The Year of 2012 has flown by faster than any I have seen yet! As usual, at the end of the year, I like to look back and see what has transpired in Lusternia during the past twelve months. Frankly, I am rather proud of how many events and new releases took place during that time. However, our playerbase hasn’t expanded as much as I had hoped, which was the concern I brought up in the last Year-In-Review for 2011. More players mean more impetus to release new guilds. While our playerbase hasn’t shrunk (despite what some people may think!), it has remained rather static. The good news is that it is my understanding that IRE will be focusing more attention on advertising this year and so I hope that will pay off. But our biggest and best advertisement is word of mouth so I hope those reading will spread the word of Lusternia’s unusually awesome adventures far and wide!
In the wake of the great Icewynd Event, the year began with an Ascension whereby Xenthos rose up to be the Ascendant Xynthin. Later, his name reverted back to Xenthos after persistent requests, and I warned him that it would have RP consequences. And boy did it! The War of the Wheel event, which had episodes spring up throughout the year, also saw the ‘alternate reality’ Xynthin (who had become a god in another timeline) return with a vengeance! I really enjoyed the War of the Wheel event, which had a slow build up starting back in April as the Time Dames uncovered new areas, including the Fiabelhie Stillriver Prison, the Isle of Olimsito, the Feyranti Estate, the hyfae breeding program, and the Janderi Family quest. The conclusion of the event released the rather large area of the Lirangsha Retreat, replete with high-level divinus denizens which I know some of you had been waiting for. Probably the most popular chapter of the saga was when the mysterious cubes from the future arrived with a coded message which players were able to piece together–much faster than we thought they would!
Of course, not everything was released through the War of the Wheel, as we released the Waste Storage Facility, the Bahna Fleetpaw quest, Lars Legrand and his sheep, the Hallifax Bridge, the Illuminati Basement, and Sepehr Skytamer’s Balloon. And there were a few perennial events like the Leprechaun King and the Anniversary Games, and some silliness, such as the Hallifax Masked Ball where I arrived dressed as a chicken!
While this year saw many events and a lot of roleplaying, we certainly did not skimp on releases! Although people most likely remember curios the most, with new curio powers and collection sets and curio rewards for quests, there really was quite a lot more. We started the year with the opening of two new guilds, the Symposium in Hallifax and the Minstrels in Gaudiguch. Weather was also completely revamped which made way for the release of the Shamanism skill option for druids. Next came the Cavalier specialization for warriors, which involved polearms, something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Let’s not forget we also had special reports for races, monks and demigod powers as well as server side curing, auto-firstaid and new achievements and guild covenants! Dramatics expanded with new psychodrama skills, which included the new ikon game of gestalt. Ikons weren’t as popular as we had hoped, but if they ever start to catch on, we’ll look at expanding them more. Finally, Aquachemantics was released, the first of new primary skill options for mages and druids. This year did not bring small things!
We are looking forward to some great new releases, notably the rest of the druid and mage primary skill choices! (We’ve already released Wildewood!) There may be one or two new surprise skills in the future and, if the population expands at all, we can look forward to the monk guilds in Hallifax and Gaudiguch!
In June, IRE held its annual meet, and this time we opened a time up to meet local players. It was great fun to meet Skye and Kelly and Phoebus and Ixion and Zyphora and Irillia and Ternus and the rest of the players from other IRE games! The best part was Skye coming in full Blacktalon regalia! The meet was such a success that IRE decided to organize an IronCon and I hope to see many more of you this year!
In closing, I have to again thank the volunteers without whom Lusternia would not be what it is. We unfortunately saw Elostian retire but also saw Maylea return this year. Maylea is always a joy to be around! There’s also Eventru whose passion can be a double edged sword but one of the most productive volunteers I’ve ever met in any IRE game. And Morgfyre whose creativity is scary (really!). Terentia is my rock. Nocht is not so silent as he seems as well as Zvoltz whose really the mastermind behind ikons. Both Nocht and Zvoltz have been helping webmaster the website which is a great relief to me! Isune is just as nice as you imagine. Raezon is more amazingly intelligent than you can guess. Shikari has a wonderful artistic side. Mysrai is always amazingly profound and just as mysterious as her persona. Hoaracle has a great heart so be nice to him in Serenwilde. And, yes, Viravain is still around, lurking in the shadows. (There are also a few talented ephemerals in the background, and that can only mean good things for the coming year!)
I’d also like to give special kudos to Iosai for all the hard work and excellent support. Iosai truly loves Lusternia and I was thrilled that Iosai was able to continue coding here after it appeared we might lose this great talent. Honestly, I rely on Iosai more than I care to admit. Oh, I should note that Sior is still a part of the team, though real life has made his time here too scarce. And let us not forget Roark, who is a constant presence in the background, keeping the firmament secure.
And, of course, thank you to the players of Lusternia, who are its lifeblood, its heart, and the reason we do anything. Lusternia is for you and you alone.
I think I’ll conclude the Year in Review for 2012 here before it gets any longer! I look forward to 2013 and can’t wait for you to experience all the new things we have planned!
– Robb French (aka Estarra the Eternal)