key to activate it. The energy bar
will turn yellow and begin to discharge when you attack. Your attack speed will
almost double while the Talisman discharges. Once completely discharged, your
attack speed will return to normal and the Talisman will recharge over time.
This item is intended to make Player vs Player combat more interesting. The high
speed attack should make it easier to get inside your opponents blocks. If your
opponent also has the Talisman of Speed, you'll need to be strategic about when
to activate it during combat.
On a day when the MaidMarian.com game servers topped 4000 simultaneous players
for the first time, it seems a developer's diary entry is in order. I would like
to start out by just saying thank you. I recognize that making a living, doing
what you love is a rare thing in this world. You made this possible.
MaidMarian.com is not a massive corporation. It's just a guy with a computer
living his dream of making massive multiplayer games that people seem to want to
play. I cannot express how grateful I am for the support that you have shown and
for making my dreams come true.
The redesign of the player avatars is progressing well. Based on the concept
image in my last diary entry, it can be hard to visualize how characters will
translate into the game. Now that rough versions have been modeled in 3D, you
can get a clearer idea of current progress based on the above image. These
characters are not yet textured and the female avatar has shoulder armor still
in the works. Let me know what you think.
Most of you have already experienced the updates that have gone into Sherwood
Dungeon in recent weeks. I mentioned in the last diary entry that I design in a
very organic way. The last update really makes this obvious. I was experimenting
with a few ideas and realized that I'd stumbled on an approach that could vastly
increase the number of islands and variety of terrain types in the game without
impacting the download time. Three new islands - Haunted Palm, Frost Bite and
Lost Lagoon are the result. Three portals were added to Sherwood Castle for
transport to these new lands once you advance to the required XP Level. This
also allowed me to update the art direction of the game, making all the lands,
including Sherwood, more vibrant and colorful and allowing each to have a
Yesterday I added monster drops to the three new islands. After defeating a
monster, they drop items that you can use or sell at the merchants by the
portals. Skeletal bosses drop higher level items and if you character is a
higher XP Level than the monsters, they will drop less frequently. As you can
see from past diary entries, neither of these updates were planned or scheduled
but once the impact they would have was clear, I made them top priority.
Oh, and if you haven't noticed already, holding down and
at the same time makes your character dance. Taunt your friends or have a party!
Good silly fun. :)
Once again, thank you,
It's time to give you an update on my plans for Sherwood Dungeon and
MaidMarian.com. All my games, including Sherwood Dungeon, go through many phases
of development from the original vision through to it's launch on the site.
After launch there's often numerous updates to get the final features in place.
I design in a very organic way, so providing a list of new features and a
timeline for implementation of those features can give players false
expectations. If you were a player of the original Sherwood, you probably
noticed that Sherwood Dungeon was a much more substantial update than just
throwing a few new features into Sherwood. It was based on a new vision for the
game, both from a technical and design standpoint. Major technical hurdles
needed to be overcome to allow Sherwood Dungeon to have an infinitely deep
dungeon and still keep the game small enough to fit on a floppy disk. When you
are creating a web based MMORPG, keeping it small is incredibly important
because the longer that loading bar takes, the more players your going to loose
during the download.
In the past month, there hasn't been many visible updates to the current game
because I've been developing a vision for the next major update for Sherwood
Dungeon. One of the goals for the next update is to launch a new dedicated
Sherwood Dungeon website with a full set of community features including an
account system, player profiles, connections between friends, forums and guild
support. This will be tied into the save game features of the game, however most
of these community features will be available exclusively through the Sherwood
Dungeon website. Development on this is currently very active.
The second major goal is to completely redesign the player avatars in the game.
I believe this is the best way to make a major visual impact on how the game
looks. Don't get me wrong, I think Sherwood Dungeon is already the best looking
browser based 3D MMORPGs, but it became clear to me when I started work on the
female avatar that it would be better to redo the male avatar at the same time.
Concept art for the new characters is going very well and I've got some of my
best game industry art contacts helping me on this. It's more important for me
to get this feature right than get it fast, so be patient and I hope you'll like
Just a quick update. Here's a list of features that went into Sherwood Dungeon
Helmets are now in the game, with five different types of helmets available in
the dungeon chests. A new slot for helmets is now on the equipment bar.
Missions, now called Quests, have been added. More quest types are planned in
the future including boss and delivery quests. Quests are available from Captain
Morgan by the dungeon entrance. Just walk close to the Captain and click on him
to be offered a quest. The quest log is on the equipment bar. This shows you how
close you are to completing the quest. Once you've completed the quest, return
to Captain Morgan for your reward.
The merchant store is above the dungeon entrance of the Castle Keep. Click on
the merchant to see the store. A number of updates occured to the store this
month and you now have the ability to sell your inventory items to the merchant.
Support for multiple servers has been added to the game and a new server is
online. You can choose between Emerald Server and Ruby server on the log-in
screen. If you don't choose a server, one is selected randomly for you.
Undead Skeleton Warriors and Bosses
Undead monsters are in Dungeon Level 5 on down. There are also Undead Boss
Skeletons with three times the health of regular monsters. You may want to bring
a friend to defeat one of these. The map indicates the last known location of
boss skeletons in purple on the map. Female avatars are a new feature I'm hoping
to add in the next while, as requested by many players. The dragons and amulets
are on hold until this is complete. I'm also planning on adding a help screen to
Sherwood Dungeon with more instruction for new players. I've made some changes
to PVP in the Castle level. Blocking an attack successfully does double damage
on the next attack and health potions no longer work in the Castle level. This
is in response to players that just gather up health potions for PVP and make
combat less fun for the other players.
You probably noticed a bug where numerous monsters spawned after a player
defeated a monster. This was related to a bug in the boss update and has been
fixed now. Thanks for the emails from players that described the symptoms of
this to me....very helpful.
Rumors abound regarding my plans for Sherwood Dungeon in the coming months so
I'm taking this opportunity to set the record straight and provide some detail
on the launch. Sherwood Dungeon is up and running and so far the servers have
handled the load and the feedback has been very positive.
- It didn't take long for players to discover a way of holding a shield in their
sword hand. This resulted in a crash for everyone else logged into that room. It
was the only major crash bug of the last two weeks and it's fixed now. (Players
have gotten into the habit of calling these crash bugs "Shockwaves".)
- Rings in your inventory were magically transformed into shields when you quit
the game and logged back in. Great, I suppose, if you want a shield, but
obviously a problem if you had magic rings in your inventory. This is fixed now
and thanks for the email from the player that first discovered the problem.
- Players were suppose to be able have more than one health potion as this is a
stackable item. This is fixed now, so collect away. I'm assuming players thought
this was by design because I received no complaints.
- You may have noticed that players and monsters were getting many extra attacks
during combat in busy areas. This is fixed now.
- Sapphire: Yes, I spelled it wrong. It's fixed now so please no more email on
this one. Just for reference, although though I'm Canadian, I decided to use the
American spelling for words like Armor. (Armour for those of us using the
- Not really a bug, but blocking an attack gives you double damage on the next
round. Block two attacks in a row and you get triple damage. This works both in
PvP and against monsters. It's intended to replace the "combos" that existed in
the original Sherwood. Those combos in Sherwood were actually a bug, but when I
tried to take them out originally, players complained bitterly.
There are a number of features that didn't make it into the beta release of
Sherwood Dungeon. For example, I've been getting tons of email regarding what to
do with the gold that you collect. In the coming months I will be adding many of
the features that didn't make the Beta. These are not set in stone and I'm
reserving the right to make changes to the list. Here's what I'm intending to
add in priority order.
New Features in the Coming Months
I consider this one of the most important new features. Helmets allows players
to personalize their characters, manage their armor and demonstrate achievement
in the game.
2. Stores and Merchants
Yes, I got the message and I'm working on it! Give me a little time.
I'm intending to have a mission system in the game. Players will be able to get missions from NPC characters
to fight boss type monsters in the dungeon, collect special items and return for
Yes, I said Dragons. Easier said that done, but Dragons will be tied to the
mission system in the game. It will take more than one player to take a dragon
down, so bring a friend.
5. Undead Monsters
These skeletal warriors are intended to increase the variety of monsters in
I haven't figured out a great system for differentiating the amulets from magic
rings, but I'll come up with something ;)
Anything that you hear from other players beyond this list is just a rumor.
Another important piece of news is that I've decided to quit my day job to
concentrate on MaidMarian.com full time. This website was my hobby, evenings and
weekends, for a number of years. Not any more. As some of you may know, I've
been a Technical Art Director for Radical Entertainment for the past five years,
working on console and PC games like Crash Tag Team Racing, The Hulk, CSI and
many others. (Look for my name in the credits in Crash Tag Team Racing and
select it..pretty funny eh?) Radical Entertainment is a great company, but
MaidMarian.com has grown to the point were it deserves 100% of my attention.
MaidMarian.com games are played over six million times per month and during peak
times over 2000 simultaneous players are participating in the multiplayer games.
This move should result in faster updates and more polished games. Wish me luck!
I'm exhausted but very happy. It's taken seven months, but I hope Sherwood
Dungeon lives up to expectations. This game features an infinitely deep dungeon
filled with monsters and treasure. It includes character advancement, new
weapons, magic rings and more. The new code base is faster and should provide a
stable foundation for future enhancements. Sherwood Dungeon is in Open Beta,
which means I'm still finding and fixing bugs.
Important Game Notes:
- Games are saved on exit and when you leave dungeon levels, but if you remove
Shockwave from your computer, you will lose the saved game.
- The Dungeon entrance is in the Keep of Sherwood Castle. Player vs Player combat
is valid only outside the Keep and away from the two smaller towers near the
- The monsters get tougher the deeper you go, but you'll get more XP points. If
you team up on a monster with a friend, the XP earned is based on the damage you
do. The monsters in the Castle Level scale to level of the player, however
you'll get only a small amount of experience from these. There's no level cap
and the dungeon is infinitely deep.
- Make sure you keep re-equipping with higher level weapons as you go; you'll need
them. The level of the weapon is listed along with the damage and magic bonus
when you mouse over them in the equipment bar or inventory.
I hope you enjoy the game.
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