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=Story,Dev= The great Auda-City of Our Plans Knows No Limit

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2/13/2012 23:45:24   
Legendary Loremaster

At the risk of loquacity and potential for too much transparency where we might prefer opacity, not to mention accusations, due to my eccentricity, that I am losing my mind, leading some to question my sagacity, I must profess that I am tingling with so much excitement that it feels like electricity.

In case this pun filled diatribe is not enough to ensure you get the point, the relative antropocentricity of Lore's major cities is about to change, well sort of anyway, at the very least the Battleonicity is about to change.

Ok, so that last one was a stretch, but the point stands... Deren City the near mythical capital and capitol of the kingdom of Deren on the Continent of the same name, is JUST around the corner.

Deren was a massive undertaking for reasons that will soon become very very clear. This update is a biggun and it involved countless hours of work by countless individuals. As you explore Deren you will find many surprises, some old faces, some new ones, several new stories and some new detail. You will learn, for the first time in game more about Deren's past and explore some fun new quests with at least one that is very unique and quite different than anything we have done before.

A city unlike any in game at present, Deren is a city with a flair all its own and a design to match.

I will spoil little else in this thread relating to Deren. However the team will have much to say as days move forward particularly after the release occurs. Much work still is being scurried after even as we speak.

Just a few random facts about the City that may excite and or disappoint, but I think any disappointment shall be short lived:

You will not at this time be seeing the School of Thought in game. The city is large enough without including the surrounding countryside and the School is not located in the city proper. It's headmaster will definitely appear however and its presence is definitely felt.

"Hope Lives" and so does it's temple... at least it is on the way there...

Thorne Lorin has set up shop. He, like his friend, and neighbor, Zephyros, does not want the past forgotten, especially the devourer saga, and he has relics to share to help us remember.

So prepare to visit sunny Deren and encounter all that it has too offer. For good and for ill.

And with that I will end my talk on Deren.

I would be remiss however if I did not comment on my other major work at least briefly. Dhows is far from gone. Unfortunately, as you know, Ardendor is.

Finding him is going to take some considerable time more, as is Falerin preparing to replace him entirely at the Player's "chosen" direction. This is realism and it is pragmatism. I recognize this is frustrating for those who are eager to follow the story but rest assured it has NOT been forgotten and what is coming therein is big big big:

Answers to what is going on with Cenara and her past.
The finishing of Edward's training of his sister and the coming of the Shadowslayer(s) in all of their forms.
The fate of Balius, His Father, His Mother, and His S... oh I almost spoiled something there....
The answer to what lead to Balius having a child so long after the events of his own childhood.
Answers to Dhows' nature and his promised naming. A nature that has ties to other of Lore's denizens of the shadow and indeed ties to the ARC of one of my colleagues, which fit their simmilar natures. Similarities at once very much as they appear and very much different than they appear.
An explanation how a non-being becomes a being.
The fate of Ardendor and of Falerin in light of their plot.
The meaning behind the Players being not only hope but the "Chosen", a meaning that has layers that may startle, incense, and excite.
The fate of Ryuusei(s) and Absollix.
What comes of Donovan's war with Cenara and the implications of his side gaining access to the Hall.
The Expansion of the Hall to many new aspects of history including some that very directly relates to that which I am not any longer talking about...

All of these things are on a somewhat distant horizon but are very much on the horizon. And I guarantee you they are NOT in this order. Some are sooner, some are a while a way... but none are long away, they are at the least S.O.O.N and most are quite sooner than that.

Finally I read a user asking how we came up with the idea for Chillax this year. While Chillax was my initial idea; it was really YOU who came up with it. Carnax was a well loved part of AQ history, so much so that many have long been asking for his return. Now the original carnax clearly could not do so but as the requests continued a germ began to form in my brain. The original could not but other Carnaxes certainly could as Carnax was as much a process as a being. After some back and forth with our former game head Galanoth, we decided we wanted something old something blue and something huge to crush you this holiday season and thus the punny solution was born. What would a Carnaxcicle be like.... After some stellar work from our current game head "The Hollow" our answer was very very clear.

Some may wonder, as the end does leave this vague, poor Chilly's fate in all this.

Rest assured Chilly is back to his lovable self and is planning for our tenth frostval celebration winter 2012-2013.

Afterall, the winter holiday thing, it is a massive undertaking.

As to Wynx and indeed Wynkissar, given Wynx' apparent rehabilitation... the future is wide open and who knows what may happen. Habits die hard. Wynx is clearly crazy, but in his mind he was never really a villain to begin with. So time shall tell.

2011 is a banner year. We would love to top ourselves for our tenth.... (though hopefully with out overworking or killing any of us in the process).

There you go some shiny new design notes. I think this gives you enough to speculate on and to whet your appetite.

I urge you to keep watching for some brand spanking new design notes from me and several of my colleagues as things move forward with Deren.

Loremaster Falerin


Falern: Ugh the puns burn. I am clearly still being affected by things and it is bleeding through to William too. I simply will never be quite the same I suspect... that is both exciting and terrifying
William: An astute observation as always dear creation. On all counts. Though i do hope the purveyor of the story of Farmer Hugh of Ranjford did not consider my Artix-ism too much of an atrocity as given the pain that groaner invokes I might be frightened.
Fal: Ugh.... Dude please please end this already...

< Message edited by Falerin -- 2/14/2012 0:12:49 >
Post #: 1
2/18/2012 2:09:09   
Legendary Miss Fixit

I meant to drop by earlier and say something ... but after I unburied myself from shooing bugs out of the opera house, well, life and commitments go on!

I'm going to step out of character for a bit and talk about what I spent most of my available time this week working on (and wrote quite a while back, when we were originally planning Deren): the Phantom of the Opera quest.

Opera House was written with a few things in mind - first, I wanted to bring some life and feeling to Deren, as a place of learning and culture - and we've never seen anything of Lore's musical heritage! It's definitely there, but mostly in the background. But you aren't real likely to be found somewhere there isn't a problem ...
The references were planned, of course - it was a perfect combination in that it could be enjoyed as a simple quest without knowing what it referred to but something was added if you know more.

Second, we've had a lot of people over the years asking for more "exploration style" quests "like Bludrut". I wanted to make a quest where the point was exploration - you don't know what's going on or why until you explore the place. You CAN find it out - by exploring the place!
This is very different from the normal structure, where you are given a good bit of information up front, and step through the planned plot in a known manner - in this case, there are several ways to go (including getting completely lost!)
This naturally made a map completely vital. There was simply not going to be a way to not get turned around without one. Would you believe this is the first quest with a map we've done since Bludrut?
I also wanted the route to the goal to be relatively short once you know the way. I'm pretty sure I succeeded in that ;-)

There is the chance that we'll make future quests like this if it's well received (the map was a pain, and most quests are not well suited to being about exploration - but some are!). So far, I'm seeing generally very positive feedback, which makes it more likely (possibly with some tweaks to how monsters are handled).

Oh, and I have a message -
Kamui still protests that it's NOT HIS FAULT. After all, it's not like he ASKED for his prototype to disappear ....
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