Black Lives Matter

Over the last week, millions of people have protested the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. Citizens of the United States and other countries are demanding justice and equity. We’re seeing a movement for change that hasn’t been seen in our lifetimes, and it’s long overdue.

First, we stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand against racism. We stand against police brutality. We stand against systemic injustice.

That said, what are a bunch of words from our little company going to do in the grand scheme? Not much. Real change doesn’t come from making posts on social media and sending newsletters. Real change comes from taking direct action. Real change comes from replacing ineffective and bad leaders and changing harmful laws and procedures.

We recently watched Barack Obama’s speech about the George Floyd protests. We’re not going to pretend everyone shares his political views, but we feel Mr. Obama made good points that transcend our differences.

His main point was that while the protests highlight problems in our society we need to combine protests with action and create realistic solutions based on research and data shown to effective. We need to make local leaders put evidence-based procedures in place that we know work. If you haven’t watched this presentation, here is a link:

In short, protest if you’re willing, and then take other action as well. What action can you take? You can call local and national leadership, sign petitions, and donate to charities and programs. And, of course, you can and should vote out those who act as impediments to change.

Many of us at Iron Realms have been out protesting and making donations to a wide variety of groups related to Black Lives Matter, and we strongly encourage you to do the same. Here are some of the groups we’ve been giving to, in case you’re looking for somewhere to give and aren’t sure where:

We’ve also found this to be a useful top-level resource for all sorts of info and resources around BLM:

We’re living in historic times. Let’s all work to make sure we come out of this better than we were before.

In solidarity,

Jeremy Saunders, Matt Mihaly, and the Iron Realms team.

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Iron Realms Relieves 1.5 Million in Medical Debt

Iron Realms Entertainment is excited to announce a donation of $15,000 dollars to the Covid Heroes Fund from RIP Medical Debt. This is a direct result of your credit and pet purchases. Everyone at Iron Realms would like to thank our players for their generous donations. The support and response to this effort was amazing. Players purchased over 500 pets in the last two weeks.

Your donations will help American first responders and healthcare workers by purchasing and abolishing their medical debts. Healthcare workers around the world have been laboring nonstop to assist the sick and elderly during the global COVID pandemic. Many of these people have struggled with inadequate safety equipment, protection, and wages. Combined with the financial stress of job loss and medical debts, many of these families are struggling to survive while continuing to help others in their communities.

Your purchases help relieve the pressure on these families.

You can read more about how this money goes to work on their website. https://ripmedicaldebt.org/campaigns/

RIP Medical Debt will make a purchase of debt with your donations later this month. The moment we receive the details about this purchase, we will share the details with you.

I want to thank you for helping make a positive difference. Your support encourages us to continue finding ways to help our local and global communities.

Jeremy Saunders

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Built to Scale

Over the past few weeks, we've made a number of tweaks to foray balancing in one direction or another, mostly as a result of fixing bugs that negatively affected play experiences in both directions, with some bosses being far too difficult and others being comparable to the Imp Lord (long may he reign).

Foray scaling has long been an issue that we've had to tiptoe around due to our previous scaling system, with minor tweaks to make things more suitable for one group making them entirely impossible to complete for another group. In many cases, it made lower-level players an active detriment to a foray group, and almost entirely excluded non-dragons from any sort of meaningful contribution.

There was also a large discrepancy between the difficulty of different forays, to the point where some forays could be attempted with a full team of dragons artied to the teeth performing without mistakes, and would still fall apart due to factors out of the players' control.

Today, we've made a slew of changes to the foray experience that should bring all these things (and a number of other inconveniences) in line, meaning that forays should be far more accessible and consistent, while still offering a suitable level of difficulty. We'll be monitoring foray performance over the coming days to make further (hopefully minor) tweaks to the difficulty scaling if necessary.

As it stands currently, forays still retain a level of difficulty, but most have been brought in line to the point where they should be difficult but completable by a well-prepared group, regardless of artefacts, class, or dragonform. Naturally, class abilities, artefacts, and the like will give you advantages in this way or that, but no longer to the same degree, nor should they be required for most forays.

We'll also be keeping an eye on the discussion and feedback surrounding these changes, both in game and on the forums, so if you feel something is out of place, too difficult, not difficult enough, or if there are other improvements to be made to forays following these changes, feel free to discuss. As always, if you run into things that aren't working as they should, please feel free to file a BUG, and we will address it as soon as possible.

Happy Hunting!

What are Forays? Click here for more info.

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Helping Covid Heroes Fund

Greetings, citizens of the Iron Realms,

I hope everyone’s doing as well as they can in these plague times. I feel like we’re living through a really badly-run event in one of our games, and whoever is running the event has completely forgotten that they’re supposed to be fun.

In any case, while people are being laid off left and right (my wife was laid off last week), Iron Realms is in a position where our work hasn’t really been disrupted. We all work from home offices anyway, and remotely working together is baked into our company’s DNA. We haven’t had to lay anyone off because of Covid, in fact, for which we’re all grateful.

So, we want to do something to help. We looked around, and decided that we want to support a charity called RIP Medical Debt. It got some fame a few years ago when John Oliver bought $14m in medical debt for $60k and gave it to them to retire.

What they do is buy and pay off the medical debt of people for whom it is a large financial burden, at 1 penny on the dollar. In other words, $1 can pay off $100 of someone’s medical debt. For those of you who don’t live in the US, our health system here allows people to go into crippling debt because they got sick or injured, to the point of financial ruin. According to one study from 2019, about 530,000 annual bankruptcies in the US are at least partly-caused by medical debt.

In this case, RIP Medical Debt recently started a fund – the Helping Covid Heroes Fund - that specifically buys up and pays off the medical debt of healthcare workers and first responders who are seriously financially burdened by the debt (so a doctor making $300k isn’t getting her student loans paid off by this, for instance).

I saw that and immediately thought, “This is what we want to support.” The impact per dollar is just so high.

We’re going to be doing two things for the rest of this month:

  1. Each game is creating a minipet that’ll be for sale on the website for $5. 100% of revenue from these will go to the Helping Covid Heroes Fund. https://ripmedicaldebt.org/campaigns/
  2. We’re going to donate 20% of our revenue (minus revenue from the minipets as we’re already donating 100% of those), up to a max of $12,000, for the rest of this month.

If we raised $12,000 from #2 and another $3000 from #1, that’d pay off $1.5 million in medical debt for Covid heroes!

We’ll announce how much was raised after the bookkeeping is done in early-ish June, and donate the money raised then as well. It’s not a world-changing amount, but it could be life-changing for the people whose debt is paid off.

Finally, we’re also going to increase daily free credits available each day until the end of the month – your game producers will post details themselves there.

Stay well,

Matt/Sarapis/Aurelius
CEO, Iron Realms

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A Few Weeks Of Escapism!

As the current climate outdoors becomes more stressful and tense for many of us, we've been working on a bit of a plan to make good use of your extra Achaea hours!

So whether social distancing is everyday for you, or you're already climbing the walls under some kind of enforced quarantine, there should be something fun to do in Achaea!

March 20th - 27th
The application period is open for the Conclave's vacancy!
Contact your local denizens (or even your fellows) of magical renown or just misguided ambition and assist them in preparing their applications for submission!
See Public news #20670 for more information.

March 22nd
An artisanal and bardic contest opens!

March 23rd - 27th
Double XP!

March 25th
A 24 hour great hunt will go live!
From 00:00:00 - 23:59:00
Traditional Great Hunt tiers, and credits for point thresholds will be on offer!

March 28th
CTF day!

March 28th - April 3rd
Conclave referendums open!
Back your candidates and prepare/give speeches, rallies, debates and earn votes in the Conclave's short list referendum!

April 3rd - 18th
A Reckoning begins in earnest, pitting the followers of each short listed candidate against one another to see who will take the open seat!

April 18th
Reckoning finale.

April 23rd - May 4th
The Asterian Restoration's year long Festival of History!

Please be aware that some event dates may shift depending on involvement and unforeseen happenings! We will be adding things to UPCOMING as and when the dates are finalised! Keep an eye on this board for more details as things happen!

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1st Raffle Winners!

Treasure chest and skull

The first of our raffles has been drawn with Majin claiming the first prize of anything from our recently closed auctions! 9 other lucky winners took home credits or Mayan crowns!

Winner: Majin (an auction artefact from the recent auctions of his choice!)
2nd place (500 credits): Limea
3rd place (500 credits): Amanda
4th place (500 credits): Fynn
5th place (500 credits): Aleth
6th place (2 Mayan crowns): Lyrikai
7th place (2 Mayan crowns): Marxi
8th place (2 Mayan crowns): Minifie
9th place (2 Mayan crowns): Crixos
10th place (2 Mayan crowns): Iaxus

Everyone else got 2 bound credits per ticket they had in the raffle!

To earn tickets in the next raffle you can spin the Wheel of Fortune with a prismatic token (every token spin earns a ticket) and you get a free ticket when you reach the renown cap on any given day during the month!

Remember, we'll be drawing another one at the end of March, that raffle begins now!

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