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ZEALOTRY Users: Critical Notice on Continued Use

Edit: Our new HTML5 client (Orchil) is now open for beta testing in The Eternal City and Grendel's Revenge. 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:
  • Install Pale Moon (Windows & UNIX only)
  • Install the Zealotry XPI on Pale Moon
  • 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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A Flat Out Statement from Staff about Summer/Winter

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  • A Flat Out Statement from Staff about Summer/Winter

    I am going to flatly state this in as plain a form as I can.

    There will be a Summer/Winter conflict in Castle Marrach. My hope was that it would be in full swing by now, but for a laundry list of reason it hasn't come together.

    When it happens, how it plays out will, in the end, be in the hands of player-characters. It will not be pre-scripted or ordained. It will be, and has been, structured for the influence of player-characters.

    Anything said ICly is exactly that - In Character. To take anything said In Character by any VP or NPC as an explicit OOC statement as to the direction of the game would be a misreading of the statements.

    Nobody ever said bringing about Summer would be ICly easy. Nobody ever said Boreas was going to just fade away or give up. People have been complaining for ages that Boreas hasn't exhibited any strength... maybe his time has come?

    The public forums are full of anti-Boreas rhetoric ... and now there's a very powerful counter-attack. Why is this surprising?

    Think about it, is all I ask.

    If your characters believe all of the things that they have believed to this point to be true, what you should be doing is placing that Pronouncement in the IC context of those beliefs, not reading into it OOC signals that are not there.

    *Nothing* has changed about the metaplot of the game. Nothing has changed about the IC or OOC role or importance of any VP, NPC, guild, or group.

    And, the anti-Boreas/pro-Summer (which, btw, you should not assume are the same things...) faction *will* receive full and equal support from staff *the second* the game is physically ready and able to support it. This is not a situation where the player-characters are expected to "oppose" the machinations of staff "on their own".

    Even then, don't assume things will be simple. Don't assume they will be easy. Don't assume that one faction or another is destined for success or failure. They're not.


    StoryPlotter Geist
    geist@marrach.skotos.net

  • #2
    Thank you.
    ~ Gareth Beaumains ~

    ~ For Love! For Valour!
    ~ For Honour! For Glory!
    ~ Onwards to Adventure!

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    • #3
      It's disturbing that a post like this is actually needed.
      "A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of."- Bacharach
      "Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading."- Trevelyan
      "There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have."- Herold
      "I don't necessarily agree with everything I say."- McLuhan
      "There was never a great genius without a tincture of madness." - Aristotle
      Get Firefox -- My Blog

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Diedra View Post
        It's disturbing that a post like this is actually needed.
        Hell will freeze over then melt then freeze over again, but I actually agree with Nicole for once.
        Proud member of: WWMHSBA

        "Why don't you all just go submit some plots where you can get pregnant, give birth to you own alt as an annoying child character, have it grow up to be a drama queen, and then you can use IC/OOC crossover to hide the goods you stole and escape from the dungeon that you're locked in due to a badly run rape plot?!" - Age

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        • #5
          -echoes-
          -echoes-
          -echoes past min post limit-

          Comment


          • #6
            I also agree. I think this particular post was an unnecessary thing on the game as a whole.

            However, I believe a point made here that is important was the last bit:

            Don't assume that one faction or another is destined for success or failure. They're not.

            Mostly, I found that important because a week or so ago, someone mentioned that all the "summer people" had to do was wait it out. The above statement would indicate that such is not the case, and should at least make the "winter people" feel more at ease.

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            • #7
              Let me put it this way... for those of you that don't think that this post was needed, perhaps even Geist wishes that it wasn't needed...

              If this was a Trilogy of movies, and one of the movies ended on a note that made people think that none of the rest of the movies had mystery still to be solved, then yes it was needed.

              Anything said ICly is exactly that - In Character. To take anything said In Character by any VP or NPC as an explicit OOC statement as to the direction of the game would be a misreading of the statements.
              It is this part that I feel was most directed at me because of my other set of postings. To this I reply, every statement by any character (normal or VP) is an ooc statement about the direction of the game. If newbie Bob comes into the game and punches people in the face randomly and everyone just says "Oh well that's just ser X, if you look past the punching I think he would be very well suited for a position as a Herald." then that is an ooc statement that there are no repercussions to punching people in the face randomly.

              Admitably that is an extreme example and not one that is likely to happen, but if any character in the game says something that encourages or discourages any specific view point that is an indication as to the direction of the game.

              Now Geist's statement does reassure me that just because VP X says this, (That even if he doesn't believe it, does affect the direction of the game) that ultimately the direction of the game is decided by the players.

              And this I think is a very important statement for him to have made, for it is clear that some people had long ago lost faith that the direction of the game was controlled by the player base as a whole and not just an elite few. And to me it is clear that more and more people are feeling like they have less and less control over the story line.

              So yes I feel that this was a very good thing for him to say. And I also believe that this was a very needed thing for him to say. (Even if he is wrong about the whole OOC direction indicated by what people say IC)
              Xewe Golianor

              ((ooc: The cake is a lie))

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess the thing is that we've been waiting like fishermen at the wharf for "something to happen," or "some condition changing that lets us do something" for a long while.

                The perception so far has been that the Seasons are just changing of their own.

                The Sun comes out now and then. It was not a player-action that brought it about.

                The Moon came out. It was not a player-action that brought it about.

                But not much happened aside from that.

                So it was back to the waiting game.

                This is not to say that there are not people in the Castle doing things -- because there are things happening.

                Only that generally, the game's main plot arc has felt passive. We are not telling stories so much as waiting for them to be told to us.

                Again, there are exceptions to this. But the general thought might be that players are eager to see more of an 'initiative shift' towards the PCs -- that there might be more questions asked by SPs and more dialogue of what we might want to do, rather than simply wait for things to happen to us.

                Piblotoq is an Eskimo term for a culture-bound mental disorder. Someone gets to antsy with the Winter. They throw off all their clothes and run off into the night screaming.

                That's basically what the last years have been in the Castle. A game where those patient and stoic have to endure the never-ending cabin fever of the Winter, and others are getting collectively antsy to see some sunshine now and then.

                Barring that, some people seem ready to go running off into the snow screaming.

                I'm definitely more than interested to see what's going to happen. I've run off from the game and returned a few times all in the hopes that finally -- FINALLY -- the main arc might move forward as it had been envisioned since Day One.
                ~ Gareth Beaumains ~

                ~ For Love! For Valour!
                ~ For Honour! For Glory!
                ~ Onwards to Adventure!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gareth View Post
                  I guess the thing is that we've been waiting like fishermen at the wharf for "something to happen," or "some condition changing that lets us do something" for a long while.

                  The perception so far has been that the Seasons are just changing of their own.

                  The Sun comes out now and then. It was not a player-action that brought it about.

                  The Moon came out. It was not a player-action that brought it about.

                  .
                  as a side note, I am not sure, but becouse of timeing, these events may have been caused by player actions, at least indirectly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John View Post
                    as a side note, I am not sure, but becouse of timeing, these events may have been caused by player actions, at least indirectly.
                    The first times they happened they came as a result of player actions at least.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Write Something...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well as Vasant decided to bump this posting without indicating why (bad Vasant, if you are going to bump an age old posting please provide context and contribute, instead of just pulling up something you found interesting)..

                        So here is my contribution:

                        It's all well and good for Geist to say things like: My hope was that it would be in full swing by now, but for a laundry list of reason it hasn't come together.

                        or things like: When it happens, how it plays out will, in the end, be in the hands of player-characters.

                        But effectively staff in this game acts as a sort of complex Dungeon Master. They have laid out a number of possible paths for us that they are prepared for us to take, and are ready to adapt if we go in a fully different direction... but if they don't guide the story some how then you just end up with a party of Murder Hobos killing people in town because they aren't even sure what the adventure is that the Dungeon Master wants to be telling.

                        That is suppose to be the beauty of the VPs though. They are suppose to be your adventure hooks. The "Hey kid you want to be in on the summer plot then talk to this dude and he'll point you in the right direction" or "Hey you, yes you. Want to fight against those idiot summer supporters? Then talk to this dude"

                        But many of the VPs have been phased out by Player Characters. Sure some of those Player Characters are also staff and are "sort of" like VPs, they fail in a very big way... they aren't VPs and they don't have to reveal that they are controlled by staff. So sure perhaps Mistress Muffin can point you in the right direction for your desired plot. But we as non-staff players like having some idea our character is actually on the right path for the plot and not you know just following a guess of Mistress Muffin's that really doesn't know any better than the rest of us.

                        At least if Mistress Muffin was a VP and it was known this is a staff character, if she starts suggesting to those people that have earned her favor 'We need to kill so and so' we would KNOW without a doubt that this is some plot thing going on and not just a player making a guess. It might be that Mistress Muffin has been tricking her supporters. They haven't been saving the queen but enslaving her! Oh noes! but it's at least a plot that we would KNOW was an actual path the staff thought we might find enjoyable.

                        Now mind you, I'm not saying that if Mistress Muffin is a player character, and suggests to her loyal friends "We need to kill so and so" that you should just ignore it as not having staff influence. Perhaps Mistress Muffin heard from a VP some info in secret. Or perhaps Mistress Muffin is just an interesting RPer and regardless of staff involvement is trying to involve you in a fun story. But if it is that last one with no staff involvement... then ya we are in a setting of Murder Hobos.
                        ~ Initiate Kaori Zaihou ~
                        Arcanist for Lord Vestio
                        OOC: Signature last changed on 5/10/2015

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had hoped that "Write Something..." was all that needed to be said: it's meant to invite us all to read Geist's original statement again (or for the first time) and write with it in mind.

                          Because of some design decisions made in the beginning, this game is like a shark: it needs to keep moving forward. It will die otherwise. The weighing of the game towards social player-types (http://mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm) requires some outside force to push the game into conflict and exploration, or it will quickly devolve into an OOC social club. The game doesn't have the natural, self-sustaining balance that Bartle describes in his article. That's why Boreas needs to be a "griefer" a bad guy, controlled by staff, for example. The game is out of "Bartle-balance." In this basic design (limited space, lots of emoting options, liberal ooc communication rules) the staff need to control a variety of characters to constantly correct that balance. Without staff constantly involved with creating in-character conflict and challenges, the game would die faster than many others would-- according to Bartle's theory.

                          In another sense we need staff or VPs to present us with challenges and keep a very basic logic intact. For example: if the Chancellor is enchanting the Queen, why doesn't loving King Auberich intervene? And if Boreas is so powerful that he can hoodwink King Auberich, why doesn't he take over that realm as well-- or the entire fantasy world of the game? We can't solve a mystery and move forward if the mystery doesn't conform to logic in some very basic way. And if we can't use our collective wits to solve the current mystery, all we can do is sit back and be a passive audience while staff and VPs put on a show for us. However, that's not Geist's goal, as I understand it from his original post.

                          He expects us to solve problems in castle life that staff put forward; some short-term, some long-term. To accomplish that, we need to write with that purpose in mind. Boreas needs to be gotten-rid-of, so Geist can present us with the next great challenge. Gotten-rid-of by collective, social action, not by a one lone hero rising above the rest. That's been tried (Gareth, Lucus) and rejected as the solution by staff.

                          Boreas becomes afraid when the community unites.

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