That “few weeks ago” is a nice line, but I was of the impression the process was longer. Last month at E3, Jesse “Nei/Devilmouse/etc.” Kurlancheek told me that a white board had been erected in Turbine’s office several months before, with a list of everything that “wasn’t fun” about Asheron’s Call. If you’ll recall the last few month’s patches, you’ll see they’ve been able to rub quite a few entries off that list, and this month continues the effort. It brings allegiance chat improvements, automated component buying, and a “boot and ban” system for Gear. Also, in a movement unprecedented by other MMORPGs, all characters have been provided with new underwear. Some people have been asking for that for years in Ultima Online.
The Zone’s June build notes slate all those as “functionality improvements” (except for the underwear, but I wanted to include that in the second paragraph as an honor). See some “miscellaneous improvements”:
- Peas are now spell components. They appear in the F6 panel in the client. Handy!
If they weren’t, the component buyer would be much less fun. This way, I’ll be dancing in Celdiseth’s cottage the next time I go shopping. Hooray!
- Level 7 Creature Magic is in. ph34r.
The life and creature-specialized mages of Dereth are now kicking themselves for training arcane lore. Score: 1 for me and the other mages that didn’t, 0 for the continuing usefulness of arcane. With these spells and last month’s attribute spell duration increase, the little skill isn’t looking too good anymore.
- All vendor buy/sell rates altered to prevent \’e2\’80\’9cmoney running.\’e2\’80\’9d It’s no longer possible to make three million weightless pyreals in an hour by schlepping items to and fro.
Two days ago, Amid, of “Pre-Patch Build Notes” fame, posted this information all over AC Vault’s boards. One day and 23 hours ago, everyone panicked. Last night, Nik Davidson’s “Pages from the Producer” was posted, which was supposed to be the first news of the change — twelve hours before the patch. Today, Chris “Stormwaltz” Le’toile decided to stop respecting Amid for releasing “trade secrets” a day in advance. This deserves a lot more attention, but for now, I’ll just say I’m happily moving to Tou Tou, glad to finally feel like I could move out of Ayan and have someone to blame other than myself if I go bankrupt.
- All level 1-5 spells have had their durations extended.
Characters without VIs are fun now! And we thought it was too late for that.
The “minor details” list includes the underwear and some other things.
- Danby’s Outpost now has its intended Lifestone.
Who cares about Danby’s anymore? It’s a dires town. Let’s move a lifestone into the middle of Shoushi!
- @r and @rp now map to @reply, while @rt now maps to @retell. @reply and @retell still work as usual.”
After 19 months, I’d imagine many of us will never break the habit of using “/reply.” Two thumbs up anyway.
- It took five years, but vendors now wear aprons to make them visually distinct from players.
I never had a problem distinugishing yellow dots from white ones. This change must benefit those that can’t, so I’ll cheer for their sake. …
- Underwear is now ivory/off-white. Let’s never speak of this again.
The June rollout article also promises a fix to the problem of the last few months’ patches: a complete and utter lack of fiction.
Organized groups of marauding \’e2\’80\’9cBlack Claw\’e2\’80\’9d Drudges have appeared in the northern and southern mountains of Osteth. Rumors speak of their involvement with a cabal of Virindi, whose hidden leader, known only as the Inculcator, is reputed to have been the true mastermind behind the takeover of Ayan Baqur. Perhaps the time has come to take the battle back to the Virindi.
Are we done with the virindi yet? I’m so ready for anything else. Glibly, though, “some fiction is better than no fiction.”
The servers have been down for most of the day, fixing some dire server crash issue, so few have actually gotten to see this patch yet. I’m okay with servers being down to fix dire server crash issues. No other reports of serious bugs have come to my attention.
Finishing up, I’d provide a summary of community responses to the patch news, but I can’t. I spent at least six months reading CoD’s Barracks, Collegium Arcani, Sage Tower, and the variously-named dev boards on a daily basis, learning which posters to trust and which to ignore; today I would have spent two hours or so reading the posts on Game Issues by people I’m fond of, and scanning the rest of posts from non-regulars to pick up some general idea of how the community is feeling. I didn’t today — I neither know nor trust non-CoD regulars on the Vault boards, and the other sites don’t get enough traffic to give me any good overview.
Let’s all hope some new incarnation of CoD is back in time for next month. Allow me to plug Brash Endeavors’ CoD replacement for now. I just want to quote people on the next patch.