July 23 Update #3
- The server was rebooted to fix some small issues in today's update.
- - Made the bear altar work - more or less. There is a temporary bear altar next to the real one that should hold you over until we get the real one fixed.
- - Fixed bug with display of pet attributes (they were showing the owner's attributes in many cases)
- - Made it easier for pets with low happiness to earn XP. (Happiness determines how fast pets earn XP; 0 happiness used to mean only 5% XP gain, but now pets always earn at least 50% XP.)
- We are still researching bugs related to pet movement and player-music not being audible (but still granting buffs).
July 23 Update #2
- The server was rebooted to fix some small issues in today's update.
- - Non-druids were receiving the quest for druid events and hearing the quest-update sound
- - Jara did not advance the favor 'Repelling a Bear'
- - Lana Songtree appreciates gifts of wool a bit more
- There are reports of pets "stopping following" their owners, and we're still investigating that one. Apparently you can resolve this by cycling through the pet's AI states on the pet GUI window.
July 23 Update
This is a large update, so the launcher notes are abbreviated. The full patch notes can be found on the forums.
- This update includes a major revision to the Animal Handling skill! You can find a handy overview in our recent blog article  and more details on specific changes and additions in the forum's version of these patch notes. Here's some of the highlights:
- - The ability "Tame Pet" has been revised into "Tame Rat". You do NOT need a charmed rat to use it; instead, you cast it on a wild rat. The rat will become aggressive and you must survive its abuse for the 20 seconds it takes to use the ability, but that is not likely to be too hard with nonaggressive rats. If you had Tame Pet, you will already have this ability in your ability list. It still requires cheese.
- - The ability "Charm Cat" has been retired. You can no longer temporarily charm cats into being your friends. (The stats on high-level wild cats are too high to make this viable... it's just too abusable.) There is a new ability called "Tame Cat". This lets you tame a wild, angry cat and send it to your stable. It has a 20 second casting time, which means you must survive the cat's maulings for 20 seconds in order to succeed, so you will either want to tame a lower-level cat (like a sickly tiger), come prepared with some potions, or have a friend keep the cat's attention (without killing it!).
- - If you had the old "Charm Cat" ability, you can get the new "Tame Cat" ability just by visiting the cat altar in Eltibule. It will say "you have already received the benefit from this altar", but it will also give you the missing ability. You do not need to re-sacrifice to the altar.
- - All tamed animals have two unique abilities, a "sic 'em attack" and a "special trick". These vary widely even among animals from the same family. For instance, a field rat has a de-taunt attack and a heal, while a sewer rat has a de-taunt and a poison debuff.
- - In general, rats have utility powers, cats have attack abilities, and bears are more durable and have taunts. There are several exceptions, however, such as cats that can heal and bears with a lot of damage potential (and no taunts).
- - Animal-handling pets no longer map directly to their non-tamed counterparts. Many have significantly less health and armor than before, and some have significantly more damage.
- - Most animals with different names have different stats/abilities. For instance, "Fey Panther" and "Fey Panther Groupie" look the same, but have different health/armor/damage stats.
- - Note: most of the named fey bears in and around Eltibule end up as the same bear. (i.e. the Mutilator, the Mauler, the Maimer, etc. are all the same bear once tamed, although they will have different initial levels.) This is an exception to the general rule that named animals have unique setups.
- - There is a new ability called Clever Trick. Different ranks of the ability are automatically learned at levels 3, 25, and 44. (Note: the ability reuses the ID numbers from the retired "Lock Target" ability. So if you had Lock :Target 3, you now have Clever Trick 3, etc. But the Clever Trick abilities have higher level requirements than the old ability, so it's possible that it's in your list but you can't use it until you reach higher Animal Handling levels. This is expected behavior and will sort itself out after you reach level 44+.)
- - The ability Sic 'Em now instructs the pet to perform its "sic 'em attack." The ability's other benefits (speed and damage buff) were reduced in potency, its Power cost was lowered, and the reset time was greatly reduced
- - The new ability Special Trick instructs the pet to perform its "special trick"
- - There are many, many new Animal Handling treasure effects
- - The NPC Gisli in Serbule is now a "real" NPC with favor levels. He can also give you more info about Animal Handling works now
- The time has finally come! Druids can finally fulfill their druidic obligations! "Druid events" are calls to action for the Druids. One hour prior to the event, druids will receive a premonition of pending danger (in the form of a special effect icon). When the event occurs, druids are obligated to go and help with whatever disaster is occurring. You will receive a special quest explaining the details and tracking your progress.
- Once the event starts, druids can't earn XP. This is to encourage druids to do their goddamned jobs. But druids can still get loot, and when the event ends, Dreva will send 'blessings' to druids that helped. Dreva's Blessings can be used to purchase abilities and items from the druid pedestal in Sun Vale.
Non-druids can help fight back the plagues of evil, too. Anyone who defeats the necessary monsters will advance the special event, whether they're druids or not.
- There are several different 'sizes' of each event. When the premonition begins, the number of active players online is checked, and an appropriate difficulty is chosen based on that number. (There are three versions of each event. We'll add more versions down the road.)
- For the next two weeks, there will be approximately two druid events each day on a random schedule. After the initial two-week period, we'll re-evaluate how often these events should run, based on your feedback.
- Feedback needed! Bug reports needed! There are currently four prototype events, each using slightly different tech. So it's possible for one event to have a problem that the other events don't have. When reporting a bug please indicate what event is happening!
Hairs and Beards
- Humans and elves now have some new hairstyle options. In addition, human males have two beard options. These are just to help flesh out the character-creation process a bit -- they're not the full set of available options we'll have in the final game. When we have the final character artwork done, we'll add a way for existing players to revise their appearance (e.g. a "barber" GUI). That will be some months from now, though. In the meantime, expect surprises and changes as we get everything integrated. Even this batch of hairstyles will be revised to fix some small flaws.
- Speaking of surprises: human males, I have some awkward news: do you remember how, during character creation, there was a beard button but no beards actually showed up? Well, you were actually choosing between several invisible beards. But those beards are now visible! So... you might log in and suddenly have a beard. Likewise, the "beard color" button really did work... you just couldn't tell what color it was picking because the beards were invisible. So your spontaneous beard will have a completely arbitrary color.
- Sorry about that! As mentioned above, there will eventually be a way to revise your appearance. These are just Alpha Woes.
Some modest changes have been made to Eltibule so that it's more useful for players in the intended level range (20-30 or so).
- - Level 10 wolves have been replaced with level 25 Cunning Wolves
- - Level 15 Black Widow Spiders have been replaced with level 23 Grass Spiders
- - Added hunting quests throughout Eltibule. These work like the ones in South Serbule: certain random monsters have a floaty icon over their head, and when you kill them you get a quest to kill more of that kind of monster.
- - BTW: if you are in a group and kill a hunting-quest monster, all nearby group members will get the quest. And killing the appropriate creature will advance the quest for all nearby group members. So grouping up to do hunting quests makes a lot of sense... a lot more sense than competing for kills, at least! (You should be able to share the kills and the quest-bestowal even if you're not in a group, as long as everybody does at least one attack on the creature. But that is not well tested at the moment, so if it doesn't work please let us know!)
Recipe and Item-Value Changes
- Some of the game's most poorly-balanced recipes have been updated, and correspondingly the cash value of many crafted items has changed. In this update we focused on recipes that either gave more than 400% return on investment (that is, the cash value of the output was worth more than 4x than the value of the input), or recipes where you actually lost more than 100 councils' worth of value (that is, the ingredients were worth significantly more than the resulting item). In the future we will narrow this down further. Eventually, very few recipes should cause you to lose cash value, and no single recipe should give more than, say, 300% ROI.
- A list of specific changes can be found in the full patch notes on the forums.
- For the record, it's actually intentional that the game's recipes are "warty," not uniform, with odd ingredients, varied output values, and different levels of utility. That's one aspect of the "exploration" part of the game: figuring out what's useful and how to make it work for you. So while there will be a lot more work done on recipes, it will never be an especially ... predictable ... system.
Work Order Update
- We've updated the rewards of work orders to reflect recent changes to item values, and to fix some work orders that were especially terrible.
- Note: the system is largely automatic and uses a formula to calculate the cash-value of the work order. Sometimes this results in insultingly bad rewards -- not just "meh" rewards, but "hell no, nobody should ever complete this work order." In those cases, we can add a manual override to improve the reward. We've done that for several work orders reported by players. If you find new ones (or old ones that weren't fixed right), please report them as a bug!
Musical Performance & Dance
- - Revised the formulae for performance appreciation buffs. Performance Appreciation time now accumulates a bit slower, and the buff duration cannot exceed 8 hours (!). If you have a small group of performers, the overall quality of the buff is reduced as well (but the maximum possible buff remains the same)
- - Crafting XP bonus is no longer given out from music. This is now a benefit gained by watching dancers perform. (See Dancing Skill, below.)
- - Changed the algorithm so that crappy performances don't hurt high-quality buffs as quickly. Previously, if you listened to a large highly-skilled band for an hour, you'd have a buff that boosted XP and armor regen quite a lot. If you then wandered off and stumbled upon a lone player in the wilderness strumming the lute, your buff quality would instantly drop to the level of the lute player. (The duration would keep going up, but the quality of the buff would drop.) This now happens more slowly. Listening to a crappier performance does slowly drop the quality of your buff, but it now happens over several minutes, not instantly.
- - A reminder on how musical performance buffs are calculated: for best results, you want a diversity of instrument skills in use. Ideally you'd have at least one wind, one percussion, and one string player. The highest-level performer from each skill determines the basic quality of the buff. In addition, the total number of performers grants a bonus regardless of their skill level or instrument type. (Up to a maximum of 12 performers.)
- - Dancing is now a skill that can be learned from Lana Songtree in South Serbule.
- - Watching dancers perform will earn you a crafting XP buff. (Dancers can also provide some other small buffs.)
- - Dancing can only be done to music.
- - The /dance command has been retired; you can only dance via the dancing skill.
And much more! Details on specific smaller changes can be found in the complete patch notes on the forum. Click here to return to the Game Updates page.