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Edit: Our new HTML5 client (Orchil) is now open for beta testing in The Eternal City. Feel free to try give it a whirl at http://test.skotos.net/orchil/

Edit: We have made great strides toward a new HTML5 client, which should offer a replacement to Zealotry. We're hoping to release that in the very near future, but in the meantime, using Pale Moon remains the best method for ensuring there is zero interruption to your game playing during the transition.

As of November 14, Mozilla will be auto-updating all copies of Mozilla Firefox to Mozilla 57, a new edition of their browser that will disable all legacy add-ons. This will probably include the majority of the plug-ins that you use on Mozilla, including the Skotos Zealotry plug-in.

This is a big problem for us because Zealotry is the most stable of our clients at this time, and the one that we believe is in the widest use. There's unfortunately no easy way to update it, because we'd have to rewrite it from practically scratch, using their new programming system.

There are tricks that you could use to to prevent Mozilla updates, but we don't particularly suggest them, as you want to have a clean, secure browser. Fortunately, there are two alternative browsers that will support Zealotry. Each of them branched off of an earlier version of Mozilla Firefox, and each of them continues to be updated for important security issues.

Pale Moon Browser

The Pale Moon browser is our suggested replacement. It is a totally separate browser that branched off of Firefox some years ago. It will continue to support the classic plug-ins.

To install it:
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  • Restart the Pale Moon Browser
  • Play on Pale Moon

The official version of Pale Moon only supports Windows and UNIX, but you can also get a slightly less official version of Pale Moon for the Mac. We've tested it out and it looks like it's clean and works correctly, but use your own level of caution in working with the Mac variant.

If You Have Errors

Some users are experiencing "Content Encoding Errors" when using Pale Moon and Zealotry. As best we can tell, this is due to an incompatibility between Windows 8.1, Pale Moon, and Plugins. If you have this problem (or any other), we suggest instead using Mozilla's extended-release version of Firefox, which branched at Firefox 52. It's expected to remain supported until at least June 28, 2018, by which time Mozilla is planning to jump their ESR to a post-plugin phase. This is therefore a short-term solution, but we expect to have full release of our New HTML5 client well before that.

To install it:
The Big Picture

Our larger-scale goal is to introduce a new client that will be usable on any browser and make our games generally more accessible. We've had a HTML5 client in process since last year, but are currently hitting roadblocks that make a deployment before November 14 problematic. We've also just started a second project, which would be more specifically focused as a Zealotry replacement, without worries about new bells or new whistles. Both of these possibilities are being done out-of-house, by Skotos players, but they're receiving our highest level of attention for whatever support they need, as this is all our top priority.

So, consider this a short-term fix, but in the meantime if you use Zealotry, please download one of the alternative browsers and test them out ASAP.
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Pending Staff Updates: Free to Play, Major Plots, New Systems

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  • Pending Staff Updates: Free to Play, Major Plots, New Systems

    Greetings folks,

    It's been awhile since I've given any sort of 'general update' on Castle Marrach, so I wanted to take a moment to touch bases with everyone and let you all know about various things Staff has been working on for Castle Marrach behind the scenes and what to expect in CM over the next few months. There's a number of big topics I want to touch on, so for the sake of getting through them, I'm going to be glossing over them and then leaving the forum open to specific questions from the playerbase.


    Castle Marrach Free-to-Play

    The TL;DNR 'short and sweet' on this topic is, "Yes, free to play Castle Marrach is right around the corner". Right now we're looking at August if I can finish the necessary coding in time, elsewise September. It will be a trial attempt of Freemium, which means you can play 100% for free, but with limits placed upon what you can do while unsubscribed, else you can continue to support Skotos as a subscriber and get the full current benefits of the game along with new benefits we'll be adding. Trial attempt also means that if this doesn't work out, if Skotos loses revenue or too many subscriptions lapse once we go Free to Play, that the Freemium status will be revoked, because the game needs to make a certain income to support itself.

    Now for my longer spiel on the topic.

    Freemium AKA, "free-to-play with extra benefits for subscribing", has long been a topic of debate for Castle Marrach. It's something I have been pushing for since I became StoryHost, and something I think is pretty much mandatory for Castle Marrach to survive as a community in the modern age of online gaming. Right now we're the only game on Skotos that doesn't have a free to play option, and based on a length of data pulled from Top Mud Sites, Mudstats and Mudconnect, we're pretty much the largest active MUD left in the world that doesn't have a free to play option. Which doesn't say much for the continued viability of pay-to-play MUDs in the post MMO era.

    Most current players I think are happy to pay the subscription fee, it's a small price to pay for what this community has to offer. There are, after all, very few MUSHes left out there, if any, that offer the kind of roleplaying enforced environment that Castle Marrach does. But many outsiders and potential new players simply aren't willing to even try a mandatory pay-to-play MUD, the very thought of it is regarded with disdain by the majority of most online MUD forum sites I've visited. And so the inability to advertise Castle Marrach as a free to play MUD deters a lot of people from even trying the game; think about how often we get genuine new players to the community, as opposed to returning oldbies who were hooked on the game during that innocent pre-MMO era when paying to play a MUD was the norm. Off the top of my head I can think of maybe 1 so far for 2017, and he didn't stick around.

    The problem with pushing a Freemium program for Castle Marrach has always been a back and forth conversation of, "what incentive is there to pay if you can login for free?" That's because Castle Marrach isn't so much a true MUD as it is a MUSH. The difference between the two, for the uninitiated, is a MUSH (Multi User Social Habitat) highly revolves around social interaction and mandatory roleplay, whereas a MUD (Multi User Dungeon) usually has more of a focus on systems; crafting, leveling up your character, killing other players, etc. In a MUD, Roleplay is typically optional, you can often wander across players who are just playing the game OOCly without interest in roleplay, and those players can attack and kill you or each other whenever they please and so on. Ironrealms Online, a Skotos-like company who publishes a handful of the world's biggest MUDs (such as Achaea) have a "roleplay encouraged" policy, which means, "We'd like you to RP when playing the game but you don't have to." The rules vary from MUD to MUD, mind you, some communities have stricter roleplay requirements or varying rules about PKing, but the common denominator here is that true MUDs like the ones we often see on Top Mud Sites are more akin to text-based World of Warcraft than something comparable to Castle Marrach or Ironclaw Online. Our genre is a niche within a niche, but I do genuinely believe that Skotos has the best MUSHes out there, else I wouldn't be here myself.

    Regardless, the issue in Castle Marrach has always been, "If 100% of the game's enjoyment comes from being able to login and roleplay in the game, then what added incentive can we give people to encourage them to pay for that same access?" It's been a long back and forth debate for a good time. In the uninterrupted 13 years I've played Castle Marrach (as of this month) and 8 of them on Staff, I've seen the Freemium conversation come up a dozen times, and on maybe 2 to 3 occasions, serious conversations about "How would we do this" have been held between CM Staff and our Skotos owners.

    Ultimately we decided that some MUD-like features had to be introduced to the game so that we can use 'boosts' to those features as incentive to pay for the game. Some time ago, a proposal I sent to Skotos for a CM Freemium program was approved for a trial run, conditional upon being able to implement those MUD-like features before discussing them openly with the community. And so over the last two years since that proposal was approved we've seen a lot of coding developments in the game; Duel 2.0, Ranged Combat, functional Armour, the Treasury Gnomes and so on. All of this has been part of a larger program to add some MUD-like features to Castle Marrach, so that we can offer additional benefits to players who subscribe to the game (and more to those who subscribe to premium). And for the last two years or so I've been under a bit of a gag order not to speak on the Freemium topic, but we're close enough now to seeing Freemium realized that Skotos has authorized me to confirm and discuss it.

    I don't want to get too deeply into what specific details the Freemium program will consist of, partly because that's worthy of its own thread separate from this, and partly because I don't 100% know yet which features will be implemented on release on August 1st or September 1st and which will come further down the road and I hate promising deadlines before I know I can meet them.

    I can say confidently however that the Freemium system will be broken into three tiers: free, regular subscriber and premium subscriber, and that free accounts will be limited to only playing 1 character. If you're a subscriber and your subscription lapses, you'll be locked out of all of your characters save one. This will be a Freemium day one feature, and the only Freemium related feature that I can say for certain will be 'right off the bat'. What this also means is that those of you who play multiple accounts (and yes we know who you are) will have to discuss with Game Staff at some point how you want to sort your characters through your accounts, because allowing people to play multiple characters via multiple free accounts circumvents the single character restriction of playing free. If you're paying for both accounts it's one thing, no harm no foul, but if we find people using multiple unsubscribed accounts to allow them to circumvent the "no alts" restriction placed on free players, Staff will address it.

    Beyond the ability to continue playing alts, a number of other features are planned for subscribers, some as things we know we want to implement when we get the work done, others that are still being weighed and balanced. Amongst them, we are also looking at adding various new StoryPoint purchase options, as well as a Dream Market that will allow you to make automated STP purchases to obtain items or alterations for your character without having to go through Staff and wait for approval and implementation (it was actually for this purpose that the Treasury Gnomes were invented; the code was intended to eventually be used to automate StoryPoint transactions, charging StoryPoints from your account instead of taking coins from your in-character coin purse). The Dream Market will be an IC means of obtaining items your character may not have access to otherwise, due to lack of rank or social standing, or in-game coin to make purchase. Changes to the Character Generation process are also planned, adding a new tutorial phase based on feedback from players, as well as the option to skip the tutorial, and we're looking at adding automated Character Generation for Conclave, HG and Courtier packages as well.

    Various systems, both existing and to-be-introduced, will be affected by your account status. The Treasury Gnomes for example will give an automatic bonus percentage to all coin earned for subscribers, and a further bonus for premium players, and the same will apply to CombatXP and other 'grinding' features in the game. There isn't much of an IC roleplay explanation for why the gnome is giving you extra money, you'll just have to suspend disbelief and 'bluebook you made the money somehow'. It's one of those RP immersion 'prices we have to pay' in order to add these features to the game, but I think it is a small one.

    Certain @commands are going to be introduced to the game, I don't have a full list of them yet. But as examples, right now we're looking at making @hotspots only work for subscribers or perhaps even premium account holders, adding an Dark feature to remove yourself from the visible who list when desired, and other OOC 'convenience commands' still on the table.
    StoryHost Kurzon
    Castle Marrach Staff

    kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

    The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

  • #2
    Plots

    Because of the above, there's been a very big focus for the last 1 to 2 years on coding advancements for the game, which means not as much effort has gone into big plots. We've had plots certainly, but the most of them have been small plots; fairies, sirens, sphinxes and so on. The game's major plots and main storyline have sat on the backburner, because they simply take too much time and resources to be able to juggle them alongside the coding effort that was being made at the time. And something that I've learned is that a month of working on a plot can entertain players for a few days, but the same month put into a coded system can allow players to entertain themselves for months.

    That said, we're about ready to run the game's next major plot.

    In the previous major plot "The Queen of the Night", Queen Vivienne was restored from years of slumber frozen in ice when King Auberich arrived and shattered the icy prison that held Her, in the process also breaking Her fae essence into 5 shards which were scattered throughout Mt Ardan. The game's primary antagonists, the Triangle, were met for the first time face-to-face when two of its members, Ubraxas the Black Wizard and Dar'zuk of the five Foci, squared off with Marrach's heroes, eventually making off with one of the five shards containing Vivienne's fae powers. Also briefly introduced in the plot's aftermath was Ulsara, shadowy leader of the Triangle, as well as the return of the Dream Guardian Nef who arrived to assist Marrach against the Triangle. The plot's titular character, the Queen of the Night Maeve, was introduced when She cast a spell from the future, pulling the people of Marrach into her own time where Marrach had already been destroyed by Her hand. Queen Maeve then sent the Marrachians back to the present, with a warning to avert the future they were shown by preventing present-day Selune and Zaedra from merging into Maeve. The Marrachians succeed in recovering most of the shards and restoring Queen Vivienne, but were unable to avert Maeve's creation nor recover the shard of Vivienne's fae power stolen by the Triangle.

    The next major plot in the Castle Marrach main story continues where "The Queen of the Night" left off, and deals with consequences and aftermath of the events that took place during that plot. This story is scheduled to coincide with the release of Freemium, be it August or September, and will be a major plot of comparable size to Queen of the Night and have opportunities for all characters to involve themselves and participate in and/or influence that story.

    In addition to the next major plot, we're also looking at tieing up loose ends in the coming weeks, such as (ugh) the Hand of Five and running some other minor plots we've been looking at. Following the conclusion of the above, we're looking at possibly wrapping up the year with another Knight's Challenge if we can manage it. It would be great to see more PC Knights in the game, and the coming major plot should serve as an excellent opportunity for characters to 'prove themselves' worthy of the honour.
    StoryHost Kurzon
    Castle Marrach Staff

    kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

    The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

    Comment


    • #3
      System Updates

      A number of new systems are being coded for Castle Marrach right now and are nearing completion. All of these systems, again, are intended for release to coincide with Freemium and most of these systems will see some use during the next major plot we have planned.

      Revised MCombat System

      What I hope will be the last time I have to devote time and resources to combat systems for Castle Marrach.

      With the coming of plots both in the near and distant future it became apparent to me that the current combat system, or rather the set of disparate combat systems used in different situations in Castle Marrach wasn't going to sufficiently meet the game's needs for some of the scenes and activities I wanted available to players. And so this final system aims to combine the features of @Ranged Combat, Duel 2.0 and MCombat into a single combat system that will replace @Ranged combat and MCombat altogether, and will also replace Duel 2.0 as the preferred system for team combat (Duel 2.0 will still likely be preferred for the common 1v1 spars and duels). Features for this system include:
      • Players will now be able to fight each other using the MCombat system, in turn based combat where timing/tempo isn't a factor.
      • MCombat can be instigated manually using a command, so that players can fight or practice with each other, without monsters or CNPCs needing to be there.
      • Combat will include "combat areas", melee attacks such as standard weapon swings will only be usable on targets within your own combat area, allowing ranged characters to 'stand back' out of range of melee weapon swings, or weaker characters to hide in the back lines while veteran fighters dispatch monsters or other players.
      • Employ familiar features from Duel 2.0 including a fatigue system, functioning armour, and classic Duel 2.0 abilities such as cut, thrust, feint, cleave and lunge. MCombat 4 uses existing dueling skills to determine its rolls, such that if your character is a skilled fighter with Duel 2.0 they'll be of roughly the same skill in MCombat.
      • In addition to familiar commands, use a variety of new special combat abilities based on your dueling skill levels and equipped weapons. Drive your shield into an enemy's knee to cripple their leg, slowing their movement speed between "combat areas". Swing your spear in a wide arc to strike multiple targets in your own "combat area". Slam the pommel of your longsword into your opponent's face to daze them and weaken their attack rolls. And so on.
      • New threat system allows you to manipulate the flow of combat against CNPCs. Monsters will focus their attacks on those players in their own "combat area", in order of which player has built the most 'threat' by harming it the most. Draw dangerous opponents towards more defensive fighters with armour and shields by attacking monsters with those characters first, or use special abilities to agitate a monster and build threat at a higher rate.

      This system will be released for and introduced during the game's next major plot.

      Roll Stats System, Castes System and CombatXP

      The Stats System is essentially a standard 'tabletop RPG saving throws system'. Three stats, fortitude, agility and intellect can be used in conjunction with an @roll system to determine results in player generated scenarios, or the @roll command can be used without any stat modifiers on its own. In example, the outcome of an arm wrestle could be determined using fortitude rolls, or someone noticing you sneak into the room could use an intellect roll versus an agility roll. These are basic D&D style "dice rolls" for players to use how they want.

      However, these Roll Stats will also be employed gradually over time in various coded systems where automation is used. Things such as a character's ability to jump or climb over an obstacle, to wrestle with something, or to discern additional details or clues in objects in the game world can all be programmed to be affected by a character's Roll Stats.

      The Castes system is CM's equivalent of a Class system, but I don't like to use the word 'Class' as it's far too MUD-like in the MUSH that is CM. It is, however, a system intended to implement skill caps in Castle Marrach; no longer will a character be able to learn every single crafting skill, language and dueling skill in the game to expert levels. Instead, a character will be able to choose between the Castes of Warrior, Scholar or Tradesman, affecting the study speed of martial skills, science and magic skills, and crafting skills respectively, as well as the hard coded limit to how high a character can learn in those skills and how many of them they can learn.

      CombatXP already exists to an extent in that players are able to earn it presently, but not do anything with it. The long term intention of CombatXP is to replace the IC martial guidelines, which never made much sense from a storytelling perspective to begin with. Can you imagine if someone told Robin Hood he's not allowed to continue studying the sword because he's a commoner? Would that have stopped him from learning and getting better? The in-game martial guidelines were an IC solution to the OOC problem of overtraining where an OOC fix to the teach code should have instead been implemented. It was done this way at the time because back then Staff never conceived we'd be able to modify the existing teaching code in a way to address the fact that characters conceivable could, and in many cases did, get trained from newbie martial skills to the highest martial skills available to PCs in 1 to 2 months time, such that a character of 2 months could be a skilled as a swordsman of several years. The code never should've allowed for that to begin with.

      When CombatXP is released, the IC martial guidelines will be abolished entirely, and characters can learn however high they can find a teacher willing to teach them, but advancement in martial skills will require CombatXP, forcing that a character who wants high martial skills will have to actually have a history of martial activity.

      Due to the complexity of coding these systems and all the existing data that needs to be updated, these's a good chance that the Castes System and CombatXP won't be ready by the time Freemium comes out in August or September, though I'm hoping to get the Roll Stats with accompanying @roll command ready by then. Compared to other items on the table right now, these systems just aren't top priority.

      Harvesting and Survival Skills

      The harvesting and survival skills are small activities intended to give people something 'to do' during quiet times of day or when roleplay is difficult to find. The harvesting system consists of 7 gathering skills that allow players to obtain resources, leveling up their gathering skills in the process. These resources can then be traded, sold, or used in crafting. The survival system includes abilities such as jumping, climbing and swimming, and is intended for use primarily in navigating some of the areas outside of the castle itself.

      These skillsets will primarily apply in the Under Bailey, as that is and will remain to be the primary 'exploration themed' region outside of the Castle itself. However I am also looking at adding a smaller area inside the castle proper where it is safer and perhaps more socially acceptable for characters to travel to explore and utilize these skills than the Under Bailey is.

      Tasks System

      The tasks system is as close as we'll ever see to "Quests" in CM. Tasks are chores given by CNPCs which offer a small reward of some kind and can be refresh on a daily or weekly basis. Tasks can vary widely both in activity and reward, it could be something like beating a CNPC in a spar, or collecting Lady Heironyma's escaped bees around the castle and returning them to her. Reward can come in the form of coin, items, or reputation which can then be spent on favours from that CNPC, such as said CNPC supporting your HG promotion (I'm not sure yet if we actually want to allow players to orchestrate Court promotions using CNPCs or not, but that's an example of what's on the table).

      The tasks system is the furthest down the road, I don't want to even give it a tentative date yet because Staff isn't done theory-crafting on how we even want it to work yet. It's largely in the brainstorming process right now and will most likely come after all of the above.

      StoryHost Kurzon
      Castle Marrach Staff

      kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

      The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

      Comment


      • #4
        Conclusion

        So that's where we stand, in a nutshell. I know there is a lot of information there and a lot of it may come off as somewhat radical compared to what the game has been for most of its existence. However, this isn't September of 2000 anymore, and in order to survive, I think it's fair to say the game needs to adapt a bit and accept some new features that add activity outside of simply holding socials and gossiping on the bridge. In these changes Staff will be doing everything it can to maintain the theme and feel of the game; the castle wards aren't suddenly going to fall and allow you to adventure to Araby, you're not going to be able to 'grind crafting skills' to the point where you can teach yourself to make everything and circumvent rank and crafting guidelines, and the theme of the game will remain focused on social interaction, politics and intrigue, not on crafting and killing things as a true MUD is. However it is my hope that adding the features described above will give the slightly more MUD-inclined players things to do and reasons to log on and stay on at times when the who list is low, and provide incentive for new and current players to remain subscribing members of Castle Marrach.

        If people have specific questions/suggestions/concerns regarding features, feel free to comment in this thread and I will try to respond. As I said, I've glossed over a lot of the above topics in favour of getting this post finished and within some reasonable read-capable word limit. Some questions I can't answer, either because I haven't 100% decided how a particular system is going to work yet or because I don't want to promise something before I know I have the ability or time to implement for the game for certain. But, feel free to ask or suggest.

        And that's all. Thanks and happy gaming.
        StoryHost Kurzon
        Castle Marrach Staff

        kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

        The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

        Comment


        • #5
          All of these things are excellent additions and I can see them being fruitful as long as we can get advertising and word of mouth out strong enough to draw people.
          I like the options to automate character gen for various packages, which makes them more attractive.
          An idea to add to that...premium account holders are afforded access to such packages as courtier, Honored Guest, or Conclave.
          Perhaps eventually attempt to add in an ability to begin said packages with skillsets that should match the position...courtiers/hg should have more advanced skills than new guests.

          How will castes affect the older players that have the years behind them to back the numbers of skills they possess?

          The Mcombat between players will also be a good thing, and should temper out some of the ridiculous attention to the tempo system, maybe even bringing back the ability to have more rped matches.
          Will said mcombat offer combatxp?


          The overall implementation will be interesting and I look forward to it.
          Vaden Amberthorne
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          Apprentice Jeweler
          Seeker and Treasurer of the Rememberers
          Northern instructor with the LPA
          Mummer of the Unity

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm pleased to hear this many changes are taking place. The options that you are making available will really make this an up-to-date, way-way back in the day type of game. The Combat XP will really be a big change but put CM above, in what I initially ever imagined I would be playing.

            Since I joined I've seen so many good changes to the actual role-play of the game. My only real complaint is that there aren't enough houses for people to strive for. Well, that and the legendary and scary Inner Death. (Where one gets promoted to Courtier, and then sleeps for six moons, and then someone is "temporarily" filling a spot for someone who doesn't get it back when they wake again. Which then leads to finding them a spot somewhere in the Inner, to give them something to do.) Which actually has nothing to do with this posting, and I'm sorry for bringing it up here.

            Anyhoooo...I think the staff is awesome, and that change is good.

            Loyal Honored Guest to Her Majesty's Winter Court
            Servant to Lord Sicard, Her Majesty's Royal Champion
            LPA Director/Treasurer
            Elder Battler Teacher/Treasurer
            Masque in the Unity
            Lead Apprentice Embinder

            “No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.” ―L. Frank Baum

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kurzon View Post
              The Castes system is CM's equivalent of a Class system, but I don't like to use the word 'Class' as it's far too MUD-like in the MUSH that is CM. It is, however, a system intended to implement skill caps in Castle Marrach; no longer will a character be able to learn every single crafting skill, language and dueling skill in the game to expert levels. Instead, a character will be able to choose between the Castes of Warrior, Scholar or Tradesman, affecting the study speed of martial skills, science and magic skills, and crafting skills respectively, as well as the hard coded limit to how high a character can learn in those skills and how many of them they can learn.
              This is the only part that made me arch my eyebrow.

              Firstly, will this go into effect for existing characters?
              Also, I want to clarify that I am understanding this correctly. Does this mean that, for example, someone on the path to become a Duelist will not be able to learn languages?

              Kudos on it all regardless. Those are a lot of game-changers.
              Trisan Allanon
              ~ We journey to be great.
              Should we never achieve greatness,
              At least we have a great tale.
              Thus, mayhaps we achieved greatness after all. ~

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kurzon View Post
                affecting the study speed of martial skills, science and magic skills, and crafting skills respectively, as well as the hard coded limit to how high a character can learn in those skills and how many of them they can learn.
                According to Kurzon's information here, it looks like castes will only effect the study speed and limit (IE you won't see Dolph be a GM in all the sword skills when he's a master Healer ) but will still have access to the basics. I could be wrong, of course, but that was just how I read it
                Royal Chief of Medicine
                Courtier of Her Majesty's Royal Court

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is all so exciting

                  aaaaaaaaaaa!!

                  ~ Keeper of the Royal Vault
                  ~ Junior Handmaiden to Her Majesty

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I love almost all of this, except just PART of this part:

                    Certain @commands are going to be introduced to the game, I don't have a full list of them yet. But as examples, right now we're looking at making @hotspots only work for subscribers or perhaps even premium account holders, adding an Dark feature to remove yourself from the visible who list when desired, and other OOC 'convenience commands' still on the table.
                    I really think @hotspots should be available to everyone, as a tool for helping find roleplay!
                    Dame Galatea summarizes to Brook, "Sinistro is... kind of like Uwaine, physically, but less magic and more scalpel?"

                    Brook admits to Dame Galatea hesitantly, "I am not sure if that is better or worse."

                    Dame Galatea supposes to Brook, "That depends on whether you enjoy your terror with an aftertaste of lightning or flaying."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with Sinistro, @hotspots really makes it easier to find RP, which ultimately will lead to a higher retention rate and subscription rate if it is left enabled for everyone, in my mind. That said, maybe you could limit the usage per day or give it a cooldown, rather than disabling it completely, for free to play users.
                      ~Malatrios

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Or perhaps disable it after the first month of play. Having it enabled when a player first joins, I think, is definitely important.
                        ~Malatrios

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Darkspun View Post
                          The Mcombat between players will also be a good thing, and should temper out some of the ridiculous attention to the tempo system, maybe even bringing back the ability to have more rped matches.
                          Will said mcombat offer combatxp?
                          MCombat currently grants CombatXP and will continue to with the MCombat 4 release.

                          Originally posted by Trisan View Post
                          Firstly, will this go into effect for existing characters?
                          Also, I want to clarify that I am understanding this correctly. Does this mean that, for example, someone on the path to become a Duelist will not be able to learn languages?
                          More specifically, what it means is that if you wanted to have Senior Artisan dueling skills you couldn't also have 3 to 4 Grand Master language skills and 5 or 6 Master crafting skills, which is where some older characters have reached by now.

                          Admittedly this system is still in the 'brainstorm' phase, no coding on it has even commenced yet because I'm still sorting through ideas and suggestions, so nothing said here is written in stone. What I'm looking at however, would be something like this; a default character can learn say +3 to all dueling skills from their starting levels (so Artisan cut/thrust/guard, JM recover/advance/retire, etc) maybe 1 or 2 languages to full fluency, and 1 or 2 crafting skills to, say... Artisanish? Then to raise any skills beyond that, you would have to select a caste. Warrior caste would unlock the limits on martial skills, Scholar caste would let you learn the rest of the languages and healing and magic skills, etc.

                          The idea of the system is you can reasonably do some of everything but you can't master everything. And yes, it would have to affect currently existing characters if implemented.


                          Originally posted by TheRealSinistro View Post
                          I really think @hotspots should be available to everyone, as a tool for helping find roleplay!
                          The dilemma we've been having is this; game activity has gone down, if anything, since we introduced @hotspots.

                          Every time someone logs in or out of the game a message with a timestamp pops up on my screen. What I see 50 times a day without fail, is someone will log in, check the who, check @hotspots, and if there are no currently active hotspots they immediately log back out. Then the next person does the same, and because first guy has already logged back out, second guy has no more reason to stick around than the first did, and this cycle continues.

                          Back in a day where people had to spend a few minutes online and look for people to roleplay with, that first person would still be online by the time the second came on, and then they would run into each other, then the third would come on and so on. There are so many occasions where I watch 6 or 7 players log in then out within 20 minutes of each other during quiet times of day, each one checking the who list and @hotspots then logging back out because there's no active hotspots; if those 6 or 7 had just come out and looked for people instead of relying on @hotspots they would've likely run across each other and incited roleplay.

                          Similarly this problem is also why we're not sure yet if we're going to allow a Dark feature for people who don't want to show up on the Who; the who list and @hotspots command just seem too heavily relied on right now as a measure to gauge whether someone is going to stay online and seek roleplay. In any case I'm not sure yet what the future of @hotspots is going to be, I've considered removing it altogether, but then it seemed a reasonable perk to let stay for our few Premium players who put that extra dime towards supporting the community. It's something to dwell on in any case.
                          StoryHost Kurzon
                          Castle Marrach Staff

                          kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

                          The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

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                          • #14
                            I've actually noticed that the lack of hotspots has increased the amount of RP so far. People are going out and looking for it and stumbling across stuff they would not otherwise have gotten involved with. I've noticed it with myself. I also agree that a Dark command could stifle RP. If the @hotspots command is retained in some form, for premium subscribers or otherwise, I think it would be prudent to limit it to hiding you from counting toward hotspots, rather than the who list. It's the difference between hiding from RP and ensuring that your RP does not gain undue attention (for instance if you are playing a criminal and are doing criminal things with someone else, having that show up in hotspots might stifle your ability to RP that properly by automatically letting people know that something is happening there.

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                            • #15
                              I like the idea of castes making it so you can't be an expert in everything. That said, I think it could pose a problem by locking people into a certain path. Also, it doesn't address the fact that there are already people who are experts in a huge amount of things - but simply taking away a bunch of that skill would not be quite fair to them either. One solution is to have the caps be soft caps. You can learn above them, but over time your skill degrades to the cap. The rate it degrades could be a flat rate, or tied to your usage of the relevant skill. This doesn't entirely address the fact that characters can change over time. I propose that it be possible to, with plotter approval, change your caste. Maybe your jeweler decided to take up the sword. Over time they get 'rusty' at those crafting skills. The 'rust' rate would probably increase the higher you go above the caste cap. That way, people can be good at crafting and also swordplay - if they put in heavy RP to justify it.

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