Game updates/2016-12-05

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December 5 Update

This snapshot update has a new beginner's dungeon, changes to the Shield skill, and more.

Newbie Dungeon Expansion

The small dungeon on Anagoge Island has been replaced with a new, much larger dungeon... and it's only just getting started! More parts will come online in future updates. If you haven't played the new-player experience recently, we could use your feedback about the dungeon. Please create a new character, go through the dungeon, and report things that were confusing, that didn't work, or that were great. (It's important to tell us what works, too, so we don't accidentally rip out fun things!)
Oh, and if you were in the old Gajus dungeon: it's gone now, so you will probably die from "falling off the world" when you log in. Just walk it off! (And for the record, if you're Hardcore, note that "fell off the world" deaths never cause your items to break.)
There are a couple of new side-bar abilities that can be learned in the dungeon. They're intended for low-level players, so it's unlikely that a high-level character will get much use out of them, but a player in their low 10s might benefit enough for it to be worthwhile to go back to Anagoge for them.
When the other sections of this dungeon are complete, it will be a very long dungeon, designed to accommodate a large number of low-level players. In fact, it's so long that it conceptually burrows under the ocean and comes out in South Serbule, which means there will be an alternate way off of Anagoge Island -- but, of course, the existing method will remain much faster than trekking through miles of dungeons!


Shield Changes

We've made some improvements to the Shield skill to make it more accessible and versatile. It is still a great choice for tanking, and it now also has improved damage-boosting and healing powers for soloing. It's also easier to unlock the skill and some of its key abilities.
Many treasure mods were completely rewritten, and some mods been moved to new equipment slots, which means some of your old Shield-skill gear may have become Legacy. The "legacy item replacer" golem in Serbule will give you 5 replacement items for any legacy item with Shield prerequisites; hopefully this helps you get back into action quickly.
Shield needed a basic attack, and it now has one, "Quick Bash". This basic attack deals damage and also boosts your Accuracy. It's learned automatically starting at level 4. (The level 60+ version can be learned from Sir Johnson in Ilmari.)
Since the Shield skill already had 13 different combat abilities, this new ability is a replacement for the least-sexy of the old shield abilities (IMO), "Deflect Arrows". If you already knew Deflect Arrows, you'll automatically know corresponding levels of Quick Bash instead.
Other shield notes:
- Tyler Green now teaches the Shield skill at Comfortable favor level (down from Friends). He was starting to develop a persecution complex from being the Most Hated NPC in Alharth, so please be kind to him during his recovery.
- "Shield Team" has a faster cooldown but does not gain as much benefit from the mod that boosts Reinforce's healing. It has its own additional new mods, however
- "Rapid Recovery" has been reworked to hopefully make it more useful. It can now be used while in-combat, but has a 4 second delay-loop animation that aborts if you are hit during that time. This allows it to be used immediately after the last enemy dies, before you've gone "out of combat". It also lets you use the ability during combat in some situations (e.g. when the enemy is mezzed). The healing amount is significantly larger to compensate for slower cast.
- "Finish It" does not have a down-side anymore, because why
- Added a new layer of Disrupting Bash at low level to smooth out the difficulty of leveling Shield. This means that the old Disrupting Bash 5, which was taught by Sir Johnson, is now auto-learned at level 48, and Disrupting Bash 6 is sold by Sir Johnson
- Added two new tiers of the ability Stunning Bash, one early in the level curve and one late. Low-level versions are auto-added to your list, high-level versions are learned from Sir Johnson in Amulna. So check your ability list (and Sir Johnson's training list) to see if you have the highest-level versions available to you.
- Added a new tier of Emergency Bash at low level. This means the old Emergency Bash 5 is now auto-learned. Emergency Bash 6 is sold from Sir Johnson
- Added a new tier of Infuriating Bash at mid-level. Gorvessa the goblin sells it
- Tyler Green now teaches Fight Me You Fools and Vigorous Defense. (Gorvessa also still teaches them.)
- Nelson Ballard now teaches Fire Shield. (Gorvessa also still teaches it.)
- Made it explicit that boosting Reinforce also boosts Rapid Recovery (this is how it worked before but it was undocumented)

Tweaks to NPC Skill Training

NPCs that used to automatically train you in a skill when you reached a certain Favor level have been changed to use the Training menu instead. They still teach you the skill for free when you reach the right Favor level, but you have to go to the Training menu to unlock it manually. This adds discoverability for new players, so they can figure out what an NPC will be able to teach them in the future. There should be no significant functional changes! If there are, please report them.
The full list of affected NPCs is in the forum version of these patch notes.

Rahu Improvements

Rahu continues to receive iterative content improvements:
- Rahu has a first draft of a map
- Sergeant Ultaka in Rahu now sells a "Visitor's Pass" to the back areas of Rahu. (Eventually, rakshasa players will be able to become citizens who don't need a pass, but other races will always need a visitor's pass... or a disguise, perhaps...)
- Items that were supposed to spawn inside of Rahu citizens' houses were spawning on the ground outside instead
- Rakshasa "townies" (e.g. "Evil Shopkeepers", "Concerned Citizens", etc.) can now wander, and have better eyesight
- There is a new NPC in the back parts of Rahu that can teach a new cooking skill. More will be done with this NPC in future updates (and more NPCs will be added to the back areas)
- Three Eyes' current rumors are now displayed correctly

Other Changes and Bug Fixes

- Halloween items no longer drop from undead. (The loot chests will remain a little longer.)
- Several Hammer mods had weird suffixes like "Feet" or "MainHand, Legs". This was just debugging junk that is now gone.
- Adjusted the new-player tutorial to include eating food. Cleaned up some weird tutorial scenarios. Note: new players now get a food item, "hardtack," from the backpack on the beach. This is a new food, so Gourmand completionists might need to obtain one from a newbie. But it's a newbie food, so the Gourmand XP doesn't amount to much anyway.
- Zhao will not take your money to teach you Flower Arrangement if you have already learned Flower Arrangement
- "Cat Eyeballs for Joeh" could be repeated every 2 weeks; it is now a one-time favor
- Hangouts that were supposed to be repeatable once per month were repeatable immediately
- Moderators and admins can now add flair to their chat messages so that they are more obviously a representative of the game and not an imposter
- The "brighter world" checkbox in the graphics options would not be re-applied when you switched areas unless other graphical effects were also on your camera (e.g. night-vision)
- Level 60 Noxious Flapskulls no longer use the same loot profile as level 1 pigs
- Basic Ham Omelet and Bacon Lover's Omelet recipes gave too much Cooking XP on repeats of the recipe
- Fixed a bug that could cause monsters to appear to be near you, but when you attacked them, an error message would indicate that they were actually very far away. (Well, hopefully fixed: we found the cause of the bug, but we can't test the fix except on the live server -- the conditions are too hard to replicate on a test server. So we'll see soon if the fix worked.)
- Creating new survey/mining recipes should no longer fail (and eat your ingredients) if you are outside of the valid mining area for that game-area. (You must still be in the correct game-area to create recipes, for technical reasons, but it shouldn't much matter now where you are in that area.)
- Marna, Eleme, and Raul claimed to like vegetarian meals, but actually liked any meal with veggies in it, regardless of other ingredients. (Meaning that fruit cups didn't count because no veggies, and meat-pies counted if they had potatoes.) They now actually only like vegetarian dishes, meaning any prepared food that has no meat or fish ingredients
- (Note that other NPCs explicitly liked "veggie-heavy meals" (e.g. Gretchen) or "veggie-heavy snacks" (Jumper) and these NPCs are unchanged; any prepared food with vegetables in it works regardless of other ingredients.)
- The ability "Mock" deals direct health damage to be consistent with other Psychic-damage attacks
- Treasure mod "Flesh to Fuel boosts your Core Attack Damage +90 for 7 seconds" was applied when you cast Fireball, not Flesh to Fuel
- Knife abilities "Backstab" and "Surprise Throw" are supposed to do half damage if the target is focused on you. Instead they did half damage if the target WASN'T focused on you
- The navigation mesh for Kur Mountains has been greatly simplified to improve sub-server performance. This should theoretically have no effect on play, but if you find places that you can't auto-move to anymore, or that your pets or your enemies can't get to anymore, please report them! (Stand in the approximate spot that's causing the problem; your report includes coordinates for us.)
- Spore Bomb 1 now does a little bit more damage so that it's powerful enough to kill the [redacted] on the newbie island, as intended
- Spore Bomb recipes changed to give more spore bombs for fewer ingredients
- Hurl Lightning and Latent Charge now count as hammer attacks for purposes of treasure mods like "Hammer attacks deal +16% damage to targets whose Rage meters are at least 66% full"
- The "newbie tier" of the base-skill-damage boosting gear mods, which boosted a skill's damage by 5% (e.g. "Sword Base Damage +5%") now add a flat +3 damage instead. This was done because the lowest tier of many abilities do less than 20 damage, so a 5% bonus is rounded down to +0. : And loot that doesn't do anything at all is very anticlimactic. (The next tier of bonus, which adds 8%, is unchanged.)
- Equipping some items caused an extra icon to appear in the effects list with just the name "-"
- Upgraded Unity from 5.4.1p4 to 5.4.3f1

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