Introducing Build 0.10b2
With our first Early Access patch in just going live tonight, I thought it would be a good time to go over what it is we have been working on since we launched a little over a week ago. This patch brings many quality-of-life changes for players, along with a very important database update! While I am going to review the biggest additions that are included in this massive patch, there is still more for you to find in it! To view the full change log for this patch, visit our website at: http://trialsofascension.com/patchnotes.
The biggest change that players will notice is the new options for death penalties in the game. Dragons have had a death penalty in play since day one, where their molting progress was reset every time they died. It really wasn’t fair that only dragons got death penalties, so we added them to the humans and raknar too. Now when a human dies, they lose the progress toward their next level in their skills, and raknar lose the progress to their next rank of their abilities.
And if you prefer to play without death penalties, we have you covered there too! Server hosts can now adjust the death penalties on their servers, and can customize them on a per race basis. Want humans to lose all their progress when they die, but want to make it easier on the defenseless hatchlings? No problem! Run your server the way you want it. The death penalties cause a loss based on a percentage of the maximum required, with Extreme at 100% of maximum progress, Severe at 75%, Moderate at 50%, and Minor at 25%. Again, that is based off the total requirement for that level of skill, ability, or molting; not on the player’s personal progress.
Arguably the second biggest change for this patch is a change to our database engine. Our previous one seemed to work well enough, but after our launch we received many reports on file corruption and servers crashing, which we traced back to the database. Because of the stability and corruption issues we felt it was of high importance to get a new database structure in place as quickly as possible. This necessitated the resetting of the servers as they are updated to the new build. We realize that this is upsetting to some people, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will do our best to avoid server resets in the future, but we are in Early Access and it will happen again eventually. If you feel that is too much to handle, please consider waiting until we fully release before purchasing the game.
Server hosts will also notice that the regeneration rates for resources have been removed as server options. Instead all resources will regenerate at a very fast rate to keep up with player consumption. Server owners can still customize the scarcity or abundance of the plants, animals, and minerals to their liking, which changes the maximum limit of the resource for the island. The fauna also received a bit of love and we tweaked their spawning mechanics so they will spawn into the world closer to players than they did previously.
We’ve also made some adjustments to how a few resources can be collected to improve the overall quality-of-life for new players. We have made it so that the rocks needed for the primitive items and campfires can be harvested from boulders by humans with unarmed attacks. Clay, which is vital for both humans and dragons, has been added as a terrain type in a dozen locations across the isle, where it can be gathered in large quantities from the ground itself. Bits of clay and rocks can still be found scattered on the terrain, as well as harvested from boulders. Our last modification to terrain resources is to allow both grass and dirt to be gathered from the regular terrain, since dirt is naturally under the grass and grass should be available all over the green parts of the isle.
Dragons will notice now that choosing “harvest” as the default terrain action for gathering dirt, grass, sand, and clay will no longer auto-harvest nugget spawns. We hope that this will help new dragon players differentiate between consuming for molting versus harvesting. We have more plans to separate the two in the future, in case this doesn’t help.
For human crafting, we have lowered the fern fronds needed to make rope and the amount of clay needed to create bricks. The grass mat has also been renamed to “Sleeping Mat” to help explain its purpose and has been changed so it cannot be moved by anyone but the owner. In that same vein, the “Unfired” clay items have been changed to “Wet” to indicate their need to be dried and overall incomplete state. Humans can now use the primitive saw to build resource stands to store boards, timbers, logs, and stone.
We’ve heard from many of you that more feedback for your actions would enhance combat, so I think you will be pleased to know that we are working to improve it. We’ve added more sounds to combat along with particle effects when hitting an object or creature. This will help players to tell if their attacks landed or not, and what they hit with them when swinging. We are also looking into ways of relaying the target’s condition to the player without resorting to HP meters, but it was beyond the scope of improvements for this patch.
Video fidelity should be much improved, as we identified what was causing the “ghosting” effect and were able to fix it. We added the much-requested volume controls to the settings menu. There is now a master volume, along with Music, Ambient, and Effects controls. Music adjusts the volume of the background music played while on the server selection, character creation, and loading screens. The ambient controls the bird song during the day, the crickets at night, the patter of the rain, and the ocean roar. The effects are all sounds created by player or mob actions, including the chirping of the grubs.
Player feedback is vitally important to our development process. We have a clear idea of where we want to go with the game, but we also realize that this isn’t just about the game we want to make. It is also about making a game that others enjoy playing. Your feedback helps us identify what works, what doesn’t work, and how we can improve the overall experience for everyone. The bug reporting is also incredibly helpful as it allows us remove the errors from the game faster than we could do on our own.
Again, there is too much in this patch to cover in one article, so be sure to check the change log out yourself! Thank you all for your continued support in our development and we hope you all enjoy the updates in this build! It is the first of many more to come. Share your thoughts with us in our forums at http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/build-0-10b2-is-live.10717/.