Saturday, February 8, 2014

Important info for new turn.

The iron fist of oppression strikes again.
The Wheel turns and things change again.

Take your pick.

A new turn is upon us. A great deal of work has gone into preparing for
it and quite a few things have been changed and added. This note is
intended to give you some idea of what has been done, although I make
no claims that it is an exhaustive list. These notes will probably
meander wildly, as there are many changes to discuss which are
interwoven, but I'll try to hit all the high points at least once.

The primary goal of this work has been to back away, to a degree, from
the all or nothing nature of the game which has evolved over the years.

First, I'd like to take a few moments to address some of things which
have been nerfed. Crafting affect values, the crafted regen affect,
sunburst, weave shields, and a small handful of talents are
significantly less powerful than they once were. Four equipment slots
have been removed: one ankle, finger, shin and shoulder slot. I should
also note that while crafted affect types are largely unchanged per
combo, a new AC regen crafting affect has been added which led to a few

Each of these things contributed heavily to the difficulty we've had in
balancing the game as it has been. While I dislike nerfing in general,
I honestly don't think much progress could be made without reducing the
effectiveness of these things. Opinions will vary.

These are the skills and weaves which have been removed:
circle II, fury, trip, haggle, dice, angreal, animate, flame blade,
soul plate, spirit shield, create food, and identify.

These skills and weaves were either a waste of trains or unbalancing.
The flame blade weave is part of weapon of power, so use that if you
want to create a sword. Angreal, soul plate and spirit shield have been
removed because of their high angreal affects. However there will be
more equipment available in the game and starting spheres for channelers
will be higher, so things should balance out for the people who actually
felt they needed those weaves.

Damage and the to hit code has been heavily revamped. We now have the
ability to easily adjust damage rates from within the game, so if
changes need to be made, it shouldn't be particularly onerous to get
that work done. Hitroll is now much more important than it has been and
stances are now more interwoven in all aspects of melee combat. While
sunburst has been nerfed (it is equal to sanctuary at this point), ac
will play a greater role in hit avoidance and damage reduction. A new
ac regeneration affect is available from crafted equipment to provide
bonuses in recovery. Two new skills, advanced armor use and advanced
weaponsmaster, have been added to enhance your defensive and offensive
capabilities. Various adjustments have been made to the firing rate
of defensive skills. New wards for the weave shields have been added,
while the original weaves are no longer attached to weave shields in
any way. Divine grace/protection now calculate their damage reduction
differently. Critical hit rates have been dropped. Mob quad hits and
special procedures have been toned down. Quite a number of mob special
procedures have been changed, and you'll see some stuff which you're
used to seeing channel now doing other behaviours because their special
procedure values have been fixed.

In practical terms, what this means is that you should expect to take
damage more often but the damage you take will be less extreme.

Regen has been completely rewritten. As mentioned above, the old crafted
regen affect is defunct and has been replaced by the skill mod for
regeneration. There are no longer "regen weapons" that you can carry
around sheathed. However, regeneration has been added as a valid detail
for worn on belt items (not sheathed weapons, but things like bags which
you can hang from your belt.) The regeneration skill mod now affects
both hp and end regeneration. No one should expect to heal to full in a
tick. It might even be beneficial to sleep again. AC regen can now be
influenced by the new AC regen affect from crafted items. This change in
particular is likely to see some evolution early in the turn as it's not
easy to determine the sweet spot for these rates. If you have issues,
please mention them.

It should be easier to improve on success now, making it somewhat easier
to improve things like crafting skills and attacks done between melee
rounds, among other things. It won't always be 'easy' but it should be
'easier'. This is another area which will probably change a bit as the
turn plays out.

Channeler class characters will now start with higher spheres and have
higher natural max values. They will also have the choice of choosing
one of four starting attack weaves: spiked earth, water sphere, wind
knife and flame lance or none. Each choice will influence starting
sphere strength, although it won't have any affect on max values per
sphere. Weave shields work essentially the same as they always have,
but new wards replace the weaves that they used to fire. The new wards
do damage roughly similar to counterforms. The old weaves are still
in and castable as normal, but they're no longer tied to the shields in
any way. Spitting earth and boiling mist are now one tier up from the
basic attack weaves.

Randomized equipment, which you'll probably see me reference as REQ here
and there, will now drop from many, many mobs. Some few mobs will always
drop this randomized eq, and some of those mobs will drop eq more
powerful than you would normally expect from a mob of that level. There
are a group of wandering boss mobs that can be found throughout the mud
that fall into the latter category.

Two new 'weekly' quests have been added. Without spoiling the entire
process, you may find 'arch trinkets' which will serve as keys to arches
that can be found moving through various places throughout the mud.
These arch trinkets are NOT to be sold, traded, given, gifted, stolen or
any other verb which transfers these trinkets from one player to
another. This is not a joke and there will be no leeway offered for
players attempting to subvert the protections against this in place.
You can, however, sell them to the questmaster if for some reason you
have no desire to undertake these quests.

Some area changes have occured. The consignment shops have been moved to
a new area in Four Kings. A few new areas, including Shadar Logoth are
in. Most of these are fairly minor or for specific purposes rather than
everyday levelling. _Some_ cleanup of areas has been done to remove some
of the more problematic rooms which were causing issues with questing.
Unfortunately, it is not practical to fix all of these but hopefully the
worst issues have been resolved.

The map will no longer shrink based on visibility. In my opinion, there
weren't enough things impacted by this to make it worth the annoyance

If you create a character and don't get it to level 2, it will be
deleted when the character quits. I don't love doing this, but when
thousands of these types of characters are created and abandoned over
the course of a turn, this should help admin keep things situated.

There are a fair number of smaller things which have changed which don't
really bear mentioning in this already long note. As always, if you
run into issues, log into trac and post a ticket about it.

Finally, I'd like to offer a sincere thank you to everyone who took the
time and effort to become involved in the planning, development and
testing of this work. It's not perfect and it will likely never be done,
but none of it would have been possible without their efforts.


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