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   Testbed Only, rolled into 0.24.1.98

Differences between 0.24.1.97 and 0.25.1.06.

This build represents another milestone of work since 0.24.1.97 so here are another approximately 17 pages of Release Notes.

The top 5 features of this build are:
5. The French will be pleased to know that Isildur agreed their economic setup was worse than everyone else's and has made changes to improve the situation. He wants me to assure you that he's not done yet.
4. Atl-click to fire partial batteries works again.
3. Liquid Durability: If you have a deed of the *same* type of ship you're sailing, you can add the durability points from that deed to your ship by talking to the Harbor Master. More info in the Ships & Combat and Economy sections below.
2. Another exciting change is the revamped Auction House. The Auction House now gives you better visibility into the state of the market and easier access to your listings. More info in the Economy section below.
1. We've completed the move from MySQL to SQL which can better handle the load. We've also fixed a few bugs that caused game servers to crash. The end result is that we believe you'll see less lag and fewer instances of getting kicked and not being able to get back into the game.

One thing to note: Nation chat is no longer. If you're new and looking for help, local chat in the early towns is a good place to start. You should also search the Beta forum, particularly the New User Guide, and the Knowledge Base.

Also note that we consolidated language skills and thus had to respec your existing characters.

Differences between 0.24.1.97 and 0.25.1.05 include but aren't limited to:

Character Creation / Customization:

  • The initial avatar appearance in character creation is now determined from a randomly chosen gender, nation and career. The UI elements are also selected based on the chosen nation.
  • If we pick a pirate for you, and you change your nation, you don't have a career by default. The UI used to let you create a character which then failed later. Now we make you a privateer in this case, which you are still free to change before creating the character.
  • Fixed several problems with Character Customization where choosing an item could undo a different item even if it was locked. There are still issues here, but it's better than it was.
  • Removed the "Feathers" option in Character Creation until such time as we implement them.
  • Improved shadows on your avatar during customization.

Ships & Combat:

  • Using Alt-click to fire partially loaded batteries wasn't working. Fixed.
  • To balance the addition of liquid durability to the game, when a player's ship sinks, they now lose all equipped permanent outfitting. Permanent outfitting is cheaper now - more info in the Economy section below.
  • Fixed a bug in durability calculation if you logged off during combat.
  • Made the Ad Hoc invisibility effect last 60 seconds. 30 seconds isn't long enough for a slow computer - you still load out of a PvP battle and immediately get ganked.
  • Taelorn made a major change to accuracy in ship combat. He changed almost every single accuracy value in the game. Target tracking is generally tuned to provide maximum benefit for ships using BATTLE SAILS. Using FULL SAILS frequently incurs a significant accuracy penalty compared to battle sails. Some small ships and scouts are able to use full sails with minimal penalty. Small ships should be harder to sink at long range. Big ships will slaughter small ships at close range. Overall, it is much more important for big ships to hit small ships with dismantling shot than it used to be. Fleet battles - Privateers, Pirates (and maybe Freetraders to a lesser extent) should be able to use small ships more effectively as harassment tools. They should also be able to intercept wounded ships. He also nerfed NPCs a little bit until he feels he has tuned this better - he wanted to make sure they weren't too tough w/ these early values.
  • We no longer show your (outdated) ship class on the healthbar tooltip.
  • Structure damage is now reported in the damage chat spam. Also, when a ship is only taking structure damage, cannon balls no longer always fly up and hit the sails/masts.
  • Tuned ship movement on the Open Sea: Tightened the turning radius significantly for all large ships. Minor adjustments to small ships. Slightly increased the speed on a few ships.
  • Fixed a bug where other players saw full crew on a player entering boarding combat.
  • Pirates can no longer capture ships in Tortuga's PvP room. If a player's ship is boarded or abandoned and no durability is lost, the derelict will be capture resistant.
  • Forts no longer regenerate crew.
  • Fixed some problems w/ fallback ship distribution. (In other words, Taelorn mucked w/ which ship you get at what level if you lose your last good one.)
  • Tweaked stats for La Belle, Chaleur, Snow, Cutter, and Halifax.
  • Among other tweaks, Taelorn increased the armor and structure of the Xebec and improved the reload rate on the MC Xebec.
  • Made the Trader's Snow a Freetrader only ship. Added it to the invalid list for pirates.
  • Added the Trader's Flute to the invalid ship list for Pirates.
  • Upped the guns on the Mastercraft Oliphant. It was using the same guns as the Oliphant.
  • Increased the level of the Civilian Snow so that it's 1 level higher than the player Snow.
  • Slightly increased the OS speed and max speed on the Navy Large Frigate Refit
  • Fixed the level on the Pirate Medium Frigate Refit - 45 instead of 35. Also fixed the level on the Navy Stralsund Refit - 25 instead of 26.
  • Reduced the required level of the captured Stripped San Mateo, Mastercraft Defiant and Mastercraft Myrmidon by one to match the level of the crafted versions.

Landmark Contention / Battles:

  • Clarified that accepting an invitation to battle will zone you to the ready room right away.
  • Clarified other Landmark Battle messages as well.
  • The turn-in missions that give or take away unrest points are now clearer as to how many points they give/take away. The whole point system has been increased by a factor of 10 and everything that gave unrest points has been altered to reflect the new scale. Also, the turn-in missions can no longer be used to gain contention points. Special contention missions will be added at a later date - currently the only way to get contention points is to sink ships.
  • Adjusted unrest points. It now takes 10,000 points of unrest to put a port into contention. Adjusted all the other unrest milestones to match. Increased the ship sinking multipliers for both unrest and contention points to 0.5. Increased the decay rate of unrest by an order of magnitude to compensate for the rescaling. We'll tune this further it makes the process too slow.
  • Players were getting two 5-minute warnings at the end of a landmark battle. Really, you only need one.
  • Cleaned up some landmark battle messages that were referencing nations incorrectly (England vs. Britain, Pirate vs. Pirates and such)
  • Improved the notifications you get when ports change contention status.

Swashbuckling Combat:

  • Fixed the problem where, if you exited your client during boarding then restarted it, you would be brought back into the boarding room but in your ship.
  • Fixed more problems that could occur if you quit the game during Boarding combat, particularly if you came back in to the combat and then died.
  • During boarding combat, your crew should be the same career as you. If you're not Navy, they shouldn't be.
  • Fixed a chambering problem w/ the larger boarding combat room.
  • Sometimes during avatar combat, NPCs would be raining blows down on you w/o drawing their swords. Fixed that.
  • Fixed disappearing weapons in avatar instances.
  • Changed avatar line of sight to be from the head instead of the belly button. Fixes some wonkiness with skills that use LOS in rooms with low obstacles.
  • Fixed some useless spamming to your HUD of "You cannot do that. That is still cooling down" during avatar combat.
  • Renamed the "Off hand" slot in your Character UI to "Pistol" as that's all we'll let you equip there.
  • Fencing Trainers now sell supplies like the other trainers do.

Skills / Outfitting:

  • Consolidated all language skills into one skill, 'Diplomacy'. Because of this, we had to force a respec on your existing characters.
  • Tweaked your starting skills in your toolbar.
  • Skill trainers now open to "All skills" view instead of "Valid skills" by default.
  • Sorted "General" fighting skills to the tops of the lists.
  • Isildur added four new skills, one per career, intended to be the 'base' career capabilities. Each one has some minor passive buffs.
  • Career skills for privateer, freetrader, and pirate were not set to noRespec= true. Now they are.
  • Changed Stealth a bit. This gives you an excellent chance of ambushing a target, and an excellent chance of being counter-ambushed by a stealth-ified cutter escort.
  • Fixed the skill-in-use icon to make it transparent instead of a white box
  • Usually when you learn skills, they should be placed in an empty slot in your toolbar. This wasn't always happening when it should. Better now.
  • When you get new skills and you have additional toolbars open, the new skills should auto-populate to the primary toolbar first.
  • Stopped adding the same skills to your toolbar every time you play the tutorial. You only need them there once.
  • Non-capture ship deeds are now unsecured and can be looted when you sink.
  • Outfitting types can now be stackable. If you equip a stack, it pulls one unit off the stack and equips that, so you really have two stacks.
  • Keg of Rum (Tier 3) was set to level 25. It's supposed to be level 15. Fixed.
  • Added tier 6 outfitting for small ships. Adjusted the stats on all uncommon small outfitting to account for the extra tier. Added recipes for tier 6 small outfitting, put the recipes in books, and added those books to the loot tables.
  • Removed avatar outfitting from Help. It's not part of the economy so shouldn't have been there.

Missions:

  • The mission dialog sort button should work again.
  • Going through Tutorial Try Again no longer gains you XP.
  • Fixed a crash that can occur in missions like "A Captain in Chains" when you board.
  • Taelorn fixed several bugs that caused erratic behavior for NPCs in various missions. This included sailing too fast, turning too tight, breaking the laws of physics (sailing backwards), dealing too much damage and taking too little damage.
  • In some missions, if you entered the zone after the timer ran out, the enemy ships wouldn't appear. Fixed that.
  • The Encounter Objectives in several missions make more sense now - they've been adapted to the mission rather than using the default text.
  • Fixed a few swashbuckling combat missions that had enemies called "<whatever> (Generic)" and/or had enemies that were the wrong nation or faction.
  • Hooked up new icons for mission rewards.
  • Clarified instructions in "Consent of the Governed."
  • "Big Cargo" now has an FMU as it should.
  • Fixed a bug in "Dead of Night" where the third lighthouse wasn't recognized. (28390) Also fixed some failure cases.
  • You should no longer be able to chat with the captain and the lieutenant while fighting them in "Step into my Parlor"
  • Tweaked the way "Tender Negotiations" works if you kill all Swampcat ships.
  • "A Pressing Engagement" no longer spoils its own surprise.
  • Corrected the Encounter Objective for "A Captain in Chains"
  • Fixed problems with Encounter Objectives in "Captain in Chains," "A Forlorn Hope," and "Eviction Notice."
  • Improved some text in "Pressing Your Luck" - should make more sense now.
  • You should now be able to complete "Irish Eyes are Smiling."
  • Fixed "Devil in the Details" to enable you to return to the cabin after Part 2.
  • Multiple fixes for "Under Scrutiny."
  • Fixed "The Accountant" so it can be completed.
  • You should now be able to exit the shack in "Rascal's Ruse"
  • Enemy animosity levels in "Sinking the Swallow" should make more sense now.
  • Made Horace Stimson easier to find in "High Noon".
  • Travel in "When the Bow Breaks" makes more sense now.
  • And too many other fixes to mention.

Economy:

  • The Auction House UI and functionality has been revamped. We think you'll find the new setup more convenient. You can now, by default, see all auction listings in your *region*. But you can only browse an auction if you have a neutral or better reputation with the current owner of that port. You can get into the auction from any auctioneer, regardless of reputation, nation, etc. The Buy pane is very different from the old one. The Sell pane is basically the same as the old one. The new Retrieve pane shows you a list of things in storage in various ports. After a week, you start having to pay to retrieve your goods. Note that you can buy way more than can fit in your ship now, even in the current port - it can go into auction storage in your Retrieve pane.
  • Revised the 'Make An Offer' UI layout to not waste quite so much space, and added labels for Destination and Errors.
  • Changes to outfitting for Liquid Durability: All permanent outfitting has had its recipe changed to generate 5 items instead of 1. This globally reduces the cost of all permanent outfitting to 20%.
  • Changes to ships for Liquid Durability: All ships except the high-end ships have been adjusted. Number of durability points on the ship went down significantly, in some cases by as much as 80%. Number of deeds generated by recipes went up by a similar value. The same number of durability points, more or less, are generated by each recipe, but now they're generated across multiple deeds.
  • Isildur added limestone to Tampa so that the French wouldn't be required to sail almost three times as far to produce iron as any other nation. He also nerfed Cayenne's resources.
  • Changed Armored recipe names to Heavy (to match deed names)
  • Added new ship variants. Added recipes for all the new ship variants. Added those recipes to existing recipe books.
  • Created new 'Long Guns' outfitting that increases range at the expense of reload time for small and medium ships.
  • Changed ballast to be made from granite instead of iron, per a beta feedback suggestion. Moved the ballast recipe to the granite quarry, and changed all forge structures to no longer hand it out.

NPCs:

  • We now pause NPCs in an encounter until the first player is loaded in. In this way, they don't get too far ahead of you in missions (or gank you or…)
  • AIs were sometimes not hating you enough. Fixed that.
  • Made avatar AIs escort better.
  • Fixed a bug that caused avatars to despawn too slowly. You could see this in certain missions when you'd zone out of and back into a room and the NPC who was supposed to have left would still be there for another 20 seconds or so. You could also see it when ports changed hands and the new national NPCs were spawned while the old NPCs stood around and watched. Now NPCs should go away a lot faster.
  • Tweaked NPC ship skill sets a bit more. Removed Overloaded Shot.
  • Improved ship variety for large trade companies (East India, West India, Mississippi and House of Trade), navies, and smugglers
  • Priests are no longer in the Navy. That was just silly.
  • Fixed the Rebel Agent in Campeche and towns like it and the Town Crier in Vera Cruz and towns like it. They were levitating. We don't allow that.
  • No standing in chairs allowed either. Made Ambrose Malpas sit down.
  • Rachel Patudo is no longer a guy.
  • Zacharie Collaco now faces the sea, like he says he does.
  • Fixed Violet Sladdon's info service text.

UI:

  • Changed the highlight that shows which armor facing was hit to make it more visible when the armor is in the red.
  • We no longer show a number to indicate faction standing or requirements, but show text instead (hated, indifferent, liked, etc.)
  • Faction standing in your Character UI is now represented in blue instead of green. Green sorta implied all was well even when it wasn't.
  • Changed the multi-exit UI (when the Coxswain asks you if you want to go to the Open Sea or enter a mission, for example) has been changed to make it more obvious what your choices are.
  • Increased the font size for port names in the PvP tab of the Local Map so they're easier to see.
  • 'Open Sea' no longer shows up in the World Map's list of landmarks. That was just silly.
  • Changed the Close button on the World Map to (x) instead of [Close]. Makes it easier to localize.
  • Fixed the Victory Status UI so you can move the window.
  • Changed the text of tooltips to make them more legible.
  • Our UI folks created a new style for tabbed windows.
  • New art for sliders in the UI.

Art:

  • Fixed more choke points in the Open Sea where the NPCs were bunching up, including Tortuga, Guanica, and Carlos Harbor.
  • Improved avatar LODs. Avatars should look better as you move toward or away from them.
  • Seriously. You should no longer see inside your own head now.
  • Fixed a couple of NPCs with invisible chests
  • Fixed a problem where female faces didn't match their necks/torsos.
  • Lightened the "Michael" head.
  • Got rid of the muscle dood for the Coxswain.
  • Fixed the distorted head of an old guy in Charlesfort.
  • Fixed text problems with emotes /knuckle, /helpme, /fiddle, /scowl, and /frown.
  • Improved the drinking animation that had the mug going through the avatar's forehead.
  • Fixed several locations that players could spawn into but couldn't get out of. Now, if you shouldn't be there, you won't land there accidentally. (We may have missed a few. Definitely log these when you find them.)
  • Fixed doors to the jail house, company office, rich salon, and others. In certain towns, clicking on those doors had no effect.
  • Fixed a chambering bug that caused signs to sometimes show up on the ground or elsewhere instead of in the appropriate place on a door.
  • Added glow effects to doors in ship avatar spaces (like the one in the tutorial).
  • Added glow effects to tavern doors.
  • The tea cups in lively taverns no longer glow so brightly.
  • Improved lighting in the tavern in Marsh Harbour. Should be easier to see in there now.
  • You should no longer sink through the floor when walking around the tavern in Charlesfort.
  • Removed Admiralty Office from some midland towns where they shouldn't have been to start with.
  • Fixed some camera-clipping problems in Belize and town that look like it.
  • More liveliness in more towns.
  • Some beautification of the Open Sea near Mexico, Louisiana, and Florida.
  • Improved the bow spray on the flute and the small sloop.
  • Smoke bombs look more like smoke bombs going off than firecrackers.

Sound:

  • Fixed some places where walking along the sandy beach sounded like walking on marble.
  • Fixed other places where footsteps were wrong.
  • More sounds added to more lively towns.
  • More sounds in more towns and rooms.

Performance/Stability:

  • Improved graphics handling for min-spec machines slightly.
  • Used to be that we crashed right away on startup if PhysX wasn't installed correctly and you had to look at the log file to find out what happened. Now we exit more gracefully with a potentially helpful error message.
  • Made a change that should improve the hitch you may have seen when first zoning into an avatar space (like a town).
  • Fixed some avatar appearance memory leaks.
  • Deleted 1800 textures from data\world\room\textures that aren't referenced in any room, prop, placer, or rminfo texture remap. In theory, this should make no difference in the game except it will take a gigabyte less space on your hard disk.
  • Plugged a sound memory leak.
  • Made a few more enhancements to improve memory usage.
  • Made some performance optimizations in the Open Sea. (We no longer check for damage, for example.)
  • Fixed a race condition that was causing a performance problem when the Login server was under heavy load.
  • Made it so that the server doesn't crash if you board a target while the volley that will kill you is in the air.
  • Improved zone server loading performance under heavy traffic. Used to be that all requests for a new zone would go to one zone server which couldn't handle them all. Now it does it more round-robin-like so the chances of any request being honored immediately is better.
  • Fixed some zone server crashes caused by NPC interactions during missions.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the cache server to shut down when it shouldn't, losing your data.

Misc.

  • Tweaked the level curve a bit more.
  • Nation chat has been turned off.
  • Added several aliases. /me = /emote, /inv = /groupinvite, /w = /tell, /p = /group, /camp = /logout, /bs = battle sails, /fs = full sails, /ns = no sails (stop), /gs = ghost sails, /tarc - toggles your firing arc on and off, /twind - toggles the wind indicator on and off (woot!), and /exit = /quit.
  • You can now use NumLock in key-binding.
  • Autorun is now bound to NumLock instead of +
  • Turning via the keyboard no longer breaks auto-run.
  • You can no longer target chickens and the like using F (Next Friendly key). Should now work on players and targetable NPCs only.
  • Setting zoom speed in preferences worked great for ship space but not so good for avatar space. Now we have a separate setting for avatar space.
  • Fixed the Player Disconnected status from showing up when it shouldn't.

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