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Embers Adrift

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BETA TEST June 29th; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. June 29th @ 8pm central
(Thurs. June 30th @ 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 number of bug fixes, a few QoL additions, and some npc swimming improvements. The biggest focus this week is troubleshooting the skybox to figure out why it stops progressing time after a while. We have added a number of buttons to the video options which allow you to reset specific components of the skybox which will greatly aid us in resolving the problem permanently. Please see below the break for a deeper explanation of what we need here; thanks!

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 Friday
    • Fixing issues with some creatures moving after they die.
    • Fixing volumetric fog issues in Newhaven
    • Adjusting NPC weapon ranges to be more consistent
    • Trade professions now use a title rather than a skill (Forester, Hunter, Prospector)
    • Added a merchant to North Newhaven in the tunnel that sells higher level recipes. This merchant is a bit of a mess (lots of items!) right now and will be better organized in the future.
    • Slight restructure to the hail command logic. It should also now properly trigger NPC dialog if you are within range.
    • 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 near interactives.
    • Disabling graphics jobs on macOS clients. This appears to be the cause of the sporadic hitching. Please let me know if this tanks your performance.
  • Tech
    • Screenshots work again
    • Fixing issues with skybox initialization that was causing some environmental lighting to not properly activate.
    • Fixing issues with layered audio tracks playing after zoning and overlapping with the wrong primary track.
    • Fixing issues with music tracks unnecessarily restarting when zoning to a zone that shares the same music set list (i.e. Dryfoot & Dryfoot Stronghold)
    • Adding proper discoveries to Central Veins. For whatever reason the discovery data for these ember rings was lost so you never actually "discovered" them - which means that upon giving up the server just sent you back to the default ring - which is the fallback if you have not yet discovered a ring.
    • Water should no longer block line of sight
    • When giving up while swimming your bag should appear at the water surface.
    • Adding "Environment" audio slider that controls ambient audio such as wind, birds, etc. independently of "Effects"
    • Ambient environmental audio tracks have been added back to all zones (birds chirping, crickets, water drips in the cave, etc).
  • Environment / Art
    • Fixing lighting issue on character selection screen
    • Fixing lighting in North Newhaven tunnel under the wall.
    • Fixing LOD position of a wall in S. Newhaven.
    • Fixing Bats not playing their death animation.
    • Extending max view range in Redshore & Dryfoot
  • UI:
    • Fixing an exception in the chat input field.
    • Fixing an issue where adding a chat channel after adding text was giving an "Unrecognized Command" return.
    • Global and Zone chat channels can no long accidentally be set as a default channel.
    • Hitting enter after entering in a channel will now switch chat channels and deselect the input box. The logic for this will be improved in a future update.
    • "/s" is now a shortcut for say
    • adding new chat commands: "combat", "sit", "torch", "online", "afk", "dnd", "anon", "quit"
    • Items on the trainer that cost 0 will no longer read "Not enough funds!"
    • Fixing tooltip for "Disable Auto Attack on Death" option.
  • Design:
    • Fixing level 10+ recipes not creating the correct level output item.
    • Update to some Meadowlands & Dryfoot mob levels and positions. This closes the gap between these zones and Redshore for a smoother zone level transition.
    • Fixing armor drop rate being too high for low level humanoids. Looking at you copper helms!
    • Adjustments and fixes to rare item stat distributions (including fixes for Soren's Maul 2H dmg bonus)
    • Normalized leather skinning level requirements for each tier of leather.
New stuff:
Npc swimming tech
This week I have completely refactored how NPC's swim. Previously I had a special "swim trigger" at a fixed distance below the water surface which dictated the position of NPCs in the water. The issue with this is that each NPC is of a different height and if they are all placed in the water at the same position under the surface then their animations would not line up (crocs may be too low, bears too high, etc).

This refactor set the water surface as the "water", and each individual NPC has a "swim offset" value which determines how far below the surface the server should place them. Once an npc enters the water they detect that the water is above them, and then calculate if they should be "swimming" or "walking" based on their height. If they are swimming, we apply an offset to place them at the correct position below the surface so that their animations look correct. This required individual tweaking for each swim NPC but the results are much more consistent.

Humanoids can now swim - but their swim offsets currently do not account for their height differences (fix to come later for that). Also note that the nav mesh below the surface can be a bit rough so npcs may path a bit odd while swimming - this is a WIP.

Equipped tooltip comparison
When you are investigating the tooltip for an equippable item a comparison tooltip should accompany it if you have that particular slot filled. This tooltip will only show up if the destination equipment slot is currently filled and you can equip the item (meet the role requirements). For weapons it will compare to primary or secondary depending on which you have currently selected. For equipment slots that have multiple places however (shoulders, bracers, leg guards), it will only compare to the first one it finds.
QxiNO6w.png


Skybox debugging options
Since moving to the new skybox some have found that it occasionally gets stuck and stops progressing time. Thanks to the community we found that changing the quality essentially "resets" the skybox. I have been in discussions with the author to track down this problem and once again need your help!

I have added 7 buttons to the video options which reset different components of the skybox. What we need from you is to keep a close eye on "/time" and keep track of how long it takes for the skybox to stop progressing time. Now once that happens, we need to figure out which button "fixes" it. When the skybox stops responding, open up your video options and press the first button and see if anything fixes itself. If not, move on to the next button and jot down the results. We're basically trying to figure out the culprit by process of elimination. If you find that one of these boxes "fixes" it, or maybe a combination of these boxes "fixes" it - let us know which! Don't worry so much about what each of these buttons does, just send along which ones do the trick!
SPqn5Hn.png


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
My plan is to move the team over to Unity 2021 this weekend. At which point we can start taking advantage of some of the new features, fix terrain texture tiling, fix some of the fog issues, etc.

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)
 
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