Threshold RPG Continues to Strive for Excellence
Threshold RPG opened to the public in 1996 when the internet was unknown to most and text based games were the state of the art. 15 years later it retains its popularity due to an incredibly engaging world, a rich history, and a mature player community that takes role playing to a high level. Not content to rest on its laurels or its success, the staff of Threshold are always adding new features to the game. This article looks at some of the more recent additions.
As the head developer of Threshold, I am pleased to disclose details about the recent developments at Threshold RPG. My staff has been very busy the last few months.
Players may now seek out and gather natural resources from the various regions of Threshold. These resources include metals, herbs, lumber, furs, and pelts.
You can have one gathering skill at a time, but at any point you may visit the NPC Merchant Peeki to forget your current skill and then learn another one. Gathering skills level up through use but may not exceed two times your player level (just like other trainable skills).
Another service that Peeki offers is resource refinement (for a cost, of course). Refined resources are of higher quality than their rough, raw state.
This may seem like a relatively standard MMO feature, but when Threshold was created 13 years ago resource gathering and crafting were unheard of features. Adding a feature like this to the game, in a manner that does not feel tacked on, required significant redesign in the layout and core code of the world.
New Clan Dominance System
The entire system of clan dominance has been recoded to include more than just honor. The redesign is similar to what was done to improve religion dominance.
Members may contribute honor to their clan by submitting natural resources (both raw and refined) to Vindicator.
The wagering of honor in competitions between clans has been enhanced and made a much more important part of the competition between clans.
City Dominance and Contributions
While the three major cities of Threshold (Sable, Thrace, and Androctonus) are at peace, there has always been a sense of rivalry between them (and in the case of Androctonus, some cautious distrust of the others). This rivalry now has code support that allows players to work towards making their City and Kingdom the most powerful.
Resource contributions, taxes, and participation in defending against invasions are all factors in city dominance.
The battle for dominance between Threshold‘s religions was at one time totally determined by tithes. Tithes are still important, but the overall simple is now far more robust and interesting. Preaching, spreading the faith, showing the power of your God, and all sorts of religious actions now contribute to your deity’s dominance. The competition has heated up enormously, with followers of all the religions endeavoring to make their God the dominant force in the land.
Forsaking Your Religion and Ethos
It is now possible to forsake your religion at the Shrine of the Aether. It is a serious ceremony not to be taken lightly, but it opens up all sorts of conversion roleplay opportunities.
Ethos is back and better than ever. You start off set to the ethos of your deity if you have one. You can change ethos once per 30 days, but you can only move one step at a time. So the transition from good to evil requires not just roleplay, but 60 days of real life time.
Joining a Faith - Flexibility Sparks More Diverse Membership
Each religion is a lot more accepting of who can join. Good religions accept people of good ethos. Neutral religions accept ANY ethos. Evil religions accept people of evil ethos. Bilanx only accepts neutral members. This should create a lot more membership diversity and possibly create some fun intellectual divisions.
Open Door Policy: On a trial basis, people can now join religions without the advance approval of a cleric. They start their own supplicancy and then 30 days later they can join the religion officially.
Conversion - Stealing Other Faiths’ Members
Conversion is a HUGE part of religion/ethos roleplay now. You no longer need admin involvement. Every aspect of leaving a church and joining a new one is now in the hands of players. Also, the Gods have outright given players permission to leave churches (and steal… er convert… members) without them being furious. In fact, they don’t want people who are wavering. A major roleplay plot line uncovered the fact that weak faith is more damaging than no faith at all.
The Final Battle
Armageddon, Ragnarok, the Apocalypse. Many mythologies and religions have theorized on the end of the world as they know it, when the faithful will be delivered from the trial of mortality and the unfaithful will be cast out. In Threshold, this is known as the Final Battle - a time when Good and Evil will meet for the last time to determine who will determine the fate of the universe.
The Final Battle has always been an important aspect of roleplay on Threshold, and the additions to the religion and ethos sytems have enhanced this.
Figuring out your character’s stance on the Final Battle is a much more personal decision now. Vishnu, Bilanx, and Set followers have made their stance clear through their devotion, but for the other churches there is flexibility. The combination of your ethos, religion, and personal RP determine where you stand on this matter. You can be gung-ho about the Final Battle even if your religion is neutral. That simply means you might want to try and move your church towards taking a firm stance. The degree to which you make this a priority is up to you.
Morrigan’s Horn - Located north of Sable City, Morrigan’s Horn suffered at the hands of the demons during their invasion of Threshold. Quiet these past decades, shapes can be seen in the dark and travelers whisper of dark goings on behind the now sundered gates of the town. This area includes:
- 1 new quest! (quest morrigan)
- Over 20 new pieces of gear (plus gear previously seen, but not populated into the game world)
- Combat and questing for levels 20+
- New types of food introduced: buff food
- All new monster types!
Misthaven Forest - A very unique zone whose location must be discovered. Travel within the zone is also a little different, in fitting with the theme of the zone. Featured in this zone:
- Full support of the “area” command - graphical/ansi/ascii maps.
- New monster types
- New fight mechanics
- Two new resources (help resource values)
- Resources are produced in a different way from usual.
- New attunement location for elves (race attune)
- Automatic attunement for dryads 20/20+ (race attune)
- Fairies that can be captured in jars and used for wishes, buffs, and boons.
Sable Beach -
- For levels 12-14 approximately.
- General adventure, combat area.
- One major boss with unique gear. Challenging for groups.
- The beach is pretty easy to find, it is near the lighthouse off its path.
Seedsom Plains -
- For levels 0-5.
- Aggressive monsters do not auto-attack until level 2.
- Wide variety of foes to do battle with.
- Resource nodes for low level adventurers to gather and raise their gathering skills.
- Fruit trees that can be harvested.
Eastvine Residential District -
- New housing zone in Thrace City.
Pure Roleplay Enhancements
The Emperor’s Castle has been opened in Thrace.
- Dueling arena that allows spectating.
Dual Description - You can have two main descriptions for your character that you can easily switch between on the fly without having to manually edit them each time.
City dominance system expanded to include more benefits to being the dominant city.
Sablean Times has been revitalized under new management. Writers can earn xp AND coin now for their work.
New In Character Holidays - Purely in-character, lore based holidays have been designed by the staff with coded in game world effects and lore to back them up.
New Game Mechanics/Features
Book Publishing - Players can now publish books in game, and those books can be bought by players to either read right away, or store in libraties in their houses. These books are saved over reboots when put in a bookshelf, which allows players to create real book collections. Players can publish their book publicly, which lets anyone buy a copy from the NPC publisher, or publish it privately, which means only the author can buy copies and then sell them directly to people for a profit.
In addition, tons of lore-related books have been written by the staff and added as potential drops or findable items throughout the game.
Elemental Enchanting - Elemental stones can be found almost anywhere while out adventuring. Through much research and development, scholars discovered that when combined with particularly well-crafted armor and powered by the strong spirit of strong mortals, these stones can contribute certain resistances to the wearers of such imbued armor. For more information: help elemental enchanting
Task System - Tasks are assigned by NPCs to players. They can range from the incredibly simple to the more complex. Most involve finding certain items for the NPC, going places, catch certain types of fish, and other assorted tasks and odd jobs. They are a nice way to earn xp, coin, food, or items for people who want a little more structure.
Discovery / Exploration - When your character discovers a new zone you will receive a notification plus a little XP for your effort. For existing characters, all zones are considered “new” so you don’t miss out!
Buff & Debuff System - buffs and debuffs throughout the game were recoded to use a common standard. This not only resulted in the improvement of many buffs (and more interesting debuffs), but also gave players a command to check all the buffs and debuffs currently affecting them.
Resource Gathering - Lumber, Ore, and Herbs can be harvested by players throughout the game world. These resources can be used by cities, clans, and religions to enhance their power and dominance. They are also usable in the crafting system that is nearing completion.
Battle Cards - This really fun collectible card game got improved massively. The most exciting enhancement is the ability for battle cards to earn xp and level up from their battles.
Hegemony - We have always had the concept of being a hegemon, but now there is an entire coded system behind it. Hegemons can now customize and specialize their characters by spending hegemon points that are earned at levels 20 and above. These points can be used to learn new powers or upgrade existing hegemon powers, resulting in tons of potential configurations.
Adventurers Guild Explorers Club - The AGEC has posted an open call to all adventurers to go out and seek recognition by finding spots throughout the world that have been flagged in advance by the Adventurers Guild. A new location is flagged every 4 hours, and the first player to find it earns prizes from the AGEC plus an hour long buff to XP gained from kills. For more information in game, type: quest agec
Horses - They are back and better than ever. They can be hitched up in a variety of locations throughout civilization and they won’t run off on you like they would when unattended in their previous version.
Meals - Meals are a type of food that are cheaper, less filling, and lighter than normal food for the amount of healing they provide. The trade off is they can only be eaten out of combat, and they take longer to eat (generally 30 seconds instead of instant). They are an excellent social/RP mechanic, as well as a major cost-effective downtime reducer.
Expertise - Instead of spending experience points (xp), players now spend expertise (exp) points for skill training. You earn it while you are earning regular XP, with the added benefit that “exp” is not lost upon death. help expertise
Critical Strike System - A new and formalized critical strike system has been implemented for combat. (help critical strike)
Fishing Pets - Pets that provide buffs and assistance in your fishing.
Resource Gathering Pets - Pets that help you gather and carry resources.
Dual Adventurer Belts - You can now unlock a second adventurer belt, build it with whatever bloodjewels you want, and then swap between your two adventurer belt configurations as desired or needed. Different situations call for different buffs and enhancements from your adventurer belt. Read: help belt swapping
Rare Fish - You can now catch special rare fish at the different fishing locations in the world. You need high level fishing gear to land them. When caught, they can be mounted permanently in your house as a trophy.
New Combat Styles
Sword and Board: 1 handed weapon + shield. This is a tanking style that also generates additional threat.
Sundering Fury: 2 handed weapon fighting style that does higher damage.
Body and Soul: A spell point regenerating style for mages, sorcerors, templars, necromancers, psions, and alchemists.
Religion Dominance Enhancements: The dominant religion receives a 10% automatic tithe (as a bonus) for coin drops obtained by members. Each deity now has a month of affinity. During that month, all dominance actions get a 10% bonus. The RP effect of this is also significant, since every religion now has a very important month for celebrations and events.
Forsaking - You can now forsake (leave) your religion at the Shrine of the Aether. This would then allow you to join a different religion (though there are obvious RP consequences that could make that difficult). The most often you can do this is once per 30 real life days.
Ethos - Ethos has returned but has been simplified. Your ethos can be changed once per 30 RL days, but you can only move one “step” at a time (good <-> neutral <-> evil).
Joining - Becoming a supplicant of a religion no longer requires the direct approval of a cleric. A 30 RL day supplicancy is still required.
Conversion and Recruiting - The net effect of the above 3 changes is that recruiting and converting people from other faiths has become a major feature of the game. Before, people were so locked into a church that converting people was nearly impossible.
- Psychic Feedback System that builds up through use of psion abilities to provides party buffs and damage.
- Psions can now become Templars.
- A new area of effect/damage over time spell.
- Funeral Pyre - sacrifices corpses to their god to increase their deity’s dominance.
- Righteous Fury - For clerics of Vishnu, Vivoria, Erosia, Tempest, Mortis.
- Wrathful Vengeance - For clerics of Bast, Gethsemane, Set, Loviatar, Chronos, Silvanus.
- Organ harvesting was changed to receive 2 organ components per harvesting. sically, you are now using half the organ each time you need an organ component for a spell.
- Maximum throwing dagger capacity increased by 5. A dagger bandolier item was added to increase capacity even further.
- Two super-secret abilities/features added.
- Ironwill now also returns 10 ep.
- Weapon maintenance gained per maintain cycle increased by 20%.
- Base success change for enchanting increased by 10%.
- Globe/Crystal Shield type spells can now have their remaining health checked and can be dispelled to make room for a new, full strength one.
- Alchemists no longer have to treat (their version of maintain) their weapons.
Takzul - The Takzul came into being after the Demon Wars in late 200s. Their origins were probably orcish, but prolonged exposure to the stones from the demon tower caused dramatic mutations. The Takzul are much more intelligent than the average orc and much less prone to thoughtless rage. Naturally cautious and secretive, Takzul society is relatively new and underdeveloped. They struggle to find a place for themselves in the world of Threshold.
Entirely new full gear sets.
Bed rolls - Enhances the effects of the rest command.
Hegemony Gear - Tons of special gear just for hegemons to use primarily in hegemon specific content.
Tier 3 Fishing Gear - Sirensong - A new tier of fishing gear was developed, and the fishing badge costs for tier 1 and 2 gear was lowered.
Bedrolls - In addition to enhanced regeneration while resting, bedrolls now also provide a 2 minute, 5% buff to your critical strike chance (help critical strike) upon waking up. You must rest for at least 1 minute to receive this buff.
Showcase Room - Trophies, battle cards, stuffed animals, fancy trinkets, and more can all be displayed in this fancy house room.
House aquariums improved to allow more interactivity with the fish.
You can buy a sacrificial altar for your house.
Bookcases can be purchased to store player published books or books found throughout the game. Bookcases store books over reboots and can be placed in any room in your house.
Component Storage Cabinets
Reagent Storage Cabinets
Staff run events are a big part of what makes Threshold RPG a unique game. Here are a few staff run events that have happened over the last year or so.
Battle for Religious Dominance (Jan 2010) - Top 4 churches gained a new temple room - The Summoning Pool.
Guild Activity Competition (Mar/Apr 2010)
April Event Extravaganza (Apr 2010) - 15+ STEA, admin sanctioned events.
History Contest (Apr 2010) for the expansion of the Grand Sable Library.
Kleiburn the Traveller (Aug 2010)
The Glorification of the Aether - (Sep 2010 to Oct 2010)
5th Annual Grand Pumpkin Festival (Oct 2010)
Homestead Festival (Oct/Nov 2010)
Pokka Gobblin’ Time (Nov 2010)
New Years Double XP Weekend (Jan 2011)
Kleiburn the Traveller (Apr 2011)
General Quality of Life Enhancements
Stacking and splitting code added for better inventory organization.
Gloridome - Low cost crystals for hp, sp, ep healing to use in the arenas instead of food.
Rogue/Alchemist: Joining these guilds no longer requires admin approval.
Facebook/Twitter Integration: We now make serious use of our Facebook page (Threshold RPG | Facebook) and twitter feed to announce events, share information, and let people know about things happening RIGHT NOW in game.
Travel Command Expansion: Travel command locations added to Thrace City.
TC Cost for House Items Lowered - House items can be bought with coin or ThreshCredits, and we have lowered the TC cost.
Penalty for Joining a New Clan Removed - The clan level loss penalty for joining a new clan has been removed. We wanted to give people more roleplay flexibility in the system, so this penalty has been completely removed. There is still a 30 day cooldown after leaving a clan before you can join a new one to prevent clan hopping.
Journey Beyond the Threshold!
If you’ve never played Threshold, or if you played in the past, I would like to invite you to give it another shot. We are always adding more features and content, running events, and listening to player feedback as to what you want next!