Hello? Anyone there?
When I started to write this blog and I looked at where we left you last, I was shocked with how long it's been. Though, I was more shocked by how much has happened since we last wrote a blog both in our own lives, the PK community and the Mount & Blade Community in general. Though let's keep to PK related news for this blog.
Since our last update we've gotten another 7000 subscribers on Steam! That brings our current subscribers to 19,109 and our unique subscribers to 30,702. We also have a 92% positive review rating from our 511 reviews. Remember, this is Steam alone, our other release platforms also have pretty impressive statistics! I would like to thank you all again for your tremendous support, especially in voting for us during ModDB's end of year competition. It's sad we didn't go any further in the competition, but we feel privileged to be featured alongside so many other great mods in their year in review. When William first approached me suggesting we make our own PW based mod I never expected the mod to last this long, get so big and get so much attention.
On a sadder note, since our last update Phoenix shutdown. As you will know, most of us in the dev team had some sort involvement in Phoenix and sunk many of our hours into making it as great as it was. We were proud to be part of the Phoenix admin / management community, which is why we decided to name our team after the server. It has been disappointing to see it's demise, especially given how / why it shutdown. However, we are all excited by what freedom a clean slate will allow us to do to improve the community once again! More on that later...
Oh boy I love that logo, thanks @William!
What the hell is "PK.js" I hear you ask? Yeah... good question.
For ages people have been asking, nagging and even begging for scripts for both PW and PK almost daily by members of the community. Many of you will know that Phoenix had it's own scriptset created by Avenger and later maintained and improved more for PK by myself. At times we admittedly have not given out scripts to ensure that Phoenix had no competition, but even when we wanted to give them out and since Phoenix closed we haven't. Why? It's not that we're meanies, but because Phoenix's script set was a bit of a Frankenstein mess. It was built by stitching together snippets of various people's work and then trying to make it into a polished product with rough sandpaper. No one really knew everything that was in it, for example, I discovered whilst preparing it for PK that it actually had a system to save chest contents between server restarts that had been left disabled! Only one person knew how to set the scriptset up... Avenger and he is a busy man who simply doesn't have the time to dedicate to setting up and fixing the tons of servers that would be setup if we had released them for free.
If we had any chance of releasing a scriptset that the community could use freely then we would have to start a fresh and build everything from the ground up. For some reason, that is what I decided to do with a little help from @Bridge Troll, @Saptor and Belial.
Even before I wrote the first line of code, I had decided that:
PK.js will be open source. The open source code of PW built the foundation for PK. Open source assets and code built upon that foundation to create PK. PK released as an open source mod. Open source is very much embedded in PK and PK.js will maintain that legacy. PK.js will be "easy" to setup. As much as I would love to help setup a server for everyone that asks, I simply don't have the time and I would much prefer to ensure that PK.js has the documentation to allow you to easily setup a server when I am no longer around to help. Before I put down my tools on PK.js I promise that it will be fully documented, hopefully with video tutorials explaining how to set it up and in the mean time I will answer any questions to have in the setting up process. PK.js will be free. After sinking a lot of time into developing PK it has annoyed me to see hosting companies rip off members of our community by charging additional costs for them to provide or setup extremely poor quality scripts. If hosting companies are going to charge you for scripts then they should at least have the decency to provide scripts of a decent quality and fix any issues that you report to them. Furthermore, by them providing these poor quality scripts it hurts the reputation of PK by making it seem it is bug ridden, which it really isn't! I have had many issues reported to me of hosting companies, that have "Persistent Kingdoms scripts" that are clearly poorly converted PW scripts. PK has made script quite a bit easier and it does not take much to covert quality PW scripts into equally as good PK scripts. So please either improve the scripts to work well with PK and make use of our new scripting features or stop advertising "Persistent Kingdom scripts". Remember what our license says: "Neither the name "Persistent Kingdoms" nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission." To prevent these hosting companies making any more profit out our work, PK.js has been given a non commercial license. Don't worry server owners, you are not being targeted and will still be able to collect donations for running costs, but hosting companies will not be able to charge you more in any way for using PK.js. This will be enforced by myself. If you are looking to setup a server in the future I strongly suggest you approach me and I can show you through the process of doing so without shared hosting providers. Again, this is something I will put in any video tutorials I create in the future. PK.js will be the best and most powerful scriptset to date. Fortunately, having worked on Phoenix's admin team I know what good scripts are. But these are going to be more than "good", I promise you! In our usual dev blogs, this would usually be the point where we list a load of screenshots or videos showing amazing new armors or some fancy new features. I was not keen on trying to wow you all with pictures of an admin panel that is still massively work in progress, but I felt that it would be better to at least show something to show action and not just intent. The screenshots may not show much, but they will improve overtime and I hope that what will wow you the most is the experience you have when using the scripts.
Players... the player portal and web store that Phoenix had will return and it will be much better than before! But the admin panel is my main priority first and then my attention will turn to you soon after an initial release.
Have a look at this topic for more information regarding what Kingdoms is, that explains most of it... This segment is to only announce a small, or maybe large, thing... Kingdoms is getting a server!
As you will know, setting up a PK server and a server community isn't easy and it requires a lot of technical knowledge. That is why I have been roped in and asked by many to setup a server. Well here it is and Kingdoms will act as an encapsulating, parenting body to contain the server community. I hope I will be able to use my knowledge, experience and connections to bring you one of the best servers in PK history, hard competition I know, with hopefully the best admin team I can get my hands on.
To be clear, I do not plan on starting a server war with anyone. I have channels of communication open with server owners to merge together to create a single community with great admins and the best scripts!
There is no ETA on the server yet as it relies on PK.js being done, but I will say Soon™. More info will follow soon hopefully.