Hey, guys! With the addition of a new staffer [Mazu] and major plans in the works, the staff decided it was about time to let you in on what exactly we're planning, and what it's going to mean for the MUX. There are some significant changes coming that'll change what and how you play, and we're awfully excited about it. We want to let YOU in on that excitement! So, without further ado, here are some of the things we are currently working on.
By August 1st, we plan to have the following completed:
Highgate is a newly terraformed moon in Greenleaf's orbit. With significant backing from wealthy politicians and corporations throughout the 'Verse, the planet's capital, Xi'an City, is richly designed, and the countryside is lush with farming land and mines. The cost of living on Highgate is extremely low, hoping to invite settlers from all around the 'Verse - Core and Border alike.
We're putting a lot of work into this planet, and we're planning for it to become one of two major focuses for RP. No longer will we support Persephone as our central planet hub; Highgate and Sihnon will have extensive grids and a lot of space for expansion and interaction. The planets will be linked ICly by a high-speed shuttle service, much faster than ordinary transport, to enable easy exchange and travel between them. While Sihnon is more politically oriented and lies in the heart of the Core, Highgate is a fledgling moon, without any distinct bias or direction. What it needs, in the end, is YOU.
We're recommending that all land-based characters try to devise a reason why their characters would make the move to Highgate or Sihnon. Highgate is new, and that means that your characters can indulge their entrepeneurial spirit or escape their past. Cost of living is low; characters could afford to buy a home or a ranch with very little money, compared to most established planets, and settle into a new life on a planet full of promise.
Everyone has a viable reason to make the move to this planet: it isn't in the Core but near it; it's wealthy enough to be secure and stable; there's a sustainable economy set in mining and farming; land is inexpensive, with affordable homesteads in sprawling countryside. The government will be providing free transport for all settlers to Highgate from any Core planet as well as Persephone, so even the poorest characters can afford to make the trip. If you absolutely cannot think of a reason why your character would make the move to Highgate, @mail *STAFF and we will help you come up with a reason.
House Madrassa is the center of the Companion world; it is the home of the Guild's leaders and to one of the most prestigious training houses in the universe. Within its halls is a world unlike any other, with gardens - both public and private - a concert hall, temple, library, and a variety of high quality amenities to pamper the clients who can afford a Companion's company. It also provides residences for its Companions, as well as those who are not Companions but who are employed by the House. Madrassa is a tranquil oasis within the city of Qiang Yuan, a jewel within an ocean of light.
While this particular Companion house has always existed on the grid, we're redesigning the house from the ground up. It will have an extensive new set of rooms on Sihnon, including the most crucial part of this house for our updates: the training house. We're making a lot of huge changes to the way Companions are played on the MUX, and the training house is integral to them. Players will no longer be able to app Companions directly; new Companions will be apped as students in House Madrassa.
This allows us to ensure a standard for the way Companions are played on the MUX, as well as a starting point for anyone hoping to play a Companion. Because you will have apped directly into a school, you will have consistent RP with other students as well as instructors. You'll be able to create links between your character and others through your RP in the guild training house. You'll also be a part of TPs specifically designed for this faction and no others. If you're planning to apply for a Companion and want to know how you should proceed, @mail *STAFF and we will get back to you promptly.
The Zhi Long Academy is a new branch of one of the most successful and prestigious private schools in the 'Verse, with the new branch named after the recently instated Chief Minister. Catering to highly intelligent students, the school provides an intensive program designed to challenge and inspire learners of all ages. Its staff is comprised of some of the most renowned experts in all fields, and is home to a research department of universal acclaim and acknowledgement. The newest branch is set to make its home in Xi'an City, the capital of Highgate, and stands as a beacon of academic and personal excellence.
This is the last of the major changes to happen to RP, and it's designed to offer you even more options for characters to play. Every part of this school will need characters: students, teachers, administration, researchers, security, and so on. All positions are available to be applied for, but the most active group is likely to be the students. It is a boarding school, meaning students live on campus and away from their families, usually sharing a room with another student. There are high standards for students here: intelligence and dedication are a must.
The private school, however, is only the beginning of this school's use for the MUX. This isn't just an academy - it is The Academy, designed not only to provide students with a high-quality education, but to filter out the students with the most potential for another use. Special students would be selected for the secret program and exposed to behavioral, psychological and physical training. These students would become the elite, agents of the Academy used for a variety of specific, clandestine purposes. This is the program that River Tam was a part of, along with several others.
When we say that all positions can be applied for, we mean just that: you may apply to be a part of the Academy as a student or a member of the school's staff. However, you cannot begin in the special stream, and while you can hope to be selected for it, MUX staff will have the ultimate say in who does and does not get selected to be a part of the program. If your intention is to try to become a part of the special program, this should be made clear to staff. When we have an opening - as there will be a limited number of spaces in the special program - we will look to the list of interested parties, and from there decide who is the next to be selected.
Don't think that this means you HAVE to be brainwashed and tortured: most of the students at the school are totally oblivious to its underground practices, and are treated as they would be at any other private school. Like the Companion training house, this school provides you with the chance to play a younger character in a way that provides you with consistent RP. It gives you a starting point and a way to build a list of contacts and skills before your character becomes an adult and has to move on into the outside world. If you're planning to apply for a student at the Academy, @mail *STAFF and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
So those are our major plans, and we're working hard to get them finished for you just as soon as we're able. We're going to pair these changes with an extensive advertising campaign, so by all means, spread the word to anyone you think might be interested. We'll keep you updated on when the changes happen and what it means.
In the meantime, you can let us know what you think by sending an @mail to *STAFF or by leaving a comment here. You are permitted to leave anonymous comments on this site, so even if you don't have a LiveJournal account, you can drop us a note. Be sure to include your in-game name so that we know who you are, though! If you have any suggestions, comments, concerns or questions, we're around to help.