Hello, for the last time!

With today's garage update & auctions, we ended our ten-day update streak and I've got to say, I'm personally satisfied. While there's still a lot of work to be done, we managed to get a good chunk of our long-term projects and big changes out of the way. Undoubtedly, there's still room for improvement but we laid down a solid foundation to build on all around the server. I've got many many things to address, both related to your feedback and other general rants, so I'll separate them into little paragraphs and approach them directly in a chronological order:

Advertisement System, Donators & Businesses
The advertisement system was the first update that sparked a bit of controversy in the community. Main issues we flagged down are imbalance of personal and company advertisements, and donators not having as much edge as they used to. Those are the two main problems we'll be looking at with the system, perhaps implementing two parallel queues so the two different types of ads are displayed interchangably. As for donators, we're considering an efficient and fair way for them to skip the queue that won't limit the regular player too much.

Environment Mapping & Quality Assurance
The idea behind environment changes was perhaps one of my favourite throughout this whole update spree, however I've made a set of very basic mistakes. Instead of focusing on the detailed quality of each map, we put quantity as a priority and as a result, some of the maps weren't tuned to perfection as we're often used to. Some of the maps were temporarily taken down for toching up and we will consult with factions that roleplay in the area before being released, something we should've done originally, but we didn't want to spoil the surprise.

After the initial tumble with the server configuration causing decrease in performance, I think it's safe to say the site's now running alright. There's a couple of glitches here and there we didn't catch before release, but they aren't anything we couldn't address. News that might interest some of you — while the core admin team will consist of staff members, we might look into opening the moderation team for any old player that wants to help. You'll hear more about that once we get there!

Drugs 1.0 and Where's My Money!?
Quote from otter: "Whilst the recent drug wipe may have been infuriating for some, it was an essential step to ensuring this update's full potential can be realized. A stagnant drug market rife with excessive stockpiles benefits no one and it would be impossible for everything to fall into place whilst they still exist. This is the one opportunity we have as a community to start from a clean slate, and to not make the most of this unique situation - we have to take drastic measures.

In light of this, an avenue through which you will able to recieve monetary compensation for your losses will be put in place at some point within the next 5 days or so. A post will be made containing further details soon, but until then, please remain patient.

As a heads up, don't scrap your cars! If you do, you risk losing out on any compensation you would otherwise have been entitled to. The refund process will be automated so you don't need to worry about screenshots, either.

I look forward to further building upon the new system, and I can't wait to show you what else I've got up my sleeve."

New Forum Theme & Where is the old one
This one I knew outright would be controversial, and I couldn't be more right. There's a solid 50/50 split between people who love it and people who hate it ← and that's okay! The change isn't small and will definitely take some getting used to, but I'd like to ask you all to give it a fair chance. For the next month or so, we'll keep improving the theme to get rid of the main issues and annoyances, namely poor use of space and brightness — we're looking into introducing a night-mode for those with sensitive eyes as a possible addition. As I mentioned on the boards, a replica of the old theme will be available once we're done editing the new theme, in roughly a month; if you still don't like it by then and can't get used to it, you'll be able to opt out. No hard feelings, I promise!

But! I expected MDC to be in the Anniversary Updates
Oh and so did I. MDC for the LSFD, SADOC and perhaps the Government was supposed to be the final implementation for the anniversary update. Unfortunately however, despite my best efforts, I didn't manage to get it ready and tested on time, so we ended up going with a plan B - standalone garages and exclusive vehicle auctions. While this is disappointing for some, I'd rather spend a couple more weeks perfecting the system and making sure it's tested and without annoying glitches, rather than release a unfinished, poor quality product. To change the pace however, I'll stay in touch with leaders of the respective factions to display progress and gather feedback before release.

But! I expected * to be in the Anniversary Update
We did our best to set the list of updates up for the anniversary in a way to give a little of something to everyone. There's still a lot of things that need doing that the update didn't cover, and after all, the update wasn't mean to solve all issues we face. If anything, it was meant to break down a barrier and open up new opportunities and foundations we can build on. I'm very satisfied we got a lot of projects that have been open for a while out there and cleared the table to take on something new. That being said, just because the anniversary is now over doesn't mean we're going to stop working to deliver new content, if anything, getting over tough changes and long-term projects is only motivating to work on something new and fresh.

I'd like to express my personal gratitude to everyone that was supportive during the updates and to everyone that provided constructive criticism and useful feedback, regardless of your opinion on the given subject. All of the updates were done with you, the community, in mind and only you can help us make it even better.

If you'd like to revisit the individual update threads & their discussions:

May 18th: San Andreas Correctional Facility
May 19th: Tollbooth System
May 20th: Advertisement Improvements
May 21st: Texas Hold 'em Poker
May 22nd: State Government & Staff Update
May 23rd: Environment Mapping
May 24th: Faceinvader
May 25th: Drug Update 1.0
May 26th: Forum Upgrade
May 27th: Garages & Vehicle Auctions

Strenghtening The Forces
As I mentioned previously, the work does not stop now. There's still plenty years of updates and improvements ahead, and now that the whole anniversary fiasco is settled, I'd like to announce changes to the development team. Congratulations to:

who is going to be taking on a role of Lead Developer, essentially a right hand of Head of Development, which should allow for a more streamlined revision process.

who will be taking on a role of a full fledged Developer with access to LS-RP's game code. This should allow him to get more involved with the day-to-day updates and smoother integration of his future projects.

I'd also like to give my sincerest thank you to everyone that lended a helping hand during the stressful updates, whether by coding, mapping or testing. I'd be lost without you all.

That being said, this post officially concludes the anniversary celebrations. I'm excited to see what the future has to offer and how far we can still take it with LS-RP, even over a decade in. I guess I'll see you at the next update, whenever that is!

Until then,
Head of Development