Here's the writeup of the Big One, the State of Elanthia address, presented by Solomon with Riel and Maelona on hand. Solomon did almost all of the talking, but I was looking at Maelona :)

Solomon entered to Nine Inch Nail's "Closer," set to upbeat, sing-songy music. He then announced the coming of Dragonrealms 2! He had anticipated our Frequently (or Frantically) Asked Questions.
FAQ1: Do we have to start over?
A1: No!
FAW2: When?
A2: Soon.
FAQ3: Why?
A3: Because.
FAQ4: Because why?
A4: Because we said so.

There will be an update of the game engine, resulting in:

There will be COOL STUFF! Hot Summer Nights will continue as planned. Hot Winter Nights will continue as planned (probably). Here's a rough timeline:

So, what do the GMs want to do in the future? How about EVERYTHING FROM THE POLL!!!!! And "little" things, too. Like: multi-room houses, better vualts with a real line to wait in, enhanced NPCs - especially guild leaders ("knowing" about many more things) and town guards (having beats, being bribable), enhanced creatures, a karma stat related to interaction with creatures, "weighted" and "decaying" warnings, skill based titles (So a "goblin destroyer" might get swarmed by goblins. And not all goblins will be low level anymore...), "easier" magic "stuff," creation systems will "hit the roof," and it will be easier for the GMs to design-develop-implement-release their projects.

Oh, and the new guild: Necromancers.

Solomon then opened the floor to a Q+A. I have indicated on who asked the questions as well as I could, but I'm sure there are many misspellings, and I missed some of the names entirely. Sometimes Solomon went off on a tangent while answering questions.

Blasword: Can people switch guilds to become Necromancers?
A: No. It's silly to suddenly have all that power without knowing how to use it. It's detrimental to gameplay.

Q: Will the new guild come out before DR2?
A: No.

Barnacus: Will guards respond to invasions and be killable?
A: Yes.

Tyrathia: Can one work as a town guard with the new career system?
A: Yes, with the law enforcement career. Things like sailor and alchemist didn't have enough complexity to be actual Guilds, so they are being planned as careers instead. There will even be Trader uber-careers like shopkeepers.

Lakus: Does a career require you to give up any of your guild abilities?
A: Hell no! It's just extra stuff. Players will be able to build houses and shops. When you want to know when a new store is opening up, it will be up to other players to tell you, "soon."

Q: Will there be a career list?
A: Well, nothing is written in stone, not even stonemasonry. But there will be a new section on the boards for DR2 as soon as we all get back, and Solomon sees no need to withhold a list of planned careers.

Q: Is Necromany the only thing that will be discussed at the "Secret Projects" seminar?
A: Well, actually, we might also do Monks, which would incorporate some D&D Druid-related abilities like shape-shifting.

Q: Will the effects of a skill title (like goblin swarms) still come into play if one chooses not to wear that title?
A: Yes. And the alignment system will affect how you interact with your guild leader and other NPCs. So maybe you wouldn't have to be a goody-goody as a Paladin. It looks like Blasword is going to have an orgasm. Maybe he's already had one? Anyway, Paladins will probably be able to detect alignment. "My soul sense is tingling."

Q: Can the Pyrdaen have a home?
A: Why not?

Q: Can Rakash have packs?
A: Sure.

Q: What about food. My character hasn't eaten in 2 years.
A: You'll never have to eat. If you did, then you'd have to use the bathroom, and we'd have to write a system for that. But nobody wants to see that.

Q: Will magic items become too common?
A: We're not worried about that. They'll be expensive and the effects won't be permanent.

Q: Will there be ships?
A: Yeah. The first set will be sold this summer. 6 can be rented, and 5 will be up for auction. They go much faster than the existing ships.

Rufflehouse: Will ships have a maximum passenger capacity?
A: No, they're really big.

Christian: Will DR2 have a fame system?
A: I would like to see that. The arena will keep track of victories. And there will be arm wrestling. Gnome vs Gor'tog will be fun.

Q: When will the Warrior Mage shop be out of QC?
A: This summer.

Tyrathia: Will there be rowboats, too?
A: Yes, the size of the ship being built can be determined.

Q: Can buildings be destroyed?
A: Sure, and maybe buildings will have roofs and windows, too. And there will be ways to go around cities instead of through them all the time.

Q: Bombs?
A: Alchemy.

Megara: Will PvP ever result in exp gain?
A: Probably not. But there might be other rewards [in situations where it is justified to kill an evil character, for example]. There will be Champions, and a Hall of Records for things like that. And there will be insurance for your most expensive and unique items. Even very expensive magical insurance.

Kappy: Is there a big war coming?
A: War? What's a "war?" Anything that you hear about a war that may or may not be bigger than the Gorbesh war is just rumor and speculation.

That concluded the Q+A. (The last question was actually asked later, but I put it there for readability.) Solomon then called up all the GMs that were present, and they introduced themselves. Solomon, with additional comments from the assembled staff, went on to tell us: HSN starts Thursday, and the first release is the new "dying" system. The 6th year Long Term Beneftis for Premium are ready. There is going to be a Therengia-Riverhaven road, but don't count in it being particularly safe. Rental ships will be here next week.

Solomon was very disappointed that the Empaths were not more upset about his transference announcement.

Solomon then left the stage to what I *think* was Limp Biskit's "Break Stuff," but I'm not sure because the song was unfamiliar so I just Googled the lyrics I could remember. Whatever it was, it was set to a big band tune.

I tried to be as complete as possible in my notetaking, but this is far from verbatim, and there were lots of less significant details that didn't make it into this transcript. If you have additional questions, post them or send them to my DR e-mail address, and I'll do my best to answer them.

--David (Jolebin Swordstaff, Elemancer of Riverhaven)

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