First off, I'd like to thank Pufitee for the topic for this blog.
The future, it's a scary, it's an unknown; we need to make sure we're ready for it. So, we make plans, roadmaps and try to figure out what we're doing, both for the short and the long term.
So, what are the issues that we face in development which we can plan to resolve. After all, any issue we face can be broken down into smaller ones, right?
#1 - Content
Content keeps people engaged. People like doing stuff. Whether that's replacing things with improved things, or making new things, new content brings people back and keeps people here. For this, we're looking to do a few things.
#1.1 - MESKA
MESKA, if you haven't seen it, is our metrics, skills and achievements engine. It's designed as a tool for longer term player progression, making it so "money" isn't the only endgame for players. Developing skills takes time, it can't just be crammed into a weekend.
For development though, we're planning to build new skills to link in, developing the skills that are already there. This can be tying old systems into MESKA (as with Fishing) or developing new systems which link into MESKA (as with Faustie's upcoming work).
#1.2 - Events
To help both staff and players with their events, we're working on improving our event tools. Pre-made sets of content, easier modification of game rules / jobs / whatever else, easier management of maps, sets of tools to make it easier to run events.
All of this links into just "making things easier" for players running events, staff hosting events and developers who make sure everything's in place for these events.
#2 - Improving Technology
One of the things we've tried to stay at the forefront of is keeping our systems and security up to date.
#2.1 - Forums
One of our plans is to continue ensuring the forums remain secure, up to date and quick. This can be through updating plugins to improve speed, writing new plugins to keep users secure and more.
#2.2 - The full stack.
With the infrastructure upgrade comes upgrades to many core sets of software and services. This lets us use new features, improve code readability and more.
#3 - Paying Back Debt
As I said back in Dev Blog #7, we don't want to wait for the bailiffs to call. Removing old functions, rewriting old code, improving the code base and optimising where we can are key improvements which need to be made. It makes it faster to develop, prevents rewriting stuff we already have, and much more to let us focus on getting stuff done, not working around arcane systems to get it done.