Winter 2021 and 2022
Hello, players of BGTSCC. 2021 is almost at an end. We made a lot of progress this year, as the server split was finally launched, allowing us to bring in old maps and set the stage for the server to continue to grow. There were a few hiccups at first, but most of those bugs have been worked out. The server split development did, unfortunately, slow a lot of other things down, so I understand some players have been feeling a bit weary with the slow growth of content. But with the split finally done, we can now focus on the future.
This document shall server as the server's plan for the end of this year and for next year. Here you can read about our goals and objectives for the coming year, and get a better sense about what we're working on to make our server the best it can be.
Our overall mission for the future is the enhancement of the RP opportunities provided on the server. This means building up our DM team and making it easier for them to provide you, the player, with opportunities to influence the server setting, and the creation of custom content by our development team that supports the ability for players to pursue RP-related goals. While some other content will still fall, we are taking an RP-first approach to development going forwards.
And, of course, the elephant in the room: The Time of Troubles. Yes, this is happening.
This document is broken up into three categories, covering Development Goals, DM Team Goals, and Administrative Goals.
Area development unfortunately slowed down once BGTSCC hit the memory limit, which forced us to divert development time towards splitting the server instead of on developing new areas. With the split in place, this stall on map development has been lifted.
The Development team have several new maps already nearing completion or planned for development. These include,
A new farmlands map between the farmlands and Fields of the Dead, being developed by Rad-Icarus. This is a mostly non-combat map.
A new farmlands map between Boareskyr, Trollclaws, High Moor, Misty Forest, and Dragonspear, being developed by Rhifox. This is a mostly non-combat map, but does have some RP encounters.
Not a new map, but one we want to reopen with updated content. Planehopper has some ideas for this map currently. This will, most likely, be a new dungeon map.
A new mixed-content map between North Tradeway and Corm Orp, being developed by Hakken2. This is an Uldoon Trail style map with a small village in one corner and combat encounters on the rest of the map.
A new Underdark map being developed by Rad-Icarus. The exact location is currently being decided. This will be a new dungeon map.
A new Underdark map being developed by Easterncheese. The exact location is currently being decided. This will be a new dungeon map.
An Underdark interior map in plan for development. This will update the Sshamath temple of Lolth to be more accurate to Sshamath lore and to provide it an interior of similar size to the Vhaeraun temple in Darkwoods. We are currently looking for Lolth players to RP work towards upgrading the temple in an IC fashion.
Underdark Mushroom Grove Update and Spore Beetle Queen Lair
A total remake of this area being developed by Banovitsky. This area will include a shrine to Elistraee, several low level quests, and some story around the spore beetles. There will also be an additional area connected to the Grove that includes two new low level bosses.
Several developers are working on new or updated epic content. One of these is a new Underdark CR24 epic area near Mist Lake, being developed by Banovitsky.
In addition to the above, we are also working on updates to existing maps. This includes the long-awaited tfunke BG, various area updates to account for RP developments over the last few years, adjusted routes, supporting the new player housing system and other new systems, and many more.
BGTSCC Current and Planned Areas and Routes (Surface)
New systems are another area that was unfortunately hurt by the need to focus on the server split. But again, with that out of the way, we can push forwards on this. Planned systems are all intended to increase RP opportunities on the server, interactivity with and reactivity from the world, and increased tools for DMs.
Planned systems include,
Crafting - Professions, Trade Skills, and Harvesting
Oh yeah, it's coming. And I know that's been said for years, but no more delays, this is getting done. The first stage of this will be primarily oriented around trade professions, not crafting usable gear. Usable gear may come eventually, but requires more discussion in regards to its place in overall server balance.
A tool for DMs being worked on by Valefort. This tool will allow DMs to make lasting changes to a zone's content to accommodate their ongoing plots and events.
A faction system is being developed by Rhifox. This will allow for players to make friends (and enemies) with various groups in the game, and help allow for more variable interactions between mobs. This system will react to player activities, player builds, spells, attributes, and skills, and adjust things like hostility, allies, store prices, and what quests are available.
The Development team is looking into implementing a new questing framework to make it easier to quickly and easily create new quests. This will make it easier to add quest-access rewards to the faction system above, as well as tying into the crafting system. It could also allow DMs to create temporary quests to support their plots.
Announced a few months ago now, this is still coming. We have a system we will be looking at implementing soon that will allow players to upload their own portraits (and have that portrait be locked to them!)
DaloLorn is currently working on updates to the Language and Scry systems, and will be looking into some bugs with BG's encounter system.
What's there to say about Media? They've been providing excellent custom resources for the server for years and have no plans on stopping. There has also been talks about ways to advertise the server to try and bring in new (or returning) players.
2021 was a good year for bugfixes, and QC's been doing a great job at documenting bugs and giving feedback to players. Recording and fixing bugs is and always will be an important job for development and QC teams.
Following up from the region history feats addition, we will be looking at creating more automatically-granted feats that serve limited to no mechanical function, but describe race/class/deity lore in order to help players better roleplay their characters.
Balance and Encounters
We cannot say too much about Balance and Encounter design at this time, but it is on our minds. We have broad goals of reducing the gap between the weakest builds and the most powerful, better supporting DMs' ability to create challenging content for players, increasing dungeon diversity to give different challenges that different builds are stronger or weaker for, and so on, but more discussion on this is still needed before hard plans can be given.
One system that is on radar is,
For whatever reason, NWN and NWN2 do not include NPC classes by default (Commoner, Expert, Aristocrat, Warrior, Adept). This has often forced us to build encounters with PC classes, which is both more frustrating and more powerful. We are planning on implementing these to make it easier to build encounters of the proper strength for their CR, as well as to better support larger group encounters (with, for example, a named boss with class levels supported by a troupe of weaker mobs with NPC classes).
The biggest upcoming new system is the Outpost system. This is an expansion to the Asset rules to better support guild initiatives that actually affect the game world beyond simply buying a guildhall. Outposts are projections of a guild's power through small visible additions to maps, such as trading outposts, military encampments, caravans, embassies, and so on. Unlike guildhalls, most outposts are not considered permanent (unless considerably invested in to make them permanent), and they can be taken by other guilds through RP.
The DM team is working on plans for the Time of Troubles, due to happen in the middle of next year. This period will not be skipped over, things that happened in the BG/Western Heartlands region in lore will happen and players may, in some cases, be able to affect what happens (to some small degree - we are dealing with gods afterall).
BGTSCC has maintained records of server history going back for years. Unfortunately, no such record was written for last year. The DM team is working on identifying everything that happened last year and in the current year so that these things can be recorded in server history.
The DM team is looking at restarting rewards for character bios to better encourage players to create rich and developed characters that fit with the Forgotten Realms setting.
The DM team is looking at restarting the ability for players to achieve real power within NPC organizations. To start with, this means the opening up of Flaming Fist and Charnag Maelthra PCs. These roles will come with strict guidelines and requirements, such as needing to report all actions taken, to reduce the chances for abuse.
Already happening now, but the DM team is loosening the red tape and better formalizing the process surrounding achieving DM rewards, both items and titles.
Building the DM Team
We are working on getting new DMs onboard and expanding the HDM team to allow better uptake of requests and to run more events in-game.
Administration also, of course, handles server management, forums, wiki, and Discord servers.
You're reading it! Next step, of course, is ensuring that we actually get what we've posted here implemented. It's administration's job to keep people to task and make sure goals are being met.
Server Mission Statement
We are working on a new mission statement to set the server's vision, goals, and values moving forward. This document is one part of that mission, but we will also have a dedicated post on it soon.
Updated Policies and DM Rulings
We are working with the DM team on updates to our rules to better support RP and combat toxicity on BGTSCC. These will include adjustments to PvP Rules to make them more lean and efficient, adjustments to Surface/UD rules, new and updated griefing/harassment/courtesy rules, and updates to play-your-sheet rules and guidelines for divine RP.
Many stickied threads are either redundant or out of date. The admin team will be working on updating these threads, or else archiving them if they're no longer needed, so that players are not being fed inaccurate information.
We'd like to update inaccurate wiki articles to make it a more reliable resources. We're considering adding wiki moderation and updating to the responsibilities of the Quality Control or Development teams as well as hire on people with experience handling wiki's. We have pretty much no one on staff who handles wiki as their job, so this is an area clearly in need of improvement.