Update 4 Jun 2019

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Re: Update 4 Jun 2019

Post by neongrey » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:43 pm

Okay, so, notes. Let's start with some of the area work here.

This update started, in a lot of ways, with druid, which meant building-wise, it started with Gogoth. Gogoth was of course one of the absolute oldest areas in the game, some truly vintage Iandir work, and it had rarely been touched since. Like most of Iandir's early work, the bones were very solid, but the work was very... very antique.

So, this meant asking ourselves some questions about the nature of the curse on Gogoth and Shargob, what caused certain mechanical oddities about the region, what it means to be a zombie in an Avendarian context, what modern Avendarians are doing archaeologically with the place, and what exactly did Gogoth do to the place? A lot of these answers are best covered through actually going to Gogoth and thoroughly digging around-- there's a lot going on there now.

What exactly Gamaloth is in't exactly a question that's going to be well-understood ICly. So I'm going to avoid going into too much detail-- different characters are going to come away with some very different answers based on their own educations and fields of study. For these purposes, let's call it the Tree of Death, and leave it at that.

It is certainly associated with the gigantic tree we have planted in the centre of Gogoth castle. More or less-- the castle itself is going to need rework to reflect the new reality of the situation. But just walking through Gogoth city, the omnipresence of this great and terrible Thing cannot, will not be avoided.

Among other things, it answers the question of what exactly a zombie is, in Avendar, and the question of 'where does this infinite number of zombies come from, it's been over a thousand years, how are these corpses so intact'. I like off the wall answers to questions (and I think our solutions in general to worldbuilding things have become infinitely better with the broad realization that 'a wizard did it' is a given in all cases), so our answer here is that of course they are not. A zombie doesn't need identity, a zombie doesn't need to be intact, a zombie doesn't need to serve a function. A zombie doesn't need to all be made from the same person. A zombie needs to make you want to puke when you look at it. That's what a zombie needs.

It also needs to exist in the remains of what was once a functional society. This should be far more the case now. This zone was very much a team effort-- you'll see my, ninja's, and our newest staff member, Taski's hands all over it in various places. Area work is a huge undertaking, especially when you're doing overhauls on such large areas. The game has suffered a lot over the years for its emphasis on solo work, solo credits, and generally treating the work as something proprietary-- the world becomes smaller if you're only touching something you yourself made. Avendar is in absolutely every regard a team effort, from the playing to the making, and there is no benefit whatsoever to taking proprietary attitudes to it. This isn't in opposition to providing credit for work-- in fact, I think it's more important to ensure credit is given where it's due in team efforts like this, since feeling like a less significant part of the team encourages withdrawing from the work. But a hands on approach to the work and world is far better than hands off.

So let's move on to talking about my first solo area credit, Yora Vale. This is about 95% my work and my work alone-- Taski stepped in at the very end when we had both hit the wall on things we were working on, and we swapped and both things were done within two days. Teamwork makes the dream work, y'all.

This is a small area that I incepted for a specific purpose that will be made clear in due time. It is a sleepy village deep in the Brintor mountains, home to a small community of alatharya. It gained another purpose when we reworked the commercial section of the sewers-- as I said at the time, it didn't really do to have the largest gathering of alatharya in the world be sex workers, as that doesn't really show off the diversity of roles that we wanted.

So the thing about Yora is that there's a lot of baggage that I was explicitly wanting to avoid as we added more to our depiction of alatharya. There's a lot of ways to key into real-world racism when you're dealing with certain tribal structures like had been suggested previously for alatharya (and a lot of the very concept of tribes in general is pretty inherently a product of colonialism), and fetishization of quote-unquote primitive lifestyles. There's a lot of the issues that I'd gone into before with depictions of alatharya intelligence. And there's a lot of classism that can come with depicting people who aren't, you know, wealthy. The metagame purpose for the area required it be a settlement, in this particular region, so I considered what all a community living there would need-- food, shelter, friendship, full communism, all of that.

So that gave me a basic structure, and it gave me a basic population. But that wasn't exactly enough, you know? An area needs to live. And I can do more than write zombies with pimples for eyes. So what we have here is ultimately a love letter to Inessa. It won't be the last such you see from me.

It's a nice little place, has a good-aligned chaja, happy taenosils hopping around the place, goats, all that. It's not cut off from the world-- you'll see a couple people coming through the place who will sell adventurers some goods. There are some interesting curiosities there.

Relevant also to our releasing the area early in Pride month, the area is queer as h*ck. Alatharya ladies flirting with each other, gay husbands and their kid, ungendered children because children don't need a gender, all that good stuff.

It is an area of wholesome content and good things.

I'm sure i've got more stuff to talk about, but I'll leave it there for now.
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Re: Update 4 Jun 2019

Post by neongrey » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:46 am

First rollup:

* Bayyal has been significantly rewritten. See HELP BAYYAL for more information.
* The goddess Ayaunj, patroness of the Merchant Federation has made herself known. See HELP AYAUNJ for more information.
* A Void symbol has been moved to a nearby, more reliable location and its vision has been rewritten. Good luck.
* Ghosts should now be treated as if they have perfect controlled flight.
* Rewrote the nock command and altered the functionality of wearing arrows to make it consistent with other wear slots.
* Prismatic arrow's self-purge checking has been changed to facilitate the above.
* Ghosts are no longer able to begin tasks, complete tasks, or harvest nodes.
* Entering the Summit of Mount Khorak will now use whiteout instead of blindness, and will only work if not affected by it already.
* Destroying a corpse by way of trophying no longer destroys the trophy as well.
* Sacrificing to Ayaunj now delivers the appropriate amount of copper coins.
* Shifting out of hawkform should now always cause a character to end natural flight, if they are using it.
* Forest walk no longer removes itself from a character while in combat or with the visible command.
* The Firiel totem no longer allows you to activate it to recover mana while its mana recovery over time effect is active.
* Corpses produced by raise dead can now be used to create a bone reaper.
* The skill penalty for being drunk no longer applies to revenants.
* Drive <target> <direction> should now parse its arguments properly, allowing it to work as intended.
* Changed random room determination within the area, which should impact abilities like vanish.
* Ordered mind should now properly recover mana and scale as intended.
* Kisjam should now teach hand to hand as he was intended to.
* Building fixes, code optimizations, and minor error corrections.

The top three items were just missed from the initial pile.
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Re: Update 4 Jun 2019

Post by ninjadyne » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:39 am

* Fixed a bug which caused acolyte of seasons to erroneously calculate its bonuses during autumn.

This should have been in the above list also. I know some of you out there are probably thinking, "but I've reported a bug that wasn't fixed in this list!" Don't worry; we're going through them fairly steadily and this isn't the end. Thanks for your patience.