A New Direction - Armageddon Seasons

Started by Halaster, December 05, 2023, 07:34:24 PM

ArmageddonMUD was launched in 1991 and has been running continuously since then. Early in its history, it transitioned to a Roleplay Required game, a decision that has since distinguished it as a unique escape for many players. It has fostered countless stories and memorable experiences for our community, across both players and staff. However, the journey hasn't been without challenges, with some issues stemming directly from our staff's decisions. The year 2023 marked a period of unprecedented upheaval for ArmageddonMUD, leaving many players and staff members feeling exhausted and eager for change.

Acknowledging this, we've decided to shift the game's direction and style. ArmageddonMUD will be temporarily closing starting sometime in the next few months (specific date TBD), during which time we will focus on enhancing and refining its mechanics and overall experience.  The downtime is expected to last up to a few months.

Upon its return, the game will be relaunched with an updated vision and new gameplay dynamic...

Get ready for a new era: "Armageddon: Seasons"

The game will explore various regions and eras within the world of Zalanthas, with each season spanning 6 to 18 RL months.  From when Muk Utep conquered Gol Krathu, to a time-jump decades into the future, nothing is off the table for our vision of the game moving forward.  Throughout this period, all staff and players will converge in a specific area of the game, focusing on world scale and small plots within the open areas. As we transition into each new season, and to facilitate telling a new story, there will be a character-wipe, and the spotlight will shift to a different time and place.  Ahead of the change, staff will work to prepare for the upcoming season and may even rotate staff off and on, on a seasonal basis. During a season, staff members will not be playing characters, instead they will focus all their time on staffing, with an emphasis on storytelling. This will allow us to consolidate players and staff to smaller areas and less plots without having to destroy, remove or hard close any clans or areas of the world that people love.

There will be several changes to the game, particularly in our staffing model and structure. These changes, to be elaborated on in due course, include streamlining the staff hierarchy, optimizing how our team operates and upgrading our tools. The world and the setting, however, will remain the same (this is not an Arm 2.0 style remake), with adjustments to cater for the time-period of the season.

Individual seasons may feature unique classes and subclasses, specifically designed for that timeframe. Additionally, we might set limits on certain races and classes for the duration of a season - for example, there could be a cap of 7 muls allowed throughout the season and so on.

Season One will see us focusing on Allanak, 50-100 years into the future, presenting an exciting opportunity to explore a world that has evolved from its current state. This future scenario promises a mix of continuity and change, where players might encounter new political dynamics, witness the emergence of new powers or observe the decline of existing ones. While this jump forward brings about exciting developments, we are deeply committed to preserving the game's rich legacy. The vast collection of written documents, places, stories and myriad of objects that players have come to know will remain integral to the game's setting, albeit tweaked to reflect the passage of time, as well as the rich history, lore and unique cultures. The actions and decisions made by you and your PCs now may significantly influence the future landscape of Zalanthas. Your current efforts and contributions are not just part of the game's history, they are stepping stones to its future. You could start a hot dog stand now and return to find it blossomed into an MMH. This continuity ensures that the legacy and lore of the game are not only preserved but also dynamically shaped by the players' ongoing narratives and creativity, something we will be embracing in the new format.

We know that this may be difficult for many people to accept and understand. But it's no secret that Armageddon is slowly losing players over time and it's become increasingly difficult to retain staff to provide the fun experience we want for everyone.  As caretakers of our shared hobby, we feel it's time for Big Change to keep a healthy, vibrant game moving forward in the years to come.  It's time to shake off the staleness and the apathy that we have allowed to creep into the game, and evolve into something new, something exciting, something challenging.  We believe this will be the first step to help bring in a new generation of players and bring back some old-timers that have left the community.

We hope you have the patience, understanding, and resolve to collaborate with us in the new future of ArmageddonMUD.

Stay tuned for more information as this is an ongoing process!

A Q&A thread has been started here: https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,60175.0.html
"I agree with Halaster"  -- Riev

December 06, 2023, 05:18:54 AM #1 Last Edit: December 06, 2023, 08:57:08 AM by Natious
How long do you need?

We potentially have some flexibility about how long we can keep the current game running before we need to switch our focus. Ideally, I would like folks who are mid-big-plot to have a chance for their plots to reach a satisfying conclusion or good 'cliffhanger' moment (for resolution to be given in the first season). If you are currently lamenting the loss of the chance to see a particular plot through or you think your plot needs to get to a certain place, either for your own closure or to impact the future world - then I would like to hear from you on this.

Please feel free to send in a request detailing what you are working towards and what kind of support you would like/need to see it through.

Some clarifications

I just wanted to go over a few clarifications as I am seeing some misinformation doing the rounds as well as some general misunderstandings. I will take responsibility for that as our failing to communicate our concept and status as well as we could have done.

When will the game close?

The game is not closing on January 1st. The announcement above does not give a date for closure, this is because it is undecided. I believe that January is circulating because of something Halaster said, unfortunately I'm going to throw him under the bus a little and say that we had not agreed on that and it shouldn't have been said (sorry, Hal, love you). Please see the post above.

We want your input on how long you need for your plots to reach a good point so that can inform when we can close the game.

How long will seasons be and what is the structure?

This is something we are undecided on. 6-18 months was our initial stab in the dark but this is not firm and we are open to ideas. One of the wonderful things about this concept is that it opens the door to so much creativity. So we were thinking that the persistent world timeline seasons would probably be 18 months ish and that short spin-offs (like distant past) seasons would be short, flash in the pan, high action and be more like 6 months. But we are absolutely open to ideas and we're currently discussing a format that would look more like 3 year seasons, broken up into acts with no player wipes between, but this would mean sticking to one focus area for the breadth of 3 years?

So I'm interested if that would be preferable to shorter seasons but then faster rotation of focus areas and clans?

Do my current plots matter?

Absolutely yes. And we really want them to matter. We want the things you are doing right now in the game to heavily influence the world to be when Seasons launches. If you guys all decide you would rather not play and not have that involvement in forming the metaplot and context for Seasons via PC action.. then that is also OK, but we would obviously rather you did, because we want to include the whole playerbase in this.

Do we really need a break?

Yes. This is one of the things we are firm on. The exact length of the break is TBD, but it will be significant. We don't expect to keep you engaged and entertained during this time. We absolutely expect you to go and play other muds, or games or do other things and forget about Arm for a short while, while we get on with our renovation. We will open up a mailing list and we will let everyone know our progress as we get closer to launch. We will also be upping our general marketing efforts to 'small campaign' levels to get the word out there generally.

It's OK for the game to be down for a little while. It's OK to do something else.

How will world consolidation actually work?

I know there have been bits of information here and there about areas of the game and borders and folks are talking about invisible walls. We have not agreed on exactly how this will work and what this will look like. We want to make sure there is enough variation and world to suit everyones playstyles and desires and we want to make sure that we find a way to bring the majority of players, who want to be around other players, together in a smaller area so it's easier to find interaction and move plots forward. But we haven't agreed yet on the best way to achieve this.

Definitely open to input and ideas here!

More to come but I have to go and make baby dinner and then go to Christmas lights.

Staff have been talking about a date for when the game will close for work on Seasons, I've been talking with a number of players directly, and we've taken the collective feedback from the GDB.  And so we've settled on a date when the game will shutdown so staff can focus on preparations for Seasons.

February 10, 2024

That is a Saturday, so coincides with our normal maintenance day, and doesn't interfere with Valentine's Day.
"I agree with Halaster"  -- Riev

ArmageddonMUD is officially closed while we work on changing the game to the Seasons model.  The current estimated date for when we will return is between April 10, 2024 and May 10, 2024.  We expect to have a more definitive date in the near future.
"I agree with Halaster"  -- Riev