Release 39 Instructions

Starr_avatar

[From a forum post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

Avatars,

Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues.

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 39 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, February 23, at 10:30 AM US Central Standard Time (15:30 UTC).

Despite February being a short month and therefore Release 39 being a short release, we have a ton of new content in this release; including more story, new scenes, and major new systems such as Patterns, Town Blessings, and Magic Movers!

Scenes and Story: We continue to make progress on the story this release by focusing on the Path of Courage, which is fast approaching the polish level of the Path of Love. We have also placed significant emphasis on realizing the vision of the Kobolds and their technological gifts. This presents itself in Release 39 in the form of the City Kobolds, the dungeons of K’rul and K’rawl, and a menagerie of Clockwork Attack Creatures. Additionally, we polished the fire visuals in all three of the starting scenes to what we consider competitive standards. Finally, we have begun adding pockets of Tier 6-10 enemies to 5 Skull scenes in the game (such as Deep Ravenswood) to provide greater challenge to higher level players.Patterns: The crafting system has had a major expansion with the addition of the Patterns system. This system allows players to visually reshape weapons and armor by using patterns that can be salvaged from rare loot or purchased in the Add On Store.

Town Blessings and Magic Movers: Player housing became much more interesting in Release 39 with these two major improvements. Town Blessing Devotionals can now be placed by town owners and they each bestow a different set of buffs (one combat and one crafting related). Magic Movers now allow players to store fully decorated houses and basements for retrieval later. You can even move them between owned lots, of the same size, in the same scene.

Combat Cover and Utility Bar: Combat also improves this release with cover now decreasing the amount of damage you take in combat. We have also made the non-combat bar stay visible during combat to facilitate use of consumable items during combat. This should give players who actively use potions and foods an effective alternative to placing consumables in their deck.

Yet again, I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post. They are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game, and that it is easy to read.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still in a constant state of change. We do not yet have all of the in-game systems needed to inform players about these changes, and to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked instructions and known issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because some players elect not to read this valuable information.

By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions, and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post, and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out a couple of the event calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player-run websites: Avatars Circle and Events of the Avatars). You can also get the latest official events on the Main Website.

Without further ado, here is a list of what you can expect to see in Release 39.

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 (but are still planned).

RELEASE 39, February 23, 2017

  • Story: We will continue polishing the Path of Courage with emphasis on moving the player smoothly through this part of the story. We will also be adding another Siege Encounter map and un-cloning the Rhun Ruins.
    • Path of Courage Polish: Various changes were made to the Path of Courage, including new NPC conversations in Valhold, proper journal/task support for the ending sequence, and experience rewards for finishing the Path of Courage commensurate to the Path of Love.
    • Blood River Polish: Various changes elaborating on the massacre that happened here, along with better tutorial support for new users. Additionally, players are no longer sent to Soltown after the sequence is complete. Support for sidequests in Aerie and Vertas similar to Soltown and Ardoris will come in future releases, but for now we continue to recommend new players begin with the Path of Love for the best experience.
    • Quest Discovery & Navigation Improvements: We are working on improving the ability to find characters who have quests and/or who you have active tasks to complete for quests. Characters who have quests for you, or who have current active tasks, will now have a blue glow. The character’s glow will turn off once you complete all quests assigned to it. Additionally, as long as you are on a quest for a character, they will appear as a Point of Interest on your compass. These will be options you can turn off if you wish to continue to play “old school.” We lovingly call this system “Totally not an !”.
    • NPC Conversation Interface Improvements: Work continues on polish and bug fixes. This release we focused on the order of keyword sorting (so that once you use a keyword it sorts to the back of the list) and added pagination (so that you can step through longer text without having to scroll back using a “More..” prompt).
    • Journal Improvements: If a quest sends you into an area that requires combat (such as a dungeon or hostile area), the journal entry will warn you if the difficulty of the area is more than you can currently handle. As your skills grow in power, the evaluation in your journal will change. This is not exact, but should warn avatars a bit too eager to head to their certain doom. We will be adding many combat-related tasks going forward and this will help you be aware of which are currently appropriate for your character.
    • K’rul: Underneath Blood Bay, far from the prying eyes of the Oracle, top Kobold researchers work in the Kobold Research Underground Laboratories: a.k.a. K’rul. In this vast underground facility, Kobolds build ever larger and more dangerous automatons and craft mysterious weapons. K’rul will be filled with top tier Kobolds and automatons to battle, as well as dangerous technological traps and puzzles.
    • K’rawl: This long tunnel system connects Skrekk to K’rul and consists of long tracks and mine carts that can be ridden! However, regular checkpoints by Kobold sentries and traps make traversing this underground quite risky. So that groups can travel the K’rawl to K’rul, Skrekk can now be entered by parties. (The Path of Courage instance of Skrekk remains limited to solo players.)
    • North Drachvald Spur: North Drachvald Spur is located near the Sirens mountains in the Drachvald region in the northeastern section of Novia. It started as a clone of the Whiteguard Foothills and got completely rebuilt as a new scene for Release 39. The area is home to a group of bandits who have been ambushing supply convoys using rock slides. The area will also feature the remnants of an abandoned mine and a mysterious watchtower. The rock slides take advantage of our new traps technology. SPOILERS: Combat in the center of the main bandit headquarters has a good chance of drawing out enemies which are more challenging than the rest of the area! 
    • Upper Fortus: The Fortus River runs south-to-north through a large canyon in the North Paladis region to the east of the Sanctus Spine Control Point. Kobolds have established a mining facility here using steam to soften the terrain. Bandits have a camp nearby and have been raiding the shipments of ore and therefore, the Kobolds have been ramping up their defenses of the mining facility. Expect strong resistance when trying to raid the Kobold mining camp; and the bandits are not going to be too friendly either! This scene started as a clone of North Varisalla Foothills but has been completely rebuilt for Release 39.
    • Fire Visuals in Starting Scenes: We upgraded and replaced all the fire visual effects in the three starting scenes (Blood River, Highvale, and Solace Bridge) to what we consider competitive standards.
    • Perennial Coast Improvements:
      • Architecture/Flora: In Release 38, we missed a few scenes along the Perennial Coast in our pass to update the flora and architecture to match the new Asian influence we first showed in Ardoris during Release 37. In some cases it was as simple as missing flora (bamboo) in swamp scenes, but in other cases we missed entire scenes like the PRT Aldwater. Some of these missing scenes have been addressed in R39 and more will be addressed in R40.
      • NPC Appearances: In Release 38, there were still some NPCs in Perennial Coast scenes that did not yet have regionally-appropriate appearances. As of this release, all NPCs in these scenes are properly attired, and feature some brand new outfits. These include citizen/farmer clothing with variants for commoners and shopkeepers, as well as a wider variety of kimonos for use by the region’s upper class.
    • Tier 6+ Additions: Inspired by the Liches in Deep Ravenswood we are going to be adding pockets of higher level enemies (Tier 6-10) to all 5 Skull (aka Tier 5) maps. Some of these will always be present but some will only be there when triggered by an event or interaction (like lighting a signal fire). Each release we will add these to a few maps until all Tier 5 maps have been covered.
      • Ulfheim: The fiercest of the Northern Barbarians have firmly established Ulfheim as their home. Find them at Urdhalla near the center of this territory.
      • Sequanna Colossus: A supreme Lich Lord and his undead guards are striking fear in nearby areas.
      • Necropolis Barrens: Rumors abound that at night insanely wicked spiders appear to wreak havoc on the unwary who dare tread here. Their domain is now thick with the webs they use to capture their prey.
      • Verdantis Shardfall: An elite squad of Elves has set up headquarters on an island off the coast.
    • Chaos Bosses: Several new chaos focused Bosses have been added to the Ruins and Shardfalls. Because they are chaotic, they are also quite rare because they show up when they feel like it…
    • Traps and Interactions Additions: With Release 38 we added new traps and interactive functionality to the game, including moving platforms, pressure plates, flame jets, arrow shooters, gas fields, etc. Going forward we will be adding this functionality to existing maps each release until they have been propagated across the entire game. We will be also expanding the functionality of our existing interactions and/or adding new ones each release.
      • Moving Platform via Switch: Moving platforms can now be started and stopped via a switch. The first example of this is the elevator in Upper Fortus.
      • Exploding Barrels: We now have exploding barrels that can be used for various purposes, including traps. In R39, you can see them used in North Drachvald Spur to trigger the landslide.
      • Landslide: This new trap unleashes a tide of rocks down a mountainside on unwary players. In R39, you can see it in North Drachvald Spur
      • Electric Damage Field: This new damaging field can be seen in K’rul.
      • South Fetid Swamp and North Fetid Swamp: We added fetid pools in these scenes that are poisonous.
      • South Longfall Wetland: There is an area of “quickmud” here that slows players down much like quicksand.
      • Resolute Sewers: We added a fire arrow trap to the bandit treasure room, triggered when you open the door.
      • Soltown Sewers: Firespout traps were added within the “trash fire” area.
      • Solania Catacombs: A compound fire arrow trap lies in wait within one of the corridors of this scene.
      • Kingsport Sewers: We added a series of flame spout traps to a hallway, along with a note indicating how to pass through unscathed.
      • Upper Fortus: Super-heated steam leaks from several pipes in the Kobold area. Look for valves that can turn some of the leaks on and off.
    • Hate Encounter: A new encounter along the Path of Love has been added to Ardoris. A run-down homestead shelters a nasty collection of people, spreading their message of hate from the outskirts of the City of Love.
    • Siege Conversation Improvements: The Guard you encounter in the siege scenes who instructs you to destroy the catapults now warns you that this is only for the strongest of adventurers and also speaks of the side path alternative that is only lightly guarded.
    • Brittany Neighborhood Connections: In each Brittany neighborhood scene, we swapped out all the individual wagon and balloon teleporters to Novia for list teleporters which provide direct access to all other Brittany neighborhood scenes as well as Novia.
    • Brittany Castle: The castle interior is now heavily defended with the addition of many guards.
    • Ardoris Palaces: These now have custom thrones instead of the using pledge reward thrones.
    • Canyon Siege: This “Hills Siege” was actually added in Release 38.
    • Rhun Delayed: While we completed the world building of Rhun Ruins, that completion did not happen until close to the end of the release. This would not have given us much time to do all the NPC placement and resource spawning, so we decided to wait until Release 40 to push this to live.
    • Scene Bug Fixes: We went through tons of scenes in the game fixing major and minor bugs including stuck spots, floating assets, missing assets, missing sound effects, bad NPC patrols, inaccessible ore nodes, missing collision, missing/misplaced Resurrection Ankhs, falling through the world, etc.
      • Aerie
      • Approach to the Shuttered Eye
      • Ardoris
      • Blood Bay
      • Brittany Central
      • Brittany Estates
      • Brittany Fields
      • Brittany Graveyard
      • Brittany Sewers
      • Brittany Wharfs
      • Brookside
      • Celestis
      • Deep Ravenswood
      • East Perennial Trail
      • Elad’s Lighthouse
      • Elysium Mines
      • Estgard
      • Etceter
      • Forest Siege
      • Greymark Forest
      • Harvest
      • Hills Siege
      • Isle of Storms
      • Kiln
      • Kiln Cistern
      • Nightshade Pass
      • North Celestial Wetlands
      • Northwest Blackblade Mountains
      • Novia Overworld
      • Owl’s Head Sewers
      • Paladis Passage
      • Ravensmoor
      • Resolute
      • Restless Woods
      • Rhun Ruins
      • Ruined Keep
      • Sanctus Spine
      • Sequanna Colossus
      • Solania
      • Soltown
      • South Brightbone Woods
      • Southern Grunvald Barrens
      • Spectral Mines
      • Spite
      • The Epitaph
      • Valhold
      • Valhold Palace
      • Vertas
      • Vertas Pass
      • Wynton’s Folly
      • Xenos
  • Player Housing: The ability to rent rooms in a player home will start to become available to homeowners. Additionally, the Shogun bundles will come online as we continue to expand our water placeable houses and our Shogun line of houses. We will begin the work necessary to make player equipment placeable as decorations. Also, containers will begin to have limits on how many items can be placed inside them. Finally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Decorated Lot/Decorated Basement Moving & Saving (aka Magic Movers): Players can now save a fully decorated lot or basement and reload it later onto that same lot or onto a different lot in that same scene (as long as that lot is the same size). Players will start with 5 slots and, in future releases, will be able to purchase more for Gold Crowns. In a future release, we will expand this feature to allow movement of a fully decorated lot/basement between separate scenes for an, as yet, undetermined cost.
    • Town Blessings: Owners of Player Towns now have the ability to place 11 different Devotionals to the 8 Virtues and 3 Principles in their towns. Each Devotional offers a different blessing and the power of the blessing is based on how many people live in the town. To receive a blessing you merely need to stand near a Devotional that has been placed in a POT or NPC town. Players can only have two blessings active at any time so visiting a Devotional while other blessings are active will overwrite the oldest blessing. These Devotionals also attract the attention of the Cabalists and there is a chance that your town will come under siege if you have them placed (starting in R40). These devotionals will also appear in NPC towns starting in R40. Please note that these Devotionals are new decorations and not the original items tentatively planned to be associated with Blessings (Hooded Statue, Titan Statues, Dragon Bones, etc.). All town owners will receive these new devotionals as rewards and the original items can continue to be used as purely decorative items. You will need to claim rewards at a bank to receive these rewards. Here is a list of the base level Devotionals that are included with each POT and the associated blessings:
      • Truth: Intelligence Buff
      • Love: Dexterity Buff
      • Courage: Strength Buff
      • Humility: Magic Resistance Buff and Fishing Bait Recovery Buff
      • Honesty: Focus Buff and Alchemy Buff
      • Justice: Fizzle Reduction and Cooking Buff
      • Honor: Focus Regeneration Buff and Agriculture Buff
      • Spirituality: Adventuring Level Buff and Fishing Level Buff
      • Compassion: Dodge Buff and Tailoring Buff
      • Sacrifice: Health Regeneration Buff and Carpentry Buff
      • Valor: Health Buff and Blacksmith Buff

    • Placeable Handheld Musical Instruments: For our first foray into making handheld player items decorations, we picked handheld musical instruments because they are a nice small subset of items to experiment with as we work our way through the system. This means players can now place lutes, harps, flutes, and tabor drums as floor decorations. In subsequent releases, we will continue to expand this until eventually all handheld items will be placeable as decorations.
    • Shogun Homes: We have added built in lighting to all of these homes.
    • Cobblestone and Rough Stone Roadway Pavers: Town owners requested pavers in much longer lengths for making roads in their towns and provided a suggested template of 16 different pieces representing a variety of shapes (curves, crossways, wedges, etc.). The long pieces are 8 times longer than a regular paver, so should allow for making roads without using too much of a town’s decoration limits. For Release 39 there are two variations; Rough Stone (in-game craftable) and Cobblestone (add-on store).
    • Shogun Castle Wall Set: As part of our Perennial Coast improvements we created a new Castle / Town wall set based on the Asian assets. For R39, we have made that wall set into a player decoration set available in the Add-On Store.
    • Ornate Steel Chest: While iterating on the creation of the Kobold Chests (see below) we created this Ornate Steel Chest available in the Add-On Store.
    • Greco-Roman Statuary: Players really enjoyed seeing all the Greco-Roman statuary in Xenos when we uncloned it in R38, so in R39 we have made all of that statuary available as player decorations. This represents over 40 new pieces!
      • Craftable:
        • Ruined Stone Arch
        • Three Nudes Wall Carving
        • Woman Bust Sculpture
        • Carved Tombstone with Two Women
        • Archaic Boy Statue
        • Grey Marble Bench
        • Doric Column
        • Small Doric Column
        • Doric Column Pedestal
        • Composite Column
        • Small Composite Column
        • Man’s Head Statue on Pedestal
        • Ancient General Head Statue on Pedestal
        • Woman’s Head Statue on Pedestal
      • Add-On Store:
        • Ancient Wall Sculptures Pack (Receiving of Wheat Sheaves Relief, Reclining Figure Relief, Reclining Figure Relief)
        • Horse Statue
        • Giant Horse Statue
        • Carved Decorative Fountain
        • Ionic Columns Set (Ionic Column, Ionic Column Pedestal, Ionic Pedestal, Small Ionic Column)
        • Corinthian Columns Set (Corinthian Column, Corinthian Column Pedestal, Corinthian Pedestal, Small Corinthian Column)
        • Ancients Statue Set (General Statue, General with Sword and Spear Statue, Headless Woman Statue, Nude Man Statue, Philosopher Statue)
        • Smaller Ancients Statue Set (Bust of Child, Woman’s Torso Statue, Man’s Torso Statue, Matriarch Bust, Patriarch Bust)
        • Ancient Vase
        • Reclining Statues Set (Reclining Man Statue, Reclining with Lion Statue, Reclining Woman Statue)
        • Nobles Statue Set (Explorer Statue, Feasting Nobleman Statue, Huntress Statue, Nobleman Statue, Nobleman with Cornucopia Statue)
        • Tan Marble Bench
        • Sphinx Statues Pack
    • Tabletop Stone Statues: We have created tabletop versions of all the existing stone statues including the Bear, Kobold, Elemental, etc. to the Add-On Store
    • Tabletop Trees: Inspired by our recent foray into Asian themes along the Perennial Coast, we have created tabletop versions of all of our Add-On Store trees and plants that are reminiscent of Japanese Bonsai.
    • Giant Trees: We have taken the technique we used to create the “Yew” tree to create giant variants of all our Add-On Store trees.
    • Concept Art Rugs: Caravaggio’s Wolf, the Crown Art Merchant in Ardoris, now carries rugs made of the Shroud concept art.
    • Water Decorations: We added the ability to place decorations on water in R38 and we are slowly adding more decorations that use this new technology.
      • Ornate Water Platform & Water Platform: These floating wooden platforms are perfect for adding useable area to your water lot. The Floating Platform can be crafted in-game and the Ornate Floating Platform can be purchased from the Add-On Store.
      • Ornate Water Post & Rope Fence Set and Water Post & Rope Fence Set: This fence kit gives players with water lots the ability to fence off their lot. The ornate version can be purchased from the Add-On Store and the regular version can be crafted in-game.
    • Kobold Chest & Ornate Kobold Chest: We did an audit on the contents of all our bundles and realized that the Kobold bundles were the only bundles that did not have chests! So we are fixed this in Release 39. The Kobold 2-Story Row House Tax Free Player Owned Town Lot Bundle now has a Kobold Metal Chest in it and the Kobold Village Home Tax Free Player Owned Town Lot Bundle now has an Ornate Kobold Metal Chest in it. You will need to claim rewards at a bank to receive these rewards.
    • Teletype Animations: The avatar now animates typing on the keys when using the Teletype. The Teletype also animates with turning gears and rotating paper.
    • Container Limits: This was actually completed in Release 38.
    • Shogun Bundles and Water Homes: We actually completed all of the Shogun Bundles and Water Homes in Release 38.
    • Home Bugfixes:
      • Elven 4-Story Rowhouse
      • Ornate Greenhouse 4-Story Rowhouse
      • Kobold Dwelling Village Home
      • Viking 2-Story Stronghold
      • Lord of the Manor Twin Spires Manor
      • Pristine Gothic Mansion Water Home
      • Shogun 5-Story City Home
      • Lord Founder Town Home
      • Wizard’s Tower
      • Small Old Keep
      • Shogun Lighthouse
      • Baron Frigate
      • Lord Benefactor Town Home
      • Grand City Chateau
      • Obsidian 4-Story Rowhouse
      • Knight Founder Village Keep
      • Wood & Plaster 2-Story w/ Front Porch Town Home
      • Garden Shed
      • Longboat
    • Room Renting Delayed: In order to get room renting working properly, we had to entirely refactor how we store and save items in player homes. This in turn led us to realize that we should work on the ability to save a decorated home (and eventually move it) before we do Room Rentals, so we have chosen to delay Room Renting for now.
    • R38 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: The drawings for our Sixth Lot Deed Raffle will be held on February 23, 2017 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 39.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
        • Row: 5
        • Village: 3
        • Town: 1
        • City: 1
      • Player Owned Town Deeds (40):
        • Row: 20
        • Village: 12
        • Town: 6
        • City: 2
    • R39 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: This will be the Seventh Lot Deed Raffle. For this raffle we again dropped the numbers lower to better match current demand and pace remaining stock. As always, Raffle tickets can be purchased with in game gold. As with R38, each person can only win a single deed of each type (maximum of one place anywhere and one POT). The drawing and winners will be in R40.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
        • Row: 5
        • Village: 3
        • Town: 1
        • City: 1
      • Player Owned Town Deeds (20):
        • Row: 10
        • Village: 6
        • Town: 2
        • City: 2
    • New and Updated Dynamic POTs: Note that we stopped processing POT changes involving template swaps about halfway through the release because we hope to leverage the Magic Movers system in R40 to preserve residents homes during those changes. Our apologies to those of you who we had already processed (we didn’t have a way to go back) and a thank you to those of you who are patient while you wait for the upcoming feature.
      • Bay Lunaire: Adjusted interconnection boat locations.
      • Brittany Fort: Renamed (formerly Tear). Converted to Swamp 01. Ownership changed. Rotated to “Left”. Changed location. Interconnection (with Brittany Fields). Set to non PvP.
      • Festival: Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Kahli: Interconnection (with Braemar).
      • Neath: Changed location. Interconnection (with New Britannian Market).
      • Oceania: Interconnection (with Ardoris).
      • Oracle Oasis: Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Painted Caves: Ownership changed. Interconnection (with Ardoris). Set to non PvP.
      • Rift’s End: Changed location. Interconnections (with Northwood and Blood Bay).
      • Shangri La: Renamed (formerly Warehouse City).
      • Silverston: Ownership changed.
      • Sionann: Converted to Forest 02. Nested interconnection changed to within Kiln.
      • Vale Halla: Interconnection (with Bay Lunaire).
      • Verat Chaos: Upgraded to Village.

  • Combat: The cover system will be introduced and will modify attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover. We will also be refactoring how ammunition works for ranged weapons so that we can have a greater variety of ranged weapons and introduce different types of ammunition, including the ability to craft those ammunition types.
    • Combat Cover: Being behind cover now decreases the amount of damage taken in combat. Cover is considered any object that blocks, or partially blocks direct line of sight between you and a target.
    • “Utility” Bar: The non-combat bar will now stay visible during combat and consumable items in that bar can be used from that bar. This should allow players who actively use potions and foods a much better alternative than allocating space in their deck. Consumables used from this bar will have the same cool down values that the combat bar uses. Note that we are experimenting with allowing a few spells we consider “utility” spells to be useable from here as well. For now these include Summoning Spells, Light, Night Vision and Resurrection.
    • Moving While Fighting Animations: We rebuilt the animation rig to better support animations for combat while moving. This should make animations during combat look much, much better.
    • Weapon Trails Polish: We did polish pass on the visual effects associated with weapon trails (the swipes left behind as a weapon swings through the air).
    • Ignite Weapon Effect Polish: We performed a major visual upgrade to the visual effects for Ignite Weapons. Your flaming sword has never looked more incredible than now!
    • Poison Refactor: The Poison Weapon skill is now a passive skill. Additionally, there are now multiple poison types with different effects that can all be crafted.
      • Stinging Poison: Weaker than existing poison, DOT.
      • Deadly Poison: On par with existing poison, DOT.
      • Numbing Poison: Dexterity debuff.
      • Corpion Poison: Instant damage, strong damage.
      • Paralyzing Spider Venom Poison: Instant damage, mild damage plus attack speed debuff.
      • Chaotic Corruption Poison: Random effect per hit like Chaos bolt.
      • Festering Death Poison: Greater Poison effect PLUS heal debuff.
    • Resurrection Timer: When players die, a timer now appears on screen to show how long before automatic resurrection will be triggered.
    • Catapults and Engineers: Catapults in Sieges are now attended by a team of Tier 8 engineers and guards who defend and operate the catapult. Only when three waves of engineers are killed will the catapult cease firing. Additionally, killing those engineers has a chance to yield a recipe for a tabletop catapult decoration and lots of lumber as loot. Note that killing the engineers is now what triggers the appearance of the liches, not destroying the catapults.
    • More Artifacts: More than 30 new artifacts have been added to the game, along with the first epic artifact! We wouldn’t want to spoil it for you by telling you what they are, however…  
    • Obsidian Book of Unlearning Tooltip: These items now have a tooltip that explains how to use them to unlearn skills and therefore free up the experience spent on them.
    • Icon for Spawn-In Protection: A buff icon now appears on your character when they have the temporary immunity when first appearing in a scene.
    • Air Elementals: Air Elementals are now immune to the Air magic spell Gust (as they should be!).
    • Damage Interrupts Eating: If you take damage while eating, it will now interrupt your consumption and you will have to resume eating again.
    • Push (Polearms): Fixed tooltip to show that the skill hits two targets by default.
    • Knockdown and Break Armor (Bludgeon): These two skills now have a unique animations when using a 2-handed bludgeon.
    • Pets Generate Threat on Owner: Tamed/Summoned Pet attacks now apply threat to the pet’s owner. This makes it increasingly difficult for a pet to exclusively hold threat/aggro on enemies permanently, and they will now refocus upon the pet’s owner over the course of combat.
    • Heal modifier: Can increase or decrease the effect of regeneration and healing effects, but not life drains. In R39, players will see this as a new effect on some poisons and a few skills. Very important in PVP for block healing effects for players. Also key in boss fights where DPS vs regen rate can be challenging.
    • Locked Combat Skills Timer: Locked Combat Skills now only take 1/4th the cooldown time when combat is started.
    • Unlocked skills now have a proper cooldown time: In most cases, this time is 2X the locked cooldown time. These skills will still be usable at 2.5X faster than the normal cooldown speed. This change will likely only be noticeable by a small number of people who were speeding through small decks very quickly.
    • Slow Effects Refactored: Slow effects on Ice related spells received a significant math overhaul.
      • The base value was reduced. Due to changes in maximum attainable attunement through gear, the maximum achievable slow value could reach 99% and result in creatures being paralyzed for the duration of the spell.
      • Creatures with exceptionally high strength can now break out of the ice more quickly.
      • The movement slow effects only affects targets when they are on the ground.
    • Puncture, Skewer, and Rend: These skills all now include a healing/regen debuff that is placed on the target that slows/blocks healing.
    • Belts: These are now their own type of gear and should show up as such in tooltips.
    • Earth’s Embrace: The math for this spell’s movement slowing effect has been reworked to be based on the square root of strength. This makes it more tolerable for lower level players and prevents super powerful players from actually getting a movement buff from it.
    • Ghost Corpion: This creature is now properly flagged as an Undead creature, so spells like Banish Undead will now work as expected.
    • Water Elementals: They are no longer immune to fire damage.
    • Ammunition Refactor Delayed: Work on other systems including Cover, Patterns, Poison, and Blessings caused us to have to delay work on Ammunition.
  • Character: We will begin work polishing the Kobolds and updating them to better reflect their lore, which attributes much of the technology in Novia to them. We will also begin introducing the first of the Obsidian Cabalists. Lastly, ducks will be winging their way into the hearts, minds, and yes, bellies of Novians.
    • City Kobolds: In Release 39. we have begun working on what we are calling our “City Kobolds.” These are the Kobolds that live in Skrekk and other places like K’rul. They are much more advanced than anyone else in Novia, and the source of almost all of the technology that you see in the game; including clockwork creatures and aether vibration amplifiers. City Kobolds use advanced armor and weaponry including chainswords, electric axes, gas guns, electric blunderbusses, grenades, etc. In some cases, City Kobolds are friendly to players (depending on story elements) and there are rumors of City Kobold Merchants who sell rare Kobold technology to players. The other Kobolds players have interacted with until now have been what we now call Village Kobolds, and will remain what players encounter in outdoor zones and small Kobold habitations. In Release 39, you will be able to find our first round of City Kobolds in K’rul. In Release 40, we will be updating Skrekk with City Kobolds, including a new unique visual for King Korabar.
      • Kobold Gunner: Specializes in ranged weapons like the Electric Blunderbuss. Note that we don’t have guns working yet, so they may wield more traditional weapons until R40.
      • Kobold Brawler: A melee specialist who wields electric axes, chainswords, and steam hammers. Not all of these weapons are complete yet so they may wield more traditional weapons until R40.
      • Kobold Grenadier: A chemicals and explosives specialist who deals with grenades, flamethrowers, and gas guns. Note that we don’t have guns working yet, so they may wield more traditional weapons until R40.
      • Kobold Merchant: A friendly Kobold who will allow players to purchase goods.
    • Attack Clockworks: The City Kobolds defend their territories fiercely and part of their defenses are an army of Clockwork beasts. Players have already seen some of these in previous releases including the Shock Monkey and Clockwork Dragon. In R39, the Clockwork menagerie expands to include Attack and size variants of some of our existing Clockwork beasts. The Clockwork Attack Dogs and Cats (which are the size of mountain lions) are used by Kobold guard patrols to knockdown and tear up trespassers. The Clockwork Attack Ravens have confusion fields that make fighting them especially challenging. We have also introduced giant versions of the Shock Monkey that have stomp and throw attacks, as well as a scaled-down version of the Clockwork Dragon that works well within interior spaces. Finally, there are giant versions of the Oracle Flyers and Oracle Crawlers that shock and stun players who try to fight them.
      • Clockwork Attack Dog: These fierce creatures are used by Kobold guard patrols to charge after trespassers, knocking them down and then using their sharp claws that rend to bleed them out.
      • Clockwork Attack Cat: These stealthy mountain lion-sized beasts are used by Kobold guard patrols to trip up and then rend enemies.
      • Clockwork Attack Raven: These flyers have confusion fields that make fighting them especially challenging.
      • Assassin Automaton: Using stealth these will sneak up on unwary Outlanders then shock them and rend them.
      • Giant Shock Monkeys: These larger versions of the shock monkeys have stomp and throw attacks.
      • Giant Hacked Oracle Flyers and Crawlers: These larger versions of the Oracle watchers shock and stun players who try to fight them.
      • Clockwork Wyvern: This is a scaled down version of the Clockwork Dragon that works better in interior spaces.
    • Mushroom Monsters: These fungal creatures have weak melee attacks that are mostly annoying until they get in large groups. However, if you kill them, they can unleash devastation with clouds of noxious spores that poison and confuse opponents.
    • Wealthy Merchant Outfit: Wealthy merchants in Novia will be wearing this new outfit, and it is also available for purchase in the Add-On Store as an Outfit (and in a Pattern Pack).
    • Epic Cloth Armor (Female): The chest piece on the female version of Epic Cloth has been modified to be more formfitting.
    • Kobold Chain Sword: This fearsome clockwork sword tears enemies apart with sharp teeth that are rapidly pulled along the length of the weapon. It is wielded in game by Kobold Brawlers in K’rul and K’rawl (and soon to be Skrekk in R40).
    • Norgard Lucerne Hammer: This awesome 2-handed polearm can be found on high level enemies in the northwestern regions of Novia.
    • Norgard Spatha: This deadly 1-handed blade can be found on high level enemies in the northwestern regions of Novia.
    • Satyr Bardiche: This fearsome 2-handed polearm can be found on high level Satyrs.
    • Vile Falchion: This wicked 1-handed blade can be found on high level Undead.
    • Katana: High level human enemies along the Perennial coast wield these curved 2-handed swords.
    • Ornate Flamberge: This beautiful 2-handed sword is available until March 9 as a weapon and as a Pattern Pack in the Add-On Store.
    • Ornate Basket Hilt Broadsword: This gorgeous 1-handed heavy blade is available as a weapon and as a Pattern Pack in the Add-On Store.
    • Ornate Satyr Bardiche: This wicked 2-handed polearm favored by satyrs is available as a weapon and as a Pattern Pack in the Add-On Store.
    • Ornate Elven Mage Staff: This beautifully carved 2-handed staff is available as a weapon and as a Pattern Pack in the Add-On Store.
    • Ornate Dagger: This deadly and wonderfully crafted little blade is available as a weapon and as a Pattern Pack in the Add-On Store.
    • Autoplay /read emotes: When players are reading a book or a note, we now automatically play the /readpaper or /readbook emote.
    • /boo renamed to /scare: We are in the process of creating a new emote for /boo to be used when expressing your displeasure with a bad performance, so we had to rename the original emote which is intended for scaring folks.
    • Obsidian Cabalists Delayed: We have actually finished the art for the Cabalists, but we wanted to take more time to develop their fighting behaviors and artifacts that they wield — so we are holding them until Release 40.
    • Ducks Delayed: We chose to take some extra time with the Kobolds and Cabalists instead of spending time on the Ducks.
  • Crafting: We will be expanding the crafting system to include molds “Patterns” that can be used to create visual variants for weapons and armor (Elven, Norgard, Obsidian, Kobold). We will also be refactoring the Agriculture interface and expanding functionality to include new skills like batch planting.
    • Patterns: This system will allow players to change the visual appearance of many items in the game while preserving the functionality and data associated with the item the pattern is being applied to. In the case of a weapon, that means that it will still retain all of its stats, including damage range, durability, enchantments, etc., even though it looks different. Patterns are used to reshape existing pieces of gear in much the same way you would enchant that gear at a crafting station. To do this, take a weapon or a piece of armor to the appropriate station (ex. Longbow to a carpentry station) and then use a pattern to reshape that item into something visually different. Patterns can be obtained through purchase and from inside the game. You can read more about how the system works here; including Eternal Patterns (patterns salvaged from Add On Store gear). NOTE: We originally considered using the word “molds” for this system but since we were already using molds in the crafting system, and molds are really only applicable to metal and ceramic items (not cloth nor wood), we felt it would be confusing. Hence our choice to use the new term “Patterns” which is applicable to all material types.
    • Crafting 2-Handed Axe: The 2-Handed axe created from crafting was accidentally pointing to the Founders 2-handed axe. This has been fixed.
    • Potion Recipes 3X: Potion recipes will all now require the same reagents, but with 3 empty flasks instead of 1. Logically, they will now yield 3 potions per batch.
    • Royal Purple Dye Recipe: This was mistakenly released as a teachable recipe. It is now a non-teachable recipe and has been removed from everyone except those who learned it from the original item.
    • New Patterns: This is the first patch of patterns to be added to the game. You can expect this to expand greatly over the next several releases.
      • Add On Store: The following list includes a mix of Eternal Patterns and Pattern Packs. Items that are exclusive to Bundles only receive Eternal Patterns.
      • In-Game: These are obtained by salvaging these weapons that are looted from NPCs in the game.
        • Kobold Hammer
        • Kobold Chain Sword
        • Elven Woodwind Longbow
        • Katana
        • Lich Axe
        • Norgard Great Axe
        • Norgard Lucerne Hammer (2H Polearm)
        • Norgard Spatha
        • Norgard Spear
        • Satyr Axe
        • Satyr Bardiche
        • Vile Chekan (1H Hammer)
        • Vile Falchion
        • Vile Halberd
        • Vile Mace
        • Vile Shortsword
    • New Recipes:
      • Water Platform
      • Water Post & Rope Fence
      • Desktop Catapult
      • Rough Stone Roadway Pavers
      • Stinging Poison
      • Deadly Poison
      • Numbing Poison
      • Corpion Poison
      • Paralyzing Spider Venom Poison
      • Chaotic Corruption Poison
      • Festering Death Poison
      • Ruined Stone Arch
      • Three Nudes Wall Carving
      • Woman’s Bust Sculpture
      • Carved Tombstone with Two Women
      • Archaic Boy Statue
      • Grey Marble Bench
      • Doric Column
      • Small Doric Column
      • Doric Column Pedestal
      • Composite Column
      • Small Composite Column
      • Man’s Head Statue on Pedestal
      • Ancient General Head Statue on Pedestal
      • Woman’s Head Statue on Pedestal
    • Agriculture Polish Delayed: Work on the Magic Movers and other tasks delayed work on Agriculture polish.
  • User Interface Polish:
    • Character Deletion Confirmation: To delete a character you now have to type the name of the character. This was added to help prevent accidental character deletion.
    • Save Game Loaded Message: When you load a saved game, you now receive a message that says “Saved Game Now Loaded!”
    • Hide Grandmaster: There is now an option to hide your Grandmaster skill status from other players.
  • Audio: The focus for Release 39 was on Combat and Magic. All Combat and Magic sounds have been edited and polished to make the sound effects during combat more fluid and natural. 
    • Weapons: All “swoosh”, “Hit”, “Unsheath-Sheath”, “parry”, block” , and “miss” sounds for all weapons.
      • Spears
      • Bows
      • Staffs
      • Short/ Long Swords
      • Axes / 2H Axes
      • Mace
      • Daggers
    • Combat Skills: All Combat Skills have new sound effects.
      • Blades
      • Light / Heavy Armor
      • Shield
      • Ranged
      • Subterfuge
    • Spells: All Spells have new sound effects.
      • Air
      • Water
      • Fire
      • Moon
      • Light
      • Focus
      • Earth
      • Death
    • Creatures: New sound effects and/or vocalizations were created for the following creatures:
      • Kobolds: Kobolds have new vocals
      • Clockwork Cats
      • Automaton

So, now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should NOT expect:

  • Stability: Stability should be similar to Release 38 (after all the patches). However, there still seems to be the one remaining major issue with Unity and AMD A8 integrated graphics chipsets used in laptops that make the game unplayable (this affects other games using Unity as well). Unity is aware of the problem and working on a fix but we do not have an ETA from them on this.
  • Performance: We plan to make steady improvements each release until the game is running smoothly on minimum spec machines in big cities. However we did not make time in Release 39 for any significant performance improvements so performance remains unchanged since last release.
  • Game Loop: Release 39 is a further iteration on our game loop, but is still missing a few key components and balance. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release.
  • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals.
  • Pledge Rewards: Pledge Rewards that have been built and have tech to support them are in the game; all other rewards are awaiting either content creation or tech support. You can find an updated list of these items in known issues.

Here are links to instructions and known issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you.

Sincerely,
Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

 

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9 thoughts on “Release 39 Instructions



  1. yobtaryobtar

    WTH!!! Glowing NPC’s with quests is the same as having a “!” or “?” over their head.
    I am one not to complain too much about the changes but this change is totally against the promises/design direction they have always pushed. Port even made fun of it by giving hats with “!” and “?” on it. I would rather see the hats on NPC’s than them “Glow” like some magical enchantment is on them.





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