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The 2017 Post!

Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
It's a New Year! What a perfect time to look at our goals from 2016, see how we did, and look forward to 2017.

Our main goal in 2016 was more events, more lore, and increased story. Here are the major events we ran in the year:

The Plagues: We expanded on the story of Legion and Shade. It started with the plagues released upon the land. The reaper, the horned one, the beholder, and more were sent into the land and can now be mastered by the champions through the use of their boneyards.

The Tenth Monolith: The cities and councils were pit against each other after the release of the unstable 10th monolith. In this event the cities had to negotiate over the pieces of the monolith and who would control it. In the end, Kinsarmar won out and the monolith rests within the walls of the Duchy.

Fractured Nexus: Shade fractured the Nexus releasing the memories of Eloweth and Legion. As players recovered the memories, they learned the story Eloweth, Legion and Malkav as well. These stories can still be viewed at the Nexus.

Tournament of Ages: The ToA was a massive, themed, 10 day event telling the story of the rebellion and eventual imprisoning of Legion. We learned of the condescension of Charon in order to save mortal kind from eternal death. This included a lot of custom event code and new games.

Urzog Advances: Urzog conquered Skegdald and moved his eastern forces into the city, taking control of a base near the forest council of Ithaqua.

Tournament of Champions: We held the first ToC ever this year with Septus winning the event. We will expand on the event for next year.

Death Dilemma: In this event players negotiated over broken souls that escaped from the spiritual realm. Several factions attempted to convince players to bring them these souls to use the energy for their own plans. Eventually the Imp Lord won and was able to escape the Underworld in order to continue his fight against Legion.

As far as events, I think we did well in the beginning of the year. While some people will never like the aspects of them, we did a lot, and people had fun for the most part. However, most of these events required a lot of code and the events took precedence over new systems. In retrospect, this was a bad idea. In 2017 our events will revolve around revamped and new systems that people can use every day. This way our work does not result in weeks of code for things that are only used once. In short, the first 6 months of 2016 resulted in good events with a lot of participation, but little code we can reuse.

We also had major goals we wanted to hit for revamping existing systems. Let's see what we did.

The shard system was the big one, which got an update mid-year. Too much to talk about in one post, but you can read all about it here:

Another goal was quarterly classlead rounds through the year instead of the single round. We did this pretty well thanks to Garryn.

We wanted to do two major profession revamps. The Diavolous revamp went in a couple months ago. We really, really wanted to get monks in there as well, but we will have to hit them in 2017.

We are in the process of the obelisk update which we did not quite get finished before the end of the year, but the planning is about done for it. This will be much more sweeping then we first considered, so it should be a fairly exciting change to the system. I will touch on that a bit more below.

The major thing we decided not to do in 2016 was the towne reputation and dynamic quest system. After talking with players, starting the basic design documentation, and considering the system, we decided the amount of work vs the amount of use was not worth it.

Not included in our original plans was the recently introduced the raiding objective system.

So what are the plans for 2017?

Due to our shrinking numbers one of our major goals will be to reduce the number of major orgs so that players can have larger communities. These means removing some cities and guilds. We have been talking about this for a while, and the time has come. We have already planned the removal of our first city. We will announce the specifics in advance so players can save things associated with the organisation. We will run an event that will let players build up their names around influencing the event. This will happen in January. Obviously this means people will know the outcome of the event ahead of time, but we will let players put their own stamp on it. This first event will also release a new mini conflict system that will be permanently added to the game.

In 2017 we are going to revamp all of the PvP conflict systems. The obelisk system is planned out and is the main coding project once we kill off our first city. This includes changing many of the shard skills and dealing with the difficulty in taking obelisks.

In addition, we will take a good pass at the aspects, shrines, monoliths, champions, and raiding systems this year. This we are planning on six systems that will get a revamp this year. Some of these will take more work than others, but I would like to shoot for redoing one about every two months.

We will be releasing a new profession. This is something we have been talking about for a while, and we have good ideas on what we want to do. We will release more information on this as we start coding on it. The goal is to release midyear.

In addition there are some smaller things that have been driving me crazy:
  • Removing the merc system. We previously talked about revamping this into a new towne reputation system. There is very little interest in the town reputation system, so we are going to unwind the merc system and make some refunds on lessons spent.
  • Small changes to the intro. We are going to simplify it to one area, up the levels in the five other areas, and add some final bosses to each of the newbie/lowbie areas.
  • Rewriting the shop code. This is actually not a small project and is something we have had on the list for a long time. It has become a massive beast and needs to be considerably cleaned up for players.
  • Revamping the behaviors. I have mentioned this before, and we have old ones that need to updates and I think we can streamline it quite a bit.
  • Quest and area clean up. After years of more and more new areas they have become pretty disjointed. I would really like to get a good pass at cleaning them all up, documented, and standardized rewards and questing XP.

As always these goals may change through the year based on player feedback. Please come to our town hall meeting this Friday (tomorrow for me) at midnight GMT (4pm PDT, 7PM EDT) and give your feedback.



  • TheophilusTheophilus Member Posts: 784 ✭✭✭✭
    Oh, just something I want to make sure I don't forget to say; something I thought about when there were talks of nuking Stavenn a couple of years ago.

    Please, please, PLEASE make sure everything is archived and well-accessible outside of the game. Over the last decade so many people have put work into creating cities/guilds/etc. It would be a shame for anything to be lost. I might be a hoarder in a sense, but man.. I would hate to see years worth of work just wiped clean, you know? News posts, books/essays, room descriptions, mobs... I just think they should be preserved somehow.
    (Ring): Lartus says, "I heard Theophilus once threw a grenade and killed ten people."
    (Ring): Lartus says, "Then it exploded."

    (Ring): Zsetsu says, "Everyone's playing checkers, but Theophilus is playing chess."
    Jeremy SaundersSylioIniarSkye
  • DruuDruu The GardenMember Posts: 52 ✭✭✭
    They'll be preserved in carbonite. :D
    "One batch, two batch. Penny and dime."
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 683 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it in an hour, so I'm dumping my commentary here.

    Who cares about the number of cities? Everyone basically exists in a circle supergroup anyway. Starting the year off with RP-clad deletion and another mini-game seems more like a waste of resources than jumping right into fixing the PvP systems that are going unused or used without PvP interaction.

    While hitting quests and areas, continued iteration on making PvE more complex and interactive would be great. The mob-effecting affs help, but they're mostly 'use them the minute the target CD is up' than interactive gameplay. I also like the thought of adding in more 'boss' fights. Heck, I'd be for removing/devaluing every grinding mob and replacing them with bosses :/

    I like the plan for hitting a conflict mechanic every 2 months. Beyond that, I'll hold off on commenting on the mentioned PvP systems in the hopes that you'll call for opinions before each one's turn.

    And now for a ranty bit!

    You seriously need to consider how you're rewarding players for their behavior and the impact it has on the game. Once you hit Aspect, player progression is limited to endless bashing for gold or making a sizable (relative to most f2p games) cash purchase, both of which are traps for established players and a turn-off for all but the most determined of new players.

    Playing the economic or PvE games means incredible investments of time to get a positive return. I can't even give away shops in the city, and the one newb who took me up on the offer realized how useless shopkeeping is for making gold in a day or two. PvE is the only real viable option for advancement, and god help the nub trying to go down that path with no artifacts and 1-2 trans skills. Then you get into the aspect bonuses, and the gold values represent hundreds of more hours of grinding. Achievement farming just loads you with XP bonuses aside from the few exceptions like extermination and annihilation.

    PvP is mostly a drain on advancement. Here, the typical player is going to be out 3k gold in just herbs and inks for a single real fight. Push that out to 20m for a raid or an hour for an obelisk, and they've got a good hour or three of bashing to do to catch back up from the participation fee. PvP does provide some benefit to bashing (shard hunting skills, the glorious emerald cluster, obelisks), but when I have to choose between fighting for 30+ minutes over a few blues and reds or just grinding out mobs, the latter handily wins out in terms of my character's betterment.

    Roleplaying provides a different kind of advancement entirely with no direct mechanical advantages. Still, if I had to credit one thing with keeping this game alive, it would be this. Not personally, since my RP soul has been pretty dead, but for others who I never see hunting or questing. I guess you could put trade miniskills here, but I consider them more economic since they cost $70 for each one you want to grab.

    The whole 'hurr durr consequences' thread that appeared earlier comes from there being nearly zero progression beyond huge cash dumps for long-term players, so the only 'reward' they want/can imagine getting is a negative impact on another player. Negative impacts are certainly okay, but there is jack squat for positivity beyond those of us willing to hit 'bash horde' ad infinitum or entertain ourselves with personal roleplay that could be done in a Skype window if it came down to it.

    If you want to make this game stand out from the other IRE clones, then playing it needs to feel like you're going somewhere or else you get established players retiring en masse to go to a game with an active population or logging out with no intention of returning.

    TL;DR Give me a game I can shell out to my friends without feeling like I'm turning into Ponzi or Madoff.

  • KrysalissKrysaliss Member Posts: 374 ✭✭✭✭
    Just out of curiosity, @Jeremy, if that's off topic in this thread - where WOULD it be appropriate to explain the growing frustration that your decade-plus players have?

    Because, yanno, I can't think of a better place than this to land that.
  • SylioSylio SE OhioMember Posts: 23
    edited January 2017
    There's a topic about the January Town Hall meeting.
  • ZerinZerin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭✭
    Yes! Nuke orgs! Yeah, they've all got histories and memories, and some people are very attached to them, but ultimately this is a role-playing game, so think of all the opportunities it would open up for characters. I would also like to see guilds made relevant again. Right now, they're just a source of free credits via prizes or low-cost credit sales. Reducing the number of them won't address this. I dunno how to address this though because I am bad at thinking.

    My big concern is that there is no real animosity anymore, which is why I think that PvP is all but dead. This is good in some ways (for example, I can now go anywhere and talk to whoever, whenever), but it's also a little bit boring. I used to be super invested in the RP-side. Zerin would be rabid about y'know, spreading the word of Baar or whatever. Now Antioch has no drive, none of the other cities seem to have a drive... they just kind of plod along. Even this new raiding thing is pretty shallow, because it seems to happen without cause, and then just be forgotten after it's over.

    P.S. My biggest gripe about that soul-collecting event was that there didn't seem to be a permanent result. It was just like "yay, my side won", but nothing happened. I would have liked to see the imp-dude rampaging all around in his new giant statue or something. I guess in events I would like to see permanent additions or removals or mechanics instead of just an ending.
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