The Inter-Server Kolossium (ISK) has been long-awaited by many of you. We have been working on this system for a long time and now we need your help to go further.

We need to test a number of features with real players, which is why the alpha version of ISK is now available on the beta server. However, not all of the ISK’s functionalities are available at this time and some of them are still in development.

In this first version of the ISK, we are focussing on the dynamic transfer of characters between the game’s servers and the ISK dedicated servers. The principle works like this: when a battle has been located, characters are transferred to a specific ISK server where they will compete. After the battle, the characters are transferred back to their home server once more. (Currently, once combat is over, returning to the home server entails a logging out phase then a logging in phase. This should no longer be the case in the final version.
The character transfer towards the ISK server is transparent to the player (no intermediate loading).
However, in this alpha version, it is not currently possible to access social features related to the origin server, e.g., no private messages, guild or alliance chat, Perceptor or prism attack notifications for example. It is, however, possible to communicate with team members who are in current battle. This aspect is in the process of being developed and should be ready for the final release of the ISK.

This is a fairly complex aspect of the ISK’s development that involves allowing the DOFUS client to maintain multiple, simultaneous connections to multiple servers (the origin game server and the ISK combat server).
We do not envisage deploying the ISK without allowing players to stay in touch with players from their server.
Unfortunately there is one feature that will not be included in the final release of the ISK, and that is spectator mode.

The current spectator mode was not designed to be able to follow several hundred simultaneous battles (grouping together Kolossium fights across fifty or more servers involves a potentially huge number of battles, which the current interface would not be able to sort and identify correctly). In order to include a spectator mode as it is currently along with the ISK, the entire interface would need to be rehauled and, in particular, it would require development of a means of transferring the details of every ISK battle in progress to each server, while allowing you to “log into” any ISK battle.

We realise that this functionality is important to you but the development resources required to integrate it into interserver mode would be too substantial and delay the project for a much longer time; therefore, we made the decision not to include it in the final ISK release in order to allow us to concentrate on the main functionalities of the ISK system. We will continue to look for solutions in order to integrate spectator mode, but for now, we can give you no guarantee this will happen.
The system which allows filtering of characters who register in teams and those who are matched up by random matchmaking hasn’t been integrated into this alpha version yet. We will continue to work on it and we intend to incorporate this into the final release of the ISK. Similarly, the dual rating system (random matching and fixed) is not available in the alpha release but should be available in the final version. Character ratings will be reset for the final release.
The rating and matchmaking system (which selects characters for teams) will not be revised. We feel the current system works, but the lack of characters entered in the Kolossium sometimes causes abnormally unbalanced fights. We want to try out the current system in an environment with large numbers of characters and available fights before undertaking significant changes.

However, for the final release of the ISK, we are planning to make several changes to the matchmaking system in order to encourage the creation of teams using characters from the same server or same community. But we do not want to focus on matching up two teams who come from the same server or from the same community.
We cannot announce a release date for the final version of the ISK yet. We are going to test the alpha version on the test server and, in parallel, we are going to finish off any missing functionalities in the months to come.

The ISK has been designed around software architecture and hardware that is scalable; fights can be dynamically distributed across several servers in order to support a substantial number of battles at times when there is a high volume of traffic.

When the system is ready, we will gradually activate the ISK across the various servers while assuring that performance and your game experience are optimised. During this transition period, some servers will use the classic Kolossium system and some will be using the ISK system. We will ensure that this transition is as short as possible.
We apologise once again for the major delays that have taken place during the development of this major functionality. The DOFUS game servers were not designed to communicate with one another and we have repeatedly underestimated the complexity of this project and the work needed to rethink and scale up our software architecture.

We are just as eager as you are to finally enable characters from different servers to battle each other and to make finding Kolossium battles much easier.

Happy testing!

Category: Developement