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May 2001 - Patch Page


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The Changing of the Ways

May 10, 2001

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Ardry sat by the campfire, nursing a cup of hot cocoa. Though trying to rest, he kept his back to the fire and his eyes watchful of the surrounding darkness. Closer by the fire sat his uncle, Aliester the Loquacious, binding arrowheads into neat bundles.

"There," Aliester announced, "done with the last of the wrapping. Mark my words, Ardry, you'll be glad of this once we've journeyed into the Direlands, miles away from the nearest portal and any source of ammunition. Now for my alchemical supplies. . ."

"Hush, uncle, I think there's something out there. . ." Ardry, suddenly alert, took up his axe.

Heedless, the old scholar continued to prattle on. "I must say, I've done an admirable job of fletching. Maybe I ought to submit an application to Eluard, eh? Who says a scholar cannot be skilled in the arts of battlefield support?"

"I'd rather not have to deal with Eluard, uncle. He's a pompous windbag, at best. Where does he get off, with this pretentious guild of his?"

"Ardry, I think that Eluard's work-- Great good heavens!" Aliester yelped and dropped his bundle as he was engulfed in an Ash Gromnie's blast of lightning. Ardry leaped to his feet, axe ready, and quickly killed the beast. That done, he went to check on his uncle, who looked singed and dazed, but otherwise still alive.

"Uncle! Are you all right?"

The old sage blinked, then looked up.

"Unbelievable, uncle. How did you survive that blast?" Ardry leaned in for a closer look. Aliester's legs crackled with dissipated electricity. "Are those my chainmail leggings you're wearing?"

With visible effort, Aliester gathered his wits. "Why, yes, they are. . . fit nicely, you see, quite comfortable. . ."

Ardry simply shook his head and muttered, "What luck you have, uncle."

Unlike any other gaming experience, the world of Asheron's Call continues to evolve. Last month, not only did the new gambling halls open but so did Linvak Tukal, the impressive Lugian citadel and seat of the giants' power in Dereth. One can only wonder what additions -- and what dangers -- will be added when we soon open our May event, "The Changing of the Ways."

Be sure to continue your part in this incredible ongoing story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Rollout Article

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The Changing of the Ways

May 16, 2001

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Subject to the mercurial genius of craftsmen, mages and wanderlust heroes, few things persist in the lands of Dereth. While April witnessed the opening of Linvak Tukal and continued Virindi machinations, this month sees changes to the structure of the very world itself.

Those who consider the matter do not name their sword or shield as their most vital possession. Rather, they point to their pack, without which no treasure may be ported, nor reagents or potions carried at the ready. For Dereth's travelers, this month's improved efficiency of pack space comes as welcome news. Items may be stacked in greater quantities, and the Empyrean mana-alloy coins known as pyreals have begun to exhibit another miraculous trait -- they are now completely weightless!

Yet in this world there are those who wander wide and those who remain to craft. Since recent events transpired, trade artists have toiled through the nights perfecting the fruits of their skill -- readying all of Dereth, perhaps, for future encounters with unfriendly forces. Smiths have forged lighter suits of plate, with better protection against the hostile elements. Mages have augmented the effects of many spells; certain magical enhancements now last longer, while burdensome counters evaporate more quickly. More efficient methods of creation and bundling have even been developed by fletchers and alchemists.

In all, adventurers can now fill their packs with more and greater items, whether created by master craftsmen or purchased in the new trading post en route to the Direlands.

Of course, many who travel the fey byways of Dereth are far more than mere "adventurers." There are those who wield the axe, the sword, even the mystic arts of spellcraft with the precision of a master. The opportunity is now at hand for them to claim long-deserved titles -- if only they can conclude their chosen path. Should such travelers happen to fall along the way, however, at least they'll be able to locate their corpse with far greater precision. . .

Following is a list of the most interesting additions made to the game this update. However, please note that not all changes have been included -- that would spoil the fun of finding out everything that's been added or changed! As usual, though, the town criers, barkeeps, and scribes may know the latest news. Also, the trades of crafting and selling are always in flux, so changes to prices and abilities of items are not always listed here in their entirety.

Highlights include:

  • Players are now given the coordinates of their characters' corpses when they die, making retrieval a far less frustrating task.
  • New quests and adventures have been added, including the opportunity to choose a title more unique than "Adventurer."
  • A new trading post has opened in the Direlands, offering an alternative to crowded Ayan Baqur.
  • Pyreals became weightless! It seems that while Aluvian smiths cannot change the laws o' physics, greed can. Dereth is full of wonders.
  • Metal armors have improved weight, cost, and elemental protection.
  • Stack sizes have been increased to at least 100. For arrows and quarrels, stack sizes are now 250.
  • Rebalancing continues. Undead, Mu-miyah, Sclavus, and low-level Shadows have had their casting abilities reduced to more sensible levels. Stat buff spells last longer, and skill and stat debuff spells burn off more quickly.
  • Fletching and alchemy now have the equivalent of reagent peas!

In order to learn the full scope of May's event, "The Changing of the Ways," be sure to read the Developer's Notes, May and the State of the Code. In addition, players could win a free year of Asheron's Call just by filling out the Official Asheron's Call Survey. Eligible participants must have an active AC account as of May 11, 2001. Other restrictions may apply, so please consult the official rules. Continue your part in this incredible ongoing story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

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Release Notes

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Developer's Notes

May 16, 2001

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Here are just some of the additions made in the May 16 game update, "The Changing of the Ways." The following list is comprised of detailed notes straight from the developers themselves. For a summary of things of most interest, be sure to consult the official event article, The Changing of the Ways.

Detailed Notes for Builds 2521 -- 2526:

New Functionality

  • Players are now given the coordinates of their characters' corpses when they die outside.
  • New command: "@log <filename>". @log'ing will log all text from the chat box to the given file name. Try @help log for more information.
  • Players can undertake a quest to change their characters' template names. You can stop being called "Adventurer."

Miscellaneous Improvements

  • Stat buffs now last as long as skill buffs of the same level.
  • All debuff spells have had their durations halved.
  • Fletching and alchemy "peas!"
  • Most bowyers will now sell at least basic arrows, blunt arrows and broadhead arrows, as well as the wrapped ("pea") component equivalents. Most non-starter towns now sell arrows, blunt arrows, frog crotch arrows, armor piercing arrows, as well as the wrapped component equivalents.
  • Danby's Outpost has opened along the northern coast of the Inland Sea.
  • Creatures who cast spells now have particle and sound power-ups.
  • Pyreals are now weightless!
  • Stack sizes have been increased to at least 100. For arrows and quarrels, stack sizes are now 250.
  • Removed the spell economy modifier from Transfer, Fester, and Protection spells so they wouldn't be negative. Instead of having a negative "bonus," none will exist at all.
  • Metal armors now weigh 1/3rd less, have 1/3rd less value, and have had their elemental protections increased.
  • Crystal shield spells no longer interfere with the Healing Mastery spells. They were using the same spell categories, which caused Heal Mastery 6 to fail if the shield was equipped and Warrior's Vitality was cast on you.
  • Arcane Restoration is no longer surpassed by Mana Renewal Self 6. Same root cause as the issue above.
  • New scrolls have been added to the treasure system.
  • The Aerlinthe Repair Golem was always supposed to wait until three hours after the death of RelicBonesPortal to re-spawn. He never did. This was not a problem until the new ninety-minute Keep generators were added -- people were able to get in again before the previous spawn cycle had shut down. Result: players saw the spawn shut off after ten minutes in the Keep. The Golem is now spawned after the spec'd three hour interval.
  • Torches will now be housecleaned in a matter of seconds when dropped on the ground. No more lag-inducing torch spam.
  • There is now a chance for a Tiny Shard at the casinos in exchange for all pack toys.
  • Undead, Mu-miyah, and Sclavus have been tweaked to make them more inline with their levels.

Minor Details

  • Item Enchantment skill icon is now a hammer.
  • Spear skill icon for chargen is now included.
  • All bowyers now stock fletching supplies.
  • Aqua Incanta now has a new icon that's aqua blue, rather than white, to avoid confusion with Neutral Balms.
  • Victual Oil and Victual Infusions were changed from green to brown (in the icons) and orange (in the setups) to avoid confusion with acids, which are green.
  • Pack toys no longer decay when left on the ground. Mr. Tusker won't run away looking for nanners anymore.
  • Added the word "add" to the help text for @permit. The help text now correctly says: "@permit add <playername>".
  • Screenshots are now numbered in a sort-friendly fashion: i.e., ACscrn0001.bmp instead of ACscrn1.bmp.
  • Ambient sound upgrade is now complete. Large and small rivers have been refurbished.