Hello everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyable or at least relaxing holidays.
We've had a lot of questions * about PWO and where we're heading, so I figured it would be good to address our goals for 2017 and reflect a bit on what we as staff learned from 2016. This is mostly going to be from my perspective but is based on several discussions I had with staff as a group and with players over the past few months.
General Stance on Content
I have asked staff that we more heavily pursue permanent content this year and we all generally agree on that. Of course, asking people to magically procure several hours of labor for other projects doesn't work, so I'm making a concerted effort to move events away from being a primarily [GE] scripter affair and more as a [GE] Mapper/CG/(me as needed) affair. This means that we will still have events that still give out the same calibre of prizes/etc (we still plan on meeting the "one big event a year" quota) but "Monthly/Weekend Events" are going to go very light on scripting.
Outside of *cough* finally getting everything in gear for the likes of E4, Sevii, etc by the extra focused manpower, there are other internal reasons for doing this.
First, testing. Frankly I and one other person (it varies) usually end up carrying the brunt of it, so when we're always having to test custom events that are around for 3 days at best, we're always crunched for time. It also takes us away from our normal duties and from doing things like testing really cool updates Donar has made but we can't implement because we don't have time/energy to test them because of events. Second, Mappers and CG groups keep operating on crunches, having to rush for deadline but then often twiddling their thumbs with few opportunities to get motivation boosts for the slowburn projects. Third, having a more stable/formatted/testing-light event schedule makes it waaay more likely we can actually announce these things ahead of time instead of people just having to hop on and hope for the best or only subscribe to our twitter.
Outside of events having less unique script-heavy quest content every month, you guys as the players won't be losing anything. There will still be different spawns to hunt and vouchers. For those of you who spent time with me discussing on how to make events more efficient in the all or help chats, this is basically the same (if not very similar) thing we chatted about.
Other event things
We've learned a good bit from feedback of our events this year. This is mainly internal stuff, but we've taken heed from the more widespread/reasonable complaints for our content and it is now in policy to avoid those things. This includes requiring we start large events sooner so that we have more time to adjust to pre-release testing feedback instead of feeling as rushed; such policy will mean we should be able to announce ahead of time more often.
Communication and Promotion
We managed to bring on another CG (Hi Dio!) but, as is no secret, I'm looking to branch out this group. We have like 2 people in it, but already I'm looking to add or beef up the following responsibilities:
Event duties being moved from overburdened scripting group to CG group to more evenly disperse work
Direct, faster player support over general issues (IE: clarification, bugs, playerdex, handling of misinformation, etc)
General availability ingame and on forums
Interal staff feedback - representative of players
Frankly I don't think * we met our own standards for 2016 and this year I'm looking to INCREASE those basic standards as well, so this will be eating a lot of Admin and CG time just trying to get this up to par. This is actually what lead to to the above general stance, because if we start everything earlier and make the content more internally predictable, it's going to be a lot easier to communicate what is definitely going to happen with players. It would also be great if small issues/player-initiated drama didn't drag the entire staff into lengthy discussions; it always takes us too long to figure out things like compensation or proper responses, and I want that gone as it is entirely unnecessary for our mappers/NPC writers to worry over...fictional example, a GM accidentally giving the wrong person compensation or something.
On top of this I would really, really like to start being able to give EXTREMELY VAGUE release dates (maybe quarterly) for certain projects, but hammering on communication and community groups has to happen first. This section in staff has always been invaluable but also somewhat precarious, so I'm really wanting to focus on it this year. It may even lead to policy changes in higher positions and a few power shifts throughout the entire staff as a group, including Admins, so that's why I'm putting so much focus on it here in this topic.
Current Projects and Where They Are
Starting this off, we managed to meet some of our Hoenn roadmap * expectations in 2016. We are so close to crossing off Kanto/Johto for now and considering it tentatively complete. So close, you guys. We finished up the progress quests we wanted (surfboard, early quest tweaking, new tutorial). We also fixed several huge bugs that were messing up new players such as Pokemon/Item rollback issues whenever the server crashed (and other huge rewrites that I won't go into detail, because this post is long enough as is).
We didn't meet my goal for the Spawn Project, so let me talk about that for a bit.
First, there are issues with the T1 tier. It's too wide, which is off-putting. Discussions with staff and players also lead me to believe that we could adjust some T5s into T4s and some T4s into T3. Not because Pokemon rarities are too hard (high-effort rarities are a complaint to some and a drawing point to others) but because we have made too many things too hard. We're waiting to redo Dragon's Den as it had some quest flaws we really want to fix but, again, we need more hands on deck for permanent content so that we can finish this up.
Once finished up, I will probably go over all the spawns again and adjust basic timeframes so that T1s actually feel like T1s and so that rarities aren't so binary/polarizing by putting more Pokemon into a "middle ground." And no, before you ask, that will not include Eevee. It won't be as drastic as some of you might be imagining, so just wait and see before assuming. With that done, we'll basically have finished the spawn project and crossed "Kanto/Johto" off of our list for a while to come (at least until we look into storylines). Even better, I will hopefully never have to extensively touch this again in the future in any way, because we'll only have to do spawns once (THANK GOODNESS) for future maps.
Here is a poster child for why we don't announce release dates: Sevii.
Sevii's quests are fully planned and fully mapped, but not fully scripted. It's been worked on for almost a year now * consistently, and we had expected it ready by summer. As you can see, that absolutely did not work out. The main delay for this is because the tools to redo our native NPC scripting language (which is a homebrew script made ages ago with features frankensteined into it as we progressed as a team) became available, becoming its own project and basically nullifying the scripting progress we had already made on Sevii. From a "visible update availability gap" perspective, this was annoying, but it's something we have to get done anyway.
This NPC Script Redo project involves such fun things as mass-updating NPCs via SQL and creating custom string split array functions. All said and done, the scripters (all 2 of them) will have to rewrite 600 NPCs line by line and this will probably have to happen before we can even touch Sevii. It will also HAVE to happen before we are able to implement Donar's other new features, as the incoming scripting language is part of the newer server code we'll be using in the future. On the plus side, using an established language for our scripting means we can actually reference outside sources for these problems and training incoming scripters should be less of an ordeal as people can now google things instead of having to rely on traditional knowledge passed down orally like the ancient plebeians we are right now.
From a management perspective I also consider buffing the CG group and balancing workload on scripters/mappers as a project, since that will possibly cause internal communication weirdness/confusion for a bit before we all get the hang of it and may require bringing new people into other ranks. Last year we started on the communication subset rank of GMs by hiring new apps you all may or may not have already met in an effort to make player/staff relations more smooth for such generally sensitive situations.
If you want to see other personal staff projects, I suggest checking out individual changelogs. Just ignore mine, I haven't updated it in a while since putting "made a forum topic about policy in staff section" doesn't make for good reading material.
Other things I want/need to tackle but don't know when they would be possible or in what order yet:
Ability/Nature modification project (also a huge project we aren't ready to tackle yet)
Investigating Tournament options (once CGs are stabilized as a group, would this be viable as a returning event type?)
New Player experience (early player economy, economic gaps, effort-based economy)
Token Store Face-lift (UC Pokemon in the TS as they are now are problematic. Could we alter our server coverage plan, introduce new cosmetic options? Is Membership in an ok spot? etc etc).
I want NPC Redos + Sevii + Frostbite + inner staff rebalances (focus on CGs/testing) + more reliable events, event exploration, a big yearly event, and better communication standards all done by this year at the least. The year will also probably include Donar's new features/updates (after we redo all NPCs) that are waiting in the wings right now + spawn system changes I want to make based on what I have gathered from players. If we manage to do all of that, we will then tackle a project from the "other things" section or to an unplanned project if it is needed.
Have a question that wasn't covered here?
Feel free to ask below. We may or may not be able to answer depending on how the question is asked or what it is about. We won't spoil everything so asking for specific details for a future release (example: "What pokemon will be in Sevii?") is a no-no, but I'll get to as many questions as I (or any other staff that wants to jump in) can.
If people are being rude or jumping to conclusions/accusations based on the information I provided here, I will ignore or delete posts as necessary, so you have been forewarned!
Greetings everyone! Halloween is upon us and festivities are in full swing in the Pokémon World - Trainers are dressed up as all kinds of ghouls, the Poké Marts are fresh out of candy after townspeople all around raided supplies to give out. Even the Pokémon themselves are joining in with the fun, secretly fearful of stepping in shadows should an actual ghost appear!!
In this time of celebration we often forget that October holds National Fossil Day. More importantly the true meaning of Halloween is often forgotten - showing respect for the dead. But spare a thought for a moment not just for the recently deceased, but also those that preceded us long ago. From dinosaurs, to sea life, Fossil Pokémon, and early hominids... our planet has seen all kinds of life be created, evolve, flourish, and ultimately eliminated over many millions of years.
But what's this? The keeper of time, Celebi, has made a sudden appearance in our realm! Floating about Goldenrod and Celadon City, this Legend is calling for Trainers to join her special Exploration Squad to a time far before us, in order to call for help investigating recent anomalies. Be prepared to travel through time in an epic adventure that could affect the very future of PWO... are you up to the task?
Join Celebi November 1st at 10pm UTC
This event has lasted several weeks. The final day will be Tuesday November 29th.
After much deliberating on our side, the results of our latest contest are finally out.
Congratulations to GuiiHenrique for winning this year's Secret Base mapping contest!
It was a really close race this time with Charlotte securing second place for her map. Amazing work done by all of you! We are impressed with the effort that you put into all of your entries, giving your maps purpose and creating exceptional, detailed background stories and quests for them.
We are going to work with the winner now to create a mini spawn event for his map with an announcement to follow, so stay tuned for the event and keep on mapping!
Last but not least, a personal little aside from me: Thank you for giving your time to PWO and for trying the map editor. I was very happy to see all of your entries.
Thanks all those who entered for putting so much time and energy into your maps. Contest is now closed and we are busy judging all the entries and will let you know when that is done.
Good luck to all!
Hello People Of PWO!
I'm glad to see everybody enjoying their time on here as much as I am! As you all may be aware, I love when people involve themselves with things they love and work hard towards. With that being said, we're unveiling the Secret Base Mapping Event!
What We're Looking For:
***Small-ish Maps - 100x100 in size MAXIMUM ***An enclosed area with one entry. (The entry will be invisible from the outside but clearly visible from within the map itself)
For Example: *Islands *Caves *Enclosed Valleys
***If your map contains Buildings you should include the maps for the interior of those as well.
***If the map is above ground it must contain some grass for spawns! (Can't have a map with no Pokemon)
***Make a quest to find the hidden entrance with clues that are given in the public maps! *Consider where you would put this map in PWO and make it coincide with the surrounding terrain. (Don't make an Island Map and put it in Ecruteak City)
All you have to do to participate is make your own map with our PWO Map Editor! It is available right Here:
After checking that out you should either be more prepared or refreshed on mapping.
You MUST include:
***A screenshot of your map in a Spoiler ***A download link for your map.
(Save your map. Upload it to any file-sharing client or website. Give the direct link as said above.) ***Your story/quest. This can be as simple or as detailed as you wish- it is just to give the map a purpose, a reason for being.
Submitting Your Map(s):
***Send your map in a Forum Private Message to HitmonFonty or Pippin.
Due Date: Midnight 30th of September UTC.
The winner of this event/contest will have their map displayed on the Holodeck in the Pewter City Museum. They will also get to choose from a list of Pokemon for a short swarm/spawn event on the winning map!
---This is for you so don't copy others' work and show us what you've got!
Greetings, PWO Players, and it's a pleasure to talk to you again.
I'd like to welcome you all to the relaunch of the PWO Forum. As you can see, a few things have changed since the last time we had a public Forum for all to access. A lot of this is to do with a change to the software, as we have once again migrated the Forum and we are now running MyBB, instead of the previous phpBB.
Why did you change the Forum?
As you may know, some weeks ago our Web Server suffered a hard drive failure. The result of this failure was that our websites had to be restored from backups; and various software had to be reinstalled, which caused some downtime of all the services; though, thanks to quick work from Bluerise, the site itself was quickly restored and the Playerdex soon followed.
While we were restoring the web server, Bluerise took the opportunity to update much of what our server uses to serve our websites, one of those changes being that we now run PHP 7, which is a lot more capable and modern. Unfortunately, it later turned out that phpBB - the Forum we'd been using for the last several years - does not support PHP7, and did not plan to support it until phpBB 3.2 launched. This was supposed to happen at the end of the month, but it was later delayed and is now not expected to happen until the end of July.
We were left in a sticky situation. We now had a server that was too modern for our Forum. Downgrading would cause issues later; and we weren't willing to make people wait many more months to have a working Forum again. Our decision was to find a new Forum that supported PHP7; but allowed us to maintain our existing data so that people's threads, posts, PMs and so on remained. We found the answer to our prayers in MyBB, and though it took several weeks to migrate everything over, we are confident it will serve us better for the foreseeable future.
What does this change mean?
For the most part, it's business as usual. While you will definitely notice a number of changes as you use the Forum more, MyBB is very similar in design to phpBB; and supports many of the same features, plus some additions. Should you find anything confusing, the new Forum comes with its own Help Documents; which I am also adding to myself over time.
However, I thought I should spend the time to mention some useful things.
MyBB uses a visual editor for posting now, meaning that "What You See Is What You Get". When you use features like Bold, Underline, different colours etc, you will see exactly what your post looks like as you type it. BBCode is still supported for those who prefer it, and you can go back to using BBCode instead either by clicking "View source code" on the editor, or make this the default by going to your User CP, Clicking "Edit Options", and checking the box "Put the editor in source mode by default".
Should you choose to use BBCode (or MyCode, as MyBB refers to it), there are a few changes:
[size] is now different. While in the past, you had to use numbers over 100 for big text and below 100 for small text, MyBB uses a scaling system instead. Sizes now go from 1 (smallest) to 7 (largest). Alternatively, you can use "xx-small", "x-small", "small", "medium", "large", "x-large" and "xx-large" as sizes
Codes that take an argument no longer require " around the argument. In other words, if you have a tag like:
[font=Times New Roman]Text[/font]
You must type it like shown above, without " marks. The below will no longer work:
[font="Times New Roman"]Text[/font]
You no longer need a closing tag for horizontal lines. So no more [/hr].
Quoting posts has also changed. In the past, if you quoted a post, you were instantly taken to the "Post Reply" form. This doesn't happen in MyBB, for one reason: MyBB allows you to quote multiple posts in one go! When you click the Quote button, the post will be marked for quoting; then, when you click "Post Reply", EVERY post you've marked will be quoted! We will be overseeing use of this feature over the next few weeks, so please do not abuse it. You can also still reply to a single post by clicking the "Reply" button on the post itself.
On the topic of posts, MyBB allows posts to be laid out in two ways. The Classic Mode, which is what we've set by default, puts all the information about the user who posts a message to the left, and their posts to the right, as you're probably all used to by now:
However, you can change it to have the information on top of the post instead:
If you want to try this layout, you can toggle it by unchecking "Display posts in classic mode" in the Edit Options page mentioned earlier. For more information, I've written about it in our Help section.
Why not also spend time updating your profile? If you do, you'll find another new option. MyBB now lets players write their own Biographies, meaning you can once again add your own text to your Forum Profiles. Make your profile unique again! You can also set whether to automatically accept new Friends - unlike our old Forum, when you add a new friend on MyBB, the person you add is informed you added them. Depending on their settings, they will either have to approve the friend request (similar to how friends work in PWO itself); or they can automatically have you added to their friends list too. Mutual friendship!
There is a little bad news. If you were using Folders to manage your PMs, these were not converted to MyBB, so you'll need to create them and reorganise your PMs again. PMs are also no longer editable after sending. Additionally, due to the hard drive failure that triggered this change, files that were attached to newer posts and PMs may now no longer exist.
Will this affect links to other topics?
Since MyBB's link structure is different, links to topics, forums and profiles may have changed. Where links have been posted on the Forum, we have attempted to update them to lead to the correct location or the closest we can find; however, some links may still be incorrect. Also, any bookmarks you made for topics likely do not work any more, and may return "Page Not Found" errors.
I have a problem with the new Forum!
If you have an issue with the Forum where something is not working as you expected, or not working at all, please report this via the Bug Catcher on the Playerdex and we'll take a look. Please also report this way any visual errors affecting the look of the Forum itself.
If you have noticed a post or signature which looks odd or broken - such as oversized text, messed up layout, random HTML or any other visual mistake - we have opened a topic in Player Support for you to report this. Please link to the post or user which has the problem; or if the problem is in your own signature, please include your signature with your post.
It's come to the attention to the Staff that some users aren't able to log in to the Forum due to their passwords apparently being incorrect.
We've discovered that due to an issue that cropped up in converting the Forum, if your password contained < or > symbols - you may find yourself unable to login to the Forum. If you can't login with your usual password right now, you will need to login to the Playerdex and change your password.
As the issue only occurred as a result of conversion, the symbols should be safe to use for new passwords. However, if you continue to have problems, please try a different password. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Don't be fooled, we have prepared a new update for you. This time focused on fixing and implementing features that frankly should have been there since a long time ago, including the PC offering box storage and being able to finally reach level 100.
While there has been staff testing it's impossible for us to find all bugs, so please do report anything you stumble upon on the Bug Catcher.
PWO previously used it's own single formula based on exp yield to determine the amount of exp needed to level up. This has been changed to follow nintendos approach and use several different leveling curves.
The original curves have all been slightly modified to be more in line with what was previously used. This means in most cases the effort to reach LVL 100 with a pokemon should be about the same as it previously needed for 99, but the distribution won't be as extreme as it used to be. No more millions of exp needed for the LVL 95+
Note that exp for all Pokemon have been reset to 0 for their current level to avoid problems regarding negative exp
Introduced a box system for the PC:
There are 36 boxes, each with space for 30 Pokemon (The max amount of Pokemon for an account stays at 1000 however). The active box determines where any Pokemon you obtain gets put into if your team is full.
If the active box is full, the next free box will be used, so no need to worry while hunting.
This change will also allow you to carry less than 6 Pokemon.
Added a random chance for a pokemon to turn into a shiny while in the last box
Changed it so trade evolutions are triggered for every position, not just the first
Added a random chance for any legendary to appear anywhere in the world
Lots of backend changes regarding maps and NPCs some of which you might notice as they get started being used
Implemented new tutorial
Added support for the new PC system
Fixed sudden lighting change when switching between an indoor and outdoor map
Beautified the display of links to PWO services. Try it out by posting the link to this announcement :p
Fixed multi-linebreaking; no more cut off sentences
Added Sevii mini map
Fixed NPCs triggering battles even though they weren't ready yet
Fixed GUI being unrepsonsive while the animations at the start of a battle play
Sped up the transition to already entered maps since the start of the playsession
Fixed NPC idle position - they are no longer looking like they froze mid step
Fixed visual teleportation of other players when they enter a battle
Fixed an error regarding teaching multiple moves at once
Fixed pressing spacebar sometimes not being registered
With St. Patricks Day around the corner, all the Leprechauns and Clurichauns of Auric Village were busy making preparations for their own celebration called Naomh Padraig. Being the mischievous little creatures that they are, they made sure they used their magical powers to ensure a grand event. But their combined powers broke through their universe and as a result a wormhole rift linking multiverses opened up.
While the village elders worked on closing the wormhole, one curious leprechaun named Adh who had been watching the Adventures of Clurloch Holmes wanted to give the wormhole a closer look. But even during this time of the year, luck wasn't on his side as he fell through the wormhole and found himself in our world of pokemon.
The Leprechaun Adh can be found in Silver Town - in dire need of your assistance. Help him get back to his own dimension and who knows, maybe a bit of luck may trickle down your pockets!
This event also brings back the Limited Quantity Shops! You can find some interesting and discounted items in these shops at Goldenrod and Celadon Department Stores.
A shout out to all the Irish players of Pokemon World Online! We hope you enjoy the event while it lasts; it will end by March 17th.
Sorry for the delay to the Playerdex coming back online following our most recent testing period. We wanted to ensure that this update would be as bug free as possible (of which you will see why next).
New checks will be made for a trade PIN or security questions when trying to transfer using Global Link or adding a Pokemon/Item to sell on Mart. If you have forgotten your security questions - you can request a reset by raising an account issue on Playerdex.
Shuffling your account settings
Previously we had 3 pages covering your username, email, password, trade pin and security questions. All these have now been grouped under one page 'Account Data & Security'.
Find yourself missing a Pokemon or needing a security question reset? Report it using our new Account Issue section from Community Watch.
Global Notifications will allow us to inform all players of any updates, alerts and tips. Global Notifications will also be sent by email later this month to allow you to keep up to date. You can manage your email settings for notifications by going to My Account.
The other things
Some bugs have been fixed
Some pages have had a bit of a cleanup and an updated layout
Remember changing those options for the PokeDex or player top lists? They'll now stay open when the page refreshes (this applies to our more mobile layouts)
You may experience some issues with the styling. If you do - please try clearing your cache first and if its still an issue - report on Bug Catcher with a screenshot and your browser.
Thanks for your continued support towards the game and staff.