Creating Adventure - April 2019
Words of Wyrom
We launched an ongoing promotion with code GSBACKAFTER6, which offers a 30-day Premium reactivation for those who have been away for at least 6 months (181 days). We also had a re-engagement campaign with GSBACK4SUMMER2018, which was over twice big as our GSBACK4WINTER2017 promo from the year before. We've also expanded our team by 20%, bringing on many new and even some returning GameMasters. We had back-to-back training sessions, with our newest group of GameMasters making their way through the basic training program and into GSL (the language of our game). If you've seen a recent influx of smaller invasions and new merchants, that's them learning the ropes!
Communication and transparency are still areas we're continuing to improve on. We've been engaging in daily discussions with our very active Discord server. It's been a work in progress, and we are trying to make sure pertinent information makes its way to our forums, as the forums are prioritized for our game announcements. We've brought on help to assist with filling in information on our Wiki and making sure our front page is being updated more regularly. We are also working on improving our mailers and how we deliver pertinent information to a wider range of players.
We have a really big year planned, with quite a bit of focus on roleplay and storylines, as well as those combat and magic updates that we all crave!
The Road Ahead
We had a rough start to the Disarm updates last year due to losing our project lead, former ASGM Finros. We've been picking up the pieces and we're getting pretty close to finishing the development. We'll hopefully have more news on this in the near future.
We have a release event starting very soon, where we release something close to every day. There isn't a specific theme for this one, but the working name is the Spring Spectacular. You can expect this release event to kick off at the end of April. Some tidbits of what to expect are disarm roundtime changes, updates to four cleric spells, an Elemental Lore: Fire update, and quite a bit more.
The Premium festival will be an entirely new venue this year, and we have big plans for what we'll be offering. More details will unfold as we get closer to the summer. We're also working on Premium hunting grounds. The first one is slated to be aimed for lower levels, but we have plans to continue to work on hunting for the Isle of Four Winds for a wider range of levels.
One area that we know we have to expand in is with our new player experience. GemStone IV is quite a complex game, and many of us have been here so long, we just don't see how difficult it can be to understand the game. We formed a brand new team that has the sole focus to work on easing new players into our world of Elanthia. It's been a long time since we've really talked about the world of Elanthia beyond the continent Elanith, but we plan to expand our geography and define some of the other regions that have been talked about in the past. We are doing this with one of our newer teams we formed, the New Player Experience (NPE) team. In the not-so-distant future, we'll be revamping how new characters work through the tutorial content (beyond the Sprite Quest). With this, we'll be bringing new areas to explore and work through. This is a much later down the road, but it's worth noting that it's a current project.
Year in Review
The 2018 roundup!
- Combat and Magic Development
- Enhancives: Last Charge
- Aura of the Arkati (1614) Updates
- WPS Updates
- Divine Incarnation (1650) Released and Updates
- Crafted Enchant Potion and Infusion Updates
- Rodyn Potions released
- New Scroll System - Self Knowledge
- Teleportation Updates
- LOOT and STOW Updates
- Resist Nature (620) on Heavy Armors
- Telekinesis (1206) Released
- Rejuvenation (1607) Update
- Higher Vision (1610) Updated
- Aid the Fallen (1620) Update
- Sanctify (1625) Update
- Elemental Detection (405) Update
- Charge Item (517) Update
- Sigil of Location Update
- Magic Item Updates
- Guild Shop Item Addition (a pure grot t'kel shard)
- Offline Recovery
- Fast Migration System Update
- Loresong Unlocks
- Ethereal Censer (320) Released
- Hunting Grounds
- McKyren's Folly Hunting Area Update
- Flight of the Griffins
- Creature Mini Bosses
- Storylines and Festivals
- The Dawn of Daukhera Chapters 1 - 3
- Path To Palestra
- Force of the Unseen
- Nature's Fury
- All Hands On Me (Platinum)
- To Aid the West
- The Green Lady
- Graffiti in the Jungle (Platinum)
- Rone Resurgence
- Rise of Rone - Epilogue
- Those Aren't Tears (Premium)
- Commencement of Coraesine Forest
- Festival of Lumnea
- A Midsummer Night's Festival 5 (Premium)
- Pickle Festival
- Frontier Days
- Carnival of Freaks
- Festival of Frost
- SimuCoin Events and Additions
- World Development
- Origins of Ghezresh
- INSPECT Updates to Shops
- Premium Transport Update
- Ferry to Ta'Vaalor Timer Update
- Icemule Trace Citizens' Lounge - Grand Opening!
- Expanded Premium Homes in Ta'Illistim
- Naerine Hostelry Tavern Reopens
- Wehnimer's Landing Elections
- Icemule Trace Mayoral Race
- New Wizard Familiars around Mist Harbor
- Pawnshop Item Value Update
- Pawnshop APPRAISE
- Playershops Updates and Testing
- Hearthstone, Legends' Bar Additions and Updates
- Tom Zelinski Memorial
- Verb Additions and Improvements
- Tones/Speech Updates
- ANSWER Updates
- New Verb and Utility: STUCK
- Title System Updates (Quest Prename/Postname)
- GSBACKAFTER6 Promo Code Launched
- GSBACK4SUMMER2018 Re-engagement Campaign
- Buddy Referrals
- An Ominous Web Story Gift Updates
- GIFTBOX Rewards
- Cyber Monday Sale
Spotlight on Staff
Senior GameMaster on New Player Development
Heya! So about my GMly life...
In 2005, after GameHosting for about 2 years, I was hired as a GM for the Upsells team. I later: moved to Events; was promoted to ASGM, then SGM in 2008, of the Events, Promotions, and Platinum (EPP) team, which handled storylines, pay+free festivals, Premium, Platinum, private properties, and Weddings at that time; in 2012, I asked to move to the QC & Training team, where I filled the role of Arkati guru, then Host Manager, then ASGM in 2014 (best GM job ever!!) for the amazing SGM Isten; toward the end of last year, I moved to SGM for the brand-spankin' new New Player Experience team.
Across that time, I've had the opportunity to do a little bit of a lot. Some highlights include being involved in: varied explorations of game lore; running and/or participating in way too many storylines ;) ; RPing some ridiculously amusing personalities -- Aiyaka (Plat lich!), Peretta, Goblyn, Roxe, etc.; learning to code fun stuff!; developing several iterations of Ebon Gate and other events like Grawood and CCF; and, of course, involvement with the Host program (#Host4Lyfe!). And my #1 favorite thing to do is turn player ideas into reality within the game.
Thankfully, I still love GMing as much as I did when I first started. This is in large part thanks to the many staff members who have been great sources of both support and inspiration over the years, as well as the fantastic players who continue to get excited for and be passionate about the game and the community that makes it what it is. Do what you love, and you'll love what you do ;)
Where were you born?
Sunny Southern California
Where do you currently live?
Do you have any pets/kids/both?
No children. Currently the only pet in the house is Mr. Turtle -- yes, he's a turtle. No, I didn't name him. We had a gorgeous German Shepherd, Rafiki, for many years, but he is gone now, alas.
What is your current occupation?
I own a photography business primarily focused on wedding photography and fine art albums.
What did you want to be while you were growing up?
First, a ballet dancer. Then, a psychologist. Then, a cardiologist. Alas, I am none of these. I change my mind constantly about a career path, even now. And I'm perfectly happy with that!
Favorite TV shows?
Currently still being aired -- Legion. I adore Killing Eve, Westworld, The Walking Dead, The Expanse, Mr. Robot, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, etc.
I also LOVED the now-over Buffy tVS, Firefly, X-Files, and BSG. Also, The Good Wife and... when I still had cable, I had Law and Order re-runs on a heckuva lot as background noise.
Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Stone, Audrey Hepburn, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Kingsley, Ryan Reynolds.
Tori Amos & NIN are my hands down favs. I also really enjoy [old-school]Metallica, Flogging Molly, Mitski, David Bowie, Ben Folds Five, Bob Marley, Lorde, Counting Crows, Bobby Darin, Madonna, Gomez, etc. Basically, a lot of stuff, though I'm not so much into the country and new age genres.
Alice in Wonderland, Paradise Lost, Atlas Shrugged, Virginia Woolf novels, and pretty much anything that's fun/adventure in sci-fi/fantasy categories. I also, beyond all measure, adore Pablo Neruda.
Where did you go to school and/or what did you study?
Undergrad - UC Berkeley. I studied genetics for 3.5 years, then changed that major to English, with a focus on medieval literature. I also majored in History (split between religion in Japan and medieval Europe) throughout the whole. (I wiill never know if GS influenced that or that influenced my interest in GS...). After graduating, I grabbed my teaching certification in order to teach for the public school system. I later poked around in Environmental Economics as an auditing grad student. I've long considered more formally enrolling in an M.S. program for that subject area, but it's always been a background noise thing rather than an active pursuit (since it would be more for fun than anything else). Mostly, I find the subject area intensely interesting as well as constantly relevant to the modern world.
Favorite/least favorite job you've ever had?
Least favorite - working at a major credit union in the collections department. The job itself was fine (though somewhat boring), but my boss's boss was horrible and made coming to work unbearable on a daily basis. Favorite - it's kinda hard to beat my job now -- photographing people with starry eyes for one another during a major milestone in their lives is pretty fantastic; it's disgustingly sappily sweet and super amazing all at once. (I would be remiss to not mention that I also really enjoyed parts of teaching high school -- especially those moments when you get to see an idea click or big leaps in intellectual growth in young minds all at one time -- it's pretty awesome.)
Reading, riding my bicycle, playing card/board games, camping, hiking, photography, cooking, and singing (badly) in the shower. I think I'd really like gardening... if I could ever get around to trying it.
Thai food, pineapple, mint chip ice cream, fried chicken, fettucine alfredo, Nutella, and very, very good dark chocolate.
Favorite board games or computer games?
Parcheesi, Scattergories, etc.. I love a ton of computer games (most everything from old school Zork to Tomb Raider to the Fallout universe), but they come and go.
Favorite sports/sports teams?
CAL BEARS!!! Oakland Raiders. LA Dodgers. And I love soccer of all kinds.
What would you do with a million dollars?
Invest wisely. Probably take an awesome vacation. Hopefully do good, humanitarian things with a portion of it.
What three people past or present would you invite to dinner?
Felicia Day or Joss Whedon, Christopher Walken, and Seth MacFarlane. Basically, I'd like to geek out and spend the majority of the time laughing so hard that my face hurts, though with a good chance of some intelligent conversation in the mix of it all.
What is your favorite quote?
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams
Name something you'd like to do before you die.
Write and publish a novel. Climb all of the state high points (if that makes no sense to you, look up the Highpointers Club). Bring joy to others.
What's your favorite acronym?
WTF. Am I allowed to answer that here? If not, then ZOMG! is a close second.
Who is your hero or heroine?
Generally speaking: people who stand up for what's right in the face of circumstances that make it near-to-impossible to do that standing up without risk of some sort of major consequence.
If you could have any musical group or artist, past or present, play at your birthday party, who would it be?
Does it have to be a legit musical group/artist? Because I'd really like to have Deadpool show up instead. He can totally sing while there, too. That counts, right?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Power of Persuasion. (Like Jedi Mind Trick... but stronger.)
Would you rather give up bathing for a month or give up the internet for a month?
I would die inside without bathing for a month. So, I'd give up the internet -- though I'd like to request a few good paperbacks and ability to spend that month up in the Sierras or kickin' it on a Carribean beach ;)