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September 2010 - Patch Page

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Plans Within Plans

"I can't believe we're doing this..."

"What are you afraid of? You're attuned to a Lifestone, aren't ya?" Answered the old grizzled soldier as he looked over his companion in the dimly lit cavern. He wasn't terribly impressed by what he saw. Young, covered head to toe in polished, expensive armor, bristling with weapons, and seeming weak all the same. The soldier figured he must be a Marketplace Rat, who gained most of his life experience recruiting new arrivals and learning vicariously off of the tales of their adventures. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to bring him into the heart of the Iron Blade's newly walled excavation site...

"Well, um... Yeah, I am." said the younger adventurer after a long pause.

"Then we'll be fine. At worst, you'll get your pretty armor scuffed, learn a lesson in pain-management, and maybe have to come back and collect some items and coin from what you leave behind when the Lifestone grabs ya." The soldier casually tossed in the details just in case the younger man had never died in Dereth before. Seemed to him it was more polite to offer information casually and not insult him by asking if he'd ever even lifted one of his pretty weapons in a real fight.

"I don't *like* dying if I can help it." spat back in an angry tone. The soldier figured the youngin' chose to be insulted anyways. 'Ah well, can't win them all', he mused to himself.

"Well, the Emissary said this was important, and Asheron doesn't send out an Emissary lightly. We'll just look for the disturbances Asheron wanted investigated, and be done with it."

"This Asheron may think it's important, but important to who?" The younger man's voice was getting louder as he spoke. A moment later, their conversation was cut off by the sound of gears and clanking metal.

"Well, so much for subtlety." said the soldier, hefting his axe. "Time for things to get interesting."

As the Iron Blade Gear Knight rounded the corner of the cavern, the world erupted into violence. The soldier had to admit to himself, though we whined a lot, the youngin knew how to swing a sword. Maybe this wouldn't go as bad as it could've.

The pair felled the Gear Knight, as well as the handful of others that had joined in. The sounds of combat echoing along the cavern walls had brought the Gear Knights' allies into the fray before the first Gear Knight fell. As the youngest of the pair began looking them over for any useful bits of loot, the old soldier said, "That was strange. I've fought a good many of these Gear Knights before, but I've never seen them act like this crew..."

The next thing they knew, several small holes into Portalspace appeared around them. One of the holes stretched, revealing itself to be a Virindi Rift, but with a strange blue mask where the usual reflective, oily white mask rested. The rest of the holes seemed to pour out large Virindi, with the same eerie blue masks. The pair of adventurer's froze for a moment as a pressure built up in their minds and a tinny voice echoed, "You have invaded our home. Prepare to die.

Rollout Article

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September 2010 Release Fiction

As I wandered through the valley along the road the lead out of Samsur, I took enjoyment from the quiet that surrounded me. Being far enough from town that I was approaching the spot where the road disappeared into the desert and only markers led the way, there weren't any other creatures in my view.

The wind whipped along the road with me, funneled in by the mountains on each side. As one strong gust blew past my ears I thought I heard a whisper. I stopped on the road and peered off in every direction but no one was to be seen. Perhaps the wind had carried a sound from far away, or maybe it was just the wind itself.

Continuing along the road I stretched my hands out to the sides, feeling the warm sun that was baking the rocks beneath my feet. The cloudless sky was allowing for the rocks to get hot enough that waves of heat were visibly rising from their surface. It was at this point that I heard the whisper again.

Louder this time and without any wind to blame, I wondered if the heat was getting to me. I took a drink of my water and hesitated for a moment to see if the sound would return. Just as I was ready to continue on my way the whisper returned. A mixture of confusion and fear washed over me as I decided I must follow that whisper.

The whispers got louder as I approached the mountain side. It felt almost as if they were inside my own head. They lead me to a spot where the rock of the mountain separated and that was when I saw it. The hole in the mountain was filled with a black substance void of any light or reflections. I slowly approached the pool and peered down into the surface. Its darkness seemed to travel on for miles and the surface was oddly still.

I do not know what drove me to do it, but I knelt down and slowly dipped my hand into the liquid. I was surprised to find that instead of being hot like I expected, the substance was oddly cool for being in the middle of the desert. I didn't have long to think on the matter for shortly after I touched the surface the voice entered my head.

Echoing through-out my mind was a voice which was deep and calm. It said many things but my shock made most of them difficult to remember. There is one thing I do remember. So clearly in fact it feels almost as if it is still that voice in my head. That one thought is this: Geraine has returned, and he is the one to blame. Saelar was visibly surprised by this news and stayed quiet for a moment before responding. “You were right to bring this news to me first human. I will not let His Eternal Splendor be disrespected in this manner. Let Hahnain and Renselm know I must see them immediately. We must destroy this pool, whatever it may be, before these lies are spread too far.”

I nodded and left Saelar to his thoughts. My own thoughts now doubted my decision to inform the Archons of this discovery for this dark pool seemed more powerful and too mysterious to be messed with. I was left to question if I had just caused a chain of events that would change this world forever.

Release Notes

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September Release Notes

Greetings and welcome to the Release Notes for the September 2010 Event, Plans Within Plans! This month brings another new race to the free peoples of Dereth, the Undead. How will the people welcome these new friends into the world? Let's see what else is new and exciting this month in Asheron's Call!

Undead are now a playable race!
The Undead have joined the playable races in Dereth! These Undead are refugees from an ancient curse laid upon House Mhoire by the Dericost. Using alchemical potions and rituals, they have freed themselves from the curse, and also from the rigid castes and controls of the Dericost undead.

Recently groups of UNDEAD have chosen to join the alliance with the peoples of Dereth. These Undead are refugees from an ancient curse laid upon House Mhoire by the Dericost. Using alchemical potions and rituals, they have freed themselves from the curse, and also from the rigid castes and controls of the Dericost undead. With this newfound freedom, many Undead have begun to adopt the cultures and practices of the living races on Dereth, hoping to find a home where they can live as equals.

Alternate Racial Skills
Each starter town has a new NPC near where the player spawns in named “Changer of Innate Abilities”.

This NPC will change a character's racial skills with the following restrictions:

  • Each character gets 1 free change.
  • A character can only swap their racial skills once per month.
  • After the first free change it costs 50 MMDs to change.
  • Characters level 10 and below can swap their racials as many times as they want with no charge or penalty.

The following are the racial skill swaps:

  • Aluvian - Assess Creature specialized
  • Sho – Deception specialized
  • Gharu'ndim – Thrown Weapon trained
  • Viamontian – Mace trained
  • Shadows – Unarmed trained
  • Gear Knights – Loyalty specialized and Armor Tinkering trained
  • Undead – Arcane Lore specialized

Know Issue: A couple of the racial swaps that remove a specialized racial skill will result in the player not having the proper number of available skill credits until the character relogs.

Updated Content and Functionality

The monthly killtasks and Quests have been updated.

The Radiant Blood and Eldrytch Web shields are now named properly

Two handed weapons should now properly hit the correct target areas

Make sure you speak to the Emissary of Asheron in the high level Gear Knight area.

Gear knights should now be able to get into Ithaenic Quiddity Seed dungeon.

So there are just some of the things coming to Asheron's Call in September. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are several new quests and exciting things going into the game for the September Event.


Developer Comments

Colosseum and Creature XP changes

09-01-2010 - Link
Colosseum Changes

We have been discussing making a change to the Colosseum Boss Trophy mechanic for some time now. The original intent of these bosses did not include having them farmed so that their trophies could be ivoried and others could then use them to power level. In fact, the XP gems were put on the vendor in Colosseum for the sole purpose of having a way of passing XP to other players.

Since we were improving the experience gained in the lower character levels, we wanted to hold off on making this change until we had finished enough of these changes. With the addition of the Facility Hub, improvements to quest XP, and an upcoming adjustment to creature XP, we feel a good time for this change will be November.

Starting in the November patch the XP gained from Colosseum Bosses will be received upon handing in the token they drop, not from the item you receive upon handing in the token. At that time the NPC will also no longer take any of the pre-existing items people have collected (All pre-existing tokens can still be handed in for XP). So turn in all of the ones you wish to use before that patch.

We realize this will be seen as a nerf by some of our players but it is actually adjusting the system so that Colosseum is used in the intended way. With how quickly players can level now as compared with when the Colosseum was first introduced, the abuse of this system is no longer necessary by players who wish to get up to high levels quickly.

To go along with this change more versions of the XP gems have been added to the vendor. New gems are 50mil at 20 coins, 20mil at 10 coins, 9mil at 5 coins, 3mil at 2 coins and 1mil at 1 coin.

Creature XP changes

Another change that will also be in effect in November is that creature experience and levels have been adjusted to be more in line with the high xp areas of the game. When ToD was introduced it brought with it several areas where the XP was significantly higher then the existing XP in the game. With November's patch, all of the other creatures in the game will be brought up to these levels. This means that someone who likes to hunt the Fiuns dungeon will not notice much of a difference in their XP earning, but a player who is hunting on the landscape or questing will notice a significant increase in their XP per kill. This should allow people to enjoy a much larger variety of content without having to worry that they are doing so while taking a penalty in earning experience.

Quest Updates

One last change I'd like to mention is that some of the older quests that are no longer used due to how quickly people level past them will be getting readjusted for higher level players so that they have a reason to be used again. At this time we do not know how many of these quests will be adjusted for the November patch. I can say that the first one on the list (which has already been mostly updated at this point) is the Mage Academy quest. Many of you may know it as Lady Jaera's Tomb Quest. It will be a 150+ quest and have some pretty tough monsters in it. The tomb will now create top tier loot as well as a trophy to be turned in for a good chunk of XP.

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Colosseum and XP changes