Announcements - 2011/02 - Blood From Stone

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February 2011 - Patch Page


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Blood From Stone

Garwode twisted his head away from the bone chilling wind gusting down the icy mountains. After hearing the story about the huge stone golem smashing the ground in these icy hills, Garwode had gotten a group together in order to hunt it down. He was sure it would only be a matter of time before the beast began attacking the villages causing death and destruction. Garwode was determined to act first and end the threat before anyone had to suffer at its hands. Unfortunately, the boy couldn’t seem to remember the exact location he had been when he ran into the creature. Garwode suspected that the boy was simply too afraid of what might happen to himself or his family if he shared the location and had purposely refused to tell them. As a result his group of hunters had been traveling through these frigid hills for hours with no sign of where the golem might be.

Finally, as they crested over one final mountain, the group spotted an icy cave cutting into the side of the hill which none of them had seen before. Unsure of what might be waiting for them, they cautiously made their way up to the entrance with weapons at the ready. Beyond the opening darkness concealed the features of the cave. As they slowly inched their way inside, the ground suddenly disappeared, leaving them sliding down into the darkness below.

Shaking the grogginess from his head, Garwode rose to his feet finding the area he had landed in lit with torches flickering against the rock walls. While dusting himself off, he turned to check on the rest of his group, but there was no one around. Hoping that the men were simply separated and not suffering some worse fate, Garwode had to accept he was now alone. Setting out into the caverns before him, it wasn’t long before he found himself losing all sense of direction. The tunnels twisted and branched in all directions. Running past the smaller golems, which were clearly not the massive golem he had heard of, Garwode was sure he had gone in a circle more than once.

He had been running for far too long, his breathing becoming more labored, when luck apparently smiled upon him for it seemed he had found his way through the labyrinth. Unfortunately, the ground dropped away and a large barren shaft lay beyond it. While catching his breath, Garwode peered down into the depths. Noticing a tunnel leading off from the sheer wall only a few feet directly below him, Garwode carefully lowered himself down over the edge then dropped easily into the opening.

Only a short distance away, the hallway opened up into another large area. Curiously however, rocks were floating in mid air, like steps, leading up to a ledge on the opposite wall. Movement drew his gaze to about halfway up the floating steps. As he focused in on the shape, he recognized one of his fellow hunters who had been separated during the fall. He called out to the man and quickly leapt out onto the first rock. Carefully he jumped from rock to rock working his way up towards the ledge. As he landed onto the last step it became clear the final jump would be the hardest. The step left a large gap between itself and the ledge. Taking a tiny step back to the edge of the rock, Garwode crouched before leaping off of his front foot. Almost instantly he knew he didn’t jump high enough. Crashing into the wall of the cave, only his arms cleared the ledge leaving him struggling to find something to grab hold of as he slid down the wall. Just before his body plummeted to the cave floor far below, a hand grabbed a hold of his wrist and began pulling him up to safety. Pushing himself up to his feet he nodded his appreciation to his friend before they continued on through the cave.

Suddenly the ground shook so violently the men struggled to keep their balance. The noise of rocks slamming together began echoing through the tunnels. As the pair carefully made their way forward, the small tunnel they had been traveling through more than doubled in size and before them was the source of the loud crashes. Throughout the path ahead, heavy pieces of sharp stone were cascading from the ceiling above. There was no way around. With the spikes breaking off unpredictably fast, the men would have to grit their teeth and plunge their way through the deadly gambit.

They rushed forward with the spikes crashing all around them, sometimes only a few inches away. Garwode glanced back at his companion just in time to witness one of the large spikes impale the man, pinning him to the cave floor. Turning his head back to the path ahead of him, Garwode fought the urge to stop and help. Stopping almost certainly meant he would end up in the same situation and besides, it was likely the other man was already dead.

After reaching safety from the massive spikes, Garwode turned back with the slight hope he would see his fellow hunter emerge through the falling rocks. The look lasted only for a few seconds though as he already knew he was once again alone in these caves.

It was not much further before Garwode found what he sought. This was it. The golem must be stopped. The massive golem was headed right for him with his boulder shaped fists raised in preparation for a fight. The last thing Garwode would hear was, "I just wanted to be left alone!"

Rollout Article

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February Rollout Fiction

"How in Ispar do you talk me into these things?" whined a voice in the darkness.

"Aww, please, you know you enjoy the challenge, the sights, the sounds, the accolades." replied the old soldier with a smile. "It's just a pity that you also enjoy whining." he added with an even broader grin. "Besides, it's not my fault you didn't dodge when the gurog fell on you."

"Ha, ha. Very funny." replied the now very annoyed young adventurer. "Help me get this thing off, before its stink soaks into everything I own." A few minutes later, the pair successfully dislodged the dead gurog, and they continued along the dark corridors. "Remind me again why I'm here getting verbally abused, and covered in dead gurog and wight bits? I'm beginning to lose a sense of desire to be here."

"We're here because that knight of Borelean's asked for help. Also, I've got a feeling this particular problem is important. I've seen one of those Bloodstones in action. They ain't pretty." replied the soldier, now sounding a lot more serious. "As for the verbal abuse, you need to grow a tougher skin. It's good for you." He then burst out laughing, unable to keep a straight face any longer.

The young adventurer took the opportunity to punch the old soldier in the shoulder as hard as he could, which didn't seem to faze the soldier in the slightest. He just laughed all the harder afterward. "I just hope the reward is worth all of this grief." said the young adventurer, "Besides… Hey, what was that sound?"

Both of them stopped cold, listening intently. A faint hum could be heard moving down the corridor ahead, steadily growing closer. "I'll go spot around the corner." whispered the old soldier, "Be ready for a fight."

As the soldier quietly moved to the end of the hallway and peered around the corner, the young adventurer grabbed his wand and prepared to weaken any foes that appeared, so the soldier could kill them easier. "I think I see movement." whispered the soldier, "Something small, and floating. Looks a little like a fragment?"

"A crystal fragment, here?" said the adventurer, indignantly. "We're skulking about like we're about to face the adversary of a lifetime, and it's a crystal fragment?"

"Shhhh!" whispered the soldier with a bit of urgency, "I said it looked similar, not that it was." At that moment, not one but three small crystals floated around the corner. While small, like crystal fragments, they were an ominous shade of green, and covered with pulsating blood. The first barrage of spells from the small crystals obliterated the old soldier, while the young adventurer watched on in horror. Moments later, he joined the old soldier in his agonizing ride to the Lifestone.

"See?" said the old soldier, trying to sound casual about the whole experience, "Not crystal fragments. Bloodstone Fragments. Much nastier."

"I caught that part, right about the same moment I died." came the indignant reply, "Correction, right about the same moment that we both died. Come on, let's go get our stuff back, and see if we can put a stop to those things before anyone else gets killed."

Release Notes

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February 2011 Release Notes

Greetings and welcome to the February 2011 release notes. In addition to their continued focus on improving Asheron's Call, the team spent time working hard to fine tune various Olthoi issues in addition to introducing Mouse Turning. Let's see what is new and exciting this month in Asheron's Call!

Mouse Turn & Movement

This month the team has been highly focused on putting in the ability to turn and move with your mouse. The change to incorporate the mouse has brought about a few other changes as well such as the ability to zoom in & out with the mouse wheel.

There are a couple of ways to setup the new mouse options so you can begin navigating Dereth. A red button has been added to the options under Keyboard Configuration that will remap some keys and adjusts to the recommended settings for mouse turning in one click. This button will also cause the right mouse button to rotate the camera. It's important to note that if you wish to return to the settings you had before, it will be necessary to manually change each setting back to the numbers that will be displayed in your chat window. Another way to setup the new mouse options is by selecting the "Turn your character with camera turning." on the Config tab of the options panel.

At this time there are a couple of known issues with the mouse movement system.

  • In low height resolutions (800x600 and 1280x720) the mouse run does not always execute as expected.

If you notice any additional issues with the system, please let the team know so they can continue to perfect this new system.

Additional Notes

  • Monthly Killtask updated.
  • Quests of the Month
    • Spear of the given heart
    • Tunnel of Love quest
    • Rose of Celdon Quest
  • Added coastline textures to various areas.
  • Added a Shadownether wand with happy-go-fun-time-purple and black-flame action.
  • The animation for Empyreans entering into and out of combat while using a bow has been fixed.
  • A New Olthoi healing kit has been added, novelty bandages not included.
  • Some two handed rare weapons have been updated to have their own art.
  • The two Olthoi Matrons are now easily distinguishable for Soldiers and Spitters.
  • Double the effectiveness of Olthoi critical damage & Olthoi critical damage reduction "armor" buffs.
  • Tweaked some Olthoi Soldier animations which include fixing a clipping issue during Olthoi Soldier emote animations and an issue with small incremental movements while in combat stance mode were retracted.
  • Abdomen armor pieces for the Olthoi Damage Reduction set have been fixed to apply the correct set spell.
  • Kaneth al-Evv will now exchange tokens for exactly 50 Mutated Olthoi Glands.
  • Hunter NPC now rewards players who were extra enthusiastic in killing more than 10 Snow Tusker Leaders.
  • Some creatures in the Gear Crossbow Quest have been tweaked in an effort to prevent the quest from bugging.
  • The portal for the Renegade Living Weapons quest has been fixed so that Gear Knights can use it.
  • The Zaikhal meeting hall now has an exit portal.
  • Node Golems for Tainted Ley Line quest are now able to reward players once per day.
So there are just some of the things we have in store for Asheron's Call in February. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are several new quests and exciting things going into the game for the February Event.

Letter to the Players

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2011 Producer's Letter

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The Town Crier is pleased to present the 2011 Producers Letter. In this letter from Rob "Severlin" Ciccolini, you'll learn where Asheron's Call went throughout the past year and the plan for 2011.

I can't believe we are already releasing our second update in 2011. The year is rolling along at a brisk pace and the team has barely been able to catch its breath after the last big update and the holidays! We're really excited for the coming year, so we want to talk about where we've been, and where we would like to go.

2010 was a busy year for Asheron's Call. We added a lot of new features not only during our two big updates, but also in the regular monthly updates. Looking at the previous year, you can see a large number of updates to the game. A comprehensive retrospective has been compiled, displaying all the advancements we've made this past year.

The team is excited about using the momentum of 2010 as we begin working on the plan for Asheron's Call in 2011 and for years to come. We intend to focus the coming updates on content and storyline; however, we also want to improve the playability of Asheron's Call. These two areas will be a major focus for us in 2011.

In the months leading up to our next big update we are planning on continuing the storyline and providing content to support that story. We're also going to revisit the look of some races such as undead to provide more options. Additionally, we're planning to add a new armor set for players.

Our first big 2011 update will be in May. This update focuses on new adventuring areas where characters can continue experiencing the storyline. It will also provide more direction for characters to find quests as they level from 50 to 100. We also want some interface improvements to make their appearance in May such as making an alternate examination window that doesn't cover your backpack when you open it. There's even a chance that the May update could also include the next playable race.

The content, storyline and improvements to the look of the game certainly won't end in May. In the coming weeks, we will release a closer look at our 2011 plan, as well as monthly updates that will continue providing chances to experience new elements of the storyline. We want to add more armor, more character options, and other new interface features during the monthly updates. This will lead into another big update in October which could see the final race released and more goodies for our players!

Thank you to all the players who make this game great. We look forward to providing everyone with entertainment in 2011 and beyond!

Thanks for sharing Dereth with us.

Robert "Severlin" Ciccolini

2010 Accomplishments

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2010 Accomplishments!

2010 Accomplishments!

  • Void Magic: A new school of magic was introduced to Dereth with several new mechanics to give it a unique feel for both solo and group play.
  • Tailoring: Players can change the look of any loot generated item to customize exactly how they want their character to look.
  • Aetheria: Players learned the ability to gather and manipulate Aetheria to tap the energies of the ley lines of Dereth to gain power and benefit from surges of magic. These items level up as you gain experience.
  • Improved Landscape Textures: The textures used for landscapes were improved in quality to increase the look of the landscapes of Dereth. In addition, distance fog was added to soften the effect.
  • New Hairstyles: A number of new hairstyles were added to the game to allow players more options when customizing characters.
  • Show Helm: Players gained the ability to turn off their helm graphic to show off their hair style.
  • Barber: Players gained the ability to visit the barber to change the appearance of their character after creation.
  • Umbraen and Penumbraen Races: With the wedding celebration many races of Dereth were invited to join the Isparians. Players are allowed to create Umbraen and Penumbraen Shadows as player characters.
  • Improved Multislot Items: Players gained the ability to take multislot items that were previously less useful and distill them down to single slot items to increase their utility. In addition, players are able to control how these items are layered to give as much versatility in how they look as possible.
  • Undead Race: With the wedding celebration many races of Dereth were invited to join the Isparians. Players are allowed to create Undead as player characters.
  • Town Network: With the destruction of many of the scattered portals around Dereth, the new town network was constructed to help adventurers navigate the sometimes treacherous lands of Dereth.
  • Inventory Slots: The inventory panel now has the option to show item slots directly instead of using the “paper doll” to show equipment.
  • Gear Knight Race: With the wedding celebration many races of Dereth were invited to join the Isparians. Players are allowed to create Gear Knights as player characters. Gear Knights learn to transform items into gears and install those gears into their constructed forms.
  • Racial Restrictions: Restrictions were removed from new items and instead items have a chance to be created with reduced Arcane Lore requirements.
  • Extra Spell Tab: Players can now access an extra spell tab.
  • Low Level Quest Hub: Low level players now have a quest hub to help guide them through the many low level quests available to them as they level to 50.
  • Empyrean Race: With the release of a small group of Empyreans trapped in portal space some weakened members of the race joined the Isparians. Players are allowed to create Empyreans as player characters.
  • Creature Experience Overhaul: The experience rewards for a large number of creatures in Dereth were overhauled to make older hunting areas and dungeons more rewarding. These changes allow players to hunt and quest in a greater variety of spots as they level while still earning competitive experience points for their effort.
  • Quest Experience Overhaul: The experience rewards for a large number of quests in Asheron’s Call were overhauled to make older quests more rewarding. These changes allow players to try out many of the older quests as they are leveling while still earning competitive rewards for their effort.
  • Quest Timers Standardized: Quest timers were standardized to help players manage their timers.
  • New Creatures: Players encountered new enemies to fight, most notably the Gear Knights, the Gurogs, and the Snow Tuskers.
  • Racial Skill Diversity. Races gained a bit of racial skill diversity with the ability to swap skills with a sister race.
  • Two New Hunting and Questing Areas: The Gear Knight area and the Ice Area both provide new areas to hunt and quest.
  • Rare Items Update: Rare items were updated with improved statistics, the ability to level, and with slightly increased drop rates.
  • Luminance: With the arrival of the Empyreans, Seers emerged who taught the players how to earn Luminance. Players found this enlightenment allowed them access to auras which increased their power and abilities.
  • Examine Armor Levels: Armor levels were added to the examination panel.
  • Olthoi Play: Player can create Olthoi players capable of venturing forth and attacking player killer characters almost anywhere in the land of Dereth!
  • In addition to this list of new features, new goodies and quests were introduced each month as the year rolled on!

Developer Comments

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