Akathar Update Rundown
Some of you may be wondering, what has this patch got to do with Akathars? Well, nothing actually! We wanted a better system to reference patches, and we didn't want to do 1.12 format so we decided to name major patches alphabetically using game-related names. Major patches will have a new name and will go in the order of Akathar, Brownie, Centaur, etc. Minor patches will be named Akathar Hotfix Patch 1, etc.
Anyhow, this is a big one, one of our largest patches to date with the most game systems so let's start with a brief summary of everything in this patch.
Major Changes and New Additions
- PvP Changes - Zones, Stances, Looting
- Glyphs - Rework of Chaos Bindstones
- Research System
- New Resources for dyes
- New Dye Crafting Skill
- Armor Dyes Bone, Full plate, Infernal, and Dragon armor pieces can now be dyed with a primary and secondary color
- Freemium Full Launch - tweaks thanks to months of feedback, thanks!
- New Starting Area - All new players will start in Monkfield.
- Repeatable Tasks
- Consumables Bank Tab for premium
- Closest Respawn Option
- Ranged Waypoint
- Use Key Improvements
- UI Improvements
- Equipping / Unequipping gear at Bank now instant (while not in combat)
- Get Naked will now remove clothes and jewelry
- Dropped items now have new stats showing when looked at
- Portal shards and runestones are available on Vendor again, 2k for portal shards and 5k for runestones.
- Ink drop rates increased on some mobs and added extra to various loot tables.(Ink is used in schematics)
- Activity Windows fixes - They should work now in all situations.
- Siege costs: During active time base cost is now 50k for hamlets and 150k for cities.
There are three main components that come together to change how players approach PvP in Rise of Agon, to understand this change we need to explain Zones, Stances, and Looting. The general principle of this change is that we want Agon to have appeal to different types of players with different tolerance for PvP and to give more options for players to choose their level of risk and reward. The new rules and systems in place will allow there to be more room for players who want to choose "PvP Lite" options. This is also going to pave the way for a series of new content that will be aimed at consensual PvP objectives, quests and new PvE objectives in the new yellow lawful area defined below.
No Loot - Is reserved for peaceful blue players in the capital area only. They will only drop a bit of gold on incapacitation and nothing else.
Partial Loot - Means player will keep their gear in their paperdoll but drop some or all of their backpack items, Loot bags in the paperdoll will drop and are considered a backpack item.
Full Loot - Same as before, all players who are marked as rogue(grey) or red(Murderer) will be exempt from partial loot and will drop all inventory and paperdoll on death as usual in any zone.
Peaceful - Blue players with the peaceful stance will not be damaged or affected by physics from other players if within a Capital area.
Neutral - Players with this stance can engage in combat with other players that have a Neutral or Hostile stance. This stance is important for many mechanics such as siege zones. Dying in this stance has different loot rules than peaceful and hostile.
- Players with hostile stance will drop all loot no matter where they are, and are attack-able by anyone even in the capital area. To remove hostile stance a player must pray at a church with enough gold. Changing to Hostile can only be done outside a city, will make a player permanently rogue while in this stance and disables alignment gain. NPC towers will always attack players in hostile stance.
Capital (Blue) - Virtually all of Human lands will now be the place where peaceful blue players will not drop loot.
Lawful (Yellow) - This area covering the racial territories outside of human lands and will be a lawful PvP area with partial loot rules
Lawless (Red) - Oceans, Islands and the Pall of Oncylus remain lawless. Red zones remain the same as before.
*We will be implementing a map layer to view the lawful status and these zones may be tweaked in size as we go, the map provided above is a rough estimation*
Glyphs have replaced chaos stones and cannot be used to bind to anymore, but can be interacted with while holding a runestone to save the location to a runebook. They also serve as a valid respawn location when choosing "Closest Spawn Point" option upon being incapacitated. Those who previously marked these locations in their Runebook will still be valid.
The research system is a new supplement leveling system that can be used to level crafting skills, limited to dyes at the moment but will be expanded to include all crafting skills. It works by creating a blank schematic with scribing and then using (by double-clicking) the schematic and selecting a piece of dyed armor. This will create a schematic that uses the various stats such as durability, rank, etc to decide the stats of the schematic. You then use the schematic in the Research tab and queue it to start researching, which will level your skill. The item is removed through this process and will level the respective skill. We will include all of the skills in a future patch, the system was designed for all skills but we wanted to test this out with dye crafting first to fine tune it before we add the other crafts in. This system is also a stepping stone that is going to be used in upcoming Artisan skills and in new recipes requiring research to learn!
New Resources, Dye Crafting
Dyes are created by collecting various materials through gathering nodes, slaying monsters and some resources/dyes are available on the vendor. Color bases are made first, and then a pigment dropped from a monster is required to create the final dye. Regular gathering nodes contain most of the basic materials needed to create the dye bases. Higher level dye bases use the basic dye base plus some rare ingredients to create more rare dyes. There is a variety of rare and common dyes available, we are launching this system with 24 dyes to start and will continue to add more periodically. Some dyes are available in game through PvE activities, some are on the vendor such as level 1 dyes and 1 expensive gold dye that can only be bought on the vendor, many will be on the Nithron store as well. We will eventually expand this system to more armors and potentially other items but are starting with commonly used armors for this launch. Check out the store to see current dyes that are available https://www.riseofagon.com/store/
Currently, the armors that can be dyed include Full Plate, Infernal, Dragon and Bone armor. To dye a piece of armor right click it in your inventory and select "Dye" to dye the selected piece or "Dye window" to open up an interface showing your backpack and paperdoll armors to select from. Dyes will populate the list if you have a completed dye in your backpack. We will add an item to remove dyes for an inexpensive cost on the vendor if you wish to return an item to its original colors. You can apply dye over top of another at this time so simply applying a new color will override the previous.
New Starting Area
All new characters will start in Monkfield for all races now. All Humanland quests can be accessed by all races and the legacy newbie quests in the other 15 starting cities in the other racial areas have been removed. All capital recalls for both new and existing players has been set to Sanguine to become the "Last Sanctuary of Agon". There's a larger story that this is tied to that will come about through lore and new mechanics over the next few months! In addition a new starting area will be set up and a new improved tutorial in a future patch but it didn't make it in for this update. The legacy racial areas for the other races will be changed heavily over the next few patches and this update was the first step in some major storyline events & systems coming up. We're very excited and more information will come out as we get nearer to these changes!
Consumables Bank Tab
We have added in a tab to help with bank organization and quick reloading of common consumable items such as food, reagents and ammunition. This tab is a premium convenience feature, free accounts will not have access, good time to get a game time token off the market or upgrade to premium to enjoy this new feature ;). You can merge item stacks together, go to item locations and quick withdraw amounts of resources here. This tab is a new method of inventory display we plan to expand on with additional tabs and possibly custom tabs in the future. The new mechanics added into the inventory system for this consumables tab uses is going to pave the way for a few new features planned with inventory management and gearbags.
New daily tasks that you can repeat are available in the task system now and a filter to allow you to find them easily or to easily find any task. We will continue to add more repeatable quests that will be longer such as weekly and monthly. Premium accounts only can share kill credit for repeatable tasks.
Closest Respawn Option
We have added in a new feature to give players up to 3 options for respawning after being incapacitated. The options will be:
- Bindpoint - Where the player is currently bound
- House - If a player is bound to a house they will have the option to respawn there
- Closest Respawn Point - This will respawn the player at the closest point they are able to respawn at or the closest Glyph
Closest Spawn Point is a system designed for various benefits including keeping a party together if someone dies on a far off hunt from home, preventing bindcamping and keeping good value with houses. combination with this new mechanic, we have converted the old chaos stones to rune glyphs and you will no longer be able to bind to them. In addition the closest respawn point option will bypass your bindstone and choose the next closest point if your bindstone is the closest. This accounts for any kind of bindpoint including clan bindstones if you have the permission to bind at them. We welcome feedback on this change we know it may be a bit bittersweet for some to lose chaos stone binding functionality but this change allows us to add in more rune glyphs and runebook bind points which we plan to in the future but didn't get to in this patch.
Ranged Party Waypoint
You can now make a ranged waypoint (Mouse Scroll Click by default) while in a party, you can rebind it in input bindings. This waypoint is visible on the side of your screen even if you aren't looking at it directly so you can quickly identify which direction it is. Looking directly at the waypoint and using the waypoint button again will remove it. We plan to improve this system in the future with more types and additional waypoints as well as hopefully some audio to allow for better siege organization off-comms.
Use Key change and future of NPE
Use key can now be held to function as alternate use, for instance holding use on a bank will open the menu. This is a change to make it feel more natural and active when performing various actions and more intuitive for new players. In addition there's a new function in place that when you hold your use key and sweep over bags on the ground you will quickly collect them all. This feature is nicknamed the "Loot Hoover" internally and has a patent pending :).
Freemium Full Launch
This patch also marks the full launch of freemium. We've made a few changes to the freemium system thanks to the feedback we've received from players over the last several months.
- Cannot own a home
- Cannot create a clan(Can join!)
- Regular harvesting returns less resources
- All skills/spells level at the same speed as premium
- Can craft mastery gear
- Personal bank limited to 750 items
- 20 orders combined limit on market
- 100,000 max meditation points cap
- 350kg backpack capacity
- Can own a home
- Can create a clan
- Regular harvesting returns more resources
- Personal bank increased to 2000 items
- No limitation on market orders
- 500,000 max meditation points
- 400kg backpack capacity
- Access to new consumables convenience tab
- Ability to share kill credit for repeatable tasks
- No limitations on the number of premium accounts per IP.
New Lore Section on Homepage
We are excited to start adding more to the lore of the game and several upcoming features are going to expand on and use a lore-based focus. Joey, Bryan and Jake have been working on writing for a swath of new features planned over the next few months to start getting into the game. Backstories for various monsters and key figures, lore-driven quests and easter eggs to discover are on the horizon with much of the writing almost complete. The game features will start to get implemented over several patches as we add in a new chapter that we hope many Agonian Lore Hobbyists will enjoy and sink their teeth into discovering them all. Check out the new Pantheon of Agon which defines the deities and sets the stage for the next chapters of the game's story players will be able to participate in. We'd also love for our many talented community artists to showcase their fanart for the new deities, if there's some that we really like we may adopt them in-game with credit due of course!
Arpad's Magical Graphical Adventure
Arpad continues his work to evolve and modernize the visual capabilities of the game engine. In this update new water textures on waterfalls, fountains and some wave effects have been added in among other things to improve the otherall aesthetic of water in the game. There's also some new shaders and normal mapping functionality that has been added to armours to give them a more realistic look. The major improvements will come as we get to the point of having enough improvement that we can put in much higher quality textures. Once we have the work done under the hood we'll be able to sink real time and effort into updating all models and textures in the game. We have had some test new models made by one of our newer volunteers on newer models currently but there's little improvement at this time till the higher quality versions can be displayed properly. So we're going to focus on getting the technical side up to snuff so we can take full advantage of some sleek and sexy new models/textures!
We appreciate very much the assistance from many in the community in testing these features on the public test server and providing feedback on it, this allows us to refine and produce a better result for the community and we thank you for your service to the community!
We hope to see you all in the discussion thread and enjoy this major update, the team has put a lot of time and effort into this over the last few months and we're excited to finally get to see the community playing with all the new stuff!
The team at Big Picture Games