Introduction For years, Massive has developed its own identity in terms of it's light-rp Survival, it's strict-rp Roleplay world, the separation, and all the ideological stances behind those choices. A community has formed around it, pulled in new people, and also eventually caused some to leave who were less then enamored with the way things work here. The way things work here has always been an iron clad bastion, something we often refused to budge on. It is more so specifically that refusal to budge, and the fact that Massive was unable to attract a certain crowd, or expand beyond its base population. Massive often gets accused (by players from rival communities and internally) as being too restrictive, having a limited scope of things to do, and mostly being "tavern roleplay". While they aren't strictly speaking true, they often end up becoming such due to a number of factors, but largely because of our central roleplay hub theory that lived for a long time, and still holds up today. After consultations however, we've come to the conclusion that while Regalia V5 was a good implementation and a considerable improvement on V4, it did not quite result in as large of a return crowd as we had hoped. We regained some players, but also lost some newcomers who failed to really materialize an attachment to our roleplay universe. It's that I wish to cover. What I mean with expanding our palette, is expanding the opportunities for entertainment we offer. Because of a scope we chose to set our universe in, certain doors were opened, while certain doors were closed. For years we refined our rules, our systems, our lore, and our universe, only to find that in the long run, it feels like re-inventing the wheel without buying a second carriage. We examined our other major (remaining, because we survived a lot of competition) servers, and concluded that what they offer, is something we can offer too, but without the slow staff support, without the biased approach to management, and with greater player investment. When one looks at the lore from a factual perspective, it could be said that the lore is restrictive, but it it actually not. There is such an overabundance of opportunity and flavor, that one often finds there is /too much/ of it, not too little. The guidelines were once desperately wanted, and still are, so wherein lies the problem? We have concluded, that the problem inherently lies in our one-roleplay-hub approach. Centralizing all roleplay into one settings, with very few temporary alterations. With this in mind, the official announcement of the implementation of our Expansion, or our "Playable Universe Expansion". Our Playable Universe has always been scoped to Regalia (with a few minor locations visit-able). It is as if in World of Warcraft, the players could only ever live in Stormwind, and visit Dalaran or Orgrimmar from the inside of one such house for period-rp. We made a small abortive attempt at doing something like this with the Isle of Mull, but that project faced a number of less than ideally placed decisions both on management and setup. It failed, because we did not fully support it. It was placed as an afterthought, nor seen as a worthy enough concept to succeed alongside Regalia, always seen as something inferior. So what do we consider the need of Expanding our Palette? What is it that Massive currently misses in the Roleplay Universe that makes others leave our server for the competition? Nation Building, is a great aspect that does not exist in Regalia. Regalia is a formidable pre-formed nation with massive lore, and it will hardly ever change. Players will never be fully in control of the Empire, and only scratch at a modicum. World Affect, is a great aspect that does not exist in Regalia. Regalia cannot be altered on a day to day basis and none of the decisions made by the players bar those assisted by staff work result in an actual physical impact on the city. Freedom of Loyalty, is a great aspect that does not exist in Regalia. Regalia is an incredibly stratified society with a strict hierarchy. If you are not serving the nobility, you don't go to the government, if you aren't Unionist, a lot of concepts are just not accessible to you. Most importantly of all, PVP Inclusion, is a great aspect that does not exist in Regalia. For years we tried to solve the lack of community mending between PVP and Roleplay, without a clear response. Either the roleplayers resisted, or the PVP'ers demanded too much. Before we continue, I need to stress, these are problems that exist for those to who Regalia is not enough. There are plenty of players who are super comfortable the way Regalia works, and would like it to remain exactly the same (minus some improvements over periods of time of course) and for them, nothing indeed will change. The benefit of building that community around Regalia is that it is stable as concrete now, and almost self driving. What I am about to announce, will not replace or in any way dampen Regalia. Everything in Regalia and our Universe will stay exactly the same, but we are expanding! Our Expansion In summary, our expansion will be a new Roleplay landmass. This landmass will share the same identity with the Isle of Mull, with the major difference being that it will be fully supported and advertised as a worthy alternative to Regalian Roleplay, for those who want to engage in Nation Building with direct World Affect, Freedom of Loyalty and some PVP Inclusion where possible. This landmass will be our first experimental stage. Who knows, maybe it won't work out, and we only do this for one "season", or maybe we learn some good lessons on how to do it better next time, and make an even bigger show out of it, if it really hits home. We want to create something that is truly new. Something that has truly never been done on MassiveCraft, something that will feel familiar but different for players who come from other servers, and something that people who have left us in the past wanted to see on Massive, but could never want. Something that can finally find a way to cleanly integrate PVP with Roleplay in a way that benefits both sides, and something that overall makes people want to log on more, instead of hop around OOC in Regalia or Darkroom with no purpose all day long. Our Expansion in finer details A new Roleplay centric map, about the size of RegaliaV5's map but less mountain-like. This map will be divided over 6 "Tiles" or "States", which will (at the start) govern a sixth of the map each. Capital cities for each 6 Tiles built on the identity specifications of the rulers. We have a huge library of ready built towns and cities in Regalia V4 just waiting to be used. Any Regalia V4 district doubles as a city in itself. Variety in this map, not everything being in the same biome, but a variety of temperatures and styles. Lots of high quality Map design with World Machine and World Painter with many bo2 objects to create realistic forests and snow capped mountains. Players will be elected rulers of these States, primarily we hope for Roleplayers so the rulers can actually interact with their roleplay followers, but we're not saying a survivalist couldn't do it either as long as they are serious about trying out serious roleplay and end up getting chosen. Players who become Mayors or Barons of castles and towns in the countryside, petitioning the State leaders with the right to a deed of land in their region, to found a settlement or border fort. They act as the population of the State. Hermit Players with flavor areas, applying to staff for a special region inside a zone that is not loyal to a State but lives from the land. Think witches, hermits, fortune tellers, but also roaming caravans, Szabadok banners and mercenary bands. Bandit and Knight Rp in Lawless land in between towns and forts and the capital which is not normally patrolled by Knights except for the roads. Brigands and bandit RP is finally possible, and Knights finally have a damsel in distress to save on the highway. A War System for the States that will feature unrestrained diplomacy between them. Staff will not interfere with alliances or War Decs and let players decide the political playing field. Will there be a death match war or an alliance war, or an everyone against one? All is fair. Live continues even under annexation and occupation. Nation Building for the States, where the rulers may appoint their own government, set their own policies, roleplay taxes, laws, system of rule, faiths, racial policies and identity, completely independent from the Regalian Empire, which will forever only be a distant trading partner. Will you be a Principality? Or a Democracy? Or a Dictatorship? Or even an Anarchy? A more realistic War system that isn't over and done in a matter of days or one giant PVP battle, but can span several weeks with numerous towns/castles that need to be captured, a fluent and fluctuating front line that can shift as towns are captured, burned, and recaptured and rebuilt. Integration for PVP Champions, representing immortal Guardians of towns and castles who can be challenged by another warlord with their own PVP Champion. A 1v1 duel over the future of the town under attack. Will the Champion defend his town, or will his failure let the town fall to the enemy? Integration of PVP Battles. Battles between soldiers of States can be fought out by PVP'ers in mass-PVP battle events that can be signed up for. Backwards rewards for Survivalists, events and victories in our expansion leading to rewards in Crisis of Nobles, or any similar likewise systems implemented for our Survival Community. Backwards rewards for Roleplayers, titles which transfer to Regalia and resources and stories gained and experienced in our expansion world translate to Regalia with seamless in-lore back and forth travel. World affecting activities. Entire towns can be wiped off the map and castles can be torn down. Forests can be torched, damns can be broken and plains flooded. The world is generally more destructible but also more build able. Mages could even be used to burn down whole towns! Player construction Freedom, World staff will not impose their standards on the towns and Castles (though we have tonnes of ready to use castles and towns just waiting to be used in storage)(and we do have a basic Medieval Theme guide). Roleplay will naturally flow to the nicest places so players will always be challenged to build to the best of their abilities, or ask for World Staff help who are willing to provide the most excellent quality. This will in any way NOT replace our ongoing Survival World or Regalia, which will both continue to function as our primary and secondary game play area, while this expansion will be our third game play area, a fusion of the two if you will, and a means to bring together a community that was split apart a very long time ago. Eventual additional backwards rewards for both PVP and Regalia, maybe ownership of a State offers mercenary troops to be used in Regalian war conflicts, and maybe special item rewards can be given to the winning PVP side of a battle. These are all future plans. No changes in the Character Kill/Perm rules or PVP default though. Massive does not believe in the merit of PVP default. This right now is the basic gist of it. For the most part, this sudden project is /not/ going to negatively affect any other project. The ongoing Noble Reforms are going ahead as planned, and Regalia and Survival will both continue to function as if we never even started this project to begin with. Will we expect a player count reduction in RegaliaV5? Naturally, but we believe that the players moving over were already "friend-group" hot spots or people who only log on occasionally (or not at all). Our intention is not to slowly kill Regalia, but rather, create /more/ fun for people to (instead of only playing 1 hour in Regalia's tavern or at an event) spend 3 extra hours in this expansion world to deal with the politics there. Our Staff will continue to support events in Regalia and the noble system including the Imperial Court will continue to run as if nothing changed, except that the leaders of these nations will have their titles confer to Regalia as well, they will be recognized. Our central roleplay hub theory is not dead. We did not make a mistake for 7 years. Rather, our mistake was not offering /both/, or as many kinds of game play experiences as we could. We want to expand what we have to offer, not replace one with the other. So. What is the first Step? Well, this is all going to be one big experiment. Massive hasn't innovated too much over the years in the roleplay world, and we're all sort of treading into the dark when it comes to deciding where to start, and deciding where to move ahead. Iv'e gathered a talented team of people who will be my advisers, so we're working out the details in the background while I still make the map, but in the meantime, we're going to organize the States. We need to elect 6 State leaders, who might already start organizing their government, prepare their Forum Threads and necessary information before we complete their capitals. We're trying to get this up and running within a week tops, our only Tech implementation required is region titles, which is a really quick and easy plugin to produce. After that, it's motly just preparing the world, getting the paperwork ready and setting out a clear and simple set of rules, and then sitting back and hoping that it works out and players are able to self-police it. We will be doing an ongoing feedback loop and making modifications where necessary.