History of the World - Part II

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This page contains the events that happened in 2006, back when Men were Dukes, and so were the women. For other years, see:

Historians retain the right to poetic license.


January 2006: Rain. Mud. Mosquitos.

At some point during January 2006 (?), the Cities were subjected to torrential rains. This flooded some of the Roads so the taxis wouldn't operate, and turned some of the terrain to Mud (break out the wellies!). The standing water bred Mosquitos--1hp monsters that could give you malaria if they hit you. Emergency clinics popped up near each of the Cities where one could donate blood, and some people figured out that malaria could actually be beneficial. Someone who was actually around for malaria, please describe the effects...

As I recall, it was quite similar to poison (periodic hit point loss) but the malaria level and HP loss got worse the longer you had it untreated. Gin and Tonics would retard (but not cure) the progression. Only blood transfusions from someone of the same alignment would cure it. Everyone who had malaria got a +30 bonus to either AP or HP (can't remember which) once they were cured. -- Thog 19:31, 9 May 2007 (BST)
Actually, if you check the history of the Quests page, you'll see that the reward was +10% of your MaxAP + 10 MaxAP, as stated by Elseware. I only got +20 MaxAP myself. Random4518 00:08, 10 May 2007 (BST)

In addition, whenever a mosquito was killed, the player would be informed of the number of mosquitoes remaining in the game. The player to slay the last mosquito was rumoured to be endowed with increased AP genration; however, no one knows who killed the last mosquito.

January 5th 2006: Space

From the 'King:

The Final Frontier. Look out for a way to reach it...

Space was added, with Space Rockets the only way to get there. Without a Space Elevator, all the usual routes home (talismans, summon stones, etc.) worked fine.

January 19th 2006: Revolution!

On this day, the Great Lords overthrew the 'King and established their Council. They did, however, allow him to keep his palace and continue to award ranks of nobility to Citiezens.

(In other words, Elseware decided he needed to get some Real Work done, and gave a few other people access to the code to continue to develop Cities. Initially, Ruthven, Yendor, Ignatz, and Harvey were included in the ranks of the Great Lords. Andrew was added to the ranks circa 2007)

January 23rd 2006: You're Never Going to Keep Me Down

Knightly Order of Tubthumping founded. Charter members: Sertularian, Macksting, Douro, e.bstan.

January 25th 2006: 5 Million AP Milestone

Total AP spent just passed the 5 million mark.

The Great Lords pass a day-long 25% discount on Ale to celebrate the occasion.

January 30th 2006: Malaria Eradicated

The flood is now over. All mosquitos, malaria and clinics have gone.

The little icon by the change item button links into a wiki page for the _class_ of that item. (remember the names can change). You can

  • ignore it
  • make the page redirect somewhere more useful
  • go nuts, make a page per object. I suggest using the wiki templates to help with this.

Memos - Use a bit of paper to write a note. It's a unique items. Please report bugs

February 3rd 2006: Barbelith, Emissaries

Barbelith is first explored. . . still nothing of interest to report.

In interesting news, Emissaries are first documented spreading their lies eventually leading to the Underground quests.

February 6th 2006: Fire Fly Cancelled.

Up until this point, the 1-HP, 1-damage Fire monster had been the Fire Fly. On this day, all Fire Flies vanished, and were replaced by the now-familiar Glow Worm. The 'king sent out a palantir message to all Citiezens informing them of the "cancellation," and assuring them that he was sure they would appreciate the Glow Worm as a quality replacement monster. Citiezens grumble and then finally start a community petition and badge-wearing campaign that is summarily ignored by the 'king and Great Lords.

Note: For those asking what the significance of all this is, the entire sequence above is something of a meta-joke. Firefly was a short-lived science fiction TV show cancelled abruptly in its first season. Many people didn't hear about it until after cancellation, since it was very poorly promoted. However, word of mouth spread about the show, and the DVD set became an Amazon bestseller. This caused a large number of "Browncoats" (fans of the show) to mount a campaign to bring it back. They met with little success, but possibly aided in the decision to make a feature film based on the series ("Serenity"). Seriously, you should watch it--it's pretty good.

February 6th 2006: Equipables

Shades (and, for those lucky few who have them, Socks) are now "Equippable". They have been moved to a new section of the inventory, and have a "Wear" button. Worn items are moved to a new list, and all worn items have an effect. So you can wear your shades all the time now, without having to keep switching between different items to get the effect.

If these go well, we'll move things like boots over to behave the same way.

February 10th 2006: Herman the Hermit

Reports have come in of a solitary hermit in a cave near the Dark Mountains who is looking for herbs.

February 11th 2006: Bling

Magic Bling.

Ships are now equippable.

2 new kinds of ship: Ferry and Speed Boat.

February 14th 2006: Adventurer Advice

Some enterprising guys have set up Adventurer Advice stations at the city shrines. Pop in for free advice on what you should do with your AP.

February 15th 2006: News - Kudos!

Kudos - may be given to other players. There will be minor advantages to having lots of Kudos.

Kudos were initially set up on a pH-type scale

Limbo is now limboier. No bonuses or penalties are awarded to players in limbo (hats, league tables, poison, kudos). Players in limbo do not show up on scores tables. It saves on "housekeeping" and cut the hourly script from 75 seconds to 13 seconds!

Change to the way mining and magic beans work: you now always get something. A spade will now halve the ap cost rather than double your odds of finding something. The AP cost of mining has been increased to 36AP. This is high, but a spade takes it down to 18AP. The actual ap/getting ore ratio is increased a little. Magic beans now cost 10AP in the desert and 30AP in water, but never fail.

February 15th 2006: The Frozen North

The Frozen North officially opens for business.

February 21st 2006: News

Total AP spent so far (not counting debug characters): 7,285,354

February 23rd 2006: The Great Currency Debacle

Two new currencies were added to the game: Drogna and Shillings. Drogna was used south of the Great Desert, and Shillings were used in the Frozen North. The shops in the appropriate zones accepted only coins of that type (so you couldn't pay for items in Bognor with GP, or pay for items in Fire City with Shillings). Coin exchanges were set up to convert between the currencies. After a short period, the Gold Piece was renamed the Golden Elsewarian. Shortly thereafter, the Great Lords stepped in and converted everything back to GP for simplicity's sake.

These days the only evidence of multiple currencies are the coiners (now reduced to converting bits of gold to GP and back) and the occasional Drogna or Shilling in the dump.

March 1st 2006: Naughty Hats

"Naughty Hats" are placed on a number of citizens. These evil-doers were responsible for exploiting the currency exchange centers and accumulating vast amounts of cash.

March 5th 2006: Music

Musical instruments are invented. A garage band quickly forms and discovers which instruments are best played by which alignments.

March 7th 2006: The Citizen

The inaugural edition of The Citizen is published.

March 9th 2006: News

The inventory has been revamped - you can now choose whether to show it to other players (e.g. http://cities.totl.net/cgi-bin/invent?username=mikej) and it includes a view which only shows items that have >1 (i.e. spare items).

A few features:

Suggestions/Comments welcome (either palantir mikej, or put suggestions/bugs in the relevant sections).

You have to be logged into an account on cities to see other users inventory pages.--pestalinc 21:07, 11 March 2006 (GMT)

March 22nd 2006: Kudos Revamped

The first in a set of Kudos changes have now been applied to the game:

  • Quests no longer give Kudos
  • Players do not lose a Kudos when kudosing another player (dis'ing remains the same)
  • Some situations may still cause you to gain/lose kudos
At this stage, kudos retained a range with 7 as "normal." Citiezens remained quite confused as to the purpose and use of kudos.

March 25th 2006 Approx: Space Elevator Opens!

Elevator Maiden Voyage Goes Air-Shaped!

-Headline from The Citizen Vol. 1, Issue 2

The Isam Space Elevator's launch earlier in the week, despite positive public turnout, was a fiasco. Prospective Spacetronauts were stunned after an 11 hour ride to find themselves back on solid ground.

When The Citizen caught up with Bard Isam, we asked him what exactly had gone wrong. "Well, it was a bit of a silly mistake. The space elevator operates by having one end of a long piece of string tied to the entrance, and the other end tied to the space station.

It seems one of our workers got the plans mixed up and ended up tying the other end to the Air City Shrine! We at Isam Inc are, of course, very apologetic, and assure our passengers that all problems have been ironed out."


After hurried repairs, the "Sloppy Seconds" Voyage went off without a hitch, albeit with considerably less fanfare.

March 26th 2006: News - Stocks, Retirement Village, Nerf Attack

The bad guys are in stocks south of Fire City. Poke them while you have the chance, they'll be released on probation soon.

We said there were two ways to change your alignment. Lord Harvey disabled one, which actually disabled both (damn object oriented code). Now they are both re-enabled, so things that didn't work before may now work.

Cities was at my last check 62000 lines of Perl code. But it is still quite easy to code as the only objects are monsters, players and items. And players and monsters are remarkably similar. -Elseware

Retirement Village

There's been a lot of talk of retiring characters lately. If you want to properly declare a character retired, you can take them to the retirement village. Go north from earth city and the follow an easterly road.

Retirement village will never send you to limbo.

There's nothing to stop you bringing the geezers out of retirement, I just thought it would be cute for people who want to retire characters.

That place is spooky! There are these Shacks dotting the landscape, but they seem to move around every time you take a step! Droll 18:23, 3 April 2006 (BST)

Nerf Attack

Summon stones have been made rarer. Although I'll review this if it messes up the treasure hunt.

Summon stones now always break if you summon someone who's logged in from the same computer as you.

Magic powder has also been nerfed, in an attempt to stem the rising number of magic powder burnouts milling around air city talking about the glory days of no caffine tolerance.

(It can't raise AP above MaxAP (before the -3))

April 2nd 2006: Open Mic Night

The First Open Mic Night is held at the Fiddling Wizard Folk Club, granting the ability to pacify monsters.

April 4th 2006: News

The Merchant's Guild Quest now gives you some additional useful options.

April 10th 2006 Approx.: Dying Earth Worms

Chronic Wasting Disease is documented in the Earth Worm population. It is theorized that Earth Worms acquired this new disease in the Southern Desert during the ill-starred "Wriggling Road" campaign. The disease does not stay endemic to desert-dwelling worms, but quickly spreads to the entire 'Kingdom and beyond.

May 11th 2006: Fishing Now Easier

Fishing has been changed to work like mining now. It takes more AP to fish, but you're now guaranteed something for doing it.

May 14th 2006: News

Equippable items now "stack" in their effects -- fixing a long-standing bug with things like scarves and woolly gloves. You should find the North a little warmer, if you have multiple warm gear.

May 18th 2006: News - Stats

Some stats:

Lines of code: 65000

Different types of item: 751

Different types of monster: 188

Monsters currently alive: 74021

Different types of location: 151

Number of unique items (maps, bags, etc): 1503

Total players: 5683

Active players: 800 (not in limbo)

Total distance travelled by everyone put together: 3542867

Total AP spent: 15568038 (15 million!)

note that this ignores distance and AP from admin/test characters.

June 7th 2006: News -

Hey y'all. Long time no new features.

There's 3 interesting new things in the game tonight.

2 kinds of permit dropped only by bigger monsters. It'll take a few days, at least for anybody to find them. The occur about as often as treasure maps.

Plowshares now do something very interesting.

At least that'll give you something new to figure out how to exploit.


The palantir news was initially confusing, as 'King Elseware sneezed while broadcasting. Whales were created & were the only monsters to drop the new shop permits. However, rich individuals could also buy permits directly from the 'King for a steep price. Fields now plowable and plantable.

June 7th 2006: Picnic

Make a Picnic Basket from a Basket, a Cucumber Sandwich, a Gorgan-zola Sandwich, a Breakfast Club Sandwich and a Bacon Sandwich

June 15th 2006: The Trouble with Tribbles - You Never Tire of Skinning Them

Tribbles eating you out of house and home? Why not enter the fur trade?

June 15th 2006: News

And a couple of minor exploits (or methods of getting loads of stuff) have been fixed:

  • You can't go on retreats whilst wearing bling (so you can't use gold blings to get effectively unlimited AP). -- Thanks to the person who pointed this out.
    • It was me! :) Rinn 23:24, 20 June 2006 (BST)
  • Blingwraiths have been retrained as airport security operatives -- they now look in your bags to see how many blings you've got when you attack them.

June 25th 2006: News - Stats

Department of Pointless Statistics: We have over 800 different types of item now, and have just passed the 500th check-in in Subversion.

June 29th 2006: Rave in a Cave

Rave in a Cave - Possibly the first free party. Plagued by bugs and lack of advertising.

July 6th 2006: Sewers

The Water City Power Plant goes online, providing cheap, clean electricity to the 'Kingdom. Citiezens adventuring in the interior find that the construction has opened fissures in the ground leading into the sewers. The sewage is found to promote many newly-discovered endemic diseases, but researchers are quick to find cures.

July 9th, 2006: Open Mic Night 2

The Second Open Mic Night takes place. The reward is the ability to "rock out."

July 13th 2006: News - Bling Breakage

Bling breakage rules were altered. Some bling now break on usage, some still break on movement.

August 2006: Oz Ho!

A new continent (Oz) is discovered.

August 21st 2006: Hats Unduplicated

Numerous hats are removed from circulation by The Council in a move to fight the high number of hats created by race-condition duplication.

August 25th 2006: News - To-Hit

New to-hit calculations are rolled out. Instead of being capped, to-hits above 90% are increased at rate of 1% actual per 10% theoretical.

August 28th 2006: Oz Interior Open

The interior jungles of Oz become accessible through two passes in the Andies: the TerrorRemedy Pass & the Dragon Pass.

August 30th 2006: Fashion

Fashion statements are first documented.

September 14th 2006: R'1yeh

R'1yeh is discovered. It was created in tribute to Cthu1hu's winning the map-making contest [1].

September 18th 2006: Jock McStrapp, Woodstock

Jock McStrapp is discovered in need of cake.

Woodstock, the first successful free party, hosted by TerrorRemedy, kicks off.

October 21st 2006: Post Office

Cities now has a fledgling postal service. Oh, and there's a new quest.

December 22nd 2006: Open Mic Night 3

The Third Open Mic Night takes place. Those who played well enough are rewarded on January 2nd, 2007 with the ability to command the winds.

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