Admiring his clothing in the mirror, he dismissed the tailor with a simple flick of his wrist before beckoning his steward to come closer.
“How are the preparations moving along?”
“They are going well; in fact, other races of Dereth have joined in preparing the wedding. Also, Isparians from all over Dereth are traveling to Yanshi just to lend a hand. It is bound to be a wonderful ceremony.” replied the steward.
“And my bride to be, how is she doing?”
“She is also doing well, and is most pleased with the lotus flowers you had added to the fountains. They are her favorites and remind her of her childhood” remarked the steward.
“Excellent.” He stood staring off out of the window for a moment before speaking again. ”Have there been any more rumors of a plot to ruin the peace and joy this occasion could bring?”
The steward paused for a moment, considering his words carefully. “There have been a few whispers, but it is nothing I would worry about. We have yet to confirm any of them or to even hear of who would be behind such a thing.”
Running his hand along the expensive threads of the wedding attire, his mind was clearly troubled. This wedding was supposed to mark a turning point in this troubled world. A world forever wracked with war and conflict. He wanted nothing more than to bring peace and understanding, but feared that it could not be possible in such a land.
No sooner had rumors of the wedding began to circulate, than rumors of a plot to destroy the couple had also surfaced. In Dereth it seemed no positive could ever be mentioned without the immediate rise of a negative to counter it.
These rumors would not stop the wedding, however. He was determined to go forth and bring happiness to the people of these lands, all people and all races who wished to be a part of such peace. If the rumors grew then he was ready to face the issue head on. He accepted that sometimes peace could only be achieved through violence itself.
“In the coming months we will need to keep a close eye on those around us, good sir. I will need you to be my eyes and ears among the people, and to inform me of any further details on this matter immediately. Do you understand?”
The steward bowed slightly “Of course my lordship. I shall always be your humble servant, and I shall not let you down.”
With another flick of his wrist he dismissed the steward from his room and the tailor returned to make the final changes on his suit. The prince stared into the mirror, a deep look upon his face. Perhaps this wouldn't be the Golden Age everyone thought it would be. Maybe in fact this wedding would bring a much darker time to Dereth than anyone could have imagined. The only question left is will he prove strong if those dark days descend on to the lands, will he be able to lead his people through to the light on the other side?
Greetings and welcome to the Release Notes for the March Event, Lay of the Land. As we get closer to Spring, preparations are beginning for a monumental and joyous event in the history of Dereth. With the feel of Spring in the air, let's see what else is happening in Dereth this month!
Updated Content and Functionality
The level 8 spells added last month should now show up in the level 8 tab.
They now use Mana Scarabs and have a spell power of 350.
Several typos have been fixed.
The snow has finally melted as we approach Spring.
The Colosseum blunt arrowheads now work the same way as the Olthoi vendor arrowheads.
The Colosseum chest has had its loot upgraded.
The Monthly Kill Task has been updated.
Make sure you speak to Cara the Apprentice in Xarabydun.
Peerless Atlan Two Handed Spear of Black Fire now casts two handed mastery instead of spear mastery.
Ultimate Singularity Greatsword has had its damage increased.
Four new NPC's have appeared near Yanshi in preparation for a great occasion. Make sure you stop by and help them with their tasks.
The Gold Gear Primus Atamarr is now active and has some tasks for the people of Dereth to complete.
So there are just some of the things we have in store for Asheron's Call in March. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are several new quests and exciting things going into the game for the March event.
Q: From what I can tell it will make melee's that much better. Why? At least from what I read the Surge effect. Though its not a big amount of damage its still going to matter. Especially since a melee can attack on fast attack speed and always hit which gives the Surge more chance to go off.
A: I suspect mages will favor the increased damage over the DoT surges since their big spells are slow to cast. On the other hand, I would not be surprised to see mages experimenting with strategies involving lots of quick spells fishing for a surge, and then swapping to big spells once the meaty 20 Damage Rating lights up.
Q: Sounds like a boost for streaks (which are actually very useful against Gear Knights), blasts, volleys, and (already powerful) rings. Will special considerations have to be made for walls and Tusker Fists?
A: Each cast/swing/shot will have one chance to surge regardless of the number of projectiles it produces if that's what you mean.
Q: Asked another way, will the potential for a Surge be based on successful hit/land or swing/cast? If successful hit/land then War, 2H, UA, and dagger just got a boost. If on swing/cast then UA, and dagger just got a boost and all of the slower weapons and big hitter spells just got what amounts to a potential nerf.
Here's what our testing suggests. With the damage rating surge, the damage boost is percent based so the styles with the most DPS get the biggest damage boost. The DoT surge might be better for fast weapons with a lower DPS.
The balance really fast weapons will have once they have 3 Aetheria equipped if they choose to equip the same type of surge is that surges don't stack. If they surge during an already existing surge they will be wasting some of that potential. While they have the potential to catch up with slower weapons, the overlapping surge will limit how much they can benefit.
Self boost surges will be on swing/cast. For a surge that affects the enemy like the DoT or healing debuff you will have to hit with the attack.
So for the damage rating buff, it will have a chance to surge anytime you attack a target whether you hit or not. Once it surges it will boost your damage for follow up attacks, but those follow up attacks (obviously) have to hit.
For the DoT the attack that surges has to hit, but if it does the spell will cause its full effect regardless of whether you hit again.
Q: Let me see if I understand this correctly: There are three different types of Aetheria; blue, yellow, and red. Each type has the potential to level from 0 to 3 or more. As they level their sigil bonuses grow in magnitude and their surge bonuses gain increased chance to activate. Does each piece have a sigil preassociated with it or do you pick which sigil you would like your piece to express? Same question for surges, is the type of surge that can activate preassociated with the piece or do you choose which it will be?
A: When you bath the Coalesced Aetheria with the mana from your Aetheria Mana Stone the sigil and the surge both appear for that item. Both of these are, from that point on, associated with that Aetheria.
Q: There seems to be a lot better ways to have people die quicker sev. This seems like a disaster waiting to happen.
A: One one hand we want to preserve balance, and on the other hand we don't want to be in a situation where we are afraid to do something to make the game more fun. Our goal is to generate player excitement, and to make the big patches feel like they are substantial. That means big changes.
One of the things I like about this system is I think players will have to consider a strategy to best use Aetheria, and that strategy will change based on a player's build. If PvP overall is adversely affected we will work to make it right. It would be fairly easy from a technical standpoint, for example, to tweak down the surges to use a damage rating of 10 and have the DoT do 80 over time.
Q: Surge of Festering: Looks like we just gave everyone the ability to Fester.
A: Festering only reduces Regeneration, but does it to a large degree. This reduces all healing effects, but won't affect Regen as much as Fester spells. You will likely still want both. Hmmm, maybe we will change the name to avoid confusion.
Q: Will we be able to have several kinds of Aetheria in our inventory, of various levels/quality, and swap them out at will? So one minute I could have Destruction, Affliction, and Festering, and the next I could have Protection, Regeneration, and <whatever here> ?
Q: Will I be able to hit my buddy w/ my bare fists in PK/PKL, get a surge affect, and have a huge boost to my war magic?
A: Yes, for self buffs. The ability has to hit to proc DoT or healing debuffs. In this case you would hit your buddy until you get a surge, swap to your wand to waste 2 of the 10 seconds, change target, and then cast two spells before the surge wore off. With fast casting you might get 3. From our testing you lost more damage from changing weapons and losing that extra spell than you gained from having two spells hit with the surge going.
A: The surge is only 10 seconds, so the time to change weapons cuts into that. If another streak would increase your damage by 20% you haven't gained that much. In our testing we didn't see that strategy providing much advantage over just casting.
Q: Also, apparently the sigil and surge will not be revealed until you apply your Aetheria mana stone to the coalesced thingies you find on monsters. Can we get a little more detail on this? Is the new mana stone the glowie thing in one of the new item slots (blue, yellow, red)? I guess my concern is that we should have an opportunity to see the sigil/surge and reject it before binding it to the Aetheria.
A: Your Aetheric Mana Stone is not used up when you use it on Colalesced Aetheria to reveal the sigil and surge.
You never "bind" to Aetheria. You can equip and unequip Aetheria as you see fit, even after it earns experience. You could, for example, level Aetheria for a friend and trade it later.
Q: If I sound confused, it's cuz I am... I am probably mixing the glowie things in the item slots with the new mana stones mentioned. Are these two seperate items? Or are they one and the same?
A: In the screen shot there are three slots with a slight glowy color. Those are your empty Aetheria slots after you have finished the quests. The bright sigil being dragged to the slot is Aetheria after the Coalesced Aetheria has been bathed in the mana of your Aetheria Mana Stone and changed.
One thing I should mention; the nature of surges is that melees with fast attacks will have more opportunities to activate a surge. and those opportunities happen while they are doing damage and looking for crits. A mage can fish for surges with fast spells, but they use more mana and/or give up damage to do so. We recognize this, and the chance to activate a surge will be higher for spells than melee/missile attacks.
Q: Will Aetheria have cooldown timers? That is, if I get a surge on the 225, would it be possible for me to get another Surge on the same 225 Aetheria before the current Surge expires? If there is anything like a cooldown timer, would it be possible to switch out Aetheria to get around cooldown timers if they're tied to the Sigil itself and not the toon?
A: There is no cooldown timer, but the spells don't stack. So if you surge the 8 second damage boost and you happen to get another surge of the same type (even if it comes from an Aetheria of a different color) then the only effect is that the time is slightly extended.
Different types of surges will stack however. You could have all three colors surge on the same hit (very unlikely, I've never seen it in testing) and have the 8 second damage boost, the 20 second heal over time, and the 20 second damage over time on the opponent all active at the same time.
(Incidentally the surge happens *after* the hit that causes it.)
Another example of Diminishing Returns in Asheron's Call is Skill Credits/Level. The return of skill credits per level goes down as you level up. The return of bonus per level of aetheria goes down as the total aetheria level of that type goes up.
Q: I can not create a Viamontian character. I reported the problem in November 2009 and I'm still waiting for an answer or a fix. If I create any of the other races it works fine. If I create a Viamontian I get "the server cannot create your character at this time", no matter how many times I try it.
A: Your account probably doesn't have the ToD tag set correctly. Sometimes for new/returning accounts the systems set it incorrectly. Tech support can fix this.
While we have talked about some of the features that will appear in our big April patch, I have the unpleasant task of talking about the features that have been pushed off and will not make it into the April patch. Sadly some features had to be pushed off due to time constraints. These features include:
The ability to see base armor levels when you examine another player
Animation fixes and tweaks
Although there are other features we have talked about when discussing future plans, these three are features we specifically mentioned for April. We will be working in the coming patches to reschedule these features and will keep you posted when we know more.
Q: Being able to see other peoples AL would take out the fun on DT. Thats the point is to make the meeles and archers search for that weak spot on your armor. Not just be able to ID me and know where to aim for. If you wanna see my armor go to MP and open Trade. I do not like this idea. At least have a feature that we can turn on that disables people from seeing the base AL of our suits just like our fishing stats or age.
A: Deception will block the examination panel from showing AL.
Q: Ya, i talked with the primus first. I don't have the text of what the A guy told me anymore, it got spammed off the screen rather quickly. I know i talked first because i was flagged to kill that war guy and i got rewarded for that. I use mini map so i'm pretty sure i went around that whole underground but i could be mistaken.
A: You talked to the Gold Primus.
He told you to kill a certain gearknight.
You killed that gearknight and the Gold Primus rewarded you.
Q: The graphics are disgusting, you have dumped a big pile of crap in amongst the wilderness, for example look down the middle and split it in half one side of the areas grass is a lighter green than the other side, how did you manage to mess that up? surely you could have made a better effort?
A: Our lighting system lights per object, and as such it starts lighter on the side of the object that is towards the light and darker the side away from the light. Those two sections of grass are identical objects are are the same shade all the way across.
What you are seeing is purely a result of the lighting system.
I am sure as you help build up the wedding area you won't notice the lighting effects on the grass nearly as much.
Q: I am not saying that Tumerok salted meats be removed, only that a SHORT reuse timer (3-5 seconds) be implemented. This would be a huge step towards creating a more challenging pvp environment in Asherons Call.
A: Salted meats have been around for quite a while now so their effect on PvP is nothing new. I think that directly nerfing meats with a cooldown is too big of a change that will upset a lot of people. That said, we are aware that in some situations people can tank up too effectively, making them virtually impossible to kill unless you run them out of meats or other healing items.
We are watching this situation and there are upcoming changes that might help provide small damage spikes to make it harder to simply tank. We also now have the tech to provide healing debuff spells that will reduce the effectiveness of all healing effects, but that is a big change to add to the game so we want to be careful before going down that road.
(The healing debuff tech is used on live in one obscure instance; brownie points if anyone knows where it is used...)
Q: If such 'healing reduction' tech were introduced, I think it'd benefit melees more than mages -- melees have more ability to give themselves *time* to heal, whereas for mages, in a fight with a melee, you're healing while being directly wailed upon with no easy way out.
A: We aren't planning on any buffs to slow effects; movement is too necessary for dodging to try to introduce slow effects. Plus one of the things I like about PvP in AC is that there are no controls, CC or effects that prevent you from playing the game. We don't want to introduce that.
What we *could* do is introduce a long lasting DoT with a quick cast. Since the spell wouldn't stack with itself it couldn't be recast to multiply the effect. Recasting would only prolong the duration. The point of it would be that your opponent would slowly take damage and eventually have to stop running to heal.
Q: Oh!!! Thank you Django!!! At least we can stop looking around the starter towns and NooB quests!
A: Difficult to find isn't necessarily the same as difficulty level. This however doesn't mean I'm trying to directly you towards where your statement was directed, just want to be certain that nobody reads too deeply into what "hard" means and possibly excludes a location they may have otherwise looked.
If you haven't discovered this yet here's a tip on searching. Make sure your mana bar is never full. As soon as you walk into a mana field it'll give you back some mana unless your bar is full then you'll receive no message at all.
Q: No love from the devs. Sev, can I at least get a "We hate characters with Missile Defense so this is working as intended"?
A: Let's step back and re-examine some ground rules.
The forums are a place for players to discuss AC with other players. The devs do chime in occasionally if the players seem confused about something, or we are giving out information about a new feature, or we are just amused by a thread. We are encouraged to do so as long as the players don't call us out and expect a response. We are specifically told not to respond in those cases. The forums are not intended to be a way for players to demand dev response. We do read the threads. Some we respond to. Some we don't.
Even if we are going to respond to something, we do so between working on features and content. The thread was started after end of business last night, and you posted frustration before lunch. I am concerned that the expectations of the board have become unrealistic.
Players have started to call us out to rationalize design decisions. That's not the function of these boards. I can't have the team spending 20 hours a week typing up rationalizations for 11 years of content and features. Nothing would ever get done. Plus, some of the decisions players are commenting on were made years before some of us worked here by multiple people over multiple dev teams that aren't around to comment on these areas.
While we welcome discussion among yourselves about areas of the game old and new, it's just not possible for us to respond to multiple demands to rationalize old features and still maintain the aggressive development cycle we try to maintain, particularly with all the stuff going on for April.
Q: I'm asking that as you go forward, new creatures will have a missile attack that can be evaded more than 50% by a character of target level with specialized missile defense.
A: I am not suggesting that re-examining missile defense interaction is not a worthy goal. I am suggesting that we can't give you a 3 hour turn around on a thread when the problem you are describing might take me days or weeks to research both in content and in code. I don't even know, for example, if this is a deliberate design decision or a bug in the code where creatures always get their max accuracy.
The hold up is that if it's a problem with the UDP observer thread I will have to do significant work on our network stack. Doing so basically threatens the stability of our server infrastructure since 10 years of network code becomes essentially untested. To do that I need NetOps on board, and to be ready with back end changes and support. I am hoping it is a smaller issue; some kind of small scale bug with the networking code.
It's kind of a big deal and I have to be careful with it.
Q: Apparently I prioritize differently than many players here and Turbine. I think making technical fixes ultimately have a greater impact on the game than new quests and items, which are often forgotten after a few months.
A: While I agree, sometimes I have to schedule (and thus put off) fixes that require significant work from other departments, especially if IT has to acquire specific hardware to test those changes.
Those of Dereth have traditionally called the weapons that are empowered to slay Isparians "human slayers" but this term is technically incomplete. These weapons are empowered by Bael'Zharon, and that curse allows them to be much more effective against not only Isparians but also the allies and members of their kingdoms. As members of other races accept the invitation to ally with and join the Isparian kingdoms they too will become susceptible to the power Bael'Zharon has bestowed upon these weapons.
As such, the peoples of Dereth will begin to refer to these weapons as cursed or empowered by Bael'Zharon and they will be effective against the members of alternate races who also join the Isparian kingdoms. Bael'Zharon hates Asheron and his power will be more deadly against the Isparians that Asheron called and to any of the other races who fall under Asheron's protection. (Which is to say, the player characters who choose these races.)
As for racial skills, I will give you another hint. Each new race will have a racial skill and a specific free Augmentation to start. We want the races to be cool to play, but we also want the other races to have the same potential as existing races since anyone can (eventually) purchase the augmentation.
Q: Free augmentation? I do not think I exactly follow...Can anyone interpret that?
A: One of the existing augmentations that high level characters can pursue by getting jaws, or as a society member, or by finishing the colosseum? Each race will start the game with a specific aug already on their character.
Q: If an existing race is made playable, are they going to have the existing or modified elemental and armor protects? This could be an issue in PvP... if lugians are playable, then lightning becomes more popular.
A: The members of other races that step forward to join the Isparian kingdoms will be the most balanced members of their race in both temperament and metabolism. The races will have the same resists and armor as humans.
The only statistical advantage will be the racial skill given to the race. Even the free augmentation can eventually be purchased by other races. We made this decision so the game remains as balanced as possible.
A: Our current implementation removes racial restrictions from loot generation entirely. If the item would have generated a racial restriction, however, the item is considered exceptional and the Arcane Lore requirement is still reduced.
(Edit: We were concerned that with so many new races adding all to loot as requirements would dilute the treasure too much.)
~ Yes, as reported the new race is Shadows, or rather Umbraens and Penumbraens which are a special type of shadow.
~ We are preparing an official introduction / lore piece. It will be ready soon.
~ For those of you counting the number of races we are releasing, Umbraens and Penumbraens count as one race for those purposes. Basically April counts as race 1 even though we technically have 2 racial options.
Q: 1. What is the racial skill(s) of shadows 2. What is the racial augmentation(s) of shadows 3. What changes are being made to current races (that is, what precisely is considered the "human aug" and what precisely remains preorder/TOD)
A: Sorry I didn't get a chance to answer this before.
Q: Wow, sorry about that :S Not sure where I heard that then. I guess I saw another poster say it and assumed they'd heard from a Dev. Kind of like my post :P Anyways, my mistake! What's a Pathwarden Trinket?
A: There's a lot of information flying around . It'd be very strange to give away a 4% xp boost to every new character seeing at that rate we might as well just increase the xp in the game by 4%.
When you make a new character you receive a Pathwarden token that you can exchange for a key in any of the starter towns. That key is then used on a nearby chest to get a variety of Pathwarden items (mostly armor). However when we added trinkets we also added a trinket to this chest that has the middle level of the experience boost spell that you can tinker onto other trinkets. In this way every new character already has an experience bonus but other existing players can get it without an xp cost, unlike the augment.
Trinkets and their experience bonus are balanced to give players the option of offensive effectiveness vs. defensive effectiveness vs. experience gain vs. secondary attribute (health, etc.) stat increases.
Q: Turbine - any chance we can get more info on races?
A: I sympathize with the desire to pre-plan because slots are tight. I talked to marketing, but they really want to do some stuff around the suspense of the new races, and to be honest there is still a chance that we want to shuffle the order or even swap out a race based on our schedule just in case we find something we planned is not technically feasible.
Since it seems to me that a lot of this desire is fueled by stress over how to deal with limited slots I will try to get an additional slot approved for a total of two; one for the next race introduction and one for the big October update. It doesn't exactly solve the issue, but hopefully it will make it less stressful for everyone involved without hamstringing marketing.
Q: "Some Lugians show Tusker as their race when examined. Additionally Empyreans may show up as Phyntos Wasps and Tumeroks could show as Mites when ID'd." I wonder what the next three playable races will be!
A: Just a coincidence that the AC2 Races were impacted by this little bug. Or is it....
So we have PAX East coming up next week, as many of you know. Are there any of you local, or even non-local AC folks coming? Those who do show up will get a special sneak peek at some of the other stuff coming for the Spring Update.
I am sure we are going to be out and about after show hours, though nothing official has been planned. I am sure it wont be hard to figure out who the Turbine folks are, since we will be wearing Turbine shirts that say "staff" on them.
At some point an item or items will come out that make both gems obsolete. At that point the people with the pre-order gem can keep it as a trophy or turn it in for a special reward that is cool but doesn't provide a statistical advantage. This won't happen for April; we are already working weekends to finish up all the stuff going in. It will happen... someday.
Q: This could very well upset the balance of PvP, we shall see!
A: Honestly, our main concern right now is the interaction of Damage Rating surges with Tugak. It will be difficult to use it to camp portal drops since the surges are random, but Tugak + surge might need to be examined further.
Q: They a joke? This is AC PvP and thats why everyone on DT always comes back. PLEASE STOP TRYING TO MAKE THIS GAME LIKE WOW, IT DOESNT WORK. You have an original product, keep it original. If it turns into WoW, i may as well go play WoW since it has millions of customers.
A: First, WoW has nothing like this.
Although the surges are random, you still have to determine a combat strategy that incorporates them. Will you go with fast attacks and fish for surges, or will you play like you always do and benefit from them if they go off? How you adjust your playstyle will contribute to your game experience.
A 20% boost is much less severe than the critical effects already in the game, and surges are distributed over a longer time period giving you time to adjust your fighting. A DR 20 effect or a 50 second DoT effect will require adjustments, but these should not be insta-gib effects. If Aetheria creates insta-gib scenarios (and I am not talking about 4 people trying to kill you at once since that is dangerous regardless of surges) then we will adjust.
Offensive surges do not stack, even from multiple people. If 5 people are attacking you they cannot stack more than one DoT effect on you at a time. While the constant damage of a DoT is dangerous, 160 damage spread over 50 seconds should be manageable unless they are finding other ways of pressing you.
Even in the worse case scenario if one attack surges three times and hits you with a DoT, a healing reduction, and boosts their damage by DR 20 you can still shield up and chug to tank it or run and jump spin to wait out the surge effects. Although simply sheilding up and chugging might get hairy if they get a lucky string of crits since that damage will be 20% greater and your chugs are 20% less effective. That worse case scenario has an extremely low chance of occuring.
With people over 500 health it's hard to kill people. We are providing times when the opponent is boosted so that you are pressed a little more than usual and have to adjust to compensate.
Q: Im not to worried about the Tugak, it already can kill players right away...the surges which occur at chance worry me a little, i could be smacking down and have complete control of a fight and then my opponent surges and gets the upperhand, and it could also work in my favor but right now the only real PvP luck is mage/cb crits...what about cribbling blows can they also be surged?
A: Surges are actually less extreme than the crits already in game. A 20% boost for a short time can be effective, but it isn't designed as an insta-gib scenario. Surges will press you harder and force you to change your strategy, yes. The difference in design is when you see an enemy surge you have time to change your strategy. Either you have a long term DoT on you, or you know the next few attacks will be 20% higher.
We are looking for feedback. It is possible that 20 will be too much for PvP. We picked that value because it didn't change the crits-to-kill ratio of the top PvP specs, but it did change the timing on when to heal.
For PvP we were looking to introduce small fluctuations to the rhythm of PvP deadlocks. We don't want the RNG to determine victory, but we do want the RNG to cause the player to have to shift strategies. In other words, we don't mind if surges are "oh oh that means trouble" but we don't want surges to be "oh oh... crap I'm dead..."
If 20 proves to be too high we can back down the surges to the 10% range along with the total effect of HoTs and DoTs. It's also possible for me so program additional systems to procs are less effective in PvP.
Q: The gap between returning players getting PvP ready is almost unacceptable and a deterrent for people to even return. This is going to increase that gap and result in more grind to be able to PvP. Fun were the days when you could log off for 6 months, come back and still be very much in the fight.
A: New players should be able to obtain and level their Aetheria long before they get all their PvP augs. Leveling Aetheria is in addition to normal XP gain and will happen naturally as they level. It's designed as a parallel to preparing for high level PvP, not an addition. The only players that will have additional work is those already at 275 or at least high enough level that they no longer care to gain XP.
Since leveled Aetheria is tradeable, guilds can arrange to level Aetheria for their members. Guilds can also outfit newer characters with Aetheria since it has no Arcane Lore or skill requirements other than the level needed to get the slots. The character need only do the quests to earn it. The planned quests to open up the slots should not take long; you should certainly be able to gain one of the slots in a night.
Also, if you have 3 Aetheria equipped *all* three are getting full experience. You don't have to grind each one out one at a time.
I can see someone concerned that you need to be 225+ to get that third Aetheria slot, but we currently don't believe that you strictly need that third slot to participate in PvP.
Q: Yes, there is skill involved in setup, but it eventually reaches a point where setup is formulaic and it once again boils down to luck.
A: Here's where we disagree.
The numbers we picked for the surge boost are not designed to cause one player to automatically fail when they occur. If we wanted that we would have the surge have a bigger impact like 50. The surge is designed to change up the rhythm of the fight. Our PvPers are good and they know the rhythm of PvP fights. The game doesn't depend on attrition to end fights, it depends on a point of failure in this rhythm to cause one or the other to misjudge. Surges are designed to add fluctuations to this rhythm. If you make the right decisions when the opponent fires off a surge (recognize the sigil effect that appears or the local surge message, go into defend/heal/dodge mode while it is up) then you will survive and the fight will continue. This process adds another decision point however, and another chance for the fight to end because someone misjudged.
If the process is "my opponent's surge went off, I didn't react fast enough/do the right thing and I was defeated" then that's good. If the process becomes "my opponent's surge went off when I was at full heal and despite dodging/healing/using a shield I still died (even though we have equal gear)" then we need to dial down the power of the surge.
Right now it appears that if an opponent surges a PvPer can take measures to waste that surge, but it definitely breaks their rhythm. It could be that when thrown in the field the fluctuation is too high. If it is will will cut it back.
Q: Sev, this either ends fights faster or it doesn't.
A: You are discounting the skill to stay alive entirely and in doing so polarizing the options. At its simplest I'd say it has at least three options:
~ Doesn't surge
~ Surge happens, defender successful defends against it.
~ Surge happens, defender doesn't react/does the wrong thing and fight ends.
They idea is if the combatants understand how to counteract surges and practices that, then the fights will go on as long as they do today. The game will actually be more skill based because a good PvP has to understand and react to a more complicated rhythm.
One of the things about the surge is that unlike crits the activation of the surge does not immediately deliver tons of extra damage. The extra effect has an amortization over the length of the surge. This allows you to see the increase and react, or at least that's the plan.
I understand the worry that a surge followed by an immediate string of lucky crits might put the attacker with a fast attack over the top of what would normally be a survivable salvo, but by the time the subsequent crits land you would hopefully already have out a shield or be throwing heals to outlast it.
Q: Reducing length of PK battles was specifically cited as a reason to do this. That not being the result is perfectly fine if that isn't truly the goal. If that's not the goal, then this is cool, and I have no further problems on this end of the issue.
A: I just checked my posts and I can't find where I say this system was implemented to shorten battles. I can't find a post that even says this system was implemented specifically for PvP. If there is some post I missed that suggests or states this, then I apologize. I do think the system will make deadlocks harder to maintain but good PvPers, if we hit our mark on this, can still have long battles if they can compensate for surges.
Q: Here's what's going to happen. Archer or melee, if he was owning me before he'll continue to own me. If he wasn't, he'll still do jack, because our choices for PK weapons either do insane or almost no damage. Mage vs melee, he'll try to tugak the next spell... you might actually see some strategy there with the most annoying spell in the game.
A: That outcome, where most of the time it doesn't matter but sometimes extra strategy might come into play is fine by us.
Q: Ok, let me re-emphasize this... I am red 90% of the time. If someone wants to go red to take over the forts, do it, but there should be a timer on them if attacked. Is there a real reason there is no timer on this? Enough with the pitiful attempts at flames.
A: We want to encourage white players to take a chance and go red so players who enjoy occasional PvP have someone to fight. Reducing the time penalty for going red is a big part of this. If there was an hour timer our research suggests that a lot fewer players would go red because of that additional time penalty.
I would suggest going closer to the forts to fight so enemies have longer to run to get back to white status. Another option is to roll a character on DT once the new race goes live and then no one can escape you by going white.
There Sev goes again, telling people crazy random things that may or may not be true for the upcoming spring update. I mean, unless we had already completed such work and it was in testing, it would make no sense to even comment here.
Next he will be say that more information about this will be forthcoming, and that he added flying cows to the game. This of course is all just crazy talk.
Q: 1) Can I safely assume that how one acquires rares has gone completely unchanged? 2) Would already existing higher tier rares (weapons/armor/jewelry) be automatically changed to these new stats? 3) Can you give us an example or explanation as to what the increased chance for a higher tier rare drop will now be? 4) Will these be obtainable in any way via MFKs? (Doubt it, but I figured I'd ask) 5) Is there any concern that while you just added an entire system to help people look unique, they will all look the same once there's enough Rare armor to go around?
A: 1) Yes 2) Yes 3) Using Frostfell as an example: There is a solid chance of there being 1 top tier rare per month on the server as opposed to before where there was likely to be 1 top tier rare per never. The tier with armor in it drops twice as often. 4) No 5) See #3, that would take a long long time for everyone to look the same via rares.
Q: This REALLY sucks. I own the tier 7 spear (Star of Gharu'n) on Solclaim and you're telling me that as of tomorrow, it will effectively be the same as a common tinkered weapon? I was all for the changes to the chance of rares dropping, but this is horrible. They didn't need to be changed stat-wise.
I'm really happy that I played around with Javit al-Thirim when I first got the spear, because now, apparently, his tie to lore is going to be completely severed or nerfed.
A: All of the rares are better than any common tinkered weapon. They have a slightly higher damage total, rending, an additonal effect as well as Blood Drinker 8 and Epic Bloodthirst 8.
Rares are also now more epic. When you obtain a rare it's at level 0. You can level up your rare many times and other players can see how much work you've done to level up your rare. As your rare goes up in level it'll increase your Damage Reduction Rating (armor) or Damage Rating (weapon). This means that a rare that's been leveled up not only does more damage than the best tinkered weapon but it also has a percentage damage increase on top of that.
It'll also no longer always drop on death, it will simply have a value of 50k pyreal.
These changes were made to support their rarity coming down quite a bit. All of the rares items were broken when it came to actual effect, some more than others (armor wasn't at all useful, weapons had up to 90% critical or 10x critical multipliers as well as Armor Rending and/or Resistance Rending on the same item, jewelry wasn't very useful). In this case we'd simply need to bring the rest of the game up to the power of the rares if we didn't bring the rare's power down, otherwise the additional rares would create a great difference between players and what they could do. As +250 skill rares have caused us to do, weapon rares would have forced important fights to be statted higher, thus causing them to be more difficult for groups who didn't happen to have rares.
There have been no appearance changes to the rares.
Q: Are they still all no-wield requirement, no lore to activate spells?
A: The requirements on the items did not change.
The spear in specific has the increased critical multiplier (its critical multiplier was increased more than its critical rate on the original). The additional changes (other than the rending effects) are set values like quest items and not the same as imbues.
...when someone forgets that during this time of year green cows rain from the skys and seem to take their anger out on buff bots. I would expect to see such cows in an hour, and then stop seeing them in 25 hours.
Q: Sometimes things need an extra few whacks to make sure they're good n dead, and stay that way!
A: Rule #2. Double Tap.
(As stated, the key is to swap targets when you see the death message. I can look into sticky melee, but with the April update coming and other things we are doing it won't bubble up on my list for a few months.)
Q: I understood it to mean Dedication Set could not be tailored, but any true loot generated items were fair game including the other Sets.
A: Loot generated items can be tailored whether they have a set or not. Quest items cannot be tailored, including society armor.
I am not excluding the possibility for us (at some future date) to introduce quest items that could be the target of tailoring or be the source of tailoring. It is unlikely we would do this for society armor.
Q: Ok say my amuli legs (grey trim)have 10 tinks on them can I tailor them onto amuli leggs (bright red trim) and then do the muilt slot to single slot on top of that?
A: You will be able to obtain a Slot Reduction Tool and use the tool on your tinkered Amuli Leggings to reduce them to single slot yes. They will retain their tinks.
You may then obtain an Armor Appearance Extractor. When you use it on your bright red trim Amuli leggings it destroys them and turns into an Armor Appearance Applier that remembers what they looked like. You then use that Armor Appearance Applier on your grey legs to turn their appearance stored on the Armor Appearance Applier; in this case giving them the bright red trim you want.
We also have something called the Armor Layering Tool. If you apply that to armor then that piece will visually lay over other pieces of armor that might overlap. In other words you are putting that armor on top. This allows you to make sure your Amuli Coat's sleeves will always show over other arm pieces you happen to be wearing.
Q: so it doesn't have to be a similar peice? I could take epic willpower amuli leggings and switch the stats and spells for something like Pauldrons?
A: No. Tailoring will only work on pieces that cover (or covered) the same slots.
To be clear. Tailoring does *not* move around stats. It steals the appearance of one item that looks good and puts that appearance on another item worn in the same slots. Think of it this way; changing Epic Willpower Amuli Leggings to look like Pauldrons makes no sense since it wouldn't change where the item is worn.
Q: Just out of curiosity. When you tailor say Amuli Leggings. They have 3 possible slots. How would you determine which slot they go to if you reduce the number of slots it covers. Would it always be a girth? Or do we get to choose?
A: In short, there's a list of objects by their base file name. Coat Amuli, Coat Chiran, Coat Alduressa, as examples of some coats. Only objects in the coat list can be added to coats no matter how many slots they fill. A Breastplate or Hauberk object can't be added to a Coat or the other way around even if they are all reduced to being a Breastplate in coverage.
Q: So does this have any practical value? I never once cared about looks. If I have adept sleeves with an epic on them, can I turn those into pauldrons? Or is this just carebear stuff?
A: The issue is we are talking about three different functions.
Tailoring is the ability to take the appearance off one item and add it to another. This is purely cosmetic, or totally "care bear" if you will.
Multi-slot to single slot is the ability to change a multi-slot piece to only take up a single slot. This is wildly power gaming since it has no visual impact; it just makes cool multi-slot pieces into competitive single slot suit pieces. This is purely power gaming.
Changing something to always appear on top of other pieces is purely visual, and it is there to control how reduced multi-slot pieces overlap with other equipment. The is purely cosmetic and only even matters if you have changed a multi slot to a single slot. This is "care bear" as you say.
This patch has a lot of "care bear" stuff. Besides tailoring and the new race, new hairstyles and the barber and show helm are all aimed squarely at people who care about looks.
Now, if you are looking for power gaming stuff let me lead you over to our power gamer aisle. You have the ability to reduce multi-slot pieces to single slot pieces. You also have an entire new magic system with Aetheria that not only has new item slots and new protective spells, but the items level up and they provide surges of power.
Q: If I see people running around looking like they have no helm on I'm aiming for that slot, now if they actually have a helm on and it's just invisible then that is just plain stupid.
A: That is how it works, yes. Tailoring and Show Helm take away the ability to recognize armor levels visually. That is why we want to add at some future date the ability to see base armor levels on examination of another player.
A: Tairloring certainly alleviates many of the issues we had with adding robes to loot (slot coverage vs. spell count would have rendered them useless). We'll look into the viability of this next time we're adding something to loot (it's not a simple process).
We have intentional added the ability to allow your, for instance, coat to continue to cover all the slots it initially visually covered. This is for players who like the appearance of coats but wanted to have the best possible gear (aka single slots).
We've also added the ability to raise and lower the layer your armor is on. This means you can have your sleeves show over your coat for example or your coat show over your sleeves.
Q: I think it's far more likely you just didn't want to make new armor designs (e.g. Amuli breastplates, Koujia tassets, etc.).
A: The way our game works we need a separate object for each piece that can move. This means we already have those art pieces and wouldn't of had to make anything.
When we say intentionally it means exactly that, it was intentional. This approach allows much more flexibility and option for the players.
They can still show the whole multi-slot piece or they can cover up parts of it with how the pieces stack along with the ability to bring a certain piece of armor to the top of the stack or set another piece to the back of the stack. There are now a lot of options on how the players can look.
Most of those options would not be available with the system you are suggesting.
Shen-Mara simplified this description with the following: "If you reduce an amuli coat to a bp and then set the celdon sleeves to 'on top', you WILL be showing an amuli bp."
Q: Usually we've gotten them the week before the patch. If the patch is still on pace for Tuesday of this upcoming week, can we expect these soon?
A: All the information will be released on Monday. As far as the teaser images go, we informed the fansites of our new policy regarding teasers yesterday. From now on rather than sending one or two images to each fansite, we will be posting all the teaser images on our website in a gallery connected to each event. The fansites will then be able to post all the images for each event. This allows us to not only make sure all the teasers are seen, but it also brings us in line with the other Turbine franchises.
Q: Well then there are a few people that have broken that rule then. They know who they are too.
A: You'd be surprised how many PMs we receive when someone is getting "information" from someone they think is on the test server and that information is not even close to what we are actually working on implementing.
Q: And can we fix the scroll bar for the extra pack aug, I find it quite annoying to have to scroll down for just 1 pack when I have my settings set for stretch gui and there's plenty of black space to show that pack?
A: Already finished and up on the test server for April.