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ct_news_notice_notice [09.21] GM Blog: September 2021 - Posted by Joong

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How do you do, fellow Royallers?

One year ago (time flies, doesn't it?), we published the first GM Blog, and had the following to say:
"Over the past few months, we've seen an increased amount of feedback from the community, asking for more transparency and open communication on the Staff's end. As part of a new effort to do better on these fronts, we are launching a new initiative that we'll call GM Blog. In these update posts, we will try our best to outline what we are currently working on (without spilling all the beans, of course) as well as what we are hoping to accomplish in the future. You may think of them both as our way of showing you all that we are constantly working on new exciting things, that we are taking your feedback into account, and that it affects our decision-making."

Since then, we have tried to fulfill our promise, partly through these blogs, but also through community feedback threads, polls, restructuring of the Feedback subforum, and lengthier patch notes. How do you feel about this? Do you have any preferences among the aforementioned formats? Is there anything we should do more of? Let us know in the comment section below!

Community Q&A #3
Additionally, if you have any other questions related to the game, you are welcome to post them in the 3rd Community Q&A session!

Alright, on to some other stuff!
We are continuing to work on what we consider cornerstones of stability and functionality that will pave the way for the introduction of fun content in the future. We have mentioned these before, but we believe you should at least be aware that we are actively working on them.

The Autobanner
While we can't give an estimated time of arrival, for reasons related to potential unforeseen obstacles, and also because it doesn't make sense for this non-binary, ever-improving system, we can say that each step forward with the autobanner is a real improvement for the game. The betterment of each part feeds into the effectiveness of other parts, and the completion of one system not only improves the game in and of itself, but may also unlock a missing puzzle piece for the next system. Although you cannot see, and mostly do not hear about, these improvements, we have made considerable upgrades to our back end logic for detecting malicious users. These systems are already working on the live server.

Improvements to Game Stability
As you may be aware, we recently had some troublemakers attempt to cause a commotion in order to gain attention. While this was a nuisance, it ultimately led us to make several improvements and patch some holes to future-proof against further similar attempts. The Staff members collaborated well to solve these issues in a swift and timely manner!

Changing The Way We Work Before We Expand
On the topic of the Staff, we have mentioned before that we want to make some back end changes which will allow our GMs to work more freely. As it stands, the Administrators have decided that they wish for these new tools to be made available to the current GMs before hiring new GMs. This is because the bottleneck is not really the number of GMs on Staff - they are doing an excellent job maintaining the majority of the things that keep the server running - the bottleneck pertains to a select few issues, which require Admin intervention. Giving the GMs the tools to deal with these issues is a current top priority, alongside the autobanner.

In the meantime, whilst we iron out these fundamental building blocks, we are also contemplating the feedback from recent updates.

Taking Your Feedback Into Account
Recent game changes have sparked a thoughtful debate, and we have been keenly listening. The changes to Castellan Toad, Meso Guard and Soul Arrow in particular, have spawned many thought-provoking interpretations and questions.

As it stands, based on the current feedback and observations, we are mostly satisfied with the change made to Meso Guard, with the caveat that that we are looking to address the difficulty this put users of Assassinate in. We are discussing various ways to remedy this, whilst retaining the effects of the change to Meso Guard. Valid questions of how to approach the other skills that negate 1/1 have been asked. We are discussing these as well, but have not reached a definitive answer yet. We thank you for your patience as we weigh the various factors and sides involved in this important matter.

The change to Soul Arrow also sparked a great discussion, and we are leaning toward trying a different implementation that we hope will retain more of the functionality that people may expect of the skill, when they join a v0.83 server. Concretely, we are looking at the option of reverting the skill to its original form, but retaining the buffs to arrows, as well as significantly increasing the carrying-capacity for the high level arrows. Although this won't allow Archers to expend arrows for as long (per stack) and benefit from the attack buffs, it will grant them the flexibility of not using up their precious arrows in scenarios where they might not need the extra attack boost.

Furthermore, as you can tell from the Update 74 patch notes, we had been discussing the change made to Castellan Toad, and agreed, after listening to the feedback from the community, that a reversion of the nerf to the EXP was fair. We thank all those who partook in the discussion and shared their thoughts!

Von Leon - Still In The Works
Some of you may have expected or hoped for the King of the El Nath Mts. to arrive in Update 74, but this mighty foe is not yet ready to see the light of day. This boss, being taken from after the Big Bang patch, has statistics which do not mesh with pre-Big Bang gameplay. As such, every statistic and point of balancing needs to be re-visited and revised. Additionally, some features simply do not exist in this older version of the game, and alternatives need to be carefully considered.

Upcoming Seasonal Events
Lastly, we are preparing events for the coming season. Last week, we released the Autumn Events, and we hope you have been, and will continue to, enjoy them! The Autumn Events are perhaps not the flashiest, but we still felt it would be nice to celebrate the changing of the seasons with something thematic and special! Enjoy this time while we continue to chisel away at the upcoming Halloween Events and further server improvements! We hope you are as excited for the cozy times ahead as we are!

That's all for now. Happy Mapling! :tobenpat:

- The MapleRoyals Staff

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