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Gatehouse

Welcome to Wyvern

Wyvern is an award-winning massively multiplayer online RPG with a distinctly retro look and feel similar to that of classic PC games.

If you make Wizard, you can create your own mods and game areas for other people to visit. You can use our Map Editor to create new areas, and the game is also fully programmable in Java and Jython. Using the Wizard developer tools, you can create your own weapons, monsters, treasures, quests, guilds, and more.

Wyvern is currently in beta test. We encourage you to playtest the game, and submit bug reports and feature requests. Please read the Official Wyvern Beta Test Rules before you log in.

Play it now!  <-- click here to download Wyvern.

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Wyvern News

Downtime
02-MAR-11

The server will be taken offline on the morning of Monday, March 7th, while we change the static IP for opal.cabochon.com. This is expected to take anywhere up to half a day, (depending on how things go) but it can be hard to predict this sort of thing so try to be patient.

All of this means that you will be unable to access either the game or the website. So, make sure you have the forum bookmarked as you will, of course, still be able to go there to speak with your fellow Wyverneers and potentially get updates on the status of the server.

Re-adjustments
23-FEB-11

When we made changes to attack speeds, movement speeds and vulnerabilities to Giants we told you that we would be watching and making any adjustments to them, and other races, as time passed and we saw how these adjustments worked out. With the changes in magic and other things we decided that it was time to do some tweeks.

Today, we re-adjusted some of these things:

  • Giant attack speeds were increased slightly.
  • Dwarves attack speed was slowed slightly.
  • Giant vulnerabilities were reduced slightly.

We hope these small changes, as we continue to adjust things, make game play more enjoyable for you. Test these things out and use the idea command ingame to give us more input.

Suggested Playing Hours
05-FEB-11

As mentioned in yesterday's anniversary news, we are implementing a new feature to Wyvern called "Suggested Playing Hours." This is where, for specific times of each and every day, you will gain 10% more experience, while you fight your way through the game as usual. Currently you get 1 hour of increased experience, Monday - Friday, and 2 hours of increased experience, Saturday & Sunday. All the times are listed on the Events Calendar and are subject to change with little or no notice. So make sure you check them often.

Current times are based on recent peak playing hours, so we will be looking to adjust these figures as shifts in playing times occur and for that we need your help. Therefore, be sure to use the forum or contact us in-game to let us know what you think of these hours. Are they good for you? Would you rather they be at different times and if so when? We're very much willing to shift them around based on your feedback and, if the demand is high enough, we're willing to consider allowing you to get increased experience at other times of the day, as well. We just want to make sure that there will be enough people around to warrant such an action, so don't be shy with your comments.

FAQ

Q: Isn't this unbalanced?

A: Absolutely. However, you could say that it's an unbalance to make up for an unbalance. For many years, players abused all sorts of bugs and such to gain mass amounts of experience. These included what is known as the enchant bug, spam healing, unbalanced wizard areas, and a particularly nasty bug where players over level 30 were gaining experience when they died (something that "somehow" went unreported for years). As a result, there are players that are higher in level than we ever imagined anyone reasonably achieving. But, due to our recent efforts to fix these problems, players are finding that they are unable to catch up and since you've all been very patient with us, these last couple of years, we wanted to give you all something to help make up for the gap that now exists. However, this is by no means intended to be a permanent addition to the game. This is for right now, while we continue to work on balance issues. So get out there, train, have fun, and continue to send those bug reports and ideas our way!

Q: Will you ever consider giving us more than 10% increased experience?

A: That is possible. We will be observing this system very closely and listening to your feedback over the next few weeks. After we have collected enough data, we will then make adjustments as we see fit. It's possible to do things like give more experience on weekdays than weekends or to give more experience in the wee hours of the morning, should we decide to throw a few bonuses to our friends living in vastly different time zones. Obviously, we don't want to hurl too much experience at you, but we'll see how things go.

Q: What if I don't want to train during these hours?

A: Then don't. What we hope, for with this update, is that people will be encouraged to login during these times, thus increasing player activity for part of the day. If you're someone who likes to socialize, you can come in during the suggested playing times to talk with the people who came to train. If you're someone who likes to group, you might find that there are more people available to form a party with. If you just want to be around when the most players are on, we hope these times will provide some guidelines for when it's best for you to login. Of course, if you just want to train and/or quest when things are less crowded, you can continue to do so during non-peek hours, as you did before. You just won't get bonus experience while doing it.

Wyvern's 10-Year Anniversary
04-FEB-11

One half score years ago our forewizards brought forth this world, a new game, conceived in Imagination, and dedicated to the proposition that all players have fun.

Now, we celebrate and toast this most glorious of days as we look not only to the past, but the future of this game we lovingly call Wyvern. To that end, the wizards have prepared a wondrous day filled with Live Quests and fun new content for you to sink your teeth into. You are all invited to spend the day online. There will be an ongoing party in New Verden and lots of fun events popping up throughout the day. Make sure, too, that you keep your browser on cabochon.com all day long and refresh frequently. There will be regular announcements of all sorts of new goodies. The latest announcement will be posted above and then moved down into this news article when the next announcement comes around. So stay tuned for when we release a new Minath Monster Arena, Quests, Costumes, and more!

Rhialto on the Anniversary

Ten years ago I opened Wyvern's doors to the public after 18 months of frantic full-time development. I felt like I was on to something big -- something that the game industry would never understand. I was thrilled that within minutes there were already people trying it out. One guy even stuck it out for a few weeks, despite the bugs and overall raw experience. If you think there are bugs today, you'd be amazed at what he put up with in 2001!

Over the years we fixed bugs, added features, created content and built a community. And the player base just kept on growing. Watching people play Wyvern and become hooked was what kept me going for another five or six years. During that time we had unprecedented contributions from amazing volunteers like Teshuvah, Arilou, Legolas, Janica, Kiz the Wiz and dozens of others. I told the game publishers that you could build a world entirely out of volunteer contributions, and they didn't believe me. They just didn't understand how addictive this thing would turn out to be, I guess.

Wyvern has been held back for the past few years by technology . Wyvern's world is a rich, extensible ecosystem, and it has pushed the available technologies to their limits and sometimes beyond. Java did not offer the dynamic features we needed, and still does not today. Databases could not deal well with our loosely tree-structured data model. Browsers didn't have quite enough "oomph" to let us create a compelling replacement for the browser client. And so on. In retrospect it's almost amazing that Wyvern works at all. And right around 2005, we finally hit the wall. Wyvern was just a little ahead of its time.

Since 2005, Wyvern's core development has been in temporal stasis as we wait for the technology to catch up. Wizards are busy creating new content, which is wonderful, and we all owe them our thanks and appreciation for their continued contributions. But for Wyvern to achieve its full potential, we need to solve the hurdle of scaling up to thousands of players. And we also need to offer a cross-platform client experience in browsers and mobile devices. We need to do these things while simultaneously making the game faster, more secure, more robust, and easier to build and manage.

I still believe we will get there.

In the past five years we've seen tremendous advances in exactly the technologies that Wyvern needs. We've watched as cloud computing services like Amazon's EC2 have made massive scaling accessible to small companies. We've seen fantastic new JVM languages appear, languages like Clojure and Scala, which should allow us to make the Wyvern world come alive with far less effort than it is today. We've seen huge advances in XML databases and other NoSQL-style storage frameworks. We've seen the emerging HTML5 standard pushing browsers to become powerful enough to host full-featured thin game clients, and we've seen matching protocols like Comet that can give us a rich channel from the browser to the servers.

The pieces are all lining up. They're all still fairly new, but they all show great promise. Wyvern should finally be able to get fancy new plumbing to replace the technological outhouses it's running on today.

The game industry produces a few hit games each year that people play and forget, as well as a few MMORPGs that -- in my opinion -- lack both the charm of Wyvern and its user-extensibility. The rest of what they produce is me-too throwaway titles that they fund because frankly they have no idea what they want.

Fortunately, with the way the industry is evolving, it's increasingly clear that we don't need game publishers anymore. Minecraft has been massive slap in their faces, and yet the publishing houses still think that Minecraft is somehow an accident, a one-off. They just don't get it, and fortunately for us, we don't need them to get it.

For years I labored away on Wyvern knowing that a game's greatness is entirely independent of how it looks. And for all those years, you folks -- both the players and wizards -- have labored with me, knowing that we're on to something amazing here. If anything, games like Zelda: The Wind Waker and Minecraft have shown us that simple graphics are *timeless*. If you want a game to remain new and fresh forever, then you need to sidestep the graphics race and focus on letting peoples' imaginations run wild. I believe Wyvern has the purest vision and the best execution of this idea in the entire history of computer gaming. It might sound immodest, but those of you who've stuck with it for the past decade know exactly what I mean.

It's worth observing that in the past ten years, not one thing has changed about my vision for Wyvern. Wyvern is still the game I want to play most. In fact the only reason I don't play it is to avoid getting sucked in and disappearing. I need to get my ducks lined up before the next massive push to scale it up. For the past few years it's been a waiting game on the technology and infrastructure. Now that we're approaching the end of that wait -- or so it seems to me -- I have some critical decisions ahead of me. I'm faced with decisions about the right way to scale the game, about game balance at massive scale, about monetization while keeping the game free, about the trade-off between security and openness, and many other choices that I believe I need to get mostly right before embarking on a big overhaul.

But I'm patient. And I know you are too, since Wyvern is still going pretty strong after ten years. I think the next ten years has great things in store for us. I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am!

-Rhialto

Updates

Ten & Ten: As promised, the Untrainer is now charging only 10 gp for his services and you will now get a 10% increase in experience as you fight your way through the game's various dungeons. Both of these updates will last throughout the day only, but tomorrow we will be kicking off a new feature called, Suggested Playing Times. With that update you will receive an increased amount of experience at certain times of the day. So be sure to read tomorrow's news!

Party: There's a party in New Verden! Come one, come all. Eat, drink, talk, and be merry... or die. Haha, little wizard humor for you there. But really, stop on by!

Pirates: Argh, matey, there be a sunken pirate ship waitin' to be looted somewhere on the world map!

Costumes: Throughout the day players will be given Wyvern masks for a whole number of reasons. Wearing it (as a cape - we know, no need to bug report it) will allow you to turn into a 1x1 Wyvern, but only for February 4th. The kick is that it's not just for this February 4th. If you keep that mask or you buy it off someone, you can turn into a tiny Wyvern next February 4th and every February 4th after! Is this the start of seasonal costumes? Maybe... maybe.

Shops: Binyamin Enterprises has opened up a special shop behind the New Verden tavern. Stop on by and see what goodies he has for sale! And if all that shopping makes you hungry, there's a shiny new BinyaBurgers ready to stuff your face silly (also in New Verden).

MMA: The moment that you've all been waiting for has arrived; The Minath Monster Arena has been redone! There are 50 rounds, as before, but each round has its own map now and comes complete with a whole new set of challenges (minus those pesky diamond golems to make the lives of our Mage friends easier). The score lists, meanwhile, are now handled in-game and will list the best combatants of the last month. So be sure to keep coming back if you want to maintain your ranking. Speaking of the best combatants, whichever three players are at the top at that list, by the end of celebrations tonight, will get statues of themselves put in the entrance to the famed arena. So if you're looking for a chance to make yourself known, here you go!

Edit: There are some kinks that need to be worked out so be patient.

Quest: Teshuvah has created a new quest called "The Mystery of the Stoneybrook Key." Read more about it in the Adventurer's Guild Library.

Timewarp: Follow the portal, outside of the tutorial, to be warped back in time to the New Verden of old. It's an approximation only and as such you may notice some inconsistencies (for example, any items that can be picked up or bought use new graphics and arch files, while reality beds are blocking). However, it's probably the closest there is to feeling like it was to have entered the game in 2002, short of actually being there.

Monsters: Some new monsters have been added to the random spawn lists and some monsters have new corpses thanks to Wizard Zoharial. So be sure to hit a random dungeon when you get a chance.

Rhialto: Rhialto wrote some special words in honor of the anniversary.

Quest: It's a bittersweet day. The beloved Gauntlet has retired as a Live Quest, but lives on now as an actual quest called "The Macabre Olympiad." Read about it in the Adventurer's Guild Library.

Graveyard: One of the game's earliest dungeons was the Fae Wyston graveyard. It was only four maps long, but it both challenged and rewarded players. Of course, due to it being a bit too heavy on the reward aspect, it was removed. Well, we are now pleased to inform you that it has been completely redone with over 50 maps, several mini bosses, bosses, puzzles, challenges, rewards, and more. Including, but not limited to, some brand new artifact armor for those who truly master this impressive dungeon. Go there expecting some high level monster challenges and quite a few brain teasers (really, if puzzles aren't your thing, this is the wrong dungeon for you).

Conclusion

Now that's how you celebrate a 10 year anniversary! As you can see from everything in this news post, a lot went on and we hope you all had as much fun experiencing it all as we did making it possible. Speaking of, a lot of hard work went into making this day special and we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that it wouldn't have been possible without help from the following wizards: Arilou, Binyamin, Contrare, Legolas, Rhialto, Teshuvah, Valkon, and Zoharial. So make sure you thank your friendly neighborhood wizards for all the fun you had and stay tuned to the news. There's more fun to be had in the following decade, for sure!

Countdown: Part II
28-JAN-11

As you may or may not know, in celebration of our 10 year anniversary, we will be releasing some new content on February 4th. We will start in the morning and continue throughout the day, so be sure to stop on by and check the news, here on the website, as we will be updating it all day long. In addition to new content, there will be some Live Quests and partying to be had, (mostly in the afternoon to accommodate our friends with jobs/schools) but as we know you're all interested in knowing some of what we intend to release on the day, we updated the Events Calendar with a basic rundown. Be sure to check it out and be sure to tell your friends to do the same.

Wyvern: Year in Review
31-DEC-10

Wyvern has gone through a lot of changes over the years and will no doubt go through many more in its soon to be 10 plus years. The, now fabled, 2009 saw some of the greatest changes, to balance, in its long history and we continued those efforts into 2010. But we also took some time to cool down; to rest our eyes from all those pesky technical details and to give our changes some time to breathe so that we could really absorb the full extent of where we were at and make the appropriate adjustments.

To that end, be sure to read on as we review some of those important changes made this year and other updates of note. Also, be sure to to check out our review of 2009, if you feel up to it.

Note: If you're interested in a topic, below, you can click on a link to read the full news post.

Top 10

For your easy reading pleasure, here are the top 10 updates of 2010, that we think you should know about.

  • 10. It may not seem like much, but the first update of 2010 was a bug fix involving the Frost Wave spell and its unfortunate "habit" of killing its caster if said caster moved... at all.
  • 9. Uncurse altars, anvils, and identify tables were all made easier to use. It may seem more difficult for those familiar with the old system, but those who take the time to read the instructions and learn how to properly operate them will find that they can not only get in and out faster, but that they no longer have to deal with the hassle of other players leaving junk just lying them on top of those objects.
  • 8. Just in time for the new year, random live quests found that they not only spawn more often, but some of their lost live quest bosses have returned to the fray.
  • 7. One thing that is especially important to us is making the game easier for new players and, toward that end, we made a very important change to the give command that allowed for the limited transfer of low value items. Not only has this turned out to be useful in helping starting players get by, but it makes things easier for all players who have ever had to run to the auction house and sell something of practicaly no value just because they wanted to transfer it to a friend.
  • 6. Guilds continued to receive tweaks, this year, with Axeman seeing their 10 extra Axe skill bonus replaced with +5 Strength and +5 Find Weakness and Rangers receiving a number of improvements based on some helpful feedback from all of you. Lets also not forget those pesky Dark Elves who finally got kicked out of the Paladins Guild like Nagas and Rakshasas so long ago. But don't cry for them as their starting skill (in Bows) was replaced with skill points in Blades so that they could retrain those Sword points and head over to the Rogue's Guild where they belong.
  • 5. Ah food. Halflings desire it, Elves savor it, and everyone needs it.... badly. Especially toward the end of 2009 when changes to food were in full swing, but early 2010 saw a nice update that improved the status of food greatly. Now it's still a very important part of the game, but it is much more manageable than it had been.
  • 4. Swords and Blades also saw some big improvements this year with daggers being beefed up and swords going through quite a few changes (as you can read about here and here. Sword users will note many of their favorite swords are now 2-handed, but if they're keen on that sword-shield combo, new options have been available to them.
  • 3. Groups are a big part of the future we envision for this great game of ours and so we were very pleased to make some small (but not insignificant) steps toward improving the status of grouping, during this past year. First, we returned group limits to their previous status of being completely open. Although we knew this may make it some cheating easier, we felt it was important that people be able to pick from a larger pool of players to group with as just because someone is 6 or so levels lower than most of you doesn't mean that they can't contribute in some way that most others may not be able to. Second, we introduced a brand new and exciting spell called group heal as the first of, hopefully many, new updates that will ultimately make it easier for support classes to exist in the game.
  • 2. 2009 saw a series of changes that were designed to limit the server lag, caused by certain spells, and to move Mages away from the idea that all they needed, to get through life in Wyvern, were two ball spells that they could spam and hurl about with abandon (an unfortunate side effect of a much earlier attempt to fix a bug that caused players to blow themselves up over and over again). In reality, Mages were intended to use a full range of spells, depending on what situation they were in, and that just wasn't happening with ball spells in the state that they were in. So we a made a series of adjustments to them, in 2009, that temporarily left Mages underpowered. But to correct this, we made a number of changes, in 2010. The most effective, of which, was the beefing up of cone spells. As a result, good Mages can now find that they can maintain much of the power of their younger counterparts by utilizing a wider array of spells, which makes for more exciting battles as they once again have to be on their toes. Hopefully we can improve upon that level of excitement in 2011, and beyond, not just for Mages, but for all players great and small!
  • 1. And the number 1 update of 2010 was... the return of the Webstart client! Although not used by a great many players, the Webstart client has allowed us to do things that we were unable to with our old, outdated client. Specifically, we were able to update old artwork much more easily and, most importantly, we were able to open up the game to a great many people who were struggling to install the client on certain newer systems. It is our hope that the Webstart client will grow in prominence, over the next year, and in doing so, it will allow us to alleviate some of the problems that may cause newcomers to give up on the game. If you haven't already, check out the client here. At the very least, you'll get to see some artwork that you've been missing out with the downloadable client.

All in all, 2010 saw a very respectable 24 news posts, averaging out to about 2 big announcements per month. The busiest month was March, which saw five total news posts, all within the span of about a week.

We're, of course, very thankful to all of you who have stuck with us over the years and we're very thankful for all the feedback you have provided us with. Between that and our own recent observations we hope to continue our work in making the game more of a fun, action packed romp and less of the endless grind it had become due to various bugs and balance issues. More so, we hope to soon return to introducing the type of new and exciting content that has been lacking in many of recent updates.

But what is it you can expect to see next, you ask? Well right now we are busy seeing about making Wyvern's upcoming anniversary an exciting time for you all. In case you are not aware, it's coming up on February 4th, 2011 and promises to be a day of live quests, reminiscing, and all around good times as we release some new, permanent content on that day. As it's on a weekday, it's not going to be a huge blowout, but we will be doing things throughout the day and we think you'll have quite a bit of fun if you make the time to stop by.

News archive