2011 FC Re-launch Announcement

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Good evening, everyone.

Over the past several months, I’ve had people ask me about the future of the MUCK. It’s not surprising that some would be concerned given the age of the MUCK and the decline in average connections we’ve seen in 2011. So before I go any further, let me reassure you that the MUCK is not going anywhere and there are no plans to wind down operations whatsoever.

With that out of the way, it’s time for me to make an announcement – and it’s not a little announcement, in magnitude or length. Before you read any further, do me a favor and get comfortable. This will take a bit of explaining and I ask that you read the announcement, the accompanying FAQ, and the other information I’ve posted before making a judgment about the changes. Below, I’ll provide details about the announcement and share my thought processes with you so you’ll (hopefully) understand why we’re doing this now.

Tonight, we are re-launching our Feature Characters and introducing a story arc that is designed to play out over the next couple of years. Yes, I said years.

Before anyone gets up in arms about the previous two sentences, let me point out the word I used: “re-launching”. I did not use the term “resetting” and I never mentioned timelines. We are not resetting the timeline. We are not disrupting anyone’s personal history and we’re not playing with temporal distortions or parallel universes. The goal is to introduce new characters that accomplish several goals: they fill the role of Feature Character; they allow us to tell the history of “The Lion King” without changing timelines; and they give us the opportunity to reinvigorate the MUCK with new stories, new blood, and new players.

The new characters being introduced tonight are Mohatu, an adult lion; his mate Tetema, an adult lioness; and their newborn son, Ahadi. They will be seeking shelter and role playing at Pride Rock shortly.

At first glance, and from an Out Of Character standpoint, this will appear to be a case of history repeating itself. Some of you may remember interacting with Mohatu or Ahadi, but while these characters share the names of those who’ve been on the MUCK in the past, they are not the same characters. Yes, Ahadi will have sons named Mufasa and Taka at some future point, but how they get to that point and the adventures they experience will not be the same. This is much the same as having two John Smiths in a family – great-grandfather and great-grandson for example. Related? Yes. Same name? Definitely. Same history? Nope.

Our goal is to allow us to tell anew the tale of what happened before The Lion King in order to set things up to relive the events of the movie itself in as organic and undisruptive a manner as is possible. I’d like to take a moment and discuss the other two important points I mentioned in the announcement: the “story arc” and the length of time it covers (yes, I really did say “years”).

I chose the term “story arc” because I’ve put together an over-arching storyline that weaves together a history for our characters and ultimately gets us back to a world with Simba and our other beloved characters in it. I’ve worked with Jioni and Hajima to include tips of our hats to previous fan fiction and some of the available information from Disney, but the only thing we’re considering to be truly “canon” is the Lion King motion picture itself (and its sequel).

The “story arc” itself is a multi-year framework of events that will guide the activities of the Feature Characters. It’s not scripted and it’s not fleshed out. This was done on purpose to give our Feature Character Players the opportunity to exercise creative license while helping keep them on course.

I’ve broken the “story arc” down into a series of chapters – thirty three at last count, but that’s by no means the end of the tale. Each month, on the Friday evening of the first weekend of that month, a new chapter introduction will be posted to the website. At the same time, a fully fleshed out chapter describing the events of the ending month will be posted. This should allow causal players to keep up with the goings on in the Pride Lands.

Some of you may object to this no matter what I say. I can understand that. Were I seeing things from the other side of the screen, I might even agree with you. We have three alternatives at this point aside from the path I’ve chosen for us: Leave the Pride Lands empty; allow Player Characters to move in; or shut down the MUCK. For me, none of those are viable options and re-launching our Feature Characters has me more excited about our MUCK than I have been in a very long time.

I’ve posted a FAQ document to the website. Please read it as I hope it will answer many of the questions you’ll have regarding this announcement. If not, feel free to MUCKmail me or send me an email.

I hope you are all as excited about these changes as I am!

See you in the Pride Lands!

Ketekh

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