This patch includes more server lag improvements that should make towns a lot less laggy when many players are there. We also made progress on the invisible-avatar bug, fixed a bunch of mission bugs, revamped Red Tide into a great repeatable group mission, and began our swashbuckling combat tuning pass.
Our devs are focused on server lag, performance, and crashing issues and have been for a while. We'll keep at it and please keep letting us know how we're doing!
Differences between 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 include but aren't limited to
Ship Combat Edit
- Now that auto-join is enabled so that you automatically get pulled into ad hocs with your group members, we're dropping the ad hoc join window back down to 60 seconds.
- Whenever you enter the Open Sea, you will now be unable to attack another player for 60 seconds while the new "Preparing Ship" effect is active. We did this to solve an unfortunate PvP tactic where one player would sit outside a port to draw other players into a battle, while his groupmates stood on the dock in town ready to jump into the OS and join the battle as soon as it was underway. This hid their true numbers and made for easy ganking. This tactic won't work anymore.
- Vaporing: This skill was only lasting about 5 seconds, which wasn't long enough. Now it lasts 30 seconds as it should.
- All players start with a free finishing move such as Cleave, Run Through, and Dagger to the Gut, but these finishing moves have been underpowered and weren't necessarily worth building up the initiative for. We've increased the minimum damage these moves inflict (from 10-20 damage to 15-20 damage) and reduced their balance cost by 10.
- All three swashbuckling schools have a variety of passive skills that buff your attributes. We want passive skills to be worth the points you spend to buy them, so we have tuned their bonuses to be roughly equivalent to a level 50 piece of avatar outfitting. Almost all passive skills were affected by this improvement and you should find them to be more worthwhile.
- Avatar items that gave balance increases were overpowered. Their balance buffs have been decreased by about 1/3rd overall, although the adjustments do vary per item. We also made some miscellaneous tweaks to better balance these items.
- Throw Sand: We've reduced this skill's duration to 6 seconds.
- Improved Flash Powder: We've reduced this skill's duration to 3 seconds. These two skills are meant to provide a brief respite for a harried captain so you can activate a defensive skill, back away quickly to use bandages to remove a Bleed effect, or use a consumable item.
- Red Tide! This level 6 group mission has been revamped and is now a repeatable group instance that should need four players to play effectively. It now includes both avatar and ship combat. You can play it as often as you want and the boss ship at the end of the fight drops a variety of loot only available in Red Tide. We hope you enjoy this first taste of our new repeatable group content and let us know if it's too easy!
- Ship bounty missions could sometimes fail to progress if you killed more than the required number of a target, and would also display erroneous messages like “Killed 4 of 2 Ships”. They now work correctly.
- Some ship bounty missions would accept avatar kills. We fixed this so they only accept ship kills.
- Past the Point of Subtlety: This roleplaying story arc mission had a bug where if you boarded an enemy ship, the fire ship you were escorting would stop following you. We fixed that bug so the fireship does follow you as intended even if you do board an enemy ship. We also adjusted its goal position so the AI has an easier time getting there. We believe this mission should now play as it should.
- A Man of Wealth and Taste: If you left in the middle of the mission, it could break your ability to play it at all. We've fixed this bug.
- A Riot Is an Ugly Thing: Joachim Dequoy wasn't fighting because he had no sword. Fixed that.
- End of the Millennium: Blasco le Vallon wasn't fighting because he had no sword. Fixed that.
- Tortuga has two taverns, an indoor one and an outdoor one. Missions that referenced a tavern in Tortuga needed to be updated to use the right ones. Fixed that.
- Does He Not Bleed: It was possible to kill the Thief of Pride, breaking the mission. Fixed that.
- 40 Royal Encomiums: Now requires you to turn in 40 Royal Encomiums instead of 30.
- Cleaned up many places in many missions where there was code instead of text. Keep these bug reports coming.
- Lady Arsenault: If you died without smelling salts you had to wait 5 minutes to give up. Fixed that.
- Economy Tutorial: If you left after building something and returned later, you might be unable to continue the tutorial. Fixed that so it works as it should.
- Economy Tutorial: If you started this tutorial immediately after making a new character, you wouldn't have enough money to do everything required. We now make sure you earn enough within the economy tutorial to continue without finding money elsewhere.
- Economy Tutorial: We no longer require you to wait around for your labor in order to finish.
- Recipe tooltips were hard to read due to font colors. Fixed that.
- The Mastercraft Halifax Schooner wasn't constructable. Now it is.
Performance / Stability Edit
- In some cases a player could have two characters logged in at the same time due to a bug. When this happened, the mission server would crash. We fixed this.
- Adjusted load balancing on the server clusters so we don't put too many server processes on one machine.
- Rollback fix! In some circumstances, the database cache server could crash and lose any changes that had not yet been written to the database. We fixed this crash. This was the source of the recent data loss/rollbacks you may have experienced.
- We made a change that should improve server lag and stability in towns. When players are in towns we're frequently checking nearby NPCs to see if they have missions you can take and other things. With large numbers of players, the requests become enormous. These requests were going through the connection servers, which handle all player network traffic, and the connection servers could therefore become overloaded with these NPC requests. We now send those requests directly to the mission server, bypassing the connection servers. This should have a big impact on server lag in towns. (Note that this has no impact on framerate in towns, which is affected by hardware performance and how many avatars are being drawn.)
- Made a global optimization to all of our network traffic. Every single packet we transmit is now smaller and more efficient. While the change is very small, we transmit these packets by the thousands every second. This change should provide improved network performance and reduce server lag.
- Fixed some rare zone server crashes.
Art / UI / Sound Edit
- It was possible to use the lock feature in Character Customization to create empty torsos or horrible interpenetrations of clothing bits. Fixed that, although there are still some other cases we are working on.
- The male Seafarer coat was invisible once you were in game. Fixed that.
- We made some improvements on the invisibile-avatar problem many of you are reporting. It's not fixed, but we've made some progress. Let us know how it goes.
- Expanded the Loot UI a bit to accommodate foreign language translations.
- Tweaked the Options UI a bit to accommodate foreign language translations.
- Increased the interact radius on ports. You can now enter ports from a distance of 8 miles.
- Added a few foreign words to the profanity filter. We have more to add...