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Differences between build 0.24.0.30 and 0.24.1.91

This build marks the end of a milestone and contains too many changes to list. (Nonetheless, I’ve listed 17 pages of ‘em and haven’t covered them all.) The biggest changes in this build are:

  • Implementation of swashbuckling boarding combat. No more watching boring status bars drop while nothing happens. Now you have more control over how the battle fares. Check out DrewC’s devlog for an overview.
  • We made several changes to chat to prepare to accommodate thousands of players online at a time, including career-based communication skills. More information is available below.
  • New Open Sea spawns. They cover the entire Open Sea and they respond to port conquest, so even when a port changes hands you’ll have the spawns you need to attack to take the port back, and lots of cool and different spawns along the way. For more info on this system, check out BrendanW’s devlog.
  • Noobland mission revamp. ConCo went back through all the standard encounters (again) and tuned / fixed them. Then they went back through all the missions in all the starter towns and tuned / fixed them. Then they played them and realized they weren’t fun enough. So they tuned / fixed them again! This process involved deleting some missions you’re familiar with and adding some new ones.
  • Avatar bits polish. We added a ton of new avatar pieces and fixed a bunch of old ones. We took certain pieces away from character creation – things like peglegs can only be earned later in the game. We also made certain pieces available only to certain nations or careers – Naval uniform jackets should only be available to members of the Navy on character creation. And we got rid of a bunch of NPCs who were wearing the old bits and replaced them with NPCs wearing the new bits.
  • The Carrier Pigeon (mail) system should be functional now. (What was in the earlier build was one of those “please ignore the man behind the curtain” sort of things.) Play with it. Log bugs.
  • There’s a new Marsh Harbour. Even if you normally play a national character, you should roll a Pirate alt and check it out!  :)

Known Issues:

  • If you’re in an ad hoc encounter and you win a Boarding Combat and then sink the derelict, you’ll get trapped in the encounter. You just successfully boarded, you don’t get to also sink the derelict!
  • Fencing Trainers don’t sell supplies. You can get the supplies you need from the other Swashbuckling Trainers.
  • Difficulty sliders are not in this build. We have begun implementing an automatic difficulty slider based on the size of your group and a manual difficulty slider you yourself can set to make missions more or less challenging. Sadly, we didn’t get them stabilized in time. Expect this feature in the next big update you get (0.25.0.??).
  • The new Marsh Harbour has several chambering problems where buildings and NPCs and such disappear as you move around. We’re on it; no need to log it.
  • ConCo has not yet revamped the midland or highland missions. These missions have already experienced some changes because of the standard encounters change and ConCo has made a few bug fixes but massive changes are on the way. No need to log bugs against missions except the ones in the starter towns (Jenny Bay, Rosignol, Georgetown, Les Hattes, Bartica, Charlesfort, Fort Caroline, St. Augustine, Grenville, Tampa, Marsh Harbour, Morgan’s Bluff, Harbour Island, Cat Island, Whitby, Vera Cruz, Barilla, Villa Hermosa, Campeche, and Sisal).
  • Several ships lost their Bilge Pumps. When you’re sailing these ships, you’ll often see water penetrate the hulls. No need to log these – we’re aware and fixing the problem now.
  • If you have an ATI card, when you first zone into Boarding Combat on a large ship, you won’t see the railings of the ship nor the other avatars in the area until you move.
  • Sometimes some players exiting the Freetrader’s office on the first floor of the tavern land upstairs in the tavern. Disconcerting but not a problem – simply walk down to the first floor again.

Differences between 0.24.0.26 and 0.24.1.91 include but aren’t limited to:

Ships and Ship Combat:

  Ships / Outfitting:
  • Inventory items can no longer be used while being traded.
  • Reduced the weight of all main (guns/hull/sails) outfitting to 1 in preparation for economy and durability changes.
  • Added about 70 more outfitting items to the game.
  • Added some very high-end consumables for repair and buffing. (Added recipes and books for these consumables, and the books to the loot tables. Their drop rate is extremely low.)
  • Changed some modifier strings so that they are clearer.
  • Replaced the temporary general equipment categories with specific location-based categories. For example, the Improved Rudder Tackle is now in the "Rudder" category instead of "Maneuverability."
  • Doubled the acceleration values on all outfitting.
  • Lowered the damage on anti-personnel shot.
  • Removed accuracy penalties from shot types. (Isildur never liked them, and the range reduction takes care of the accuracy.)
  • Fixed icons and effect names for some consumables, including Tyrants’ Overhaul.
  • Fixed descriptions for Rig Catharpins.
  • Fixed a bug where equipping hammocks or such would start you with damaged crew.
  • Hammocks now have actual icons in Help.
  • Adjusted the stats on Extra Crew Quarters 3-4 to mix absolute and relative modifiers.
  • Reduced the effectiveness of Raider's Guns.
  • Made consumables repair over 30 seconds instead of 5 seconds.
  • Reduced the amount of short range damage on all outfitting.
  • Made Medium Perfected Cannons 5 work for Medium ships.
  • Added Heavy Cannons
  • Taelorn thought we needed more variety in cannon weights so he more than doubled what we had. Now we have a gun at every weight from 3-16 and every other weight from there up to 48.
  • Adjusted the guns on many ships to make use of the new gun weights.
  • Set Short Range accuracy to +10% (from 0) for 9lb and greater cannons.
  • Reduced the amount of gun damage on all ships.
  • Moved up the aim points on ships to 10 cm so they can’t slide under islands.
  • Taelorn changed acceleration and handling of ships in encounters, but not so much on the Open Sea. There are some preliminary adjustments in this build but the next major release will include a large revamp of Open Sea motion.
  • Reduced the capacity of Civilian Merchant ships to approximately 60% of the base ship value. Non-Freetraders can still sail the civ versions, except for the Indiamen.
  • Increased the sail durability of the warship variants. Taelorn already made this change for the scout variants - this catches the warships up to the newest values.
  • Taelorn added several new career-restricted ships to the game. They have very low durability and limited availability.
  • Clarified the names of some of the ships of the line.
  • Tuned the progression of the fallback ships (the ones you get when you lose the last durability point on your last ship). Now it goes like this (all Civ versions): Freetrader = Medum Schooner -> SchoonerLg -> Ketch -> Cutter -> Brig -> West Indiaman -> Raa -> East Indiaman. Navy = Medum Schooner -> La Belle -> Cutter -> Snow -> Brig -> Stralsund -> Raa -> Large Frigate. Pirate = Medum Schooner -> Small Sloop -> Cutter -> Xebec -> Small Frigate -> Raa -> Capricieux. Privateer = Medum Schooner -> Large Schooner -> Large Sloop -> Cutter -> Packetboat -> Small Frigate -> Raa -> Medium Frigate.
  • Now only Freetraders can own Barks, Flutes, West Indiamen, Small Galleons, East Indiamen, Oliphants, Large Galleons, and Couronnes. (Pirates can still capture them but are flagged PvP.)
  • Now only Navy can own 64-guns, 84-guns, 104-guns, Princes, Trinities, and Wendens. (Pirates can still capture them but are flagged PvP.)
  • Now only Privateers can own Destroyer Frigates and only Pirates can own Destroyer Pirate Frigates. (Right now they have the same stats.)
  • New PvP Flagged ship list for pirates. When we introduced capture deeds, we broke all PvP flagged pirate ships. Taelorn added all captured versions of the deeds to the invalid list. Also added all Freetrader-only ships and all writ ships except the Destroyer to the invalid list.
  • Made a Retrofit recipe for the Destroyer to produce a Pirate version.
  • Swapped sloop names. Small sloop = Jamaica. Large sloop = Bermuda.
  • Made several changes to switch the Flute and Bark. The Flute is now lower level and the Bark is higher level.
  • Reduced Flute to 23.64m from 32.4m and changed the Flute to a medium ship.
  • Slightly increased the sails on the Brig.
  • The 'La Belle' Light Corvette was using the old sailing constant format, with the new global sailing parameters. This made its performance terrible. Updated it to the new format so it should sail better.
  • Sleek Corvette received a small armor increase
  • Packetboat received a small armor/structure increase
  • Changed the top deck guns on the Raa from 9lb to 4lb.
  • Tweaked the colorization of the Capriciux.
  • The Courier Capricieux used to have 12 6 lbers and 22 12 lbers. Now it has 10 4 lbers and 20 9 lbers.
  • Capricieux level changed from 39 to 38
  • Courier Capricieux level changed from 36 to 34
  • Armored Capricieux level changed from 44 to 42
  • Mastercraft Capricieux: increased reload rate
  • Slightly increased the Running and Beam Reach speeds on some Stralsund variations.
  • Reduced Stralsund to 29.8m from 42.0m. This makes it harder to hit.
  • Mastercraft Stralsund received a small armor reduction
  • Increased the capacity of the Oliphant from 900 to 1000.
  • Removed the Civ Oliphant.
  • The 50gun has 52 gun ports. Taelorn had it using 50 guns just to match the name. Now it is called a "Fourth Rate" instead of a 50gun and has the 2 missing guns.
  • Increased the cannon count in the Mordaunt recipe to match the number of cannons on the ship.
  • The Defiant and MC Defiant upwind and luffing speeds were off by 5%. Fixed.
  • Sleek Defiant level changed from 41 to 40
  • Courier Cerberus level changed from 23 to 22
  • Removed most loot items from Help.
  • Removed duplicate listing for Destroyer Frigate from Help.
  • The Stralsund Frigate (Civilian) was listed twice in Help. Fixed that.
  Skills:
  • DrewC is a big whiner and thinks that players shouldn't get stun locked by turn rate reducing abilities. Fine, fine. Isildur changed the minimum turn rate modifier to 15%, so you will always have some ability to turn, even when Taelorn is disabling your rudder and destroying all your crew.
  • Fixed “Overloaded Shot” to work in encounters.
  • Made the Capture and Crew Focus skills level 5.
  • Made Surprise Attack last 60 seconds as it should.
  • Isildur buffed the Desperation Fire and Emergency Turn skills, since they sucked.
  • Sacrifice for Speed was a “Get out of Jail Free” card. Fixed that.
  • Striking Colors is now called Abandon Ship.
  • Tuned some skills. Most maneuvering skills became somewhat more powerful; other skills received an assortment of minor tweaks to duration and effectiveness.
  • Fixed Stealth which wasn’t working properly.
  • Freetrader and Privateer Preparation skills now require not-in-combat instead of open sea, so they're usable in final battles and missions.
  • Misdirection (Freetrader skill) now has its own status icon.
  • Freetrader skill Smuggled Cargo wasn’t decreasing the quantity of surrendered goods correctly. Fixed that.
  • Attempted to clarify tooltips for accuracy modifications.
  • Changed wording on passive skill tooltips – hopefully less confusing now.
  • Some of the skill icons have been re-done. Hopefully, they’re a little clearer now, as well as nicer-looking.
  • Fixed which icon is used to indicate Privateer Signals.
  NPCs - Improved the list of skills enemy NPC ships can choose from when attacking, tuned forts, made AIs a touch more intelligent. Some changes include:
  • Taelorn removed the skills Vital Strike and Rake from all AI ships. One NPC having these is fine. When 5 NPCs all use them on you... ouch.
  • Removed Privateer Signals skill from AIs.
  • Removed a global nerf from NPC Armor and Structure now that ConCo has tuned missions and because it’s not needed any more since surrender has been added to missions.
  • Tried to improve the intelligence of NPC allies when the player’s goal is not attacking. They now try to stay close to the player, matching speed and direction, and try to stay out of each other’s way. It’s not perfect but should be better than it was.
  • When NPCs surrender, you now see proper text instead of code.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing AIs to update their control state too often resulting in NPCs raising and lowering their sails repeatedly.
  • Made it so that AIs don't weight bow chasers nearly as much as other batteries. Previously, NPCs with bow chasers didn’t use their broadsides nearly as much as they should.
  • Fixed a constant that was off by 180/Pi in the hostile APF code. This was sometimes keeping AIs from keeping you in yaw range.
  • AIs no longer try to avoid collisions with ships that are 135 degrees or more behind them. It's up to the ship in back to avoid the collision. This was causing ships to not be able to do anything but sail in a straight line as they tried to avoid the ship behind them.
  • Fixed some weirdness that may have caused escorting AIs to stop escorting sometimes.
  • Decreased the sailing speed of NPCs on the Open Sea.
  • NPCs in the Open Sea now take the number of your group members who will get pulled into the battle into account when deciding whether to attack you.
  • AIs had been unable to seek to forts, now they can.
  • Improved the way some AIs deal with forts. (Some may still be pretty stupid about it. Brady made a code fix. It’s up to ConCo to use it in encounters.)
  • Reduced NPC accuracy.
  • Reduced the short & long range accuracy on fort cannons.
  • Removed the defense bonus on crew for forts. They didn't really need a defense bonus.
  • Adjusted the crew for Large and Huge forts.
  • Fixed a bug that made forts fire twice with their bow guns (effectively doubling their damage).
  Combat:
  • Improved ship key controls. When you shift from left to right, you no longer get stuck in the middle (rudder=0) sometimes.
  • Fixed a bug in turning where, if you were turning hard and then decreased the turn, your speed would drop to zero. That was bad.
  • V, B and N will now cause your ship to use "No Sails", "Battle Sails", or "Full Sails" respectively. You can change that in Options -> Keybindings.
  • With the overhaul to ship combat, accuracy has become much more important to understand but we weren’t showing it to you anywhere. It has now been added to the Combat UI.
  • Made some changes to the way we determine what side everyone is on. If you see any problems with being unable to attack or tab to certain enemies, this change could have caused it – let us know!
  • Added a Port Captain to Port Royal. He doesn’t do anything right now but in a future build he will help you set your mission difficulty and give you a voluntary PvP flag when you want it. He’ll also be in many other ports.
  • We think/hope we’ve fixed the bug where cannons stop reloading with one second remaining. Let us know if you still see this bug.
  • Increased the amount of positive faction you gain for killing someone, and reduced the number of factions that care about any given kill.
  • Changed the way we calculate XP gain for defeating another ship to take into account not only your level but also your ship’s level. Winning in a smaller ship gains you more XP. So if you’re a high-level player and want to play with lower-level friends, you can sail a lower-level ship and that will avoid screwing up their XP collection.
  • Changed the requirement message for ship capture from "Target ship cannot be captured." to "You cannot capture ships flagged with (Minor), (Civilian) or (Mission)."
  • Fixed a bug that allowed you to receive bounty credit for a ship that escaped. No cookie for you if he gets away!
  • Changed the way we calculate how much you surrender so that what you lose makes a bit more sense.
  • You can no longer surrender to derelicts.
  • Fixed the bug that prevented you from returning to town if you surrendered in the PvP room off Tortuga.
  Grappling / Boarding:
  • Adjusted grappling chances. Speed is now a smaller factor on grappling chance, and relative motion is now a bigger factor.
  • Increased effectiveness of grappling defense skills, to match Isildur’s stated philosophy of 'grapple defense > grapple offense'.
  • Added the Boarding Defense effect, applied when you're in boarding combat. This effect reduces all ship damage taken by 30% so you’re less of an easy target while grappled.
  • Made it easier to grapple forts.

Swashbuckling combat – This is a huge iteration of this feature. We tuned characters, skills, and AIs to make more sense and be more fun.

  Players / Outfitting:
  • Now when you create a new character, we give you the default swashbuckling skills corresponding to your default career.
  • Added a third general outfitting slot for avatars.
  • Improved the way avatar skills display in ships and your skill list.
  • Changed the avatar key code so that it works better when both keys are down. The new way, you stop if you have complementary keys down at once (like forward and back). Then when you lift up on one key, you start going the other way. The old code was essentially losing key-ups.
  • Upped the strafing speed so it isn't as dramatic of a change when running around.
  • Added a hack to prevent the ability to loot a player’s ship if you beat him in swashbuckling combat. (We already have a mechanism for looting a defeated ship and this was sort of doing it twice.) We’ll code up a better fix later.
  • Fixed a bug that would let you exit Swashbuckling encounters sometimes when you shouldn’t be able to.
  • Bandages are now regular inventory items, only usable via a skill.
  • Grenades now have a range of 15y. Pistols now have a range of 20y.
  • Added a bunch of high-level uncommon and unique avatar outfitting to the loot tables.
  • Added Initiative to the healthbars of your group members.
  • Added icons to avatar outfitting.
  Skills – Completely rearranged most of the skill trees, tuned most of the existing skills, added/removed/renamed.  If we could change it, we did. Some changes include:
  • It’s now required that you have skills in the appropriate fighting school in order to equip avatar combat weapons in that school.
  • We now add both Strike and Beat to the player’s toolbar in the tutorial, before s/he even loads into the game.
  • The entire Fencing school of skills is now in the game.
  • The Swashbuckling Respec skill was using the wrong cooldown timer. Fixed that.
  • Tuned the effect of the First Aid skills to be roughly 60% more effective across the board.
  • Moved Advance from Steady to Careful and decreased the damage of Advance, but greatly reduced the balance cost of Advance. This move should now be a conservative finishing move, doing less damage than other finishing moves, but more than a regular attack. This change makes this move extremely useful against Grunts, as they generally have lower hit point totals and finishing moves often overkill them. To compensate for this the attacker loses more balance when he kills his target with advance than when he simply damages them. He still loses less damage on a kill than a regular finishing move.
  • Removed the chance of hamstring from Lunge (this is going to Low Stab), added a damage bonus to Lunge.
  • Did the same for Vicious Lunge, but with a greater damage bonus.
  • Moved Appel from Careful to the bottom of the Quick skill chain. This makes the skill available immediately.
  • Moved Reverse elbow from the middle of Quick to the end of the tree. Changed Reverse to do a small amount of damage, and to apply a “winded” debuff that reduces the targets movement speed for 30 seconds (identical to “Hamstrung” but with a different name).
  • Changed Intensity and Vicious Intensity to give slightly less initiative immediately, but regenerate a large amount of initiative over time. This makes them more useful as pre-fight skills, as you don't lose all of the initiative before the battle starts.
  • “Stung” was lasting 4x as long as it should have been. Fixed that.
  • Renamed Passata Sotto to Invitation.
  • All finishing moves now do less damage at the high end.
  • Finishing moves across all three schools now cost a more uniform amount of balance to use.
  • Reduced cooldown of all pistol attacks.
  • Added unique icons to many Swashbuckling skills.
  NPCs, etc.:
  • Career trainers now have unique floaty icons.
  • Added variety and strength to the avatar AIs in the spawn tables. DrewC is hoping this doesn’t mess up level balance too much. Tuning to come…
  • You can now tell which avatar enemies are grunts, lieutenants, or bosses via sword icons below their shields in their health bar.
  • Gave all pistol skills an AI use requirement of at least level 10 (some were already above this level). Noobs should no longer be shot by angry grunts.
  • It was possible to trick your avatar enemies into chasing you around in circles, nullifying their ability to attack you effectively. They’re a little smarter now.
  • Reduced the hate multiplier avatar AIs use for damage done to allies in range. Also reduced the rate at which AIs lose hate over time. This will make AIs less prone to switch targets in combat.
  • Fixed Mayans to carry clubs both in and out of combat and to idle when they should.
  • Tweaked swashbuckling animations to improve timing and placement.
  • Widened the hallway in the back of one of the taverns to improve avatar combat there.
  • Improved fencing combat sounds.

Landmark Battles / Server Victory:

  • Changed the way Landmark Contention works slightly. Used to be that full PvP (any nation can attack any nation) didn’t occur until the same time the final battle was scheduled. This didn’t give players much chance to defend their port. Now the progression is from Pirate PvP (anyone can attack Pirates and vice versa but, e.g., French can’t attack Brits) to Open PvP (any nation can attack any nation) to Contention (final battle is scheduled and we’re still in Open PvP). The current triggers are 600/800/1000 contention points but we may tune those.
  • Surrendering AIs weren’t counting for contention points. Now they do.
  • Fixed a bug where unrest points would suddenly drop to 0 when a port decayed from “piracy” to “normal”.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing the Pirate PvP zone around ports in the “raided” state to be invisible.
  • Brendan fixed an off-by-one error in a calculation on how many ports could be put into contention and caused another at the same time. Now he’s fixed that one too. Can you find any more?
  • There is now a toggle on the World Map to Show Unrest in “ports you care about”. (Ports You Care About are ports owned by your nation, ports in contention your nation is attacking, and ports not in contention that your nation has unrest in.) We currently show red circles for friendly ports with unrest and blue circles for enemy ports with unrest. Also, we show the 'swords' icon if one of those ports is in contention.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing invitations to port battles to fail sometimes.
  • If you have contention points but don’t get invited to the final battle, you should now get notice of why not (battle was full, battle got rescheduled, whatever.)
  • It sometimes seemed that turning in Black Powder to the Garrison Commander had no effect. The problem was fractions. So now we use integers only and it seems to work better.
  • Landmark Battle ready rooms no longer have outfitters to sell players stuff.
  • The blank maps in the Ready Room are no longer clickable. We’ll fix this better later on when we have valid maps.
  • The Final Battle room previously so soundly rejected by Beta has been replaced with a new Final Battle room Isildur and Woodrodius think you’ll find much improved.
  • Improved the situation where one player could drag out a landmark battle for dang ever by running and hiding. There’s now a timer that limits how long that sort of thing can go on. This is probably not our final answer to this problem.
  • If the Brits win another Server Victory, they should be rewarded by having their flag shown, not a Pirate flag.
  • Corrected the spelling of Caribbean in a few places, including the Server Victory UI.
  • Fixed the off-by-one error in the month field of the Server Victory UI. Now May 11, 2007 looks like 5/11/07 to us Americans, as it should. In theory, it now looks like 11/5/07 to Brits and others who use that date format as well.

Missions – Noobland has been completely redone and many bugs fixed at all levels. Too many changes to list:

  • Changed the way we assign characters to your roles. As you play the games, certain NPCs become your special love interest, your career mentor, etc. The way we used to assign them to you meant we had to force a wipe when major changes occurred. Now we can change them without wiping the database.
  • Improved tutorial wording in regards to skills and the health bar.
  • Tweaked some NPC placers in the tutorial so you don’t necessarily have to fight three enemies at once.
  • Added two more rats to the first fight in the Tutorial, changed the wording for Health, Initiative, and Balance, tweaks to the AIs, and more.
  • We now award bandages along with heavy round shot in noob missions because you don’t start off with enough money to buy them. Bandages are rewarded at the end of the tutorial.
  • Made the Economy Tutorial truly solo-only as it should have been from the start.
  • Added some bullet-proofing to the Economy Tutorial to help prevent players from building warehouses at the wrong time. It’s still very easy to work around this, but not by accident while you’re in the middle of one of the missions.
  • Tweaked wording in the Economy Tutorial to clarify confusing instructions and smooth the process along.
  • Economy Tutorial: Building the Gravel Pit – the assistant now has a question mark overhead as they should.
  • ConCo revamped the standard encounters – the building blocks of missions. Many of you have complained that many missions are too hard or too easy and you can tell when you enter the encounter which type of mission it will be. With this revamp, some basic tuning has been done and the encounters have been set up for use with the difficulty slider (not in this build) and for group detection (not in this build). So they should be more appropriately difficult or easy (whichever they weren’t before). This affects missions throughout all levels so, even though ConCo only concentrated on fine-tuning the level 1-15 missions, you’ll see changes in the higher level missions also.
  • Placeholders for avatar combat in missions have been replaced with actual swashbuckling adventures.
  • Revised the mission XP awards. The new targets are: get to level 2 = 2 missions, get to level 5 = 10 missions, get to level 15 = 74 missions, get to level 30 = 205 missions, get to level 50 = 450 missions. (All of these numbers assume no grinding. Actual player mileage will vary.) Also revised the level 1 to 5 XP requirements to make them friendlier to excited new players.
  • Killed the extra blank line in chat whenever you accepted a mission.
  • Fixed some confusing behavior when NPCs had both mission dialogue and other services to discuss with you.
  • Added a line between NPC text and player response in persona stages of missions to make it easier to distinguish between the two.
  • Fixed text in Delivery mission Interact UIs to make it clearer it’s information, not something to click on – made it white and increased font size.
  • Getting a tooltip on certain mission rewards would crash the game. Fixed that.
  • Added conquest reward missions.
  • Added commendation missions to the game. Now you can actually do something with those commendations you’ve been receiving.
  • If you leave after getting sunk during a solo mission, it doesn’t continue without you.
  • Fixed a bug where canceling a mission could leave you with mission doors that you can see but can’t enter.
  • Fixed some of the crazy large treasure chests that were appearing for some missions.
  • Fixed several places where the name on a door was a mission name when it shouldn’t have been.
  • Improved what happens if you exit and re-enter any sort of timed mission like an ambush or inspection mission (e.g. Clandestine Delivery).
  • In some missions, the enemy had killed the fort leader long before you could get there. The situation has been improved. (Forts still need tuning, but the positioning of all characters on start is better than it was.)
  • Bounty missions would show their destination lines twice. Fixed that.
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused you to exit a mission and land right back in the encounter.
  • Fixed a bug that caused several swashbuckling scenarios to send you back to Jenny Bay on completion whether Jenny Bay was where you should be or not.
  • Improved the way mission doors and group leaders interact.
  • Fixed a bug where, if you happened to quit (or crash) just as you died in a group mission, you’d return to that mission and be trapped there.
  • Fixed the mixed-up personas in the church in Grenville.
  • The French and Spanish CareerNavyAdmiral personas were both set to the British Navy faction, which kinda made them traitorous dogs. They have been reeducated.
  • For Their Own Good should be a mission one can complete now.
  • Fixed A Trifling Matter so that it advances for Spanish and French players like it does for British and Pirates.
  • Fixed Devil in the Details – you should be able to get into the mansion now.
  • Fixed the deadly reefs in Support Your Local Farmer by moving the mission to a room without reefs.
  • Mission details now actually match mission requirements for False Choice.
  • Made False Choice a group mission as it should’ve been all along.
  • Removed the cash reward for Ministers of Grace that shouldn’t have been there to start with.
  • There was a problem in Do it for the Kids that could cause the mission server to crash. Fixed the mission.
  • Spy in the Ointment shouldn’t have been repeatable. Fixed that.
  • You can now reach Lucretia’s home in Old Ways, Old Memories.
  • Fixed Still Waters to point you to the tavern instead of a random spot off the end of the map.
  • Fixed the bug that blocked progression in The Wayward Officer.
  • You can now reach the entrance to the warehouse in Redeemed and Condemned (pi).
  • Boiling Point: (br) Part 3 - Spanish Merchantman wasn’t trying to escape after transfer. This was because he was stuck in a place in the room he couldn’t get out of. Fixed the room so the NPCs can move correctly.
  • Fixed the bug that was preventing you from entering the tavern (and thus from completing the mission) in Throwing Down the Gauntlet.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Business Venture and Coming Clean to be repeatable.
  • Fixed HUD message in Botany to Go.
  • Winning Dropping the Habit would cancel the mission. Fixed that.
  • Fixed the destination line in Theo Alexandre's Presentation.
  • Fixed the inability to enter the Tavern in Nine Lives.
  • The Ruins: Nothing happens when you click on the skull – fixed that.

Factions / Reputation:

  • Navy players start with 500 reputation, not 5000. This gives a bit more reasonable progression arc for Navy players; give 'em faction rewards with the Navy so they can see how loved they are. Their minimum is now also 500, so they can never be less than 'Liked'.
  • General trade factions now dislike the navies of all other nations (at -750). This is enough to prevent building new structures. They still have no problem with privateers and freetraders.
  • All friendly pirate factions now hate all navy officers (at -2600). Naval officers simply cannot do business in pirate ports, and are KOS to all pirates.

Economy / Shops:

  • How much money you have is now displayed in the Economy UI above your list of structures.
  • Increased the font size for the introductory message for the Economy UI.
  • Tuned some skills: Freetraders became overall more powerful than they had been.
  • Freetraders should now get XP from running some ship recipes.
  • Bandages are cheaper and can now be produced via the economy.
  • Slightly reduced the materials required for the Small and Medium hulls, making the lower-end ships somewhat cheaper to produce.
  • Removed obsolete Medium and Large Provisions.
  • Updated the Freetrader's provision recipe to match the rum and wine amounts in the regular version.
  • Fixed Spare Guns 5 recipe to output Spare Guns 5 instead of Spare Guns 4.
  • Fixed the string mix up on the St. Elmo's Mast Mod and Hercules' Hull Mod recipes.
  • Fixed the string mix up on the San Mateo Galleons (regular and Trader's)
  • Hid the Large Fore-and-Aft Rig recipe because it’s not used anywhere yet.
  • Created a new shottype, 'Bronze Round Shot'. It's more effective than Heavy Round Shot, and costs 10x, including the rare resource Brass Ingots. Added the recipe, generator, and structure result for the item.
  • Altered the furs and hides outcome of Game. Now you either skin to produce Hides or to produce Furs. The former still happens at the Tanner, but the latter happens at the Hunting Lodge. Reduced the game inputs to both recipes by half.
  • There are now 5 general outfitting books instead of 2.
  • Changed all outfitting recipes to make their names match the items.
  • Added new recipes for the ~70 or so new outfitting items.
  • The La Belle and the Chaleur Schooner’s recipes have been moved from the Medium book to the Small book as they should be.
  • Updated ship recipes to match current tuning. This adds 'tiny' and 'huge' cannon sizes to the economy. Generally, high-end ships got much more expensive, and low-end ships got cheaper.
  • Added the Couronne writ, and added the writ to the Couronne recipe
  • Moved writs to Shipwright Materials as they should be.
  • Fixed the wording on the description of Large Shipyards – they can build ships of any size.
  • Changed the structure type of both bakeries and dairies to 'PROVISIONER'. Moved the Bundle Provisions recipe to this structure. Converted existing bakeries and dairies to also function as provisioners. Removed the Draft recipes for both dairy and bakery. Added the new Draft Provisioner recipe to both Draughtsman's Offices.
  • Added 18 'Advanced' structures to the game, which have a labor cost multiplier of 0.8, making them significantly more efficient than the normal structures. They are substantially more expensive to build, and can only be built in a port that has the resource 'River'. Only Freetraders may build the Advanced structures.
  • Added River as a resource to 13 highland ports.
  • Isildur drastically reduced the amount of commodity loot merchant ships drop.
  • Added sellable loot to the game. You may get a piece of sellable loot instead of a portion of the doubloon reward when you sink a ship. Pirate kills will generate slightly more sellable loot. You sell this loot to Junk Merchants for cash.
  • Made unpacked ammunition not tradable. Crates of ammo can still be sold and traded, but uncrated ammo cannot.
  • You can no longer unpack a crate while you are trading it.
  • Selling captured deeds to the Junk Dealer has historically been a stupidly profitable exploit. Fixed now.
  • In an attempt to better educate players on what it means to buy a Civilian ship, renamed Ship Deed Traders to Civilian Ship Deed Traders and added info services.
  • Gave almost all seeded items an expiration, typically 2 weeks. The only exceptions are iron ingots, rope, and oak blocks, all of which form a closed loop in the economy (they're required to build the structures that produce them).
  • Reduced the number and cost of most items in the seeded listings.
  • Removed seeded ships from all ports.
  • Nerfed local markets, limiting them to 3 listings for non-producers.
  • Cut local market expiration time to 5 days.
  • Doubled local market listing fees.
  • Increased the XP reward for listing in regional auction houses.
  • Fixed an exploit that would enable Freetraders to get XP for auction house sales much more often than they should.
  • Auctioneers now change their nationality based on the occupying nation.
  • Fixed the tax rate in Oranjestad to be legible instead of code.
  • Changed the Dutch auction house to be a more expensive to list items.
  • We no longer let you list permanent items in the auction house.
  • If your User Content Flag or Sail failed to download (leaving you with the red square w/ lightning bolt icon), you’d have to go through all sorts of contortions to try to fix the problem. Now, it should automatically re-try to download, hopefully preventing those contortions.
  • Fixed a server crash that could occur if you closed the UC shop before all the items downloaded.
  • It was possible to see another player’s flags or sails in the shop if you played your cards right. Fixed that.

Chat – This is a quick overview of the available chat channels, and when you might want to use them. Below that, find some other changes made in this build.

  • Local: This channel reaches everyone in your current location, or if you're in the open sea, everyone in a restricted radius around you. Use this for chatting in town or in the tavern but it won’t include both.
  • Group: This channel reaches only members of your group.
  • Society: This channel reaches all members of your society.
  • Area: This channel reaches everyone in your current port. It also reaches all players in mission instances located in your current port. This channel is a local broadcast similar to 'General' chat in WoW, for organizing groups and casual conversation. When you're outside the port, in the Open Sea, the Area channel extends throughout your current Region. Regions are large areas that include many ports - for instance, the Greater Antilles, or New Spain.
  • Local Defense: This channel reaches only members of your nation in your current region. Local Defense allows you to discuss enemy movements and port battles over a wide area without alerting your enemies.
  • Battle: This channel is used while in a port conquest battle, allowing communication with all members of your side in the fight, regardless of group status.
  • Conquest: The Conquest channel is one of only two global channels available in the game. It reaches all members of your nation worldwide. However, only Navy players who purchase the skill Military Communications may speak in this channel. It's intended for global-level conquest coordination and one-way information dispersal.
  • Trade: The Trade channel is the other global channel available. Only Freetraders can listen to it and only Freetraders who purchase the skill Trade Connections may speak in this channel. It's intended for national-level trading coordination and information swapping.
  • Turned on language restrictions by default. Now you shouldn't be able to communicate with a character of another nation (chat, email, etc) unless *they* have the skill to understand your language. You can still trade with other nations, and non-text emotes are understood.
  • Language skills aren’t available until level 15 because Ivy and Isildur hate you. (Actually, the logic was that this should mean you're basically experienced with the game before deciding you want language skills.)
  • Navy characters now have to buy the skill Military Communications in order to use the Warfare chat channel.
  • Carriage returns, tabs, and such like are now removed from chat. (Prevents an easy spam method and an easy spoof method.)
  • Enabled the ability to filter emote output so that you can’t be spammed via emotes.
  • If you had Ignored someone and they did a /tell to you, not quite all the right things happened. Now they do.
  • Fixed Society MOTD.
  • Some naughty words are more intelligently filtered now.

UI / Camera:

  • You should no longer have camera control on the server selection screen. That was just silly. Also, no more looking behind the trees in the login screen.
  • Improved the look of drop-downs in Character Creation and the rest of the game.
  • Added the word ‘Color’ to ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ in character creation to help clarify what those controls are used for.
  • Increased the size of the red close button so it’s easier to click on.
  • Changed Best/Worst to Quality/Performance in graphics preferences. Also clarified a few others.
  • Made the fullscreen/windowed switch more robust by checking that the D3D device reset succeeded. If not, we fallback to the previous video mode and pop up a message.
  • Made your icon easier to see on the town map.
  • Changed the way we deal with the local map and radar/compass. Scrolling should be smoother now.
  • Shrunk ship icons on the local map and radar / compass so it’s easier to distinguish and select targets in heavy traffic.
  • Fixed the bug that kept you from being able to close the map due to the name of the area overwriting the close button.
  • Fixed the annoying "Show Destinations" landmark hover text when in the Open Sea.
  • Fixed the tooltips on towns in the Open Sea. They were overwriting the ends of their text boxes.
  • Made the tooltip backgrounds more opaque and darker for better text legibility.
  • M now brings up the World Map and O brings up the local map. (Reverse of how it was before.)
  • Brightened the blue of French markers on the World Map to make them easier to distinguish from black Pirate markers.
  • Moved the World Map close button to the upper right hand corner of the map instead of the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  • Closing the World Map with Escape works properly now. Before it used to do some funny things like show the preferences dialog or just ignore you completely the first couple tries.
  • C, not K, now brings up your Character Sheet.
  • Ship size now shows up in the stats on the Ship Tab of your Character UI.
  • Hooked up the new cannon accuracy calculations to the character sheet UI.
  • Max Cannon Range in your character’s ship stats wasn’t updating properly when you outfitted modifications. Fixed that.
  • Changed the value for Visibility on the Ship Tab of your Character Sheet to show in miles which makes more sense. Also fixed the value which had been incorrect.
  • Updated the layout of Ship info in the Character window. Changed some fields to display more precision.
  • We now have tooltips in the Ship Tab of the Character Sheet UI. The actual text is a work in progress.
  • Brightened Harbor Master’s floaty icon to be easier to see in night towns.
  • Updated the Harbor Master’s info text to match the UI he’s describing.
  • Variant ships do not have custom thumbnails to display in the character ship tab UI and in the Dockyard UI, so now they use their base ship's thumbnail.
  • Fixed dockyard UI to do tooltips for ship stat display.
  • The dockyard, deed hover text display, and the help files were all applying the deed modifier twice. Fixed them all!
  • Added the keybinding for most windows in the shortcut bar to their tooltips to make them more discoverable.
  • Added zoom in and zoom out buttons to the Tailor Shop UI
  • Fixed a bug where the forward and back buttons didn’t gray out in character creation or the Tailor Shop when they should.
  • Standardized font and size of text in Interact UIs.
  • Changed toolbar drop-down from “Sailing” to “Ship Combat.”
  • Added stars to the lowest ranked consumables.
  • Fixed the crash when you clicked on a toolbar button with an X on it. Apparently, we still haven’t figured out a good way to deference a NULL pointer.  :P
  • Created new art for player health bar and reduced the size of target health bars.
  • Fixed the bug that caused the target healthbar to move toward the center of the screen every time you zoned.
  • Dialed down the green on the armor health for the player and the target. Rusty thought it was a bit garish.
  • Tweaked the green in group healthbars to match the green in other healthbars.
  • Amped the color for the group leader icon and moved it a bit to the left. The icon is attached to the nation flag because it didn't stand well on its own.
  • Fixed the bug where changing group leader didn’t update the icon in the health bar.
  • Friends List should more accurately show online/offline status of your friends.
  • Now, if your camera is forced inside your head because you ran into a wall or some such, your avatar disappears instead of scaring you to death.
  • DrewC re-enabled moving the camera to first-person view in avatar mode. It’s not recommended for swashbuckling combat, but some of us really enjoy it for running around town.
  • Tweaked the in-world wind indicator to make it less garish and jarring.
  • Fixed the message you get when you try to use a skill in the wrong environment (e.g. when you try to use a ship combat skill in a swashbuckling encounter). They would sometimes tell you that you needed to be… where you already were. Now they tell you the right thing.
  • The error message saying you can’t create a society if you don’t have enough money was sometimes hidden in the UI. Fixed that so it should be more obvious why if you fail to create a society.
  • We’ve added tooltips to Help links. The text itself is a work in progress.
  • Increased the default size of the display window for Metrics.
  • Fixed a bunch of UI errors that were filling your logs with useless messages.

Art / Animations:

  • Updated the Loading… Screens with new art and logo.
  • Fixed the bug that caused you to be surrounded by smoke and fire for a second on zoning into the tavern or other particle effects on zoning into other rooms.
  • Fixed the walls in the Captain’s Quarters to prevent your camera from zooming through them. Also fixed the texture on the door while we were in there.
  • Improved performance in the Crime Lord’s Office.
  • Made graphical improvements to the Magistrate’s Office.
  • Made the books In the Agent's Office more generic.
  • A bunch of doors that were supposed to highlight when you moused over them weren’t. Fixed that.
  • Made the sparkle effect when you mouse over a door you can enter less transparent and hopefully more noticeable.
  • Check out the new Marsh Harbour! Several towns are going to be revamped in a similar way.
  • Fixed some chambering issues in towns like Barilla that could cause all living things to disappear when you stood in certain spots.
  • Killed the smoke and fog in several rooms including the damaged captain’s quarters, the mining town at night, and others. Should improve performance in those rooms.
  • Moved NPCs about in their various towns and added/removed some. Usually this was for missions but sometime had to do with economic characters as well.
  • Livelied up many more towns and rooms. Enjoy!
  • Fixed the maps for some rooms that made it look like you could go where you couldn’t.
  • Mucked about with the way we do trees in several towns in an attempt to improve performance in those rooms.
  • Added Admiralty Office to Pointe a Pitre.
  • Fixed the silly pink wagon in Bartica and such towns.
  • Fixed some chambering problems in towns like Rosignol.
  • Fixed a building in St. Rose’s Bay that had no windows on the inside.
  • Fixed a bunch of chamber problems in Tampa and such.
  • Fixed dock in Matthew Town and similar so that your feet touch the ground as you walk.
  • Fixed nav mesh in Barilla and such so that your feet touch the ground.
  • Fixed a bug with particle effects in the Mayan Tomb.
  • Some lanterns were casting light but weren’t lit. Lit them.
  • Fixed sorting problems with flames in Defend the Town.
  • The port model for Vera Cruz in the Open Sea was about 183 miles from where it should have been. Fixed that.
  • Decreased the fire effect in the volcano and made it fit the geometry better.
  • You’re likely to see more animals in game - sea life and birds.
  • Fixed many interpenetration problems with avatar bits.
  • Fixed a bug where changing one piece of clothing might force another to change but that second one didn’t get changed back to the original setting when it should.
  • Added some new avatar head choices.
  • Added some new eye patches, head accessories, and masks.
  • Fixed light leaking through avatar hats.
  • Fixed a pair of pants that had the shadow of a sash but no sash.
  • Female avatar piece ‘Heavy Tie’ is no longer listed twice.
  • Hooks, peg legs, eye patches, and pipes are no longer available to newly created characters. They’ll be unlocked by missions and other means in future builds.
  • Fixed most of the avatars without torsos. In many cases, they got replaced by randomly chosen new NPCs and may or may not be completely appropriate. Be sure to let us know about the ones that need further tweaking.
  • Made more tweaks to help smooth out avatar motion. WIP.
  • Female avatars now have different animations than male avatars.
  • Instead of laughter as the level-up animation for Freetraders, it is now a greedy rubbing of the hands.
  • Try these emotes for fun: /demand, /thank, /waltz1, /waltz2, /fan, /followme, /gg, /yw, /hi, /bye, /wave, /hello, and /cheers.
  • 'Mop' is no longer an emote option. Sorry to those players who just need to swab the decks whenever they feel like it.
  • Made some fixes to the animation for /jig2
  • Fixed hand penetrating wrist in emote /chuckle.
  • Fixed interpenetrations in emote /impatient.
  • Fixed hands penetrating hips in emote /ready
  • Improved emote /angry
  • Fixed emote /apologize.
  • Fixed the text for Propose a Toast (/toast) among other emotes.
  • Improved the look of shadows on ships at a distance.
  • Pirate Gang Flag contest winner flags have been added to the game and are being flown by the appropriate Pirate gangs.
  • Added bow spray to the Prince.

Sound:

  • Added UI sounds to the game.
  • The drunk sitting in the tavern has learned a few tunes.
  • Improved footstep sounds in several different rooms, particularly places where carpet sounded like wood or marble.
  • Fixed some bugs in the way theme music was being handled. It was being suppressed sometimes when it shouldn’t.
  • There should be no sound effects during Loading… screens. Now there aren’t.
  • More sounds added to more towns.
  • Surf sounds can now be heard on the beach in Maarhaven.
  • Lowered volumes of ship impacts at the beginning of the tutorial.
  • Ship Sounds were cutting out in ship rooms and the Open Sea. Fixed that.
  • While digging into that one, found that sounds fading out never actually got killed from the list. Which is sorta like a memory leak but not exactly. Fixed it anyway.
  • Added sounds to and improved sounds associated with several emotes.

Performance / Reliability:

  • Plugged a leak of avatar appearances in character selection.
  • Made a change in the login code that may help speed that process up a little.
  • Cleaned up the way we handle strings. The changes not only make it easier to catch and fix bugs on our end before you see them but also make it so the game loads less into memory at any one time for a slight perf increase.
  • There was a way to get yourself kicked from the game as a potential security threat by spamming movement keys. Fixed that.
  • Fixed a game crash that could occur if you logged out (or got logged out due to server issues) and resized the window.
  • Fixed graphics artifacts and a possible crash when you resize your game window.
  • Some NVIDIA cards weren’t cleanly handling switching the game from full screen to windowed mode. We think we fixed that.
  • Fixed a bug where changing your desktop resolution could cause graphics problems in and/or crash the game.
  • Fixed a hang or crash that could occur when your screensaver came up while the game was running.
  • Made some performance improvements in the amount of data we send from client to server each time you zone. We’re hoping this really, truly addresses most of the long Loading… screens. Let us know if we’re wrong. You won’t know if we’re wrong until you’re a relatively high level character with many skills and inventory bits.
  • Fixed more character leak bugs (where changes to your character aren’t persisted when you zone).
  • Made attempts to improve performance of NPCs. (By performance, I mean how many computations we do for them on the servers and your game machine, not how smart they behave.)
  • Improved the way we handle avatar LODs so that we’re not loading high-detail versions on low-end machines. Don’t need to load them if’n we’re not gonna show ‘em.
  • Fixed a video memory leak from avatars running around chambers.
  • Heidi made some performance fixes in the way we handle animations.
  • We stopped doing physics calculations when we don’t need to. This should improve the perf of some rooms, particularly non-combat avatar spaces.
  • Perf improvements to how we load ships in a ship room.
  • Made attempts to improve graphical performance on the Open Sea.
  • Made a perf improvement to the NPCs in the Open Sea.
  • Fixed a leak in the way we handle XML.
  • Justinian fixed a bug he introduced in the cache server long ago that kept it from ever caching anything. Boy, does he feel stupid!
  • Made some server perf improvements during combat.
  • Made some server perf improvements having to do with avatar motion.
  • Made some performance fixes to the zone servers.
  • More server perf changes. Physics now stops simulating if nobody is in a room. Also decreased the physics frame rate.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the Mission Server to crash if too many people logged out at the same time.
  • Fixed more server perf problems caused by the flogger.
  • Improved memory handling of our servers.
  • We switched the flogger and the game database to use Microsoft SQL Server instead of MySQL. Heavy load causes fewer problems now.

Misc.:

  • Your preferences have been wiped. Made new default preferences for high and low end machines. Both have their UI configured to be functional at 1024x768, and rearranged in some cases based on usability feedback.
  • Increased maximum character name length to 18 characters. Increased first name and last name max to 14 characters.
  • Increased the number of characters you can create per server to 6 from 3.
  • Reduced the maximum group side from 8 to 6. DrewC went to a talk at some conference and came back preaching the wonders of 6-member groups. Talk to him if you want to know more.
  • Tailors and Society Registrars are in shops now.
  • Tailors can now be found in the starting towns and the capital cities.
  • Fixed the error you get when you try to invite a non-existent character to a society.
  • Improved the error you get when you try to create a society with an invalid name.
  • Macros are back! Temporarily. Use /do <filename> to read a sequence of commands from a file. The files are looked for in the PotBS directory in My Documents and must end with ".do" suffix. This will only work if you have added to your pirates_local.ini
[UI]
sdc=true
  • Fixed a security breach with the way passwords were handled.
  • Fixed screenshots on Vista for non-AA screenshots and for AA screenshots on the primary monitor (Note: Vista AA windowed screenshots will work only on the primary monitor.)
  • Another attempt to fix screenshots on Vista. It now works the first time. Not subsequent times. We’re still working on it...
  • Fixed a bug where mouse movement was tracked by the game when PotBS wasn’t the active application. One symptom was that PotBS would bring up tooltips if you moved your mouse to the right spot in an application you had running on top of the game.
  • Fixed some log errors to give more useful info.
  • Improved how the updater works on Vista. Temporary files and log files are now placed where Vista rules say they should be placed.
  • PotBS.exe, PotBSLauncher.exe, and PotBS-Install.exe now show "Flying Lab Software" instead of "Unknown Publisher" when downloading through IE, running under Vista, and in their property sheets.

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