The FFG development team has been pouring hours of blood, sweat, and tears into their latest creation: a new map! The project is slow, tedious, and will require weeks more of work. However, we've reached a point where we can comfortably report on our progress, and make public, the awareness of our endeavors. I will now focus on some changes that will be noticed in gameplay.
First and formost, the map itself boasts a much larger surface area. Two main cities and several small town and suburban housing areas will be included. A single highway will stretch across a majority of the land mass. It will connect cities to forests and allow companies and civilians to move their goods and services from one end to the other. Size is always a major concern, I want to lay to the rest the fear of having a map be "too big." This is not another Sahrani, the driving times are more comparable to Lakeside.
Secondly, the Sheriff's Department will endure major reconstruction. We've found success and prided ourselves in maintaining an easy to obtain badge and joining other deputies in-game without requiring a multi-week written application process and an internal player-run slow-moving management system. We've also heard the multiple requests to implement ranking and training structures. There will not be a massive hardcore roleplay standard operating procedure or three hour training. The following is not final. A structure of Probationary Deputy, Deputy, and Sergeant will be implemented. This three rank system will be comprised of all players. The first day or so of police work will be spent in the probationary rank, in which you are not subjected to any restrictions, and are not followed around or graded; however, you will be expected to watch and learn from other deputies. We expect all LEO's to use the highest level of common sense and deceny. Regular deputies are the 99%; they make up the majority of players who wish to log in, have a good time, and play with other deputies to prevent crime and enforce the law just like we do now. Sergeants are, in essence, shift supervisors. If a traffic stop is performed and a civilian requests a higher authority, duty sergeants are responsible for arriving and handling the situation. Sergeants are responsible for keeping the calm, giving expert advice, and being the best of the best, all without having an attitude, being a brute, acting as a dictator, or making the Island Life deputy experience unenjoyable for others. They should supervise large situations and do their job accordingly without, as stated before, becoming a dictator. To give an example, they are to supervise and keep the calm at a bank robbery while giving basic directions to keep police work moving, they would order roadblocks and SERT presence, not micro-manage every aspect of positioning or strategy. The Interal Affairs department will continue to focus on police corruption while being relieved of very minor civilian complaints by the work of Sergeants. The final large change to expect is the addition of a highway patrol division to the Sheriff's Department in an effort to create a more traffic-safety oriented group of deputies. Please keep in mind that we will continue to maintain the "easy to obtain, easy to lose" badge system. Staff members will be responsible for acting when necessary to promote probationary deputies in a timely manner and also give Interal Affairs and Sergeant ranks to those who deserve it. The Criminal Investigations Division and SERT will continue to operate aswell. Although I wrote a lot, do not expect a difficult and complicated paperwork system to keep track of everyone and their rank. This is still a softcore-roleplay server and it will stay that way. I wish to make the Sheriff's Department easy to play and easy to understand. The deputy test will still be the method of obtaining a badge. The CID/SERT 20 Minute Teamspeak classroom will still be utilized, however it may be revised.
Moving on from that wall of text, some basic and necessary improvements will be looked into including: Zip Ties functioning properly, the ability to view licenses and ticket drivers of vehicles without them stepping out, a revised framework for game functionality, a reworked economy to allow players running illegal goods to make more money than sand processing. Also on the to-do list is looking into a more dynamic economy allowing players to run businesses better. For example, creating a company management system similar to, yet separate from, the gang UI. Fixing tow trucks and letting certain services like roadside assistance and taxis/shuttles thrive with a purpose. This also relies on our players to treat each other fairly and call for a tow truck when stuck instead of just logging out and logging back in. Many players come to our server in an effort to work a roleplay business and are usually met with the barrel of a gun.
Many things to look forward to, all in due time. There is no set release date becaues there is much work to be done separate from simply designing the map. Every line of code, piece of sidewalk, and tree must be created. We expect to be nearing completion within the next two months, however, this is a rough estimate.