Announcements - 2001/03 - Spring's Sorrows

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March 2001 - Patch Page

Contents


Teaser

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

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Spring's Sorrows


March 14, 2001

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Balle was rich. Unbelievably rich. While in Samsur he had acquired Dranal's carving tool to crack open the Mnemosynes, but the tool apparently had far more uses than its maker knew.

He found the key discarded on the ground near a known Virindi war camp by the Obsidian Plains. A spoil of battle either unseen or unwanted, and Balle happily slipped it into his pocket. It was only later that night that he took out the strange artifact, the twisted rings dimly glowing purple, and thought he saw in its alien outline the makings of a key. He took out his carving knife.

And then the following morning, while traveling along the eastern shore to the north of Wai Jhou, he came across the floating Trove.

Balle now made his way to Tufa, after trading and selling the contents of the Trove in Ayan Baqur. All those rumors of travelers being slaughtered on the outskirts of town actually helped his profits. When people were scared, they became foolish.

His mind still spinning at the value of what he'd found in the Trove, Balle didn't notice the glowing shapes floating softly toward him. Even had he looked up, he would not have known what a Doll was. Later, the echoes of his screams still carried far over the deserted sands.

Unlike any other gaming experience, the world of Asheron's Call continues to evolve. Last month, winter kept its icy grip about the land; yet along with the snow and cold came new Item Magic spells, pack toys, and the loot of vanguard leaders. One can only wonder what additions -- and what dangers -- will be added when we open our March event, “Spring's Sorrows.”

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://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/marchrollout.asp

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Spring's Sorrows


March 21, 2001

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The first month of springtime has come at last, marking the launch of our “Spring's Sorrows” event! The Hopeslayer has fallen and, as with the former winter snows, the Undead wane in strength and power. Even the Shadows, once dire invaders of the land, no longer bother to curse those adventurers who slay them. Yet despite all sense of victory, a suspicious pallor still haunts the season.

For into this scene moves a new enemy.

Virindi have been encountered, in forces never before met in such aggression. This month marks the arrival of the Virindi Executor, as well as two entirely new creatures added to Dereth's already full and deadly bestiary: Dolls and Marionettes, both corrupt results of Virindi experiments gone fantastically awry.

However, far more has entered the world this month than mere Virindi-induced calamity. For those skilled in the lockpicking arts, strange puzzles present themselves. The solutions? Whether in the Virindis' carried keys or the Mnemosyne pyramids remains to be seen. For those of a more scholarly bent, archaeologists are said to be searching out inspiring Undead lore. And, for collectors and hunters, new springtime trophies can be gained, able to be crafted into unique and useful items. At least, such has been rumored by certain poachers, themselves bedecked in cured trophies of the land.

Truly, Dereth has awoken from its winter hibernation. And whatever forces have been set in motion this spring, surely the Virindi control the strings. The ultimate goal of these floating puppet masters? A force of mystery, as of yet unknown.

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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:

  • Further adventures and quests have been introduced, to challenge even the bravest of souls.
  • As if the land wasn't already filled with danger, hideous new invaders stalk Dereth.
  • Springtime fashion has arrived, with craftsmen able to turn certain hides into prized trophies.
  • The winter snows have receded, heralding the arrival of spring. And yet, a mysterious purplish glow still haunts the nighttime skies.
  • Aerfalle's Keep has been updated with some exciting changes. Be careful in there (and make sure you stay by your keyboard at all times).
  • A few old monsters now play nicer. . . . Some Wasps and Zefirs have been told to act more like their level. They have promised to obey.


In order to learn the full scope of March's event, “Spring's Sorrows,” be sure to read the Developer's Notes, March. Continue your part in this incredible ongoing story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Release Notes

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

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Developer's Notes


March 21, 2001

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Here are just some of the additions made in the March 21 game update, “Spring's Sorrows.” 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, Spring's Sorrows.






Detailed Notes for Builds 2500 -- 2507:

  • Fixed the problem of cycling through items on the ground using the keyboard. Before, if two or more items were the same distance from a player, only one would be selected and the rest would be ignored. Now all items are cycled through.
  • Shadow Children no longer cast portals to Savao upon death. This should have been changed when the rest of the Shard of the Herald quest was removed, but was overlooked.
  • Increased the drop rates of Vial Organic Acid for Bane, Harrower, and Virulent Grievvers.
  • Blunt daggers are no longer able to be enchanted.
  • Replaced a door with static artwork to eliminate a shortcut in the Hieromancer Halls.
  • Aerlinthe Smithing Golem no longer broadcasts global messages that the volcanoes are active. This was cueing the Behemoth of Tenkarrdun quest spawn jumpers.
  • Changed the level of Relic Bones Portal (“the Watchman”) to match the other Relic Bones. Now he is an individual, like all his other friends.
  • Updated Aerfalle's Keep with the new anti-macro design. All creatures in the dungeon, except for the Hellfires and Lag Beasts, are now on event generators. The death of the Watchman will activate the spawn. The death of Aerfalle *OR* the passage of ninety minutes will turn off all generators and empty the dungeon again. You can't macro drain what isn't there.
  • There are now powerful Mana Drain hotspots in Aerfalle's Keep exit portal room. Do not enter this area unless you intend to leave.
  • The cells in lower Aerfalle's Keep have been changed. Increased the spawn rate of the Umbris from ten to twelve minutes. The big, peaceful Panumbris next door has been removed. Its room is now filled with Mana Drain hotspots.
  • Removed many Mana Blight and Dispel traps in the final hallway of Aerfalle's Keep.
  • Aerfalle's Key is now a no-drop item.
  • Lady Aerfalle cracked open some of her dusty old grimoires and learned new spells. Expect painful but brief (one to five minute) debuffs.
  • Changed the damage values of Singularity weapons.
  • Guardian and Nephol Golems at the Thaumaturgic Plate Lyceum were made, despite lore and intentions to the contrary, drainable. Bad. Fixed.
  • Lowered the max mana of all Thaumaturgic and Exarch Plate pieces to 2000, and reduced the burn rates to one point per eight seconds. This gives the pieces the same 4.4 hour endurance as before, but at 1/4 the mana charge cost.
  • Lowered the value of all Thaumaturgic and Exarch Plate pieces by 20% (coat: 8000, leggings: 4800, girth: 2400).
  • Lowered encumbrance on both Thaumaturgic and Exarch Plate pieces to make a full set nearly as lightweight as a robe (coat: 100, leggings: 75, girth: 50).
  • On the Exarch Plate Girth, replaced Fauna Perlustration with Mana Renewal 6.
  • The Thaumaturgic and Exarch Plate Coats have been extended to cover the hands. That's one less armor piece (gloves/gauntlets) to buff.

Pages from the Producer

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

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Pages from the Producer


April 23, 2001

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You win some, you lose some. For a long time, one of my biggest gripes with AC was that there weren't enough compelling non-combat activities. So when Dave Javier came to me with the idea of adding mini-casinos to Dereth for April, I was thrilled. They were designed in such a way as to accommodate frequent alterations to the prizes you could win, and give a much-needed shot in the arm to the waning Pyreal economy. April also heralded the long-awaited opening of Linvak Tukal, the mighty Lugian fortress. (Check out the video if you haven't already!) Combined further with new features like fellowship loot-sharing, corpse looting permissions, and the ability to quickly target fellowship members via the fellowship panel, it looked like April was shaping up to be one of the best updates ever.

We were mostly right. The casinos were indeed a smash hit -- in no small part because they were paying off Shards at a much higher rate than we intended! We needed to perform a small update early in the month to correct an error some people were having with the corpse consenting feature, and during that update, we felt it was necessary to take action regarding the massive flood of Shards into the economy. We did feel that the best fix would be an in-depth revision of the prize payoffs, but that was outside the scope of the small update we had planned. So, we temporarily removed the Shards as prizes from the casinos.

Have no fear -- Shards will be back as prizes, and at a more appropriate rate. My main regret is that we weren't able to get the word out that this change was going to take place before it went live. In the meantime, plenty of good prizes are still out there. . . and one day perhaps the mystery of the Golden Gromnie will be revealed!

Nik Davidson
Producer -- Asheron's Call
Turbine Entertainment Software

State of the Code

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEnewscodestate1.asp

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State of the Code


March 21, 2001

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.

Major game update of March 21, 2001
In the early hours of March 21, we introduced another major update, “Spring's Sorrows.” 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.

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.

I am on the mage armor quest (the Thaumaturgic Plate quest), and after giving the Golem the permission note, I go through the portal it creates but all I see is black. Is this some kind of new dungeon?

No; in rare cases, some people are not getting the complete download of the new dungeon. You will need to go into your Asheron's Call directory and replace the “cell.dat” file that is currently there with the one from your Asheron's Call CD. Once you have copied the cell.dat file from your CD into your AC folder, right-click on the cell.dat file and select “Properties.” Please make sure that the “Read Only” box is not checked (otherwise you will receive an error message telling you that the cell.dat is corrupt). This procedure should solve your problem. Please note: You will have to download some dungeons over again when you enter them the first time after performing this procedure.
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