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  1. The State of A'therys - Long Awaited Good News Greetings once again A'therians - While our last "State of A'therys" address left many things uncertain and a rather grim picture for the future of the project and the state of the community at large, this announcement should be much more exciting. The first announcement is that A'therys has joined with another community, EASY Company, in a merger/partnership. This decision came after much debate and discussion among all of the current A'therys staff team. The goal of this merge was to loosen the economic and personnel restrictions on the A'therys team. The merge also enabled all our hardworking volunteers to spend as much of their free time working on the A'therys project as possible, and spend less time worrying about the bureaucracy of administration and running a large online gaming community. EASY Company is a large Discord-based community of over 7500 members, built up from a small mil-sim and military role-playing-games server. They host over a dozen servers across many games within their genre such as; Squad, Hell Let Loose, Post Scriptum, and Battlefield. Over the last year, however, they have been branching out their community to take in a more general gaming audience, expanding to New World and Minecraft. In addition to these supported games, they also have more niche groups for games such as Rust, War Thunder, Escape From Tarkov, Valheim, Back4Blood, and DayZ. So far, the merger has brought nothing but good things to A'therys as a whole, albeit with some bumps along the way. With this in mind, and with much work already having taken place to clean up and reorganize the A'therys staff structure into a well developed workforce, we have two more announcements to share with you: Over the Horizons - First and foremost, is the status of A'therys Horizons. In our last status post, we gave insight on the past and current state of Horizons, much of which being on the negative side of things. However, with our partnership with EASY, the future is looking much brighter. We now have the extra resources and backing to keep pushing forward. That said, to launch Horizons in its full extent is still a huge undertaking, so we've decided to do something we should have done a long time ago- starting small and building onto it over time. We did try this before with the initial Alpha/Test server but our goals weren't communicated thoroughly and the execution fell flat. This time around, though, we're starting with the minimal viable product and will keep things as close to the full Horizons gameplay experience as possible. We will then slowly continue to build upon it until all the pieces are together for a full Horizons release in all its glory. The A'therys Horizons "Beta" server is expected to launch sometime in November. Look forward to an announcement post explaining more about the server along with the roadmap to full release and other information soon. Seten-Nan, capital of Dalkun-Tir - A'therys Horizons A New Aeon - The second announcement we have is the reveal of an exciting new project. We know many of you have been asking about returning to a vanilla server for a long time, so we are excited to share with you - A'therys Aeons. Planned to launch early next year, this project is going to be a wholly new Vanilla experience based on the successes and adapted from the failures of A'therys Ascended. While A'therys Horizons promises to be an intense, detailed, fantastical world that A'therys always strived to be, this project takes a different stance. As there will certainly be those both in our existing community, and those new players who never played an A'therys server before, we wanted to do our best to create an A'therys experience that will provide ease of access to players, hopefully removing the barriers to entry that a Conquest-based server may have to many. This project will shift the core experience of A'therys back to it's original style; vanilla, plugin based gameplay that relies on players to shape the world with their own creativity to hone the experience. Please note that Aeons will not just be a nostalgic rehashing of the old A'therys formula. The players of A'therys have been immutably changed by the progression of time, as all those who played during the hay days of A'therys Ascended have grown five years older. In response to this, the A'therys Aeons project will take a look at both the reality of our players having spent five years away, and will also show the changes that took place in the world of A'therys while we were away. This means that in the future, there will be two fully supported A'therys servers to play on. We believe that, by drawing on both our long-time fans that have been waiting for A'therys' revival as well as a large potential player base from the EASY community, there should be enough players to populate both servers. A Love Letter - The A'therys Ascended server was always a more friendly, fantastical environment. The plans for Aeons, however, will be rather different. Over the years we have been away, the world of A'therys has struggled through much turmoil, and through earth-shattering events, the world and its inhabitants have been changed irreparably. Much of the world of A'therys as you know it is very different from how you left it. While the server will certainly be familiar to those of you who played A'therys back in the day, this project will certainly take on a much grittier, dark atmosphere from the start. With all this in mind, I must stress that the new A'therys Aeons server will not be the exact same as A'therys Ascended was in the past. We like to think that, since the A'therys team has all but changed over the years, the project itself has changed too. With new tools and plugins at our disposal, and new technology making far more interesting worlds possible, we believe the A'therys Aeons project will be less of an A'therys V4, and more of a spiritual successor to the Ascended era. While much has changed, we will not be totally diverting from the core of what makes A'therys successful: the history, the community, and the interactions players are able to have. We have planned many new and different gameplay opportunities for players to experience, and we will provide more details soon. Cyridon Spire, Aloreh - A'therys Ascended Refreshing Leadership - As the A'therys project got bogged down in the monotony of slowly developing and building Horizons, much of the A'therys leadership stepped away or had to move on to manage their real-world responsibilities. Among those that felt the need to step away from the A'therys project was our long-time leader, Sellt. He led the Horizons project from the very beginning up until the last few months. By his wishes, Rhykker has now taken his place and leadership over A'therys. Sellt also helped pave the way for setting up the merger with EASY Company to hopefully provide a bright future for us. With the increased help from EASY and restructuring of A'therys staff, however, a new structure made of both A'therys veterans and newer A'therians looking to help was built. This change in leadership, while difficult to reorganize, breathed new life into the A'therys team and gave everyone the motivation to move forwards. Our new leadership team is structured as such: Aeons Leadership: Jessica - Having been a long time developer for the A'therys Ascended project, Jessica has returned to help bring the classic A'therys experience to new Minecraft players, and has years of experience in Minecraft development and website design. Hexxie - Previously a member of A'therys from all the way back in the days of Gazamo, recently returned to bring A'therys and EASY together, and to help reorganize the Aeons server into a unified project. Taz - Also returning to A'therys recently. He is a successful entrepreneur, having helped build multiple successful companies, and has lent much help in terms of organization and business acumen. Horizons Leadership: Rhykker - Having been around, actively working from the end of Evo to today. He has been consistently putting his all into A'therys since Sellt handed him the keys to the kingdom. Cicetil - A long time developer of the Horizons project, having done much of the work recently to push the Horizons server into a playable state. Flaky Waffles - A member of EASY company, having come aboard the Horizons project to assist with both building, and lending a hand to Cicetil and Rhykker when necessary. Flaky has been a huge help to get the Horizons project ironed out recently. In addition to the core leadership, the rest of the A'therys team has been hard at work getting both projects to a releasable state. Many members of staff have come and gone over the years, but we are confident our current core of passionate staff will be able to deliver results befitting the legacy of A'therys. The Road Ahead - There's a long road ahead for the A'therys team, and we plan to be far more transparent in the coming weeks now that we have more to share. We've certainly been without communication the last six months due to both the EASY merger, and having our noses to the grindstone to put Aeons and Horizons into a release-ready state. To this end, we will soon be posting roadmap updates for both the Horizons and Aeons projects, giving a neat visual representation of what there is left to do to get all of you on an A'therys server. Please keep an eye on the forum for big updates and changes, and feel free to share this post around. Expect more updates in the coming weeks, including a Q&A, Roadmaps, Staff/Builder/Developer applications, and more! See you soon, A'therys. It's been a long wait. WeeWoo
  2. Our first intent is to release whatever we have as the Horizons server, even if it's not all completely ready. If the server can't survive for any length of time after that, we will most likely release any assets like the capital builds as standalone maps or possibly use them for spinoff material. We definitely don't want all the time and effort put in to simply fade away if the server doesn't succeed.
  3. Questions & Answers - April, 2021 These questions were gathered from the #questions-and-answers channel on the discord. Concluding this post, we have decided to leave the channel open permanently so anyone can post questions to be answered. We will also be answering questions in the channel itself instead of forum posts from now on. “Has there been any current reconsideration of going back to Vanilla, especially with how extensive resource packs and datapacks have gotten in the most recent versions of the game?” There has been a lot of internal discussion about this. Even a few years ago there was a big discussion about scrapping and going back to vanilla. The ultimate decision back then was to stay steadfast in having a whole new A’therys experience with modded. However, I’m sure our thoughts have shifted somewhat since. “Would it by any chance help to have a more public Trello-style board?” We’ve recently made a github repo to help track progress. It’s not fully established yet but once it is, we may consider making it public so anyone can see current progress. “Will the Game Design Document be available to view publicly once it is completed?” Once it’s fully fleshed out, I would like to make the GDD available, but it would need to be discussed with staff. I believe most of the info would be made available on the wiki after launch either way. “Has anything been changed about conquest to make it more survival friendly?” While I don’t believe the conquest team has done any more with 1.12 survival, we, ourselves have the ability to develop things in a way that makes the conquest experience more player friendly overall. Some examples include changing and simplifying recipes, having quest-based tutorials and a gameplay wiki along with in-depth guides. Our goal is to help smooth the transition and learning curve of going modded as much as we can. “Hypothetically speaking; If the entire A'therys team switched their effort to a vanilla project right at this moment would the project ETA be sooner or later than the conquest reforged?” This is an extremely difficult question to answer with many factors that need to be considered. First of all, Almost everything that has been worked on in the past 4 years would need to be scrapped. Our server runs on Sponge which is still using 1.12. This means, if we want to use any later versions of Minecraft, we couldn’t use our custom plugins. All of the builds the team has worked on couldn’t be used; the only thing we could really salvage is the lore, and possibly the map terrain, which could be remade in Vanilla with some work. I believe a more accurate question is whether or not we would have enough active staff left at all, if we had to scrap everything we’ve been working on for so long and start from scratch. Though to answer the hypothetical question- Assuming we went the quickest route of no custom plugins, lower quality builds and less custom content, it would likely take less time for Vanilla. It is difficult to give a full ETA comparison given the uncertainty of exactly what is left to do for Horizons. “On that note, what's the player base opinion looking like for vanilla vs conquest is it close or what's the ratio?” While there was a poll on the original Horizons announcement which was very positive, a long time has passed since then without any further outreach to the community. Right now, I’m sure there’s a lot of people that would prefer going back to vanilla if it meant they could play A’therys again. Like mentioned above, it would be a very difficult decision which has yet to be seriously discussed/polled with the community (or even staff for the most part). “What would it take to take the current map if it can be saved, or transfer over some just terrain etc map that has less features that could be worked on over time?” The terrain of the Horizons map could be reused, however we would need to remake block palettes, tree/object assets & layers, underground layers and everything else for Vanilla.
  4. You're right. Calling him that wasn't intended to be defamatory or anything. Poor choice of words. I've personally never worked with Vorske but from what I've heard he had a strong vision for the server which he was very decisive about. That was the comparison I tried to make. I've since changed the wording to be less harsh.
  5. The State of A'therys - An Honest Message to Our Community Hello everyone. It’s been a while since you have last heard from us and it’s finally time we speak up. We owe it to everyone who has stuck with A’therys through all these years to give a fully transparent message about what’s been going on and the current state of Horizons. TL:DR - Horizons is still in development. There have been many issues preventing its release but we're finally taking steps to fix things. Even with these changes, if Horizons doesn't release within this year, it will likely fail. This is an honest post explaining our past and current situation with the project. First and foremost, we are still working on Horizons. We haven’t given up yet, and would give an official statement if the project were ever canceled. However, it goes without saying development has been very slow. It’s been 4 years since the announcement of Horizons and we still haven’t released... In short, we’ve been stuck in development hell. There’s been many factors contributing to this but to name a few prominent ones: The Decision to Go Modded - This was a big decision and looking back, it should have been thought out more. Conquest reforged looks great, however, the costs outweigh the benefits. We must use sponge instead of bukkit/spigot which also means coding our own plugins. Modded means less reliability, requires more maintenance, higher system requirements, and overall reduces the potential player base that can’t or won’t play modded. The Lack of Precise Planning - Another big factor in the slow development has been the lack of extensive project planning for a server with such large scope. While we began with a project document, this was more of a broad list of features and ideas which lacked a lot of details. Over time, this lack of planning and direction has caused many arguments, indecision, and has proven to be very counteractive to getting things done. Not to mention that much of the original staff has left and been replaced, causing many loose ends and perpetuating things further. Map & Build issues - To the utter disappointment of many of you, our build team included, we still do not have a full world map completed, or well, not any more... Without knowing the full details, while nearing completion, the world file and the most recent backup files(?) subsequently became corrupted and unusable. The latest working backup is roughly a year outdated so a large portion of the map must be remade. Another issue being the capitals and other builds themselves. The increased scope of Horizons coupled with the lack of foresight with builds has caused them to become a huge undertaking. The capitals we have completed are gorgeous but they are way too big and densely-packed. Matching the size & quality of the other capitals takes a long time, especially with a diminishingly active build team. The Public Test Server - Last year we released the first substantial version of A’therys since the closing of Evo. We wanted to once again have a live server which people could play. Even if it was just an adventure PvE/PvP test world to start out, it did see a lot of players on release. However, after so long with only this to show, many of you were left disappointed. Later on we released a Towns expansion to the PTS which was rushed, poorly executed and ultimately failed.. Afterwards, we decided to close down the PTS and we are currently still up in the air about reopening it, or possibly a more permanent server which is used even after Horizons launches. Poor Management - Unlike Vorske, Sellt hasn't been the sole leader driving the project, which has allowed us as staff to plan and make decisions as a group. However, with group decision-making comes a lot of arguing. Tying in with the lack of decisive planning, many meetings have been spent discussing how things should or could be, only to either be undecided on, or “decided” then forgotten over time, repeating the process over again. The lack of a proper management structure, unproductive meetings, indecision and lack of steady progress has severely damaged staff morale and overall productivity. Throughout all of this, Sellt has been dealing with personal matters and has recently stepped away from project management for the time being. This has caused us to also take a step back and assess our situation. Although, despite what it may seem like from everything above, we have made a lot of progress and the end goal is in sight. Here is what the current state of the project looks like, and the steps we’re taking to help change things for the better. New Staff Structure & Management - In Sellt’s absence and not wanting to make the same mistakes as before, we have put together a new staff structure to streamline decision-making and increase productivity. This system consists of a council of team leaders, a project coordinator, a full-staff voting system and structured meeting agendas. We are still getting used to this new structure but it is helping. Definitive Planning - Like it was mentioned before, lack of proper planning has been a big detrimental factor. In order to combat this, we have been putting together an official game design document (something we should have made a long time ago). This document will have an outline of the server vision, every feature and their details. This together with the new staff structure and structured meeting agendas and notes, we will finally have a plan which staff can follow freely and know what to do. The State of Plugins - From what you might have seen from the test server, our core plugins, Towns and RPG/Skills are functional. They have a few bugs and lack some polish but they work. We have also worked on a “Battlegrounds” plugin which you may have seen. This will facilitate most nation PvP in the shattered lands. The Quests plugin is functional but is somewhat buggy and lacks a lot of user-friendliness. A plugin for dungeon instancing has been worked on but is not quite functional. Most of the other plugins are functional but everything will need thorough testing together later on. The State of the Map and Builds - After losing most of the map, we are still moving forward. We have assembled a small team to complete the map (again), and progress is moving steadily. Capitals are built independently on separate cut-outs of the map. Falkynthos, Seten-nan and Korth are all complete which you can see from our preview videos. Caenglare, the capital of Atvoria is roughly 25-30% complete and Daidama’s capital is still in the early stages. We have a lot of unused builds which we can paste around the map and shattered lands once the map is finished. We are also discussing lowering the scope of the last capitals to speed things up. If we can raise morale and activity within the build team for one last push into release, we are not that far off. Community Relations - As you’re probably aware, our communication for a long time has been near-nonexistent or just ignorant to the community that has helped shape A’therys. We know we’ve been pretty terrible in this aspect but we wish to rebuild the trust and relations of the community, or what’s left of it.. With this post as a first step in honest communication. The next steps we have are more interaction between staff and community, continued transparency on what’s going on as well as sneak-peaks, feature beta-testing and more. Following this post, we will have a Q&A session on discord where you can ask any questions and we will answer them in a later post. Release Date - While we don’t have a set release date, we are aiming for a release this year, and if we can't, it is likely Horizons will fail. Despite the new staff structure and being closer than ever to our goal, our staff team is still at a low point. We need help. If you or anyone you know might be interested in joining the staff team or helping in general, please reach out to an admin or one of our team leaders on discord. We also have a few unfilled lead positions. Project Coordinator - Rhykker Lore Team - Jynxie Build Team - Rvrviper / Redninja Dev Team - Rynelf Quest Team - (unfilled) Economy Team - (unfilled) Combat Team - cicetil PR/Media Team - TheSandersLad With all of this, hopefully it helps all of you better understand the issues we’ve faced and how we’re dealing with them. I would like to thank all of you for being with A’therys for so long and I hope we can play together again in the near future.
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