Another year is behind us and while I'm frequently told it has only been twelve months, it certainly feels a great deal longer. To say 2020 has been a doozy would be a gigantic understatement. Real life events have had and continue to have an impact on us all, and as we look toward 2021 in hopes of a less tumultuous year, on behalf of the team I want to kick off our year in review with a thank you and a happy holidays to every one of you sharing our weird and wonderful corner of the internet.
What happened in 2020?
We began the year with a significant focus on bug fixing, wiping away over 500 entries from the system. January would see improvements to our GMCP functionality, the addition of stockroom logs for shopowners (announced in a frustratingly obscure post, I might add), clan housing, and of course the hotly-contested war system.
From there we made several updates to the Iron Elite Membership based on community feedback and commentary, coupled with the additional of daily credits breathing some much needed life into our adventures and renown systems.
The Itinerant Bazaar returned in March, along with raffles, auctions, a capture the flag and a great hunt.
April saw the onset of the second Conclave Reckoning and the introduction of several new boss mechanics that have gone on to become staples in our PvE design going forward. Patrick is still in search of friends to this day.
May was the month of steelblue ladybirds, our part in the IRE-wide charity drive on behalf of Covid Heroes. Thank you all again for your contributions. Forays also underwent significant scaling changes, finally bringing these often-exclusive dungeons into line. As of writing this, the Aran'kesh and Mirror Tower forays have now been completed over 5700 times, and making this content more accessible was a long overdue decision.
Classleads returned in June, shaking up some of the combat meta as they are wont to do. We also had our first war under the new system, allowing it to stretch its legs for the first time as Mhaldor won a solid victory over Targossas. I'm sure it will not be the last. Pandora and Twilight ran a betting book on the outcome, leaving the Wayward Heir bankrupt. The Gods of Achaea hosted an "Ask-Them-Anything" event on the forums too in this month, something we hope was beneficial for both sides of the aisle!
Many updates and fixes to seamonsters were made in July, along with a host of other miscellaneous game system tweaks. The major story of the month though was the freak earthquake ravaging the eastern shore, almost destroying Hashan's Planetarium and knocking down the Luminai tower. Evetually this led to the freshly revamped Occultist class, which has once again risen to popularity in certain esoteric circles. In an attempt to regain solvency, Pandora hosted the first "Wayward Fair and Wares" in an effort to raise money to pay off the considerable debts accrued during the war times.
In August we made major improvements to questing renown across the board, and added significant experience bonuses to the Yggdrasil areas. Mhaldor's Infernals enjoyed a major shake up in their skills, leaving behind Necromancy and gaining Oppression in its place. Hail Sartan.
As always, September was the month of birthday celebrations! Our class focused showcases offered us a unique opportunity to reveal what is often forgotten or neglected lore related to our skills. The Nameless tournament was one of the best combat events we've done, and was an incredibly fun and thrilling experiment into anonymous conflicts and fighting under atypical conditions. Morning Carp lives on in our memories, but it was Farrah in the guise of Norvello who won the day.
As part of the Magi showcase, the newest member of Yudhishthira's Conclave gifted Achaea with five new forays: memories of the second Reckoning immortalised. The Underworld saw major updates in September, and another great hunt saw billions of experience earned. Ashtan unveiled a dark secret lurking in their city, erasing the line of Castaigne in the process.
The highlight of October was Auntie Maim's marvellous Mayaween party, featuring a fully functional escape room, murdery mystery tales, and unique anonymous costumes for all involved. The advent of Mayaween saw strange sweets appearing in the Grim Fayre, leading to some very odd sleeping patterns. Narcoleptics began experiencing strange dreams in their involuntary sleep, howling packs of wolves summoned to their side amidst the slumber.
As we moved into November, the wolf-dreams came to an end with the dance of the Vault moving away from Mayaween, yet Lupus, the Wildfather awoke. Throughout the month, all Achaea observed his pain and his rage, culminating in a catastrophic duel between Hunt and Cataclysm and the return of Lady Gaia to the Prime.
Logosmas wars returned in December, with the HoHoHo and HaHaHa societies once more doing battle over who has the rights to Logosmas. Hashan said goodbye to Ze'thya, gaining the services of a long-ago captured alchemical golem in his place. Logosmas spirit spread to all the cities of Sapience, and only one reclusive mystic was harmed in the making of our trees.
It obviously goes without saying that many of our plans for 2020 were thrown unavoidably off course. We'll be looking to revisit those plans as time allows, but for now...
Here is a preview of what to expect in 2021:
We plan to make updates and improvements to Voyages, War, Underworld politics, Crafting, and (broadly) PvE mechanics, with a view to making these systems the best they can be both on the player facing side and the back end.
At least one new area will be released.
The next Championship Games take place in February.
We'll be continuing to support patrons in improving org identity, culture, and morale.
And of course several insane ideas and Big Things (tm) that I cannot reveal here!
See you in 2021!
- Icti, Nic, and Mak