Creating Adventure - December 2015

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Words of Wyrom

The Wyrom

We made it to the end of the year! It was a big year for us. We launched F2P, brought back an acclaimed release schedule, and went through massive staffing changes! We've had our ups and downs. We've talked, laughed, argued, and debated. We've grown as a community. We've continued to improve our communication between staff and the players. Overall, we've had a hell of a year. It got busy, oh man did it get so busy, but we trudged through it together and made it to the finish line (for now)! We have some great projects in the works for 2016, and I'm already excited about one of them to the point I want to spill the beans! Because we're going to update how... Oh wait, can't talk about it yet! Seriously though, 2016 has a lot planned already and I hope it lives up to what we did in 2015. Between events, storylines, and releases to come, be ready for an adventure!

The year has flown by, and it was a very busy year for the staff working on GemStone IV. I'd like to reflect some on the list of accomplishments (below) and take a moment to appreciate all the dedication from the GameMasters that spend their time in Elanthia. We truly have an amazing team working for the game right now. I know it may not be clear all the time, but everything we do is for you, the players. We strive to put out an excellent product that is both engaging and exciting! We truly are grateful for the time you spend with us.

Thank you all for being part of my GemStone IV family.


ROLEPLAY in 2016

Coming in Q1 of 2016, we'll be releasing updates on how roleplaying awards work. The exacts will be talked about as we get closer to the release date, but the way you receive and activate RPAs will be getting a major face lift! Players will have more control over how RPAs are used and when to use them!

Briarmoon Cove

At the frigid and blustery mouth of the Olbin River lies the port city of Briarmoon Cove, cozily nestled among snow-covered craggy cliffs and deep caverns. While easily reached by traders and merchants arriving from the sea, those arriving via alternate methods are met with unforgiving environmental hazards and nearly inaccessible terrain, making travel to this area largely unpleasant. Briarmoon Cove has remained a mostly secluded sanctuary for its residents because of such limited access... until now. See you in February!

The Return of Hot Summer Nights

This summer, we brought back Hot Summer Nights (HSN) for the first time in over 10 years! The GameMasters of GemStone IV pushed really hard in 2015 to live up to the namesake of the summer spectacular. Many projects that were languishing for years finally were completed and released for everyone to enjoy! We learned a lot on what we can do with a tight release schedule, and it was an experience we'll grow from. While some projects didn't quite make it out in time, we felt HSN was a success and hope to revisit it sometime in the future!

Year in Review

Last year, we mentioned a lot of ongoing support to specific areas, storylines, and generalized updates for areas like bugs and item tweaks. We'll skip all that and stick strictly to the updates this time. Not to disregard the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into all of that ongoing work, we just want to keep a focus this year. It's an impressive list!

GameMaster Haliste
"I'll take a Venti"
Team World Development
Guru Mentors and Forest Gnomes

Spotlight on Staff

GameMaster Haliste

Assistant Senior GameMaster on World Development

I've been playing Gemstone since the late 90s - my first character was created on November 12, 1997. (Yes, I started in the days of exorbitant credit card bills thanks to the hourly game fee...) It had always been a dream of mine to become a GM, and after some encouragement from GM Kenstrom, I applied and was hired as a GameMaster in March 2013. Soon thereafter, I took over MHOs and then Mentors, shortly after that. I also wanted to give some love to the forest gnomes, so I took up residence with them in August 2014. Currently, I am ASGM on the World Development Team, working directly with GM Galene and loving every minute of it.

Where were you born?

Birmingham, Alabama

Where do you currently live?

In the beautiful mountains of North Carolina

Do you have any pets/kids/both?

Both! I have three children, ages 27, 21 and 20, (and two grandchildren, 6 and 4) and one crazy silly Beagle named Zoi.

What is your current occupation?

I am the manager of ticketing and box office for a summer music festival here in North Carolina. I've been with my current job for 21 years and love every minute of it. On the side of the side, I do a small bit of web development, though that has not been as front-sided since I've been GMing. Who has the time, right?

What did you want to be while you were growing up?

When I was very young, I wanted to be an archaeologist. When I got a little older, I wanted to be a lawyer. Now, I just want to be happy - and maybe win the lottery.

Favorite TV shows?

Any kind of survivor/wilderness show - except for Survivor.

Favorite actors/actresses?

Anyone in Game of Thrones - and Meryl Streep

Favorite musicians/bands?

I don't enjoy the bands of today as much as the ones when I was growing up - I still have great respect for musicians/bands like the Police, Elton John, Kate Bush, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. Music has been a part of my life for a very long time, and I listen to all kinds of music.

Favorite books/authors?

Interestingly enough, I'm not a huge reader of books, but I never refused the opportunity to read Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

Where did you go to school and/or what did you study?

I started at a community college in Rockville, Maryland - but I hated it and dropped out after about a year. It's my biggest regret. Maybe someday...

Favorite/least favorite job you've ever had?

I worked for an accounting firm when I first moved to North Carolina. I worked for one for 6 years before moving from Maryland and decided that would be the best way to adjust to the new home. It was the most miserable work experience I've ever had! I think I worked there only a couple months. My favorite job is my current job - it's incredibly diverse, and my employers are wonderful. I hope I never have to work anywhere else.

Favorite hobbies?

Gaming has been one of my most enjoyed hobbies over the years, and I've played a lot of them. I adore photography and take lots of pictures for my friends and family. I also love to gamble...slot machines with lots of lights, pretty pictures, and cool bonus rounds are my favorite!

Favorite foods?

Mexican food. Is there anything else?

Favorite board games or computer games?

I enjoy most board games that I can play with the family, like Pictionary. An oldie but goodie! My children are old enough now that I might be able to play CAH with them. I might have to have wine first, though.

Favorite sports/sports teams?

What's that?

What would you do with a million dollars?

Invest half of it, and travel with my family with the other half. I've always wanted to see other parts of the world but have never had the opportunity to do so.

What three people past or present would you invite to dinner?

Oh goodness. I would invite my father, who is a master conversationalist, Marilyn Monroe, and Bill Gates.

What is your favorite quote?

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." --Winnie-the-Pooh

Name something you'd like to do before you die.

Visit the labyrinths on Crete, and see the pyramids in Egypt.

What's your favorite acronym?

UJF. 'Nuff said.

Who is your hero or heroine?

My grandmother - a most graceful and wonderful woman who was full of life and energy. I miss her daily.

If you could have any musical group or artist, past or present, play at your birthday party, who would it be?

Tori Amos

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

To fly. I often have dreams that I can, and the idea of soaring over the ground and moving from one point to the next without walking or riding in a vehicle is just extremely cool to me. I'm slightly afraid of heights and I don't like flying, oddly enough.

If you were lost in the wilderness, what one item would you want to have with you?

A genie lantern with three wishes. :)