T3 NewsLetter Issue 8, 12/05/2008

Citizens of Egypt,

First off, a thank you to all the long time and recently returning A Tale in the Desert players - I think that I've been having as much fun in Beta as you have. There's a certain feeling early in a Tale when guilds are just forming, and the greatest display of wealth is a full stable of camels, and you can feel that wondrous things are about to happen. That's how it is right now in Beta.

I would like to now announce our open beta test:

Saturday, December 6, 2:00 PM EDT (GMT-0500)

There will not be a server reset between the closed and open beta, so I'd like to ask those participating in our private beta to take some time on Saturday to welcome those new to the game, and do what you can to show them our unique culture.

There's an area of the game that is off limits to players - it's where all the controllers are that run various systems within A Tale in the Desert. There are controllers to monitor mushroom propagation, ones that watch what types of recipes people are cooking, and ones that monitor the ecology. But recently, my attention is on a new controller - the one that monitors Tale IV's new "Achievements" system. From this controller I can watch as all of the little mysteries we have coded into Tale IV get discovered.

A number of games have Achievement or Milestone systems. For Tale IV, we've put our own twist on the concept: You enter the game with an empty list of Achievements. When you do something that we've secretly identified as an achievement, it will show up on your list as having been completed. You can then "Compare Achievements" with anyone that you meet, and the other person will learn about the achievement that you discovered. Furthermore, when that person compares achievements with someone else, knowledge of your achievement propagates to them. So as new achievements are discovered, knowledge of their existence spreads across the land.

Like in our last Tale, I've set up a system for pre-ordering A Tale in the Desert IV, and made up some nice bundles of goodies to go along with the 3, 6, and 12 month packages. All of them include an option for one of our new T-shirts; the design shows a pile of rocks with a shovel & pickaxe in the foreground, signifying hard work. A path leads from the work site, past flowers and decorative columns, to a glorious sphinx, signifying the great accomplishments in Egypt's future. I feel that the design *perfectly* captures the essence of A Tale in the Desert.

Also included in the packages are sheep, specimen cases, and additional Cornerstones. And in each package, I've selected an assortment of fireworks that represents some of the finest artwork imagined in previous Tales. Finally, as a special gift to those that order a 12-month package, an eGenesis team member will visit and provide custom landscaping for your in-game home. Some people have asked about combining landscaping for an entire group - this is possible; contact me directly for details.

As a last item, I'd like to announce the final event of A Tale in the Desert III. It's an ATITD tradition, and it's called "Amnesty." In Amnesty, all secrets get revealed. Want to know how the VoK event was *supposed* to go? How carrot sees were propagated? How we could have screwed up so badly with the Lung Spore event? I'll give away all of our secrets, and I'll ask (but not insist!) that you do the same. Amnesty will take place on the Tale III server and will start:

Tuesday, December 9, 6:00 PM EST (GMT-0500)

A large player-run farewell event is also planned on the Tale III server starting at 4:30PM, with a huge assortment of fireworks, wines, and a massive bonfire.

On the Nile,
Teppy (Pharaoh)


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