"A strange wind has begun to blow through Alganon. The air is full of electricity and wrath. A storm... or more accurately, four Storms are brewing. Things are about to change. It is up to the heroes of Alganon to make sure that they change for the better. It is up to the heroes of Alganon to bring about the Dawning!"
I'm sure that anyone who has thought about working on an MMO has looked at the advantages to having a large subscriber base. Lots of players means lots of money, but a small launch, with a dedicated player base that loves MMOGs, has some pretty amazing benefits as well. The fact that Alganon is an independent company, willing to start small and build over time, means that we can do things with our content that larger games could never do. A great example of this is a feature we are about to unveil - The Dawning!
When Alganon opens its doors, our players will find themselves in the middle of a game-wide event. Storm elementals, generally seen as a rare occurrence, have begun to appear around the world - not only larger in number, but greater in strength, than ever before. A series of quests, which run across all levels, from level one to endgame, will reveal the cause of these Storms. Players will learn how to part the clouds, silence the storm, and bring about the Dawning of a new era.
This Dawning will bring with it new features, new content, and most importantly, a chance to be remembered forever in the official Lore of Alganon.
Players who participate in the Dawning can obtain items during this period that will never be available again. They will unlock content that later players will view as a "normal" part of the game. Months from now, when a new player is LFG for the Howling Foothills instance, you will remember the time when you opened that instance for all players. If the newcomer needs proof, you can show them your Storm Arvak mount, or the Tabard of the Dawning, or any of the other rewards only available to players who were a part of this one-time event. If that's not enough, you can direct them to the library, as new items, instances, and world objects will be added to immortalize those who took part in the Dawning.
In fantasy novels, weapons and armor of great power, important and magical places, and even fighting styles and actions are often named for great Heroes of the past. For Alganon, we believe that the characters our players create and put into the world are just as important as the characters our developers create, and we plan to name things accordingly. Players who participate in the Dawning, especially those who are the first to complete the largest, most difficult tasks, will have a chance to become a permanent part of Alganon's history and lore.
The chance to get our players this involved in how the game progresses is very exciting, and it is something we simply couldn't do if we had millions of players. That's probably my favorite part about working on Alganon - we've made a game that has all the fun of the million-player giants, but we also get to host events that can only be done in a small community. It's the best of both worlds.
Lead Designer, Alganon