Hello Kings and Queens,
The year has almost come to an end! It was an eventful year, not only in the world, but also in Forge of Empires! We are very proud of what we delivered, and what you—the players—made possible. That is why we have decided to give an overview of everything that happened in 2021!
January: The year began with the update to Version 1.195. This update included changes from 2 versions, because our developers had some time off during the Holiday time in 2020. Later, our loved Forge Bowl Event made a return with Call Rogers, the Quarterback! This was also the first Event, that included the Event Surprise Box. Lastly, we also made the significant move of transferring from flash to HTML5.
February: We introduced the Guild Admin conversations, where guild Admins had a place to discuss in the Guild area of the Message Center. Later, the St. Patrick's Day Event made its return with some visual improvements (and a new building with a random production)! We also made it possible for you, to change your username, and introduced the production carousel (when starting a production, the window for the next building would appear automatically).
March: We began this month by changing the Galata Tower to be a regular great building from the Early Middle Age! We also had an issue with delays in the quest window, that was a result of changes we did to prevent exploiting the recurring quests. We fixed the issue and decreased the possibility of exploiting them.
Moreover, we also began collecting ideas for the Community Sprint in July! Lastly, our Spring Event mad a return with its origami animals and big pond to jump across.
In addition, we also made some key updates, including an automatic item lock system! Necessary to help players keep a hold of desired items, and prevent them from getting lost in the shuffle of the antique's dealer!
April: This month contained a real banger: We introduced our latest Age: Space Age Venus! Introducing 5 new units (6 with champion), many new quests and technologies and of course a new colony above the toxic clouds of Venus.
Just after that, something different, very important happened: Forge of Empires celebrated its birthday! 9 long years passed and to celebrate it, every player received a small gift.
Later this month, we had to make a difficult decision: We had to remove the well-loved Guild Forum. However, we made sure to include the most significant functions to the new Message Center (released in 2020), so you could manually transfer the most important data to it. This was still not all! We also started the Archaeology Event in April! It introduced the possibility to switch out your daily special once every day. It also now contained a calendar, where you could collect gems!
May: May was a bit quieter. There were fewer additions, however, one big feature finally arrived later this month: The PvP Arena! After releasing it on Beta, then EN, then deactivating it again, we made changes based on all the feedback we received from you all and re-released it later! Thank you all for the feedback you provided, so we could improve the feature to let you have more fun!
June: While May was quieter, June was once again a busier month! Firstly, we introduced the Event Hub! This is a place to see and show your progress for Events in this year. Also, another Event started: The Soccer Cup. The player cards were back and the tournaments against other players. We also had an issue with our matchmaking in the Guild Battlegrounds. Thanks to all your comments regarding it, we could find the issue and solve it.
July: This month was a big one too! We started a brand-new Event: The Wildlife Event! This Event introduced a new mechanic, where you had to pop and drop matched blocks to get rewards! This game required a lot of skill, to win the well-loved Mountain Reserve!
Lastly, the first batch of changes from the Community Sprint were added. We increased the outgoing friends limit, improved the goods overview, showed you your progress for achievements (after they were on their highest level), and added the current age to the player context menu. These were all requests, you sent us. Many thanks to you all!
August: In this month, we brought to you our brand-new settlement: Mughal Empire. This settlement requires a different play-style compared to all the other settlements, so we had to make some changes after the release. Indeed, we added some rupees to the first quests to make the start of this settlement a bit less difficult.
Furthermore, we also brought back the Summer Event with its wheel, shared by you and your neighbors!
And last, but definitely not least, we bought to you the final batch of improvements from the Community Sprint: including an answer function in the Message Center, a Great Building search in the ranking, a confirmation window for deleting streets in Settlements, a player search in the Market, a Forge Point field in the research window, the unification of army icons (red for attacking army, blue for defending army), the removal of the auto scroll in messages, a friends' activity indicator as well as improved plunder icons.
September: We did not stop there. In September, the Fall Event was released. We also introduced the heal all button for armies to the browser version. It was already in the app for a while (please see note about it in the text after December). Our team also made further improvements, like the Production Carousel for units, a no age filter in the army overview and a confirmation for visiting cities. We also removed the whisper function in the chat and replaced it with sending a direct message. Lastly, we also released a new HUD for the app and collected your feedback on it.
October: One of our most liked features this year was added to all servers in October: The Castle System! Here, your activity in the game will be rewarded with one time items and permanent effects. After collecting feedback, we deactivated the new App HUD again. Thank you again for all the feedback you provided. This really showed us, what we can improve.
At the end of the month, the Halloween Event made its return, now also with a calendar! Lastly, we have to address the Guild Battlegrounds performance issues. In this month, we received many complaints about long loading times in the Guild Battlegrounds. We applied a small fix at the end of the month, however that did not solve the problem. This issue took a big chunk of development time, and we recognize, the frustration it caused for many of our players.
November: Let's get back to something more positive. We made some more improvements this month: We added a confirmation window to the friends' tavern when you activate a boost, removed duplicate and solved offers from appearing in a message, and the first performance improvements to Guild Battlegrounds were released. We also had to remove the option to buy medals for your guild treasury in GvG.
Lastly, we announced a new feature, that was soon after released on Beta: Guild Perks! Here, you and your Guild Members can donate their resources to activate Perks, which contain positive and sometimes negative effects.
December: We are now at the final month. It started with the Winter Event, where you can open presents and light candles to get Grand Prizes. Later, we announced an update to the Guild Battlegrounds. This Update contained a brand-new map and many smaller changes. Furthermore, we also rolled out further performance improvements to the Guild Battlegrounds, which so far, has made significant progress in fixing the issues reported. However, a further update at the start of 2022, should improve performance further!
While that was everything within the Calendar year, we also had some significant updates on Beta at the end of the year!
Beta: Indeed, we released some improvements to Reconstruction Mode, an auto negotiate option, and of course the upcoming Forge Bowl Event (including a brand-new Feature - The Event Pass)!
We also released Guild Perks back in November. While, we have now announced that we will soon postpone this feature after the end of the current cycle (on the 29th of December), we still have plans to re-implement in 2022, and will make changes based on the detailed feedback you have provided towards it!
All in all, we had 25 updates this year, with Version 1.219 being the last one released this year!
And that's all! Phew, quite a lot happened, am I right? Our development team had a lot to do! However, we hope you enjoyed the final result.
Despite everything that was accomplished in 2021, we are aware of some issues that we were unable to fully address. Especially, in regard to Guild Performance Issues remaining, as well as the Heal All button.
In terms of these topics, the first update of 2022 should fix performance further, and we are hoping will bring an end to difficulties players have experienced. In terms of heal all, that is also being worked on currently, and we hope to have a solution early in 2022. Thank you again for all the patience you have shown on these topics!
Well, that covers everything in 2021, however, before we go, we want to share some plans for 2022 with you! Before we dive in, a kind reminder that all the things mentioned now are not final yet, and this is not a guarantee that everything will be implemented as planned.
Firstly, as our 10th birthday is next year, we plan to do something big for it! We will also release a new age, with again new content: Space Age Jupiter Moon! And of course, Events will be back too. So stay tuned for new content coming in 2022!
We are excited to bring you new content next year and hope, that you will enjoy it! We wish you a happy holidays, and wonderful new year! We look forward to seeing you all next year!
Your Forge of Empires Team