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Retiring Old Account Page - posted on Mon Mar 1 at 14:48:02 by Timothy Collett

As part of overhauling BattleMaster's authentication system to use a more modern, secure method, we have updated the Account page to also operate through the modern Symfony framework. At present, this will only mean minor visible changes from your perspective as players—with one notable exception. 

The old Account page (/userdata.php), which the current Account page replaced four years ago, will not be updated in the same way, and will be retired completely when this update goes live in a week's time. 

Because we still have some people using it, we want to try to understand what it is about the old page that you prefer, so that as we work on improving the modern Account page, we can keep that in mind. If you have thoughts on this, please come and share them in the #development channel on the BattleMaster Discord server, or, if you're not comfortable joining us on Discord, in the Development board on the forum or by email at community@battlemaster.org. We have no desire to leave people behind, but we can't easily justify maintaining two separate Account pages anymore with our very limited developer resources.

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday BattleMaster! - posted on Fri Jan 1 at 00:24:53 by Tom Vogt

Today marks 20 years since BattleMaster was launched.

When I launched the game I had no idea it would be such a long journey and reach so many people. Some of you may know that BM was originally a simple strategy add-on to another game, SpellMaster, which it has long since outlived. BM was always a side-project, but it taught me much and had an impact on my professional life several times as I could transfer skills I had learnt there. And it is not just the coding, it has always been at least as much if not more about the community, about moderating conflicts both in-game and on the meta level, in finding compromises between the desires of different player groups and play styles, about understanding how the game is experienced for different types of players and of developing a consistent vision without getting side-tracked by pet peeves and seemingly cool ideas.

As you can guess from the tone of this posting, it's time for me to say goodbye. I am deeply grateful to the volunteers who helped out with the game over the years, and especially Danaris and Vita who carried it for the past years.

I am off to new shores. My newest work-in-progress is called Dragon Eye and can be found here: https://notveryprofessional.com/dragoneye/

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Issue with Logins - Resolved - posted on Sun Mar 14 at 21:56:05 by Timothy Collett

UPDATE: I believe I have now resolved the issue.

The latest update appears to have introduced an issue with logins that didn't show up during testing. I'm working on it; please be patient.

Recent Updates, Lich King Event - posted on Mon Mar 15 at 18:55:25 by Timothy Collett

As some have already noticed, there have been several updates recently, which are largely focused on improving things behind the scenes for developers and fixing the bugs that cropped up since the server transition. However, there are a couple of items of note for players: Finally, there is now a special RP event ongoing on the Colonies: the Lich King has returned, and all now quake in terror before him! ...Or, well, at least quake in something. If you're not playing on the Colonies, you're missing out!

BattleMaster Going Early Modern - posted on Thu Apr 1 at 05:48:21 by Ethan Lee Vita

We have recently decided to expand BattleMaster's timeline a bit more to include early modernism, allowing us to incorporate more interesting features for players. As part of this plan, the first implementation has been complete - the incorporation of stock markets into BattleMaster, which all nobles may access from the Actions page. Considering the recent popularization of stockmarkets, we hope it will make BattleMaster more appealing to play to a wider audience.

New features on the agenda include:



Code Update June 2021 - posted on Sat Jun 26 at 15:21:12 by Timothy Collett

This is a major update, without much minor. Four important changes:

1. The requirement for Real Names has been removed.
2. The realm banner selector and uploader has been overhauled.
3. There is a new experimental message reader, which includes access to...
4. The Global Roleplay channel.

Click below to find out more!

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Dragon Eye: Legacy - posted on Sun Jul 4 at 03:25:23 by Timothy Collett

Though Tom is no longer involved in BattleMaster, we are happy to announce his new game, Dragon Eye: Legacy. It is a 3D narrative adventure currently in early access beta.

Code Update July 2021 - posted on Tue Jul 27 at 17:18:41 by Timothy Collett

Major Changes

A new public Titan Hub is being launched, which contains a more comprehensive description of the role of the Titans than has previously been published in one place, as well as (once we start getting it up there) the list of public Titan Case Summaries.

Minor Changes and Bugfixes

There are a number of bugfixes and minor changes to the new message reading interface, particularly on the South Island, which had some extra issues. Highlights include fixing some ways in which the AJAX loading could fail, shrinking the time-period selector, properly implementing deletion of message filters, and much better handling of marked messages.

We've also made sure that the new travel-time indicator shows on pages updated to the new Symfony framework (including the new message reading interface), and updated the account deletion process, which was broken.



Recent Changes Sept 2021 - Updated! - posted on Sun Sep 19 at 15:01:51 by Timothy Collett

Major Changes
  • Religions that no longer have enough Elder Priests will not collapse immediately; there will be a delay
  • Rogue forces will no longer actively target realms below density
  • Tournament Betting has been implemented
  • UPDATE - The New Message Reader now supports including sent message in any given tab; you can add this by clicking on Edit Filters/Tabs.
(More under the cut...)

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Recent Changes Oct 2021 - posted on Fri Oct 15 at 22:58:48 by Timothy Collett

Minor Changes
  • The sparse realm penalties will now stack more consistently, and will match the Region Penalty Map better
  • It is no longer possible to set a bounty on yourself
  • The list of Army members will now show class, rather than rank
  • When characters join the realm, a quick link will be available to send a welcome message
  • Some tweaks to taxes, particularly property/wealth taxes (details below)
  • Travel and honour/prestige improvements for tournaments (details below)

A number of bugfixes have also gone live.

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South Island Reset Coming - posted on Sun Oct 17 at 21:13:38 by Timothy Collett

With apologies for the delay, the reset of the South Island is now scheduled for Tuesday afternoon (US time). Get ready for another all-out war to prove which of the three realms is mightiest!

South Island Rewards and Reset - posted on Wed Oct 20 at 01:42:51 by Ethan Lee Vita

Congratulations to Taselak for achieving total domination of the Seventh War Island (South Island) over Ikalak and Sandalak on July 25, 2021. And after they'd won the Sixth, too! Will they win a third-in-a-row or will Sandalak strike back? Or will Ikalak finally win its first War Island?

Taselak Victory Rewards are as follows:

South Island has now been reset, with the island in startup mode. In startup mode, there is no travelling beyond one rogue region outside the realm. Anarchy elections will be held for rulers, who will then establish governments. New character creation will be enabled Wednesday, October 27.

Reset roleplay and realm themes are as follows:

Sepia-Toned Dreams

Falling into a mass slumber, everyone shared the dream Sepia had dreamt and then more. They dreamt of their Taselakian society supreme and mighty, reigning over the South Island as Taselak Undivided. They saw their future to come: the pursuit for excellence, the glory of those years, the personal growth of each victor, the favor of the gods, and Taselak's mutual happiness. And then the dreams diverged into three parallels.

Some dreamt of being ruddy, vigorous folks living in lush forests and luscious hills of abundance and plenty, the women plump and the men burly. The Apple was held sacred as representing their values and serving as a metonym for their community, sometimes rendered as the Golden Apple of Health. These people settled around Ikalak, becoming known as Ikalakians. Drifting into the terrors of nightmare, a Rider Sickness brought an ill feeling to the formerly jovial atmosphere of the dream, plaguing villages and leeching life from the soil that sustained their crops.

Others dreamt of being hard-working, resourceful citizens smithing and tinkering, wise in nature and technology, spirited in debate and brave under trial and tribulations, the women sweaty and the men grimy. Fire was held sacred as representing their values and serving as a metonym for their citizenry, sometimes rendered as the Forge Fire of Invention. These people settled around Taselak, becoming known as Taselakians. Drifting into the terrors of nightmare, a Rider Sloth darkened the formerly pleasant atmosphere of the dream, extinguishing the citizenry's fires and rotting the shafts of their tools.

Yet others dreamt of being shrewd, entrepreneurial persons of opulence, masters of logistics and language, every woman and man clad in the finest fabrics. Fleece was held sacred as representing their values and serving as a metonym for their society, sometimes rendered as the Gilded Fleece of Commerce. These people settled around Sandalak, becoming known as Sandalakians. Drifting into the terrors of nightmare, a Rider Lack brought emptiness to the formerly hedonistic atmosphere of the dream, decaying that which held beauty in the eyes of man and reducing their abundance to nothing.

All dreamt once more together, of fear, paranoia, and mistrust of those others who were not like themselves. Ikalak saw the Rider Sickness in any and all actions of Taselak and Sandalak; Taselak saw the Rider Sloth in that of Ikalak and Sandalak; Sandalak saw the Rider Lack in that of Taselak and Ikalak. Each dreamt of preparation, defending themselves against the others, to prevent their nemesis from stealing their treasures and hope for the future. Ever more distrusting and secretive did they guard their treasures in their citadels protected by soldiers pitfalls and locks. Each building their might so they can land the first blow.

Awakening with a start and in a sweat, everyone found themselves on a new South Island. Had they not been dreaming after all? Had they awoken in the future? These thoughts were given little question as all had awoken with a strong imperative towards preparing for war and domination once more, and there was much to be done. The clattering of spears, the ringing of hammers, marching men in shiny armor were heard and seen in every land.



South Island Character Creation Enabled - posted on Wed Oct 27 at 16:42:07 by Ethan Lee Vita

Character creation on the war island (South Island) has now been enabled, and the Startup phase, limiting travel to one rogue region beyond the realm, has been completed and disabled.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hinterlands! - posted on Sat Dec 25 at 20:56:30 by Timothy Collett

I am pleased to announce that the last bits of code for the Hinterlands feature package have now been committed to the repository. While there is still room for some testing and polish, the code is now broadly functional. (For those unsure what Hinterlands is, it was originally described in this old forum post, starting with "For the long term," though the details have changed a bit since then. A full announcement of the changes in this package will be coming soon.)

Please watch for further announcements in the coming week. For now, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and to those who don't, Happy Hinterlands Day!

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Hinterlands Changes - posted on Fri Dec 31 at 20:24:53 by Timothy Collett

As promised, here is the high-level list of major changes in the Hinterlands feature package. If you have questions about them, the easiest way to ask is on the Discord server; if you prefer not to use that, the next-best way is to email us.

As a reminder and for those who missed the initial announcement, this will not be going live until after a playtest period, details of which are still forthcoming. As such, some aspects of this will likely have changed by the time it is actually live.
  • The signature change of the Hinterlands feature package is the split of a realm’s regions into “Core” regions and “Hinterland” regions.[1]
  • Core regions have to follow some specific requirements, but are otherwise what you have come to expect from regions owned by your realm.

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Social Contract Updated - posted on Fri Jan 14 at 15:11:30 by Timothy Collett

The Social Contract has now been updated with the changes mentioned in the recent gamewide message. This means that all will have to sign the updated contract, so please do not be alarmed.

Recent Changes Jan 2022 - posted on Wed Jan 26 at 20:14:52 by Timothy Collett

Major Changes
Minor Changes
Bugfixes

Why I Am Stepping Away From BattleMaster - posted on Thu Mar 3 at 21:13:34 by Ethan Lee Vita

For the last couple years, the game has begun to shift more and more in a direction I do not recognize as BattleMaster. I think Gildre was the first to see this shift in values away from the values that once attracted us to this game and community, but its taken myself longer to recognize the same. He wrote of too much of the game being in discord, not liking that metaplay, missing ingame surprises instead of being seen discussed on discord, and feeling like he was part of an old boys club, that he tried to remedy these, but found "stone walled resistance", which reinforced his decision to go.

I didn't realize it until I was writing this message, reviewing notes I'd made of various thoughts these last few weeks, but my experience echoes his. Over that time, several volunteers and I have tried to address those issues and more, to no avail. The last few months I've recognized a deep burnout within myself after November. There comes a time when one asks oneself how much energy and stress should go into a hobbyist community game for little result. For most of the last decade, BattleMaster has been my escape from stress, but it was recently I recognize that BattleMaster had become the stress.

I love this game and community dearly, it has been regular part of my life for a significant portion of my life. More than half of my life. I grew up with this game and grew as a person because of Tom and many other players here. Out of respect for this game and its community, I do not want to get into the dirty laundry of specific issues, and there are aspects of concern I don't address here because I didn't feel capable of balancing the measure of my words, but I also think the community needs to know why volunteers and players are becoming disillusioned and not have it swept under the rug; navigating this line seems like trying to thread a heavy chain through the eye of a needle.

The game has shifted from being one where your hand was not held, there were consequences for ones ingame actions, a sandbox to play within, spontaneity of roleplay, dynamic wars to one of handholding, insulated from consequences, metaplay, preconceived roleplays, and war declaration rules-lawyering bureaucracy. Gildre spoke of an 'old boys club' when he left, and I struggled with that one, still do even, but at the same time, I have begun to see how some players have been given more opportunity and leniency than other players, sometimes even the opposite standard, and that is not right. I can no longer in good conscience claim that discord moderation is applied consistently and fairly, be okay with having secret developers because they want to avoid players who don't like them knowing they are developing code (or having developers with a history of moderation issues), or represent what BattleMaster has become and is becoming.

I do not plan to become entirely absent, though I will probably maintain a distance for some time. I will still be around the Lemuria Community, but I cannot in good conscience stand by and be part of what is happening. This isn't about the wider community, but about that part of the community involving the game.

Please, if you're going to raise these topics for discussion, do so from a position of love for this community, not being right. You are responsible for the community you create.

Dwilight Map Update - posted on Mon Mar 7 at 17:06:21 by Timothy Collett

When Dwilight was originally made, the "geographic" map—that is, the one without the region names and borders—of the final version was lost. Over the past few years, thanks to the efforts of some valiant player volunteers, a very close approximation to the original Dwilight map was constructed in the Age of Wonders map editor (the program used to make all the BattleMaster maps), and its borders redrawn to match the slight variations in positioning required by this re-creation.

The fruits of that effort are now live, with the Dwilight map images having been replaced and the data in the database updated to reflect the change. Please note that this will also mean some slight changes in the distances between regions on Dwilight, and that you may need to clear your browser cache if you are seeing inconsistencies in the map.

Many thanks to the players of the Wilde and Felsenbach families for their assistance with this.
 

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Hinterlands Playtest Open - posted on Mon Mar 21 at 19:06:34 by Timothy Collett

At long last, and with apologies for the delays, I am delighted to announce the opening of the Hinterlands Playtest!

This is open to all players who have been in the game at least 30 days, and you can find the link to create your account, along with further information about the Playtest, in the box to the right of your Heraldry on your player page, underneath the donation options.

Please note that the Playtest is still in Startup state, meaning no turns will yet be run. It will also have much more direct admin intervention, including manual database changes, abrupt code changes, and the like, so please do not be alarmed if you see weird things happening.

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