May was a month busy with constant content updates along with some bug fixes bringing us further along. Most of the content updates this month focused on the Plymouth area in preparation for the recently started Alpha 2, but we also found time to sneak in a number of new features.
A lot of effort went into improving the Rogue features of the game this month. Thievery saw a number of improvements, and we introduced several new mission templates that center around Pick Pocketing NPCs or stealing from shops. We also introduced a new locked container system. These containers or inventory items require Hacking skill to unlock. The mission system also received a significant number of improvements. This includes improved mission chaining, generated mission selection, mail event notifications and prop interaction features. It also includes several new types of generated mission templates. We also made headway on the Work Order system which we expect to go live next month.
As mentioned in last month's report, we added in a few more alpha testers to the fold. We will be opening a few more slots this month, so be on the watch out for news about slots being filled and of course check out your email for invites.
- Audio Options are now fully functional. There are filters for Music, Combat Music, Sound Effects, and GUI.
- The following species have all new sound effects: Malagion, Lesoo, Elkar, Drake.
- Mechs, Robots and Cyborgs each have their own unique sound effects now, rather than sharing audio between them.
- Introduced new random ambient sound effects (chatter or noise when idle) to a number of species including: Drakes and Lesoo.
- Added a runaway audio timer to prevent cases where leaves combat mode on and is forced to listen to looping audio for long periods of time. After a few minutes it will automatically fade out and allow itself to be replaced by something else if your status changes.
- Robots, Mechs and Cyborgs no longer emit blood when gore is enabled. Instead you will see oil splashes and spills when they are killed.
- Reduced the energy cost of handgun abilities.
- Damage and absorption adjustments were made across the board.
- We now support server side combat filtering. This allows you to (by default) disable combat updates from characters other than yourself to prevent combat spam and reduce lag.
Crafting and Harvesting
- Harvesting nodes now uses a similar setup to how extract works unifying the behavior of both systems.
- Harvesting region nodes now support options to return higher quality results.
- Ores and minerals added to the harvester system so they can be found out in harvesting clusters in the world.
- Introduced 70 new crafted items and 23 new recipes.
- Added new training manuals/recipe books for: Logging, Fishing and Mining.
- The following training manuals contain new recipes: Armor Crafting, Melee Crafting, Chemistry, Culinary Arts, Foraging, Firearms, Robotics, Fishing, Mining, Logging.
- The Foresting skill has been renamed to Logging.
- Wilderness Gathering has been renamed to Foraging.
- Added the following resources to the Oasis Valley Water Basin: Calibrite, Fallon Trees, Chromite and Hok Weed.
- Added the following resources to Hole-Plymouth Trail: Kupletskite Deposits, Morgun Tree, and Maeglium Deposits.
- The following resources were added to Payton’s Peak: Geel, Kosha.
- Added the following resources to Plymouth-Hole Trail: Abandoned Bundles, Multi-hued Yano, and Mika Berry.
- Added the following harvestable resource Plymouth Hills: Byna Berry, Lilac, Rue Tree, Calibrite, and Niurevium.
- Coal can now be harvested in Fool's Sanctuary.
- Added the following harvestable resources to Plymouth Hills: Fish, Takayura Tree, Azul Flower, and Calibrite
- Added the following harvestable resources to Oasis Approach: Hok Weed, Pyrohemalite, Saverous Tree, and Abandoned Bundle.
- Juro Trees have been added to the Outskirts of Plymouth.
- Automated harvester regions were added to many areas around Plymouth including: Plymouth Pond, Falls Trail, Torn Mist Valley, Plymouth Hills, Ammann Village, Plymouth-Hole Trail, The Hole on the Hill, Mid-Plymouth and Plymouth City.
- Added the following resources to Northern Plymouth; Sarnium, Lesapen Fruit.
- Added Cayro Tree and Ngooberry harvestables to Northern Plymouth.
- Placebo Plants and Cree'it Trees can now be harvested near Plymouth Pond.
- You can now harvest Melanko Leaves in East Plymouth.
- You can now harvest Morgun Trees along the Plymouth-Hole Trail.
- Added Crafting Workbenches to the following locations: The Hole on the Hill, Ranger Station 56, Camp Taak, Aemar Hydro Plant.
- New harvesting missions were introduced.
- You can now purchase Small Harvesters from NPC crafting vendors.
- Introduced two new generic den types which are meant to provide content filler over larger areas. Where our typical dens target smaller spaces and often change mob types randomly, this type of den is intended as a replacement for more traditional spawns, which also have their place. The largest advantage over these types of dens rather than a traditional time based spawner is that they can have escalating waves of difficulty and spawn rates can be adjusted based on the number of players inside of them.
- A new type of Arrvor den has been introduced to desert areas. It culminates in a very large boss mob who will give birth before dying. The offsprings are easy to kill but quite poisonous.
- Hokfig are now supported in the Den system with new multi-wave den types.
- Engagements can now specify the Cause of NPCs dilemmas, where previously this was only doable through the mission system. This allows us to have more player focused NPC chatter.
- Improved AFK player detection in engagements to reduce the chances of players soaking up rewards while not contributing anything meaningful.
- Introduced a new Hokfig Mating season engagement. During mating seasons the Bulls tend to get a little ornery, often trashing anything that gets into their paths, structures included. Buiding barricades around structures is recommended. This engagement provides both combat and crafting opportunities.
- Reduced the number of NPCs in the ambush portion of the Samples to the Convoy engagement, as it was overwhelming.
- Doubled the size of the explosives in the Bombs in the City engagemnt to make them a little easier to spot.
- Improved time of day transitions.
- Desert environmental improvements including enhanced dust storms.
- Fog Optimizations were made which have shown a reasonable boost to frame rate on fogged objects.
- The reputation system has seen some significant improvements. While we still hide reputation/faction adjustments from players, we do now provide information at stages to players so they have an idea when they are heading in directions they wish to head.
- If players drop to a certain extent with their parent faction they will receive a warning via the in-game mail system from one of their factions officials, to stress to them that they are heading down a dangerous path. If they ignore the warnings eventually they may find themselves exiled, in which case they will lose their OWON or FPR membership and become a Rogue member.
- Memory usage has been significantly reduced in the Plymouth area.
- Increased the range at which NPC chatter can be heard, allowing for players to hear more of it.
- Upgraded our internal NPC development systems to make it much easier for our content team to implement the more advanced NPC features in a completely GUI oriented fashion. This should improve our productivity with regards to NPC AI.
- Reduced falling damage by 25%.
- New rare spawning corpses have been scattered thoughout the wilderness. These work similar to chests and have a chance at loot or new collectible items which you can turn in to bounty collectors or the lost and found.
- Added Skill Imprinting Stations to the following areas: The Hole on the Hill, Camp Payton, Camp Taak, Aemar Hydro Plant.
- Added Rest Areas to the following areas: Aemar Hydro Plant, Ranger Station 56, Payton's Peak, Ammann Village, Camp Taak.
Graphics and Animations
- The following areas have received visual upgrades: Upper Oasis Valley, Plymouth Hills, Outskirts of Plymouth, Oasis Approach, Timbertol, Plymouth Northwest, Oasis Watch, and the OWON Training Facilities.
- Added 48 new combat animations including rest positions.
- Low Cut and Bald hairstyles have been added for males.
- Introduced several new harvester models.
- Rifle fire now has a secondary spark particle.
- We have switched to a new font that better suits the game.
- Implemented a new run cycle.
- Improved laser glow effects.
- Upgraded some armor pieces to include mesh belts.
- Bartenders now sell a highly intoxicating drink called Devil’s Brew. It has very little benefit, incurs some serious penalties, but some find its visual effects enjoyable.
- Introduced a new Hokfig Fluid item which can be spread on your body to attract the attention of the Bulls during mating season.
- Cloning Supplies vendors sell very low quality regeneration and adrenaline stimulators now, as well as a Pharmaceuticals Manual, and Medical Scanners.
- You can now receive locked containers as loot. You will need to find someone with some Hacking skill to unlock them.
- Generated missions now keep a list of recently completed templates and stop generating them for your character for a short period of time. This should help prevent players from selecting easier templates over and over and rejecting everything else, and also should ensure that players see a wider variety of missions.
- Added improved support for mission clickable props and numerous new mission templates to take advantage of it. Improvements include support to have different reactions based on mission step, support for time capped interactions without needing to hide the props on use, new features to make it easier to test these objects, and an easier to use design interface for supporting step based clickables.
- Missions now have the option to immediately add or chain to another mission during any mission action. This includes through a response option, visiting a location, completing a goal, completing the mission, etc.
- Added a new mail indication icon which will pop up on your screen whenever you have mail. Clicking on this icon will automatically open your mail without having to go through any other windows. This should make it easier to keep up on new generated missions.
- Implemented several new mission templates that cater to thieves. This includes missions that require you to pickpocket NPCs or steal items from stores. It should be noted that if you get caught doing these activities, it will affect how NPCs view you.
- Introduced numerous new missions which are themed to ongoing engagements in the area. For example if the Numbskulls begin spreading heavily along the Hole-Plymouth Trail, they will increase their crime rate and new missions become available to retrieve stolen items.
- New long range patrols and delivery missions were introduced to help players learn how to get from one town or outpost to the next.
- Introduced a new type of generated mission template where you act as hired security in a heightened security setting. This requires you to find and interrogate potential saboteurs.
- Implemented new mob collection missions which will appear if players happen to be in the proximity of the NPCs when they are doing their collections. This provides players with many differnet routes of completion, but each route has its own benefit and consequences.
- Introduced two new Entertainer tutorial missions which will teach you the basics of Dancing and Storytelling.
- You can now progress an additional mission step on The Cult epic mission series.
- New Trap Removal generated mission templates have been added for those with sufficient Trap Knowledge.
- Reputation adjustments on missions have been adjusted across the board, as well as adding many new character trait adjustments to pre-existing mission templates.
- NPCs can now have one or more pets. Our pet system is not like a traditional MMORPGs pet system however. Pets will not die with their master, but they will obey them so long as they are alive.
- A lot of NPC work was done to Plymouth City to showcase the advanced NPC systems that were added last month. This includes NPCs with randomly forking branches who will chatter with each other as they walk, new Timed Mission opportunities based on advanced NPC interactions, gangs and more.
- Introduced another batch of new generated boss abilities and effects.
- Lesoo now support all-new armor sets, facial morphs, and tintable eyes.
- Added the following new NPC professions: Miner, Geneticist.
- Introduced a slew of new NPC profession, mood and dilemma based chatter.
- Faugea now have their own boss and raid boss abilities.
- Malagion and Cyborg animation scripts have been brought up to date with recent changes for other species.
- Fang Cultist now have longer ranged attacks and energy shields.
- Vultures are not quite as deadly as they used to be. They are still dangerous in numbers though.
- The Brainwashed Mutants in ALT Labs now attack significantly faster.
Thievery and Hacking
- New locked containers are now available throughout the world. You can open these using the Hacking skill.
- Stealing items from shops now has a chance to skill up based on your skill level and if it was successful.
- Stealing items from shops will now give you a warning of the repercussions before you attempt to steal.
- Added multiple new thievery related missions. These require you to pickpocket NPCs or steal from shops.
- Reduced the successful theft timer for shops by 30 seconds.
- You must now be careful not to lose too much reputation with your parent faction or you may find yourself in exile. You will be warned via in-game mail a while before this happens to allow you to correct your actions.
User Interface and Options
- Buy Back is now functional. You have 15 minutes to buy back your items, but can buy them back from any vendor.
- The Chat Window Settings options now support an option to Enable or Disable Combat Filtering. If this is enabled (the default) then you will only receive combat messages related to your character. If it is disabled you will receive it for all nearby combat activity.
- There is now a Video Option which allows you to set the time of day shadows to update in realtime or to be blended every minute. Some players prefer the realtime updates, while others do not like the artifacts they can produce. This setting allows you to determine which method you prefer.
- Added a new mail indication icon which will pop up on your screen whenever you have new mail. Clicking on this icon will automatically open your mail without having to go through any other windows. This should make it easier to keep up on new generated missions.
- The Trade Window is now functional.
- NPC Portraits have been updated and all species are now supported.
- The group window has been updated to better suit the current user interface.
- The Player Finder window now supports filtering of over 20 areas.
- Improved area name displays at Character Selection.
- Payton's Peak: This recent addition gets its name from Reginald Payton, OWON's foremost researcher on the Lesoo species. This mountainous area is crawling with dangerous Lesoo who would like nothing more than to capture Payton's most recent incarnation. While Lesoo make up the bulk of the population, Numbskulls, Rhinoc, Drake and Malagion are also available in smaller numbers. The military post here is fully featured, with supplies dropped in by air. It provides many mission and engagment opportuntities, as well as a turret and mech guards to fend off the Lesoo. The battles here can get pretty sketchy, making it a good place to earn medals.
- Aemar Hydro Plant: A large population of Hokfig have moved in near the Aemar Hydro Plant and Mines, be careful during mating season! As is often the case this brings out Lesoo Hunting parties. Lurkers have also been coming out of the basin depths at night time. Security levels have been increased and the security officers are more dangerous than ever. Many new generated mission opportunities are now available revolving around espionage, machinery upkeep and research.
- Plymouth Hills: Plymouth Hills is now a significantly more dangerous area at night time (when the Elkar and Malagion come out) than during the day. The Lesoo in the area will also attempt to take control of the roads and platforms if you allow their numbers to grow signficantly enough. If they manage to take them they will occupy them permanently until ousted, providing additional boss opportunities, and also increasing the number of Lesoo throughout the area. The Mysterious Cave inside of the area has also seen its difficulty level increased.
- Hole-Plymouth Trail: The S&B Supply Post has opened shop along the road to the Hole in the Hill, which features mission, engagement and crafting opportunities. Long-term engagements in this area revolve primarily around the Numbskulls, a local gang. As their presence increases in the area they will become more problematic and will begin building more camps throughout the area. The main camp rewards a boost to your Thievery skill the first time it is explored.
- Camp Taak: A new bridge and Landing Pads has been added above the military outpost. Turrets were also added to both the military base and the landing pads. A pond has been added within sight of the outpost which features a predator/prey relationship between the night spawning Elkar and a herd of Okolat. Scaed'ecoo, Rogue forces, Setlang and Rhinoc also have dens or a presence in the area.
- The Hole on the Hill: The Hole on the Hill has been completely redesigned graphically. It now features a much larger bar and casino space, and many new seatable stools. Lights will now also activate or deactivate based on the time of day.
- Northern Plymouth: This mountainous area features a number of dangerous areas targeted primarily at groups. This includes several den types, mobs spawning from the death of other mobs, and some tougher to reach locations.
- Camp Kjell: This mineral harvesting station and military base is located in the northwestern portion of Plymouth. Its mineral deposits have made it a target of the FPR who are present as a result. Occasionally they will attempt to raid the base, stealing what they can and doing as much damage as they can before retreating. This provides some spin off engagement and mission opportunities, as well. There are also some harder to find locations which rewards players for exploring them with achievements and bonus skill points.
- Oasis Approach: A recently added desert region on the edge of Plymouth and Timbertol. It features Arrvor, Yellow Setlang, Lesoo and Raxin Dens, and some interesting new fauna.
- Plymouth Pond: You can now access more of the mountainous area behind the pond, and foliage overgrowth has been removed from the trails. Mob distribution has been improved and more harvestable resources are now available.
- Training Facilities: Numerous graphical improvements were made to the areas. New Entertainer tutorials were added, and the pubs are now considered rest areas.
Bug Fixes and Minor Improvements
- Corrected the vehicle pathing in the caravan escort engagement in Plymouth Canyon.
- Fixed a deprecated graphics option issue with directional shadows. It has been updated to a new format.
- Repaired the beacon positions on the Plymouth to the Hole on the Hill patrol mission as some of them were under ground after recent terrain changes.
- Fixed a skill gain issue in the extraction code.
- Removed the high detail option from terrain in the video options as it was obsolete.
- Fixed improvement issues with blood splatters.
- Female pupils should no longer look glossy white.
- The We've Been Poisoned generated mission template now properly asks for Geel Flowers rather than Yellow Poxies.
- Fixed an issue with the player count modifier for harvesters
- Corrected many cases where grass had overgrown covering up trails.
- Fixed the Level of Detail on the lamps on the back side of Plymouth City.
- You should no longer receive Protect Plymouth or Defend Freedomtown missions during peacetime.
- Fixed a longstanding issue with the quest tracker and showing up rather than the proper mob name.
- The mail subject for the Special Delivery and Eviction Notice generated missions should no longer be a run on sentence.
- Fixed a couple of bugs related to switching in and out of action mode via mission dialogs.
- Repaired some cracks and positioning issues in the male armor sets.
- Fixed a long standing issue with stun, knockback or knockdown getting locked until a relog.
- Corrected some UI bugs related to window size changes with the latest incarnation of the GUI.
- Fixed a bug that was causing your quest tracker to use your last logged in character’s quest tracker data when you first logged in.
- Rogue Nation members can no longer use /activemilitary off to disable their active military status flag.
- Fixed dialog related issues with the following mission templates: All Apologies, Medical Scanners, Harvesting Parasites Taming, and Training Chits.
- Your minimap should now properly update old quest waypoints after you die.
- Repaired an issue related to character creation on new accounts.
- Fixed some animation related bugs when using dancing skills.
- You can no longer attack Dr. Bateman in the OWON Training Facility
- Fixed an issue with the Purifying Water tutorial.