We're approximately 75% to the early alpha version of our script, which will be released as a closed alpha. The alpha was originally meant to contain a lot of GUI changes, however later it seems to gain more and more of a wow-factor for our players since it holds a lot of unique features that players haven't yet seen in other roleplay server up until now; at least not in such a varied, stable manner as Aria.
Lately we've been struggling with our new host yet again. Our host was a re-seller, whom provided hosting services to us on an off-shore datacenter he could not personally manage. Therefore it was decided we would yet again bail. Sadly a brief struggle caused us to loose a lot of hard-done work by our web developers, due to the fact backups were held from our possession. Therefore we'd have to start from scratch; the very basis of our index has been neatly re-done with little to no permanent damage. In regards to that, we've lost all our forum data, including all posts made after January 30, 2013. Honestly this was nothing significant though; all that was relevant can still be found on our Wiki, as has it all been backed up. Knash was able to recover an old backup dating 30th January, and we temporarily reverted to SMF.
I myself made a fair purchase, and hope the aspects I made considerable were correctly dealt with. Our current host will sustain our webserver suitable for a website and forums, and we will later, upon official release, decide if we want to stick with this host if our experiences were neat, or perhaps switch hosts again, this time with no loss of data whatsoever. Our MySQL data has been safeguarded by Knash, together with the script that is, which has not been published online at all.
It is debatable whether we want to involve some players in our closed Alpha. Obviously players will be kept up-to-date with elaborate news in our newsletters, and get involved in development and able to provide suggestions too in our Skype chat. Hit me up for an invite; my skype is "th3solstice".
I'll try to flash off some features in brief pilot videos during the closed alpha and host them on Youtube, that's for sure. Stay notified: www.youtube.com/oiltank5. Like a player said "I look in this chat. I see agony, I see tears. I see pain. — I see dedication." I'd like to thank the players that have been with us through forum down-time in advance, and another big thank-you to the staff members that have been working day-to-day to make this project more than mediocre. I feel I haven't had the time to show my appreciation to all these people, and I haven't. I'll try to make up for that.
Meanwhile a screenshot of an experimental feature, to compensate for the late newsletter that was destined for previous friday: What's Venturas without a proper, user-friendly gambling script?