It's a new month, and it's time for a new patch, with great new features just around the corner. In the last journal, we hinted at the Hwarang's arrival with an in-depth feature. Well, the wait's over, and players will be finally able to get their hands on the Hwarang. As we mentioned previously, the Hwarang quest will be available near the level 112 dungeon, Bulguksa, from a Hwarang NPC named "Kim Yoo Shin." But that's just a small piece of the large up-coming patch.
One of the biggest changes players will notice is the upgrade of our game engine. Atlantica was optimized to perform at a smoother pace with less loading times for those with lower-end machines. Those who frequent Rome, the hub of Atlantica, will notice that issues that normally arise due to high population will be less apparent. Furthermore, an automatic graphic option has been added. So depending on the situation, graphical settings will be adjusted automatically to increase performance. Of course, we don't want to force anything on the players so this feature is entirely optional and can be changed in the graphics menu.
We're also addressing a balancing concern that players have been battling against, which is the dreaded flavor-of-the-month issue that every MMORPG encounters. In our case, it has been the double-Monk setup. For those who are not familiar with the PvP in Atlantica, the double-monk setup allows players to take advantage of the unintended strengths of having two Monks in a party. By utilizing the Monks' spells (Awakening and Holy Guard), players have been dragging out matches and winning by time. Is it strategic? Yes. Fun and balanced? As we've seen from the matches on the Titan server, not quite. So the first step we're taking is reducing the healing effects and the physical defense provided by the Monk's Holy Guard spell, a spell that prevents magic to be used on their squad. And once the other brand new mercenaries, the Minstrel and Punisher, are released, we hope to see a further decline and necessity for a double-Monk build.
When we discuss balancing issues, many times people forget that it's not just about stats or battles, but it's also about the economy and the in-game world. One of the additions will be tackling this very issue. In the next patch, we'll be introducing Guild Activity Points to complement existing Guild Points, and the benefits of this are twofold. First, we want the Atlantica world to be dynamic, so we don't want towns to be controlled by inactive guilds. Now, in order to maintain and control a town, a guild must now have Guild Activity Points, which is earned through guild member participation through killing monsters and other activities. We hope this measure will encourage guilds to be more active and compete for town control, creating more fun for everyone.
Another guild change is the implementation of the "initiate" rank, and this is to deter guild hopping. When a player is newly recruited to a guild, their rank will automatically be set as an initiative for 12 hours from the time of joining the guild. There have been instances where players from the high tier guilds switching back and forth to take advantage of the timer on the guild dungeons. Because better loot can be found in guild dungeons, it needs to be monitored to maintain the balance of the in-game economy.
These are just some of the changes coming to Atlantica, as we continue to patch and make Atlantica a better game. We hope to see you all in-game! (Did we mention we're giving away a free car?)