In his cave among the northern mountains and forests of Osteth, Harlune was doing something that he had rarely done in all the years that humans had occupied Dereth. He was cleaning.
The Yalaini mage, ancient of days but still strong and energetic, bustled about his domicile with a broom and dustpan. A kettle heated up over a cookfire, and carefully prepared snacks had been laid out on a table in which Harlune, the self-titled Misanthrope, had entertained very few visitors during his long years in this isolated location.
His visitor arrived a few moments earlier than expected, trodding quietly into the larger cavern from the tunnels. When confronted with the sight of Dereth's most famously misanthropic wizard on his hands and knees in a dirty robe, scooping up dust in one of the far corners of his cave, Ben Ten could not stifle a surprisingly girlish-sounding giggle.
The noise startled Harlune, who leaped into the air and landed in a defensive position, left hand crackling with arcane energy and right hand wielding a short broom in a most threatening manner. The realization quickly came to Harlune that he was not the target of an attack, and that he was brandishing his broom like a staff of arcane power.
Ben Ten laughed again and held out her hands in a gesture of mock surrender. “I mean no harm! I am but a humble old woman, come to seek the wisdom of mighty Harlune!”
Harlune dropped the broom and kicked it behind him. With an embarrassed grunt, he muttered a quick spell, summoning enough a handful of fist-sized tornadoes to blow the remaining dust piles into the edges of the room.
“Don't mind the mess, m'lady,” Harlune muttered as Ben Ten stepped all the way into the room. “Caught me a few minutes early, is all. Forgot how much trouble it is to clean this cave.”
Ben Ten bowed. “I am honored that my visit occasions such effort, Master Harlune.”
Harlune waved his hand dismissively, as if ashamed to have been caught expending effort. “It was the least I could do, since you are such a gracious hostess when I come visit your cottage.” He looked around the room and hustled to the fire to take the kettle off the heat.
“Please, have a seat,” he said, motioning to a low table and stools that he had dragged out of storage for the occasion. He poured hot water from the kettle into a teapot and returned the kettle to its space by the fire. “I've made tea, and have prepared some snacks of my own. Not as nice as those sweet bean buns you make, but I think they're pretty tasty.” He poured tea from the pot into two elegant ceramic cups, which seemed new and a little out of place with the rest of the cave's décor.
Ben Ten moved to sit by the table. She ignored the stool that had been set out for her and sat cross-legged on the floor opposite Harlune, evidently taking great pleasure in being waited upon. “Very fine tea, Master Harlune,” she complimented him after sniffing the cup he set in front of her. Her attention then drifted to the food on a platter in the center of the table. “What delicacies have you prepared?”
Harlune pushed the plate forward. “Some of my favorites from local cuisine… These are minced Mite-meat and potato pies, and the sandwiches are made with jellied Ursuin livers and forest greens.”
Ben Ten, a disciplined warrior who had faced down untold numbers of the most horrific beasts Dereth had ever seen, blanched slightly. She gingerly took one of the meat pies and took a delicate bite. “Mmmm… Quite… well seasoned.” She chewed quickly and swallowed, then set the pie aside and took a big gulp of hot, near-boiling tea to conceal the expression on her mouth.
“Well, the tea and crumpets are on the table, so I suppose it's time to get to business,” Harlune said, oblivious to Ben Ten's reaction to the food.
“Yes, that would be most welcome.” Wasting no more time, Ben Ten drew a sheaf of papers from her pack and set them on the table. “We have numerous scout reports to review. Once we have decided upon a course of action for each matter, I will send out our dispatches.”
Harlune nodded knowingly as he took a big bite out of one of the Ursuin liver sandwiches. “What's the first order of business? I know you wanted to talk about those bandits holing up near Baishi, since that land is near and dear to your heart. Or should we discuss what the Apostates are up to? They've been too quiet lately…”
Ben Ten shook her head. “I am concerned about bandit activity, but I am not sure the matter will require our full attention. And yes, we should discuss the Apostates. There is some strange activity in the Mhoire graveyard as well. But perhaps the most interesting matter concerns an old friend of ours…”
As Ben Ten spoke, Harlune finished off a sandwich and picked up a meat pie next. He was chewing on a large bite of it when Ben Ten continued. “Lady Aerfalle has apparently finally found a way to access the ley line that runs beneath her keep on Aerlinthe.”
Harlune almost jumped again. “ ‘Struth!” he exclaimed, food spraying from his mouth.
Ben Ten discreetly picked a piece of chewed up Mite mincemeat out of her teacup and set the report down on the table between them. “Yes…” she said slowly, staring at her teacup. “It's a great shock to us all.”
The adventurers stepped over the corpses of a half-dozen Moarsmen, boasting and joking with each other at the carnage they had wrought. It was a mixed group of archers, mages, and warriors, and together they had made short work of every group they encountered on this island, leaving behind a festering pile of dead, stinking Moarsmen. They picked over the corpses for tiny shards, but curiously enough left most of the valuable, but heavy, loot behind.
Andaric the Unlucky had no such compunctions against collecting heavy pieces of treasure. As he had done a dozen times already on this excursion, he waited until the group had moved out of earshot, then crept out of the shadow of the large rock behind which he'd been hiding during the group's slaughter of the Moarsman camp. Andaric was well practiced at moving stealthily, but even a sneak of his skill could not completely quiet the clank and rustle of his multiple packs, stuffed with armor and weapons.
Keeping one eye out for trouble, Andaric rooted through the pile of treasure the adventurers had not seen fit to examine more closely. He sucked in his breath when he noticed the gleaming edge of a breastplate of Covenant armor beneath a great sticky glob of Moarsmuck. He cleaned away the goo and examined the breastplate closely, trying to keep his focus as he sensed the enchantments on the armor. When he saw what spells were bound to the breastplate, he almost fainted.
“I've never seen these enchantments together on a piece of Covenant,” he murmured to himself. “Been like that all day today. At last my luck is changing for the better!” Looking around again to make sure he was in no danger, he brushed more dirt from the breastplate and lifted into his least full pack. He scrounged around in the pile and found a few more noteworthy pieces, mostly jewelry and weapons. By the time he was done stuffing the desirable items in his packs, he could barely fasten the straps and one pack was so heavy he had to drag, not lift it.
Again he glanced up, trying to locate the adventurers he'd been trailing. They had moved a far distance down the beach, but one of the warriors bore a flaming sword that was visible from a long way away. That sword was presently moving very quickly, in chaotic patterns, periodically obscured by some other object. Probably the body of whatever unfortunate creature its wielder was hacking apart. Apparently they'd encountered another Moarsman camp, a couple of hundred yards away.
Andaric figured he might be able to drag himself and his packs to one more kill site to pick over the fresh pile of neglected loot, but at what risk? He'd found enough uniquely valuable pieces to ensure himself a long and decadent vacation and set himself up in a new career as an arms dealer. Sighing in satisfaction, Andaric decided not to press his luck. It was enough that he'd found more powerfully enchanted pieces of equipment on this one trip than he had in a week's worth of scrounging before. It was time to head back to the Marketplace and corner the market on Covenant armor and hiltable blades.
Smiling with satisfaction, his mind already awhirl with dreams of setting himself up as a merchant in Ayan Baqur or buying a stake in one of the black market operations at Freebooter Keep or Northwatch Castle, Andaric began the spell to portal himself back to the Marketplace. His vision blurred as purple light engulfed him. He could still see enough, however, to see the cluster of Moarsmen charging at him as he knelt amid the piled-up corpses of their dead kin.
The Moarsmen closed in on him rapidly, and even as he felt himself being yanked away by magic, he felt their flame breath washing over him, sending him charred and screaming through the warp and weft of portalspace.
He came to his senses, screaming in agony, in the middle of the Marketplace. He smiled and sighed in relief. He'd made it. He reached out and patted the multiple bulging, heavy sacks of uniquely powerful armor and weapons and jewelry that he'd accumulated. He was going to make a fortune…
He steadily became more aware of the voices around him. Vendors called out their wares in the Marketplace. Bits and pieces of shouted sales pitches drifted into his consciousness.
“You've never seen Covenant like this!”
“First pickings of the rich new armor pieces!”
“Got to see these jewels to believe them!”
“Come see these fabulous hiltable blades!”
Someone passing by recognized him and stopped to talk. “Andaric!” his friend Mushadi called out. “What happened to you?” His Gharu'ndim friend Mushadi, a travelling merchant and occasional buyer of his looted wares, stopped to help him up.
“Just… got back… from Moarsman Isle,” Andaric whispered, still in the grip of maddening pain from his burns.
“Ah, yes. You must have noticed the incredible spells that have been turning up on treasure now, eh? A dozen people have tried to peddle me some very powerfully enchanted Covenant armor already. It's getting hard to pick through the glut of what I'm being offered!”
Mushadi laughed heartily, but Andaric could only cry, and not from the pain caused by his wounds.
Hello there and welcome to the June 2009 edition of the Release Notes. This month brings the much anticipated changes to the highest tier of loot. Also, one of the all time favorite quest in Asheron's Call has received a bit of a facelift. Make sure you check it out. Lest see what else in new and exciting in Asheron's Call this month!
The higher tier of loot now drops from creatures on Moarsman Isle, Freebooter Isle, Graveyard and Dark Isle.
Hiltable Daggers and Swords now drop from creatures on Moarsman Isle, Freebooter Isle, Graveyard and Dark Isle.
[Cantrip] Banes will show up less often on armors in the highest tier of loot.
Staff damage Variance in the new loot has been corrected.
Rank requirements should no longer show up in Mana Forge Chests or on the Creatures dropping the high tier of loot.
Olthoi Shields should now mutate correctly.
Several Spell stacking issues have been resolved.
The Nexus Crawler's Mask can have Ivory applied to it.
The PvP Arena statue will now reward players for holding the dungeon.
The Aerlinthe quest has been updated to include a 150+ version As well as a set of revamped rewards.
Silk is now a free tinker with no chance to fail.
A mysterious woman has appeared at the Graveyard and is asking for help.
The Crystalline Crag has expanded once again. Something interesting is definitely going on there.
Keep an eye out after the event goes live, Baishi seems to have been having some trouble with Bandits lately.
The Save the Deru Quest has been updated to allow players to reset the quest if they lose the fetish.
The Monthly Kill task has been updated.
The Monthly explorer task has been updated.
So there are just some of the things we have in store for Asheron's Call in June. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are several new quests and exciting things going into the game for the June Event.
Q: Devs said to tink it first to not waste the hilt if it blows up. Doesn't look like it's working to me.
A: It appears that due to how the old hilting system functioned you are currently not able to apply a hilt to an item that has been tinkered. This does cause difficulties with imbuing items (due to the timer on obtaining hilts) and tinkering them. For now you will have to hilt then tinker. I'm going to work on removing the requirement on hilting that an item not be tinkered.
Q: It blows my mind that you could have released without this in place, because you're going to need some sort of flag that says allow a hilt on a tinkered 420 wield but jesus h christ NO don't allow a 1.75-7 dagger to be tinkered then hilted!
This isn't a bug. This is a complete lack of necessary tech. This is gross negligence, and you could have and should have delayed release of these daggers and swords until a later patch if you have no system in place to differentiate them.
A: I'm very uncertain as to where you received information that caused you to believe this to be the case, it isn't. As stated it's an issue with how the hilts functioned. The word "system" doesn't mean code or tech, system generally means a series of design elements.
In order to allow us to tinker hiltable weapons we actually had to make all new weapons and add them to the loot profile, so new daggers/swords had to be released with loot upgrades.
You can certainly hilt then tinker a weapon for now and in the next update you should be able to tinker/hilt in any order.
Q: I put in another hour last night and I didn't loot a single thing besides arms. I think they snuck in a hotfix!
A: You'd know if there was a hot fix. We need down time to make changes.
So far the new loot tier seems to be working as intended. Generally you can tell when something close to being on the money or on the money when some people are saying it's not good enough and others are saying it's too good