Welcome to our first post-launch patch!
- Stability: This patch includes several client graphics fixes that will improve performance, remove glitches for some ATI video cards, and stop crashes. We also fixed a crash in the sound manager and several server crashes.
- Sound Fixes: We fixed a client bug many of you encountered where your framerate in towns would slow down temporarily while music was playing. This is now gone. If you turned your Music volume slider down to avoid this problem, turn it back up again!
- Low-level mission revamp: The Open Beta taught us that there were too many missions in the low-level towns and that they were even lower level than they should be. We have made many changes here so that the number and level of missions better matches your leveling rate. This change means you will have missions closer to your level more often. That means the missions will be less boring (fewer "minor" ships!) and will also give better XP and doubloon rewards because they'll be higher level. Details are below.
- Black Point: We also fixed the problem with ship deed turn-in at Black Point.
- We're still working on the problem where folks can get stuck on an infinite Loading screen when trying to port to a different ship via the Harbor Master.
- Black Heart, Black Powder: Often your NPC ally will refuse to follow you after you interact. This breaks the mission. You may want to hold off on taking this mission for now.
Differences between 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 include but aren't limited to:
Ships / Combat
- Black Point has a Harbor Master now. You can now use the deed you turned in there.
- The 'Pommern' Frigate and all variants are now named the 'Hercules' Frigate instead. This is purely a name change and no stats were altered. The modeler of the ship requested that we use this name and we were happy to comply.
- Whenever you block an attack, you now lose 4 Balance points. This has no real effect on combat, but it does resolve an exploit where you could stack Block and Balance buffs and actually become invulnerable. This slight Balance penalty is enough to resolve that exploit.
- Lead From the Front & Improved Lead From the Front: These skills weren't buffing NPC allies as they should. Fixed that.
- Revive: If you were playing avatar combat in a group and someone Revived you after were defeated, enemy NPCs would ignore you once you came back from the dead. Now they agro on you as they should.
- Black Heart, Black Powder: Fixed a bug that would prevent you from leaving the mission.
- Low-level mission revamp: We had a LOT of missions in the starting town of each nation (Jenny Bay, Vera Cruz, Charlesfort, and Marsh Harbour). This was kind of cool, but it also meant that if you played every mission in the first town you could leave as level 11, which meant much of the mission content in the low-level towns would then be trivial and, frankly, boring. To improve this, we have removed several missions from the first town. These missions are now gone from the game:
- Big Cargo
- The Captain-Cook
- Good Riddance
- No Loitering
- The Roving Eye
- Scout and About
- Sea of Souls
- Thinner Than Water
- If you already have any of these missions on your characters, you will still have them and can finish them as usual. But they will no longer be offered by mission patrons.
- Low-level mission revamp part 2: The levels of missions in the second and third towns were too low. Very quickly, you could be level 12 but still be playing level 4-6 missions. This meant too many low-level missions were boringly simple and you were frequently fighting "(minor)" ships, which are incredibly weak and can't be captured or claimed for pennants and commendations. We have done two things to improve the low-level mission experience in the second and third towns.
- We have adjusted mission levels throughout the second and third towns to keep better pace with your level as you play. This means the missions will be more challenging, and you will pretty much stop seeing "(minor)" ships once you get to the second town and beyond. In addition, since the missions are higher level they will give you better XP and doubloon rewards.
- The second town used to have missions that were mostly levels 4-6. They are now mostly levels 7-9. This affects Rosignol (British), Barilla (Spanish), Fort Caroline (French), and Morgan's Bluff (Pirate). The third town used to have missions that were mostly levels 6-7. They are now mostly levels 10-12. This affects Georgetown (British), Villa Hermosa (Spanish), St. Augustine (French), and Harbour Island (Pirate).
- As you may have noticed, most missions are reused for all four nations with different characters, text, and enemies. Because we had a surplus of missions in the second and third towns, we have removed some missions from some nations. That means if you play a different nation later on, you will find missions you haven't seen before.
- Second Town (Rosignol (British), Barilla (Spanish), Fort Caroline (French), and Morgan's Bluff (Pirate))
- The Bettor Man: Now British and Spanish only.
- Bon Appetit: Now French only.
- Booty, Booty, Booty: Now French only.
- Bring Him Back Alive: Now Spanish and Pirate only.
- Damning Evidence: Now British only.
- Escort Service: Now French only.
- Important Discovery: Now British only.
- A Matter of Honor: Now Spanish and French only.
- No Respect: Now British only.
- Out for a Limb: Now Spanish only.
- Physic: Now Spanish only.
- Proving Grounds: Now Spanish and Pirate only.
- A Regular Customer: Now French only.
- The Sage of Ale: Now Pirate only.
- Suspicious Activity: Now British only.
- Third Town (Georgetown (British), Villa Hermosa (Spanish), St. Augustine (French), and Harbour Island (Pirate))
- Back Ordered: Now British, French, and Pirate only.
- Dead of Night: Now British, French, and Pirate only.
- Dirty Dealings: Now Spanish only.
- An Eagerly Awaited Guest: Now Spanish only.
- Free Samples: Now British, French, and Pirate only.
- Looking for Trouble: Now Spanish and French only.
- Meet the Father: Now Spanish only.
- A New Business Partner: Now Spanish only.
- Not in My Port: Now Spanish only.
- Pay Day: Now Spanish only.
- The Perilous Road: Now British, French, and Pirate only.
- A Proposed Merger: Now Spanish only.
- Rival Company: Now Spanish only.
- Running Late: Now British only.
- The Searcher: Now Spanish only.
- Fort St. Catherine: Now French only.
- Submit or Die: Now British and Pirate only.
- Trying Dutchmen: Now British, French, and Pirate only.
- Tying the Noose: Now British and Pirate only.
- Under the Black Flag: Now Spanish and French only.
- Un Viejo Convoy Grande: Now British only.
- West by West India: Now British, French, and Pirate only.
- If you already have any of these missions on your characters but they are no longer valid for your nation, you will still have them on your list and you can finish them as usual. But they will no longer be offered by mission patrons.
- Fixed the bug that caused Brits who took the Economy Tutorial out of Bartica to end up with a warehouse in Les Hattes, much to their surprise.
- Fixed a bug that prevented searching the Auction House in any language other than English. You can now search for auction items in the language you're using to play the game.
- During the end of beta event, players spammed the Offer button in the auction house, causing transactions to stall and get screwed up. This won't happen anymore.
- 'Renard' Chasse-Maree: Fixed a bug in the pricing for the Junk Merchant/Fence.
- Polacre: Fixed a bug in the pricing for the Junk Merchant/Fence.
- Ballast: Fixed a bug in the pricing for the Junk Merchant/Fence.
Stability / Performance
- Made a graphics performance fix. Stopped rendering stuff every frame that didn't need to be rendered nearly that often.
- Fixed a memory leak in the texture memory manager.
- Players with lower-end ATI cards encountered horrible visual problems in the game. We fixed most of these issues in the launch build, but now we've fixed some more. If the game ever looks like The Matrix to you, we think we've solved that problem.
- Fixed a crash that would occur if you changed your graphics preferences (particularly your texture slider), and then talked to the Harbor Master to look at your Dry Dock UI.
- Fixed a crash that occurred in boarding combat just after both the enemy captain and the player had been killed (in that order), and before the player respawned. This is what sending those crash reports to Microsoft buys you: This has been reported by a Beta tester but we couldn't figure out the repro. But once we got the crash dumps from Microsoft, we could tell what was going on and fix it.
- Made a fix to the sound manager to clear sound buffer cache. This might prevent a game crash we've seen if you stayed in the same place for a while when there were a lot of sounds, such as Tortuga.
- Added some logging to help track down a game crash we can't figure out.
- If you get an error about needing to open a port range in your router, you'll now be shown the correct ports (7010-7100) in the popup window. We recently changed the range to try to work around connectivity issues on college campuses and the like.
- Fixed a zone server crash that could occur if players landed in the room not on the nav mesh.
- Fixed a zone server crash that could occur if you leveled up just as you died.
- Fixed a zone server crash that we saw numerous times over two days during Open Beta but not before or since. We don't know what caused it, but it shouldn't happen again.
UI / Art / Sound
- Adjusted the names of the EU servers to show their languages.
- Fixed a bug that prevented the Chat tab titles from being localized.
- Fixed a problem with how NPC names can show up in localized versions.
- Your framerate would die if you were hearing town intro music while standing near an NPC musician who was also playing music. Fixed this bug.
- Removed text we thought might offend the ESRB.
- Integrated new localized text from SOE.