My name is Robb French, Producer of Lusternia, also known as Estarra the Eternal. At the end of each year, I review the prior year in Lusternia. While I believe 2011 has gone smoothly, I will admit that I am disappointed that the playerbase hasn’t grown as much as I had hoped. A larger playerbase would justify more guilds, more cities and communes, and greater expansion. But I am confident that this coming another year will meet these goals and more! We have a solid foundation and it is my understanding that IRE will focus on expanding the playerbases on all the text games.
In 2011, we had a fair amount of releases, some small and some big. One of the biggest changes was an update to mobiles and damage types. Now, mobs have weaknesses and strengths to different damage types, and we tweaked mobiles under the hood to give us more flexibility for stronger mobs. This had the consequence of skewing the amount of experience mobs give which was a difficult balancing act. We also added the Tattoo skillset, which was a special skillset for monks. We added the new Battlerun arena game, revamped Starhymn (though admittedly it may need more work), updated the Family/House system, and added many new artifacts.
For our anniversary, we released several new games, including ghodak, tessera, slot machines, darts and, finally Vengeance, which proved to be a ton of fun and extremely popular. We had trouble with database bloat and had to put in unpopular shop limits, but that also led to the new liquid rift skill, reducing the number of vials in-game greatly, as well as coming up with a unique system to imbue esteem with the little-used figurine system.
Finally, the big releases came at the end of the year at the conclusion of the Wounded Sky Event with the introduction of a new weather system and the release of Shamanism, which is a tertiary skillset for druids based on weather. Finally, if all this wasn’t enough, we released two new bard guilds! (I know the bard guilds are technically opening in 2012 but I’m including it now because the skills were done for a December release but the Wounded Sky Event took longer to release than expected.)
Speaking of the Wounded Sky, this event was a truly epic undertaking, spanning most of the entire year. There’s been enough event posts written about it, so I’ll just point you to the Epilogue that summarizes all the highlights in this longstanding event. The climax resulted in the release of a enormous, new high-level bashing area, over 1000 rooms, plus two epic quests. I had hoped the conclusion would occur in the third week of December but we had to delay it yet another week to test, tweak and add the flourishing touches. I really liked the story and hope you did too.
Of course, that wasn’t the only roleplaying event and area release that took place this year, though it may have seemed like it! We also enjoyed the Jubilation Festival in New Celest; the plant child of Glomdoring; the return of Mysrai, the Scarlet Goddess, and the shattering of the Dreadform of Iklara; the sickening of the Vortex Valve; the expedition of the Czigany Coast (and ever popular curios it brought back); the rocksuckers of Shallach; the coming of Composer Adalgiso Batyun of the World Stage; and several episodes in the Clarramore Cloud Gardens.
An enormous change in Lusternia was the retiring of our paid coder Sior and hiring of Iosai for that position. I’m sure everyone is much impressed by Iosai’s diligence in fixing bugs and tireless dedication to coding. I know that I’m impressed and, if you’re not, you should be!
Finally, we must turn our attention, once again, to the volunteers, who provide so much for nothing except the enjoyment of bringing pleasure (and maybe a little pain) to the players. Eventru, as always, has been on top of the game and I can say that the Icewynd area would not have been finished without him. But it was a group effort, so I must also give credit where credit is due and thank Morgfyre, Mysrai, Shikari and Nocht for their contributions. I’d also like to thank Raezon for his work in helping code the new games, and everyone who helped out with the curios. If I haven’t mentioned a god specifically, it’s because they all do so much that it is hard to keep track of! Not only is new content released because of the volunteers, but they also handle their respective orders and are advisors to player orgs. Boy, I really can’t describe enough how much these volunteers do for us and how little may be noticed. Please join me in thanking them as well as the invisible ephemerals whose efforts are even less detectable.
For all our players, thank you for being here and being a part of Lusternia. Nothing that we do would mean anything without those who inhabit this wondrous world. As always, it is my privilege to be a part of it with you.
Love you all,