Monday, March 31, 2008

Chaotic Jester Live Quest

Incase you missed it, here's what went on. We got some 60 odd players online at once, the game crashed twice during the event, and the following messages appeared to those online:

-Excited giggles fill the land. The hour of complete and utter chaos draws near.

*an hour passes*

-A great booming laughter fills the land.
-You grab your weapons, prepare your spells, and await in fear of the moment of truth.
-Town Crier shouts from within his hiding place: Hear ye! Hear ye! Minathian scouts have spotted the Jester making its move on the outer edges of the Forgotten Oak island. They have sent a contingent of soldiers through to battle with whatever forces the Chaotic Jester can muster.
-Town Crier shouts from within his hiding place: However, they request that any willing and able heroes join their cause and meet up with them to do battle with the Jester and end the threat it presents once and for all. Only united can the forces of light defeat this evil and save the land from becoming the Jester's amusement park.

*an hour passes*

-The Chaotic Jester led the fight in vanquishing the adventuring band!
-The Jester leaves his secluded cave and enters Oaken Village where he makes his mark on the world with a delighted smile on his face.
-Here he shall gather his energy from the players he slew and from his day of power. Then, tomorrow at midnight, he shall make his move and infest the entire world with his colorful goodness.
-Those who survived the battle shall submit to his will and become his slaves or die painful deaths.
-You put your head down, quite defeated and realize it was his plan all along to lure you to him so he could kill the strongest among you and use your spirits to fuel his conquest of the world.

*some time passes*

-Arilou thanks everyone who participated in feeding the jester and invites you all to witness the birth of a new, chaotic, age tomorrow night at Might-night, Eastern Time.

The Last Foreshadowing Before the Storm

Well kiddies, tonight is thee night. Once again, no it is not a joke and yes I am serious about it not being a joke. So be there and partake in what is bound to be quite the rollercoaster for you wannabe heroes.

-Hee, hee, hee... that dark laughter which has been tormenting you from afar these last few weeks returns. But this time it seems much closer, much more foreboding.
-The forces of chaos plot their next move as they bask in the pure energy that flows through them on the eve of their day of power.
-As the jester summons his forces an even darker being watches over him. They converse in hushed tones as this overlord points to a map insistently. The jester squeals in defiance but the being of chaos reminds him to remember who freed him from his eternal bondage.
-The jester puffs out his chest, but backs down as the figure takes a step forward and reveals a wicked grin on his green colored face.
-Suddenly the figure sniffs the air and turns his head sharply at a creature spying on them in the background. He reaches his clawed hands out at the halfling sneak and brings it up to his maw where he promptly bites down on the squirming thing, putting an end to its frightened protests.
-The figure turns his now bloody face to the jester and gives him a cold look before storming off.
-The wizard Arilou appears and greets the brave heroes of land.
-Arilou emotes: Obviously this is a grave, grave threat that this jester presents and to do my part I have utilized thee public forum to get you all together for my... your benefit. May you fight with glory and unite against this wonderful... dark creature.
-Arilou represses his laughter and in doing so notices some blood appeared on his hand after removing it from his mouth. He quickly wipes the blood off his chin and retires to his lair in a puff of smoke.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Foreshadowing Revealed

Finally, at long last, the meaning behind these omens has been revealed... or so I thought. Apparently to the players listening at the time this meant they should scream; "lq!" and insist on asking if it means they should go to Blackrose to look for it (why would you send a scout out from a city if the trouble is within it?). Then end by asking repeatedly if the live quest was today or not despite the Town Crier clearly stating that they needed to prepare for something coming in two dream days (dream days = real days btw). I swear, if I don't explain things in simple, short words some of your heads seem to be on the brink of exploding. Anyway, here is what was announced incase you missed it:

-An ominous cloud passed by over head.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! Everyone gather 'round. There is news to be heard.
-Town Crier shouts: Silence so I can be heard!
-Town Crier shouts: The Kings of land had sent scouts out to learn more about this horrific threat that escaped from a place of darkness a short time ago. Until this morning, when a thiefling scout scampered through the gates of Blackrose City, none had returned.
-Town Crier shouts: It is said that his demonic heritage protected him from being killed instantly at the sound of the jester's laugh, though he was by no means in good shape upon his return. In fact, he was on the brink of death, but he managed to bring crucial information to his lord, nonetheless.
-Town Crier shouts: He claims the chaotic jester is preparing for an assault on the land in two dream days hence where the jester's powers will be its strongest for the eve of its special day shall be at hand. From there he shall make his mark on the land and use it as a base to conquer all the world.
Town Crier shouts: All able bodied men and women are asked to sharpen their blades, hone their spells, restock their quivers, and be ready to defend the land against this threat.
-Town Crier shouts: The seers claim that there is no hope, that this threat is the final threat, and that we should pray to the gods to make our deaths swift. But the Kings and Lords of the land bid you to use their ramblings to inspire yourselves to new heights. Fight like you've never fought before and spread the word to all heroes so that this vile fiend, that has threatened us so, will be faced with an army of awe inspiring numbers.
-Town Crier shouts: And now I shall read a quote from the High King of Minath Elion; "We have fought bravely in many battles against the forces of darkness. Our courage has led us to defend the land against mighty Demon Lords, evil wizards, and unspeakable creatures, the likes of which we never hope to see again in our lifetimes. We even defended the land against the greatest threat of our generation, the Nec-Bathat. But no matter what the peril, we have always come through for we are on the side of right. This is no different. This... fool, shall not be the one to take us down. We shall overcome it as we have overcome more horrifying sights and we shall do so with the bravery of each who takes up the call to battle with it when it makes its sinister move. Go now and prepare, for the hour of your glory, where you shall go down in the history books for you service, is at hand."
-Town Crier shouts: That is all the news for now.
-The Town Crier goes to find some place to hide.
-Moments later, you hear the distant sound of laughter, "Hee, hee, hee," almost as if it knows and is mocking you all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From the Notebook of Arilou - Chicken Spell Edition


It's been awhile since this blog delved into Wyvern content, something which I suspect is the primary reason many of you seven people check in on it. As such I am introducing a new series called; "From the Notebook of Arilou." As I go through life, beating on small children and taking their candy as my own, an idea occasionally pops into my head. The ones I like the most get written down either in a notebook or in a number of disorderly notepad files on my computer. From time to time I thought I'd give you guys a glimpse into them. However, they will usually involve things that cannot be added because of the limitations of the game at the moment or because they are beyond my abilities to make. So bothering me to introduce them won't work as if it was just up to me they would exist already.

In any case, today's edition focuses on something I refer to as the "Chicken Spell" in my notes. The idea was that when adventuring through a dungeon you can suddenly encounter a dark mage (obviously any monster could have the spell, but stay with me) who casts a bolt spell that, if it hits you, changes your graphic to that of a chicken. Once a chicken, you cannot change forms if your race normally allows it. Instead you, as any character, are given this as your new form. Your ability to wield weapons and wear most armor is removed, your hp and sp is extremely lowered, and your combat stats are lowered as well. The specifics of which are not important and were left opened to be determined after testing of the spell was underway. The point is that you are too weak to remain in combat and have to "take flight" (HAR HAR HAR). Ideally, I'd like this to be something that forces players to find a corner to hide in, within the given dungeon, and hope beyond hope that the dark mage or some other creature does not find you before the spell's effect wears off and you return to your normal self.

Some general notes:

- It's important that it is a bolt spell. The idea is to give players something they have to dodge as this should be a hated spell that people take special care to avoid and if it gets players every time it's not as balanced. This is not just something meant to annoy players. It's meant to create an interesting aspect of the game that forces them to react in a unique manner and if it happens to players all the time it becomes a generic nuisance that you just have to put up rather than an occasional challenge that simply takes you off target for a short while.

- It goes without saying, but this would be a monster only spell. However, it would open the door to a greater range of polymorph spells. For example, instead of negative ones that monsters use on you, players could potentially cast ones on themselves which turn them into various monsters for a short period of time - These forms could make them more powerful in combat or, at the least, will give them a unique skill that aids them in the moment.

- The time you remain as a chicken depends on the caster's skill in the element of choice.

- This was something that I came up with in 2003. I was once hoping to get someone to code it for me, but that never worked out. There were a number of problems. Specifically with getting it to work as a bolt spell and with the chicken aspect of it all. Apparently it had the same problem costumes did, meaning that it would glitch a player's image if they were a giant or a naga. But in general it's something that is complicated to code, so while I still hope someone will make something out of it someday, it has gained a special place in my notebook where it will probably remain for some time to come.

- While writing this I added another note - "Dark mage should randomly appear at different points in the dungeon and have a possibility to not appear at all." What this means is that if the spell ever got made, the first place I would use it in is a new dungeon where this "dark mage" lives. Rather than have him at a fixed point in the dungeon where players always knew where he was so they could prepare, it would be more fun if he would randomly jump out at you. Of course, this has nothing to do with where the spell would be used in other wizard's areas or projects of mine made after that. But the spell originated as an idea for a very specific encounter and I would like to make that a reality before doing anything else - Crazed mage -> polymorph chicken spell -> dungeon -> corners designed into the maps that give players somewhere to hide -> screaming over shouts that the sky is falling -> laughter by Arilou and sweet dreams of players dying painful deaths to follow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Even more foreshadowing

Incase you haven't caught on yet I've been copying transcripts of messages that have appeared to players via the fakeshout command. Players online at the time have responded with mixed, but ultimately confused, reactions. Some don't take it all that seriously (and I can't imagine why) while others scream that it has to do with wizards leaving or the game going down (not the brightest bulbs we have in Wyvern). I'll tell you this much... it's not a joke - It does have to do with something that is "coming" just as the messages suggest. The question is can you guess what that something is and what it is in relation to? Maybe this third bit of foreshadowing can fill in some of the pieces for you guys, gals, and disfigured mutants who's gender we cannot be sure of:

-In the darkness lurks a great evil. Waiting, always waiting, but soon... soon it shall make its move and the world shall crumble before its might.
-The hour of bloodshed grows ever closer while the masses skip through life laughing at omens and stuffing their faces with the lies they tell themselves.
-From the darkness the blinding colors of all the rainbow shall sprout and all shall know their doom is at hand as the world turns on its head.
-Hark! The great evil shall come forth on the eve of the day where its powers will be the strongest. None shall doubt its strength as it makes its mark on the world in a massive blood bath, the likes of which have rarely been seen throughout the ages.
-A great flash of colors appears before you all and then is gone as soon as it came. The third omen has presented itself and the time for mirth diminishes that much more.

*Some time passes*

Hee, hee, hee... the laughter is a cold reminder of what is and what is to come. Your face grows pale this time for no longer can you deny the truth. Your doom and the doom of all that are and ever will be is near.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Foreshadowing (continued)

-The end is near.
-On top a mountain hilltop lurks a lone goblin. The wind blows gently against his disfigured face as the little creature basks in its refreshing chill.
-It feels secure. Too secure... for somewhere behind it lurks a dark figure.
-Ever so slowly the figure tiptoes towards the unsuspecting goblin...
-Alas, the bell dangling at the figure's ankle makes a noise, causing the goblin to spin around, quite startled. It is greeted by the most horrid, most evil, most fearsome creature imaginable.
-The goblin tries to run but its legs buckle in fear and so all it can do is whimper as the figure comes forward...
-The goblin raises its arms defensively but nothing happens for several moments. Suddenly the goblin gets up the nerve to peer at the figure and is greeted by the most wickedly curled smile from a...
-Jester. With a hop and a wink it lets out a laugh: "Hee, hee, hee."
-The goblin falls dead in response without so much as a confused cry.
-Suddenly, there is a flash of colors before your eyes and then... normalcy. Everything is as it was...
-And yet a chill runs down your spine. The second omen has made itself known. A great evil shall soon make its mark on the world and you fear that it may be the end of all that is and all that will be. But how long do you have? Days? Weeks? You cannot be certain, but you know you do not have as much time as you'd like before the end is upon you. You close your eyes, remembering that flash of colors and wonder what it symbolizes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Battling Monsters

Adventurers battle the dark fiends that reside in Forgotten Oak of the graphical mud, Wyvern.
Just for fun I thought I'd post this little "screenshot" of a battle between an adventuring band and the creatures they have encountered within Forgotten Oak.

It has occurred to me since posting this that this would be a good basis for a story. You can start with the introduction of these five heroes, to each other, in the New Verden area and follow their adventures throughout the land. Rather than doing chapters in a book it could be a series of short stories and throughout you get a couple of images mixed in that visually show something described in the story. I'm way too busy to do something like that at the moment, but I find the idea intriguing and I may explore it sometime in the next few years.

It would make a good series of blog posts and an even better website feature. Additionally, the characters can be referenced in the game and it could be possible to meet them while exploring. Possibly during certain quests. It'll add a bit of flavor to the game and I've always wanted to have famous adventuring parties in the game. You know, people who townsfolk talk about with high praise and who you can later meet and battle against, join forces with, talk to, etc. However, this would be even better as the player will get to know every little detail of their rise to fame in a way I could never do just by using the game itself to tell their story. It could also create a bit of excitement for players to end up hearing about or meeting in the game.

But in the here and now, I thought the screenshot came out nicely. Its purpose was to show off the most exciting aspects of Wyvern's battle features while using some of the game's better graphics. For someone who never played Wyvern before I want them to see it and go; "Wow, I have to try that!" The current game screenshots on cabochon.com, don't really do that. There was an attempt to update them a bit in 2003, but nothing ever came of it and even so, what was captured then doesn't display what the game is capable of today. In the future we'll see about trying to get them updated, (they won't be as stylized as this image is) but until Rhialto follows through with his web-based client plans I'm inclined to hold off on that as the purpose of good screenshots is to show off not just the game, but the client and its features as well. So any ones made of the current client would be vastly outdated as soon as that came about.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Foreshadowing

-The end grows near.
-A farewell is proclaimed.
-Trapped in the darkness between desperation and despair lives a great evil of unmatched power.
-Its bonds are nearly broken and it hungers for your souls.
-Suddenly two bright orbs appear from somewhere within that darkness. A chill runs down your spine.
-A mighty roar and the sound of a great struggle follow.
-Then silence.
-Stunned, you take a step forward, but as you do you are knocked back by a massive explosion.
-From within the darkness and the cloud of dust, a figure steps forward. But you can't quite make it out just yet...
-Fearful, you try to run, but your legs fail to work. All you can do is shut your eyes and hope for a quick end.
-The sound of mad laughter makes you open your eyes at your doom, despite your better judgment, and standing there before you is...
-A jester. He offers you a smile and a wink, does a little dance, and hops off down the road.
-Suddenly he looks back at you and in all seriousness proclaims: "The end is near." Then he turns his back on you and hops out of sight.

**Some time passes**

-While the mortals go on with their lives, somewhere, deep in a darkened forest, a jester sits against a rock and ponders what is to come. A curled smile appears on the little guy's face as he pats his hands together with glee.
-His laughter echoes throughout the forest and when it ends there is only silence. No longer can birds be heard chirping or goblins heard fighting amongst themselves for a handful of bronze coins. Even the trees grow silent despite the wind pushing against their usually creaking branches.
-Hee, hee, hee... the sound of death.
-You suddenly grow very nervous at this horrific precursor and wonder how much longer you are for this world. Hours? days? It is all so surreal.
-Colors flash before your eyes while in your current haze, and then nothing. Everything is as it was, but you will never forget that something is coming... something big... but when?

**Some time passes**

-Hee, hee, hee... the laughter is a cold reminder of what is and what is to come.