No NDA dropping this Friday as the Alpha One Testing for Ashes of Creation has been pushed by about two months. Originally, we were supposed to move into our non-NDA testing this Friday but that has been pushed until May 14th. The Alpha One start date which was supposed to be April 6th is now moved to June 1st. Steven, the creative director, put out a statement on this issue.
This makes sense, nobody is going to fault Intrepid for wanting to fix issues. However, one thing Intrepid cannot undo is that this delay represents 15% of a year and that is a pretty big delay. Also Intrepid is already 21 months late on delivering Alpha One. Originally, Alpha One was due to start in quarter two of 2019. And the number of things that were supposed to be tested in that original Alpha One testing was a lot more than we are currently expecting in this Alpha. Mainly the fact as it stands right now, we have only seen the Mage, Tank and Cleric showcase videos. We have never seen Ranger which is the 4th archetype in Alpha zero in any of the developer footage.
One thing included in Steven’s message to the community, which raised a concern:
I am hoping that the term “polish” used was a typo and that they really mean that they were fixing whatever was broken with the build. Last month Steven said:
2:34 So why the eight week delay for polish? Are they working on polish or issues or a better showcase for Alpha One? Because right now, as per usual, things do not seem to add up. Remember we were supposed to be getting the combat revamp in April’s testing. And if Intrepid wants to discover issues and address them as early as possible then maybe worry a little less about the polish and a little bit more about the issue finding.
This delay brings into question some serious things. One of which is the length of the push. When you are one week out for something and you need an 8 week push then that says two things. Either, one, you weren’t one week out. You were totally out of your time table which means you’ve known for weeks that you are totally off your time table. Which means the announcement, while better than the ones made before where they’ve cancelled the same day, was still later than it should have been. Or number two, something disastrous happened and you would have made your setback. And we know Intrepid already experienced some things like this with the APOC setback from December of 2018 to August of 2019.
The trick here is that for a game to be good, it needs to eventually launch. And that is what some are fearing about Intrepid studios. Their actual ability to launch Ashes of Creation. Early on Intrepid had that very aggressive launch date before 2020. Steven has spoken about this, in early 2020 he talked about how he shied away from hiring producers because he had heard many horror stories of too many producers and other companies causing issues for developers. He onboarded his producers in early 2019 and he scrapped the previous timelines. And as a reasonable customer, I have to accept that you made a mistake and you scrapped those previous timelines.
If we say this project started at the end of kickstarter then that’s June 2017. From there until January 2019, that’s 19 months. January 2019 to March 2021, that’s 26 months. Now we have 45 months of production time total. With the producers coming on board 26 months ago, that’s 58% of the project. What’s killing Intrepid is they can’t decide if they want to play it safe or if they want to hype. We get statements that they want to add more polish. However we have to be honest here for a second. Ashes of Creation has been touting the marketing aspect of Alpha One early preview sound bites since March 27, 2020. That’s nearly a full year ago and by the time their Alpha One actually opens it will have been 14 months in the making.
6:00 The timeline for this testing phase was made public on October 16, 2020 and yes Steven did say they might have to change it but you just missed a 6 month out goal by 2 months. That is a 33% miss and that’s bad. Years ago, Steven would address the community optimistically and people bought into the project based on that optimism. However it seems as if recently Intrepid just can’t hit a deadline.