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BETA TEST August 24th; what's new?


Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. August 24th @ 8pm central
(Thurs. August 25th @ 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?
This week brings a ton of bug fixes, crash fixes, performance improvements, and design changes. Camera damping has been re-enabled thanks to a fix from Unity finally being released. Ashen creatures have made their way into the game and will be expanded in the coming weeks. We have overhauled our quality settings and their default values so new folks can have a better experience right out of the gate.

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

Bug fixes / improvements:
  • Hot Fixes from the previous weekend:
    • Fixed: visual issue in a cave room
    • Fixed: resists are no longer combat only stats
    • Fixed: adjusted humanoid texture atlas LOD parameters
    • Fixed: dragged icon showing up behind other icons sometimes
    • Fixed: can no longer select a quest reward if your bag is missing or full
    • Fixed: a per-frame allocator in the cloud code (performance improvement)
    • Adjusted a number of texture resolutions to reduce memory pressure
  • Tech
    • Re-enabling camera collision damping. This was a Unity bug that was finally resolved and should smooth out jerky camera movements in tight situations.
    • Adding some error checking to skybox code.
    • Fixed: some humanoids were invisible (group mates and exiles etc)
    • Fixed: old damage types were shown in tooltips for abilities that did not use weapon damage.
    • Fixed: some stats were not being calculated properly when items were equipped (i.e. shields).
    • Fixed: crafting error when moving a stack of items in the middle of a craft-all action.
    • Fixed: missing apprentice quest was not starting properly
    • Fixed: various error conditions that could occur after removing all tabs from the chat window. We will eventually prevent you from removing all tabs but this fix should hold us over until then to avoid confusion.
    • Fixed: guilds will now properly be cleaned up if all members are deleted.
    • Fixed: if the guild master is deleted but members still exist, guild ownership will be transferred to someone with the next highest rank.
    • Revamping the Quality settings to better reflect their intents. The new options are:
      • High Fidelity: this setting results in higher quality volumetrics and higher resolution shadows.
      • Balanced: this setting is a middle ground between High Fidelity and Performant and is the new default.
      • Performant: this setting results in lower quality volumetrics and lower resolution shadows.
      • Potato: this setting uses half resolution textures, low quality volumetrics, and very low shadow resolutions. This setting should be used if you have less than 16gb of ram or an older graphics card.
    • Adjusting the default video settings to be Balanced quality, Medium cloud quality, Medium vegetation density, and 30fps framerate limiter.
  • Environment / Art
    • It is rumored that the wolf and spider dens in Meadowlands are now connected.
    • Minor adjustments to Meadowlands water to minimize visual anomalies.
  • UI:
    • Adding slider to options that will adjust the scale of overhead nameplates. You can set them to anywhere between 50% and 150%
    • Skills window is now properly named skills in the keybind UI and menu button tooltip.
    • Menu button tooltips now show the bound key in parenthesis if applicable.
    • Added: tutorial popups for smoother new player experience (which may be hidden via the gameplay options)
  • Design:
    • Added: a new NPC to Newhaven Valley
    • Added: NPC merchants to Northreach
    • Slower mobs have some tricks up their sleeve to not be so easily kited (pursue abilities)
    • Fixed: issue with Open Wounds not drawing your weapon before execution
    • Fixed: issue with Crab Vice Grip having the incorrect text.
    • Removed "Doom" from Huntress Spider's ability list
    • Fixed: issue with some 3 chevron spiders having 2 chevron weapons
    • Most mobs now have at least some basic abilities to use.
    • Last week we drastically increased the frequency at which mobs used abilities. This week we are tuning it back slightly!
    • Reduced mob weapon damage to compensate for the overall increased ability use frequency
    • Venom reagents refactored to increase damage or duration (to include an additional tick) rather than adjusting the tick rate which caused an imbalance to some tiers of the reagent.
    • Increased armor values on Chitin and Full Plate
    • Northreach Central Veins spawns rates and densities reduced
    • Adjustments made to potions - health pots and regen pots slightly more effective. Haste potions refactored for more haste over a shorter period of time.
    • Warden ability Assist will only be consumed on ability use.
    • Supporter Screen ability will be properly consumed if the result is a full resist
    • Exile Smiths have been hard at work upgrading their gear.
    • Frogs are now mixed in with Crocs and Ridgebacks along the Meadowlands river.
    • Updated health regen from crafted items to bring it in line with current itemization values.
    • Respawn rate decreased in Dryfoot Stronghold
    • Fixed: issue where bears were continuing to be cubs at higher levels. They are now fully grown!
    • Updated specialization bonuses to run from 1-50 instead of 6-50 to avoid confusion. This means you get these bonuses slightly earlier and a bit more of a bump on first taking the specialization.
    • Reduced sensor range on non-predator animals (mostly boars and stags)
    • Berserker has gained the level 12 ability "Intimidate" which is a medium-range AoE "Lull" (lull is the status effect, but thematically this is a type of cower effect) making them unwilling to engage in combat if not already alearted.
    • Warden has gained the level 12 ability "Sedation Dart" which is a long-range single-target "Lull" making them unwilling to engage in combat if not already alerted.
    • Damage reduced on Mire Flail abilities.
    • Duelist "Weak Point" adjusted back to being utilized more tactically. The debuff can no longer have 100% uptime. This change was prompted by recent resist changes and should help duelists feel like their ability usage matters more.
    • Fixed Viperid toxins and Quillback Spines not displaying their damage values in the tooltip.
New stuff:
Humanoid Optimizations
For the past two weeks I have been deep diving into performance related issues with our humanoid tech. I identified a number of places where the code that combines meshes and textures was allocating extra data that would result in large performance hitches. To minimize these allocations I implemented an array pooling technique that basically recycles large lists of things rather than creating new large lists every time. After working through all of the kinks I was able to make significant headway in reducing the allocation overhead while maintaining reasonable humanoid build times.

In addition, these changes are much "safer" in how the data is passed around which should yield far fewer crashes for those who were previously experiencing them while loading in a large number of humanoids. At the end of the day this should result in quicker humanoid initialization and far less framerate hitching when loading in multiple humanoid characters at once. Note that the loading of humanoid assets is still asynchronous - which means that you will still notice delayed load ins of armor/weapons/etc but this is entirely normal.

Ashen Creatures
A new feature has started appearing in the Meadowlands we are calling a "rupture". These can be thought of as a failed Emberdrift that is wildly unstable. Creatures around these have been rumored to occasionally combust into "Ashen" shortly after death.

These ashen creatures will soon be the source of ember essence which makes finding these ruptures an important part of the game. Currently they only exist in Meadowlands, but will soon appear elsewhere. Here is a quick preview of some of the ashen creature variants:

Works in progress:
To see a full list of what is currently in progress head on over to this thread. I will do my best to update this list on a weekly basis and highlight the differences from the previous week with bold font. Below I will highlight some of the upcoming changes in more detail.

Ember Essence Collection (timeline: 1-2 weeks)
Now that ashen spawning tech is in along with ashen creature visuals I can start working on the tech that will allow you to collect ember essence. The design for this is mostly wrapped up but we're not ready to share those details yet.

Mob Leashing Updates (timeline: 1-2 weeks)
As it currently stands every mob has a "soft leash" distance. Outside of this distance if a mob is in the idle or wandering state they will elect to return to their point of origin before resuming their idle/wander. Implementing a "hard leash" or a "reset" state for an NPC is something we are considering, but it has a few extra complications. Some of which are for those who like to kite and issues with different zones/regions having different average leash distances for NPCs. In fact, we already implemented this tech, but it is currently disabled because it causes some funny business in a number of the above described scenarios.

Known Issues:
  • Terrain textures have a bit too much tiling. This will be resolved shortly.
  • Characters can get stuck in any looping animation if they do not properly complete. This is most noticeable for strikers using a bow.
  • Not all ember rings and/or POIs are proper map discoveries. This is especially true in Dryfoot, Dryfoot Stronghold, and Redshore. Discoveries and map uncovering is a WIP and will be revisited soon.
  • Deconstructing crafted items returns junk 100% of the time.
  • 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)
  • MacOS:
    • Character creation camera is bugged on Apple Silicon macs. The issue has been submitted to unity.
    • Zooming the camera while holding the right mouse button can cause your chat window to scroll. This is not intended behavior.
    • At some camera angles the sun may go dark. This should not happen frequently but is readily reproducible at some locations. Investigating a fix.
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We get to see the ashen, but not reap the rewards!? you tease

jk, glad to have the progress towards the new system!

Confirmed the rumor.

Btw, not sure if this was intended, but the tunnels between were mostly wolves our first clear, then when we fought back through it a second time, it was entirely spiders, all the way to the wolf den.

I hope it alternates the other way, when cleared out again. Also hope that the higher level wolves in the tunnels, will drop higher level gear.

Also, lol I finally got a back biter dagger to drop, and after 18 levels of wolf grinding to see one, its absolute garbage. I hope that you increased the drop rate. Would have been nice, back when I was lvl 16! Hopefully the new players coming through will get to enjoy the rare drops at an appropriate level.
Good job with all the fixes and the new stuff!
Here’s a few points:

- I can run on High fidelity no problems, but shadows is very taxing. I’d like to have a separate settings for shadow quality only. (Not sure it’s possible, but it’s nice when we are able to tweak every little bit)
- Popup / tutorial alert shouldn’t appear past a certain lvl (i was thinking lvl 10)
- Some NPC abilities does not have description like it used to when mouse over it. I have seen « halt » used by the exile in Redshore, but without the info.
- I can run on High fidelity no problems, but shadows is very taxing. I’d like to have a separate settings for shadow quality only. (Not sure it’s possible, but it’s nice when we are able to tweak every little bit)
I'll see what I can do. I'm trying to figure out why these new quality settings are less performant than the ones we had previously even though all of the individual settings are lower. Did the game get better away from light sources with shadows?

- Popup / tutorial alert shouldn’t appear past a certain lvl (i was thinking lvl 10)
These popups should only show up once - so it is unlikely that they would show up for anyone past level 10 if they had existed back when you were leveling 1-10.

- Some NPC abilities does not have description like it used to when mouse over it. I have seen « halt » used by the exile in Redshore, but without the info.
This is caused by an exception being thrown that will be fixed for the weekend.
hot fixes for the weekend:
  • Fixed: exception that was preventing some tooltips from showing information
  • Fixed: some misc exceptions with overhead combat text
  • Fixed: rare issue that could cause a player to get locked out of crafting
  • Replaced Newhaven Valley loading image.
  • Added some additional checks to culling system in an attempt to resolve a few lingering issues.
  • Disabling a number of rogue lights in Newhaven Valley that should not have been enabled.
  • Tooltip anchor is now based on mouse position on the screen rather than trying to detect if the tooltip runs off the edge. Let me know if this sucks.
  • Updated: NPCs now consider Line of Sight to attack. If they cannot see you they will attempt to move TO you.

In addition, I am working on the following experimental updates that are nearly there, but not quite so I am punting until next week:
  • Apple Silicon Launcher & Client
  • Enabling light shadow caching for point sources. This in theory should significantly reduce the overhead of point light shadow performance.
wait, they weren't at all before?
Funny story....

It was something I had intended to do...but apparently I never got around to it? :p I had enabled LoS checks for a bunch of other functions like calls for help, aoe abilities, etc - but the actual line of sight check before attacks was disabled because (if I recall correctly) it would break some NPCs. I spent some time today fixing that logic up so that it works; things SHOULD be great now.