News: Backer survey #2 highlights

Last week we completed the 2nd backer survey giving everyone who has backed the game on and purchased the game via Steam Early Access an opportunity to contribute and define Oort Online’s direction.

Let us start by saying that the data and comments we collect during this process are insanely useful. They often challenge decisions that we thought were obvious, and confirm items that we were unsure of. So if you’ve taken the time to respond – thank you!!

Firstly the next milestone goal.


We have unlocked this goal and are already making progress towards it. Expect to see some sneak peaks of Character Race developments in the coming days and weeks. We’re already exploring what this means.

Developing a smart feature roadmap

In the 1st Backer Survey we wanted to discover which high level features excited the community. This was helpful as it allowed us to really understand the domains that players wanted to see in the future. What was hot? But we didn’t really know when players wanted to see them. As the game currently stands the playable features are quite contained as we’ve been focusing on establishing the core MMO services and game engine. We have received lots of comments encouraging us to rapidly get deeper and more diverse gameplay systems and mechanics into Oort Online. We realised that there were definitely “now” features that players thought were essential to the core experience today. Players wanted these essential features to help them spread the news of Oort Online. Likewise, the most exciting features such as “Exploring mines, dungeons, castle, cities, temples”, whilst cool – might not be needed instantly – especially if they’ll take a considerable effort to deliver.

So where do we focus today? Which features progress the game the most today?

Likewise, which features do we believe are essential for a 1.0 release? These features are core to the game. Features that fall after 1.0 are probably nice to have – but not essential.

(The items are ordered by a weighting of [2x Now + 1x Before 1.0 – 1x Never]. This allows us to roughly balance the variation in the voting between the different options.)


Now we dive into a little more detail. We know the game will include combat, but what type of combat? We’ve heard requests for all sorts of styles and required skill levels. Also where is the divide between PvP and PvE? We are currently working on this area.

We already have the predictive logic in place for ranged combat, and we’re now exploring how we can populate the worlds with an endlessly varied collection of creatures to challenge, entertain and reward you. Clearly there is also an interest for something where the combat is a little more involved. Maybe you’ll think twice about wandering too far without your friends to keep you company? Maybe you’ll not dig too deep without being prepared to run home?


We also have a fairly regular request for players who want to host, maintain, mod and run their own servers using the Oort engine and server. We’ve commented on a few forum posts in this area and it is definitely part of our plans – we’ll share some more information soon.


It’s also worth commenting that we realise that the answers to the Vote#2 reflect the wishes of players who have already bought the game. We’re not ignoring potential players who haven’t bought the game – yet. Understanding why they’re holding off or looking elsewhere is also really important. Likewise the feedback we get from the forums, in the Steam community pages, on Twitter and face-to-face at game shows all gets rolling into the decision making process.

Please let us know in the comments if you think there is an area of the game that isn’t getting enough attention.