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Embers Adrift

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BETA TEST March 23rd; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. March 23rd @ 8pm central
(Thurs. March 24th @ 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 we introduce the next iteration of our reagent system, fix a number of crafting UI bugs, and make a number of improvements to the Dryfoot zone. The hunt still continues for the server's memory leak but we're constantly learning more about what it is not all while making small improvements to the server. We also made another balance pass at crafting so some items may have had their stats change.

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:
    • Upgrading Unity a minor revision (2019.4.32f1 --> 2019.4.36f1). This brings minor bug fixes and updates. But you should not notice a difference (hopefully).
    • Reorganized how backpacks are stored in the database. This change should be transparent to you as the player.
    • A number of server code optimizations and updates. This is just more cleanup in my ongoing quest to hunt down this memory leak. The only noticeable change from this may be that the day/night spawn transition times may not match exactly with the skydome (as the precise day/night cycle code is disabled temporarily on the server - it still knows night from day, it just uses a fixed time rather than the altitude of the sun).
  • Art / Environment:
    • Updating a number of clothing and armor pieces to reduce clipping.
    • Environmental bug fixes and updates to Newhaven N/S, Meadowlands, and Dryfoot.
    • Closed off the northern section of Dryfoot. This will allow us to increase the mob density in some areas and focus on making the zone feel more populated. If your character logged off in Dryfoot they have been moved to a "safe spot" to make sure someone doesn't get stuck in the closed off section.
  • UI:
    • When attempting to sell an item currently equipped you will now be asked if you are sure.
    • Consumables will now properly go from your bag to the bank when right click rather than being consumed
    • Fixing some expiration times that were showing as 1s off from the duration.
    • Removing obsolete attributes (block & time between) from shields.
    • Revamped Crafting UI material selection logic
    • Fixed issue where crafting would stop between stacks
    • "Can Craft" count should now be correct more often
    • Material selection should now deselect other usages of an item if there isn't enough left over to support the new component
    • Removed average DPS info from weapons as it was misleading.
    • COLOR SCHEME UPDATE: tooltip text colorization for requirements not met has gone from RED --> GRAY. A new "ember" color now represents reagent bonuses being applied (see below for reagent updates)
  • Design:
    • Crafted earrings values increased
    • Bark removed from harvesting loot tables (you can destroy yours, this has no purpose anymore)
    • Adjusted DOTs/HOTs to avoid fractional values
    • Removed starter reagents from new characters. Starter reagents now do nothing and can be destroyed.
    • Bandage recipes removed from players
    • Chain mesh and hauberk recipes added to outfitters
    • Chests are more rare
    • Increased Halt number of hits to break from 1 -> 2
    • Enraging strike adjusted to be more consistent. Duration increased to 10 for all levels, drops after the target attacks.
    • Reinforce has been renamed to Replenish
    • Fixed an issue with Quickstep and Stifle's levels. Stifle is level 14, and Quickstep is level 18.
    • Fixed issue with Follow Through proccing on more than just autoattack.
    • Dryfoot spawns updated for higher density, chests added
    • Balance pass on crafting, harvesting and refinement for some resources may result in less items than previously
    • Reagents are now more "generically" named so that they can be distributed to more loot tables.
    • Reagent name changes:
      • Bandages --> Medicine
      • Supplies --> Tinctures
      • Fumes --> Pheromones
    • Reagent source changes:
      • no longer sourced from harvest or crafting
      • no longer dropped by humanoids
      • all now have two non-humanoid drop sources
New stuff:
Reagent Improvements
Core reagent functionality has been refactored. Previously, reagents provided the combat effects, wherein now reagents augment the combat effects. This change brings some clarity to how reagents operate and should be more intuitive. Each reagent provides a set of baseline bonuses to the core ability which means low level reagents remain useful throughout the game. For example, "Crude Medicine" provides a +5 bonus to the healing amount on top of your base ability. As your ability grows in strength, this reagent will continue to provide a +5 bonus while higher tiered reagents will provide a larger bonus. Right now the set of parameters we can augment is limited, but this functionality will grow in time. In addition, when the ember essence upgrade program comes online we plan to have upgraded reagents add completely new effects to your baseline ability. In other words: the base ability will never change completely, but more layers can be added on top of it with reagent upgrades.

Ability tooltips will highlight the properties modified by the active reagent in an ember color.

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)
    • 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.
  • NPCs: fully custom Bear, Elk, and Spider models are complete and awaiting integration into the game. Ashen creatures are nearing completion as well.
  • 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.

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 (2-4 weeks?????)
  • 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
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:
  • 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.
 
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Dalton

Well-Known Member
Honestly really like the new regeant system. I no longer am required to have a certain profession to have a useful ability. I do feel that humanoid mobs should be the ones dropping medicine if its no longer crafted. But overall happy with the changes.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Honestly really like the new regeant system. I no longer am required to have a certain profession to have a useful ability. I do feel that humanoid mobs should be the ones dropping medicine if its no longer crafted. But overall happy with the changes.
Humanoid loot tables are already littered with goodies - we wanted to make sure no roles/specs really had an "advantage" when their group fights humanoids. Design wise not everything can be self consistent and "make sense" when compared to the real world :confused:
 

Ravenwolf Silvermoon

Active Member
Hello. Liking some of the changes and cant wait to test out the rest of the stuff. Great job guys/gals and thank you again for all the hard work everyone on the team has put into.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Hot fixes for the weekend:
  • Enraging strike no longer expires when NPC performs a hit. Duration reduced from 10s to 8s.
  • Recovering your belongings now correctly unlocks your bag
  • Reagents for quick casting abilities are now properly consumed (i.e. Fading Strike)
  • Reagents can no longer be placed in the consumables pouch (they only go in the reagent pouch)
  • Bears in South Newhaven are a tad crankier.
  • Adding border colliders to Dryfoot's southern Marauder camp
 
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Rev

Well-Known Member
Like the change to give more reason to kill non-humans. Feel like the drop rate is a bit low so far. Feels like maybe 1 in 6 or 1 in 8 mobs will drop something. Could be vendor loot or a reagent you don't need after killing 6-8 mobs so you might end up having to kill 20 or more mobs to get one drop for a small amt. of reagents. I have almost gone from 13 to 14 just killing greys, greens and blue animals on the west side of NNH near meadows, and I have yet to get over 40 of either medicine. I have had a little better luck with tinctures, maybe 90 lvl 6 and 30 lvl 8's. I feel like drop rates need a boost and the min. drop amt. be raised. If I take the time to farm these things, at least make it so it isn't a long painful grind just to earn 100 reagents you need. I should be able to go out for an hour or two and get enough to last me for a good dungeon run.