We've been asked a lot about when alpha testing will start over the last year, and our answer has consistently been "this year". Sadly, a few days ago it became apparent that this not might be the case, for the unglamorous reason that I caught a cold.
Instead, we'll be starting on 16th January 2019.
The focus of this testing will be to:
- Resolve any basic issues with the installer, patcher, and client.
- Gather feedback on "game feel" and how the netcode performs.
- Make sure we're able to deploy servers and new updates efficiently.
- Test the new laning mechanics, as we're moving away from last-hits and trying some new ideas.
The initial invites will be a small group, and we will expand that group and the focus of our testing as we go.
It feels strange to be going "back to square one" again, because last time I did that (in 2007 when transitioning from Dota Outland), I remember it being a hard slog before we had enough heroes and balance tuning for the game to be enjoyable again. Since then, standards have skyrocketed and we've become responsible for a lot more of our own infrastructure, so I don't anticipate this time being any easier.
But hey, that's what we signed up for. Thanks in advance to the testers who will be sharing this journey with us! RoW wouldn't be anywhere near where it is today without the feedback of its players, and that will hold true in 2019 and beyond as well.
We haven't figured out an exact minimum spec yet, but here's the information I do have:
I recently upgraded my PC to an 12-core i7. With the integrated GPU, I was getting 30fps. After I added my graphics card (mid tier, AMD with 3GB VRAM) my fps went up to 100.
The requirements will probably be a bit higher than this as there will be more stuff running around in-game during live tests. We haven't done any real performance tuning yet, so these requirements will hopefully come way down when we have the time to invest in that.
Hope that helps.