News Archive
Lothgar @ 18 Sep 2018
News Item

Before I make the official statement let me talk a bit about the history and what the company has been doing over the past few years.

As most of you know I started Asylumsoft, Inc. in 1999 and made the very retro sandbox MMO Dransik. Most of the community today has been influenced by this game and have followed me since. In 2004 we had to sell the game to TKO software and the game has switch into other hands after that. Bottom line is, it was time for Asylumsoft to move onto the next thing...

However, before that the members of the Dransik community had asked me to make another Dransik. I figured I’d make something for them to play so I took a very old code-base (Zorak Online, the prototype tech that Dransik technology was branched from) and made a silly and totally thrown together game called Lothgar Online (Which was always a working title). While that game was live and maintained by some members of the community (Sevon was heading up the day to day and further development), I moved onto moving the company forward.

I started from a clean-slate. I wanted to make a whole new technology base, not just for new MMO game, but for any kind of game and application. I spent my spare time creating this huge base of code which included a new networking baseline, new graphics system, tools and a very powerful scripting language (Ooz).

I started Elderlands. This was not intended to be Dransik 2.0, it was intended to be the game I wanted to play. Something with more depth, a world that had some context that players could get into. Asylumsoft has been focused on this game since... even though the work on it was part time from myself and a handful of artists, web developers a few designers and some amazing administrators.

In 2016 I was approached by a member of the community asking me to make a new Dransik. I said no. I was asked if I would buy it from the original owners... that would never happen and even if it did, my interest in that project is gone. He returned and asked about a revival of Lothgar Online. I responded with my doubt of the project believing there were only a small handful of players that may play it for a little while. I had a large number of posts on the forums where players were asking for LO to be brought back from the dead.

I told the community that the only way I could even begin to justify this was if they funded the development. That I would bring back LO as it was in 2005 but running off the new Asylumsoft platform (Elderlands Engine). We held a funding campaign and we were quite surprised with the result. So the revival began. And it took about 3 months before we had something real to play.

Players jumped in and the initial hit of nostalgia was real. It was quite popular, and players were having a ton of fun... Then the expected happened... I started hearing about pvp issues (group ganking) and the land was boring and not well balanced. There were gaps in the item tiers and in the monster tiers. Of course there was. I ported over a game and its data to a new platform and ran it. I quickly realized that the players asked for Lothgar Online, but what they wanted was Dransik. I tried to match the formulas, stats, monster, etc... but even that wasn’t enough. They literally wanted me running Dransik. That was never going to happen. We made efforts to balance the game and make some interesting play. But the community was very vocal about not putting Elderlands type gameplay into LO. Player started to leave (I received many posts, PMs and emails from players telling me they were looted dry and tired of the harassment). Over time numbers dwindled the remaining community was a small group of the hardcore pvp players and a few loyal to the gam in general. The game had become a shell. Some players bought the AC coins and used them to level up faster. But there was no real substance to the game. I know players want Dransik and I cannot and will not give them that game. In all honesty if the current owners of Dransik sold it to me and I ran it out of the box, they would still want more.

There is nothing I can do to put the feelings, emotion, excitement and terror you all had back when Dransik was young. Those days are gone. I’ve changed, games have changed. Time to let the sun set.

Lothgar Online was planned to go through a name change and a major shift in mechanics and features in order to push it to Steam. It is pretty close to being ‘technically’ ready for that platform. However, I personally don’t feel like that game is the right game for Asylumsoft to move to that platform. Not right now.

Elderlands suffered severely once Lothgar Online came back to the picture. In retrospect, I should never have started LO back up. But it is here, and it has potential to be something. Just not right now.

So now comes my announcement. One statement is about EL the other is about LO.

 

ELDERLANDS,

Starting immediately, Asylumsoft and all current developers are shifting focus back to the flagship project of the company. There is a lot of work ahead and the game needs some content and technical work. And entirely revised backend and the rest of the engine needs to be retrofitted.

Our goal is to bring Elderlands back online as soon as possible. We’re focused on rolling back some poor choices made in 2015 and push the game back into the direction I want it to go. I’m making this game in my vision. I believe that was the winning formula for Dransik. I didn’t make it for others, I made it for myself and I had that passion for it. I love Elderlands. I think the game is a hell of a lot of fun, it has so much potential for unique content and can provide endless hours/days of gameplay, not just grind, gather type gameplay.

I think this is the best direction for the company to go and for the product line we have put our time and money into.

 

LOTHGAR ONLINE,

Lothgar Online is an unfinished game and needs something. It can go either way. If we stay on the hard-core pvp path the game is dead and I might as well shut it down now. I think there is a place for LO and I think it will do well on Steam with the right direction.

With that said, we will leave LO up and running. As I can, I will assign some amount of design/art tasks to the project so there is some content flow into the game. We have a number of things in the queue that is very close for release (Crafting, Rebalance of pve content/items, reworking of formulas that are moving away from the Dransik style of play). This content will be released but only when we have the bandwidth to do so. I gave this game two years. In its current form it does not have any sustainability. A perfect example is even after a huge expansion of the world and content players started dropping off after 30 days without an additional update. I’ve sat with a number of people trying to find gameplay that fits this game which would keep players engaged for months. Without bringing in EL type systems I couldn’t find a way. This game is a Dransik close at its current state... a grind-fest and gear-hoarding game.

So the server will stay running. We may disable or at least limit player loot drops. We will shut down the coin store on the Lothgar Online site at the end of September.

 

LOTHGAR ONLINE FUNDERS

All players who donated during the fundraising, all accounts are already credited with the Asylum Tokens that were promised. We are going to double those and the coins can be used in LO and all our games. We will still honor the perks such as titles, bag-o-tricks (which is ready for release), custom avatar, etc. We will also offer different unique perks in EL.

 

This isn’t the death of one game over the other. I did state on the forums before starting this project that I did not want LO to interfere with EL, it has. I also mentioned that I needed to spend my time on EL and that EL was the focus of the company... We are making that shift now.

 

I will review the state of the latest LO PTR to see if it is ready for a version build. If so I will update the client and server. I know Crafting is not ready. It will be addressed when possible.

Lothgar @ 10 Mar 2018
News Item

At long last we are in the process of launching a full Elderlands Test Realm. We have had a lot of ontent added during our down time. The game's content has grown about 8+ times the amount that was previously available. 

We have a prototype runing currently and will be polishing up some of the older content and getting that up and running as soon as possible.

There have been some major changes that we'll discuss in the forums and on the FB page. One thing is that EL is moving its focus away from PvP. There will still be PvP but this gae has always been about the world and community. We are focusing on making the game more entertaining from a community point of view. The game will really taylor to Solo and Group players. 

PvP will end up being focused around guilds and guild warfare. 

With the versions we had running prior to us going silent, we had made changes in order to make the game mechanics and stats more like Dransik (our older game from the early 2000s). That was a mistake. We are going back to our roots and making the game that WE think is fun and entertaining.

This game is not Dransik, this is Elderlands. It was my vision and i let parts of the community move me into a direction that was not my vision. I was very unhappy about that move. So now the game is going back to where we think it should be. 

Sit back, geat ready to enjoy the ride... it's coming. :)