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BETA TEST May 11th; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. May 11th @ 8pm central
(Thurs. May 12th @ 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?
A lot of time this week was spent tinkering and writing code to handle the new skybox. It's 90% of the way there, but we have hit a snag where the ambient lighting during the day/night transition does not properly adapt quick enough leaving everything washed out for a period of time. The author of the skybox shaders is currently on vacation which means the fix will need to wait. As a stop-gap solution I have upgraded the existing skybox to (hopefully) resolve the over-exposure issues. Other than that we have a hand full of rendering fixes, bug fixes, and design updates for you to feast on!

This should be the last weekend for testing a Unity 2021 client so please get your performance/stability feedback in so we can make the right decision on if we move forward with it or not!

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 hair issues on low/med quality
    • Fixes to alpha cut rendering for things like fur
    • Fixed rendering issues on wooden structures and other misc "missing" things
    • Fixed water flickering at edges
    • Fixed text rendering
    • Fixed issues with auto loot roll and chat filter menus
    • Networking library now supports macOS 10.14
    • Mouse look input is now more closely tied to the raw mouse input which should make things feel a bit more "1-to-1". If you had previously adjusted your mouse sensitivity I recommend resetting the sliders to 100% and tweaking from there. Let me know how this feels!
    • Players can no longer enter world from character selection if the world is locked.
    • Current skybox updated to better support the latest version of Unity.
      • This should resolve most of the over exposure issues for now
      • Moon position & phase is set to static emulating what we are going for. This looks much better with the new skybox so don't judge it too harshly.
  • UI:
    • Fixing a bug in the stat panel display showing incorrect values when in or out of combat.
    • Filtering out "Other Combat" should now respect avoids, blocks, parries, and ripostes.
  • Design:
    • Fix issue with HIT/PEN buffs & debuffs doubling their effectiveness
    • Fix issue with regen potions healing for a lot more than they should
    • Fix to AoE abilities not correctly using their weapon parameters for the AoE distance/angle
    • Fix to abilities which were not properly enabling auto attack at different tiers
    • Basic crafted jewelry has base stats
    • Marshal's Pressure is now level 8 (was level 10)
    • Marshal's Pursuit is now level 10 (was level 8)
    • Ember Flux icons are unique for different level ranges
    • Viscious Ember flux typo fixed and is now Viscous
    • Tool recipes no longer refer to the wood component as "Shaft"; instead refers to it as "Handle"
    • Flux level now drives the output level item regardless of other material levels used.
    • Flux level now caps equipment stat bonuses on items to that level range
    • Reduce the rate of Armor/Weapon drops from humanoids
    • Hauberk removed from crafting and loot tables (will remain as rare drops only)

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). Nearing ready for population
    • 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.
    • 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: All of central veins has been delivered from the art team and is now awaiting integration into the game. This includes the starter dungeon currently found in S. Newhaven, and a larger more difficult area for N. Newhaven. Spawning tech for dungeons is mostly complete so we just have to iron out the details in the spawning workflow.
  • NPCs: fully custom Bear, Elk, and Spider models are complete and integrated into the game. Spider is currently the only one implemented; elk & bear will come soon. Ashen creature varieties have also been integrated into the game but are not yet populating the world.
  • 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. Quest data structure and likely needs a refactor.
  • Tech: npc improvements, npc merchants.
  • UI: quest dialog redesign, tooltip improvements
  • New clothing & armor is still in the works.

Unity 2021 Tech
If all goes well with this week's test we can start to take advantage of new Unity 2021 tech. This includes a new skybox, decal fixes, apple silicon support, and more performance tweaks. These will come online slowly with my first priority being replacing the skybox & clouds.

Crafting Updates
We are working on tech that would allow each crafting profession to create a temporary "augment" for individual pieces of equipment. The idea here is for all crafting professions to create some sort of consumable leading to a more constant demand. Provisioners already have this going for them as players will always need potions, food, etc. Armor and weapon smiths however, have no such consumable (other than ammo). Some ideas we are currently discussing internally:
  • Weaponsmith could create "sharpening stones" that are either +DMG, +HIT, or +PEN. The player could then apply these to their individual weapon (only one augment possible at a time) and the augment would wear off after X number of successful hits.
  • Armorsmiths could create "armor padding" that would increase some defensive stat (avoid, dmg resist, etc) of a specific piece of equipment. That augment would last until some threshold of damage was taken by that piece.

Stat Consolidation (timeline: 1-3 weeks)
Last week we reduced HIT and PEN to be single valued. In the near future we will consolidate damage types into the following categories: 1H, 2H, Ranged, Ember, Mental, Chemical. Corresponding resists will become: Physical, Ember, Mental, Chemical, Bleeds. I also plan on merging the current set of "status effect resists" in with regular resists. We will also likely tweak how resists work on the back end. Currently, a single roll determines if the effect lands or does not land - we would improve this so that if the roll fails and the effect lands, the duration of the effect is diminished rather than applying at full force.

Reagent Upgrade System (timeline: ...)
  • 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.

Implementing the actual ember essence drops should be relatively straight forward and take little time. However, giving the players something to do with that ember essence is the challenge here and requires some design time. Since we've had a truck load of other things to do in the mean time we likely won't be adding the first part until we have something for you to do with it.

Known Issues:
  • Not all ember rings and/or POIs are proper map discoveries. This is especially true in Dryfoot & Dryfoot Stronghold. Discoveries and map uncovering is a WIP and will be revisited soon.
  • 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)
 
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Dalton

Well-Known Member
Graphical issues appear resolved for me on the absolute lowest settings. Turning speed sent to 70% felt the most natural for myself. The sky appeared good to me, nothing besides a blueish moon appeared not normal. I dont see “overexposed” or washed out areas but also playing on low and having night mode turned on for my Macbook things are always a bit darker. Performance is great for me.

To the art team, the look of the wall to New Haven looks great, really enjoying the textures in this game.
 

Xavure

Member
Mouse Look input:
I can confirm that the mouse look feel much much better now, it is responsive as it should be.
I had to set my sensibility to 70% right from the start as is was way too sensible for me, but that might be a preference issue.

Performance with 2021:
Performance so far since last week feel like a real improvement over the last build.
With 2019 I had some frequent FPS drop and in 2021 the FPS feels more steady.
The only issue is went there's a lot of player around, mostly around ember rings.

FYI Here's my spec:
I7-4790 3.8Ghz
16 Gig mem
RTX 2060 6 G
1920x1080 Res
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
New client & server patch deployed for the weekend:
  • Dryfoot Stronghold issues resolved
  • Adding a refinement station & merchant next to the shared stash on both sides of the wall
  • Adjusting planet position and size in the sky
  • Here is a link to an experimental Apple Silicon version of this build. There ARE rendering issues with specific materials - a bug has been submitted to Unity and I am waiting to hear back. If you test this build please compare/contrast it to the current non-apple silicon build performance wise and let me know if you notice a significant difference.
I would also like to announce that we are testing keeping the servers open a bit longer. This week the servers will be open Friday @ 12pm Central through Tuesday @ 12pm Central; let us know how this new schedule works out for you!

It has come to my attention that some of you feel as though recent changes have been in the "wrong direction" but for whatever reason are reluctant to share your feedback. I want to remind everyone that your feedback is extremely important to us as it helps us keep tabs on how different aspects of the game are feeling. As designers we have to look at the overall picture of how each system interacts with one another, identify issues, and do what we can to correct them. This entire game is an iterative process and things are ever changing. If you feel like something is off then please let us know as soon as it starts to feel off; the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes to course correct. If you are not comfortable leaving feedback on the forums then PM me or someone else on the team. My door is always open as I am always willing to have a discussion.

With that being said however, I am stepping out for the weekend on a mini-vacation so please wait until Monday :). If there are any issues over the weekend please direct them to @The RK . Thanks!
 

cipherdec

New Member
Maybe you don't want to have more than the 2 shared banks. But maybe instead of putting crafting stations near the shared bank put the shared bank next to big crafting spots like Raven Rock and the big crafting / trading area in Newhaven. That's my two cents.
 

Rev

Well-Known Member
  • Weaponsmith could create "sharpening stones" that are either +DMG, +HIT, or +PEN. The player could then apply these to their individual weapon (only one augment possible at a time) and the augment would wear off after X number of successful hits.
  • Armorsmiths could create "armor padding" that would increase some defensive stat (avoid, dmg resist, etc) of a specific piece of equipment. That augment would last until some threshold of damage was taken by that piece.
My only concern with this would be how long do they last and am I going to have to give up 2 more slots in my limited bag to carry extras around for when they wear off.
 

MrDDT

Active Member
My only concern with this would be how long do they last and am I going to have to give up 2 more slots in my limited bag to carry extras around for when they wear off.
I think this is a great point, and why I think they should add more bag space.

I think the system of Stones and Padding is amazing, but I agree with you Rev, this has issues with limited bag space, easy to fix give us more spaces.
 

Ragnar

New Member
When it comes to inventory/bag/bank space, I feel that as you add more materials to the game that become important/critical for players, be it during adventuring, such as the stones and padding mentioned above, or during crafting, such as 5 tiers of flux and upcoming new tiers of materials, the ability to store/carry these materials needs to at least stay the same. Otherwise, every time a new system or modification to a system hits the game and expands the need to carry/store more items, it feels as though we players are being punished and effectively having our storage taken away from us. This is exceptionally trying for adventurers when it gets to the point that is takes 30-60 minutes to get a group together and get to the location to adventure and only be able to adventure for a few minutes before the very few inventory slots are filled and you need to return to town. Not to mention the pain of having to walk by all those resources you don't dare pick up or you won't have any room for loot.
 

cipherdec

New Member
I don't understand why we need more buffs to our characters. Sharpening stones and Padding essentially do the same as two of the potions in the game currently that Give increased damage and reduced incoming damage. I would hope we aren't able to stack potions + sharpening stones and padding. There is a reason this game feels difficult and is made around community and grouping. The more you modify these stats the more content you make solable and then that just kills the game.

I get that for some of you see set bag space and a lack of compass are a negative. I think they are positives.

-Compass: Learn the map find all the camps and unhide all the location on the map. Learn your way around by using verifiable waypoints like Raven rock, Towers or spider webs to discern where you are and travel accordingly

-Bag space: We already have an expandable storage or stash and a bank which we can share between characters that you can expand. There is no reason you can't go back to town and sell when you fill your bags, most the time you have stamina debt you need to get rid of at an ember ring by the time you have filled your bag. Refine your harvested resources and stash them. Sell junk loot, and boom empty bag again. you have 4 consumable slots. For me they are filled with Drink, Food, Dmg bonus potion, health potion. I'm a dps class. As a tank you may carry all 3 potions so maybe 1 bag space with that. 3 with padding and sharpening stones. I don't know what else you are keeping on you that you need more bag space.
 
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Valkon

New Member
Maybe you don't want to have more than the 2 shared banks. But maybe instead of putting crafting stations near the shared bank put the shared bank next to big crafting spots like Raven Rock and the big crafting / trading area in Newhaven. That's my two cents.
I'd rather see one in the Meadows town ... that's a long ass run ;).
 

Xeen

Member
New client & server patch deployed for the weekend:
  • Dryfoot Stronghold issues resolved
  • Adding a refinement station & merchant next to the shared stash on both sides of the wall
  • Adjusting planet position and size in the sky
  • Here is a link to an experimental Apple Silicon version of this build. There ARE rendering issues with specific materials - a bug has been submitted to Unity and I am waiting to hear back. If you test this build please compare/contrast it to the current non-apple silicon build performance wise and let me know if you notice a significant difference.
I would also like to announce that we are testing keeping the servers open a bit longer. This week the servers will be open Friday @ 12pm Central through Tuesday @ 12pm Central; let us know how this new schedule works out for you!

It has come to my attention that some of you feel as though recent changes have been in the "wrong direction" but for whatever reason are reluctant to share your feedback. I want to remind everyone that your feedback is extremely important to us as it helps us keep tabs on how different aspects of the game are feeling. As designers we have to look at the overall picture of how each system interacts with one another, identify issues, and do what we can to correct them. This entire game is an iterative process and things are ever changing. If you feel like something is off then please let us know as soon as it starts to feel off; the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes to course correct. If you are not comfortable leaving feedback on the forums then PM me or someone else on the team. My door is always open as I am always willing to have a discussion.

With that being said however, I am stepping out for the weekend on a mini-vacation so please wait until Monday :). If there are any issues over the weekend please direct them to @The RK . Thanks!

RE: Giving feedback
The trend so far is that I see something odd or out of agreement with other game systems/stats, say something, then get told by The Church of Embers in a surface-level fashion that it's not a problem worth consideration. I'm not the only one that gets this sort of response.

Sure, I'm just a lowly beta-tester who happened to not hear about the game soon enough to join Alpha, so what do I know about anything, right? I don't have 30+ years experience including inde, niche, mainstream games, and internal/alpha/beta testing, oh wait... I do.

If I'm wrong or misinformed about a topic, prove it with an argument of substance. Show me some numbers or demonstrate mechanics. Example: I was told that resting in active combat provided no benefit and this seemed to be the case (I had tested sitting down right next to a fight in short bursts), however I was later told by another player that backing away 10m or so from the fight, you do get an increase stam recovery after awhile. This turned out to be true, more stam regen than standing and only auto-attacking but not anywhere near full resting rate. One idea/understanding of the game vs another + testing = way to go. I think that was Razor I tested with? We didn't get to repeat my trial of sitting directly on combat, but I guess that doesn't matter since there is at least one way to increase recovery (mostly useful for healer in a pinch, maybe not worth lost auto-attacks for dps).

Sooner or later people stop bothering to give feedback if 'The Church' is always going to defend everything as-is simply because #TeamEmbers (or whatever the game may be, been there before). Then you have only 1-sided conversations.

Here's a prime example of feedback that was rejected:
I've heard multiple times (from dev team) that a group of players in the past didn't want to have any form of random element to crafting because 'gambling' (I need to go digging for the full story on who and why, not sure if it exists on the forums), meanwhile there are tons of other aspects of the game that involve RNG such as dice rolls (weapons or other items like pots), loot, loot rolls (hey look dice again), number of materials from some resource nodes, spawn chances for regular rare and semi-rare mobs, etc to name a few.

I've also heard from current players that a random element and more flavor/variety would be welcome in the crafting realm. Which would you prefer: A chance to make gear from 70% to 130% quality vs skill per tier (range moves from lower end to upper as you skill up, less likely to make sub-par items more likely to make above par) or you can only ever make 100% of the quality grade your skill level allows for that tier. Gear is already cheap to make in terms of materials (flux aside) and with a few tries, you are very likely to get better than baseline quality. Just be sure to max our your ability for the tier before using flux, at which point you would expect to craft 90 to 130% quality gear. A system like that sounds like a good deal to me.

Was the group who disproved of RNG in crafting really representative of the desires of the player base as a whole at the time? Is this group even testing still? What does the current, now larger base think? If an idea appears to be discredited does that automatically mean it can never be visited again? I think some randomness to crafting adds to the excitement of perhaps getting a really good item and increases the worth and involvement of crafters in the community, which is apparently a hot topic at the moment (making crafting more worthwhile and balancing vs drops). Instead of 'get X materials and done' Maybe you want to try for an upgrade here or there after you have the bulk or all other needs met (same item, but perhaps higher quality), especially at later levels when progress really slows down.



'Dont like the direction the game is going' or 'XYZ is bad *Myeahhh, slam door run away*' with nothing behind these sentiments are just cop-outs. Give examples of what you think is wrong/why it is bad and let the whole + dev goals decide. Resisting change seems to be a reflex that I can only guess is because it disrupts the known way of life or path to success and goals that was learned in the current iteration of the game forcing old dogs to learn new tricks. This sort of thing happens often with in-development games that have early access.

An example of my feedback:
I don't just say 'Item X underpowered/bad' and walk away. Talking about specific tools: Why is one tool (woodsman skinner) 250 dura and the others are 350 (confirmed 2 woodsman axe are, need to get others, all from SNH woodsman iirc, heard there were multiple tiers perhaps)? Clearly there is a disagreement between the stats of these items within the same tier of rare-dropped woodsman tools, all of which were giving a 19% harvest bonus and 0 level requirement. It felt like pulling teeth to get through The Church and get a dev response to this, granted I brought up multiple points of interest concerning these tools: Gear Decay (ok for tools but not all gear? + these are rare-drops), dura stat 250 vs 350, 0 skill required to use vs bonus harvesting speed vs crafted tools skill req. I could go into a lot more detail comparing stats on just tools of nearby tiers!

I know I can be confusing at times, like trying to figure out the relevance and whether or not certain class bonuses are working as intended like the movement speed issue. Without knowing the mechanics and intentions, it's hard for me to compose my feedback. So yeah, it was rough talking with Undone the first time I brought this up. Adric saw what I was getting at the next time. I don't really see a point to having most class-based bonuses tied to being in combat stance except maybe ones defensive in nature, gotta have your guard up..? Offensive ones inherently require combat stance to work otherwise you arent swinging a weapon to make use of added PEN, hit, haste, etc or combat movement speed. Neutral ones such as regular movement speed (not cms) should always be active. There is a similar situation with bonuses from weapons, none can be used while not in combat stance, so why only apply their bonuses while in combat? Maybe there are a few exceptions to some stats that are useful while ooc, but that mostly seems to apply to defensive ones as in weapons-down and running away and you get the bonus resilience from a support banner or SER from something class.

In closing,

I understand development power is limited. I never expect everything to go my way, but I do expect a fair discussion on a topic that is presented with substance, some consideration, acknowledgement, and if applicable a 'yeah that needs to be fixed, will get done eventually' or even 'no that doesnt align with the vision we have for the game' is acceptable. Giving whatever valid concern a 'Low priority' ticket is fine, but to sweep issues away entirely ignoring them due to 'not important enough' means I'm just wasting my time giving feedback and there will be potholes in the game that go unfilled, each one small but contributing to a bad ride.

Not meant to be at Undone specifically, but a response to the 'sharing feedback'. Have fun, see you next week.
 
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MrDDT

Active Member
@Xeen
Post your feedback, I think you will see that others will support or not support you.
The Devs will look at it and choose for themselves if they want it in the game or not. I've seen this in many cases. One thing I like is the Devs do listen. One thing I also like is they also have a direction they want to go with the game so it's hard for them to bend too much against that direction.
I think this is very important for the Devs to have a direction they want to take the game and need to think "Is this idea change really taking me away from that direction?"

Example. I'm sure the Devs didn't set out the game to be only about darkness. They wanted darkness to be impactful but also, it's not the only thing they wanted to set out to do with the game. After feedback, they can see darkness is an issue that people want to be able to see but they also want darkness. I feel like the Devs have really bent away from their onset stance to see that it doesn't have to be pitch black to have darkness impactful.

Now some topics are hard to get the Devs to bend from even when that bending might even be more aligned with what they really want, but I don't think that is uncommon with development teams and projects.

I do believe that some people and the fact that Undone posted it about private chats and private messages should be more open for others to see and chime in on, as I believe more people able to openly talk about a topic allows for more opinions and ideas.
If someone doesn't want to post on the forums in the open, it should be restated/posted for the topic to be talked about without the posters name being even seen. If someone has to only keep an opinion in private, then it's likely because that opinion cannot stand up to real discussion on the topic and likely is a bad viewpoint.
 

Kittik

Well-Known Member
RE: Giving feedback
In closing,

I understand development power is limited.
Do you? Or maybe not you specifically, but does everyone really "understand" this? There has been SOOOO much feedback lately that there is no way a dev team would be able to deal with it all and work on a fix that that feedback is addressing.

Hey dev's fix 20 things and reply to our 20k messages at the same time. IMO there has been a ludicrous amount of 'feedback' that is coming in lately and not only is it difficult to read through to keep up with, it's at time contradictory to previously mentioned issues stated by the same person giving feedback.


I'm not defending these guys (devs) or anyone else, as I don't need to. And when I see an issues with how the game plays I've mentioned it, vehemently. But as of late the feedback has been offered with an expectation that it should be acknowledged.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The dev's should stop talking to us. They should appoint Elloa and a few community managers to do it and work on the game. Because as much as they have to reply or the expectation that they have to reply now is so high, that there is no way they're doing as much work on the game.