I'm always amazed at how quickly December comes around each year. I guess its because I'm always busy rolling out the next update or trying to keep up with the next 'Festive Event'. We sure do cover a fair few of them over the period of the year.
2013 didn't seem that long but we got a lot done. Level Six Settlements was released bringing with it a plethora of new items. We added Player made Ships via level Six SMC's and player crafting for Starbase Hubs (that's kept many of you busy this year).
The Genesis Project came to fruition with the first Genesis Planet being fully formed and explored. From there the first Genesis Land Management plots were placed on offer and Grabbed up by early adopters. You can always grab more Genesis Points at any time and start a GLM plot when ever you feel ready. The second Genesis Planet will likely pop early next year I suspect.
Those Pesky A.I's have been nosing around and being a general pain in humanities backside. Throughout the year they have pushed more and more into human and Verecian Space. They now have a solid presence in every system where a Nebula exists.
The Coalition and Privateers have rallied more than once to push them back from various systems and planets but still they come. It is hoped that the Genesis Planets can generate enough automated military hardware this coming year to turn the tide and through the use of a 'to be announced' War-board be able to push the AI off the planets they have a hold on and out of the systems and back into the Nebulas.
Mean while the Galactic Research Project keeps working on new technology in a hope to level the playing field against the AI.
During 2013 the Ship Crew system was released. Whilst its still only in its initial format it has proven very popular with players and the current crew mission count stands at well over 44,000 completed missions. This system will mature in 2014 as we add more facets to it.
2013 saw us move from 180 day inactive accounts to 365 days. That means you can leave your account with us for up to 365 days of inactivity before it moves to the deletion queue. This was due to a fairly large influx of 'returning' players, so we thought why not.
This year saw the invention of Zero Point Items, this has spread across a fair amount of the Structure point based systems and offers players both supporting via the store, and via the Festive Store in game, to grab Zero Structure point items.
This year also saw a fair amount of stores opened up to the Player Settlements. The addition of a few like the GBM and Sven / Boris were happily received.
Fuel Depots were expanded on and more were added through the Galaxies making it that much easier to get to your Fuel depot account and siphon off some of that much needed supply.
Settlement license locations were extended adding another 30 this year to cope with the demand and offer some expansion where it was needed. Whilst we loose the odd settlement here and there we still manage to hold a solid level of lively and active settlements. Currently the figure stands are 252 open settlements.
The Naristo opened a buy back scheme for captains with items (non Misc) to purchase back for the local Talas Currency. Look them up in the finder.
The Explorers League managed to negotiate permission from the Central Heritage Fund to allow the collection and trade of Archaeology Treasures. Up till then these were only collected by the Central Heritage Fund when they were sold off privately by Captains.
This lead to the Explorers League offering Transfer Offices to all Settlements Level Five or higher. These offices Trade High Tech Loot types for specific Archaeology Treasures.
The collection Point was extended to a 30 day period. Makes for an easier life when you don't have to worry about a 7 day shelf life of items. The GBM began offering a filtered service to display your fellow guild mates.
During 2013 we opened up the option to 'build your own Derelict'. The process is not easy and takes dedication and time but we had some great entries and we currently have a number in the queue for moderation.
Of course hot on the heels of that was Derelict Combat and Planet Combat. Close Quarters Combat opened up yet another facet to Core-Exiles and I know many of you have been having fun with this initial foray in to CQC.
Advanced Refinery Management was added, allowing captains to begin utilising Advanced Merlin Refineries. These are fed by using the new Advance Automated Mining drones. These mine all the higher elements from an Asteroid field and drop them into a central store that the Penworthy Faction has worked out with the Refinery companies.
The end product is advanced higher elements required for some of the really advanced builds to come in 2014. It is hoped that these along with the QMG elements added this year and the AI resources being collected will aid humanity in the fight against the AI threat.
Lets not forget that during this year we have seen the addition of the Genesis Project Faction and the Penworthy Faction. Both of these taking their places next to the other 16 factions you can gain ranks and titles in game.
Coming up in 2014?
We can expect the war between humanity and the AI to ramp up. If the player base pulls together and Genesis Plots are fully utilized, and players work to gather QMG, AI and Advanced Merlin Resources they might just pull it off.
The War-board will come in to action allowing players to deploy their hard crafted defences into the systems under attack. Players both new and established should then be able to work together to start to chip away at the AI.
It's likely that the Coalition will agree on star base licensing and that we will see the first Starbases owned and ran by players begin to populate our systems. Of course before that I suspect that our Alien allies will agree to let humanity open Settlements within the Expanse of course if they ever finish Project Next Step.
A number of in game facets will be given an overhaul or simply added to as the year goes on. Guilds, RAID combat, ships crew and pets will all be given some TLC at one time or another.
So as much as 2013 has been pretty non stop for me 2014 will be just as full.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you're still awake, have yourself a very merry Christmas. If your around for the Christmas week think about joining us in chat or in the Mech Battle that will be taking part!
Here's to 2014!