Announcements - 2000/08 - Taste of Twilight

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August 2000 - Patch Page



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Taste of Twilight

August 4, 2000

The Cragstone Librarian looked up from her reading as a hooded stranger drew near. “Welcome to the Cragstone Library,”she said, and then paused. Something about the stranger reminded her of a good old book: carefully preserved pages brimming over with fascinating and unpredictable stories. “Can I help you?”

She saw a smile flit across the other's half-hidden features. Sho, perhaps? A gloved hand reached out and gently placed a few dark, round objects next to her book.

“I found these in my travels,”came the stranger's quiet voice. “Take them to a skilled cook who knows the recipes of old Ispar. They may bring a touch of nostalgia to many . . . and now is a good time for people to enjoy the peace.”The stranger stepped softly back.

The Librarian was about to reply, but her eyes were drawn to the long, sheathed tachi at the stranger's side. Like the one who wore it, the plain exterior of the sheath promised something unusual within.

Noticing her glance, the stranger chuckled. “I hardly use that these days; I travel with the wind, and the wind tells me now is the time to relax and rest up -- unless, of course, you're in North Osteth, where more creatures have arrived from the Direlands. Even a few tumeroks.”The last word was said with a faint edge of distaste as the stranger turned for the door.

“Won't you stay a while -- perhaps to read?”called the Librarian, reluctant to see the other go.

“Perhaps another time,”the stranger replied. “But you have reminded me: I was writing something for the Library at Hebian-to. I should finish that before I again follow the winds . . . alas, I am a slow writer, so who knows how long it will take?”There came a chuckle of amusement, and then the stranger was gone.

Fulfilling our commitment to bring players a world-altering event each month, we'll soon be opening August's “Taste of Twilight”! Although volcanoes still rumble and the Isle of Aerlinthe beckons more heroes on to their doom, the remainder of Dereth has come to experience a -- relatively -- quiet moment of peace and prosperity. To celebrate, many a town has spread word of contests they plan to host. Can such celebrations be proof of evil's demise? Or merely of its hibernation . . . Heroes can expect a quiet August in Dereth, a chance to rest, hone their skills, and enjoy the night skies; at the same time, get ready for truly massive events just on the September horizon.

For now, even with celebrations at hand, adventurers should still take heed: the monsters that used to inhabit the Direlands before stronger invaders pushed them out continue their migration eastward. In addition, more powerful monsters have been sighted in the forests and mountains of the far north and south.

Continue your role in this incredible on-going story -- we'll see you in Dereth!

Rollout Article

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Taste of Twilight

August 8, 2000

Fulfilling our commitment to bring players a world-altering event each month, we've opened August's “Taste of Twilight”. In Dereth, thieves are not the only profession most active at night; many a sage has been seen unpacking and dusting off long unused astronomy gear, setting careful watch upon the mysterious skies. Strange doings, they've remarked when asked what it is they're looking for . . . when they've bothered to remark at all. However, only such astronomers seem to be the most troubled these days. Monarchs' swift-footed scouts have returned, reporting that a quiet has fallen about the lands. No new creatures have yet been seen, no new dungeon portals have yet been found. Despite the fact of Dereth's ever-present dangers, lack of danger's rise seems cause indeed for celebration; word has already begun to spread of contests to mark the occasion. While astronomers go about their hobby at night, by day others practice an equally ancient art -- that of cooking. With new recipes being developed, there is fear that while Dereth's heroes gorge themselves on the peace of these times, they may prove themselves unfit for future battle!

And while some have taken to polishing their cookware, still others practice the polishing of their words. Peaceful times this month, it seems, have fostered a true renaissance of skill.

At yet, can it be truly said that all is well? While rest may be taken in August, there can be no doubt that evil does not sleep long. And what of that -- of no new dungeons, no new quests? Sheer falsehood, certain heroes mutter. New tunnels have indeed opened in the ground . . . where corpses will stack at the hands of the dead already there. Although unwilling to disclose this supposed dungeon's location, one hero gave vague reference to a “mark of three towers”.

And then, where is it the killers travel, those men and women wearing the red sash of their particular philosophy? To places where their philosophy can be acted out against one another, says the rumor. Some have proven bold enough to ask them where they go, if it's to this rumored dungeon. The only reply the killers give: Arena.

During this restful renaissance, skilled craftsmen have improved and added to the wares of Dereth. Adventurers, long since complaining of bruised toes and weary feet, have begun to sport new armored boots. And other craftsmen, skilled both in armor and in magic, have worked to improve entire suits -- shadowhunter suits -- of armor. Armor that will soon be needed, desperately. Prepare yourselves now, for August is but a prequel to even more exciting things planned for September; in one month's time, expect several new quests, dungeons, entirely new species of creatures, and more! Look for the first preview article for the September event coming soon. For now, be sure to read the new State of the Code and Build Notes, August, to learn the full scope of the update. Take part in this incredible on-going story -- and we'll see you in Dereth!

Release Notes

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Asheron's Call Build Notes

August 8, 2000

Here are just some of the details from the August 8, 2000 game update “Taste of Twilight”. Notes of greatest importance are listed first.

Not all changes have been included with these build notes -- that would spoil the fun of finding out everything that has been added or changed! Also, some changes provide ways for players to drive our evolving story forward, and thus we won't entirely reveal them here. As usual, though, the Town Criers, Barkeeps, and Scribes may know the latest news. Also, the trades of crafting and selling are always in flux, so changes to prices and abilities of items are not always listed here in their entirety.

Detailed Notes for Builds 2400-2408:

  • Please note that the update this month is less major than our previous monthly updates. That's because we are hard at work on an amazing September event -- just part of making sure we celebrate the one-year anniversary of Asheron's Call with a bang! For more information, look for the September teaser article coming soon.
  • A new dungeon quest for moderate-level players has been introduced. What is it? Where is it? Do you think we'd come right out and tell you?
  • A few quests that have been around for a while have been refurbished so they are more rewarding and easier for groups to complete together.
  • The monsters that used to inhabit the Direlands before stronger invaders pushed them out continue their migration eastward. More powerful monsters have been sighted in the forests and mountains of the far north and south.
  • Meanwhile, Aerlinthe's denizens have mobilized in response to adventurers exploring there. Beware!
  • Some of our newer high-level monsters were a bit too tough, or not rewarding enough, to defeat. We are always re-evaluating Dereth's creatures, and have made some positive changes. Take another look at your old foes.
  • Our re-balancing of the Shadow Armor continues. As promised, the armor crafters have regained some of their former abilities, with surprising results.
  • Due to a previous bug, the Ravenous Dagger required the Axe skill instead of Dagger to make. This is fixed: all those with the Dagger skill should be able to get their dagger made now.
  • Ground Chorizite powder can now be freely exchanged.
  • Food has become more varied and useful. New recipes are emerging, and in many cases food has become more valuable, lighter in weight, and more powerful in effect.
  • New “arena” dungeons have been introduced for those who want to play “Gladiator”. Of course death in these arenas still hurts as much as death outside them!
  • Vendors sell alchemical items (such as alembic) only one at a time by default, to prevent accidental over-purchase. However, you can use the quantity slider to buy up to 50 in one transaction.
  • Some bowyers were not selling bolt shafts for quarrel making. This was a problem for crossbow players and has been fixed.
  • Branith's Staff missed out on last month's mana-cost reduction. This has been fixed.
  • More wonders of the Empyrean are revealed as new lifestones appear in several places.
  • New icons for lockpicks and potions indicate their quality.
  • Due to an “ID rollover” we are doing this month, examination values for objects have been re-randomized. You may now be able to examine some objects you previously could not, and vice versa. It should all balance out in the grand scheme of things.
  • Steel-toed boots have been introduced. Kick someone in the shin today!
  • Some fixes were made to hopefully eliminate the “voices from afar” bug.
  • The ambient sound upgrade project continues. Towns now sound more populous. Plus, geese!

State of the Code

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State of the Code

August 15, 2000

This is the latest installment of a frequently updated series of reports on "The State of the Code" for Asheron's Call. In this report, we keep players informed as to the state of some of the more technical aspects of AC, particularly bugs we are working on and technical limitations of which you should be aware. Look at the “News”page on the Zone for other articles about recent additions and changes to AC.

Minor game update of August 15, 2000
The servers were brought down for a minor update. This update fixed the following:

  • The book that is part of the new Shadow Armor quest is now in the game.
  • Town Criers make reference to this new book.
  • The Lesser Acolyte that is part of the new Soul Fearing quest no longer drops his monster-only loot. This loot was not meant to appear in the world, as it was made only for monsters. Those who happened to pick up these items will find that they now have the stats of normal items.

State of the Code Archive
Below are items from previous State of the Code articles. Some items have been retired from the archive below because we believe they have been fixed. If they turn out not to have been fixed, we will revive those items.

Major game update of August 8, 2000
In the early hours of August 8, we introduced another major update. Our ever-evolving storyline continues as amazing new adventures have been added to Dereth. There were also a few bugs that were fixed in this update as well. Look for news articles on the Zone that will further tell you of the changes made.

I entered the new PK Arena as a Judge, then jumped down, and now I appear to be stuck. Should I just set up camp here forever?
Unfortunately, if you fail to use at least one switch to open a door before you jump down to the arena floor, you will become stuck. If this happens, you will need to have someone come and open the door for you from the Judge's platform.

I used to be able to examine an item, and now I cannot. Have I gotten worse at examination?
Due to an “ID rollover” we did for the August update, examination values for objects have been re-randomized. You may now be able to examine some objects you previously could not, and vice versa. It should all balance out in the grand scheme of things. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I have ground Chorizite powder that I cannot get rid of. Am I stuck with it in my inventory?
This, along with any other undroppable item, can be disposed of by giving to any NPC called "Trophy Collector" or "Ivory Crafter" in town. However, there will be no item or pyreals returned in exchange.

I open a sarcophagus and a zombie spawns, but there is no loot in the sarcophagus. Then it says it is closing due to a time limit, but doesn't close. Is this sarcophagus just haunted?

Actually, there is a bug that prevents the loot from showing the first time you open the sarcophagus and a zombie spawns. When you open a sarcophagus, you will need to hit the minimize button to close the sarcophagus. Another panel will then open showing the contents.

Stormwaltz Comments on the Aerlinthe Quest

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Stormwaltz Comments on the Aerlinthe Quest

July 29, 2000

I've heard a lot of people say that July's big mysterious quest has been solved. Some are disappointed the Black Fire stone is the only apparent reward, and some believe that, like Nexus,the stone was only available once.

As the lead designer of the big quest and Aerlinthe Island in general, I'd like to take a moment to allay your fears. The quest has NOT been completed, and IS repeatable. There's a good deal more to be discovered and experienced, and this quest will remain unchanged for the forseeable future - like the Atlan Stone quest rather than Frore or Nexus. Don't worry about missing the fun if you're low level, and good luck to you all. Keep questing. The biggest things are not always the most vital...

You can applaud (or curse...) Jesse "Nei" Kurlancheek for doing the stats for every single monster that has killed you on Aerlinthe. He also was generous enough to balance the quest items, and fix bugs with the quest while I was on vacation. Elliot "The Machine" Gilman, of course, performed his usual overtime work making sure that everything made it in, in a form that didn't crash the servers. Sean "Needs A Nickname" Huxter, also as per usual, did every single piece of new artwork for monsters and items, including the oh-so-fashionable Aerlinthe t-shirts. Ron "McEnroe" Winter did some new sounds as well - when you hear the ground rumble in the Tenkarrdun Foundry, that's his work (he also made the Shadow Spire howl).

I'd also like to take a moment to note that the "frozen wasteland" island was not supposed to be open for play for some time yet, and it is only reachable through a bug. It is still in a very early stage of construction, as evidenced by the extreme performance hit in the ice gardens - the degrade art for those beautiful ice upwellings has not been completed, so everyone on the screen is rendering at full detail, no matter how far from it you are.

There are no plans to open the ice island anytime in the near future, although its construction began at the same time Aerlinthe's was. The landscapes of the new islands were designed by artists Pete "Obsidian Span" McDonald, Sean "Shadow Spire" Turbitt, and Bil "End of Beta Comet" Mauritsen.

- ChrisL (Stormwaltz}

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