As the population of the game fluctuates over the years, we're always on the lookout for things that need to be balanced, or ideally, automatically scale to the number of players around. Over the past several years, our numbers have slowly contracted, and in the past year, increased by a few hundred percent. Sometimes, core mechanics of the game were designed long enough ago that they don't make sense with the size and disposition of our current playerbase, and we're always looking to re-examine them.
When we were young and bloodthirsty and the clan wars were in full swing, much of the game was optimized for PK- there were only a handful of bosses and barely any equipment diversity, and relatively simple mechanics. You had to make your own fun most of time, and most of the time, that involved killing each other. In 2018, we're more of a tight-knit community, or an archipelago of them, and the average player will no longer get drawn into a years-long conflict that morally obligates them to kill half of the game's population on sight. PK isn't dead, but it's old enough to frequently prefer a beer on the porch together.
For many years after the launch of 4.0, PK endured more through the love of its participants than official support. Over time, it became less frequent as the overall tenor of the game became more friendly and less antagonistic. We have orders of magnitude more content than existed in 3.2, and far greater accessibility, responsiveness and hints for how to find and do marks, quests and bosses. Despite this, many people still miss PK- I still vividly remember the adrenaline and excitement of stalking and getting stalked in PK.
Increasing the surface area of PK and potential for interesting Adventurer interactions is the name of the game on Beltane, and Maldra's Keep especially. Vandemaar's Trunks have historically been the physical representation of PK gravitas, either from evading the attention of more powerful people, or vanquishing everyone less powerful. Between its random repops and being able to earn it through questing, persistence was always rewarded- the additions of Wierus and Terra made it that much more accessible. However, these solutions don't necessarily scale well with PK activity, questing density and player activity, so we've added a new, consistent and predictable method way of getting a first Trunk. We don't intend to make it easier to get Trunks, but we do acknowledge its role in the development of an Adventurer.
After reboot, there will be a new shopkeeper who will sell an unlimited number of Trunks, provided you don't have any already. They are locked behind a door, the key to which is obtained by killing the Tourmaline dragon, Novrar, Nanave, the captive phoenix, and the keeper of keys. This will require some teamwork and cooperation between Adventurers of different levels, and everyone can benefit from the outcome. An Archon-only Mark will encourage higher levels to help out as possible.
Occasional changes have been making it in to expose players of all levels and experiences to PK. We're currently testing several significant changes to CTF to modernize it and to provide a healthy outlet where you can kill each other and end with no hard feelings. Many of the less-desirable, less-fun CTF options have been removed, because it turned out nobody wanted to get locked into CPK with competent killers and no means of escape for an hour. CTF will be all LPK, and no PK stats will be recorded during games. Because dying is an inevitable part of PK games, equipment will neither spark nor decay. Randomly repopping in a large, confusing area wasn't fun, so dying will result in instantly respawning in a Safe room where you can re-equip and memorize before getting kicked out after 45-60 seconds. Ganging up inevitably lead to snowballing victories, and sandbagging tactics such as mass-snares and room shields weren't fun, so all of CTF is now psychotic and no-form, and several skills ill-suited to a quick-and-easy game have been prohibited from use. Nothing hampered activity like having to run to the middle of nowhere to play, so CTF has been removed from the world and can be joined from select Safe rooms via CTF START/CTF JOIN, just like visiting the Bazaar.
We're looking forward to these new changes and what they represent for breathing new life into PK, as well as engendering the ensuing esprit de corps. We hope to reboot within the next week or two, pending further testing of these features and numerous others we have yet to announce.