Today not being a ridiculous holiday where people play stupid pranks on each other, I will confirm - it's not a prank.
We'll be opening GemStone: Shattered very soon - my hope is before the month is out.
In general terms, for those unfamiliar with the concept, Shattered will be an instance of the game where there are few rules and little GM monitoring. PvP is allowed. AFK scripting is allowed. ASSIST and REFER will be disabled. GMs will monitor for major bugs, and not much else.
The cost to access Shattered will be $5/month on top of your prime subscription. If you have a platinum subscription, Shattered access will be included at no additional charge.
More info to come as we get closer.
~Sirina (hates April Fool's!)
<<What about this "minimal GM involvement?" Does that mean no alterers, merchants, storylines, invasions? Or if Shattered does get those things, does that mean the already lackluster prime/platinum calendar gets even fewer GM-run events?>>
GM involvement will be on an "at will" basis, at least in regards to things OTHER than Policy matters, which won't exist in Shattered.
If you want to compare this to The Fallen at all, you can expect several GMs to have no interest in the concept or do not like it at all. Likewise, you'll have several who will jump in and who will be very excited about being able to have some real fun in Shattered. Those GMs will continue to provide invasions, merchants, storylines, prizes and props for Player-Organized events, etc. And then after the "no rules" clause on the Shattered Forums kicks in (ALL Forums Rules still apply, until the Shattered Forums require a subscription) and folks start ganging up on one of more of those GMs for whatever reason and making it personal, those GMs will back out and then some others will eventually step in.
Like it or not, a lot of Shattered will be what you, the players, make it. A good deal of that keys around remembering that even though the forums won't have rules about language and all that, if you start going off on the people who are doing extra stuff over here on top of their obligations in Prime and Plat, then they'll feel less inclined to do extra stuff.
Pay Festivals and ticketed events and such, like Ebon Gate, will still happen in Shattered, but there will likely be a delay, especially for ticketed events where GMs will want to come over and provide services for those who buy tickets. This will mean that these [e]vents will likely open in Plat first, then Prime, then Shattered. The fun thing is that GMs will be able to start making special versions of items that have verbs/features/messaging on them that only work in Shattered.