Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wyvern Videos Segment 1

Ever find yourself wondering what Wyvern videos there are out there? Well even if you haven't, there are a growing number of them out in the cyber world (some of which are better than others) and for those of you who might find yourself interested in checking them out, I've compiled a selection of them in this post for your viewing pleasure. Whenever a significant group of new videos comes out I'll do another Wyvern Videos segment on this blog in an attempt to save some of you the endless minutes of searching and to introduce them to those of you who would otherwise never know they existed. Enjoy.

MMA (Minath Monster Arena) by Kohora

Wyvern Battles by BlazerV60

RDing (Random Dungen adventure) by Kohora

Gauntlet by Kohora

Ziggurat by Kohora

Wyvern Gauntlet by Garoodude

Post Nerf Orcus by Kohora

Wyvern by Garoodude

Macabre by Kohora

Wyvern (a promo video) by Kohora

Minath Monster Arena by Irano

Btw, if you ever notice that one of these videos has become unavailable, do me a favor and let me know by leaving a comment that says which one it is so I can edit it out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First Day of Summer Feast - The Lq Trascript

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! A grave threat has been brought to our attention and it is asked that all heroes of the land be ready to take up arms against this terrible threat that may strike at any moment. If you wish to learn more about this, I am told that an envoy was sent to the feast to tell the tale to those in attendance.

*a half hour passes*

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! Reports are coming in that Stoneybrook suffered a grave attack. Many innocent people were killed and the damage was significant.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! Follow up reports confirm suspicions that Stoneybrook was destroyed by a Conqueror Wurm and an army of Nec-Bathat's followers.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The wurm was seen burrowing into the ground and its army taking off on foot. An investigation is underway to find out where it is heading so that this unholy army can be confronted and put down before many more innocent lives are lost.

*minutes later*

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! It has been reported that the small hamlet of Ashberry, located north of Stoneybrook, has also been destroyed.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! It has now been confirmed that the Conqueror Wurm was once against responsible and has since moved on from that location. Fortunately a mage, in service to a special order of mages, managed to stumble upon the army while searching for possible locations the Conqueror Wurm would strike next. Although she was killed, it is said she managed to cast a tracking spell on the wurm which will allow her order to track the beast and determine where he is headed in advance. They are now viewing him with their magical orbs and should be able to alert us to where he is headed shortly.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The mages have informed us that the wurm is headed to the elven village of Raukos Nwalya, located near the edge of the Almien forest. They implore you to head there with all haste as it is expected that he an his army will already be in the middle of searching the village before the nearest heroes can get there.

*the battle wages on*

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! Bad news! The Conqueror Wurm has burrowed underground and the bulk of his army has taken off as well. The mages are once again tracking him in hopes of trying to pinpoint the next village he plans to attack.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The mages believe the great wurm is headed for Bilyn's Town, located near the bridge south of Noir. Once again, please hurry with all haste lest you wish to get there after the wurm has already ravaged the place and moved on.

*the battle wages on**

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The great wurm and its army has continued on once more!
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! It's believed the wurm is headed for Claverack, located Northwest of Noir.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! Scratch that. The mages believe the wurm is instead headed for the shoreside hamlet of Fallwick, located east of Toys in the Attic.

*the battle wages on*

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The great wurm and its army has left Fallwick.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The Wurm is on its way to the Orc infested Town currently known as Orc's Rock! It's located just north of Toys in the Attic and northwest of Fallwick.

*the battle wages on*

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! It looked like the band of heroes were about to defeat the wurm this time around, but it once again has burrowed into the ground and taken off!
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The wurm is headed to Blackwynne, located southeast of the Temple of Life, next! Hurry brave heroes!

*the battle wages on*

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! Moral is low as the wurm once again vanishes by burrowing into the ground.
-Town Crier shouts: Oh my dear! Oh my dear! The mages have reported that the wurm and its army are now headed for Alaria! Quick! Quick! This beast must be stopped before its too late for Alaria and its many citizens!
-Town Crier breathes a sigh of relief and shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The mages appear to have been mistaken. The wurm was actually headed to Shadowham, located by the sea, just north of Alaria.

*the battle wages on*

-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The wurm has escaped death once more.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The mages report that it is on the move eastward, but aren't sure where it is headed as of yet.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The wurm's army has been spotted moving along King's Road, but still no confirmation as to were they or the wurm are headed.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! We have word! The wurm is almost at Hawthorne. It is a little known village, hidden deep in the mountains west of Blackrose. It can only be accessed through a series of caves under the mountains. The entrance to said caves is located south of Blackrose's main gate.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! Reports indicate that the bulk of the wurm's army have set up camp in the caves leading to Hawthorne so as to slow down any attempts at approaching the village.

*the battle wages on*

-From as far away as Alaria and the great feast, a bright blue light can be seen shimmering on the mountains where Hawthorne is located. The light appears to be a series of blue rays that originate from Hawthorne.
-You stare upon the light in amazement and wonder what it going on there just as a loud boom echoes down through the land.
-In Hawthorne, the band of heroes fall back as a great beast of a thing appears before them...Nec-bathat...She' found the relic. No!
-Tears well up in the eyes of many of those who risked their lives to trying to stop her from returning as they look upon the horrifying sight that is Nec-bathat, demon goddess of death. This cannot be how it ends, they think...It just can't be.
-And with that thought, the battered and tired heroes seem to gather every bit of energy and courage they have left within them, for they move forward in unison and prepare to die trying to stop this demi-god from realizing its dreams of complete and utter destruction. Although the effort seems futile, none seem to care as they shrug off the pain from the multiple bloody wounds, that cover their bodies, and charge at the she-demon.
-Town Crier shouts: antithigram led the battle in vanquishing Conqueror Wurm!

*the ultimate battle takes place*

-Town Crier shouts: patriarch led the battle in vanquishing Nec-Bathat!
-After a long, hard battle, the final blow is inflicted onto Nec-bathat, causing her physical body to collapse onto the ground. You can hear a long, high-pitched wail as her immortal spirit is sent back to the Abyss where her body can be reformed. Although she has been defeated this day, the threat of Nec-bathat looms on forever more.
-Town Crier shouts: I...I don't believe it. None of us do. Nec-bathat has been vanquished! The land is safe!
-Throughout the land, cheers go up for the brave heroes who fought and died this day. Chatter takes place about erecting a monument to them and someone suggests later dragging the heroic statue from the feast, all the way to Hawthorne. Cries of; "Great idea!" ensue.
-Suddenly a bright flash of red light is seen falling from the heavens onto Hawthorne. Those there are startled to see a Phoenix, as bright and beautiful as the sun itself.
-A series of loud voices speak at once: Well done, people of Wyvern. Nec-bathat knows better than to try to directly strike out at mortals in such a fashion. As a demi-god she is not normally restricted to being stuck in the Abyss after a defeat here, in the prime material plane. But as punishment, we have once again made sure she is banished for a hundred of your years. At which point we will evaluate if she has learned her lesson.
-You realize that the voices were actually many of the goodly gods and so you bow your heads in reverence to their glory and continued kindness. After a fashion, you look up to gaze upon the phoenix once more. It was sent to channel their voices to you and, knowing that, you smile at the phoenix...nay the symbol of hope that majestically poses before you.


-As an afterthought a small group think to search for the relic, but it is nowhere to be found. One can only hope the gods took it for safekeeping. You try to convince yourself that that is the most likely scenario, but a feeling of dread fills your body anyway.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First Day of Summer Feast - The Screenshots

As expected, not many of you took the time to help document the day. Which is totally fine as I didn't want people to have to worry about stopping in the middle of their fun to take screenshots unless they really wanted to. So, I have a collection of my own for all of you to use to remember the fun. Enjoy...

Arilou's Screenshots:

Ah, the trivia contest. Out of the three I ran, this is from the first. Everyone flocked into this one map when called and sat down to try their hand at winning some feast tokens. The plan was to ask ten questions and give out four tokens as a 1st prize, two tokens as a 2nd prize, and one token as a 3rd prize. But, it was a four way tie with those four people each getting two questions right so I just gave them each two tokens.

Here players excitedly wait for Teshuvah's Mining Lq to begin.

The Mining Lq just ended (thus the pickaxes flung carelessly across the ground) and players returned to stuffing their faces with food so that they could become all the better for me to eat. I must say, players are a strange kind of prey. They just flock around a hungry predator, seeming not to care that they are making said predator's job all the more easy. I'm not sure if it's foolishness or stupidity. Perhaps a combination of both. As you can see from this screenshot one, especially tasty look halfling, even dared to think that simply surrounding me could cause me to be trapped.

Like Stone Giants to the slaughter, a large group of players gather in preparation for the day's Pk Lq.

Players find that the Conqueror Wurm's army has destroyed a small elven community and are in the process of digging through the area in search of the famed relic. "Bravely," the band of selfish vagabonds do battle with Nec-Bathat's followers in hopes of stopping their reign of destruction here before too many more lives are lost.

As it turns out, those "heroes" couldn't save their way out of a paper bag and so the Conqueror Wurm is able to move on to destroy the hamlet known as Bilyn's Town. They once again confront Nec-bathat's followers and once again...

their being there only barely slowed the army's search for the relic and so they are able to determine that it is not there and move on to destroy Fallwick. As you can see from this shot of Fallwick, a Stone Giant bravely fights a pair of deadly Glabrezus, while a Paladin leaves him for dead and appears to be searching for a corner to hide in. Typical.

But wait, here the Paladin is seen going up against the Conqueror Wurm. Or so it seems... clearly, his hiding spot had been discovered and after trying to flee, he found himself cornered. No doubt he is wetting himself at this moment. Poor little Paladin.

And so the Conqueror Wurm moves on to obliterate another poor village. This time we see a pair of those brave (is being too stupid to run really considered bravery?) Stone Giants trying to stop the Conqueror Wurm's path of destruction here and now. As you can see, the paladin is nowhere to be seen. No doubt he died crying back in Fallwick. He will forever be forgotten.

Oh dear. As the band traverses the underground caves, that lead to Hawthorne, they encounter a fierce bunch of undead horrors. It turns out that the army has supplemented its lost numbers by using these undead to try and kill the interlopers.

Nec-bathat lives! Mwahahaha! With the relic recovered, she has been summoned from the Abyss to continue the destruction she begun five years ago. But first she must defeat these insignificant little whelps who foolishly stand before the Goddess of Death!

The survivors of the Nec-bathat battle return to the feast. Not to help care for the wounded, mind you, but to try to exchange their spoils of war for rarities. It makes you wonder whatever happened to those heroes that fought simply to protect the weak and make the world a better place, doesn't it?

The third Trivia contest for the day takes place. After the first one, I did two more contests that consisted of ten questions each and this time everyone who got an answer right got a feast token.

Just because, I took a screenshot of Legolas' chessboard pieces. He introduced the new graphics at the first feast and then used them for a chessboard in Almien ao it was fitting that they make their appearance this year. Further on there's also a checkers board. Early in the day people were earnestly playing both games, but as the day went on they seemed to have lost interest. Every time I went to check on it after the morning hours I found the place empty. Here, I seem to have missed someone who started a Chess game, but left in the middle. Alas.

As the day wound to an end, the feast map emptied and everyone begun to park themselves in Valkon's lottery, waiting for a new lottery ticket to become available and chatting in the interim. The wizards followed with Legolas, Teshuvah, Binyamin, Arilou, Contrare, Valkon, a crushed pixie, and others making appearances before they went off to catch some must needed rest.

Arilou, having napped just before, decided to take this time to eat all the players he could catch. If you look closely, you can see that here I've pinned a Halfling down and am in the process of stuffing his fat self into my mouth. Naturally, this is the end result of toying with my little prey for quite some time, taking chunks out of his meaty hide and "accidentally" releasing him so that I could chase him down once more. While it was fun torturing the bug-eyed creature, I could only resist chowing down on him for so long. Oh and for the record... he was a most delicious meal indeed.

Randorxeous' Screenshots:

Steovanni's Screenshots:

Patriarch's Screenshots:

Well, that's all folks. For now anyway - It's never too late to in-game mail me and let me know you have feast stuff that you want me to include here. So if you're slow on the uptake, no biggie. Anyway, I'll be following this up with at least two more blog posts that are more informative than visual. So check in if you think that might be of interest to you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

First Day of Summer Feast - The Day After

If I do say so myself, the feast was a smashing success. It was a lot of fun all around and I think most everyone would agree. In the next couple of days I'll be posting screenshots and describing the days events for anyone who wasn't around for all or some of it. I'll also give a complete run down of the main lq and get a bit deeper into the plot for any interested.

In the meantime, I'd like to request that anyone who took screenshots or videos, in-game mail me. Any links you send me will be posted here and if you don't have anywhere to host it, just let me know in the message and I'll give you an email where you can send it to (I'll upload it here for posterity sake). I have my own screenshots, which I'll be posting either way, so if nobody comes through, there will still be something for you guys to remember the day by. Plus, a player was nice enough to get in contact with me already. Still, it would be awesome if someone managed to capture the lq on video.

Anyway, I have to get back to the fun part, (doing the work needed to get some of this new content into the game on a regular basis) but I'll be back to blogging soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Trivia Contest

Wow, just wow. I ran a number of Trivia Contests today in honor of the ones Rhialto used to do late at night. It's a pretty simple concept. Answer some basic Wyvern trivia questions and win a prize. However, the type of answers I got back were mind boggling. Take this one, for example. I asked this: "How many arch wizards are there and what are their names?" and below are the hilarious replies I got back.

klodin says: 4
klodin says: ummm
patriarch says: 2 legolas and rhialto
snarfer growls: 2 Arilou, and Teshuvah
crier says: 3 Kupior, Legolas Rhialto
heqet says: 2 rhialto legolas
tyranos says: say legolas and rhialto
zevran says: legolas rhialto
veldin says: 3, teshavuah, arilou and binyamin
randorxeous says: 3 lego, rhialto and kupior
dermatolith says: 7- sleepy, dopey, doc, bashful...
klodin says: 4 Rhialto, Teshuvah, Kiz and Caius
snarfer growls: 1 Legolas
tyranos says: say legolas and rhialto 2
firexr says: 3, rhialto, legoles, ad kiz
rifkas says: 2. Legolas and Rhialto
tyranos says: say legolas and rhialto 2 tesh biny
veldin says: 3, teshavuah, arilou and rhailato
tyranos says: say legolas and rhialto 2 readen
tyranos says: say legolas and rhialto 3 readen
patriarch says: 3 kiz, legolas, and rhialto
snarfer growls: 2 Legolas, and Kupior
tyranos says: say legolas and rhialto 3 tesh
zevran says: 4 legolas rhialto kiz janica
heqet says: 3 kiz, kupior, legolas
tyranos says: say legolas and rhialto 4 biny tesh
veldin says: 3, teshavah, arilou and legolas
klodin says: Janica's a elder
crier says: Kix, Tesh, Lego, 3?
steovanni says: 3
snarfer growls: 2 Legolas, and Kiz
klodin says: the 4th is someone who starts with C i think
crier says: kiz*
heqet says: 2 legoloas, kiz
patriarch says: 1, legolas
tyranos says: me
steovanni says: tesh arilou
randorxeous says: 5 lego, rhialto, chirs, and others?
klodin says: there are 4 >.<
You say: It's 4, yes...Now who are they?
perceptor says: 3 Cloud Strife, Sephiroth and Johnny Cash
steovanni says: 4
veldin says: 4, teshavah, arilou, janica, binaymin
klodin says: Rhialto, Teshuvah, Kiz and C......
crier says: Tesh, Lego, Arilou, Ciaus
steovanni says: tesh lego arilou cauis
beckhan says: rhialto legolas benyamin and teshuvah
rifkas says: 4. Teshuvah, Binyamin, Arilou, Lego
snarfer growls: 4 Legolas, Kiz, Janica, and Ciaus.
patriarch says: 3 lego, ciaus, and R
klodin says: Rhialto, Teshuvah, Kiz and Ciaus?
raffy says: Rhialto Legolas Galdor Kiz
rifkas says: 4. Teshuvah, Rhialto, Arilou, Lego
klodin says: arilou's not arhc
patriarch says: 5 kiz, caius, rhialto, janica, and legolas
snarfer growls: 4 Legolas Kiz Rhialto and Ciaus
randorxeous says: 5 lefo, R, kiz, janica and ciaus?
steovanni says: rhialto legolas kiz cauis
veldin says: 4, teshavah, arilou, janica, legolas
beckhan says: rhialto legolas kiz and teshuvah
perceptor says: Legolas, Kiz, Teshuvah, Ciaus
zevran says: legolas kiz caius rhialto
tyranos says: rhialto legolas zifa claus 4

And my all time favorite: patriarch says: 4 kupoir, legolas, rhialto, and kupoir Gotta Love those Kupior twins. :)

People ask how many arch wizards there are and who they are all the time and I'm constantly answering that question. Knowing this, I thought it would be a breeze, but apparently not. First of all, how do you seriously answer the question without including Rhialto in it by default? Even if you don't know all of them, he's obvious. Secondly, I was visible - Anyone who typed wizards could've seen I was an Elder and not an Arch Wizard, yet my name kept coming up. Third, Kupior? Seriously? That name was thrown out way too many times. How so many people could confuse a full wizard with an arch wizard I do not know. Janica...Okay. Raeden...Okay. Teshuvah, come on, she's around all the time...Okay though. But Kupior? Silly players.

It went on like this for awhile, but this was the most comical. Other gems included seriously mixing up when wizards were first promoted, (which is no big deal in and of itself, but the level at which they mixed them up was classic) not knowing that Thrain originally made the Mist Temple (that should be common knowledge) and responding that Legolas and Rhialto were elders to a question asking players to list all our Elder Wizards ("then says: arilou, teshuvah, rhialto, legolas, binyamin"). Surprisingly, though, everyone knew Teshuvah was afraid of Spiders - After asking that question my screen filled with "spider! spider! spider...." Which, of course, made me happy as I exist to make sure everyone knows this.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my amusement. More blogging about the feast will be done over the next few days. Which will include a full run down of the main lq for anyone who missed it and lots of screenshots!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

First Day of Summer Feast and LQ

You heard that right, we are doing the First Day of Summer Feast again this year on June 21st. It hasn't happened in five years and it may never happen again, so miss out only if you have to.

Whether you were here for the first one or not, you are in for a treat. It will be an all day event that you can stop in on at any time and find something to do from hanging out with good company in our lovely feast area to enjoying some of the games we will be hosting. Many of our active wizards have banded together to contribute something for this event so expect to see a wave of new content. Much of which will end up working its way into the game afterwards, but some of it can only be seen/obtained on this special day. So as to not spoil things for you, the wizards are remaining tight lipped on the specifics of what you can expect to encounter, but trust me when I say you will enjoy yourself with what we have planned for you.

However, if are really dying to get some sort of idea of what it will be like, I recommend seeking out your fellow players who were here for the 2003 feast. Ask them to publicly share their stories and see if any have screenshots that they will be willing to put up on the forum. While you're at it, you can also stop by Glacier Point and Lirkka to see some of the lasting effects that day had on the game. There was a lot going on that day and it was a lot fun, but if I do so dare, I think we've managed to top it.

Oh and by the way, I'd like take this time to encourage you people to take screenshots and make videos during the feast. The last one wasn't well documented and it would be nice if future Wyverneers had something to look back on. I'll be blogging about it sometime after it happens and I'd be more than happy to link to any videos or display any screenshots for those of you who contact me about it. More so, if you have a website (even a freewebs one) and you want to make a page about the feast, just let me know and I'll even link to that. That said, if you feel any of this will be a distraction, just have fun and absorb the day. That's what it's all about, after all.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Game Informer

Well, I was feasting on the flesh of some tasty little players yesterday and in-between their screams of absolute and total pain, we got to talking and the old Wyvern Game Informer article came up. That is, of course, once they stopped begging for their lives while tears flowed freely down their rump little faces that you could just eat up. But I digress. The point is, it got me thinking and I thought it would make an okay blog post, if for no other reason than to document the article for posterity's sake.

For those of you who missed out, I'll give you a quick backstory; "It was a cold winter's day back in December of '04. The sun was glistening on fresh banks of snow as far as the eye could see. Out in the distance one could view the most magnificent sight of a lone..." What? Right, right, it was supposed to be a quick backstory. Skipping ahead then; "In turned out that a player made an excited forum post about the game getting reviewed in a magazine. Naturally, I laughed it off, thinking it another attempt by the players to mess with each other. However, the discussion continued and the post was followed up with a transcript of the article, which made it a little more believable, but with these rugrats you never know. So I returned to my meal of roast halfling and put the nonsense out of my mind. Days went by since then and I found myself at Barnes and Noble buying a pile of books, as I'm known to do. On a whim, I walked over to the magazine section and began rummaging around looking for this Game Informer magazine that held the alleged article. At first the magazine was nowhere to be found and I was about to walk away, but then..." What's that? This isn't getting to the point any quicker you say? All of this is just pointless little details that nobody cares about? Well I never... oh, all right, you win. The point is I found the article, scanned it into my computer, and posted it on the forums for players to see. Not very exciting and I know you don't care. Honestly, I don't either, but I just filled up another paragraph on this blog that would've worked fine just having had the pictures and nothing else. Ha! Ha! My plan to bore you all to death is working perfectly!

Okay, fine, fine, I'm done with the insanity (for now). I'll leave you off with two more pictures (below). To give a complete picture I photographed the magazine cover and the page that the article was on. As you can see it's nothing huge, but I found it interesting that one of the players I was talking to yesterday came to the game this year because of the article. He had noticed it back when it came out, but ignored it until recently. So it's still having an effect and it's a nice little thing that adds a bit of notability to Wyvern. Plus, it's so minor that the Game Informer website doesn't mention it on its website under the details for this issue, so I figured, hey, it deserves to be documented somewhere and what better place then among my ramblings? No really, tell me of a better place. It deserves much more than this dinky little blog. If it could talk it would be screaming for help right this second. And wait, I think it's actually doing that. Yes! Yes! I can hear it! ... oh, my bad. That's just another voice in my head, trying to mess with me... great, now he's laughing at me. Well he's not getting the last laugh. No sir!

Btw, for those of you interested, your friendly neighborhood wizards are planning something big (I kid you not) and to wet your appetites I might just make a blog post next month that slightly scratches the surface of what it will be. But you have to good little boys and girls. Otherwise I may just have to sacrifice Mr. Wiggles to the monster that lives under your bed and we don't want that, now do we? Well... maybe you don't. Mwuahahaha! But seriously, it's something very exciting that I'm sure you're all going to love it once you know what it is.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Exciting Conclusion to the Chaotic Jester Event

Several weeks in the making and after all the confused ramblings, the whining, and the shouts of pretend joy, the full picture has been revealed. In case you have not been following the tale I will copy everything said tonight here once again. But first some general notes:

Those who fully took part in the event received a number of rewards. The first went to those who died in the March 31st slaughter. They were able to reclaim a Jester Wand from the Netherworld, which is a special memento of this day that will never again be given out. Later that night, those who had the wand, and were willing to prove it, received an xp voucher and a renamed Jester doll. If you were hoping for something you could use in combat, sorry, but since the Jester won it didn't make sense for people to come out of it with anything of value. However, tonight that changed. The one who defeated the Marilith claimed an artifact (or gem, depending on what popped up out of the random spawn list) and the one who defeated the Chaotic Jester claimed a random mini-lq item from Janica's goditem spawns. Meanwhile, everyone who made it to the end was rewarded with two prize tokens and as a special something everyone who had the jester wand received an additional two prize tokens and the new Amulet of Valor. This was done by design to reward those who were brave enough to risk this live quest after facing a horrible defeat in the last one. Congratulations to all who came away with something.

To those still confused after reading all the fakeshout transcripts, the purpose behind this event was several fold. The primary reasons were that I wanted an explanation for the little April Fools thing I do in Forgotten Oak and I wanted to have a Live Quest where the boss won. Every year I warp Forgotten Oak into a blur of colors, upsidedownness, and general wackiness. However, this year I thought it would be fun if there was a plot reason behind it. So the Chaotic Jester (aka the ancient demon) was born. He escaped, waited for April Fools Eve to make his move as he absorbed special powers on this and the following day, and then the Live Quest ended with the players defeated so the Jester was able to make his "mark" by claiming Forgotten Oak as his own. Of course, after 24 hours I always take down the decoration and return Forgotten Oak to its previous state, so I planned for the victory to be short lived. Thus the second live quest took place. The Jester went to make his move, but since Arilou (the character) was involved, the Arch Wizards stepped in and gave players the opportunity to finish him off. All in all, everything went just as planned (server crashes aside). Throughout the years, players had always commented on how it was a shame the Live Quest monster did not win, so as a reward I came up with the first Live Quest where just that happened.

Secondary to that, I liked the idea of setting up a Live Quest in advance and revealing plot pieces bit by bit. In the past I've never liked doing plot based live quests as they seem like a waste of time. I write a story, a couple dozen players participate and even fewer pay attention to the details. Then it's over and is forgotten as the plot doesn't allow for you to keep redoing the live quest and to do so anyway would be stupid. Many wizards feel the same way which is why they make generic live quests that are rather brief and not extremely heavy on the plot as the 2002 Live Quests were. However, this blog gave me the opportunity to immortalize it in a way where I was able to get excited about doing one (plus the Jester Wand is akin to the Lirkka statue - People will always be applying to it and people will in turn ask to be told what the event was about). As such I'd like to do this again someday once I'm done with areas I need to get in-game first and when the server can better handle lots of players online. I have something in my head that expands over several months - At first the Live Quests begin as an exploratory to something sinister going on. Then, as more of what is going on is revealed to you, you get into bigger battles with Generals of a dark evil before eventually being able to encounter the Dark One yourself. Rather than just doing them randomly, they can be announced in advance and players can set aside time to take part in it. It generates more excitement that way and gives people something to look forward to and follow closely. But, if I were to do something like that it would be a long way into the future.

Something I'd also like to do more of is expand on the Arilou character. If you've been following my ramblings you know I want to introduce characters to Wyvern that you encounter time and time again. Arilou is already a developed character and I love creating things for him. For the most part he is limited to what "I" say in shouts and on this blog as him. However, he has always made himself known in the Elemental Dungeon and I've always been thinking up other ways to include him. One idea involved him creating a temple and trying to gain worshipers in an attempt to attain godhood, but Rhialto and Legolas tore his temple to the ground while Arilou held his head down off to the side, (I referenced the idea tonight) quite pained over the incident as he was sooo close. Meanwhile this Live Quest presented another way to include his character and in a rather exciting way. Once again he's out there trying to spread chaos, once again he's lurking in the shadows, and once again the arch wizards limit the scope of his scheming. He's really a great little character and I very much so enjoy getting into his head.

Anyway, as you already noticed I took a number of sreenshots for you people. As you can also see the maps are very chaotic, very nonsense oriented, and do not have the same kind of flow a normal map would. This is by design. I've done this when creating the Forgotten Oak April Fools map and wanted to continue it with the Live Quest. Basically, the idea is that if it looks "good" then it's bad. It might be cool and a little neat to see it for the first time, but you should come away with a feeling of; "what was that garbage?" when leaving. In contrast I also took a screenshot of the Great Hall of Minath Elion which has a more pleasing design. Here players were rewarded with the Amulet of Valor by the princess (in keeping with the vague Minath plot about the King not being around, I had the npcs claim the King wanted to thank them but did not have him make an appearance) and later players were able to drink, eat, and be merry for all of 5 minutes before they ran off.

Well that's about it. I'd just like to give a very special thanks one of our new wizards, Valkon, for putting together The Infernal Galop (aka the can-can) score which you could hear during the Live Quest. I had wanted to bring that music into the game for so long and Valkon made it possible. Now that has made its appearance in the Live Quest it will make its way into the general rotation of midis which wizards can use for their areas. Thanks again, Valkon.

Tonight's Transcript

-From within his dark lair the jester flexes his muscles as his absorption of power is almost complete. Soon... very soon, the conquest shall begin.

*an hour passes*

-An ominous cloud appears overhead.
-The now beefed up jester steps out into the daylight and smirks as he looks down on the world that will soon be his. It's not the prettiest sight to his warped mind but that shall all change when he replaces it all with a haze of colors and warps reality with his powerful illusionary magic.
-From the ground below, Arilou appears and excitedly pats his clawed hands together as he watches the culmination of a long thought out plan come to a head. The forces of chaos shall finally reign.
-Never would he have been able to achieve this on his own. While his power is great, it comes from the Arch Wizards and so he must dance a line in regard to interfering with mortals. Always being sure not to go too far in his attempts to bring chaos to the masses, lest he wake the bearded ones from their dreamy slumber deep below the surface.
-But this, this was the perfect plan, he mused, while watching the Chaotic Jester. The Jester was already a force in the universe, locked away in a dark realm in the early days of the world, long before the memory of any can remember. After learning about the creature, all he had to do was fight his way through the extra-planar guardians and break the chains that kept the Jester from achieving his true potential. All he had to do now was not be overt about his involvement and chaos would reign.
-While Arilou pats himself on the back, the Chaotic Jester goes to work summoning his dark forces. He reanimates his Undead Unicorns, resurrects the fallen soldiers that they might unwillingly serve him once more, and re-summons his Marilith General from the Abyss.
-From his base, in Forgotten Oak, the Jester levitates his forces around him and begins to move them forward, setting his sights on the main land. But suddenly the ground rumbles furiously and a series of lightning bolts soar through the sky overhead.
-An old, raspy voice can be heard bellowing orders to halt. The jester replies with a mocking laugh but suddenly he feels himself fall to ground in a sharp wave of pain.
-Arilou moves quickly to defend his interests but is flung aside like a rag doll by a telekinetic force. Then, from within the mist, steps forward four wizened old men, that have the appearance of barely being able to hold themselves together, yet at the same time, emit tremendous power.
-Arilou and the Jester squeal in unison and try to bring themselves to their feet but cannot.
-Together the four bearded old men chant and a wave of light falls over the Jester and his minions, which elicit screams of pain from all.
-The apparent leader of the bunch steps forward and bellows: Did you think we would not find out about your scheming? First you try to claim the title, Lord of Chaos for yourself and gain worshipers in an attempt to elevate yourself to godhood. Now you free this most ancient of demons that has a fancy for illusionary magic and disguising himself as a human fool.
-Arilou wrinkles his nose and in response utters: It should've worked.
-The apparent blue robed leader bellows: Typical. I applaud your effort. Still, you shouldn't have been the one to free it. I will not undo all that is, but the being has been weakened considerably and in doing so the magic that flows throw him and to his minions is lessened, making them weaker as well. If it wants to conquer the world, it will have to fight with its own sweat and blood. The old man turns to his companions and utters a single word, causing the ground to envelop the four of them.
-The Jester and Arilou share a look, but then Arilou quickly does his own vanishing act, leaving behind a puff of smoke.
-Alone and feeling severely weakened, the Chaotic Jester gathers his forces and retreats back to his hiding place in Forgotten Oak. He needs time to restructure his plan in light of recent events... now would be the perfect opportunity to lead an assault against him and his minions and be rid of this demon once and for all.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The Jester has once again been spotted on the island of Forgotten Oak.

*some time passes*

-The jester utters a gurgled scream as his body falls to the ground, quite lifeless.
-Those around for the event begin to cheer, but suddenly their faces turn to that of horror as his dark essence springs forth from the body and begins to expand.
-Just as they begin to cower, something grabs at the shadow and pulls it away into a dark cloud.
-Though his form was destroyed, the demon's essence is eternal. However, he will trouble none anymore for the remaining guardians have recaptured him and, with newly forged chains that beam with even more power than before, they lock the demon away. It cries out in defeat, wanting nothing less than to return to this fate of complete and utter hopelessness.
-Meanwhile, the jester's illusions begin to vanish and its so called "mark" fades away to reveal the Forgotten Oak of old.
-Town Crier shouts: Hear ye! Hear ye! The High King of Minath Elion wishes to give special thanks to the heroes who saved the land this night. The Grand Hall has been opened in Minath Elion and in attendance is the princess and the King's adviser to offer their thanks.
-Town Crier shouts: Those who have the Jester's Wand and took part in defeating him tonight can use to the portal in the Chaotic Jester's cave to come here and receive a very special reward. Everyone else is invited to come and partake in drink, food, and good company. The world offers you all, a debt of gratitude.

*a brief time later*

-From within the Great Hall you hear someone utter how this was all Teshuvah's fault. A flurry of: "Hear, Hears!" can be heard in response. Lurking within the shadows, Arilou smiles as his magic once again deflected blame to poor Teshuvah. He stands there for a moment, watching the crowd angrily discuss how this and everything else other the sun is Teshuvah's fault. Then he turns to leave as he has much work ahead of him. After all, lag is not going to create itself.
-The end. *Trumpets blare as the screen fades to black.*

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, 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


-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.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Where art thou brave Arilou?

Well it's been awhile since I last foamed at the mouth and sputtered out some words over here. A large part of that is just because my interest in this has waned somewhat. The last time I attempted to come up with creative ways to find topics to write about, it spilled over into the game and I would like to keep the two separate as much as possible. That's why there's a comments section - You can use them to point and laugh at me or debate my thickheaded self as much as you want. I'll read it all and if it's interesting enough I might even incorporate it into furture blog posts. Anyway, another part of it is that my time has become more limited than it used to be. Lots of things have been going on in my daily life and in the game (as you should be well aware unless you've been living in a hole).

Despite this, I'm going to make an attempt to post on a more regular basis. Right now, I have plans for a series of new posts. Specifically, they will detail a number of game inspirations of mine which have an impact on my Wyvern content. I'll go into a little backstory about the games, post some screenshots, and point out where you can see how they've affected my creations. I promise, it'll be more interesting than I make it sound. I'm also still going to be making posts after every area that I introduce to the game. At the rate I'm currently going I should get one, maybe two posts out of that every 5 years... yeah, no, the more I think about it, two might be stretching it a bit. In any case, there's a lot to look forward to if you are one of those sorry sacks that are locked in your room without a TV and have heavy parent controls on your Internet browser. Although now that I think on it, I'm surprised this blog isn't blocked as well. A fanatical little green alien with delusions of grandeur and homicidal tendencies that likes to talk to the voices in his head isn't exactly a good influence on young minds. Then again I have a lot to teach the little ones. Where else are they going to learn to gut an elf or roast a plump dwarf? These are important skills people! Those pixies aren't going to bake themselves you know.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Day Better Forgotten

Well, folks, it's been 5 years; today in 2003, at about 11 AM-ish, I made the mistake of replying yes to Rhialto's tell asking me if I was ready to be promoted. Now I am doomed to wander the halls of Wyvern, wailing to players about rules until the end of days.

But that's not where I made the first mistake that led me to this end. No, it all started at the beginning of January. In the previous year I came to the conclusion that games might be my best bet for the creative outlet I so desired. I tried learning how to write code, but as I have since realized it wasn't for me. However, while I was entertaining the idea of going down that path, I spent quite a bit of time on arcadepod, looking through games as I kind of liked the java applet format to game creation and I was busy generating game idea after game idea and recording them in .txt files. But, while doing so, I ended up finding this game called Wyvern that mentioned being able to make areas for the game and after checking out the link, I learned that no programming was required to do so. Excited, I thought this would be a great way to use Wyvern as a way to see if I was kidding myself in thinking that I could do this and if I wasn't it would be a great way to get some experience before moving on (naive does not begin to describe how I view that thinking today). So, I downloaded the client and logged in.

I was immediately impressed with the game as, while walking through New Verden, it felt very reminiscent of good classic games (needless to say I am a big fan of classic games). So I continued to look around and after getting to level 2, I headed over to Alaria and explored a bit. The big thing that I would do there is play Sokoban as I had a version of the game on my computer which I previously played so it was familiar to me and I enjoyed it. But every now and then I would head over to the towers and do a little fighting to get some XP. During this time, I also used the world map and went to every city, just looking into the first map or two, and then I headed back to Alaria (amusing tidbit: for a very brief time I didn't know there was an inn there so I would save in the Kings Road Inn and run there before every reboot to save again like the message said to).

Shortly thereafter, I thought I had a good enough feel for the game and so I sat down to work on some maps. I created a four map dungeon first that had a demon lord and some other random monsters in it; it was bad, but it was intended to be bad. I was trying to get a feel for the mapmaker and how things worked, so I simply filled it with a wide range of things. Once I was done with this practice run I deleted those maps (which, btw, had a plot to them as I am incapable of making anything without one). Then I opened up a new map and tried to think of something to make next.

That, of course, isn't the best thing to do as you should never stare at a blank map, hoping ideas come to you. You should generate those ideas ahead of time, plan them out, and then sit down and work on them. But rather than do that, I started playing around with the objects in the mapeditor again and I suddenly took the dark earth terrain and I just started drawing it. I didn't necessarily expect to be coming up with the idea that I would be submitting but, as it happened, I started thinking of reasons why would there be dark earth all over the place and then it hit me... this was a lifeless, ruined area.

After that, I was on a roll and idea after idea just kept jumping at me. I put some ruined structures down (I think one the guard towers came first) and then I added a little water. At some point I got to the right hand side of the map and for some odd reason decided to draw some grass under this mansion. Why would there be grass in that one spot if it was a lifeless area though? Hmmm ... magic. Yes, but who's magic? Well I went through the list of monsters and saw a hill giant in green clothes. I then looked back at the green grass and combined the two (as you can guess, I knew nothing about hill giants as I was not a fan of fantasy). Next thing I know there's a hill giant planning to conquer Alaria (I later changed it to New Verden) and he needed allies so there was a place for pirates. But wait, he couldn't go unopposed so there was the guard tower and the Orcs/Undead were what remained from the time when the village turned into a lifeless area. Meanwhile, somewhere in-between I came up with the name Forgotten Oak after seeing the word "forgotten" written on something to my left and I came up with the idea of the magical oak to explain the name. I think all of this took me about three days of doing nothing but sitting at my computer and, from doing that, I ended up with somewhere between 60 and 70 maps (I want to say 63, but I do not remember for sure).

To top it off I had two ideas for other areas that came about around the same time. One was the temple on Forgotten Oak which was to lead to a hidden elf area. I made one map for it (the one you enter when you use the teleporters in the temple) and left it as is thinking this could be my next project. The other was for a dwarf area on the land mass south of Forgotten Oak which later turned into a gray dwarf area. I never really did much with that one but generate ideas and draw the male gray dwarf graphic (which is what inspired the idea that it should be for them and not regular dwarves) and I have since realized I did not need to start another complex area considering all the other projects that I have yet to finish.

In any case, on the 11th, a little bit before midnight, I sent Rhialto these Forgotten Oak maps and the one hidden elf map. Well, not really. I screwed up and hit enter causing the email to send without any text in the body or my attachment. The only thing it had was a title saying; "Forgotten Oak (large map submission)" and I was horrified when Rhialto emailed me back (almost right away) to tell me my attachment didn't make it... which I didn't realize until after I sat down and finished writing my best attempt at a professional email describing who I was and what my area was. It was 746 words and included a joke which I cringe at when reading right now; "Why choose Forgotten Oak to be added: becus u lik itz da bes! ;)" I am really embarrassed by it now, but maybe in another entry I will post it (typos and all) for you guys to chuckle at.

Anyway, I got an email back telling me he would look at it. Then we conversed a bit about a problem with boats vanishing in maps. Ahead of time I was fully prepared to get an email back telling me more work needed to be done and was ready to make any changes that were needed until it was good enough. But, to my surprise, I got an email on the 13th, after he had time to look at my area, and to my utter shock he said he liked them to the point where he thought they were of exceptionally high quality. To this day I don't get that and I think you'll see why when viewing my early maps below. Maybe it was my ability to follow instructions and get the teleporter paths right (something which few people did, as I later realized) or the fact that it had a story for it, which is rare at the time... or perhaps even that I had another area in the works already (most wizards would make one area and then stop). I don't know, but at the time stupid me was pleased and unaware of what horrors awaited me. So I logged into Arilou (the account I made on the 8th to save the name as I knew that would be the name I wanted to be a wizard) and got to level 2 while waiting for him to find me.

I remember running through Garignor's a bit and then being in Alaria's main map when I got this tell from this Rhialto fellow. I was confused as my highest level account was level 6 (this was when the level 15 rule was just a suggestion) and so all I knew of the game came from reading the manuals and my little experience with leveling that account. Who was this Rhialto fellow? I knew him as Steve so it was odd, but after a brief pause I said yes without stupidly letting on about my confusion and waited in his workroom while he set everything up (incase you're wondering, at this point I caught on that he was the person I had been conversing with in emails - I'm not that dense, despite what Teshuvah may have told you).

After this, I devoted all my time to getting these maps online (which ended up happening on the 16th). I then met up with Legolas who took over and did the actual testing of my maps before they went live. It was a little odd and a lot to absorb at once, but he helped me out in ways I cannot put to words. The very first bit of advice he gave me was after a player sent me a tell asking me to give him something or whatever and would not relent (this guy must've thought the new wizard would be an easy target). I asked Legolas what I should do and he told me something along the lines of; "Before you silence, always warn them... and then warn again." Basically, I've modeled by entire attitude, (the real one, not the joking, 'I'll banish you all' one) in regards to being an admin, on that. After that he helped to make me a better mapmaker and a better wizard. I consider him to have been my mentor and on a good day, where I'm not trying to kill him, I cannot say enough good things about how he helped me and how much of a great guy he is.

I don't know what else to say after that, I really should end it now as nothing will top that last sentence, but I first must show you Forgotten Oak of old and even before that I just want to say one thing - When I was first promoted, I had no intention of being an admin. I thought it was crazy to get involved in it as I knew how bad people could get from my past gaming experience. But I'm the type of person who cannot see someone being abused because of someone else breaking the rules and not do anything about it. So despite my promise to myself that I would just be a mapmaker, I ended up becoming one of the most active admins. As such, my mapmaking has suffered since I have had less time for it. It also caused me to become the mean wizard in the eyes of some and it's generally a lot of stress, but I've continued always for two reasons;

One, I see it as a way I can give back to Rhialto and the game as I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given. The ability to express myself with my maps is something I love doing. Even if nobody gets to see them, I am just happy that my vision of something can be brought to life in the way it can when I upload it to the server or (to a lesser extent) see it in the mapeditor. So I am very thankful as I was given a chance I don't think I deserved at the time.

Two, I do it for players most of all. I know some of you like to complain, but then there are a lot of you who like to praise the game for its great community and even go so far as to say that's why you play. So, just knowing that you guys can login after a hard day and relax to have some fun with as little stress as possible because people aren't cursing at you to no end or doing a whole host of other stressful things, makes it all worth it.

Anyway, I hate being sappy and I hate talking about what I do like it's something of importance (i'm not curing cancer here) so remember this as you're probably not going to hear such candid talk from me again. In fact, if you repeat it I will probably threaten to eat you after roasting you alive. Now, let's get on to the part where you get to make fun of my awful mapmaking abilities of 2003 already. We both know that's what you came here for, after all.

I'm sorry to say I don't have the unedited version that was sent to Rhialto, but this is pretty close. Here is basically how it originally looked. I added the dark abyss crevices after the maps were live for a bit. So imagine the original with more open space. There were also no empty tiles in the left hand corner, (at least I don't think) no dirt hole, no undead unicorns, and no buildings with new graphics. Meaning, the graveyard was the normal graveyard, the inn was the normal ruined inn, the two small houses were these white ruined buildings, and the castle had blue towers. Also, there was no ruined wall in the right hand corner. I added that later thinking that, in an extreme bit of irony, I could add a plot point about how the villagers were just building a wall to defend the city before the attack and had only done that one bit.

For fun, here is an updated version of that map with all the new terrain I drew. It's a lot better, but still needed work. Specifically it needed to be split up into multiple maps and have a lot more going on in each. If you go to Forgotten Oak right now you can see how much better the west part of the map looks now. Well just think of that style continuing eastward with ever more maps, each with more buildings to explore and things to do, including monsters in each of them. That would be so great... when I get to it in 10 years.

Here's a really bad one for you to laugh at. It's a big square map that is way over the size limit and is filled with junk. I made four maps for the entire castle, one for each floor. Go there now and you will see about 20 maps just for the first floor alone (I didn't get to doing the other floors yet). It has all the same points of interest; the stables, the dining room, the entrance to the dungeons, and the throne room. However, there's so much more. There's an outer wall for extra defense that has space for archers to shoot out at enemies, there's a kitchen, (a dining hall without a kitchen was brilliant, but had to be fixed) and the entrance to the dungeons is fortified so if a break out happens they can't just run into the throne room and kill the king. Also, in the original version those stairs (which were white in the version Rhialto got since the colored stairs came later) were just random dungeons, but when I'm done with the castle there will be lots of good quality maps there instead.

Here's another bad one. I had this thing where I would make 25x25 maps and just fill them up with junk for no good reason whatsoever. I since have learned to make smaller maps and have them look like they belong to the structure that represents them. The current version you see when going to Forgotten Oak isn't the best and needs to be redone yet again, but it was better than this garbage. But anyway, another interesting thing about this and the Orc Tower is that it shows Alaria's influence on my early maps. It's all I really knew, so this is based off of the Southern tower in Alaria and the Orc tower was based off of the Northern one. Oh and for the record, the wooden floors you see in this graphic have updated graphics.

This is pretty close to the original, minus using Legolas' cliffs for walls. It originally used the cave wall terrain. When you see it today it's black and looks great, but back then it was this horrible looking piece of garbage that I hated having to use. So after a suggestion from Janica, I started using the cliff walls for cave walls (for the record, today I'm a cave wall terrain kind of mapmaker). Anyway, this map is an example of how far I've come. The original Elemental Dungeon consisted of 6 maps where as now, it's 15 and still not done. Plus it is what I consider to be some of my best work thanks to some of the brilliant new artwork we now have available to us, including that dark terrain that I came up with at some point. I just love making areas with it.

Here's just another example of my making 25x25 maps and filling it with stuff. This is unedited from what Rhialto got and there's absolutely no need for it to be this big. Go have a look at what it is now. I updated that map awhile ago, but it still holds up.

I don't walk to talk about it and you don't want to know. Trust me, it's better this way.

Well although this was part of a different area, I'm going to conclude this entry with this "gem" (ha!) of a map since it was included with the package to Rhialto. As you can see, I knew next to nothing about fantasy monsters as the ones I placed here are all wrong (although I knew what scorpions were and I put them in a forest map so I can only use that excuse so much). The demons/undead are out of place, gorgons mostly live underground, same with umberhulks, the blood angel shouldn't have been next to the floating eyes, and best of all... it's so beyond amazing that the fox is just wandering around and has not been eaten. Of course, in today's map you will see that it links to other maps. That is something that I did when I tried to complete this idea and turn it into a quest (that story is for another blog). After deciding to scrap it all I took the 3 maps that attached to it, redid them, redid this main map, and left it there despite having to throw out 200 maps.

For fun, I'll let in you in on a secret - You know the map that connects to the serpents? That used to be a lich map. I mean liches, out in broad daylight, just hanging around a forest with dimwitted monsters. How amateurish was that?