From Guild Port to Dragon Raid, only 3 1/2 months behind on my posts! :)

So when last we talked I got about as far as the guilds being ported onto the game port (aka 4k). At the time they had appeared there many immortals had gone over them with a fine tooth comb and they had been approved by the CoE. We were all asked to go back through the areas and start looking for typos and spacing issues, things that were introduced as part of respacing or editing. I’m certain that some made it into the game on the night the guilds opened, because Destre was busier than heck fixing things, but back to that in a moment.

The hint that things were getting close to completion was the appearance of the first of the “guild member” quests. I imagine the idea was to stimulate people who were not logging in on their guild characters to do so and it was at least topically successful. For posterity’s sake the quest was to gather vials of dragon’s blood from the white dragons of the Realms of Despair. The difficulty of the dragon decided the number of vials that would pop. When you returned the vials to Sonoria she would award you 1 glory to a maximum of 15.

This was the first time I’d seen a repeatable, automated glory quest so I had to inquire of some higher ups as to whether it was ok to repeat the quest on other guilded characters as normally you would only go at these things ip1. Some people seriously farmed the dragons to add the 15 glory to each guilded character they had. I’m sure there was more than one headache over this … the more obvious the more problems … Dragon’s Pass and Dragon’s Tower were zoos but Icingdeath and Phenn were less so.

During the second “guild member” quest everyone was instructed to find dragon ore which could be smelted and eventually forged into weapons. The particualr weapon you received would award 1 (dagger), 2 (sword) or 3 (halberd) glory. Through a small bug you could earn up to 17 glory (instead of the maximum 15) by getting to 14 and turning in a halberd. The in theme story line was that we were preparing for a dragon attack, which a few us knew would be the guild port (many suspected).

On the evening of September 19, 2013 the attack hit around 10:30-11pm. Having waited all day I was just wrapping up a Shades of Light run led by Jaxxon of Arete when the echos started appearing. I was heading to bed when this run wrapped up and was quite ambivalent about participating … after all, who the hell knows how long it would take. Still, wanting to see what it was all about, I jumped over to Lareawan and by the time I got myself organized GoV had already fallen. I ran around Darkhaven killing white dragons along with many others and it was well after midnight when we all wrapped up.

A few points about this quest… though officially kill stealing was not allowed, because you could draw the white dragons just by throwing a punch (yes, you can start a fight with another mob while you’re tanking one) if you didn’t kill steal you didn’t get many kills. For most of the quest I didn’t kill steal but when I saw people tanking 6 of the damn things, you’re darn right I started kill stealing… and since the biggest kill stealer got the biggest award a few days later when Kinux started handing out glory and noting people in the news, I can’t say I’m sorry I did it … should have started much sooner. ūüėõ (Ok, that’s a little childish but when you pat people on the back for kill stealing you do ruffle the feathers of the people who tried to follow the rules … it’s fair to say though that it was chaotic and I am certain Kinux and the other immortals had their attention going in a dozen or more different directions).

The weapons that everyone made during the second quest were never distrubted to the guards in contradiction of the second quest storyline and no in story explanation was ever given for their non-appearance. Of course it’s probably just an oversight, but what the heck, I can pick nits if I notice them :-> I hope to make reference to this in an IGQC quest. The other thing to note is that Kilgharrath was not killable and thus was not killed. I hope to make some reference to him in future IGQC quests as well.

While the quest was running, unknown to many, Ceirana was going crazy behind the scenes clearing out the old guilds of people and unlinking the exits. I think she was loading up people and transing them to Harakiem and force quitting them, but you can well imagine just how many people log out in a guild, so it’s equally possible she just put a program in each room of the old guilds to do it as you logged in.

As the old guilds fell the new leaders were installed. Myself as Guildmaster, Hubris (former Guildmaster of Guild of Warriors) as First and Mooq (former Guildmaster of Guild of Thieves) as Second. Due to the brands not working correctly we had to sort of make things up on the fly and at one point some people were even using induct triggers to handle the flood of requests (at least 1 level 2 got inducted!! since fixed!!) I didn’t get to bed until well after 2:30am, which makes for a very early morning since I was back up at 6am with my little boy.

This seems as good a place as any to put a pin in things, lots of things run through my head as I’m recounting but we’re well on the way to getting my point of view on the mergers out … I look forward to getting current so that I can post Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and not feel like I’ve jumped ahead :->

From working on the database to working on the guilds …

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 ūüôā

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. ūüôā