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Messages - Stug3
Merry Christmas to those who are home and abroad, who serve and keep our land free. Merry Christmas to the service members who serve on ships, boats or serve on land you're in our hearts and prayers.
A Sailor's Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming, Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small, In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.
I had come down the stack with presents to give, And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see, No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand, On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind, And a sober thought came into my mind.
For this place was different, so dark and so dreary, I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone, Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home. The face was so gentle, the room squared away, This was the United States Sailor today. This was the hero I saw on TV, Defending our country so we could be free.
I realized the families that I would visit this night, Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play, And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day. They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year, Because of the
Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone, On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice, "Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."
"Defending the seas all days of the year, So others may live and be free with no fear."
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road, To live a life guided by honor and code.
After all it's Christmas Eve and the ship's underway! But freedom isn't free and it's sailors who pay.
The Sailor say's to our country "be free and sleep tight, No harm will
come, not on my watch and not on this night."
The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep, I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still, I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night's cold chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night, This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure, Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"
COURAGE AND COMMITMENT
After quite a bit of discussion we have decided to lift the permanent ban on McLeve41. This was a difficult decision but the circumstances in the end led us to give him a second chance.
The player was very new when he broke the rules and never had a chance to own up or apologize since he stopped playing well before we even realized he had broken the rules. Typically what we do in this case is ban the player then wait for them to check the forum and/or PM one of the administrators to plead his case. In this case it never happened as his interest from Layonara faded. So we just left the ban as permanent. His maturity and commitment to be a positive member of the community at this point in time 2 years later led us to believe it would be beneficial for the community and him of course to lift the ban.
Additionally he could have just bought a second copy of NWN diamond or whatever and been right back in game without us being the wiser but he's taken the time to try to do this the right way and be a positive member of Layonara.
We will not be reinstating the Naiather player as his bank account and inventory are tainted, uncertain what truly belonged to him. But we're giving him another chance with a new character.
Please make him feel welcome and trust that he will bring a positive role to the world.
If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.
I want to take a moment to thank all of the people involved in the last three updates over the past two weeks. There has been many long hours (I would be willing to bet at least a thousand) put in to these updates and it is clear their love for the world and community is what keeps them working on updates. The past six months have been extremlly packed with RL happenings, holidays, family issues, and the list goes on and yet these individuals continue to produce updates for the community.
There can not be enough thanks for them but I just want to make sure everybody understands that their selflessness is what continues to make the world a great gaming place that is enjoyed by many around the world.
In no special order:
Gulnyr, muaddib, Chongo, Eorendil, Darkstorme, Weeblie, Script Wrecked, and Dorganth.
Thank you and good job!!
I also want to thank everybody on the GM Team, now and in the past. I firmly believe that a major part of what makes Layonara so special is the GM Team and all of the events they run and all of the difficult work they do behind the scenes (online and off) in order to ensure that Layonara remains a RP server at heart. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and it is your attention to the spirit of the server which is what continues to make Layonara loved by many.
Thanks folks, to each and every one of you!
And of course, thank you to the community! What a great RP community.
[SIZE=24]Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die![/SIZE][/I][/B][/I]
[SIZE=18]A lady died this past January, and ANZ bank billed her for February and[/SIZE][/I][/B][/I][SIZE=18]
March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then
added late fees and interest on the monthly charge.
The balance had been $0.00, now is somewhere around $60.00.[/SIZE][/B]
[SIZE=18]A family member placed a call to ANZ:
"I am calling to tell you that she died in January."
"The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still
"Maybe, you should turn it over to collections."
"Since it is two months past due, it already has been."
So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?"
"Either report her account to the frauds division or report her to the
credit bureau, maybe both!"
"Do you think God will be mad at her?"
"Did you just get what I was telling you . . . the part about her being
"Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor."
Supervisor gets on the phone:
"I'm calling to tell you, she died in January."
"The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still
"You mean you want to collect from her estate?"
(Stammer) "Are you her lawyer?"
"No, I'm her great nephew."
(Lawyer info given)
"Could you fax us a certificate of death?"
Family Member: "Sure."
(fax number is given)
After they get the fax:
"Our system just isn't set up for death. I don't know what more I can do
"Well, if you figure it out, great!
If not, you could just keep billing her. I don't think she will care."
"Well, the late fees and charges do still apply."
"Would you like her new billing address?"
"That might help."
"Rook wood Memorial Cemetery,
1249 Centenary Rd, Sydney
Plot Number 69."
"Sir, that's a cemetery!"
"What do you do with dead people on your planet?"[/SIZE]
I guess It's time also for my intorduction..
The name is Juan Carlos , I live in Monterrey Mexico, but I have lived in a lot of places along the country... I work as Telcomunication Engineer, fixing comunication problems for a bank (HSBC) ... just graduated from School some months ago...
I am 28 years old. As you should suppose Spanish is my natural speaking languaje, but I try my best in English
I found Neverwinter nights like a year ago...
When I found Layonara I was amazed for the great work you have done with this world... I wanted to play in it as soon as I can... And now that I am playing I am not dissapointed...
I love a lot to RP, as some of you would know by now. I had played PnP D&D for some years now.. also White wolf Aberrant, Cyberpunk, and I run a Forgotten realms campaign when I have time.
I would not lie to you, I am a devoteed player and GM of AD&D 2nd Edition, I have no much Experience with 3rd or 3.5, but I inderstand it. It was a nice surprise to me that you have implemented the 2nd Ed XP table to the server system ....
( have faith 2nd edition will come back -... )
Well I am glad to be here enjoying the world and the Company...
[SIZE=16]I've always found pictures to be a good snare for you unfortunate readers.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]I've been on three servers where they announced plans to at some point end their module progress. What I've found is a typical response from the playerbase, including myself. Interest in progression of your own character lessens, and the sudden reminder of the server mortality usually hits me for about a two week depression.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]There's a lot of major differences here however. First, the timeline put on NWN is of our own making. The new medium for Layonara is a massive effort very good people are working on. But it is going to take time since it is such a massive effort. And it's not two months, or six months... it's a long time. I hope the team working on it doesn't mind me saying that. NWN truly is in the hands of the players here. And this brings me to the second major difference. Layonara is continuing. The campaign and histories are continuing. The histories your characters are creating and helping to build are continuing. Characters of your own making are going into the very written history of Layonara. Look around. We *are* Layonara. This is not a plug pulled.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]What is going to keep us going is simply the continuation of motivation. Any way you slice it you're playing Layonara, be it this generation or the next. Had you found out that v3 would've been a character wipe, would you have fled? How many of us have started new characters since that discussion and found them in late stages of their life, engrained in the server, fulfilled. A lot of us I'd say. This is absolutely the same thing. I mean, Ketil is barely over a year old. I think of the time I've had playing him, and sure I want more, but that was a really really good year I've had with him. The same opportunity is in front of each of your characters right now. People just tend to get down when they see some finality to a character, it's something we don't like to admit as being possible. But we're talking about a *long* time here. Get over that sense of impending closure and realize it's not changing the game for you whatsoever.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]We play here for the community and that is what we must retain. Levels, progression, everything tangible to a single character ends up falling back on your interest in the community when it's said and done. When you've seen it all, when you have no more surprises around the corner, it is the surprise from a trusted and dynamic community that you will find your interest has been in this whole time.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]I know what the pessimists will pick out of the big announcement post, as they like whispering it in my ear now and then. Timelines, character closure, last update... things of that nature. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]So let me shed some light on some realities on the update side of it that you haven't been able to see yet. For you players playing here in the years of 2004-2006, think of the updates you witnessed. The new scenery, it wasn't all that major. Mind you, a lot was going on, the game was being refined, scripting was allowing greater diversity and variation of gameplay, on the whole the NWN engine was being perfected for Layonara. Then came the V3 announcement. The initial update for V3 is what you have seen so far. It seemed like a significant change for some, the pessimists did their pessimism thing and probably complained about rangers or barbarians or bards *winks*. Some were blown away by the change in appearance. Most were merely excited about the newfound source of motivation.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]I usually stick to that middle crowd, complaining. That said, this "final" update, this conclusion to the major push for V3 of NWN, it's been worked on for several months. Several months where wives, husbands, coworkers or bosses of those working on it narrowed their eyes at the bags under eyes or the far away looks. I know for a fact that my wife is plotting a detailed sabotage of the server machines, bioware, Leanthar's house, and the developer of our computer to top it off. It's a big update that took a lot of work.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]This update is more substantial then what you're used to. It's quite likely the most substantial percentage change of material in NWN Layo to this point. And that's what I'm mostly going to be talking about here.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]Updates come and go, and with version changes they hit surges. We didn't hit all the changes proposed for the V3 vision. That's clear to everyone. Kingdoms, farming, etc.... they never hit home. But updates also hit lulls. Lulls where there's not a ton to do. I can say with confidence that in the grand scheme of what V3 was realized as, this is the typical final stroke before the standard lull. We've made the important stuff hit home, we've made the core of V3 hit home. So to hit the stuff we should be concentrating on...[/SIZE]
[SIZE=18]The Scope of the Final V3 Update[/SIZE][/U][/B]
[SIZE=16]What's new, what's different, and why should I be excited? Well Leanthar detailed the percentage changes on the servers. Bear in mind that this is a massive amount when compared to other updates you've seen. I don't want to go into the unknowns and mysteries that are in there waiting, it ruins most of the fun, but I can detail what they mean for you as players.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]Belinara and Dregar[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]These have been merged. I actually view this as a plus because communication and grouping will be on the rise. Green tells or not, being a server apart limits grouping, and I'm glad to see the merge. More importantly, you are looking at huge rebuilds and added material. The first time you travel to Arnax you are going to immediately be hit with the changes with some impressiveness. Travelling north, you will be lost. It's a good thing. Dregar has likewise seen some major changes, I'm not going to tell you much about them. I can just say that the adventure is going to be new, exciting, and if you thought the new Firesteep was something... you ain' seen anything yet.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]Obviously new material is great, but a lot more has been done. Traffic has been funneled in ways that will pool people for roleplay and roleplay adventure. Thematic environments have been added, those places that naturally attract people for myriad reasons, and promote that magnet for roleplay.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]A few ambassadors for lore that we have all grown accustomed to listening to over the years have been made aware of the specific histories and themes of some of these grand new schemes on Dregar and Belinara. Look to them, you know who they are. Follow them to the new focal points for roleplay and adventure, prepare for the new adventures, and better yet the new campfires and places we'll come to know and love and gather at.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]The New Balance[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]The balance of the world has not shifted in any wild manner. What has been done is the empowering of particular classes that until now have been left wondering why they are so unable to deal with the world around them. It's not a matter of changing a class, or limiting another. It's a matter of creating environments that foster certain character types that may have been limited before. Where and how? You'll figure that out quite fast I'm guessing. To what scale are we talking here? A massive scale. I'm fully aware of the woes of melees, the fact that a party of one class can do all while the party of all another class can do naught. You'll see role reversals in this regard, without taking anything away from a certain class. But it will be a new and dynamic set of environments that will let all characters have their shining moments instead of being left in the dark on all occasions. Additionally, a slight shift in magic level will be realized. It's not profound, since anything profound would be a true mistake. But some class characteristics have met with limitations given magic levels, and the bar has been slightly raised. Be patient, meet the adventure head on, and look forward to a big smile here and there. Even you rangers. I am very proud of what people have come together to achieve on this front, and all I can say is that I'll see you all at the crossroads.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]Epic Themes and Adventures[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]Creating themes for epic characters has always been a problem, everywhere in NWN, whatever roleplay-based server you might be on. There seem to be only two speeds in epic adventure and challenge: 1) Everyone in your group dies ultra fast, or 2) Everything you're fighting dies ultra fast. NWN is what it is and it's hard to combat the tempo of adventure in epic levels. Roleplay is limited due to the tempo of epic grouping. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]But there are themes, hidden themes here and there, that will bring new dynamic to epic adventure. Thought process, lore, decision making, the demands of what roleplay servers should be. It's the best possible that people can do with NWN and I'll say that in full confidence. Look forward to those massively epic adventures, and enjoy the new style of play. That said, good luck finding them.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]Oh, and additionally, the bar has been raised all you epics. Every CR abounds, finally. Have fun, and don't be hasty or the soul mother will steal your company from the rest of us.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]Leanthar's courtesy in informing the community of plans in motion that will not be seen by us for a long time I deem a gesture of faith in the playerbase here. Our server here is made by the motivation of the playerbase and the higher standard of gameplay that continues to grow. Realize that Layonara is here to continue, in two ways. In one, NWN will keep going for some time to come, Leanthar was just gracious enough to share the full picture of things. A long time! Don't get down because the doc just told you that people typically don't live past 100. Appreciate your time and the people you're sharing it with. And in the other way, Layonara persists. It has blown through the roof of being held by a single game engine, and the histories we have all come to be a part of look as though they will continue far beyond the lifespan of a single engine. And this is something we should all be grateful for.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]I'll see you at the crossroads soon. There's a lot of new adventure for us to enjoy. Oh, that's right, and it's coming in the next few days.[/SIZE]
« on: May 02, 2007, 12:29:18 pm »
I very nearly closed the servers down this morning, and I mean it was close. The only reason I didnt is because the teams are working so hard on projects that I just couldnt bring myself to harm them or destroy all of their hard work. NwN is old, it is ancient, there is little to no reason to keep the server going except to allow a rare few people to enjoy their time in a world that they like (the few left in the community that still play and still truly like the world). It is only a matter of time before they are closed down, but today just wasnt that day. These servers do nothing but cause me (and a fair few of the individuals on the teams) grief, hardships, frustrations, time away from family and friends, or a whole lot of money. They used to bring a ton of fun and enjoyment but that is no longer the case (for me at least). I now dread waking up and checking the forums because I know the mentality of a few in the community; those that like to rant and rave about how they are so wronged but that they could never do anything wrong. Oh but then when something goes wrong it is our fault (or perhaps more specifically my fault) for some silly or stupid reason; never the fault of their own. Have you wondered why not a whole lot of quests have been run in the plot or why I am not around as much? That is the main reason, at least 70% of the reason. Many on the GM Team cant bring our self to log in for spot quests or impromptu quests very often (myself included) because of all the childish and immature behaviors and attitudes. A few bad apples in the community have nearly burnt every one of us out. Sad isnt it?
Five years ago I started this server off being very wide open to the public with little to no rules other than basic ones. Today look at the line of rules and the restrictions we have had to place on creativity and fun. It shows the state of online gaming and a lack of responsibility and respect in online and offline communities in general. I think it is a very sad thing indeed. It also goes to show why companies out there are moving away from having forums at all for their games, because a few of the very players that claim to love the world that they play in also seem to love to destroy that place. The emotional drama is childish and immature and does not do any community any good, and most certainly not ours.
For various reasons we are going to be changing the way development threads are displayed to the public. We only have two options and I prefer the first but if we are not able to do it we will go with the second option. One of these options will happen over the next few weeks, as we get some time to work on it.
1) We are looking to make it so that a private development thread can be read by a forum member who is a friend (marked as a friend on the forums) of the original poster (thread owner) of a thread.
2) If we are not able to do #1 we will make all development threads private and only the poster and GM Team will be able to read them.
I think it is very sad that we have come to this point but there is no other option. I refuse to continue to waste time, effort, and money watching the community blowup in rants and raves over meta-gaming or outright and blatant (IC) blaming of others in these threads. I put IC in () because a few players try to pull it off as an IC sort of thing when it is clearly not, but they feel we in the community are too stupid to see through that underhanded style of (play). Some players feel that they can point fingers at other players by posting under the pretense of (in character) in their CDTs because they know that certain individuals that meta-game read their threads. And they do it in a low and underhanded way; they are looking to give little jabs here and there and I find that unacceptable, demeaning to themselves as a human being, and just downright low. But I am also done fighting this sort of nonsense. It just drains everybodys will to play in the world, run quests in the world, keep the world servers running at all, or even be anywhere near the community as a whole. To fix the core problem of this sort of (play) that individual must understand that they need to change and then make that effort; there is nothing we can do to help them along.
What is so funny is that some of the worst meta-gamers refuse to even see that they meta-game. It is a mind game that they play with themselves, let alone with all of those around themselves. Some of them know they do it but refuse to try and better themselves. To top it all off some of those same individuals rant and rave when things are meta-gamed back on to them. Its a vicious little cycle of self-denial or not wanting to improve oneself and I am not going to play that childish game any longer.
This is an official rant thread. If you are not ranting, then please don't respond. Also, I am not posting this because I am upset about anything, I am posting this because I have been quietly brainstorming for about a week now, and it's starting to rain. My purpose is not to make people feel defensive, it is to encourage character development onto a new level of RP.
First of all, I would like to thank Gary Gygax for making D&D in the first place. Second of all I would like to quote my sister Tai, "An entire generation of roll players has suffered because roll playing was conceived by war gamers and not by cultural anthropologists." You might be asking yourself what this means. It means that the system we use to govern our characters personalities is a stupid and archaic system that was made up by a war gamer. I swear, the only reason Wizards did not make a better alignment system for D&D 3.0 is "If it aint broke, don't fix it." It's not a bad system for beginners but it has way way too many limitations. Good characters should have the flexibility to do things, on occasion, that are malicious, vengeful, greedy, and vindictive. Evil characters should have certain weaknesses where they behave in a generous manner. A good example of this is when Raistlin Majere demonstrated love and compassion to a gully dwarf. All you RP elitists talk about something not being realistic to a character's alignment, and you miss the point that alignments are incredibly unrealistic. No one, and mean no one fits into any one alignment perfectly at all times. In real life, we call actions and comments that are out side of our normal personalities, "mistakes" or "moment of weakness" or "I was drunk" or "Christmas spirit"
When I make up a character, I do not chose an alignment and then make up an appropriate personality. I make up a persona and then pick an alignment that best fits that persona. When I RP my characters, I never think about alignment. I always think of my characters personality. I don't think, what would I do, I think what would my character do. Some times it comes down to my characters experiances when deciding what they say, and how they would react. Never once though, since high school, has anyone accused me of not playing my alignment. Now is it that I don't care about alignment, and I never think about alignment, but my characters RP fits with in his alignment? Answer, I made the personality first and chose the alignment that fits that personality, and I do stay true to that my character's personality. Hmph, we should just throw that old arcait alignment system out the window, and evolve to better roll playing.
My next rant, is Power gaming. You know, it took me a long time to figure out why power gaming is a bad thing. It is pretty ¤¤¤¤ natural for us to want to be the best at things. We want the strongest, fastest, smartest, wisest what ever character in the world. The hardest to kill, and deals a punch that legendary. There is a problem with the power build. It is called game balance. The more uber your character, the harder it is for a DM to create encounters that are challenging. Encounters that are too easy are boring, and encounters that are too hard are frustrating. When all the stats significant to your class are maximized, every feat works perfectly to maximizing damage dealt and minimizing damage received, then you have just set yourself up for a bad time. Either you are bored, or you are dead. Never did you stop and think about what is most fun. You ever notice that most encounters just seem to get harder. I blame power gamers. We have players soloing the rift, and what happens, the rift gets made so difficult, only power gamers have business being there. In the time I have been playing here, I have seen this as a continuous trend. The more players power game, the harder the DMs make the encounters, the more players feel like they have to power game in order to not get DTs. The answer to this, is to take feats that do not work best for your character, but take some good RP feats. Do not get the very best equipment you can possibly have, but allow your character to have some weakness. Weaknesses and disadvantages generate good RP, and allow DMs to create fun and interesting encounters that challenge parties. My gut feeling here is that if we the players make conscious efforts to not power game, then the DMs will balance our game world accordingly.
Where power gaming is most painful, is how it effects new players. In the Amber roll playing game, Erick Wugic writes, "If I put a 200 point character in the hands of a novice player, and a 100 point character in the hands of an expert player, the 100 point character will kill the 200 point character every time." Notice that if you power build build your character, you are relying less on your own skill as a player, and more on the brute strength of your character. By this you not only handicap your skill progression as a player, you handicap your personal enjoyment that you get from playing.
Now, what happens on Layo is that new players start playing. They do not have enough playing experience to create a power build, and they lack technical skill. They enter into a game world that is balanced for highly skilled players with well built characters. Bad time. We as players need to turn this around. We need to be patient. Not rush to get as many kills as possible. We need to embrace new players, and coach good RP and technical skills. We need to build characters that are well balanced, and then avoid areas that are too dangerous for a non power built character. Only then will our changes be recognized and certain areas re balanced to be more fun for everyone.
I got some questions ingame about starting up a guild and opening a shop. I thought I'd share my thoughts and encouragment here.
The Leilon Arms for many many RL weeks was open every Friday and merchants would come and sell their wares. The Freelancers, seeing the benefits of this, had "merchant tables" installed in their Point Harbor tavern. Anyone can come and sell their crafted or looted goods. Are you a ring maker? Perhaps an armor and weapons maker? Tailor? Each has a table where a merchant may place his/her inventory.
Do you really have the patience to come every week for several hours and sell your goods? What about the weeks that RL keeps you away, do you find someone to fill your spot?
What if no one comes to the open tavern night, do you give up and not return the next week? Or, do you work ingame and through the forums to generate interest?
Perhaps you have grandiose plans of opening a crafting guild. Imagine! A grand guild hall with persistent storage, rooms, elaborate dining hall, master bedrooms. What happens when three of your five founders stop playing? How empty does the enormous hall feel when it is just you staring at the chests?
Guilds and shops take tremendous OOC dedication, organization, and vision. Do not succumb to the desire to leap to the end goal; start small and build up. Prove to yourself, the players, and most importantly the GM/builder team that you have what it takes.
Perhaps there is already a guild out there with an under-staffed guildhall, or a tavern willing to host your half-elf convention. Make good use of the resources already at your disposal before moving forward.
If possible we as players need to encourage such efforts. Story nights at a tavern are opportunities to RP and let others shine. Market nights are a chance for independent crafters to feel their worth.
Let's all work together to make Layonara a rich, immersive environment for us all. Few things compare to a well-attended tavern night: Bickering at the bar over the cost of ales, haggling in the corner over a pile of malar skins, a bard being booed onstage.
See you ingame, PnP.