Heroes' Ascent Trial Results Imminent

The Priests of Balthazar have had more than a week to peruse the vast amounts of feedback returned after the Heroes' Ascent Trial Weekend, and we should expect to see the results soon. Many of the proposed changes will likely return—albeit in altered form—while others that received negative reactions will likely remain shelved. The high level of participation and feedback the event inspired was the very goal of the weekend and, from what I have seen, it seems all would deem the event a great success on that basis.

Many of the tentative adjustments made during the trial have actually been modified based on participant feedback. For example, the "Murder Ball" battles in the Hall of Heroes have been improved to deal with reported choke point problems. Also, many attendees stated they often stalemated in this particular battle, so the Priests of Balthazar have devised a solution. Of course, they remain interested in continued feedback to determine if these changes will improve prior difficulties.

Another change prompted by feedback is the return of Altar matches in the Hall of Heroes. While these battles differ from their original state, the Priests of Balthazar could not ignore the clamor for their return. Perhaps simple nostalgia makes these maps so popular, or perhaps there is a more strategic motive. Either way, the Altar matches will return to the Hall of Heroes, although you will likely find this latest evolution surprising.

One final variation is the duration of the Broken Tower and Courtyard matches. Many fighters found these skirmishes lasted far too long, and enabled a team with an early lead to avoid combat for the remainder of the battle while still emerging victorious. The durations have been shortened significantly to rectify this issue.

I must remind you that, unlike the Trial Weekend, this time the priests will not undo the changes they plan to make after a few days. However, all permutations are still viable topics for discussion. Really, citizens should look at this event as a second Trial Weekend that allows for the evaluation of proposed changes. Be assured that your feedback will once again play a significant role in the final tweaks to this updated system.

Please trek to Heroes' Ascent this weekend and, as you did before, discuss your thoughts and publicly debate your opinions to help guide the ultimate decisions.


A Not-So Random Act of Kindness

As many of you know, a significant number of citizens could not attend the Wintersday festivities because of an act of the gods that impeded their ability to make the trip to the festival locations. News spread fast about these unfortunate few who had missed the opportunity to celebrate the end of winter. In response, countless citizens searched for ways to help. My lavender-clad friend arrived in time to organize a multi-realm gift collection drive to gather Wintersday presents to donate to those who had missed the event.

The outpouring of assistance was enormous. Alas, it would be impossible to mention all of the charitable souls involved, but I did manage to scribble a smattering of names on my tattered scroll amidst the happy chaos of giving:

Aeris Blackwind Agar The Great Akila Vanyar
Alara Batelle Alien Hun Arcruied Brunestud
Arwen Lady Evenstar Aryana Shamirith Atom Borg
Ayla Ritual Azrael Of Bodom Bardus Lamia
Baroness Green Pain Big Cow Blaze Thirteen
Bru Jah Bud Wi Ser Cara Chaos
Cascadia Redie Celestial Stride Chrixie Roo
Coke Slurpee Collin The Monkyboy Controller of Water
Cytheria Starlight Dark Arts Shaman Dark Rayler
Darkfang Swiftchaos Dawn Blackstone Dead Man Walkang
Deal Only With Me Demented Ritualist Demi Chaos
Demon Paragon Denizen Zero Devastating Flames
Divine Condottiere Don Marley E V I P
Ethan Mathias Extinction of Elona F A L L B A C K
Ferra The Fiery Flogorn Arkanhor Gabrielle Haller
Genocide Crow Goddess Amunet Grim Reapress
Hakeem Al Harad Hawl Pendragonn Healer Monk Ownage
Honey Im Home Il Cacciadragoni Illusen Moonfang
Im A Drunken Monkey Jabet Stonespeaker Jaina The Carrier
Jerry The Unholy X Jeska The Warlord John Cena Dgnx
Jolly Sailor Jonath Dragonsbane Juusan Hinote
Kanwulf The Viking Kaoru Dimo Karli Rose
Kataigida Xafnikos Keira Klein Kia Halol
Killer War Eeyore Lady Sno Leiko Stormwind
Lilly Ann Lira Linariel Logan Longshanks
Lord Grim Lord Tarrai Lost Ancient
Luke Connolly Mc Wolfy Mel Pain Bringer
Mexicano Del Monte Miss Tau Mistress Yichi
Mizz Rayne Moon Rayne Morbid Dervish
Morlin Ebonstar Mr Amineeta My Attacks Pwn You
Myst Survivor Nelo Disaresta Nozferatus Faith
Pei Wei Pewy Stinkerins Phunky Town
Puff Zilla Rainee Devilish Randy Lionhearth
Ranger of Hot Arrow Rayven Song Repentance Demanded
Reven Longbow Riise Cire Ryu Chan
Seraph Rassin Serenity Demise Shadow Tower
Shara Dervish Singing Paladin Sirius Graystar
Slayz Alot Snipers Rogue Son Of Excess
Sorcerer Zaisamoth Sugar Lips Hot Hips Superior Vigor
Swift Of Death Swirling Dervishes Takeno Maiden
Talon Dakkal Tara Rystaya Templum Sententia
The Circa Survive The Lobster Man Titans Keep
Toxxx El Big Sage Trish Stratus Tsuanmi Wave
Tushan Hellfire Vaati Don Picori Valorie Arcane
Vial Of Absinthe Wanna The Monk Warlord Juan
Wizard On A Hilltop X Fighter Henchie X Xandra Spellbound
Zunnra Lilac    

I attended the present distribution a few days later. The recipients conveyed their deep appreciation for the truly remarkable good will of all involved; many of them had tears in their eyes as they accepted your philanthropic bounty. Thank you to everyone who helped make Wintersday especially memorable for these grateful citizens, even if their event took place a bit later than normal.


Random Acts of Kindness

Besides the substantial list of remarkable people who shared their Wintersday gifts, I wish to call out others who engaged in acts of good will this week.

In Droknar's Forge, Demok Satanas informed fellow travelers about how to best capture pictures of their surroundings, and how to share such mementos with friends.

In a happy coincidence, Suffer My Desire sought work in the same place and time as another citizen requested an escort to mainland Elona. I trust their trip together was most successful.

Another fine citizen named Kileanne Kitathas shared knowledge of the world with a cartographically-challenged Elonian who was unaware of Cantha's location. This charitable soul accurately gave directions for reaching my native soil, and in so doing perhaps encouraged a visit to my beautiful homeland.

A lost traveler in Kaineng Center seeking passage to Shing Jea Island was aided by Blizzy Lok and Marcus Aureilius. Marcus also explained to another traveler the purpose of Imperial Commendations.

I also found some combatants from the Random Arenas I wish to honor: Joe Hates Blind, Bequin Zel, and Ductape Assassin all showed exceptional humility in victory. Over in the Guild Battles arena, I encountered Brotherhood Of Slovenija [BoS] and Hawks Of Ascalon [HoA], who both fought with nobility and honor.

If you encounter these people or guilds in your travel, be sure to thank them for their generous contributions to our fine community.