Game updates/2016-10-29

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October 29 Update

The long-awaited update is finally here! This update includes wide-spread changes to abilities and treasure effects. Those changes have especially affected existing equipment, so make sure you read the instructions below for dealing with those changes.
Combat feels a bit different now. In general, you regenerate more in combat and your armor... well, okay, it's hard to summarize all the changes. Let's just say that combat is a bit different, especially at higher level. Expect some shock at first. It will take a little while to get used to, but in the end you won't be weaker than before -- this update was NOT, in general, a nerf to overall player power. It may just feel that way while you get used to things.
There is a list of Known Issues at the bottom of these patch notes!

Halloween 2016!

Because so much of the combat system has changed in this update, you will probably need new loot. So we've made this year's Halloween event a loot extravaganza. There are chests in town that you can unlock to get loot. To get started, use "/redeem Halloween2016" to get 5 free Halloween Chest Keys. Find more keys by killing skeletons and ghouls! (Tip for newbies: the Serbule Crypt is full of skeletons... once you get past the horde of spiders at the entrance.)
Also, Velkort has reported that the sacrificial altar in Serbule is emitting blue fire. Best to stay clear of that area.

[Seriously, the latter half of Serbule is going to be a bloodbath. Be aware of your surroundings! We should really move this type of horrific event out of town, but there wasn't time this year... so stay safe!] IMPORTANT: for performance reasons, PLEASE do not throw unwanted loot from the loot chests onto the ground. Sell it or give it to NPCs!

Two-Skill Equipment

New items:

The way that treasure effects are chosen for loot and crafted gear has changed. We've retired the notion of "single-skill treasure" -- all new treasure will have its effects evenly split (as much as possible) between two combat skills when it is generated. This is intended to encourage players to build for two skills instead of maximizing their primary skill at the expense of a second skill. Special notes:
- Just as before, your active skills determine the effects on loot most of the time. There is still a chance to get "generic" effects instead, and a small chance to get a random skill unrelated to the ones you're using. The chance to get a random second skill is much reduced, however.
- If you use the same skill on both ability bars, the game treats your second skill bar as "generic", so the gear you find will always be half-filled with generic effects (or, occasionally, a random other skill as mentioned above).
- Similarly, if you use the same gem for both primary and secondary slots when crafting an item, the game treats the second skill as "generic", so you will get generic treasure effects most of the time.

Old items:

Existing equipment that doesn't meet the new two-skill requirements has been marked as Legacy. (Legacy items can be used for 30 days, but after that they will break and be unusable for combat.)
- "Generic" mods don't count as one of the two skills, and there are some special rules for how that works -- you *can* have an item with mods for only one skill, if half of the item's mods are generics.
- By the way, items with only two mods are exempted from becoming Legacy even if their two mods are for the same skill. But you shouldn't find NEW two-mod items for only one skill -- if you do, that's a bug so please report it!

Legacy Equipment:

In addition to the two-skill requirements above, a lot of treasure mods have changed in major ways. Most existing mods have been automatically converted, but if the mod now goes on a different slot then that piece of equipment has been marked as Legacy as well.

Legacy Item Replacer NPC:

There is a new golem in Serbule that provides a service for Alpha players: if one or more of your items has become Legacy due to gameplay changes, the golem can replace it with a new randomly-generated item.

Legacy Items in Error:

Because the changes to treasure effects are very wide-spread, you may find that a piece of equipment has been marked as Legacy incorrectly. If that happens, don't panic! Do not throw your item away! It may be a bug, and if so it will automatically become Un-Legacy when we fix the bug. Here's what to do:
- In Serbule, find the Legacy Item Replacer golem in the house next to Joeh's shop. It can examine an item and tell you why it's marked Legacy.
- After seeing the reason, if you still think it's a bug, then you're probably right. Report it as a bug! Include the name of the item and the treasure effects in the bug report (or send a screenshot to showing the item's info). Then hang onto the item for a bit. If it's a bug, we'll fix it within a week or two and your item will un-Legacy automatically.
- After seeing the reason, if you're satisfied that it's Legacy, you can give it to the golem to receive a replacement item.
- Remember that Legacy items are completely usable for a month, so do not freak out prematurely!


You can now save different configurations of ability bars and equipment sets for your character. Load-outs are a snapshot of your active skills, abilities, and equipment. You can switch to a different load-out at any time (except during combat), either through the GUI or by configuring a hotkey.
You unlock your first two load-outs when you get your first combat skill to level 25. After that, each combat skill you raise to level 50 unlocks another load-out, up to a maximum of 9. The equipment used by load-outs is marked with a special icon in your inventory so that you can easily tell which ones are in use. And these items don't show up in the vendor GUI -- they are effectively "locked" from being sold.


Meals are super important now!
Both food and drink items are now called "Meals". (Snacks are still separate.) Meals generate in-combat regeneration as well as out-of-combat regeneration. Without a level-appropriate meal, you're going to have a much harder time surviving combat! (In contrast, Snacks always have instantaneous effects.)
There's another gotcha here: Meals now have a Gourmand level requirement. If you've been ignoring Gourmand skill, it's time to start leveling it up! Eating new foods is by far the fastest way to level Gourmand. We recommend throwing food-trading parties as the easiest way to get new foods. (You can see what foods you've already eaten in the Skills window.)
If you've ignored the Gourmand skill up until now, you may be in for a rough slog at first because your regeneration will be low. To help ease you into eating regularly, all existing accounts can obtain some special food. In game, type "/redeem AlphaBeets". You'll get 20 hours' worth of Meals. (Note that for technical reasons, this can only be done once per account.)
Also worth noting: We didn't have time to update the Tutorial to better explain how Meals work. For now, we've just dropped several bowls of Porridge into new players' inventories, and hopefully they'll notice the "You're Starving" icon and eat a bowl. (This porridge is the same stuff that's in Lawara's cooking pot on the island.) If you see a newbie having trouble, give them a gentle nudge in the right direction!

Ability Changes

The following skills have SIGNIFICANTLY changed loot: Sword, Unarmed, Staff, Mentalism, Psychology, Necromancy, Druid, Fire Magic, Archery. Many mods were changed to be less sucky, and some were moved around to better distribute the gear.
Other skills have not yet had their sucky gear mods revised, but the stats of their gear and abilities HAVE been changed to use the new base formulas as everything else. (They just haven't had their least-exciting gear mods replaced yet.)

In General:

- Power costs of all abilities are different -- some larger and some smaller.
- Abilities do more base damage. A LOT more base damage. This helps make them useful even if you don't put a lot of treasure effects on the same abilities.
- As a side-effect of abilities doing more base damage, mods that boost damage by a percentage are now using smaller percentages. This does NOT in general mean that mods are weaker than before... it's just how math works. Mods still account for more than 50% of your character's total power at high level.
- Your armor now gives much bigger boosts to your Combat Refresh. Metal armor has the least effect on the refresh but has more Armor to compensate. Cloth armor has lower Armor but you recover significantly more Power and Health. Leather armor is somewhere in between.
- Significantly increased potency of rage-reduction abilities at high level, to better match modern monster max-rage stats. (Typical high-level rage-reducing abilities remove about 250% more rage).
- Tweaked stuns so that chain-stuns don't diminish quite as quickly (accounting for longer combats).
- The description of an ability now tells you more important facts that you need to know, such as exactly how much damage an ability will do with your current gear and mods. Enchanted aspects of the ability are shown in green or red, depending on whether the enchantment is positive or negative. (This was a huge amount of work so it is likely to be buggy. Please report bugs!)
- Your ability bars also now inform you when the timer on your Combat Refresh is up and it's ready to use again. (And there's a little 'boop' noise.)

New Abilities:

First Aid:

- Added the level 50 First Aid ability. Currently the first-aid kits drop from level 60 monsters and cannot be crafted or purchased.


- Two new abilities 'Skulk' and 'Blood of the Pack' can be learned from Sanja the wolf


- Added a new level of the ability Psychoanalyze. The old Psychoanalyze 3 is now a level 31 ability, and the new Psychoanalyze 4 is level 47. If you are above level 47 you will already have this ability in your list, but you may still have Psychoanalyze 3 on your ability bar until you manually switch to the higher version.
- A new level of Strike A Nerve is available from Nissim in Amulna. It requires Psychology level 62.


- Added the new ability Phoenix Strike, which is temporarily learnable from Hogan in Hogan's Keep, Eltibule.


- The ability "Kick" is now "Front Kick".
- new ability, Infuriating Fist, is available from Furlak. Level requirement is 40/50/60. (There are three levels of the ability.)
- new ability tiers: Punch 6 @ Furlak, Front Kick 5 and 6 @ Furlak, Knee Kick 5 @ Furlak, Hip Throw 4 (auto-learned), two new levels of Headbutt (available as loot scrolls or from Flia), Jab 6 (level 60 loot-drop scroll)


- New ability Agonize, taught by Mu the Myconian. (It replaces Mind-Armor Wave, so if you had that old ability, you already have the new one.)


- There are new tiers of many abilities: Raise Skeleton Archer, Raise Skeleton Swordsman, Raise Skeleton Battle Mage (2 of these), Life Crush, Life Steal, Death's Hold, Wave of Darkness, Provoke Undead, Spark of Death (2 of these), Create Shambling Corpse (2 of these). They were added to shorten the gaps between getting new versions of your core abilities. Some other abilities' levels have moved up or down by 1 to fit these new tiers of abilities. : You should check the abilities you use and see if there are new ones available!
- Most new abilities below level 50 will have been auto-added to your Persona list. Higher-level abilities are for sale from Daniel Murderdark.
- NOTE: Wave of Darkness and Heart's Power are no longer auto-learned. They are now taught by Jumjab the goblin (who lives in the wilds of Eltibule). Jumjab also now teaches Create Super Zombie, taking over from Azalak the mantis, who doesn't actually know anything about Necromancy and was just bluffing.


- new abilities Restorative Arrow and Mangling Shot, temporarily taught by Azalak the mantis. (Who knows nothing about Archery, but is pretending.)

Specific Misc Skill Notes:

- Giant Bats can raise the Bat skill to level 60. Befriend Yavazek in Sun Vale's Animal Town.
- Although Knife has not been substantively revised yet, note that the Knife Crit Boost effect HAS been updated... building your setup around these treasure effects should be much more effective now
- Knife ability 'Gut' now deals direct health damage instead of normal damage
- Reduced the healing-regen potency of Howling. Increased damage potency
- Necromancy and Bat reap effects ("steals X health") no longer get the benefit of bonuses to necromancy/bat base damage. Instead, their base effects (and treasure effects) are directly more potent
- Wind Strike now adds the bonus damage to the NEXT attack after Wind Strike, as intended, instead of just adding the damage directly to Wind Strike
- Fire Magic no longer has lower max power than other combat skills (effectively giving fire mages +25 Max Mana at level 50+)
- Health Regeneration from Beast Metabolism (a/k/a "werewolf corpse-eating") has been reduced by 33%. Power regeneration has been reduced more, Armor regeneration less.
- Necromancy: "Heart's Power" and "Spleen's Power" can now be placed on the sidebar.

Bugs & Assorted Changes

- Loot tweaked so that you find more of the weapons (and off-hand items) you need, and less that you don't. If you're using Unarmed skill, you'll have a much higher chance of finding unarmed weapons, and much lower chance of finding, say, Fire orbs.
- The recipe for Lucky Belt of the Batty Battler has been repurposed to create belts for Knife instead, since the bat belt can just be purchased from Harry in Serbule.
- Lucky Belts now boost base-skill damage. (!)
- Skeletons have a bit more health starting at low level, and do a bit less damage at high level. Same goes for animal-handling pets
- Fixed a bug that let players learn higher-level versions of an ability even if they didn't know the lower-level version, if they were learning it from a scroll
- Frost Bolt and Scintillating Frost no longer share the same icon.
- Multishot and Heavy Multishot no longer share the same icon.
- The label color for Exceptional items (those with three treasure effects) is more red than before.
- "Skeleton Dickweed"s drop more equipment.
- Significantly reduced the quality of loot dropped from Druidic Emergency monsters.
- Droaches from the droach invasion druid event can no longer be skinned.
- Toned down the rarity of loot from group-monsters a notch. Epic and Legendary (4-effect and 5-effect) items are a little bit less common. "Boss" monsters are nerfed a little bit, and "Elite" monsters are nerfed more noticeably, especially in terms of finding Legendary gear. This change does not affect crafted-gear rarities or the loot dropped from solo monsters.
- Pocket belts have slightly more inventory space, to compensate for how they aren't boosting your damage like regular belts now do.
- Players no longer get +1 mitigation for every 50 points of Max Armor. They still get +1 mitigation for every 25 points of CURRENT armor, however.
- Fixed a bug that kept the "Bonus Gold from Work Orders" special event feature from working.
- The Transmutation Table no longer allows you to alter the Augmented effect on an item; it in fact shouldn't even be shown on the transmutation table (except for "... plus an Augmented treasure effect"). You can still remove augments with the augment-removal recipe.
- Monsters have a bit more health and their Rage attacks do more damage. (Note: There is no magic "balancing wand" I can wave on monsters... many of them are no doubt going to be too hard or too easy now, and I need your help finding them! If, after some time playing with new gear, a monster seems inappropriately hard (or easy), please assume it is a bug and report it!)

Known issues:

- Item tooltips can appear in awkward spots if they are too close to the corner of the screen.
- Item tooltips can sometimes "shrink", removing unnecessary whitespace dynamically in a very eerie (but harmless) fashion.
- The Transmutation table temporarily has no way to change skill-specific effects into Generic effects, or to change Generic effects into skill-specific effects. You can only transmute skill-specific powers into other powers for that same skill.
- Velkort has forgotten everybody and his Favor level will be reset. Do not bother trying to raise favor with him again; he will remember your old Favor level after the next hotfix.

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