Just realized no one has gotten around to posting the latest monthly update on the game.
June is in the books, and as you probably expected, things continue to move along. We introduced the Work Order system this month, which is similar to a reverse auction. Players can Request certain work orders are filled, specifying the amount they want to spend, along the with the grade, quantity and items they need created. Crafters can then step in and fulfill those orders if they accept that price.
The largest news in testing this month was the introduction of the new and improved Training Facilities. These facilities are the games tutorial. We felt the original system was taking a bit too long to get through, and that we were overloading players with too much information at once. The new system gets you into the game world more quickly, and is much more interactive. Players get into combat much more quickly, and are then given some training chits to spend on areas they would like to improve upon. Also, we moved the training NPCs into locations outside of the tutorial, who will offer their training for a small fee to players at any points in their careers.
We also put a lot of work into the FPR side of things this month, in preparation for reintroducing Freedomtown soon in testing. We plan on unveiling new information on PvP and Sieges in the coming weeks, and the FPR content paves the way for us to begin testing those features.
Other improvements include new cinematic features, moving platforms, item stacking changes, a command alias system, and ability based goals for missions.
Abilities and Skills
- Players now start with the Corpse Extraction ability, rather than learning it during the tutorial. There is still a tutorial covering it for players, but we didn't want to force players to take the tutorial if they really could care less about the ability.
- Damage Reflecting effects can now optionally use limited charges.
- You are now only eligible for stealth skill-up if you have NPCs within a 50 meter range that have at least a 20% chance to detect you.
- Swimming now only gives a skillup chance after swimming at least 20 meters.
- Sniper Rifles skill ups should now properly increase your Rifle skills.
- Adjusted the Disable Trap system so that it should now be easier to disable lower difficulty traps.
- Several species of pets were not using their species special abilities, and were instead using generic abilities. This has been fixed.
- Improved pet pathing.
- Abilities which require a certain species of creature will now work properly with pets of that species, as well.
- Melee abilities can now be used while moving thanks to some animation improvements.
- RPG mode can no longer fire through other players or NPCs if they are blocking your target.
- NPC Stealth detection has been improved in a number of ways. It will take into account perception settings, mob level, and the time of day in the calculations.
- Combat now utilizes a new combat mode variable which allows us to use drawn or aimed animation sets for ranged weapons, and then to hold the weapons lower when no longer aiming but still drawn. Taking damage, engagements, targeting an opponent, or firing will automatically force you into aiming mode, and then return you to normal mode if you do not attack back or if you are not attacked again for a period of time.
- Firing at the ground in action mode will now automatically unsheath your weapon so that it can play the proper animations.
- If you enter into Action Mode while using a Third Person Chase Cam it will automatically switch you into an Over the Shoulder view instead. When you exit Action Mode you will restore into Chase Cam mode unless you manually switch to another mode first.
- Melee attacks now support a vertical adjustment, which improves the experience when using a First Person Camera.
- Stealthed NPCs or players no longer show up on the minimap, and no longer have nameplates.
- You are no longer allowed to switch camera angles into Chase Camera if you are in Action Mode.
- Many new combat animations. Females animations received special attention.
- You can no longer tab target stealthed enemies.
- Players will now stick to moving platforms, allowing us to create elevators, trams, etc.
- Improved Cinematic camera support. We now have more control over cinematic camera effects. There is a new Interface Option which allows you to disable Cinematics effects if you don't wish to view them. You can exit out of them at any time by pressing either mouse key or a movement button.
- Players can now /bind to set their home point. Upon death they will be given the option to wait for someone to revive them, to respawn at the nearest cloning location or to respawn at their home location. This is useful if your cloning point is being spawn camped.
- Cinematics camera change effects now work both in First and Third Person views.
- Optimized the merchant code resulting in performance improvements when in the cities.
- Improved server/client timesynching.
- Added additional GM functionality including NPC finding/troubleshooting, mission item, and teleportal improvements.
- Character prediction improvements.
- Improved Over the Shoulder cameras.
- Introduced a new bog/swamp weather system.
- Numerous NPC pathing improvements.
- Improved speed hack detection.
- Improved rain shaders which feature less noticeable billboarding and improved mist.
- New drake models and animations.
- Added new cave, interior, platform and building sets, along with many types of new flora.
- Medical Bots have been retextured.
- New rifle and handgun particles and effects.
- Visual upgrades to the Character Selection and Character Creation areas.
- The generic male shirt and pants models have been adjusted for a better fit.
- Introduced a new Fitting Creation Shop. This shop allows users to purchase lower grade fittings for a price, and allows them to customize them how they desire. This is meant as a stopgap in testing until we get all of the fitting recipes in-game.
- You can now buy disposable flashlights from general stores and street vendors.
- Pet Food prices have been hiked.
- Introduced new Alarm traps.
- Fixed issues with shops and the amount of data being sent when using a NPC shop.
- Mission goals can now track and wait for a specific ability to be used and update the mission based upon that. Many of the tutorials have been revamped to support this. You can see the Training Facilities tutorial section for more information on those upgrades.
- Re-introduced the cinematic system to missions. The new system includes better angle support with more instant switching rather than eased in, as we find this makes it less disorienting. You can disable cinematic effects in the Options if you do not want them.
- Mission actions can now have a credit requirement, which is used in the new training missions.
- The usual supply of new mission templates, with a little extra attention being given to Underworld missions.
- Collection missions now have a quick abandon dialog branch if you do not have any of the samples.
- NPCs who are walking or pathing and not aggroed will now stop and wait for a while when you speak to them. This makes it easier to turn in missions or shop with a walking NPC.
- Introduced a new animal species: Calprates. This hoofed quadruped creature populates rocky mountainous regions.
- Introduced a new plant species: Morgenstern Cactus. This plant resembles a cactus, and can shoot intoxicating spines over a medium range. Players affected by these spines not only suffer damage over time, but also have their vision severely impaired momentarily.
- Introduced a new quadrupedal species: Rocharus. This species dwells in large underground caves, such as the ones underneath Timbertol.
- Trainers can now be found in some cities outside of the training grounds. These NPCs will train you basic abilities for weapon skill lines, first aid, or other areas. For the price of 80 credits you will generally receive an item and up to two training cards.
- New and improved Setlang models and animations.
- Improved cyborg footstep sounds.
- Grades of identical items now stack on top of each other making inventory management much easier. A detailed explination of the new changes can be found in the forum - http://www.therepopulation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2390
- Updated lumber and resources in the Plymouth region to bring them up to quantity specifications needed for crafting.
- Mineral recipes now allow for 7 steps to increase the attribute cap from 15 to 21.
- Implant recipes now have a skill point range which can be shown in the recipe window.
- Mold recipes should now properly create molds rather than patterns.
- You should now receive a better chance at low grade results rather than empty extractions at lower subsistence knowledge levels.
- A new type of poison is now harvestable from Morgenstern Cacti.
- You can harvest meat and bones from the new Calprates species.
- Rocharus can now be harvested for Meat and Hide.
- Added Coal, Takayura Trees, Abandoned Bundles, and Lilac to Lurker Bog.
Training Facilities Tutorial
- There is no longer any loading when moving between the Cloning Facility and the Training facilities.
- Added a new, very short introduction sequence after creating a new character which provides a quick introduction.
- Following the intro sequence, players move on to Movement and basic control tips. They are given the option of speeding through this or asking questions using branching dialogs.
- Once players have learned the basics they are sent to a Master Sergeant outside of the cloning facilities who immediately sends them through a series of combat training goals. This includes a variety of topics including: interactive objects, radio transmissions, inventory, momentum, action mode, cover, mission markers, and combat positions. This Basic Training is required to be completed by all players.
- Following the Basic Training, players now have the choice to leave at any time. They are given two training chits which they can choose to spend to learn about any skill which features a tutorial. These tutorials generally provide you with an item (such as a weapon for weapon skills) as well as one or more recipes or special abilities. For example spending a chit to learn about Rifles will provide you with an Issued Rifle, and two special abilities for Rifles. Where the Medical Scanner tutorial provides you with a Medical Scanner, and two medical abilities. All of the trainers who require chits will also be available when you leave the training facilities, but will then cost 80 credits per training session. This allows players to quickly choose the two most important skills for their character and then do the tutorials for the others later if they so desire.
- Guide Bots have been added throughout the Training Facilities. If you speak to them they will ask you what you are interested in training in, and mark the location of that trainer on your map. They can also give directions to the shuttle off base.
- The Training Grounds is now a quick repeating, never ending engagement that is not required in any way by players. It will reward the top performer though after it completes, and can be used to practice your combat skills.
- Rather than teleporting out, you now take a shuttle at the end of the tutorial.
- Many of the tutorials were rewritten to allow players to participate more, while being told less. This is an evolutionary step for these tutorials and the new player experience.
- Skill Imprinting stations in the Training Facilities now mirror the look of those in most other cities.
- Added numerous new tips or hints, and adjusted pre-existing ones to fit in with the new tutorials.
- The Bladed Weapon tutorial now also gives a card which trains you the Lunging Thrust ability, in addition to the previous Quick Slash ability.
- Reduced the damage on the Training Grounds invaders to make it more difficult for players to die during the tutorial.
- There is an all-new tutorial which focuses on Mines and Traps. It requires players to disable some Alarms while teaching you the Disable Trap ability.
- Setlang Pens were added to practice on and are used in the new tutorials for combat and corpse extraction.
- Nacoot now spawn in the base, and must be tamed if you choose to do the Taming tutorial.
- The Dissecting Corpses tutorial now uses setlangs from the pens and teaches players about the extraction process. It can be trained in without using a chit.
- Added a second patch of Mushrooms which are used in the Harvesting tutorial.
- We did some redecorating to a number of areas. The terrain has changed, and there are some props in places that previously did not have them. Last but not least the medical and cloning areas are using new buildings and interiors, along with accompanying sound effects.
- The Skill Imprinting tutorial now gives you a larger amount of SI so that you have enough SI to train a skill for the tutorial.
- Holding down the right mouse button over an item icon now pulls up the new stacking interface.
- The Work Order system is now functional. This system allows players to request for certain items to be created, and for crafters to then automatically fill those orders, like a reverse auction house.
- Added a Request Tab to the Work Order Window. This tab allows you to set which items you are looking for, minimum/maximum grade settings, and a price range and then post the order.
- Added a Fulfill tab to the Work Order Window. This is how you fulfill Work Order requests.
- We've added Alias support. This functionality allows you to create up to 50 aliases using the /alias command. Aliases are similar to macros, except they only allow a single line. Meaning you won't be able to chain macros together to craft for you, but you will be able to create simple aliases to reduce typing. For example the following command “/alias add tj /tell john” would then allow you to simply type “#tj Hey John!” rather than “/tell john Hey John!”.
- You can now enable or disable cinematic effects through the Options.
- The Hint/Tip window now slides out from the left hand side of the screen instead of the top.
- The Hint/Tip window will no longer appear until you receive a hint or tip that session.
- You can now set an Interface Option to prevent any future tips or hints from being shown.
- Added some code which will ensure that a window is inside of the viewport when it is opened, and place it inside of the viewport if it was not.
- Energy will no longer display on your status bar unless you have an energy source.
- The mouse invert options are now be set to industry standards by default.
- Right click/rotate will now hide the mouse and lock it in position.
- Color changes to the text input fields when composing a new email, to better indicate what they are doing.
- Chat Dialog (for missions) fade distance is now identical to NPC chat bubble distance.
- The Inventory window will now properly display if you have 0 credits.
- The Splitting code has a new GUI. You can Shift-Drag a stack to split off as much as you can off the top. You can Alt-Drag to pick a number as was previously the case. Merging stacks now works properly as well.
- CTRL+Shift+Left Clicking an item from inventory will now prompt you asking if you wish to delete the item making it a bit easier than dragging it out of the inventory window.
- We began giving the FPR side a content pass similar to what Plymouth recently received. This includes many visual and content improvements around Freedomtown, The Pipeworks and The Shed. Some of that content includes new raid ring den.
- The Timbertol area saw a lot of work this month. Since the bulk of these areas are new we won't cover all of the details other than saying there are several military bases and towns with missions and engagements currently available. The Timbertol area varies greatly depending on location, from forest to desert. It also features a humongous underground cave system.
- Oasis Valley has been hit by updated to be more visually appealing. It contains new higher technology buildings, as well as terrain and fauna improvements.
- Pontoc now features some large, and sometimes dangerous plant types and a complete visual overhaul.
- Created a new exploration point in Plymouth Pond, along with some mobs to populate it. This point has a nice view of the pond and rewards players with a small but permanent boost to their survival skill if they can find it.
- Northern Plymouth features a new mountain range.
- Added additional mobs in the area just outside of Plymouth City.
- Removed some shrubbery that had begun to cover the trail to the Pond from Plymouth City.
- Something similar to fireflies have been spotted at night time near Plymouth City.
- Optimized the lights in the Hole on the Hill.
- Calprates have been spotted on Payton's Peak.
- Rooming optimizations in the Plymouth area. Significant performance boosts in Torn Mist Valley and the Outskirts.
- Fixed a number of pathing issues in Plymouth City.
- Stealth should again apply instantly.
- Corrected an issue with drop down lists and scrolling areas on GUIs if the list was larger than the viewport.
- Fixed a bug that was causing players to occasionally hang loading on their first login attempt.
- Fixed a couple pieces of graffiti at the Hole on the Hill. They worked before but had z fighting issues, so flickered from distance.
- The Lost and Found Manager in Plymouth City should be spawning once again.
- Corrected grammatical errors in the following mission templates: Dissecting Corpses, Modern Robotics.
- Fixed a rooming issue inside of City Hall which was causing the counters to be invisible unless you stood on top of them.
- Corrected an issue with the Blank Key Card engagement spin off mission. It wasn’t taking the Key Card at the end, instead it was giving players a new one.
- Fixed a rooming issue when coming out of City Hall. You couldn’t see the trimmings or canopies just outside.
- Repaired an issue with the Chip Delivery mission.
- Fixed an issue where the revive menu clickable in action mode.
- Moved the generic arrival point on the Plymouth-Hole Trail so that it isn’t on a mountain.
- Fixed a spawning issue with NPCs who were marked to keep a single entity at all times.
- Fixed an issue that was causing only your last name to appear in the group window if you had a first and last name.
- The /invite command will now work properly with spaced names.
- Fixed some errors in the group window.
- Fixed an action mode movement bug that could lock you in a strafe when you were strafing and firing.
- Repaired an issue in the first goal of the Eviction Notice generated mission.
- Fixed an issue with the Lowlife NPCs who spawn during the Stop the Shakedown's generated mission.
- Filled in a location where you could get stuck in Plymouth Hills.
- Fixed a rooming issue in the Body Armor Shop that was causing objects outside to not be visible from indoors.
- Fixed an NPC location bug due to some missing markup in the Unholy Creations mission.
- Fixed a bug with cover objects that was causing their full cover bonus value to clear out when it shouldn't have.
- Increased the difficulty of the lowlives in the Stop the Shakedowns generated mission so that they don’t die quite as quickly.
- Fixed an issue with the failed path warp code for pets that was causing them not to warp if they got stuck.
- Fixed a rooming issue with some of the trees just outside Plymouth not being seen from some of the other areas just outside of it.
- Fixed an extremely long standing bug that went unnoticed for a long time with the Targeted option in FX from Quest Actions.
- Corrected a problem that was preventing you from scrolling through the mail body.
- Fixed a sorting issue with mails.
- Fixed a credit icon issue in the Mail window.
- Corrected a problem with item activation code that was causing it to consume entire stacks instead of a single instance of an item.
- Fixed the pathing for Mahoney, Hanks and Elroy in Plymouth City, a rock had been added over the end of their path.
- Nametags should now properly disappear when an NPC or Player is stealthed.
- Fixed a bug with FX based Master Cameras that was causing them to not play in some cases.
- Adjustments made to the NPC Grounding system to fix a grounding bug.
- Fixed an issue with Mission Clickable props and Watched Ability actions not performing the proper Conditionals when they ended.
- Fixed an Third Person Action Mode bug that wasn't taking the camera distance into account when calculating range.
- Fixed an issue with melee and full body firing when the animation tried to place before it finished the first time.
- Damage Bubbles now scale correctly.
- Fixed some minimum range issues with melee npcs.
- Fixed an AI related issue that was causing AI to sometimes stop fighting.
- Fixed some icon display issues.
- Mutated T’Seef Heads are now properly flagged as a trophy item.
- Fixed the hospital signs LOD in Plymouth City.
- Fixed a corpse extraction bug that was causing you to sometimes get no results due to an error.
- Corrected a problem where the camera would lag if you held the right mouse button down while in action mode.
- Fixed a bug that was causing it to rotate your camera when you switched between first and third person when in an over the shoulder view.
- Fixed the rotation on a few props in the Medical Building in Plymouth City.
- Fixed Technician Taelen’s spawn point in Plymouth City.
- Many of the NPCs at Ranger Station 56 have relocated.
- Fixed a rooming issue in Blood Valley that was preventing you from seeing any of the rocks from the center of the valley.
- Fixed a chat sequence bug and corrected the description with the Medical Scanners mission.
- You can now properly turn in the Mission to the Falls generated mission.
- The Gambling Debt mission now has a description.
- Some fixes were made to the Declawing the Vultures mission template.
- Fixed some material issues on the second Light Armor set.