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Alpha 12.1 Release Notes

Update: Alpha 12.2 Released

Alpha 12.2 will shortly be deployed. This build addresses a single issue that some (not all) characters were experiencing with their inventory. Some accounts were having trouble accessing the crafting tab, and were unable to drag items from their inventory to the bank. This issue has been resolved.

Alpha 12.1 Released - Not the Early Enrollment Release Candidate

We will soon deploy Alpha 12.1.  This build addresses a number of in-game balancing issues as well as a number of server side performance enhancements.  

This is an important test build because we are turning on the Encumbrance system which means that overloaded characters will find their movement rates reduced - potentially to zero. If you are over encumbered you can use the "Trash" icon on the Inventory window to destroy excess inventory.

It also reflects a number of changes that we've made to the server to increase its capacity and performance and to eliminate some of the unwanted behaviors it was exhibiting when under load that exceeded its capacity.

Alpha 12.1 implements the changes to reputation losses and recovery that we announced earlier.

On a purely aesthetic note we have been working on the character models quite a bit. You will notice that the faces of Elves have changed to look a lot more like Merisiel. We also changed a number of hairstyles and your character may have a different haircut than when you last saw them.

We'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.  Post on this thread to discuss this blog!

Road to Early Enrollment

This build does not meet our internal requirements for the Early Enrollment Release Candidate. 

Early Enrollment Required Features not Included in Alpha 12.1

  • Connection to overloaded servers in Alpha 12.1 may cause unwanted disconnects and desynchronization behavior. We are continuing to work on resolving this issue.
  • Numerous Game Master / Customer Service team tools.
  • We have integrated code for New Player Packs and Class Packs but have not yet been able to test that the functionality that has been developed meets our release requirements. That testing will proceed in parallel with Alpha 12.1 using internal resources.
  • We are planning to make substantial changes to the chat channels and organization prior to the start of Early Enrollment.
  • We are planning to make changes to the way the autotargeting system works to eliminate the accidental targeting of friends in combat.
  • We plan to make additional revisions to the character creation and management screen with regard to specifying which characters are receiving XP, and the creation and identification of a Destiny's Twin character.

Exclusive of the above there are no unresolved game features remaining in our list of requirements to begin Early Enrollment; With those exceptions Alpha 12.1 should represent the complete feature set we intend Early Enrollment to reflect at the start of play. (Note:  Looting player character husks is a feature that will arrive after the start of Early Enrollment.)

We are continuing to evaluate the performance of the server to determine if we have increased its performance to match our Early Enrollment release criteria. That testing will continue with Alpha 12.1.

We are working on a problem related to the methodology we will use to patch and update the Macintosh client. Due to system security features in OSX it is impossible for us to patch the Mac client the way we patch the Windows client. Our current strategy to overcome this problem involves managing art assets in a different way than we manage code assets. To implement that separation has required substantial investigation and research on some core functionality within Unity. We are still unable to begin an external test of the Mac client until we resolve these issues.

Alpha 12.1 has a number of features that we believe are correctly implemented for this iteration but which need to be tested to verify they are working as intended, specifically a number of features related to the War of Towers code. If any of these features fail to meet our requirements we'll communicate that to the community ASAP.

Release Notes for Alpha 12.1

Character

  • Fixed some errors on the light and medium armor proficiency's ability score requirements.
  • Renamed "Commoner" to "Freeholder". This is a text change only, and doesn't affect any feats or systems.
  • Set feats and upgrades that improve encumbrance to have a minimum of +2 per level (so you don't have levels that are effectively meaningless due to rounding when wearing Medium or Heavy armor).
  • The Strongback Feat now derives its Encumbrance benefit from the keywords on armor. Due to losing a couple points of bonus through rounding when converting encumbrance for Freeholders to per armor keyword, improved the bonus at higher levels of Strongback to allow players to accumulate a total of +50 Encumbrance from slotted feats at max level.
  • Hairstyles for some characters may have changed. The hairstyle ordering has been updated across races, which has led to some existing characters having new hair.
  • Improvements to elf faces, making elves look more like the Pathfinder source material.
  • Fixes to weapon positioning, scale, and alignment for all races and genders.

Character Management

  • Character deletion now occurs during server downtime. On the login screen, any characters marked deleted now say "Will be deleted at 9:00 AM" (with time in local time). This to-be-deleted character still takes up one of the the three character slots until after it has been permanently removed.

Combat

  • Increased the minimum time for a self Alert/Aware buff and improved the cost discount for the Aiming/Striking conditional. Practically, this means that the longbow attacks Followthrough Foresight and Patient Anchor produce a better combo when you use them on a stealthed target.
  • Adjusted the effects on the Reactive feats to be more consistent with the effect math on the attack feats and with one another. This resulted in most of them being powered up, though a couple got powered down slightly.

Companies

  • Deleted characters are now removed from companies.

Environment

  • The issue with a surprise stack of multiple goblins appearing as a single goblin has been resolved.
  • Increased amount of Tier 1 resources in game.
  • Made NPC/starter hexes more diverse in terms of Tier 1 resources.
  • Changed resource rating replenishment to be based on the max value of the resource as opposed to a fixed value, so more prevalent resources will replenish faster than scarcer ones.
  • When logging in next to NPCs who attack you, their weapons are now visible.
  • Changed Home hexes to not spawn escalation cycles but instead be permanently filled with a specific monster type.
  • Fixed several monster and brokenland hexes that were in the wrong place.

Escalations

  • Added mini-escalations (Goblin Raid, Bandit Raid, Mercenary Raid, and Float Any River). These are all designed as lower-scale, short-term raids that can be more easily cleared out by small numbers of starter characters. Because they are easier to clear, they only force the hex to remain uninfected for 12 hours after a mini-escalation is defeated. They will initially make up a fairly high percentage of escalations, but that percentage will be lowered as the player population grows in strength and numbers.
  • Slowed the growth/expansion rates for all escalations to roughly a quarter of their long-term settings (which were themselves dramatically lowered from their original rates). This will keep the world from being quickly overrun by escalations during the first few weeks of EE, but allow us to easily increase those rates as needed to match the player population.
  • Lowered the initial strength values for many of the escalations.
  • Raised the amount of time the hex remains uninfected after a standard escalation is defeated from 24 hours to 36 hours.
  • Changed the Broken Wolves from standard Wolves to Omega Wolves for the Broken Men escalation, to more closely match the strength levels of the Broken Men bandits.
  • Switched the Moloch Knights to the proper fireproof ones, as was previously done with the Moloch Cultists, to prevent friendly fire incidents.
  • Fixed an issue where some documents in the Skull-Basher Ogres event Unexpected Intelligence couldn't be clicked on.

Feats

  • Changed level 4-6 attack requirements so the appropriate weapon proficiency is required for the level 4 of the attack rather than level 5 and increased the attack bonus requirements by one at each level.
  • Increased the Encumbrance bonus granted by the Strong Back feat (up to a max of 14 at rank 5).
  • Added a per keyword encumbrance bonus to Commoner and Expert Armor Feats (+3 for Commoners, +1 for Experts). This bonus was originally scheduled to go on their Feature Feats as a flat bonus, but has been moved to the armor to encourage not going naked to create more space for components. Friends don't let friends carry components naked.

Gear

  • Added a per keyword encumbrance bonus to Freeholder and Expert Armor Feats (+3 for Freeholders, +1 for Experts). This bonus was originally scheduled to go on their Feature Feats as a flat bonus, but has been moved to the armor to encourage not going naked to create more space for components. Friends don't let friends carry components naked.
  • Expendables (including Consumables) now set to cost 0 Stamina. This wasn't originally by design, but seems like a good idea to make them more valuable in that you can recover Stamina while using them; you're still paying Power (for the Expendables) or using up a Consumable (which no longer costs Power).
  • Movement penalties based on encumbrance have been implemented. 
  • Temporarily doubled the base Encumbrance threshold since we don't have bags and backpacks in yet. Once those are in, the base encumbrance is planned to gradually come back down to its original level.
  • Consumables now correctly cost 0 Power.
  • Fixed encumbrance values for various items.
  • Applied percentage encumbrance penalty for Medium and Heavy armors (when worn, the armor reduces your encumbrance threshold in addition to the weight of the armor itself). Heavy armor reduces your encumbrance to 67% of its normal maximum and Medium reduces it to 90%.
  • Changed base stats of Medium armor so it's a (hopefully more desirable) synergistic hybrid of Light and Heavy rather than an exact midpoint of bonuses and penalties. Specifically, its base armor improved by 3, its crit resistance improved by 4, its spell penalty was reduced by 10, its Reflex penalty was reduced by 5, and its encumbrance penalty is closer to light than to heavy armor.
  • Fixed incorrect description tooltips on grenades (they had a flawed lookup formula that was listing wrong effects for some grenades).
  • Added the crafting recipe rarity (for achievements) to the description of the refining recipe consumables (/crafting/ recipes that you train are always Uncommon). Getting the rarity on the actual craft window was more complicated, so isn't in yet.
  • Differentiated shield types by giving Bucklers -10 base damage and 40% of the encumbrance of a light shield, and giving Heavy Shields +10 base damage but 300% of the encumbrance of a light shield.
  • Retargeted all Token consumables to take a consistent 0.6 seconds to activate (changed from a range of times from 0.5-1.7 seconds) and count as higher level. This should have the net effect of making most Tokens both better and faster to activate. Some (such as the healing tokens) that were previously slower to activate lost some amount of effect in exchange for their improved speed. Tokens may not currently have a specific animation, so the displayed animation may seem longer than 0.6 seconds; you should be able to queue up another action after the Token and have it activate at the correct time.

Loot

  • Loot is no longer doubled upon completion of quests.
  • Changed Recipe and Expendable loot chances so the chance to drop something always increases as foes increase in level. Previously, there were breakpoints in the transition between tiers where creatures would have less of a chance to drop any recipe or expendable (even though what they were dropping had higher value than the previous level). This change did not alter the total value, so ultimately means that Tier 2 and Tier 3 loot start dropping slightly earlier and Tier 2 drops for longer, but some things that hit a high chance of a lower tier item don't reach as high a chance any longer. This does not adjust the drop chances for creatures under 6th level.

PvP

  • Reputation calculation changes have been implemented. The amount of reputation lost for killing people is decreased, and the amount recovered for each hour a character does not kill someone is increased.

UI

  • Improved character/camera alignment during tight turns; characters now make tighter turns while mouse turning.
  • Added additional icons. There are very few question mark icon placeholders remaining.
  • Company search window now shows accurate number of Towers for search results.
  • Company Holdings tab and Company Allies tab of the company window now show information for the currently selected company, rather than the player's company/settlement.
  • The 'Leave' button has been removed from the Company UI. A player can leave a company by using the '/vcleave' command.
  • The Achievement window is now open upon login.

War of Towers

  • PvP window start times are now set correctly. The times are now displayed in UTC and local.
  • It is now possible for a company to gain points for a tower, regardless of whether the company was in the capture area when the PvP window opened.