Honing the Craft

January 18, 2021
Background game scene

Features include

Crafting updates and new weapon: Rapier

Greetings, adventurers!

Welcome to a new month of updates for the New World Alpha! This month brings a lot of changes to our crafting system, aimed at giving it immersive depth and meaningful impact on gameplay. Whether you’re gathering items as you run around the world slaying Corrupted or you’re the merchant-master of Brightwood, these changes will make the world of Aeternum feel more rewarding and user-friendly.


Spotlight

New Weapon: Rapier

We introduced a new melee weapon that excels at quick piercing attacks. The rapier's attacks scale off of a character's Dexterity score. Adventurers will be able to progress two mastery trees:

  • The Blood weapon mastery tree focuses on applying stacks of the bleed status effect to enemies and then “popping” those stacks for big damage with Flourish and Finish.

  • The Grace weapon mastery tree focuses on evasion, counterattacking, and talented blade work with the rapier.

The Rapier will have 2 crafted weapon perks specific to it in addition to the perks that are broadly applicable to other weapons.

Legendary Rapier Quest

You can go on an epic quest for the legendary rapier, Frozen Lament

  • Level 60 adventurers can speak to Ranger Herath in Mountainrise Outpost, Shattered Mountain, to begin this quest. 

  • Recover the components needed to create the Frozen Lament, and then deliver them to Ranger Madaki in Mountainhome.

Crafting System Changes

We’ve made major changes to increase the number of items players can craft and added additional functionality to the crafting system. The main goal for these changes is to keep crafting and gathering relevant through end game, while adding more depth, a new interface, and more interesting choices in the crafting system.

Note: In-game UI is in the process of localization during testing.

Crafting Mechanics
  • Added named items that can be crafted for most trade skills. These items start at tier 2 and go up to tier 5 with the goal of making crafting even more relevant in the end-game.

  • Introduced a variety of rare resources and ingredients that will be required to craft named items. Some of these rare ingredients can also be used in procedural crafting to gain gear score bonuses.

  • Introduced categorical ingredients that allow players to use different types of ingredients rather than a specific one. This will make it easier to craft various items (currently used for Repair Kits, certain cooking recipes, and procedural crafting).

  • Overhauled the procedural crafting system to give players more control and flexibility over custom crafting:

    • Players can now invest different levels of azoth while crafting. The more azoth you invest, the more bonuses you have a chance to add to your resulting craft.

    • Players can now use higher or lower tier materials within the same type (e.g. different tiers of wood when crafting a sword) to increase or decrease the gear score outcome.

    • Procedural crafting can also result in named items if the result is statistically identical to a named item in the game

  • Added new ways to unlock recipes:

    • Artifact recipes will allow players to craft a single item of that recipe.

    • Recipe schematics will allow players to permanently unlock a recipe.

  • All trade skills now cap at 200 to unify gathering, refining, and crafting progression.


New Gear Mechanics (part 1)
  • We’ve introduced over 100 new named weapons and 50 new named armor pieces. These items all have unique names, stats, and backstories. We will continue to build out these gear rewards and assign them to game activities and named characters.

  • Updated repair mechanics: Now when an item reaches 0 durability, it will have significantly reduced performance (half gear score, no perks), but it will still be usable and no longer automatically un-equips.

  • Introduced a new Repair Kit item with 4 tiers. Repair Kits will repair any item of a corresponding tier.

  • Added a Repair Kit recipe to many crafting trade skills. This is a great way for crafters to package and sell extra repair parts.


Food Mechanic Changes
  • There are now two types of food: buff food and recovery food.

  • Recovery food will provide quick HP recovery that is intended for out-of-combat HP recovery, plus a long term slow HP recovery buff.

  • Buff food will provide a gameplay buff and the long-term slow health recovery, but not the immediate recovery.

  • Added food items that will buff a variety of attribute combinations

  • Buffs from foods now persist through death, so you no longer need to re-apply your food buffs each time you die (other buffs are still purged on death, though).

  • Removed warding foods (this functionality will be replaced with potions in a future update).

  • Crafting and refining bonus foods unlock starting at tier 3 (gathering foods at tier 1).

Combat

Elite Enemy System

We’re continuing to build on the system to make elite and champion enemies more challenging and change up their gameplay. All named enemies above level 15 now utilize the Elite Enemy System. Each Elite enemy will have 1-3 affixes applied, which change their attacks and characteristics, depending on their difficulty and level.


Dynamic Mesh Scaling

We've scaled up the visual model of various enemy families and enemies within those families to offer more visual diversity to enemies. Larger enemies will also have larger hitboxes.

AI Combat Updates (part 1)
  • Adjusted the enemy AI of Drowned Sailors, Withered, Regurgitators, Corrupted Swordsman and Corrupted Spearman to also use the combat system updates introduced in the December update. We will continue to roll out these updates to all enemies.

    • Differentiated enemy light attacks and heavy attacks. Heavy attacks have Grit, longer tells, and cause staggers and significant damage; light attacks do low damage, have quicker cast times, and don’t cause a stagger.

    • Adjusted how enemies select their attacks, adding cooldowns to heavy attacks to mimic the cooldown timers on player’s abilities.

  • Increased the difficulty of AI when players fight enemies well above their level.

    • Enemies get more armor and damage the higher their level is versus the player. Armor buffs begin at 3 levels over the player and damage buffs begin at 5 levels.

    • Enemies 6 levels higher (or more) than the player will outright kill the player instead of placing players in death’s door.

    • Enemies 6 levels higher (or more) than the player have an increased perception range of +10 meters.

    • Enemies 10 levels higher (or more) than the player do not get staggered by the player.


Combat System Updates
  • Reduced the number of weapons a player can equip from 3 to 2. Note: Your second weapon slot still unlocks at level 5, as before.

  • Players can now move during ranged attack animations.

  • Adjusted ranged attack cancels to ensure they offer as much flexibility as the melee attack updates in the December update.

  • Updated Grit breaking to make it more apparent to players.

    • Having Grit broken now triggers a visual reaction.

    • Added a new Grit-break sound effect to better highlight when a player’s Grit is broken.

  • Updated combat networking in a continuing effort to improve how combat functions:

    • Adjusted hit detection logic to add a brief delay before attack hits are confirmed to better detect hits versus blocks/dodges.


Balance

War Hammer
  • Removed Grit from heavy attack startup.


Bow
  • Rain of Arrows: Significantly reduced the amount of time the attacker is locked into attack animation.


Life Staff
  • Reduced the startup frames on light attacks.


Fire Staff
  • Reduced the startup frames on light attacks.

UX/UI

Questing & Progression

Settlement Updates
  • Visual variety has been added to specific settlements. Now all settlements have a unique layout.

  • Crafting stations now visually upgrade with each new tier, making it easier for players to visually distinguish the level of each settlement's various stations.


Quest Improvements
  • The starting experience through to the acquisition of Corruption’s Bane has had many tweaks and alterations for progression flow.

  • All existing quests have had their dialogue updated to improve NPC characterization and enhance quest directives.

  • Many zones have restructured their quests for narrative flow and replaced generic looting with new interactable objects.


Group Play

We've updated how group XP functions to make it easier to play in a group:

  • As long as a group (as a whole) does 15% damage to a creature, everyone in the group gets XP and a chance at loot.

  • Group members will have to satisfy requirements to get credit; performing actions such as damage, heal, block in the last 2 minutes, and being within a certain distance of the killed creature. Note: Ranged characters fear not—we picked a distance well outside the range of normal attacks.

  • Adjusted the amount of XP that is granted when an enemy is killed by a group. Previously everyone got full XP, now the amount will be adjusted based on the number of groups and number of players within those groups. This change was made with the idea that monsters are easier to defeat while playing with a group.

Faction & Territory
  • Adjusted certain values in preparation for an upcoming larger feature that will reward both company members and everyone in the faction that owns a territory with some cool new benefits

    • Reduced tax savings for company members in a territory they own to 30%

    • Reduced housing price savings for company members in a territory they own to 20%

    • Reduced gathering bonus for company members in a territory they own to 10%