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Release 27

February 25, 2016[1][edit]

Release 27 is the first release where our pivot to focus on Final Wipe is becoming very visible. It can be seen in the rapid expansion of scenes, filling out entire regions, albeit with scene clones (that we will later make unique). It is also the beginning of major polish passes and rework of the starting scenes to make them more playable and more directed. It is also visible in the new creature behaviors of play, resource guarding, Oracle scanning, Escort Quests, and NPCs talking to each other.

Even though this was a short release at only four weeks (which means just three weeks of development) and we had a LOT of R26 patches, we still managed to add a bunch of new content to the game. Additionally behind the scenes, we continue to optimize performance and improve our data tracking/reporting (heatmaps are the latest addition). We have also begun a complete overhaul of our avatars including mesh, texture, skin, hair, clothing, and animations. We hope to reveal those changes next release when we plan to have the new male avatar in the game.

Key:

  • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.
  • Italics: Extra notes and new deliverables
  • Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release

RELEASE 27, February 25, 2016

  • Story: More polish passes will be made on existing maps for balance and story support. We will also continue to expand the story with new scenes, including the town of Xenos and the entrance to the dungeon of Artifice. Scenes in the Vale will start to get polish passes to bring them up to current dynamic spawning standards.
  • Xenos Delayed: Starting with Release 27 we shifted the focus of implementation order to be region by region. We will circle back to Elysium (region where Xenos is located) next release.
  • Hidden Vale Polish Delayed: Hidden Vale is not part of the plot so it is currently lower priority for spawning (although we did update the sky in all those scenes, see below).
  • Escort Quests: NPCs can now move between locations and/or follow the player based on quest flags. First example of this can be seen in the Highvale starting scene.
  • Artifice: As most travelers and pilgrims to Xenos know—across the rolling plains of the island Elysium, several day's journey beyond the River Fall, and perched in a crook of the craggy northern arm of the aptly-named Rumor Peaks—lay the mysterious and legendary destination known as Artifice. Though there are a variety of tales that claim to know the truth behind why it was created, and by whom, the only rumors that draw hopeful visitors from across the world to gather with needy abandon in the halls of Xenos are the stories told of the dreams and wishes that can come true for those lucky enough to win the lottery granting permission to enter Artifice's secluded depths. The Halls of Artifice below will appear in a later release.
  • Paladis Shardfall (PVP): The newest shardfall to be added can be found in the North Paladis region.
  • Opalis Ruins (PVP): This ruined city can be found in South Paladis.
  • Drachvald Towns: We made a major push to fill out the Drachvald region (northeast corner of Novia) in R27 including adding 6 new NPC Towns. For now, these towns are clones of other existing towns with mostly generic NPCs alongside story-specific NPCs. Post-July, we will circle back and make these scenes unique.
  • Broochash
  • Eastmarch
  • Port Graff
  • Graff Island
  • Brookside: This scene includes a small vignette with a familiar companion.
  • Spite: This scene includes an introduction to the dungeon of Malice, although the dungeon is not yet accessible. Visiting the Keg and Egg Tavern will allow you to meet some unique travellers to this town on the edge of death.
  • Drachvald Adventure Scenes: In addition to adding NPC Towns to Drachvald, we also created 6 adventure scenes (of multiple levels of difficulty) to facilitate character advancement and resource gathering in the region. These adventure scenes are temporarily clones of existing scenes. Post-July, we will circle back and make these scenes unique.
  • South Paladis: This centrally located region has been filled with one new town and 10 adventure scenes of multiple levels of difficulty to facilitate character advancement and resource gathering in the region. Similar to above these are clones of existing scenes. Post-July we will circle back and make these unique scenes.
  • Blackblade Pass: Extended entry and exit sections of the caverns, and converted to dynamic enemy and resource spawning.
  • Hidden Vale: All scenes in Hidden Vale are now using the new sky and weather.
  • Hilt Fortress: The Obsidian Forge is now functioning but beware; for not only does it drain the user’s life and focus, but it also draws the attention of ever increasing waves of enemies (much like a Control Point). Note: the material Obsidian is not yet part of the crafting system.
  • Epitaph: Updated and polished spawning, doors, interactives, etc.
  • Necropolis: The first of several planned fixes to Necropolis have gone in this release, including improved/streamlined conversations with the inhabitants (who are much more difficult to understand by themselves now; unless you have some familiarity with long-unused languages). Further improvements are planned in future releases to this important part of the Path of Love questline.
  • Starting Scenes / Tutorials: We have begun a major push through the starting scenes to improve, streamline, and polish. We will devote time in each release to steadily improving the beginning of the game. We have also added the ability to start each of the three questlines independent of which questline you start with.
  • Highvale:
  • Key to leave the area is now obtained from the knight you talk to when arriving.
  • The knight no longer appears dead and now automatically talks to you on arrival.
  • Edvard now gives you items and guidance needed to resume Path of Love quest in Soltown.
  • Notes from elves and defending Knights of Norgard can now be found on corpses, shedding some light on what has happened.
  • The healer found in the ruined village can now be led to the knight to offer him aid (first example of Escort Quest).
  • Outside of the village is a bit more dangerous, with wolves and the occasional bear, but resources can be found as well.
  • Any character can now enter Highvale Village and start the Path of Courage quest, even if that character started elsewhere with a different storyline path; the first time you enter the scene you will enter the single-player version (minus the initial tutorial).
  • Isle of Storms: Arabella now talks to you automatically on arrival. Additionally, hints appear when you die explaining what happened and what to do next.
  • Blood River: Any character can now enter this scene and start the Path of Truth, even if that character started elsewhere with a different storyline path; the first time you enter the scene you will enter the single-player version (minus the initial tutorial).
  • Solace Bridge: Any character can now enter these scenes and start the Path of Love, even if that character started elsewhere with a different storyline path; the first time you enter the scene you will enter the single-player version (minus the initial tutorial).
  • Ardoris: Changes to NPC dialog and journal entries have been made to make the journey through this city's quest line clearer for new players.
  • Player Owned Towns: We will add another town template and towns will begin to receive blessings based on buildings placed and population density. Music chosen in the PoT submission form will begin to be heard.
  • Blessings Delayed: As mentioned in the Final Wipe / Lot Selection post this feature has been delayed until after Final Wipe.
  • Music Selection Delayed: We are going to move this to in game functionality for dynamic towns in a future release.
  • Pavers and City Walls Clear Foliage: Placing Pavers or City Walls now clears trees and grass.
  • Template Polish: Terrain flattened in various areas of Desert 01 template
  • Public Cache Chests: These can now be placed in PoTs with limits based on town size. Holdfast allows placement of 1, Hamlet allows 2, etc.
  • New Template Variations: We have introduced 5 variations of existing templates including:
  • 01a (Cobblestone Free): Forest 01, Desert 01, Swamp 01, and Snowy Mountains 01 now all have variations that have no cobblestones pre-placed. These are designated as 01a in the form since they are identical to the original template in all other aspects.
  • Forest 02 (Forested Plain): This is a fully forested variation based on the Grasslands template.
  • New Dynamic PoTs: We added 24 new dynamic PoTs (listed below). We also upgraded sizes on several PoTs and added requested interconnections (these are not listed below)
  • Astoria
  • Ayrshire (nested in Owl's Head).
  • Bearskin Grotto (nested in Port Phoenix)
  • Brickbay (nested in Jaanaford).
  • Bricksands (nested in Desolis).
  • Bricksium (nested in Aerie).
  • Bricktown (nested in Soltown).
  • Brickvald (nested in Port Graff).
  • Caden Ben (nested in Aerie).
  • Dragonhame (nested in Oceania).
  • Gensfield
  • Glacebourg (nested in Admont).
  • Isle of Apples
  • Magincia (nested in Oceania).
  • Mizell Thapae (nested in Resolute).
  • Nowheresville
  • Olde Haven (nested in Owl's Head).
  • Painted Caves (nested in Oceania).
  • Papua (nested in Oceania).
  • Shadow's Rest
  • Siren Song Bayou (nested in Port Phoenix).
  • Storm's End (nested in The Stormlands).
  • The Gloaming Grotto
  • The Stormlands
R27Map of Novia POT.jpg
R27Map of HiddenVale POT.jpg
  • Roving Encounters: Roving encounters (patrolling creatures) will now appear on the overworld map and can be engaged (pulling you into a scene) or avoided if you wish to sneak past.
  • Roving Encounters Delayed: As mentioned in the Final Wipe / Lot Selection post this feature has been delayed until after Final Wipe.
  • Crafting: The crafting system will expand with recipes for alcohol and teleportation. Additionally certain recipes can now be taught to other players. More resources will begin appearing in the game as well.
  • Alcohol and Recipe Teaching Delayed: As mentioned in the Final Wipe / Lot Selection post these features have been delayed until after Final Wipe.
  • Equipped Tool: Players can now equip a preferred primary tool for each crafting skill in the skill tree interface. Tools can also be equipped and are displayed in the crafting table Interface. To make this seamless for new characters, we now start players with basic versions of all tools. Note that secondary tools used at crafting stations will continue to operate as before.
  • Agriculture:
  • Plant Growing Inside (plus Roofs & Balconies): Budding gardeners can once again grow plants inside player houses, as well as on roofs, balconies, and in basements. Note that growth inside is 90% slower than growth outside. For example, a plant that takes 1 day to grow outside might take over a week to grow inside.
  • Plant Removal: Plants can now be removed from planters.
  • Pledge Reward Reagent Plants: No longer need to be replanted and always provide at least one reagent per day.
  • Skills Removed: Agriculture will differ from other crafting because it will focus more on the process and not skill advancement. Therefore, there are no Agriculture skills, and gathering skills no longer affect agriculture results.
  • Citrine and Onyx: These gems are now correctly appearing in crystal ore nodes at various locations in the game.
  • Prosperity Tools: These now increase the player’s base Meticulous Collection chances when gathering.
  • New Recipes: We added several new recipes to the game including the consumables for the new fast travel mechanics (see Fast Travel below).
  • Job System: Public and player vendors will now take Job Orders. These jobs describe what players wish to purchase and how much they will pay for them.
  • Purchase Orders: We actually implemented this (albeit named Purchase Orders) in R26.
  • Interactive Use Logging: Players will be able to view a log that tracks which players interacted with an interactive object (doors, containers, etc.) on a player’s lot or Player Owned Town location.
  • Log of Usage: Right clicking on containers on players’ lots will show a list of everyone who has used that object. This log is also visible on the lot sign.
  • Combat: Balance passes will be made across most parts of combat including PVP.
  • Animal Charm: Now usable out of combat.
  • Animation Speed: Did a pass through most weapons to make the animations work better with the overall increase in combat speed that we introduced in R26.
  • Blink: The cooldown timer has been increased by 2 seconds and the focus cost upped by 2.
  • Buff Dismissal: Buffs with multiple effects no longer require multiple dismissals
  • Caltrops: Can now be used from the non-combat bar and will now properly trigger combat
  • Chaotic Feedback and Shield of Air: These two buffs were truly causing chaotic feedback when used concurrently! These have been changed so one now overwrites the other.
  • Chaotic Step: Should now be functioning once again!
  • Damage: Melee damage has been reduced by 3.3% for all hits and the max damage done by a critical has been reduced by 15%. Magic damage remains unchanged but magic criticals have had their max hit reduced by 15%.
  • Healing Burst: Healing burst will now require reagents.
  • Interactions with Bow: You can now properly open doors, gates, etc. instead of shooting them when you have a bow equipped.
  • Light: The light spell will now cast a larger, brighter light. Shield your eyes!
  • Offhand Defense: This now gives an “always on” parry bonus instead of adding damage resistance. The benefit of time will be approximately the same amount of damage but applied differently.
  • Parry: In our ongoing effort to make different weapon types more meaningful, all weapons now have a parry effectiveness that is not tied to the weapon damage. Daggers and small blades are now more effective than many larger weapons in stopping damage in a parry. Large, hafted weapon and bows are now less efficient at parrying than before. Additionally, offhand weapons now add to the amount stopped when parrying so now that offhand dagger won’t just be for looks!
  • Plague: Plague damage now increases over time, so getting cured quickly is now much more important.
  • Reveal Hidden: Reagent use was dropped to be in line with other tier 3 spells.
  • Ring of Fire: Ring of Fire was updated to the new math used for most combat skills.
  • Root: Root spells will now have their duration shortened based on the target’s strength. For players, this will mean that their roots are one to three seconds shorter but for many large monsters, this will likely make the roots only last few seconds. For extremely powerful creatures, like trolls, dragons, and daemons, the root be broken immediately.
  • Shield Skills: We worked hard to finish out the Shield Skill Tree with new skills and expanded functionality to existing skills.
  • Dig In: Area of effect shield buff that increases damage resistance in a radius around the caster but only if caster remains immobile. The effect increases multiplicatively as additional users cast the buff nearby.
  • Testudo: Shield buff that increases damage resistance in a radius around the caster but slows the caster down. The effect increases multiplicatively as additional users cast the buff nearby.
  • Redirection: Innate Shield skill that increases chance to force a glancing blow if the player has a shield equipped.
  • Bolster Balance: Innate Shield skill that increases knockdown, knockback, and stun resistance.
  • Strength of Earth: Base boost dropped from 10 to 5 + skill level/10. This was to move it to be in line with the other stat buffs.
  • Tooltips: Filled in missing information for the following skills:
  • Silent Movement
  • Animal Charm
  • Camouflage
  • Engage Opponent
  • Juxtapose
  • Light
  • Mind Wipe
  • Shadow Form
  • Vanish
  • Mind Lock
  • Untrain: A skill set to Untrain will quickly lose experience. Some of the lost experience is put back into their experience pool. Note that only skills above level 20 can be set to Untrain.
  • Weapon Proficiency: In previous releases, not having any skill with a weapon would perform the math as if the player had a 40 skill. This has been corrected. Having no skill will now treat the player as if they have a 1 skill.
  • Performance and Polish: Major efforts will be done to optimize performance and polish gameplay. We will also increase the breadth of metrics and logging.
  • Weather: The visual effects associated with weather are now linked to quality settings. This should greatly improve performance for those running "Fastest" on lower end computers.
  • Heatmaps: We now are able to visualize data internally for scenes using heatmaps. We will use these to help track everything from resource yields to player death “hot spots.” Here’s an example showing a traffic pattern through Novia.
Heatmapcloseup.png
  • Configurable Saturation: Players can now tune the color saturation to their liking. Slider all the way to the left is zero saturation and completely grey scale. Saturation slider one quarter of the way to the right is the default saturation level you are used to. With the slider at the halfway mark, it is closer to Ultima 9 and all the way to the right is approaching the Wizard of Oz.
  • Map-Specific Performance Improvements: Hilt, Desolis Underground, and Novia all received some map-specific performance work.
  • Cloaks: Cloak logic has been updated to make them much less costly in high player count situations.
  • Game Mode Display: Players now have the option to display in-game what game mode they are currently playing (Single Player, Friends, Open).
  • Lighting: The overall brightness of all scenes was increased slightly and the maximum brightness value has been increased on the Brightness slider in options. Additionally, some of the specific weather cases had their brightness tuned and we have increased the radius of player equipped and cast lights.
  • Fast Travel: Fast travel has had a major overhaul and is now integrated into the player economy with crafted elements. The previous zoning methods allowed unencumbered instant travel across the map at will. These completely defeated the regional economies we are working hard to create, as well as allowing players to circumvent content like control points. Finally, features like “Zone to Lot” gave a completely disproportionate advantage to players owning multiple properties. The below changes will curb abuse, level the playing field, and help reinforce the regional economies. We realize this will be painful for some of you, but these changes are needed for the long term health of the game economy.
  • /stuck: The ability to rescue yourself from inaccessible areas now has some constraints applied to it in order to curb its misuse as an escape route. There is now a casting timer and a cooldown so it cannot be instantly performed and then repeated instantly. We are also now properly logging the use of this feature so we can automatically track trouble spots in scenes and trap exploits. Additionally, this feature now does a pathfinding check around you and moves you to a random nearby valid location instead of the map exit point.
  • Bind & Recall: Players now have the option to bind to a single point in the game to which they can return to at any time by using a consumable Recall scroll (crafted via Alchemy). There are two options for binding; Town Criers or your property marker/sign. There is a casting timer and a cooldown for Recall. Note that this replaces the “Zone to Lot” functionality. New players will receive 12 Recall scrolls. For R27 only, we are also giving every character 20 Recall scrolls.
  • Teleport (to Friend): This replaces /zone and functions very similarly. You select someone from your friends list and then use a consumable Teleport scroll (crafted via Alchemy) to teleport to entrance of the scene they are in. There is a casting timer and a cooldown for this action. Note that in a future release, Friends will move to a two way confirmation (like Facebook). New players will receive 12 Teleport scrolls. For R27 only, we are also giving every character 20 Teleport scrolls.
  • Creatures:
  • Elemental Loot: Elementals now leave a lootable corpse (with loot!).
  • Oracle Bugs: Now have a scanning behavior when near things that the Oracle finds interesting.
  • Dragon: We did a pass to polish animations and visual effects.
  • Troll: We polished visual effects.
  • Undead: The undead are now immune to poisons.
  • Play Behaviors: Creatures now have the ability to display play behaviors. In R27, you can see Wolves periodically chase and mock fight each other. We will slowly expand this over time to other creatures.
  • Resource Guarding Behaviors: Some creatures are attracted to resource nodes and will attempt to guard them. In future releases, we may expand this to be creature- and resource-specific. (For example: Fire Elementals would always guard sulphur nodes).
  • Avatars:
  • Walking Canes: Elegant avatars about town wouldn’t be caught dead without one of these accessories held in the left hand. There is a recipe to craft one in the game, and a fancier version will be available in the Add-On Store.
  • Kilts: Freedom (from pants)! These plaid, non-pants can be crafted in game and a fancier version will be available in the Add-On Store.
  • Blend Shapes: When creating a character, the sliders that modify face shape now average the underlying blend shapes instead of adding the modifications on top of each other. This should minimize some of the weird deformations that were being created. It will also unlock our ability to allow for more extreme settings without breaking the face.
  • Nameplate Information: The full information (color, title, guild) is also now displayed in upper left corner of screen.
  • Baron/Baroness Founder Title: These pledge titles now accurately display in gold.
  • Lord British Cloak: The mysterious effect on this cloak is now not so mysterious. A player wearing the cloak has their health appear at full health until they are nearing death. Unfortunately, Lord British has a strange power that attracts random falling objects, and this cloak also has that effect.
  • Water Cloak: This cloak that supports Water.org now extends the duration of the /rain emote and increases the loot chance in wishing wells (see below).
  • Dyes: You can now dye clothing in bag mode.
  • Emotes: We added a few new emotes to the game.
  • /dance5: This is an energetic dance for when the music moves you. It can be found by talking to the music merchant Shandala Truesong in Aerie or from other players who have learned it.
  • /panic: This is a "What? What's happening?" gesture of surprise. It can be found by talking to Willem, the bar patron in Resolute or from other players who have learned it.
  • /pray: This is a sign of quiet meditation. It can be learned from Damai, the Mother of Peace, in Khasi's Castle in Ardoris or from other players who have learned it.
  • Player Housing
  • Greenhouses: We added three new greenhouses to the game: Rusted Iron Small Greenhouse (Add-On Store), Rusted Iron Large (in game), and Round Elven Greenhouse (Add-On Store).
  • Simplified Collision: This improves performance and stops the camera from hitting things like roof beams inside.
  • Duke Benefactor
  • Duke Founder
  • Lord of the Manor Keep
  • Lord of the Manor
  • Twin Spires Manor
  • Addressed Geometry and texture bugs
  • Citizen Waterfront Cabana
  • Baron Benefactor
  • Duke Founder
  • Lord of the Manor Keep
  • Window Transparency issues
  • Leaky Roofs: We have made some improvements to the interaction between rain and buildings to fix the leaky roofs. Please note that at lower quality settings and/or in scenes with a very high density of objects rain may still get inside.
  • Built in Lights: We added these to the Lord of the Manor Keep and Lord of the Manor Home.
  • Ardoris Water Lots: These were positioned too far from piers making the docks, stairs, etc. of water homes sort incorrectly.
  • City Arena Basement: Added secret bricks to open doors in cells that were trapping players.
  • Sojourner Tales Magical Printing Press and Book: Backers who backed Sojourner Tales will receive this magical printing press with the Sojourner symbol on it. Using the press makes a book copy with the Sojourner Tales symbol on the cover.
  • Recap (aka Space Bards) Gypsy Dance: The infamous Gypsy Dance from “The Return of Lord British” music video by the Recap (Space Bards) is now in game (currently titled /dance4) and available to everyone who has pledged to Shroud of the Avatar (cutoff for eligibility will be when we expire all pledges in July). Next release we will be providing ABC versions of select songs from Neon Milk and “The Return of Lord British” on a special neon green wax cylinder to backers who backed both Neon Milk and Shroud of the Avatar (more details next release).
  • Countach Make a Difference: We are proud to announce that we are partnering with Shooter Jennings, and his label Black Country Rock, to raise money through our Make a Difference Store using Shooter’s newest album: Countach (featuring our very own Lord British). The following items are now available for purchase and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to a Cancer charity (details later):
  • Countach Wax Cylinders: 6 songs from the new album plus an exclusive bonus track “The Death of Lord British” all on exclusive Countach Pink wax cylinders.
  • Countach Album Cover Art: The incredible album art is now available as a framed painting that you can place on your walls.
  • Countach Pink Dye: This exclusive hot pink dye is sure to catch attention.
  • Countach Phonograph: This exclusive version of the ornate metal phonograph has pink and purple highlights
  • Wishing Wells: Throwing coins in a well can sometimes result in receiving a random gift. As mentioned above, wearing the Water cloak improves your chances. This works on the placeable decoration as well as any wells seen in the game.
  • Economy:
  • Loot Throttling: We now have the ability to set thresholds, maximum limits, and time constraints to loot to aid in battling exploits.
  • Drag/Drop Trading: Dragging an item on top of another player will now initiate a secure trade.
  • Crowns of the Obsidians: These very rare coins left over from the age of the Obsidians can be found occasionally on higher level creatures. In later releases, they can be redeemed with trainers, the oracle, and other locations for blessings.
  • Bulk Reagents: Reagents can now be purchased in bulk.
  • New Sound Effects: Another huge pass through the game upgrading and adding new sounds.
  • Slimes
  • Breakable Rock Walls
  • Electrical Junction Boxes
  • Water Wheels
  • Water Fountains
  • Gears
  • Obsidian Forge
  • Death Sounds
  • Death Ambience
  • Curtains
  • Candles
  • Torches
  • Braziers
  • Dead Bodies
  • Skeleton Bodies
  • Elf Dead Bodies
  • Wolves
  • Soltown Sewers
  • Blood River
  • Solace Bridge
  • Highvale
  • Purify Spell
  • Zombies
  • Elves[2]

Additional Information[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Darkstarr, Q1 2016 Schedule Update
  2. Darkstarr, Release 27 Instructions

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