Welcome to the first Preboarding Party patch! If you were playing up through the end of the Open Beta, this patch has several changes you haven’t seen.
Some of you who have shared-memory video cards such as Turbocache or Hypermemory have been unable to play. These cards have less than 128MB of RAM but they share RAM with the CPU and so should meet our min spec. We have made a change that should let you play. Please try it and see.
You can now turn in Marks of Victory to get refit ship items. These are available from the same NPCs who have always handed out rewards for Marks of Victory.
We’ve also made more server fixes, particularly to fix the bug that was taking the clusters down every 12 hours or so.
And we’ve made a few more tuning changes to both ship and avatar combat.
- Port Contention is disabled until we have the retail launch on January 22, so players dont show up that day to discover theyve already lost their first war. You can still PVP by talking to the Port Captain in any port and accepting the PvP Flag mission.
- The level cap is 21 until January 22.
- Certain older ATI cards are still experiencing graphical issues even after the fix that improved the situation for most. We’re still investigating and expect to release a fix soon.
- A new crash, potentially caused by a memory leak, was apparently introduced in a recent build. We believe we’ve fixed one or part of one in the next build (126.96.36.199) but keep sending those reports to Microsoft when prompted. That’ll help us track this down and fix it as quickly as possible.
Differences between 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 include but aren’t limited to
Ships / Combat
- Tweaked the range at which group-mates auto-join an ad hoc battle. They should spawn a little closer.
- Ship combat difficulty was ramping up around level 12, which meant it was way too easy for way too long. Changed this to make it ramp up a little around level 8. NPC spawns in this 8-12 range will be slightly harder.
- Made NPC ships a little bit more dangerous by increasing their damage and accuracy by around 3-5%. (Please note that NPCs already have substantial penalties to their damage and accuracy. This change actually lessens their penalties slightly; their damage and accuracy are still well below that of a player in the same ship. It’s more of a lessened nerf than a buff.)
- Increased the required levels on the refit ships so they are closer to their true level, but still slightly below. This means refit ships are slightly more powerful than their level, but are no longer massively more powerful for their level.
- Changed the sizes of several ships: Dolphyn Ketch: Medium -> Small, Postillionen: Large -> Medium, Curieuse Snow: Medium -> Small, van Hoorn: Medium -> Small, and Dromedary West Indiaman: Large -> Medium. We’ve wanted to do this for a while but had to wait for a database wipe.
- Expedition: Increased armor/structure.
- Arrow: Increased armor/structure.
- Myrmidon Refits: Reduced structure/armor, increased mast integrity.
- Decreased the duration of the close-combat effect by almost half. This will cause players to exit close combat more quickly when they are not being attacked. This change makes it easier to stun some enemies, back away to get out of close combat, and then use a healing skill to remove the Bleed effect and regain some HP.
- First Aid, Advanced First Aid: Added a 10 point instant-heal effect to all of the self-targeting medical skills, so that you heal 10 points immediately upon use and then gain the normal healing over time. In tandem with the above change, this should let you get out of close combat just long enough to regain 10 HP before the enemies unstun and come at you again.
- Improved Flash Powder: Increased the duration slightly (from 3 seconds to 4 seconds) and added a 10-second offense debuff to it. Your enemies will be stunned longer and have a harder time hitting you.
- Fixed some log spam caused by a typo in a skill definition.
- Tweaked the Quick Reference UI (both ship and avatar) to better accommodate localized text.
- Tweaked the Keybind UI to better accommodate localized text.
- Moved some drop-downs in Preferences UI around a bit in order to better accommodate localized text.
- Another music mix pass. More work is needed, but you can hear the music better now.
- Added more nationalized crowd sounds in more lively town areas.
- Attempted to fix a ton of log spam reporting problems with sound files. This may not be entirely fixed yet, though. (QA can still make it happen sometimes.)
Performance / Stability
- We now try to let you bypass the VRAM check. We still warn you that the game may not run but this may enable folks with Turbocache or Hypermemory cards to run the game.
- On low-end machines, if you turned shadows off, graphics looked HORRIBLE! Better now.
- We have a primary server that manages all the other servers (like the mission server and the zone servers). We’d turned him into a serial killer and he was taking the cluster down about every 12 hours. Fixed?
- Fixed a race condition in communications between the cache server and the mission server that could cause mission status on your character to get a little borked while zoning in missions on rare occasions.
- Fixed a cache server crash that could occur if it took too long to write your data. That was bad. Luckily, we only hit it a few times and most of those were during automation runs.
- We think we’ve fixed a rare cache server crash on shutdown. By the time it’s shutting down, cache server should have written all your character data already but we figured we’d fix the crash, you know, just in case.
- Fixed a rare zone server crash.
- Fixed a bug that enabled you to repeat some missions when you shouldn’t. Pressing X to talk to the NPC wasn’t triggering everything correctly but clicking on the NPC to talk to them did.
- Added additional Mark of Victory turn-in missions to get refits.
- When we rolled the Smoking Shed into the Slaughterhouse, we didn’t move the free recipes from the Smoking Shed to the Slaughterhouse. A sharp-eyed, economy-minded beta tester caught this and we’ve fixed it.
- Integrated more localized text from SOE.