Loved it, up until I was eliminated, after which it became slightly boring waiting for everyone to finish, but I think this should be repeated if people start turtling too much again :)
Short analysis: The prize was demonstrably a powerful motivator, and the battles were definitely fierce. It also certainly worked at speeding up the game. However, not having a map of the area was a minus. I'd have prefered to have a map of the region to draw on a la regular day plans. This would have caused the battles to be more a prospect of people's plans intersecting each other rather than randomness. It would also have discouraged people trying to metagame this fight by hiding and waiting for others to pass by so they could ambush the passers-by. 20% (2 people) weren't doing that at first, as I recall you mentioned. Maybe also have only one or two hiding places, so when everyone metagames that competition, they'll end up metagamed?
Day 3 is now over. Deadline for new plans is 1st August 7:00 AM GMT +8. This is a really short time limit, so make sure you hurry up and do it.
You open the newspaper, expecting to see details from the battle at the Park.
The first item, however, covers none of that.
"Flames erupt at the First Market District!"
The report outlines some kind of explosion of flame that resulted in the deaths of many people. Eyewitnesses claim that there was some kind of talking bird at the scene, as well as a man dressed in green, who had said:
"I am the Green Mage. I am Death Incarnate. I am the destroyer. And if any of the survivors see that idiot who wore a green bodysuit, tell him he’s a disgrace to humanity."
You then turn through the next pages, but none of the articles report anything related to the Park. Finally, one of the articles catches your eye:
"Experts warn that bushfires are common in this summer heat."
The small article explained that the minor fires in the Park were likely to be due to the summer heat, and that park goers should always be ready to escape from any fires that start up.
However, that minor piece of news was not what caught your attention. A strange kind of glowing rune hovers over the picture of a fire featured in the article, spinning and warping in form.
You reach out and touch it.
"Good day, my friends."
It seemed to be some kind of recorded message. The voice was soft and frail; evidently that of an old man's.
"I applaud everyone for the great display at the Park. However, I did not wish for an area of the city to be so utterly destroyed by your efforts. Therefore, I have prevented any major damage from occurring to the Park. Similarly, I prevented any interference during the event itself. You may wish to keep this in mind for future battles. However, should you wish to destroy the Park in your own time, I will not stop you. I merely wanted to prevent such a thing from occurring as a side-effect."
You wait, but that seems to be all he wished to say.
Day 4 is now over. Deadline for Day 5 plans is 5th September, 7:00 AM GMT +8 Keep in mind this is my zone or you'll end up like a Walrein.
Not much news today.
The front page reported on a battle between an armored warrior, some kind of golem, and a woman accompanied by various animals in the Commercial District. The armored warrior and the metallic robot had attacked the woman, but was engaged by the animals before being driven back by the woman. It might be some kind of publicity stunt by the zoo?
"Yachts gather in the river!"
Apparently, there was a great number of yachts, boats, and other similar vessels gathered at the river today. Perhaps it was some rich man's fancy or whim? The purpose of the event was unclear, as there were almost no signs of activity aboard the vessels, but it seemed absolutely harmless.
"Mysterious Samaritan cleans up after himself!"
A shopkeeper in the Commercial District claimed that his shop was attacked by some kind of terrorist with explosives, only for the 'terrorist' to pay him with large amounts of money in compensation. How queer.
It took awhile (2 months to be exact), but Day 5 is now over. Deadline for Day 6 plans is 7th November, 7:00 AM GMT +8. Keep in mind this is my zone or you'll end up like a Walrein.
The newspaper had a special, double edition today and was much thicker than usual.
You open it and find the first ten pages talking about the event that you've all been expecting to see.
The report talked about the massive rainstorm that caused the river to flood and overflow, eventually resulting in a flooded valley near the Lia Fail. The yachts in the river were also swept along by the current and were now left stranded in the valley. Certain eyewitnesses claimed that man on horseback had been riding around town challenging people to fight him at that location before the incredible flood. Others claimed that they saw a brilliant flash of light near the area. There were indeed unexplainable signs of scorched earth despite the flood, so perhaps it was some kind of explosion? Even more outlandishly, there were reports of two men flying through the air as well as flying giant octopuses near the river.
"Dead body found at the Secondary School!"
Students claimed that there was some kind of duel at the Secondary School, with a fight breaking out between a spear-wielding man, an old man wearing robes, and a number of other people. They even went so far as to say that had been some kind of raven bigger than a truck. Despite these ridiculous claims, however, it remains a fact that a dead body had been discovered at the Secondary School. It appeared to be that of an Asian man's, and the police are investigating.
Walrein's Epilogue said:
From the diaries of Edgar Allen Poe:
My role in this bloody, senseless conflict has finally come to an end.
It has been no more than six hours since I watched the one who summoned me be stuck down, the glimmer of life in his eyes fading. I wept then, and even now I have trouble holding my pen steady.
There was a period where I wondered whether my continued existance in this world was necessary, now that the one who commanded me can no longer do so. Indeed, I considered returning to my rest, perhaps more permanently this time.
After all, this is the one who returned me to this world, the one who allowed me to create Montressor and the Inquisitor and my raven flock. This is the one who allowed me to use the powers that I was always forced to conceal in my first life. This is the one who gave me a second chance at life.
But then I realized that my second chance at life did not end with my master's death. I realized that the [illegible] who struck him down is an evil far more extreme than any I have witnessed before. I have never had strong desire to good in my life, but I now see that this abomination must be stopped at all costs, and I feel that any defeated master or champion would feel the same way.
I have bound myself to another magician, a benevolent man who is also providing me with lodging, and will fight for the legacy of my former friend.
Even in death, my master has managed to give me purpose.
The Sage, Edgar Allen Poe, has been removed from the War.
"Destruction in the Residential Areas!"
On to relatively tamer matters, there appears to be some breaking and entering going on in the residential areas over the past few days. Many homes have been found damaged or wrecked. Residents are advised to be on their guard.
You appear to have finished reading the newspaper, but you are startled when an extra page appeared out of thin air.
"You remain unpredictable as always, Masters. Despite your inactivity near the start of the War, it appears that we have managed to made much progress today, thanks to the efforts of a select few worthy participants...In any case, I am happy to say that we have managed to go past the halfway mark of this War. It should not be much longer until the conclusion, now."
Day 6 is over. At last. Deadline for Day 7 plans is 19th January, 7:00 AM GMT +8. Keep in mind this is my zone or you'll end up like a Walrein.
Four down. Four to go. Despite being ostensibly the half-way mark, you know that there is not much time left. The War will not continue for very much longer. And why not? This state of affairs has perpetuated for long enough. It may as well be brought to an end.
Such thoughts intersperse your mind as each of you think back to the events of the War.
Sage. Archer. Berserker. Caster.
Edgar Allen Poe. Apollo. Dian Wei. Circe.
The first two had fallen in the days before. The latter two... they were defeated on this day. A brutal melee had erupted earlier when Guan Yu summoned his Five Tiger Generals to aid in his War effort. Faced with such an overwhelming force, all of his opponents had fled, so that they may live and fight another day. But that was not the end of it. Eager for blood, another fierce battle occurred when the Berserker was tracked down. He fought with all his might, but sadly, could not overcome the various champions that he had to defeat. And thus, 'E-lai From Ancient Times' fell, surrounded by the blood of his enemies.
Caster had suffered a much more ignoble death, falling at the hands of a sudden strike. But still, a death was a death. All's fair in love and war. The Enchantress herself could hardly disagree with that.
Unbearably hot. It was summer, of course, but the heat seemed so much more scorching and so much less forgiving that it felt like an entirely different season. This was what you got if you added the heat of the summer sun and the dryness of the dead air together, squared it, and let it spread across the city.
You stepped out of your house, your base, or perhaps simply an abandoned alleyway fit only for the homeless. The seventh day. Three of you think over, reconsider, and confirm your plans for the day. There was much to do. The fourth had much less to worry about. He muttered a few words under his breath. Next to him, his Champion stared up at the sky. They were waiting.
A red-hot flash of light burst out of his hand. When it faded, one of the symbols engraved upon his skin had disappeared, with nothing left to ever prove that it had once existed.
And thus, it arrived.
Flames exploded out of the ground, roasting an unfortunate few, who had merely been ordinary citizens, until even their ashes had burnt to nothing.
A literal shower of meteors fell from the heavens, showering the city with fire so white-hot that it scorched the eyes simply to look at it.
Buildings caught aflame and crumbled, collapsed, fell to pieces, were destroyed, absolutely disintegrated, raining concrete fireballs upon the innocent citizens of the city.
It was hot before, but now the heat felt as though one was face-to-face with the Sun.
As though it were an orchestra of agony, screams erupted all around the city, merging and becoming one with the roars of the flames. But even that soon died away. It had been taken away by the fire.
You watched the city, protected by your magic. Even now, more fire rained from the heavens, as though to signify that the destruction would never, ever stop.
Armageddon, Apocalypse, Ragnarok, Apocalypsis. It was truly a scene that resembled the end of the world.
You look at the burning city, the wrecked buildings, the dead people, and the unbridled destruction and realize that this is it. There is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. To fight - that is the only option available to you.
Knight. Rider. Assassin. Savior.
Four to go.
Who will emerge as the victor? The time to discover that is upon us.
Ok, now that the fluff is done, let's explain the two things that this fire actually does:
1) Drastically increases encounter rate. There is nowhere to turtle cause everywhere is on fire and everything is destroyed. It may even be possible to catch sight of enemy players in districts next to yours, rather than only the one you're in.
2) Damage. For balance reasons, the fire will only hurt you during an encounter. There's a certain chance that you get hit by a fireball from the sky or a heat wave or some other danger every turn. If that happens, you take damage. There is no save (how do you reflex against a heat wave?), but the damage isn't all that high.
Happy planning, guys, and let's wrap up PSW III in style :)
8th Place - Walrein - Sage - Lin, Edgar Allen Poe, The Inquisitor, Montresor, Raven Flock, and The Raven (special shoutouts to quite possibly the game's most famous and popular Trademark Ability!) - Champion killed by Aura Guardian with sudden manifestation of Andvarinaut.
7th Place - theangryscientist - Archer - Annie and Apollo - Surrendered to vonFiedler's dastardly betrayal.
6th Place - HD - Berserker - Artemis Tau and Dian Wei - Master killed by vonFiedler's sudden charge.
5th Place - Vintage Books - Caster - Breannan and Circe, plus a veritable zoo - Master killed by vonFiedler's sudden charge.
4th Place - Aura Guardian - Assassin - Tom Jones and Loki - Champion betrayed and poisoned to death by Quagsires.
3rd Place - vonFiedler - Rider - Mei Tuo and Guan Yu - Torn apart from Quagsires' order, the revived Edgar Allen Poe and Raven.
2nd Place - General Spoon - Knight - Myrrdin and Jeanne D`Arc - Outlasted by Quagsires
1st Place - Quagsires - Savior - Nemo and Hippocrates - He was too difficult to kill.
vonFiedler comes in third, and General Spoon comes in second with a very slight margin of 13 HP, meaning our winner is...
What an upset! Congratulations!
Postgame and other stuff will come in awhile. In the mean time feel free to post your thoughts. It has been an amazing 10 months (!!), and I hope everyone enjoyed the game. I won't deny that I made several mistakes over the course of the game, but I tried my best. I'm happy as long as everyone had fun!