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2016 – 365 Days after the Outbreak

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Nadir Taov


It’s officially been one full year since Outbreak opened doors! It’s been a super exciting and hard working year for the community, though … and we’ve only barely scratched the surface.

I wanted to a take a moment to reflect on the things we accomplished in Outbreak so far and where we plan to go into the next year.

What we did in 2015

  • 2,223 new character registrations processed. 1,842 accepted.
  • 44,681 different avatars visited Outbreak
  • Mentors Dashboard - We designed and introduced a new community management model where each role in staff was tied to a responsibility; I also developed a number of tools with a new staff HUD to streamline those responsibilities. With the numbers seen above, we’ve empowered mentors with the ability to reach out personally and track new players. We also streamlined orientations through this process to ensure we had bi-weekly coverage.
  • Moderators Dashboard - With the roll out of the abuse report portal, now all RP-related issues have a home to be funneled into and managed directly by moderators.
  • Security & Bot Improvements - The magic that enables security rights to the team, as well as the bot inviting system that powers the reinviter and hiring signs was rebuilt from scratch (thanks, Drew) to keep up with the updates LL has rolled out to region servers over the years.
  • Weather - We recently added another level of realism to the island - a rain system which can be controlled or randomized.
  • Assault Rifles, Hunting Rifles, Handguns, and Shotguns - Last month completed the full release of weapons for the initial year launch of Outbreak. As time progresses, we will be building out more weapons and making them available through faction trading.
  • Food Commodities - A number of new commodities were released over the course of the year. I’ve finally come up with a more efficient way of distributing commodities; expect even more this new year!
  • Gas & Generators - Every feature should help start or enhance the role-play. The gas and generator feature was designed to ensure there were active players running businesses on sim. When a generator runs out of gas, both patrons and employees can adjust their role-play to deal without electricity, and vice versa.
  • Intoxication - I introduced more alcohol and drug-based commodities. The marijuana commodity features a little more - it take a week to grow and can be harvested! I think there's opportunity to really grow this commodity type out to be trafficked around the sim - in fact, I may include AO and visual effects as the next phase.
  • Faction-based Suppliers - I introduced crate vendors that can be purchased by faction leads based on the commodity type their faction is assigned to. For example, one faction could traffic hunting rifles, while another traffics drugs. We’re moving towards having all commodities trafficked through groups so player-to-player role-play interaction becomes a necessity to simply survive.

Where we’re going in 2016

  • Expansion  - I started building the new RP buildings and rental homes in preparation of expanding Arklay Island into a new sim. At least half the sim will be dedicated to RP, including more woods, a hunting feature, and more.
  • Update Rosters - The rosters used to track groups are being redesigned from the ground up with a new emphasis on highlighting active players only. The goal here was to automate housekeeping responsibilities and enable leaders to simply focus on the people who are actually around or new to the scene.
  • New Sheriff/Security group - I’m exploring ideas for introducing a sim-based group which would provide some form of law enforcement / security on the island. We can’t mimic regular police role-play groups, but I think there’s enough role-play opportunity to pull it apart from the emergency service group and have it grow on its own. This would include creating a makeshift jail.
  • New Sickness Feature - To encourage and drive role-play with medics, and also to reinforce the dire situation of the world Outbreak is based in, I am exploring ideas around developing a sickness metric. Imagine people becoming contagious, require antibiotics/treatment, or injured to the point of developing the symptoms of “turning”. As outlined in the guide today, instead we’ll build the entire concept right into the HUD experience.
  • Commodity & Group Directories - I will expand the website to include a directory of all commodities and groups. This would shed light to a big feature of our sim and encourage people to role-play and obtain the goods they seek.
  • NPC Hunting - Similar to the infected that spring up, with the expansion of the new sim, we will be able to create areas and trees where characters can hunt different animals that might appear for meat.
  • Hideaways - I’ll be adding a number of basements and hidden areas for people to role-play capture stories and encourage the kind of play you’d find in the Fringe.
  • Revise all Guides - We will be eliminating and disallow the use of notecard-based guides. We’ll be working with leaders to simplify tedious reading material in rely on organic knowledge transfer. If a role requires so much studying, it’s time to look internally as to why we’re imposing so much OOC time investment from players instead of focusing on fun. I also believe that lengthy, multi-page guidelines breeds laziness in community management. When we’re done, we will roll out a number of minimal guides and FAQs on the website and have them linked from in-world.
  • Update Rosters & Hiring Signs (Phase 2) - With the web-based rosters updated, I started working on developing a new in-world roster concept which will provide additional information for users and connect the hiring experience to an online database to provide better guidance and tips to new players.
  • New Medical Reports - To eliminate notecard-based systems, I’ll introduce a new web-based medical chart system that will allow users to track their character’s injuries and treatments.
  • Explore VR - If you didn’t already know, Linden Lab has been working on a new virtual world platform with native virtual reality capabilities (Oculus Rift). In case there’s an exodus from Second Life to this new platform, we’ll have to be ready!

In Summary…

Outbreak will grow twice its size this year with much more amazing features along the way. I can’t begin to thank enough the effort of the community and staff who have poured hours into creating stories and sticking around to grow the group. We’re pushing the boundaries not only in survival role-play, but immersion as well.

We should be very proud of the community and reputation we’re starting to build together.

Happy new year!

January 4, 2016 at 12:19 am
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mystik anatra


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"Some of us fly and some of us are earthbound and when they catch those of us who fly resting on a rock, they pull off our wings."~~~~Richard Pryor~~

January 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm
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January 4, 2016 at 7:10 pm
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January 5, 2016 at 7:50 pm
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