In a recent design meeting the decision was finally made to let players experience the Reflected Worlds in a fully massive multiplayer environment. This has been something we have been kicking around for awhile in various ways, but the decision was finally made to include it. This is a fundamental change to the game and so worth mentioning here.
First and most importantly, we are taking nothing away from what we already planned in the game play, all that continues as planned. What we are doing is adding Community Reflected Worlds (CRW) where players can go in fully massive multiplayer.
Our original goals for this game were founded on the depth of our Quests and Missions in the game, and we are not willing to compromise the game play in this area. This means that the only way we would create massive multiplayer adventuring areas (beyond Campaign Raids, the Citadel and Guild locations, which were already planned) was if our Quests and Missions were not impacted by this change.
So what we have done is design the system to allow players to choose to go into a CRW or a Group only Reflected World (RW). While in a Group only RW the world is configured to have all that is needed for these epic Quests and Missions: details and happenings that would not function well with other groups messing with your story.
However, there are a lot of other types of game play fun to be had in the CoS world, and all of these are available in the CRWs, were you can and will run into many other players out doing their own thing.
One such element is our Adventure system, which includes some of the war elements of this world. For example: you might be in a CRW and run into one of Morphaels armies coming out of No-Mans-Land and headed to sack some town in the Citadel lands. There is no way your group of 1-8 is going to be able to take this army (in this example, anyway). So, you can head for the nearest town, or use the chat system, to call for reinforcements by other players in this Reflected World. Once you have enough Heroes you can go take on that army together; kind of an impromptu raid.
But not all challenges in the world need reinforcements. You could come on some bandits attacking a town and deal with them on your own or with your group, or find a castle under siege and deal with the attacking monsters, or help the Citadel Infantry who are trying to burn out a nest of Maggotmen in some cave network.
These are just a few examples of the MANY kinds of game play available in the Community Reflected Worlds.
Of course, this does not take away the small group version of the Reflected Worlds, and if you want you can still enter one of those with just your group and do all of the same things you can do in a CRW, with the exception of seeking reinforcements from other players, that will be unique to the CRWs.
This was such a large addition to the game play that we thought it worth a note in the development log.