We continue to steadily move towards release. Currently, there’s a lot of usability work going on as internal playtesting finds things that are troublesome, frustrating, or confusing. For instance, the ship system needed some streamlining as it was pretty unwieldy. Frankly, it’s still a little unwieldy, due to the fact that it’s pretty complicated, but I’m fairly confident that the min-maxers among you are going to love figuring out how you want to equip your ships, and others will follow your lead as you find good sets of options.
On the building side, the focus right now is on the main questline, which is quite a lot of work, but hopefully worth it – I think it’ll be interesting to see how you guys react to one of our games having that as a feature.
As we work our way towards release, I thought some of you might be interested in seeing some of how we admin the game behind the scenes. This by no means constitutes everything, but does probably give you a flavor of how varied and broad the range of things is that we have to build admin interfaces for.
First, a glimpse of part of the top-level ADMIN command, which is the root verb for a range of things. Many things aren’t under this command for various reasons (compatibility with the shared backend our games have, etc), but this should give you an idea. These are all two-word root verbs for sets of actual commands.
And here’s what some of the actual commands under those two word root verbs look like (sorry about the small text in this one). You can see the armor interface, the space template interface, and the celestial body interface.
I just finished putting up our biggest lore update to date – all about the story of Martias Arrarax and Kimera Santuren and how the Celestines freed themselves from corporate rule and how they govern themselves now. Read about it all here!
I also updated the Song Dominion page with a bunch of info about how their current form of quasi-dictatorial government works and how it evolved!
I recently updated the Scatterhome page with a lot of info on how they self-govern without a formal ‘government.’ Here’s an OOC description, but there’s a long-ish history of how the system evolved from all-out-anarchy to self-governance without a permanent formal government on the Scatterhome page. While there’s no permanent government, the citizens of Starmourn have worked out a system of governing themselves, for regardless of their antipathy for formal government, someone has to be able to command their armada, someone has to be able to spend Marks on the city’s behalf, and so on.
It works like this: every citizen of Scatterhome has a formal Influence number.
Influence is gained by doing things that help Scatterhome, like taking Cosmpiercers, killing enemies while they’re in the city (or even via outright bribery…this is Scatterhome after all.)
Influence does, however, slowly drain away with time. Scatterhomeans mostly care what you’ve done for them lately.
When someone wants something done, they put out a Call for that thing. For instance, one might put out a Call to kick someone you don’t like out of the city. The Call runs for 1 day (24 rl hours), during which people may vote yea or nay on the Call. Every influence point that person has counts as one vote for yea or nay – one person one vote is not the Scatterhome way.
People are allocated powers within Scatterhome this way too. There are a few sets of powers, and someone may Call to bestow those powers on themselves or someone else.
If one places a Call that is unsuccessful, a small amount of Influence is lost, and it’s also possible to Call to besmirch someone’s reputation, in which case that person loses some influence.
Essentially, this system means that those who work to help Scatterhome (in the ways that can be measured at least) will have vastly greater influence over the goings-on in the city than those who don’t, and anyone can submit Calls to do a variety of things. We don’t know how it’ll play out, as we’ve never implemented a system like this before, and I’m not aware of any other game that has either. We do think it’ll be interesting to see and a new experience for Scatterhomeans who might be used to how government tends to work in our other games.
Remember to go read about the history of how the system evolved (towards the bottom of the page).
Those of you who are already players of one of our MUDs probably know what the retirement system is, but briefly, it’s a system whereby you can permanently retire a character and receive credits for some percentage of the value of the character and its stuff as calculated by us. You can then take those credits and put them into a new character on the same game or one of our other games.
People have been asking about retirement and Starmourn since we first revealed the project to the world, and we’re finally ready to reveal how it’s going to work. (It’s not complicated.)
We’re going to allow retirement into Starmourn but only 3 months after we put the game in full release (meaning anyone can access the game and the world will not be reset/wiped going forward). After that three months is over, people with existing characters will have 30 days to spend any retirement credits on them after which they aren’t eligible for retirement credits any more. New characters will, as per our other games, have 30 days before they’re unable to receive retirement credits.
The reason we’re instituting a delay is because what we really don’t want to see is people retiring their characters in our other games on day 1, playing Starmourn, and then really regretting their decision. It’s not that we think Starmourn won’t be awesome, but it’ll be the new shiny, and we think it’s highly likely that people will dig themselves a hole and regret it. We also can’t allow people to back out of retirement because then what we’ll see is a flood of people leaving the other games in order to try out the new game, many with no intention of doing anything but playing around and then returning to their previous game. That’s disruptive to both the existing games and Starmourn.
Now you know!
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