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 (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.
The MUSH has been moved from our oldest server that is due to be retired to one of the two that will be splitting the traffic over the next year and (hopefully) handling the show traffic as well once that comes around. The DNS has changed with this move, so if you were connecting via DNS you will need to update that to use 126.96.36.199 (or bod.westeros.org). The port remains the same.
If you notice anything odd in the wake of this move, do let us know.
The +xp/train command has been completed, allowing players to increase their stats in the same way that they have been able to increase their skills. Please see +HELP ADVANCEMENT XP for details on the command and http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Helpfiles/Advancement_Stats/ for a breakdown of costs. We ask players to look at their stats and xp totals before using the command, to more easily be able to spot any potential issues. Please report any problems as soon as possible.
We have just completed a modification to the CharGen which means that stat increases and stat decreases are no longer a one-off addition to or reduction from your stat pool. Instead, they are persistent percentages, just like skill increases and decreases. They also apply to single stats rather than stat groups.
To give an example, if a player used to have a Stat Decrease: Physique, they had their pool of Physique points reduced by 5% in CharGen. Now, the flaw will be modified so that their Physique pool is untouched in CharGen but instead they will have a permanent -10% to one of the stats in their Physique pool. This will display the same way on their sheet as skill modifiers do today.
We will start by changing over currently unplayed characters, then we will either approach active players who are affected or ask players to input +jobs with how they want these changes done on their characters.
This change is the first of a few planned CG changes which we hope may make it possible to implement Tier Advancement.
With this update we hope to clarify how The World of Ice and Fire will affect Blood of Dragons MUSH.
To start with the basics, The World of Ice and Fire, or the “Worldbook” as it often ends up being called, is a project that we have been working on together with George R.R. Martin and which is now nearing its completion after a very busy autumn and an only slightly less busy spring. The book is a companion volume to A Song of Ice and Fire which gathers previously established information about the Seven Kingdoms (and beyond) as well as fills out many of the gaps in our current knowledge with new information. There is, for example, a lot of new information about the history of Westeros, not the least about the reigns of the various Targaryen kings.
When we started Blood of Dragons MUSH, we based out storyline and our family trees on the existing canon information for our chosen time period as well as on some unpublished information from GRRM. We always knew that this unpublished information was subject to change and as such we have always maintained that if conflicting information was ever published, we would try to alter matters on the game to fit the new canon. However, we have also always said that some information may not be possible to work in as it would disrupt the game too much.
As you can guess, The World of Ice and Fire does contain new canon information that conflicts with some of our established game history and, in particular, our family trees. We will be able to work in much of this information quite smoothly—and the game will be enrichened by it as it fleshes out areas we have been hesitant to speculate on—but it is not the case for all the new details. Some will require compromises between the new canon information and what we have established as true for the game. What we have said so far is that we will be able to avoid invalidating any current PCs (this was very much a key priority for us), though some may require tweaks to their backgrounds.
However, for the time being we are left in a slightly problematic situation when it comes to new PCs. We cannot make all the necessary changes to family trees and game history at the moment; not only are we swamped with work during the airing of Game of Thrones, but naturally we are also unable to release formation from The World of Ice and Fire prior to its publication.
What this means is that the situation may be somewhat confusing for prospective players at the moment. Characters that are listed as Open may, unfortunately, be turned down because they belong to a House that will undergo extensive changes. Given this, prospective players are encouraged to check with myself (Nymeria) or Balerion before requesting a character; we are then able to provide guidance on whether their chosen character will be affected or not.
We understand that it is an added inconvenience for prospective players, but we think that everyone who is interested in this particular time period will agree that it would be a shame to not be able to work in some of the fascinating new history when the book comes out.
For a long while, we’ve had no idle timeout set on the game. However, we’re not sure this presents the game in the best light—some people are put off by seeing players idle for days on the WHO when they check out a game—so we have shifted to a 12 hour idle timeout. We have no problem with someone hanging out on the game while they work or keep busy with other things—a MUSH isn’t just for roleplay, the social aspects are important too—but we don’t quite see the point of someone leaving their character connected when they’re sleeping, for example. Given this, we ask that players do not use automated de-idlers to keep themselves permanently connected. If your router boots you if you don’t keep up regular activity, send the IDLE command (it will not de-idle you but will keep your connection alive) and/or use the KEEPALIVE flag.
We have had quite a lot of characters CGed lately and this has revealed certain trends in setup that we find troublesome. As such, there will be some changes in what needs to be Justified and also how we will be handling certain Assets and Flaws.
In terms of the Justify, we are changing what needs to be covered for Stats. Any stat below 35 or above 54 will have to be Justified. This allows characters to stay within the Average and the Above Average range without needing to explain how the unusual stat(s) have affected their character. We will be on particular lookout for female characters who go low on Mobility and Physique while boosting their Mental stats high and for male characters go low on their Mental stats and boost their Mobility and Physique. As an aside, we might note that should we ever get around to a full combat system, Mental stats will most definitely play a part.
In terms of Assets and Flaws, we are seeing overuse of the Fast Learner and Prodigy combination, especially from squires. We feel this is too heavily motivated by people wanting to play squires but then wanting to get out of it as fast as possible (before the age of 18). As such, we will be looking carefully at how well these things fit with the overall concept and the long-term viability of the character. We may also look at reducing the bonus from Fast Learner as it may have proven too unbalancing.
We are also seeing an overuse of Educated from female characters and we will be looking closely at how this is Justified; it starts becoming unthematic if we have to assume that every keep has a Maester willing to educate female students beyond what is common instead of them learning the things noblewomen ought to be learning.
For Flaws, we are going to give a heads-up that there are changes coming to give more Flaws system effects. For example, Phobias will be moved under Afflictions and will have to be publicly known so that it makes sense with a hit to Renown/Reputation.
We have made a change to SP and added a cap on how many unused SP a player (this is across all alts) can have at any given time. Currently, that cap is 3. This may be tweaked up or down in the future if we feel it would be a benefit to how SP are used on the game.
For more information, see the helpfile on SP.
We’ve added a +cdb/all <name> command which essentially is a shortcut for viewing all of the CDB information for a character in one go. As you can guess, this will be very spammy on a CGed character.
We have added a new option to +Prefs called “Staff”. See +HELP +PREFS for how to set.
You can set it to either Yes or No and it indicates whether you are interested in having Staff develop surprise plots for your character based on your background, past roleplay, etc. No guarantees are made as to what these plots may contain, nor does setting this option to Yes guarantee that something will be developed for your character. But having a lot of information—such as Events, Notes (for example about goals) and Relations—definitely makes it more likely. If there are any questions, please let us know.
We have reworked some of the FAQ entries in the Policy category, specifically those regarding the game’s consent policy and on why we have applications and quotas for some characters. This is mainly of interest to prospective new players, but it is appreciated if current players keep themselves up-to-date in case they answer questions for guests or newbies.
The THEME section of the Helpfiles has been overhauled, with a History and a Society section added. Feedback is welcome on what else might fit in here, but keep in mind our objective for these files: a basic overview meant to give players a general idea about these aspects of the setting.
We have tweaked what is required during the last CG room; a private Note detailing some goals for your character now needs to be set. We won’t be requiring existing characters to add them retroactively, but it is strongly encouraged.
We will also, when we find the time, add more categories to Notes to allow for staff-only notes to be set on characters.
We are hoping for more players as a result of the HBO series, and chances are that those players will not have read the books. In light of this, we are going to be temporarily changing our policy on spoilers.
The new policy will be that spoilers for any of the books or any of the episodes of the TV show should not be discussed on any channel except the Spoilers channel. When discussing the books or the TV show in a room, give advance warning so that those who wish can leave.
That said, however, we hope new players will understand that this is a policy change and that there will undoubtedly be slip-ups. New players will have to be proactive in letting people know if they haven’t read the books, but please make sure to do so in a friendly fashion.