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July 2017

Touch Base: Where we are, where we’re going

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Hey Andor!

Been a while since we’ve done an update. [Prepare WALL O TEXT inbound] Things seem to be going pretty crazy with how much new player traffic we’ve been receiving on a daily basis. We’re honored to have so many new players trying out Andor. There have been some very welcome new (and hopefully long term) player additions in recent weeks. Both Bodhwell and I are really enthusiastic.

We’ve come a long way!

We’ve made quite a few broad and small changes since the last post. I’m going to just run through some of the highlights of the things our team has accomplished just the past 5 WEEKS:

  • We expanded the modpack to include Immersive Engineering
  • We opened the portal to the TERRA dimension and constructed the Eldar platform which will house the other remaining 5 realms.
  • We added McMMO to the mod pack to give it a better sense of progression and some added bonus abilities.
  • We expanded the modpack to include The Witchery
  • We expanded the modpack to include Agricraft
  • We expanded the modpack to include Thaumic Tinkerer
  • We added a working portcullis and drawbridge plugin
  • We announced the new class and order system and showed teasers.
  • We fleshed out the rest of the Andor Map
  • We wrote a TON of lore and background information on Andor (World building ahoy!)
  • We added the Brewery plugin so everyone can craft interesting brews, plus 47 different recipes (many yet to be revealed)
  • We added Fairy Lights & Ye Gamol Chattels
  • We completed and launched a comprehensive 16 part new player quest line that takes place in the small Narquelion town of Drakenshire which we think has been helping players get their bearings.
  • We wrote a massive new player book of guidelines, rules, and everything you need to know that’s now given to every player.
  • We opened the remaining few districts of the Red City which contains a number of things for purchase.
  • We added a few different NPC vendors around Andor which sell interesting bits and bobs.
  • We brought on 4 new staff members! (Kall, Cave, Mike4160, and Paulobig)
  • We reformatted the staff ranks to be more RP immersive (Maesters, GrandMaesters, Archmaesters, and Senschals) (A direct rip from GoT) (We’re shameless and we don’t care.)
  • We’ve added a few new rules… and a new dedicated rules page on the website… RIP ye lost souls touched by the Banhammer
  • Countless other hours spent tweaking, refining, working with existing players to make sure everyone’s having the best time (special thanks to Solvor).
  • Countless bug fixes, patches, and adjustments to make a more stable experience for everyone. (The last 2 weeks, in particular, have been much better).
  • And much more…

All in all, it’s been a ton of fun, but a lot of work. We’re happy we could and can work on Andor and we hope you all continue to enjoy it. I love that everyone is active on the forums and participates in our Discord server.

Bodhwell and I both want to address an issue that I suppose comes with an open server and some popularity, which is the wane in how much immersive RP there has been. We built Andor with the intention of crafting an immersive role playing experience in a fantasy world. We love Minecraft. We love role playing. We love the fantasy genre. Playing on a public server always seemed good, but ended up being unpredictable. We wanted to build the world and bring people into it who care about craft and want to immerse themselves in a character.

We feel that while we’ve had many awesome additions to the server, many players get on and don’t have RP in mind or a character they want to play that adds interest, immersion, and color to Andor. We’re working on ways to figure out how to drive Andor back towards that beginning definition of the world we wanted to play in ourselves. We know we make unpopular decisions, and while we know that can be disappointing, we would rather disappoint a few than regret not realising the world we initially envisioned. We haven’t figured out exactly what we’re going to do yet, but that’s what I want to cover in the rest of this post.

What do we mean more RP and more immersive? What changes?

Definitely, all valid questions and the reality is that we just don’t know exactly what we want to do yet. ALL options are on the table. I would say on the extreme end of available options, we would put up a total whitelist and require everyone to go to the forum to apply, by filling out a character sheet. Yes, this would mean fewer players, but we are all for quality over quantity. We’ve said it from the beginning, Andor isn’t for everyone and we’re ok with that. We’d rather have 10 awesome players that really add to the world than 100 and a lot of noise that doesn’t fit our vision. But that is just ONE option. There are many.

I want to talk about the things we are most definitely planning to do, which we think will really address and aid in making Andor more and more immersive. I will caveat that these are “plans” and we don’t know when or how they will launch or even if they will. Sometimes we try things and they just don’t work out. However, I think (if you’re looking above at the progress we’ve made in the last month) we have a track record for releasing lots of awesomeness. We all do this in our spare time fueled by pure passion, so it doesn’t always move as fast as we’d all like.

So the good stuffs:

What are we working on now? What are we planning? Why are we planning these things? I will go into each new thing that we’re working on or considering adding to Andor.

The Lore Mod – We’re getting really close to releasing the Lore Mod. Bodhwell has been working on customizing this for quite some time. He built a special model and named the book “The Mysterium Lexicon”. Pay special attention to the book itself, which has the logo of Andor on it! SO COOL! Why this? Well we want Andor to feel real to our players. Something they can immerse themselves in. We think getting a page of lore with text about a monster they just defeated or a page about the High Kings of Narquelion helps realize that vision.

Armorer’s Workshop – This will be a staff only mod on Andor. (I know, total bummer) BUT, we want to start adding custom items and things to the world that are unique to Andor. We will, however, run contests on our forum for things you craft in solo player worlds and will take the best of the things we see on there and put them into the game. We think this mod will really help us bring some unique and cool items and gear which will help with immersion and RP.

Floptowns – We’re currently building two flop towns (one in Narquelion called Wanderlust, one elsewhere) that will have plenty of housing for players to go and claim a plot for their own. These will be NPC run towns and each plot will have a certain amount of rent each day. If you don’t log in after a week, it will boot the resident. You won’t be able to build in these homes, but they will give you access to more advanced stuff and keep your stuff safe. These should give more opportunities to players who just want to get oriented or explore.

Tabbychat – We’re going to configure and create a tabbed chat experience with “RP chat” channels prebuilt. This will allow you to tab into a channel and only see what’s said in that channel, while removing all the noise from the “everything firehose”. I am particularly excited about this.

More Mounts & Pets – We’re currently considering everything from Choco’s to Dragons you can train and fly around. If you have ideas for mounts and pets, head to the forum to post your favorite mod!

Removing NEI as a standard server mod – and replacing it with Guidebook. This has been a huge sticking point for us. We think it takes all the fun and magic out of the world when you just get a huge block of everything that exists. We will have a guide for installing NEI client side if you just can’t live without it, and we think that is totally ok. But we are replacing it on Andor. It is just not immersive enough.

Lore & World Building WIKI – We’ve been super busy writing a ton of lore and world building content which we are in the process of adding to an official wiki that will launch sometime in the next month or so. The wiki will cover the races, classes, realms, nature, creatures, history, locations, magics, politics, and much more!

Classes & Races – We will be adding in the classes and races plugin to Andor. This will bring some VERY immersive elements into the world, in many cases altering the very stats you have as a player. If you choose ORC, you may get 15 hearts of natural health, but move a bit slower and need more food. If you’re an ELF perhaps you move a little faster and need less food. There are lots of options and exciting things to explore. Game balance will be a kerfuffle I am certain, but so it is for all games.

The classes we’ve currently outlined are:

  • Maester – The caretakers/culture keepers of Andor
  • Paladin – A tanky warrior for the light of ANDOR!
  • Sorcerer – A thaumic mage and magic weilder
  • Witch – Delving deep and dark into the natural magics
  • Builder – Master designers and world builders.
  • Engineer – Redstone is your mistress.
  • Grower – You get excited when they show the Shire scenes in LOTR. You have a knack for all things green.
  • Tradesman – Covers a wide variety of trades, but you’re master class and no one does it better than you.
  • Pirate – You live to plunder the high seas! Yarrrr
  • Privateer – You live to plunder the wretched pirates and keep order.
  • Shadow – Thievery and assassination are the basics here.
  • Necromancer – You’re intent on becoming a Dark Lord.

These classes are organized into Orders:

  • The Order of ANDOR (Maesters & Paladins)
  • The Order of BUILDERS (Engineers & Builders)
  • The Order of SHADOW (Shadows & Necromancers)
  • The Order of MAGIC (Sorcerer’s & Witches)
  • The Order of EXPEDITION (Pirates & Privateers)
  • The Order of CREATION (Growers & Tradesman)

Races we’re currently considering (not a complete or final list):

  • Human (various types tbd)
  • Elf
    • High
    • Dark
    • Wood
  • Dwarf (Various types tbd)
  • Hafling
  • Gnome
  • Orc

Each class will have a guild hall or special unique place that is just for them. Currently, we’re working on how to set the system up so that the longer you stay in a chosen class (you can only have 1 active) the higher you get promoted. Each level will have unique and exciting benefits. Once you leave that class, you start at the beginning.

Movecraft –  Yea we need to test this, but it very likely we will bring it to Andor. I like this plugin a lot. The ships move slower and more intentionally but it opens up a LOT of compelling ideas and play. I will be testing this on the Sandbox realm to ensure it works properly before moving it onto live. We want to ensure that it doesn’t break the server or create a lot of lag. The one major caveat is that these ships you make CAN’T go over the world border. So if you build it, you run the risk of losing it, and in fine Andor fashion, staff will never replace it. This opens up some interesting and compelling options for the next features we’re working on.

More Realms! – We will be adding new realms to Andor. The three next big realms we’re going to add to Andor are the Aqua, Aer, and Dungeoning realms.

  • The Aqua Realm will be a world of oceans / some islands and interesting underwater structures full of treasures. Denizens will all spawn in a central large ship and will need to go off and build their own ships to scour the depths and fight on the high seas! TNT will be enabled as will all the parts of movecraft here (Torpedo’s anyone?)
  • The Aer realm will be a realm of cloud islands, pure air, and interesting floating structures with hidden treasures worth risking life and limb for. Denizens will all spawn in a central sky ship and need to build their own sky ships to fly off into the realm to discover these rare treasures.
  • The Dungeon realm will be a normal world that has tons of chocolate and roguelike dungeons for you to adventure in. Be forewarned though, there is no breaking or placing blocks! That’s right, you have to adventure and do dungeons the proper way.

More exciting places!  We will be building more and more parts of Andor to fill out content and create immersive quest lines over time. I think once the above items get into Andor, we will probably put a cap on adding to the modpack entirely and focus entirely on crafting more quests, content, and builds.

Conclusion

I hope this gives you an idea of where we’re going to take Andor in the next couple months. We hope this sounds exciting to you. We’re certainly excited for it. I can’t promise that all this will happen, and I have no idea when we will actually launch any of it, but we WILL get there. As always if you have questions, thoughts, comments please share them on our forum and discord channels.

Bodhwell & I want to give special thanks to all our staff members (Solvor, Kalleigh, Cave, Sapmagic, Drevarius, Mike4160, Paulobig, Mythsnow, and ALL the Maester Veterans of Andor) We couldn’t do this without you!

See you in Andor,

Anomaly 47