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Community Patch Dev Letter

By Constable Chris - 19th August 2021 - 14:36 PM

Dear RA3 Community,

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It has been well over 3 years since 1.12.6 was released, and since then, people who have been playing 1.12.6 have had to endure several technical issues. This includes 1v1 maps not ranking, crashes in team games, unplayable duplicate maps that appear in the map list, and moreÖ

We cannot express how sorry we are that players had to endure this for such a long time. We feel that the community deserves a reasonable, long overdue explanation behind this and the never-ending delay of 1.12.8. So, letís break the silence.

Truth be told, 1.12.8 has been in development ever since 1.12.6 was released. Usually, the development of the successor version begins instantly after the release of the preceding version. This essentially means that 1.12.8 has been in development for over 3 years now. Our usual method of operating involves posting frequent updates on GR, showcasing the most recent and significant changes that will be part of the next release. As many of you may have noticed, this is no longer the case, and it hasnít been for quite a while now.

To understand why this is happening, I (Chris) will give you a small background of the events that were unfolding in my personal life, in conjunction with the development of the patch since 2017 up until this point. I will not bore you with too many details, but suffice it to say, it is pretty much typical ďlifeĒ happening and progressing over time. Towards the end of 2017, I entered my first year in college and simultaneously started working part-time, which left me mentally and physically exhausted. Consequently, the amount of work I could get done on the patch was severely limited due to the lack of free time, and general demotivation. Iím sure any college student can relate. Towards the end of 2019, the overall living conditions in my home country started gradually declining which also affected my ability to put in work on the patch. The list goes on, and there are so many things that directly or indirectly impact the development of the patch. In all honesty, and Iím trying to be as forthcoming as possible, sometimes, I would lose motivation to work on the patch despite having free time. It comes and goes really. Whether these reasons are justified or not is really up to you, the reader.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. Despite all of the difficulties and obstacles that we faced during that time, there are various and immensely positive changes that happened which have tremendously improved the state of the patch behind the scenes. This will also be reflected in the public release when the time comes.

I was joined by Mavtor, a person who has his heart and soul set on the patch and has been continuously showing dedication to the project since day 1. Together, we were able to add an unfathomable number of fixes and changes to 1.12.8 that will provide RA3 players with a fresh experience like no other. And of course, overseeing all of this is GBHMichael, who has been supporting this project since it started in 2014. Together, the 3 of us have been working in the shadows for quite a long time now, while facing our own personal challenges individually. We also restructured and rewrote the patch from scratch, greatly optimizing performance, reverting countless unnecessary changes, improving visual clarity, and of course, many new and important bug fixes.

So where are we now?

If youíve been following the patch, youíll know that we have released several public betas for 1.12.8 by now. Public betas are available to everyone without exception and it allows players to playtest the most recent changes. This allows us to gather feedback and fix any potential issues that may have been created during development. We have released 7 betas so far and they have been instrumental in shaping 1.12.8 into a much more stable version. So, to everyone who took part in this beta, we would like to thank you sincerely for your time and feedback.

Whatís the next step?

We are planning to have 1 final beta out before reaching the full release. No estimate can be provided yet but we are working at the fastest possible pace since we are always facing challenges. My current living conditions have made it nearly impossible for me to get any work done, but I hope this will change soon. After this beta is released and runs its usual course, we can start preparing for the full release of 1.12.8.
I will not really provide an estimated release date. If youíve been following the patch for a while, you would know that we have a bad history when it comes to setting deadlines and actually respecting them. We have set various release dates for 1.12.8, and we failed to meet them. Given our current situation, itís really difficult to set a release date that we can actually meet, so all I can say is basically what we have always been saying for the past 2 years. We are working as fast as we can.

Will there be a V9?

That strictly depends on how V8 goes. If we find issues with V8 that require immediate adjustment, we might consider releasing V9 to make sure the coast is clear.

What can players expect from 1.12.8?

Without going into too much detail, I can confidently say that this version is easily the best version that we will ever release. The number of fixes and improvements that we have included surpasses all previous versions combined. And as far as new maps go, I will not reveal the actual number, but players can expect well over 100 new maps to play on. You read that correctly. Over 100 maps including Uprising Maps, Promotional maps, and the best community-made maps we could find, ranging from 1v1 to 3v3. But it doesnít end here. Every single one of these maps has been revised, fixing countless issues and bugs, and adding many adjustments and improvements to give each map a unique feel and experience.

This is all for now. We are sincerely thankful for your patience and understanding, and we hope that this dev letter gives you enough clarity on what weíve been up to and why 1.12.8 has been in development for so long. Make sure to keep an eye out for the next (and hopefully final) beta!

Best Regards,

-The RA3 Community Patch Dev Team
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