Welcome to the December edition of the Asheron's Call Letter to the Players. The AC Live team hopes that you are enjoying the winter season, both in-game and out. We are changing the date when we release the Letter to the Players. While the Dev Notes and Teasers pertain to content in the monthly release, we want to use the Letter of the Players to tell you about issues relating to the game as a whole. It'll be our way of providing more regular communication, instead of sending out a whole lot of info just once a month. We've got quite a bit to discuss this month, so let's get started.
Many of our astute players will notice a change with this month's update—you won't be downloading a new client. Normally with an update, you first download an updated client via the Zone, and then use the client to download the updated data files (such as the portal.dat). However, because of holiday scheduling difficulties, we decided to skip the client download this month. Don't worry—this doesn't impact the new content for the month in any way, and your old client will still download the updated data files as usual. Client downloads will resume in January.
Over the past two months, the worlds of Asheron's Call have experienced intermittent server issues. These issues affect players in a variety of ways, but often result in failures to teleport or extreme lag followed by a disconnect. Often, when the player attempts to log back in, she receives the message that her character is still in the world. She may be able to log in other characters, but cannot log in the one that is "stuck" until the incident is resolved.
The AC Live team takes this issue quite seriously, and we have been working around the clock to try and solve this problem. We have introduced several server optimizations that have succeeded in reducing the severity, if not the frequency, of these incidents, and we continue to do everything in our power to ensure a speedy—and permanent—resolution.
We appreciate your patience with us while we work on this. We also understand that it's frustrating to not be able to log into the game with your favorite character. This is a frustrating issue for us as well. When you begin to experience problems, we encourage you to use Urgent Assistance to let the Admins know, but please understand that there are likely many other players who are also experiencing the same problems, so you may not receive a personal answer. Be assured, however, that the Admins are working to get you and the other players fixed up and able to play again as quickly as possible, and to get us as much information as possible to help us fix this issue.
It came to our attention last month that some players were using the mechanics of mansions in order to maintain a mansion even when they were not the monarch of an allegiance. This is not intended behavior—buying a mansion is quite specifically limited to monarchs—and because mansions are a fairly limited resource, we want to make sure mansions are not being held by non-monarchs. So this month we are introducing a small change to the process of swearing allegiance: If you own a mansion, you will be unable to swear allegiance to another character until you abandon your mansion.
December has several bits of news involving multi-strike weapons.
First, we discovered a bug last month that allowed players to imbue bandit-hilted weapons with the magic item tinkering effects Critical Strike, Crippling Blow, and Armor Rending. This wasn't intended behavior, and we have fixed this problem with the December update. In December, it is once again true that hilted weapons can't be tinkered or imbued, and that imbued or tinkered weapons can't be hilted. Any hilted weapons that have been imbued as a result of the bug will revert to an unimbued status with the December update. For example, if you have a Critical Strike Bandit Yaoji in November, then after the December update you will have a plain Bandit Yaoji.
The second bit of news in December for multi-strike weapons involves the skill levels you need to multi-strike. In order to bring multi-strike weapons more in line with the wield requirement system, the requirements for double- and triple-strike are changing slightly, as outlined in the following table.
Table 1: Changes to Multi-strike Requirements
|Number of Strikes
And finally, the quest timer for obtaining a bandit weapon has been reduced. After the December update, you will be able to obtain a bandit hilt once per month, instead of once every four months.
The December update contains the addition of a new type of dagger: the dirk. Dirks have a higher base damage than previous types of daggers, and the highest levels of damage come paired with wield requirements. The variance of dirks found in treasure may also vary. Dirks can be tinkered and imbued as normal, but they cannot be bandit hilted.
In last month's Letter to the Players, we mentioned that we would soon be evaluating the treasure tables in order to reduce the amount of, well, useless junk is all we can call it, that is created by the system. The December update includes the first of these changes. The only item that was completely removed from the treasure tables was parchment (yes, you scribes are going to have to buy your parchment from shops now), but we did shape up the treasure tables in several other ways:
- Parchment no longer drops as loot.
- Creatures no longer drop their pitiful unmutated weapons.
- Missile weapon ammunition (i.e., arrows, crossbow bolts, and atlatl darts) no longer drops as loot.
- Foods now only drop at low treasure levels. At higher levels, food has been replaced with potions. This does not affect special food drops, like fire auroch meat or spices.
- More types of scarabs (e.g., lead, iron, copper) drop at lower levels of loot. At higher levels of loot, scarabs have been replaced with scarab peas.
- Weapon damage, variance, offense and defense modifiers, and speed now mutate more often. In addition, weapon burden can now mutate as well.
- The armor level and burden on armor mutates more often. In addition, the elemental protection of shields can mutate.
- Jewelry now has a chance to be generated with heritage requirements.
Many players have written to tell us that they really enjoyed the update to the Lethe quest, and to ask if we have any other quest updates in mind for the future. As it happens, we do, and you'll see the first of them in the December update. (Here's a hint: if you have low level characters near Holtburg, you may want to be careful where you log them out before the update.)
Asheron's Call Team
We also get many questions about additional tinkering effects, including more items that can be used with ivory. Although the December update does not include these things, rest assured that we have plans for the future for more tinkering effects, more imbued effects, and more ivory targets.
You'll notice that this Letter does not include details about the upcoming tweaks to Life Magic. We haven't given up on Life Magic! But we feel that this is one area in which being conservative, and play-testing our changes extensively, is especially important. So we are taking our time and making sure that we understand the implications of our changes for all types of characters. And that means that these tweaks are not yet ready for the live worlds. We will give you more information on the planned changes as it becomes available.
Of course, that's not all that we have in store for you in the future, but for the any updates on content, you'll just have to wait and see… As always, enjoy the game, and thank you for playing Asheron's Call.