Part 2: Preparing for Closed Beta

June 21, 2021
Background game scene

features include

Polish, balance, & bug fixes

General

  • Added two new types of PvE Faction Missions: Assassinate and Elite.

    • Assassinate missions challenge players to take out specific high-threat foes.

    • Elite missions send players to take on Aeternum's most dangerous villains and their minions. These missions are higher difficulty with a higher reward. It's recommended that you bring a friend.

  • Polished Territory quests with updates to tracker text and map pins.

  • Reduced weight cost for Azoth fast travel by 20%.

  • Invasion rewards are now tied directly to a player’s scoreboard score.

War Declaration Update
  • War Declaration has been updated to reward the most active Companies in the influence race with a higher chance of being selected as the Vanguard.

  • All companies in a Faction are no longer eligible to declare war when a territory is thrown into a conflict state.

    • To be eligible, a Company must have contributed at least 10% of the total influence required to throw the territory into conflict.

    • In the unlikely event that no Company contributes over 10%, any Company will be eligible to declare War.

    • The War declaration button now indicates a Company’s eligibility to declare war.

  • If more than one Company declares War on the same territory during conflict, the amount of influence a Company contributed toward the conflict increases its chance to be selected as the Vanguard.

PvP Updates

In a continued effort to support PvP, we’ve reduced gear’s durability loss due to PvP death, increased XP for PvP kills, and adjusted camp respawning mechanics to make Faction Control Point battles more interesting.

  • Players flagged for PvP receive 50% less durability damage to equipment (both equipped and in their backpack) when killed by another player.

  • Increased the XP players receive for PvP kills and added rewards for players that have been alive longer (killing a player that has been alive for longer than hour will now reward 4x what the max used to be).

  • When flagged for PvP, choosing to respawn at a camp activates an incrementally-increasing respawn cooldown.

    • For each subsequent camp respawn, this cooldown increases.

    • If the player chooses to respawn elsewhere (for instance, at a settlement), the cooldown will continue counting down in the background.

    • If the player dies while flagged for PvP while the cooldown is counting down, the time increment will be added to the current value.

    • This makes respawning at a settlement and running back into the fray a great way for players to lower their camp cooldown.

Progression Updates

  • Reduced the XP required to level by 20% for all levels after level 7. The increase in the previous update combined with the changes to Corrupted Breaches reduced the speed of leveling too much. This change should bring a nice middle ground between what we felt was too fast in May and the overly tuned changes introduced in the June Part 1 update.

  • Doubled the amount of XP from repeatable Expedition quests.

  • Town projects have been fixed, improved, and adjusted in a variety of ways:

    • Tuned the rewards granted for completing missions. The rewards will now more accurately reflect the level of effort required by different missions.

    • Reduced the amount of required materials to complete Town project missions when the items are rare or valuable.

    • A larger selection of missions are now available for the Town Upkeep project to bring it in line with other projects.

  • Reduced the XP bonus granted from leveling up territory standing.

  • Adjusted the amount of territory standing gained from crafting, as some crafted items could generate disproportionately large amounts of standing.

  • Quests that award specific items should now award items aligned with the intended level of the quest.

  • Increased Trade Skill XP for crafting Jewelry items.

  • Decreased Trade Skill XP for crafting Jewelry components (e.g. Chains, Hooks, etc.).

  • Trade Skill XP for cutting gems has been increased.

  • Adjusted Harvesting XP to fall more in-line with Weaving progression.

  • Adjusted Weaving and Leatherworking Tradeskill XP curves to better align with the amount of gathering necessary to achieve a similar level in their respective Gathering skills.

Loot & Gear

  • We’ve continued to add much more visual diversity to in-game weapon and armor sets.

    • Faction Heavy tier 5 armor sets have new unique visuals, with a different look for each Faction.

    • Lost enemies have been split into Lost and Drowned types to differentiate the gear that drops from them. A new set of gear visuals has been applied to armor and weapons dropped by Drowned enemies.

    • The Breach Ice Gauntlet has a new visual look.

    • Fire Staves and Tower Shields for Lost, Ancient, and Corrupted enemy families now have new color schemes that match the corresponding enemy family color set.

    • Lost Heavy and Medium armor drops have a new look at tiers 3 and 4.

    • Updated the visuals on Outpost Rush weapons.

    • Added weapon sets for Dynasty enemies in the open world.

    • Updated the visuals on the Dynasty Shipyard Expedition weapons.

    • Added some new armor sets with interesting visuals to the global open world drops. For example, a 17th century beekeeper’s outfit.

    • Updated visuals for the tier 5 weapons dropped by Elite Angry Earth and Elite Ancient enemies.

  • Improved Expedition drops by increasing the chances that Expedition armor and weapons will drop with one more perk than they did previously.

  • Clothing with Tradeskill related perks can now be found at Elite points of interest (POIs) in endgame areas.

  • Increased special drops from Expeditions and Elite POIs – we want to ensure that players feel rewarded for defeating some of the most dangerous enemies in Aeternum.

    • Significantly increased the drop chance of named items from Expedition bosses and minibosses.

    • Added more equipment rolls to Elite POI chests and adjusted the drop rates of other contents of Elite chests. This will also impact chests found in Expeditions.

    • Expedition bosses will drop a wider variety and higher quantity of loot when defeated.

    • Increased the drop rate for some named enemies in the open world.

    • Slightly increased the drop rate of items on the global named items list.

    • At least one gear drop from an Expedition boss will guarantee a Gear Score increase provided the boss is powerful enough to grant on in the first place.

  • Crafted and Dropped armor can now roll Skill Perks.

  • Players can now salvage gear they receive as drops into gold and repair parts. This will provide a great new source of income for players and ensure all drops have a base value. Resources gained from salvaging item drops have been removed.

    • We changed this to better balance salvage and we felt this gave a much needed boost to the value of gathering and refining. We want to reward players who level up their Tradeskills, and previously it was too easy to get high end materials by killing enemies and salvaging the gear.

  • Crafted Trinkets now salvage into a lower tier, raw version of the Gem used to craft them, to better fit a change that enables any tier of Trinket to use any tier of components to craft it.

  • In an effort to tune the gold economy, we have made some changes to the Faction shops:

    • Removed family coatings from the Faction shop, which changes the emphasis on acquiring them to crafting.

    • Added a special set of items to the Faction shop that enable players to change the attributes on their Faction equipment to a selection of different allocations.

    • Prices of all Faction shop items have been adjusted to align with updated currency rates.

  • Updated Epic Armor Quests by adding the ability to upgrade several pieces of special armor granted as quest rewards in the mid to late game. The requirements for earning sets in existing quests are spread out across 15 levels. At the end of each quest, players are now granted the means to upgrade the lower-level armor pieces to the power level of the final piece of the set.

  • Tuned High Water Mark (player’s ability to earn items above their current Gear Score) outcome rates and introduced a floor so items from powerful Level 60+ enemies don’t drop at gear scores far below their power level.

  • The Tribal Loyalty Charm, an early game quest reward, now provides increased Constitution instead of Strength so it is more universally applicable to its recipients while they are learning how attributes work and which playstyles they enjoy.

Crafting & Gathering

  • Fishing: Updated Piranhas, Dragon Fish, Speartooth Sharks and Stingrays to salvage into fish guts with a chance to also grant an extra, unique item for each fish which can be used in alchemy.

  • Added the ability to combine lower tier Gems into higher tier Gems at the Stonecutting station.

  • Players can now use any tier of Solvent when refining Gems.

  • Tuned Repair Kit crafting costs:

    • Tier 2/3/4/5 now require 55/100/175/350 Repair Parts to better align with the rate we see players acquiring parts in the Alpha. T2 was increased from 40, T3 stayed the same, T4 was lowered from 200, and T5 was lowered from 400.

    • Tier 2/3/4/5 now require 1/2/3/3 individual Craft Mods (down from significantly higher amounts over tiers).

  • Reduced the Wood requirement to make Charcoal from 3 to 2.

  • Increased the raw resource refining cost of tier 4 and tier 5 refined resources by 50% and 100%, respectively. For instance, Starmetal Ingots now require 6 raw Starmetal instead of 4, and Orichalcum Ingots require 8 raw Orichalcum instead of 4.

  • Increased the resource cost of crafting Epic crafting materials (e.g. Asmodeum) by 1.

  • Slightly increased the drop rates and quantities of Gem stones found in standard ore veins (e.g. Iron, Starmetal).

  • Removed the need for Craft Mods on the first tier of Crafting Trophies. These have been replaced with Elemental Essences.

  • Normalized the rarity of all Crafting Mods to uncommon.

  • Honing Stones can now be crafted in bulk.

  • Milk now has a chance to be found in any provisioning container in the world, with a higher likelihood to be found in Windsward, Reekwater, and Brightwood.

  • Removed foods granting Tradeskill bonuses from large provisioning containers. These containers will continue to drop finished meals of the Health and Mana recovery variety. We believe this change will place a greater emphasis on either crafting these meals yourselves or purchasing them from other players who have crafted them.

  • Quintessences are now Epic rarity.

Titles & Achievements

  • We’ve been working with the Alpha community to refine and update the title system ahead of launch. Many players provided feedback that there were too many titles, and because of that, displaying a hard-earned title didn’t feel special.

    • Some titles have been removed and most will be earned only by completing higher-level achievements. If you see someone with a title, you know they’ve worked hard to unlock it.

  • The title change UI now has a pronoun selector.

    • You can decide if your character’s titles should use the He/Him, She/Her or They/Them pronoun, when the text of the title allows it.

  • Moved titles down on the overhead nameplate to display on the same line as the character’s current company (if they have one).

  • Players can now disable Achievement notifications.

  • Added Steam Achievements. Completing some in-game Achievements will also grant Steam Achievements.

UX/UI

  • The intro cinematic just before character creation has been updated with new dialog that better sets up Captain Thorpe’s story.

  • The Main Menu now includes a more streamlined flow when a player enters without an existing character, leading them right to World Select.

  • There is now a basic settings flow on initial character creation which allows the user to choose common settings and adjust the screen brightness.

  • The UI team focused on polish this release, fixing 259 bugs.

  • Typing a direct message no longer makes a ‘...’ bubble.

  • Chat now has a setting to display a dark background behind each message, making them easier to read.

  • Group health bars now indicate ‘disconnected’ status when applicable.

Combat & AI

Enemy AI
  • Expeditions: Increased the damage of all Expedition creatures by 10-20% to provide a greater challenge to players.

Combat
  • Updated Constitution to have a diminishing returns on the amount of HP granted per level the more points you put into it. Previously, it started at 15 HP per attribute point and would gradually increase as you put more points into it to a cap of 34. Now it starts at 25 HP granted, and decreases gradually until you get 21 HP per attribute. This decreased the total HP granted from Constitution slightly from 12,175 to 11,325, but increased the amount of HP players get from Constitution at a lower level.

  • Updated targeted healing. Pressing CTRL while a heal is active will now automatically perform a self heal. Players no longer have to hold CTRL before casting the spell.

Balance

Great Axe
  • Execute ability now allows more rotation during startup.

Bow
  • Reduced Go The Distance Evade Haste modifier effect from 33% to 15%.

  • Reduced Catch Me If You Can Skirmisher passive Haste effect from 33% to 20%.

  • Reduced Dodge and Weave Skirmisher passive Haste duration from 5 seconds to 2 seconds.

  • Reduced Archer's Speed Skirmisher passive Haste effect from 20% to 10%.

  • Reduced Hooked Arrows Rain of Arrows Slow modifier effect from 30% to 15%.

  • Reduced Impale Skirmisher passive Slow effect from 20% to 10%.

  • Reduced Knee Shot Skirmisher Ultimate Slow effect and duration from 20% for 3 seconds to 10% for 2 seconds.

Musket
  • Reduced Musket's Back It Up Trapper passive Haste effect from 30% to 10%.

  • Reduced Musket's Sticky Slow modifier Slow effect from 20% to 15%.

Life Staff
  • Orb of Protection now heals over time instead of granting Empower.

  • Sacred Ground now has increased healing.

  • Flash of Light has increased base healing.

  • Reduced Life Staff's Balance Protector passive Haste effect from 20% to 10%.

Ice Gauntlet
  • Wind Chill Updates:

    • Removed pushback and increased damage 20% on last 2 meters of effective range. The first 5 meters still cause pushback.

    • Replaced Shatter upgrade with Chilling Blast, which increases the damage of the last 2 meters of the Wind Chill range by 25%.

  • Ice Shower Updates:

    • Increased Frostbite’s default duration from 1 second to 3 seconds after exiting Ice Shower.

    • Increased the duration of Enduring Shower from 6 seconds to 7 seconds.

    • Replaced Shower Slush with Shattering Showers.

      • Shattering Showers Frostbite applies Rend to targets, reducing defense 10%.

    • Reduced the range from 3 meters to 2 meters.

Fire Staff
  • Reduced Fire Staff's Combat Speed Pyromancer passive Haste effect from 20% to 10%.


That’s it for today! The June updates have been exciting for us as we work to polish, tune, and watch the finishing details finally start to come together in game. We’re hard at work preparing for the July 20 Closed Beta! We’ll keep working with and playing alongside our Alpha community to help inform our tuning and changes as we continue development. Keep an eye out for news at @playnewworld, and we’ll see you in Aeternum.