The Shadowbane Team decided that it would be best for the longevity of the game to reset all server and character data and start from scratch. By doing so, the game benefits in a variety of ways. First, we feel the community will be better served by being more consolidated and less fragmented. Second, resetting the game removes items that have accumulated over the years that have caused imbalances to the game. In addition, numerous updates and enhancements have been made to the Shadowbane service to improve the performance. Some of the changes were not as effective due to preexisting data and resetting the service will allow the servers to work under optimal conditions. Finally, this update also gives us a chance to address certain game issues.
The first of these that cannot occur on any existing world is the flattening of the entire city zone. Currently when a Tree of Life is placed, the area around the building grid is flattened and the rest of the zone is left unaltered. This has caused issues with the “phantom row” of walls, siege engines wrongly terra-forming the terrain, and creating practically unsiegable cities. With this update, we will be extending the flattening to the entire city zone which will rectify these issues.
Another change that is being made is the removal of Tower Guards. Tower Guards work much like Guard Captains and are continuously scanning the area (unlike Guard Minions). This scanning created a large hit on the servers and was one of the reasons cities were limited in how many Guard Captains a city can hold. Tower Guards are essentially Archer Captains without any minions and numerous cities have more than 40 of them. Initially we were looking at limiting how many walls and towers a city can hold but the community was much more supportive of removing Tower Guards completely and not limiting the design of city walls.
While it could be done without the wipe, making sweeping changes to equipment is better done in conjunction with it. Armor sets have been redistributed so that there is only one set for newly created characters, and then a set for the 25%, 50%, and 75% skill points. All other sets have been placed in the 100% bracket. With these extra sets, we have plugged a few missing Class and Discipline specific sets. Warriors have a Heavy Armor set called Dreadnaught; Priests have a Medium Armor set called Sacrosanct; Druids have been added to the Hunting Leather set which Scouts have been removed from; Scouts have been given a new Light Armor set called Scout Leather; Wizards have a Wizard specific robe and cowl; Blade Weavers have a Heavy Armor set; Blade Masters have a Light Armor set; and Knights and Dark Knights have their own individual Heavy Armor sets.
Resource costs have been removed from creating any armor set; discounting magical effects. While doing all of this, all armor sets have been brought in line. Most were not far off but a few of them had resistances and stats well outside the norm. All of the armor sets have been brought in line so that one set is not superior to another with a few exceptions. While resistances will not differ between armors, the Defense Rating, Bulk Factor, and Weight gets slightly better with Racial, Class, and Discipline armors. In addition to this, the latter get baked in magical attributes per armor piece. Not huge bonuses but rather very minor ones. For example, each Sacrosanct armor piece comes with +1 to Spirit and +1 to Theurgy. These baked in enchantments do not override or counter against the magical enchantments players can place on these armor pieces via merchant crafting.
In addition to the above, the following changes are being made in this update:
- Melee Weapons have had their range slightly increased and weight decreased
- Throwing Weapons have had their range slightly decreased and are now created on the Projectile Craftsman as are Bows and Crossbows
- Khan’Ov Skrekel, a new Freehold, has been added to the Vorringia mapset in the desert; unlike Safeholds the entire city is PvP+ and allows for transportation by all even on the Loreplay server.
- The Fence Merchants in Sea Dog’s Rest have been relocated to Khan’Ov Skrekel and Fate’s Peddler is taking a well-deserved vacation.
- The maximum amount of minions a Guard Captain can have has been decreased to 2.
- Various Bow and Crossbow Powers have been decreased.
- The Player-based Area of Effect attack on Siege Engines has been removed.
- Buildings of War now use square perimeter placement area instead of a circumference.
- An issue with the Summon power has been fixed.
- Maintenance Fees for Rank 8 Trees of Life will now be deducted.
- As you can tell, there are some rather large changes associated with this patch and some more may come with subsequent updates to Patch 22. To make sure the patch is in the best shape it can be before placing it on the Live Servers; we ask that the community help out in evaluating this update. The more people we have verifying updates and finding potential issues, the faster and more solid this patch will finalize.
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