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Time to say goodbye
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My previous account
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Photo Important notice to Photobucket users and signature artists!
Posted by: Jinji - 07-01-2017, 12:13 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (1)

Attention all PWO Forum Users! If you are currently using a Photobucket account to host signatures and avatars for PWO or any other Forum, or to host signatures you've created for other people, it is with regret that I must inform you that you will need to upload those images to another host in order to continue to use them.

As part of a recently-announced change to Photobucket's Terms of Service, it is no longer permitted for users on certain account tiers - including free users - to embed images on sites outside of Photobucket. This feature now requires a paid Plus 500 plan, at a cost of $399.99 a year.

As a result of this change, if you are not a Plus 500 user, it is no longer possible to use Photobucket-hosted images on the PWO Forum - or, indeed, any other Forum or website. If you are currently using Photobucket for this purpose, you may find your signatures or avatars may stop loading in the future, or may be replaced with advertising. I have taken the opportunity to make this announcement, even though it does not directly relate to PWO and is out of our control, in order to inform such users of the inconvenience as early as possible so that you have time to find new image hosting services and can continue to use the signatures and avatars you enjoy seeing on your PWO Forum Posts.

Thanks for your time.

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  Hello Discord, Goodbye IRC.
Posted by: Rigaudon - 05-29-2017, 02:39 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (4)

A small handful of you have raised the possibility of PWO starting our own Discord server, and recently our Staff team took this into consideration.

Our IRC has seen less and less use lately. That, combined with multiple other advantages when presented with the opportunity to swap, has lead us to move on to Discord. We have disabled voice chat, as that would be impossible to moderate.

We've set everything up accordingly, so feel free to join us:
https://discord.gg/NjDpGKR

EDIT:
Seems some people are confused about the rule page. Just click on a general chat to the left once you join.

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  [Event] Spring Forth to the Blue Archipelago![CLOSED]
Posted by: Jinji - 05-10-2017, 06:49 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (49)

FINAL UPDATE!! Event is now closed, we hope you had a great time! Leave feedback below, we'd love to hear from you about your experiences- good, bad or ugly so we can do even better next time! Smile

UPDATE!! Final closure time announced! Check the bolded sentence below.

As stated below if you're in Kanto just enter the Museum in Pewter City- if in Johto talk to the Event guy in Cherrygrove City.


Land Ahoy! GuiiHenrique's first place map submission will be host to this month's event. It was quite a journey to reach this point, considering the nomadic nature of the landmass, but the beautiful vista was worth it.

The celebration started on May 15th at 6pm UTC and will last for a week. The final closing time will be May 22nd at 8pm UTC.

You can join in on the fun in the Pewter City Museum's top floor Holodeck, which has been retrofitted into a teleporter to the previously-hidden paradise.

Those of you from Johto can hitch a ride with the event guy in Cherrygrove.

See you there!
-PWO Staff

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  Donation/Server Logs
Posted by: Rigaudon - 05-09-2017, 08:59 PM - Forum: Change Logs - Replies (1)

The Basics:

Since this is a newer topic and a newer concept, this topic is liable for editing at any time.

1) The game and websites are hosted on one server.
2) The server costs approximately $333 a month. 
3) No staff are paid to work on PWO. $0 goes to staff for their work.
4) "Ownership" of PWO is treated as a responsibility (NOT authority) between Admins and DEVs.
Ownership cannot be bought or otherwise opted in. It is a skill and trust-based council of existing staff. No amount of money suddenly makes you skilled or trusted for an admin/DEV position.
5) The money is hosted on Paypal. Admins and Devs have access to the paypal account(s)
6) Paypal is notorious for freezing accounts out of the blue and for no reason, locking access to payments.
          We may look into safer, alternate storage options due to this.
7) We will donate funds beyond our "emergency funds" cap to an as yet undecided charity.
          We will disclose amounts donated/allocated to charity monthly, at a cap. To avoid being a tempting legal target, we will just note "Charity donations: $300+"
          We know this could slightly raise eyebrows but we'd rather have unfounded accusations flung at us from players than a legal letter from Nintendo. 
8) There is no set time for me to update this. I will try to do it once per month, but there's not going to be an exact day per month.
9) We might look into more donation options outside of Paypal if necessary and if we have the time. 


If you have further questions, post it on a separate topic. This topic is for logs only. 


CURRENT (May 9, 2017)


Server: Paid! ($333/$333)
Set aside for emergency: $302

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  Ownership and Abilities
Posted by: Rigaudon - 05-01-2017, 08:21 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (6)

Before we begin, I want to note that you can ask related questions in your replies, as usual.
Just make sure to read the entire topic to make sure I didn't already answer it. I'll likely ignore repeat questions.

This topic is a continuation of the "A New Leg in our Journey" announcement. (Click here for link).

OWNERSHIP


As many of you have doubtless noticed or at least heard about, we've changed ownership.
Instead of Xanatus being the sole owner, all of the Admins and Devs are putting in joint effort in that regard. This change is not being treated like a additional authority but as added responsibility.

The paypal account is under a single Admin's name. However, the Admins and Devs can see the balance at any time, cancel payments, and a DEV can access the account in an emergency.

We have shared access to the domain registration, server, etc and it can be reached in a pinch.

Why?
First, so we can prevent downtimes. No more waiting for domain renewals unless it is completely out of our hands. 
Second, we can now almost immediately (depending on user's paypal settings) know if a donation was valid or not. Instead of getting back to people at an indefinite time, we can do this almost immediately.
Third, we can make informed changes to the token store instead of stabbing in the dark and hoping changes won't make the game sink.
Forth, we can invest back into the game more readily if the income is enough. I don't mean paying staff - we won't make enough for that. But maybe we could get some really nice forum software, for example. 
Finally, TRANSPARENCY. We can know what we make, you can know what we make.

TRANSPARENCY.
We have moved to a single octa-core server. Costs are $333* monthly.
*May be slightly inaccurate, we'll know for sure when we renew for next month.

And look!
[Image: 5d53b860b4ee4bf9a8fd44b6fc1c938e.png]

Remember that "I wish" and "if only we could" talk about money and where it goes? That dream is now our reality.

Where is the server?/What are the risks?
I -think- we're still in Sweden, but frankly that doesn't matter. The Paypal is in the USA and thus could be frozen at any time for any reason. After we survive and settle for a bit it might be worth looking at alternate storage methods for obvious reasons.

What about paysafe/etc?
We're open to looking into these but it may take a while to set up. If you have a list of GOOD payment systems that do not require us to be pre-approved, send them to Rig in a forum private message. Nothing else or she'll lost track of them.

Immediate goals:
Survival.
We want to make next month's "rent" and if possible build up a safety net for the next several months. 

Analysis.
We need to know how much we make on any given month and plan properly accordingly. If donations spike this month and fall off a couple months from now, and we planned inaccurately, that can suck.

Communication.
I'll make a change log based on server costs and goals after this month, so keep an eye out for that. I can't promise I will share every single dollar at the moment (if we appear to have too much we become a target for lawyers), but for those of you that keep up, you should have a good idea.

Also, staff will now know exactly what we make.

Ok cool, but after you make enough to coast for a while, what will you do?
We are heavily considering donating it to charity. We want to keep it related to what PWO is already doing, so perhaps something like Child's Play seems appropriate. We don't really want to get too ahead of ourselves though, so haven't dug into this too much.

Feel free to suggest them in the comments and we'll check them out. Make sure they're related to something you think PWO is doing, such as providing a safe environment for people/providing free entertainment.

Inb4 the "donate everything to [your username here]" charity is suggested.



ABILITIES

As some of you have already noticed, you can change a Pokemon's ability through the Playerdex. Once.
once.
Once.
ONCE.
ONNNNCEEE.

This is a temporary system. You cannot change natures, and we will not let you change natures no matter how much it is asked for or insisted upon. We fully expect to remove this Playerdex system once the full one is added. Adding natures means you can ignore the new system and make a perfect Pokemon for free; not gonna happen. 

We made a temporary ability system for a few reasons:
a) Battling was overly stagnant. Tanks ruled the lands, etc. Abilities help with that and add some diversity. Diversity and meta shifts also tend to help the market.
b) You guys needed a visible and impactful update. NPC redos are all fine and dandy but at the end of the day, you guys aren't going to feel that impact.
c) It hurts nothing and doesn't compromise our future plans.

So enjoy. Just be careful what you choose.

Not all abilities are working right now. It was not part of the full battle system test from long ago. 

Here is a list of which abilities are implemented (click here for link).

Please use it before changing a Pokemon's abilities. It's on the wiki.

In the unlikely event you run into an incorrectly labelled ability, feel free to leave a report on the playerdex. The client is usually for visual issues, for reference.
Pokemon will still always start with their first ability.


To avoid scams:
If a Pokemon has its first nature (use google), its ability can be changed.



The next event is still on track but was obviously delayed by downtimes/etc. That aside, PWO appears to be moving along nicely.

That should be all. Any questions? Need clarification?
Keep in mind that we can't give time estimates for anything.

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  A new leg in our journey
Posted by: Bluerise - 04-30-2017, 09:25 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (5)

Hello dear friend of Pokémon World Online!

As some of you may or may not be aware, we have recently been experiencing issues with some of our web services. Unfortunately, such issues like this are out of our reach. This results in long periods of down time until we can contact the appropriate person to get things back up and running. Sadly, this is not the first time we have experienced this either. With that in mind, we have devised a new strategy!

We are now planning to replace how Pokémon World Online is 'owned'. As part of this plan - we intend to move away from a one-man management team to a management covered by our Developer and Administration team with the benefit of allowing access to all things necessary. Therefore, more hands available to monitor and troubleshoot problems as opposed to one. This should also help to prevent incidents like this happening in the future and allow faster communication between staff and players.

You may have noticed that you have landed to this announcement from a new domain. We hope to continue running from this domain and if allowed in co-operation with Xanatus - to redirect players from our previous domain (pokemon-world-online.com) to this new domain.

Do not fret though! There should be no data loss during this transition as our Developer team is working hard to ensure that any data we currently have is available on our new server, which we will be migrating to within the near future. This will mean that the current client to connect to our server will be updated to allow you to connect to the new server so please keep an eye on our web services upon their return for an updated client.

We would like to thank Xanatus and all our Players for the support they have given to the game whether it's by donating, providing help to other players and staff alike or just being involved with the game.

We hope you continue to provide your support as we embark a new leg in our journey!

Thank you!

Update - 26th April 2017: The game is now back online after moving across to the new server. You can now download the client from one of the links given below. Web services are still offline.

Update - 30th April 2017: Main site and Forums are now back online. The Playerdex will be available by end of day (Sunday 30th April).

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  [Weekend Event] Back to the Woods! CLOSED!
Posted by: Rigaudon - 03-19-2017, 03:51 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (15)

I'm a bit excited so excuse my lack of professionalism. We managed to kickstart one of this year's goals for PWO by telling people about this event a few days in advance! Woo! Hopefully we'll be able to give event notices even more in advance in the future.

Normally a CG would be handling these things, but I'm the one that's available, so tough luck. =D 

The event is now closed.  Thank you for joining us in the Pewter City Museum's Spider Woods Holodeck!

We're moving to a more simple event system. This will hopefully let us distribute vouchers and UCs more consistently without overly burdening the GE: Scripting group. It will let the Scripters focus more on permanent content as well! This event won't be as flashy as others, but we hope you will enjoy it anyway. Be sure to leave feedback.

If you don't have enough badges by the time the event comes around, don't worry. There will be more of these types of events in the future.


See you there!

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  New Years Reflections and Roadmap
Posted by: Rigaudon - 01-03-2017, 05:43 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (14)

* = this phrase has a clickable link

Hello everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyable or at least relaxing holidays.

We've had a lot of questions * about PWO and where we're heading, so I figured it would be good to address our goals for 2017 and reflect a bit on what we as staff learned from 2016. This is mostly going to be from my perspective but is based on several discussions I had with staff as a group and with players over the past few months.


General Stance on Content

I have asked staff that we more heavily pursue permanent content this year and we all generally agree on that. Of course, asking people to magically procure several hours of labor for other projects doesn't work, so I'm making a concerted effort to move events away from being a primarily [GE] scripter affair and more as a [GE] Mapper/CG/(me as needed) affair. This means that we will still have events that still give out the same calibre of prizes/etc (we still plan on meeting the "one big event a year" quota) but "Monthly/Weekend Events" are going to go very light on scripting. 


"Rig explainplz"

Outside of *cough* finally getting everything in gear for the likes of E4, Sevii, etc by the extra focused manpower, there are other internal reasons for doing this. 

First, testing. Frankly I and one other person (it varies) usually end up carrying the brunt of it, so when we're always having to test custom events that are around for 3 days at best, we're always crunched for time. It also takes us away from our normal duties and from doing things like testing really cool updates Donar has made but we can't implement because we don't have time/energy to test them because of events. Second, Mappers and CG groups keep operating on crunches, having to rush for deadline but then often twiddling their thumbs with few opportunities to get motivation boosts for the slowburn projects. Third, having a more stable/formatted/testing-light event schedule makes it waaay more likely we can actually announce these things ahead of time instead of people just having to hop on and hope for the best or only subscribe to our twitter. 

Outside of events having less unique script-heavy quest content every month, you guys as the players won't be losing anything. There will still be different spawns to hunt and vouchers. For those of you who spent time with me discussing on how to make events more efficient in the all or help chats, this is basically the same (if not very similar) thing we chatted about.

Other event things

We've learned a good bit from feedback of our events this year. This is mainly internal stuff, but we've taken heed from the more widespread/reasonable complaints for our content and it is now in policy to avoid those things. This includes requiring we start large events sooner so that we have more time to adjust to pre-release testing feedback instead of feeling as rushed; such policy will mean we should be able to announce ahead of time more often.

Communication and Promotion

We managed to bring on another CG (Hi Dio!) but, as is no secret, I'm looking to branch out this group. We have like 2 people in it, but already I'm looking to add or beef up the following responsibilities:

Event duties being moved from overburdened scripting group to CG group to more evenly disperse work
Direct, faster player support over general issues (IE: clarification, bugs, playerdex, handling of misinformation, etc)
General availability ingame and on forums
Interal staff feedback - representative of players

Frankly I don't think * we met our own standards for 2016 and this year I'm looking to INCREASE those basic standards as well, so this will be eating a lot of Admin and CG time just trying to get this up to par. This is actually what lead to to the above general stance, because if we start everything earlier and make the content more internally predictable, it's going to be a lot easier to communicate what is definitely going to happen with players. It would also be great if small issues/player-initiated drama didn't drag the entire staff into lengthy discussions; it always takes us too long to figure out things like compensation or proper responses, and I want that gone as it is entirely unnecessary for our mappers/NPC writers to worry over...fictional example, a GM accidentally giving the wrong person compensation or something.

On top of this I would really, really like to start being able to give EXTREMELY VAGUE release dates (maybe quarterly) for certain projects, but hammering on communication and community groups has to happen first. This section in staff has always been invaluable but also somewhat precarious, so I'm really wanting to focus on it this year. It may even lead to policy changes in higher positions and a few power shifts throughout the entire staff as a group, including Admins, so that's why I'm putting so much focus on it here in this topic.

Current Projects and Where They Are

Starting this off, we managed to meet some of our Hoenn roadmap * expectations in 2016. We are so close to crossing off Kanto/Johto for now and considering it tentatively complete. So close, you guys. We finished up the progress quests we wanted (surfboard, early quest tweaking, new tutorial). We also fixed several huge bugs that were messing up new players such as Pokemon/Item rollback issues whenever the server crashed (and other huge rewrites that I won't go into detail, because this post is long enough as is).

We didn't meet my goal for the Spawn Project, so let me talk about that for a bit.
First, there are issues with the T1 tier. It's too wide, which is off-putting. Discussions with staff and players also lead me to believe that we could adjust some T5s into T4s and some T4s into T3. Not because Pokemon rarities are too hard (high-effort rarities are a complaint to some and a drawing point to others) but because we have made too many things too hard. We're waiting to redo Dragon's Den as it had some quest flaws we really want to fix but, again, we need more hands on deck for permanent content so that we can finish this up.

Once finished up, I will probably go over all the spawns again and adjust basic timeframes so that T1s actually feel like T1s and so that rarities aren't so binary/polarizing by putting more Pokemon into a "middle ground." And no, before you ask, that will not include Eevee. It won't be as drastic as some of you might be imagining, so just wait and see before assuming. With that done, we'll basically have finished the spawn project and crossed "Kanto/Johto" off of our list for a while to come (at least until we look into storylines). Even better, I will hopefully never have to extensively touch this again in the future in any way, because we'll only have to do spawns once (THANK GOODNESS) for future maps.

Here is a poster child for why we don't announce release dates: Sevii
Sevii's quests are fully planned and fully mapped, but not fully scripted. It's been worked on for almost a year now * consistently, and we had expected it ready by summer. As you can see, that absolutely did not work out. The main delay for this is because the tools to redo our native NPC scripting language (which is a homebrew script made ages ago with features frankensteined into it as we progressed as a team) became available, becoming its own project and basically nullifying the scripting progress we had already made on Sevii. From a "visible update availability gap" perspective, this was annoying, but it's something we have to get done anyway.

This NPC Script Redo project involves such fun things as mass-updating NPCs via SQL and creating custom string split array functions. All said and done, the scripters (all 2 of them) will have to rewrite 600 NPCs line by line and this will probably have to happen before we can even touch Sevii. It will also HAVE to happen before we are able to implement Donar's other new features, as the incoming scripting language is part of the newer server code we'll be using in the future. On the plus side, using an established language for our scripting means we can actually reference outside sources for these problems and training incoming scripters should be less of an ordeal as people can now google things instead of having to rely on traditional knowledge passed down orally like the ancient plebeians we are right now.

From a management perspective I also consider buffing the CG group and balancing workload on scripters/mappers as a project, since that will possibly cause internal communication weirdness/confusion for a bit before we all get the hang of it and may require bringing new people into other ranks. Last year we started on the communication subset rank of GMs by hiring new apps you all may or may not have already met in an effort to make player/staff relations more smooth for such generally sensitive situations.

If you want to see other personal staff projects, I suggest checking out individual changelogs. Just ignore mine, I haven't updated it in a while since putting "made a forum topic about policy in staff section" doesn't make for good reading material. 

Other things I want/need to tackle but don't know when they would be possible or in what order yet:

Ability/Nature modification project (also a huge project we aren't ready to tackle yet)

Investigating Tournament options (once CGs are stabilized as a group, would this be viable as a returning event type?)

Elite 4

New Player experience (early player economy, economic gaps, effort-based economy)

Token Store Face-lift (UC Pokemon in the TS as they are now are problematic. Could we alter our server coverage plan, introduce new cosmetic options? Is Membership in an ok spot? etc etc).


TL;DR ROADMAP/CONCLUSION: 

I want NPC Redos + Sevii + Frostbite + inner staff rebalances (focus on CGs/testing) + more reliable events, event exploration, a big yearly event, and better communication standards all done by this year at the least. The year will also probably include Donar's new features/updates (after we redo all NPCs) that are waiting in the wings right now + spawn system changes I want to make based on what I have gathered from players. If we manage to do all of that, we will then tackle a project from the "other things" section or to an unplanned project if it is needed.



Have a question that wasn't covered here?

Feel free to ask below. We may or may not be able to answer depending on how the question is asked or what it is about. We won't spoil everything so asking for specific details for a future release (example: "What pokemon will be in Sevii?") is a no-no, but I'll get to as many questions as I (or any other staff that wants to jump in) can.

If people are being rude or jumping to conclusions/accusations based on the information I provided here, I will ignore or delete posts as necessary, so you have been forewarned!

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  Happy Fossilween! (EVENT CLOSED)
Posted by: Dio.Brando - 10-31-2016, 03:13 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (50)

Greetings everyone! Halloween is upon us and festivities are in full swing in the Pokémon World - Trainers are dressed up as all kinds of ghouls, the Poké Marts are fresh out of candy after townspeople all around raided supplies to give out. Even the Pokémon themselves are joining in with the fun, secretly fearful of stepping in shadows should an actual ghost appear!!


In this time of celebration we often forget that October holds National Fossil Day. More importantly the true meaning of Halloween is often forgotten - showing respect for the dead. But spare a thought for a moment not just for the recently deceased, but also those that preceded us long ago. From dinosaurs, to sea life, Fossil Pokémon, and early hominids... our planet has seen all kinds of life be created, evolve, flourish, and ultimately eliminated over many millions of years.

But what's this? The keeper of time, Celebi, has made a sudden appearance in our realm! Floating about Goldenrod and Celadon City, this Legend is calling for Trainers to join her special Exploration Squad to a time far before us, in order to call for help investigating recent anomalies. Be prepared to travel through time in an epic adventure that could affect the very future of PWO... are you up to the task?

Join Celebi November 1st at 10pm UTC
This event has lasted several weeks. The final day will be Tuesday November 29th.

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  Secret Base Mapping Contest: Winner announced
Posted by: Pippin - 10-09-2016, 08:13 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (10)

After much deliberating on our side, the results of our latest contest are finally out.

Congratulations to GuiiHenrique for winning this year's Secret Base mapping contest!

It was a really close race this time with Charlotte securing second place for her map. Amazing work done by all of you! We are impressed with the effort that you put into all of your entries, giving your maps purpose and creating exceptional, detailed background stories and quests for them.

We are going to work with the winner now to create a mini spawn event for his map with an announcement to follow, so stay tuned for the event and keep on mapping!

Last but not least, a personal little aside from me: Thank you for giving your time to PWO and for trying the map editor. I was very happy to see all of your entries. Smile

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