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Old 09-13-2012, 01:26 AM
Crow Crow is offline
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Atlantis: past, present and future!

You know what? That title really doesn't make much sense. The present is insignificant, considering the any moment even a couple seconds ago should be considered past, and any moment a couple seconds ahead should be considered future. But the sound to that thread title was awesome, so I went with it. Forgive me!

Gather around, people, because it's story telling time! I haven't ever told you guys a whole lot about Atlantis; how it has been in the past or any details on the future plans. Let's start off with some stories of the past!

The past

It was September 2003 when I stumbled upon Graal. There was an article on it in the German gaming magazine "Screenfun". I was also fiddling around with the glorious RPG Maker 2000 back then, also being part of a community around it. I believe someone also mentioned it there. So I went to see, and I did.

Playerworld selection screen, here we come. I was only 11 years old at the time, so my English wasn't as good yet. So I was happy when stumbling upon Atlantis, because the language text field for that read "Deutsch". Alright, off we go! It looked pretty from the start, although very simple. Like probably most other playerworlds, Atlantis was still mostly using default graphics back then.

I was wandering around a bit when I noticed I was a bit on the slow side. Others were moving faster and stuff like that. Turns out the 233 MHz CPU wasn't quite enough for Graal, even back then. I still had a lot of fun, and we got a new computer later the next year. So I was wandering around, mostly exploring (because I loved that!), getting killed a lot, finding myself doing all quests again and again. You know, good old trial account system. I really didn't mind that!

But I did want a "P2P" account, which they were still referred to often back then. The problem was that you could only pay by credit card. There are still not many people here in Germany who have a credit card, and there were even less back then. Needless to say, my parents did not have one. I already made some good friends, though, and Pom (*Fritky) was kind enough to give me a paid account. Turned out it was not only used by me, though, so I ended up using it for less than a week. However, one of the older (watch out: two meanings) players of Atlantis, Nitribit, offered to pay for one's account if you sent her the money. If I recall correctly, Stefan also knew about it and approved. So that's what I did, upgrading my first account (*Magadal) to lifetime classic.

The following two or three years were great, really. As I mentioned earlier, we got a new computer at some point in late 2004. Starting then, Graal was even more enjoyable than it already was to me. Atlantis had some great events, a nice community, cool things to explore, lots of guilds and so on. I don't remember the exact date, but I was also hired as a member of the Support Team (ST) of Atlantis, as it was still called back then. Later renamed to FAQ though. Mostly helping out players and uploading their heads, bodies, shields, swords and hats to the server. I really enjoyed that, and due to having at least some sort of staff position, I also got into development a bit. I want to talk about Atlantis here, though, so let's carry on.

Atlantis had a mining system as long as I can think. At some point in time, a forging system was added. This was pretty much the base of what I'd like to call the fall of Atlantis. There wasn't anything fancy at first. But then, a custom sword system with craftable swords and shields was added. I believe the magic wand was actually added beforehand. That was still a nifty addition, but that new sword system kind of ruined many aspects of Atlantis. I can't exactly remember anybody enjoying that, either. PKing got really awkward. Mining was extended to more minerals. More swords and shields were added gradually. It was fun in some way, but also not in another. Atlantis used to be a classic type server, and now it suddenly wasn't anymore.

At this point, my memory is getting somewhat blurry. I can't remember if Atlantis was off the classic list at some point or not. Let's forget about that fact, though, and focus on what was done instead. New content was developed from the ground up to turn Atlantis into an RPG playerworld, centered around several islands, keeping most of the previously introduced sword, item and baddy systems. I won't deny that quite some work has been put into the project, but this was pretty much the killing blow for Atlantis. I remember some English translation being added to it back then, but it wasn't really any good. After the release of this "new" Atlantis, there were a lot of players online at first, as always. The player count quickly decreased, though, essentially leaving the playerworld empty.

From this point on, I didn't have anything to do with Atlantis anymore. It was not interesting anymore, it was not fun anymore. And I can't really remember what happened next. We're, however, getting to the point where I decide to work on Atlantis again. I believe it was already off the Classic list at the time, and the decision who would be "getting" Atlantis was to be made. Now, forgive me if I get anything wrong in that next part, but I can't remember very well. There was, basically, a team consisting of Matt (*neo1122), Lena (*Lenchen) and Angelu (*Shakram at the time, probably). It might've been Nitron (*Theodor) as well; I really can't remember! Don't hurt me if you're reading this There was some sort of competition with another team made up of Jack (*Megamas), Chris (*HerrChris) and possibly a few others. So we had a while to develop some content, and I believe it was Stefan who eventually decided that we would not be getting Atlantis.

Now, again, I really don't know much about what happened next, but apparently, it was not a whole lot. At some point in early 2009, I had a discussion with Björn (*dNeonb) about reestablishing Atlantis. In the end, he was the one who made it possible. This is when we - not I, but we, as a group - got in charge of Atlantis again. This was, at the time, Björn, Matt, Lena and me. Shortly after, Angelu and Nitron joined. From there on, Atlantis became what it is right now.

I won't tell you what happened from then until now, because you probably know. Now, I wish I could tell you more about the origins of Atlantis, since it's much older. But I can only tell things from 2003 on. Forgive me about that. Let's move on!

The present

The present is right now, as you're reading these words! Ow, what a shame. It's already a thing of the past. Let's move on!

The future

Now, let's get to the future! I get many questions about our plans for Atlantis or details on things that have been revealed, so I want to use this space to, in fact, tell you more about that!

Now, I want to say this again. What has happened to Atlantis before it died really wasn't cool at all. This fact is the base for our future plans for Atlantis. To sum it up before we go into any details: we want to restore Atlantis to its former glory. I know, I know. I've said that before. Well, let's get talking! The base of what we have right now is already quite solid, I'd say. Default movement and sword system, among other things. Custom bushes/stones and the like, that, however, mimic default behavior pretty well. We won't get near any custom or RPG stuff, because that - in my opinion at least - shouldn't have ever happened.

Then we got Matt on the team, who is in love with events and also does very neat work on those. You know, a major part of Atlantis back then were the great events. That's definitely a thing that needs to be brought back! All kinds of events, event coins, and a shop where you can buy cosmetic things with said coins.

Next to events is another important thing we can't miss out on: quests and exploration! Granted, quests on Atlantis back then were nothing special. We're aiming for a sort of Zelda feel for the quests and also have ideas for replayability in mind, like speed running certain quests - with leaderboards attached! To also put an emphasize on the exploration side of things, we plan on reintroducing old jobs like picking herbs, which was mostly running around on the map and, well, picking herbs back then. Of course that will be a lot more interesting than just that.

A thing that I feel was also very important on Atlantis: guilds. We had a lot of them. Reminds me, I was Guilds Admin at some point! What a fun job. Almost. Anyway, guilds! Even better, guilds and PKing. This wasn't as bold back in the day, so we want to encourage it! A fight for bases, basically, where guilds will compete with each other, trying to hold a fort. This won't be an event either, it'll be part of the world, always active. Holding this thing for long periods of time will also earn the guild a reward or two. Now, doesn't that sound nice? In order to mostly keep PKing to what it used to be, there will also be an arsenal of typical oldschool items to fight with. Bombs, bow and the like. You probably know what I have in mind.

That's a lot for content already, but let me add a couple more things without going into detail: pets, achievements, collection of certain rare items, guild headquarters, player houses, ...

There are a few more things we already have in mind, but I don't want to reveal too much! What I also want to get off my chest, though, is my hate towards the observer mode. We don't like it, we know you don't like it, so we plan on getting rid of it. As of yet, we're still unsure what exactly we're going to do to get it removed, but we will make sure that the limits will go easy on the players.

Continued in the next post, since this one was getting too long!
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