Patch 4.0 May the fourth be with you!

1 – First graphical upgrades:

While we didn’t plan on any graphical upgrades during InDev, with artists on the team came recommendation of improvements with great impact and allowing them to do their jobs better.
We are also implementing our first new assets in the game, which is a great step forward.

  • In this patch, we introduce new appearances for all 3 tailoring mastery robes and their hoods.
  • We have implemented post-processing effects that allow us to tweak color saturation and image contrast.
  • The current settings will not fit all locations in game, but individual environments are being tweaked for the next patch. We wanted to test the impact of the technology as early as possible.

2 – Nearest bindstone respawn:

As part of our efforts to improve the physicality of the world, we’ve implemented a system that prevents instant travel through death and offers players a choice of spawn location nearby.
This feature should improve immersion, strategy and logistics, and more importantly, is capital to create a local banking system that functions fully.

  • The notion of binding to a stone is completely removed from the game.
  • When a character dies, the player will be shown a map of the surrounding area, showing the available spawn location.
  • There will always be at least one location available with a bank nearby, to prevent being left without gear.
  • A spawn selection will persist until the character dies far enough from the initial death’s location, to prevent traveling through suicides.
  • House owners and their guests can respawn at the house if it is close enough.
  • Clan members can respawn at a siege stone of their clan.

3 – Alignment improvements:

One of our ongoing topic of progress has been to improve the alignment system and get Darkfall away from its past as a gankbox.
In this patch we focus on player graves, removing one of the incentives of letting supposedly friendly players die. We want people to gain from others, not from their demise.
We also remove the permanent lawless areas as racial wars, a core concept in the game, should be everywhere and always.

  • Permanent lawless tiles have been removed.
  • New player protection now lasts 48 hours.
  • Player graves are now protected by the alignment:
    • Graves of players under new player protection can only be looted by their owner.
    • Characters with new player protection cannot loot player graves other than their own.
    • Looting the grave of a character that is blue to you will result in losing alignment, resetting your track record in the process.
    • Characters you could kill without consequences can be looted without consequences too. This includes clan enemies/allies and party members.

4 – Group gameplay features:

In the same spirit as the alignment changes, we want the game to foster positive social interactions between players, be them strangers and clans members
To that end, other players on a spawn should be a boon, never an hindrance. Sharing quests credit and being able to share rare loot items is part of this.

  • Quest kill sharing:
    • All players on a spawn that have an active quest linked to the monsters will enter the kill sharing pool.
    • When a monster dies on the spawn:
      • all players in the pool gains a portion of the kill credit.
      • In addition, a full kill credit is given on a round-robin basis.
    • If a character kills monsters on the spawn without having the quest, rewards are forwarded to those that do.
  • Nearby characters in a party will share meditation when opening chaos chests, treasure map and chest keys.

5 – Artificial Intelligence:

In an effort to make the game better rounded and to prevent easy exploiting, we made a first scouting pass and a few preliminary tweaks to test out the AI framework.
This is a first foray into these systems but they show a lot of promise, and we expect a lot of feedback to improve the PvE experience in a challenging and engaging way.

  • Monsters will be a lot more careful about doing friendly fire.
  • Monsters will try to move around when they do not have a clean line of sight.
  • Monsters getting stuck either through geometry or aggro will try to force their way through to the players.
  • Monsters will change tactics faster when they notice they are getting hit without hitting players.
  • Some monsters may be too strong now and will be in need of attributes tweaking to compensate. Any and all feedback welcomed on the AI topic.

6 – Clan and house harvesting nodes:

Just like spawn scaling, we need a world that scales based on activity to avoid over-saturation or over-scarcity.
During InDev, this change is a nerf to city nodes and a buff to housing. In the grand scheme of things, one city/house node is equivalent to one good normal node.
In the long term on a live server, it should be a great tool to motivate individuals to fight for land through greed and personal gain.

  • Each player has their own resource pool that maxes out at 125 items for clan nodes, and 150 for house nodes. Both regenerate 1.05 items per minute.
  • For each currently regenerating player pool, all pools are altered:
    • The maximum size of pools is reduced by 1 item, down to a minimum of 50 items.
    • Regrowth rate is reduced, down to a minimum of 0.0696 items per minute.
  • Nodes start at 0 items on server restart, creation, repairs or placement.
  • Moving nodes away from holdings will come at a later date.

7 – Player progression:

  • Skill progression is being reworked in preparation of the title system, here is the first step:
    • Combat skills and subskills will now unlock when the requirements are reached.
    • New characters will start with all magic schools unlocked, including their lvl 1 spells.
    • Some spells have had their requirements increased to 10-15-20 to reduce initial complexity:
      • Arrow Shield: Air magic lvl 15
      • Mystic Shield: Arcane Magic lvl 15
      • Earthquake: Earth Magic lvl 60 (this spell is for now a trap, but we’re thinking of making it useful as a signature spell)
      • Smoke Signal: Fire Magic lvl 20
      • Evil Eye: Necromancy lvl 20
      • Undeath: necromancy lvl 15
      • Gills: Water Magic lvl 10
      • Delayed Shot: Water magic lvl 20
  • Damage based experience bonus tweaks:
    • It still gives up to 50% more XP but caps at half the max possible damage, effectively doubling its impact in regular gameplay.
    • Damage and monster tiers are no longer multiplicative modifiers. Meaning you can now reach a maximum of +100% instead of +125%, but higher percentages are easier to reach.
    • Note that there is a cap of xp per skill execution, and with the high leveling speed of InDev this cap is reached on each usage when a skill is at low level.
  • Nearby NPCs with an available quest are now marked on the map.

8 – Combat balance:

  • Burden has now a lower duration. Its duration is still erratic, but we’ll be looking into it for the next patch.
  • Corrosive blast now has the same cooldown as any other r50 and applies an acid debuff.
  • Tornado now has the same cast time as explosion from fire magic.
  • Fireball has its knock up radius reverted to its old value (3m down to 1m)
  • The sidestep melee extension is now faster and has a stamina cost. This is an experiment, let us know how it plays at various latencies.
  • Mana missile can now be used under water.
  • Encumbrance system tweaks:
    • The formulas for magical magnitude and magic penalty’s impact on secondary effects have been tweaked:
      • The naked point, where the two curves meet, is now lower in effectiveness than before.
      • Magical magnitude now has more granularity, since it starts lower and goes slightly lower than before.
      • Magic penalty is now linear, capping at 22 magic penalty.
      • 1% of magical magnitude will negate 2 points of magical penalty.
    • Encumbrance values for leather armor have been tweaked. Full sets of studded and up will provide 42 encumbrance, down from 49 for an Exarch armor set.
    • Feather enchants have been lowered by 5 points, to reflect the lowering of leather’s encumbrance.

9 – Bugfix & tweaks:

  • To reduce frustration, the area to dig a treasure map has been increased to 20m.
  • Players and monsters should no longer spawn on the “roof” of dungeons.
  • The F key should be stuck a lot less, if at all. Please report remaining cases if any.
  • Reduction of VCP rewards:
    • Capture reward:
      • Base meditation reward down to 4000 from 6000
      • All players, winners and losers, that get engaged with the vcp gets at least 500 meditation so that there is at least some reward for coming.
    • Ongoing reward:
      • Hourly base meditation reward divided by 3: down to 150 from 500
      • Hourly base gold reward divided by 2: down to 350/175 from 700/350
    • The results are that a successful capture is at the very least equal to 10 764 meditation = (2000 + 500 + 4000 x 1.10) + 3864
      • Before it was 21 480 = 8600 + 12880, so about divided by 2 for one day, but rewards over 10 days are divided by 3.
      • For gold, it gives 4508 gold to the individual players for the first capture, 9016 to the clan.
  • When disbanding a clan that controls a VCP, the ongoing modifier is reset to 0 and the invulnerability timer is no longer reset.

10 – Known issues:

  • The current graphical settings will not fit all locations in game, but individual environments are being tweaked for the next patch. We wanted to test impact of the technology as early as possible.
  • Some monsters may be too strong now and will be in need of attributes tweaking to compensate. Any and all feedback welcomed on the AI topic.
  • Quests available in dungeons will not properly show on the overworld. This will come in an evolution of the feature. Marker is also a bit hard to see, but assets will be improved.
  • Stormblast and other displacement effects are still too floaty. We’re aware of the issues and we’re working on them.
  • Burden still has a wide variance in its duration. We’ll fix that in the following patch.