New Home

OtherWorld’s old server has been replaced with a newer, more responsive server.  The move went smoothly, and the new server is much faster and more reliable (so far.)  As always, contact me if you run into any trouble!

Helping iPhone Users

Playing from an iPhone generally worked okay, but there was a rare condition that caused problems.  When a character had only one choice for next adventure (it can happen!) it was impossible to pick a next adventure using an iPhone.  This did not seem to be a problem on any other browsers or devices.

The quest picker has been updated so that iPhones will no longer have a problem with this situation.

Iron Mine: diplomatic quests and two new areas!

Thanks to everyone who has provided continuing input on OtherWorld.  Your comments have helped me make various minor improvements in OtherWorld this month.  Additionally, a content update just went live:

  • New diplomacy themed quest chain available in Iron Mine.  Test your adventurer’s social expertise!
  • New encounter area: Iron Mine.  Sure, you could get there before, but now adventurers can have random encounters there.
  • New encounter area: Gnome City.  Those who brave the subterranean wilderness and gain entrance can now adventure within the home of the gnomes.

Web Server Flaky

OtherWorld needs a more reliable hosting solution.  The current hosting solution is inexpensive, but the web server goes unresponsive for a few minutes here and there.

Now that a new wave of players is arriving, that “few minutes here and there” is unacceptable, especially when the “sign up” page doesn’t work.

If you have a host to suggest, please let me know.  The current host is DreamHost.  I’m ready to pay for dedicated CPU time, and am surfing DH’s competitors before deciding who gets my money.

Trans-locational Portal

A couple changes today:

  • There were some Iron Mine encounters that were happening in the Storm Haven academy.  The researcher who left the trans-locational portal open has been given a stern talking to, so that shouldn’t happen again.
  • The “See What’s going On” section on the front page is intended for people who want some additional reading.  There was a design flaw that meant the three adventurers listed were often in the same group (and so had similar text.)  The links are now sure to point at three different groups.

Below Iron Mine

Big update!  This is an expansion of the Iron Mine area fo adventurers level 6 and up.  There are also a number of general game improvements.

  • “Cave Explorer” chain of quests for adventurers who have reached Iron Mine.  Includes four new quests in all-new areas with lots of new loot and creatures.
  • Some areas now have special character encounters.  Impress them, and they join your party.
  • Lots of typo fixes.  Thanks to you testers who have so helpfully emailed me about those.  It was especially clear when you copied the encounter text (including encounter title) and made the offending text bold.
  • Non-Player Characters (NPCs) now get rid of gear they’re not using.
  • NPCs now get the full skill enhancement from gear they have equipped.
  • New players now see some helpful text after creating their first character.  Right beneath the description of the adventurer’s first turn is a note about how game play works.
  • When an adventurer sells gear, they will get 10% of the purchase price.  This is the first of several steps needed to improve the game economy.
  • Improved error handling:  though all quests and activities go through automated testing before being put on the production server, there have been rare cases of a quest glitches.  The game engine has always checked for these glitches.  Up to now, it notified me and stopped all activity until I fixed the quest.  Now it handles the situation more gracefully, notifying me, moving the characters to a safe place, and letting the game continue.  If your character is lucky enough to find a quest with a glitch, your character will get to do an activity that is not otherwise available, and get a prize.

Quest, Buff and Other Improvements

Thanks to you testers for your feedback!  Your suggestions have led to various improvements that went live this weekend.

  • The quest picker now gives more info about quests:  whether the quest has been completed, what level characters can go on the quest, and which quests will move the adventurer to a new area.  Also, old, low-level quests will be visible in the quest picker.
  • Buffs now stay for four active turns.  They used to just stay for four turns, even if the adventurer was not active.
  • Non-player adventurers now have more varied names.
  • If you buff a non-player adventurer, there  is now a chance they will return the favor.
  • If you benefitted from a buff during a turn, the buff is mentioned in the text at the bottom of that turn.
  • Adventurers don’t level up quite so fast now.
  • The level cap has been set at 9.  The level cap will rise as higher level content becomes available.

    Meanwhile, work continues on the new quests and areas.