As 2019 comes to a close and we look to a new year, it is customary to glance back and reminisce upon what has happened in the last. This has been an eventful year, and there’s much to look forward to in the next.

One of the biggest changes in 2019, and the one that we should bring up first, is that Estarra is no longer leading Lusternia’s development. Estarra brought this game up from nothing and ran it for fifteen years, and it would not be what it is today – or anything really! – without her. The three of us have had the honour to take up that mantle, and we hope to do her legacy the justice it deserves.

This year has been an eventful one on the code side. We’ve rolled out the daily credits and org credit systems which allow you to gain credits for just playing the game, and your org to do so in turn. We’ve revamped the reporting system, and after the first run of it, reworked it again. We’ve also revamped the melder classes with the help of player testing and feedback.

The design system was also heavily revamped, including streamlined rules, new commodities, and better alerting. After a decade and a half of wait and untold numbers of requests for it, chocolate was brought from Jojobo for all of your decadent baking! And…sometimes sconces. Later in the year, skylanterns and lanterns for ambient lighting were added, for the joy of both bookbinders and artisans alike.

It’s been quite the year for Divine events as well! The Memorial Water Gardens opened in 527CE up to much rejoicing in New Celest. The Ceremony of Remembrance was performed by the citizens, but instead of the angelic caretaker they expected, an angelfish appeared. Before the eyes of all gathered, and beneath the bright lights of the fountain, the angelfish transformed into the Goddess Carakhan, who had been journeying to find items which were lost during her time trapped in Aquagoria.

We’ve had a months-spanning feud between Maylea and Nocht, embroiled with intrigue and deadly assaults on each other and their orders. From the Blade of Serenity wounding the silent god, to Nocht’s order slaying Maylea’s beloved talking peacock Shashi, the event finally reached a climax as Maylea stole the Eye of Dynara from Nocht. But surely, the Silent Lord shall not let things end so easily…

The return of Raezon was met with the alignment of planets into a perfect syzygy, and light began to scorch the Basin in a brilliant display. The Forbidden God finally made His appearance in an explosive manner as he destroyed the obsidian observatory He built in the mountains during the last syzygy, revealing Himself and some mysterious implements. What will come of these remains to be seen.

Massive butterflies, light shows, and tae’dae liars created an uproar in Gaudiguch, heralding a massive investigation spanning timelines and realities. In a pocket of space and time which acted as a prison, the citizens of Gaudiguch were met with a choice between a madman and a liar. They made their choice, and bound to the consequences of it, the Elder Divine Mysrai revealed Themselves to the Basin. Where was Mysrai in all of this, why did this choice need to be made, and what other questions will be raised in the year to come?

This year, Yendor rose as Ascendant of Death, as Lyraa Ey Rielys nearly collided with the Prime Material Plane, releasing linorii and garosaurs and muku plants into the ecosystem. Claiming the Staff of Ascension on the Astral Plane, Yendor struck back Kethuru, restored the seals, and claimed his new name: Snald.

In 530, Goloth Maxyenka attempted to harness the mysterious Beast of Time to alter the timestream. The eighteen guilds of Lusternia united, enacting rituals which offered prophesy and power. As the eighteenth guild’s ritual resounded, Maxyenka lost control of the Beast, wounding the timestream and causing resounding Timequakes. These temporal disturbances offer glimpses into the past, future, and into the desolate and immaculate timelines – timelines which are respectively lost to the Soulless and untouched by them.

This is just what we’ve seen in 2019. Let us look instead toward the future – what does 2020, the new decade, carry for us?

We have the soon upcoming endgame overhaul – we are looking at rebuilding the Demigod and Ascendant powers, removing the essence cap and allowing levelling beyond level 100, and adding extra repeatable endgame content.

Story-side, we have large plans for the next several months, though we’re keeping those under wraps. However, we will say they explore a huge missing link in Lusternia’s lore, and represent one of the last pieces of lore crafted personally by Estarra. We also are looking to foster roleplay in orgs on a small and medium scale as well as run large scale events during and beyond this, building upon the incredible roleplay and events you have all been creating yourselves.

We have several planned topics on our starmap, and while we don’t necessarily guarantee we’ll touch all of them this year due to their berth, nor will we guarantee any particular order, we are looking at: Guardians, Warriors, the Economy, and a codified Alliance System.

Now, if you will forgive a moment of sentiment, we would like to bring up one of the largest strengths of Lusternia: the close-knit playerbase. We are a small game, smaller now than we were a decade ago, and we don’t think anybody could have called us sizeable then with a straight face. Due to the game’s size and constant need to communicate with each other, it became common for bonds to form between players, either within ‘OOC Clans’ or on MSN Messenger or Skype or now Discord. These bonds, these friendships, are as much a part of Lusternia as your roleplay with a divine or your attempts to kill each other – and we are honoured to have helped foster them.

We can’t wait for the rest of 2020, and we hope you can’t either.

– Ianir, Orael, and Aonia.