An update on IdleMMO – Beta testing, feedback review, and a deep dive on what has changed

Summer has came to an end and the release of IdleMMO is still out of sight despite our claims that it would be released this summer.

In an ideal world, that would’ve been true. However, our plans slightly changed after we announced the game. We have received an incredible amount of interest in the game – way higher than we originally anticipated. We’ve garnered over 2,100 pre-registrations and attracted over 1,200 members to our Discord channel. Remarkably, this growth is entirely organic, stemming from word-of-mouth referrals. We’ve invested no marketing efforts into the game, aside from a few occasional blog posts.

Originally, our plan was to launch a polished, albeit minimalistic game and expand on it over time. However, given the unexpected surge in anticipation, we’ve chosen to delay the release to further refine key mechanics. We now aim to have pet battling and the guild framework in place at launch. More importantly, we are committed to ensuring balance and stability, learning from past oversights in our previous games.

We cannot provide a definitive release date at this time, and it’s possible we may never announce one in advance. As previously shared in our blog, we’re inclined to ‘shadow drop’ the game once we believe it’s ready. This could happen without prior notice. Setting a fixed release date would place unnecessary stress on us and could inadvertently shift our focus from the primary goal: creating the best game possible.

That said, in an effort to still ensure we remain on a timeline (despite us being incredibly flexible), here are the chances that the game will be released publicly within the next few months:

Before October 1st: 0%
Before November 1st: 60%
Before 2024: 95%

We’re aiming to launch the game ahead of the Halloween season, aligning perfectly with our desire to introduce its first seasonal campaign (i.e event). This timing would be ideal.

However, that said, I want to make it clear that we will not hesitate to delay the game even further if we feel like it is not ready.

From now until the official release, we’ll be conducting several closed beta tests, available to our Discord members. While our initial plan was for three phases, we’ve decided not to set a limit on the number of beta tests. Instead, we’ll conduct as many as needed to ensure a smooth release.

To participate in our beta test, join our Discord server and select the “Beta Entry” role. When the closed beta is live, individuals from this role will be randomly selected for an invitation.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 beta tests

Over the past few months, select members from our Discord community were invited to join the first two phases of our beta test. While the first phase closely resembled an alpha test, we simplified terminology and called it the initial phase of the beta. Consequently, we reset all progress as we transitioned to phase two.

Overall, the feedback was very positive. Although it’s still early days, we’re pleased with the game’s performance.

After each beta phase, we asked participants to share their insights through a brief form. We’ll delve deeper into the changes prompted by this feedback later in the post, but first, here’s some data:

Feedback Data

The total amount of responses we got from the form was 42. Not every participant completed every question hence some discrepancies.

Question 1: On a scale of 1 to 5, how much did you enjoy playing IdleMMO?

27.3% said 5
57.6% said 4
12.1% said 3
3% said 2

Thoughts: We are cautiously optimistic with these results. Having the majority of the votes rate it a 4 is a huge boost to us. That said, we recognise that some players might still be in their initial “honeymoon” phase, so we’re approaching these responses with caution.


Question 2: On a scale of 1 to 5, how smooth was your experience?

39.4% said 5
24.2% said 4
36.4% said 3

Thoughts: We are extremely happy with this. This is the very first iteration of the game at its earliest phase and we are already at a point of feeling like the game is stable.

Question 3: Do you see yourself playing IdleMMO after it has been publicly released?

93.9% said yes.
6.1% said maybe.

Thoughts: What a relief! I had genuine concerns that players might engage with the beta but then decide not to come back.

Question 4: What are your thoughts on our approach to an idle game with a short expiry limit for an action?

The general consensus was that the participants were happy with the approach due to it feeling “different” than other idle games as it feels more like a game rather than a daily task.

Here are some highlighted responses:

I like it because it’s unique [compared to] other idle games, which makes it more fun to play. I feel like this feature is unique [compared to] other idle games.

I enjoy the different approach in having to check in more frequently.

I like it a lot, the hunts a little too active/too many clicks. I wonder how this will effect the longevity/endgame since the progression is a bit quicker.

I’d personally like to see a longer idle time. It would accommodate folks with busier schedules (work, school, and whatever else comes up). It would allow them to not miss much on gains, etc. I’m all for a longer idle time, [perhaps] 5-8 hours.

I like it. [What’s the] point of an idle game that you login [to] every 24 hours or so? I like the activity aspect, even if it’s an idle game.

I would prefer if it was longer. I mean, there is not much difference between clicking once every 2 hours [and] every 12/24 hours. Most people play idle games because they can relax [with] it, but also play actively when they have the time.

This was one of the reasons I stopped playing the beta. The limit needs to be raised substantially.

Thoughts: We recognize that our approach may not resonate with everyone, especially those with tight schedules. Yet, we aimed to bring a fresh perspective to the “idle” game genre. We saw little value in creating another title mirroring the countless ones already available. As highlighted in our previous blog post:

During our initial research, we discovered that many idle games allowed players to remain idle for extended periods of time, sometimes up to 24 hours or even longer, without requiring any interaction. However, we found ourselves disenchanted with the “set it and forget it for 24 hours” gameplay as it diminished the sense of active engagement and turned the experience into a mundane daily task rather than an enjoyable game. In developing IdleMMO, our aim was to incorporate idle mechanics that enable significant character progression in less time compared to typical idle games, but with the requirement of at least some level of player interaction.

Question 5 to 8: We polled players on various aspects of the game, including their favourite and least favourite features. The responses concerning favourites were diverse, a fact we found both surprising and heartening. On the other hand, the hunting and battling system was almost universally singled out as the least favourite features. We fully grasped the reasons behind this sentiment and implemented changes to enhance it. We’ll delve deeper into those adjustments soon.

Changes

As a result of both the feedback and the slight change in our plans, the game has shifted slightly towards providing a more rounded gameplay with deeper features and mechanics. Let’s just dive right in!

Battling System

Originally, players had to first hunt an enemy, then manually initiate and actively watch the battle to finally collect rewards. This process was cumbersome, unengaging, and contradicted the core idea of an idle game. Both we and the players found it unsatisfactory, signalling a clear need for change.

We’ve divided battles into two categories: hunting and dungeons. While we intended hunting to be a more “active” aspect, requiring player engagement for progression, dungeons were designed to be the true “idle” feature, letting players progress through a dungeon over extended periods. However, we realize we made the hunting aspect overly “active”, turning what should have been a fluid experience into a cumbersome one.

We’ve revamped the system to make the transition between hunting and battling much smoother. We implemented two key changes to this system:
– You don’t need to wait for the enemy to be hunted before initiating a battle anymore. Battles will now start automatically, even when you’re offline.
– You don’t need to watch battles unfold anymore. The hunting and battle mechanism operates like typical idle mechanics, where you don’t need to actively play for events to transpire. However, there’s a twist: your health decreases gradually as the battle continues.

Let me demonstrate how this works.

First you select which enemy you want to battle. This can be any enemy within your level.

Before you battle an enemy, you must hunt it. Once the hunt is initiated, a countdown will appear until the enemy can be fought. The hunting time is dependent on your movement speed and your movement speed can be increased with mountable pets.

Immediately after the hunt has finished, the battle has begun. Over the next 40 seconds, your character will continue to battle the enemy until it has been defeated.

During this time, you will slowly lose health as the battle progresses. It’s important to keep an eye on your health and refill it with food when necessary. You are able to refill your health mid-fight.

Once the battle has finished, you will automatically get the rewards. From the point of hunting the enemy to defeating it requires absolutely no action on your behalf. It is all done for you. However, you must manually hunt another enemy if you wish to do it again (thus fulfilling our wishes of making the battle mechanic more” active” than dungeons).

Membership

During the first phases of the beta, the benefits were strong. We were fully aware of it as it was our intention. It was also immediately noticed by the community. I’ve always attached myself to the idea that its better to release something initially that is slightly too powerful/beneficial and dial it down than vice versa.

Given that the membership subscription is our primary revenue source (enabling us to eliminate gacha systems, energy systems, and the like), launching a lacklustre membership would be extremely detrimental. This is why we initially offered it with strong benefits and, after collecting sufficient data, made calibrated adjustments that balanced it.

Initially, in our original scope, our intention was to provide a subscription system akin to Runescape with locked out skills, locations, etc. Essentially, our goal was to make all paying players on the same playing level.

Since our initial plan, we’ve delved deeper into monetisation strategies and sought feedback from our community on game monetisation. This exploration prompted a significant rethink of our membership system. While Runescape’s model has proven to be successful, it’s a dated approach that tends to sideline free members. After all, those who play for free but engage daily are equally valuable as their paying counterparts.

As a result, we’ve redefined our membership system. We aim for it to offer significant benefits, ensuring value for subscribers, while not alienating or disadvantaging free players.

Our preliminary changes are as follows:

Alternative (Alt) Characters

– Alt characters were a member-only benefit but now all players can create 1 extra alt character for free regardless of membership status.
– You can unlock another alt character level slot once one of your characters has reached a combat level of 60.
– You can purchase 2 additional slots for tokens.

This allows for 5 alt characters overall. We’ve transitioned this from a purely membership-based system to one where it can be unlocked solely through gameplay. Tokens can be readily acquired in-game, either by completing campaigns or through daily rewards.

We’d also like to clarify that trading between alternate accounts is not permitted. Hence, users with multiple alt accounts won’t have any inherent advantage over those with fewer.

Idle Times

Originally, idle durations were set at 30 minutes for free players and 60 minutes for members. This allowed free players to set an action and be away from the game for half an hour. While we had emphasised our goal to create an idle game that demands slightly more engagement than others, we identified two problems with this approach:

– We felt like 30 minutes was too short (even by our standards).
– By allowing members to have double the idle time, it created a larger gap between free and paying players.

During the second phase of the beta, we made the following changes:

– We increased the idle time from 30 minutes to 60 minutes for free players and from 60 minutes to 120 minutes for paying players.

However, that only tackles one issue. That is why we will be introducing even further changes so the idle time for free players will increase from 60 minutes to 80 minutes 

We are still open to adjusting the idle times for both members and free players, but we want to wait for more data before making any further changes.

Members get a marginal 15% EXP bonus

We’re still on the fence about this feature, and it’s undecided whether we’ll retain, reduce, or remove it entirely. Our goal is to offer a membership benefit that justifies its value, without creating significant disparities or disadvantages.

After our research and reaching out to some members of the IdleMMO community, it was agreed upon that this was the “lesser of the evils” so-to-speak in regards to monetising an MMORPG.

We believe a 15% boost strikes the right balance – significant enough to be noticed but subtle enough not to skew the game dynamics. In IdleMMO, progression is primarily driven by time spent playing, and this modest boost won’t change that.

Free players can access every area

As noted above, we originally expected to create the game that had a similar model to Runescape with locked out skills and locations. However, we realised not only did it fail to fit our vision, but it also severely handicapped the free players. Therefore, all players will be able to access every area of the game regardless of membership status.

More Inventory/Pet/Bank slots for free players

During phase 1 and the early stages of phase 2, the membership subscription literally doubled the inventory space, pet space, and bank space. Not just that but it was the only way players could increase their space.

We quickly realised this was a bad idea. That is why we made the following changes:

– We increased the free inventory slot count from 28 to 35.
– We increased the free bank slot count from 28 to 35.
– We increased the free pet slot count from 7 to 14.
– We decreased the membership inventory slot count from 49 to 42.
– We decreased the membership bank slot count from 49 to 42.

Not just that, we now allow characters to upgrade their inventory/bank/pet slots using gold.

Simply put, members now only get 7 additional slots (instead of double) and the remaining slots can be purchased with gold.

Further comments on the membership

Creating an MMORPG game is an incredibly expensive process and monetising it is a very difficult and sensitive issue to tackle. I want to make it abundantly clear that we are still open to adjusting every part of the membership subscription. We want to make sure that we get the membership absolutely right for both us and the community. The very last thing we want is for either:

  • A membership so undervalued that it’s not worth purchasing, jeopardising our ability to continue game development.
  • A subscription so dominant it’s perceived as “pay-to-win” or unfairly disadvantages free players.

As far as membership benefits go, the “big” hitters are what I have discussed above. The others are just small bonuses, such as having a cool gradient name and badge.

In essence, our system is in an experimental phase, and we kindly ask for your patience as we refine it. We’ve already committed to avoiding gacha systems, energy mechanics, character boosts, and loot boxes. This is why we’re treading carefully with our subscription model. While we will offer skins for purchase with tokens, we don’t intend to rely on them as our primary revenue stream by pricing them exorbitantly (*cough* Overwatch *cough*).

Pets

Pets were a big hit with the beta testers despite doing or providing absolutely nothing of value (yet). We have made a few changes to the pet system that we think everyone will enjoy.

We’ve added health, happiness, and hunger stats to the pet.

Health – Health will be used for battles. You will be able to send your pets on hunts to level them up.
Hunger – Your pet’s slowly get hungry over time so remember to feed them every once in a while!
Happiness – We don’t want you to forget about your pet so you must pat it to make it happy!

Also, when you tap the pet to give it a pat, it will leap with delight!

To feed you pet, you can use any food items. Food will increase both the pets health and hunger.

Search

During our time play-testing the game, we noticed that it was difficult to find a very particular item, enemy or location. That is why we have added an easy-to-access global search bar that allows you to search pretty much anything in the game.

Profile Status

You will be able to view, in real-time, what other players are doing by visiting their profile. You can hide this if you want to remain incognito.

Appear Offline

Helpful for those of you who wish to remain fully incognito so you can continue your progress even while working 😉

Updated Character Page

The initial character page, as showcased in our introductory blog post, was rather basic and didn’t fully highlight the character’s skin. We’ve revamped it, allowing the player to display their character in all of its glory!

Campaigns

Campaigns are our completely free battle pass system. We aim to make this as friendly as possible and for it to serve only as a system to encourage active gameplay. We haven’t fully fleshed out the system yet so we cannot demonstrate how it functions right now. However, this is our plan:

– Each global campaign will last for 2 to 3 months. (Subject to change).
– Once a global campaign “ends” and a new one starts, you will still be able to access any older campaign.
– You will be able to switch between campaigns at any time. Therefore, if you join the game in a few years, you will have access to every global campaign since its conception and can switch between them. We wanted to eliminate any fear of missing out. If you have played Halo Infinite, it will work similar to that.
– Seasonal events (Halloween, Winter Holidays, Easter, Valentines etc) will be incorporated as seasonal campaigns and will only be possible to play during the respective season. During this time, you will be able to seamlessly switch between global campaigns and seasonal campaigns.
– To obtain EXP for your selected campaign, you must complete daily, weekly and monthly tasks.
– The campaigns will be a completely free way for you to obtain tokens and skins.

And much more…

This is just a little teaser on the changes we have been working on over the past few weeks. We are heavy in development right now and we have much more exciting stuff planned that we can’t wait to showcase to you.

Please note that everything listed within this blog post is subject to change. Nothing is final.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!

If you haven’t already, remember to pre-register over at https://www.idle-mmo.com.

You can also join us on discord for a chance to participate in our closed beta!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Threads!



We are rebranding SimpleMMO!

We are thrilled to announce the exciting rebrand of SimpleMMO!

It wasn’t that long ago since we recently moved away from the sword logo to the dragon logo. In fact, we went into detail on the reasoning behind the rebrand and ultimately it boiled down to it being the most effective in pulling in new players.

SimpleMMO’s past logos

As time went by, we slowly started to lose our love for the dragon logo due to two big reasons:

  • The colour scheme presented significant challenges in our work process. The combination of blue, purple, orange, and red, along with small black elements, proved to be quite problematic when attempting to establish a cohesive and unified brand for the game. Despite the promotional images using a darker background, it was originally designed with the intention of placement on a white background. We’ve recently made a company-wide decision to shift our focus towards creating products solely using a dark colour scheme and, in our opinion, the logo doesn’t blend as effectively against darker backgrounds.
  • The dragon and the text lack unity, existing as two completely separate elements, with the dragon positioned on top and the text beneath. While this design approach might suit other businesses or software, we realised it wasn’t quite fitting for a game. Our aim was to create a logo that exudes a more unified and game-like appeal.

During our pursuit of designing a new logo, our initial step involved creating a fresh app icon, which would serve as the foundation for the subsequent logo design.

The process for deciding on our new icon lasted approximately 6 months utilising the same tools provided by Google as we done during our previous rebranding. The tools allowed us to see if a logo was effective at bringing in new downloads to the game. As the app icon has a huge prominence in a store listing, being the first element users encounter on the Google Play page, it stands as one of the most critical factors in driving new downloads.

We went through various different types of icons testing the effectiveness of them against our dragon icon. During this period, we leveraged both traditional icons and icons created by artificial intelligence (AI) to explore its potential in creating an icon that could be even more effective than our dragon design.

Here are just some of the icons we tested throughout the time period:

Shield Icon

Knight Icon

Sword Icon

Despite these icons, a critical problem remained unresolved: they failed to address the issues we had with the dragon icon, leaving us apprehensive about the possibility of yet another rebrand in the future, repeating the same cycle of uncertainty.

Throughout this period, we also dedicated our efforts to developing our second game, IdleMMO, and we are delighted that its logo addressed all the concerns we had with SimpleMMO’s dragon logo. The newly purchased logo boasts a cohesive design and an established colour scheme, perfectly aligning with our vision for the game.

So, naturally, we decided to use the same artist for SimpleMMO.

SimpleMMO Logo

SimpleMMO App Icon

The results were overwhelmingly positive, as it was determined with 90% confidence that the new logo could potentially yield a remarkable 25% to 40% increase in engagement.

And it was definitely evident…

New logo (Orange) performance against the old logo (Blue)

It is perfect and, as a result, we decided to completely change our brand to this new design.

The rebrand will be gradually introduced over the next few weeks, and we are absolutely thrilled with the response we’ve received so far. We firmly believe that this new logo perfectly aligns with the direction SimpleMMO is heading towards.

An update on SimpleMMO

The summer has finally arrived (If you’re not from down under!). The second quarter of the year has ended. The Memory Lane event is no more. So… what now?

To the observant players among us, you have probably realised that SimpleMMO has seemingly lacked updates of actual substance. In fact, the last update that wasn’t a measly bug fix or balancing change was the introduction of new items more than two months ago.

“So… what gives?”

A very good question. I’m aware of the fact that some people just simply don’t like to read huge blog posts so let me write two answers; a short TLDR and a longer version.

Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR)

TLDR; we are shifting our focus on settling a lot of technical debt that has accrued over the last five years. A lot of this tech debt is behind-the-scenes so while it may not look like we are making changes, we are actually making a lot of them. The update logs don’t list them because they don’t affect you (the player). This is an incredibly lengthy process but will it result in a far more sustainable game in the future to extend upon. We have a long-term vision with SimpleMMO and that hasn’t changed.

Tech debt refers to the negative consequences that arise from prioritising short-term solutions or compromises in software development, resulting in additional work and challenges in the future.

Long Answer

Recently we have been developing our other game which is due to come out this summer – IdleMMO. As we approach release, this is obviously taking up a lot of time to prepare the game ready for production. I am aware that, in a previous blog post, that I mentioned IdleMMO won’t affect SimpleMMO, and that still remains true. We always move resources to other projects when they are close to the finish line, but we return them to normal levels once we’ve manage to pass the release. In fact, this is the case with literally any project we do so there is no difference in the way we are working.

However, I’d be lying if I said that IdleMMO didn’t indirectly affect SimpleMMO in a somewhat significant manner. We have been building IdleMMO from the ground up using the same framework as SimpleMMO, except we have one major difference – we are placing a huge amount of focus and attention to detail on the quality of engineering that enters the code base. We are trying to minimise any possible technical debt and, as a result, making changes to existing mechanics and adding new features to IdleMMO is a breeze (albeit a long one). It’s night and day in comparison to SimpleMMO. It’s much easier to see this comparison when they are both fundamentally an online role-playing game.

When I make changes to SimpleMMO, it often feels like I’m engaged in a furious wrestling match with a bear on a wild cocktail of steroids, riding atop another even more roided-up bear. It’s no simple feat, thanks to the technical debt we’ve accumulated over the years.

As you may have heard me mention countless times before, the very first iteration of SimpleMMO was never intended for the public. Have you ever studied a programming course and your very first project is a “Hello World!” project? If you’re not familiar with a “Hello World” project, it’s essentially the simplest way to grasp how to output a message using a language or framework of your choice. It’s like taking that very first baby step into the world of development.

SimpleMMO was essentially my “Hello World” project as I dipped my toes into Laravel, a PHP framework. By that point, I had already been developing web apps for a few years, but I had never ventured into using frameworks, so there was a lot of room for experimentation. Initially, my plan was to create a test project to learn the framework and then start fresh once I gained some footing. However, that plan never came to fruition, and as a result, its mere conception turned into a heavy burden of technical debt.

The very first iteration of the Travel page in SimpleMMO (August 2017)

I built the core concept of SimpleMMO overnight. Specifically, from 12am to 5am. Within that time, I built the travel system, the inventory, and an extremely basic attack page. Perhaps not so coincidentally, they are the three “heaviest” mechanics in the game with the most amount of technical debt. They’ve haunted me for years.

The first iteration of the battle mechanic (August 2017)

The first iteration of the inventory system (August 2017)

Simply put, the reason why I was able to build three entirely separate systems in a mere five hours was because I just thought “Eh, I’ll fix it later.” Obviously, I never did which is why you are reading this blog post. I did make some pretty major changes to the travel mechanic in the past when we moved away from the step limitations, which significantly improved performance but the very foundation of it is still rotten.

“Why did you not fix it later?”

A valid question I presume you would ask. The answer is simply because… I didn’t want to.
Fresh out of university and in search of a job, I started on this project with the simple desire to create a game, without expecting anyone to actually play it. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that over 1 million players would register for the game. I wouldn’t have even anticipated 10 players. Nevertheless, even in such circumstances, a smart and organised individual would strive to enhance their code, regardless of whether the game attracted 10 people or a million. However, my smooth fickle brain thought it would be fine to just leave it… and here we are today… still talking about simple mistakes that were made more than 5 years ago.

The issue with settling technical debt

The concept of initially creating a foundation using “messy” code but subsequently improving it once the system has been built is a sound approach. In fact, that is still what I do today (with a heavy emphasis on improving the code). My preferred approach is to start by creating a “skeleton” of the mechanic I’m building and then go back to it later for a significant restructuring. I find that this method helps me mentally distinguish the user-facing functionality from the underlying structure. Initially, I can concentrate on making it functional, and then I can shift my focus to fine-tuning it to work precisely the way I envision. However, this process should happen before the code hits the production server. With SimpleMMO, I don’t have such a luxury. Ensuring full backwards compatibility with prior iterations of the game when making changes to existing mechanics and frameworks is a major challenge. The primary issue lies in the fact that rebuilding something with backwards compatibility can take me nearly 3 to 4 times longer than starting from scratch. It’s an enormous headache that I’d prefer to avoid.

As a result, our primary focus on SimpleMMO is to lift it out of the stone age and bring it to the 21st century. Luckily for me, I’ve already been going through a lot of systems and bringing them up to speed. You may have noticed a lot of overhauls recently. Tasks, collections, daily rewards, etc. They are, for the most part, considered “up-to-speed” to what I now consider production-ready battle-tested code. However, the very foundation of the game is rotten, and I don’t want to keep kicking the can down the road any longer.

As mentioned previously, we’ve already made plenty of changes, but there is still a lot of work pending. This could honestly take us more than a year.

What to expect

I don’t anticipate SimpleMMO will have any brand-new mechanics in the near future (with the potential exception of the auction house). What you can expect is overhauls and significant improvements of existing systems and UI changes.

Mechanics

A lot of mechanics will significantly change so that they are ultimately easier to play and understand. For example, the World Boss mechanic is older than dirt and was built with string and gaffer tape. That will receive significant changes so that it feels generally nicer to interact with. “Jobs” is another big one.

Mobile UI

The mobile UI is incredibly outdated and based off the old material design language that Google brought to market in 2014. We have plans on giving it a much-needed face lift.

Rebrand

In 2021, we introduced the new SimpleMMO logo. Whilst effective in the Google experiments (thus was the primary reason why we went with it), it still doesn’t feel right. I’m not a big fan of it. In fact, I just don’t like it. There is no established colour scheme to it makes it extremely difficult to work with. Over the next few months, we will be experimenting with new logos and branding designs to ensure that we can find the one that I like and is also effective.

Removal of Features

As we will be taking a look at literally every part of SimpleMMO, no stone will be unturned. Consequently, we will review the least utilised features or those that provide no utility, and we will simply remove them from the game. While we won’t be removing popular or beloved features, we will thoroughly review those that appear to be pointless and prove to be more burdensome than beneficial. “Wishlist” and “Ads” are at the top of the list to review.

Discussion Boards

The discussion boards are reminiscent of the old bulletin boards that consumed the internet in the early 00’s. We have plans on completely changing the way the discussion boards work so that it incorporates new, modern ways of interacting with other players. We are actively exploring alternatives to the suggestion section due to its current issue of being inundated with duplicate suggestions, making it increasingly challenging to identify unique suggestions that hold actual value.

Conclusion

In summary, our ultimate goal is to establish the long-term sustainability of SimpleMMO. Currently, the game’s structure restricts development solely to me, as the spaghetti mess it has become cannot be easily handed over to other developers. Ideally, the workload wouldn’t be solely mine to bear. Moreover, it’s challenging to introduce new features to a game when I am aware of how much of the foundation has decayed over time. Merely piling on additional features would exacerbate the situation further.

All in all, rest assured that SimpleMMO is still under heavy active development despite it having fewer updates that affect the players. As a result of this, we have adjusted our public roadmap by removing the quarterly changes and creating a new category titled “Upcoming”. The reason is that we cannot provide an exact timeline for these changes, as they depend entirely on how the development process unfolds while addressing the accumulated technical debt.

P.S If you haven’t seen it already, you can read about our game “IdleMMO” by pressing here.

Introducing IdleMMO – A brand new idle MMORPG game coming this summer

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming release of IdleMMO – a new idle MMORPG game that will launch later this summer.

It brings a familiar system to fans of our other game, “SimpleMMO,” while introducing exciting new elements. We can’t wait to share this incredible experience with all of you. Over the past 8 months, we’ve poured our hearts and souls into preparing, planning, and developing this thrilling new game that will soon reach your desktop and mobile phones.

So… let’s just dive in!

Skills

IdleMMO will contain a variety of skills that you can level up in order to obtain materials or certain items. This is a common mechanic that have no doubt experienced in other games.

This idle action has two timers: the total time remaining (located at the top right of the element) and the item time.

The total time is a countdown and determines how long you can perform that action Your character will continue performing that action until the total time reaches 0. After that, you must initiate the skill again.

The item time is a countdown until you receive a new item. This could be anywhere from a couple of seconds to a minute.

During our initial research, we discovered that many idle games allowed players to remain idle for extended periods of time, sometimes up to 24 hours or even longer, without requiring any interaction. However, we found ourselves disenchanted with the “set it and forget it for 24 hours” gameplay as it diminished the sense of active engagement and turned the experience into a mundane daily task rather than an enjoyable game. In developing IdleMMO, our aim was to incorporate idle mechanics that enable significant character progression in less time compared to typical idle games, but with the requirement of at least some level of player interaction.

For the initial release of IdleMMO, we aimed to keep things simple by including six skills: Woodcutting, Mining, Fishing, Alchemy, Smithing, and Cooking.

Our system is designed to ensure that every skill has a practical purpose. For instance, mining grants you valuable ore while smithing enables the transformation of ore into metal bars. These metal bars, in turn, can be utilised for forging various items. With the cooking skill, you can prepare and cook the fish you’ve caught, enhancing their usefulness. Additionally, alchemy empowers you to create your own potent potions, expanding your range of abilities.

We have plans on extending the skill system significantly to include other popular mechanics such as Farming.

Forging

The Forge allows you to craft your own items using the materials you have acquired from skills and enemy drops. It follows a fairly standard convention. For example, to craft a Tin Sword, you need Tin Bars.

Crafting an item takes time depending on what you are trying to forge. Typically, the better the item is, the longer it will take to forge. You can decrease this time by enhancing your “forging efficiency” through the use of special items.

World Map

IdleMMO will feature its own custom-made map with different locations that you can travel to. The locations unlock as you level up and each location will contain different materials that you can gather, world bosses to encounter, and enemies to meet.

Travelling to a location will take time depending on your current position. If you are travelling a long distance, expect to wait!

You can increase your movement speed by equipping special items and even mounts. Movement speed is an important factor in speeding up your gameplay. It will allow you to travel throughout the map at a faster pace and it will also let you to hunt enemies quicker.

Character

Classes

IdleMMO will be released with three to four classes with plans to introduce more as time goes on. Each class has special “talents”, EXP bonuses, and different item requirements.

Talents are unique bonus abilities for each class. For example, Warriors have the “Warriors Blood” talent which increases their basic damage by 2. More talents can be unlocked as you level up.

At the moment, we have 3 classes: Warrior, Rogue, and Ranger.

Warrior focuses on strength, then defence. They can equip swords but not daggers or bows.

Rogue focuses on speed, then dexterity. They can also equip 2 daggers but cannot equip swords and bows.

Ranger focuses on speed and dexterity equally. They can equip only bows.

This is not an exhaustive list of their abilities and restrictions. Adjustments may be made before release.

Stats

You’re probably reading the above stats and wondering “Ok… but what exactly does strength and dexterity do?” Well… let me describe them:

Strength – This increases your damage against opponents.
Defence – This decreases the damage you receive against opponents.
Speed – This determines how quick you attack your enemy. Basically, a higher speed value means that your battles with enemies end much quicker.
Dexterity – This determines your chance of landing successive hits against your opponent.
Critical Chance – This determines the chance that you will land a critical strike.
Critical Damage – This determines the bonus that is applied on landing a critical strike.
Attack Power – This increases your damage against opponents, and is obtained from equipment. Attack power is weaker than strength. One point of Strength is more beneficial than one point of Attack power.
Protection – This decreases how much damage you mitigate and is obtained from equipment. Protection is weaker than Defence. One point of Defence is more beneficial than one point of Protection.
Movement Speed – This dictates how fast you can travel and hunt.

Alternative (Alt) Accounts

You will be pleased to know that you will have the ability to create multiple characters under one account and effortlessly switch between them without the need to log out.

Market

We have invested significant effort into developing the market, aiming to make it as user-friendly and seamless as possible. Based on our experiences and lessons learned from SimpleMMO, we are determined not to repeat past mistakes.

The market will be a very important mechanic for most players. It will allow you to sell the items in your inventory to other players as well as buying items from them.

The market is split into two areas: Listings and Buy Orders.

Listings

Listings are items that either you (or other players) want to sell.

When navigating to the market page, all items available on the market will be listed. Pressing on an item will then display all listings for that specific item.

From there, you can press on any individual listing you wish to purchase from.

Buy Orders

Buy Orders enable you to specify the items you wish to purchase, along with the desired quantity and the amount of gold you are willing to pay. Other players can browse the available buy orders and opt to fulfil them, facilitating a seamless transaction.

We wanted to take things to the next level too. If an item is listed on the market and all requirements of an existing buy order are met, the buy order will be automatically fulfilled. Allow me to write an example:

Let’s say @Hunter398 wishes to purchase 30 Oak Logs for 40 gold pieces each. All they would need to do is create a purchase order like so:

Once @Hunter398 has created the order, it is easily viewable on the order page.

Now, let’s say @Mordred logs on and they wish to sell 5 oak logs for 20 gold each. They forget to look at the Buy Order list and simply create a listing.

Immediately after @Mordred lists their item, the game will automatically scan the open orders list and fulfil any orders immediately.

As @Hunter398 has an open order for 30 gold per item, then that means that this listing will fulfil the order automatically. Not just that, but because the listing was 20 gold, the game will automatically refund the difference to the player who created the order (in this case its 10 gold per item).

So, in conclusion, @Mordred will receive 200 gold immediately after creating the listing because it automatically fulfilled an existing order. @Hunter398 will receive all 10 items that @Mordred listed plus a refund of 100 gold because the listing was lower than the purchase order.

To put it even simpler: @Mordred sold their items immediately without their listing even touching the market because it fulfilled an existing order. @Hunter398 received 10 items at a discount because @Mordred listed the items for lower than the purchase order price. It’s a win-win (unless, of course, you consider that @Hunter398 missed out on an extra 10 gold per item because they failed to check the purchase order list)!

Battling and Hunting

Before battling an enemy, one must hunt it. The time it takes to hunt an enemy depends on your characters movement speed. As mentioned earlier, you can increase your characters movement speed by equipping special items and using mounts.

Once you have caught the enemy, you will have a small window to attack the enemy before it runs away.

Battling an enemy requires no interaction. The battle will continue until either you defeat the enemy, or your health runs out.

World Bosses

World Bosses allow multiple players to attack a single enemy simultaneously. Most the players from SimpleMMO are well-aware that its implementation of the World Boss mechanic is … particularly poor. We wanted to improve upon that significantly and streamline the entire process.

Simply put, attacking a world boss requires no interaction other than joining the lobby. Once the lobby has expired and all players are ready, the battle will start.

During this time, you will have the option to either watch the battle animation unfold or navigate away. Additionally, you can engage in market trading without the need to remain on the battle page. The only restriction is that you cannot engage in any other idle action (such as performing a skill or forging an item). You can only perform one idle action at a time.

After defeating the world boss, you have a brief opportunity to return to the battle page and claim your rewards. If you don’t return to the page, then you risk losing them!

Battle Pass

This screenshot contains placeholder data and is not representative of the final product

Oh no! A battle pass! But don’t fret… we promise it’s good. Why? Because it’s completely free. The entire reason why we wanted to put in a battle pass is to give greater incentives to actually play the game. That’s it. To level up the battle pass, you just need to complete daily, weekly, or monthly tasks.

The battle pass will refresh every few months to bring you fresh new content.

… and more

This is just a small teaser on what is to come. Before its release, we still have a significant amount of work to complete, but we hold strong confidence that this game will reach your mobile phones and desktops this summer. Our priority right now is to release a refined and polished product, then continuously add on new features as time goes on rather than trying to cram in a bunch of features before release.

Question and Answers

We are sure this has raised many questions so we will do our best to anticipate what we think may be the most common ones.

What devices will this be playable on?

We plan to release IdleMMO on the Google Play Store, and Apple App Store. It will also be accessible on desktop via the Web App.

How will this affect SimpleMMO?

This won’t affect SimpleMMO at all. The development road map is still in place. We have recently expanded our core development team to allow us to work on new projects. The development of SimpleMMO will continue as it always has. In fact, in the second quarter of the year, the development of SimpleMMO was ahead of its schedule by approximately three weeks.

Will this game compete with SimpleMMO?

No – we have specifically made this game with the sole intention that it doesn’t tread on SimpleMMO’s toes. IdleMMO walks its own path. SimpleMMO is a game that requires a lot of active gameplay and has a large amount of depth and features. Ironically, IdleMMO will be “simpler” (heh) and more streamlined than SimpleMMO. It will require fewer manual actions and character maintenance. It’s totally possible to play them both at the same time!

Will this game have an energy system?

Unlike SimpleMMO, it will not have an energy system. The only limit on the game will be the time you need to wait between each action. You can play until your hearts content without having to wait for an energy system to refill. We don’t have current plans to implement an energy system at this time.

Will you have a beta test?

The game will have multiple closed beta tests over the next few weeks with selected individuals invited to participate in them. Please actively monitor our Discord channel if you are interested in participating in a beta test.

When will this game be released?

We anticipate stealth dropping the public beta version of IdleMMO this summer, with the game going live without any prior notice or release day announcement.

Where are the “MMO” mechanics?

Admittedly, there are not a lot of MMO mechanics right now. As mentioned, we are focusing on creating a very compact and refined product and then building upon it as times goes on. Rest assured that while the game won’t contain many “MMO-esque” features initially during the public beta (such as PvP, trading, parties, guilds, etc), they will arrive eventually.

How can I keep up to date on the progress of IdleMMO?

You can join our Discord channel (https://discord.gg/nDGbr7AKkk) to stay up to date on the development of the game. You can also register your email at https://www.idle-mmo.com/pre-register to be notified when the game goes live.

Will IdleMMO contain any mechanics that allow interaction with other players (such as a world chat)?

While we are receptive to introducing additional mechanics that facilitate inter-player interactions, we currently do not have any immediate plans to implement a world chat feature. Instead, we require all players to communicate solely through our official Discord server.

I have more questions. Where can I ask them?

You can ask any questions in our Discord server.

Disclaimer

Everything listed in this blog post is subject to change upon release (especially the attached screenshots). Our development plan constantly changes so nothing listed in this blog is final.

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Check it out at https://www.smashr.app.

Use the code WELCOME50 for 50% off your first subscription purchase.

SimpleMMO v12.0 – The return of crafting

Crafting was initially built in the summer of 2020. It was a commonly requested and highly anticipated. In fact, it was one of the first suggestions that was ever passed on to me. After all, it makes sense. Most MMOs have a crafting system so why didn’t SimpleMMO?

Everyone was excited when the crafting system was released. Tears were falling from people’s eyes. Players were swooning. Children were screaming. Hearts were throbbing. Fists were shaking. History was made.

Until … a few weeks later when players (myself included) started to see a massive glaring issue: it provided absolutely no utility. There was no reason to craft. The items were bad and everyone who could craft the items already had them or didn’t need them. The progression was difficult and pointless. Why would anyone grind the crafting level when it provided absolutely no use? The only utility that the crafting mechanism served was the ability to craft diamonds with Diamond Shards. That was it. The only other reason to craft was obviously to satisfy an underlying tendency of performing masochistic behaviours.

A few weeks later, it got me pondering: how can it be improved?

I was dwelling on this question for literally years. Emptiness was consuming my smooth brain the entire time. It was like as soon as I thought of the word “crafting”, my brain would immediately shut down and I would be staring into an abyss. Not a single moment during that entire time could I think of a genuine way to improve the crafting system.

I then started asking myself another question: “Why?” and it became glaringly obvious. I had never crafted in any game ever (besides the bare minimum that I might’ve been required to partake in). I had no underlying knowledge of the system. I had no inspiration for it. How could I think of a crafting system when I simply had never used one myself? This then lead on to another question: “What is the soul that the crafting mechanic has that makes it so damn enticing?”

By this point, I’d spent so much time pondering on the damn thing and being frustrated at the lack of ideas that my eagerness to improve the system slowly dwindled with time. In fact, I even scrapped the crafting system momentarily in an update for the Android App. I was about to bury the hatchet and declare its official time of death.

That is until a moderator, Oubi, made an offhand comment about replacing the crafting system with a new system that he envisioned called “Archaeology”. The idea was to give players the opportunity to exchange item shards (such as armour shards) for items of that specific type (e.g armour shards can be exchanged for armour, etc). I loved the general idea of it, but it required a lot of refinement.

However, this got the cogs turning once more. The forges were lit up and ideas were flying in and out of my brain. I took a lot of notes on different ways of implementing a brand new crafting system until I came up with a final idea that I was happy with.

So, without further ado, I would like to present the new crafting system.

Design still pending

The new crafting system allows you to craft any item within the loot pool using any material. The item rarity matches up with the material rarity, so if you craft an item with epic materials, then you are guaranteed to receive an epic item. This applies to every rarity tier (celestial included!).

To get started, when you press the “Start crafting” button, a pop-up will appear.

From this point, you can select what you want to craft. You can craft many things, such as a specific item rarity type, keys, or diamonds.

For this occasion, I will choose an “Epic Item” because I have a bunch of epic materials left over from testing.

After selecting the item you wish to craft, the following screen will appear:

This gives you an overview of your crafting session. From here you can choose how many items you wish to craft in one go (at a maximum of 10/20, depending on your pleb status), how much energy it will cost to craft, how long it will take to craft, and the materials you need to craft the items.

I haven’t added any epic materials yet (and I need 30), so if I press the “Add Materials” button, the following page will appear:

This lists all of the materials that I have in my storage and inventory that is relevant to the requirements. From here, I can choose any material as long as the material quantity matches with the requirements. I can mix-and-match them too. For example, I could decide to use 5x Large Crystals, 5x Small Crystals, and 20x Tiger Sharks. It’s entirely up to me.

To make things easier, I’m going to press “Auto Add” which will automatically select the materials so I don’t have to.

Doing so has automatically selected 30 “Chromium Ore” materials. All I need to do now is to press “Update Materials” to commit them to the crafting session.


Once I have done that, the overview page will be updated to show the materials you have committed to the session.

After reviewing the page, I am happy with what I am about to craft. It will cost me 3 energy, 30 Chromium Ores and take almost 4 minutes, but in return I will receive a guaranteed epic item.

Once I have started the crafting session, it will then display the crafting status on the main page.

After waiting the full time it takes to craft, I can then claim the items by pressing on the “Claim Items” button and voila…

I have been given EXP for my character, crafting EXP, and the epic item. It’s as easy as that.

Here is another (albeit extreme) example. If I craft 15 celestial and exotic items in one go, it will look something like this:

One of the issues we encountered when developing the system was trying to make it enticing for high-level players to actually use the system. We completely understood that being able to craft “Epic” items was simply not enough. Why would a level 10,000+ player be interested in solely creating epic items other than the player EXP? That is why we have introduced reward tiers. Every time your crafting level increases by 5, you are eligible for a reward. The rewards differ between keys, materials, and diamonds.

As you can see, once you reach level 100 in crafting, you will receive 50 diamonds, 5 gold keys, and enough celestial materials to produce a celestial item. Basically, this means that if you reach level 100 in crafting, you are guaranteed a random celestial/exotic item.

New Materials

This crafting system will arrive with new materials and material encounter rates. As we are now introducing celestial materials, we are also throwing something new into the mix too: untradable materials. Now, at first you might gasp in horror at the mere thought of having an untradable material in the game. However, there is a beneficial trade-off. This allows us to significantly improve the encounter rates for the materials at no risk of disrupting the market. This also gives another incentive for players to utilise the game’s mechanics more rather than mindlessly collect materials and then sell them on the market. Potentially, this also gives us the ability to provide players with rewards for in-game feats too (world bosses maybe?).

Not all materials you encounter will be untradable. Just some of them. Sometimes you will come across a celestial material that is tradable and other times it might be untradable.

Here are the new rates that we currently have in place for the update:

  • Celestial material encounter rates are double the rates of the legendary materials pre-update.
  • Legendary material encounter rates increased by 316%
  • Epic material encounter rate increased by 47%
  • Elite material encounter rate increased by 41%
  • Rare material encounter rate increased by 25%
  • Uncommon material encounter rate increased by 25%
  • Common material encounter rate decreased by 29%

These rates might change before release. The final rates will be included in the update log.

Old Materials

One of the big questions when developing and testing this system was: “What to do with the old materials?” and it’s a big one. After all, because the crafting system was useless, players had been accumulating materials for literally years. If we allowed people to use their old materials then the game would instantly be flooded by a massive wave of newly acquired items which could be catastrophic for the game’s economy.

We throughly discussed two potential solutions:
1. Allow players to convert old materials to new materials. However, the conversion ratio would have to be incredibly high to account for the huge quantity of items that have been gathered in the past few years. Setting the conversion rate to such a high level could have dissuade players to not use this mechanic at all thus making this solution potentially futile. It also felt to me a bit insulting to be given the option of a conversion but have the ratio so high that it made almost no sense to convert. It’s like when you enter a competition to win the EuroMillions lottery and you get an email saying, “YOU WON!”, but you click on it and its only 20 pence. I’d rather not win at all than have that initial sense of hope.

2. Bump up the quick sell value of the materials and convert them to collectables. This would give the materials a new utility (i.e adding them to the collection). This would still pretty much serves the same purpose that they had for most people (i.e collecting and selling) as they certainly weren’t used for crafting bar the odd exception. The new crafting system would be completely fresh untainted by the old mechanics.

We hummed and harred over each solution discussing the positives and negatives of both. Ultimately, I wanted to make the decision based on utility-perspective rather than what is going to be easier (i.e less backlash). No matter which decision we make, people are going to be annoyed regardless. So I felt it was important that we made sure that we were not just mindlessly ripping out a part of the game that could still serve a valid and helpful purpose to the players.

Throughout the discussion, I was leaning further and further towards converting them to collectables because, to me, it felt like it made more sense utility-wise and for us to start on a clean slate. After all, it is an entirely new system. This solution would give the materials a “new” utility (i.e collecting), but that utility is essentially what materials are used for by most players anyway hence the quotation marks. However, it felt difficult to just completely nullify peoples material collection over the years.

To help with this, I wanted to see how many materials were actually in the game, and how many players actually crafted. This ratio would help me gain clarity between the number of people who actually use the materials for crafting and those that hoarded them in their storage/inventory.

The result was staggering. There were more than 45,000,000 materials tucked away in people’s storage and inventory. That was way higher than I thought it was. Not just that, but the average level of crafting of players who actually crafted enough to level up the crafting skill (i.e level 2 and higher) was just a mere 4.1. When I looked at the average crafting level of all players who had simply crafted once and then stopped, the average dropped significantly to 2.09. In comparison, the average mining level was 9.

This gave me some much needed clarity. Crafting was extremely underutilised by the players and if I were to add a mechanism that allowed players to convert materials, it would have to account for 45,000,000 materials. I felt more and more like the ship had sailed with this.

At the end, we came to a reasonable solution. We decided to open up the old crafting page (to those that still want to use their old materials on crafting) and after a month or so, we will convert all old materials into “Collectables” and switch off the old crafting page. This solved a few issues:

  • It will continue to give the materials a crafting utility in the same way as it always has.
  • It will give the materials a “new” utility after a month.
  • The new crafting system will remain entirely fresh. A completely fresh start. New mechanics. New crafting level. New material encounter rates. New materials. New crafting mechanisms. Everyone starts from the same point.

A personal apology to those that have spent time hoarding as many materials as they could in the past few weeks in anticipation for the new crafting ability. It was originally my intention to be able to use the old materials as part of the system, but after a much-needed discussion and a review of the in-game statistics, we decided it would be far too difficult to balance old materials on the new system given the astronomical number of materials there are in circulation. It was a hard decision but I believe it is the correct one to make.

Edit: I want to make it clear that players who has invested significant resources into the crafting mechanic will be acknowledged and rewarded. This has applied to every feature “reset” in the past and this will be no different.

Overview

  • New crafting level. Everyone starts at level 1.
  • The maximum crafting level is 100.
  • You can select the rarity of the item you wish to craft. The requirements are based on that rarity.
  • Any material within its rarity group can be used. Crafting no longer requires specific items.
  • The higher the rarity of the item you wish to craft, the longer it takes to craft.
  • The higher your crafting level, the faster it takes to craft an item.
  • You can craft up to 20 items in one go if you are a member or 10 if you a free player.
  • It costs energy to craft an item.
  • The energy requirement adjusts according to the rarity of the item you wish to craft as well as the quantity.
  • You can play any other areas of the game while you craft (unlike jobs).
  • You must manually claim your crafted items upon completion.
  • You can access the old crafting system by a link on the main page. This will be removed in one month.
  • Old “legacy” materials will no longer be available from gathering nodes.
  • You can craft silver and bronze keys.
  • Diamond shards and its requirements remain unchanged.
  • You can get a reward (diamonds/materials/keys) for every 5 levels of your crafting level.
  • Reaching crafting level 100 gives you enough items to craft a celestial/exotic item.
  • Celestial materials will be introduced.
  • New materials (well, they’re the same name, but they have new sprites).
  • Some materials you encounter will be untradable.
  • Material encounter rates have been significantly increased.
  • Minimum encounter level for all material rarities have been significantly reduced. (For example, Legendary nodes required a minimum skill level of 100 and now it has been reduced to 15)

And that’s all!

We are still testing it at the moment so some things may change before release. The update log should contain it all when it has finally been released.

We anticipate that this update will be available later this week or early next week.

I hope you’re all looking forward to it.


SimpleMMO: Looking Back on 2022 – A Year in Review

It’s that time again. Let’s all gather around the fire, whip out some tasty marshmallows, and discuss the last year of SimpleMMO.

Like the previous year, 2021, we managed to continue improving the game by implementing lots of new mechanics and improving existing ones. The active player-base continues to increase at a consistant, healthy rate and things are only looking bright for the future of SimpleMMO. In fact, we have recently breached 1,000,000 downloads on the Google Play Store according to the development console however Google Play has yet to update our store badge to “1M+”. We are eagerly awaiting that moment to celebrate.

Unlike the last post (“Looking back on 2021”), I’ll be discussing various topics that are not limited to just major updates but rather changes that caused a ripple in some way, shape or form.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in. As usual, I will post each point in chronological order (earliest first).

PvP item drops (January 2022)

While this may seem like a very simple addition, it has actually been a massive hit in the community. People are now finding incredibly powerful items by attacking those poor NPCs.

New quest point system (January 2022)

We moved the quest point refill mechanic to a tier system to help further close the gap between the paying and non-paying players. As expected, this change was highly welcomed by the overwhelming majority of players but those in the upper echelon were, understandably, annoyed by this. Essentially, we made it so that players with more quest points had to pay more for their refills and those with less quest points had to pay less. I mean, it makes sense logically, right?

Mushroom of Energy price increase (January 2022)

We increased the Mushroom of Energy price to 30,000 gold. A small but incredibly necessary change to help cope with inflation. At this point, the economy had grown massively yet the price of Mushroom of Energy had remained unchanged for years. It was, by far, the most bought item in the NPC shop and this simple change actually made a sizeable money sink.

Huge inventory optimisations (February 2022)

Gone are the days when your inventory took approximately 4 days to view your materials. These optimisations clocked up to a 300% increase in performance.

iOS App (February 2022)

Finally, after 4 long years, SimpleMMO introduced an app on all iOS devices (iPhone, iPod, and iPad) as well as silicon based macs.

Economic changes (March 2022)

We introduced a bunch of changes that helped control the games inflation. The maximum cost for battling enemies in the Battle Arena increased by 25% and the price of keys also increased. Some were more drastic than others, but they ultimately proved to be very beneficial in combating this issue despite some players acting as if I was the antichrist for daring to do such a malevolent act.

Battle changes (March 2022)

The older players will remember the “cheese strat”. If you are unacquainted with this strategy, it was essentially a way for players to defeat NPCs without “dying”. Despite it being a bug, it remained in the game because the battle system was so fundamentally broken that it became almost impossible for players to defeat NPCs without using this strategy.

Changes were made so the “cheese strat” was no longer necessary. Battles went on for longer, but less food was needed and thus the bug was fixed. Unsurprisingly, this change was met with anger. However, ultimately, the update was long overdue as it was literally an unintended bug.

Leaderboard rewards (March 2022)

Rewards for leaderboard positions were increased significantly. Now top 20 players (instead of 5) for each leaderboard now receive a reward.

Here’s a quick run down:
630 diamonds are now distributed across 420 positions on the daily leaderboards (increased from 189 diamonds across 105 positions).
1,848 diamonds are now distributed across 420 positions on the weekly leaderboards (increased from 546 diamonds across 105 positions).
13,860 diamonds are now distributed across 420 positions on the monthly leaderboards (increased from 3,570 diamonds across 105 positions).

Gauntlets (March 2022)

A new item type “Gauntlet” was introduced in the game. More than 1,000 gauntlets became available.

Guild Roles (April 2022)

This was a very highly demanded feature. This mechanic allowed guild leaders to assign different roles to the members of their guild. There are 3 roles (member, officer, and co-leader) and each role has different permissions. This was met with a joyous glee as this feature had been teased since the guild overhaul in 2021.

Stepping Parties (April 2022)

This was arguably the largest update in the game this year. This change allows players to step with other players by being in a party together. Much like other MMORPGs, being in this party allows you to share your gold and experience points.

We found that this change helped massively retain players on the travel mechanic because it provided a fresh, new way of playing the game. SimpleMMO is ultimately a social platform and this change only further leans into the social aspect.

Inventory Changes (August 2022)

Inventory upgrades are always massively welcomed by the players. This update introduced changes, such as a new inventory page design for the web app, a “Select All” button, and a check mark to see if an item has been collected or not.

Energy scheduler increase (August 2022)

The automatic energy point scheduler was changed from every 10 minutes to every 5 minutes. This was a big change because essentially players can potentially get 576 energy points per day instead of just 288.

NPC Gold Nerf (August 2022)

Another controversial change that has ultimately proven to be beneficial for the game’s economy. Essentially, the gold acquired from NPCs was effectively limitless and it scaled to according to the players’ level. Therefore, the theoretical potential amount of gold that could be obtained from a single NPC was infinite and this became more and more problematic as players started to reach 6 digit levels.

The gold acquired from an NPC was changed to a sliding scale and the gold ceiling slowly decreases as you level up. Higher level players still get more gold than their lower level counterparts, but the maximum amount is significantly smaller.

Travel Sprint (August 2022)

Sprinting allows you to step 25% faster by using your energy points. 1 energy point gives you one minute of sprinting. This ties in nicely with the change to the energy schedule that happened only a few days prior because it meant that more players could use their excess energy on sprinting.

Library (September 2022)

The introduction of the library allowed players to write their own books. There are multiple book categories: lore, guides, poems, stories, biography and miscellaneous, but all books published in the library must be related to SimpleMMO in some way.

We made this feature because we had noticed it was common for people to write guides on their items’ description or profile bio. Now players can publish a book with a very generous character limit and even make a small bit of gold while doing so.

Couch Cat partnership (October 2022)

We teamed up with Couch Cat (previously Couch Cat Podcast) to provide you with regular SimpleMMO based content such as podcasts, streams, youtube videos and more.

You can find out more about them here: https://www.couchcatpod.com/

Task Overhaul (November 2022)

Tasks were completely overhauled as they were simply a headache to complete. They were all predefined which meant that the database had a list of tasks to complete and the game randomly chose 5 (or 7) of them for you to carry out.

We ripped out that whole system and made a completely new one. Tasks became dynamic, and they change according to your account status. They also became much easier to complete as we significantly increased the rate of encountering an enemy that is listed as part of a given task.

 Not just that but we also introduced weekly and monthly tasks as a part of an initiative to get people to play on the regular basis. We wanted to ensure that the tasks were not challenging or long but still required a bit consistency.

Card Event (November 2022)

A brand new event was introduced which allowed players to collect different cards during the World Cup and then proudly display them on the collection page. Cards could be achieved by finding and opening “card packs”. This was a welcome change from the regular event format and was very well received.

Stats

951,000 players have an account on SimpleMMO. This was 725,000 in January last year. That’s 226,000 new players in a single year. Not too shabby, eh?

73,000,000 NPCs have been defeated in combat in the past year. This has increased from 33,000,000 that happened in 2021. You’re a violent bunch, aren’t you?

105,796,526 players have been defeated too. Those poor noobs. This has increased significantly from 21,000,000 in 2021. I believe the changes to the energy system and attacking limits have caused the violent increase.

The inventory system has now processed over 449,602,770 items in total since the games conception. Pretty staggering, right?

I think I may make a separate blog post on the stats later this year so stay tuned!

What’s coming this year?

We have recently updated our road map to include a list of planned changes. You can view it here: https://trello.com/b/XEzvjZVd/simplemmo-public-roadmap

Conclusion

Overall, this has been a very successful year for SimpleMMO. There has been a lot of new updates, changes, and quality of life adjustments despite some of them being fairly controversial in regards to economic changes. However, even though the changes negatively affected some players, they were ultimately needed if we are to keep this game alive and healthy.

If you compare the updates with 2021, you may notice that 2022 have had less introductions of larger mechanics than before. The year prior, 2021, introduced massive updates, such as an entire guild overhaul, a brand new web-app, the new travel experience, and a fresh mobile UI design. However, the reason for this is simple: we spent almost the entirely of 2022 stressing the smaller scaled stuff and updating pre-existing systems. We want to make sure that the foundations are tight and secure before we go ahead and start branching further out. We have entirely rewritten entire areas of the game in the codebase that you will never even know about because they bare no affect on the gameplay. In fact, 2022 received almost just as many codebase changes (1,432 contributions) as 2021 (1,483 contributions).

A massive thank you to all employees and contractors of Galahad Creative, administrators, moderators, advisers, and the players of SimpleMMO. You guys are the best!

Let’s continue on this upwards trajectory and make SimpleMMO as best as it can be!

What is your favourite 2022 update? Let us know in the comments below!

We are rebuilding and rebranding FitIgniter

FitIgniter was originally built in 2014 as a quick and painless way to find new exercises, supplements, and workouts. The entire app was completely bespoke. No framework. No engine. Just pure vanilla PHP and Java.

At the time, it acted as an alternative to websites like bodybuilding.com which, at the time, had so much bloat that it was almost impossible to quickly find an exercise that was tailored to your specific needs. We built FitIgniter with one ultimate goal in mind: it needed to be completely frictionless. The user had to find exercises and supplements according to their needs in as little clicks as possible. There was no bloat. No fancy design. No ads or sponsorships. It was built to be quick, snappy and straight to the point.

Within the first year of its development, it gained fairly significant traction. It amassed more than 3,000 followers on Instagram, 1,500 followers on twitter, and hundreds of organic daily active users.

Unfortunately, since then it has slowly dwindled into obscurity (though, surprisingly, it still gets 4,000 visitors per month!). The last time we published an update was more than 6 years ago! That means the codebase is 6 years out of date. We have always wanted to extend FitIgniter but the amount of work to bring it up to 2022 standards would be a huge undertaking.

Instead of wresting with the old code base, we have decided to just start again. We are completely rebuilding the entire application and giving it a fresh-make over! The branding is still a work-in-progress so expect some minor adjustments to it in the coming months.

We have no ETA for the release of FitIgniter but you can enter your email in the form located at https://www.fitigniter.com and get notified when we release it.

If, for whatever reason, you want to continue using the old FitIgniter, it’s carcass can be found at https://uk.fitigniter.com. Though, this will disappear once the new and improved version of FitIgniter has been released.

The Android app can still be accessed via the Google Play store but this will also be removed once the updated version has been released.

Website: https://www.fitigniter.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fitigniter
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/thefitigniter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialfitigniter

SimpleMMO v11 – Our Largest Update Ever

Aaaand… it’s that time again! No warnings. No hype. Just the biggest update ever!

Painfully, we have made the mistake in the past on announcing our major updates months prior to release. This puts un-necessary stress on us due to two reasons: we are constantly getting asked when the update will be released, and we feel pressured to release it as soon as possible because people are waiting for it. That is why this update has had no prior talk or announcements. We have just been taking our time and gradually grinding away at this for the past 6 or so months.

Reliably, v10 was huge.… but this update is bigger. better. revolutionary. It literally turns SimpleMMO on it’s head. We are introducing new features to the game that will have a giant impact on your gameplay. Not just that, but we are completely overhauling the entire way the game is played. From levelling, to customisation and rewards. The game is almost entirely new… but it’s not.

It’s just better.

Look, most of these changes will be welcomes by the player base. But, admittedly, some of these changes will have a negative impact of some of the “outliners” (i.e. the high level players).

Frankly, our main goal is to make the game sustainable. You may have noticed this with the changes we have introduced in the past month. We have introduced limits to the Knight feature, increased the prices for certain commodities to help control the inflation of gold (and it’s working too!). This update extends upon this principle and will introduce a lot of similar changes. Some are small and some are large.

Other than that, please rest assured that all changes are for the good of the game. Initially, they may be a hard pill to swallow, but, in time, you will realise that they are ultimately for the better.

On, we will make a seperate blog post going through all of the changes in detail, but let’s just take a look at the major ones.

Literally, we overhauled the entire travel system.

Since the creation of SimpleMMO, the travelling system has been the main part of the SimpleMMO. It basically is SimpleMMO. It’s literally what makes the game so simple. However, we are unsatisfied with it. The idea of it is sound, the implementation of it is ‘aight but the potential of it is incredible.

We have been experimenting with multiple proof-of-concepts on how to improve the travelling system. We must have tried about 20 various implantations before we came up with an idea that we were satisfied with.

The new travelling system is revolutionary. It now allows you to traverse an actual map in game. All maps are grid-based and they can go up to monumental sizes of 400×400 positions per map. That means there are over 160,000 squares on the map that you can traverse. You can travel up, down, left and right. Your current location will be designated by a X,Y coordinate. You can even meet up with people by going to the same X,Y coordinate and travel together!

This system is flawless. It now emulates the style of an MMO without having to sacrifice the “one button press” shtick the game has going for it. However, due to the limitations of the mechanics, we are now reintroducing limited steps. You can only step 100 times within 30 minutes. This can be “refilled” or even upgraded entirely by purchasing the update in the diamond store.

We can’t wait for you to try it! There is so many new aspects and hidden gems that it will require a seperate blog post entirely!

Pet Levels and Battling

Ask and ye shall receive! This has been a popular request since the dawn of SimpleMMO and we have finally implemented it. Pets are no longer designated as “items” and now they are their own seperate entity in its entirety. You can level them up, battle them with other players, customise them, feed them. play with them and so much more. Think “Tamagotchi” but…like… 10 times better.

The only caveat is that all existing pets have been reset to level 1. You can also purchase stronger and better pets directly in the diamond store!

Level Cap

The infiniteness of the game, in theory, is fantastic. It allows you to reach un-imaginable levels of power. You are only limited in how much time you invest in the game. However, in practice, it is simply too difficult to balance a game with players that have a literal 500,000 level gap between them.

Because of this, we are now introducing a level cap of 1,000. Any users that are above Level 1,000 will be reduced to level 1,000 and will receive 1 diamond per 1,000 levels above this limit.

Diamond Chests

We wanted to make a way for players to easily obtaining better and more powerful items without needing to fill up their inventory space with old and un-needed items. Because of this, we are introducing Diamond Chests. Diamond chests can be opened with diamond keys and they have a 50% chance of finding a celestial. That means you have a 1 in 2 chance of finding a celestial every time you open the chest. However, the caveat is that they are expensive. You can purchase a single diamond key in the diamond store for 50 diamonds. Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds….

Battle Overhaul

The entire battle system has now been entirely overhauled. We mulled over this for quite some time. We have always wanted to extend the battle system but we worried about ruining the integrity of the games simplicity. However, we have finally reached a system that retains its simplicity but adds unimaginable amount of depth.

Now, each item has the potential for 4 elemental effects; fire, ice, stone, nature. Each elemental effect has a strength and a weakness to ensure everything is balanced. There is no single effect that is the best.

Due to this, now all enemies generated in the battle arena now have an assigned elemental effect to them. You can come across a “Fire Vorok” or an “Ice Acroflar”. You will have to strategically use your elemental items to defeat them more efficiently.

However, due to so many structural and integrity changes that have been made, the EXP gain has been reduced by 45% and has been capped at 500,000 EXP per kill. Players who are PvP heavy can only kill 50 players every 24 hours. This cap can be reset by using diamonds.

Not just that but the gold you can steal from players has been capped at 1% and you now have a 2% chance of stealing diamonds from other players.

We can’t wait for you to try it.

Guilds

Guilds have had a bit of a makeover and they now reset every month to ensure the maximum amount of competitiveness between each guild. This is similar to the “seasons” mechanic you may see in other games. The guilds are placed in tiers depending on how many members they have and they will compete against other guilds in that tier in regards to EXP gained.

The winners of each tier will receive 100 power points.

We have also added a few more changes. Guilds can now assign a officer to do actions on their behalf. The maximum amount of EXP that a guild can obtain in a guild war has now been capped at 10,000 EXP regardless of who the enemy is.

There are many changes so be sure to check out the update log.

Quality of life additions/notable mentions

  • Diamond store balancing. It now costs 35 diamonds to refill your energy points.
  • You now cannot attack online players.
  • Silver key price has been increased to 150,000 gold per key at a 5,000 gold increment.
  • Inventory limit has been decreased to 1,000 from 20,000. Please ensure that you reduce your inventory numbers by the 31st April 2022.
  • Market tax has been increased to 20%.
  • Lots of crafting improvements such as more items and materials.
  • You can now marry other players if your interaction level is high enough.

You can view the entire update log by going to https://web.simple-mmo.com/updates

We hope that you enjoy the update! Let us know what your favourite change is in the comments below.

The SimpleMMO iOS App is now available!

It’s been just over 4 years since SimpleMMO first hit the Google Play store. Since then, we’ve set our eyes on making SimpleMMO accessible across all different kinds of devices. After we released the current version of the Web App, our next goal was to make it available on iOS devices.

We are very happy to announce that SimpleMMO is now playable across all types of iOS devices (iPhone, iPod, and iPad) as well as silicon based macs.

You can download SimpleMMO by searching it in the App Store or by navigating to this link on your device:
SimpleMMO – The Text MMORPG on the App Store (apple.com)

If you cannot download the app yet, it may take up to 48 hours for the app to appear on the App Store.

We have plans on extending this app even further, including full iPad and Apple Mac M1 support.

Stay tuned by following our social media!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Discord

You can also track upcoming updates by viewing our public road map here:

SimpleMMO Public Roadmap | Trello