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.
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
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!