Conclusions from the CCT Beta
Thanks for this picture goes to Positive Gamer, who was streaming us during the Friday Morning Wrap-Up!
The first Ship of Heroes character creator Beta is over, and it was a big success! Participants had a lot of fun creating characters, exploring Apotheosis City, using travel powers, entering new maps like the Beta Club and the hospital, and joining a costume contest and scavenger hunt. Players who were in the costume contest and the hunts gained some Dust and could buy infusions and augments to upgrade their powers. The devs were surprised by how many players went swimming in Lake Fortitude, and tested out their first powers on top of the Justice Corps headquarters. Good thing we added those swimming animations!
We had a blast searching for presents during the Treasure Hunt!
We want to share a number of metrics with the community. The number of qualified participants for the beta went up by nearly 50% in the month before the Beta, and during the event itself. This surprised us, but apparently there is a lot of pent-up demand to personally test the CCT among the community – and that is awesome. More than 85% of qualified participants installed the game and made one or more characters. 85% is a lot! Some videogame Betas draw as little as 10% of the eligible pool (especially if they are non-combat Betas), and 30-40% is considered quite an accomplishment. 50% is outstanding. We’re not sure what the word is for 85%, but we do know that everyone wanted to play.
The Beta Club was open for most of the event, and will stay open when we launch, so don’t worry if you missed it this time.
One other aspect of the Beta is that we had a pretty strong international participation. The intersection of superheroes and spaceship travel are very American themes in popular fiction, but we were joined by supporters from 27 nations. In fact, on some days participants from Canada, or Britain, or Thailand each were responsible for a large fraction of the total players participating. Austria, Australia, Germany and France are all also very well-represented. Some smaller nations like Ireland, Norway and Singapore are definitely active above the level one would expect from their population. It’s clear that SoH has broad appeal.
Map of 27 countries that are home to the Beta participants.
Even spread across the globe, heroes can still meet up under the Arch!
The variety of characters was awesome! Approximately 18% created a big guy, while the rest split evenly between male and female (40% and 42%). This distribution exactly matches our poll results from last year. Most players jumped into the city after they created their characters. We saw two kinds of behavior then: some just ran around for perhaps 10 minutes, while others spent several hours exploring the city and testing features, talking to NPCs, and searching for the Beta Club entrance. Quite a few players created a single character, but the average was approximately two characters per player.
We saw a lot of unique costumes during the Costume Contest Event!
One of the features that made our CCT Beta different from the Betas most game development teams offer is that we activated the FPS meter which is built into the Unreal Engine. This gives every player a continuous real-time FPS reading for their particular combination of computer, internet connection, and location in Apotheosis city. We also discovered a memory leak associated with the travel power superspeed which seemed to cause a gradual decline in FPS, but even with this leak, we had very strong FPS throughout the Beta. Many players were seeing FPS of over 100 when they first entered the city. The other elements that we were testing were simple: Apotheosis City had futuristic cars and civilian NPCs on all of the streets, with the trains running, and the FPS was still great. The next test will include group combat, and the testing after that will populate the map with enemies as well, since these factors also strongly impact FPS.
Even during the Crash the Server Event, some people had over 70 FPS, like this person did.
The Beta was full of friendly and good-natured conversation between the participants, with more than a few references to classic movies and books. This same pattern of behavior was evident during the successful Login Tests in December of 2018. Ship of Heroes is designed to provide an opportunity for players to experience a positive, supportive community like the one CoH had, and the combination of fun and creativity on display during the Beta confirms that this culture is thriving.
There’s always one guy who has to jump on the statue. It’s all in good fun, though.
The next beta test will be a combat beta sometime in Q1 of 2020; those of you who were with us will remember that our last combat alpha took place in March 2018.
1. We plan to release the chat dialog from the Closing Q&A on the forums soon! Several people have requested a record of the fun times we had at the wrap-up of the CCT Beta event.
2. After looking at the powers during the Beta, we believe that the engine version 4.21 is the likely cause of the memory leak in superspeed – not all superspeed particles are actually being destroyed. Our next engine upgrade to 4.23 should fix it.
3. We are likely going to change server suppliers for the next Beta, because our new supplier underperformed the previous ones.
4. According to our calculations, we used 46 costume pieces for the male, 46 for the big guy, and 68 for the female in the Beta. We fully expect that this number will continue to climb as the game is developed!
5. We plan to publish a short video highlighting the changes, bug fixes and improvements we’re making in the near future. After that, the remaining changes prior to launch will mostly be in the area of adding more costume pieces.
From all of us on the dev team, we want to thank everyone in the community for all of their help. We’re really excited by all of the feedback and improvements and bug fixes that have taken place, and by having clear direction for exactly what we need to do to bring the CCT to full launch-ready status.