By researching the ancient writings of Empyrean magic, the Archmages of the Arcanum have unlocked the secrets of a new kind of magic that the Empyreans called Aetheria. In ancient times, powerful Empyrean mages learned to infuse Aetheria in Dereth with pure mana to empower it. By infusing this Aetheria with pure mana stored in enchanted gemstones, they could coerce Aetheria to crystallize into patterns that the ancient mages called sigils. These sigils could be manipulated to increase personal power. The Empyreans found that it was the nature of Aetheria to grow in power as it was used. The more you used these Aetheria sigils, the more powerful they became.
Long ago the ability to recognize and manipulate Aetheria was lost. Although this magical energy wells freely from the menhir mana fields into Dereth, these potent magical energies have in recent times remained undetected as they flowed throughout the lands. That is about to change.
With the help of explorers, adventurers and mercenaries the Arcanum has drawn this Aetheric magic from the Menhir mana fields into specially prepared mana stones enchanted to hold Aetheric power. The Arcanum have traveled from the corners of Dereth to perform a complicated ritual. Calling forth ancient magics, the circle of mages were surrounded by hundreds of glowing gemstones infused with the Aetheric power of the menhir mana fields. The mages have enacted a ritual to reveal the Aetheria that flows out of the mana fields and rains down upon Dereth.
Once hidden from untrained eyes, the power of the Arcanum has caused this Aetheric magic to be revealed. The Aetheria appears as three distinct colors, as it once appeared to the mystic sight of ancient Empyreans. Now that the Aetheria that flows from the mana fields has color and has coalesced into form, it can be found on all manner of creatures that inhabit Dereth. More importantly, the Arcanum has agreed to teach those it deems worthy to empower this Coalesced Aetheria so it once again forms into the ancient sigils of power and can be wielded by those who have learned its secrets.
How It Works:
All over Dereth, bits of Coalesced Aetheria have been revealed. All manner of creatures have a chance to drop this Coalesced Aetheria if you defeat them. Characters who prove themselves to the Arcanum can learn the secrets of this Aetheria and themselves empower an Aetheric Mana Stone. By bathing Coalesced Aetheria in the pure mana of their own Aetheric Mana Stone, characters can cause the Aetheria to manifest sigils of power. Characters can wield those sigils to increase their own power levels. Characters can also empower an Aetheria Desiccant which can destroy any Aetheria they do not wish to keep and extract from those destroyed remains pure Aetheria Powder. The Arcanum can use this powder to further their research. The Arcanum is already preparing mages to accept this Aetheria Powder in trade for other rewards.
By completing quest lines for the Arcanum, characters will empower an Aetheric Mana Stone with which to bath any Coalesced Aetheria they might find. Players will also learn to wield Aetheria. Blue Aetheria can be used at level 75, Yellow Aetheria can be used at level 150, and Red Aetheria requires the character to be level 225 before they can wield it. As the players complete the quests new item slots that hold colored Aetheria sigils will appear for them.
Players will learn to manipulate and equip Aetheric sigils by doing these quests. Creating and using Aetheria requires no skill points or special skills; the power to wield Aetheria will be granted to the character upon completion of certain quests.
Rather than requiring the character to spend experience to use these items, the items themselves gain levels as you adventure. As long as you have Aetheria equipped in your Aetheria sigil slots these items will gain experience and advance in levels. When you first bath Coalesced Aetheria with your Aetheric Mana Stone, a sigil will appear and that Aetheria will start at level 0. As you fight creatures and turn in quests all experience you earn is also earned by all Aetheria you wield. The experience earned by your Aetheria does not diminish your own experience; instead each Aetheria equipped gains your experience while you wield it.
Each piece of Aetheria has a maximum level associated with it. Most Aetheria found on creatures is only pure and powerful enough to reach level 1 or 2. Some Aetheria can reach level 3, but this is rare. There are rumors of Aetheria that is so pure or powerful that it can surpass even the rare level 3 Aetheria, but those rumors are unsubstantiated.
The experience gained by Aetheria is not affected by any experience boosts or bonuses that might affect your adventuring career. Trinkets that boost XP do not boost Aetheria, nor do pass up or fellowship bonuses. Not even bonus experience events affect Aetheria. Only experience from completing quests and quest turn ins and killing creatures will affect the Aetheria you have equipped.
Many powerful creatures all over Dereth will have a chance to drop pure Coalesced Aetheria. When you view Coalesced Aetheria you will be able to tell its color and its maximum level. When you bath this Coalesced Aetheria with your Aetheric Mana Stone a sigil of power will appear upon it to reflect the true power of the Aetheria. Each sigil has a different power which it granted to those who wield it, provided the Aetheria has gained enough experience to increase in levels.
Sigil of Destruction: Your damage rating is increased.
Sigil of Defense: Your damage reduction rating is increased.
Sigil of Vigor: Your mana, stamina, and to a lesser degree your health are all increased.
Sigil of Fury: Your critical damage rating is increased. (to a greater degree than damage rating)
Sigil of Growth: Your healing rating is increased, which increases the effect of healing upon you.
The Sigil of Growth increases the effect of healing upon you, both from your own effects and also magics used upon you by others. Healing effects from spells, potions, food, and kits are all increased.
As your Aetheria gain levels the power of these Aetheric sigils will also grow. Be warned, however, that if you try to stack too much power from your Blue, Yellow, and Red Aetheria into a single type of sigil you will have diminishing returns as you reach the highest total. You will have to decide if you wish to stack the power of the same sigil in all three slots even with a slightly reduced return or whether you will diversify to make sure you gain a maximum benefit from your Aetheria.
In addition, by having Aetheria equipped as you fight, you have a chance to evoke an Aetheric surge which will grant you power for a short time. Each Aetheria, in addition its sigil, gains a different type of Aetheric surge. Every time you attack a creature with melee or missile weapon or cast a deadly spell at an opponent there is a chance for this surge to flood you with power for a short time. The chance for this surge to activate is determined by the level of the Aetheria. Although you can have more than one surge active, surges of the same type do not stack. If you activate a surge while another of the same type is active the duration may be prolonged but the effect will not be increased.
Surge of Destruction: Your Damage Rating is increased by 20 for 10 seconds.
Surge of Protection: Your Damage Reduction Rating is increased by 20 for 10 seconds.
Surge of Regeneration: You begin to regenerate at an increased rate. For the next 50 seconds you will gain 16 health every 5 seconds.
Surge of Affliction: Your opponent will begin to wither. For the next 50 seconds, they will take 16 points of damage every 5 seconds.
Surge of Festering: Your opponent is cursed so all healing effects are reduced by a Healing Reduction Rating of 20. For the next 20 seconds any healing effect from spell, potion, food, or kit is reduced.
***Disclaimer: Screenshots may not reflect the final product at release.***
For a while now many players have posted concerns about multi-slot pieces of armor and clothing and the ways they are unfriendly to the play experience. In particular is the desire to have the visual impact of certain multi-slot pieces without totally sacrificing stats.
We are working on solutions to make this a little more player friendly. Our goal is to make this better without invalidating current suits or trivializing the process of acquiring armor. I wanted to go over several thoughts we had in our early design stages to let the players give some input.
~ First, shirt and pants clothing (we are not talking armor) would be fixed so any pants and shirt combination gives abdomen coverage. Basically all pants will cover, at a minimum, abdomen and upper legs. This means existing pieces will be extended to cover the abdomen. All shirts would also be fixed so they only cover chest so as not to interfere with pants. This should leave existing player suits intact without additional holes in coverage.
~ Second, a new quest would be introduced so once per month players could, at some effort and/or expense, transform one coat/shirt/hauberk into a breast plate while retaining the visual look of the piece. The piece would be set up so it would still visually cover multiple areas, effectively overriding the visual piece that is already there.
~ Third, a new quest would be introduced so once per month players could, at some effort and/or expense, transform one set of pants into a girth while retaining the visual look of the piece. The piece would also be set up so it would still visually cover multiple areas, effectively overriding the visual piece that is already there.
~ Fourth, we are considering changing all long leather gloves into single slot hands and shorts into single slot abdomen pieces. They would still cover the same areas visually, but they would be single slot armor. Our main concern is some exisiting characters that used these items would now have holes in coverage they would have to fill.
We could also in the future add the capability to the once per month quest to change sleeves into pauldrons and leggings into tassets while, again, keeping the same visual look.
~ Finally, with all this look swapping I am going to look at adding armor coverage into the examination panel when you look at another character. No promises on this; I would need to examine the tech involved.
(We looked at a few other suggestions; for example to allow single slot pieces to be crafted onto multi-slot pieces but they were not feasible with our current tech.)
A: As an example, you have a blue AL 260 platemail breastplate. You also have an epic war AL 220 leather breast plate. You like the look of the plate mail. After you transfer the look, the new piece *looks* like plate mail but it still has the 220 AL of the leather. Nothing that affects combat moves over from the blue platemail.
On the other hand, if you've always liked the look of leather but didn't want to sacrifice the AL you could make your platemail look like leather without sacrificing combat effectiveness.
A: Covenant and Olthoi armor appearances go towards indicating the type of resistance to attack the player wearing them has. The highest likelihood is that Unbuffable Armor stat transfers will be completely separated from that of buffable armor. So you'll need to find a Covenant Breastplate of the Color you want and a Covenant or Olthoi Breastplate of the stats you want then switch them over.
A: The members of other races that step forward to join the Isparian kingdoms will be the most balanced members of their race in both temperament and metabolism. The races will have the same resists and armor as humans.
The only statistical advantage will be the racial skill given to the race. Even the free augmentation can eventually be purchased by other races. We made this decision so the game remains as balanced as possible.
A: Those of Dereth have traditionally called the weapons that are empowered to slay Isparians "human slayers" but this term is technically incomplete. These weapons are empowered by Bael'Zharon, and that curse allows them to be much more effective against not only Isparians but also the allies and members of their kingdoms. As members of other races accept the invitation to ally with and join the Isparian kingdoms they too will become susceptible to the power Bael'Zharon has bestowed upon these weapons.
As such, the peoples of Dereth will begin to refer to these weapons as cursed or empowered by Bael'Zharon and they will be effective against the members of alternate races who also join the Isparian kingdoms. Bael'Zharon hates Asheron and his power will be more deadly against the Isparians that Asheron called and to any of the other races who fall under Asheron's protection. (Which is to say, the player characters who choose these races.)
As for racial skills, I will give you another hint. Each new race will have a racial skill and a specific free Augmentation to start. We want the races to be cool to play, but we also want the other races to have the same potential as existing races since anyone can (eventually) purchase the augmentation.
While we have talked about some of the features that will appear in our big April patch, I have the unpleasant task of talking about the features that have been pushed off and will not make it into the April patch. Sadly some features had to be pushed off due to time constraints. These features include:
~ The ability to see base armor levels when you examine another player
~ Animation fixes and tweaks
Although there are other features we have talked about when discussing future plans, these three are features we specifically mentioned for April. We will be working in the coming patches to reschedule these features and will keep you posted when we know more.