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The Updated Road Map is Here!

At long last, here is our updated roadmap. We are already hard at work on many of the things we need, but the thing we’ll need the most is out of our hands: Feedback and bug reports. You are both the secret weapon and the secret ingredient.

Here’s the plan so far. In June, after a patch or two, we will move into what we are calling “Open Beta.” We will be at a point where we need to start addressing the issues we can only find with lots of people. What this means in practice is that we’ll start handing out free trial keys very freely. I especially want to hear from guilds and guild masters in order to do some large group testing before the real free for all begins.

Assuming that goes well, in July we’ll close down sales for one week, so we can wipe the servers one last time and give all of you a one week head start on the land rush.

What will follow that one week is what we are calling Early Access, although we will not be part of Steam’s early access program. No MMO is ever finished, but at that point in the plan, we will have all of our launch systems in place. There will be balance issues and bugs, and probably a rollback or two (meaning we reset the game to a point a few hours in the past to undo the effects of a major problem), but it will be time to start building the living world that is Aria.

And time to start giving out the some of the various rewards for our Kickstarter and Founder’s Pack friends, who made this whole thing possible. Furniture, pets, titles, and virtual clothes are first out of the gate; more information on each reward to come as we get them out the door.

You’ll notice that what isn’t on the roadmap is the Steam launch or the big marketing push. That’s because it all depends on what the spring and summer bring. Our target is still this autumn. We only get one shot at going live on Steam, and we need to make sure the game is ready for an audience that has never heard of us.

That’s not to say new community server administrators won’t be able to join the game until autumn. We’re talking about ways to ease in a few new faces, but that won’t be until after we can upgrade the tools to make the magic happen.

What do you think? Are you in?

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