1. NOTICE: The game is still in Early Access, which does not constitute a Launch! Please keep feedback and concerns tempered during this still-in-development period. We are working hard to make the game ready for Launch, based on your feedback.
    Dismiss Notice

Release 40 Instructions

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    5,399
    Likes Received:
    32,825
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Gender:
    Male
    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 40 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, March 30, at 10:30 AM US Central Standard Time (15:30 UTC).

    Release 40 is full of so many important changes that it is hard to know where to begin! The Obsidian Cabalists are now spreading their vileness throughout New Britannia, weapons can now be placed as decorations, we have shifted more of our focus to improving the new user experience (NUE), there are tons of new patterns (both in-game and out), and we finally upgraded to Unity 5.5 (which should address some major AMD issues).

    [​IMG]

    New User Experience (NUE): We are now shifting a large amount of our effort towards improving the New User Experience. For several years, our backers have been providing us with feedback about the NUE. For example, our backers have pointed out that having to open the journal to view their active tasks/quests feels cumbersome, and that we overload the player with too many options at the beginning of the game (too many skills, too many different hotbars, etc.). This feedback has been affirmed by metrics gathered during our recent Free Trial. In R40, we have implemented improvements for both these issues as well as other improvements to the NUE. There is now an on-screen task list, we start players with fewer skills, we now delay introducing the player to some more advanced features until later in the game, and we have begun integrating SotA Map into the game client to aid with navigation.

    Unity 5.5: We have finally upgraded to the latest version of Unity. This should result in better overall performance and numerous fixes to longstanding issues including the longstanding AMD incompatibility!

    Obsidian Cabalists: These vile beings who follow the Anti-Virtues will now be laying siege to towns throughout Novia, including Player Owned Towns that harbor devotionals to the Virtues! Each Cabalist dons a unique hood artifact bearing the symbol of their anti-virtue, and also wields a unique weapon artifact. These artifacts, along with Cabalist Robes and Cabalist Plate Boots, can be looted from Cabalists if you manage to defeat them. Players can then choose to either wield the Vile artifacts or salvage them for patterns that can be applied to other equipment.

    [​IMG]

    Weapon Decorations and New Patterns: In Release 39, we started making equippable items placeable as decorations, using musical instruments as our first test. In R40, we have expanded upon this, and now almost all weapons are placeable in your home as decorations! Additionally, we have added quite a lot of new patterns to the game, including patterns for looted gear such as the Obsidian Cabalist artifacts (Hoods, Weapons, Boots, and Robes), Khopesh, Norgard Axe, and Imperial Heater Shield. We also added patterns to almost all of the Pledge items (Founder armor, Founder weapons, etc.), and we also added a lot of new items to the Add-On Store.

    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 40.

    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 40, March 30, 2017

    • Story: We will be doing some final polish passes on the Path of Courage and beginning to polish the Path of Truth. Additionally, a vast dungeon will be opening underneath Blood Bay. We will also be un-cloning the Kas Ruins, Elysium Mines, and a few adventure scenes. We will also be refactoring the tutorial system to improve the new user experience.
      • Path of Love: SPOILER: There are now visual effects showing the crystal cage shattering when you free Sequanna in Malice. In addition, the quest itself has been edited for clarity and hints added through the new Current Tasks UI on how to progress through this section.
      • Estgard and Harvest: All NPCs living in Estgard and Harvest not directly related to the story and/or quests (guards, merchants, children) now have unique names and conversations. Note that they don’t yet have schedules or patrols. Some of these were created by players as part of their “Create an NPC” pledge reward.
      • New User Experience (NUE): We have begun refactoring and polishing the New User experience to make starting the game much less overwhelming and easier to understand. This includes multiple new features like an onscreen task list, fewer starting skills, blocking many features until later, auto defend, integration of SotA Navigator, and more. See the User Interface section below for more details.
      • Rhun Ruins: The Rhun Ruins are one of the six ruined cities found in Novia that date back to the period in Novian history in which the Obsidian Order rose to power. (As described in the Sword of Midras prequel novel by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott). The exact history of some of these cities has been lost to time, but it is rumored that some of them may have been abandoned even before the rise of the Obsidians. Rhun was a city devoted to Compassion but has since been overrun with the undead. It is located in the Drachvald region in the northeast of Novia. Rhun started as a clone of the Dysborg Ruins, but was completely rebuilt this release to have a unique layout and visuals. Since this is an Open PvP scene (as are all the Ruins) we expressly focused on being sure the map has interesting setups for PvP conflict, with plenty of space for hiding, escaping, ambushing, and skirmishing.
      • [​IMG]
      • Serpent's Spine Mines: The Serpent’s Spine Mines are located in the northern end of the Serpent’s Spine mountain range in the North Paladis region of Novia. Kobolds have ranged farther east than normal to exploit the rich ore veins and crystal deposits in this vast mine. This is one of our most vertically oriented mines to date with a large central chamber featuring deep vertical shafts, elevators, and mine carts. This scene started as a clone of Graff Gem Mines but was completely rebuilt in Release 40. We also relocated these slightly to the south so they are actually in the Serpent’s Spine Mountains!
      • [​IMG]
      • Devotional Shrines: There are now devotional shrines to the three principles and 8 virtues in cities and villages across Novia. There are also NPCs who attend to these shrines. These shrines also now properly attract the attention of the Cabalist Town Sieges.
        • The Book of Truth: Aerie
        • The Candle of Love: Ardoris
        • The Bell of Courage: Resolute
        • The Hand of Honesty: Etceter
        • The Heart of Compassion: Brookside
        • The Sword of Valor: Point West
        • The Scale of Justice: Kiln
        • The Tear of Sacrifice: Northwood
        • The Chalice of Honor: Jaanaford
        • The Ankh of Spirituality: Fortus End
        • The Crook of Humility: Eastmarch
      • Skrekk: The capital of the Kobold empire is now populated with City Kobolds, and King Korabar now has his own unique art and animations!
      • [​IMG]
      • Town Sieges: There is now much better messaging about stage completion (e.g. flags next to each catapult disappearing when the catapult has no engineers) and lifting the siege (namely, a UI messaging stating the current state of the siege). Additionally, placed Devotionals in NPC towns and Player Owned Towns now attract Sieges...so watch out!
      • Xenos: We have a new feature that allows interactive teleporters to offer a list of multiple destinations within the same scene and teleport the player to any of them without forcing a scene load. Our first use of this feature is an improved ferry boat network for Xenos.
      • Ardoris: Like Xenos mentioned above, the gondola boat network in Ardoris has received an overhaul, utilizing dropdown list teleporters to connect multiple locations within the scene.
      • Greater Brittany Boat Interconnections: Much like the wagons (and balloon in some cases) that we added in R39, the Brittany neighborhood scenes now have a dropdown list teleporter boat at the docks of each scene. These boats provide access to the docks of every other Brittany neighborhood scene as well as Novia, and can be identified by their orange sails.
      • The Rise: We fixed an exploit with Golems and Mages in this dungeon.
      • Sky: We did some reordering of the celestial objects in the sky to match the final names of the anti-virtues.
      • Scene Fixes: We went through tons of scenes in the game fixing major and minor bugs including stuck spots, floating assets, missing assets, bad NPC patrols, inaccessible ore nodes, missing collision, missing/misplaced Resurrection Ankhs, falling through the world, etc.
        • Aerie
        • Approach to the Shuttered Eye
        • Ardoris
        • Ardoris Sewers
        • Battle of Highvale
        • Battle of Solace Bridge
        • Blood Bay
        • Blood River Massacre
        • Braemar
        • Brittany Fields
        • Brookside: fixed various lots that had no road access
        • Central Brittany
        • Crypt of the Avatar
        • Deep Ravenswood
        • Desolis
        • East Perennial Trail
        • East Veiled Swamp
        • Eastmarch
        • Eastreach Gap
        • Elysium Mines
        • Etceter
        • Etceter Crag Mines
        • Forest Siege
        • Graff Island
        • Grannus Colossus
        • Hidden Vale Overworld
        • Hilt Fortress
        • Isle of Storms
        • Jaanaford
        • Kingsport
        • K’rawl
        • K’rull
        • Malice
        • Nightshade Pass
        • North Drachvald Spur
        • North Grunvald Barrens
        • North Brightbone Woods
        • North Naryad Pinelands
        • Owl’s Head
        • Resolute Sewers
        • Serpent's Spine Foothills
        • Skrekk
        • Soltown Catacombs
        • South Shattered Hills
        • Southeast Blackblade Mountains
        • Southmarsh
        • Spectral Mines
        • Spectral Mountains
        • Upper Fortus
        • Valhold
        • Vauban Pass
        • Verdantis Mines
        • Vertas
        • West Perennial Trail
        • West Ravenswood
        • Xenos
      • Kas Ruins Delayed: While we finished the world building work of uncloning Kas Ruins we spent our creature and trap spawning schedule on Rhun Ruins (see above).
      • Elysium Mines Delayed: We chose to start with Serpent’s Spine Mines instead of Elysium Mines for our “unclone the mines” series (see above). Verdantis Mines will be next, with Elysium Mines to follow.
      • The Fall Delayed: We mentioned above that a “vast dungeon will be opening underneath Blood Bay”—that dungeon is The Fall. We finished all the world building for this dungeon but, since we already had Rhun Ruins going live in R40, we felt we did not need to push two Open PvP scenes live, so we are holding this one until R41.
      • Paths of Truth and Courage Delayed: While we made lots of progress internally on these paths, including lots of work on the dungeon of Artifice, none of that work is ready yet to publish.
    • Character: We will begin creating Viking-inspired clothing for the NPCs in the Norgard and Verdantis areas of Novia to better define that region, including outfits for Royalty, Guards, Citizens, and Merchants. We will also be polishing the Troll visuals and creating more visual variations for our children NPCs.
      • Obsidian Cabalists: Representing the 8 anti-virtues, these horrible entities lay siege to the towns of Novia according to a celestial cycle. Below is the list of the Cabalists and their powers. Note that not all of these powers are finalized nor will all of them be working in R40.
      • [​IMG]
        • Dolus: The Cabalist of Deceit who causes confusion in the ranks.
        • Temna: The Cabalist of Despite who turns allies against each other.
        • Nefario: The Cabalist of Dastard (Cowardice) who strikes terror into those who dare oppose him.
        • Nefas: The Cabalist of Injustice who causes enemies to beg for mercy.
        • Avara: The Cabalist of Punishment who inflicts huge amounts of damage that lingers for long amounts of time.
        • Indigno: The Cabalist of Dishonor who generates large clouds of poisonous gas.
        • Corpus: The Cabalist of Carnality who forces opponents to disrobe, therefore losing all their defensive protection.
        • Fastus: The Cabalist of Vanity who mesmerizes opponents.
      • Obsidian Cabalist Vile Weapons: Each Cabalist wields a unique artifact weapon made from Obsidian and bearing their anti-virtue symbol. We made sure that each weapon type (including shield) was represented so that players would have a chance to get a weapon of the type they favored.
      • [​IMG]
        • Deceitful Vile Wand: Dolus’s wand, comprised of black branching twigs.
        • Despicable Vile Crossbow: Temna’s large repeating crossbow.
        • Dastardly Vile Sword: Nefario’s long, thin 2-handed blade.
        • Oppressive Vile Hammer: Nefas’s oversized 2-handed Judge’s gavel is a mockery of Justice
        • Punishing Vile Flail: Avara’s wicked flail is made up of multiple blades all housed in a 1-handed sword.
        • Indignant Vile Halberd: Indigno’s horrific 2-handed polearm is covered in barbs.
        • Carnal Vile Shield: Corpus’s shield sport’s the anti-virtue symbol of Carnality
        • Gaudy Vile Spear: Fastus’s 1-handed spear has a metal mirror on it to distract opponents.
      • Obsidian Cabalist Wearables: If you are able to defeat the Cabalists you have a chance to loot some of their wearable gear.
        • 8 Cabalist Hoods: Each Cabalist has a unique hood that is also a mask and helmet that completely covers their face and displays their anti-virtue symbol.
        • Cabalist Cloth Robes and Cabalist Plate Boots: The Cabalists also wear Cloth Robes and Plate Boots.
        • [​IMG]
      • Elemental and Golem Ambush Animations: Elementals and Golems now lie in a dormant state that looks like part of the environment (pile of rocks, a bit of flame, etc.) until victims come near and then spring up to ambush unwary travelers.
      • Wood Duck: There is now a cute little Wood Duck pet in the Add-On Store. Starting in Release 41, there will also be wild Mallard ducks and a Domestic White Duck available through a quest.
      • New Longbow: We replaced the basic Longbow (the craftable one) with a new, better piece of art.
      • Hair Fixes: We made some fixes to hair so it now works in shadow (previously it would glow in shadow). We also fixed facial hair so it is not so “sparkly.”
      • Full Body Wearables: Items that cover the entire body (like the Elven Elder Mage Robes, Wedding Dress, Priestess Robes, etc.) previously took up two wearable slots (chest and legs). These now allow equipping leg items underneath the skirt section (which hides the leg item) so you do not have to forgo the protection of chest and leg armor when wearing these items.
      • New Guards: We felt that the old guard artwork was just not good enough, so we have replaced it with new art. Guards around Novia are now wearing new armor in a few variations which we will expand over the next couple of releases.
      • Wealthy Merchants, Take 2: When we first implemented the new wealthy merchant there were no variations and the existing version had a backpack built in. This did not make sense visually in many places and was too repetitive. We have now created more variations of the NPC, including several without backpacks, and have repopulated the world with these new variations.
      • NPC Ladder Interaction: A lot of work was done to ensure that all teleporters (ladders in particular) are usable by NPCs. Pets should now be capable of following players as they use ladders or teleporters of any type within player houses, NPC houses, and throughout the world.
      • Ballet Outfit and emotes: Dance your heart out in this lovely ballet outfit that includes a tutu, pointe shoes, and leotard. Of course, you will need the new ballet emotes: /jete, /releve, /jambe, and /pirouette. These are all available in the Add-On Store.
      • Floppy Hat: Players liked the hat on the scarecrow so we turned it into a wearable that can be crafted in game at the Tailoring station.
      • Dragon Flight Animations: We polished the flight animations of the dragon, especially takeoff and landing. We also fixed an issue where the wings were sorting into the ground.
      • Elven Mage Robe: Sleeves are now a separate equippable.
      • Epic Plate Armor: Increased resolution (was incorrectly set too low)
      • Cloaks: Went through most of the cloaks in the game to make sure the colors, materials, brightness, etc. match the original screenshots. Many of them had started to look dull and blurry due to shader changes and/or bad compression.
        • Combat Sigil
        • Crafting Sigil
        • Magic Sigil
        • Duke
        • Benefactor
        • Founder
        • Lord British
        • Darkstarr
        • Oracle
        • Obsidian
        • Blade of the Avatar
        • Ancestor
        • Baron
      • New Weapons:
      • [​IMG]
      • New Shields: The following shields can be purchased from merchants in game.
        • Imperial Heater Shield
        • Adorned Heater Shield
        • Norgard Heater Shield
        • Imperial Buckler Shield
        • Adorned Buckler Shield
        • Gilded Buckler Shield
      • Black Dyes: Fixed an issue that was making all black dyes appear grey.
      • Norgard Clothing Delayed: Work on the Vile Weapons and hair fixes delayed us starting this work.
      • Troll Polish and Children Variants Delayed: Work on the wealthy merchant variants, new guards, and Obsidian Cabalist wearables delayed this work.
    • Crafting: Fishing will be polished and expanded and Alcohol recipes will be added to the game.
      • Rose Bushes: Rose bushes have been added to Agriculture and for now can be used for making a bouquet and flower arrangement. Starting in R41, we will be changing the dye recipes to use roses as a main ingredient.
      • Bundle of 144 Arrows: These larger bundles have been added to Merchants.
      • Reshaping Icons: There are now unique icons for all the Reshaping recipes.
      • Sheet Music: Weight now set to 0.1 per sheet (was formerly 1.0 per sheet).
      • New In-Game Patterns: We added lots of new patterns to in-game gear. As a reminder you can get these patterns by salvaging the items. In parentheses next to each item indicates where you can find each item as either loot or in the inventory of NPC merchants. Reminder that only items purchased from the Add On Store or Obsidian Crown Merchants have Eternal Patterns. All other items generate consumable patterns. You can read more about how the Pattern and Reshaping system works here.
        • [​IMG]
        • Cabalist Cloth Robe (loot) (Cloth Armor)
        • Cabalist Plate Boots (loot) (Plate Armor)
        • 8 Cabalist Hoods (loot) (Any Helm)
        • 8 Cabalist Vile Weapons (loot) (various, see list above)
        • Khopesh (loot) (1h Sword)
        • Kobold Steam Hammer (loot) (2h Bludgeon)
        • Kobold 1h Electric Axe (loot) (1h Bludgeon)
        • Kobold 2h Electric Axe (loot) (2h Bludgeon)
        • Norgard Axe (loot) (1h Bludgeon)
        • Imperial Heater Shield (merchant)
        • Adorned Heater Shield (merchant)
        • Norgard Heater Shield (merchant)
        • Imperial Buckler Shield (merchant)
        • Adorned Buckler Shield (merchant)
        • Gilded Buckler Shield (merchant)
        • Round Wooden Shield (merchant)
        • [​IMG]
      • New Recipes:
        • Rose Bouquet
        • Rose Arrangement in Vase
        • Kettle Drum
        • Large Harp
        • Post & Rope Water Fence
        • Rough Stone Roadway Pavers
        • Floppy Hat
        • Floor Oil Lamp with Frosted Glass Shade
        • Table Oil Lamp with Frosted Glass Shade
        • Carved Oak Cabinet
        • Carved Figures Oak Cabinet
        • Carved Oak Sidetable
        • Carved Oak Weapon Rack
      • New Add-On Store Patterns: The following items now have Eternal Patterns and in some cases we are also selling Pattern Packs for these as well. As a reminder, Eternal Patterns can be gained by salvaging these items but you sacrifice their durability and PvP protection.
      • New Eternal Patterns for Expired Content (Pledges, Stretch Goals, and Add-Ons): We have now added Eternal Patterns to the following items that are either expired Add-On items, expired Stretch Goal items, or were parts of expired Pledges. As a reminder, Eternal Patterns can be gained by salvaging these items but you sacrifice their durability and PvP protection.
        • Brown Nomad Hat (Leather Helm)
        • Brown Chaperon Hat (Cloth Helm)
        • Sword of Ba-heer (1H Sword)
        • Founder Cutlass (1H Sword)
        • Royal Founder Cutlass (1H Sword)
        • Founder 2-handed Axe (2H Axe)
        • Royal Founder 2-handed Axe (2H Axe)
        • Vanduul Polearm (2H Polearm)
        • Ancient Elven Bow (Longbow)
        • Founder Bow (Longbow)
        • Royal Founder Bow (Longbow)
        • Royal Founder Shield (Shield)
        • Founder Shield (Shield)
        • Royal Founder Tunic (Cloth Armor)
        • Founder Tunic (Cloth Armor)
        • Benefactor Tunic (Cloth Armor)
        • Royal Founder Cloth Armor (Cloth Armor)
        • Royal Founder Leather Armor (Leather Armor)
        • Royal Founder Chain Armor (Chain Armor)
        • Royal Founder Plate Armor (Plate Armor)
        • Founder Cloth Armor (Cloth Armor)
        • Founder Leather Armor (Leather Armor)
        • Founder Chain Armor (Chain Armor)
        • Founder Plate Armor (Plate Armor)
        • Admirals Hat (Cloth Helm)
        • Admirals Outfit (gentlemen) (Cloth Armor)
        • Admirals Outfit (lady's) (Cloth Armor)
        • Elven Warrior Armor (Chain Armor)
        • Elven Archer Armor (Leather Armor)
        • Elven Mage Robes (Cloth Armor)
        • Riding Outfit (Gentlemen's) (Leather Armor)
        • Riding Outfit (Lady's) (Leather Armor)
        • Steampunk Hat (Leather Helm)
        • Knight Marshal's Winged Helm (Plate Helm)
        • Lord Marshal's Coronated Helm (Plate Helm)
        • Founder Baron Crown (Any Helm)
        • Duke Crown (Any Helm)
        • Lord of the Manor Crown (Any Helm)
        • [​IMG]
      • New Patterns for Grand Tour Hats: We have added Eternal Patterns to all the Grand Tour Hats.
        • R10: Virtue Cavalier's Hat (Cloth Helm)
        • R11: Virtue Tricorn Hat with Carnival Mask (Leather Helm)
        • R12: Virtue Pilgrim Hat (Leather Helm)
        • R13: Virtue Yule Hat (Cloth Helm)
        • R14: Virtue Hennin Hat (Cloth Helm)
        • R15: Virtue Silver Jester Carnival Mask (Leather Helm)
        • R16: Virtue Dark Lepus Mask (Leather Helm)
        • R17: Virtue Fez Hat (Cloth Helm)
        • R18: Virtue Bycocket Hat (Leather Helm)
        • R19: Virtue Kobold Commander Mask (Leather Helm)
        • R20: Virtue Chaperon Hat (Cloth Helm)
        • R21: Virtue Highwayman Hat (Leather Helm)
        • R22: Virtue SteamPunk Goggles (Leather Helm)
        • R23: Virtue Plague Doctor Mask (Leather Helm)
        • R24: Virtue Pilgrim Bonnet (Cloth Helm)
        • R25: Virtue Nomad Hat (Leather Helm)
        • R26: Virtue Bowler Hat (Cloth Helm)
      • Crown Merchants: These merchants are now discoverable as Points of Interest, so therefore will now appear on the compass.
      • Chicken Corpses: Fixed issue that made them very hard to Field Dress.
      • Fishing Polish and Alcohol Brewing Delayed: Work on the New User Experience, Cabalist setup and Patterns delayed this work.
    • Guild Alliances: Guilds will now be able to form alliances with each other.
      • Guild Alliances Delayed: Work on the New User Experience delayed this work.
    • Offline Combat Balance and Economy: A pass will be made through the game to adjust combat balance for play in offline mode with companions. Additionally, the economy in offline mode will be tuned to be better balanced for single-player. For instance, NPC merchants will buy player-crafted items at a profit to the player. Also, pledge and Add-On Store items will be available from NPC merchants for purchase with in-game gold.
      • Offline Combat Balance & Economy Delayed: Work on the New User Experience delayed this work.
    • User Interface: A polish pass will be made to the user interface to improve general usability and visuals.
      • Combat Bar: Players are now able to assign locked glyphs to empty slots on the combat hotbar. They were previously only able to replace existing locked glyphs.
      • NPC Chat Window: Other UI windows are hidden when the NPC chat window is shown, and then restored when the NPC chat window is hidden. We also improved the “More” command functionality and significantly improved the display and sorting of keywords, including dimming used keywords in the list.
      • New Upper-Right Icons: The icons in the upper right that open inventory, options, etc. have been updated to be much more graphical and iconic like our spell/skill icons to make them more readable.
        • [​IMG]
      • NUE: Journal Task List: Quests that generate tasks now display those tasks on screen and will mark their completion as you accomplish those tasks. We now use these at the beginning of the game to help guide new players through the introduction/tutorial. Tasks can be removed manually from the Task List via right-click, as well as restored from right-clicking the task's title in the Journal.
      • NUE: Fewer Starting Skills: We are reducing the skills players start with to a single (or at most two) active skills so that new players are not overwhelmed.
      • NUE: Gated Combat UI Features: We are going to start everyone with a locked combat bar that is always visible and that uses auto-attack. More advanced combat features will come online for the player via quests from combat trainers as players advance. NOTE: Existing characters are not affected by this change.
        • Free Attack: The option to use free attack (instead of auto-attack) will be the first combat feature players can learn from a combat trainer.
        • Utility Bar: The second combat UI feature players can learn will be the ability to add a non-combat bar to their screen (like they have now).
        • Combat Decks: The third, and most complex, feature to be unlocked will be the ability to build and equip decks.
      • NUE: Auto-Defend: Players who are in auto-attack mode (which all new players default to) will now automatically unsheathe their weapon and begin auto-attacking their attacker when attacked if they are not already in combat mode.
      • NUE: Quest Navigation: NPCs will now animate with an “I have a quest for you!” gesture when they have a quest for you. The blue glow that indicates that an NPC has a quest is now an option and may eventually be removed entirely.
      • NUE: SotA Map Integration: We were so impressed with Jakub White’s implementation of SotA Map and the community’s contribution to the content of it that we have decided to begin fully integrating it into the game. Simply hit the “M” key to bring up this feature. NOTE: At this time it only works fully for the PC and the Mac versions. We hope to have a working Linux version in R41.
      • [​IMG]
      • NUE: Players now start in traditional mouse mode (hold down mouse key to look) and the TAB key now defaults to switching targets instead of swapping you between “hold mouse” look and “free mouse” look modes.
      • Friends List Loading Issue: Fixed bug where the list was loading from the middle.
      • Unlearning Credit: We have built a new credit system for skills that we modify significantly in a release. We will flag those particular skills, and players who choose to unlearn them will regain 100% of the experience spent on it back to their pool. We will leave this effect in place for the duration of the release for skills that were modified in a negative way. This is in lieu of issuing everyone Books of Unlearning.
    • Combat:
      • Polished Unarmed Combat and Idles: We polished the animations for these combat actions.
      • Decks Increased: The maximum number of decks has been increased to 12 (was previously only 6).
      • No Slugs in Locked Decks: If you have a locked deck with empty slots in your toolbar you will no longer see slugs appear there and you can freely move locked skills between slots.
      • Water Death: We created a custom death animation and corpse to handle dying in water.
      • Fixed “Nearby Players” Bug: When a PvP player first enters any scene you no longer see their name for 2-3 seconds in the PvP stats window. It now properly appears as a "?" immediately when they enter the scene.
      • Magic Visual Effects Polish: We have begun a major polish pass on the visual effects on all magical spells starting with the lowest level spells and working our way upwards. The following 6 spells were polished for Release 40:
      • [​IMG]
        • Stone Fist
        • Ice Fist
        • Flame Fist
        • Fire Arrow
        • Ice Arrow
        • Searing Ray
      • Obsidian Arrow Renamed: This is now called Stone Arrow so as not to confuse it with the very specific material Obsidian.
      • Douse: Now properly adds to your Fire Resistance
      • Cooldown Timers: Now only displayed for Locked Skills.
      • Heavy Lifter: Updated description to better describe how the bonus works.
      • Sword Glued to Flute Bug: Fixed bug where you could enter combat while playing an instrument therefore gluing your instrument and weapon together.
      • Belts are no longer Rings: Fixed bugs where the Belts of the Patient Harvester and Slipshod would show as rings in tool tips.
      • DoTs and Cover bug: Fixed issue where Cover was affecting the damage applied from Damage over Time effects like Rend, Poison, Fire, etc.
      • Tharsis Vrul (Daemon Boss): Now provides more appropriate XP.
      • Ghost Corpion: Fixed poison debuff.
      • Healing Grace and Healing Ray: No longer require that you have your camera facing your target. These were using a fairly tight forward arc which was making players unintentionally cast on themselves instead of their target. This should greatly reduce the miscasting of heals at critical moments!
      • Fireproof: Fire resistance amount has been reduced to match other elemental resistance innate skills. For the duration of R40, players who choose to unlearn Fireproof will regain 100% of the experience spent on it back to their pool.
      • Chain Lightning: Now matches lightning and is dodgeable, blockable (shield), but not parryable. Chain lightning’s fizzle rate has also been changed to match the pattern used for all spells. This will make it more difficult for those in heavy armor to use in R40. For the duration of R40, players who choose to unlearn Chain Lightning will regain 100% of the experience spent on it back to their pool.
      • Nightstep: No longer breaks stealth when used but it will trigger combat mode.
    • Player Housing:
      • Weapons as Decorations: We started in Release 39 with making equippable items decorations using the musical instruments as our first test. In R40, we are going bigger and now almost all weapons can now be placed in your home as decorations.
      • [​IMG]
      • Property Manager Slot Purchase: Players can now purchase additional Property Manager slots to store decorated homes and/or basements with Gold Crowns. Also, the additional slots that come with Bundles will now begin appearing.
      • Property Manager moving Between Scenes: Players can now use the Property Manager to move their fully decorated houses and/or basements between different scenes by spending Gold Crowns.
      • Lot Deed Renaming: Players can now rename lot deeds in their lot deed interface. This should help with identifying which lot deed you are using in a given location.
      • Bottom Floor Decoration Flag: We have a new flag that allows us to restrict items placed inside homes and basements to the bottom floor. This now allows us to keep items that only make visual sense on bottom floors constrained to those floors. Now a whole class of items that we either only allowed for placement outside or we allowed inside (but could be placed nonsensically) can be placed properly indoors. Types of items now flagged include:
        • Water Wells
        • Gravestones
        • Tombs
        • Crypts
        • Sarcophagi
        • Basement Hatches
      • Carved Oak Furniture: This set of furniture has elaborate figures carved into it depicting various scenes. They can be crafted in game at the Carpentry station.
      • [​IMG]
        • Carved Oak Cabinet
        • Carved Figures Oak Cabinet
        • Carved Oak Sidetable
        • Carved Oak Weapon Rack
      • Post & Rope Water Fence: This fence can be crafted in game at the Carpentry station and then placed on water lots.
      • Oil Lamps with Frosted Glass Shades: These come in Floor and Tables sizes and can be crafted in the game.
      • Roadway Pavers: Our first attempt at these were at the wrong scale and we renamed these to be “Walkway Pavers.” These new pavers are based on the Giant Pavers so are at a base scale of 8 meters. Each set consists of 16 different pieces and we have built them in all styles.
      • Kobold Steel & Stone Fence: This Kobold-style fence made of stone and steel is available in the Add-On Store and in the Kobold Town and Kobold City Bundles.
      • [​IMG]
      • Geometric Stained Glass Oil Lamps: These oil lamps with stained glass shades come in floor and table sizes. They can be purchased in the Add On Store.
      • Oak & Glass Display Cabinet: This large display cabinet has working glass doors that open and shelves that items can be placed on as well as a storage area in the bottom. It can be purchased in the Add On Store.
      • Ornate Oak Panel Wardrobe: This large display cabinet has working wooden doors that open and shelves that items can be placed on as well as a storage area in the bottom. It can be purchased in the Add On Store.
      • Fine Oak Furniture Set: This 8-piece set of fine oak furniture is available for purchase in the Add On Store
      • [​IMG]
        • Fine Oak Bed
        • Fine Oak Chair (2)
        • Fine Oak Desk
        • Fine Oak Dresser
        • Fine Oak Tall Dresser
        • Fine Oak Bookshelf
        • Fine Oak Vanity
      • Decoration Layer on Stairs: We have added decoration layers to the tops of stairs and decoration prevention layers to the front facing parts of stairs. This should allow players to place items on stairs while at the same time preventing the bug that was having people lose things that were falling through stairs when placed on them.
      • Former “POT Blessing” Items: The Titan statues, Dragon Bones, and Hooded Statue are now flagged as POT decorations instead of NPC buildings.
      • Neighbor Decorating: Fixed bug that was allowing neighbors to decorate walls of neighboring buildings that did not belong to them. Griefing through decorating!
      • Elven Row Homes Roofs: Fixed issue where the roof lines were extending into neighbors lots.
      • Fixes: Fixed various issues in homes including places where decorations could not be placed, stairs that could not be climbed without jumping, etc.
        • Shingle-Roof Two-Story w/ Balcony
        • Small Old Keep
        • Viking 2-Story Row
        • Ornate 4-Story Greenhouse
        • Kobold Great Hall City Home
        • Knight Lighthouse
        • Knight Marshal Benefactor Village Home
        • Twin Spires Manor
        • Lord Founder
        • Stucco Four Story w/Right Alcove Row House
      • R39 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: The drawings for our Seventh Lot Deed Raffle will be held on March 30, 2017 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 40.
        • 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
      • R40 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: This will be the Eighth 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 R39 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 R41.
        • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
        • Player Owned Town Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
      • New and Updated Dynamic POTs:
      • [​IMG]
        • Arx Draconis: Converted from Static to Dynamic. Converted to Island 01a.
        • Blue Rose Isle: Upgraded to Village. Changed location. Interconnections (with Etceter, Taenby Landing, Mara Mesta, Obsidian Ridge, and Hy-Brasil).
        • Brickceter: Converted to Mountains 01.
        • Celestial Gardens: Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Interconnections (with Elad's Lighthouse and Bay Lunaire).
        • Clevedon: Renamed (formerly Pomerantz). Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (removed Taenby Landing and Blackrock Cove; added Elad's Lighthouse, Brittany Wharfs, and Formosa).
        • Copper Lake: Upgraded to Village.
        • Crystal Caves: Renamed (formerly Illusive Cavern). Ownership changed. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Owl's Nest; removed Finchfield). Removed PvP flag.
        • Diamond Fields: Upgraded to Metropolis. Interconnections (with Iron Gate, Phoenix Fields, En Nox, and The Drowned Mountains).
        • Granite Gardens: Renamed (formerly Dragon's Fall). Converted to Mountains 01. Rotated to Right. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (removed Graff Island and Port Graff, added Serenite and Isle of Mists).
        • Isle of Xee: Renamed (formerly Brickfalls). Converted to Island 01. Ownership changed. Changed nested interconnection to within Soltown.
        • Knight's Watch: Upgraded to Town.
        • New Fawn: Renamed (formerly SQiRLS DEN). Converted to Island 01. Rotated to Right. Ownership changed. Interconnections (nested interconnection changed to within Harvest, added Hollaim).
        • Novia Market: Renamed (formerly Bloodstone). Converted to Forest 01. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (with Brittany Fields and Brittany Alleys).
        • Reverie: Renamed (formerly Drakenhof). Converted to Tropical Island 01. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (removed Drachenfels, Dracheninsel, and Unterwelt; added Central Brittany, Brittany Wharfs, and Elad's Lighthouse).
        • Serenite: Upgraded to City.
        • Shadow's Rest: Changed location.
        • Soryn Fields: Renamed (formerly Forptycle). Converted to Grasslands 01a. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnection (with Resolute). Removed PvP flag.
        • The Severed Isle: New addition (nested in Soltown).
        • Tortuga: Renamed (formerly Morkradd). Converted to Tropical Island 01a. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (removed Harvest and Estgard, added Blood Bay).
        • Vastata Insula Innectis: Renamed (formerly Brickvale). Converted to Tropical Island 01. Rotated to Right. Ownership changed. Upgraded to Hamlet. Changed nested interconnection to within Soltown.
    • Spring Telethon of the Avatar 2017 Content: Everyone who spent $5 or more during the telethon will get the first batch of rewards that we have built. The remaining rewards (Leaf and Thorn Weapons) should be ready in Release 41.
    • [​IMG]
      • Wooden Duck
      • /flowerleap
      • Butterfly Mask
      • Stained Glass Hand Lantern
      • Floral Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp (3 Pack)
      • White Flowered Topiary Creature Statues (3 Pack of Dragon, Bear, Satyr)
      • Large Spring Themed Fountain with Floating Candles
    • Easter Content
    • [​IMG]
      • Confetti Eggs: We finally have confetti eggs working in the game! Much like snowballs, these can be thrown at other players, drenching them in a shower of confetti.
      • 2017 Easter Basket: This 2017 version has a big bow on it and replenishes each year with 50 confetti eggs. This item will only be available until the end of May this year.
      • 2017 Lepus Mask: The 2017 version has a woven leather texture and a white trim that can be dyed. This item will only be available until the end of May this year.
      • 2017 Rabbit Tailed Bodice Ensemble: This satin bodice ensemble has a cute little rabbit tail on it! This item will only be available until the end of May this year.
      • Dark Archlapin Of Death And Destruction: SPOILERS: There are rumors of a fell creature of the caves that requires an army to defeat. There is an enchanter, that some may call... Timothy. He can be found in Ardoris and will help guide you further along towards your inevitable doom, er, glory.
    • Musical Instruments: We have added 2 new instrument types (2 variants each) and increased the audio range of all instruments.
      • Ornate Large Harp (store) & Large Harp (craftable): This is a placed musical instrument like the piano.
      • Ornate Kettle Drum (store) & Kettle Drum (craftable): This is a placed musical instrument like the piano.
      • Increased Audio Range: Previously the listening range for musical instruments was 10 meters but for large concerts some players found this too restrictive so we have increased the range to 15 meters for bards who really can pack them into ye olde stadiums.
    • Bundle Additions: At the beginning of March we announced that after reviewing the bundles that we were adding a bunch of new content to all the bundles starting at the 2-story Row House level. Some of those additions went in immediately but some of them had to wait until Release 40 went live. You can read more about all the new additions on that original post or directly on the Bundle Store itself.
    • Performance: One of the big priorities for Q2 will be performance but we started early!
      • Unity 5.5: We have finally upgraded to the latest version of Unity. This should result in better overall performance and numerous fixes to longstanding issues including the longstanding AMD incompatibility.
      • Memory: Great efforts were made this release to reduce the memory footprint of the game. This is not only important for players with lower memory computers but also is important to help reduce hitching. This release the memory footprint was reduced by over 1 GB and the rate at which it grows should be reduced as well.
      • Load Times: Load times should be improved slightly. Some scenes, like Novia, Central Brittany, and Ardoris, should show the largest improvements but there is still much work to be done!
      • Frame Rates: Frame rates through the game should be improved noticeably. Extra attention was given to Novia and it should be smooth for even older computers in R40.
    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 much better than previous releases now that we have upgraded to Unity 5.5 which as finally hopefully resolved the longstanding AMD compatibility issues.
    • Performance: We plan to make steady improvements each release until the game is running smoothly on minimum spec machines in big cities. While we did make some improvements in Release 40 we still have lots of work to do. We expect Q2 to include major advances in performance.
    • Game Loop: Release 40 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.
    • Delayed Content and Features: As mentioned above some features scheduled for this release did not make it (and in each case we explained why). In some cases items from previous releases move into the next release but often they will move further out, either into the next quarter, or even farther. About once per year (around mid-year) we put out a Road Map that details all content built to date and all remaining content.
    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
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
    By Tor, Belgtor, Lyndoman and 35 others like this.
  2. Kabalyero

    Kabalyero Avatar

    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    3,634
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Location:
    Beregost, Hidden Vale
    thanks @DarkStarr... now time to read all of this... ^_^
     
  3. Alley Oop

    Alley Oop Avatar

    Messages:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    6,464
    Trophy Points:
    153
    the linked instructions are from 39.
     
  4. Kabalyero

    Kabalyero Avatar

    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    3,634
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Location:
    Beregost, Hidden Vale
    Room Rental wasn't mentioned anywhere... I guess this has been delayed too?
     
  5. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    342
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    Very nice things to discover :)
    Thank you for your work!
    And special for Auto-Defend!

    I only miss the updated information about NEW skills, mentioned in the q1 schedule.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  6. Lained

    Lained Avatar

    Messages:
    1,092
    Likes Received:
    1,950
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Location:
    Yeovil, England
    The player instructions is an ongoing document that's updated with each release, you must have caught it prior to Starr updating or need to refresh to clear local cache.
     
  7. joezhudarak

    joezhudarak Avatar

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    RELEASE 40, March 30, 2017
    • Story: We will be doing some final polish passes on the Path of Courage and beginning to polish the Path of Truth. Additionally, a vast dungeon will be opening underneath Blood Bay. We will also be un-cloning the Kas Ruins, Elysium Mines, and a few adventure scenes. We will also be refactoring the tutorial system to improve the new user experience. (DELAYED)
    • Character: We will begin creating Viking-inspired clothing for the NPCs in the Norgard and Verdantis areas of Novia to better define that region, including outfits for Royalty, Guards, Citizens, and Merchants. We will also be polishing the Troll visuals and creating more visual variations for our children NPCs. (DELAYED)
    • Crafting: Fishing will be polished and expanded and Alcohol recipes will be added to the game. (DELAYED)
    • Guild Alliances: Guilds will now be able to form alliances with each other. DELAYED
    • Offline Combat Balance and Economy: A pass will be made through the game to adjust combat balance for play in offline mode with companions. Additionally, the economy in offline mode will be tuned to be better balanced for single-player. For instance, NPC merchants will buy player-crafted items at a profit to the player. Also, pledge and Add-On Store items will be available from NPC merchants for purchase with in-game gold. DELAYED
    • User Interface: A polish pass will be made to the user interface to improve general usability and visuals. UDPATED

    Only one of the Q1 primary objectives achieved... so sad!
     
    dp_dropout and Sir Cabirus like this.
  8. Bow Vale

    Bow Vale Avatar

    Messages:
    1,277
    Likes Received:
    3,498
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NBM
    Especially liking for this release.....

    Weapons as decorations...My old favourite weapons can now adorn my home and be forever remembered....can we stuff our tamed pets please and do similar?!?
    All the new patterns from old equipment and new which will give each adventurer a unique appearance in the world, that along with the skill and deck system means each adventurer here is totally unique, unlike any other game.
    The cabalists and their attire and weapons, lots detail and thought gone into these and it shows.
    More combat decks \o/
     
    Adam Crow, Lace and Bowen Bloodgood like this.
  9. Cypher Black

    Cypher Black Avatar

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    623
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Canada
    I upgraded my POT (Whyte Roc) to a Town during the Spring Telethon, but I do not see it on the list of POT changes. Was there something else I was supposed to do to complete the upgrade?

    Cypher Black
     
    Ancev likes this.
  10. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    5,399
    Likes Received:
    32,825
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes if you edit out the 20 pages of work we did achieve and the explanations of why we decided to make those adjustments that is a factual statement but a bit misleading and out of context when framed that way. Additionally this was only 1 release of 3 in the quarter so to say "only 1 of the Q1 objectives achieved" is again completely wrong. If you go back and look at the other two releases (R38 and 39) we actually hit most of those objectives and additional content on top of that. It would have been fair to say "only 1 of the R40 objectives achieved".

    We try to remain agile in our development and do what is best for the product even if that means changing our original plans. In each case we believe the items we delayed were delayed in order to work on more important items for the health of the project. In this release's case it was to improve the NUE so that we can attract and retain more players and so that we could upgrade to the newest version of Unity. Our apologies if that makes you sad.
     
  11. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    5,399
    Likes Received:
    32,825
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Gender:
    Male
    Thank you so much for upgrading Cypher! The process can be a bit confusing but you have to lock your form so we know you are done making changes.

    I see you only did that lock today which of course is too late to make the release since lock down for all changes is 2 weeks before the release. Sorry for your inconvenience but we will definitely have you taken care of in R41.
     
  12. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    19,271
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    Just curious here.
    It has been stated before that just increasing the size of a dynamic POT wouldn't need a lock nor require a reset of the POT deco. So if it now requires a lock does that mean that it will also reset the POT deco?
     
  13. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    5,399
    Likes Received:
    32,825
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Gender:
    Male
    This particular case involved more than just an upgrade and therefore triggered and unlock.
     
  14. Thexedor Markhamm

    Thexedor Markhamm Avatar

    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    1,758
    Trophy Points:
    43
    *golf claps* Well done, Portalarium. Very exciting release. :D
     
    Sir_Michael likes this.
  15. jammaplaya

    jammaplaya Avatar

    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Amazing release guys and gals, well done!
     
    Sir_Michael and Barnabas Root like this.
  16. Arcanoxer

    Arcanoxer Avatar

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    300
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    To bad that fishing and brewing diden't make it. :(

    Also i miss the two new Moon spells @Chris mentiond during the last Telethon?!
     
    Lace and Sator Faryn like this.
  17. Jack Knyfe

    Jack Knyfe Avatar

    Messages:
    1,350
    Likes Received:
    4,373
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Port Phoenix & Lamplight
    I'm so excited to see all the new furniture and weapons...hooray for all carpenters and blacksmiths!

    I'm enchanted by the Floppy Hat...yay for tailors! :D

    I'm looking forward to the Norgard themed clothing in future updates!
     
    Chatele and StarLord like this.
  18. Damian Killingsworth

    Damian Killingsworth Avatar

    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    1,316
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Britanny Fields
    :0 *remains speechless*
     
    Sir_Michael likes this.
  19. Beaumaris

    Beaumaris Avatar

    Messages:
    3,257
    Likes Received:
    5,742
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    That's an incredible amount of progress. Great job!
     
    Sir_Michael likes this.
  20. Lord Edward Sweyn

    Lord Edward Sweyn Avatar

    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Great Job ! Some really good feature ! The add of the maps is awsome !
     
    Sir_Michael likes this.