Game updates/2016-02-02

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Feb 2 Update

Lots of changes in this update. The bad news first: there's lots of equipment nerfs. But also new quests, dungeon tweaks, new targeting commands, a major revamp to the crowd-control system, and guild storage vaults. Plus bug fixes. I expect the next major update will be the one with the new content area.

Equipment Nerfs

As you may know, I'm slowly changing things to make combats to last longer -- monsters die too quickly, especially at high level (once you're over the gear humps). Today we've made two adjustments in this direction: equipment nerfs and an experimental monster evasion system (see below).
All equipment effects were analyzed to see if they were too powerful (or, in a few cases, much too weak). Each equipment effect was adjusted individually, so there's no way to predict how big an impact this will have on your combat ability, but I expect that an "average" player (wearing greens, blues, and reds) to be modestly impacted -- maybe 10%-15% weaker, depending. Players with a lot of epic/legendary gear will naturally be impacted more because they have more equipment mods to be impacted -- and of course some builds will be much more affected than others. See "Equipment Change Details" below for details on a few significant changes.
I know nerfs suck and I'm sorry to have to do it, but, well, this is alpha and it happens.

Experimental: Monster Evasion

Monsters now have a small amount of Evasion (similar to the evasion you can find on cloth gear) -- a chance to completely avoid an attack. It should be noticeable, at least on bosses, but not a huge factor in the fight. To give you some data points:
- a level 30 solo monster has 2% evasion of all attacks
- a level 60 solo monster has 5% evasion
- a level 60 elite has 8%
- a typical level 60 boss has 11%
- Lord Sedgewick, being tougher than most bosses, has 15%, and I believe he has the highest Evasion at the moment
This is an experiment -- your feedback is desired here! Is this a mechanic you can tolerate well or would you rather I just crank up the monsters' health and armor another 15% instead? (Or do other things toward my goal of making combat last longer.) One advantage of this is that it can create some new dynamics -- new buffs/debuffs to alter evasion. But being evaded isn't fun, so it's hard to tell if this is worthwhile.
If we keep this experimental system permanently, I'll probably diversify things more -- giving bosses thematically appropriate kinds of evasion (e.g. The Fog can evade projectiles very well, but not burst attacks -- that sort of thing) but at the moment the evasion is blanket for all types of attacks.

Guild Features

The guild system needs a bit of love before we launch on Steam. This update adds some features, and I may have another batch of guild features soon too.
- Guild storage: there are now a pair of chests in Serbule (in the house near the flaming altar). These are shared between everyone in your guild. They are very small to start, but you can purchase additional slots with coins. (Bring lots of money...) You can also add text to each box that's displayed when you open them.
- There are new guild permissions associated with the guild chests. You can limit members' access to each chest, set who's able to buy new slots for the guild, and set who can change the text on the boxes.
- The Guild Roster billboard can now show the time when each guild member was last online. (Ignoring incognito logins.) NOTE: this will not be accurate immediately. It will default to today's date for all users.
- It now seems much less likely that we will have to wipe the existing guilds, so I've removed the warning message saying the guilds are temporary.
- Creating a guild now costs 10,000 councils instead of 250. (This is still much simpler than it will be in the final game, where you'll need a bunch of signatures plus 1000 potatoes. Or something.)

New Quests

I have big plans for quests! Area quests, guild quests, trainer quests, druid quests... but first, the quest system has to become more powerful. This is step #1 on the road to quest power.
In this update we've added a new NPC in Serbule. He has dozens of quests -- he'll give you a random one each hour. Each quest is actually a test of a different feature of the quest system. (Some may look very similar to existing quests, but they're all doing something different under the hood.) So expect some bugs! And report them!
These quests are intended for newbies, but can give items that even high level players might find useful. (He has an extremely varied random-loot reward table.) If players like this sort of NPC, I could do a higher-level version for the upcoming city of Rahu.

Experimental: Changes to Targeting

I want to make it easier for savvy players to manually target what they want to target, even in crowded scenarios. I've thrown a ton of ideas at the wall to see what sticks. I'm guessing most of these commands won't make the cut – we'll remove them to avoid cluttering up the game with weird useless crap. But which are useful and which aren't?! And what did I miss? People who play in groups, please try these out and give feedback!

Figuring Out "Who is he fighting?"

- If you hold down Shift when you click the name of a group member in the Social GUI, you will select that group member's currently selected target. (If they have nothing targeted, you will select the group member like normal.)
- There's a new keyboard command "Select Target's Selection" (currently defaults to Ctrl+Backspace, because I'm a lefty), which will switch your target to your target's target. Note that this works on monsters, too. (For purposes of this command, monsters have their most-hated foe "selected".)
Role-Specific Utilities
- If you have an ally selected and you use an attack, the attack will be aimed at whatever enemy your ally has selected. Your selection won't change -- you'll stay selected on your ally, but the attack will go to the ally's target. (If the ally doesn't have a monster targeted, it just falls back to the old system of selecting a nearby enemy.) The goal of this change is to make it easier for healers to throw off a few attacks (on appropriate targets) while still focusing on support
- There's a new keyboard command "Select Last Attacker of Current Target" (no default key assigned). It will target whatever most recently attacked your current target (although if that entity is dead, it does nothing -- it doesn't select corpses). This is for off-tanks and crowd control to jump in and tackle a monster if they see a teammate taking damage.
- There's a new keyboard command "Select Enemy Targeted By Group" (no default key assigned). It will cycle through visible enemies that are targeted by somebody else in your group. (If none are visible, then your selection is unchanged.) This might help groups focus their attacks onto the same target.
- There's a new keyboard command "Select Enemy Not Targeted By Group" (no default key assigned). It will cycle through visible enemies that are not targeted by anybody in your group. (If none are visible, then your selection is unchanged.) This is supposed to help crowd-control players detect wandering monsters and handle them in a slightly more organized fashion.
- There's a new keyboard command "Select Next Elite Enemy" which cycles through elite/boss enemies nearby. This is to help tanks find an appropriate target when things get hectic
- There's a new keyboard command "Select Next Non-Elite Enemy". Useful for off-tanks, maybe...
- Not a change, but a note for newer players: you can select group members with the function keys (F2, F3, F4, etc.) or by clicking on their name in the Group tab of the Social window. You can select yourself with F1.

Lore Recalculated

Throughout the long development cycle there have been many bugs that let players get lots and lots of Lore. Lore is actually supposed to be pretty hard to raise -- a level over 20 should be impossible right now! It's a skill like Gourmand or Dying -- doing new things is the main way to level it up. But there've been bugs that let you level it up very quickly, and recipes (words of power) that give repeat XP -- which was intentional, but I've decided was a mistake after seeing people farming thousands of words of power just for the 1 XP apiece.
So your Lore skill has been recalculated to only include XP from one-time actions, such as reading a book or using a recipe for the first time. As a plus-side of the work I had to do, there's a new feature: you can now see exactly which things you've done to earn Lore XP. It's a button on the Lore panel of the Skills tab.
Like anything, there might be bugs in how your Lore was recalculated, although I took some pains to try to get it right. But there are a couple of sources of Lore that I couldn't automatically re-give you. You will need to redo these things to re-get the Lore XP for them:
- Teaching Golem – you can redo this to re-get lore XP
- The sacrificial altar in Sun Vale that takes eyeballs can be repeated to re-gain the Lore XP (other altars are automatically included)

Crowd Control Changes

The diminishing-returns system wasn't working out too well, for either players or monsters -- and it was too clunky for me to work with, so I rewrote all of the code. Be on the lookout for issues here because there's lots of new code. Also, these changes are not set in stone so if you hate them, just start a forum thread and let's talk.
- Fear: previously, attacking a monster under a Fear effect broke the fear. Now, during the first few seconds of the Fear effect, monsters can be attacked without breaking the effect. There's a long cooldown time before monsters can be re-feared.
- Mesmerize: once a monster has been mesmerized (with abilities like Tell Me About Your Mother), they can't be re-mezzed again for a long while. Also, fixed a bug where boss monsters could occasionally get "half-mezzed", with deadly results
- Stun: stuns have more pronounced diminishing returns now. Using the same stun ability repeatedly has an extremely short duration. Using multiple kinds of stuns (e.g. a Barrage and then a Cobra Strike) works better, but still rapidly diminishes with repeated use
- Slow/Root: if a monster is hit by more than one slow-down or immobilization effect, the second and subsequent ones will be weaker and have shorter duration.
- Note: these changes apply to monsters using stuns, roots, and slows, as well as player abilities. In particular it makes chain-stun monsters much less dangerous... possibly too much so.

AI Fixes

- Fixed AI bug in some melee-centric monsters which caused them to briefly stand idle between attacks instead of relentlessly pursuing
- Fixed an AI bug where very brief stuns would sometimes not be handled correctly by monsters, allowing them to continue to move
- Tweaked AI to try to keep monsters' bodies from intersecting your body while they fight you. Works better on small/mid monsters, but large monsters still have lots of problems
- Similarly, fixed bugs where pets would sometimes run right up to you -- even running inside your body. They should stay outside of your personal space now (about 4 meters away)

Dungeon Tweaks: Wolf Cave

Wolf cave: worked to make this area more soloable.
- Reduced the number of werewolves per pack by about 30%, especially noticeable near the entrance.
- Toned down Pack Attack duration
- Removed the chance for two Crazed Alphas to spawn together anywhere.
- Note that only the front "half" of the wolf cave network is supposed to be soloable; when you reach the barricade and find Insatiable Werewolves and Insane Matriarchs, that's still not soloable.
- Also: note that the yeti cave dungeon is easier than werewolf cave, and should be your first stop in the 40s range for soloing. Wolf cave has 45-50 level monsters

Dungeon Tweaks: Myconian Cave

Myconian Cave is a 25-30 semi-soloable dungeon -- it's hard to solo at level 25, but should be achievable with enough potions and preparation. (Duoing is ideal -- it was originally designed as a duo dungeon.) These changes are to make the cave more rewarding.
- Added a chance for Myconians to drop equipment.
- Raised myconians' effective level to 25 (so that their equipment drops are decent).
- Added three solo-reachable loot chests to Myconian Cave.
- Added some new ways to get Myconian Jelly: the new loot chests, as well as Greta the named monster
- Improved rarity profiles of solo loot chests in general (not just in this cave)

Dungeon Tweaks: Desert

- Rakshasa Bandits now spawn out in the desert, all around the two "abandoned outposts". (They still spawn heavily in the outposts themselves, but they are more spread out in the desert, making them easier to solo.) Slightly toned down the stats on the desert rakshasa.

Equipment Change Details

There were a ton of changes to equipment. Here are the most notable changes:
- "Double Hit has a X% chance to slow target's movement speed by 75%" -> this is now for Headcracker, not Double Hit
- "After using Headcracker, you take half damage from Psychic attacks for N seconds" ->this is now only for off hand, not for ring. (Rings with this effect become Legacy Items.)
- "Shadow Feint heals X" -> is now "Shadow Feint heals X when you teleport" (it should now heal when you teleport, not when you use Shadow Feint)
- Generic treasure effect that gives +12 in-combat power regeneration has been nerfed to +6
- "For 10 seconds after using Deflect Arrows, you evade N% of Burst attacks" -> this is now only for Necklace. (Rings with this effect become Legacy Items.)
- "Spider Bite has a N% chance to boost Spider Skill Base Damage +10%" -> this now works on Infinite Legs, not Spider Bite
- "Fireball and Super Fireball deal +40 damage over 10 seconds" -> "Fire Breath and Super Fireball deal +40 damage over 10 seconds"
- "Super Fireball causes the target to take +12 damage per tick from fire damage over time" -> this can no longer stack more than twice (e.g. once from the chest version and once from off-hand version, or twice from a single slot when cast twice).
- "Bow Bash gives you +N absorption of any physical damage for 10 seconds" -> this no longer stacks with itself. And since now only one copy is useful, this effect is now only for Main Hand. (Rings with this effect become Legacy Items).
- Some damage-over-time effects have different pulse rates than before. E.g. something that did "10 damage over 10 seconds" may still do that damage, but instead of doing -1 damage 10 times, it does -2 damage 5 times. This affects how other buffs and debuffs alter the damage.

Ability Changes

- Battle Chemistry golem's "invigorating mist" ability now has a 20 second cooldown instead of 5 seconds. It also restores more power. (But overall this is a nerf if you had it using invigorating mist constantly)
- Battle Chemistry golem now correctly handles the rage abilities (Rage Mist, Rage Acid Toss)
- Battle Chemistry golem's attacks now generate small amounts of rage (Doom Admixture, Taunting Punch, Poison Bomb Toss)
- Battle Chemistry golem's "Haste Concoction" and "Fire Balm" are no longer considered attacks (for purposes of keeping you in combat, etc.)
- Improved the taunt of Battle Chemistry golem's Taunting Punch
- Improved the base damage of Battle Chemistry golem's Rage Acid Toss a bit
- Battle Chemistry golem's "Fire Balm" ability now has a 15 second cooldown and lasts for 15 seconds. (This is a buff: you get the same effects but only have to use it 1/3 as often.)
- Necromancer's "Rebuild Undead" ability is no longer a single-target pet heal; it now heals all undead pets within 20 meters. Its reset time has increased to 20 seconds and equipment has been re-statted accordingly
- Necromancer's "Death's Hold" costs a little bit more Power to use and has a 12-second reset instead of a 10-second reset
- Basic attacks that previously had a 1 second reset now have a 1.5 second reset. (Note that the global cooldown is 1.3 seconds, so this change is very minor – it will only ever have an effect if you're spamming your basic attack over and over, and even then the delay is not dramatic.)
- Animal-curse-skill basic attacks had 2-second resets and now have 1.5 second resets
- The stacking damage boost from ability "Pack Attack" now only lasts for 30 seconds, not 60 seconds (this also affects monster werewolves)
- Ice Nova costs a little bit more Power to cast
- Blizzard area-of-effect reduced from 30 meters to 20 meters
- Mudbath, Harmlessness costs a bit more Power to cast
- Safe Fall is now categorized as a Staff ability (functionality should be unchanged, but the icon will be in the Staff grouping in the Persona tab)
- Higher-level versions of Tell Me About Your Mother now have a slightly increased chance to overcome bosses' mental defenses

Other Bug Fixes and Changes

- List of players on character-select screen is now sorted by last login time
- Fixed more bugs related to friends-list "last time logged in" display
- Teleportation recipe "Recall Heart's Home" should now work as indicated
- Teleportation recipe "Recall Alternate Circle" now has lowered ingredient cost (no longer needs Fire Dust x 3). But it's still quite expensive, intentionally
- The harp instrument is now in-game (requiring 10 in Strings Performance to equip). It is actually something you'll find in the upcoming city of Rahu, but for now it is a rare (8%) bonus loot item from any of the bosses in the necromancer tower: Keerla, Lomas, Gravamux. It looks really buggy in-game, even for placeholder art... we'll work on that.
- Fractional movement speeds didn't work right (e.g. something that added 1.5 sprint boost only added 1, in most scenarios)
- Removed the "moo" sound effect from feral cows/bulls' basic attack (they still have it for their rage attack)
- Removed the "moo" sound from player cows' Stampede. Added it to "Moo of Calm" and "Moo of Determination", since those are literally moos
- Reduced the amount of loot dropped from Asterion (more changes coming to this dungeon soon)
- Fixed bug with mez which could let the monster "half-evade" the mez effect. In this rare scenario, the monster was still fully able to move and attack, but could not be attacked themselves, with hilarious results.
- Slimed Legs curse is slightly less terrible. (New victims only -- existing curses are unaffected)
- Fouled Lungs (The Fog's curse) is slightly less terrible. (New victims only -- existing curses are unaffected)
- Spot no longer automatically assumes all deer are assholes
- Fixed several bugs in Viedesi's conversational logic
- Tweaked some monster loot profiles; most notably, Droaches can now drop equipment. (I don't know where they're carrying it. Probably under the shell.)
- The "concussed" status effect (such as can be found from some Hammer equipment mods) is more effective

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