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BETA TEST April 6th; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. April 6th @ 8pm central
(Thurs. April 7th @ 1am UTC)
The developers will meet in Discord and test for approximately one hour. However, the servers will remain open for roughly 4 hours. The most up-to-date client can be retrieved via the patcher found on your account page.

What's new?
The bulk of this week was spent working on content implementation and prep. The NPC difficulty system has been completely revised with the goal of encouraging players to fight content that is more level appropriate. Dryfoot has gotten some love with new creatures, and a new overland dungeon for you to explore. The "great crafting simplification" should be ready for next week so expect a character wipe after this weekend. If anyone wants a level boost now is the time to ask for it!

REMINDER: the servers will be open for 4hrs Wednesday evening. The servers will open again on Friday @ 12pm central and close on Sunday at 11:59pm central. See events in Discord for timezone translations.

Bug fixes / improvements:
  • Tech:
    • Players missing their belongings should no longer receive coin from their group looting.
    • Fixing an error in coin distribution that was giving everyone slightly too much in the group split.
    • Adding more networking checks in an attempt to prevent crashes while zoning.
    • Adjusting IK for all animals. This should help prevent deer, spiders, etc from sinking into the ground when walking up/down hills.
    • Adjusting nav agent size for most NPCs.
    • Experience awarded for 1x Chevron and 2x Chevron mobs is now diminished for groups exceeding the recommended size (1 player for 1x, and 3 for 2x).
    • Riposte will now happen after your parry.
    • Fall damage curve adjusted.
    • Humanoid clothing material changes in prep for a slew of new equipment (shirts, bears, gloves).
  • Art / Environment:
    • Spider boss models have been replaced with our custom spider.
    • Bug fixes to Newhaven & Dryfoot environments.
  • UI:
    • Player adventuring levels now show on defensive & group nameplates. Levels are a bit hard to read on the group nameplates - improving this will addressed in coming weeks.
    • yell, ooc, & global chat are no longer "channels" that can be selected. In order to talk in one of these channels you will have to prepend your message with the proper channel ("/yell", "/ooc", "/global"). Local & group chat are the only remaining ones that remain selected; this should reduce the likelihood of typing in the wrong channel.
    • Text from blocked players will no longer show up chat. (their combat will still show)
    • Dryfoot now appears in the LFG zone tags
    • Fixing an issue with using the same item stack for multiple components not being craftable.
  • Design:
    • Fixed Acid Strike incorrectly stating that it used a reagent.
    • Collateral Damage now uses weapon AoE parameters
    • Reduce Follow-Through chance to proc
    • NPC abilities have increased effectiveness
    • Adjusted levels of Dryfoot Marauders outside of the camp
    • Refining raw materials in harvesting professions yield reduced xp. Previously you could double, and sometimes triple dip xp earnings with a single raw material. Now harvesting gives the most xp, the first refinement is then diminished, and further refinement is further diminished.
    • Crafting professions component creation steps get reduced experience.
  • Hot fixes from last weekend:
    • group xp bonus text no longer wraps when reading +10%
    • emote text is added to chat even if you can't play the animation (because you are not standing)
    • adding more checks to reduce crashing while zoning for some
    • increasing font size for xp below the action bar
    • off hand auto attack chance reduced slightly for duel wield
    • 2H weapons now have an additional +1 mod
    • cut gem icon updated
    • medicine changed to salve
    • tincture icons are unique
    • 3 chevron mob now drop more loot
    • ant hills now have portraits
    • adjusting LOD on ant hills
    • sword recipe now has a better description for the grip wrap component
    • bash is no longer a reagent ability
    • increase angle for smelling salts
    • Adjusted Fortify & Inspire aura execution parameters (cast time, sta cost, etc)
    • Reducing armor on crafted kite shields to match previous changes to bucklers and heaters.
New stuff:
NPC Difficulty & Indicators
We have made some adjustments to the color system for judging npc difficulty. Previously, players were able to gain experience from a +/-5 npc level range which allowed for a wide range of player levels to advance together in a group. We have taken this range and expanded it, but shifted it towards the lower side of the spectrum. This still allows for a wide level range, but is slightly more restrictive on how high groups can reach. The new configuration is as follows:

ColorLevelXP Reward
Red3+ levels above youAs if they were -3 below you
Yellow1-2 levels above youFull
Whiteequal levelFull
Blue1-2 levels below youFull
Green3-10 levels below youDiminished slightly
Gray11+ levels below youNone

Yellow, white, & blue mobs all give "normal" XP. Green mobs however, will give slightly diminished XP (wherein 10 levels below you is the most diminished). Red will also continue to give XP, but the XP awarded will be as if the NPC is 3 levels below you (high green equivalent) with no diminishing (previously we gave 10% of white XP, so this is a boost overall).

Resists for higher level mobs also work a bit differently: while attacking a yellow or red your attacks will do less damage due to resists. These resists ramp up the farther away in level the mob is from you. This means that you can have some effect on a red mob that is +3, but attacking a +4, or +5 red mob will be considerably more difficult. Lasting effects such as DOTS/Debuffs/CC will continue to NOT take hold on red mobs so you'll have to beat them with brute force.

The goal of this redesign is to encourage players to fight content more in line with their level rather than reaching beyond their means. This should make progression feel a bit more natural and encourage players to move on from camps once they have been outleveled.

NPC Improvements
When an NPC hits a player from behind there is a chance that a -50% movement snare (Hamstring) will be applied. This is active for every NPC and impacts both regular and combat movement. The chance of application is based on the level difference between you and the NPC & if you are in combat stance.

Humanoid NPCs now gain "Charge" for 10s which is a +50% movement speed when they initially acquire a target. This should liven up pulls, and make you think twice before running through a group of humanoid NPCs.

Last week we introduced tech that when an NPC cannot reach you they become invulnerable to all hits. This week we are adding an ability called Undone's Wrath that damages the player for 10% of their max health after they have been unreachable for 5 seconds. After another 5 seconds have passed the player will be hit for 20% of their max health, and so on. When this effect hits you it will show in your combat log along with a chat notification that the NPC cannot reach you.

New Zone: Dryfoot Stronghold
Part 1 of a new overland dungeon is now open for business in Dryfoot. It is currently named "Dryfoot Stronghold" (likely a placeholder name) and is located in the south of the zone - it is the Marauder camp, not the actual fortress. Spawns in this region are a first pass; expect further iterations based on feedback. This overland dungeon is tailored for players level 20-25.

New Creature: Basilisk
A new creature has been spotted in Dryfoot - the basilisk. This little guy is about waist high and is ready to eat your innards. Animation speeds, audio, and abilities are a heavy WIP.
QUEJQuI.png


Works in progress:
  • Zones: 4x additional overland zones have had an initial art pass completed
    • Redshore - accessed via Meadowlands & Dryfoot. Large tree forested region. Mid level range (approx 25-40). Nearing ready for population
    • Highlands - accessed via Meadowlands. Hilly region with sparse vegetation and water features. Mid level range (approx 30-40)
    • Gorge - accessed via Dryfoot. Large canyon-like area. Mid level range (approx 30-40)
    • Grizzled Peaks - accessed via Highlands, Redshore, and Gorge. Mountainous region with a number of tunnels. High level range (40-50). Has a one-way exit to Newhaven North.
  • Dungeons: 2 additional "large" dungeons have been laid out. Before implementation we are working on a general method for spawning these rooms so that they can be populated far quicker than we were able to do previously. This includes NPCs and gathering nodes. This spawning tech is next on the list to tackle.
  • NPCs: fully custom Bear, Elk, and Spider models are complete and integrated into the game. Spider is currently the only one implemented; elk will come soon, waiting on some minor animation fixes for the bear. Ashen creature varieties have also been integrated into the game but are not yet populating the world.
  • Design: implement high level abilities, loot table adjustments/population, advanced crafting recipes.
    • Considering giving a native "bonus" to each of the roles. For example, maybe a base defender gets +10% damage mitigation, and if you take the defender flavored specialization as a striker/supporter you get +5% damage mitigation. Still working through what the bonuses would be for Striker/Supporter/Controller.
  • Quests: a number of quests are in the queue for implementation/testing
  • Tech: npc improvements, npc merchants, smoothing out sit/stand animations.
  • UI: quest dialog redesign, tooltip redesign
  • New clothing & armor is still in the works.
Preview of new leather chest:
ABrvAsQ.png

Preview of new Bear Armor:
tHV4WjI.png



The great crafting simplification (timeline: 1 week)
The past few weeks we have been mulling over improvements to gathered materials and think we've come up with a solution that will provide some much needed clarity to the system. We are calling it "the great crafting simplification". The goals for the redesign are as follows:
  • Reduce the overall number of harvested/crafted materials (leather specifically)
  • Structure material progression in a consistent way across all professions
  • More slowly introduce material variation to players. This also doubles to alleviate inventory space issues for newer players.
  • Have a stronger material vertical progression
We're not ready to go into the details of this change yet - but next week expect some large changes. Changes so large in fact, that it will require a character wipe!



NOTE: the following two line items are still in progress but some tech needs to be implemented to allow Adric's to get you new content (i.e. dungeons). These tasks are taking priority - once these are complete I will swing back around to Stat Consolidation & Reagent Upgrades.

Stat Consolidation (timeline: ...)
We are planning to drop the per-damage-types for HIT & PEN which would clear up a number redundant feeling stats. The rough plan is as follows:
  • DMG - split this up into 1H, 2H, Ranged, Ember, and Mental
  • HIT - universal - applies to all damage types
  • PEN - universal - applies to all damage types
The overall gist is switching from Slashing/Crushing/Piercing to 1H/2H/Ranged and stripping the subcategories for HIT & PEN. More details on this refactor when it gets closer to deployment.

Reagent Upgrade System (timeline: ...)
  • NPC's will drop a single type of Ember Essence (name is a WIP) that will "fill up" a permanently equipped Ember Stone. The amount of essence per creature will vary and it will be automatically split amongst group members similar to how coin currently is. Specific ember creatures such as ashen variants will likely drop more of this essence than others.
  • The ember stone is not something you traditionally "Equip" - it is a permanent fixture to your character that cannot be removed, traded, banked, etc. In order to obtain ember essence you must earn ember essence through adventuring.
  • Ember Stone's will have a maximum amount of essence they can hold. Later on down the line we may allow the player to unlock/earn an upgraded Ember Stone with a greater capacity via questing or something similar.
  • Ember essence can be spent at special crafting stations to upgrade your reagents. The current rough plan is to start with two variants: a) make the reagent do the same thing but more powerful, and b) have the reagent change in some way to provide a different "flavor" which will vary contextually depending on the ability. As time goes on we will add more variants.
  • We are also considering allowing players to spend their Ember Essence on the following (please note that all of these are CONSIDERATIONS and still up for discussion):
    • use ember rings and/or hollows as a summoning stone (which could be a summon from within the same zone, or maybe across zones depending on the # of people involved)
    • hearthstone like ability that would return you to the nearest ember ring/hollow (which would come with a long cooldown)
    • adding a temporary "aura" to ember rings that would provide longer-lasting temporary buffs for those near the ring
This design allows the player to collect ember essence naturally as they play. Capping the amount in which they can collect at any given time prevents hoarding and forces the player to make a decision on what to spend it on if they want to continue collecting. The considerations mentioned above would allow the players additional ways to spend their essence for the good of others which is something we are always striving to provide.

Unity Upgrade (unknown timeline)
Since Unity is dragging their feet on fixing some critical bugs in 2021 I decided to try a 2020 build. And to no one's surprise, the same bugs are present in their 2020 LTS version. Sigh. I will continue poking Unity about this bug in my quest to upgrade our project. Until then I will continue improving our current build and keep an eye on these bugs.

What do we get out of upgrading to Unity 2020/2021? Here are a few ideal gains:
  • Engine bug fixes
  • Rendering bug fixes (black screen no more?)
  • New decal tech
  • New skybox tech
  • (2021 only) New dedicated server build target. This lowers the memory footprint of the server which should yield better server performance.
  • (2021 only) Potential for a native Apple Silicon build.
  • Improved code & rendering performance
  • Improved editor performance which would result in more productivity from the team
  • Better performance analysis tools

Known Issues:
  • Deconstructing crafted items returns junk 100% of the time.
  • No, we are not yet entertaining a compass. There are some plans to help you navigate in a more organic way, but those are waiting on a new skybox that will come with Unity 2020/201.
  • your screen may at times turn all black. to fix open the options menu, toggle reflections on OR off for a moment, and then toggle them back.
  • cannot roll on loot while unconscious
  • not all clothing/armor has visuals
  • Dragging a group-nameplate in the group window will set the wrong pivot point for the group window and the whole thing will drag a bit weird.
  • typing chat text may occasionally become invisible. unfocus your chat window and trying again a few times typically resolves this.
  • Sometimes when you respawn you don't end up at the proper Ember Ring --> if this happens please report the position where you died via the "/report" command or "/debugposition" (if using debugposition you'll need to paste the value here)

I need more details on the following issues/topics:
  • For those of you who have experienced the client eating a big chunk of memory: how large does the memory footprint get? How long had you been playing before it got that large (/played command will tell you)? Any idea at what rate it was climbing? If you load into a different scene via zoning does the footprint reduce back to normal?
  • For those who are getting the "Cannot interact while busy" message could you provide more detail on what you were doing just before this started happening? Does relogging resolve the issue?
  • For those of you who respawn at a location you suspect is incorrect: can you make sure to do a "/report" while standing exactly on your backpack? I need the precise location in order to debug these.
 
Last edited:

Asbo

Well-Known Member
Extensive work and like the exp fix for both killing and crafting/gathering was far to generous before allowing people to level past their fighting/adventuring level. Looking forward to seeing the new gear and the bear looks brilliant. Hope the bone is now a thing in this or next weeks wipe.
Thanks guys you all rock o7

Asbo
 

Randy Magnum

Active Member
Great work! Really looking forward to trying all that stuff out. That bear armor came from my gimp suit idea didn't it!?! The offhand auto attack reduction may be too much though. I went from 1 or 2 offhand hits per white or blue mob to none. I think it took 4 or 5 mobs before I saw 1 hit. I would like to see a lot more because it makes choices more meaningful, more impact on fight which is better than weapon choice having no effect on fight.
edit: ^offhand weapon choice
 

Ravenwolf Silvermoon

Active Member
Hello. Lots of work done with this weeks patch, hope you guys got/get the chance to also take a break or two. Thanks for all the hard work you guys have been going. Can't wait for the next Beta test phase, new build and such. And of course, more work, balances and fixes will be done with the upcoming new Beta test build next week. Will test current changes this week while we all wait for the wipe. Again thank you all for the hard work and time you guys/gals put in at Stormhaven Studios.
 

Dirili

New Member
Why would a group capable of realistically grinding mobs several levels above get penalized for their competence and skill? Am I missing something?
 

AdricLives

Administrator
Stormhaven Studios
Why would a group capable of realistically grinding mobs several levels above get penalized for their competence and skill? Am I missing something?

A few reasons:

1. Most your combat abilities aren't as useful against these mobs, so victory is more of a "brute force" solution which is why your experience learned as an adventurer is reduced.
2. Increased exp on reds promotes approaches to the game which are more tedious and painful than intended and results in a poor gameplay experience.
3. From a design perspective it helps us focus tighter content windows and make better use of the limited content we have from being a smaller team.

Also I'll mention that this is part of an iterative process, we've gone from reds being unkillable, to 10% normal exp, to now slightly reduced exp. This change is an increase to the experience overall for reds, not a decrease.
 

Dirili

New Member
A few reasons:

1. Most your combat abilities aren't as useful against these mobs, so victory is more of a "brute force" solution which is why your experience learned as an adventurer is reduced.
2. Increased exp on reds promotes approaches to the game which are more tedious and painful than intended and results in a poor gameplay experience.
3. From a design perspective it helps us focus tighter content windows and make better use of the limited content we have from being a smaller team.

Also I'll mention that this is part of an iterative process, we've gone from reds being unkillable, to 10% normal exp, to now slightly reduced exp. This change is an increase to the experience overall for reds, not a decrease.
I see. Thanks for taking your time to answer. On a sidenote: reds being unkillable is something I'm sad to have missed. That sounds like a fun, fresh experience that very few if any games have done by now.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
I see. Thanks for taking your time to answer. On a sidenote: reds being unkillable is something I'm sad to have missed. That sounds like a fun, fresh experience that very few if any games have done by now.
Technically some reds are still "unkillable" since all incoming damage will be 100% resisted. I think right now that is a red that is around +5 levels above you.
 

Xavure

Member
Experience awarded for 1x Chevron and 2x Chevron mobs is now diminished for groups exceeding the recommended size (1 player for 1x, and 3 for 2x).
I wonder, if a group of 2 players go for 1x, that is often the case in my small exp cuz 2x are sometimes way longer to kill, will they be penalized?
 

Kittik

Well-Known Member
Yellow's were harder, which was nice. But I still think Oranges should be in game. Before reds. It's disheartening fighting and seceeding vs. yellows but then also to see reds in that same area. Seeing and pulling yellows, and seeing and maybe pulling/maybe avoiding oragnes is a better feel to the world. Then completely avoiding Reds.
 

Kittik

Well-Known Member
Level boost (mentioned in the patch note), how does that work? Is it before or after the wipe?
Well, if you're nice, and sweet talk a GM, they could level boost you so you can test different content. But Undone has said he wants an emphasis on low levels at the start of this next wipe. So I doubt level boosts will be as readily handed out as before.
 

Dirili

New Member
Learning that my Sentinel armour buff had five stacks and would drop afterwards really bummed me out. Sad thing.
 

Quoetzl

Member
NPC Improvements
When an NPC hits a player from behind there is a chance that a -50% movement snare (Hamstring) will be applied. This is active for every NPC and impacts both regular and combat movement. The chance of application is based on the level difference between you and the NPC & if you are in combat stance.

This one bothers me a bit.

I'm out exploring or harvesting and I get jumped by a 2 or 3 chevron NPC. In or out of combat stance, I am almost always snared and then killed with 0 chance of escape.

This is with the +15 warden movement buff equipped and most likely outleveling these NPCs.

Could the percent change be scaled down based on their level compared to mine? Or just reduced to more than half the time to encourage people to explore more.

I want to be scared to explore, a bit. I want to have the need to flee. But I don't want ALL of those situations to end in death.

Otherwise, we're just basically running for our lives...always.

Q