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Stray Bullet Games
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 03/25/03)  | Pub:UBISoft
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Retail | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:Free
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Rise of the Upstart Gods

Posted by Reed Hubbard on Mar 20, 2004  | Comments

Rise of the Upstart Gods -

Shadowbane 2.0 went live on March 17 and introduced a large number of changes to the game.  Apparently, the gods are back:

Long have the peoples of Aerynth have looked to the Gods for guidance, but their prayers have gone unheeded. At last some of the Lost Gods stir again, and new demi-gods offer their favor to the scattered nations of the Age of Strife. Which would-be God will they follow? New altars arise in the cities, and quests have begun for the precious treasures the Gods demand as offerings. The Elves move to rebuild their shattered empire, but even as they raise glorious new cities, ancient pacts with Chaos exact a terrible price. The peoples of Aerynth look to Gods new and old â?? how will the rise of the Upstart Gods reshape the shattered fragments of Aerynth?

Some of the additions look very interesting.  Among them are the following:

  • [A] new Elven Zone named Aeran Belendor on all mapsets. Not only does this zone contain an epic encounter in the form of Vranaxxas, it also has several camps with monsters as powerful as those on Maelstrom.
  • Archmage, a new Elf-Only and Mage-Only Discipline. Archmage grants three powers: a massive power potency buff for emergencies; a fine damage and recovery debuff well-suited to disabling melee opponents; and a personal powerblock immunity.
  • Thrall, a new Minotaur-Only Discipline. Thralls have access to several new weapon powers, including a short-range snare. Their Elven friends will also appreciate an Elf- and Minotaur-only health transfer and a stun break, perfect for the Elven groupmates who don't share their slave's immunity to the effect.
  • Siege Spires which are powerful buildings that a guildmaster can place in his city, which cast enchantments that effect the entire city zone.
  • Trees and foliage should sway in the wind and many tree branches will no longer cause collision issues.

The last one may not sound like a major change, but underneath it are some changes to the way the programming team is sharing the system load.  In a post dated March 20, Vosx stated the following:

The new â??Waving Treesâ?? functionality that we added in patch 2.0 has generated a lot of questions and feedback from our players. To avoid any further confusion, we wanted to explain our reasons for implementing these change.

One of the performance problems we found with Shadowbane was that our client was solely CPU bound. To improve overall game performance, we are slowly moving some graphical features and processes to utilize the userâ??s video card / GPU instead of the CPU. These moves will improve Shadowbaneâ??s overall performance and experience quality, especially for users with higher-end video cards.

The Shadowbane team is still working on these changes, so more and more graphical features and processes will begin taking advantage of the GPU instead of the CPU exclusively. In the end this will drastically improve game client performance.

You may see the full patch 2.0 notes at this link.  For more information on Shadowbane, visit the official website.