Welcome to the first development update for the 2023 edition of our TBC realm Netherwing! Here we’ll talk a bit about what we’ve been working on in the past few months and what our current development plans are.
First things first, a lot of you are probably wondering when the next patch drops so here we go: Patch 2.1 will be released on the 30th of August, with Black Temple and Mount Hyjal raids becoming available a week later, on the 6th of September! We decided to split the raids from the rest of the content that comes with the patch to let the players take it slow and give them additional time to prepare and get attuned to the raids without having to rush. An extra week should be enough to get started on the new reputations, items and dailies before the assault on the Black Citadel begins.
Now let’s get into the fun part with actual development stuff. To start things off, I recently decided to backport the entire transport system from AtlantissCore3 (WotLK) I’ve been working on the year prior. If you’re not aware of what transports are, they are basically special GameObjects that are meant to transport the player from A to B, for example all kinds of elevators, lifts, Deeprun Tram (all TRANSPORT) as well as ships and zeppelins (MAP_OBJ_TRANSPORT). While the latter type ones should work more or less the same as before (since it’s something we’ve worked on back in Netherwing Alpha days and later ported to WotLK), it’s mainly the elevators that had a few issues. Primarily, the biggest problem was the server-side tracking of the transports’ exact position - WoW emulators only really update it on each node of the path, meaning there is a serious discrepancy between where the server saw the transport to be and where it actually was, leading to situations where jumping on a fast moving elevator (SSC comes to mind) would cause the players to die, as their position would not be updated frequently enough and the server would think the height they covered with their jump and fall would be way larger than it actually was. With proper position generation and constant updates, this issue should now be solved or at the very least be greatly reduced and much rarer. Additionally, some bugs where pets wouldn’t stick to ships/zeppelins after teleport or the server/client location of the elevators would be desynchronized have been fixed as well. All of these changes would be more visible if TBC had Strand of the Ancients or some other stoppable transports from WotLK to showcase it but oh well. Some generic elevators will have to do for now.
We started working on getting all the world events up and running. Back in April we checked off Noblegarden (it’s quite small in TBC, but still), we backported WotLK changes to the event system to get proper Darkmoon Faire appearances, as well as scripted Midsummer (no Ahune until 2.4, sorry!) and the weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza in all its glory - proper gossips, spawn locations, quest rewards (including dynamically scaling money reward based on player level), event promoters and more. We hope to rework the remaining world events as well, though it’s a time-consuming process and they’re usually not the highest on the list of current priorities. For now, enjoy some fishing in Stranglethorn!
Though not as important in TBC, we still want to make sure that players can attempt old content and acquire any valuable legacy items and recipes. Before launch, both Temple of Ahn’Qiraj and Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj were entirely rewritten from scratch, and recently Stratholme and Scholomance got full reworks as well, naturally encompassing all events (like Baron Run), AI cleanup, flags, health and damage values, rare bosses, instance state saves and management and more. Additionally, we corrected some issues (mainly mob health and damage) here and there in BWL, ZG and Naxxramas. We also enabled a number of old quests and completely rewritten Silithus Wind Stones handling. Next things on the Vanilla rework agenda include Dire Maul and BRD, so please look forward to that!
To address some concerns in PvP regarding resists and misses that have been continuously put forward since the first iteration of Netherwing, we implemented a system that displays all variables included in the spell hit calculations so every player can see for themselves what the hit/miss chances were and what contributed towards them. This facilitates both potential bug searching as well as providing transparency and clearing doubts for anyone who was adamant that something had to be wrong. So far since this system was added we haven’t had a single case of anyone spotting any inconsistencies or issues and all the math seems to check out, which leads us to believe it’s never been us that had a poor implementation of resistances but perhaps other servers which players seemed to revere purely because the lack of proper mechanics resulted in fewer resists and other inconveniences…
We never expected the population to grow this large, and so with the server reaching over 8000-9000 online players naturally some pesky lags started to appear. We have already optimized some troublesome areas and we continue to work on further improvements to the server performance. During the past few months we have also fixed several crashes and we continue to clear them out whenever any new ones appear. Aside from a few rare occurrences we are quite satisfied with the server’s stability.
Apart from all the aforementioned changes, we also fixed numerous bugs since launch, ranging from quest bugs, PvE bugs, npc bugs, class issues, core mechanics, missing features, item bugs and more. We also started working on a few core system reworks and getting rid of some nasty legacy code to facilitate further improvements. The work is never over but we’ll continue to work and improve the server. Apologies for the delay in the custom client release - we know how much you want stuff like increased nameplate range and we want to provide that to you as soon as possible as well, but we made several revisions to how we wanted it to work as well as changed the scope of the changes, so it’s taking more time than we anticipated. Please stay patient, we are still working on it and making sure that everything functions as intended. That’s it for this Dev Update! There’s probably a bunch of things I forgot to mention or just skimmed through while they deserved a more detailed explanation but we’ve made so many changes in the past few months it’s hard to keep track of everything. Still, hope you enjoyed reading it and we wish you all best of luck in the upcoming 2.1 Patch!
Wolfenstein & Stormforge Team.