Just as an FYI.
We've had an enormous amount of feedback in the last week or so in the brainstorming subforum, but now a lot of that has reached the closest thing we can hope for to consensus at this stage of the game. Now we need to actually get a lot of stuff added in so that it can be actually playtested rather than just evaluated on paper, and I'm sure there will be more refinements and ideas even after that point.
So what's on the list between now and hopefully 7 days from now?
* The multiplayer sync model for monsters that people really wanted.
* Continents, and travel by boat.
* Internal character/monster stats math redo and rebalancement (the rebalancement will be ongoing, but the first pass will be an improvement at least).
* The basic missions framework, and the first 4-5 types of missions. This has evolved some from what was discussed in the brainstorming thread, but we think you'll like the changes a lot based on your comments in the thread.
* EXP is actually going to stay after all, but you'll only get it from completing missions.
* Spell scrolls become spellgems, outfitter crafting goes away in favor of finding those as loot.
* The strategic interface goes away, as do strategic turns. The citybuilding interface becomes read-only and the AI plays it instead of you doing so.
* Tiers go away, and the revised model #2 is getting implemented in exchange for that. New crafting interface goes along with this.
* Various things like gem veins, rare commodities, and rampaging monsters get tied into the missions system.
* The new health and mana systems.
What's on our list for sometime shortly after that?
* More multiplayer refinement.
* Crests and spellshaping gems, not as craftable objects but as elite loot you can find.
* More types of missions, both for helping yourself and helping your civilization. Also tying wind shelters, NPC rescue, vortex pylons, and consciousness nodes into the mission system.
* Better uses for consciousness shards in the new system, such that you can influence NPC actions (and possibly even mission composition), or some other ideas along those lines.
* Possibly some changes to the warp mechanics, although missions areas will already be disallowing warp which is a big step toward what a lot of players were looking for.
* Probably doing more with permadeath mechanics, although the new health system inherently has at least a bit of that sort of flavor to it.
* More monsters and spells, and in particular also redefining a number of the monsters so that they make more sense in multiplayer with the new sync model. Some, like shadow bats, will be way too easy in the interim.
* Lots of new environmental hazards for players to have to avoid, and particularly having those differ by region.
And so on. This is basically AVWW Beta 2.0 in a lot of respects, as it's really redefining the game on top of what was already a solid engine. Please see brainstorming threads for details, but in the meantime Keith and I are going to be cooling it there for at least a week simply because it's difficult to brainstorm too heavily while also implementing. So at the moment we're going to enter a hardcore implementation phase.