Author Topic: Islands Sinking, Character Limit Changes, and the Future  (Read 2582 times)

Anaris

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This announcement is really long. Please read it all. It is important. We are not kidding. There are changes detailed in this announcement that will affect everyone in the game.

Update: Adventurers can now emigrate for the duration of this event.

In the coming weeks we will be implementing several major changes to BattleMaster. With these changes, as with every big change, there are those that will agree with it, and those that will argue with it. That is unfortunate, but it's way things are. Whether you agree that these particular changes are good or bad, everyone agrees that some changes must be made.

BattleMaster has waxed and waned over the years, with the player base expanding and shrinking. We are currently at the lowest player count that we have been for many, many years. An unfortunate consequence of this is that there are just not enough players to keep all of our many islands populated while still providing for the desired player experience. BattleMaster simply does not work when character density is so low. As a result we have come to the difficult decision that it is time for us to close some islands. The choice of islands to sink was a hard one. Based on observations of the state of the islands over the past several years, we have decided that the islands being closed will be Atamara and the Far East Island.

As part of the process, we will also be finalizing the character limit changes that we started last month. Most notably, we will be removing the ability to have more than one active noble character and one active adventurer character on the same island: that is, you can have up to one active noble and one active adventurer on an island, but not two nobles, or two adventurers. We believe that this will enhance the game experience for our players by providing a more vibrant and dynamic political landscape.

We will be adjusting the total character limits per account, as was previously described in an earlier announcement. The limits are as follows: (Note: All of these limits except #4 are already in effect.)
1) New account: 3 active characters. 3 active nobles. 8 total characters. No adventurers allowed.
2) At 30 days, adventurer characters are allowed.
3) At each of 30, 60, and 90 days, the active character limits are increased by one. After 90 days you can have 6 active characters, but only three may be nobles.
4) When you meet the first of any the following conditions, you get one more active noble, bringing your active noble count to 4. You only get this once, so the max limit of active nobles remains 4 for everyone.
* 20 family fame
* 5 medals
* Have active donation "goodies"
5) Every year your total allowed character count (that is, paused character slots) goes up by one.

As it has been since the South Island opened, all player accounts are allowed to have one additional noble character on the South Island that is not counted toward these limits. This South Island character is a freebie for everyone.

The new character/island limits will be enforced for all players. There will be no grandfathering of old accounts, nor any form of grace period once the limit is in place. You have a chance right now, and for the next couple of weeks, to make whatever changes you need to make in order to get within the new limits. Anyone with characters in excess of the limits once they are applied will be required to pause characters until they comply with the limits before they can play any character.

In order to make the emigration process simpler and less onerous for characters leaving the islands being closed, we are enacting some special rules for characters emigrating during this period:
1) The usual honor and prestige loss due to emigration is being removed. All emigrating characters (whether from the sinking or from the new character limits) will suffer no H/P losses from emigration during this special time period.
2) Emigration will cost a flat 50 gold per character. The additional penalties for carrying large amounts of gold will be suspended.
3) Each character will be able to take up to 10,000 gold with them. You must have this gold on your character, and in gold not bonds. All bonds, and all gold in excess of 10,000 will be lost. Note that we are NOT giving you 10,000 gold, but if you have it, you can take up to that much with you.

We are implementing some changes to assist emigrating characters with finding a new home. These changes are as follows:
1) Character creation on, immigration to, and deportation to both Atamara and the Far East have been disabled.
2) The frozen lands in the south of East Island are being unfrozen.
3) Three new realms are being created on East Island in the following cities: Xavax, Itorunt, Semall
4) A new realm is being created on Dwilight in the city of Gelene. (Note that this realm will be heavily beset by monsters/undead. It will be a dangerous, unforgiving, isolated frontier realm.)
5) For the first few weeks, only emigrating characters will be allowed to join these new realms, and diplomacy with them will be locked at Neutral. No new characters may be created in these realms, and no existing characters may change allegiance to them during this ramp-up period.
6) After the ramp-up period is over, all restrictions will be lifted, and the new realms will have to fend for themselves.
7) Some additional special procedures relating to the ramp up of these realms will be communicated to the characters in these realms as required.

We encourage all players to take advantage of this transition to explore new islands and new facets of the game they may not have experienced before, and see what they have to offer. While you may have had a bad experience on some particular island in the past, remember that islands change significantly over time. An island that you may not have liked even as little as two years ago is completely different now. Try it out, and see what you think. You may like the way it is now, especially if you seek out realms that have players with whom you already enjoy playing. Due to lowered noble counts and availability of positions, a dedicated group of players could easily carve out a place for themselves, have a very significant impact on the political situation, and help steer the course of the island.

We anticipate that these changes will all go into effect on December 21, 2015. In order to make things go as smooth as possible for yourself, make sure that you meet the new character limits in time. Once the deadline has passed, you will no longer be able to play your characters on Atamara and the Far East. Special emigration links will be provided on your character page allowing you to emigrate the characters without needing to play them.

In addition to the above items, the following game changes will also be enabled on December 21st:
1) The large-realm penalties—which have been broken or largely ineffectual in the past several years—will be fixed, and tightened, to ensure that it's no longer possible to have a vast, sprawling empire with no one around to maintain it. We strongly recommend lords in the largest realms on each continent to cut their tax rates in half in anticipation of these changes going live, and the lords in all other realms except the few smallest to reduce tax rates by at least 2-3 points.

2) Monster spawn and behavior on testing islands (Dwilight and Beluaterra) will change. Monster/undead travel will no longer be random. They will prefer to attack regions based on several regional characteristics, such as whether or not the region has a lord, occupied and/or vacant estates, fortifications, or militia.  When character-per-region density drops below a preset threshold, monster/undead spawn rates will increase, and they will begin to actively seek out and take over regions. Once character-per-region density goes above the threshold, the monsters/undead will return to their normal spawn rates and behavior. For Dwilight, the majority of monsters will no longer be confined to the west.

3) Regions without a lord will have reduced productivity. These regions will produce only 66% of their normal food, and only 50% of their normal recruits and paraphernalia.

4) Regions without a lord will have their food rations automatically reset to 100%. When food stocks drop low they will switch to reduced rations automatically, and then return to 100% when stocks are replenished.

5) Regions without a lord will become more difficult to control.

6) When an adventurer gathers enough recommendations to become a noble, and the player already has an active noble on that island, they will have the option to emigrate the adventurer as part of the ennoblement process. This will allow players with both a noble and adventurer on the same island to ennoble the adventurer without having to first pause their noble, provided they do not already have nobles on all open continents.

We will provide reminders as well as additional details and updates as they become available.

If you have any questions about these changes, please visit us on the forums.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 01:32:11 AM by Anaris »
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan