Creating Adventure - March 2020
Words of WyromLuxelle, Milax, and everyone with TownCrier who continue to engage players with the everything happening in GemStone IV. Without all of you, we'd be some no named MUD.
As we step into 2020, I'd like to reflect on my time I've had with all of you as a staff member for GemStone IV. April this year will mark 13 years of being involved as staff for the game, the last six years as the Product Manager. We've had our fair share of challenges. I've had to make a lot of hard decisions. At times, those hard choices were simply directives that I had limited options on. This caused a serious roadblock over the last four years, in the form of lack of communication and game releases, something I tried to improve during my first two years in the producer role. At times, I felt we were taking a step backwards with certain aspects of delivering information to everyone. I'm happy to say, we've removed this roadblock. And I feel GemStone IV is going to be in a new era of game development. We plan to have more transparency with the projects we're working on, getting both players and staff more involved during the design process. We're going to move away from the information blast only happening at the time of release (we'll still do this occasionally, but it will no longer be the norm). We want to ensure that what we're spending efforts on aren't wasted.
I'm very excited for what we have planned this year. I can't wait to release some of these projects that staff have been working on. Here's to an amazing 2020.
The Road Ahead
I'd like to share with you our roadmap for 2020. While 2019 had some really big updates (the Disarm changes being a game changer), we are planning for some major character-defining transformations.
Under the working title Post-Cap Development, the Ascension System will be a new way to build your character beyond the current training paths that are available. A lot of the exact details are still being worked out, and as part of improving our communication, we plan on bringing players in on a lot of the early discussions of this update. There will be three tiers of Ascension abilities: Common, Elite, and Legendary. Estild and the team will be jumping right into the forums and Discord to get everyone involved shortly after this Creating Adventure goes live.
The fan favorite frozen festival returns for free! Coming March 27th, all are invited to Briarmoon Cove for a celebration that will welcome in spring! The port city will host a trading exposition showcasing festivities and entertaining attractions centered around the Day of Zelia's Warning. Towns will send their best traders, along with premium services, shops, and goods.
Our New Player Experience Team has been burning the midnight oil at improving our tutorial systems and easing new players into the world of GemStone IV. They have also been developing a new land to explore, rich with lore and history. Finnia is a continent to the south of Jontara. Elanith is the mainland of Jontara, with Atan Irith to the northeast and the Shattered Continent to the west making up the surrounding areas of Jontara. Travel to Finnia has largely been dangerous due to barriers from raw essence storms that plague the seas across Elanthia. We will start bringing player discussions on board soon.
Year in Review
We released a lot of new systems in 2019, but we had a plethora of updates to existing systems. Typically I would list most our announcements here, but Leafiara has been tracking everything in real time. With Leafiara's permission, we are going to showcase that list.
Spotlight on Staff
Assistant GameMaster on Development
I'm Naijin and I've been a GM since about May of 2019. I started playing Gemstone around 25 years ago and have played off and on since then. I've capped a couple characters and have since played nearly every class to 50 or higher. I'm currently on the Dev team and have spent most of my time working on systems such as UCS, CMANs, Rogues, and the new Locksmith Pool releasing soon. I have a large passion for mechanics and I love the challenges of game design, especially a game with as much history as Gemstone.
Where were you born?
Where do you currently live?
St. Louis, Missouri
Do you have any pets/kids/both?
I have two cats, a dog, and two children.
What is your current occupation?
I co-own an online advertising technology company.
What did you want to be while you were growing up?
An engineer, which I was, then I hated it and became a full time programmer instead.
Favorite TV shows?
I watch the Arrowverse shows with my family and kids. Right now, I'm watching season 2 of Altered Carbon and The Expanse.
Whoever does a good job in whatever I'm watching.
I listen to almost all varieties of music and like to just pick something random on Spotify and let it go.
One of my favorite series growing up was the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
Where did you go to school and/or what did you study?
University of Missouri - Rolla (now Missouri S&T) for Computer Engineering.
Favorite/least favorite job you've ever had?
Favorite is definitely my current one. Least favorite was Hastings Books & Video in Jefferson City. Man, that job sucked.
I love playing volleyball, spending time with the family, and coding.
Peanut Butter, easy.
Favorite board games or computer games?
I gotta say it might be Gloomhaven. I've almost finished the original game and it's quite fantastic.
Favorite sports/sports teams?
Go Cardinals, woop.
What would you do with a million dollars?
Invest it and continue working, probably. How boring.
What three people past or present would you invite to dinner?
Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and a huge bag of popcorn. Some people just want to watch the world burn.
What is your favorite quote?
"Ah hell, I p***** on myself again."
Name something you'd like to do before you die.
Retire, early, and from there whatever I want.
What's your favorite acronym?
NASA, for sure, they do some super cool stuff.
Who is your hero or heroine?
- My mom, I wouldn't be where I'm at today if it wasn't for her.
- My wife, I wouldn't get where I'm going if it wasn't for her.
If you could have any musical group or artist, past or present, play at your birthday party, who would it be?
Ludwig von Beethoven
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Time Travel, for the win.
What do you think about GSL?
I think GSL gets a bad wrap and is quite remarkable as a language. There are lots of languages that could replace it now days, but 30 years ago that wasn't the case. I'm continually impressed by the power and simplicity of GSL. Sure, it lacks a lot of modern features which would be really nice to have but overall I'm very pleased with it. I've worked on many legacy systems in my career and GSL is certainly near the top of those experiences.