State of the Server and V6
Hey guys, this is Spiffy, the DM team wishes to present you guys with a succinct post with what on earth is going on with the server!
Basically, we've finished moving everything over, and there is a plan for an archived version of the old forum to be released to the public in a read-only version, this way, any materials that didn't make it across the server jump will be available for your viewing pleasure. We're running on a far superior machine than we were for the last 10 years (thanks Mithrandir) and we're looking forward to the great boost this will give to our server.
Secondly- We're officially announcing version SIX (old news) is being worked on by the DM team, with a brand new set of haks, content, and more for the server to be rocking out on. However, due to the unfortunate state of the current module, we're having to rebuild the server virtually from scratch area wise. What does this mean?
A brand new server to explore
New Quests and content
Less Lag + (Hak tilesets reduce the need for showy placeables and such!)
This is going to take awhile
There will be bugs + Missing content we looked over, we will ask your help to rectify this.
I am sure you've seen me posting screenshots of Cthulu and Gmork having him crush Arabel beneath his oversized feet. Also, we got a fluffy dragon
Some pretty pictures...
[Yes, you can ride these]
Now, onto plots.
We're aware that several plots have stalled, namely:
Missing Children/Kidnapped Kids
Tammarast Versus Lhal
Wyvernspur versus Culspiir
The Rise of Eastway
An Infernalist is Abound...
The Child of Ash
The Legacy of Hardcastle
That's quite a bit! The DM promises you that the above will eventually be resolved, but as we're essentially working on two different servers at the same time, we ask for your patience and understanding coupled with the knowing that many of us (dm team) are in a tight spot in RL (I am literally working every day for the next 2 months, for example, and Echo is about to return to lording over a classroom of America's ungrateful progeny without the benefit of corporal punishment). It's frustrating to want to do so many things- but some of us don't live in socialist utopias and are made to work for a living. Savn, let me live in Finland. :(
Now, factions. I am sure a lot of you have noticed the exciting new Old Town we introduced, with the loads of gang-land warfare with levers and shit. Essentially, we're testing what we decided to call 'bare-bones factions' - all you get is an hq with one npc, a key, 10 piece storage, and free rest. No other benefits, call it an experiment, and depending on its success in the future (we like what we see so far!) We will deploy the same model for other groups that warrant it (Noble Houses, for example, or cult groups (beholder cults, mindflayer thralls, and more!)). Allowing players more options and choice for modestly supported and designed groups and such is high on our agenda.
Now, onto our 'Main' factions, Militia, Purple Dragons, Tammarast, and the Scriptorium.
Once the Scriptorium plots are resolved, the faction will eventually close, with the possible edition of something new. However, it still has plenty of life in it yet and we're looking forward to see what new players join what is possibly the busiest and most active DM faction on the server at present.
The Militia in the future may be reworked to better suit player agency, perhaps in the vein of some manner of Bounty Hunter's Guild, and we leave the day to day policing to the NPCs. This is largely under discussion, and I would not anticipate anything new in this field soon
Now, for crown Forces. I understand that there is a lot of canon material on Cormyr's Purple Dragons, and often times, dms don't really pay attention to what is in 'source books' which leads to a lot of confusion in regards to what the faction is supposed to do. For example, there are lot more than '3' ranks in the PDs (blade, road captain, Lionar? Knight? What?) and we'll be reviewing the faction to streamline its purpose and better guide players toward what goals and objectives should be pursued earnestly to bring conflict and life to the server.
House Tammarast: A house of beggars and hounds, angry rural men who wish to take back what they believe the world deprived them of, philosophical supremists of mankind- the House of Hounds has made a name for itself for its rabble rousing and open aggression and dislike of the Warden of the North, yet- understandably, players can feel a little lost at times on what they can actually do against the so-called untouchable Warden. For now, I would advise players to not aim for 'lhal' so much as to emphasize the anti-nonhuman agenda the house has taken upon itself and work towards spreading the House's good name amongst adventurers, lifting its shoddy position in court and in the city towards a revered one.
Now, onto development. Sadly, new systems, spell alterations, and more will not be added to the current module, and all future development will need to go into the new one. However, that doesn't mean it's a bad thing! It just means you need to wait a bit more for nice things- and not everything will be ready on module launch day for v6, but we hope to have a good bit of ready to go.
Now, we're taking a close, hard look at the following things:
New Boating System New Caravan System Merchant Stalls Dynamic Landmark System(New Exploration Marker System) Lycanthrope Revamp More spell alterations
Now, merchant stalls is a bit tricky as it would involve practically remaking the entire merchant system bioware has provided. It would be a resource intensive, grueling task fraught with bugs and more, but we're willing to crack at it, and here is a framework for how it will work.
You rent a stall. The stall is rented for say, 2 weeks. You give items to an npc and you speak how much you want for it. The Npc will add a little on top, possibly, for his own profit, and players can speak to it and purchase the item for how much it was listed by the player.
More than likely, the privilege of merchant stalls will belong to DM factions as to make them exclusive and increase the desirability of said DM factions. However, much of this is still under discussion, and nothing is set in stone.
Now, you may have noticed Puffy redoing the boating system...and it still has a few problems with it, despite all of Puffy's hard and amazing work. So namely, we'll be redoing everything, and we are going to try and create a random encounter system so as to make travel more realistic and thrilling. Like, you might be attacked by pirates, find an isle with buried treasure on it- and more. It's still in development and discussion, but we're definitely wanting to bring more of this to the server.
Now, for lycanthropes-
Basically, we want them able to use items and cast spells. While we know how to do this, implementing it Right takes time and limited DM time is desired as it is. I can promise it *will happen, and a post will be made explaining it in detail. However, for the time being, we ask, as per usual, your patience.
A New caravan system- I am sure a lot of veteran players remember the buggy, unbalanced, sometimes random sometimes incredibly dangerous sometimes easy caravan system. We're working on a system, in the same vein as the boating system, that incorporates travel + random events, from fae shenanigans to kobold raids to the very unlucky encounter with a mysterious blade master blocking the bridge you need to cross unless you solve his three riddles. The early DM teams didn't have the benefit of NwNx events and functions, so with luck, this should prove much easier than it was in the past.
Spell alterations! Clearly, one of the more popular (if frustrating) aspects of being a wizard is discovering new spells and what new additions we've added to the server. I can safely say we've about 30+ more planned to add with a lot more underway. It is our hope to also add a better research system than random testing with thanks to Sithspawn. Essentially, the framework for an 'arcane research system' is in place, and as you progress by adventuring and finding 'lore fragments' or 'spell research fragments' taken from the bodies of dead wizards and sorcerers, letting you unlock new spells. Much of this is under discussion, but it should be an improvement from the boring drudgery of random testing every item you find in the game. The research system can be applied to various themes as well, with more than a few of you having already explored the 'infernal' route that was first developed.
Finally, we're working on a new exploration system to help encourage players get out and about on the server. It's essentially a way to reward exploration. When released, a more detailed announcement will be made.
So, a couple of players might be wondering, "How can I help?"
Well, we need merchant stores. We need loot for quests. We need quest areas. We need creative ideas and input. Basically, if you want to see something new in the server- go ahead and make it, put it in an area, and simply send it over to a DM via an e-mail. SpiffyHas@Yahoo.com is mine.
What we are definitely looking for, however, are merchant stores! If you can fill a merchant store with creative loot and shit, pop it down in an area, and let the team review it before we add it to the server, we'd happily oblige.
As for the Haks for potential builders, we'll be looking into a launcher for the new haks for all players who wish to Download them soon.
The Dm team
As for a time table, we're looking at roughly 6-8 months of development time to finish areas, quests, and perform bug testing. It may take longer, so please do not think about quitting your pcs any time soon. Actions undertaken in the days of v5 will definitely have an impact on v6.
A few screenies of things I've been working on
The ruins of Castle Kilgrave in the distance, as the sun sets.
The Stormhorns during the day, no travelers braving the treacherous paths...
Potential v6 DM faction...
The Knightly Order of the Wounded Wolf
The Fallen Brethren
Founded in the year 1075 when the formation of Damara occurred under King Feldrin Bloodfeather, the Order served honorably beneath the various Kings of Damara, protecting the trade routes and otherwise fighting off monstrous races that haunted the sparsely inhabited Kingdom. During the rise of the Witch King Zhengyi, a foul curse was passed over the Knightly Order and they turned to madness and abyssal worship, slaughtering many villages and turning traitor to their knightly duties. When King Gareth Dragonsbane slew the Knight-Commander, who brokered the deal with Zhengyi in return for the promise of eternal life- the Knightly Order, shamed, begged to be executed wholly for their crimes, even if they possessed the excuse that they, under magical compulsion- performed these wicked deeds, and could arguably be held innocent.
King Gareth Dragonsbane passed his judgment and demanded the Knightly Order repent for their sins done upon his people- ordering them to wander the realm, and never return home to Mother Damara until they have suitably atoned for their sins. The Grandmaster, a masked man whose visage looked akin to a dying wolf, bent his knee in acceptance of the task, and as one, the Order, now known as the Fallen Brethren, left Damara in search of a way to lift their sins from their shoulders.
The curse of Zhengyi, while no longer enthralling them, abnormally extended their life spans, some of them are about a hundred years old, and are still fit to fight. No man may leave the order until their sin is atoned, if they do, they shall be hunted down and killed. They do not recruit and are thus cautious in any campaigns they undertake as they wish to Die on Damaran soil, but it places them in a rock and a hard place as to atone for their sin, they must undertake dangerous campaigns. They do not possess arcane or divine based classes in their ranks, though their faiths lean toward Shar, Jergal, and Helm.
Never break your bond or word. Conduct yourself with honor and humility. Never ask forgiveness for crimes you commit, accept the sin and let your deeds earn your forgiveness. Never permit the helpless or unarmed to go unprotected in times of danger. Never enter a temple or shrine until the sin of the Abyss is purged from their frame (remove Zhengyi's curse). Obey the Grandmaster in all things.
Remove the Curse of Zhengyi so that they may die natural deaths. Atone for their many sins in the War of the Witch-King in Damara Become the heroes of the people so that they may restore their lost honor. Earn the acceptance and respect of the people of Cormyr.
Possess Multiple sayings, such as, "The Wounded Wolf Does not rejoin his pack", or "The Fangs of the Disgraced Bleed their prey just as well." When their watch changes they often ask, "Are we yet free?" and the response would be, "Zhengyi's curse still rules."
The Curse of Zhengyi
Essentially a curse that enthralled them to commit evil acts and aid the Witch King in his War. Unnaturally prolongs their lives Makes eating food and drinking water a chore, it also reduces their need for sustenance. .
The Sin of Slaughter (Atone for the wanton murder of the innocent) The Sin of the Abyss (Atone for Abyssal Worship) The Sin of Treachery (Atone for betraying their charge in protecting Damara) The Sin of Cowardice (For seeking death instead of taking upon the duty of redemption) The Sin of Blood (For all the blood they spilt in service to Zhengyi)
Basically, the point of the DM faction would be a black sheep DM faction that has committed, as an organization, numerous crimes, and the players work toward redeeming themselves and their own organization, while struggling against the Curse of the Lich-King Zhengi that still haunts their dreams and plagues their bodies...
Ambient + Explorable areas are almost done, the team is now focussing on quests and the like. We will recycle some of the more recently made quests (Pits of Shargaas, The Crypt of Harkor, Stonelands Invasion, etc...) and remake many more. Afterward, we will work on cleaning up the palette + scripts on the server to vastly improve performance, reducing lag drastically.
We're almost finished working on our DM factions as well, I think you will very much like what we have in store...