Even with the holidays still going on the devs of POTBS are still hard at work to make the best game for launch. A new Beta build is now up with some major changes to Swashbuckling.
This build includes some major changes to Swashbuckling that we are eager for you to test. Initiative decay is gone. That means as you rack up Initiative from prep attacks, you keep it instead of seeing it quickly drain to 0. We think this removes a large amount of suck from avatar combat. We also decided that low-level grunts were too easy, so they start getting challenging at level 12 instead of level 16. These two changes should mean that your fights will be more challenging and less button-mashing.
Looping music! You will now hear music throughout ad hoc battles and many combat missions.
We fixed a client crash that could happen while your Mission UI was visible. Several of you have experienced this crash and we are very happy to have it fixed.
We are changing ship refit items so they are only available as turn-ins for Marks of Victory. Some of this work is in this patch, but the rest will be in the next patch. This build removes ship refit items from the economy so they can no longer be produced there. (In the next build, ship refits will be removed from the career missions and instead those missions will award a stack of Marks of Victory. That build will also add ship refit items to the Marks of Victory turn-in missions. Your career missions will give you almost, but not quite, enough Marks to get a refit item.)
We are extending the awarding of Marks of Victory so that everyone who contributes to Conquest can earn them. In this build, you can earn Marks of Victory by doing any of the Conquest missions from the Rebel Agent and/or the Garrison Commander, and as always you can earn them from PvP. Those Conquest missions have also had their unrest values overhauled.
We also adjusted the rate at which Marks of Victory drop in PvP. You get one Mark for each ten-level increment of the player you defeat. So players 10-19 give one Mark, 20-29 give two, and so on. We want to incent hardcore PvPers to go after their fellow high-level players instead of just farming noobs for Marks.
There are a number of trivial problems that can cause non-trivial log spam. We're working on these but if you find your log files are filling up, here's a trick for stemming the flow: Add this line to your pirates_local.ini
where <log type> is the thing you want to stop spamming. So, for example, if you have a ton of WARNING Sound: [error message] in your log, you'd put Sound=None.
Do not edit pirates.ini. If you don't have a pirates_local.ini, create one in Notepad. You'll have to shut down the game and relaunch in order for these changes to take effect.
We don't recommend leaving these in your INI for very long. If you have an actual problem, this can prevent information necessary for helping us debug from being logged. You should probably remove these the next time you patch.
After a boarding combat, the looping battle music stops playing. We'll fix this.
Differences between 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 include but aren't limited to:
Ships / Combat:
Battle markers are now color-coded correctly all the time. Groupmate markers are blue, open battles are green, and closed battles are red. These should be much easier to see now.
Identify Weakness and Military Intelligence: Increased duration from 1 minute to 5 minutes. Increased reset time from 5 minutes to 8 minutes. Reduced effectiveness of Identify Weakness a tiny bit in compensation for the longer duration. Reduced range of Identify Weakness and Military Intelligence from 1000y to 500y.
Accuracy bonuses due to ship size used to be hidden from players because originally they were strictly tied to the length of the ship. We've decoupled accuracy bonuses from ship size and moved them into ship defense, which is visible in the ship stats. For the most part this doesn't change anything about ship defenses, it just makes the values visible to the player so you know they're there.
Increased small/medium ship defense by 5. This includes the Dromedary and Postillionen, both of which are Large ships that will be changed to Medium in R1.
Increased the sails on the Mordaunt, Alexander, Agamemnon and Stralsund.
Decreased the sails on the Pommern.
Fighting grunts below level 16 was boring. They weren't a threat and killing them was tedious. We've made two big changes to improve this.
First, we made low-level grunts more dangerous. Grunts at level 12 should now be the difficulty of level 16 grunts previously. Grunts at 16 are now more difficult than they were, but less difficult than level 20 grunts, and level 20 grunts remain unchanged. This means you'll face actual risk in swashbuckling a lot sooner and we hope this encourages you to learn the system better at lower levels.
Second, we have removed initiative decay. Your initiative bar will no longer drop steadily to 0. Instead, when you earn initiative it will stay at its new value until you spend it or until you exit combat. There are also some skills and effects that can cause initiative decay, but it is no longer a fundamental part of swashbuckling. This means if you're using a character build that emphasizes finishing moves or other initiative-based skills, you can do a lot less button-mashing to get where you need to be. Expect to see NPCs using finishing moves more often now as well.
Because of this initiative change, we have reduced the amount of initiative granted by a successful attack. All basic attacks used to give you 5 points if they succeeded. They now give 1 point. This works out to be the same now that decay is gone.
Anytime you parry an attack, you gained 10 initiative. We've reduced this to 5 and again, it's about the same result now that decay is gone.
It was possible to use combinations of outfitting and skills to give yourself positive initiative regeneration, so you could earn initiative just by standing there. We've fixed this bug. This change has no effect on skills or items that explicitly give you a bunch of initiative.
Red Tide: This mission is now repeatable. The first time you complete it, you will receive XP and gold rewards. On repeated playthroughs, those end-of-mission rewards will not be present, but of course the boss in the ship combat will keep dropping his loot.
Economy Tutorial: If you built a warehouse before starting the tutorial, you could be blocked from building the Woodcutter's Camp. This is now fixed.
Removed refit recipes and refit recipe books. You can no longer produce refits in the economy. Made all refit items not-tradeable, and made their Junk Merchant sell values much lower (base 500 instead of 25k+).
Rolled the Curing Shed into the Slaughterhouse. Removed the Curing Shed recipe. Existing slaughterhouses will function as curing sheds; existing curing sheds will function as slaughterhouses. You can't build new curing sheds, though.
Added 1 unit of leather to the recipe for Rigging; removed 1 unit of rope. This means leather is used in some other place besides hull repair consumables. The cost for Rigging remains roughly the same.
Increased the doubloon cost for executing the 64-gun ship of the line recipe from 14,000 to 400,000 doubloons. It was way off all other comparable ship recipes.
PvP / Contention:
Killing an NPC avatar in boarding combat no longer generates unrest.
Changed the rate at which Marks of Victory drop so higher levels get more. Adjusted the text on the Mark of Victory so that it doesn't specifically refer to killing other players, since you can now earn them by doing Conquest missions.
Adjusted the Blockade attacker unrest missions. They now generate 40 points of unrest and 2 marks of victory.
Adjusted the attacker unrest bread turn-in. It now generates 20 unrest and 1 mark for 23 bread.
Adjusted the attacker unrest gunpowder turn-in. It now generates 20 unrest and 1 mark for 28 gunpowder.
Adjusted the attacker unrest rum turn-in. It now generates 40 unrest and 2 marks for 17 rum.
Adjusted the attacker unrest small arms turn in. It now generates 40 unrest and 2 marks for 4 small arms.
Adjusted defender unrest cannon turn-in. It now generates -35 unrest and 1 mark for 4 small cannons.
Adjusted defender unrest gold turn in. It now generates -50 unrest and 2 marks for 4 gold ingots.
Adjusted the defender unrest gunpowder turnin. It now generates -35 unrest and 1 mark for 60 gunpowder.
Adjusted the defender patrol unrest mission. It now generates -40 unrest and 2 marks.
Adjusted the defender unrest small arms turn-in. It now generates -35 unrest and 1 mark for 4 small arms.
UI / Art / Sound:
Tweaked the Auction UI to better accommodate localized text.
Changed the camera volume around the bar in certain taverns. It was making it difficult to click on the bartender. The bartender in Charlesfort was an example of this bug.
Avatar portraits and map textures no longer obey the texture sliders in Preferences. They were looking pretty bad when set to low res and they really shouldn't cause a perf issue. Now they always look good.
Fixed a bug that causes port music to continue playing when you logged out, overlapping the login screen music.
We now have looping music in ad hocs and many missions.
We also now have new variety in Victory music and Mission Complete music.
Tweaked the nationalized crowd sounds a bit they should sound better now.
Shrunk the size of some of our sound files so our launch day patch won't be quite so big. These sound files are now about half the size they were before.
Stability / Performance:
Battle Markers in the Open Sea had too many polys, and areas with lots of them could cause performance problems. We trimmed these down substantially so they should no longer contribute to any framerate issues. Players on lower-end hardware should see better Open Sea performance in areas with lots of ad hocs going on.
Fixed a game crash that could occur while using the mission UI. This has caused dozens of seemingly mysterious client crashes among players and we are very happy to fix this.
Changed the order that we turn down your graphics settings so that water reflections are last.
Fixed a cache server crash on shutdown that we found via automated testing.
We've made more progress in fixing the invisible avatar problem. Let us know how it is now.
In some cases, it was possible for a player to be accepted to a Society and get in a state where they weren't really in the Society but the server thought they were, so then they couldn't be invited again. Our fix allows the society to successfully delete the player from the list and re-invite them if they want. We are still working on fixing the actual problem but this will solve the issue when it occurs.
You couldn't click the door to enter the church in Charlesfort. Fixed this.