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BETA TEST July 20th; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. July 20th @ 8pm central
(Thurs. July 21st @ 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 bug fixes, more variety in loot tables, and AoE improvements. A good chunk of my time this week was spent configuring new servers, configuring the new router, analyzing player leveling rates, and tweaking experience curves. @sand32 continues to work on quests and tells me that we are close to internal testing - which means player testing is just around the corner. @AdricLives has been populating spawn templates for dungeon rooms which will make bringing new dungeons online far quicker than we were able to do in the past.

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

Bug fixes / improvements:
  • Tech
    • Fixed ground torches that are reused (when one is put out while another is nearby) no longer start off sunken into the ground.
    • Camera now detects water more consistently. This should resolve issues with the camera going nuts in Meadowlands.
    • Fixed players getting stuck in rocks in Meadowlands
    • Heal threat now considers distance from the original source. This should help in situations where HoTs on pullers was causing threat to accumulate on far away Supporterers.
  • Environment / Art
    • Fixed grass groupings showing a pattern.
    • Fixed issues with redwood trees bending.
    • Dungeon skylights now change colors depending on the time of day outside of the dungeon. This varies the ambient mood in the dungeon and gives you a better sense of time progression.
  • UI:
    • Status effect tooltips now show the correct channel and value.
    • Fixed double negative signs on the stat panel.
  • Design:
    • Target dummies in South & North Newhaven now have armored and non-armored variants
    • Additional resources can be harvested from resource nodes in group focused areas of the world. If anyone has any suggestions for what we might call these "Dense" versions of Logs, Mushrooms, Plants, and Gems let us know! Currently Ore uses the "Dense" prefix, but it is also open for suggestion.
    • Returned all weapons and armor to NPC loot tables. The previous split between crafting/dropped gear made for some akward abundance of certain items (looking at you copper helm). Crafting professions however, are still restricted in what they can make until specializations are added.
    • Updated which weapons drop from what type of creatures. With all weapons returning to loot tables this needed to be refactored to make room for additional weapon types.
    • Dropped cloth armor variety drastically increased. Multiple styles and colors of dropped shirts, pants, and gloves have been added to loot tables. This should help avoid those awkward moments where everyone in the party shows up wearing the same shirt.
    • Fixed Robust Leather recipe incorrectly being named Dense Leather.
    • Increased effectiveness of Duelist's Weak Point ability. This ability now has an increased reduction to physical resists to counter mob resists more effectively.
    • Increase effectiveness of AoE abilities (Sweep, Arc, Wild Strikes, Collateral Damage). These abilities will deal more damage, have lower cooldowns, hit more targets, and use less stamina than they did previously.
Works in progress:
It has come to my attention that we may not be transparent enough in what we are working on. I do not want our community to feel as thought their feedback is not important or under valued. Our team is small which means that we are constantly juggling what we are working on, and sometimes things get pushed to the back of the line. That does not necessarily mean that those things are forgotten, we have just moved on to something else for the time being.

In hopes of being more transparent, I am breaking out the typical WIP section to a new thread of WIP items that will act as a rough roadmap for the game. This list of items is organized by category and is in no specific order of status or priority. 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 with more details.

New Servers (timeline: 1 week)
While shopping for a new server we realized that most new/used options didn't quite offer the horsepower we required within our budget. To that end, we built our own custom rack mounted solution. In fact, we built two! One will be heading into the data center, while the other serves as a backup and testing ground. Getting these going took a bit more time than I was expecting due to unexpected issues like cables being too short etc. I also encountered my first bad CPU in my 20+ years of building computers which was quite interesting.

The current plan is to bring the game servers down on Monday at noon so that I can install and configure the new one. Ideally this process doesn't hit any snags but I want to make sure Monday afternoon + Tuesday are clear just in case. This will include mounting the new machine, installing the new router + switch, and making sure everything can communicate with one another.
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(excuse the cable mess, this was early in the build process!)

Spawn controller improvements (timeline: 1-2 weeks)
There are two primary improvements I am looking to make to our spawning systems in the near future.

The first of which is adding an additional option for selecting what spawns. Currently, each spawn is selected via random draw from a list of items with fixed probabilities. However, this can lead to some "bad RNG" since each draw uses the same set of probabilities. In other words: if a rare spawn has a 5% chance of popping then every time the spawn controller goes to select a spawn it has a 5% chance of selecting that rare. This new method will instead construct a fixed size list containing a number of each item based on their desired probability. As an example, we might create a list of 100 items to draw from and 5 of those items would be the rare spawn. Now every time the controller draws it will remove an item from the list, increasing the probability that the remaining items will be selected on the next draw. This methodology will likely be extended to loot drops shortly afterwards.

The second improvement is adding tech to support Ashen variants. Without spoiling too much of the fun I can say that some additional tech is required in order to bring Ashen creatures online in the way that we want. These creatures will be your primary way of collecting Ember Essence so how we will be bringing them into the world is a bit different.

Experience re-evaluation (timeline: 2-3 weeks)
Over the past week I have been analyzing the rate at which you all have been leveling since the last wipe. The general consensus is that the pace of leveling from 1-10 is just where we want it. After level 10 however, things seem to be going a bit too quickly. By extrapolating your average leveling pace we calculated how much playing time would be required to hit max level. Our findings miss our target by a large margin.

I then started looking into different mathematical representations of a leveling curve that might give us a bit more control over the pacing. The current curve is a relatively simple exponential; modifying the parameters however, impacts the entire curve and would make the end game nearly impossible. Switching over to a logarithmic curve give us a bit more flexibility in where the rise in difficulty happens but makes the later levels all roughly "the same". Finally we come around to the trusty quadratic equation; this gives us a good amount of control, but requires a good amount of fine tuning of parameters. We are still working our way through the finer details of what this curve looks like - but our goal is to make levels 1-10 feel as they do now, and then past that slow things down while making each subsequent level slightly more difficult than the last.

Known Issues:
  • Terrain textures have a bit too much tiling. This will be resolved shortly.
  • Character creation & editing camera on Apple Silicon MacOS is bugged. I isolated the issue and submitted a bug report with Unity (still waiting to hear back).
  • 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.
  • Tooltip positions are off for shorter tooltips on the right side of the screen. Tooltips can also clip below the screen when the coin panel is enabled (at merchant)
  • Zooming the camera while holding right mouse button on macOS can cause your chat window to scroll. This is not intended behavior.
  • 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)
 
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