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Release 19

June 25, 2015[1][edit]

  • Maps: We hope to get the Quel Region near final and start on the Midmaer Region.
  • Midmaer Expansions Delayed: As we did in Release 18 we decided to focus mostly on iterating and improving existing scenes, including dynamic spawning, instead of creating more new scenes (although we did add 2 new scenes: Etceter Crag Mines and Whiteguard Foothills).
  • Nighttime Spawners: Adventuring at night is now a more dangerous endeavor because higher level undead spawn at night, including Zombies.
  • Improved Scenes (+Zombies and Nighttime Spawners): We polished the creature and resource spawning in several Perennial Coast and Grunvald scenes. We also added Zombie and/or Nighttime spawners to almost all of them.
  • North Grunvald Barrens: Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • South Grunvald Barrens: Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • East Perennial Trail: Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • Savrenoc Timberlands: Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • Deep Savrenoc Timberlands: Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • Savrenoc Stronghold: Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • Solace Bridge: Nighttime and Zombie Spawners. Dialog cleanup, general scene improvement to match the tutorial version, and a few new quests.
  • Solace Forest: Visual polish, general spawn polish, and dynamic spawns + Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • South Celestial Wetlands: Dynamic spawns and general spawn polish + Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • East Veiled Swamp: Dynamic spawns and general spawn polish + Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • Spectral Foothills: General spawn polish + Nighttime and Zombie Spawners.
  • Necropolis: Dynamic spawns and general spawn polish.
  • Human Battle Camp: Visual polish and bug fixes.
  • Whiteguard Foothills: Visitors to this new area in the Whiteguard mountains should keep their coin purses hidden. Savage wolves and bears are bad enough, but now rumors are spreading of highwaymen waylaying merchant caravans traveling through these foothills.
  • Etceter Crag Mines: Our first scene in Quel is a source of many a tale. Long ago, when Etceter was nothing more than a collection of prospector shacks and tents hugging the coast of the Bay of Storms at the mouth of the Barren River, the Etceter Crag Mines were being dug deep into the nearby mountainous hills known as the Crags. At first the miners were sure their fortunes were made. The deeper they dug, the richer the veins of gold ore seemed to be. However, the stories say they became too greedy, and they braved the trembling depths of the world too deeply. Perhaps the view of distant volcanic islands should have warned them of the dangers they were about to unearth. After a horrifying tragedy, the mine was abandoned, and terrible tales of chasms that opened up into Hell itself and fiery demons emerging to slay all in their path began to emerge. The lower levels of the mine were supposedly sealed in an enormous cave-in, with barely half the terrified miners emerging to tell the tale of what really happened. Venture deep within the tunnels, breaking through walls and floors, but be careful you don’t unearth your doom!
  • Ardoris Bridge Life: The 3 long bridges in Ardoris now have a bit more life to them, including merchant stalls (entrance bridge), guard patrols, and watchers.
  • Elysium Overworld: The overworld version of the island of Elysium off the coast of the Novia mainland has now been completed.
  • Horizontal Breakaway Barriers: We now have breakable surfaces that can be used over holes in the floor. Our first use of them is in the Etceter Crag Mines.
  • Bug Fixes: General polish pass was done on quite a few scenes to fix bugs like floating items, gaps in the map border, etc.
  • Sounds on Overworld: A general pass was made across Novia to add sound effects like bird chirping, water, etc.
  • New Sky Propagated: We added the new sky system to the following scenes:
  • Solace Bridge
  • Soltown
  • East Perennial Trail
  • Ardoris
  • East Veiled Swamp
  • West Veiled Swamp
  • Spells & Skills: Chaos Magic and Ranged Combat will expand to include more spells, and more combos will come online.
  • Ranged Skills Delayed: We decided to focus more on Chaos, Combos and general combat fixes so therefore delayed Ranged Skills. We did however make improvements to the visuals related to Bows including better arrow visual effects.
  • Air Magic:
  • Death Magic:
  • Tap Soul: Turns life into focus. This now becomes the tier 1 spell and shifts other spells up a tier.
  • Chaos Magic: Chaos magic consists of spells that rewrite the rules when cast. Each Chaos spell causes a change in the very fabric of combat.
  • Juxtapose: This spell cannot be cast except when used in a combo and it reverses or radically changes the effects of the other spell in the combo (see below for the new Juxtapose combos).
  • Tabula Rasa: Discards all cards and redraws equal number. Usable on self or enemies.
  • Earth Magic:
  • Life Magic:
  • Purify: Now usable on other group members and also cures the Plague.
  • Resurrection: Updated to have longer cast times, lower focus cost, lower fizzle chance.
  • Polearms:
  • Sun Magic: Now linked to position of the sun versus time of day for benefits.
  • Enlighten: Now usable on other group members.
  • Dazzling Rays: Now has a longer cast time and is interruptible and longer cooldown timer.
  • Moon Magic: Now linked to position of the moon versus time of day for benefits.
  • Moonbeams: Now can be interrupted while casting and has a longer cooldown.
  • Water Magic:
  • Douse: Now usable on others and also removes dots.
  • Combos:
  • Spell Fizzle Updates: Spell Fizzle saw a major overhaul this release. Different schools have different fizzle rates based on armor. Death and Air magic are the most prone to fizzle in heavy armor and Earth and Life the least likely to fizzle. Higher tier spells have a higher fizzle chance. Also, each skill level you have in a spell beyond the first reduces the Fizzle chance. Additionally fizzle chance is affected by equipped weapons.
  • Housing: Property ownership will now incur regular fees (unless you are using a tax free deed from a pledge). If the fees are not paid, the player will lose their claim, and their possessions (including the house and decorations) will be moved to their bank. Note: We will provide more details about timing, payments, etc. near the end of R18.
  • Ownership Fees Delayed: We felt there were more important housing features to work on (see below) so these fees are delayed.
  • Private Lot Change: In R17 we gave players the ability to make their lot private. This created “invisible walls” that were probably the biggest immersion breaking change we have ever made and it was almost universally disliked by our team and our players. Now there is a “Locked Doors” option which makes all doors and gates non-functional for other players.
  • PVP Basements: Players can now flag their basements as Open PVP (this was previously hardcoded to specific “Arena” basements).
  • Decoration Limits UI: For game balance and performance reasons, we have to place limits on how many objects can be placed on player property. Those limits are different based on location (interior/exterior), type (lights, containers, decorations), and number of floors. Tracking your current status versus all these different numbers was very difficult when it was only communicated via text message. Now there is a visual interface that appears while decorating that shows the player graphically how close they are to all the various limits.
  • Container Limits: Containers are one of the more expensive items for performance and game balance so we have to limit them much like we limit lights.
  • Adobe Housing: When we purchased the Desert Scene package from the Unity Asset Store, it came with a set of clay brick buildings, some of which we used in our desert scenes. We have now converted these to Player Homes and a decoration (Stables).
  • Container Renaming: Players can now rename containers, including chests.
  • Backdoors: Added working backdoors to the Viking and Knight Benefactor Homes.
  • Decoration Layer Cleanup: We finished the last few homes that needed decoration layer cleanup including the following:
  • Baron Benefactor
  • Druid Tree
  • Duke Benefactor
  • Duke Founder
  • Lord Founder
  • Twin Spires Manor (original Lord of the Manor home)
  • Public Cache Chests: Public cache chests operate just like other containers on your lot, only this one allows any player to take items from it, or put items in it (but they cannot move or take the chest). Fill it with any items that you want to make available to visitors. Great for player created quests where you may want to leave quest clues or loot for questors to discover.
  • Aether Vibration Amplifier Console: Listen to the latest audio channels (such as Avatars Radio) streaming from the nearest Moon Tower with this floor model version of the Aether Vibration Amplifier!
  • Crafting: Tailors and Alchemists will be able to begin crafting Taming Collars. We will also be adding more Cooking and Alchemy recipes.
  • New Recipes Delayed: We focused on combat systems almost exclusively this release, so we had to delay any crafting systems work.
  • Material Colors: see details below
  • Pets & Taming: We will expand pet functionality to include the ability to tame creatures.
  • Pets & Taming Delayed: We are in progress with some fundamental AI and combat changes that need to be completed before we can proceed with taming. However, players can now use the tame emote to imagine they are taming!
  • Creatures: Dragons will begin appearing in Novia! Burninating will begin. All hail Trogdor, the Burninator!
  • Dragons Delayed: We want large creatures like Dragons to be truly different experiences than normal sized creatures, so we are going to take more time to develop support for large creatures. We are going to experiment with some other large creatures first (like Trolls) before tackling something as iconic as a Dragon.
  • Zombies: The ranks of the undead armies have swelled of late with the addition of hordes of zombies. These reanimated corpses move slowly but they carry a foul zombie plague that can only be cured with magic spells or potions (or leaving the area). The zombie plague is spread through vicious clawing attacks and a noxious cloud that explodes out of destroyed zombies. Anyone killed by a zombie or anyone who dies from the zombie plague creates another zombie that must be destroyed.
  • Help Call Outs: We fixed a major issue that was preventing NPCs from calling for assistance from their allies, so good luck trying to pick them off one by one! We also added the ability for NPCs to make statements when calling for help. Please note that these help statements have only been implemented in the Kobold Expeditionary Camp, but will expand to all scenes over the next several releases.
  • Slimes: When they split, Slimes now separate from each other quickly (versus standing on top of each other). We also made them much more translucent, which makes them harder to spot.
  • Mimics: Barrel and Chest mimics were previously only a single low level of difficulty. There are now multiple tiers of difficulty for these ambush predators.
  • Faster “Leashing”: When NPCs get into situations they cannot resolve (i.e an exploit where they can’t attack the player but the player can attack them) or when an NPC gets too far from their “home”, they return. Previously this was done at their standard movement speed and it took “forever.” Now NPCs move at a much faster rate when “leashing” home.
  • NPC Emote: NPCs can now use a wider variety of emote animations during conversation (not just the conversation animation loop). This can be observed in Soltown most easily this release, and will be added throughout the game going forward.
  • Combat: Guilds will now be able to declare war on each other.
  • Guild Warfare Delayed: Due to fundamental combat changes still ongoing, we decided to hold on Guild Warfare for now.
  • Free Attack: We’re experimenting with a free attack mode this release. If autoattack is disabled in the options, the player will use the free attack mode if they are using a melee weapon. With free attack, the player only swings when they click and release the left mouse button. More rapid clicking will produce more frequent, but weaker blows than the old autoattack. Clicking and holding charges up a more powerful attack that will be unleashed upon releasing the button. Free attack ignores selected targets and instead only hits the space in front of them, where they swing their weapon.
  • Cure Potions: There are now potions that can cure poison and plague.
  • Moves on Hit: Hits now move the target slightly and the distance moved scales with damage (even without knockback). This is part of an overall attempt to make hits much more obvious.
  • Weapon Trails: All weapons now have smooth trailing effects on them when they are swung.
  • Contextual Get Hit Visual Effects: Hits now produce visual effects (ex. blood splatters, bone chips, etc.) and are oriented in the direction of the weapon’s velocity. The vfx will also scale to the damage amount dealt by the weapon.
  • Resist Buff Shared: The Resist Buff that prevents “stun stacking” is now shared for all stuns, mesmerizes, knockbacks, and knockdowns.
  • Follow: The follow player command can no longer be used for exploits during combat. (You know who you are!)
  • Disable Combat Rolling: This is now an option to prevent the dreaded accidental double tap during especially fast paced combat (i.e. PVP).
  • PVP List: Players will no longer show up on the PVP kill list in PVP scenes until targeted in order to prevent easy stalking.
  • Deck Swap Button: The blue placeholder button has been replaced with the actual deck swapping icon.
  • Armor Set Bonus: Wearing a full suit of the same armor now gives a 10% bonus to the armor values. The armors only need the same category to qualify, so all leather or all plate is fine even if it is different varieties of plate. Also, special quest hats and special pledge rewards like crowns can complement any type of armor set.
  • Deck Swapping: Amount of focus lost and time to switch depends purely on the number of items that are different between the two builds.
  • 0 items = 1 second swap, no focus loss.
  • 1 item = 2 second swap, 10% focus loss.
  • 2 items = 4 second swap, 30% focus loss.
  • 3+ items = 8 second swap, 50% focus loss.
  • Ghost Jump: Ghosts can now jump in order to make it easier to get to the Resurrection Ankh.
  • Stealth: Numerous exploit fixes with stealth were dealt with. Stealth will now break if out of combat magic or items are used.
  • Customization: New armor and clothing items will appear in the game.
  • 4 Kobold Masks: Kobold, Kobold Fighter, Kobold Archer, and Kobold Mage.
  • New Cloaks: We have finally fixed the issue that was causing cloaks to sort through player backs almost constantly. While doing this we also created a Plain Cloak that is dyeable.
  • Dyeability and Material Colors: Most crafted armor sets (chain, plate, leather) now display material color from crafting (i.e. copper-tinted plate armor) and players now have the ability to dye certain parts of most armor sets (the cloth underneath, highlight details, etc.).
  • Armor Variations: More armors now have quarter, half and full variations.
  • Sorting Issues: We fixed a huge number of sorting issues caused by mixing armor and clothing sets. Please note that this was not a complete pass.
  • Musical Instruments: Players can play music in the game with a variety of instruments.
  • Musical Instruments Delayed: We are making some changes to our audio system, which is blocking this task until those changes are complete.
  • Player Owned Vendors: Players will now be able to place a Vendor on their property to sell goods.
  • Player Owned Vendors Delayed: With the crafting delays, we decided to delay this system as well.
  • Player Owned Towns:
  • Ban From Town: Town owners now have the ability to ban a limited number of players from their town.
  • PVP Check for Permissions Removed: With the changes to how private lots work (see housing section above), we have reinstated the ability of property owners in PVP towns to set their lots as private. We look forward to seeing all the mini-sieges that will ensue.
  • Swamp Template: We have created a third template based on PaxLair which uses a Swamp biome instead of a Forest biome.
  • Player Owned Town #3: Port Phoenix: Port Phoenix is located on the island of Elysium and can be reached by boat from outside the future location of the town of Etceter to the far west of Ardoris in Quel. The Phoenix Republic is an alliance of guilds that have come together to unite in the name of commerce, adventure, and fellowship. Always a leader in Community Event planning and a hub of in-game fellowship even before Port Phoenix was ”on the map” so to speak, our newest player owned town promises to be a popular addition to Novia. Wrath Phoenix has led the recent streaming initiative that has resulted in increased streaming coverage of our game and the recent water.org fund raiser. The Phoenix Republic also founded the Novian Academy where community members teach combat, role-playing, and citizenship. Port Phoenix is only the first township in the Phoenix Republic to “come online”. Member towns Phoenix Fields, Stonegate Hollow, The Drowned Mountains, Sparrowfall and Jade Valley are also being planned. From Field Days to Trade Fairs, Port Phoenix will be hosting a variety of events in R19 (and beyond) so be sure to pay them a visit!
  • Feminine Titles: Players got together on our forums and created a list of additional feminine versions for many of our player titles which we have now added to the game.
  • Edelfrau: alternate for "Edelmann", added to pledge level "Edelmann (Benefactor)"+
  • Hohe Edelfrau: alternate for "Hoher Edelmann", added to pledge level "Edelmann (Founder)"+
  • Madam: alternate for "Knight", added to pledge level "Knight (Benefactor)"+
  • Baroness: alternate for "Baron", added to pledge level "Lord (Benefactor)"+
  • High Baroness: alternate for "High Baron", added to pledge level "Lord (Founder)"+
  • Lady: alternate for "Lord", added to pledge level "Lord (Founder)"+
  • Lady Marshal: alternate for "Lord Marshal", added to pledge level "Lord Marshal (Benefactor)"+
  • Royal Lady Marshal: alternate for "Royal Lord Marshal", added to pledge level "Lord Marshal (Founder)"+
  • Viscountess: alternate for "Viscount", added to pledge level "Baron (Benefactor)"+
  • Countess: alternate for "Count", added to pledge level "Baron (Founder)"+
  • Marquise: alternate for "Marquis", added to pledge level "Duke (Benefactor)"+
  • Duchess: alternate for "Duke", added to pledge level "Duke (Founder)"+
  • Archduchess: alternate for "Archduke", added to pledge level "Lord of the Manor (Benefactor)"+
  • Grand Duchess: alternate for "Grand Duke", added to pledge level "Lord of the Manor (Founder)"+
  • Lady of the Manor: alternate for "Lord of the Manor", added to pledge level "Lord of the Manor (Founder)"+
  • Book Interface Improvements: We made the readable book interface larger, and increased the size of the font. Larger pages allow for more words to fit per page. We also started building a system to allow for a Table of Contents & chapter headings.
  • Player Made Books: Players will be able to write in blank books in the game and share them with other players in our first iteration of Player Made Books. For now, books are created by importing a text file from an external text editor, but we may provide an in-game editor in the future. You can purchase writable books from the Owl’s Head bookstore. Please note the current limitations:
  • Book publishing/copying will come in a later release
  • Books are currently limited to 8000 characters
  • Player Made Books cannot be used as decorations in this release
  • Gustball: In honor of Shroud’s sort-of official sport Gustball (invented by Bambino), we have created a Gustball “pet” that a player can summon so a player no longer has to volunteer to be the ball (unless they really want to). You can purchase a gustball from the Magical Oddities store in Ardoris.
  • /tame emote: We are never a team to ignore a meme, so we added a /tame emote that puts the player in the famous “Prattkeeping” position from Jurassic World.
  • Death Music: Being dead now has a dedicated song composed by Shooter Jennings (son of Waylon Jennings), who is a huge Shroud of the Avatar fan and an all-around great person. Stay tuned for more about Shooter’s participation with Shroud, his Ultima experiences, and his collaboration with Richard on his upcoming album "Countach (for Giorgio)".
  • Lord Servant: The Lord Servant is now in game to be claimed as a reward.
  • Sound Effects: Starting this release, we are going to be steadily replacing all the old placeholder sound effects. To start we have updated a bunch of our general combat sounds, including the sounds for the wolves.
  • Grouping: Experience sharing in groups is now proportional to the level of each member. A bonus of 10% per party member still applies!
  • Duels: Players can now forfeit duels.
  • Trainer Specialization: Trainers will now start to be more specialized. This pass started with Soltown, where there are now separate crafting and combat trainers who only train up to Tier 2. For higher tier training, you will need to venture to Ardoris or Owl’s Head.
  • Grand Tour 19: This release we chose to do something different with the Grand Tour to make it more than just a simple list of scenes to visit. Players will be sent on a quest to discover a Kobold camp, where they will then need to figure out how to be granted the reward of a Kobold Commander Mask. To begin, talk to the tour guide in Soltown. Like other Grand Tours, this will only be available this release, so be sure to try it while you can![2]

Additional Information[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Darkstarr, Q2 2015 Schedule Update
  2. Darkstarr, Release 19 Instructions

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