Several months ago, we told you about our project to review the Equestrian Centers. Since, things have progressed and it’s about time for us to give you some news about this –huge- project.
Why review the Equestrian Centers?
To start off with, we noticed that equestrian centers (EC) hadn’t evolved in the almost 9 years of Howrse’s existence, while the rest of the game regularly underwent evolutions, small or rather large.
And what could have seemed nice nine years ago doesn’t necessarily today. Online games progress fast, very fast and to be perfectly honest, the ECs are a bit obsolete. The ECs needed to be modernised!
Next, the question was: what can we do with the ECs? How can we make them more attractive, more fun and more challenging? The two master words were: strategy and player interactions.
We want the ECs take a bigger role in the game’s game play, not just be a feature superimposed on the rest and whose impact on the game stays on the fringe. We want strategy to be the hearth of it and player interactions a tool to get to the top.
How are we going to do that?
The main axis of this project is the production cycle. Basically, your EC could manufacture or harvest almost all the resources it needs for its development (as boxes, showers, …) and your horse’s needs (as food, treats, equipment).
The basic principle is:
-> harvest a primary resource
-> transform it to make it into an end product
-> use the end product to improve your EC, keep it for your personal use or sell it to earn equus.
To add some challenge, every EC has to specialize itself by choosing a location (forest, beach or mountain). To get wood if your EC is near the beach, you will have to buy some in the market place.
The other players’ actions could have some influence on yours. For example: your EC is in the forest. You can ask the horses boarded into your EC to perform missions for you (missions will replace lessons): for example, harvesting wood in the forest. In return, the horse’s owner will get money and the horse will receive skills. With the wood, you could make something useful in your workshop, for example make a new box. You also could sell the overflow in the market and this way influence the wood price because all the products will be priced depending on supply and demand (the rarer and more desirable a resource is, the more expensive it’ll be).
How are we planning to introduce the features?
You can imagine that such a huge change on an already existing feature isn’t a piece of cake.
So everything will not be going online at the same time. On one side, we do not want you to flee into the opposite direction. On the other side, we think that it can be useful our developers and game designers’ sleep sometimes.
Basically, everything that will be set online before the arrival of the production cycle is aimed at preparing this same arrival (for example: changes about agriculture, the horses food) and everything that will come out after the production cycle will be to refine and complete it. For example: rethinking the secret market or the draft horses introduction.
It is quite difficult to tell you precisely how much time it will take but we can already give you estimate: it will take more than six months and we are going to need several months before the production cycle’s arrival.
How are we going to communicate?
The first step will go online on the beginning of September and will mark the start of all the future stages. We will propose a special page that will be available on the game until almost all the EC’s new features are done. This page will show you:
- the features coming in the next update
- an overview of the features coming later on.
It will be possible to discuss them on a dedicated topic on the forum.
In the meantime, we will propose you some blog articles, treating about more sensitive subjects (as the fusion of the breeder and EC reserve of equus) to give you detailed explanations and to reassure you.
We hope that we could give you some keys to prepare yourself to this and welcome the new features with excitement and pleasure when they will come.
See you soon on the game for the first step.
Maïté, community manager for the French version.