I am still working away at some trigger problems, so I’ll return to that topic soon enough, but now for something completely different …
When I returned to Realms one of the first things I did was ask Gonnil to port an area that Julie had almost completed before she died. I want to see it completed and in game to honour her but I also don’t want it to be too pansy and need to be tweaked and updated to accommodate the new reality of the Realms (for example barbarians weren’t in the game when the area was designed). Part of that education has been to learn what tactics and techniques are currently used and work them into my design. That’s still an ongoing issue.
In the mean time as I discussed building things with people I was steered to approach Melindora and Zistrosk about contributing to the guild overhaul. As I understand it the guild revisions had been proposed quite a while beforehand and should have been completed by March 2013 according to the original timetable. As it was early May and they were not done we can safely assume timetables be damned but there was an urgency to getting this project completed.
So a bit of backstory. It’s not widely known but it’s not secret either. I was passed a log of the meeting at which the changes were announced to the leadership of the guilds and I must say I was not surprised by resistance to the idea of the merger but I was disappointed with the way that rather than contribute to the new ideas some of the guild leaders elected to abandon the project and even their guilds.
After this announcement many guild run programs became idle as no one wanted to accumulate points towards gear and not have those points recognized in the new guild. This led to wholesale inactivity in guilds as far as I can tell. I think that if people had continued to be active in their programs and had gone forward with an agreement to honour the old point systems then perhaps the merger would have gone on with a more active userbase but … it didn’t happen. With some notable exceptions people abandoned the old guilds and moved on.
When I joined the project my original idea was to work on Guild of Origin but I was happy to contribute to the Guild of Spirit build. At that point Guild of Nature was well developed and a lot of what you see today was already there. Zistrosk was in full shine and polish mode, though through working together and using each other as sounding boards some things evolved.
Melindora had already established the layout of the Guild of Spirit and I started a process of adding extra descriptions and programs into the guild, polishing each room description as I went along using Melindora’s original descriptions as a guideline. We have differences of style but what eventually came out of it and is in the game now I’m quite pleased with.
I think that at first there was an outpouring of effort but that as personality conflicts arose people dropped off the project. By the time I was working on Zist’s port it was not uncommon that only he and I were on. In time Bern stepped in to help get GoO completed and Malkatov dropped in to start designing the guild port quests. The whole while there was a ton of support and consultation with Ceirana and Destre (hand holding too sometimes). Gonnil was a big help with unkinking some programs.
As I worked on the guild project I really got the chance to brush the dust off my creative side and take it out for some exercise. I originally was uncertain about revising an area but it really did leave a lot of room for creative expression.
When we were finally finished with the builds they went back to the Build Council and finally the CoE for approval, some things got nerfed but some the important things stayed. Zistrosk and I were asked to find suitable locations to put the guilds within Darkhaven and had some idea of the timetable as we moved into September. When the guild only quests started we felt sure that the time was near for the ports 🙂
I think my involvement with this project is the reason I was asked to step from Guild of Thieves First into the Guildmaster of the Guild of Origin role. Leadership is a verb and if you’re not actively out there leading, then you’re not doing the job.
I will find some more time to reflect on this time period soon but this gives you an idea of what the behind the scenes process was. A thank you to everyone who did contribute positively in any way including constructive criticism before the port and since. Some of the things I put in GoS were boneheaded (Joy should have had sneak and should have had a lower % on her progs!! Sorry guys and gals!!) but I learned. 🙂