Announcements - 2001/02 - Lonely In The World

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February 2001 - Patch Page

Contents


Teaser

Original Link (now dead) - http://classic.zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/febteaser.asp

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Lonely In The World


February 6, 2001

Img swords.jpg

He huddles against the soot-blackened stone of the ruined aqueduct, surrounded by piles of neatly stacked tomes. Their deliverer floats away, cloak snapping in the late winter wind, accompanied by a hum that vibrates through air and teeth.

You will do it, Ketnan. You will do it for our friends. You will do it.

“Stop,” he whispers, clutching his head. It throbs in sympathy with the ceaseless, fading hum. . .

A ceaseless sea wind whistles around facets of living crystal. The crystal studies the veiled eye of the sun. More snow will fall today. The magic keeps the roofs clear. Still they do not come. The magic keeps the sconces lit, the fireplaces stoked, and the beds warm. Still they do not come. A few delicate pieces of white fluff fall from the heavens, settling on the piles around the patient crystal. The sea wind moans softly. . .

The man moans softly. A solitary, levitating gem throws gloomy syenite light across the stones of his cell. He stares at the gem, absorbing its feeble pulse, and hears the crush and roar of a frigid blue sea. He feels the salt spray sting his legs. A child laughs and crows, splashing awkwardly against the tide as she strains to catch the gulls. Warm arms encircle him from behind.

An otherworldly hum echoes down the corridor. He snaps his eyes away from the ocean light of the gem, and stands ready. He does not wipe the seawater from his cheeks. It will not be minded. The hum swells into the room. . .

The hum surrounds us. A chorus beyond the veil of time. Beyond the suns. Beyond the dark. The tone has always been. It shall ever be. Constant and resounding in the space beyond. There it sings to us, unchanging. It soothes us. It is all.

The membrane muffles it. Mere anarchic noise drowns it out, pulls us from the crystalline surety. I miss it.

The meat entity stands, leaking fluid from jelly surface organs.

Poor thing. We shall sing to it. The song shall comfort it. And in the singing, I shall comfort ourselves. . .

The next chapter in the unfolding saga of Asheron's Call is about to begin.

Turn the page.

Unlike any other gaming experience, the world of Asheron's Call continues to evolve with each and every month. Following the defeat of the Hopeslayer, last month witnessed a breath of peace in Dereth -- or, at least, reversion to a more natural clime. Along with the winter winds came powerful new spells for war mages, and deadlier strikes for melee fighters. One can only wonder what additions -- and what dangers -- will be added when we open our February event, “Lonely in the World.”

Be sure to continue your part in this incredible ongoing story -- and we'll see you in Dereth!

Rollout Article

Original Link (now dead) - http://classic.zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/febrollout.asp

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Lonely In The World


February 15, 2001

Img sword2.jpg

After the fall of the Hopeslayer, Dereth experienced a breath of peace. Or, at least, some reversion to the world's more natural clime. Yet now spectral lights have appeared in the nighttime skies, and what to make of these? Some guess they are the bonfires of war, warning of new and gathered enemies. After all, with the Hopeslayer defeated, another race must surely seek to fill his vacant seat of power. Others, however, suggest the lights are associated with the geomancy of the land; that, with the Hopeslayer's fall, the same natural forces giving rise to powerful War Magic continue to fluctuate, filling the world with further spells of heightened sorcery.

Whatever the lights portend, true heroes do more than simply sit and ponder who, or what, might threaten next -- and the heroes of Dereth prove no different. Parties, gathered and provisioned, have prepared to set off on the most recent quests, drawn by the promise of journey's rewards.

To this end, one such party seeks to delve deeper than ever down the Mines of Despair (as the party's brazen leaders claim). Another has begun collecting strange items from across much of Dereth, each inscribed with an eight-pointed starburst shape overlaid on a swirling portal. And then there are those dungeon entrances half-buried in the desert sands. Entrances bearing the distinctive mark of Tumeroks. Whatever perils these quests surely promise, the rewards are certain to be as great. Potent Item Magic spells, armor uniquely suited to mages' needs, the loot of vanguard leaders -- even compelling lore awaits! A time for Dereth's heroes to both be tested well and to discover much. . .

Following is a list of the most interesting additions made to the game this update. However, please note that not all changes have been included -- that would spoil the fun of finding out everything that's been added or changed! 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.


Highlights include:

  • Level 7 Item Magic spells have entered the world.
  • Several exciting new quests and adventures await intrepid heroes.
  • A strange purple hue fills the nighttime sky.
  • New helper emote: *helper*.
  • All newly created swordstaffs have been renamed naginatas, marking the end of name confusion.
  • Steel chests no longer snap shut on your fingers. They will now stay open long enough to remove all items.


In order to learn the full scope of February's event, “Lonely in the World,” be sure to read the Developer's Notes, February. Continue your part in this incredible on-going story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Release Notes

Original Link (now dead) - http://classic.zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/febbuild.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Developer's Notes


February 15, 2001

Img scalearmor.jpg



Here are just some of the additions made in the February 15 game update, “Lonely in the World.” The following list is comprised of detailed notes straight from the developers themselves. For a summary of things of most interest, be sure to consult the official event article, Lonely in the World.


  • Fixed inappropriate elemental resistance colors showing up on armor.
  • Armor with negative resistance values will now display properly.
  • Gave Black Ferah unique death strings and name.
  • Updated the Mines of Despair quest.
  • Removed a double quote from MacNiall the Unruled.
  • Fixed a minor typo in the winter blue dye name.
  • Relic Bones now have Life Magic, and drain health with Heal Self.
  • Moved Aerfalle's Keep to a new landblock, thus eliminating “grandfathered” site-specific Portal Recall points used by macroers.
  • Changed all the detrimental Self spells to be irresistible. Players will no longer gain XP from resisting their own debuffs. Everyone out of the pool!
  • Very low priced items, such as a single arrow, can once again be sold.
  • Put back the Thrashers and Enforcers in the northern Dires. Troop wants you to know he is very sorry.
  • All newly created swordstaffs have been renamed naginatas.
  • Fixed a passage in the Lower Xarabydun dungeon so that players no longer get stuck there.
  • Fixed staircase in the Xarabydun upper shop level.
  • Moved a badly sorting painting in Xarabydun.
  • NPCs in various newbie quests now directly broadcast the message: "You've earned (x) experience," when you complete one of the quests and are awarded XP.
  • Steel chests no longer snap shut on your fingers.

Letter to the Players

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEletterFeb.asp

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A Letter to the Players


February 13, 2001

Over the past year, Asheron's Call, and the Massively Multi-Player Online Gaming (MMPOG) genre as a whole, have undergone some impressive changes, growing by leaps and bounds. Naturally, we are ecstatic about the growth in activity and awareness. However, our growth has precipitated the need to evolve the way we provide community support to our players. To this end, beginning with our February update, we will be making some changes to benefit our community infrastructure.

Beginning February 13, we will be making some changes to our community support infrastructure that will enable us to guarantee players that trained, full-time professionals will be available to answer community concerns. This new infrastructure will be referred to as the Community Support Service (CSS). This means that the Sentinel and Chancellor programs are discontinued as of today; and on Thursday, February 15, the Advocate program will be discontinued as well. We would like to thank all these volunteers for their dedication to the players of Asheron's Call.

The new CSS model is an important part of Asheron's Call and the MMPOG genre's future. Initially, this support team will be available to you from noon to midnight PST, seven days a week. Players will be able to contact the Support Administrators by using the “Report Abuse” or “Urgent Assistance” buttons in-game. You will be able to recognize a Support Administrator by the “+Admin” in front of their character name.

Everyone plays an important role in a strong community and we will continue to encourage those who wish to help their fellow players. To facilitate this, we will be introducing a new emote in February, so any player who wants to help another can alert players in a local area. We will also continue our dedication to providing the tools and support necessary for a prospering MMPOG community. We believe the changes we are making are the next logical steps for supporting a MMPOG community, and hope to see you in Dereth!

For a few words from AC's game developer, Turbine, on this change, please see the latest Pages from the Producer.

Ken Karl
Program/Community Manager -- Asheron's Call
Microsoft Corp.

Pages from the Producer

Original Link (now dead) - http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/pagesFeb.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Pages from the Producer


February 13, 2001

Img sword3.jpg

Over the past year, Asheron's Call, and the Massive Multi-Player Online Gaming (MMPOG) genre as a whole, have undergone unforeseen growth and popularity. We've been ecstatic about AC's role as a part of this development. For that, we have you (our players) and our excellent community management/relations teams, to thank.

The community management team was originally created by Turbine and Microsoft to provide excellent in-game support. Since August of 1999, Microsoft has completely owned the responsibility of community management. Microsoft's Online Community team (which runs AC's community management) has implemented a new community management plan. Details of the plan can be found here.

All questions regarding the changes in community management should be directed to Microsoft.

No company enjoys making an announcement like this, but we welcome Microsoft's Community Support Services staff to AC. If you see a CSS staff member in the world, please take a moment to offer your encouragement and welcome them.

The Advocates, Sentinels, and Chancellors will be missed by everyone here at Turbine. Over the past year, we've come to rely on them as much as the players have. Their feedback has been invaluable to the AC community, and I offer our praise and thanks. We could never have made it this far without their help. They played an important role in building and shaping our community that couldn't have been filled any other way. Again, our sincerest gratitude.

We encourage all players to help their fellow adventurers whenever they can, especially during this transition period.

Thank you.

Scott Herrington
Exec. Producer
Turbine Entertainment Software

A Message on Weddings

Original Link (now dead) - http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEweddings.asp

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A Message on Weddings


February 13, 2001

As part of the recent community conversion changes taking place, we regret to announce that all in-game wedding ceremonies have been postponed. This also means that all currently scheduled weddings will not take place until further notice. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be sure to look for future news articles on the return of wedding ceremonies.
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