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Early Enrollment v6 Overview of Features

While we release version notes for each of our updates, they can be a bit dense or truncated, so we’re going to start the practice of releasing a blog when we have completed a build to explain the hows and whys of the things in the version notes. Hopefully this will make their functionality more clear and give players some idea as to why we’ve chosen to work on these things. This first blog in that series will focus on EE6.

Leadership Ranks

Early Enrollment v6 will include a new feature: Leadership Ranks. Companies and Settlements will gain additional hierarchical positions in addition to the existing Leader and Member ranks. Companies and Settlements will be able to have multiple Leaders.

Vaults

The big feature in EE6 is the addition of shared Vaults: Companies and Settlements will now have shared storage that can be accessed at the Settlement Bank building. Companies have a Company Vault and a Company Secure Vault for storage in every Settlement, and Settlements have a Settlement and Settlement Secure Vault. Secure Vaults allow Companies or Settlements to put their more valuable items in them and set the permissions so fewer people have access. Now Settlements won’t have to rely on banker characters and similar workarounds to share their gear. Eventually, Holdings will also offer Company Vaults for the Company that controls them but we have not determined the eta for that capability yet.

On the Company management window, Company leaders can set permissions for each rank in their Company as to who can access what Vault and with what permissions. The leader of the founding Company of a Settlement can set permissions for Settlement Vaults on their Company management window. There are four permissions for Vault access: Deposit, View, Crafting, and Withdrawal.

  • Deposit means you can put things in the Vault.
  • View means you can see what's in the Vault.
  • Crafting means you can use materials in the Vault for refining and crafting (at a facility in the same hex as the vault). The things you refine or craft are automatically deposited to the selected Vault when complete.
    • For the first iteration of this feature, characters can only access one Vault when refining or crafting.
  • Withdrawal means you can take things out of the Vault.

We are also adding a Party Vault to Smallholdings and Base Camp that is accessible to anyone in the owner’s party. If you leave the party, or it is disbanded, everyone but the owner loses access, but it is useful for short term sharing and storing of gear.

As you can see, in the permissions list we have a Crafting permission, which means that characters can now draw from their Vaults directly to crafting and refining facilities rather than having to carry things from a Vault to a facility in inventory. You can only access Vaults in the Settlement hosting the facility, and only those Vaults you have at Crafting or Withdrawal permissions for. You can always access your personal local Vault (since you have all permissions for it automatically). Your completed items return to either your personal Vault or the Company or Settlement Vault you used components from (if you used components from a Company or Settlement Vault that you have the Crafting Permission for) so you won’t have to carry finished items back to the Bank in inventory either (nor will finished jobs suddenly appear in your inventory in the middle of the Wilderness!)

An update to previous functionality: If you cancel a job before it is finished the components are returned to the Vault they came from instead of being destroyed.

This iteration on the Vault feature is required for a number of the more advanced systems we want to build in the near future, particularly Holdings, Outposts, and switching from the War of Towers to a resource upkeep system for determining Settlement level. Also, we know it is a feature many players have wanted as it makes many aspects of Settlement management much easier.

Milestone Feats

We’ve added a set of Feats for each of the four adventuring Roles. The first is available at Role Achievement level 4 and additional Feats become available at higher Ranks (generally: level 10, level 12, level 16, level 18, and level 20), so each Role will now have a selection of special attack, defensive, and reactive Feats gated by Role Achievement levels. Many of these involve attacks for multiple weapons, such as Vital Strike for Fighters that gives the character a new attack for every melee or ranged weapon. Rogues got a few new variants of Sneak Attack to choose from, including some higher-level versions similar to the higher-level versions of Fighter features (One-Handed Specialization, etc.) that provide more variety than lower level versions of Sneak Attack.  Wizards get a wand and staff cantrip that won’t require a charge (when charges are implemented, so they’ll always be available) that grants a resistance to the energy type of the attack (Fire, Cold, Electricity at 4th level, etc.) At 4th level Clerics get a Channel Smite secondary attack for all weapon types that does Holy damage.

The intention of this design is to provide some interesting player choice as characters develop beyond simply taking more ranks of previously trained Feats.

Increased Escalation Difficulty

The lower tier escalations—particularly the mini-escalations that do not spread—have had their chances of spawning decreased and the likelihood of higher tier escalations spawning increased. Also, the higher-tier escalations can now spread to more hexes, so the Mordant Spire Elves and the Moloch Cultists will be less neighborly and more interested in invading your territory. As our players increase in power level, we’ll make continual tweaks like this to make sure everyone has threats they can face that are appropriate.

We’ve also changed the way monsters run their attack patterns. Monsters have three attacks, an initiation attack that always runs when they first begin attacking, a primary attack, and a secondary attack. Previously, after the initiation attack, they would run the primary attack until they did not have enough stamina to do so anymore, at which point they switch to the secondary attack. So after a big initial damage burst, they would tend to get less effective. Now, the secondary attacks have cooldowns on them such that monsters will begin to alternate between their primary and secondary attacks once they get low on Stamina, maintaining their effectiveness over the length of the combat. This should make combat more interesting and less predictable without requiring a lot of AI work.

Achievement Points Display

Now you can see your total Achievement points by category by either looking at your Achievement window or mousing over your Experience Points on your character sheet. This should make planning your character advancement much easier.

Thornguards

Thornguards will now only attack characters with low Reputation or the Attacker flag if they are not from the Settlement the Thornguard is spawned at. So if you have low Reputation, your Settlement’s Thornguards will not attack you, but Thornguards in other Settlements or in NPC settlements will.

Goodbye Kindleburn Mark 2

The strange doppleganger of Kindleburn that appeared last patch is going away save the Vault at the Bank building, just in case someone stored some items there.

Two-Weapon Fighting Animations

Characters who fight with two weapons should see their animations play more cleanly and accurately with all combinations of weapons (except for shield animations, which are still being worked on).

Full Release Notes and A Note On Cadence

The full release notes for Early Enrollment v6 will be posted to the forums when the build is deployed to the TEST SERVER, and as a blog when the build is deployed to the LIVE SERVER.

Because of the complexity of the next several releases we are changing our release cadence from every-other-week to every-three-weeks. Early Enrollment v6 will be deployed to the TEST SERVER on 19 March, and to the Live Server on 26 March.  Early Enrollment v7 will be deployed to the TEST SERVER on 9 April, and to the LIVE SERVER on 16 April.