Devblog: Playable Beta is so close I can feel it

Well, it's been more than 6 months since the last update, and as a random user asked in IRC: wtf is going on?

Work is still ongoing, but Daleron and I are both busy people in real life so we've had to accept slower-than-anticipated progress. One thing we're very excited about, though, is that Daleron is putting the finishing touches on a custom packer/unpacker for .uop and .mul files, so that we can do the editing work we need to do (specifically for Earth and Necromancy magics) and get the updated spellnames and other gump data into the client where we can take advantage of the special processing that the client does.

It's been a rocky road at times, and we've had periods of intense interest and periods of nearly zero productivity, but we're slowly edging closer to a playable beta. The obstacles remaining are:

  1. I'm almost done my complete from-the-ground-up rewrite of the RunUO harvesting system. This existing system is, frankly, one giant hack and very hard to modify in a sustainable way unless you want harvesting to function exactly like it does in RunUO vanilla. We don't. My system is less hacky, significantly simpler, and easier to maintain than the existing one.
  2. Daleron needs to iron out a few kinks in his client file decryptor, which we can then integrate into our build system so that we can issue a build command and have the customized client and the server all compiled from source, just like OSI would have done back in the day. This groundwork will easily speed up future development. We're planning for long-term sustainability.