This update is heavy on UI improvements. There's also some new things to discover in Sun Vale (which we won't spoiler here since it's exploration content). Plus a broad assortment of other stuff... read on!

General User Interface Changes
We've made a lot of general tweaks and changes to the user interface in this update. Some are experimental while others are basically just bug-fixes.
  • The "overhead labels" GUI options are now enabled by default. This change will override your old settings, meaning that if you don't want overhead labels on, you'll need to go into the Settings window and turn them off again. (Sorry about that.)
  • The "avatar portrait" GUI option is now enabled by default. We've made a lot of improvements to the portraits in this update, and while there's still a lot to do, we asked ourselves "Would you rather have portraits enabled, or a pointless blank space in the UI?" And for the first time, we decided portraits were better than nothing. So they're enabled! (But you can still turn them off in the settings, of course.)
  • The "Close Last Panel" keyboard command (default Escape key) no longer closes the Pet UI. (Experimental, feedback desired! The old behavior just felt wrong most of the time.) You can still close the pet UI by pressing the pet-UI key (default P) or pressing the pet icon on the bottom bar.
  • Another experimental tweak to the "Close Last Panel" keyboard command (default Escape key): if no closeable panels are found, it tries to clear your current selection instead. If you have no selection, it shows the system menu, as before.
  • The Recipe window now has back/forward history buttons (to let you view the previous recipe you were looking at)
  • Floaty damage numbers that affect both health and armor at the same time have been combined into one number. If the damage was split between health and armor, it will be shown in orange. If the damage was applied entirely to health, it will be shown in red. (If you prefer the old format you can use the special GUI setting DualFloaties to get the old behavior back, at least for now. This may end up being obsoleted unless lots of players indicate that they prefer it.)
  • Hide permanent effect icons: you can now remove clutter from your effect-icons bar by hiding your "permanent" effects (ones without a timer duration, such as Armor Bonuses and Curses.) There's a little "..." icon in the effect bar to turn them on and off.
  • Some permanent effects that previously didn't have an effect icon (to avoid adding too much clutter) now have an icon. Most notably, Spawn Premonition buffs are now shown.
  • Changed the visual effects for monsters who feel vulnerable. (Still a work in progress.)

  • You can now customize the colors of each chat channel. These options are in the Settings window, in the GUI section. (You can also set whether the text is bold or italic, which is actually slated to be a feature of our VIP subscription plan, alongside a bunch of other fancy GUI options. We're not actually sure if this tiny feature will end up being VIP-only, but if it does, consider this a preview.) Known issue: if you join a new chat room while the Settings window is open, you will need to close and reopen the Settings window for that new chat room to appear in the color list.
  • You can now share recipes in chat. On the Recipes window, right click the name of a recipe and choose "Share in Chat"
  • When sharing items or recipes in chat, you no longer have to type a message. You can just say the item (or recipe) without further commentary if desired.
  • In an attempt to make item/recipe sharing a little bit more comprehensible, there's a new "Send Chat" option shown when you click the "+1 Item" button on the chat window. The "Send Chat" option is the same as pressing Enter while typing chat text: it sends whatever's been typed, along with the chosen items/recipes.
  • Made the Chat window behave a bit more like other windows in a few ways. Most noticeably, there is a close button on the window now. More subtly, the window is no longer in the "background" behind other windows. This means that it can now appear on top of other windows. It's hard to explain, and not that important, but if you're wondering "wait, did this change?" then you're not insane, yes it did.

Particle-Spam Limiter
To help cut down on "particle spam" in busy towns, there's now a rate-limiter on how many unimportant gameplay particle-effects will be displayed. The limit is determined by your graphics quality level, or you can manually set it in the Settings window: it's an advanced Graphics setting called "Max Low-Pri Particles Per Second".

What is a "low pri particle"? It's a particle-effect from a buff or ability that doesn't seem like it will directly affect you much: buffs and heals cast on other players (who aren't in your current group). Buffs and heals cast on you are never considered "low-pri", so even if you set the limiter to zero, you'll still see particles when people cast spells on you.

We hope that this automatic limiter will prevent framerate problems in busy areas. (After a few tweaks to its algorithm, probably.) But there's also a second tool at your disposal. This one is intended for use in VERY busy areas (such as during live events). Type /particlespam in the chat box to turn on an aggressive particle-blocker. It will block all buff/heal particles cast by any player aside from you and the people in your current Group. (Unlike the automatic limiter, this command WILL hide spells that are cast on you by other players. This can be confusing in combat situations, so we don't recommend leaving this on for regular play.)

You can return to normal by typing /particlespam in the chat window again. If you want to ALWAYS be in no-particle-spam mode, you can instead add the word NoParticleSpam to the Special Settings box in the Settings window. This setting supercedes the chat command.

Also, as a general optimization, we no longer render "low-pri" particles on players that are very far away (specifically, players that are far beyond your Animation Cutoff distance).

Monster Buffs
  • High-level monsters have more health. The change starts at level 40, though it probably won't be noticeable until significantly higher level. By level 80, however, the change is noticeable, giving monsters around 20%-40% more Max Health. As an example, a level 77 fire spider's health increased from 2013 to 2898, gaining 885 health. Max Rage also increased proportionately. This change is aimed at solo monsters, although it also affects group monsters by the same amount. (e.g. if there were a Boss version of the aforementioned level 77 fire spider, it might have 20,000+ health, but regardless, this change would only add 885 to it, the same as if it were a solo monster.)
  • Scray's delayed acid damage is a bit more painful.
  • Bees and wasps with poison-DoT rage attacks now deal a bit more poison damage per second.
  • Werewolf enemies whose rage attack is a healing-howl: the heal is now a meaningful amount, although still not especially impressive.
  • Sharks were accidentally using generic forest-animal attacks (in fact, their bites could inflict lice!) They now have unique attacks: they have a crippling opener move, and their rage-attack is a bleed.

Bee Hive Encounter Revisions
The "poke the hive" group encounters in the fae realm have been revised to be much easier. We still recommend a group of 5-6 level 70+ players, although it is possible for a very coordinated (or very well-geared) small group to handle some of them.

These encounters are not well-tested. That's your job! We'd love your feedback on these encounters after you've tried them out a few times. Since we need detailed balancing feedback, you'll need to know how things are supposed to work. So the rest of this section is a spoiler!

When you poke a hive, it spawns a first wave of solo enemies. After a few seconds, if your group is still alive and nearby, you'll see a note that more reinforcements are on their way. A bit after that, you'll see another note about more reinforcements. When you see those messages, it means the reinforcements are 10-20 seconds away from arriving, depending on their movement speed. They take a while to spawn in, and then have to travel to the hive. If you have the ability to perceive creatures before they spawn, you can detect these reinforcements before they spawn in.

No wave of enemies has more than one elite/boss creature in it. However, the waves are short and speed is still important to avoid monster pile-ups. Positioning is also important: the hive only summons reinforcements as long as 3+ players remain close to the hive (specifically within 30 meters). If there aren't enough (living) players in the area when it's time to call reinforcements, you'll instead see a message that they've been called off. (The already-spawned reinforcements will still fight to the death, however.)

The encounter ends after the third wave -- the reward is the loot from the monsters themselves. The solo monsters have higher-than-normal chances for honeycombs, even for creatures that normally don't drop honeycomb. The elite monsters have high chances of dropping Royal Jelly (although not as high as in the earlier incarnation of these encounters).

We want these encounters to be frantic, and feel dangerous, but not feel insane. In other words, they should be fun. The hives nearest town are intended to be relatively easy, and the later ones should be more difficult. One of the biggest unknowns is how much time should elapse between each round of reinforcements. If your feedback indicates that certain hives are too hard, we can slow down the reinforcements, or reduce the number of enemies per round.

One other thing -- the elites in these encounters now have a chance to drop Fairy Soul Anchors. They are rare and drop as a bonus item (meaning that they don't reduce the amount of "regular" loot received). Fairy Soul Anchors are useless to non-fae, and always will be, but they drop for players of all races to allow fairies a way to purchase them from other players.

Monsters and Mantids
After receiving your detailed feedback on this casino game (thank you!), we've revised it to have more choices, more diversity, and a bit faster playing speed.
  • when your Gaming skill is 15, you can now tip your game master. Game masters provide hastier service for big tippers.
  • when your M&M character reaches XP level 2, 3, and 5, you'll pick a Perk from a random selection of Perks. Perks are small buffs and benefits.
  • when your dice-roll ends in death, you no longer receive your tickets and rewards before the dice are finished rolling. Instead, press the "Continue" button to receive your rewards.
  • the ante for playing the regular game has increased from 500 to 650, and Pro tables increased from 750 to 900. Expected average earnings for skilled players are still a bit higher than before, though.
  • the ability Prey deals +2 damage and heals -1 health (at all tiers)
  • the ability Lurk deals -1 damage (at all tiers) to injured enemies
  • the code for the random-encounter system was rewritten in this update, and all the encounters were converted to a new system. It's possible there are bugs -- if you find them, please report them!
  • there are some new random encounters, with more to come

Fairy Tweaks
  • All beehives in the fae realm now have a quest available to fairies. (Previously, most of the hives were "coming soon".) Each hive can now be completed once every 5 days instead of every 1 day. The item rewards are also tweaked: they now sometimes give valuable items (such as royal jelly) instead of fairy Soul Anchors, although the most common reward item is still a Fairy Soul Anchor. All 12 of the hive quests give 200 Fae racial XP upon completion.
  • Most items made of ice now melt less quickly. (Raw ice is about half as likely to melt each tick.)
  • Using the Fairy Wing Potion was much more tedious than intended because the potion chose randomly between 30+ different wings. There are now five different fairy wing potions, each covering only one or two styles of wing. This way, when you know which shape you want, you can more easily find it in the color you want by brewing the appropriate potion. These new recipes are unlocked by raising Fey racial skill.

Previews of Animal Husbandry
We're working on a complex system for breeding and selling pet animals. It's not ready yet, so we've "turned it off" for this update. However, there are lots of little details (and bugs) that still made it into the update.
  • The Stable window has been rewritten in preparation for the upcoming Animal Husbandry system. You'll notice that the new version indicates whether your pet is male or female. This will be important for breeding purposes, but won't have any other effect.
  • The Stable window will say that your pets are "Unregistered" -- this can be ignored for now
  • The Item Info window has a new tab labeled "Preview". This will be how you examine a pet who's stored in a travel-cage item. For now, it does nothing.
  • Some animals are currently using genetics internally. This includes cats, wasps, bees, deer, and a few others. These genes can affect the creatures' stats: they may have more or less max health than normal, or have evasion, toughness, etc. However, the genomes these animals are using are junk genes, intended only for testing.
  • Two types of creatures, deer and bees/wasps, not only use genetics internally, but externally as well: their genes affect their visual appearance. You'll notice that different individuals have unique colors, sizes, and (in the case of bees), deformities, particles, or other strangeness. Again, these animals' genomes aren't permanent, they're just for testing the system. (Especially the deer's appearance genes, which currently generate rainbow-colored deer.)
  • Pets are NOT using genes at this time, so when you tame a wasp (for example), you'll get a standard wasp, ignoring the genes of the creature you tamed.
  • Some animals have the wrong colors (e.g. Hissy isn't red). This is temporary and will be fixed.

Bug Fixes/Other Stuff
  • Worked around a Unity UI bug that could cause your mouse cursor to get "stuck" in the center of the screen whenever it touched the edges of a GUI window.
  • Basic ambient sound-effects added to Fae Realm
  • Some words of power that said they lasted 15 minutes only lasted 5 minutes
  • The crossbows "Hunting Crossbow" and "Double Crossbow" were incorrectly flagged as having a necromancy gem; the gem is now removed.
  • Archery ability Snare Arrow's description indicated that it used 5 arrows, but only actually needed 1. The description was incorrect and has been fixed
  • Food item "Gobbledygook" was incorrectly marked as a meat dish
  • The "Bridge Bully" has been relocated to a more recognizable bridge
  • Velkort's pet flame now acts as a waste disposal service for the town of Serbule: you can discard junk in it.
  • Fixed bugs that could cause the wrong icon to be shown on the "casting" progress bar
  • Fixed exploitable bug: high-level Fairy Magic abilities could be used even when paired with a very low-level skill (It didn't honor the max-25-level-difference cap between your active skills.)
  • Tamed Blinding Wasps' special abilities were both named "Wasp Ranged Debuff" -- one of them is now renamed "Wasp Burst Pierce". Behavior is unchanged, only the label was wrong
  • Fixed bugs where Objective Orienteering abilities could report "The quest objective is not anywhere in this zone" when they were, in fact, in the zone, just very far away. This bug could happen for quests in Sun Vale or Ilmari Desert.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Combos to be aborted when you triggered a Combat Refresh
  • Tweaked spawn range of motherlodes in Kur to prevent spawning off the map
  • Fixed display errors where your Friends list would occasionally show incorrect amounts of time since your friends were last online.
  • Some types of clothing did not show up in the "paper doll" in the Persona window (and some still don't... still working on it)
  • Changed the default LOD Bias value for the graphics level "5: Amazing". It is now 3 instead of 1000. (3 sounds small, but it's actually quite dramatic: it's a 300% increase in how far away the game will render things in their highest level of detail.) The value of 1000 was only intended for "6: Ultra", which still uses that default. 1000 is so high that it essentially turns off the level-of-detail system entirely, always rendering everything at max resolution, even if it's miles away. This is dumb, but Ultra.
  • Fixed login issue: if you were disconnected due to internet problems, then tried to reconnect, you could get a message telling you to try again, but no means of trying again (forcing you to restart the game). If this happens now, the client waits a few seconds on the "try again" error screen, then switches back to the login screen so you can try again.