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A Tale in the Desert

Rise and Shiny recap: A Tale in the Desert V

Historical, Real-Life, Video, A Tale in the Desert, Events (In-Game), Reviews, Hands-On, Casual, Rise and Shiny

A Tale in the Desert V is a non-combat crafting paradise. That might sound a little strange, but the developers encourage players to work together to accomplish bigger and better things, making them feel as though they are part of a community. I have tried the game at different times over the years but never really became more than a visitor. I was glad to be given the opportunity to check it out, but even after a week I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface. I have emerged from the tutorial a smarter citizen, but I know that around the corner, greater challenges wait.

The game is not without its flaws, however, although many of the issues might fade as systems and controls become more apparent. Still, I found myself a little frustrated when the game asked me to sit and literally watch grass grow. I did it, though, and found an odd game, filled with mysteries. In a good way, of course.

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A Tale in the Desert launches Tale 5 today

Historical, A Tale in the Desert, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items

For all that the MMO industry is occasionally decried as being a large gathering of copycats, there are some interesting outliers amidst a field of fantasy kill-fests. A Tale in the Desert is a prime example -- set in ancient Egypt, with a focus on character interaction and nonviolent problem resolution, it's really in a class of its own. And with the new installment of the game launching today, it's the perfect time for players who aren't familiar with the game to start mingling with newcomers. The fourth installment wrapped up in July, which makes for a quick turnaround into the newest iteration.

Unlike many other games in the genre, A Tale in the Desert runs for a while, then rests and starts over with new systems in place. This installment is featuring new Foraging and Aquaculture mechanics, allowing new ways to harvest plants and the ability to grow papyrus. The game is free for the first 24 hours of play, and each iteration tends to last for around six months. If the idea of a combat-free, crafting-focused game appeals to you, now would be the perfect time to head out into the lands of the Pharaoh.

A Tale in the Desert 5 launches in August

Historical, Real-Life, A Tale in the Desert, Expansions, News Items, PvE


A Tale in the Desert, the long-running Egyptian life sandbox from eGenesis, has announced the impending launch of its fifth major iteration called, appropriately enough, A Tale in the Desert 5. If you're not familiar with the game, it features no combat as well as arguably the most in-depth crafting and trade skill system in the genre. Set against an ancient Egyptian backdrop, the title is also somewhat unique in that each major update, or telling, wipes the slate clean and gives players a fresh start in a new world. The game also features a high level of player control over the game world in the form of law making and player-designed tests that allow gamers to both compete and cooperate.

The upcoming version features a new fishing system that involves the catching of bait insects, rare fish, and fish processing to produce various resources. Additionally, creator Andrew Tepper has tweaked the mining system for the fifth telling, calling it "by far the most fun of any [mining system] yet released."

You can check out a free trial and get ready for the next telling at the game's official website.

Endgame arrives for A Tale in the Desert 4

Historical, A Tale in the Desert

A Tale in the Desert 4 is coming to an end, and as players begin to look toward Tale 5, eGenesis has an endgame surprise. The ATitD community will be voting on a Pharaoh and have a direct effect on how Tale 5 is presented.

Sami and Wahim are the candidates for Pharaoh, so to speak. Wahim is your status-quo option, so if you like the way things are in game that's the way to go. Sami, on the other hand, is all about change. If Sami becomes the Pharaoh in game, players will be able to invent seven new technologies. Technologies affect how things are crafted and built in the game, and since A Tale in the Desert is a crafting game, it's a chance for players to completely change the content of the game.

Keep an eye on the ATitD site for all the details and election results.

A Tale in the Desert offers free weekend, sneak peek at next update

Historical, A Tale in the Desert, Events (In-Game), News Items

If you're more a fan of crafting and socializing in MMOs rather than combat, but haven't checked out A Tale in the Desert yet, you're definitely missing out. The game is completely non-combat, focusing on advancement through player cooperation and crafting.

A Tale in the Desert sports an unusual system all around -- it launched in 2003 in its first "telling," which is a version or major update of sorts. The fifth telling is on the way in just a few months, but players are able to enjoy some special events in preparation while they wait.

If you're a former player who is interested in seeing how the game has progressed, A Tale in the Desert will feature a welcome back weekend for everyone to explore the game at no cost. It will certainly be worth your time, because the weekend event includes a sneak peek at the completely revamped mining system that will launch with the fifth telling. The event begins today and ends this Sunday at noon EST

A Tale in the Desert launches Test of the Orchestra

Historical, A Tale in the Desert, Patches, Crafting, News Items

Fans of A Tale in the Desert are familiar with tests -- the game is a crafter's paradise and the test system is comprised of different quest lines that allow players to advance their chosen crafting field. Be it building, gathering, tailoring, or several others, something is offered for everyone. Now the game has introduced a brand new test that allows players to not only explore their musical sides, but to show it off in front of the rest of the community.

In The Test of the Orchestra -- available now on the main shard -- players will build a wide variety of instruments and round up a person to play each one. They will then compose a musical score to be played and judged by an audience of their peers, who will award points. The concert will be scheduled ahead of time and "open to the public" so to speak.

If you're not familiar with A Tale in the Desert, but this sounds interesting to you, they offer a brief free trial, so visit the site and see what you think!

A Tale in the Desert to launch new player driven server

Historical, A Tale in the Desert, Culture, Economy, MMO Industry, Politics, Legal


A Tale in the Desert may not be the first game that comes to mind when you think of MMOs, but the title from independent developer eGenesis is something quite unique in this market. A Tale in the Desert isn't a combat-focused game at all, rather it's more about social, economic, and even legal systems in an ancient Egyptian setting. Players involved in a "telling" (a game arc) can even vote to determine the game's laws, which sets this title apart from most others.

eGenesis announced this week that they're launching a new server on February 20th, stating that it will give even greater control to players by allowing them to "completely control the timing of the telling." The new server will offer players an ancient Egypt that has yet to be built. In other words, it's an open environment where the players can have some degree of control over how that setting takes shape.

If the notion of a player-driven setting where the game's subscribers shape the play experience and surroundings appeals to you, have a look at what's coming soon to A Tale in the Desert.

Designing a single-server MMO

A Tale in the Desert, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Game Mechanics, Crafting, PvE, Opinion


Game Set Watch have posted an opinion piece by James Portnow, founder of Divide by Zero Games, that looks at the design approaches to creating unsharded MMOs, and the advantages that they can bring.

Games that manage this, such as EVE Online and A Tale in the Desert, manage to provide an environment in which players can affect the world they play in due to the fact that they share a single world. Portnow suggests that MMOs won't be able to provide meaningful stores in games that don't provide this due to not being able to change the world because different servers may have made different choices. Portnow goes on to explain in detail what the problems are with creating a single shard world and proposes some solutions to the design to support the large number of people involved. This includes the resources supporting crafting, letting the players build their own settlements and making the PvE content to make it interesting.

You can read the full article over at Game Set Watch.

Open beta for A Tale in the Desert IV starts tomorrow

Betas, Historical, A Tale in the Desert, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics


Apparently, we're in beta season as yet another independent MMO has announced its open beta. A Tale in the Desert IV will open its beta doors tomorrow, December 6 at 2pm Eastern to all players who are interested in giving this Ancient Egyptian MMO a shot.

If you're unaware of A Tale in the Desert, it's a social MMO that boasts no combat system at all. Its main focuses are actually a strong social structure and economics. The game first released in February of 2003 and this beta marks its fourth "telling", which acts as a major update or version of the game. Head on over to the official website for more information and to apply for your own open beta key.

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