Hello Royallers! First Things First We need to apologize for the delay in posting a GM Blog. As most likely with the majority of you, our staff members were also quite busy celebrating the holidays and spending important time with friends, family, and loved ones. We want to close off the 2021 year and start 2022 fresh with a few changes. As you all should know by now, Joel has stepped back from his staff position. To say that we are thankful for all he has done for this server is quite an understatement. He worked with steadfast dedication across the board on staff duties from development to banning hackers, working on organizing the forum and staff Discord, upgrading and increasing productivity internally with the staff team, and so much more. We are also so gracious for all of the graphic design he worked on for the community. He was an inspiration in the Ironman group. I'm very sure the community will join me in wishing him all the best and offering an open welcome back should he wish to return at any time. As the GM Blog was one of the many projects he pioneered and nurtured, we feel it is best to keep it going albeit at a slightly less often interval. Our goal is now to post quarterly GM Blogs, one every 3 months and more often as we can. A Yearly Recap How do you put an entire year of the server in just a few paragraphs? 2021 saw the addition of LionHeart Castle and it's Party Bonus EXP system which seems to be quite popular after a few tweaks to balance how the system works. Ellin Forest and a correlating Party Quest added in. We brought back an old event with The Mysterious Artifact Hunt and introduced new ones; the Deep Sea Gorge, Rising Tides, and numerous other GM Events! There was the ever-popular Anniversary over the summer months and that was followed almost continuously by the seasonal holiday offerings, which has brought us to the New Year. There have been some less than stellar times as well. We are aware that abuse reports are getting behind and it's something that's actively being looked into. Actively like right this minute as I'm typing this. We are also aware of the limitations our current GM staff members have when dealing with some of these reports. See the last section for more information. We have also begun posting and pinning Feedback threads for specific events looking to see how they can be improved and balance. It was very pleasing to receive valid and candid feedback about the Christmas events and we hope to continue this in the future for other seasonal and limited time opportunities. Forum Chatter And sadly our Discord server was abruptly removed along with many other private servers', with no warning or explanation given. But not to fret, we still have the trusty Shoutbox! With the Shoutbox as our primary method of chat communication we have also had internal discussions on what can be done to improve on that medium, and to our forums in general. Xenforo 2.0 has been talked about for quite some time but we are hoping to make progress on that as a big overhaul and upgrade for our community members usage. In the meantime staff members will be working on reorganizing some of the forum to make it easier for players and staff alike to access information and supply Feedback. Much of this will be behind the scenes but if there are any ideas to make the public layout better please do tell! Coming To A MapleRoyals Near You! We have many exciting things on the docket for this upcoming year. With the addition of Kenny, Inugami, and Yeehaw on the development side of things we are hoping to unleash the lion on you all soon! These hard working staff members will also aid in progressing through programming work and challenges faster, with experience and dedication helping to push for some positive updates and changes. Along with a pathway to release new content the developers will be aiming to fix some of the many little issues we have been meaning to tackle. This will leave our lead developer available to work on the nitty gritty backend stuff.