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Embers Adrift

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BETA TEST June 22nd; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. June 22nd @ 8pm central
(Thurs. June 23rd @ 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?
Happy belated summer solstice everyone! This week we bring you a number of seemingly small but fundamentally important changes that we have been iterating on for the past 3 weeks or so. Dropped gear has been more evenly distributed throughout the world giving you a reason to fight non-humanoids. Crafting has undergone many design changes with the goal of making progression feel more meaningful. We are also working on Gathering/Crafting specializations which we hope to roll out in the coming weeks.

Characters have been wiped and you will all be starting over from scratch. Leveling potions have been removed so that we can accurately assess leveling speeds and progression "feels". I know many of you have gone through the leveling process numerous times but please leave feedback for how this particular iteration feels. I cannot stress enough how crucial the low level experience is and we have to get it right if we want the product to succeed. I know we don't yet have quests in (coming soon!), but please pay attention and leave feedback on how you feel about the leveling pace, character strength progression, and equipment progression.

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:
  • Tech
    • Improved the server's calculation of sun position to more accurately reflect the client's skybox. This should yield more consistent day/night spawn rules.
    • Adjusted latitude & longitude of Meadowlands, Dryfoot, and Redshore which allows us to simulate that these zones are in different locations on the world. This results in slightly different dawn/dusk times in zones to the east or west, and different sun & planet altitudes for zones the more north you go.
    • Adding periodic adjustments to skybox reflections which will hopefully further prevent getting stuck in day/night. Did anyone encounter this over the weekend? If so did toggling the "multi-frame cloud reflections" checkbox resolve the issue?
  • UI:
    • Fixing some issues where the guild roster list was not properly updating.
  • Design:
    • New ability "Strike" given to all characters at level 1 in addition to their normal role ability. This should help the early game feel a bit more engaging without sacrificing later balance as this skill does not scale.
    • Prevent Knight's Inner Fire from being used while sitting
    • Knight's Crushing Blow execution time reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
    • Berserker now gets a 2H damage bonus in addition to their 1H & Ranged damage bonuses.
    • Equipment can now be sourced from more than just humanoids. This may be a step backwards in terms of theme (why did a doe drop a sword?!), but it lifts a number of self imposed limitations on the design team. There should now be many reasons to hunt all of the different creatures in the game.
    • New Armor Types (these are drop only for now):
      • Chitin (new visuals, see below): heavier than metal armors and offers substantial protection for a penalty to movement and flanking bonuses.
      • Scale (visuals pending): lighter than metal armor, heavier than leather, and offers a mix of protection and a slight flanking bonus.
    • Non-imbued crafted gear is once again on part with dropped gear. Note that Flux is still required to draw the bonus stats out from the materials used.
    • Bonuses fixed for crafted items with Ranged and 2H damage bonuses.
    • Crafting recipes require more resources per combine, but also give more experience.
    • Intermediate crafting components have been removed in favor of direct refined resource usage. For example: Leather Strips --> Leather, Fletching --> Cloth, Wooden Shafts --> Wood. This should greatly reduce the number of items that crafters need to manage.
New stuff:
Recipe diversity
Previously harvesting & crafting professions had relatively few recipes that were each extremely flexible (i.e. the sword recipe could make all kinds of swords with different materials). One of the downsides of this system is that players often felt a lack of progression as they leveled up. These recipes didn't indicate when something new unlocked so it never really provided you with something to work towards. This extreme flexibility also prevented us from being able to show you what was possible unless you had that specific set of items in your inventory.

We have taken those super flexible recipes and broken them down by material tier. That sword recipe has now becomes a recipe for each material tier (Copper, Sword, Tin Sword, etc) to provide a greater sense of progression. However, you may remember that when we refactored the raw materials that more potent versions of materials will come back into play at higher levels (i.e. there is a new version of copper that shows up around level 40) - we were able to keep a bit of that recipe flexibility as these more potent materials will still be usable in their associated recipes (i.e. more potent copper can be used in the Copper Sword recipe). We are also hoping that this change makes things a bit easier to show you a preview of the output item without having to have all of the components in your inventory. Note that this (showing you a preview of the item without having the components in your inventory) is something we working towards but cannot guarantee it will happen. In other words: no promises.

Recipes now have specific material requirements. Copper Short Sword recipe requires Copper for the blade. Pine Quarterstaff requires Pine for the staff, etc. Harvesting and crafting professions now start with recipes for Copper, Malachite, Pine, Flax, Penny Bun, and Lean (Carcass) materials. Other recipes will need to be found and learned.

Dropped vs. Crafted equipment
One of the big issues we have been wrestling with over the past few weeks is how to make crafted gear not be terrible while also not stepping on the toes of adventurers. This ultimately led to the introduction of Ember Flux which we feel was a big improvement overall. To make sure that dropped gear remained viable we ended up nerfing non-imbued crafting gear which left many feeling a bit unsatisfied.

To remedy this we are essentially separating the two so that they no longer step on each other's toes. Some equipment slots will only be fillable with crafted gear, while others can only be filled with dropped gear. This is especially true in the early game. However, it very well may change as players level up and crafting specializations are introduced (which may unlock additional recipes for crafters that allow you to make gear that was previously only obtainable via adventuring). There may also be exceptions to this rule when it comes to rare drops, etc. Think of this more as a "guideline".

Chameleon color improvements
We have new shader tech implemented that improves the visual variety of our chameleons; we can now adjust the base and pattern colors separately. Each chameleon "type" will have a fixed base color while all of their pattern colors will be randomized for visual variety. In addition, the base color will decrease in saturation as they lose health. Here's a sample of the four base colors:
BGqD7eO.png


Augment & Repair Kit tech
This week tech was developed which opens the door for repair kits and item augments. Right clicking on one of these items will change your cursor to a different icon (similarly to selling, or repairing), at which point you can click on one of your items to perform the action. Repair kits will allow you to repair a fixed amount of damage on an item. The cost to create a repair kit will be relatively expensive as we want it to be cheaper overall to visit an anvil. Augments will apply a temporary bonus to a piece of equipped gear at the cost of binding it to you (which means you will no longer be able to trade it). Weapon augments currently come in the form of +Dmg/Pen/Hit/Flanking and expire after a specified number of successful hits. We are still working through the design of inner & outer armor augments.

The tech for repair kits and augments is in but are not yet available in game (soon). The recipes for these items will likely become available when crafting specs come online (soon).

Chitin Armor Visuals
As mentioned above a new armor type with visuals has been added. Here is a preview of those visuals:
GqiPLgI.jpg


Works in progress:
  • Zones: 3x additional overland zones have had an initial art pass completed
    • 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. This is the snow capped mountains you can see from Redshore.
    • Highlands - accessed via Meadowlands. Hilly region with sparse vegetation and water features. Mid level range (approx 30-40, likely to come after Redshore and Grizzled)
    • Gorge - accessed via Dryfoot. Large canyon-like area. Mid level range (approx 30-40, likely to come after Redshore and Grizzled)
  • Dungeons: prefab reorganization is complete. Next task is syncing up with the art team to make sure no data is lost. After this we will start populating the new dungeons.
  • NPCs: Most NPCs have been converted to a "universal" model that includes the base + ashen variants. This brings us one step closer to getting the ashen variants in the game. They are currently awaiting a VFX and lighting pass.
  • Quests: a number of quests are in the queue for implementation/testing. Quest data structure and likely needs a refactor. This is slated to happen after guilds are deployed.
  • Tech: npc improvements, npc merchants.
  • UI: quest dialog redesign, tooltip improvements
  • New clothing & armor is still in the works.
  • Crafting TODO list (to be implemented soon):
    • quality determines the final durability
    • add level 10+ recipes on more organized merchants
    • crafting & harvesting specializations

Reagent Upgrade System (timeline: 1-2 weeks?)
Ember essence collection and spending is next up on the docket of things to do after getting the new dungeons up and running. The first step for getting this in will be allowing you to collect ember essence, which will be followed by spending ember essence on ember monoliths, reagent upgrades, etc.

Unity 2021 upgrade
This week should be the final week in which we are "testing" 2021. I spent a good deal of time this last week working out a bunch of our server issues with 2021 and I think everything is going smoothly at this point. I found a few critical bugs that I reported to Unity and was able to work around thankfully. Once the whole team makes the move to 2021 we can start addressing some of the smaller issues like terrain texture tiling, fog volume visual issues, etc.

Unity 2021 Linux update
While isolating server issues for my bug reports to Unity I was able to make some progress on the native Linux client. We're still a long ways off due to sporadic crashing but I was able to get the client to load without insta-crashing which is some semblance of progress. I will keep hacking away at it when time permits and keep you all updated. Thank you all for your patience!

Known Issues:
  • Terrain textures have a bit too much tiling. This will be resolved when we finalize our move to Unity 2021
  • 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.
  • 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)
 
Last edited:

Kittik

Well-Known Member
New ability "Strike" given to all characters at level 1 in addition to their normal role ability. This should help the early game feel a bit more engaging without sacrificing later balance as this skill does not scale.
Could have made it "Kick" like I suggested months ago.....but hey, at least there is now that generic ability, so that's good.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Weekend hot fixes:
  • fixing issues with some creatures moving after they die
  • fixing volumetric fog issues in Newhaven
  • adjusting NPC weapon ranges to be more consistent (hopefully this makes them less likely to fight inside of you)
  • trade professions now use a title rather than a skill (Forester, Hunter, Prospector)
  • adding merchant to N. Newhaven near the wall's refinement station that sells higher level recipes. This merchant is a bit of a mess (lots of items!) so apologies in advance. This should be organized much better once the city opens.
  • slight restructure to the hail logic. it should also now properly trigger npc dialog
  • adding code to prevent player rotation when interacting with objects. this is kind of a hack so let me know if there are any oddities with rotating your character with the right mouse button around interactives.
  • disabling graphics jobs on macOS clients. this appears to be causing the sporadic hitching. let me know if this tanks your performance.
 

Nfab35

Active Member
Weekend hot fixes:
  • fixing issues with some creatures moving after they die
  • fixing volumetric fog issues in Newhaven
  • adjusting NPC weapon ranges to be more consistent (hopefully this makes them less likely to fight inside of you)
  • trade professions now use a title rather than a skill (Forester, Hunter, Prospector)
  • adding merchant to N. Newhaven near the wall's refinement station that sells higher level recipes. This merchant is a bit of a mess (lots of items!) so apologies in advance. This should be organized much better once the city opens.
  • slight restructure to the hail logic. it should also now properly trigger npc dialog
  • adding code to prevent player rotation when interacting with objects. this is kind of a hack so let me know if there are any oddities with rotating your character with the right mouse button around interactives.
  • disabling graphics jobs on macOS clients. this appears to be causing the sporadic hitching. let me know if this tanks your performance.
In response to your character rotating. This doesn't necessarily pertain to the issue you're talking about with interactions and such. But I have noticed for quite sometime and it doesn't happen often lol but when it does it's really bothersome. Best way I can describe is when your character moves close to a wall or anything that would restrict your current field of view, your view you're currently at spins around and disoriented your current view. Not sure why this happens. It seems to me if you're panned out away from your character and getting close to something restricts your view, it's almost like the game cannot decide what it wants you to see or what direction you should be facing. If I knew how to record a clip of it while I'm playing I'd send it to clarify things more. But sadly I'm bot very computer savy.