|ow time flies! Again, a new turn of the year is approaching. In the northern hemisphere, winter is coming up which makes us gather around our fireplaces together with friends and family. With a scent of cinnamon and fresh pastry in the air, tales of daring heroes and amazing adventures are shared and relived in the realms of our imagination. Maybe Tibian tales, too! That could very well be, because for Tibians, the past year had a lot to offer.
In January, we sounded the bell for another round of our fight against cheaters. Back then, more than 16,000 cheated accounts were excluded from the game at a single blow. In addition to that, we impose permanent final warnings since then for serious rule violations. We are aware that these measures, among others that followed later on, have not solved the cheating problem yet, but helped us to make progress. Of course, the fight has to go on, and it will.
With the character sex change, character name change and account name change, further extra services were introduced in February. The services have been largely approved by the community so far, which is great to see.
In the same month, we made a featured article experiment in which we asked you to share your most funny Tibian memories with the community. The corresponding thread grew an amazing 52 pages long, which means around 1,000 memories were posted there in total! In the end, 32 of them made it into the article that is still available in the news archive. Do not miss this entertaining read!
A new vision of rule enforcement was presented to you in March. More reporting options for all players, a better processing of reports and a more objective enforcement of the Tibia Rules are the key concepts of this vision. Throughout 2010, several measures have been taken to put our plans into practice.
Also in March, we introduced a novel news format which we call "sneak peek". Definition: an opportunity to see something prior to its release, often still in development stage. The very first sneak peek provided a first look at the Flash client project, showing some fog covering Thais' town graveyard. We are still working on the Flash client today. Its release is scheduled for the first half of 2011.
The spring patch that was released on March 17 brought along name reports for all players, the "low stamina, no loot" restriction and the extended happy hour for premium players, for example.
April started out with a little hoax on April Fool's Day. You remember us trying to find a graphic artist intern? Well, most of you had figured out pretty fast that we were just joking, right?
So the real big bang in April certainly was our Easter lottery where we raffled off an amazing 50 years of premium time. 50 years, can you believe it?! The premium time was split up among 50 winners, of course. Still not bad either.
In the featured article of April, we already provided you with a little foretaste of what was to come later in May: the first Chill and Grill session. You could ask your most pressing questions and Tibia's product managers answered them.
Also in April, the reporting system had been extended to botting reports and public statement reports.
In the meantime, chef Jean Pierre was hiring some true gourmets right from the community - and he was lucky enough to find four excellent specimen for this job. Their extraordinary meals were added to the game later on: Coconut Shrimp Bake, Blackjack, Demonic Candy Balls and Sweet Mangonaise Elixir. These meals can now be prepared by players during the annual cooking event in August.
Another great event was the launch of our Tibia Facebook and Twitter pages. On Facebook, more than 30,000 people have pressed the "Like" button for Tibia already, which is amazing. Thanks a lot for your support!
Whole June was characterised by the one and only FIFA World Cup 2010. Shall we call it soccer or football? What the heck! All around the world people dressed in their national colours and watched the matches live. So did Tibians. We could clearly see it by looking up our internal server logs. On our Facebook page, we had published a quite funny screenshot back then.
Of course, our huge summer update was implemented in June as well. We opened up the Northern region of Zao for you, made runes and potions stackable, finally removed some legacy issues like keyrings (yes, we know, it was a hard time for some of you) and added an achievement system to Tibia.
July started out with a quite entertaining featured article titled "Rich in Detail" where we presented some totally unusual views on our beloved Tibia. We pondered over a couple of details that make Tibia unique: the 17,854,464 squares that build the map, sounds of silence, a secret recycling centre deep below mainland and some more. The article certainly is an interesting read for you.
Oh, we also shouldn't miss out the release of the very first high resolution client for TibiaME, our fantasy MMO for mobile phones. That happened in July as well!
Building upon the work of the PvP focus group and some extensive internal discussions, we agreed on a new PvP direction for Tibia in August. In the featured article "PvP on Trial" we explained our reasoning behind this new direction, starting with a definition of PvP, followed by an analysis of the current situation, goals for the future development and an overview of the first measures.
A new landing page adornes the Tibia website since August as well. Further, the account creation process was simplified to take new players by the hand when they start out on their Tibian journey.
By the end of the month, strange wizards of the coast of a remote kingdom full of dungeons and dragons appeared on the Tibian shores and chanted enigmatic mantras. From that point on, beholders were called bonelords. Crazy, isn't it?!
The most emotional event of August - or pretty much of the entire year - has probably been the farewell of our treasured gamemaster team. With an open letter to gamemasters we paid them tribute for their great work. Fansites staff and other players organised special farewell events in the game where the gamemasters' blue capes could be seen for the last time. Thanks, GMs! It was a great pleasure and privilege to work with you.
In the first week of September, the mighty Devovorga arose from the depths of Vengoth. This has been the starting shot for the new world quest system that we had implemented before. Oh, all those portals... "but there's no sense crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying till you run out of cake." (Jonathan Coulton) In the end, 71 game worlds in total managed to defeat this merciless creature against all odds. Congratulations!
By the end of September, the autumn patch brought along a couple of PvP modifications that paved the way for future adjustments of the war system. Further, new achievements and another upgrade of our reporting system were released.
October started out with another round of Chill and Grill. This time, Tibia's content designers answered quite some questions that had been submitted by players. However, much to the chagrin of the community, mysterious Knightmare did not reveal any information about the many equally mysterious quests in Tibia. Darn!
Shortly after, we launched the Tibia City Guide series, a collection of featured articles dedicated to the most famous places in Tibia. The first one was all about Carlin, its strained relationship to Thais, druidic influences, the local secret service C.G.B. as well as the many interesting sights that are all worth a visit. If you liked it, listen! There are more city guides to come, the next one already in January. So make sure to check it out!
Remember our "Look Who's Talking" contest? It took place in October as well. Within four days more than 2,500 ideas for funny conversations were posted in the contest thread. Only three players could win, though, and those were rewarded with 180 days of premium time, a CM token - and a banana each. Lucky ones!
Then came the Flash client teaser. It was announced as a feature teaser (let us repeat it: feature! teaser!) with a user interface still missing graphics. Ha! Who would have thought that the lack of graphical elements had such impact on the community feedback?! Anyway, while the general attitude towards the Flash client seemed to be quite good, the majority of the posts were so-so, and that is putting it mildly. We would say we have learned our lesson: never show a strangely looking screenshot anymore! Rest assured, the Flash client will look awesome when it is finished.
With a little Halloween interlude - the CipSoft team hunting the Halloween Hare - October draw to a close.
And what about November? Well, after Amaro's courageous rotworm study, 29 game worlds successfully passed the challenges of this year's Lightbearer event which unfortunately didn't go smoothly for all Tibians. Nevertheless, Tibians once again showed great team work and dedication which impressed us all.
While we are writing down this retrospective, the winter update teasers are being published one by one. You see, a lot of new features and new content will come to Tibia soon. In December, it is winter update time!
That's it. Did we miss anything? Sure we did. It is simply impossible to mention all and everything that happened during a whole year. Nevertheless, we hope you liked our little retrospective. Let us conclude this featured article with a big "Thank You" to all of you who played Tibia during the past months, who supported us, who provided feedback on the boards, and last but not least all those who just spent some time with us and the community. It is great to have you here!
See you in Tibia!
Your Community Managers