Announcements - 2002/06 - Castling

From ACCWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
Previous - All Announcements - Next

June 2002 - Patch Page

Contents


Chronicles of the June Event

Chronicles of the June Event

Teaser

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventteaser0602.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Castling


June 10, 2002

Img sword2.jpg

Elysa Strathelar knew she was dreaming. She struggled against the invisible tendrils that held her, and that felt real enough. Panic and anger surged within her as she fought, twisting and snarling. . . but it was obviously a dream. A figure stood just outside of the corner of her eye, enough so that she knew he was there, could not see him directly. He seemed to flicker, there, not there, there, not there.

And she was floating, hovering above her bed. She could not turn her head, which was bound like the rest of her body, but she was several paces from her vaulted stone ceiling, and she could see the torch flames on the wall lapping up the warm night air as soft breezes blew in through the open tower windows.

In a back corner of her mind, behind the rage and fear as she fought against her unseen tormentor, she wondered what the dream meant. Yet another example of the icy rage she felt toward Martine? Her continued attempts to deal with the shock of almost losing her son? Her previous resentment towards Asheron, as she had had to cope with these problems alone? All of these, perhaps.

Continue with the story

Unlike any other gaming experience, the world of Asheron's Call continues to evolve. Join us, as we open our June Event, Castling. Be sure to continue your part in this incredible ongoing story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

2002 6 grievver2250.jpg


2002 6 portal1250.jpg


2002 6 portal2250.jpg


2002 6 ring1250.jpg


2002 6 ring2250.jpg

2002 6 flag2250.jpg

2002 6 allegiance250.jpg

Teaser 2

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventteaser2.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Castling


Continued...

There was mumbling. She could hear the tones, but the words were hard to make out, and Elysa could not turn her head to catch the sound. Eventually, she heard two voices. One was low and deep, with an almost keening quality. The other was high and tinny; hollow tones encased in dank metal.

How unusual to have such lucidity during a dream, she thought. There was none of the usual muddled slew of images barely connected to one another. No, there was only the struggling and resistance. The anger and the fear.

The voices were closer now. “Elysa. . .” This was the low voice, and the stark need in it made her wonder what hell the person uttering her name had gone through. Twenty years in Dereth had made her intimate with pain, and she recognized immediately the sound of someone similarly seared.

She stopped struggling. She wanted to comfort the man, reassure him. As she ceased struggling, she felt her body slowly lower back towards the bed.

This time the voice was right behind her head. “Elysa, I. . .” and she felt a hand touch her, stroke the sides of her hair. It felt warm and wet, and glistened red at the edge of her vision. This was not a dream.

Elysa convulsed, disbelief warring with the worst fear she had ever known. The voice continued, “I know I have said, and done, horrible things, Elysa. But here, hidden away in stone and shadow, there is no wider audience. There is only you and me. And so, so much to talk about.” Acid bile rose from her stomach, making her gag with the vileness of it, of him. This was not a dream. She tried to break free from his magical bonds, she tried to scream. Nothing. She could not move. This was not a dream.

“What was it, Elysa, that first drew me to you? In the beginning, I admit, there were certain opaque intentions and manipulations in regards to your Empyrean advisor. I wanted him dead, I needed him dead. You were, at first, a tool. One of many at my disposal, I thought.”

“Warning. Proximity. . .”

“Silence!” There had been that tinnying voice before Martine had cut it off. It came from her side as well. Someone else? Elysa struggled to control her fear. She tried to draw strength from her one consolation. . . Borelean was not here. She had sent him away with Asheron to a safer, less public place, after the first reports had trickled in of Martine's appearances throughout Dereth.

Her son was safe. Now all she needed was for Martine to. . . he brought up his deformed claw against the side of her face and pressed it there. She could feel its warmth. It throbbed. All thought left her mind as Elysa screamed silently.

“Yes, my darling. I understand that emotion well. You have known pain. Such exquisite pain. And that was why I marked you. You had lost, as I had lost. You had grieved, as I had grieved. I had thought that you should lose a child, as I had lost a child. . . but that is behind us now. We will raise Borelean together, as man and wife. We will rule Dereth as King and Queen. Dereth and beyond.

“Tonight is when I claim you, Elysa. We shall be married. We shall be in love. No one will stand in our way.

“Warning. . .”

The heavy oak door leading to Elysa's bedchamber exploded inward. The invisible bonds holding Elysa up immediately disappeared. As she fell back she glanced to her side. Surrounded by a blue nimbus, his eyes flashing scarlet, Asheron stood in the doorway.

__________

Finally. Martine had waited for this moment for such a long time. And now everything was at hand. His bride-to-be at his side. His nemesis in front of him. A corpse-to-be. Martine raised his hands sending a coruscating stream of flame at Asheron. An appetizer for the banquet to follow.

He saw Elysa fall and land on the bed. She reached under the pillow and hurled something at him. A throwing knife, flipping end over end, the light of the flame shining off its metal blade. Asheron had warded off the fire and bolts of acid and frost were now speeding back toward Martine. His heart warmed to see what a little lioness Elysa was. Lovely.

He snatched the knife out of the air and tucked it behind his back. It could be a memento to show their children. The acid stream and frost bolts he let through. As his surface flesh crackled and burned, he wanted to show Asheron the type of pain he should expect. He looked Asheron in the eye and smiled.

On each side of the splintered door, stone blocks ripped apart as two of Asheron's Diamond Golems thundered into the room. They towered over everything, animated man-shapes of diamond, Asheron's special creations, representing over a millennia of Empyrean demiurgic research.

They stood motionless as Asheron stepped forward. Elysa had scampered out of sight, but Martine would have time to finish their date later. Asheron was here. Martine giggled.

“Martine, you must stop this madness. We, all of us, are in grave danger. . . we need. . .” Asheron spoke with the tremulousness of an old man. Even the halo of color that surrounded him, a mark of Empyrean power, flickered occasionally, revealing him to be nothing more than the tired, pathetic husk he was. It almost seemed unworthy for this man to have earned so much of Martine's hate. But Martine wanted this play finished.

“We need what? We need nothing, fool. You warn me of sycophants and mice. No one will oppose me. No one can. You are old and tired. I have come to give you the gift of permanent rest, Weyrava. It is far more than you deserve, but today is my wedding day and I am in a generous mood.”

Martine moved forward as the Diamond Golems stepped in front of Asheron. His first spell took the head off of one of them. Its form continued to lumber about and swing at Martine. The second one landed a clean blow to the side of Martine's body that drove him against the far wall. Martine floated himself up as the ribs on his right side began to reform.

Asheron pressed the attack, bolt after bolt of eldritch might slamming into Martine. Martine took each blow, letting the pain of each ravaging attack strengthen his resolve. Enough.

Martine teleported quickly behind the last remaining Golem, the first one having succumbed to its beheading, and plunged his hands through the magical bonds that kept it animated. The Golem blew up, spraying shards of diamond throughout the room. Martine shielded himself from the explosion and saw Asheron do the same. He couldn't see Elysa, but he could always repair her later.

No more words came from Asheron, his focus stayed completely on spewing magical energies at the approaching Martine. There were no more Golems, however. No more saviors and no more tricks. Asheron was his.

As the arrow entered the back of his neck and through his throat, Martine gurgled, a short gasp of air and blood. The sharp metal point of the arrow glistened and dripped red beneath his head. He turned, almost stumbling, to see Elysa behind him, her bow already nocked with another arrow and firing.

“Elysa,” he tried to say, although his vocal cords were still not quite working. Even as he disintegrated the approaching arrow and sent a shockwave knocking Elysa hard against the stone wall, he wanted her to know he still loved her. She crumpled down to the floor. Asheron leapt by Martine to come to her side, but Martine grabbed him as he passed and flung him to the ground.

Martine held Asheron there in the same bonds he had held his bride with, as he took the arrow and passed it through his throat, healing the ripping and tearing as it occurred. A few dry gasps, and he was ready.

“How does it feel, little Empyrean, to be in the presence of a superior. For so long you have hid behind your powers, your “benevolent” attitude toward the Isparians hiding the contempt that you, that every one of you, feel toward my former “lesser” race. Shake your head all you wish. We know the truth.

“But I promise you this, Asheron Realaidain. I will watch and protect these people better than you ever did. Yes, there will be pain. There will be sacrifice. Greatness requires it. But they will love me. I will love them. If you ever cared for any of the Isparians at all, let that be your final consolation.”

Martine's hand glowed with purple sparks as he raised it for the killing blow.

__________

Asheron looked up at Martine and prepared himself for one final strike. It was possible that Martine would focus all of his energies to kill him, leaving Asheron free to cast his own last spell. Asheron had little hope of killing Martine, but any blow might help. I am sorry, Elysa. I am sorry, Martine. I failed you, both.

Martine's blow did not fall. Asheron saw Martine's mask ripple, and the black holes of his eyes filled with a purplish glow.

“Please. It hurts very much to do this. He is fighting me very hard. He is not. . . happy.”

Though the speaker did not speak with the usual syntax of his race, Asheron recognized the high, metallic tones of the Virindi. Had the Virindi side of Martine finally broken through? And did that improve the situation? He struggled to speak, but the bonds continued to hold him in place.

“No. No time to release you. You must listen to me. I have died once already. It's important that you understand that. They had fused the human and my. . . self together. This had never been done before. But they did it, and the human killed me. Complete assimilation. There was no self. There was only Martine.”

Asheron had not realized the depths of the Virindi experiments upon Martine. He had had suspicions. . .

“But he brought me back. Do you see? I did not exist, and he recreated me. I am not Virindi. I am a part of him that he made into Virindi. Please understand. Even then, so long ago, he did not trust. He knows. He does not want to know, but he knows.”

The Virindi screamed.

“He is going to kill me again. He cannot stand betrayal. But I knew that you must not die now. Martine knows. Please. I. . . I am losing hold. My death did not hurt this much the first time. Leave. Take the woman and leave now. Remember that Martine understands! Leave!”

Asheron was free once more. He spared one final glance for Martine's body, wracked by pain and struggle, and heard the final, anguished screams of the tortured Virindi. He gathered up Elysa, unconscious but still breathing, and began to portal them both out of the chamber.

Martine looked up at their disappearing forms and screamed. Asheron felt Elysa's tower coming apart as Martine let loose with his destructive power. And then there was shadow and silence.

It was time to begin the final plan.

__________

Unlike any other gaming experience, the world of Asheron's Call continues to evolve. Join us, as we open our June Event, Castling. Be sure to continue your part in this incredible ongoing story, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Rollout Article

Original Link (now dead) - http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventrollout.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Castling


June 13, 2002

Img swords.jpg

Any comfort brought to the people by the victories against the Bronze Statues and their new weapons was shattered by the assault on their Queen and the destruction of her castle by the insane Martine. Just barely escaping the destruction with her and her son's lives, Queen Elysa begins taking steps, with the aid of Asheron, to truly make Dereth her people's homeland. The last Empyrean has been of great assistance of late to the people of Dereth and has some wondering if he can indeed be trusted as the Queen has always maintained. Martine's rage at having the Queen snatched from his grasp has not been satiated by the mere destruction of her castle, and he continues to formulate plans, breathing hate for Asheron.

Still reeling from this attack, the people were dealt another blow when mages were jolted awake in the dark of night, clutching their heads in pain. Throughout the ley lines of magical force deep in the planet, a vast fluctuation was felt. Reports trickled in that the magical Essences, those forces that aided the people in learning higher magics, were destroyed, and the rings where they stood smashed. To their dismay, the recovered mages discovered that their magics were not as powerful as they had once been. They were able, though, to take some solace in the fact that this fluctuation caused their magics to last much longer than they had previously.

Realizing what a blow this was to the Isparians, Asheron shared knowledge on how to create magical foci with the Arcanum. These bulky packs contained the essence of the magical schools known to the Isparians. With these in hand, along with Prismatic Tapers and Scarabs, Isparians could cast their spells without the other components they had used since their arrival on Dereth. Asheron also shared a means to record scrolls so that all those skilled in the various schools could understand them, not just lore scholars. Scriveners quickly set up shop in the various towns selling scrolls for purchase.

Amidst these events, the exploration of Dereth continues. Rumors return of an ancient Empyrean construct unlike any seen before, containing artifacts of an unknown purpose. Parties have begun gathering to find this construct and pull what secrets they can from it.

Following is a list of the most interesting additions made to the game with this update. However, please note that not everything has been included--that would spoil the fun of finding out all manner of things 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 features are not always listed here in their entirety.

Highlights Include:

  • More Cottages and Villas can be found for purchase.
  • Find your Fellowship leader more easily.
  • New magic foci can be used in place of traditional spell components.
  • Tedious magical research has been removed and replaced by easily-read scrolls.
  • More things to make your home uniquely you!


Be sure to check the Developer's Notes for June and the Letter to the Players to learn more details of the Castling event. Join us as we continue the ongoing saga of Asheron's Call, and we'll see you in Dereth!

Release Notes

Original Link (now dead) - http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEeventbuild.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Developer's Notes


June 13, 2002

Here are just some of the additions made in the June 13 game update, Castling. The following list is comprised of detailed notes straight from the developers themselves. For a summary of things of interest, be sure to consult the official event article, Castling.

We appreciate your feedback and bug reports in helping to ensure that the world of Dereth is a stable and fun place to be. Please submit any such bug reports to http://bugs.zone.com.

New Functionality and Content

  • 150 Cottages and 50 Villas have been added to the game.
  • See our earlier letter to the players for all the details about our changes to the magic system.
  • There is now a separate panel for negative magical enchantments (the original enchantment panel now lists only positive magical enchantments). Both panels are in the far right upper corner.
  • @allegiance info is a new monarch-only command. Typing @allegiance info <charactername> (for a character in that monarch's allegiance) will display the following: the full name and title of the character, the full name and title of the character's patron, and the full name and title of each of the character's vassals. This command can only be used once every 30 seconds.
  • The number of allegiance broadcasts the allegiance speaker can make per day has been raised from 3 to 10. In addition, monarchs may now assign speaker status to someone even if they are not currently online.
  • The leader of a Fellowship now shows up as a triangle dot on radar.
  • You can now use the @filter command to filter out recall messages. See @help filter for more details.


Miscellaneous Improvements and Changes

  • All vendors now accept all trade notes.
  • Pyreals now stack to a maximum of 10,000. In July we will introduce three additional trade notes into the game.
  • Mansions now have 100 hooks in them, all of them usable.
  • Neutral Balm's burden has been reduced from 135 to 65 and is now available in more vendor locations.
  • The Select Self key now works to have a targeted action actually work on oneself. For example, a player can use a healing kit and then the Select Self key to heal oneself.
  • You now have a number of UI panels and character options that you can bind to a keyboard map.
  • A new mana stone, the Superb Mana Stone, can be found at some mage vendors. In addition, many more mage vendors now carry High and Great Mana Stones.
  • All Bronze trophy items are now givable and droppable again.
  • New characters who start with a magic school will start with the correct focus, 5 Lead Scarabs, and 25 Prismatic Tapers. New characters who start with additional magic schools will receive additional foci, but not additional scarabs or tapers.
  • The time it takes to read and learn a spell from a scroll has been reduced to roughly one second.
  • When a character attempts to use a mana stone to drain mana from an item, there will now be a confirmation check even if the item does not contain any mana.
  • Isparian Bows, Crossbows, and Atlatls are now unenchantable.
  • The Isparian Modifying Tool is now unbreakable. The stones, however, will break each time you put them in an Isparian weapon.
  • The Arcane Lore difficulty on Gorgets with Nuhmudira's Boon has been altered. The new difficulty levels are Red (High) = 180, Blue (Mid) = 150, and Green (Low) = 120.
  • Isparian Daggers now have the correct damage range. Perfect Isparian Daggers have a maximum damage of 8, Superb 7, Good 6, and Quality 5.
  • You now get 3 Wood, Copper, or Obsidian Keys when you successfully carve Wood, Copper, or Obsidian Hearts.
  • We made a few changes to the Tenkkardun Foundry to reduce the viability of combat macroing in that location.
  • Last month we introduced a bug which prevented users from playing if they were using a machine running Win95a. This should be fixed now.
  • We believe we have fixed the bug where, occasionally, a character logging into the world would find that their items had lost all mana. This was a difficult bug to reproduce, and we would appreciate any reports if players experience this bug in the future.
  • There was a bug with the Fellowship panel last month that kept it from updating properly. This should be fixed now.
  • The bug where a character quits a fellowship and the character keeps attempting to assess a person in the fellowship has been fixed.
  • We fixed a bug where the cursor appeared as an hourglass on the Fellowship panel before a player actually created the fellowship.
  • There were a few bugs with the XP-sharing code for certain fellowships involving players over level 50. These have been fixed.
  • There was a bug where you could exploit a vendor by selling healing kits with less than full uses, then buying them back cheaply at full uses. This has been fixed.
  • For Creature Mastery scrolls, you will need to ID and read the description to determine if it's a Self or Other scroll. Self and Other do not appear in the title of the scroll. This will be fixed in July.


Minor Details

  • The Invoker now displays the correct inscription.
  • The portal to the Arcanum Research Facility now has a level restriction prohibiting those characters under level 20.
  • Ciandra decided to reverse her impromptu sex-change operation, and now looks like a woman.
  • When using a mana stone on yourself, you will receive a message letting you know when all your items are full.
  • All non-used hooks now become visible whenever a house is abandoned.
  • Players can no longer open the doors to the inside of the statues from the outside, unless they use the correct key.
  • Statue Portal dungeons are now no-recall, no-tie, and no-summon.
  • The Isparian Dagger model has been changed.
  • The experience point total for a few statue creatures has been reduced.

Letter to the Players 1

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEletter0602.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Letter to the Players


June 4, 2002

Here is the synopsis of changes we are planning in June for the Asheron's Call magic system. Note that there are some significant changes that function differently from our descriptions of these new features back in the May Developer's Chat. These additions will be italicized. We will also list in boldface some anticipated questions and the answers to those questions. As always, we appreciate your feedback and comments about these changes.

Please note: Before we get into the specific changes, we want to again remind players that with the June Event, you will no longer be able to trade Level 6 scrolls in for Level 7 spells. After the June Event, the only use for level 6 scrolls will be to learn level 6 spells.

On to the summary:

How Players Cast Spells

Players will no longer need the typical array of components in order to cast spells. Instead, they will need three separate ingredients:

  • A Focus of a given school. Foci will be “Spell Backpacks” that take up a pack slot. Foci do not have a double function as a storage pack; players will be unable to store anything in their Foci. There will be different Foci for War, Life, Creature, and Item magic. These Foci will be available through new vendors in each of the towns, and new characters that elect to train or specialize in a given magic school will start the game with the appropriate foci. Foci cannot “burn” and cannot be sold, traded or dropped, although they can be given to Town Criers.
  • A Scarab corresponding to the level of the spell you wish to cast. This has not changed from the old system, i.e., you still need Lead, Iron, Copper, Silver, Gold, Pyreal, and Platinum Scarabs to cast spells of the appropriate level. The burn rate and cost of these Scarabs has not changed.
  • In addition to a Scarab, you will also need a new component, the Prismatic Taper. The Prismatic Taper is a necessary ingredient for all spells and will have a more frequent burn rate than the Scarabs. The higher level of a spell you cast, the more chances you will have to burn multiple Prismatic Tapers per spell.
  • Finally, some rare spells that previously required unique components, such as Diamond Scarabs and Chorizite potions, will still require those items in addition to the components listed above.


Why did we add Prismatic Tapers?

In our redesign of the magic system, we wanted to make sure casting spells was easier and more fun. However, we didn't want to drastically change the burden or cost of casting magic. We realized that we needed a substitute component to help match the relative cost and burden of components in the previous system. Prismatic Tapers are our solution to this problem.

What are the costs and burdens of the Foci and Prismatic Tapers?

  • The costs of the Foci are 25,000 pyreals. They weigh 400 burden units.
  • The costs of the Prismatic Tapers are slightly less than the cost of regular tapers (the specific cost depends on which vendor you purchase them from). They weigh 6 burden units. They have a maximum stack count of 250. At this time there is no Prismatic Taper Pea, but we may add this in a future Event.


If I want to cast spells using the old system of components, can I do so? Absolutely. While we feel this new system is a vast improvement over the old, if players wish to cast spells using the old system without Foci and Prismatic Tapers, they will be able to do so. However, it should be noted that if you have any Foci in your possession, you will only be able to cast spells from its corresponding school by using the new component system.

How Players Learn Spells

With the June Event, players can no longer learn spells by researching them in the old fashion. Instead, players must purchase and use scrolls for each spell they wish to learn. You must have a certain skill level in the spell skill of the spell you wish to learn. The required skill levels are the following:

  • Level 2: 0 skill
  • Level 3: 50 skill
  • Level 4: 100 skill
  • Level 5: 150 skill
  • Level 6: 200 skill


Levels 1 and 7 spells can be learned by anyone, regardless if they have the school trained or not.

These scrolls will be available for all spells of level 1-6 that exist in the game, most of them through vendors placed in various cities and towns throughout Dereth. A few spells, such as Recall to Sanctuary and Recall to Aerlinthe, will be available through quests that deliver the appropriate scroll.

For level 7 and certain specialty spells, these scrolls will be available only through Steel Chests found in random locations throughout the Direlands. (The Reinforced Steel Chests are being removed from the game in the June Event, since vendors now sell all of the scrolls that could be found in those chests.)

Note that we have removed all self-debuff scrolls from the vendors.

What scrolls are available? Where and how much do they cost? Following is a list of the price of each level of scroll. See the end of this document for a detailed list of which scrolls are available through vendors, as well as which scrolls are available through the Steel Chests.

  • Level 1 scrolls: 50 pyreals each
  • Level 2 scrolls: 250 pyreals each
  • Level 3 scrolls: 1000 pyreals each
  • Level 4 scrolls: 5000 pyreals each
  • Level 5 scrolls: 10000 pyreals each
  • Level 6 scrolls: 50000 pyreals each
  • Level 7 scrolls: Found in Steel Chests and certain other places.


The New Length of Spells

With the June Event, all buffs of level 1-5 now last 30 minutes exactly. All level 6 buffs last 45 minutes. All level 7 buffs last 60 minutes. We are not planning on revisiting buff lengths after this update.

The Removal of Spell Economy

As we designed and planned these changes to the magic system in Asheron's Call, we often discussed the risk that we were taking with the most powerful and flexible game system in AC, and making it one of the easiest and simplest to use as well. In a game where a character using magic is much more powerful than a character who isn't, and where most vestiges of tedium and needless complexity have been removed from the magic system, and where enchantments at the highest level of power last an hour, why would anyone not have a magic-casting character in AC?

That scenario is not our goal for AC, and we have spent a lot of time and effort over the past six months to improve and strengthen the gameplay choices of those players who, for whatever reason, wanted to adopt a low- or no-magic approach to Asheron's Call.

In order to ensure that the various character templates and play styles remained balanced, we have decided to remove all Spell Economy bonuses, whether positive or negative, from spells in AC. Mages who cast spells will no longer receive any type of global economy effect or duration bonus, nor will they suffer under any economy penalty (such as when they cast a particular spell too often in a short period of time).

While we know this change will result in the loss of power for some characters, we feel that the advantages of the new magic system, in addition to the new enchantment durations, outweigh the disadvantage of the lack of economy bonuses. We also feel that the lack of a spell economy allows players to have a consistent sense of where their skill level lies, as opposed to the current fluctuations which leave some players upset and frustrated when spell economy bonuses affect as small a range as 5 points of skill.

We did not come to this choice easily, but we ultimately felt it was the best path to take to ensure the viability of all types of characters in Asheron's Call.

Changes to Spell Book Sorting

Previously, spells in your spell book were sorted alphabetically--which worked well enough for most spells, but made finding oddly named spells more difficult. With the June Event, we have changed how spells in your spell book are arranged in order to make it easier to find the spell you are looking for.

Spells will first be sorted by the school of magic to which they belong, in this order: Creature, Item, Life, and War. Within each school, spells will then be sorted by their effect, so that all spells that increase the Focus of the caster, for instance, will be grouped together. Finally, within the effect grouping, spells will be sorted by their relative power--that is, by level.

We hope in the near future to have a more elective spell sorting system, in which players have some control over the parameters of how they sort their spells. Until that time, however, we feel this system is an improvement over the previous one.

Detailed List of Scrolls to be Sold by Vendors

  • Most of these scrolls will appear on the vendors in all levels 1-6. Some War and Item spells will only appear at certain levels 3 and above.
  • Spells that aren't listed as having a “self” or “other” version are generally debuffs, which are automatically assumed to target “other.”


Life Magic

  • ArmorOther
  • ArmorSelf
  • HarmOther
  • HealOther
  • HealSelf
  • Imperil
  • ManaDrain
  • RevitalizeOther
  • RevitalizeSelf
  • Enfeeble
  • AcidProtectionOther
  • AcidProtectionSelf
  • AcidVulnerabilityOther
  • BladeProtectionOther
  • BladeProtectionSelf
  • BladeVulnerabilityOther
  • BludgeonProtectionOther
  • BludgeonProtectionSelf
  • BludgeonVulnerabilityOther
  • ColdProtectionOther
  • ColdProtectionSelf
  • ColdVulnerabilityOther
  • FireProtectionOther
  • FireProtectionSelf
  • FireVulnerabilityOther
  • LightningProtectionOther
  • LightningProtectionSelf
  • LightningVulnerabilityOther
  • PierceProtectionOther
  • PierceProtectionSelf
  • PierceVulnerabilityOther
  • Exhaustion
  • Fester
  • ManaDepletion
  • ManaRenewalOther
  • ManaRenewalSelf
  • RegenerateOther
  • RegenerateSelf
  • RejuvenateOther
  • RejuvenateSelf
  • DrainHealth
  • DrainMana
  • DrainStamina
  • HealthtoMana
  • HealthtoManaSelf
  • HealthtoStamina
  • HealthtoStaminaSelf
  • InfuseHealth
  • InfuseMana
  • InfuseStamina
  • ManatoHealth
  • ManatoHealthSelf
  • ManatoStamina
  • ManatoStaminaSelf
  • StaminatoHealth
  • StaminatoHealthSelf
  • StaminatoMana
  • StaminatoManaSelf


Creature Enchantment

  • Bafflement
  • Clumsiness
  • CoordinationOther
  • CoordinationSelf
  • EnduranceOther
  • EnduranceSelf
  • Feeblemind
  • FocusOther
  • FocusSelf
  • Frailty
  • QuicknessOther
  • QuicknessSelf
  • Slowness
  • StrengthOther
  • StrengthSelf
  • WeaknessOther
  • WillpowerOther
  • WillpowerSelf
  • AlchemyIneptitude
  • AlchemyMasteryOther
  • AlchemyMasterySelf
  • ArcaneBenightedness
  • ArcaneEnlightenmentOther
  • ArcaneEnlightenmentSelf
  • ArmorExpertiseOther
  • ArmorExpertiseSelf
  • ArmorIgnorance
  • AxeIneptitudeOther
  • AxeMasteryOther
  • AxeMasterySelf
  • BowIneptitude
  • BowMasteryOther
  • BowMasterySelf
  • CookingIneptitude
  • CookingMasteryOther
  • CookingMasterySelf
  • CreatureEnchantmentIneptitude
  • CreatureEnchantmentOther
  • CreatureEnchantmentSelf
  • CrossbowIneptitude
  • CrossbowMasteryOther
  • CrossbowMasterySelf
  • DaggerIneptitudeOther
  • DaggerMasteryOther
  • DaggerMasterySelf
  • DeceptionIneptitude
  • DeceptionMasteryOther
  • DeceptionMasterySelf
  • DefenselessnessOther
  • Faithlessness
  • FealtyOther
  • FealtySelf
  • FletchingIneptitude
  • FletchingMasteryOther
  • FletchingMasterySelf
  • HealingIneptitude
  • HealingMasteryOther
  • HealingMasterySelf
  • ImpregnabilityOther
  • ImpregnabilitySelf
  • InvulnerabilityOther
  • InvulnerabilitySelf
  • ItemEnchantmentIneptitude
  • ItemEnchantmentMasteryOther
  • ItemEnchantmentMasterySelf
  • ItemExpertiseOther
  • ItemExpertiseSelf
  • ItemIgnorance
  • JumpIneptitude
  • JumpMasteryOther
  • JumpMasterySelf
  • LeadenFeet
  • LeadershipIneptitude
  • LeadershipMasteryOther
  • LeadershipMasterySelf
  • LifeMagicIneptitude
  • LifeMagicMasteryOther
  • LifeMagicMasterySelf
  • LockpickIneptitude
  • LockpickMasteryOther
  • LockpickMasterySelf
  • MaceIneptitudeOther
  • MaceMasteryOther
  • MaceMasterySelf
  • MagicItemExpertiseOther
  • MagicItemExpertiseSelf
  • MagicItemIgnorance
  • MagicYieldOther
  • ManaConvertMasteryOther
  • ManaConvertMasterySelf
  • ManaIneptitude
  • MonsterAttunementOther
  • MonsterAttunementSelf
  • MonsterUnfamiliarity
  • PersonAttunementOther
  • PersonAttunementSelf
  • PersonUnfamiliarity
  • ResistMagicOther
  • ResistMagicSelf
  • SpearIneptitude
  • SpearMasteryOther
  • SpearMasterySelf
  • SprintOther
  • SprintSelf
  • StaffIneptitude
  • StaffMasteryOther
  • StaffMasterySelf
  • SwordIneptitude
  • SwordMasteryOther
  • SwordMasterySelf
  • ThrownIneptitude
  • ThrownMasteryOther
  • ThrownMasterySelf
  • UnarmedIneptitude
  • UnarmedMasteryOther
  • UnarmedMasterySelf
  • VulnerabilityOther
  • WarMagicIneptitude
  • WarMagicMasteryOther
  • WarMagicMasterySelf
  • WeaponExpertiseOther
  • WeaponExpertiseSelf
  • WeaponIgnorance


Item Enchantment

  • AcidBane
  • AcidLure
  • BladeBane
  • BladeLure
  • BloodDrinker
  • BloodLoather
  • BludgeonBane
  • BludgeonLure
  • Brittlemail
  • Defender
  • FlameBane
  • FlameLure
  • FrostBane
  • FrostLure
  • HeartSeeker
  • HideValue
  • Impenetrability
  • LeadenWeapon
  • LightningBane
  • LightningLure
  • LureBlade
  • PiercingBane
  • PiercingLure
  • StrengthenLock
  • SwiftKiller
  • TrueValue
  • TurnBlade
  • WeakenLock
  • LifeStoneRecall1
  • LifestoneTie1
  • PortalRecall
  • PortalTie1
  • PortalTie2
  • PortalTieRecall1
  • PortalTieRecall2
  • SummonPortal1
  • SummonSecondPortal1


War Magic

  • AcidStreak
  • AcidStream
  • FlameBolt
  • FlameStreak
  • ForceBolt
  • ForceStreak
  • FrostBolt
  • FrostStreak
  • LightningBolt
  • LightningStreak
  • ShockWave
  • ShockwaveStreak
  • WhirlingBlade
  • WhirlingBladeStreak
  • AcidBlast
  • AcidVolley
  • BladeBlast
  • BladeVolley
  • ShockVolley
  • ShockBlast
  • FlameBlast
  • FlameVolley
  • ForceBlast
  • ForceVolley
  • FrostBlast
  • FrostVolley
  • LightingVolley
  • LightningBlast


Detailed List of Scrolls to be Found in Steel and Reinforced Steel Chests

  • Level 7 spells


**and**

  • DispelCreatureNeutralOther1
  • DispelCreatureNeutralOther2
  • DispelCreatureNeutralOther3
  • DispelCreatureNeutralOther4
  • DispelCreatureNeutralOther5
  • DispelCreatureNeutralOther6
  • DispelCreatureNeutralSelf1
  • DispelCreatureNeutralSelf2
  • DispelCreatureNeutralSelf3
  • DispelCreatureNeutralSelf4
  • DispelCreatureNeutralSelf5
  • DispelCreatureNeutralSelf6
  • DispelItemNeutralOther1
  • DispelItemNeutralOther2
  • DispelItemNeutralOther3
  • DispelItemNeutralOther4
  • DispelItemNeutralOther5
  • DispelItemNeutralOther6
  • DispelLifeNeutralOther1
  • DispelLifeNeutralOther2
  • DispelLifeNeutralOther3
  • DispelLifeNeutralOther4
  • DispelLifeNeutralOther5
  • DispelLifeNeutralOther6
  • DispelLifeNeutralSelf1
  • DispelLifeNeutralSelf2
  • DispelLifeNeutralSelf3
  • DispelLifeNeutralSelf4
  • DispelLifeNeutralSelf5
  • DispelLifeNeutralSelf6
  • AcidRing
  • BladeRing
  • FlameRing
  • ForceRing
  • FrostRing
  • LightningRing
  • ShockwaveRing
  • AcidWall
  • BladeWall
  • FlameWall
  • ForceWall
  • FrostWall
  • LightningWall
  • ShockwaveWall

Macros, 3rd-Party Apps and XP

Macros, 3rd-Party Apps and XP

Letter to the Players 2

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEletter0602_3.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Letter to the Players


June 14, 2002

Why Now?
Castling, our June Event, marks what may be the most significant change ever made in the history of Asheron's Call--the complete revamping of how players learn and cast magical spells in Dereth. We did not approach this change lightly; indeed, it was the subject of many intense conversations! Those hours of discussion and argument ensured that the changes we finally agreed upon all served our goal: to make Asheron's Call as fun and compelling for as wide an audience as possible.

Many people have asked us, “Why now?” After two and a half years of relatively few game system changes, why would Turbine and Microsoft embark upon a path of such major changes? Our determination to make these changes ultimately has to do with our desire to see Asheron's Call thrive for a long time to come. Each major change that we make comes from our strong belief that the specific change will enhance the fun of the game for the vast majority of our players.

We could have decided to play it safe and make only a few changes, to introduce small amounts of content designed to placate our existing subscriber base until the ship of Asheron's Call 2, to allow (and so encourage) AC to pass away in time for AC2.

Obviously, we chose a different path. And we're not stopping with this month's magic changes! Next month, in addition to the first stage of the Tinkering system, we will be making significant changes to the Transfer spell system. Transfer spells, such as Drain Health, will be altered substantially in July. (Look for more details to be posted before the July Event). And in the following months, look for continued tweaks to melee weapons, including addressing the Triple-Strike Dagger issue.

Yes, we know that change can be scary and sometimes painful in the short-term, but we also know that change is necessary for long-term growth and happiness. We are striving to make sure that any time we make major changes that reduce an ability of a given class or skill, we also offer new benefits to that class or skill.

So why didn't we make some of these changes a year ago? Although it was easy to see, in some cases, that things were not working as well as they should, it was more difficult to come up with solutions that we and the players would be happy with. Over the past eight months, we developed a strong vision and consensus on what problems needed to be addressed and how to address them. You are seeing the fruits of those efforts now.

We're excited about the world that Asheron's Call is coming to represent, and we hope you are, too.

Long live Asheron's Call!

Housing
This month we're releasing another 150 Cottages and 50 Villas. While we are not releasing any Residential Quarters at this time, we are planning to release 500 RQs in July (in addition to more Cottages, Villas, and even new Mansions!). We're putting out 500 RQs instead of 1,000 so that we can better monitor the impact of the RQs on the servers in July. Depending on the data, we will decide how many more RQs will be released in the upcoming months

We also implemented 100 total hooks for Mansions this month, each one of them usable by the monarch owner. There are no plans to revisit hooks for any of the landscape dwellings at this time.

As for future housing improvements, the server performance issues related to RQs a few months ago have caused us to shelve our plans for incremental storage, at least temporarily. Once we are assured that the worlds can support enough housing for all our players, we may revisit the idea of allowing players to purchase increased storage for their landscape dwelling.

However, we are still planning to implement the ability for characters to “use” items on hooks, which would allow a number of neat features, such as the ability to place permanent “portals” in one's home. Look for the start of this feature in the next several months.

Miscellaneous Changes

  • We're always happy when we can implement new allegiance and fellowship improvements. We hope the @allegiance info tool and the increased uses of the allegiance broadcasts help monarchs manage their allegiances more productively. We're also pleased with the new triangle radar shape for fellowship leaders. After being frustrated for a long time by the inability of a large group to easily follow a leader on the landscape, we hit upon this simple yet effective solution. We hope you enjoy it.
  • We fixed a number of longstanding and irritating bugs this month. Two of the biggest were the “vendors not buying back their own trade notes” and “characters logging back into the world and occasionally discovering that all their items had lost all their mana” problems. Our solution to the vendor issue was to make all vendors able to purchase all trade notes, regardless of what trade notes they sell. As we mentioned in the Dev Notes, the “items losing mana” issue was extremely difficult to track down and reproduce, so please report any instances if you see it happen again.
  • Money, money, money. After analyzing the current state of the pyreal economy and factoring in new changes such as the updated magic system, we decided to increase the stack size of the pyreal to 10,000. We think this change will help improve the liquidity of the pyreal, especially at such a time when the pyreal may have its greatest value.
  • Superb Mana Stones. One change we wanted to make sure to introduce whenever we implemented the new, extended buff times was a new, high-mana mana stone. The Superb Mana Stone has a reservoir of 2,000 mana, and can be found at many mage shops throughout Dereth.


Hot Topics

  • @filter recall command. While we knew that some players would eventually learn to ignore the spammy text messages from the numerous recall options available today, we wanted to give players stronger relief from the incessant barrage should they desire. (As one of our grandfathers always says, “Back in my day, we didn't have all this newfangled `recallin all over the dang place. We had to walk back to Serac Vault, in the snow, uphill. Both ways!”)
  • Bronze weapons. We apologize for not telling people in advance about the sudden change to the Bronze trophies making them no-give. This had been planned as a one-month-only change, and we are glad to change them back to their natural state this month.
  • Hollow Weapons/Racial Weapons. For July, we will be making some minor tweaks to unarmed weapons, staves, and hollows (including some of the racial weapons). While the racial weapons still will not have the effectiveness of their non-racial counterparts, or of the current Triple-Strike Dagger, they will receive some bonuses. It remains true that the four non-racial weapons, sword, axe, mace, and spear, should be considered the “better” class of weapons in the game. However, we do recognize that the current state of non-dagger racials needs some improvement, and we hope to implement that in July.
  • Fast-casting exploits. We're working hard to get a fix for this in either July or August.


Next Month and Beyond

As we mentioned above, next month will see the advent of the first stage of Tinkering, as well as changes to Drain and other Transfer spells.

While we have mentioned more Treasure system changes (affecting both armor and weapons) for the last two months, we unfortunately have had to postpone these changes due to our focusing on the Magic and Tinkering systems. We really think July will see at least some of these changes; August for sure!

And while it will be hard for us to rival the suspense and excitement building in our current storyline, we will discuss two top-secret issues in our next Letter to the Players. People have suspected one of the issues for a long time, but the other is something that almost no one ever knew?

See you next month!

--The AC Team

Letter to the Players 3

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEtransferspells2.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Transfer Spells


June 19, 2002

What are Transfer Spells?

Transfer spells include the Drains (Drain Health, Drain Mana, Drain Stamina); Self Transfers (Stamina to Mana, Stamina to Health, Mana to Health, Mana to Stamina, Health to Mana, Health to Stamina); and Remote Transfers (Infuse Health, Infuse Stamina, Infuse Mana). They do not include such spells as Harm (with the exception of one important point which will be highlighted below).

What are changing with the Transfer Spells?

  • The range on Drains and Harm, Mana Drain, and Enfeeble will be changed to the following table. In the new system, range increases with each higher level of Drain or Harm, with a range of 5 meters at Level 1, capping at 20 meters at Level 7:


Level Old range (actual range depends on Life skill) New range (after July update)
1 12.8-34.7 5
2 12.1-31.7 7
3 11.3-28.8 9
4 10.6-25.9 11
5 9.9-23 13
6 9.1-20.1 15
7 9.1-20.1 20


  • The percentage you drain from the creature/player, and what you receive from that drain has been changed to the following table. This only affects Drain spells, not Self-Transfer spells. In the new system, the amount drained no longer remains constant at 25%, but rather increases up to a cap of 50% at Level 7 Drain. And the amount received now reflects exactly what was drained. The maximum cap of 100 points drained or received remains in place.


Spell Level Previous amount drained New amount drained Previous amount received New amount received
1 25% 10% 75% 100%
2 25% 15% 90% 100%
3 25% 20% 105% 100%
4 25% 25% 120% 100%
5 25% 30% 135% 100%
6 25% 40% 150% 100%
7 25% 50% 175% 100%


  • A character can now no longer drain or transfer vitals more than the amount that character is deficient in. For example, if you are at full health, you will not be able to Drain Health at all, nor use Stamina to Health or Mana to Health. If you are down 50 health, and you would have normally been able to drain a monster for 100 health, you will instead only gain 50 health (and the monster will only have lost 50 health).
  • There will be a new Life spell, levels 1-7 (name to be determined). This Life spell acts like a projectile War spell, and it takes off a certain percentage of the Life caster's hit points, and redirects that damage total at a creature/player. The table currently looks like this (this information is subject to change):


Level Mana cost Range  % health drained from caster Damage multiplier * amount drained Damage @ 300 health (current health total, not raw)
1 10 10 + 0.1*skill 25% 0.50 37.5
2 20 10 + 0.2*skill 25% 0.65 48.75
3 30 10 + 0.3*skill 25% 0.80 60
4 40 10 + 0.4*skill 25% 0.95 71.25
5 50 10 + 0.5*skill 25% 1.10 82.5
6 60 10 + 0.6*skill 25% 1.25 93.75
7 70 10 + 0.7*skill 25% 1.40 105

Letter to the Players 4

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ASHEletter0602_4.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

Letter to the Players


June 25, 2002

If there is one constant that defines all massive multiplayer online games it is change. We feel this is especially true of Asheron's Call. In the past few months we've revised the treasure system--and we aren't done yet! We've simplified how magic works, and provided a thrilling story arc whose effects will resonate far into the future. Now we are on the cusp of adding the new Tinkering system to the game, along with entirely new Tinkering skills. All of us are extremely excited about this system and feel that it is going to introduce fascinating new dynamics for all Asheron's Call players. The thrust of this letter is to convey to you the whys, hows and whats of this new system.

What's This About a Skill Credit Refund?

In July, the old Appraisal skills will be completely removed from the game. They will not be available for new characters to train. However, the Tinkering skills will be available for them. Existing characters that had either trained or specialized an Appraisal will be refunded the skill point cost for those skills. The exceptions to this are Gharu'ndim characters. Instead of being refunded the skill point cost of their default racial skill, Item Appraisal, they will be trained in Item Tinkering, their new default racial skill.

Any experience that was spent in the Appraisal skills will be completely refunded to the character. This includes any experience a Gharun'dim character may have spent in Item Appraisal. If any skill tesseras were spent to increase the character's Appraisal skills, the experience equivalent to purchasing that point of skill will be refunded to that character. This does not, however, reset the quest flag for those tessera. In addition, the experience represented by the +5 skill points for training (+10 skill points for specializing) an Appraisal that was given to a character at creation will not be returned to the character.

The following tables explain the refund of skill credits in detail:

Table 1: Skill Credit Refund for Characters with Appraisal Skills Trained*

Race Item Armor Weapon Magic Item
Aluvian, Sho 2 Skill Credits 4 Skill Credits 4 Skill Credits 4 Skill Credits
Gharu'ndim 0 Skill Credits 4 Skill Credits 4 Skill Credits 4 Skill Credits


Table 2: Skill Credit Refund for Characters with Appraisal Skills Specialized*

Race Item Armor Weapon Magic Item
Aluvian, Sho 4 Skill Credits 6 Skill Credits 6 Skill Credits 8 Skill Credits
Gharu'ndim 2 Skill Credits 6 Skill Credits 6 Skill Credits 8 Skill Credits


* -- Note that all experience spent on these skills is refunded to the character, no matter their race.

The New Tinkering Skills

With the Appraisal skills gone, what do the new skills look like? The following charts explain the new Tinkering skills as compared to the old Appraisal skills:

Table 3: Item Tinkering

Original Appraisal New Tinkering
Name Item Appraisal Item Tinkering
Cost 2 Skill Points 2 Skill Points
Spec Cost 2 Skill Points Skill cannot be specialized
Based On Focus (Focus + Coordination) / 2


Table 4: Armor Tinkering

Original Appraisal New Tinkering
Name Armor Appraisal Armor Tinkering
Cost 4 Skill Points 4 Skill Points
Spec Cost 2 Skill Points Skill cannot be specialized
Based On Focus (Focus + Endurance) / 2


Table 5: Weapon Tinkering

Original Appraisal New Tinkering
Name Weapon Appraisal Weapon Tinkering
Cost 4 Skill Points 4 Skill Points
Spec Cost 2 Skill Points Skill cannot be specialized
Focus (Focus + Strength) / 2


Table 6: Magic Item Tinkering

Original Appraisal New Tinkering
Name Magic Item Appraisal Magic Item Tinkering
Cost 4 Skill Points 4 Skill Points
4 Skill Points Skill cannot be specialized
Based On Focus Focus


Note that these new skills cannot be specialized. This is because existing characters are unable to specialize skills after their creation. Allowing new characters to specialize these skills would give them an unfair advantage over existing characters. With no one able to specialize Tinkering skills, a level playing field is created for all characters, new or existing.

What can these new skills do? As was mentioned above, only Item, Armor and Weapon Tinkering currently have defined enhancing effects. The list provided below is only the effects that will be seen in July. More effects can and will be added in the coming months. The effects provided by Magic Item Tinkering, once available, will entail giving items unique abilities they do not currently have.

Table 7: Item Tinkering Effects

Effect
Reduce Burden
Increase Value
Decrease Value


Table 8: Armor Tinkering Effects

Effect
Increase Armor Level
Increase Slashing Resistance
Increase Piercing Resistance
Increase Bludgeoning Resistance
Increase Acid Resistance
Increase Cold Resistance
Increase Fire Resistance
Increase Electrical Resistance


Table 9: Weapon Tinkering Effects

Effect
Improve Damage Variance
Increase Damage (Melee Weapons)
Increase Damage Modifier (Missile Weapons)
Improve Speed
Increase Attack Modifier
Increase Defense Modifier


Trust Quality Workmanship

Before detailing the process of Tinkering, it is necessary to explain the workmanship of treasure-generated items. While workmanship has always been an element of treasure items, it hasn't been important enough for the players to take notice of. Workmanship is now a fundamental part of Tinkering and acts as a modifier in Tinkering operations, reducing the difficulty of these operations. The table provided explains the different levels of workmanship, from lowest to highest.

Table 10: Workmanship of Treasure Generated Items

Workmanship Quality
<No Descriptor> 0-1
Well-Crafted 2
Finely Crafted 3
Exquisitely Crafted 4
Magnificently Crafted 5
Nearly Flawless 6
Flawless 7
Utterly Flawless 8
Incomparable 9
Priceless 10


So I Have the Skill. . . Now What?
Tinkering actually involves two steps. The first step is salvaging certain materials--like steel or alabaster--from items generated by the treasure system. These salvaged materials are collected until you have a certain quantity and are then used to enhance the abilities of another item.

While all material types found in the game are salvageable, only a handful of materials currently have defined enhancing effects. More effects will be assigned to materials in the coming months. In addition, players won't see the effects provided by Magic Item Tinkering in July, but we hope they will be available in August.

Example: Keryth's patron Tarka gives her a quantity of Salvaged Wool. The item is described as “Salvaged Wool (75)”in her inventory. Examining it reveals that Armor Tinkering uses this material and that it increases armor's cold resistance. It also reveals that the average workmanship of the material is 4. Her patron also gives her “Salvaged Ivory (15)”. Examining this reveals that this item has no apparent use (no Tinkering skill uses it).

How Do I Salvage?

The Tinkering skills--like the Appraisals--can be used without being trained, so any character can salvage. Trained characters though will have the advantage of being able to salvage more material and value from an item than untrained characters.

For a character to start their career in salvaging, they will need to purchase an Ust. Ust is an ancient Empyrean word meaning “That Which Reduces” and is a fundamental part of the salvaging process. An Ust will be easy for players to find, as vendors in the major cities will be selling them at a low cost.

Once the Ust is in the character's inventory, double-clicking on it will bring up the Salvage panel. Items of similar material types can be dragged into the panel, and once the player has all the items they want to salvage in the panel, they can click the Salvage button. The character then receives a portion of the material salvaged from the original items. The amount of material returned is based upon the workmanship of the items put in and the character's highest Tinkering skill.

Example: After defeating a pack of Banderling Maulers, Keryth picks up a Flawless Gold Hammer, an Utterly Flawless Pyreal Tungi, and a set of Exquisitely Crafted Gold Bracers. None of these items are really worth hanging on to, so she decides to salvage materials from them.

She places all three of the items in the Ust, but the Ust won't let her salvage them because they are different materials. Noticing her mistake, she places the Gold Hammer and the set of Gold Bracers in the Ust. The Ust reduces the items into “Salvaged Gold (10)”. Examining the gold reveals that it is of an average workmanship of 6. Placing the Pyreal Tungi in the Ust by itself creates “Salvaged Pyreal (3)”in her inventory. Examining the pyreal will show an average workmanship of 8.

Later on Keryth comes across a Well-Crafted Pyreal Yumi. She places the salvaged pyreal she created earlier and the Yumi into the Salvage panel. The Yumi and the previously salvaged pyreal are combined into “Salvaged Pyreal (4)”. Examining the pyreal now reveals that the average workmanship is 5.

The salvaged materials also retain a portion of the value of the items used in their creation, but retain almost none of the burden of those items. These salvaged materials can then be sold to almost any vendor, if the player has no interest in using them in later Tinkering processes.

Example: The combined value of the Gold Hammer and the set of Gold Bracers used by Keryth to create her salvaged gold was 8,360 pyreals and their combined weight was 875 bu. The salvaged gold is worth 842 pyreals and weighs 100 bu.

As each item is added, its workmanship will affect the value and average workmanship of the entire stack. Combining shoddy items with a stack of higher workmanship material will reduce the workmanship of the stack as a whole. Items can continue to be added to a stack until the stack reaches 100 units of material. At that point no more material can be added to the stack and the player should start a new stack. Also, smaller stacks of material can be combined into larger ones. When combining smaller stacks of material, the skill of the salvager does not affect the quantity or value of the material in the resulting combined stack. Players should be aware that if the total material in the smaller stacks is over 100, the excess materials are lost.

Example: Keryth has two stacks of salvaged gold in her inventory. One stack is “Salvaged Gold (40),”which has an average workmanship of 8 and a value of 4,323 pyreals. The other stack is “Salvaged Gold (65)”with an average workmanship of 9 and a value of 6,468 pyreals.

When she combines these stacks in her Ust, she receives “Salvaged Gold (100)”. Examining the combined stack of gold shows that its average workmanship is 8 and it is worth 10,278 pyreals. The 5 excess units were lost.

How Do I Enhance?

Once there are 100 units in a stack of salvaged materials, the material is ready to be used to enhance an item. While all characters can salvage, only characters with trained Tinkering skills can attempt to enhance an item. In addition, since each material is specific to the Tinkering skill that uses it, only characters trained in the right skill can use that material.

Enhancing an item is the most dangerous step in Tinkering as there is a risk of destroying the item if the Tinkering fails. Additionally, whether the enhancement was a success or a failure, the salvaged material is always consumed in the process.

There are a variety of factors that affect how difficult it is to enhance an item. Some factors make the application easier, while others make it more difficult. The workmanship of the item being enhanced increases the difficulty, as a higher workmanship item is harder to enhance than a lower one. Also some enhancements are harder than others, making the enhancement harder. Finally, the number of times the item has been tinkered increases the difficulty. Making the process easier is the average workmanship quality of the salvaged materials; higher workmanship materials are easier to work with than shoddy materials. Of course, the higher the skill of the Tinker the better chance they have of successfully applying the enhancement.

Example: After her hunts, Keryth comes back with quite a few salvaged materials. The items used to create some of her salvaged materials weren't of the best workmanship and aren't complete stacks, so she decides to sell them. However she did come back with “Salvaged Gold (100)”with an average workmanship of “Flawless”. Since she's trained in Item Tinkering, she decides to risk using the gold to enhance the value of a favorite keepsake.

The item she selects is an Exquisitely Crafted Alabaster Orb. Crossing her fingers, she applies the salvaged gold to the Orb. Unfortunately she fails and the Orb is destroyed. She also loses the gold, but she knew that was going to happen, no matter whether she succeeded or failed.

Back at the allegiance mansion her patron surprises her and gives her “Salvaged Mahogany (100)”with an average workmanship of “Incomparable”. When she examines it she sees that the Mahogany is used in Weapon Tinkering and can increase the damage modifier for her bow. Since she's not trained in Weapon Tinkering and knows this is a difficult enhancement, she seeks out the allegiance Weapon Tinker. Fortunately Jill of All Trades is there and offers to apply the Mahogany to her bow. As Keryth holds her breath, Jill applies the material to the bow. Fortunately Jill is successful and Keryth is thrilled to see that 4% has been added to the damage modifier of her bow.

Remember, no matter the success or failure of the Tinker, the salvaged material is always consumed in the enhancing process.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

We hope that now it's obvious why we are so excited about this new system. In our own discussions we came up with a number of uses for Tinkering and we are confident that it will add a whole new level of enjoyment for Asheron's Call players. We are also confident that the community will come up with some fairly ingenious uses for Tinkering as well.

So be prepared, come July the possibilities will be almost endless!

State of the Code

Original Link (now dead) - http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/news/ashenewscodestate1.asp

Click to return to Microsoft Zone Archive

State of the Code


July 18, 2002

This is the latest installment of a frequently updated series of reports on The State of the Code for Asheron's Call. In this report, we keep players informed as to the state of some of the more technical aspects of AC, particularly bugs we are working on and technical limitations of which you should be aware. Look at the News page on the Zone for other articles about recent additions and changes to Asheron's Call.

July Event Update
There were a number of bugs that we fixed with the July Hotfix. The most important of these was a bug in which players could tinker armor and weapons far beyond the normal ranges for these items. This bug was so potentially disastrous to the balance of the game that we had to rollback the servers to right before the July Event. We apologize for the inconvenience. Here is a list of other bugs that we fixed, and a list of bugs that we are aware of, but will not be fixed until August:

Items fixed in July's Hotfix

  • Any landscape dwelling sold in June had been inadvertently "turned off" such that a player could not buy or pay maintenance on one of these houses. This has been fixed.
  • Unarmed weapons were not spawning with any attack or defense bonuses. This has been fixed.
  • Salvaged goods now sell for their correct rates. There had been a bug in which they were selling for far, far less than their true worth.
  • Deadly Atlatl darts now no longer erroneously require the bow skill to wield.
  • There had been a bug in the covassal/allegiance chat in which the name of the speaker was lopped off from the beginning of the message. This has been fixed.
  • There was a bug in which the Singularity Dungeon had not been made no_login, as was mentioned in this month's Developer's Notes. This has now been fixed.


Items that will be fixed in August

  • Non-magic gems can currently not be salvaged. This will be fixed in August.
  • We have reports that deleting spells from your spellbook can cause your client to crash. We have been unable to repro this, and will try to fix for August.
  • Materials and gem types display improperly when identifying an item. This will be fixed in August.
  • There are two minor bugs with the Shimmering weapons. The Shimmering Crossbow has an incorrect Slayer property, and the Shimmering Atlatl is named a Shimmering Axe. Both bugs will be fixed in August.


Material Value Bug
Salvaged materials retain a portion of the value of the items that were salvaged to create the material. So, as an example, if you have a Salvaged Gold made from two items--a Gold Tachi that was worth 4,678 py and a Gold Yumi that was worth 1,234 py--then the Salvaged Gold might be worth 2,398 py. When you sell this Salvaged Gold to a vendor, you would expect to collect nearly all of that 2,398 py, depending on the vendor's buy rate. Unfortunately, there is currently a bug that causes the vendors to pay a mere 10 py or so for salvaged materials. Basically, salvaged materials are considered stackables, and the value of a stackable comes from the "unit value" quality instead of from the normal "value" quality. Salvaged materials have the proper "value," but an erroneous "unit value." This leads the value of a salvaged material to display correctly, but means that vendors will not actually pay that price.

Because this bug does not affect the primary purpose of tinkering, we will not be hot-fixing it. It will, however, be fixed in the next regularly scheduled monthly update. So, if you collect expensive salvaged materials this month, you can sell them next month for nearly face value.

Videos

Five videos of footage from live events with actual players were made for this patch. Asheron and Elysa visited several festival stones to meet with Isparians. However, Martine interrupted many of the gatherings.

The videos are embedded from YouTube.


Act I

Asheron and Elysa speak to a group of Isparians but Martine interrupts. Martine kills several Isparians then leaves vowing revenge on Asheron.

Act II

Asheron and Elysa speak to a group of Isparians about the dangers posed by Martine.

Act III

Asheron and Elysa speak to a group of Isparians. Martine arrives but is subdued by the Virindi inside him.

Act IV

Asheron and Elysa speak to a group of Isparians. They then leave to investigate Gaerlan's Citadel which had arisen off the Northeast coast of Dereth.

Act V

Asheron and Elysa speak to a group of Isparians. Martine appears and gravely wounds Asheron. Gaerlan then appears to finish off Asheron but they escape as the crowd of Isparians fight Gaerlan and a golem he summoned.
Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Ads
Toolbox