Despite a quiet start, 2009 was an eventful year for Shartak with a major change made to the way you manage multiple characters.
Other commitments occupied much of my time for the first half of the year and developing Shartak became a lower priority to the extent that at one point it even looked like it may get shut down. With the support of a number of people, the decision was made to spend some considerable effort on reworking the code and to release a new version of Shartak before the end of the year. Many of the changes were meant to remove some of the day-to-day administration requirements but we did manage to add some new features too!
At the beginning of August, the database was backed up and this was used as the starting point for v2. On launch of the new version the v1 database was archived and then restored back to how it was at the start of August. This will hopefully be the only time we would do a database restore going back so far.
The biggest change with v2 is that instead of each character having a separate login, you have a single account login which then gives you access to play any of your characters, create a new one, apply donations to characters, or manage various settings on a global basis.
This new system allows you to switch between characters easily and offers an at-a-glance summary of some information about your characters. If you haven't yet signed up for an account and imported your old characters, why not give it a go now.
The ability to brew your own alcoholic drinks has been added. Certain juices can be mixed with yeastweed to produce new items that cannot be found anywhere on the island. It's a bit of a hit and miss affair but some characters have taken the time (i.e obtained the skill) to learn how to get it right almost every time.
We have a new game admin who is assisting with some of the day to day tasks so if you submit feedback, don't be surprised if you receive a response from Lori (aka Jaqs on the forum and in-game). Stop and say "Hi!" should you see her on IRC or wandering around the island.
There are lots of additions planned for 2010 so don't forget to come back and visit us regularly. You can follow the latest news via the RSS feed at http://www.shartak.com/index.rdf or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/shartak
Thank you for reading this newsletter and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the feedback page or on the official forum