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BETA TEST September 21st; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. September 21st @ 8pm central
(Thurs. September 22nd @ 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 crafting overhaul! Any crafting professions (NOT gathering) you had previously will still exist but must be forgotten as there are no longer associated recipes. Outside of that we are adding npc hard leashing, a few misc. fixes, and monolith costs.

We are seeking focused feedback on these items this week:
  • Did the performance adjustments made have an impact on your performance?
  • Do you notice any visual quality difference from us lowering the quality of some post process effects, adjusting the shadow cascade distances, and adjusting zone fog quality?
  • Have you encountered NPC hard leashing? If so what are your thoughts?
  • Thoughts and comments on the crafting restructure?
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:
  • Launcher Updates:
    • Updated to build 82 (can be seen in the upper left corner when the options tab is pulled down)
    • Added a few new concept pieces to the cycle.
    • Code fixes to download methods for more reliable file downloads.
    • Enabling data compression on launcher files to slightly reduce the launcher's size on disk.
  • Tech
    • Fixed: when forgetting a profession and picking another one sometimes it would not allow you to harvest with a generic "Error" message.
    • Fixed: AoE distance checks were not playing by the same rules as single target distance checks. They should now be consistent.
    • Fixed: issue where swapping out a weapon would negate the stats of something equipped in the opposite hand (i.e. swap swords with a banner equipped)
    • Fixed: mobs that are both stunned AND feared will no longer act as though they are feared until the stun wears off.
    • Fixed: Npc interact on hail triggering when too far away
    • Fixed: misc issues with saving and updating custom resolutions
    • Reduced maximum range on camera impulse sources. This should slightly dampen the effect of large creature footsteps/falls.
    • Performance Adjustments
      • Reduced shadow resolution on most light sources.
      • Reduced shadow cascade distances for all quality settings
      • Reduced shadow cascade count for Potato & Performant
      • Increased shadow cascade count for High Fidelity
      • Reduced quality of scene fog.
      • Reduced quality of AO and Bloom post process effects.
      • Enabled dynamic render pass culling optimization
  • Environment / Art
    • Meadowlands Nav Mesh rebaked to properly account for the river.
    • Fixed: female scale greaves were not showing on the right leg.
    • Scene fog (not localized fog areas) for Newhaven Valley, Northreach, Meadowlands, and Redshore will dissipate as the sun rises and will be much less prominent around noon. It will stay this way until later in the evening when fog will build back up through sunrise.
  • UI:
    • Striker abbreviation is now STK instead of STR to avoid confusion.
    • Reagent tooltips now state which ability they are consumed by.
    • Fixed: issue that was causing button click zones to be off when running in windowed mode with multiple monitors.
    • Group member direction indicator has been replaced by a rotating GPS marker just below and to the right of their portrait
  • Quests:
    • Fixed: various errors in dialog
    • Fixed: Balgar quest not progression past the first reward
    • Fixed: typo in Sergeant Faslock's dialog
  • Design:
    • Added: merchants to Redshore.
    • Fixed: "Flax Cloth" material category to correctly be listed as "Linen Cloth"
    • Fixed: Open Wounds not requiring combat stance to execute at higher levels
    • Added: Mandrake creatures are now showing up in Meadowlands & Redshore
    • Second Lieutenant Exile name shortened to Second Lt.
    • Ruptures have been spotted in Dryfoot and Redshore.
  • Hot fixes from last weekend:
    • Minor code changes attempting to fix issues where loot rolls are not triggered
    • Exile sentries reverted to use long range sensors
    • Fixed: bug where players would sometimes show as offline and could not be invited/etc.
    • Fixed: bug where some discovery quest objectives were not triggering properly.
    • Added: merchants to Meadowlands
    • Added: scale armor visuals
    • Fixed: some random server exceptions.
New stuff:
Npc Leashing Updates
Npcs now have two types of leashes. The first is a "soft" leash which is only triggered when the Npc has no targets and wanders outside of their intended range (this has been present for a long while). This week we are adding a second "hard" leash which is based on the distance from the point a valid target was acquired. While resetting the Npc will move very quickly, regen at an accelerated rate, and avoid all incoming damage. In theory, you should only encounter this behavior when running for a long while from an Npc. Please let us know how this works out!

Crafting Profession Revamp
The original three crafting professions have been deprecated. Your character will still have them but you will no longer have any recipes associated with them. You will want to forget these and pick up one of the new ones. There are now 8 crafting professions:
  • Light Weaponsmith: Most 1-handed weapons (everything but daggers) and small to medium sized shields.
  • Heavy Weaponsmith: Most 2-handed weapons (everything but quarterstaves) and large shields.
  • Woodworker: All ranged weapons, Quarterstaves, and wooden versions of small and medium sized shields (visuals may be metal, still a work in progress).
  • Tailor: Inner armor (everything but Belts) and Banners.
  • Leatherworker: Leather armors and Belts.
  • Armorsmith: Metal armors.
  • Provisioner: Food, Drink, Potions, Tools, Ground Torches, and Repair Kits.
  • Tinkerer: Jewelry, Daggers, Throwing Knives.
Recipes are split between Basic and Imbued versions. Basic versions have no flux component and are accessible from vendors. Imbued versions require flux and are found in the world. We are still working through the design of how we want to implement augments for weapons & armor, but you can expect to see those soon!

Monolith Costs
There are currently 5 overland monoliths resulting in 10 unique "connections" between them. The cost to use each connection is proportional to the distance traveled. When right clicking on a monolith it will now say "[<cost> EE] To <zone>" and the button will be enabled/disabled depending on if you have the appropriate amount of ember essence. The presentation of these costs need some love but I wanted to get this in sooner than later. Here is a table of the current costs for reference:
Zone AZone BEssence Cost
Newhaven ValleyNorthreach5
Meadowlands15
Dryfoot15
Redshore25
NorthreachMeadowlands10
Dryfoot10
Redshore20
MeadowlandsDryfoot20
Redshore10
DryfootRedshore10

Works in progress:
To see a full list of what is currently in progress head on over to this thread. I will do my best to update this list on a weekly basis and highlight the differences from the previous week with bold font. Below I will highlight some of the upcoming changes in more detail.

Shader Updates
The tool we use for custom shaders should be getting an update this week which "should" resolve some lingering rendering issues. The most prominent of which is the spiderweb flickering.

New Patch Server
We are working on improving your patching experience by moving everything over to a "content delivery network" or CDN. This should give more reliable download speeds throughout the world and be throttled far less often.

New Compression Algorithm
We are in the midst of trying a new compression algorithm for the project which has so far reduced the size of the client by a considerable amount. Ideally this should result in smaller and quicker patches. However, due to this new compression algorithm some of the individual files have become much larger; this means we have some work to do to break these files up a bit more to avoid you having to download the same large file for minor changes.

Known Issues:
  • [FIXED] Skydome occasionally gets "stuck". When this happens you should notice that the clouds stop animating. When this occurs change your quality setting to something else, then back and it should "reset" the skybox.
  • Loot roll occasionally does not trigger leaving the loot open to anyone. We are currently investigating.
  • After resizing your game client some of the buttons in the upper right may no longer be clickable.
  • Terrain textures have a bit too much tiling. This will be resolved shortly.
  • Characters can get stuck in any looping animation if they do not properly complete. This is most noticeable for strikers using a bow.
  • 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)
  • MacOS:
    • Zooming the camera while holding the right mouse button can cause your chat window to scroll. This is not intended behavior.
    • At some camera angles the sun may go dark. This should not happen frequently but is readily reproducible at some locations. Investigating a fix.
 
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Kittik

Well-Known Member
Striker abbreviation is now STK instead of STR to avoid confusion.
...odd how no one ever mentioned this before.................
anyway, nice notes...be interesting to see crafting. Will an armorsmith need a tailor and leatherworker to make items for them so they can make a finished piece? Like does a chest piece need leather pieces and cloth pieces to be finished?
 
The requirement for alts to cover all the professions now has gotten much worse, even with the additional third gathering/crafting skill that was added. This will make crafting very frustrating if you require multiple people to craft items given the population.
 
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Pelirow

Active Member
The requirement for alts to cover all the professions now has gotten much worse, even with the additional third gathering/crafting skill that was added. This will make crafting very frustrating if you require multiple people to craft items given the population.
I imagine this is the idea. Omnicrafters wreck an economy and crafting ends up being done in a silo, this new system will encourage folks to make relationships and barter with friends.
 
I imagine this is the idea. Omnicrafters wreck an economy and crafting ends up being done in a silo, this new system will encourage folks to make relationships and barter with friends.
The issue is the population. It's OK if there is a healthy population at all play times. If the population is low, as seems likely for a niche game, how will you get what you need? Said it before but if you are going to charge $15 a month subscription players need to have options to do what they want other than just hoping the population is high enough.

The thing also is that players that want to do everything will just use alts or more accounts anyway. This doesn't stop that.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Hot fixes for the weekend:
  • Fixed: skybox getting stuck. This was happening after a camera "cut" event which was any time you teleported (ladders, giving up, etc). The skybox would basically get stuck for as long as you had been playing in that zone up until that point. But this should no longer occur!
  • Fixed: server side crafting exception.
  • Fixed: a number of consumable recipes were outputting the wrong item.
  • Updated Tinkerer role description.
  • Added tools to Provisioner description
  • Added missing recipes to the recipes merchant.
  • Enabled a tech called "mip map streaming" which should significantly lower GPU VRAM usage. On my machine VRAM usage dropped by roughly 2gb. This will vary depending on where you are in the scene, how many players/npcs are around, and other factors. But overall this should decrease the GPU VRAM footprint. Let me know if you find any rendering oddities.
Patches will be coming later tonight/tomorrow morning. Still ironing out some of the memory optimizations.
 

Kittik

Well-Known Member
The issue is the population. It's OK if there is a healthy population at all play times. If the population is low, as seems likely for a niche game, how will you get what you need? Said it before but if you are going to charge $15 a month subscription players need to have options to do what they want other than just hoping the population is high enough.

The thing also is that players that want to do everything will just use alts or more accounts anyway. This doesn't stop that.
The game still being in Beta is going to mean a low population.
 

Rev

Well-Known Member
I like the idea of one can't do all, especially at launch. You can always implement different things later if the population drops or there is a gap somewhere needing filled. Leaves you more options as time goes by imo. You also need it if you expect to have an economy. Keeping crafting simple and solo hinders a games economy and player interaction. While I would be ok not dealing with an AH in game, I don't know if a lot of players will be able to. I would expect the devs to react accordingly after launch and implement whatever they feel is needed to make the game healthy, playable and fun.
 

Azureblaze

Active Member
IMO there are too many crafting professions, I'd consolidate a bit.

Something like below.

Weaponsmith:
1-handed weapons (except daggers)
2-handed weapons (except bow/quarterstaff)

Woodworker:
Ranged Weapons/ammo
Quaterstaves
Wood Shields

Armorsmith:
Metal Armor
Metal Shields

Combine Tailor/Leatherworker: (Not sure on the best name here, maybe bring back Outfitter)
Inner Armor
Banners
Leather Armor

Provisioner:
Looks good

Tinkerer:
Add belts.
 
I like the idea of one can't do all, especially at launch. You can always implement different things later if the population drops or there is a gap somewhere needing filled. Leaves you more options as time goes by imo. You also need it if you expect to have an economy. Keeping crafting simple and solo hinders a games economy and player interaction. While I would be ok not dealing with an AH in game, I don't know if a lot of players will be able to. I would expect the devs to react accordingly after launch and implement whatever they feel is needed to make the game healthy, playable and fun.
Unfortunately, the stats show that especially for MMOs, first impression count and many players don't get past the first couple of hours of a new MMO before quitting. Devs don't get a second chance to make things better, especially for a game with a small budget and low exposure.

The % of players who would be willing to run around a relatively low populated large world trying to find someone to buy resources from and not get very frustrated is likely going to be very small. The system sounds great on paper. Social interaction, blah de blah and all that malarkey. When new players hit this wall though and get frustrated, that's it, they're gone. I guess we could insert the usual "maybe it's not for them" quote but I don't see how that helps the game and a low population is likely going to hurt the economy far more than anything else.

Maybe it will all come out in the wash though and we don't end up with yet another indie MMO that stuck rigidly to a framework and ended up more niche than putting the cream on first before the jam.
 

Elloa

Administrator
Stormhaven Studios
Thak you all for your feedback! We really do appreciate the honnest and constructive comments may they be negative, postive or neutral! Keep it coming! Even if you do not have direct answers, all of your feedback is being discussed and thought about!
 

Xavure

Active Member
IMO there are too many crafting professions, I'd consolidate a bit.

Something like below.

Weaponsmith:
1-handed weapons (except daggers)
2-handed weapons (except bow/quarterstaff)

Woodworker:
Ranged Weapons/ammo
Quaterstaves
Wood Shields

Armorsmith:
Metal Armor
Metal Shields

Combine Tailor/Leatherworker: (Not sure on the best name here, maybe bring back Outfitter)
Inner Armor
Banners
Leather Armor

Provisioner:
Looks good

Tinkerer:
Add belts.
I agree with this, Weaponsmith needs to be regrouped. Also, maybe gathering woods could be on it's own and you could create a new gathering for plants and shrooms. (just an idea)
 

Battlestorm

Member
Crafting Profession Revamp
The original three crafting professions have been deprecated. Your character will still have them but you will no longer have any recipes associated with them. You will want to forget these and pick up one of the new ones. There are now 8 crafting professions:
  • Light Weaponsmith: Most 1-handed weapons (everything but daggers) and small to medium sized shields.
  • Heavy Weaponsmith: Most 2-handed weapons (everything but quarterstaves) and large shields.
  • Woodworker: All ranged weapons, Quarterstaves, and wooden versions of small and medium sized shields (visuals may be metal, still a work in progress).
  • Tailor: Inner armor (everything but Belts) and Banners.
  • Leatherworker: Leather armors and Belts.
  • Armorsmith: Metal armors.
  • Provisioner: Food, Drink, Potions, Tools, Ground Torches, and Repair Kits.
  • Tinkerer: Jewelry, Daggers, Throwing Knives.
  • Recipes are split between Basic and Imbued versions. Basic versions have no flux component and are accessible from vendors. Imbued versions require flux and are found in the world. We are still working through the design of how we want to implement augments for weapons & armor, but you can expect to see those soon!
Wow, a lot of great changes that (obviously)I find spot-on in there. I think some add'l adjustments were suggested by @Azureblaze, some of which I completely agree with, including the fact that I really dislike the idea of two weaponsmiths. Here's some additional feedback I'd suggest differently from my last series of suggestions (though the below differs slightly from Azure's post):

Weaponsmith - All metal weapons except daggers (no shields)
Woodworker - <noChange>
Tailor - <noChange> Banners, presumably being made of cloth, and that being the most important part, do belong here, IMHO (eventually perhaps capes, etc.)
Leatherworker - <noChange> Belts, presumably being made of leather, do belong here, IMHO.
Armorsmith - Metal armor and metal shields. Every other outfitting profession has an add'l bonus (Banners/Belts), so metal shields could perhaps go here.
Provisioner - <noChange> I don't know how I feel about cooking and forging pickaxes, but I don't have a different suggestion. Provisioner = general store > chef. Yeah, okay, perhaps.
Tinkerer - <noChange>

Known Issues:
  • Deconstructing crafted items returns junk 100% of the time.
Of all the important/critical things on the "to do" list, this one is the one that stands out the most for me for some reason. I don't know why - maybe I'm a greedy little craft miser or something. I'd fall through the world and need /rope to get my hands on some recoup'd mats.

Shower Thought: In beta, if possible, perhaps open up all crafting/harvesting professions to test them all across the board and get more feedback - then yank the carpet out from under everyone at launch (or perhaps when you've had enough of our bantering, lol).
 

Azureblaze

Active Member
My thought about adding belts to tinkerer is that there can be a lot of fine/decorative work on the clasp and or the belt itself. Also the belt doesn't necessarily have to be just leather, it could be made of metal or mixed with metal to make it stronger. Or hey, even have gems on it, the bling!
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I wanted to share some of our thought process on why things were split up in the way that they were.

Originally these were all meant to be "specs" broken off from the three main crafting professions of Outfitter (inner, light, heavy), Weaponsmith (light, heavy, ranged), and Provisioner (food, potions, misc. stuffs). But after a bit of internal discussion we found that specs were not going to work out as we had initially planned due to some differences with how experience works for crafting vs. adventuring. The most straight forward solution was to simply get rid of the base professions and make the planned specs the base professions. Our thought process was that given that each character could take up to 3 trade skills, if the player wanted to truly "master" a given trade (i.e. be able to make all weapons) then they would need to take all three of the appropriate professions (i.e. light weapons, heavy weapons, ranged weapons).

The only exception to this was that the food & potion "specs" were combined because it felt lacking compared to the other professions. Which leads me to our other consideration: the number of recipes each profession has. As it stands they are roughly even when it comes to the number of different things each can make. Consolidating professions even further would create a large imbalance in the number of recipes one profession has when compared with the others.

I recognize that this approach is a bit different from what you have come to expect from other MMOs - but we would love to hear your thoughts coming at it with the above perspective in mind.
 

Battlestorm

Member
Originally these were all meant to be "specs" broken off from the three main crafting professions of Outfitter (inner, light, heavy), Weaponsmith (light, heavy, ranged), and Provisioner (food, potions, misc. stuffs). But after a bit of internal discussion we found that specs were not going to work out as we had initially planned due to some differences with how experience works for crafting vs. adventuring. The most straight forward solution was to simply get rid of the base professions and make the planned specs the base professions. Our thought process was that given that each character could take up to 3 trade skills, if the player wanted to truly "master" a given trade (i.e. be able to make all weapons) then they would need to take all three of the appropriate professions (i.e. light weapons, heavy weapons, ranged weapons).
I feel that if you're re-baking the strategy, then it should make sense in it's new format - letting go of the old (because it didn't work as intended). If it's something that simply will not change, and weaponsmithing is the only profession that gets broken into two pieces, then it just is what it is. I still always think that part will be a strange/broken decision that feels incongruent with the other break-outs.

The only exception to this was that the food & potion "specs" were combined because it felt lacking compared to the other professions. Which leads me to our other consideration: the number of recipes each profession has. As it stands they are roughly even when it comes to the number of different things each can make. Consolidating professions even further would create a large imbalance in the number of recipes one profession has when compared with the others.
I think this part makes sense. If Provisioning and Alchemy were more complicated, then it would make more sense to break them out, too, but I've never done much of either in MMORPGs - and don't know many who have, either. As it stands, provisioner being more of a general store is fine with me, personally.

Anyways, excited to hopefully carve out time time tonight to hop on and have some fun. Great updates! Thanks for all the hard work!
 

Azureblaze

Active Member
Thanks Undone, for further insight into this.
With what you explain in mind, is it the same idea for harvesting, I.E if you want to be a master of harvesting take all three?
Will harvesting and crafting remain shared as "trade skills" for a total of three?

I guess my concern here, is if you want to for example make all weapons - then you can't harvest at all. So it makes them extremely hard to level unless you have a harvester alt or buy everything from players. I can't foresee how easy or difficult the latter would be as there is currently no auction house and this is not yet a 100% live service in order to fully gauge how the economy will work.

I personally would make my main the "All harvester" and craft with alts, and I don't mind this approach. I'm just curious how you feel players should be doing things/the intended design.

Thanks!