Shards of Destiny (Gu53) appeared on Test just moments before midnight last night. This update is expected to go live in late September (the initial date was September 22nd, but this was an internal target). Here are the Test Update Notes:
Test Update August / 27 / 2009
The new achievement system gives players a fun new way to track their accomplishments! Most achievements will award players with achievement points that can be used to compare their progress against other players. Some harder to complete achievements will offer non-stat item rewards. The basic categories are General, Quest, Exploration, Combat, Slayer, Tradeskills and Triumphs. Triumphs are large scale achievements that combine multiple achievements into one large one. An example of this would be to do all of the combat, quest, and exploration achievements in a specific area.
A number of mysterious erudites have set up in Qeynos, Freeport, Neriak, Gorowyn, and Kelethin. Any player level 20 or higher can speak to them and for a small fee temporarily lower their adventuring level.
This works very similarly to mentoring except:
- You do not need a mentoring target.
- You can only choose levels in increments of 5 (10, 15, 20, etc).
- You do not receive the bonuses granted from mentoring other players (currently you receive a very large bonus to AA gain while mentoring another player, this is not granted by the Chronomagic system).
The chronomagic will last until cancelled (right-click on your nameplate or /unmentor). Once cancelled, you must return to any Timeless Chronomage to reactivate the effect
Additionally, 37 new missions have been added that work similar to The Shadow Odyssey’s daily doubles. They task players with slaying various bosses within zones of all levels throughout Norrath And, of course, these missions reward players with an array of exciting new items!
Chronomagic works the same on PvP servers as it does on PvE servers. However, it also has all the same restrictions as mentoring—namely that you cannot engage in PvP combat while the chronomagic effect is on your character. This makes it quite a bit more dangerous on PvP servers, so good luck and be careful!
Bosses and Events
As part of the chronomagic initiative, a pass was made through old-world overland and contested dungeons to greatly increase the frequency with which bosses and events spawned or occurred. Many placeholders and placeholder ring events were either removed or weighted much more heavily toward actual bosses spawning. Some of the notable highlights include placeholders being removed from:
(Note: These are all from forum feedback)
- Crypt of Betrayal – Specter of Ire
- Enchanted Lands – Chomper
- Everfrost – Chieftain Iceburn
- Feerrott – Screaming Mace HQ targets Agony, Hukulan, Kaxor, Xilarga, and Tzugaax. Also Bouncers Prud, Hurd, Fug, and Flerb who were also changed to no longer despawn
- Greater Faydark – Crushbone Expedition Leader, Chef, Weaponsmith, and Planner
- Lavastorm – Fire Toad, Magolemus
- Nektulos – Dannian Blackleaf – removed respawn time and despawn time, should always be up now
- Obelisk of Lost Souls – Mediums of Dyrt, Cron, Iza, Odris, Norrath, and Lysys, Soul Harvesters Kul, Na, Gron, and Zej, Avulsor
- Old Telescopic Lens (quest starter for The Staff of Observers) drops much more frequently
- Zek, Orchish Wastes – Sentry Goorlux
- Palace of the Awakened – Skylord Stormclaw, Advisor Soliddar
- Rivervale – Willowmaw the Rotting
- Ruins of Varsoon – Weavemaster Esh’rax, Tome of Life, Tome of Death, The Creator
- Solusek’s Eye – Enforcer Maj’Fahd, Soulslaver Djar’veh, The Speaker of Fates, The Castigator, Lord Crana, Onyxlam
- Steamfont – Bulka Bloodhorn, Digmaster Pechpooka, Slave Pechmooka, Scout Pechyooka
- Thundering Steppes – Stiletto, Bloodtalon
- Stormhold – a caveroot horror, Battlepriest Alexandria
- Stormhold – The Scions – Archiovianix, Hephinntari, Qelinatias, Tumarinan
- The Vestibule – The Medium of Hykor
- Tombs of Night – The Leucous Maw
There are a large number of ring events that work similarly in the zones: Antonica, Commonlands, Everfrost, Sinking Sands, Enchanted Lands, Feerrott, Nektulos, Orcishwastes, and Thundering Steppes. They had a very high chance to spawn a placeholder, a small chance to spawn a boss, a small chance to spawn a shrine that buffs the player, and a small chance to spawn a number of different merchants. The chance to spawn a placeholder was greatly reduced and there is now a very high chance for one of the ‘events’ to occur. The merchants were all combined into the ‘rare’ merchant, who will now always spawn for that event. They also have a much larger merchantlist, and will buy, sell, and repair your gear! Contested Epic spawns in lower level zones were lowered to spawn every three days (with a large variation) instead of once a week.
A number of x2 and x3 contested mobs were downtiered because they had a 0% chance to drop fabled gear. They were lowered to triple-ups and their spawn times were adjusted accordingly. The contested epic mobs who did have fabled loot were given a 100% chance to drop at least one fabled item each time they are slain. Some of the mobs changed include:
- Allidax the Ancient
- Alrendi Thoughtsong
- Broog the Banished
- Commander Nagrat
- Cyenadros, Lord of the Sanctum
- Haraghur the Deathless
- Haywire Opticron (lowered to one-up and added loot)
- Lavin Dusk
- Ssilth Rageclaw
- The Unseelie JumJum Thief
In general, most named mobs (with some exceptions) changed by this pass have a very high chance to drop treasured. Those with rare fabled items had their chances to drop raised significantly as well.
- Named mobs in New Tunaria should have a 100% chance to drop legendary gear, and a much higher chance to drop Cloak of Flames pages now!
- A new boss has found his way into Sebilis.
- Bosses in Sebilis and Chardok should match Karnor’s Castle and spawn every 45 minutes + variation.
- The despawn timers from all of Kylong Plains’ rare mobs have been removed.
- The Fiery Apparition in Lavastorm should spawn once again
Note to testers:
Because of the size of Norrath, a number of placeholders may have slipped through our net. Please /feedback these with two pieces of information: the full name of the zone and the full name of the placeholder-challenged named mob.
Shard of Love (heroic zone)
The Sisterhood of Erollisi has returned to Antonica with grave concerns! Adventurers interested in helping them should seek out a Disciple of Love in Antonica, Kelethin or Gorowyn. Those with more devious intentions should seek out Disciples of Hate within The Commonlands, Neriak or Gorowyn.
Illusions cast from petamorph wands will now last for two hours and persist through zoning.
Melee, defense and casting skills should now be easier and more straightforward to level up.
Swimming will now skill up faster.
You can now buy the Translocate and Druid Portal spells from the trainers.
Racial choices have changed. As a result, your character development choices have been reset.
Adventure writs are now offered to a player’s effective level, so that mentored players can complete adventure writs at any level!
You can now convert adventure experience into the achievement pool from level 10 and higher by adjusting the slider in the achievement window.
Examining a ranged combat art will now display the ranged critical bonus properly.
Fixed an issue where items might trigger when they are restricted to a certain damage type.
The /auction channel is now server wide!
You will now receive chat feedback for dispels and cures.
Scouts will automatically disarm chests now when attempting to open them. As a result, the disarm verb will no longer display.
Pets will no longer be hit by AoE autoattack unless they are considered in front of the attacker. This should in turn make it easier to position pets to avoid it since the avoidance range for them is now flanking or behind instead of just behind.
Beneficial Poolburn effects will now display to the chat log.
Target locking abilities will now terminate if the locker is no longer a valid target.
Triggered Spell based effect tooltips will now update appropriately if your intelligence or strength change.
Player-written books will now be editable when transferring to another server.
Fixed a bug where when sometimes editing a very large player written book some text would be lost when closing and reopening the book.
Zoning into a new raid instance will no longer clear your raid looters.
Turning the avatar autoface option ON and the camera autoface option OFF will keep your character facing the target regardless of what direction your character is moving while autoattack is turned off. Toggle autoattack off to toggle off autoface if you just need to turn and run and toggle it back on again to make a final stand.
- Players who leave Charasis: Vault of Eternal Sleep and return later will no longer find their progression blocked.
- Players will find that Gorowyn has become a good deal easier to navigate.
MIRAGUL’S PLANAR SHARD (x4)
- A quest has been added to assist with certain progression within Miragul’s Planar Shard!
- Items that can assist in certain elements of the Planar Shard fights are now random drops in the Miragul’s Phylactery group TSO zones.
MUNZOK’s MATERIAL BASTION
- Umzok and Ozyk now drop the less specialized cloaks and charms more reliably.
- Certain items in Munzok’s Material Bastion have become slightly more desirable.
- The Nerius pirates camping along Nektulos beach are now armed (and still) dangerous.
- Turgen Bremhurst now offers a more interesting way for you to earn the key to the gates of Bridge Keep.
ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENT (formerly Achievements)
- Ooze Crawler will now benefit from Wrath of the Undead Servant
- Spirit of the Ancients will apply properly to Ancestral Sentry when another player is targeted.
- Pet Achievement Spells now have a higher priority when casting.
- Fixed Shattered Infections to cure the correct person.
- Cry of the Warrior will be resisted less often now.
The Heirloom flag has been added to a large number of items in the game with the exception of quest items, heritage items, PvP items, and items gained from patterns (but the patterns themselves were flagged as Heirloom). This will allow players to join groups with the character that can help the group the most without the worry of not being able to gear up the character of their choice! As a side effect, items affected by this change will unattune and be sent to overflow initially upon first login.
Fixed a case where some item based triggered effects would begin to critical.
The Brethren of Night quartermaster by Soul Eater Falls in Nektulos Forest has improved the appearance of the armor and robe he sells. (Existing armor purchased from him previously will not be affected.) The Hand of Marr quartermaster in the nearby camp has also begun stocking a robe.
The Cudgel of Obviation’s Spirit Tap Effect is now unresistable.
Old Telescopic Lens (quest starter for The Staff of Observers) drops much more frequently.
Volcanic Knight’s Tempered Helm now has spell and heal crit chance to match its melee crit.
The ‘Deception’ effect on the Bracelet of the Trickster no longer affects fighters.
Unbound Elemental Essences from Lavastorm are now heirloom and the items that are purchased with them are now easier to obtain.
Balanced Ayr Stones may now be applied to fist weapons of any damage type.
Saita’s Glowing Gem will automatically cast on the user when activated. Amazing Presence now shows up in the Maintained Spells window.
The Bangle of the Spiteful now slightly increases spell crit bonus.
Anashti Sul and Ykesha now have a chance to drop new items for Mages.
The descriptions on Petamorph Wands and their spells now declare that they will only affect combat pets and not cosmetic pets.
- Going linkdead while accessing your mailbox will no longer cause your mail to be inaccessible if you log back in before your character leaves the world.
- After sending a guild mail or ranks mail the “to” text box will no longer have a random guild member name in it.
Player vs Player (PvP)
The Priests of Discord have returned. Reports state that they are currently teaching young adventurers the path of discord.
New Shattered Lands, Faydark, Kunark and Void Discord tokens have been created. The Discord tokens will now replace all previously used currency.
Faction merchants have agreed to reduce their status and faction costs! In return, their items have been enhanced to be more desirable to prospective buyers.
EoF, RoK and TSO Faction items have been enhanced to be more desirable by prospective buyers. All previously purchased items have gained the attributes as well.
Writ givers are eager to see more adventurers in battle and are willing to ignore previous requirements for their job completion.
Spawn location near Dreg’s Landing and Teren’s Grasp have been moved to be favorable for all factions.
The Kylong Plains writ giver has moved to Teren’s Grasp from Dreg’s Landing.
The dirge epic triggered effect (Intrepid Strike) will no longer force an attack to inflict maximum damage while in PvP combat.
Hate will now age faster while you are on a server controlled mount.
You will no longer gain immunity while on balloon platforms.
Reactive should no longer trigger incorrectly.
Player houses have been given an extra room! Note to testers: Currently homes in Qeynos and Freeport will be unable to customize the new room. This will be updated shortly.
Players can now save and restore their house item layouts. Use the commands save_layout <filename> and load_layout <filename>.
House layout files can only be loaded in houses of the same type. This also works in guild halls!
Creature mastery quests (Lore & Legend) now use a system of progressively increasing luck that eventually guarantees an update.
The third scout for “Connect the Dots” in Kylong Plains is now easier to find.
The quest “A Strange Gem” Has been re-introduced into Antonica.
The quest “The Final Report” from the Qeynos Claymore progression in Kingdom of Sky should now allow citizens of all evil and good aligned cities to obtain the quest.
The quest “Aelia and the Butcher” can now be completed properly in North Freeport.
The respawn time on a named needed for the Screaming Mace quest within Temple of Cazic Thule has been shortened.
The difficulty of the waves of orcs that spawn at the beginning of Bloodskull Valley has been lowered to be more in line with the difficulty intended for Return of the Light Heritage quest.
Cheap Shot will now last the full four seconds on single up arrow NPCs. Higher difficulty NPCs will remain at two seconds since they are not typically used for solo encounters.
Group and self targeted buffs which do not expire will persist through death. This does not apply to pet spells.
Deity Spells now have a two second casting time.
Ranges have been adjusted to many spells to more consistent.
Maintained spell descriptions from cast items will now look like if you examined the item directly.
Spells that are hostile and beneficial will now apply their beneficial effects to anyone in the group with an AOE avoidance spell on them.
- The Earthen Avatar line will now break invisibility spells when cast.
- Communion should inherit the proper names from Fiery Magician now and use the appropriate Hydromancer appearance.
- Druid Portal spells have been consolidated into one spell and now work similar to the druid guild hall amenity.
- Inquisition will now overwrite existing copies of the spell properly on a target.
- Amends 3 has been removed from the Paladin Training choices like it was prior to GU51.
- Miss your old skeleton pet? Then visit your local Shadowknight trainer and get your new skeleton pet today! Scrolls are going fast so hurry up and get yours today!
- Sorcerer translocate spells have been consolidated into a single spell that works similar to the druid guild hall amenity.
- Faerie Ally will no longer attempt to save dead people.
- Tunare’s Watch will now scale by level since it is not upgraded at higher levels.
- Rays of Disintegration will no longer interrupt the group and is now only cast by the wizard. The casting time is slightly less while doing a bit more damage now.
The tradeskill society tutorial books now have an improved appearance. If you do not have a copy and would like one, visit your local tradeskill society merchant.
The recipe for the Flame Tapestry found in Najena’s Forge is no longer limited in uses.
Carpenters can now provide a few essentials for those stabling their mounts in their homes.
Byproducts from tradeskilling will no longer have the crafter’s name on them.
Tradeskill level will now count for purchasing racial traditions.
The recipe window now auto adjusts to fit very long recipe names.
Title lists on the Details tab of the Persona window are now sorted.
A new user-interface has been wrapped around the mentoring system.
Type /mentor to display the mentoring window.
You can also use the /unmentor command to cancel mentoring.
The mentoring window will be displayed when you join a group if your level is too high to allow all players to earn XP.
The Welcome screen now shows the number of unopened LoN booster packs you have.
The examine recipe window will now use multiple lines for very large recipe names.
The threat window now has an improved tooltip and will only show when it is relevant.
Timers on quests in the group quest window will now have correct times.
Double clicking an item in the Marketplace section of the welcome window will now open the Marketplace window with that item pre-selected.
You can now alter the hotkey for the zone reuse timer window in the options window.
The confirmation box for destroying a player written book with special characters in the title will no longer displayer gibberish.
Critical damage will once again be tracked properly.