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Blog Post - Duende - 11/7/17

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#1 Duende


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Posted 09 November 2017 - 12:41 AM

It's November, and for whatever reason, that means it's the season for announcing announcements.  We don't normally do this sort of thing- we typically embargo changes until they've passed QA and are ready to launch, pending a reboot.  This avoids mismanaging expectations- we'd much rather underpromise and overdeliver.  We've been pretty happy with the work we've done over the past year, and have been looking forward to what we'd like to accomplish in the next year.  In keeping with our informal information policy, I'll avoid talking about most of that- but there are a few changes I'd like to telegraph well in advance, because we want to give everyone fair warning on these, as they represent not just code changes, but policy changes that might affect what decisions people might make over the long- term.


A problem that comes up occasionally is that clan members, who are understandably attached to their clans, have had their clan leaders go missing.  We take personal integrity seriously, and strictly will not bend policies or rules in order to facilitate takeovers or that might affect clans in ways not specifically requested by the owners.  However, those members might still have needs which might not have been anticipated or accommodated by the owners before disappearing.  Having healthy, positive clan relationships is desirable to everyone- lower- ranked members might need additional powers should their leaders unexpectedly vanish for whatever reason- and leaders might need lower-ranked members to keep their clan alive and healthy in their absence.  In light of that, we're planning on eventually implementing a new feature we're calling CLAN HEIRS.  Clan heirs will be the most-senior (by membership in the clan) highest-ranked (by clan rank) clan member in a clan.  Clan inheritance only comes into play when a given clan has had none of their clan owners log into Materia Magica for over one Earth year.  If that condition is met, that clan can be inherited by a member who is not currently an owner, by making them an owner. If you are a clan owner who does not want additional owners added, the only thing you must do to prevent that is to log in once a year. If all owners have been offline for a year, the first leader on the list (by CLAN LIST order) may inherit their clan by going to a clan master and doing CLAN INHERIT. If the first non-owner leader of the clan has been offline for a year, then the second non-owner leader can CLAN INHERIT, and so on, until all clan leaders have been offline for a year.  In that circumstance, inheritance would trace down the list of rank, similarly ordered by chronological seniority.  We're confident that this will be a good compromise between meeting the needs of clan members who are keeping their clans afloat without the authority to do so properly, and clan owners who may be protective of their historical investments.


"Old stat" items have a lot of connotations, and have historically been a disproportionately big deal, and divisive between the haves and have-nots. Oldstat items are items that have their origins changed and can no longer be obtained as-is, but can usually be updated into the new-stat items if that change is desirable.  This has created divisions as some items randomly spike in power or value, based on changes made to them.  It also constrains the staff from a building and balance perspective, as we're forced to either tolerate ancient imbalances forever, or pick and choose which items to retroactively nerf.  There are many items that have simply been removed from circulation for one reason or another, and these represent the same problems exacerbated further.

After literally decades discussing the problem and potential solutions, we think we have a good way to keep items that 'should' change up-to-date, so the division between old-stat and new-stat largely disappears.  This will be retroactive and permanent, and most people shouldn't be significantly impacted either at inception or long-term.  The one exception is a rare class of original (early |T2005) relics.  These relics were bound into items and provide stats/spells, but don't show up on the typical 'relic list' on item lore.  Any such items will lose their relic stats.  If you have any items that have old relics bound into them, please get in touch with Iyara or imail/email admin(@materiamagica.com). We're happy to reimburse any such items and their constituent relics if you let us know, but any items not traded in by the time the new-statification is added to the game will lose their stats and have their relics become irrecoverable.


Finally, we're looking forward to adding locker-gateways. These Items will be have new type item, which stay on the floor and grant access to remote sets of lockers. For performance reasons, we aim to reduce the number of items in the world, especially items on the ground, especially items that nobody has paid attention to in years. For this reason, we aim to eventually replace house chests with locker-gateways. These lockers won't have to be rented, and should be a suitable long-term solution. We've spent several days over the past few years reviewing all of the items that can and cannot go into lockers, and have approximately doubled the number of items which can go into lockers which didn't used to be able to, a beneficial side effect of doing this work. We anticipate this change will help server stability, and mitigate a lot of potential issues that have arisen over the years from storing items on the floor.


These changes aren't coming in the short-term- the functionality isn't even available yet, for any of them.  We're probably looking at a realistic timeframe of 9-12+ months before any of this is automatic, and it can be opted into voluntarily probably by the end of the year.  However, due to the implications and repercussions of these changes, we wanted to give everyone sufficient heads up.  We've been around for 22 years and counting, and we always have the long-term view in mind.  As always, let us know if you have any thoughts or questions about this blog post, or anything else.