Announcements - 2002/05 - Hidden Vein

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May 2002 - Patch Page

Contents


Changes to the Code of Conduct

Changes to the Code of Conduct

Upcoming Changes to Aerlinthe

Upcoming Changes to Aerlinthe

Teaser

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventteaser0502.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Hidden Vein


May 13, 2002

Img sword2.jpg

Ciandra sat across from him, still stunned by his sudden appearance. She studied his features with amazed eyes and felt like a giddy young girl watching her grandfather mix his wondrous concoctions. The old man flipped through the assembled tomes quickly, imperceptibly reading and drinking the knowledge that the Arcanum had collected. She waited in silence until he looked at her and offered a gentle smile.

“Incredible work you have been doing. Incredible.” He closed one tome and brushed the cover gently with his hand. “But there are some key points that you have missed. I'd have expected nothing more, you are still learning the foundation of the magic here.” He stood without effort and snatched the book from the table and placed it upon the shelf against the wall. He turned to the alchemist. “If you'd like my help that is. . .”

Ciandra nodded.

“I am truly sorry for Nuhmudira's disappearance and imprisonment. If there were anything that I could have done I would have. . .”

Ciandra struggled to find words to speak to the old mage but mustered only another nod. This made him smile.

“You are certainly more accepting of my appearance than your counterpart Hiro. Though less talkative than Bahb.” He sat back in the chair and opened another volume of writings. “As I was saying these books are thorough, containing much information about the times when my people lived upon this world, but your interpretations in some instances are incorrect. Let us move into discussion of what I can do to help you.”

Ciandra finally broke her silence. “Asheron? Why did you wait so long?”

Asheron furrowed his brow and pulled a hand through his beard. “I have. . . had obligations that I needed to attend to, dear child. Those obligations have since been eclipsed by something that menaces us all.” Asheron sighed. “Now, on to what I shall do. An emissary will be sent. . .”

Continue with the story

Unlike any other gaming experience, the world of Asheron's Call continues to evolve. In April, Residential Quarters opened, weddings recommenced, and Endurance took on fine improvements. For May, the changes and additions taking place will all soon be revealed. Join us, as we open our May Event, Hidden Vein. Be sure to continue your part in this incredible ongoing story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Teaser Part 2

Original Link (now dead) - http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventteaser20502.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Hidden Vein


Continued. . .

As the final blow fell against the Ursuin, the warrior smiled. Ursuin hides were fetching a much better price these days, and by the looks of the wounds that he had inflicted, the hide of this kill was unmarred. He carefully set to skinning the beast and set out to find someone with whom to trade.

__________

The roar of the flames thundered through the hallways. He surveyed the materials smelted within these furnaces and smiled. Such excellent works as these were beyond understanding of such feeble minds.

He walked along the hallways and marveled at the naivete of Nuhmudira. It was simple to make her believe what he had wanted. It took no words to blast her against the wall, and break her bones to squeeze her to within an inch of her existence. Now, he left the decision to her own people, to those she had meant to save. A sick smile crept across his face.

Martyred, by her “people.” A division in the populace, unrest, discord. The thought of it warmed his heart.

He ran his hand along the smooth surface of a bronze behemoth. “Be my eyes and ears, my children, destroy them all, teach them the meaning of pain. Warn the old man that I am coming for him.” A grim laughter grew within him, filling the hallways and overpowering the sound of the flames.

__________

She sat in the darkness. Below she could hear the stirrings of people scurrying to and fro. At times she would feel the jolt of energy enter her; the pain lasted longer but her life was reinforced. Every time the pain came she knew it was not only in her mind. It was the physical effects of losing her abilities with magic. Other times she felt the sickening chill run down her spine, as her skin grew taut and a new memory was forced into her mind. Not her memory but a memory from a forgotten age. Memories taken from somewhere else and supplanted into her own.

And then there was the sobbing. The sobbing would not end--was that her voice? Could it be her voice? She thought by now it would be worn raw and useless, but still the sobbing went on.

She found a new enemy there on the slab where she was now kept prisoner. Time. Time allowed her to reflect on everything that she had done, every action that she had taken and all that she had lost. Her hands had healed from where she had scrawled her notes and forced her last spell upon the world. But the power that was once hers to command drained away like water on a sunny day. As did her life.

And then the voices began. Ringing in her head. Singing to her. Calling to her. But were they calling her?

She once thought that she had shed all of her tears, she thought there was none left to give, none left to offer the world. But there in the darkness, alone and forgotten she wept. And she felt the tears roll into the basin that would one day harvest her blood.

__________

“You say they are in league?” Martine rolled a pyreal along the back of his fingers.

“Yes, Master. The research facility that they established has been rife with activity in the past few days. If you wish--”

“Wish? Wish! I wish for my home, my wife, my child! Her! Do not ask me what I wish for, unless you have the capacity to grant me my wishes. My patience with you is at its end. You are treading dangerously close to feeling what an unspeakable agony life can truly be.” Martine twitched. The flesh on his head rippled beneath the surface.

“I have imparted what you wanted to know, Master.”

“Yes, you have done that haven't you, apprentice,” Martine snapped.

The man nodded, calmly and quietly.

Martine grunted and turned his attention to the wall. His apprentice bowed his head and move to the far side of the antechamber.

“Send a force there. See they do not fail. Use everything at your disposal to disrupt whatever it is that they are working on.” Martine stared at the pyreal, and rose to his feet. “I need some fresh air.”

__________

Elysa looked out over the verdant landscape. She was waiting for him. He said he would come and though she had doubted so much in recent weeks, she knew that he would arrive. The only question was when.

She had commissioned her Royal Guard to assist in the clearing of the Arcanum Storehouse. There they cleared the entry vestibule of the Sclavus menace but had been called away shortly after to help with the building of a new library of sorts near Xarabydun. The Arcanum wanted her help now that Nuhmudira was gone. She obliged; this was not a time to hold petty grudges. Her people needed her and she needed him.

“How quickly things change,” she said into the wind.

“Indeed they do, Elly.” Asheron smiled behind her.

“You took your time in getting here,” she quipped.

“I told you once that I wouldn't be there, Elly.”

“I know.”

“But something has changed that.”

Elysa arched a brow and studied her old friend. Asheron motioned to a set of seats that she had prepared. As they sat she noticed how distant his eyes seemed, like he was there but somewhere else.

“What is it, Ash?”

“I have made a difficult decision. Nothing more.” He mustered a weak smile.

__________

The screams were maddening. Quivering with fear he tried to clear them from his mind long enough to read the letters that he had found scattered on the floor. Something about the levers, and a choice. He looked about and felt the pull toward the plain lever against the wall. He found himself inching toward it, reaching for it, grasping it and pulling down. His body was ripped violently into portal space, and shunted out again unceremoniously.

“My master has readied his reward, friend. It is time to reap the benefits of your actions.” Kai smiled at him and as the enchanter spoke a chill ran down his spine. What had he done?

(Return to Hidden Vein)

Rollout Article

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

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Hidden Vein


May 15, 2002

Spring is in full bloom across the land now, the snows have retreated like rabbits before a raging archmage. Dark clouds boil, thunder booms, and like thunder the bronze statues have suddenly come to life, cutting a swath of destruction through the towns. Rain soaks the ground, the mud soiling the armor of Isparian fighters as they desperately try to defend their towns from the rampaging bronze giants. The defenders' bodies lie scattered like so many trampled flowers. Madness reigns. The bestower's evil intent is clear now but who this may be is still unknown. It is apparent that the Arcanum is not responsible for these treacherous gifts as they themselves scramble to solve the mystery. How may the statues be turned off? The need is ever greater, the answer still elusive. The Arcanum has asked High Queen Elysa Strathelar for help.

Valiant adventurers have wound their way through a dark labyrinth to find a chamber of suffering and pain. And a choice. Nuhmudira has been found! But she could not be freed, not directly. The pull of a lever determines her fate. Pull the plain lever or the lever with the polished skull? The people run their fingers along the surface of the skull, tracing its contours. . . Perhaps Isparians have become too familiar with the cycle of death and life. Does the smooth surface of the skull beckon them overmuch? Or will mercy compel their hand? Nuhmudira's sobs are incessant, trickling down from the top of the chamber like rain from a roof's eaves. Which lever, which lever, which lever?

Though the spring has brought rain and some ill tidings, the sun has shone through in some matters--to their delight, Isparians have found their appraisal of most items and creatures no longer obstructed. Better yet, many Isparians have found that upon arriving at a Lifestone after an unhappy encounter with a savage denizen, their purses are heavier and their weapon was not ripped from their hand. If they prevailed in the encounter, people are finding they are a bit more skilled for their efforts. Such positive circumstances are widely discussed, as well as a rumor of a method to enhance weapons made with pyreal.

In the light of the sun, entrepreneurship is yet whole and hale in Dereth. Isparians may purchase the means to a device touted to drive away Olthoi and other undesirable creatures, only available in Zaikhal, for a short time only! Can such a thing be too good to be true? A leather crafter at Bandit Castle proffers Ursuin hide rugs as a new ware, for those purchasers who enjoy simpler goods.

The storm clouds seethe, hiding the sun. The bronze statues rage. Martine is sure to be watching the rain.

Be sure to check the Developer's Notes for May, the State of the Code, and the Letter to the Players, to learn more details of the Hidden Vein event. Join us as we continue the ongoing saga of Asheron's Call, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Release Notes

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

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Developer's Notes


May 15, 2002

Img painting.jpg





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

We appreciate your feedback and bug reports in helping to ensure that the world of Dereth is a stable and fun place to be. Please submit any such bug reports to http://bugs.zone.com.




New Functionality and Content

  • There's a number of new quests available this month.
  • Monster activity on the Caul Island has now increased significantly.
  • Monsters that now become “stuck” for a long period of time will teleport back to their home position, instantly regaining their full hit points.
  • It is now significantly harder to “lure” monsters away from their pack one at a time without them alerting all of their fellow monsters.
  • All duplicate hooks, storage chests, and Covenant Crystals have been removed. Any items in those hooks or storage chests have been lost.
  • Players now no longer need their appraisal skills to successfully appraise any items except for some rare quest/monster items, which will remain unappraisable regardless of a player's skill.
  • There have been a number of changes to the way item loss on death works. From levels 1-5, players no longer lose any items or pyreals. From 6-10, players lose half their pyreals on death, but no items. From 11-20, players lose half their pyreals and 1 non-wielded item on death. From 21-35, players lose half their pyreals, and a normal (compared to the previous system) number of non-wielded items on death. For levels 36 and up, there are no changes to the previous system. Players will continue to lose the normal amount of pyreals and items, including wielded items. Please note this change does not affect any PK interactions at all.
  • Two new spellcasting tabs have been added, for a total of seven.
  • The fellowship panel now displays the hps/mana/stamina levels for each player in the fellowship.
  • Players are now able to point the mouse over a town icon on the map panel to display the town name. Settlements previously represented by a white dot now have their own separate icon.
  • There is a new option in the Character Panel called “Display Allegiance Logins”. When checked, you will receive a friends-list style notification when your patron or any of your vassals logs on or off. This option is off by default.
  • @house available command now lists # of apartments available, although it does not list locations.
  • If a player has less than 10 mb of hard drive space open when attempting to download the latest Event update, a dialog box will popup letting the player be able to clear up space on their hard drive before continuing.
  • Changing Natural Resistances so that they have no effect on Hollow damage, and changing the transfer spells so that drain resistance has no effect on them, were two changes that did not make their way into the May Event, but will be changed in June. Please see this month's Letter to the Players for more details.


Miscellaneous Improvements and Changes

  • There was a bug with the new portal changes that allowed characters who tied to summoned portals to bypass the restrictions on the original portal. This has now been fixed, and the earlier ties will now summon portals with the correct restrictions.
  • Over 150 creatures now have higher experience point values. The increases range from minor to very significant.
  • There was a bug where house hooks would become visible even after the owner had turned them invisible, under a variety of different circumstances. This has now been fixed.
  • The Crystal Lord and its Minions have been tweaked to present a tougher challenge for players. Players should expect to have work together with a number of fellows to take down the Crystal Lord.
  • The rate at which dual and treble-spell jewelry drops have been doubled again. There is now also a possibility of finding dual-spell clothing.
  • There are now new versions of the “newbie creatures” (e.g., Drudge Slinker, Young Banderling, etc.) in dungeons that are aggressive, i.e., they will attack players unprovoked. The landscape versions of these creatures remain non-aggressive.
  • House Settlement Portals for those settlements added in April have been added to the world.
  • Players can no longer use keys to lock a chest.
  • Players are now told that they have 90 days grace period for a Residential Quarter, as opposed to the 30 days for a landscape dwelling.
  • Lifestone Tie's spell difficulty has been lowered from 150 to 100, to match Lifestone Recall's difficulty.
  • A bug preventing players from imbuing their Hollow Mace with Bloodhunter oil has been fixed.
  • Virindi Executors now have a small chance of dropping Singularity Keys.
  • Handing in Unlocked Tiny, Small, and Large Mnemosynes to their Undead Collectors now award 5, 25, and 75k xp respectively. The old values were 3, 15, and 45k.
  • We had planned on having a successful craft interaction to create Wood, Copper or Obsidian keys from the appropriate Golem heart to create three keys instead of one. Unfortunately, this is bugged for the May prop and will be fixed for June.
  • Players are now able to appraise an item while it is on a hook.
  • Wrapped arrowheads can now interact with wrapped atlatl darts.
  • A number of macro spots in the Serac Vault have been removed.
  • A number of macro spots in the Singularity Dungeon have been removed.
  • A bug that sometimes prevented the appearance of a Thorsten Armor quest chest in a cottage south of Eastham was fixed.
  • Magic items spawned in monster loot now can have more max_mana, and will always spawn with maximum mana.
  • A number of changes were made to the Aerlinthe quest. Please see our previous Zone note to the players for more details.
  • The Bronze trophies have been made no-drop/no-give.


Minor Details

  • Both sets of wedding raiment can now be dyed in all nine colors.
  • Help text was added for @help endurance, to explain the new basic properties of endurance, which were added in the April update. Note that there is no @endurance command.
  • The Timaru Crafter will now exchange the Siraluun Hat for a Siraluun Bag with one Kithless feather inside.
  • Shield of Valor, Songview, and Tusker Notch Settlement Portals have now been placed.
  • Some typos were corrected in the letters in the Thorsten's Armor quest.
  • The message a player gets when imbuing a Hollow Sword with Bloodhunter oil now correctly refers to a sword instead of a spear.
  • Diamond Powder is now droppable/givable.
  • Quiddity Fragments, Olthoi Claws, Red/Gold Letters, dye plants, Palenqual totems, mana stones, and a number of food items are now hookable.
  • The Ruined Cave portal's level restriction has been upped to level 20.
  • We removed the old Wedding books from Scribes' inventories.
__________

Letter to the Players

Original Link (now dead) - http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEletter0502.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Letter to the Players


May 8, 2002

Hidden Vein
Hidden Vein is an appropriate name for this Event in many ways, besides its relation to the current storyline. The main topics for last month's developer's chat, and the topics that occupy most of our time recently, were the upcoming magic and tinkering changes, planned for sometime in June or July. (Right now we're hoping to get the magic system changes in June, and the Tinkering changes in July). These are big changes to big systems, and changes that we have discussed and planned and worked on for a long time. But the changes this month, while perhaps not as wide-sweeping or game-altering as those we have planned for the next two months, nonetheless play a significant role in our commitment to make Asheron's Call the most fun and enjoyable massively multiplayer online role-playing experience that exists today.

Before we discuss those changes, and our motivations and reasoning behind them, we first offer an apology. In April, we made some changes to the Endurance attribute that gave players “Natural Resistances,” an ability to have natural life protections against damage. This included a resistance versus Hollow damage. We decided just before the April Event went live that the Hollow resistance was an incorrect design decision, and we would reverse it for May.

Unfortunately, making this change slipped from our production schedule for May, and by the time we discovered the mistake, it was too late to implement it for this month. The change has already been made for June, however, and it will not slip again. We apologize to everyone for this error. In addition to the removal of Hollow resistance, we will also fix in June the unintended bonuses to the “Health to Mana” and “Health to Stamina” spells, as well as the amount of health players or monsters draining off another player being based off a different number than the amount of health actually being drained.

On to the changes for May:

Death Changes
We had talked about making some kinds of changes to the Death penalty system for some time now. There was a lot of feedback we had gotten from players and our own play experiences. Some of this feedback was contradictory. The main threads seemed to be:

  • Death penalties (with @corpse, and @consent) were too easy.
  • Death penalties were too easy at high levels but too hard at low levels.
  • Death penalties were too tedious at high levels (all the death items).
  • Removing death penalties would revitalize PK both on DT and the other worlds.
  • Acquiring your victim's items was the only thing that gave PK its meaning.


In the end, we felt strongly that regardless of how “easy” many players seemed to find the death experience, it was only easy in the context of having built up a network of in-game experience, social networks, and a large amount of items. For the new or casual player, who may not have access to any of these dynamics, the death experience could be quite painful, in some cases so painful as to alienate the player from the game.

So we wanted to alleviate that pain. At the same time, we were sensitive to not wanting to change too much without very solid reasons. While we felt that PKs advocating no death penalty, or higher level players advocating no death penalty articulated some good reasons in support of their cause, we ultimately felt that there was enough reasons on the other side of the equation to not change the PK or upper level death penalty system at all.

Here is the new system (and again, note that these changes do not affect any PK interactions):

  • From levels 1-5, players will not lose any items or pyreals upon death.
  • From levels 6-10, players will not lose any items, but will lose half their pyreals.
  • From levels 11-20, players will lose half their pyreals, and 1 item. This item will not be an item that the player is wielding. (Wielded includes rings, bracelets, necklaces or armor, as well as weapon and shield).
  • From levels 21-35, players will lose half their pyreals, and the same amount of non-wielded items that they would have lost previously to the changes in this system.
  • From levels 35+, there are no changes between the former system and the current system.


We hope that the new system aids in the enjoyment of our game for new and low-level players.

Appraisal Changes
One of the more frustrating dynamics in Asheron's Call is finding and picking up a piece of equipment off a fresh corpse of a marauding beast. . . only to discover you have no idea what it is or what it can do. Perhaps you started with 100 focus, or perhaps you're able to cast True Value at a high enough level to accurately identify the item. But ironically (some would say cruelly), those people who are most likely to be in need of the item--warriors, archers, or generally non-magic reliant players--are the least likely to be able to know what the item does.

While we felt that the theoretical idea of appraisal skills had a lot of potential in a game like Asheron's Call, we felt even more that their specific implementation from the start of the game had not fulfilled that potential. Rather than trying to radically alter the appraisal system so that it worked somewhat better than before, we decided to put the focus of these particular systems on where it should be: discovering different items of treasure and making educated choices about which items one wanted to keep or discard.

To that end, we decided to take two steps. The first step, seen this month, is the ability for all players, regardless of their appraisal skill levels, to identify the treasure items that they find. (Note that some special quest and monster items will remain unappraisable.) The second step, which we are planning on implementing soon (within the next few months), is a Tinkering system which replaces those Appraisal skills, and allows players to make their treasure that they find even more valuable and powerful.

While we know that this represents a significant change in the way players interact with and approach one of the major aspects of the game, we are excited at the doors this opens up for the majority of our players.

Creature Changes
We made a number of changes to our creatures this month, dealing with both the strategies players use to fight them, and the reward they gain from them.

First, since the start of Asheron's Call, it has been possible to “lure” creatures away from other creatures in their group. The first lure attempt will bring all of its “friends” with it, but the second attempt would leave its friends dazed and confused, while the poor solo creature had to duel those menacing players all by itself.

While we had long talked about changing this behavior, we had decided not to due to our fears that this would make certain solo play styles impossible or at least much harder. However, a number of factors have changed in AC over the last few months, such as: more solo encounters on the landscape in general, increased player effectiveness vs. creatures, and fellowship xp bonuses. These changes led us to think that trying to tweak this behavior now would be a good step to increase challenge in some areas of the upper level game.

As a result, while it is still possible to lure a creature away from its group, the undertaking is more difficult than it was before. Also, in addition to these changes, we have implemented a change to how creatures react when they are “stuck” (either on a landscape scenery object, or another player that they are not attacking) for long periods of time. In most cases, such creatures will now automatically teleport back to their original home position, automatically regaining their full hit points. We hope this change helps players get a true feeling of risk for the rewards they earn.

Second, while we wanted to make creatures in some situations more challenging, we also wanted to make them have the right “risk vs. reward” balance. For a variety of reasons, many creatures in AC were far more difficult than their experience point reward suggested. So we reviewed every single creature in the game, and used a number of comparison metrics to raise the xp reward for many of them. We'll leave it up to the players to discover which creatures have changed, and by how much.

While we acknowledge that this “risk vs. reward” balance is not perfect, we feel the current changes make far more sense than the previous system did. Although our “level” indicator for monster difficulty is also somewhat skewed for some monsters, we did not make any changes to those figures at this time.

Third, we made a number of changes to the Crystal Lord. He is much more difficult for a group of players, and should be impossible for any one player to kill. This incarnation of the Crystal Lord is much closer to the original design conception of the Lord, and we feel his difficulty now truly matches his incomparable rewards (the million xp reward, and the horde of Singularity quality treasure).

Finally, we have gotten a lot of feedback from players over the last few months that the Singularity Caul was very underutilized. We decided to “spruce” it up a bit. We hope players enjoy the challenge. Note that this is not our “new high-level playground” that we have been discussing over here. As of right now there is no firm schedule for when or if we will release such a playground.

Housing
Due to the server and memory issues of last month, there were many duplicate hooks, storage chests, and Covenant Crystals created during this time. We have wiped all such duplicate instances from the servers. If you discover a duplicate housing object in the future, please report it to a Microsoft in-game admin immediately. If you have a duplicate hook or storage chest, the safest way to ensure the security of your items is to not store items in either copy of the object until one of the copies is deleted.

As for the rollout of new landscape dwellings and Residential Quarters: We are still planning on releasing new Cottages, Villas, and RQs for June. We will continue to monitor the server and housing situation in June to help us decide on the further rollout of housing.

As for future planned housing changes: We are trying hard to get the additional Mansion hooks in for either June or July. After that, our main focus for development will be non-housing related items for the next few months, such as the magic changes, Tinkering, and the storyline. After that set of changes, we will once again think about some of the improvements to housing that we have discussed in earlier letters.

Miscellaneous Improvements
There are a number of miscellaneous improvements we made for May.

  • Fellowship panel improvements. Players can now see the hps/stamina/mana for all their fellows in the fellowship at the same time on their fellowship panel. While the panel does not always update immediately, we hope this feature makes playing in a fellowship even more rewarding and fun. We appreciate any comments or feedback on how the panel works for you.
  • Map Rollovers. On your map panel, you will now notice that by having the pointer hover over a town symbol, the name of the town will popup on the lower section of the panel. This will work for all town symbols on the map. Additionally, some of the town settlements that had previously been represented by a white dot (which generally signifies a Point of Interest), are now represented by their own unique icon, which also are named. There is no rollover data for the white dots on the map. This may be added in a future update.
  • Doubling of appearance in dual- and treble-spell jewelry, as well as the appearance of dual- and treble-spell clothing. Well, we said we wanted to do a rollout of these items slowly. With these changes, for all non-Singularity quality treasure, a dual spell piece of jewelry or clothing will appear 1 out of roughly every 50 magical clothing or jewelry appearances. For Singularity quality treasure, it will be 1 out of every 20 magical clothing or jewelry appearances. Also, treble-spell jewelry and clothing (the Dev Notes Notes mention only jewelry), will appear 1 out of every 400 magical jewelry appearances for Singularity quality treasure. We may investigate other changes for these items to make them more accessible to non-magic, or low-magic templates.
  • Two additional spellcasting tabs. After a long time of not having the right resources and time to accomplish this, we finally managed to work it in for this month. We hope you enjoy it.


Hot Topics

  • The lack of effectiveness of the Hollow racial weapons. Many players have complained about the relative ineffectiveness of Hollow staff and dagger. We know this is a complicated issue, and that many players have chosen to embrace using the racial weapons because of their cheap (or no) cost, but we remain firm in our unwillingness to give any improvements to these weapons or the general racial skills at this time. If players want the most effective weapons, they should elect one of the 4 main weapon skills: Sword, Mace, Axe, or Spear. This will be true for all aspects of weapons, including Hollows.



While we acknowledge that not everything is balanced in this regard currently (Hollow katar, triple-strike dagger), we are working hard to make sure that ultimately, these dynamics are balanced correctly.

Also, while we know that some players have spent points on these skills (in some cases spending up to 12 credits on specialized unarmed if one isn't a Sho), we end up in the near-impossible position of being able to design items not just for 10 different weapon classes, but then taking into account the heritage of a given character versus what weapon that character is using. . . we ultimately decided to keep following our chosen path: Sword, Mace, Axe, and Spear will continue to be the best weapons for a melee type. They will get the maximum benefit of any dynamic we introduce in the future, or of any existing dynamic that we tweak. While players who choose to use only a racial weapon will see the benefits from tinkering, their power will not ultimately match the power of a player with a non-racial weapon. Will they be effective enough? In most situations, yes.

  • Our fix for health potions has met with a lot of constructive feedback about how to alter the fix to not harm unnecessarily those crafters who were not creating health potions for gobs more pyreals than their actual cost. One suggestion we will investigate for June will be reducing the burden of Neutral Balm.
  • Once we do our changes to the Magic system, Level 6 scrolls will no longer be convertible to level 7 spells. We expect these changes to happen in either June or July, but players should plan for June if they wish to maximize the value of their scrolls. Post-June (or July), players will find level 7 spells directly in the Steel Chests.



Next Month and the Future
Next month, as discussed in the recent Dev Chat, we will see the beginning of some of the biggest alterations that Asheron's Call has seen since its inception two and a half years ago. We are working hard to get the magic system changes implemented and polished, and then we will turn our attention to the Tinkering system.

Next week we will send out an update on the Zone, detailing what our current system of the magic changes will be. We've been actively listening to your feedback through player boards and email, and we've incorporated some of that feedback into our latest revision of the changes.

Also next month, look for some of the Treasure system changes (including a revamp of the armor generation system) that were unfortunately postponed this month.

Once we finish our magic and Tinkering changes, we will then have a much better sense of what the next few months will bring, and we will be sure to update you then.

Our storyline also begins to heat up this month, and it really begins to cook next month and beyond. While we are very proud of the new features and revisions to game systems that we have been working on for the last few months, we are even more excited to bring you the greatest epic storyline Asheron's Call has yet seen.

See you next month.

--The AC Team

State of the Code

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

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State of the Code


May 22, 2002

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 Asheron's Call.

May Hotfix Update
At 5:30 PM PDT, all the worlds will be coming down for a hotfix for the server issues that players have been experiencing today. The worlds will be down approximately from 5:30-8:30 PM PDT. We apologize for the inconvenience.

May Hotfix

  • Silencia should now be selling all the glyphs. We were able to fix this on the fly on each of the worlds.
  • We now know what is causing the server performance issues on the worlds. It is related to the fix we made for the teleporting monster corpse issue. This bug is the cause of the other aberrant behavior players are reporting. We are fixing this currently, but we have no ETA on when the update for this fix will take place. As soon as we have an ETA, we will go ahead and announce it.



What are the crafting skill checks needed to create the new Isparian Weapons?
The crafting checks are based off of achievable stats at level 50. They take into consideration buffing as well. There has been some player discussion that places the skill checks well beyond the range of what the average player of Asheron's Call could achieve before level 100. This is simply not the case.

With these weapons we introduced a new dynamic in crafting that would allow a player who obtains the lowest quality initial item, in this case a Pyreal Infused Ingot, to have the chance to create the Perfect final version. The skill checks for those interactions are extremely high.

True Alchemists will be best at making the highest quality of Ingot, as has always been the case, and the skill check is very high. But again, the "best" version of the items is meant to be difficult to obtain.

May Event Notes
The following are known bugs with the new Atlan quests:

  • Silencia is not carrying the glyph for the new Claw (Unarmed) and Atlatl. The items were incorrectly referenced in the vendor's inventory and do not show up. Thrown Weapons and Unarmed Weapon users were not left out intentionally.
  • The new Atlan Dagger will have updated graphics. An art change was never added to the files associated with the weapons which resulted in a traditional "trowel" look for the Dagger. The new Dagger looks more like the icon depicted in your inventory.


The following are known bugs with the Nuhmudira's Boon quest:

  • Hiro mistakenly gives the Red Gorget in exchange for the Green Gorget. An error in the NPC's logic is having him refer to the low level version of the quest when players turn in Unimbued Gorgets. Players that turn in the Red Gorget will not be able to complete the higher version of the quest.
  • The boons have an extra 50 points of Arcane Lore requirement incorrectly added to them. The data used was an older version. We rethought the level of difficulty and implemented the further restrictions of craftsmanship and level, and errantly left the higher Arcane Lore requirements.


All fixes for these bugs will be made next month.

I have noticed when I go into the Residential Quarters there is quite a bit of lag and sometimes I even get disconnected. Is there something going on?
With the introduction of Residential Quarters, we have seen some performance issues, such as an increase in lag reports and server disconnects. We are working on this situation and hope to have a fix soon. Additionally, we have decided to temporarily suspend additional Residential Quarters and landscape housing for the month of May. Instead, we will take this time to evaluate the system and identify ways to resolve these performance issues. We apologize for the inconvenience and we will keep you up to date on our progress for fixing the current situation.

__________


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.

WARNING UPDATE

If you own any housing, please check to see if you have double spawns of hooks or chests (using the [ and ] keys). If you do, remove all your items from them. On May 15, we will delete the duplicate hooks/chests. As there is no way to tell which hook or chest will be the one deleted, we advise you to remove all your items from them before May 15.
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