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.
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 188.8.131.52 (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?