (your friends list has been wiped as a result)
  • Many bug fixes

The next update will be a fun interim update before I start work on migrating the client to use the new networking architecture the server now leverages, expect some new monsters and zones as well as balance and quality of life changes in the near future.

Please report any and all bugs you find on Discord!

Liam

Hey everyone,

Just a small update to say the server is back online. The issue with Paypal cost us a significant amount of capital but we have survived, there will be an update this weekend which will completely remove any and all traces of the donation system from the code base. I will post more information once that is live.

Thanks for your patience,

Liam

Hello everyone,

Unfortunately today I have had to take the server offline until further notice due to an issue with the PayPal donation system that is resulting in significant costs being incurred initially to the donation pot I use to fund the server, but also potentially if the costs get high enough to wipe that out to me personally also. I have a mortgage to pay and a family to look after, so as this looks like it could potentially threaten our financial security Mirage will be offline until I can evaluate the extent of the damage.

This is a very targeted and deliberate thing, I believe the intention was simply to get “free events”, however the additional costs incurred that are passed directly on to me are massive and PayPal has absolutely no protection around the sale of online services and though they can see what is happening and how they are doing what they are doing, their policy is to side with the consumer in online service cases and they cannot shield me from the fees so this could potentially really hurt me financially.

Mirage will be back online ASAP with the donation system ripped out, but please appreciate in the interim I have to act in the interest of my families financial security so until I know where we stand and the extent of the cost of this it is much safer for me to keep the server offline. I will manually trigger some donation events when the server comes back online to compensate for this period of downtime.

It goes without saying your characters, items etc are all safe and backed up and aren’t going anywhere.

Sincerest apologies,

Liam