Post:A long journey... - 01/19/2013 - 16:41

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A long journey... · on 01/19/2013 04:41 PM CST 876
This has been an incredible journey for me and a lot of other people, and I want to take a few minutes to talk about it.

A bit more than three years ago, just as work was starting on the Magic 3.0 things, Zeyurn and I were hanging out talking about how useless Light Edged was. We started talking about how niche it was, and how the classic examples of useful LE weapons are hard to make compelling in a multiplayer game like DR. The more we went on, the more we both began to realize how much more sense it would make if LE and ME used the same skill - The bigger blades could be used for hand to hand combat, and the smaller ones for for more specialized systems that require a concealable weapon.

The conversation reached a pitch as we dove in headfirst, discarding all of the instrument skills, combining bows. Since Magic 3.0 was burgeoning, the idea arose to roll those new skills into this project as well. Before long, the Skills 2.0 (As it was called then) project was born. Discussions up and down the chain happened, Bubba got on board with the idea, and the research began.

Right around this time, Kodius was starting his massive rewrite of the Barbarian guild. Additionally, Combat changes were in full force, and we had a thrumming, productive team making waves. Simucon was swiftly upon us, a Con few will forget ("Make sure he wears pants!"). We talked about the skill combinations then, and we talked about how it would affect every guild, and had a rip-roaring good time.

For the next two years, development proceeded apace. There were setbacks, new projects, and distractions. Real life happened. Thousands of scripts were edited, and code that hadn't seen the light of day in over a decade was shredded and rebuilt by expert hands. I got promoted, I bought a house, and I uploaded scripts from ten states and three countries. The economy wrought havoc on some of our lives, causing the transition of the Magic and Combat projects from their original owners into new hands. Other major projects began to rely on DR3 changes and jumped on board with our release date.

Then, it was time to start testing it all. First, we set ourselves up in Test and let the community leaders in. We got some good feedback, made some major changes and discoveries, and after a time got things in good enough shape that we thought we were ready for Plat. We wrote up documents, rebooted Plat, pushed all of the code in there, and spent the next several days fixing issues. We learned a lot, not the least of which was that we needed to have more testers if we were going to be properly confident about a release.

After that, we moved back into Test and opened the doors for everybody. It's been about two and a half months since we did that, and we've been banging away at this thing the whole time. It's a constant topic over dinner, and even my coworkers are excited to see DR3 release - Maybe just so I'll shut up about it.

It's been a long journey, and although I was the driver of this crazy train for most of the trip, there are some people I need to call out.

Kodius - You helped pull us through the epic jungle that was combat code. Your constant hard work and unerring quality have made tremendous things happen over the last few years, and you somehow managed to release several crafting systems in the space between minutes. Armifer - This project couldn't have happened if I (and many others) couldn't rely on your lore and your vision throughout this very long development cycle. Despite an aggressive academic life and other obligations, you've always been around if I needed questions answered, and you've found and fixed bugs in systems I fear to look at. Zeyurn - You put countless hours designing the framework that Magic 3.0 was built upon. You started it with the patterns in the Necromancer Guild and followed through in creating a magic system that allows the flexibility and stability we need to grow the magic guilds into a new era. Grejuva - I think you are a robot. On the weeks when I barely had time to fix a bug, I'd turn around and you'd have five spells converted. Every commitment you made, you followed through on. Without your incredibly hard work, we never would have made it. Raesh - Since we started this project, you've been a constant resource of quality work and consistently paying attention to both Bards and Moon Mages. You have been willing to dive into any terrifying piece of code to get the job done right. Ricinus - When this project was getting itself really off the ground, you were training as a GM. One of the first coding projects I put you on was helping Zadraes plug a bunch of the plumbing into all of the spells we needed to convert. Since then you've worked tirelessly and fearlessly, and I'm proud to have seen you go from a fresh-faced GM to an expert who routinely brings innovation and creativity to our table. Melete - Without you, we never would have had a proper lead-in to these changes, and certainly wouldn't have had the skilled knowldge and development done on Empaths to release their shock quest and magic changes the way that we did. You also acted as watchdog for some guilds that needed 3.0 eyes on them, which helped immensely. Zadraes and Lyneya - Both of you have been eminently patient with all of us. While we were all mostly heads-down on DR3, you (and Grejuva, too) made Hollow Eve an amazing experience for everybody. We let out a lot of slack and you guys reeled it in like it was nothing. You've taken a lot of weight onto your shoulders while we were too busy, and I'll be forever grateful for that. Seyalle - You worked with the mentors and hosts to keep everything running smoothly during the release, and continue to do so. All of the support you've given them shines through to the speed that they're helping all of our customers. GM Naohhi - I've given you projects that I shuddered to consider how to do, and you jumped in headfirst and had it done before sunrise the next day. Your unwavering excitement to write tens of HELP articles, draft NEWS articles and NPCs, and generally do grunt work that needed to be done but nobody was doing. GMs Evike and Persida - Thank you for being willing to help me with anything I asked for, with rapid-fire turnarounds and excellent work. Countless other GMs that have put up with Dev being such a mess for so long, and for the willingness to jump on board when help was requested. Annwyl and the boards team - You somehow managed to keep the boards civil and informative, in the face of massive changes. You put up with my roguish behavior of messing with threads and folders to suit my organizational needs, and did it all with a smile on your face. Without the discourse we had on the boards, we'd be much farther behind.

Staff members aren't the only people involved in this project - I want to call out Caraamon and accountholder TEVESHSZAT for all of their efforts porting all of the information I gave them into Elanthipedia. Others helped with that effort as well, but they have been my primary contacts.

All of Plat. Seriously, you guys have put up with a LOT, and I haven't forgotten that. I haven't figured out the right way to thank you all for everything you've done to help, but I'll come up with something.

The Community Leaders, and the folks from TF who helped us testing through those horribly broken first few weeks in Test. Without your help we never would have gotten off the ground.

The Order of the Dragon Shield, for spending a lot of time on release day answering everybody's questions and generally being knowledgeable about the changes.

Also, there have been a number of players that have gone above and beyond with the testing of DR3:

- Leilond - Uzmam - Powerhaus - Firekast - Aldast - Pendus - Taghz - Seldaren - Sepharus - Nefidyne - Juulmon - Traim - Darkgaze - Zamara - Karthor - Keson - Kitarro - Opieus - Liurilias - Goou - Vinjince - Casserah - Eyuve - Gorteous - Codiax - Mizehra - Countless others that my tired brain can't remember. Seriously, I know there are at least 10 of you hiding in there but I can't find you.

Your help and feedback has been invaluable in getting everything into the shape it's in. I thank you all for your great help.

It's been an huge effort on everybody's part, and I'm excited to see it finally released. Have fun!

This message was originally posted in Discussions with DragonRealms Staff and Players \ Game Master and Official Announcements, by DR-SOCHARIS on the play.net forums.