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BETA TEST March 30th; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. March 30th @ 8pm central
(Thurs. March 31st @ 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 us a slew of bug fixes, design adjustments, and a new bank! Experience gains have been tweaked for groups, and Warlords have gotten some much needed love. Finally, we are celebrating the death of the memory leak. It has been identified and patched!

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:
    • Fixed a memory leak that has been plaguing the game for the past few months. Each of our zones is an individual server instance (meaning that it is it's own process). Thanks to your testing, we found that the memory footprint of some zones have been reaching upwards of 14gb over the course of 12hrs or so if the zone was populated. This forced me to restart the servers on Saturday nights to prevent the system from failing. I was finally able to track down the leak in the networking code. We were allocating memory for network packets but in some instances those allocations were never cleaned up. Servers are now holding steady below 3gb of memory per instance. I can finally rest easy and get back to actual game development!
    • Added checks to prevent networking related crash when zoning or returning to selection.
    • Re-enabled the server's sky dome. Day/night spawn timings should once again be more consistent with the sun's position.
    • NPCs now mark themselves as invulnerable if their current primary target is unreachable on the nav mesh. If an NPC constantly avoids your attacks then their primary target is likely at a spot inaccessible to the npc and should reposition.
  • Art / Environment:
    • Adjusting music tracks in Dryfoot & central veins
    • Fixing border colliders in Dryfoot
    • Closing up a gap in the rocks that allowed players into the northern part of the zone that has be decommissioned
    • Bug fixes for meadowlands and Dryfoot environments
  • UI:
    • Overhead combat text now includes the icon of the ability/consumable that triggered the text (auto attacks excluded)
    • Fixed some cases where crafting multiple items would stop early
    • Fixed a case where components would display old data when the window was first opened
    • Removed ability to deselect recipes by clicking them again
    • Materials with insufficient amounts will now show in dropdowns so you can know what you need more of
  • Design:
    • Crafting recipes are much more clear on what the actual material component needed is.
    • Armor values reduced on shields. Heater shields are most impacted
    • Armor values needed to hit damage reduction caps have been increased slightly.
    • Open Wounds no longer stacks across multiple Warlords
    • Dryfoot has been populated with rare spawns
    • Dryfoot has seen the return of Ant Hills
    • Added base consumables to the Meadowlands general merchant (smelling salts, food, ground torches)
New stuff:
Adventuring experience adjustments
We have spent some time re-evaluating experience gain for groups and made adjustments. The group bonus has been increased to 2% per member (which tops off at a 10% bonus for a full group). Chevron multipliers (behind the scenes multiplier to compensate for group split) have also been adjusted to be more dynamic based on the group size. These changes should result in a more balanced experience gain for groups tackling appropriate content (1x chevron->solo, 2x chevrons -> 2-3 players, and 3x chevrons -> 4-6 players).

Aura Repurposing
Auras have always been sort of a hacked together experiment. Turning them into a fully realized system would require a significant amount of tech & UI work; something we feel is not worth the investment given that it would be for a single spec. However, all is not lost! We still think that Auras can benefit the game if they are used in a more limited fashion. To this end, we are repurposing auras to be a Supporter feature sort of replacing the "battle prep" line of buffs that were previously in the game. The current lineup is:
  • Warden (STR/SUP) gets "Lay of the Land" - a non-combat 15% speed aura @ lvl 14
  • Knight (DEF/SUP) gets "Inspire" - a combat-only 20% resist to incoming status effects @ lvl 18
  • Sentinel (SUP/DEF) gets "Fortifying Aura" - a combat-only 5% resist to melee/ranged damage @ lvl 18
Different auras still do not stack; this is something we are reconsidering now that they are far more limited in scope (2x of the same aura however, will never stack). We would love to hear feedback on the combat-only auras and how much of a pain in the neck they are to re-enable every time you enter combat. Is having a STA-free constant group buff worth toggling every time you enter combat over say - a short duration buff that you have to continually re-apply + costs STA?

Warlord adjustments
The above aura changes begs the question: what the hell is a Warlord? The Warlord's auras have been replaced with standard group-based abilities. These new abilities will have a set duration and stamina cost like standard abilities (subject to change based on feedback), although their duration is considerably shorter. The different chants/hymns/etc can now also stack (identical ones should not stack). This change opens up the flexibility of what the Warlord can do by removing the combat/non-combat restrictions. For example: rejuvenating hymn now provides a heal over time effect that works in or out of combat.

Bank improvements
Many of you have been clamoring for more bank space. We hear you, but also recognize that not everyone needs the additional space. To accommodate those who do however, we have introduced the concept of a "personal" and "shared" bank space. The general idea is that the shared bank is more expensive to expand and can only be accessed via Newhaven City. Since Newhaven City is not yet available, both bank interactives have been placed in NHS & NHN just outside the door to Newhaven City.

All of the other banks throughout the world have become your "personal stash" which is local to your character only. If you delete your character then the items in this bank are also lost. The personal stash starts with 1x row of 6 slots and can expand via additional row purchases at 1sp, 10sp, 50sp, 1gp, and 10gp.

Your previous bank has become the "Shared Bank" which is shared amongst your characters. If you delete your character, the items in this bank are NOT lost. The shared bank will start with 0x rows of 6 slots and can expand via additional row purchases at 10sp, 50sp, 1gp, 10gp, 50gp, 100gp. Note that this bank currently starts with 1x row as I don't want to nuke the things you already have in there. After the next wipe this will go into effect.

Here is a quick rundown of the differences between the two banks:
TypeShared?AccessibleStarting RowsUpgrade Costs (WIP)
Personal StashNoThroughout the world1x1sp, 10sp, 50sp, 1gp, 10gp
Family BankYesNewhaven City0x10sp, 50sp, 1gp, 10gp, 50gp, 100gp

And before you ask: no you cannot open both banks at the same time. Due to the way our interaction system works and how I implemented this you will have to transfer from one bank, to your inventory, then to the other bank to do a proper bank transfer. This may change in the future when we get more time - but basic functionality is in and that is the important part.

TLDR: nothing has changed regarding your current bank except the location. everything you previously had in the bank can be accessed via the new shared bank near the Newhaven City door. After the next wipe the above changes to the shared bank will occur.

Crash log uploads
Your clients will now check to see if the app was properly closed during your last session. If not, it will attempt to locate embersadrift.prev.log and upload it to us for analysis. This should prevent you all from having to dig up the proper log file and send it our way. In other words: make your lives, and our lives, easier!

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.

The great crafting simplification (timeline 1-2 weeks?)
The past few weeks we have been mulling over improvements to gathered materials and think we've come up with a solution that will provide some much needed clarity to the system. We are calling it "the great crafting simplification". The goals for the redesign are as follows:
  • Reduce the overall number of harvested/crafted materials (leather specifically)
  • Structure material progression in a consistent way across all professions
  • More slowly introduce material variation to players. This also doubles to alleviate inventory space issues for newer players.
  • Have a stronger material vertical progression
We're not ready to go into the details of this change yet - but when this change happens it will require a character wipe. We are hopefully looking at 1-2 weeks for implementation; we'll keep you updated!

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 (1-3 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 (unknown timeline)
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:
  • Deconstructing crafted items returns junk 100% of the time.
  • No, we are not yet entertaining a compass. There are some plans to help you navigate in a more organic way, but those are waiting on a new skybox that will come with Unity 2020/201.
  • 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.
 
Last edited:

Asbo

Well-Known Member
Some very good improvements to the banking system make it far more manageable for crafters and hoarders alike. Of course I am both of them! Great work and imagination Undone thanks.

As for Aura buff I prefer having a STA-free constant group buff with toggling every time I enter combat as this means you can do it and forget and get on with keeping the group alive.

With your work in progress on crafting. Is it feasible to show materials used to construct each item so we can see how we constructed said item? Say if we right click item gives you this information!

Would also like the UI reading text made a little bigger. or an option to at least if feasible for people like me with glasses who are going blind. Cannot see the exp % numbers gained bar without squinting!

Unbelievable how much progress you guys are making having looked at each patch update every week show the hard work you guys are throwing at this project...I am now even looking forward to the next wipe in 2 weeks time.
 

Ravenwolf Silvermoon

Active Member
Hello. Can't wait to test out the changes and new stuff. As always, great job to everyone on the team, keep up the hard work folks. But do not forget to smell the rose along the way. Don't forget "me" time.
 

Dirili

New Member
Nothing to add besides how hilariously fun my first dip into the game was. And I did nothing but run duo, kill some stuff and get two levels. Hopefully the slow pacing and complex tooltips will stick. Can't wait for my armour buff.
 

ArTex

New Member
Last night was my first time playing. I had fun, with no issues. I got to meet some fun players where the 6 of us ended up spending most of the night in the Thieves Cave. Got a bit lost but we ended up finding our way back out lol. Great time, I can't wait to get back in again.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
weekend hot fixes:
  • group experience bonus no longer wraps when reading +10%
  • emote text is added to chat even if you can't play the animation (because you are not standing)
  • adding more checks to reduce crashing while zoning for some
  • increasing font size for xp below the action bar
  • off hand auto attack chance reduced slightly for duel wield
  • 2H weapons now have an additional +1 mod
  • cut gem icon updated
  • medicine changed to salve
  • tincture icons are unique
  • 3 chevron mob now drop more loot
  • ant hills now have portraits
  • adjusting LOD on ant hills
  • sword recipe now has a better description for the grip wrap component
  • bash is no longer a reagent ability
  • increase angle for smelling salts
  • Adjusted Fortify & Inspire aura execution parameters (cast time, sta cost, etc)
  • Reducing armor on crafted kite shields to match previous changes to bucklers and heaters.
 

Kaeolin

Well-Known Member
Reagent Upgrade System (1-3 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.
with the timeline being 1-3 weeks, does that mean Ember essence (Or whatever it's called) might be in game after the wipe and potentially a way to spend it?
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
with the timeline being 1-3 weeks, does that mean Ember essence (Or whatever it's called) might be in game after the wipe and potentially a way to spend it?
The timeline is probably off; I'm just making things up. More than likely the first implementation will be adding collection of ember essence to the game with no way to spend it. In a later update, we would then give you a way to spend it.