Release Events FAQ

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So you've heard about the Dragons, perhaps seen them in Second Life and maybe visited them in the Cathedral or elsewhere about the Dragon Isles. You might know enough about the dragons now to know that in order to be the proud owner of a full-size Dragon Avatar you need to participate in a Release Event, but you're not really sure what one of those is exactly, or how it all works. If that's the case then read on and all will hopefully become clear. If the sheer size of this document seems overwhelming, you might want to start with the Hatching Format Primer and come back here to have any additional questions answered.


The Registration and Hatching Event Procedures FAQ

Presented here are the questions with appropriate answers:

What Are the Release Events?

They are the mechanism by which the limited number of adult size dragon eggs is fairly distributed among their prospective new owners.

Do I Need to Register For a Release Event to Get a Dragon Avatar...

The answer to this question is both yes and no, depending on several factors. Firstly, the dragons come in three sizes within each species, representing the dragon at different stages of development. You can become a Hatchling (Baby dragon) or Wyrmling (Adolescent dragon) at any time. It is only the full-size Dragon (Wyrm) avatar that is limited in its availability. So it is only necessary to register for a Release Event when you decide that you want to become a full size, adult dragon. The second important point to remember is that your need to register is also dependent on which Dragon Groups you are a member of:

...If I Belong to the Council of Wyrms?

One of the wonderful benefits of becoming an adult dragon and being invited into the Council of Wyrms is that you can purchase any dragon at any time, regardless of their general availability. Yes, this means even though the egg vendors won't sell an adult dragon to a member of the general SL population outside of the release event timetable, you as a privileged member of the Council of Wyrms can go ahead and buy one any time you like. As long as the Council is your active group (You are wearing the "Dragon" tag from that group) the egg vendor will let you purchase an adult. Not only that, but your purchase will be discounted by L$1000. This discount applies to Wyrmlings too (just remember, you have to manually type the amount in the pay box!).

So the answer to this question is no, you do not need to register for a Release Event ever again once you have an adult dragon and in actual fact you should not ever register again once you win and have your first adult, as you are only taking away a potential chance for someone else to reach the special position of being a full Wyrm.

...If I Belong to Other Dragon Groups?

Being a part of the community confers many privileges about the Dragon Isles, but unless you are a member of the Council of Wyrms specifically, you will still have to register during a Release Event in order to get your adult form.

...If I'm Completely New to the Isles?

Yes, you will have to register during one of the Release Events. If you're completely new to the Isles, feel free to roam about talking to the Citizens and dragons you meet to gain a sense of the flavour of the place. While some people are happy to purchase a dragon and disappear into the Second Life night, many others become captivated with the ambience of Daryth's creative vision and stay awhile. Some even go on to become active Citizens and contributors to all things dragon-related.

See the guide to Purchasing a Dragon Avatar for more information.

Why Are the Dragons Limited At All?

Daryth Kennedy made this is choice as the artist creating the avatars. In her words: A Dragon is a mysterious mythical creature, and should be respected as such. So I limited the number of dragons sold.

For more information, see the Limited Edition FAQ.

Where Do I Go to Register For the Event?

In order to register, you need to be in world in Second Life on the appropriate day and time and at the appropriate in world location.

  • The Hatching Events themselves are usually held around the time of each solstice and equinox, so a general-purpose calendar for the Dates and Times of Equinoxes and Solstices should therefore give a guideline as to the approximate event window and serve as a reminder for when to check for more detailed information.
  • The registration period itself is open from three days before the Hatching Event. Registration is performed at various locations in the Dragon Isles, but not at Cathedral itself.
  • In all cases exact dates, times and locations are entirely at the discretion of Daryth and the High Council and should be verified either in world or on the Council of Wyrms Forums.

How Does the Registration Process Work?

See the Hatching Format Primer for full details of the registration process.

  • Note: If the Dragon Isles are particularly crowded when you pick up your token, you may find it beneficial to teleport to another, quieter sim. The less avatars and scripted objects around you, the higher the chance of a smooth and trouble-free registration experience.

How Soon Should I Register?

In order to be as fair as possible, the drawing does not take into consideration how soon you registered your interest, so you may come along to the Dragon Isles at any time during the registration period to express your interest. Please note the following:

  • Registration ends at midday on the "day " of the Hatching, or in another words approximately 1 hour before the hatching event itself.
  • There will be a "last chance" open-to-all registration period 60 minutes before the Hatching Event begins.
  • Two thirds of the eggs are reserved for people who register in the first registration period. The remaining third of the eggs are for those who register in the second registration period.

What Happens at the Actual Hatching?

The Hatching Day event will proceed as follows:

  • During the Hatching Events, 210 names are drawn from those who signed up during the registration period described above.
  • Anyone whose name is drawn receives an IM and instructions.
  • Anyone not drawn receives an IM, after the script chews through the first batch of names, with a "Better luck next time" notecard.
  • Those not getting an egg during the release are recorded & their odds double for any future releases.
  • Those whose name is drawn cannot transfer their egg, but can purchase after the event for up to 48 hours

What Are the "New Species" Hatching Events?

When Daryth creates a new species of dragon she may release it to the general public via its own special release event. These events follow a similar format to the solstice and equinox events, with the following differences:

  • It is only the particular dragon egg vendor relevant to the species being released that is stocked with eggs, usually with a clutch of 35
  • The dates/times of release are announced as work on the new species nears completion, rather than being scheduled for any particular points on the calendar

As with all release events, once the event is over all existing Council of Wyrms members - all owners of at least one full-size dragon avatar - will be able to purchase the avatar regardless of general availability and as such are asked to not purchase one of the initial batch of 35 eggs.

How Do I Find Out About Upcoming Events?

There are several ways to keep track of dragon egg releases:

Perhaps the best way to keep track of dragon-related events is to purchase a hatchling or Wyrmling avatar: As well as all the fun of being a smaller size dragon, a purchase automatically confers membership in the relevant Council group within Second Life where you will receive occasional in world group messages from Council officials about dragon-themed events and other related announcements.

Hatching Event: General FAQ

The first part of this FAQ is written in a way that flows smoothly through the registration and hatching process. Presented here are relevant questions and answers, which did not fit into the editorial "flow" of the first part:

Why Am I Hearing Two Different Dates For an Event?

The short answer is that the event can be thought of as having two parts. Or more specifically:

  • The first date is the beginning of the three-day signup period, during which anyone interested needs to come to the Cathedral to enter his or her name for an egg.
  • The second date is actual hatching event when the new eggs will become available.

Will Any Dragon Eggs Be Available to Purchase During the Hatching Event?

If your name is called, then you will be able to purchase a dragon egg for up to 48 hours after. We will send you periodic reminders via IM to come and purchase your dragon egg. If your name is not called, however, you will have to wait until the next release.

If I Register For One Hatching, am I Automatically Entered for Future Hatchings?

You will need to sign up again for future hatchings, however, if you don't get an egg at your first one, your name will be recorded and your odds double for any future releases, if you try for the same dragon species.

What Happens if Someone Does Not Claim Their Egg?

In the event that someone does not claim their egg after 48 hours with repeated IM reminders during that time, a new name will be redrawn from the list of people who didn't get one.

I Purchased a Token, But My Money Hasn't Been Returned?

In most cases you will find that the egg has paid you back for the registration, however, during times of high load, Second Life doesn't always notify you immediately that an object has paid you. One way to see it is simply to sign out of Second Life and sign back on again. Your L$ balance should then display correctly.

Can I register for different species in each registration session?

No you can't, if you change your selection in the second, it will change your selection in the first also (you just get two entries effectively).

If I won, when can I collect the egg?

SL likes to be a pain around hatchings, so to lower the pain we tend to initially only call a few people at a time to collect their egg from Cathedral. You have 48 hours to collect your egg so don't panic.

In the same way, the hatching won't be right after the registration has been closed, it takes a little while to prepare for the hatching and make sure everything is stable and OK. Depending on how SL is being this can take a while.

I heard group invites are suspended during hatchings and I have a friend who might be interested

Invites to the Isle of Wyrms Citizens group are suspended during the first registration period (except in exceptional cases). Invites to the Council of Wyrm Hatchlings and Council of Wyrmlings are not suspended.

How many eggs are released?

A total of 210 eggs are released. There are 10 eggs available for each species in the first registration period and 5 eggs for each species in the second registration period.

The egg is free, right? I won it, so it's free...

NO. The CHANCE to win the egg is free BUT.. You must pay the full amount to get the token, Your money is refunded right away, BUT when you DO get your egg, you need to pay the vender as normal.

I paid the vender and it took my money and I didn't get an egg. What's up with that?

SL Sucks eggs. Don't panic, Records are kept in both the vender box and in SL accounts. Let an elder guardian know and they will trace the sale and if everything checks out, you will get an egg dropped on you (in your inventory)

Can I get a second egg at a discount right away?

When you have been invited into the Councle of Wyrms and accept it, yes.

Is there anything else I should know about being a dragon?

Yes, Many things. We have a help forum to answer questions.

The History of the Event FAQ

As some may be aware, the hatching event format changed in 2007, beginning with the release of the Wyvern avatars in March. The old format is briefly documented here, along with reasons why it needed to change.

How Did the Old Format Work?

In simple terms, everyone who wanted a shot at an adult dragon avatar teleported into the Dragon Isles on the day of the release and waited for a signal from Daryth, which would be sent at a certain time of day. When that signal was received, everyone would try to buy the avatar they wanted as fast as possible.

What's Wrong With the Old Format?

Since the Dragon Isles first came into being, the number of residents in Second Life as a whole has grown dramatically, and also the interest in the avatars has grown too. These events together conspire to make the old format prone to failed payment transfers and sim crashes, which is something that nobody wants to see. As Daryth herself said:

The catastrophic database failures during the Winter Solstice marked the death of the old hatching system. When a completely empty sim wasn't able to handle the strain of the event it became obvious things had to change for the next release. The new hatching system outlined here is the most logical, fair and stable method we've come up with.

How and Why Was the New Format Chosen?

The new format was chosen in order to keep the experience of becoming an adult dragon as fair, fun and trouble-free as possible. To quote Daryth once again:

Although the previous hatching system has generally worked well this past year, we've always been aware it wasn't going to last forever. During several High Council meetings, many of the guardians have presented and discussed various options and alternatives for the releases.

It's important to note that although the method of hatching has changed, the number of eggs hatched and rate of releases hasn't increased.