Announcements - 2002/08 - Atonement

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August 2002 - Patch Page

Contents


Teaser

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEAugteaser1.asp

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First Hints of the August Event!


July 30, 2002

As the threat of Gaerlan continues to loom over the people of Dereth, new challenges and abilities await the players of Asheron's Call in the August Event!

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AugCovenant.jpg


AugArc.jpg


AugCovenantShield.jpg


AugSlayer.jpg

Teaser 1

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventteaser0802.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Atonement


August 9, 2002

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(View the preview movie for the August Event here --14.5 MBs.)

He moved quickly. It was necessary; he would soon be missed, and he could not bear the strain that it would put on his mother. He decided to go after the start of Alba'rel's cycle, slipping through the portal under an assault of acidic clouds and frosty air.

Asheron had not yet stirred, and every day the color drained out of his face a little more. Borelean's mother dressed the wound every few hours, yet each new dressing revealed that the old one was horribly stained. The wound simply would not knit. When his mother slept, Borelean had tried to heal Asheron's wound using what little life magic he had been taught. It was to no avail. Asheron was dying, and Dereth with him.

Rithwic was silent, save for the peddlers who mostly wept and wondered when Gaerlan's forces would return. Worse, they pondered where this Harbinger would rise, what it was, and how they would stand against it.

Gaerlan had proven to be unstoppable. His armies had swept across Osteth into the civilized towns and laid siege without effort. Now they held nearly every city across Dereth in an ever-tightening grasp. For every elemental that fell to the blades of the Isparians, another would rise, followed by its brethren. Gaerlan had proven that he was immune to the barriers Nuhmudira had created to shield the Isparians from the Empyrean, so even the sanctity and safety of being within one's home had become unsure.

In mansions maintained by the richest and most powerful nobles, panicked voices rose to question Gaerlan's intent. “Is he bringing back the Hopeslayer?” “Is it Bael'Zharon?”“The master Lady Aerfalle speaks of?” All these questions and so few answers. In a time before, his mother had stood by the side of many of these men and women and brought down a Shadow Spire outside Cragstone. Those days were now forgotten. Some muttered now that High Queen Elysa Strathelar was a corrupt noble who had secured her position through her friendship with Asheron. Regicide was never far from their minds. Borelean was young, but he was quickly losing his innocence about the world and the people who would one day be his subjects.

During his mother's council meetings, he had listened to the councilors and watched the proceedings through a crack in the door. He knew that his mother was the strongest-willed person on this world, and though at times she was overprotective of him, her first duty was the safety of her people. Now, however, she knew that they faced a foe against whom they had no hope--none without Asheron. The Isparians truly were fledglings on this world. The magic at Gaerlan and Asheron's command was advanced far beyond anything any of them understood. That is, any except Martine.

Borelean remembered when Bael'Zharon had first come to Dereth, how his mother had warned him that she was going to face grave danger and that he needed to be brave for her. He had not understood what she'd meant, until now.

He passed the beleaguered Lugian Emissary speaking to a passer-by. “Have you heard anything about Linvak Tukal? Timaru?” the gray giant asked in a deep gruff voice. The passer-by shook her head and moved on into the night.

Borelean stopped and looked at the Lugian as the first drop of rain fell from the sky. “Linvak Tukal? Are you worried that your home is in danger too?” he asked.

The gray giant kneeled to speak to him. “Of course I am, little boy. Whoever this man is, he will not stop with your race. He does not mean to stop with any of us. He will fight until we are all gone.” The Lugian managed a smile and stood upright once more. Borelean gazed up at the hulking mass of the Lugian for a long moment, then sprinted toward the portal as the rain intensified.

The tunnels were easy to navigate. He wasn't the only child among those who milled within, so he easily made his way through the crowd without being noticed. He followed the passage upward and looked in on the throne room where Martine sat. Creeping silently across the floor and past the two slumbering forms outside, he pulled himself through a window and looked at the man.

“Why did you try to kill Uncle Asheron?” he asked without fear.

The man's head, devoid of skin, twisted unnaturally as the masked face seemed to regard him.

“He's not dead. Not yet. You can make things right.”

Borelean's words were met with silence.

Continue with the story

Unlike any other gaming experience, the world of Asheron's Call continues to evolve. Join us, as we open our August Event, Atonement. Be sure to continue your part in this incredible ongoing story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Teaser 2

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventteaser20802.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Atonement


Continued...

“It is not possible!” Gaerlan fumed. “I followed the rituals perfectly as they were laid out in the book! How could she have been freed? There is no way. . .”

His ice blue eyes looked out over the horizon. Below him, off at a great distance, he could see the Crater Lake. “Vermin! Freeing a murderer, a seeker of Falatacot ways! A Blood Witch! You are not worthy!” He gripped the hilt at his waist and let out a low growl. “Soon Iasparailaun, soon.”

He tapped the hilt and turned toward the tower. Wind rushed over the edge of the battlements and coalesced into a tangible being.

“Master. We are prepared.”The voice slipped into his mind. Concentrating for a long moment, he saw what his army saw. Each stood ready for the final assault.

Although he still commanded the forces of the elements, the Harbinger could not be summoned without a physical form to contain its power. Undoubtedly the small minds of these Isparians were oblivious to his failing, and the occupation of Osteth would crush their wills and secure his victory. Nevertheless, he needed to act quickly. The vermin must not be given any chance to take advantage of this setback. One example had already been made, and as long as the wreckage smoldered, etched in their memory, he had an advantage over the Isparians. Still, the Harbinger was coming. Unless he stopped it, it would consume everything.

He still had time. Not much, but enough.

*****

“The Lugians delivered the armor to us as promised. But when the storehouses were raided, we lost every last piece. We have had very little luck ascertaining the whereabouts of anything that was taken.”

Ciandra paused and looked across the room, then swallowed hard before she continued.

“We also lost the amulets, all of them. We sent citizens to collect them, but all that have been retrieved are ruined. High Queen Elys

a has been more than helpful, her Royal Guard have assisted us at every turn.

“Asheron came to us a few months ago. . .” Ciandra stopped short as her guest lifted a quizzical brow, a lattice of wrinkles joining together in a spider web across her forehead.

Ciandra cleared her throat, then continued. “His assistance proved invaluable in much of our research. We have created a new kind of device, as instructed, that will allow weapons and wands to bite deeper against a chosen entity. Thus far we have only succeeded in altering the focus to deal with the elemental menace, but we continue our research to increase the spectrum of creatures that such items will affect.”

Her guest reached forward and collected a ceramic mug from the table. Carefully, Ciandra lifted the teapot and filled the mug.

“We have also made great strides in tinkering as well. Everything has continued to fall into place.” Ciandra paused. “Nuhmudira?”

Her guest sipped the tea gently.

“How did you escape?”

“There are more important things to attend to than the how of my escape.” Nuhmudira smiled, and placed the mug on the table with a gentle clink. “Please tell me more. . .”

Ciandra obliged as the night slowly gave way to the dawn.

*****

Antius drank from his waterskin. Timaru was fast becoming a second home to him, though Lytelthorpe was only a few portal trips away. He had been upon Marae Lassel since the High Queen had asked that he watch the comings and goings from Martine's Holding some months before, and he had come to appreciate the free spirit of Timaru. He stayed with the Aun Tumeroks from time to time and listened to the wisdom imparted by Aun Hareltah. He had found them to be an intricate people with a rich heritage far more in tune with the spirits of the world than the Isparians'.

News of recent events on Dereth had reached Aun Hareltah and had disturbed the quiet of the Timaru Xuta. The disquiet was grave enough to call the Shamans from their drumming circles. As Antius watched the discussion being held in the lodge, he wondered what could possibly be so important as to call them from the Menhir Rings. After a few hours, Hareltah emerged from the tent and walked in a slow gait toward Antius.

“The Spirits within the world weep, but their tears are drying quickly,” Aun Hareltah said. A look of concern passed over the elder's face. “Our duty is to protect Palenqual from Wharu, Ispar Antiusnua, yet the spirits of the land have spoken to us. You will be needed soon by your Xuta. There is a great force coming, one that will lead to the eradication of all that lives and dies. Even Wharu's children cannot face down this thing.”

Antius looked at the Elder quizzically, then nodded. Magic had fluctuated and not for the better. Everything had changed in the wink of an eye, and though it was possible to adapt, it was nevertheless something that had not been expected.

“Before your people came among us, one like you, but touched by Atua Ngamaru, spoke of a powerful Pale One who had not left with the others. He called that one Asheron. You must seek him. He is needed for this world to survive.” The Elder placed his hand upon Antius' shoulder and bowed his head gently. Antius repeated the gesture, pondering what Hareltah had said. As the Elder turned back to the tent, Antius withdrew a sapphire orb from his pouch and muttered the words that would take him to High Queen Elysa's castle.

He arrived to find the castle in utter ruin.

“The same happened in Yanshi.” A voice called behind him. A man in the yellow and red robes of the royal guard stood at attention, looking at him as though he knew him.

“Antius Blackmoor, yes?” Antius nodded. “The High Queen has a new request of you. Please follow me.”

*****

The fever tugged at him again. Elysa pressed the cloth against his burning brow and spoke to him as she had for nearly two months now.

“Do you remember when you told me that you had made a difficult decision, Asheron?” She smiled as she dipped the cloth into the basin. “I know what you meant, and I'll be damned if you made that choice just to leave us. So you need to fight. We need you. Gaerlan is growing stronger by the day.”

A tiny voice sounded from behind her, distant, almost unreal.

“Mother. . .” She turned and saw Borelean.

In one fluid motion, her left hand grasped the bow as her right hand slipped an arrow from beneath Asheron's bed. She had nocked and aimed the arrow by the time she was standing. Her eyes were fixed on the eyeholes of the mask of the man standing behind her son. Beneath them, she could see a glint of white, of something not quite human, not quite Virindi. A chill ran down her spine. It was Martine.

“Hello, Elysa.”

__________

Rollout Article

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/asheeventrollout0802.asp

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Atonement


August 15, 2002

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(View the teaser movie here : 14.5 MB)

An uneasy peace had settled over the town since the final defeat of the Elemental Generals and the appearance of the portal to Gaerlan's Sanctum. Accounts from those daring enough to enter said the halls of the sanctum echoed with incantations. Strangely, although these brave souls said they heard the words of the spells in another language, the words' meanings appeared in their minds. Gaerlan seemed to be calling the elemental forces together into one form. Considering his contempt for Derethians, all knew this didn't bode well for them. However, Gaerlan's efforts seemed to have been stymied by the loss of his “vessel,” the missing Nuhmudira that he had been planning to use to contain the Elemental force. It was hoped that this obstacle would prevent Gaerlan from completing his work. In spite of that, it appeared now that he had pushed forward, with cataclysmic results for Yanshi.

It began with an earth-shattering explosion violently shaking the people of Yanshi from their beds. Pure mana exploded up from the earth below Yanshi, igniting the buildings of the town and sending the residents fleeing. Those that couldn't escape were killed in the explosions, but the Lifestones resurrected all--save one. The Jeweler Xao Wu never appeared. The survivors were stunned, for only a few had truly died a violent death since Asheron had perfected the Lifestones. The question was muttered among them: had Gaerlan found a means of breaking their connection to the Lifestones?

Yet the desperate times have brought boons to mages and warrior alike. The Arcanum's continued research into Empyrean transmutation techniques has resulted in new abilities for Tinkers. Now that they can imbue weapons and wands with abilities unseen before, Tinkers know they will be getting little sleep in the days to come. At the same time, the world's magical fields continue to shift, giving war mages new spells and increased power. After suffering from the effects of Gaerlan's tampering for months, these new abilities are a welcome change.

Along with all of this, tales are being told though that Martine has shaken off his stupor, and that the people of Dereth, coupled with the visit of young Prince Borelean, were responsible for helping him. As fantastic as these tales sound, more surprising events have happened. All that the people of Dereth can do is prepare themselves for the battles that are sure to come.

Following is a list of the most interesting additions made to the game with this update. However, please note that not everything has been included--that would spoil the fun of finding out all manner of things 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 features are not always listed here in their entirety.

Highlights Include:

  • The people of Dereth have reminded Martine of his humanity.
  • New abilities and spells are available for War Mages.
  • A new style of armor is to be found in the land.
  • Magic Item Tinkering makes it debut.
  • More Residential Quarters are available for purchase.


Be sure to check the Developer's Notes for August and the Letter to the Players to learn more details of the Atonement 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/asheeventbuild0802.asp

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Developer's Notes


August 15, 2002

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Here are just some of the additions made in the August 15 game update, Atonement. 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, Atonement.

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

  • Gaerlan's elemental magic has changed the face of Osteth.
  • War Magic spells now benefit from a skill-based damage bonus. The amount of the bonus to the damage inflicted by the spell is based upon the level of the spell and the buffed skill of the spell caster. Please see this month's Letter to the Players for the full details on this new system.
  • In addition to the new damage bonus for War Magic, all mages have a chance of causing additional damage through a “critical strike.” In some respects, a critical strike is similar to melee critical hits, although the dynamic is very different. Our Letter to the Players explains this new system.
  • A new class of war spells, called arcs, has been added. These spells arc similar to arrows and do not “track” like other spells. This means the spell will land where the target was standing when the spell was launched, not an estimation of where the target should be if the target was moving.
  • The Slayer quality has been added to the Isparian wands. This quality will increase the damage of all projectile spells cast on the creature type for which the wand is a “slayer.” For example, spells that are cast while wielding a Smoldering Isparian Wand will inflict additional damage to Frost Elementals. This quality will not increase the effect of any spell that is not a projectile, ring, wall, or arc.
  • A new style of armor is now appearing as loot.
  • Both Hollow and Deadly Hollow weapons have been modified to do more damage. In addition, Deadly Hollow versions of Daggers, Nabuts and Katars can now be created. Players will also now be able to craft “Phantom” weapons.
  • Player Killers will find that recalling and logging out takes a bit longer. A Player Killer character now takes an additional twenty seconds to log out, while Portal Sending spells, such as those cast by the Shendolain Gem or the Aerlinthe Recall spell, delay for two seconds before taking effect. This does not affect characters that are not Player Killers.
  • Magic Item Tinkering effects make their appearance this month! There are three new effects that Magic Item Tinkers can add. For a full explanation, see August's Letter to the Players.
  • We have a new piece of armor to complement greaves. You should be finding tassets, armor that covers the upper leg, as loot on creatures.
  • There are 500 new Residential Quarters available for purchase.


Miscellaneous Improvements and Changes

  • A new wield requirement level has been added for melee weapons to provide an intermediate goal between the two existing requirement levels. We've also modified the wield requirements on the higher damage missile weapons to bring them more in line with melee weapons. These changes are fully explained in the Letter to the Players.
  • The individual protection multipliers provided by armor are now capped at 2.0. Previously, these protection multipliers could be raised above 2.0 through Item Magic Bane spells.
  • The descriptions of clothing and armor have been changed to reflect what areas they protect, not what areas they appear to cover. The Letter to the Players has more details on this change.
  • Due to the way vendors handled salvaged materials, selling salvaged materials was not working as we had intended. Only materials without an effect associated with them could be sold. This has been changed so that now, all blacksmiths, weaponsmiths, armorers, shopkeepers, and provisioners should purchase all types of salvaged materials.
  • The drop rates for some materials from higher-level loot sources have been slightly altered. Gold shouldn't be as prevalent as it once was, while Mahogany, Oak and Pine should be slightly more prevalent than they were before.
  • If a character's quest timer has not expired and they are prevented from picking up an item, they will receive a message explaining how long it is before they can pick up that item again.
  • The changes made to the sort order of items sold by vendors inadvertently changed the order in which creatures would wield their weapons. This caused creatures such as Lugians to wield melee weapons over missile weapons. This has been corrected and you should now be dodging rocks once again.
  • The quest spells from the Gredaline Consulate and those cast by the Lugian gems have had their duration increased to match the level of the spell they most closely represent.
  • Spell book filters now persist between logins and are specific to each character.



Minor Details

  • The mana cost for levels 1 through 5 Life Magic Drains has been reduced.
  • Due to a long-outstanding bug, translucent objects, such as some creatures or quest items, occasionally lost their transparency. This has been corrected and these objects should no longer loose their translucent quality.
  • The number of Eviscerators and Legionaries dropping the quest pincers has been increased. You will now find three Eviscerators that drop pincers in the “Lair of the Eviscerators” and two Legionaries dropping pincers in the “Ancient Empyrean Grotto.”
  • The difficulty level for creating Perfect Infused Pyreal Ingots has been lowered.
  • In adding the new armor for this patch, we discovered that Koujia Sleeves, Amuli Leggings and Steel-Toed Boots were infrequently appearing in higher quality loot sources. They have been modified so that they should now be appearing more frequently in higher-level loot sources.
  • We fixed a bug that would crash your client when you tried to set your client's font to one with a name longer than thirty-two characters and that did not exist on your system.
  • The examination panel has been slightly tweaked. Special properties on items, such as the Slayer quality, now display in a specific area. Also, since the Attack Bonus modifier provides no benefit to missile weapons, this information will no longer display when missile weapons are examined.
  • Kira Sojini and Guard Tsaya have had their gender issues resolved.
  • Wedding Planners are now wearing dresses. Previously they had been wearing a shirt and boots, but lacking pants. (Resisting the temptation to make a snide comment. . .)
__________

Letter to the Players

Original Link (now dead) - http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEletter0802.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Letter to the Players


August 15, 2002

August is another exciting month for players of Asheron's Call! Here is a summary of the changes and additions for August.

Armor Changes
Covenant Armor: This month marks the appearance of a new style of armor for players. In addition to being visually appealing, this armor is quite powerful, with protection values far beyond that of currently existing armor. However, this increased power prevents the armor from being tinkered, dyed, or even enchanted! Players looking for a suit of Covenant Armor will find it as treasure from higher-level treasure sources.

Tassets: We've had a breakthrough in armor technology. Players will now find upper leg armor, called tassets, as treasure at all levels of play.

Armor Coloring: Both the tassets and the Covenant Armor have unique abilities to allow players to customize their appearance. The Covenant Armor pieces have the ability to take on the color of the character's shirt and pants and use those colors as highlights. Players will be able to change the appearance of their armor simply by changing or dyeing their underlying clothing. Tassets also have the ability to take on another color, but in this case, they take on the color of the character's greaves. However, there is a restriction on this: the tassets only take on the color of the greaves if the tassets and the greaves are of the same type. If both pieces are metal, the tassets will take on the color of the greaves. The same is true if both pieces are leather, yet if the pieces are of different types, with one being metal and the other leather, the tassets will not take on the color of the greaves.

Areas Protected by Clothing and Armor: A long-standing issue in Asheron's Call has caused some confusion about what areas of the body are protected by various pieces of clothing and armor. When examining a piece of clothing or armor, a line of text detailing this item would appear in the examination panel. However, instead of stating what areas of the body this item protected, this was only a list of the areas of the character's body the item covered. For example, when examining a pair of boots, the examination panel would display that they covered the feet and lower legs. In reality however, the boots only provided damage protection for the character's feet. We have modified the examination panel for all pieces of armor and clothing so that it accurately displays the areas of the body these items protect.

Areas Protected by Clothing and Armor: A long-standing issue in Asheron's Call has caused some confusion about what areas of the body are protected by various pieces of clothing and armor. When examining a piece of clothing or armor, a line of text detailing this item would appear in the examination panel. However, instead of stating what areas of the body this item protected, this was only a list of the areas of the character's body the item covered. For example, when examining a pair of boots, the examination panel would display that they covered the feet and lower legs. In reality however, the boots only provided damage protection for the character's feet. We have modified the examination panel for all pieces of armor and clothing so that it accurately displays the areas of the body these items protect.

Armor Protection Caps: Each piece of armor and clothing in Asheron's Call has seven protection modifiers that affect the amount of protection it provides. These seven modifiers correspond to the seven types of physical damage found in game. The armor value of an item is multiplied by the modifier, which results in a modified armor value for that particular type of physical damage. While these modifiers are actually stored as numbers, when the item is appraised in game they are displayed as descriptions. The following chart breaks down descriptors to numerical values:

Descriptor Modifier
Poor 0.1 -- 0.4
Below Average 0.4 -- 0.8
Average 0.8 -- 1.2
Above Average 1.2 -- 1.6
Excellent 1.6 -- 2.0
Unparalleled 2.0


The Item Magic Bane spells modify these protection modifiers by increasing the multiplier and making the armor more resistant to that form of damage. In the past, these spells could increase the protection modifiers on some items far beyond the originally intended limit of 2.0. To address this, we've instituted a 2.0 cap on the protection modifiers. Any item that naturally or through spells had its protection modifier increased over 2.0 will now treat this modifier as though it had a 2.0 modifier.

Example: A piece of armor has a 1.3 protection (Above Average) against fire damage. Previously, casting Flame Bane 6 on this item would raise its protection to 2.8. Casting this spell now will only raise the protection to 2.0.

Enhancements for Player Killers
Timers: In the past, many Player Killers have complained that a character in danger could escape an attack by logging off or using one of the “Portal Sending” spells. To address these issues, we've added two new features that effect Player Killer characters only.

The first feature is a new log off timer. Player Killer characters now take an additional 20 seconds to log off. During these 20 seconds the character is unable to move, chat, or otherwise interact with the game. After 20 seconds the normal log off animation will be played. It should be noted that any time a character is logging off, PK or not, all physical attacks against them become automatically critical. (Note that spells do not share this behavior.) We hope this will stress the need to log off in a safe place.

The second feature is a new timer added to the “Portal Sending” spells. Portal Sending spells (such as “Aerlinthe Recall” and “Recall the Sanctuary”) and the spells cast by quest gems (such as Shendolain Portal Gem), now delay by 2 seconds before transporting the character. This 2-second delay is the normal delay seen in other portal recall spells.

Please note that these timer changes only affect Player Killer characters.

Hollow Weapons: In the August event, we've made some revisions to Hollow Weapons to make them more effective and provide players with more options in PK combat. To make these weapons more effective, the maximum damage for all Hollow and Deadly Hollow weapons has been increased. In addition, players will now be able to craft Deadly Hollow versions of all Hollow racial weapons. Another revision provides a new version of the Ravenous weapons, called Phantom weapons. The damage dealt out by these Phantom weapons ignores all armor values on a target. This includes the armor values provided by armor worn on the target as well as armor spells cast on the target. The only factors that reduce the Phantom weapon's damage are either the target's Natural Resistances or Life Protection spells.

Although we had hoped to provide Hollow and Phantom missile weapons for this event, we lacked the time to properly implement them. However, they will be available in a future event.

Wield Requirement Changes
Last month saw the addition of high-damage melee weapons with a 325 weapon skill wield requirement. After some thought, we determined that an additional level of skill-restricted weapon between the 250 requirement and the 325 requirement would be beneficial. That being the case, we have modified the treasure system to generate some melee weapons with a 300 requirement. Although these weapons will not have the maximum damage possible for that weapon type, these weapons would have come with a 325 requirement last month.

Also, we have added two new levels of wield requirements for missile weapons and adjusted the existing level of wield requirements to be more equivalent--in terms of invested experience--with the melee requirements. Missile weapons can now spawn with weapon skill requirements of 250, 270, or 290, depending upon their damage modifier.

Note that these changes only affect new weapons generated this month. Existing weapons will not be changed at all.

War Magic Changes
Skill Based Damage Bonus: As we previously announced, this month War Mages will begin seeing bonuses on the amount of damage their war spells inflict. This bonus is a percentage damage bonus on top of the normal war spell damage. This additional damage will be a constant percentage of the minimum damage value. The percentage is determined by comparing the level of the spell against the buffed war magic skill of the character. As the level of the spell increases, so does the potential for increased damage, although these higher percentages require more skill. Note that creatures do not receive this bonus.

Critical Strikes: In addition to the skill-based damage bonus, each projectile spell has a 2% chance of causing a critical hit on the target and doing increased damage. A magical critical hit is similar in some respects to melee critical hits (although the damage calculation is handled differently). While a melee critical hit automatically does twice the maximum damage of the weapon, a magical critical hit will do an additional half the minimum damage of the spell. For instance, a magical critical hit from a level 7 spell, which does 110-180 points of damage, would add an additional 55 points of damage to the spell.

Arc Spells: August also sees the addition of a new type of projectile spell, the Arc. While most projectile spells fly straight at their target, these spells arc similar to an arrow. They also differ from projectiles in the fact that they do not “track” like other spells. While a typical bolt spell will estimate where the target should be and aim for that location, an Arc spell will land where the target was when the spell was launched.

Slayer Wands: Projectile spells also now benefit from the “slayer” quality that first appeared on melee and missile weapons. While wielding slayer wands, players will see an increase in the damage dealt by projectile spells to the creatures that match the slayer type of each wand. Other effects of other types of spells, such as life magic transfers and harms, creature ineptitudes, or item enchantments, are not enhanced by this quality.

Magic Item Tinkering
The first three Magic Item Tinkering effects make their appearance this month. These effects are completely unique and add properties to items never before seen in Asheron's Call. Unlike other Tinkering effects, these effects can only be applied to a weapon once, and an item can only have one effect at a time. Due to these differences, these effects could more properly be labeled “Weapon Imbuing.” In the future, more standard Tinkering effects (i.e., those that can be applied more than once) may be available for Magic Item Tinkering.

Imbuing a Weapon: Imbuing a weapon with a new property involves many of the same steps as other Tinkering operations. As with other operations, one hundred units of a material have to be salvaged before the material can be used to imbue a weapon. The difficulty of the operation is also based on the same factors as other Tinkering operations. This means that the quality of the salvaged material, the quality of the target item, and the Magic Item Tinkering skill of the character all still affect the difficulty of the operation. It should be noted that imbuing is more difficult than other Tinkering operations, and in this tricky process the chance of success is never great. The other restrictions also still apply, so an imbued sword or dagger cannot be hilted, and these imbuing operations count against the total number of tinkering operations that can be performed on an item.

Effects: The following three effects are available in August:
--Critical Strike: Applying this effect to a weapon or wand increases the chance of inflicting a critical hit when wielding this item. The percentage of increase is determined by the base skill of the character wielding the item.
--Crippling Blow: This effect increases the amount of damage a weapon or wand does when it causes a critical hit. Again the higher your base skill, the more damage you will do when causing a critical hit.
--Armor Rending: The final Magic Item Tinkering effect allows a weapon to ignore a portion of the target's total armor, including the value added by a shield. The effect is similar to the effect of Phantom weapons. The percentage of armor the weapon ignores is based upon the base skill of the character. This effect is not available for wands because war magic already ignores physical armor and armor spells.

The Future

Next month's event is promising to be one of our biggest yet, providing players with quests and content unlike any seen before in Asheron's Call. We'll see you next month, and thanks for playing!

Video

Gaerlan attempts to raise the Harbinger using Nuhmudira as a vessel but fails due to her prior escape. The energy from the failed summoning destroys the town of Yanshi. Meanwhile Borelean goes to Martine and convinces him to save Asheron. <youtube>2L8pweOvj2c</youtube>

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