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The Chronicles of Spellborn Developer Blog

In The Chronicles of Spellborn players enter an impressive online game world containing scenic landscapes, majestic cities and the remnants of a shattered world. www.spellborn.com

Author: tcos

Contributor: TheHistorian

Original Spellborn goes Free to Play

Posted by TheHistorian Friday August 14 2009 at 2:46PM
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It happens sometimes; a really good game will slip through the cracks. There are a lot of reasons why this happens and I know you will have opinions, but I’m not here to talk about that.

 I feel like Spellborn was one of those games. A solid MMORPG with a twitch combat interface that meant that player skill actually mattered in PvP. Most of those who played it enjoyed it. And it did pretty well in the reviews online. It was originally a subscription based game with servers in EU and North America, and is now in redevelopment to be converted to a F2P. Acclaim still has servers running the original version and that is why I’m writing this.

 We felt like people missed out. They didn’t get to see what Spellborn was really like. And we are going to fix that.

 Today, as you read this, Spellborn as it currently exists is now free to play. Keep in mind that there will be no upgrades and no patches. It has become in effect, an Action RPG with superior Multiplayer. The only thing it will cost you to play is the time it takes to download.

 So play it. http://www.tcos.com

 Now because it is frozen in time, we will be creating events for the players and we will help support any players that want to make their own events. And if you have thoughts on how we might make this version more enjoyable as we wait for the New free to play version, we are glad to listen.

David Historian DeWald
Community Manager
Acclaim Games Inc.
community@acclaim.com
 

Scroll 5: A Helping Scythand

Posted by TheHistorian Tuesday June 16 2009 at 12:53PM
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New recruits and veterans alike will be greeted by the newly built Hawksmouth Docks at Hawk’s Landing. The Docks and the surrounding area are now home to some of the less fortunate people of the Enclave, waiting for some brave soul to help them out. They will introduce recruits to the game and offer rewards to those who assist them.

As well as this new content, a crafting quest has been added, introducing players to the crafting system by forging a brand new weapon and placing their first Sigil.

To enhance questing in The Chronicles of Spellborn, a Quest Tracker has been added for your convenience. The Tracker shows the uncompleted objectives that remain in a Quest, allowing adventurers to play without having to switch between the game and the Quest Log every now and then to check up on their progress. Players can select up to five quests to be tracked simultaneously.

Tales From the Vale, a storyline which has been open-ended till now, finds its grand finale. Players at around Fame Level 30 can now venture into a mysterious cave in Homestead to wrap up the events in the village of Waller’s Hill.

Ancestral Mages will find the behavior of their Spirit Pets improved. Pets are now better at keeping aggro of hostile mobs and at hitting moving targets. Some Pets have had their Skill Decks altered to give them specific purposes. For example, the Calaspider now has a ranged attack which reduces Physique, enhancing its PvP viability.

Players grouping up might want to reconsider ignoring Runemages for their Parties. Targets that are now ‘Burning’ will no longer transfer their Flames to melee attackers. This allows the Runemages’ Party Members to stay in the action without getting burned to a crisp themselves.

Apart from numerous Player Skill fixes, members of the Brotherhood of the Glaive have had their Skill Decks fixed and rebalanced. Their Thugs were especially notorious for stacking their ‘Expose Range’ attacks. This has been toned down and their group behavior has been improved.

User feedback, activities and encounters in the Demon Chamber of Cowardice have served for a couple of improvements to the Demon Chest. Loot will now be awarded when the third lock is opened, so it no longer requires a player to interact with what is inside. The looting itself now uses regular Group Looting mechanics, so the reward is now available as a group loot, rather than before, which had the item go to one person.

After adding new server and client-side tools to investigate the community-dubbed ‘sync issue’, we encountered several small problems. These have all been fixed, so the real-time aiming and player movement is now significantly more accurate. These fixes are paired with a new interface setting, ‘Player Lag Smoothing’. This allows players to increase or decrease the visual smoothing of other players movement. This will not interfere with accuracy.

One of the issues was more prone to occur during repeated jumping, so ‘bunny hopping’ players beware! We will continue to monitor this situation to keep the real-time combat system perform at its optimal capability.

..these and many other fixes and improvements await you in Scroll 5: A Helping Scythand.

General

  • Fixed an exploit which allowed players to create parties with more than four players
  • Fixed an issue with the chest in the Demon Room, when grouped up with other players (the loot is now offered to the entire party, instead of just the one who opened the last key)
  • Fixed an issue with Equipment Sigils not being active after death (it is no longer required to re-equip your equipment to re-activate the attached Sigils)
  • Fixed the main cause of "s_client::frame" crashes
  • Fixed the Bodyslot "Dance of Reaver" to no longer break combos
  • Players can no longer cheat death while doing certain actions after jumping off of high cliffs
  • World
  • Fixed the rocks in the Aldenvault tunnels, so that players are less likely to get stuck
  • Fixed a pair of holes where players reported falling through the map in Delvingholm, Stonedeep
  • Fixed a tower in Quarterstone Statue District so that it is now set firmly into the ground
  • Fixed several strange occurrences throughout the world which included floating light-posts, trees and rocks etc
  • Fixed several issues with the Amsell encounter in the Citadel of Ail (the fight is now repeatable and the loot drop is fixed)
  • Fixed a problem with several floating NPC’s in the Quarterstone Fountain District (these guys think they are balloons)
  • Fixed an issue with the NPC Arahn Klovic in Stonedeep, he no longer acts like a giant magnet for all the wildlife
  • Fixed so that players now re-spawn at the correct resurrection shrine when dying in Balemeadow Village
  • Added new grass and leaves to the Aldenvault area, to match it’s new feel
  • Added new High House Flag colors to Quarterstone Palace District
  • Added a new Shardship icon above the heads of the dock-masters all over the world (if the player is eligible)
  • Forgebrother Braidle Lupusin in Mount of Heroes Mines no longer meditates in mid-air
  • Players are now less likely to get stuck in Exarchyon
  • Sergeant More in Mount of Heroes South floating no Mooore
  • The doors leading to the arena in the Quarterstone Arena District are now interactive rather than acting like actual portals

Quests

  • Fixed a possible exploit with Howler during the quest "The Brooding Dark"
  • Fixed various major issues with the quest "Deadbolt Rising"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "The Kestel Run"
  • Fixed the caged Young Hesselbeaks problem with the quest "Teeth, Talons and Terror"
  • Fixed an issue with the re-spawn timers for the quest "He Who is Exeto"
  • Fixed an issue with the quest "Into the Pit", where Lysomey sometimes de-spawned while approaching the Pit
  • Fixed the re-spawn timers for the quest "Raw Exorcise"
  • Fixed several typos in the quest "Reclaiming The Thacklowe", the directions are now clearer
  • Fixed several issues with the challenge objectives in the quest "The Dawn Of A New Era"
  • Fixed an issue with the NPC interaction in the quest "The Core of the Problem", Okota is once again responsive
  • Fixed an issue with the NPC Ursul dying over & over, in the quest "One way delivery"
  • Fixed several issues in the quest "Legend of the Five"
  • Fixed a problem with the quest "Old and Rare", all fossils are now be gatherable again
  • Fixed an issue with the quest "Seeds of Destruction", the quest is now updating properly
  • Fixed and cleaned up various chats all over the world
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Blood In Their Eyes"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Into the Caves"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "It’s Just Business"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Cleaned Up"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Earthwalkers"
  • Fixed several major issues with the quest "Infiltration", Loritha now correctly gives out the next quest upon completion
  • Fixed several major issues with the quest chain "An Unknown Hierarchy"
  • Fixed so that the "Scales Of Trade" assassins spawn correctly during the quest "It’s Just Business"
  • Fixed an issue in the Vault of Sacrifices which concerned the humanoid pet
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Marathon Man"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "It Takes Two"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Now You Are Going To Get It!"
  • Fixed an issue with the quest "Strrrangerrrs In the Night", the Nariat Vhey are now hostile
  • Fixed several issues with the kill objectives in the quest "Silent Scream"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Keep Boltfort Tidy!"
  • Fixed the directional text in the quest "Wanted: Perrefin Sadirn"
  • Fixed an issue with the quest "The Seed Of Destruction", Arduan Ironhail is once again standing in the Quarterstone Arena District
  • Added a brand new mailbox in Waller’s Hill in Homestead
  • It is now possible to get to the Shardship - The Golden Scroll, for the quest "The Golden Scroll"
  • Marpin in Aldenvault is now only attacking players that are on the right quest objective
  • The dock-master in Exarchyon once again allows players to travel to Glasspool Lake
  • Tweaked the quest text for the quest "The Greatest Recruit"
  • The quest giver Ura’Mihr, in Aldenvault, is once again roaming the landscape

Skills

  • Fixed an issue where Deathhands would poison themselves
  • Ante - now triggers on all attacks (not just melee)
  • Aperture Sphere — now removes all Infuses and suppresses Infuses for 12 seconds
  • Ball Lightning — changed the setup and improved functionality
  • Bounce — increased the finisher effect on the Maneuver
  • Channeled Rage — Direct targets receive Moderate instead of Minor damage. The Blood links receive a Minor damage on hit.
  • Defense (Combo) — bonus on heals has been increased
  • Double Trouble — now hits at two distinct places in the cartwheel (the evasive is now only active during the cartwheel)
  • Draw Heart — now correctly deals Moderate calculated damage
  • Flaming — has been removed from the game (it proved to be too detrimental for grouping)
  • Frenzy — increased the heal from the drain
  • Haunt — removed health reduction and added description for the Spirit Increase
  • Void Bolt — adjusted the timing of the visual effect
  • Mute Curse — now correctly reduces PeP (temporary) as described in the skill footnote
  • Point Blank – adjusted damage to Major and updated the description
  • Righteous Hunt — reduced the Life Tap from Moderate to Minor
  • Opposing Winds Sphere — now removes all Expose and suppresses Expose for 12 seconds
  • Poison No. 5 — now applies 4 ticks instead of 5 (damage is now indeed Moderate-Over-Time)
  • Relentless — the description has been updated
  • Shattering Gale — has received an improved Buff Description
  • Snipe — increased damage output
  • Spirit Servant — fixed a problem that prevented the blood hook from executing correctly
  • Stormstrike - now additionally hits the first target (the overall damage was reduced from Heavy to Moderate)
  • Throw — fixed an issue where it would break a combo despite of hitting a target
  • Unitary Arsenal — fixed a bug that prevented Immunity to heals to become active
  • Unite — now heals nearby targets without a buff. When more party targets are in range when a heal happens, the heal for everyone is increased
  • Unite — now removes Expose de-buffs
  • Unite — fixed an issue where it would not heal the full 20 seconds
  • Void Bolt — targeting is now in line with other ranged attacks

Sigils

  • Affinity Sway Token I — corrected a wrong value in the Rune bonus
  • Raging Shadows of Meditation I — now increases both Mind and Focus

Sound & Music

  • Fixed a problem with sound-sphere "sticking" out of the narrow passage leading downward into the Demon Room Chamber
  • Added new ambiances for the Aldenvault Fields to fit the autumn mood
  • Added new sounds for the menu fade-in, fade-out and when selecting an option
  • Added new sounds for holstering melee weapon and bow
  • Added new sounds for weapon impacts (melee) when executing or within the chain of a combo
  • Replaced the "tail slash" sound for Alligator with something that sounds a little more menacing, because Steven was threatening to do horrible things to me in Left4Dead if I wouldn’t change it. There’s only so much abuse I can take, and the sound was pretty dire
  • Replaced the "weapon impact sounds" with a more "powerful" slice sound. The overall effect makes the melee combat more visceral and adds weight to the fighting
  • Replaced the "shoot arrow sound" with something that sounds a little less like you are breaking your bow when shooting arrows
  • Reduced the volume of the ambiance in the Demon Room Chamber
  • Tweaked the "accept quest" sounds as the "writing on paper" part of this sound kept being mistaken for something else
  • Tweaked the "menu interaction" sounds, adding a new sound for a "click" on button
  • Tweaked the "weapon" sounds for melee impacts slightly, making them quieter

Economy

  • Added a new Icon for the Bear Jaw
  • Added a new Icon for the "Ancient Anchor" resource
  • Added a new Icon for the "Snake Bite Sigil"
  • Added several new Icons for the Demon Chest keys
  • Renamed items with the word "Glint" in their names to "Glinting"

Menaces

  • Fixed an issue with Old Wilfried in Hawksmouth, where he kept attacking the Wildlife rather than the player
  • Previously the menace, Duraman, sometimes got stuck at the resurrection shrine in Waller’s Hill, this no longer happens
  • The menace Daphne Bunscook in Hoggsridge has had her level decreased to accurately fit the area she roams
     

Creating a Better "Newbie" Experience

Posted by TheHistorian Wednesday June 10 2009 at 5:39PM
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"Combat is one of The Chronicles of Spellborn’s most defining features. Our enemies are not dumb and the rotating skilldeck is far more than just a rotating hot bar. But unless you have played a chunk of the game, you wouldn't really know this. We still face the problem of assumption where people see the skilldeck in its uncomplicated low-level form. It's hard to realise the freedom, strategy and personality it adds to combat later on. It's one of those gameplay mechanics which is truly easy to learn, but hard to master. It is entirely built around pre-planned strategy and fast action combat, the surface of which is barely scratched even at level 10. This is hard to imagine as there's currently no game that plays quite like ours does. Many reviews and positive player feedback will confirm this.


Differently put, we know that our game is capable of delivering the most intense action-rich combat ever to have graced an MMO. Yet, we also know we are doing quite a horrible job of "selling" this idea in the game at lower levels. The way we introduce people to our world is, simply put, not good at all.


The tutorial was designed to help even the most casual gamer to get acquainted with controlling and playing their Spellborn character. The way we then set them out on their first questing adventure in Hawksmouth, where we lead them on a criss-cross journey through almost the entire shard, is a complete reversal of earlier said helping hand. We have known this was a problem for players for quite some time and as the team has been slaving away creating extra content, bug fixes and features; a small dedicated team has been working on creating a better first time experience. Something to bridge the gap between tutorial and the actual game.


This has resulted in a redesigned Hawksmouth docks area, with new starter quests. We also removed those quests we found distracting, or downright boring.
 

 


We will show the new starter-area (a redesign of the immediate area around the docks) in more detail as soon as we come closer to the release of “Scroll 5". As you have probably also noticed, the above "beta" screenshot contains the very first presentation of the new quest tracker. This is a feature often requested by you all and it will help you keep track of your activities. Not to worry though, this is still Spellborn and we still expect you to do your own thinking while questing.


Of course, Scroll 5 also brings a whole new slew of the usual quest, bug and combat fixes. One of the more happy moments was this week’s identification of one of the causes for the "sync" issue. This seems to be directly related to jumping, it's currently in the process of being fixed and will also make the Scroll or immediate hotfix following the scroll's release, of course, granted we don't run into more problems regarding this issue. Also tackled was one of the causes for humanoid groups to debuffed your physique in one single blow, so it should happen less often. We are re-arranging enemy skilldecks to make encounters more fun and less predictable. The Pit District has received a make-over to distinguish it more from the other zones in Quarterstone and Aldenvault has received its own set of ambiences, specifically for that area.


We hope you will enjoy the new area which was indeed built on community feedback and our own critical eyes. You can expect future content to follow the lessons learned in this new area.


The new scroll will be coming soon at which time we'll be able to share more details."
 

Patch 1.0.4.2 — Paragraph of Timed Strike *hot fix*

Posted by TheHistorian Tuesday May 19 2009 at 12:59PM
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The patch is now in place on all of the Spellborn servers.

1. General
• Fixed an issue where players could no longer receive mails in-game
• The Free To Play Fame Level cap has been raised to 9.9! New players will now be able to complete more quests in Hawksmouth and Aldenvault
• The tutorial has been slightly extended to explain new players how to place newly acquired skills in their Skill Deck

2. World
• Added a detection mechanic toward the player, for Pooch and Tack in Citadel of Ail
• Added a timer so that the Demon Room event now ends at 0:00 (CEST)
• Removed Health Bars from Hoppies all over the world
• Adjusted the light maps for Demon Chamber stairs

3. Quests & Lore
• Fixed an issue with broken chat requirements for the quest "More Than One Helping Hand"
• Fixed an issue with the crystals being broken in the quest "The Crystal Theory"
• Changed the re-spawn rate of the Finks for the quest "The Hills have A Lot of Eyes"

4. Combat
• Absolute Bonus Damage is now scaled toward the Damage it modifies.

5. Sound & Music
• Added new ambience sounds and music for the Demon Chamber.

6. Economy
• Increased the drop rate chances for the Key of Cowardice
• Decreased the drop rate for the Urvhail key

7. Arena
• Several fixes has been made to the Arena:
- the matching rules have been improved
- when less players than required for the match team size are queued up in a skirmish match, the free spots are filled up with (free) random players
- skirmish: whenever a player leaves while waiting for a matching opposing team, the team goes back to the waiting list to fill up the empty spot with a random player
• Fixed an issue with the Arena, where choosing a "rematch" would previously start before the match was over
 

Enhancing features

Posted by Selachii Friday May 15 2009 at 7:27PM
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With patch 1.0.4 we launched two new features in The Chronicles of Spellborn, The Arena and the Demon Chest. These features are new to the game world, not merely extensions on existing features. For us developers it's very interesting to see how the players like it and how it turns out for them.

We really want these features to work and fit in, so we continue to work on them, based on the player feedback. We're not patching them in and saying "this is how we made it, have fun, we're moving on to something else". The features will be enhanced and adjusted to fit the gameworld and player experience just right.

To support this, we first keep track of the player activities through logging, but also through the forum and Webinar feedback. We already applied a hotfix with some minor changes for situations that didn't work out as intended for either players or developers.

Secondly, we are going to run a survey in the upcoming weeks. Not right now, we want players to get a good taste of the new features first. The survey will contain some basic questions and suggestions to poll the player experience. Next to these, it will pose some questions directly related to the core design of the feature. We'll confront the players with alternatives for currently implemented situations, to see which direction is the most popular. Most of these alternatives actually originate from the initial design process, but others might come forward based on player feedback.
The outcome of the survey will not only help us work on the existing features, but also improve features currently in development.

El Drijver
Lead Game Design

EU Patch and Server Merge!

Posted by TheHistorian Thursday May 14 2009 at 12:05PM
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Patch 1.0.4.2

Today we will deploy Patch 1.0.4.2 on all live servers. Due to the new patch there will be a changed maintenance timeframe. We expect a 2 hour lasting downtime, from 10:00 am till 12:00 am (CEST).

This patch will contain, amongst other things, several skill fixes and fixes on the class balance at all. The level cap for F2P players will be raised to level 9.9. The patch also contains several other quest, graphics and overall fixing to the game. Another issue concerning the receiving of ingame mails was also fixed with this update. Not enough? We also extended to tutorial in some small parts, like the explanation on how to put skills on your skill deck.

The full patch notes can be found here.

 

Upcoming Server changes

As The Chronicles of Spellborn is now available nearly worldwide and so in many more countries in Europe we decided to change the server structure of the game. Due to that fact all characters from German and French servers will be moved onto the International servers that are bigger to provide common servers for all European players.

The current plan is that both the German and French PvP servers will be merged with the International server on Monday, the 18th of May 2009 and the German and French PvE servers on the next day, Tuesday, the 19th of May 2009.

We will send out a Newsletter with additional details about the latest patches for The Chronicles of Spellborn later today and publish a detailed FAQ about the server changes as well. So stay tuned for more news and our newsletter, which contains more details about the planning in detail.
 

Patch 1.0.4 - Scroll of Keys and Courage

Posted by TheHistorian Tuesday May 12 2009 at 2:50PM
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Greetings, citizens of the Enclave, welcome to the Scroll of Keys and Courage.

It's time to start putting your abilities to the test, whether you prefer hunting Menaces, dueling other players or ‘resolving issues’ with members of other High Houses!

House Maul has opened the Arena for organized matches. Players will be able to sign up in Hawksmouth or the Quarterstone Arena District. Skirmish matches are open to anyone at any time; House Maul will make sure the fairest setup of gladiators will be placed opposite of each other. (*)

For the gladiators seeking to prove themselves, they’ll be able to register a team. The team can enter the 2v2-League, 4v4-League or both! Points will be awarded on a weekly basis, based on the teams’ position, which can be used to purchase unique Arena rewards.

The Arena statistics and team window can be invoked via a new button in the Menu bar.

Also, unusual activity has been uncovered in the basement of the Palace in the Quarterstone Palace District. Scouting adventurers have reported sightings of a Treasure Chest, but a rather unusual one. Due to its surroundings it’s been dubbed the Demon Chest, but why it’s there and what it contains is still a mystery. It is yet to be opened as it requires three unique keys nobody in the Enclave has yet found. The locks indicate relationships with aspects of the world, but adventurers will have to be sent out to retrieve the keys.

Be sure you know who your friends and who your enemies are. PvP lootable player items enter the Chronicles of Spellborn. Currently this is only used for the keys of Treasure Chests! All keys in a player inventory will be looted by the player who is responsible for the killing blow! Be careful where you bring your keys and try not to attract too much attention when you carry them around.

Accompanying these great big features is a slew of Skill fixes, Quest fixes, Quest additions and feature additions. The Tales From The Vale carry on while /me and /roll have been added to improve interaction and well-balanced decision making.

Enjoy!

* House Maul Administration does not guarantee placement of equally skilled gladiators in the Arena.


1. General
Fixed an issue where a spawned pets had the wrong HUD-tracker color
Fixed a rare problem where players reported getting stuck while watching the credits
Fixed an issue with the Profanity Filter settings not being saved correctly
Fixed an exploit where monsters would not run away from the player when the player was unreachable
Fixed an issue where NPC's were not proposing a specific conversation option
Fixed color of min and max price in marketplace history tool-tip
Fixed a severe issue with other applications taking priority over Spellborn, thus crashing the client with a critical error
Fixed an issue where accompanied NPCs sometimes stopped following the player while walking past a friendly NPC
Fixed an issue where closing the World Map would close all underlying windows
Fixed an issue where the High House chat tab was showing for new players while it shouldn't
Fixed stats re-and degeneration of wildlife NPC's while they were in combat
Fixed an issue where respawning while a player had a pet would cause the player to become invisible to other players
Added a new spawn temple after the Becks fight in Citadel of Ail
Added the emotes "/me" and "/roll" to improve interaction
Removed several empty Conversation Nodes
Set Health bars for all small, one-hit kill Critters, to invisible
Many fixes, changes and additions (besides the ones mentioned here) have been made to the Quests and Lore
Made resources all over the world less visible and harder to find
Changed market place history graph to extend average price from previous price if no items are on sale
Changed Wander algorithm to avoid NPC grouping
Disabled emotes while sitting (no longer possible to dance (or any other emote) while sitting down)
Windows that automatically reposition themselves now snap left & stack

2. World

Fixed an issue where guards in Wagonwood would end up standing in fires
Fixed a problem where the player could previously get stuck in the crater in Gravesbow
Fixed a problem with strange lights showing up around Raizha's Stall in Quarterstone Pit District
Fixed various glitches, holes and strange occurrences all over the world
Fixed the rocks not properly spawning around the Mercantile
Fixed several floating rocks, ferns, trees & fences in Brightvale
Fixed the priority of the Grand Walk in Green District, so that PvP doesn't switch on & off all the time
Fixed some tool tip issues in the Quarterstone Fountain District
Fixed several floating plants, rocks and lights in Stonedeep
Fixed several holes in the terrain throughout Stonedeep
Fixed a hole close to the edge around Scourpool
Fixed a small hole in the terrain in Hearth, near the drunken skeleton
Added a collision to the bridge that leads to High House Rune in Aldenvault (it is no longer be possible to get underneath it)
Added more boars and Shoaten around the docks in Hawksmouth
Added more Young Frayena's to the first and second plateau of the graveyard in Quarterstone Pit District
Added & tweaked the Quarterstone Mines to include more monsters and patrols (making the area harder and more alive)
Added additional lighting in the Howler Cave
Added a few tents and mine-props around Scourpool lake
Removed a crate in Garminholm which was mysteriously floating in the sky
Adjusted the World map indicator for Mount of Heroes South
Adjusted the World map indicator for Gravesbow
Adjusted the World map indicator for Garminholm
Changed the mini map on the Mercantile
Changed the collision of the docks at Quarterstone Fountain District
Changed the location of the Vhuul Relic in Hawksmouth (High House Shroud quest chain)
Changed the view distance for the Academy and Shops in Hawksmouth
Made the NPC in HoratusHope that says "We are all fortunate to have your skills at hand" say it far less often
Redistributed the wildlife in Quarterstone Pit District so it's easier to solo this area
Reduced number of particles in Quarterstone Pit District by 75% to increase performance
Reduced the amount of sheep, cows, cats and chicken in Gravesbow
Replaced the "slope" part in Brightvale with something a little more dangerous
Replaced the visual effect on the sword which stands guard over Balemeadow
The graphical glitches reported by players in the crypts in Grimbound Fields have now been adressed
Unusual activity has been uncovered in the basement of the Palace in the Quarterstone Palace District

3. Quests & Lore

Fixed a problem with the quest "Emergency Disaster Control". The book now has a purple glow, making it easier to locate
Fixed several typos in the quest chain "It's just Business"
Fixed several typos in the quest chain "Skinflints"
Fixed several typos in the quest chain "Dungorm... Check!"
Fixed several typos in the quest chain "East End Story"
Fixed an issue where the Speyrfolk in Hearth would previously attack Karaklos
Fixed an issue with the quest "Second Time's A Shift", it is now possible to receive the followup quest on completion
Fixed an issue with the quest "The Three Seals", the seals are now interactable
Fixed an issue with the altar in the quest "The Rebirth of a Shadow", the altar and the cave have also received a beautification
Fixed a critical issue with the quest "The Mindset to Decide", the mail sent to the player now appears correct
Fixed several typos in the quest "East End Story", the directions are now clearer
Fixed a problem with Mjirna Conall, who would not fight back when agitated. This has been corrected, and she is fierce now
Fixed several typos in the quest "The Rescue of the Mare"
Fixed several typos in the quest "Making Sense"
Fixed several typos in the quest "The Soil Of Our Nation"
Fixed an issue with monsters sometimes not spawning in The Chamber Of Order in Tomb of the Ancestors
Fixed an issue with not being able to break the crates in the quest "To Break Your Own Stuff"
Fixed an issue in the quest "Tale Of The Hidden Secrets", Riadan the Bandit is now attacking after spawning
Fixed an issue with the quest "Insurgent Gauntlets". It is now possible to turn in the quest again
Fixed an issue with the quest "Talk to Telnix Shardsong". It is now possible to pick up the followup quest
Fixed an issue with NPC Sennar Din who previously did not spawn for the quest "To Acsendancy and Beyond"
Fixed an issue where previously the mining pick axe did not show while mining a stone resource
Fixed an issue where Phasing Nettles previously did not disappear after being harvested
Fixed several typos in the quest "Gravely Camp"
Fixed typo in the quest objective for "The Caller Of Winds"
Fixed typo in flavour text for "Porous Wood Limbs"
Fixed typo in the quest "The Menacing Dummies"
Fixed typo in the quest "Audience With The Captain"
Fixed typo and beautified text in the quest "Welcome To Hawksmouth"
Fixed several typos in the quest "Price of Need", the directions are now clearer
Fixed several typos in the quest "For the Enclave!"
Fixed several typos in the chat "The Oracle..."
Fixed several typos in the quest "Message in a Bag"
Fixed an issue with Siltor Timebane in the Consanguineous Vaults
Fixed an issue with Lezu the Broken in the Consanguineous Vaults
Fixed an issue with the follow-up for the "Decisions" quest line, it now activates for House Torque members too
Fixed several typos in the quest "Urgarut Them Out"
Fixed an issue with the quest "The Mindset to Decide" where Tebron Hale didn't want to talk
Fixed Ansgur's forging abilities while on quest
Fixed an possible exploit for Longarm Mordaunt so that players can't take him out of the Skullpath Barrows and out for a walk through Hearth
Fixed an problem with the fires in Exarchyon not doing damage when standing in them
Fixed an issue in the quest "The One", it is once again possible to attack Highcaller Krish
Fixed an issue in the quest "Culture Beat". The Lord of Crimson Black now works as intended
Added extra text to the quest "Walk With Me"
Added additional re-spawn temples in Tomb of the Ancestors
Added an additional exit to Stonedeep at beginning and end of Tomb of the Ancestors
Removed the Rawskull Arionites in Ravensquay
Removed the extra chat option in the quest "The Rescue of the Mare", which accidentally broke the quest
Removed the extra chat option in the quest "To Oust Or Not To Oust", which accidentally broke the quest
All mentions of "Sentinel" have been changed to "Terrin Sword"
Changed the talk & finish objectives for the quest "Worship and Idolatry"
Changed the name "Brightvale" to "Homestead" or "Wallers Hill"
Clarified the summary of the quest "Captain's Logs"
Clarified the summary of the quest "Not So Little Nails"
Clarified the summary of the quest "A Strange Veteran"
Cullo and his little friend are no longer hiding in the bushes for the quest "Keep your enemies closer!"
Corrected the quest target NPC for the quest "Transporter Flammie Drum"
Corrected the quest objective for the quest "The Aftermath Shroud"
Moved Skerintha so that she is now further into the camp and harder to reach
Moved Soul Shop employee Lauline Numestra to a location in Boltfort which makes more sense
Overseer Metjak in Statue District is now less confused
Rotated a spirit in the Glaive graveyard so he's more likely to face players when summoned
Set correct Wanted poster for "WANTED: Gravis Werden"
Several fixes and tweaking has been added to Citadel of Ail
Testa Delorum is no longer meditating 3 feet above the ground
The quest log for the quest "The Shroud Challenge" has now had its hints tweaked
Tweaked Joust Mustagen's conversation further to give more information
Tweaked the lights in the Chamber Of Slaughter
The quest log for the quest "Wipe The Smug From Their Faces" has now had its directions tweaked
The quest log for the quest "Urgarut Them Out" has now had its directions tweaked
The quest log for the quest "The Great Classics" has now been tweaked
The quest log for the High House Silver initiation quest has now had its directions tweaked
Veridan Herald Kessel Lightliner has now been awarded a faction

4. Combat

Fixed an issue with where you could revenge yourself when you got damage through a reflect on your target
Fixed an issue where the cool-down started, even after the summoning of a pet failed
Fixed an exploit which made it possible to activate Bodyslots while drawing or sheathing weapon
Added the Arena system to the world. This includes Leagues, Teams and corresponding NPC's
PvP lootable player items have entered the Chronicles of Spellborn
Changed the mousewheel behaviour to select skills while drawing weapon, rather than zooming in/out
Spirit Bonds now only shares damage received by the spirit
Righteous Hunt in combination with Reflect, no longer heals the enemy
Vile Hunt in combination with Reflect, no longer heals the enemy
Stormstrike - fixed an issue where the chain effect wouldn't jump correctly
The Balance - fixed an issue where points were not correctly drained and added
Skinshifter Shapes - no longer freeze character when shifting
Gadget Storm - fixed an issue where the Gadget is not fired at the target
Flashfire Charge - corrected the debuff icons
Null Barrage - now correctly Heals divided heal based on 15% of the targets health. The heal is capped when the heal exceeds a certain value
Soul Cyclone — increased the buff duration from 4s to 6s, fixed the wrong description
Summoning (Pets) — updated the graphical casting effect
Spectral Shield — now gives Magic Resistance instead of Melee Resistance
Contra Blade — Backstab is calculated correctly
Spear — adjusted the values so it matches heavy calculated piercing damage
Spinal Tap — fixed a bug where Life Tap would use the wrong stack type
Magi Funnel — removed the delay from the Reflect that could be obtained by hitting someone behind the caster
Paragon Strike - slightly increased the range of the party buff
When pressing either "B" or "N" keys, or clicking on the Skill Book Icon, both the Skill Book and the Skill Deck will open as one

5. Sound & Music

Added new ambiences for the Deadspell Storm shardship quests with the lost ship
Added more variation and some musical elements to the Ringfell ambiances
Added more dynamic elements and some musical chords to Hearth night time ambiances
Added a sound for the defrosting of enemies in the first Consanguineous Vaults challenge
Added proper music for the attack on Init Xohael
Added new Weapon Hit sounds for melee combat and new Arrow Shoot sounds
Removed some of the very loud insects in and around Hearth
Changed several sound & music settings in Exarchyon to better fit the setting of this world
Changed several sound & music settings in Slywood to better fit the setting of this world
Changed several sound & music settings in Stonedeep to better fit the setting of this world
Changed the Default Audio Volumes so footsteps of others around you are more prominent
Changed so the skill effects of grouped players are slightly muted so it's easier to hear your own skills
Changed several sound & music settings in the Consanguineous Vaults to better fit the setting of the instance
Changed several sound & music settings in Quarterstone Fountain District to better fit the setting of world
Changed several sound & music settings in Quarterstone Statue District to better fit the setting of world
Changed several sound & music settings in Quarterstone Green District to better fit the setting of world
Made the ambiances in Citadel of Ail generally louder so it's easier to hear them
Tweaked the music in Quarterstone Pit District

6. Economy

Added new properties for the Scion Armor
Added new properties for the Scion Clothes
Changed the icon for "Large Pure Quarterquartz" into something fancy
Increased the drop-rate of Quarterquartz for the quest chain "Mining For Quarterquartz"

7. GUI
Reworked the Quest Conversation window
Accept and Decline options are now presented in a different manner
Topics and replies are more clearly separated
A new "Complete" button has been added to finish Quests

8. Menaces

Fixed a exploit where Daphne Bunscook in Hoggsridge kept attacking the wildlife rather than the player
Fixed a spawning issue with the menace Crulrain Cyradh, she appeared twice at times
Changed the name of the wanted poster for Perrefin Sadirn

Demon Chests

Posted by TheHistorian Tuesday May 12 2009 at 2:44PM
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A mysterious treasure of unknown origins has been uncovered!

Located in the basement of the Enclave Palace on the shard of Quarterstone, the Chamber of Cowardice awakens from its slumber. Champions entering the Chamber recognize fallen Maulites and a statue representing one of the Eight Demons.

The statue is lurched over a chest: a treasure chest - a Demon Chest! What kind of wealth and fortune is contained within a chest displayed in such a manner? Who placed it there and why? Should it be approached with caution, with greed or maybe a bit of both?

Its origin unknown, there should be details about the Chest somewhere. A book or scroll on a dusty forgotten shelf perhaps? Maybe in some of the ancient and warped stories passed down within the older bloodlines; deemed to be mere bedtime fairytales, they may be closer to the truth than anyone might expect.

The Chest’s build quality is clearly impeccable and its contents are sealed behind three unbreakable locks. They may look similar from a distance, but studying them up close might help in determining the origin or whereabouts of the appropriate keys.

The Demon Chest of Cowardice

 

This the first of the Demon Chests uncovered by the Enclave. It can be found in the basement of the Enclave Palace in the Oracle District of Quarterstone.

Every day, the Chamber to this chest will be accessible for a limited time only. The Chamber opens up in the evening (based on local Universe time) and remains available until the Universe restarts on the following day. The Chamber will also close after the chest has been looted; remaining players will be placed outside of it.

The hallways to the Chamber are not enabled for PvP and allow access to the Chamber from multiple sides. Inside the Chamber, however, High House PvP is activated after a 5 second timer.

Keys

The Demon Chest contains three locks, each with their own associated keys:

The Key of Cowardice

This one key is unique to the Demon Chest and can only drop from a limited selection of opponents in the game world. It will unlock one specific lock on the Demon Chest.

Faction Keys

The other two locks are bound to factions. For Demon Chest of Cowardice, Urvhail and Brotherhood of the Glaive have a chance of carrying these keys around. These faction-keys are not exclusive for use with the Demon Chest, but will be used to access faction related content in the near future.

Player looting

 

All keys can be looted from player inventories! This means that in a PvP situation, the player who deals the killing blow will receive all the keys currently in possession of the victim. Keys can be looted by other players for an infinite amount of times and can also be traded between players in a more civilized fashion.


Please note that there are no visual indicators to show whether a player carries a key or how many! Happy looting!

Underdogs Win By Changing The Rules

Posted by TheHistorian Monday May 11 2009 at 1:52PM
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In an interesting article in the New Yorker, entitled Annals of Innovation: How David Beats Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell explores just how underdogs topple giants. Gladwell recounts the story of a basketball team of preteen girls, coached by Vivek Ranadivè, as they encounter teams who are taller and more skillful than they are. Using a full-court press tactic for most of the game, they confuse and wear down teams used to more traditional play, and they soon started to win games. By adapting the way their play style to work to their own strengths the were not just winning games, they were dominating other teams.

Spellborn is a bit of an underdog in itself. It is changing thoughts on how an MMO should be run and the very nature of the Skilldeck and the quest based advancement in-game is a bold "Changing of the Rules". That Skilldeck is the unique aspect of Spellborn's combat that allows a player of lower level to potentially railroad players of much higher levels. The beauty is that we are just getting started with Spellborn and we are just now starting to explore the many combination of deck setups. Who knows what the combat will be like in the 6 months.

Read the article and take a look at Spellborn, then take a deeper look at the Skilldeck. You might be the underdog putting a total beat down on those other players.

Annals of Innovation: How David Beats Goliath: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
 

Spellborn Developer Webinar Thurs, May 14th, 2009 3:00 PM PT

Posted by TheHistorian Monday May 11 2009 at 11:18AM
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I don't think there is an way we can truely expess how important we think these webinars are except to start having them on a more consistant basis. To that end we’ve set up a recurring webinar for every Wednesday at 3pm PT, except this weeks which will be on thursday.

Here is your registration link for this week's Webinar: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/212202907

 

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