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Blog Post - 1/31/20 - PK Tourney, Equipment Database, and Boss Scheduling

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#1 Duende


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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:22 AM

Changes get posted in the changelog, and they're all sequential parts of the
game, and for the recent past and future they will all be part of the 5.0
But changes are also mentally grouped by the roles they play in their
respective parts of the game's indefinitely long arc. 
Months ago, 5.0 was a set of changes and refinements to the existing system,
and while the sum of these changes is sufficient to justify the major
version change (4.X to 5.X), they were more a conglomeration of smaller
changes, with no central core, thematically uniting them. 
Months ago, I started entertaining the notion of a big PK tournament, with a
reward so great that everyone would want to participate in order to be able
to win it- we could justify a bunch of PK-facing changes beforehand, in
order to refine PK tactics and balance.  The tournament would be the
capstone of this endeavor, the opening salvo for a bright and renewed PK
However, over the past few weeks, we've had a bunch of interesting and
revelatory admin discussions.  Topics have included the tournament, PK in
general, weapon balance, spell balance, healing, bosses, and your
motivations to continue in Alyria in our 25th year.  The inexorable passage
of time continues apace, and we're all getting older, and busy.  Most of us
are parents in our 30s, with obligations and lives and perpetually
decreasing motivation to grind or really do anything that's not actually
fun.  "Respect players' time" and "facilitate the fun stuff and kill the
rest" have been our design mottos for years, but the sum of these
conversations, and thinking about the set of 5.0 changes as a whole, have
illuminated some interesting aspects of the future of Materia Magica that
haven't previously come up.  I don't know exactly how this will shake out
yet, but I already know that its promise will retroactively change the
The upcoming PK tournament won't be the showcase for the future of 5.0
combat- instead it will celebrate the best and weirdest of Materia Magica
4.X, our last hurrah in the old system before we start to shake things up.
Good items will be good items, good characters will be good characters, and
your existing investments in the game will still be relevant- but even at
this late date, there are still lots of surprises remaining to be found. 
We're manually going every one of the game's sixteen thousand items in
preparation for a new system which we've been keeping under wraps.
Equipment databases are always at least a bit out of date, and not
officially supported, and it would be a lot of work to prepare ours to be
displayed via a web tool- so we built one that works in-game.  At reboot,
"check equipment database" (or "eqdb" for short) will let you query nearly
any item in Alyria. 
  Syntax: eqdb <any set of options> [<keywords or short description>]
  Options: 'type weapon [<weapon type>] [<damage type>] [<special weapon attribute>]
  'type <item type>'
  'levels <min level> <max level>'
  'wear <wear slot>'
If you're just learning about the 4.99 weapon changes and want to learn what
bola you should be wearing, you can check with "eqdb type weapon bola"; if
you're anticipating killing a fey, you can do "eqdb type weapon sunlight
aqueous"; and if you just need a new pair of boots, you can find some with
"eqdb type armor wear feet".  There are lots of items which few people, or
sometimes nobody, has ever seen before, and this might provide some
interesting insight into what you might find when you go out exploring.  As
always, we're looking forward to your feedback, either in anticipation of,
or after the release of, this neat new feature. 
After you find some new equipment you want, you might start looking for
friends who can help you kill whichever boss has it.  To facilitate that, at
reboot you will be able to schedule boss runs- a combination of a run
calendar, a dead pool, and a public meetup invite.  In order to schedule a
boss run, you simply specify what boss (by name, same as BOSS INFO), and the
date and time at which you want them to die. 
You can schedule bosses between 2 hours and 1 year in the future.  You will
be charged a nominal fee, dependent on your level and the category of boss
you want to kill- fees range from 5k for first classes up to 70k for
archons.  If you are present when the boss dies, in the 4-hour window (2
hours before, to 2 hours after) that you specified the boss would die, you
get double your fee back, as will everyone else present who also scheduled
that boss during that window. 
If you anticipate being able to do the same boss multiple times in an
evening, you can schedule the same boss redundantly in the same window- but
you'll only get credit for 1 completed kill at a time.  You can schedule as
many runs as you can afford, but you will only receive credit (and the
reward) for them if you are physically present when the boss dies.  Also
keep in mind, although you are eligible for rewards for participating in
boss schedules, boss schedules are public, and PKers can also see the time
at which you have signed up to be in PK. 
As always, 5.0 continues.  As our excellent new Immortals continue growing,
we anticipate speeding up our rate of development, growth, and welcoming
Adventurers new and old who are curious to see all of our progress.  Materia
Magica is quickly approaching our 25 year anniversary, and we have a clearer
vision and a brighter future than we have in a decade.  I started playing
Moongate in high school, and now I'm in my late 30s, and have been an
Immortal for 19 years.  I'm facing the distinct possibility that Alyria will
outlive me, and the credit for that goes to our staff, past Immortals, and
most of all, the players who keep us sharp and relevant and successful.
We're a MUD that is somehow flourishing again in 2020.  We aim to keep that
going, and we're eager for you to help us.