The end of the month progress report for September is available here: https://therepopulation.com/index.php/news/116-end-of-september-2013-update
And duplicated below for your convenience:
September turned out to be quite a month. We began the month at PAX Prime, and had the opportunity to introduce the game to new players. The game was generally well-accepted by players and in the media, and we received quite a bit of useful feedback from players at the show. With PAX behind us though, our focus shifts back into development, as we prepare to push into beta early next year.
Combat received a series of tweaks, based on feedback from testers and the show. Medical and melee lines received the largest amount of tweaks. Medical abilities became more potent with shorter recharge timers, where melee abilities are now much easier to use against moving targets. We also implemented a wider range on targeting assistance for everyone in action mode, and an easier to see targeting reticle. Other combat tweaks include energy shields which deplete more quickly, and longer duration knock down effects.
The Plymouth area received a fresh content pass this month. The city itself received several new points of interest, and many visual improvements. We also introduced a huge new cave structure that is located not far from the city, and provides adventuring opportunities for small groups to raid sized groups of players. It features twenty new bosses, mission opportunities, and multiple new types of traps.
Ease of use features are moving more to the forefront as we inch closer to beta. This includes better directions to NPCs via the mission system, and more mission templates which support waypoint markers. The inquiry system has also been improved to provide additional information on NPCs. The inquiry system can also now use achievements as filters for information, can play new types of special FX, be used to obtain information on NPCs who are not currently spawned, and to provide information on local dangers or resources.
A new Surveying system makes it easier for players to locate harvestable resources. We introduced many new crafting recipes and items, along with new component types. Other noteworthy additions include the introduction of localized strings, UI improvements, and improved special FX. You can find a more complete list in the build notes below.
Abilities and Skills
- Rapid Scan (First Aid) had its recharge time reduced from 10 to 6 seconds.
- Ranged Medical Scan (First Aid) had its recharge time reduced from 10 to 6 seconds, and its energy cost increased from 50 to 51. This makes it slightly less efficient than shorter range scans.
- Med Scan Area (First Aid) had its recharge time reduced from 45 to 30 seconds.
- Rescue (First Aid) had its recharge time reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes, and had its energy cost reduced from 125 to 110. This makes it your most efficient healing ability to make up for its 500 momentum cost.
- Advanced Rapid Scan (First Aid) had its recharge time reduced from 10 to 6 seconds and its energy cost reduced from 85 to 82.
- Advanced Medical Scan (First Aid) has had it’s recharge time reduced from 15 to 6 seconds and its energy cost reduced from 85 to 80. This gives makes it more efficient than the earlier Medical scan ability.
- Butt Attack (Rifle Tactics) has had its damage reduced.
- The following abilities have new icons: Scrounge for Water, Behind Me, Everyone Behind Me, Focused Spray, Make it Rain, Dig In, Aim High, Screw Face, Just Give Up, Debilitating Crush, Sternum Smash, Staving Smash, Dialed In, Controlled Burst, Disarming Twirl, Stop Momentum, Crush Legs, Swaggering Burst, Obliterate, Chest Shot, Stay Alert, Stopping Power, Frenzied Fire, Double Click, Momentum Swinger, Angle Shot, Stunning Blast, and Take Them Down.
- Created new special FX for many abilities. This includes a mixture of particles, selectron and animation improvements.
- Added skill imprinting stations to The Hole on the Hill and Freedomtown.
- The rest area in Plymouth City has been increased, allowing for more entertainer space.
- Added better aim assistance in action mode. This has had a big effect on melee weapons, making them much easier to use in action mode.
- Melee weapons have had their range increased to make it easier to run down other players in PvP.
- Defensive energy shields will now be depleted more quickly.
- Flame Throwers now have a diminishing range effectiveness to bring them in line with other ranged weapons.
- Introduced new knockdown animations which allow for a customizable getting up period. Knockdowns now last at least 3 seconds before you can get back up.
- Introduced a new Propaganda engagement which involves the Emergiz corporation attempting to use recent security issues as a means to sell their bomb detection devices. This includes posters being placed up over town, and a podium being erected where they can spread their propaganda to a crowd.
- The Plymouth City tradeskill collection engagements now consist of Refined Calibrite (Mined) and Lilac (Gathered).
- Added additional bomb located in the Bombs in the City engagement, which should make them easier to spot.
- Began the process of preparing the game for localization. Many of the strings are now localized, which for the time being is resulting in some network optimizations, and in the future will allow us to integrate in additional languages.
- You can now use /assist to assist your current target or /assist “character name” to assist a character by name.
- The 10% skill gain penalty upon death will now stack up to three times. Each time it will increase the duration by 10 minutes, with a maximum duration of 30 minutes.
- Manned cannons now have their own ability lists, which allow for more potent offense than was previously the case.
- You can now receive the new achievement and suffix title “The Spelunker” the first time you explore Plymouth’s Underbelly.
- Created a new destination waypoint system which can be plugged into from other areas to give long range waypoint directions to specific locations.
- Added a new prefix title and achievement “Detective”. This is given if you complete the Missing Official epic generated mission.
- Added a new achievement and suffix title “The Rescuer”, which is given to players who complete a long escort mission inside of Plymouth’s Underbelly..
- Optimized the crouching and prone positions.
- Many new environmental and triggered sound effects have been added.
- Added new faction-specific clone points to various areas.
- Introduced several new Tips for new players.
- Introduced a series of new selectrons and targeting zodiacs. These are being used as targeting indicators, as well as usage and effects indicators are are multilayered and animated.
- Implemented a new set of ancient ruins models, which are making their first appearance in Loch Aza.
- Optimized many of the buildings in the Plymouth area.
- Many new signs and billboard advertisements have been added.
- Adjusted road and path textures so they are much easier to see.
- New jump animations were added.
- Introduced new armor sets.
- Added new special attack animations for drakes.
- Added new environmental FX, including a new dust fluff effect seen throughout Plymouth’s Underbelly.
- Vultures have all new models and animations.
- Brachura and Morgenstern species NPCs have new textures.
- FX can now be played through the inquiry system.
- Integrated profession and tradeskill based inquiry questions. You can ask a miner about local mineral resources, for example.
- The Tell Me About ___ and Where Is ___ inquiry questions can now give additional information on NPCs, including better location descriptions.
- You can now inquire about NPCs who are not currently spawned.
- Pressing enter in a prompted inquiry will now automatically send the inquiry request.
- Achievements can now be used as a pre-requisite for certain inquiry questions.
- You can now ask some NPCs about the local dangers to get an idea of what NPCs or obstacles are nearby.
- You can now purchase numerous new pre-fitted items from vendors in cities. The quality of these is lower than crafted versions, but they are good for starting characters.
- Energy and elemental based melee weapons have much improved combat effects.
- Added many new loot items to boss mobs. Humanoid mobs have more resources and collectible items. Where non-humanoid bosses now have a chance to drop additional B grade resources as bonus loot.
- Boss mobs now drop more trophy loot. This loot can be used to create trophy furniture, such as mounted heads.
- Robots have many new item drop types.
- Improved the generated mission system so that you can now receive basic directions to generated mission NPCs in your mission journal.
- The Mission Journal now includes information on which area the mission was obtained in.
- Mission objectives are now color coded in the journal. Cyan is used for incomplete objectives where green is used for completed ones.
- You are now given a new tutorial mission as soon as you enter into the city after leaving the training facilities. This mission is designed to teach players how to use the job offer and inquiry systems.
- Reduced the skill requirements on multiple mission templates to make them obtainable more quickly.
- You can now abandon out of the Hides for the Homeless and Lead Me To Plymouth missions rather than going through with them.
- Changed the categories of certain missions so they could be more accurately filtered.
- Put in a new change which prevents duplicate generated mission templates. Previously some players would try to stockpile templates so they could accept a second copy while the reset timer for recent missions hadn’t expired. You will now receive the message that those job offers have expired if you attempt to do this.
- Added hostile location markers to many more generated mission targets in the Plymouth area.
- Introduced a large number of new generated mission templates. These range from simple delivery or underworld assignments, to a compex 18 step generated epic template.
- Added additional trap removal generated mission templates.
- You can now receive new missions from the exile camp in Plymouth’s Pond. Be warned that some of these missions may hurt your reputation with OWON, as these NPCs are FPR defectors.
- Introduced server side improvements which allow the server to poll for dynamic NPC information from across seams, even if the NPCs are not currently spawned. This allows for inquiries or missions to provide players with more detailed information from further off locations than was previously possible.
- NPC triggered proximity effects such as an NPC who gives automatically missions to nearby players, have had their range increased.
- Added new NPC idle animations including waiting, sitting and eating, drunk walking, sitting and talking, talking on podium, repairing vehicle, greeting everyone, as well as synchronized talking and listening animations. Attached these animations to various NPCs in the world.
- Combat tutorial NPCs in Plymouth City are now all bunched together in the same location. This is a new platform that was added recently.
- Turlocs now have multiple new attack animations, along with a taunt.
- You can now pick the pockets of more NPCs in the Plymouth area.
- NPCS can now respond to inquiries or missions with talking animations even when seated.
- Introduced new Diseased Rocharus species which are spawned via new traps in Plymouth’s Underbelly. These are very dangerous mobs who carry a powerful disease. They do have low hit points however, and appear in packs.
- Carlo Amante will now make appearances at the Shady Lady Pub for a drink at night, in additional to his day time “collection” routes.
- Plymouth City features a higher concentration of guards and peacekeepers.
- The guards who patrolled outside of Plymouth City are now walking on new trails.
- Many new NPC outfit improvements.
- Turlocs have received new combat capabilities including stuns, AoE Knockdowns, and a leeching taunt.
- Added new special attack animations and FX for numerous NPC types and generated boss abilities. These should make it easier to notice when an NPC is doing a special abilities.
- Increased Turloc and Lingmaa attack rates.
- Created new scout variations of Turloc. Be sure to take these out before they run and get help.
- Various minor pathfinding improvements.
- Added dozens of new boss mobs to the game, ranging from solo bosses to epic raid encounters.
- Introduced new types of mutant NPCs, complete with their own special FX and abilities.
- Added new generated boss abilities and special FX to many NPC bosses.
- You can now tame Rocharus and Drakes to be used as pets.
- Pet AI improvements.
- Tamed pet Age and Durability is now listed in their info cards, as well as tooltips.
- genetically engineered Lesoo pets have had their graphics upgraded.
- You can now properly rename your pets.
- /pet dismiss will now release all of your pets.
Player Created Cities and Housing
- Optimized the structure destruction code.
- You can now craft numerous new types of furniture items.
- Introduced a survey system to help find harvester clusters in the local area. The system allows slower and rapid scans to attempt to find resources in the local area.
- Harvestable resource nodes are now displayed as orange blips on your radar to make them easier to locate, where harvestable clusters show up as a teal blip.
- The crafting window will now automatically pick the highest grade items in your inventory first, rather than the lowest grade items.
- Non-humanoid boss mobs will now drop additional grade B0 harvestable resources quite often.
- Trophy items are now dropping from boss mobs of various species including Lesoo, Mubark, Rocharus, and Turlocs.
- There are now seven different types of fish resources. Fishing nodes will generally produce multiple types of nodes, but the specific types will vary by the location.
- Resource deposits will now display the type of deposit in the tooltip when you mouse over them.
- The following new Lumberjacking recipes were added: Hardwood Lumber, Specialty Lumber, and Softwood Lumber. These two recipes can currently produce 14 different items.
- Added the following new Artillery recipes: Metal Grenade Component, Fuse Engineering, Grenade Casing, and Grenade Casing Mold.
- Culinary Arts has gained the following new recipes: Seasoning, Vitamin Spray, Pharmaceutical Extraction, Rib Steak, Loin Steak, Round Steak, Breast Cut, Leg Cut, Fish Fillet and Meat Tenderizer.
- Added the following new Robotics recipes: Power Connector.
- Added the following Metalworking recipes: Molding Plaster, Tri-Mineral Synthesis, Welding Rod, and Mounting Bracket.
- You can now salvage parts from human NPCs.
- Silver Ore can now be obtained by harvesting Alluvium Deposits.
- Many crafted items and harvestable resources have been given new icons.
- Steak recipes (Culinary Arts) have been split into tiers and includes new types of results.
- Molding clay removed in favor of molding plaster for molds. Plaster moved into the ingredient slot. This just leaves the parting agent in the agent side.
- Battery shells are no longer an ingredient of Batteries.
- Reduced the harvesting distance of most resources.
- The spatial awareness range on harvestable resources is now configurable by the area designer.
- New tradeskill related engagements and missions.
- Enhanced crafting and harvesting mission rewards.
- Added the following harvestable resources to Oasis Watch: Abandoned Bundle, Sangiccum, Thorium, and Ngooberries.
- Added Sarnium to the Falls Trail.
- You can now harvest Byna Berries near Plymouth’s Pond.
- Added the following harvestable resources to Plymouth’s Underbelly: Falasium, and Multi-hued Yano.
- Drakes are now a hide source.
- Installations can now produce new types of Chairs and Tables.
- Action Mode users can now automatically perform Salvage Parts or Corpse Extraction by right clicking on corpses.
- Added distance checks to extraction windows. This prevents characters clicking to open the window and then running out of range and extracting from long range and safety.
- There are now easier variations of tradeskill recipe missions.
- Added new crafting station models.
- Various recipe skill range tweaks to smooth out the progression and provide greater variety to players in the early stages.
- New and improved targeting reticles. The new reticles include a four to five layer selectron under the feet of your target. This will change based on if the target is friendly or hostile. Hostile targets get a red inner circle to denote them as such. In addition to this, we have added a new 3d icon which bounce up and down over your target’s head. Friendly targets receive a green indicator, neutrals will be in blue, where hostiles are red. Both the selectrons and 3d indicators will increase in scale based on the size of the target.
- Item tooltips have been upgraded to give much more detailed information than was previously the case.
- You can now assist groupmates by right clicking their name and selecting the Assist button from the pop up menu.
- Harvestable nodes and clusters will now appear on your minimap.
- Buyback received various improvements including sales price fixes due to accuracy, and taking stack sizes into account.
- You can now receive tooltips when mousing over items in a vendors inventory.
- Various mission window improvements. See the mission section for more details.
- Pressing enter in a prompted inquiry will now automatically send the inquiry request.
- Removed trees from the mini-map display if they were overlapping trails.
- Action mode reticles are no longer opaque, and is now completely white when no target is in range. It will fill in red as your accuracy increases.
- Improved targeting reticle response time.
- A text banner will now appear, in addition to the previous chat text, whenever you enter or leave an exploration point.
- New and improved interface audio.
- Plymouth City received a content pass. A second exit was added to the city, some skyscrapers knocked down, a musical stage added, a slum alley, peacekeeper headquarters, a park trail, and new types of vendors have moved in. Also included were a series of signs, and lighting improvements in the area. The terrain around the city has also been opened up to contain more explorable content. Several NPCs have moved their shop locations.
- Introduced a massive new cave underneath Plymouth’s Pond entitled: Plymouth’s Underbelly. This dungeon includes over twenty bosses, ranging from small group to high end raid bosses. It also includes numerous new missions, multiple types of traps, and harvestable resources. Also included are four new exploration points, each providing a different permanent skill increase the first time visited.
- Freedomtown received a smattering of content upgrades. New static mission NPCs were added, along with many new bits of knowledge for the inquiry system.
- Loch Aza now borders with the northern portions of Plymouth, rather than being blocked off by mountains. Various areas of Loch Aza have been decorated, including a new river just north of the Ammann Village.
- Plymouth’s Pond has been terraformed to knock down some mountain barriers. The result is a larger space to explore. New missions and dens have been added new populations of Turloc and Rocharus. It also now connects to a large new dungeon: Plymouth’s Underbelly.
- The Kalazar Mountains area has received a content pass. In addition to new bases and points of interest, there is a humongous cave system underneath the mountains.
- Oasis Watch received a content pass. This includes updated invasion and occupation engagements, new night spawns, a new group-oriented dangerous area, as well as several new dens being added to the area. This includes the first Mubark den in the Plymouth-Oasis area.
- The trail between Plymouth City and the Hole on the Hill now features new traps and a new epic mission opportunity. Mob counts have also been increased in these areas.
- Torn Mist Valley has received a content pass. This includes some engagement and NPC related improvements, along with several new generated mission templates which are unique to the area.
- The Shed has received a number of visual improvements, and now looks more like a bar and less like a shed. A crafting station was also added.
- Added a new island to the OWON Sea.
- Improved the office instances used by some generated missions in cities.
- A new trail has been added between Payton’s Peak and Fool’s Sanctuary.
- Several areas of Loch Aza have received beautification passes.
Bug Fixes or Minor Changes
- Fixed an issue with PvP missions if a player were killed with no damage contributors.
- Corrected some item visualization issues with some Automatic Rifles and Handguns.
- Repaired a dancing related issue that was preventing dancing from stopping after you were damaged.
- You should no longer receive PvP warning/safety messages while on the character selection screen.
- Fixed a bug that was preventing the display of achievement earned banners if you were not grouped.
- Repaired an issue that was sometimes preventing energy shields from regaining energy after a battle had ended.
- The start and ending messages for blindness are no longer reversed.
- Fixed an issue with the combat filtering where it was filtering chat intended for the player if their name wasn’t in the message.
- Grammatical fixes in the tip system.
- Fixed an issue with human death animations that was causing sliding when you died on a slope.
- NPCs should no longer scoot while dead.
- Endurance drain effects no longer tick combat calls from peaceful abilities.
- Fixed some issues related to NPCs pursuing across seamless borders.
- NPCs who are seated will no longer try to twist and turn to face a player when interacted with.This was causing some pretzeled NPCs.
- Various seamless border related fixes.
- Jason Jackson’s spawn point was moved, as he was previously spawning inside of a wall.
- Fixed a bug that was causing NPC location information in the mission helper to sometimes list the markup text rather than the proper location.
- The “A Thief In Our Midsts” generated mission template has been fixed and re-enabled.
- Updated some multiple kill generated objectives so they would include some newly added variations which were missing.
- The Seeking Coal Miner generated mission now sends you after Anthracite as coal was removed.
- The Military Supplies mission template on longer tells you to go to the wrong location.
- Fixed a rubber banding issue with players crossing seamless borders.
- Corrected a bug related to pathing NPCs standing still across seamless edges.
- Repaired an issue related to pet teleportation.
- Fixed an issue with character creation and traveling.
- The “A Tale of Two Fisherman” mission template is now fully functional.
- Fixed the fishing idle animation.
- Numerous email descriptions or subjects were modified for generated mission templates, to make them quicker and to the point.
- You now qualify for a third stage to the Melanko series of missions after completing the second mission.
- The clone point in Plymouth’s Pond is no longer ankle deep in the mud.
- Fixed an issue where players could sometimes receive multiple variations of the same static mission by clicking the quest giver many times rapidly.
- The Seeking Anthracite Miner generated mission template now includes markers to local resources.
- Fixed an issue which was causing some players to not receive the epic mission offers upon leaving the training grounds, if they crashed or exited while zoning.
- Repaired an issue related to default options in the interface Options window becoming out of synch with the server.
- Mission Category Filters should now be working properly.
- Fixed a drake related aggro issue.
- Kimberly Bastings (Hole-Plymouth Trail) will no longer spawn inside of a wall.
- Fixed an issue with the spawners at the Exile Camp in Plymouth’s Pond, which was preventing them from respawning.
- Turloc can now be extracted for Turloc resources, rather than Rocharus ones.
- Removed foliage from the trail in some parts of Plymouth.
- Fixed an issue where rubble wasn’t properly being created or removed as part of the Cleaning Up in the Aftermath engagement.
- Corrected an issue with generated crafting missions not being able to generate proper crafted targets for the player.
- Fixed a mail related bug caused by accepting missions when the main mail window had already been closed.
- Turloc and Mubark death animations are now functioning as intended.
- You can now properly use corpse extraction on Mubark, Turlocs and Rocharus.
- Lingmaa will now drop the proper tissue when extracted. They were erroneously giving Malagion tissue.
- Corrected a texture issue on the teleporter model.
- Fixed a grounding issue which was causing some pathing issues for NPCs.
- Repaired a rooming issue in the Aemar Mine which allowed players to fall through a seam when crossing a between areas.
- Fixed a bug that was preventing the buff from Dialed In from being applied.
- AI should no longer try to move or attack while knocked down.
- The Lurker Tails generated mission template will now accept tails from any Lurker.
- Removed headbands from Crafting Supplies vendors.
- Fixed a bug that was preventing some music from stopping when it should have been.
- Removed the ability to be generated mission targets from some of the more infrequent and random spawning NPCs in the world as their schedules were puzzling players.