12/21/2022 at 22:14
Ictinus, the Architect
A History of 2022 & Previews for 2023!
It's that time again already (somehow) for the year in review post and previews for 2023! The post proper will be in the forum thread for this announce (give me about 30 seconds to post it), with a write up of the year 2022 and some idea of what you can expect from Aetolia in 2023.
Feel free to comment in the thread with your thoughts and speculations!
Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 3rd of Variach, in the year 507 MA.
We're staring down the end of 2022 now and what an absolutely wild year it's been! While I can definitely say I've settled in now, it's hard to believe that a year and four months has gone in what feels like no time at all. As always, I'm perpetually grateful for the incredible support that both I and the team have received from you over this past year, and I want to kick this off by saying a sincere happy holidays to everyone reading!
So, as always when I start to write these, the main question is, "What have we done this year, and what are we doing next year?"
We kicked off with Year 500 in January with an avalanche of games (well done to Valorie for winning overall). The Sagani 200 race/class was introduced, the party barge returned, and the first classlead round of the year was held. We also had a Celani call in January and some of those Celani are now some of your favourite Gods! In February we kicked off our first large story event of the year with an incursion into the Underhalls and the war of the spears. We added the gossip system which has become much beloved. The spears war culminated in the opening of our Elder Gods event with Varo leaving behind Hardcore Mode - as of writing, there are 11 hardcore characters alive, but 33 have passed into the halls of death forevermore!
March is where the Shattered Souls event really took hold as the Elder Gods began manifesting in force and delivering their shocking revelations. Yanai left behind the Cantor's Copse and the Arborean Race (along with some (one in particular) broken hearts). Koduses brought into being the Ashtan Memoryscape, which has rapidly become one of the most popular hunting areas in Aetolia. Helera's brief visit culminated in the release of the Izu-Ari casino, King's Abdication, and a massive overhaul to the Gaming hobby. Nalibhtavi shook the world to its core with her presence. Whether loved or loathed, her impact was an enormous one and the Great Tragedie of the Djeirani Theatre was a spectacle like no other! The Shattered Souls epic saga culminated in shocking revelations about Varian, the rebirth of Niuri as Lexadhra, and the release of Oblivion's Portent, our second instanced dungeon.
In April we announced the Bard class, the Duel returned, a gorgon's curse took Enorian by surprise, Abelaas underwent an overhaul, the Carnifex competed in exciting games with the Minotaur herds (little did we know...), and Rihrin arose as Lady Sapphire, the first Astral Noble of Aetolia.
May introduced formal prayers, a renewed pact between the Djinn of Rahiela and Enorian, and the ascension of Jezriel as a Holy Seraph! Ollin was overhauled, a cultist of Muadi tormented Saluria before being quelled by Mjoll, pioneering the Strife Adherent. The Bard class was released and has become one of our most popular; Bloodloch and Enorian came to blows extensively over slave capture and territory, a basilisk began harassing Spinesreach, the Duel returned again, and the Royal Vaults of Glandor were released - our first single player puzzle dungeon which has proven immensely popular.
In June, the second classlead round of the year took place, Mirror Shaman and Mirror Teradrim were announced, and the Town of Masilia underwent a significant overhaul amid the chaos of cursed relics and lost treasures, including the release of one of Aetolia's largest quest chains ever. And of course, fearing for the survival of Dendara, Duiran launched a desperate campaign to seek aid for the Plane of Life, finally deciding to assault and siege the Village of Sterion in order to force a solution...
Alchemist and Tidesage released early in July, after which the Summer was consumed by the Second War of Night. This was by far the biggest event I've ever run and (to the best of our knowledge) one of, if not the biggest across all of IRE. I've covered so much on this in my retrospective post, so I won't rehash it here except to say that in the midst of an unfurling saga, countless story threads, and dozens of unique mechanics, we also released the Glacian race/class combo (Teani became Teeh!), and the Akkari and Ravager mirror classes which have gone on to become some of our most popular. The WoN also set much of the scene for a return to form in city identities - something that's very important to me and to the team as a whole.
In its wake, we celebrated Aetolia's 21st birthday with some games, a quiz, and a daily quest, as well as the return of the Midnight Carnival! Ylem underwent a significant overhaul after the WoN devastated the pylons. The third classlead round of the year took place. Foci fluxes were introduced. Kisaut Landing was founded due to the resourceful efforts of a tireless relief-fund volunteer. Tina pioneered the Adherent of Corruption, the Mannaseh Swamp was significantly expanded. Inquisition was released and has been a hit! We introduced the RP log, Spinesreach became a theocracy under Severn, the Midnight Serpent returned as a memory dungeon, Tetchta originated the Adherent of Memory, and hobgobblers returned, as did the Duel! Finally, the Underbelly of Delve and the Maestral region were released in a story event involving luck, probability, Eld'akathi, Dreikathi, and various calamities!
There's a lot more here I haven't mentioned, but this is already getting rather long! As for 2023, here's a preview of what you can expect to see:
- The third and final Agriculture skill will be released after the unavoidable War of Night delay.
- Updates and facelifts to our conflict systems will continue with Orrery and Holy Wars.
- Classleads will continue the pattern of three rounds per year.
- The final two sets of mirror classes will be released throughout the year.
- Post-mirrors, we plan to begin flavour facelifts for older classes to bring them up to par.
- Year 510 celebrations start in the latter half of May.
- A new tradeskill will be releasing.
- Some new areas will be releasing that carry lore significance and content beyond only hunting.
- There will be at least two major story events.
- Our focus on developing and enhancing org culture will continue throughout the year.
Plus some big things I can't talk about here! Here's to another exciting year to come!
-- Pure Int based neutral class
-- Chronomancers for above like we talked about
-- At least one additional solo instanced bashing area like Xaanhal
-- Airships(Memes aside, we did see one in the recent event again)
-- Normal ships(Dawnbreaker was one of my favorite things ever)
-- Additional flavorful tieins of certain classes into certain Mercantile skills
-- Crates promo again(I have had this last venantium crowbar for nearly 2 years at this point)
-- Provisioning to be fully revamped/reworked(This has been one of the biggest regrets I have on any spending in Aetolia)
-- While continuing to adjust city identities, consider reworking Ministries, a request the community has had for a long time
-- In the spirit of adjusting city mechanics, with the cities having 20 city ranks now, allow city leaders to invest certain powers into certain cityranks
-- The return of the Weekly Milestone