It's that time of the year again, time to ruminate upon the past year and look toward the future. Though 2022 has certainly been a slower year in terms of development, especially as the world beyond our digital nook continued to be less than kind all around, quite a few things happened.
We started by wrapping up the story of the Goddess Li-varili - last seen captured by the Elders and prevented from plunging the world into darkness and despair. As the Goddess was to be judged, the Divine asked mortals to bear testimony regarding Li-varili's influence upon Lusternia first. Some argued for the Goddess, some against, but each side was equally fervent in their appeals. They mirrored the disagreements between the Gods themselves who were torn on the issue. At last the Trial was held in the Divine Havens but the Divine could not settle upon a decision whether to banish Li-varili or imprison her. And so, the Goddess chose herself, performing an act that has not happened in centuries - she splintered into the livari race. The new shards were confused and convinced they were still Li-varili, but with the help of the kelpies, the nereids, and the mortals, homes were found for them, until such a time as it is safe for them to emerge once more.
Necessitated by the floods started by the Goddess Li-varili, the pilgrim camp at the foot of Mount Avechna has grown considerably. First an aslaran pilgrim planted a whole garden of sunflowers as their wish for peace and hope for the future, something anyone can add onto still. Then the tae'dae Tilibe opened up an agricultural store there and made the spot her home. She was soon followed by Voarag Dragnet who opened up another store, taking advantage of the need for more ores and assorted products on the market. What else lies in store for the place?
Not too far away from the camp, the World Library hosted a taurian lecturer who elucidated many points of taurian culture and history that has been lost to time. And a bit further east, the Tolborolla Valley expanded its beekeeping activities due to the industrious spirit of Hulleh Honeytongue and can now produce quite the amount of honey now if Hulleh is assisted regularly. Not to be outdone, the Toronada Tidal Flats have finally recovered enough from the flooding for adventurers to be able to visit them again. And visit them they did, starting with a beach party by the seaside.
Finally, when winter arrived and Solstice season was right around the corner, the Orphanage expanded its operations by opening a classroom taught by one of its own returned home to look after their education. The Frost Spite, a known element of Mount Wend, was none too pleased and his machinations resulted in a very snowy Solstice season.
New Celest dug into their history this year, rediscovering Holy Fire and paving a new path for the Celestines. Serenwilde discovered the Kindred Henge and delved deeper into Seralem's secrets. Hallifax put [REDACTED] to rights and, amidst a clash of timelines, saw Zvoltz, the Architect, return. Magnagora studied the curious case of specimen XSPS79 which resulted in the Goddess Malmydia, the Chiurgeon, returning to the First World for the first time since the time of the Elder Wars. Glomdoring encountered many mysteries during their festivities with the arrival of Seeress Morizwala, opening a window into the secrets of the harpies. And finally, trouble has been brewing in Gaudiguch with a face off with the Cult of Transcendent Flesh and the rebellious Flamewright.
The nations of the Basin of Life also hosted many a festival throughout the year, starting with the Draconomicon in Gaudiguch, then Feast of the Hallowed Saints in New Celest, Festival of Wyrden Supremacy in Glomdoring, and finally the Autumn Harvest Festival in Serenwilde. The other festivities occurred as per usual as well: the Festival of the Creatrix, the Haunting, and finally Solstice. Many also participated in numerous challenges throughout the year for unique rewards.
On the development side, this year we released the overhaul of the Celestine class and further tweaked many classes and systems through an experimentally tweaked reports system. Manifestations of the Dreaming conflict event was updated and various denizens of importal planes were made invulnerable for the duration of conflict events so that focus is on the conflict at hand.
The re-released Toronada Tidal Flats were revamped and brought up to modern standards, making all the quests more reliable and newbie-friendly. Alongside that release, the beach party brought a handful of new patterns for designers. The old Trademasters newsboard is now known as the Crafters board too and everyone who can craft has access to it now.
Two commodity shops where you can both buy and sell your commodities are available in the aforementioned camp at the foot of Mount Avechna, bringing us a step closer to addressing economy woes. The customisations system was revamped and new options and ways of interacting with your customisations were made available. We also made further progress with our Inclusivity Project.
To shore up our numbers, we were delighted to welcome our industrious Ealix as a new producer in November, while Orael continues to code behind the scenes still. We connected with you in June via livestream and hope to do so more and soon this year as well. Especially as we wish to walk you through our alliances proposal, which is the first major project we are focusing on in the new year. Adjustments to conflict systems will follow. In the meantime, we were working on tweaks to cloaking gems to address visibility issues - an update that has now been released.
The aforementioned - alliances, conflict, cloaking gems - are the first steps on our 2023 roadmap. As always, we would rather underpromise and then overdeliver, so we do not wish to make sweeping declarations about future plans. We will certainly be looking to see how alliance balance shakes out after all these changes and then revisit Ascension. We also wish to fill the world with more stories and events, including larger ones, outside of an arc leading up to Ascension. After all, not everything must always have world-shattering stakes. Though the world-shattering stakes we have planned already... Oof!
As always, thank you for being with us through thick and thin! You are the other side of the coin, the experience that is Lusternia. You fill the world, you animate it, and add of yourself to it. Your ideas and feedback drive all of us forward and inspire us. Thanks also go to our godmin (including Ephemerals!) who pour their love into the game and continue to weave stories and build amazing things. Let us also not forget our various player volunteers who assist in a variety of positions to make everyone's experience better. Thank you!
May 2023 be a calmer, safer, and all-around better year!
Ealix, Orael, and Uilani