Okay we’ve all been there. Maybe it was seeing those pink unicorns for the first time. Maybe it was seeing “Jjjlooo DaCrackQueen” wondering why there isn’t an enforced naming policy. Maybe you were doing an epic quest and wondered why you had to kill something against your alignment just to get your epic. This is where you may have said, “If I had my own server, I’d…” and then go on a long mental rant about how much better the server would be if you were running the show. …Or maybe that’s just me…. hummm /shrug
Being a roleplayer in a world where designers too often overlook game immersion can be tough for roleplayers. For each roleplayer it’s different. Some roleplayers want to live in a “Candyland” Norrath, and others want to live in a pseudorealistic Norrath void of pink unicorns and santa hats. Some just want quest lines to make sense. Others would love to see GMs running roleplaying events that rewarded roleplaying.
Go here to tell us your vision.
Yes, it’s been quiet here, but remember that old saying, “Still waters run deep.” We’re working on some custom coding that’s taking some time to roll out. So “quiet” doesn’t mean gone, it means we’ve got our hands full. The idea was to roll out the new features and then blow the trumpets about our new stuff. That’s still the plan. You can help us out by becoming part of our little renaissance. Post to the forums to get some great discussions started like we had on the old site or get those RP events on your sever in our site calendar, and of course, let your friends know we’re here.
We updated the forum to have a navigation menu like the home page. You should now be able to access all areas of the site no matter where you are.
We’ve been listening to feedback and making updates. Keep sending feedback! We’ve been testing new things on our test site based on feedback. We’ve also been working on plans we already had for future additions to come. As we work them out, we’ll be releasing them to the live site.
Keep in mind, we’re a volunteer site. We’ll work in sprints and of course real life jobs and families will be a distraction, but we are definitely here to stay. The slow but steady stream of people coming back has been wonderful to see. We’re not making any big announcements right now to the public (hence the “slow but steady” remark). I’d like to see a few more things get addressed before I go sounding trumpets about the site relaunch. But please, let your friends know, post it to your websites and talk about us in game. We’ve already gotten some nice referral hits from guilds like “Order of Balance”. Thank you Order of Balance! If you linked us or posted an announcement about us on your site, let us know and I will reciprocate.
Post, post, post to the forums!
It’s been a long road but here we are. I’m still working on features, content, tweaks, and getting dates in the calendar. As with all plans, things don’t often work out as we would like. I’d planned to make this site re-launch coincide with the launch of Age of Discovery, but issues with our host kept forcing me to push the date farther out, not to mention the normal holiday season distractions. I’d been with the same host for 10 years (edit – not sure where my head was, but it was about 10 years, not 8). Ultimately, it was time to change hosts and start from scratch. It was better to start with a clean slate at that point than to try to make a round peg fit in square hole.
There are still plenty of features I want developed and added to the site. One of the things that has kept me from fully embracing a “simple” site was that I wanted more for the community than a message board. However, in the interest of communication and fellowship, I have gone back to the beginning and embraced some of the existing software out there. I still want more and hope I will be able to give you all that as time moves forward from this point.
Here’s a list of features on the new site:
- Single Sign On – One of the things I didn’t want to compromise on is the idea of a single sign-on for the entire site. You will notice that if you log into the home page, it will take you to the message board and then auto direct you back to the home page. This is normal. Because future additions to the site will include access to various registered users to different areas, I felt having a unified log-in would be the most convenient to all users. It was also the biggest sticking point to getting this site launched. Who would have thought something that sounds so simple would be such a problem to impliment!
- News Section – The news section of the site, (this is where you are now) is an addition I felt necessary to highlight various important announcements both from this site, SOE and around the gaming community as a whole. I also plan on adding more features to this section, like articles, volunteer job postings, fan faire information, etc…
- Community Calendar – The calendar feature is something new I hope you will enjoy. I’ve started by putting EQII SOE events on the calendar, and plan on adding EQ events and other events the roleplaying community runs. Eventually, I plan on allowing guild leaders access to the calendar allowing them to post their own events. Another feature of the calendar is that you can subscribe to it very easily through Google calendar.
- Message Board – With regard to the message board, I did not fully duplicate the old board with regard to the various forums it had. It is, however, similar. I encourage you to suggest forums you’d like to see in addition to the ones currently there.
- Silver Haven Tavern – The famous Silver Haven Tavern is not quite open for business yet. That’s something special to come. I did, however, include the popular character history and stories sections.
- Feedback – I’ve added an automated feedback/suggestions/questions form for easy access to me and the staff. You don’t have to know a special email address anymore; all you do is fill out the form and send it. It’s just that simple.
As people register and give feedback, we’ll be tweaking how things work. If you find something odd, or something that doesn’t work as expected, let us know. So poke around the site, make suggestions and start posting to the message board. I look forward to hearing from you all!