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A land far away—a magical term that gives rise to mental images of exotic lands and exciting adventures. A land far away—the setting of countless fairy-tales and myriad bed-time stories. A land far away—that special place that we all go to when we need to escape the pressures and vicissitudes of life.

Welcome to A Land Far Away, a persistent world where the vast, wondrous Dungeons & Dragons™ universe takes on a life all of its own. A place where like-minded role-players of all races, cultures and creeds gather to delight in the wonder and joy of a thousand shared imaginations. A place where the raconteur holds others spellbound; a place where every decision has consequences; a place where the games unfold before your eyes. But don't just take our word for it - see what the professional reviewers from the Neverwinter Vault thought about us here.

New Technical Systems added, combat lag improved by update

 Today ALFA moved to it's long-anticipated 1.81 haks, fixing many old bugs, and adding exciting new content.

This hak release marks the first in what I hope to be a long series of bountiful collaborations between our Technical Department Staff, each of which well deserves specific recognition for their efforts here.  But first, brief mention of the improvements is in order:

  • Kemo's Chair system is IN - This has been long requested by players and builders alike.  May be a bit before we see full implementation on the servers, but the infrastructure is now in place for fully sittable objects of all sorts, for all races.
  • ALFA's adaption of the DMFI Languages: Scripted language speech can now be performed using the main chatbar, allowing mych longer phrases and less need to juggle the cursor between windows.  The old DMFI method still works, but the new method is accessed by prefacing lines with @dwa for dwarven, for example, or by setitng a "default" language via new button over by the Whisper Party / Shout / DM speak buttons (look for the "@").  This should make use of the scripted language system far easier than before for players and DMs alike.
  • DM creature customizer: A tremendously powerful new GUI-based tool that allows DMs to create, customize, and level up NPCs on the fly while in-game with the DM client.  This should add great flexibility to adhoc DMing, and help facilitate the use of NPCs that are both more memorable and distinctive, and better tuned challenge-wise.  This was the culmination of a great deal of work, primarily by Zelknolf.
  • Infrastructure Improvements:  Thanks to some clever coding and work by Ronan and Basilica, we have improved on the ways in which the servers handle sending information to the central persistency server, especially during combat.  This should result in noticeable less stalling during battle, particularly at the moment of a creature death, while partied with other PCs.

Game mechanics changes to be aware of:

  • Panther Wildshape: Now available to druids for use in ALFA. 
  • Mage Armor: Now offers 4 points of Armor AC, so it cannot be used to "enhance" existing armor (unless that armor is less than 4 AC already- eg. Leather Armor + Mage armor still = 4, you just still have the +2 AC from the leather when the spell wears off)
  • Barkskin: no longer changes the appearance of your PC, in line with the nature of the spell (skin becomes as strong as bark, you don't actually turn your skin into bark).
  • Glass Doppleganger: removed due to major bugs- any PCs who have it already get a free scroll of equal level to replace it.

Again, tremendous thanks are due to all three members of the Tech Team.  To Zelknolf, for turning out both the Language and DM Customizer systems in the space of a single update; extremely impressive work.  To Ronan, who started us on our NWN2 course, and wrote a lot of the core code we've used all through the NWN2-ALFA phase; it's been great to have him back and reengaged in Tech work, as well as DMing and Playing.  Finally, a big thanks to Basilica, who has made unprecedented contributions for a new(ish) member, and rapidly become an indispensible part of our ALFA family; most recently stepping up and hosting TSM on extremely short notice.

This update makes me very excited about the future of ALFA, technically speaking.  Excellent work, everyone!

Moonshae Leaps to Live

 Our land is beautiful, the life it gives us good. How could it be otherwise? The land is the Goddess. But the Goddess serves the Balance, and as goodness grows in power, so must evil have its day. Wherefore all who live in the Moonshaes have felt the bite of evil as it rises again and again to threaten us.

What can vanquish it, for a time? The forces of good. And what are they? They have a thousand faces and a thousand names. We call them heroes.

-Andabbar Meihklann, Bard of the Snows

It was nearly 18 months ago that we heard the welcoming news of Baldur's Gate, our second server, going Live. And now - with a big congratulations to Castano and his building team - ALFA can up the count of it's servers to THREE!

With a current DM Team consising of Castano, Mirabai, Jayde, Trid, Holy_Rage, Electryc and Rorax, covering timezones across the States, through Europe and over to the Middle East, now is a perfect time to roll up that new PC or jump on a boat from Baldur's Gate.

Starting tomorrow, 12:01 AM Castano Time (EST), PCs will have a chance to wander the shores of the Moonshae Isles. Whether it be to sail among or against the pirates of the Nelanthar Isles, mingle and mix with the great druids of the Goddess who watch over the lands, or share a drink of halfling ale, many great adventures await PCs both big and small.

One small note, due to current Vault problems PCs will not initially be able to travel to Moonshae from other servers.  This is been worked on with the greatest of urgency - we just didn't want to hold up Moonshae any longer!

 

ALFA Chat

Just a small general announcement.  In preparation for our third up-coming Live server, the ALFA Admin have decided to merge our two server specific chat rooms.  The general idea was that there was no point having a million different chat rooms for 3 different servers, double so when they are not heavily used.  Therefore the following changes will come into effect shortly:

(1) #alandfaraway will remain ALFA's official channel - a good place for new and old members alike to discuss issues and ask questions

(2) #alfa-003 and #alfa-bg will be merged into a new chatroom - #alfa-players.

(3) #alfa is no longer related to ALFA.  There are people in there, but the channel is unmoderated and no longer official.

Hope these changes haven't caused too much difficulty.  They should serve to streamline things a bit in the long run.

ALFA and Exodus : Extending a Hand

 ALFA and it's sister world, Exodus, have resently begun talks about ways in which we can work towrards bringing our two communities closer. Both our worlds already share a lot in common. We both have very similar outlooks on roleplaying; both worlds thrive on DM propelled adventure; and both worlds even share the same base haks. All these things makes Exodus an obvious choice when it comes to inter-community agreements.

As such, Exodus and A Land Far Away have set in course a plan to set down the road of intergration for our communities. As of today, ALFA and Exodus have decided to combine membership pools. That means if you are a member of ALFA, you may now play freely on Exodus. And likewise, if you are a member on Exodus, ALFA's doors are now open for you. If you are an ALFA member looking to play in Exodus, check out our forums for information on how.

With that in mind, I would like to welcome all Exodus members to ALFA

Please take a moment to full out an application
.

This is for two main reasons - first, as a way of letting our staff here know that you plan on playing. Second, it gives you access to all our player information and forums, to allow for better communication. Not to mention access to the password. Don't feel you have to complete the entire application - just simply mention that you are from exodus, and our application team will be able to cross-check your name with a list supplied by the Exodus Council.

It also might pay to take a quick flick through some of the website - a wealth of information can be found, should it be needed.

After that, you are free to play in ALFA as you wish. We currently have two servers Live - Baldur's Gate, and The Silver Marshes. Both have fair DM coverage and a large standing player base. Two more servers are on the way, currently in their late Beta testing stages - Moonshae Isles and Western Heart Lands. Both Beta servers are always looking for more testers, so feel free to get together with a group and spend a few hours exploring over these untouched regions.

A couple of quick ground rules, for both Exodus players and ALFA players 

  • First, please treat all players and DMs with the utmost respect - nothing less will be tolerated. 
  • Second, yes, you may have one PC in Exodus and one PC in ALFA. 
  • Third, if you misbehave in one world, Exodus and ALFA both bare the rights to ban you from their respective servers - whether or not this will effect your status on the other world is up to the ALFA Admin/Exodus Council.

If you keep these three basic points in mind, I'm sure that this arrangement will bring nothing but good opportunities for players and DMs alike, from both sides of the fence.

In the future, our two worlds have set our sights on further intergration. What exactly this means, we aren't completely sure of yet. All we know is this merging of membership pools is merely opening the first gateway towards greater cooperation.

If you have any questions, please do not hessitate to contact me (Rotku), or jump on our chat rooms (#alandfaraway) and ask.

 

Growth!

I'm pleased to say that ALFA has seen a rather remarkable growth rate of late.  A combination of advertising, community involvement and returning members has given us an impressive population bump, with numbers consistently in the teens and even twenties for The Silver Marches server and approaching double digits for the Baldur's Gate server. With the Western Heartlands in final testing and the Moonshaes building up nicely out of the ocean, the population explosion is happily coordinated with a sort of ALFAic manifest destiny. While the numbers can be expected to fluctuate, of course, in the end I foresee a rather happy vision of steady population across multiple servers...the ALFArican dream coming true.

Of course with growth comes change as we integrate both new horizons and new players into the ALFAbetized world of our playstyles and expectations. Anything, however, can be overcome by communication, and so I take this chance to tell everybody, new and old, GMT or wonky South Australian time, hin or human...."welcome." Our door is always open to anybody reading this who wants to join our RP heavy, slow progression, low magic Faerunian community. Drop us an app or pop into chat. My chat window is always open, too, if I'm around. Welcome to our little ALF(and dorf and horc)heim.

Citadel School of Persistent World Building

Just taking a moment to give three cheers outside of ALFA, to the folks over at the Citadel School of Persistent World Building. It does us good to remember that we're a part of the wider NWN2 community frequently, and I'm glad to lend a hand wherever we can to help out this praiseworthy effort to provide a repository for building and tech lore for NWN.

Check 'em out as they grow and provide more and more information to the community we share. We'll be sharing some of our tutorials and whatever they'll find useful. It's an effort I think is worth being part of. Thanks especially to brianmeyerdesign/Pain, for being the ambassador that reached a hand out to us.

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