2017 News Years Post!
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: https://www.imperian.com/game/news/Imperian/Announce/3445
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 at midnight GMT (4pm PDT) and give your feedback on these goals.