Summer is always a slow time on the game and a difficult time for us to arrange much in the way of events. But now we’re in August and things should gradually be settling down. To kick things back into gear again, we want to hear from you.
Specifically, we want everyone to put in a +job (use the type REQ) titled “Ideas for my character” where you give us some ideas and wishes (big or small doesn’t matter!) about what you would like to do on the game. Specifically, we’d like to know the following:
* Is there anything in particular you would like your character to achieve or any particular direction you would like your character to move in?
* Are there any particular types of scenes/roleplay you would like to participate in?
How general or specific you are is up to you, but our idea is to try and use what we get from the players and plan things with that in mind. We can’t promise that everyone gets what they want, but hopefully we can use the information to plan scenes and plots that draw people in.
We won’t necessarily respond to these +jobs unless there are questions or things we need clarification about, but we will collect all the information and work from there.
As the time of the war against Dorne approaches, we thought we’d provide a general sense of what players would ICly understand of how it’s being organized and why it’s being done in a certain way. A Tidings post will sort of hint and nod at it all in a more general, Tidings-style sense, but this is a sufficiently big and complex event that putting things out OOCly in a plainer sense makes… well, sense.
This is what players will have gathered, as word of the king’s plans have filtered down from on high to important lords and courtiers, wardens, etc. First, the thrust of the king’s plan appears straightforward, and inspired (with one key difference) by the Young Dragon’s invasion of Dorne. Where Daeron’s attack was three-pronged (two land armies crossing the passes through the Red Mountains, and Oakenfist leading the royal fleet to eventually drive for the Planky Town), Aegon has called on forces to gather at King’s Landing, and indeed over the last month and half encampments have begun to swell outside the walls of King’s Landing, with the largest across the river at the beginnings of the Kingswood. There are two exceptions to this gathering. One is in the Reach. While lords and knights of the eastern part of the Reach have largely traveled to King’s Landing, the Tyrells are overseeing the reinforcement of the Prince’s Pass, and indeed a tourney has taken place at Horn Hill where the young Lord of Highgarden has won his spurs after winning the tournament and defeating some noted champions who have come to join that reinforcing force. The other exception is the stormlands, where the marcher lords and many stormlords besides are raising their banners at their seats and are waiting for the king’s host to join theirs, or (in the case of marchers like the Dondarrions and other relevant houses) are even now reinforcing the Boneway and preparing depots and encampments to supply the host on its march.
Besides this huge army, growing by the day, there are also the terrifying “dragons” that the Guild of Alchemists is constructing for the king. These are in fact being built across the water, with parts of the Kingswood felled for the timber to make them. Rumor has it that the wildfire that these great engines will spout has yet to be transported out of the depths of the Guildhall, but when it is it’ll be a very delicate operation.
Finally, the other segment of things is the fleet: just as an army is gathering, the royal fleet is gathering. Most of it is in Dragonstone and its vassal isles, but a large segment is now at King’s Landing, with ships being overhauled and refitted, sailors and oarsmen being recruited, etc. Some substantial portion of the total military force will be travelling on those ships, although the king’s plans for the role of the fleet is not yet generally clear. Most bet they’ll try the same gambit, trying to seize the Planky Town and then as much of the Greenblood as possible to prevent forces in the west of Dorne from easily crossing over to the east.
Finally, what role will characters have in this whole thing? If you’re a knight or a squire, it’s likely that you’re expecting to be part of the war! Whether you’re with the land army marching south or with the fleet sailing down is mostly up to players, and as we get closer to the marching/sailing date—it’s still several weeks away—we’ll maybe have some specific events for the groups in each “arm” of the campaign. If players decide they would all like to be on the fleet or with the army, we can do that, and will just focus on that part of the conflict for events and scenes. And if you’re not a knight or squire? You’re likely staying in King’s Landing, perhaps supporting (or deploring!) the effort in your own way.
RL has continued to hold us in a very firm grip. We have not had time to get the planned coding tasks completed for a mini “relaunch” at the ascension of Aegon IV. Instead, we will simply go ahead and start scheduling weekly scenes with the intent of driving things forward in a more hands-on way. To begin with, these scenes will take place on Saturdays at 14.00 Game Time (see +time) and will alternate between King’s Landing and Sunspear. We will add reminders to +events and we’ll try to get logs up for each one as well.
We have made a change to how NPC submissions work in the sense that we will now generally use StaffPublic notes as a first step before recording an NPC in the CDB/family trees. This is also an excellent way of noting more minor/less frequently recurring NPCs. The updated text of +HELP CDB SUBMIT is quoted below:
If you make up recurring characters for use in your roleplay (septas, servants, etc), these should be recorded for posterity. How they are recorded depends on how much of a regular character they are; characters that only appear now and then are best recorded in a StaffPublic note whereas characters that are more present should have their own CDB and family tree entry. In general, Staff determines how a submission should be handled and often characters are added as StaffPublic notes initially and then migrated to the CDB/the family trees if it is merited.
To help us maintain a record of the history of the game and to help new players get into the game more easily, it is very important that everyone keeps their characters as updated as possible. As it stands now we often find ourselves forced to close—or even kill off—characters when they are abandoned because it is too difficult to piece together their past history.
Keeping your character updated also affects your progress on the game. If you want to switch to another character or request an alt, we will first request that you update your current character, so doing it regularly makes it much easier for everyone. We also take into account how good a player has been about keeping their character(s) updated when considering applications for Restricted or Limited characters. Finally, how well updated a character has been kept is a key criteria for tier advancement.
The two most important things to do is to add Events (+HELP CDB EVENTS) when something significant happens and to add or update Relations (+HELP CDB RELATIONS) to other characters. You may also need to occasionally look over your History, Persona and Notes to see if anything needs to be adjusted. You may also want to update your @desc as your character ages and to submit updates to your shortdesc via +jobs.
For those of you who like to be mentioned in the Tidings or the Chronicle (and who doesn’t!), adding Events is particularly important; if you haven’t added one for a particular scene, you are much less likely to show up in the writeups done about that scene.
It is important to keep in mind that the public areas of the game are always quite likely to be populated by various NPCs—courtiers, knights, guardsmen, servants, stablehands and so on in the castles and the general populace of the cities in other areas. If events out of the ordinary take place—events that would be disruptive to the normal day-to-day operation of the castles or cities—it’s entirely likely that some NPCs will get involved one way or another.
If there is significant violence, with weapons being drawn, the gold cloaks of King’s Landing and shariffs of Sunspear would interfere, even if those involved are nobles. Players should feel free to @emit such cases where violent or criminal action involving one or more parties get broken up by the City Watch. They’re there to keep the peace, and while they may hesitate when it’s their betters breaking it, they won’t hesitate forever.
Another important category of NPCs to keep in mind are the escorts that may accompany various characters, especially younger ones. Unmarried girls in King’s Landing are unlikely to be without a septa as a chaperone, for example. Players should be mindful of this when roleplaying behaviour that is, again, out of the norm and/or transgressive—NPCs, even those who might be in their train, are often not likely to agree with this behaviour and may even be in a position to tell them so.
Finally, when it comes to NPCs in general (rather than a specific NPC), it is important to be careful in regards to how their opinions are characterised in roleplay. How NPCs at large feel about an event or about a character should generally be determined by Staff.
We’d like to remind people to use the +vacation command (+help +vacation) to set themselves on vacation when they expect to be absent or inactive for a period of time.
We’d also like to remind people to make sure you are familiar with the rules for idling outlined in INFO POLICY PURGES and INFO CHARACTER IDLING. These files include information about the activity requirements for important characters (Restricteds, characters in important positions at court, etc).
We would very much like the help from our players to advertise the game in venues outside of those that we frequent ourselves, whether these are MU*s, livejournals or forums. An official ad can be viewed using ‘+display nymeria/ad’ (this will give you an evaluated version suitable for forums or livejournals) or ‘ex *nymeria/ad’ (this will give you an unevaluated version suitable for other MU*s). Players can feel free to modify this as they deem appropriate for the venue in question, or to write their own ad, as long as it does not give the wrong impression of the game.
The following points should be kept in mind:
1) Make sure that the venue in question allows advertising.
2) Only advertise in venues where you are a member of the community, unless it is a pure advertising MU*/livejournal/forum.
3) Make sure someone else has not already advertised the game in this venue.
4) If reciprocal advertising is required, we have an ElseMU* board setup for this purpose. However, the other venue would have to allow you to make the reciprocal posting, as guests cannot make use of it.
We’d also appreciate it if you page us or drop us a +mail to note where you have placed the ad, so we can keep track of where the game has been advertised.
We have implemented one of the changes discussed during today’s Q&A, namely how access to the Guest and Newbie channels works. You no longer need to be a Greeter to join these channels and help out guests and visitors, instead it is enough for you to have been on the game for 3 months. In addition to the Guest and Newbie channels, you will also be able to join the Greeter channel where you can ask questions about helping other players if you are uncertain about something, though you will not (as of yet) be able to read the Greeters board.
The reason for this is that we will keep the option to become a Greeter, at least for now. The idea will be that those who sign up to be Greeters will remain more likely to be paged for help from new players since they can be looked up via the +greeters command. Because of this, we will continue to look for a little more experience with the game than just having been around for 3 months as a criteria for becoming a Greeter.
For those who just want to join the Guest and Newbie channels to be able to welcome new players, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
*Keep talk with other players to a minimum on these channels. They are for answering questions, not chatting.
*Be honest about what the game offers and what it doesn’t offer. It is not for everyone.
*Don’t try to recruit family members, spouses, etc for your own character(s).
*If you aren’t certain about the answer to something, say so rather than take a guess.
*Keep the talk to the channels, do not move it to pages. That way, others can help out if you don’t know something.
We have made some changes to the server configuration and the webclient is now working again. We are not yet certain that these changes won’t break other functionality on the site and if this happens the webclient may be turned off again. But for now it is available. You may need to clear your browser cache for it to work, however.
Unfortunately, the webclient we link to in the left sidebar is currently not functioning. We moved the site from http to https and we have been unable to get the webclient to work with https. It has support for it, but our server is not properly configured and we have not been able to sort that part out yet. We do not currently have any estimates for when this will be fixed so for now the only way to connect is via telnet or a telnet-capable client pointed to bod.westeros.org, port 3000.
We (mostly Elio, who has been working hard on this the last two weeks) have finally finished up the four Dornish family trees that previously had been left only partially completed: Jordayne, Manwoody, Qorgyle and Wyl. This has resulted in the addition of some 200 characters to the CDB. Not all alive and playable, of course, but there should now be more variety available in Dorne.
We’ll now look over these additions for errors as well as go over all of the Dornish trees to change long-standing betrothals into marriages, upgrade squires to knights and perhaps kill off a few characters as well. After that, we will take a break from family trees for a while to work on plots for King’s Landing and Sunspear. We do plan to refresh the trees from the other regions as well and add some additional houses, but this will be later in the year.
We have installed a new webclient for the MUSH which can be found at http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Portal/
For the time being, it will supplement rather than replace the existing webclient (found at http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Client/), but we recommend that those who have characters on the game use the new webclient and not the old one. With the new one, you are not automatically logged in as a guest first but can login straight to your character. It will be very helpful for our greeters if we don’t have a bunch of “false” guests connecting.
The new webclient is a work in progress and there are some of the standard menu items that do not work with Blood of Dragons. But we are collaborating with the developer and hope to see this evolve quite a bit in the future. If you have any suggestions or any feedback, do let us know.
Following the update of the Recent History and the State of Play in King’s Landing, we have now updated the State of Play in Sunspear. We hope to be able to keep these more regularly updated this time around. The Chronicle still remains well behind, unfortunately, and we will probably have to prioritise other projects over updating that one.
The “state of play” article for King’s Landing has been updated to give players a sense of the current situation at court and in the city. An similar update for Sunspear will be coming soon. The article can be read here.