There's one reason that I absolutely hate to tell people a specific time or date for a release: there's ALWAYS a chance that it will get delayed. That's why I always say "It will be released at As-Soon-As-It's-Ready-O'Clock"... we release things as soon as we can get them ready for release.
There's always a good reason for the delay but by the time I explain why, it's too late. Expectations are high because I mentioned a target date once in some tweet somewhere and now everyone's hearts are broken forever and their lives have been ruined. GG, Cysero.
Most people only think about having to wait longer for the release, which sucks. It sucks for everyone. We LOVE that you're interested in the game and excited for the new releases. We don't want to keep you away from them any more than you do.
Some of the time, it's a problem beyond our control like not getting approval from a mobile platform for the latest version of the game. But some of the time, it's actually good news... like this time.
Ashfall is going to be our biggest area and our longest story yet. The first two parts of the three part Ashfall Saga will span EIGHT maps. The Dragonslayer Camp, The Dragonslayer Command Tent (which is its own map), Lower Firefields, Upper Firefields, The Slabs, Brimston Ruins, The Magma Mines and Tower Pass.
In running through the first part of the saga we realized how easy it was to get completely lost in this vast volcanic area. Even though each map has its own theme, unique map design, unique monsters and unique map elements... knowing where to go to continue the story or complete the next quest became a real problem.
We just couldn't release what we have so far and hope for the best.
So, yesterday the content team sat down with the code team and brainstormed the fastest, clearest and best way that we could think of to help you find you way around AQ3D. We hope that Guide System V1 will help direct you from one area to the next and might even help new players who are confused about what to do after they finish an area.
PHASE 1: The first phase won't seem like much but has a lot of power behind it. Simply put, it will allow you to follow quest chains across maps, keeping the quest active in the upper right instead of being removed when you zone into a new are as it is currently.
PHASE 2: With phase 1 in place it will enable us to come up with some sort of graphical language to guide you from quest to quest, NPC to NPC, zone to zone. Something like a column of light on the current NPC or area exit when you need to go to a different map, or a small indicator visible from anywhere in the map telling you where you need to go next.
... But that said, Part 1 is almost totally complete. The quests work. The rewards are in place. It's scaled properly... we just need to get the Guide System in place and test that it works the way we need it to.
Keep checking the AQ3D Design Notes for official release date announcements.