Secrets of the Swamp - November Alpha Update

November 19, 2020
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Greetings, adventurers! We’re excited to announce the discovery of a brand-new zone, Reekwater, in this month’s Alpha Test update. Veteran adventurers (level 58-60) can challenge themselves in the swamps of Reekwater, a dilapidated fishing village that plays home to a new set of foes. And what would a fishing village be without, well, fishing? We’re pleased to introduce Fishing as a new tradeskill (plus some fishing poles for Engineers to craft!). This release also brings in some quality of life changes, with adjustments to enemy AI and difficulty levels, combat, UI, and more! Take a look at the details in the patch notes below.

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New Zone: Reekwater

"Life and death shake hands here."

This vast, densely wooded, supernatural swamp was given the name “Reekwater” by fisherfolk, who gathered there to take advantage of the area’s many prime fishing spots. The name stems from the pungent and sickly sweet smell of decay that pervades the entire region. The original settlement, Bayou Village, was seen by its builders as a “new Venice,” built on the submerged ruins of an Ancient residential district. Those grand hopes were shattered with the arrival of the Siren Queen's flotilla and her rapid expansion of power. The settlers of Reekwater were forced almost entirely out of the territory—and those unable to leave or hide were dragooned into work crews for the Siren Queen. Her reach stretched across most of Reekwater, even as both she and her crew became Lost. Now, she has turned her sights on the Angry Earth, capturing them to drive her plans as she desperately searches for any way to regain her lost soul, an all-consuming quest that forces her to take greater risks for any chance of success.

Reekwater Story Quests

New Quests and NPCs lead you on a path to discover the origins of these Azoth infused waters, the life cycle of the Dryads, and the role the Ancient Guardians played in this region of Aeternum.

New Enemies

What’s a new zone without new creatures to test your skills against? We’ve added the following new enemies, with more still to come in later updates.

  • 4 Swamp Dryads - Angry Earth creatures who use the power of the bog and azoth to fight the player.

  • Undead Pirate Brute - Imagine the brute as a pirate with a cannon on his back... Enjoy!

  • 2 Swamp Fiends - One of these fiends charges toward the player and explodes, while the other prefers to overwhelm unwary adventurers with a flood of melee attacks.

  • Creepers - A new type of tendril with some new attacks and strong poison damage.

  • Sufferance of the Elders - A swamp version of the beast that pulls minions from the ground. Throws a mean spike.

  • The Protector of the Source - A boss version of the Sufferance of the Elders, with increased difficulty. The Protector consumes minions to grow stronger and throws out homing spikes.

New Skill: Fishing

Life on Aeternum is hard. Sometimes you want to slow down, relax a little, and enjoy the beauty of the world. There’s no better way to do that than by terrorizing some fishes with a pole in your hand and a bucket of fish bait at your side.

Fishing System
  • Added Fishing as a new gathering skill.

  • Added a wide array of fish to all the waters (fresh and salt!) of Aeternum.

  • Added fishing rods as a new tree within the Engineering tradeskill.

    • There are 5 tiers of fishing rods to be crafted.

    • There are 11 unique perk types available for fishing rods.

  • Added fishing hotspots to greatly increase the bite speed and rarity of fish .

    • Your ability to find hotspots increases with your Fishing Skill

  • Gather, cook, and loot to find bait that increases your chance of catching rare fish.

Fishing Quests

The first inhabitants of Reekwater found the marshy waters teeming with all manner of fish, and quickly set out to map and take advatage of this new and valuable resource. The quality, and quantity, of fish found throughout the area was far superior to any others found across the island, attracting the best and most esteemed fishing enthusiasts on Aeternum.

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Enemy Updates

New Threat System (Part 2)

We want it to be clear which player an enemy will target and provide more ways players can manipulate threat. Read our previous release notes to learn more about the threat system.

  • Healing and blocking now generate threat.

  • The Sword Mastery tree has been updated to make two abilities generate threat. (Players can expect updates to other mastery trees later.)

    • Added a taunt to Shield Bash.

    • Added an AoE threat bonus to Intimidating Rush.

Elite Enemy System (Part 1)

We want our elite and champion enemies to be more challenging and offer unique gameplay twists.

  • The elite system allows us to assign 1-3 traits to enemies that vary gameplay. These can be specifically assigned or random.

  • There are 3 categories of traits:

    • Offensive - includes elemental damage, damage bonus, block damage bonus

    • Defensive - includes increased health, increased armor, increased elemental resistance

    • Utility - includes explodes on death, frost aura

    • We’ll keep adding traits over time.

  • We’ve also added an inherent elite buff that all elites and champions will get. This buff makes Grit attacks unbreakable, but reduces the block damage they do (to allow tanks to better handle multiple enemies).

  • Difficulty for level 50 combat has been increased across the board. Please note this will require even more tuning moving forward as we continue to refine our end-game.

Weapon And Balance Updates

Targeted Healing

We’ve added a targeted healing system to make it easier for support players to heal their allies.

  • When Healing Pulse or Divine Embrace are activated, the friendly player closest to the caster’s reticle will be locked on. Pressing Left Mouse Button will cast the heal ability on the target. Target lock will disable after cast is complete.

  • Target lock can be switched to other friendly players using Mouse Wheel Up and Down or by moving the mouse in the direction of the next friendly player.

  • Target lock can be switched to manual targeting by pressing Middle Mouse Button/Wheel. Lock can also canceled by canceling Heal ability.

  • Users can also self-cast healing spells by holding CTRL and pressing the ability key.

  • Note: in a future build we will further refine targeted healing and modify the HUD to easily identify healing targets in and out of groups.

Critical Hit System

We’ve added more ways for players to diversify their builds.

  • All weapons have been assigned a critical hit chance. Currently they range from 3-5% depending on weapon, but expect more variation and weapons focused on critical hits in the future.

  • All weapons also have a critical hit modifier which determines the extra damage they do when they do crit.

  • Critical hits and backstabs don’t currently get called out in damage text with orange color like headshots do, but they will next release!

  • Note: we will also add perks that modify crit chance and modifier in the future.

  • Trap cooldown increased to 30 seconds.

Life Staff
  • Smite upgrades changes:

    • Decreased the bonus damage of Empowered Smite to 15%.

    • Decreased the additional bonus damage of Ultimate Smite to 25%.

  • Increased the slow effect duration from Intimidating Rush to 4 seconds.

  • Note: Please see New Threat System above for further Sword changes.

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Additional Nameplates

Our nameplate system currently has three levels of details (LODs): Full, which shows everything; Medium, which shows the name and guild crest but hides other non-key info like the Chat Bubble; and Small, which is just the small diamond version.

  • The new default setting displays 5 Full, 10 Medium, and 31 Distant. (Previously, only 1 Full, 4 Mediums, and 15 Distant nameplates would be displayed at once.)

  • We have also added a setting for number of nameplates displayed, so you can decide how many nameplates you want to see at once according to your taste (and what your PC can handle).

Pinned Quest Updates
  • You can now pin 6 quests instead of 3.

  • Pinned quest icons on the map are indicated by a pinned icon, making them easier to spot.

Ability Quality-of-Life
  • The Weapon Mastery tutorial for new characters has been tuned slightly to make it more clear how ability slotting works.

  • Visual effects (VFX) have been added to abilities when they are slotted in the Mastery screen.