Weekly Community Newsletter: Quality of Life

Greetings and salutations, you beautiful pieces of bunny fluff, and welcome back to the community newsletter!

This week, our primary focus has been making further developments and tweaks to the pet system, based on your Testlive feedback. You can find the full patch notes for that update here. We’ve expanded on thrall feeding to include thrall food preferences.

If you match a thrall’s preferred diet when feeding them they will gain a bonus buff. This way, if you care about the specifics of each companion type you can give them a short-term advantage. You can still feed them whatever you want to prevent them from decaying, but if need be you can give them a buff right before battle, for example. A server setting (disabled by default) will allow you to make diet matching mandatory, if that’s what you prefer.

We also added a special hunger animation for pets, to tell you when you need to feed them.

If you’re interested in checking out a preliminary version of the pets system, the new Jhebbal Sag religion and the Midnight Grove you can try it out it in the Testlive branch. Go to our forums for a rundown on how to access Testlive.

There’s a full rundown of how the pets system works on our forum, or you can take a look at the livestream where we talked about pets and some new weapon combos:

To top you off, here are some new screenshots from the Midnight Grove:

Keep in mind that not all bug fixes are immediately making it into the Testlive build and that a lot of our bug fixing efforts are primarily focused on making the pets system ready for release on the live builds. That doesn’t mean existing bugs and issues aren’t being addressed, only that you might not see them in our Testlive builds.

There is still work to be done, bugs to fix and numbers to tweak, so keep that feedback rolling in.

Community stream

Friday was community stream time. Natascha and Jens Erik from the community team showcased some incredible screenshots and builds, answered questions from the chat and raffled away some DLC keys. There will be more community streams coming up so keep sending us screenshots, videos, fanart and other assorted creations.

Avatars

Let’s talk a bit about the god Avatars! Their damage numbers and overall usefulness hasn’t exactly been consistent, but we’ve started a process to remedy this. Avatar attacks are being updated to do the same amount of damage in their hit zone, with damage numbers increased so they should consistently take down T1 buildings with one strike.

The Set Avatar needs some additional work due to the technical nature his Avatar, but this will help us establish a baseline that we can work from. We’re taking a more thorough look at siege and raid design down the line, to evaluate how the current sieging mechanics work and what we can do to improve them.

Quality of life updates

In addition to fixing bugs and existing issues we’re also working on improving the game with smaller quality of life updates. One of the things we want to highlight is a new and improved map with grid coordinates to make it easier for players to navigate and find each other. This is a feature that’s been highly requested by the community and we now have the capacity to create and implement such a feature.

We’ve also been working on improving the Event Log. At the moment it displays very basic information about destroyed/lost building pieces, thralls and placeables. We’ll be expanding that to include time and date, server restarts and how something was destroyed (player raids, decay, etc). Log entries will be filtered by owner to show current player or clan context and you can sort by type, date and location (local or global). It’s a tricky endeavor, because while we’re expanding the Event Log we must make sure there’s not an overload of information for the player.

The improved Event Log will assist both us and the community with figuring out what happened in case something disappears. We can more easily dig information out of a server’s database and players have access to more information in-game as well.

Finally, we’ve been making some headway with optimizing and improving building replication, fixing a couple of bugs in the process. This is to help building pieces render faster, lowers CPU usage, lowering the amount of network data to transfer, and a host of other things that makes the game experience better for players. We’ll go through a more detailed explanation in a separate blog post.

Wrapping up

That’s it for this week. We hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter.

Sincerely,

Funcom

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