Announcements - 2010/01 - Reforging the Past

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Teaser

Original Link - http://ac.turbine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=533-reforging-the-past&catid=81-2010&Itemid=68

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Reforging the Past


“There are dark days ahead”

The man rested back against the chair as he spoke this, his eyes showing deep thought as the words flowed out. Jovanni stood in front of the desk. He understood the gravity of the situation well as he had been briefed on it all before.

“If the whisperings are true then there most certainly is, although people will be blinded by the celebrations ahead.”

The man pushed himself forward. His eyes now focused with determination as the plan formed within his head. Loyalty filled Jovanni's veins making him the perfect face for the operation. Able to follow the commands sent down from above without question, while perfectly instructing those beneath him.

“We are going to need warriors, hardened and ready for battle. The enemy will be stronger than us. We will need sufficient numbers to hold them at bay.”

“I agree, what shall we do?”

“We will offer guidance to those new to these lands. A center they can gather in and be led the way to skill and power. The training will be accelerated for we do not know how much time we have before the enemy strikes.”

“Do you think they can handle it, all that training in a shortened span of time, their powers growing quicker than those who came before? Isn't there a risk of pushing them too far, too fast? Couldn't they hit a breaking point and become useless to use, useless to this world?"

The man thought over his plan, training would separate the weak from the rest. True leaders would emerge and rise to the top. In times of great struggle man has to sacrifice, has to bleed, and has to give all of himself to the cause. Those who broke would in turn make the others stronger, more determined to prevail. In a way they were doing their own part, even if it meant they would never be the same again.

“It is a risk we have to take. There will be those who don't make it, but for the ones that do they will be strong.”

“I understand. It is just difficult to think about, but I know what is at stake. So what are my orders going forward?”

“We need to set up a training center and have plans in the making to direct all new arrivals to pass through. This is stage one of the plan and we need you, Jovanni, to oversee the operation of the facility, to keep an eye on the new arrivals and keep note of any that show promise.”

Jovanni knew he was going to be in command of some part of the operation, never had he considered it would be one of such high importance. Apparently his superiors saw something in him of worth, he couldn't help but wonder at what it would be. Then he clued in on the phrase “stage one”, his curiosity as to what else might be involved.

“I thank you for that honor and I will not let you down. If I may ask, what comes after stage one?”

“The second stage of the operation isn't as overt as the first. We have searched out people who will aid us in secret; they will offer a faster level of training to the unwitting recruits as they exit the facility. This way we can continued the increased rate of training while seeing how they perform without direct guidance. This is a crucial step, independence. Now you must depart for the facility at once, new arrivals will be showing up shortly.”

Jovanni arrived at the facility and performed a thorough inspection of both the building and the wardens under him. They seemed a capable bunch and the program appeared to have been well planned out. It was a smooth pipeline the recruits would flow through, it was as efficient as it was innocent in appearance.

As Jovanni made his way back to the entrance of the building he noticed his first arrival making his way down the stairs. He quickly mulled over the speech he had prepared before greeting the young man.

“Welcome. We're an independent group organized to ensure that adventurers are as capable as possible. We are currently working on improving our connections with the Exploration Society. You did get the orb that brought you here from them.”

“We've searched out a variety of tests for worthy adventurers and erected a portal network as a support structure. Talk to our wardens, they'll grant access to the portals and tell you what we need done. If you return to us with proof of your deeds we'll see to it that you're rewarded with practical knowledge that will serve you well in future adventures."

“To my left are the easier tasks, to my right are the harder tasks. If you go straight you'll find access to other tasks for which we won't be able to reward you but are worth the effort. Best of luck to you and I wish you a safe journey”


The plan was in motion and the first recruit had already arrived. There was no turning back, no questioning the plan. Only the future knew if the right decisions had been made.

Rollout Article

Original Link - http://ac.turbine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=536-rollout-fiction&catid=81-2010

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Rollout Fiction


Master Craftsman Takahume sat at a makeshift desk, poring over documents and maps. “He's got to be out here somewhere,” he said to his assistant.

“Are we sure?”

“There's no other place they could've placed him.” Takahume nodded at the notes, artifacts, and signs tracking the passage of the Gear Knights once they had arrived in Dereth. The once tidy tent had quickly become overrun by all the records of their ongoing investigation.

“And the information we recovered in our searches of the ruins was accurate?” asked the assistant raising his voice to be heard over the excavations outside the tent. A great many Arcanum researchers were excavating this ruin, in the middle of the Olthoi-infested region of northern Dereth. This excavation site was the fourth such one in the last few weeks, with the previous ones failing to turn up Gear Knights, but providing more clues to their actual location.

“They have to be, or I don't think we'll ever find a way to stop this invasion,” replied Takahume, without ever lifting his eyes from the stacks of research notes he was sifting through. “The Gold Gear Primus is our best hope to end this before it turns into full-scale war. We have enough enemies in Dereth, without those damnable Apostate Virindi setting us up with a new one. Especially one this powerful and organized.”

“If we can turn the Gear Knights into allies, would it make that much of a difference?” asked the assistant.

“Indeed it could,” Takahume replied. “If we could even redirect the Gear Knights against their actual enemies, the Apostates, we'd be in a much better situation than we are now. If the Gear Knights are as honorable and driven as Nurino's findings indicate...”

Takahume's discussion with his assistant was suddenly interrupted by a startled cry from outside. As quickly as the cry went up, the sounds of shouting and battle erupted from the guards, along with the telltale shrieks of a large band of Olthoi.

“Not now…” sighed Takahume, as he grabbed his casting orb and ran out the front of his tent. Queen Elysa's guards were stationed around the perimeter, to keep any bands of Olthoi from interfering with the work or killing any of the researchers, and it sounded like their defenses were now being tested. Takahume quickened his pace.

The scene outside was a grisly one. A large party of Olthoi had engaged the Royal Guards on two sides of the site, while a third group had tunneled into the area and attacked the researchers directly. While the guards were fairly evenly matched against their foes, they were hard-pressed to get any aid to the researchers without sacrificing their line of defense.

“It seems we've worn out our welcome,” Takahume said to his assistant, while whipping off a spell to heal an injured guard nearby. He may have been mostly trained in arts other than combat, but he had a fair bit of skill at Empyrean Magics, and he wasn't about to let his less skilled researchers suffer when it was in his power to help.

“It seems so, indeed,” came the reply, as the assistant pulled a cestus from his belt, grabbed a shield from near the tent entrance, and threw himself at a pair of Eviscerators who were tearing apart a group of researchers. “A good many of us will need to be picked up at the Lifestones today, I'm afraid.”

Their conversation was soon lost to conflict, as the stream of attacking Olthoi increased. After several minutes, a large number of guards had died, as well as about half the researchers. The sheer number of Olthoi corpses in the area was impressive, but as was the case when the Olthoi got organized, for every one that fell, two took their place. Takahume began to wonder if their excavations had annoyed a local Matron, or young Olthoi Queen. The Olthoi rarely were this intelligent in their attacks without a Matron or Queen organizing them.

“We can't afford to lose this site to them!” Takahume yelled to the remaining defenders. “There's no telling how much damage they'll do if they overrun us and we need to get reinforcements! We could lose the trail to the Primus completely!”

The researchers were doing their best to stay together in tight groups and defend themselves, but most had little to no actual combat experience. They were mostly surviving by using whatever they could get their hands on as cover. Struggling, those with some skill at Life Magic or Healing were doing their best to keep their defenders alive until the guards could get to them. They had managed to slow the rate of their losses, but more and more were falling to the Olthoi with every passing moment, the spirits of the fallen rushed to their Lifestones. Takahume was also not looking forward to a trip to the Lifestone. He had managed to make it many years in Dereth without ever dying, and it was an experience he had hoped to avoid at all costs.

He turned to provide more healing support to the front line of guards when he heard a sound behind him that sent chills up his spine. A half-dozen Mutilators had gotten inside the lines, and were coming up behind him fast. Behind them was a young Matron, emerging from the tunnel the Olthoi had used to attack the researchers directly. With a certain resigned finality, he turned to face this new threat. Better to slow them down than to let them tear into the guards from behind. Maybe he could even make the Matron more vulnerable to the guards' attacks before he fell.

As the Mutilators closed in, a rumbling sound arose from the ground at Takahume's feet. “Oh great, now what…” muttered the crafter. Just then, a gauntleted bronze arm ripped free from the ground, grabbing the closest Olthoi by the leg and spinning it into the remainder of the charging insects. A badly damaged, sparking Gear Knight rose slowly from the ground, shaking dirt from his joints as he did so.

“You will not have my Lord, vermin!” the Gear Knight bellowed at the Olthoi, as he staggered forward and engaged the insects that moved to protect the Matron. Takahume was stunned, and stood there for a moment, watching the Gear Knight advance. He had come hoping to find the Gear Knights, but he never expected to be saved by one in the process. “Well,” he said to himself, “I guess we've finally found what we were looking for.”

Release Notes

Original Link - http://ac.turbine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=532-january-2010-release-notes&catid=81-2010

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January 2010 Release Notes


Greetings and welcome to the January 2010 Release Notes! This is our first update for the New Year and we have some exciting things planned for this year. New players are getting some much needed love this month, and we feel this will make those early levels much more user friendly. This among other things will make this month a great way to start off the New Year. So let's see what is new and exciting this month in Asheron's Call!

New Player Hub
The Asheron's Call team is always trying to improve the overall experience that players have when in Dereth. Over the years there have been many changes that have affected how new players experience the game. Due to the increasing average level range of players, more stress has been placed on having a smooth process for advancing new characters. Where it was once accepted practice to float around Dereth as a drifter for weeks finding new quests with other players in your level range, now players must first ascend to a higher level to meet the average player. Due to this we've decided to introduce a more guided New Player Experience that introduces players to the land and stories of Dereth using pre-existing quests. This update also introduces significant additional rewards for running these quests.

Upon exiting a starter dungeon or interacting with an Exploration Society greeter the player will receive an orb. This orb has hints of a greater cause but requires the player to advance to level 10 before they'll be able to equip it and see where it leads them. Upon reaching the 10th level a player will be able to use the orb's innate spell on themselves to find what lies ahead.

Coming out of portal space the player is introduced to a group of adventurers who have banded together with the cause of assisting new adventurers in attaining the experience they need to defend Dereth from the greater dangers it faces. The Facility Steward will explain to players the functions of this Portal Hub. Portal Wardens stand vigilant watch waiting for new players to tell them of adventures and ask of them proof of their deeds. Each Portal Warden watches over a portal that leads to near a specific quest and asks proof of that quests completion in exchange for bits of practical knowledge (also known as experience).

The Hub is separated into seven different areas. Each Hub is intended to increase the player 5 levels across the span of three quests. The Hub also provides access to other non-associated quests that are worth running, namely Pincer and Tusk quests from level 1 to 40, as well as a portal to Dryreach with directions to the Tumerok Camp sites. At any time a player may use their orb to return to the Hub.

Portal Wardens are only interested in seeing items you have found on your adventures in exchange for rewards, they allow you to keep anything you show them. A player who completes all the quests in the hub and shows each warden proof of their deeds will find themselves nearing the level 50 mark.

We feel this is a tremendous step in the right direction not only for our existing players, but also for any new players coming into Asheron's Call.

Miscellaneous Changes
Game Quest Timers have been standardized. The longest quest timer is now 27 days.

We have fixed an issue with the Gift Box Quest.

The Niffis on Freebooter Isle has been rebalanced to be a bit more difficult based on the matching the quality of loot it drops.

Poison Health has been removed from Sclavus due to some warriors feeling they are too squishy to handle this.

Ries Woron now offers a yes/no dialog if the quest has been running for more than 5 minutes.

Ries Woron will trade a piece of Thug armor for the same piece, to allow people to get rid of their pieces that they have used Ivory on.

Cleaving should now always hit the target that the player has selected instead of everything but.

Aqua Vitae has had its stack size increased to 1500.

Several bugs/issues with Mhoire Castle have been fixed or adjusted based on player feedback.

New command shortcuts for the slow typers among us.

  • /all = /allegiance
  • /cor = /corpse
  • /hou = /house
  • /lif = /lifestone
  • /mar = /marketplace
  • /pka = /pkarena
  • /pkl = /pklite
  • /pla = /pklarena
  • /hor = /house recall
  • /hom = /house mansion_recall
  • /hoa = /house alleg_recall
  • /alh = /allegiance hometown
  • /allegiance commands - br = broadcast ch=chat ho=hometown
  • /house commands - re=recall ma=mansion_recall

This month we have also gone through several quests to give them an XP overhaul. We have also changed how the XP will share Pincer and Jaw turn-in quests. As of the January update 1/3 of the xp from these quests will be given as shareable XP, the rest will be given out as no share.

For example if you turn in a Pincer that gives 21 million XP, 7 million of that would be shared. Your character would then see the message:

You've earned 7,000,000 experience.
You've earned 14,000,000 experience.

Here is a list of the updated quests and the XP they now give out.

Quests:

  • Banderling Shrine - 8million
  • Crafting Forges - 100% PXP capped at 10/20/30 million depending on the dungeon you run
  • Enrico's Betrayal - 100% PXP (spread across 3 turn ins so 33% 33% 34%) cap 15 million
  • Mukkir Orb - 100% cap 10 million, 50% cap 15 million, 33% cap 23 million, 33% cap 33 million
  • Snow Lillies - 100% cap 20 million
  • Balor's Rescue - 10million note 20 million fur
  • Darling's Collar - lvl restriction lowered to 100. 17 million
  • Crypt of Adhorix - 23 million
  • Renegade Mace - 100% cap 29 million
  • Blood Gem - 100% cap 15 million
  • Pincers - Lowered to 1 week timer. 100% cap 500k/750k/850k - flat 1 million/2.5 million/5million/8 million/11 million
  • Tursh Totem - 100% cap 11 million/23 million/ flat 30 million/45 million
  • Refulgent Bracelet - 50% cap 4 million bracelet (non wearable version), 25% cap 2 million for each note
  • Olthoi Chasm – 3 million/10/15/20/25
  • Sword Bellenesse - 100% cap 40 million for handing in the attuned sword
  • Suzuhara Baijin's Delivery - 2.5 million each step (5million total)
  • Dark Spiral - Log Book 100% cap 13 million, Lore Book 100% cap 57 million
  • Necklace of Elemental Adepts - 45 million note turn in
  • Tusker Tusk - shortened to 1 week 100% pxp 100k/200/350/500/750/850/1 million/2.5 million - flat 3.5 million/5/6.5/8/11/20
  • The Moars - 100% 500k/1 million/4 million flat 8 million/15 million
  • Yanshi Shield – 30 million, extra 15 million first run
  • Tethana Tug of War - 5.3 million
  • Gaerlan's Citadel - Sword turn in @ level 40 -100% cap 3 million, @ level 80 60% cap 20 million @ level 80 22 million
  • Littlest Niffis - 100% cap 20 million
  • Gareth Dain - 100% PxP cap 18 million on translation
  • Decrepit Tower - 33%(34%) cap 2.5 million each tassel turn in (100% cap 7.5million)
  • Heart of Innocence - 100% cap 30 million
  • Temple of Stirring Shadow – 10 million mace 5 million book
  • Head of Baron Entemarre - 15 million
  • Tanada Storm - 15 million
  • Tanada Earth - 15 million
  • Whispering Blade/Rossu Morta boots - 25 million
  • Eater Jaws - shortened to 1 week. An extra eater jaw was added to the high level eater so it now drops 2 different jaws. The original jaw is still turned in for an augmentation gem on the 3 week timer; the new jaw is turned in for xp. 100% cap 2.5 million/ flat 8 million/15 million/35 million/40 million
  • Frore - Token from end chest turn in at Mairisa bint Fuda - 100% Cap at 18 million
  • Oswald's Dirk - Token from end chest turn in at Aaminah - 100% Cap at 18 million
  • Overlord's Sword - Token from end chest turn in at Lieutenant Rothe - 100% cap at 18 million
  • Orphanage - Token from end chest turn in at Arcanum for - 30 million
  • Collegium Occultus Ring - XP for shard turn in - 45 million


Society Tasks: DI = Dark Isle; GY = Graveyard; FB = Freebooter; MC = Moarsman City

  • DI Delivery to the Deep - 10 million
  • DI Ruschk Boss - 15 million
  • DI Black Coral - 10 million
  • DI Reports - 15 million
  • DI Scout - 10 million
  • GY Boss Kill - 15 million
  • GY Jaws - 15 million
  • GY Wight Mage kill task - 15 million
  • GY Cave tracing - 15 million
  • GY Supply Delivery - 10 million
  • FB Bandit Boss - 40 million
  • FB Jungle Flower - 15 million
  • FB Jungle Lily - 20 million
  • FB Moar Gland - 20 million
  • FB Moarsmen kill task - 20 million
  • MC Coral Towers - 20 million
  • MC Moarsmen kill tasks - 20 million each
  • MC Spawn Pools - 20 million
  • MC High Priest - 40 million
  • MC Artifacts - 15 million


So there are just some of the things we have in store for Asheron's Call in January. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are several new quests and exciting things going into the game for the January Event.

Developer Comments

January 12th to February 8th, 2010

AC Forums Reputation System

February 2nd, 2010 - Link

What is the Reputation System?
The Reputation System on the AC forums allows forum members to give and receive "Reputation" points to each other based on each others' posts. Did someone write a really killer guide to the latest quest? Did another member help you out when you had a question? Give them props through the Reputation system! The higher your Reputation, and the longer you've been an AC forums member, the more power you have to raise (or lower) other players' Reputations!

How do I give Reputation?
When you're looking at a post and want to give Reputation points to the poster, click on the Reputation icon, which looks like a pair of scales. You'll be asked if you approve or disapprove of the post; choose whichever you like, then click on "Add to Reputation."

How much Reputation can I give to other members?
How much Reputation you can give (or take) depends on how long you've been a member of the forums and how much Reputation you have yourself!

How often can I give Reputation to another user?
To prevent abuse of the system, you are limited to the number of Reputation clicks you can give in a single day, and you must give Reputation to a certain number of people before you can come back to someone you've given Reputation before. In essence, this means you cannot give any particular person Reputation more than once every few days.

I tried to give negative Reputation to a post I didn't like, but it wouldn't let me!
You must have at least the pre-set positive Reputation before you can give negative.

What does Reputation look like on the forums?
When you have positive Reputation, it is displayed as green boxes. The boxes are grey if you have 0 Reputation, and red if you have negative Reputation.

What do I get for having Reputation?
You'll earn Reputation titles based on your Reputation level - and the satisfaction of knowing your fellow members value your contributions to the forums! The Reputation Titles are viewable by hovering your mouse over a user's Reputation boxes.

Is there an easy way for me to see what Reputation I've received?
Once you've received Reputation from other users, clicking on User CP will show you the last 10 Reputation clicks you've received and on which of your posts. You cannot see who left the Reputation.

What if I don't want to display my Reputation to other forum members?
You can toggle whether your Reputation is displayed to other members by going to User CP -> Edit Options and checking or unchecking the "Show My Reputation Level" box.

How do I know how much Reputation I have?
Clicking on User CP will show your Reputation level in two places: On the right side of the "Latest Reputation Received" box, and in the Options menu, under the "Show My Reputation Level" option.

What's the best way to gain Reputation?
By posting useful, positive, or other posts your fellow community members like. Keep in mind that even if someone gives you negative Reputation for a post, it's your posts over time that will really decide how high or low your Reputation goes. Administrators will sometimes give Reputation for posts they find are particularly worthwhile.

What if I suspect abuse of the system?
To report abuse of the Reputation system, please use the Report icon to report the post in which the abuse took place, or contact the moderation team through the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. Please note that members' use of the Reputation system must comply with the Code of Conduct and Forum Guidelines, and administrators are able to view the Reputation left for and by users. Users who are found to be abusing the Reputation system may have their own Reputation level altered at the discretion of the moderators.

What happens if a user's Reputation gets too low?
If a user's Reputation goes below a certain threshold, they will automatically be moved to the Moderated usergroup, meaning all further posts will be placed in a moderation queue until the community team can review the circumstances and determine the correct course of action.

The review will include the user's posting history, but will also make sure the user has not been "griefed" through the Reputation system by any individual or group.

Have fun earning Reputation!

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
February 2nd, 2010 - Link

We have introduced a Reputation system to the AC forums. Using the Reputation system, you'll be able to give your fellow players props for their contributions to the community! Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the Reputation system, which works a little differently than systems you may have used on other forums (this system has also been running successfully on the DDO forums since last June).

Please use this thread for feedback and questions about the Reputation system, and please read the FAQ before posting. Thanks!

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
February 2nd, 2010 - Link

Q: "You must have more reputation to leave negative reputation for another user." *scratch head*

A: You must reach a certain undisclosed amount of positive reputation before you can give anyone negative reputation points.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
February 2nd, 2010 - Link

Remember, we can tell if anyone is attempting to game the system. We have been using this system already on our other forums, so its best just to use the system normally.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
February 2nd, 2010 - Link

Q: Why can we not create polls?

A: Polls or the lack of them is a general policy we have for all of our game forums.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
February 2nd, 2010 - Link

Q: Oh boy......I have a bad feeling that players that post unpopular views may be in trouble here....I count myself in that group.

A: Not necessarily. We have had this going for a while on our other game forums and we have yet to see anyone put in a bad place just for posting unpopular views.

As a matter of fact we have only had a very small number of posters actually end up with enough negative rep to be moderated. And in those cases, it was very clear those people were deserving of a timeout.

We saw these same worries come up with each launch of this system. So far we have not seen the issues that many posters were worried about.

Either way, we will be monitoring things closely to make sure all is going as it should.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
February 2nd, 2010 - Link

Q: Just another thought on this...would be cool to have a feature like this IN GAME that worked on account-wide basis. That way if you are dealing with a thief or other bad guy, you'd have a heads up even if they were hiding on another char. Maybe give something beneficial to those with good reputations that have been helpful to others.

A: Its funny, we actually spoke about this today at our team meeting. As much as all of us would love something like that, its probably not really possible. We do however have some other tricks up our sleeves.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
February 5th, 2010 - Link

Q: Are there titles for negative rep?

A: No.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations

Armor of Darkness

January 19th, 2010 - Link

Q: I went to pull my Darkness armor out of my chest with a mule, upon attempting to pick up second piece I got a timer message: You have solved this quest too recently!

A: When you trade in the armor you get a brand new piece.

Restriction quest flags move from and item to the player to keep them from picking up more then one.

So when you get the brand new piece it now has a quest flag on it again. The first time you drop and pick that piece back up it will move the quest flag to you. Now any piece that has a quest flag (any other new pieces) will block you from picking it up.

We can look into a way around this for trade ins next month. For now the simplest thing would be to have your alts pick up the new pieces and put them back in the chest, that will move the quest flag from the pieces to the alts and then any character can pick them back up.

Turbine Icon.png NoWorries
AC Quality Assurance

Building the Gearknight

January 22nd, 2010 - Link

Q: storage box did appear 15 minutes later. kinda crappy respawn rate if your a in a fellow with anyone. turning in box is a 13 day timer and nets you 1 mana key and 20 mill xp.

A: 15 minutes? *looks at the code* Doh! Sorry about that. IT'll be much faster next month. Moo moo, my bad.

Turbine Icon.png Kintani
AC Live Team

Command Shortcuts

January 12th, 2010 - Link

Q: It is nice that we have some shortcuts, but I'll still be using a plugin for my shortcuts.

A: Our main concern is that players used to the current in game commands would for as many as possible just use the first three letters so they didn't have to memorize shortcuts; when in doubt they all work the same.

That said, I already implemented the following, they just didn't make it into this patch:

/ah
/ls
/mp
/hr

These will be in the next patch. If I have time I can probably throw in /mr.

(Resolving server issues are sucking up time and the update didn't make it into the final build.)

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer

Facility Hub

January 12th, 2010 - Link

Q: It seems pretty clear that the goal of the new hub is to emulate 'modern' games, wherein there is no landscape and your character is placed in a tiny town with a bunch of NPCs who start quest instances. This is totally against the spirit of AC, and I wish that the developers would realize that trying to make AC into something that it is not is bad for everyone.

A: We fully understand that Asheron's Call is not a game about quest hubs and directed paths. Asheron's Call has long been a game about exploration and discovery. Finding a quest and learning how to run it is a very rewarding experience.

When AC launched there were plenty of characters in the lower level ranges and the landscape was balanced for travel of those low level characters across massive distances. In the last 10 years more players now exist in the higher level ranges and the landscape has become much more difficult to explore at a lower level.

These as well as many other factors have created a gap in questing for low level characters. The standard practice was simply to get buffed up and go kill creatures for a few hours until you could go to Fiuns. Killing has also long been part of Asheron's Call, but it shouldn't be the only viable method of leveling a character.

Knowing all of this we decided that the use of a more guided experience that introduced players to the wide open massive landmass of Dereth was a good change. Players learn about Dereth from the NPCs and always land outside the dungeons so they can look around and explore before they enter the quest. This increased the players familiarity with the landscape and its regions, the lore and many old quests that were not used.

It's not our intention to turn Asheron's Call into a bunch of hubs that take players directly to quest but we do want to show players the world at lower levels and allowing them to gain experience and level up through questing as well as hunting.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff
January 12th, 2010 - Link

Q: From what people are saying, it does sound like it is fun for low levels. I just wouldn't want it to become the 'next thing' with more of these being added for higher level quests, destroying the landscape element of the game.

A: Here's an anecdote that came up while we were designing this experience:

My room mate just started playing AC because, well, I bugged him enough that he finally did. In the few hours he'd played AC without me around he managed to hop through some portals and get himself really lost. I believe he was in Al-Arqas. Al-Arqas hasn't had much of a quest update since launch. The quests notes were very difficult to follow with any accuracy and the rewards for the quests were fairly low. (There are many quests like this in AC and trying to revise every starter town would take an excessive amount of time). The real issue came in the fact that he decided to play on DT and he couldn't simply recall to marketplace to get a portal bot to send him to Holtburg (though as a new player without asking or being told I doubt he would have even come up with how to get to marketplace let alone that there are portal bots) or someplace a bit more refined. He spent hours just trying to make his way through random portals and running across the landscape to find a better place to level his new character. In the end, he was back in Al-Arqas where he had lifestoned with no real progress.

With that in mind the hub allows new players who become misplaced in the world to center themselves when they become lost. It allows players to decide to explore without fear of not being able to get back to where they came from. That's something that really came to mind while we were creating this hub.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff
January 23rd, 2010 - Link

Q: I love the new quest hub, I've said that before, there is a LOT to be said for it on the positive side, and very little on the negative. BUT there is something I'd like to see changed/improved.

A: 1. Hub Gear - We would have loved to have the hub give out a more complete set of armor. Due to the truncated development cycle we have in December not everything was possible to fit in. Due to the nature of Asheron's Call adding new content in the coming months often takes priority but we are going to be attempting to tweak the starter hub the correct amount.

1a. For next month you can expect - A buff vendor (like the healers in other towns) who sells level 4 Attribute and Protection (and Armor Other) buffs. There will also be a passel of typos getting corrected (another result of that truncated development cycle). There are some other items on the list that will hopefully make it as well. Preferably there will at some point be an NPC who takes the rewards from the quests in exchange for an alternate currency. There would then be a vendor who sells items intended to be useful for players that are finishing the hub (armor/weapons/consumables).

2. Additional Hub Portals - We intentionally left these quests more vague. This is to introduce players to the less guided nature of the quests in AC that they will experience after leaving the hub. We take them directly to the portal entering the dungeon then let them explore the dungeon to find unique and interesting items. We did add information to the Tusker Tusks and Olthoi Pincers that indicate the exact location and NPC they can be turned in at. Anyone in the dungeon who explores and kills creatures should be able to find a pincer or tusk and derive from its description what they need to do with it.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Gear Knight Invasion Area

January 15th, 2010 - Link

Q: The high gearknight area in the Dires is great, challenging, loot, etc; however being a 10k run from any tie (portal or lifestone) and without a recall is a pain. I hate to hunt this area because it take way to long to get out there, and back out there if a trip to the lifestone is involved. Please add some means to make getting out there easier, I think this area would be much more popular if you did.

A: Means of getting to the Invasion Area. Got it. I'll look into it.

Turbine Icon.png Kintani
AC Live Team

Gift Boxes

January 12th, 2010 - Link

The gift boxes will be turned on shortly and they will run until next tuesday (19th).

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff
January 12th, 2010 - Link

Q: I knew Turbine would screw this up. I predicted it last month in the thread on this topic. I'm willing to bet it's hosed up next December as well when everyones 12 month timer isn't up yet.

A: The only way to make sure everyone is on the same footing is to put everyone back in the same place. Characters who got to complete the gift boxes last month didn't run them last year. Character who ran them last year didn't get to run them last month. In short all characters will have a total of two possible gift box completions for this year and last year. Same footing simply means that all players will have the same quest flags and be on the same timers.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Graveyard

January 20th, 2010 - Link

Q: There's two statues, why not make one statue for Lord Mhoire's tomb (GY Colo) and the other statue for Lord Mhoire's Castle?

A: When I get a chance I'll change it. My queue is very full right now with the big Spring update.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer

Hiltable Weapons

January 24th, 2010 - Link

Q: Could someone please confirm or deny the claim that you cannot add slayers to hilted weapons?

A: Multi-strike weapons currently can not have any additions added to them other than base tinkers and imbues. This may change at some point.

If anyone has feedback on using multi-strike weapons feel free to let us know.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Malicious Links in Chat

January 13th, 2010 - Link

Q: Especially new players. It seems there is many tries lately on the general chat of some servers where players think it is cool to try and ninja link web addresses into general chat containing key loggers and backdoor trojans.

A: In addition if you find someone doing this, please report the player via Urgent Assistance and send me a PM with all the information you can. We will check into this further and do our best to remove the offenders from being able to login to the game again.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations

Mana Forge Keys

January 20th, 2010 - Link

Q: NoWorries is this taking into account that MFK chests only spawn certain items; and monsters on DI drop numerous items?

A: It is not that straight forward parallel between the two methods. Also there are quests that should only take about 30-40 minutes worth of work and reward a 4 use key. And there are quests like Summoning Tthuun where you can get a key of several characters with only a couple minutes of work if you show up at the right time. So 1 key pull an hour is low.

Another factor is MFKs can be traded, so you could get a lot of pulls with little time. Where as you can't trade mob corpses to loot.

There are advantages to each method of gaining loot, but it is easier to look at what will happen.

If you use 4 keys to open weapon chests you will get on average 4 weapons, so 12 weapons. All of these weapons will be magic, have a higher chance of a good attack/defend bonus, have a higher chance of an epic, have a higher average damage, and all be in the 400-420 wield range. Where as hunting on DI you might get no weapons on a corpse, you might get mundane weapons on a corpse, might get 370 wield, lower damage, less chance of epics, higher chance at a lower damage.

The same goes for if you are trying to find spell comps, or armor. For armor now you have a better chance of getting a set piece and an epic.

On the other hand with hunting you are most likely getting more pulls in the same amount of time and a wider variety of loot. So if you are just trying to get some good loot and don't care what type it is (armor, weapons, comps) you can get a lot of it in a short period of time. The trade off being you are more likely to get a lot of pieces that are inferior.

There are uses for both approaches to getting loot, and different players will prefer one method over the other because it fits their playstyle more. But you can't make a fair direct comparison between the two methods because of how differently they are done.

Turbine Icon.png NoWorries
AC Quality Assurance
January 22nd, 2010 - Link

Q: I'd like a keyring for MFKs.

A: Keyrings could happen in the near future.

Turbine Icon.png Kintani
AC Live Team
January 31st, 2010 - Link

Q: You can't obtain 100 keys in 4 weeks unless you have like idk 10-15 characters and are in a society.

A: Just as a note, a single character can get over 100 Mana Forge pulls in a month from running quests. I'd have to check the exact numbers but a character can get at least 150 key pulls a month, broken keys, society chest keys, trading/buying.

This isn't 100 keys because many of them are multi-use keys. But it is essentially at least the equivalent of 150 single use keys in one month on one character. It would be a good amount of work to get them all each month though.

Turbine Icon.png NoWorries
AC Quality Assurance

Name Changes

January 13th, 2010 - Link

Q: I PM'd them both about a week ago, (I PM'd NoWorries again a few days ago with a follow-up) about changing my characters name; as it is offensive to my step daughter.

A: Generally name changes are not done unless the name is deemed offensive by a member of the CS staff. Please submit a help request in-game. With the name that you gave us via PM, I have no doubt that an Envoy will change the name for you.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations

Peas in Loot

January 14th, 2010 - Link

Yes, this was something that was being discussed long before that thread. As a matter of note, we tend to discuss many things related to the loot tables and such nearly every day.

As you all know, the game is ever changing. Some players will like the changes, while others may not. That is the nature of the game. You can never make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time. All we can do is what we feel is best for the game based on player feedback and the vision of the Dev team.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
January 14th, 2010 - Link

The Crystalline Crag was never intended to be an insane money making location. The loot profile was simply a higher tier profile of the same type that wisps have. This higher tier profile happened to drop a lot of peas.

Wisps were intended to be a very popcorn creatures that you could kill many of in a short time. Due to this seeing the actual pea drop rates made it necessary to change them.

We couldn't change the drop rates on peas in the profile without changing every other creature that also uses that profile (there are quite a few). Instead the profile was shifted to one that drops more magical loot and no peas.

Magical loot tends to have a higher value than non-magical loot but it has more burden per BU and takes up more space than peas. The total value of a kill is actually very similar as it was to peas considering every creature drops more magical items than it previously did.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Prismatic Plants

February 8th, 2010 - Link

Q: Yes, I agree with this. It could probably be done with a single palette. But, I doubt work will be done to add more dyes given that people will soon have a large variety of loot colors available.

A: No that's not how palettes work, and it wouldn't work as a palette. As Adventurer said, each armor would have to have a texture created using the prismatic texture.

Our dye system essentially tells the object to reference a different color. It doesn't ever tell it (nor can it) to change which texture it is using.

Turbine Icon.png NoWorries
AC Quality Assurance

PvP

January 14th, 2010 - Link

Q: Phantom damage is perfect for a quest item as far as PvP is concerned. Why dont you make weepings the exact same damage so groups raiding can use more than pierce? While you're at it, add new arrows too. This is getting dumb. For the last 2 years its been the same stupid elements for raid groups.

A: This is certainly something we can discuss.

Turbine Icon.png Frelorn
AC Community Relations
January 23rd, 2010 - Link

Q: Rend has no PvP bonus, CS has a 5%, and CB has a 15%, in addition to the buffable elemental PvP bonus.

A: All Imbued loot generated weapons have some level of PvP bonus. This includes Rending Weapons. The amount of PvP bonus is determined by the type of Imbue and the weapon type. Daggers for instance have a higher bonus than Swords. I'd have to look but as far as I know no weapon + imbue combination has a modifier of 1.0 (no damage boost).

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Quest Journal

January 14th, 2010 - Link

Q: Is there a way to automatically renumber the pages?

A: One thing I am hoping to do when I have time is to remove the page numbers entirely from the saved journal file. I can track the page numbers in code without explicitly writing them into the journal file. This will alleviate the problem of renumbering when people add pre-created pages to their journal file.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer

Respawn Timers

January 12th, 2010 - Link

Q: I do think some of the respawn timers could be shortened. Fifteen minutes at Trothyr's Rest was a bit silly.

A: Please feel free to PM me with any respawn timers that seem too long. These are all old quests, back when 15 minutes was the normal timer.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Robes

January 14th, 2010 - Link

Q: I love robes! AC has some nice robes, however; these robes are quested or low end vendor bought. Was curious if any of you DEVs ever got the itch to conjure up some new robe designs and release actual loot generated robe drops? Would love the idea that we could get loot generated robes.

A: We do try to keep some viable quest robes in the different level ranges. As for loot robes, while we could add them, they would go through the same system the other armor pieces do, thus giving you only one piece of armor's worth of spells, so I doubt you'd see many used outside of Mule Art.

It is a topic that has been discussed recently, and we'll keep it on our list in case we can come with a good means of correcting the existing limitations.

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer

Router Issues

January 14th, 2010 - Link

Hi all, I wanted to put together a more clear (and updated) thread about connectivity to AC.

First lets start with how AC connects and where the "blocks" are going to occur.

ACLAUNCHER.EXE, Your Firewall and the Internet

The game connects first over https via the "AcLauncher.exe" file and when connecting to your character ("portaling in") it is via "AcClient.exe".

Initially both of these files need to be setup in your firewall to connect both inbound and outbound to the internet. Alot of firewalls will let a program outbound access to the internet but will not let it accept incoming connections unless you specifically tell the firewall the program can. Usually these are third-party firewalls with some extra security settings.

When there is an update to the game often these files are also updated and your firewall may start blocking them again since it no longer "recognizes" the file anymore (it does this for security as a "just in case" the program was changed by malware). In the instance of an update to the game you may need to refresh your firewall manually by removing and re-adding those two files from its list of "exceptions" or "allowed programs".

ACCLIENT.EXE Ports, UDP and Routing

Now onto the games connection when patching or entering the world. AC uses "loose" UDP routing (I've also seen it refered to as asymetrical UDP routing as well or similar) and AC sends these back and forth on ports 9000 to 9013.

What "loose" routing basically means is that occasionally though a data "packet" might go out from your system on port "X" the server might send a response back on port "Y" and if your network does not allow for this you get connection drops due to missing information the game client needs back from the server (like "where am I" and "where is that guy over there going so I can render that on screen?").

Things you'll see are usually you'll either get time-outs trying to load into the game or your character will go "purple bubbles" (the game is trying to place your character in the world but can't talk to the server on where/when/what so you never materialize fully).

First things first to check are:

A) Are you using DSL? If so you'll want to ask your ISP about whether or not your DSL Modem is setup as a NAT or NAPT device. If it's on NAPT ask them if it can be switched to NAT instead and still let you connect to their network (and thereby the internet). Most providers support either so it shouldn't be too difficult to change. (Explanation is that NAT uses the address (I.P. Address) that packets are sent to/from on to route the packets, but NAPT uses the port number instead and since packets might come back on a different port, a NAPT modem doesn't know where to send them so it drops them).

B) Have you configured port forwarding on your router? If not that may help since what port forwarding is doing is you tell your router "I'm going to send packets out on this port (9000), if you get a packet back on any of these ports (9000 to 9013) then send it on to here (your PC).".

www.portforward.com (while not a Turbine affiliate) has alot of router models listed and directions for AC for most. (Note if you get the big "Click here" button page while browsing portforward, you can skip that via the link in the upper-right corner). You'll need your routers exact model (its usually printed on a sticker somewhere on the router itself).

You're going to want to also check with the router manufacturer's website, to try to determine if your specific model supports "loose" UDP routing since some models actually do not fully or at all.

Some tech savy players have found some options in their specifc model router's configuration that has enabled this support see the posts here (This one was a D-Link router model) and here (This one was a Netgear router model). These go to show that even if your router does not support it "out of box" it may have the option to, just that it might be buried in the options. (Your mileage may vary).

Now I know by now alot of you are saying "But Mirthgar, I don't use a router OR DSL, what do I do?"

Well you might be using a combination router and modem, in that case you might (stress the might) be able to find port forwarding steps for it on portforward.com. Doublecheck with your ISP as well since they may be able to remote into it and take a look at its configuration as well.

Other miscelaneous items and closing

Other blockers:

  • Any programs that use ports 9000 to 9013 (not common but some bit-torrent/file-sharing apps might).
  • Internet Security software that controls ports usage as well, (like a firewall that blocks port access, generally you just need to add "exceptions" for the 9000 to 9013 port range to let connections in/out on those)
  • Antivirus software that does not like other programs accessing/deleting temp files (during patching A/V software and mainly on Vista/Win7 gets a little "overzealous" and blocks the launcher from patching game files, sometimes it just blocks launcher from accessing the internet since it finds its behavior "suspicious".

Generally getting AC to connect can be a little involved but fairly straight forward since there's over ten years (!) of posts to search through, AC help sites and as always Tech Support is just a click away!

This is just a general overview/guide so if you're still having troubles connecting, check the forums, and if still stuck definitely open a ticket with Tech.

-Mirthgar 1/14/2010

Turbine Icon.png Mirthgar
Turbine Technical Support

Salvaging

January 16th, 2010 - Link

Q: I don't know if this is possible or not. Can you guys put numbers on partial salvage bag icons in a pack? Like the Greater Deadly arrowheads have the "GD" in the lower corner of the icon? When collecting salvage, it would be so much easier to put a ws10 item in the ust, then just look at the bags to see which is ws10. Instead of having to ID all of the salvage bags. Does this make any sense? lol.

A: This is not possible using current tech. Sev has done some work to add animated overlays to items which is an in between of overlays that know information about the objects. I can't really say how high or low this would be on the priority list but we'll talk about it.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Tailoring

January 29th, 2010 - Link

Q: Pretty ridiculous thought process, how did it come about? I know I spent a lot of extra cash buying plate pieces over the years and skimping out on leather and condom hats, so i cant help but feel a little bit cheated here....

A: I don't understand where you have the impression you can move spells. Do you mean tailoring? If so, it has nothing to do with spells. It will take all the qualities of a piece of armor that determines what it looks like and transfer those to another piece of armor. It will destroy the first piece (the one where you like the looks of it) and won't in any way affect the stats of the second piece. The second piece will only look different.

You will only be able to transfer to a piece with the exact same slot requirements.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
January 29th, 2010 - Link

Q: So I suggest- a tinker that permas a spell on a piece of armor. You would cast the spell, then do the tink to make the spell just as if it had been loot generated on the piece.

A: We have no plans to implement a way to shift (only) spells from one suit of armor to another.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
January 29th, 2010 - Link

Q: My basic question is - Is there a penalty for using tailoring on an item?

A: Only the cost.

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
January 29th, 2010 - Link

I respect that you prefer a system where it is much harder to get the look you like, or a system where someone must sacrifice stats for looks. It's always tough to be in a position where we are trying to make the game better by implementing a fairly common desire for the players and another player doesn't like it. At that point we have to make the call based on the intended design and what we think the largest group of players will enjoy. Then we hope that some other feature of the Spring expansion will be something you enjoy.

The current loot system is pretty hardcore. Putting together the perfect statistical suit is tough, especially if you are including the desire to have several near perfect weapons. Compounding the odds of putting together a statistical suit with a low chance of each rare piece having a look you like was not part of the explicit design of the most recent loot tier. That's why we are changing it.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
January 29th, 2010 - Link

Q: You have a blue AL 260 platemail breastplate. You also have an epic war AL 220 leather breastplate. Turning your epic war AL 220 BP into an al 260 epic plate BP is the same as turning your AL 260 blue platemail BP into a 220 AL blue platemail epic war BP.

A: Wait now I'm confused by the second bit. Let me try to make it clear. Armor doesn't transfer. No combat stats do. Only looks.

As an example, you have a blue AL 260 platemail breastplate. You also have an epic war AL 220 leather breast plate. You like the look of the plate mail. After you transfer the look, the new piece *looks* like plate mail but it still has the 220 AL of the leather. Nothing that affects combat moves over from the blue platemail.

On the other hand, if you've always liked the look of leather but didn't want to sacrifice the AL you could make your platemail look like leather without sacrificing combat effectiveness.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
January 29th, 2010 - Link

My intention was only to make it clear that there was no way to transfer spells onto another armor piece that had different base stats or wield slots.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
February 1st, 2010 - Link

Q: While we're on the topic, Django.. However this system works UI-wise, it'll be designed to avoid confusion about which armor piece is for what, I hope? I'd hate to see the board flooded with angry people who are about to ragequit because they copied stats in the opposite direction from what they intended.

A: Right now the item that destroys the armor is called "Armor Appearance Extractor" the word extractor may change to fit tailoring, but it should be pretty clear what the item does. Also the rules and directions are on the extractor.

Using this item the wrong way is on par with using a mana stone on your armor to destroy it instead of put mana into it.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff
February 1st, 2010 - Link

Q: I dont know if this has been covered already, but will tailoring be allowed once per piece or could i tailor a piece, decide to sell to someone and then they decide to tailor it to another appearance? If it is possible to do multiple times, will there be a way to tell if a piece of armor has been tailored already? like how a piece says how many tinks has been done? would suck to be thinking i buying a piece of metal armor only to find out it has stats of leather

A: This is all possible. We haven't finished designing all the limits associated with the system yet. Thanks for the feedback and we'll take it into account while we're working on the tailoring system.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff
February 1st, 2010 - [ Link]

Q: By same slot is that in quantity only (1 slot to 1 slot, 3 slot to 3 slot)? Or is it also location specific (girth to girth, pauldrons to pauldrons, etc)?

A: Location specific.

Coat to Coat
Hauberk to Hauberk
Girth to Girth
etc.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff
February 2nd, 2010 - Link

Q: Just to make sure you're not throwing a curveball: do you literally mean hauberk to hauberk? Or is that an easy way to say, upper leg piece to upper leg piece?

A: It's location based. Anything that covers Upper Arm, Lower Arm, Breastplate and Girth could have the appearance of a Hauberk given to it. Most slot combination have a single name to describe their coverage but what really matters is the coverage not the name.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

Trade Note Burden

January 22nd, 2010 - Link

Q: I would like to see trade notes have 0 burden if possible. In particular the MMD notes which are the most widely used.

A: I don't personally see a reason why Trade Notes couldn't go down to 0 Burden, so I'll ask the team about it.

As for the numbering, the numeral on a Trade Note is multiplied by a hundred, or the smallest one would be a "C" Note, not an "I" Note. That'd make a 500,000 py. Trade Note a V with a line over it, or (V), and a 1,000,000 py. Trade Note a X with a line over it, or (X). Not that I started looking at what it would take to add higher value Trade Notes or anything...

Turbine Icon.png Kintani
AC Live Team
January 22nd, 2010 - Link

Kintani will look into removing the burden.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
January 22nd, 2010 - Link

The Producer has spoken! Burden will be 0 for the next update.

Bigger Trade Notes will still need to be discussed, since things like adding them to every Vendor that sells Trade Notes wouldn't be a short process.

Turbine Icon.png Kintani
AC Live Team

Two Handed Combat

January 21st, 2010 - Link

We didn't want to support an AoE method that allowed players to easily stack on top of each other on white worlds.

Sev~

Turbine Icon.png Severlin
Producer
January 22nd, 2010 - Link

Cleaving is intended to always hit your primary target (better DPS than Sword) and if you and your group are capable of positioning yourselves you'll also be able to cleave for double the total hits (a lot more damage).

If you're in a group and casting ring, wall, volley, blast and any other untargeted spells you can hit other players. You position your characters to avoid this in order to increase your damage.

A group that's working well should be able to make sure their two handed combat specialists are able to land their cleaves without hitting players too frequently.

Cleaving is a game play element, you have to play the game slightly differently than standard melee to get the optimum usage out of it.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff

VoD Spawn Dynamics

02-06-2010 - Link

Q: I'm doing the VoD Virindi kill tasks and there are not enough Quidiox.

A: Back when I was hunting VoD a lot one of my favorite features was that as long as you stayed in an area the same creature type would respawn in that location, even if you killed the entire spawn. Best day I ever had in VoD was 6 spawns of Virindi all close enough that they never shifted, I think I did at least 12 hours of killing Virindi that day.

Turbine Icon.png Django
Turbine Staff
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