The End Of The World - Part One

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Hello everyone; the team is awakening from our slumber as spring bursts all around us, and as you can see, some changes have been made to the player wiki. Key among them is The Annual.

Big Changes Are Afoot

So, we have just finalized the rules for the arena battles of the Twelfth Annual, and as you will shortly see, things are changing.

This year, one of the three smallest nations - Greece, Hellas Phoenicia, Carthage - will be PRIVILEGED – given a tactical advantage that could change the shape of the map for them if they play it carefully. The flip side is that the other two will be EXPOSED – and there is a distinct possibility that, territorial positions notwithstanding, an EXPOSED nation could be ejected from the Great Game in their current form.

This means the stakes across the three smaller nations are higher than ever before. Your destiny is on the table. And because this is a big shake-up with two events to go, I wanted to make some things explicitly clear.

There’s No Out of Character Disadvantage At Play Here.

Mathematically, victory in the Great Game is unlikely for anyone but based on the current picture dominance could belong to one or two of Rome, Egypt or Persia.

To make the final games of Odyssey vital and relevant, and to give the players in the other three nations a stake in the future, we have looked at how we can empower them to continue to impact the game world and the Arena. This is our thinking behind the changes to the Great Game for event 12.

Firstly, though expulsion from the Great Game looks like a terrible loss, for some nations it might be the very victory they have been seeking on their own terms - and you will note I have been careful to avoid using the word destroyed. A variety of tailored plotlines are in place for each of Greece, Hellas Phoenicia and Carthage that will allow them to explore avenues that up until now have been denied to nations in the Great Game, to consider what life outside the Game may look like, and to apply spoiling or force multiplier factors to other nations.

Or, indeed, to take unforeseen opportunities that may shake up the endgame more than anyone expects. We still have a few last cards to play that may surprise you.

The key here is that we are approaching the final games with the intent of making sure that everyone, from every nation, continues to have the opportunity and tools to affect the game in the Arena, the World Forge and the Godhome.

EXPOSED status or even ejection from the Great Game DOES NOT mean you will not be able to play your characters at the Final Annual. It DOES NOT mean you have “lost” or that you are unable to influence the end of the game. If anything the absolute opposite is true. For you we are mapping out a role that we hope will be as exciting and as engaging as any in the game. I have to confess, as I build these plotlines and briefings, I have seldom been as excited by any part of the game as I am in this, our last few twists and turns.

And as a small hint, before anyone makes any decisions, I would suggest waiting until the very, very end of the Twelfth Annual. Remember: the game isn't over until the Drowned Dead speak.

Expulsion

It is possible that one or both of the EXPOSED nations will be EJECTED from the Great Game during the Twelfth Annual. 
There are several ways and means this might be achieved; these will become obvious over the course of the weekend. 

Ominous words, as betokens the fate of a great culture of the Middle Sea.

No nation will be forced to abandon the Great Game unless they lose all of their cities, as before. No culture will be completely destroyed unless they lose all of their cities, as before. EXPOSED status is different; it allows cultures to find a possible escape, a loophole that will let them escape the climax of the Great Game. Expulsion will be at the will of the nation, not arbitrarily decided by the story team or by cold mathematics.

Multiple opportunities will exist throughout the course of the game for any of the EXPOSED nations to consider an “exit”; the circumstances and consequences of each of those situations will vary between nations and situations, as will what it will mean for the nation’s people.Some will be controlled; others not so much. Some will allow for a continuing national presence; others may require some compromises. In each case we have been laying the seeds for such events for a long time, in some cases four or five Annuals.

We have no preconceptions (though we have predictions) about the decisions you will take and we will support and abide by whatever comes back from the field.

Perhaps all three smaller nations find a path to the Final Annual. Perhaps one nation chooses to embrace their fate and another escapes thereby. Or maybe both EXPOSED nations embrace their doom and thereby bring down an unexpected third. Maybe – maybe – one or more of the three smaller nations finds a way (there is one, though it is playing the game on hardest mode of all) to break back into the top of the game and conquer the world at the Final Annual. We don’t know. We are putting all of these tools out there, for you to play with.

We expect and demand that you horrify and amaze us. And we will do our best to rise to the occasion.

What About The Giants in the Playground?

Each of Rome, Egypt and Persia have their own climactic plotlines which weave in and out of the fates of the other nations. Old certainties and beliefs may be cast aside in the final two events and as the stakes rise so will the intensity of battle. Perhaps for some in each of those three nations the price to pay for victory will prove to be too much. Perhaps not.

The Arena and the World Forge will continue to be intertwined and relevant to each other right until the very climax of the game; and as we suggest above, the security of the Big Three is not unimpeachable and any of them could fall to chaos or be displaced by a hidden hand.

Odyssey has generated eleven game years and six real years of stories; of heroes and villains, of triumphs and tragedies; of legends. We are determined and obliged to ensure that each of our six cultures has an equal chance to continue to tell their stories until the drowned dead speak at the last. These stories make you immortal more surely than any curse or blessing.

Year Omega Is Upon Us

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.

See you in June.

(Ian A & the Story Group)