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.
The Recent History articles, which in broad strokes summarises the history of the game (as well as VERY briefly touches upon the history preceding the opening of the game), has finally been brought up to date. You can find it under Articles, at http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Articles/Entry/Recent_History
The State of Play in King’s Landing and State of Play in Sunspear articles will soon be updated as well, picking up from where the Recent History leaves off to give a sense of the current status of the game’s two open areas.
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 184.108.40.206 (or bod.westeros.org). The port remains the same.
If you notice anything odd in the wake of this move, do let us know.
On October 1st this year, Blood of Dragons will have been open for 10 years since its beta opening in 2006. Of course, the game was founded much, much earlier than that and the full opening followed after about a year of beta, but we still consider this to be our anniversary date as it was the start of IC time on the game (Year 158, Month 1, Day 1).
We would like to mark the occasion in some fashion and we thought that we’d start off by saying that we’d love to see suggestions from our player base for what it might involve. We can’t promise that we’ll be able to use any of them, but we will certainly give them consideration. If you would like to contribute, use +mail in-game addressed to Nymeria and Balerion and with the subject “Anniversary Suggestions”.
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.
As you know from his post, Damphair will stepping back for the foreseeable future. He will remain on Staff, but his active involvement will be highly limited. This has raised the question among players whether we plan to recruit or open applications for new Staff. The short answer is no, we have no such plans at the moment. We’ve never entertained applications for Staff and we don’t feel that is the right way to go about things. We have always kept the possibility open of asking additional players if they are interested, but at the moment we do not have any such candidates in mind. We have a good number of experienced players, but we know from experience on other games that this is not the only important factor in putting together a functioning Staff team.
Now, the reality is that this will mean we are somewhat understaffed, in particular when it comes to GMing scenes, which was something Damphair has been doing a fabulous job of for years. It is an area which neither myself nor Balerion excel at; our MUSH backgrounds involve minimal exposure to GMing, as either players or staff. Given this, that is an area which will see less staff involvement for the moment. Instead, we will be focusing on trying to cut back on the +jobs queue as well as looking at some larger projects that we would like to finish in time for the 10-year anniversary of the beta opening this autumn. These projects include some CharGen changes (how ambitious these can be depends on whether we feel that we can leave existing CGed characters with a different setup than future CGs; not in terms of numbers, but in terms of some of the written parts), the reputation/renown system, further house expansions and maybe (a very big maybe) the combat system. As we are quite unlikely to do the same kind of coverage of Season 6 of Game of Thrones as for past seasons, we won’t be as swamped during the show period as previously, though keeping the website from going down with some regularity will undoubtedly still take extra work.
When it comes to plots, we are working on some long-term timelines for both areas, with the Dornish one being the furthest along so far. For King’s Landing, we have some canon events to build around, but we need to work on some more solid details. Considering the lack of a dedicated GM on Staff, we would certainly like to see more plot proposals from players willing to take the lead on such projects. However, we do have to stress that one reason we’ve been hesitant about this in the past is that we’ve often found that the requisite updates have been very hard to get out of players afterwards; any larger plots need submissions for Tidings and for the Chronicle, Events for any CDB NPCs that are used and so on. But players who are willing to step up and run plots with these requirements in mind are more than welcome to submit proposals.
We’d also like to ask players to help us with the process of getting the +jobs queue shortened; make sure to check your +jobs regularly to see if we’ve submitted notes asking for additional information or any other kind of feedback. Its much easier to get a particular +job finished up if once we start working on it the responses come in fairly quickly. And if you do have any outdated +jobs that should be closed, do add a note letting us know that this is the case.
If you have any questions or comments, do let us know. For example, is there anything really major we’ve missed in our list of potential projects for the year? And should we put out a guide/rulebook for GMing on the game and what should it contain?
Following the release of The World of Ice and Fire, we hosted an “AMA” on the game, allowing players to ask questions about the book. We have now posted the transcript of this session. And now that the book is out, we will be making some further updates to “Blood of Dragons 2.0”, for example to make a few more family tree additions that we felt were too spoilery to add in advance. We also hope that players will take the opportunity to dig through the book and come up with some plot hooks from the new material - we will of course do so ourselves as well, but sometimes you’re too close to your own material to see its potential.
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.