Build 1.11: The Clash of Steel went live this morning, and it's a big one! This update includes the Avatar Combat revision, which completely changes how you fight with enemies. As the developers put it, "Avatar Combat is now flashier and more exciting-looking as well as easier to learn and more fun to play." If you're unfamiliar with the AvCom upgrades, Lead Game Designer Kevin "Isildur" Maginn wrote a developer's blog on the topic in October, and it's a good place to start.
Once you're caught up, check out this page of guides and notes to help you through the change. The AvCom revamp has completely overhauled all skills, so there's numerous links to help you plan your character's fighting styles. There's also a Swashbuckling overview that summarizes all of the changes.
Of course, Build 1.11 contains other updates, too, including new Swashbuckling dailies. You can read the full patch notes here or below.
This milestone update completes most of our work on the Swashbuckling revamp. Avatar Combat is now flashier and more exciting-looking as well as easier to learn and more fun to play. You can read more about the changes and the philosophy behind them here.
Other changes include:
- When you log in for the first time, you'll get a dialog briefly explaining the changes to Swashbuckling Combat and a link to follow for more info.
- Repeatable Bloodsport Missions can be found via missions from the Swashbuckling Trainers and are located in Belize, Spanish Town, Biloxi, Roseau, Golden Lake, Matthew Town, Maracaibo, Santo Domingo, and other towns.
- New Swashbuckling Dailies: Can be found in Santiago, Tortuga, and in your nation's capital.
- Boarding: Isildur increased number of boarding waves at the low end slightly, and flattened the difference between the low and high ends even more. And he reduced the number of boarding party members a bit.
- UChat: We have activated SOE's cross-server/cross-game chat system. The syntax is /tell email@example.com, message. If you're chatting with someone on another PotBS server, you can leave off the game name.
Release Notes for 18.104.22.168 are here.
- Before upgrading to this build, you may want to make a note of the missions in your list. As always, if a mission is changed, it may be dropped from your list and you'll need to re-take it. For the most part, the Avatar Combat missions themselves (story-line, location, patron) didn't change, just the encounters (the room the mission takes place in, how many NPC enemies and allies there are, NPC tactics) did. When encounters change, you don't need to re-take the mission. But as every AvCom anything was touched, it's difficult for us to call out exactly which missions will need to be re-taken so make a note of what you have, just in case.
- Your character will have lost its Swashbuckling Skills and will need to acquire new ones.
- Charlesfort (and towns that look like it): There are a few chambering issues (where you can see the ocean instead of the town).
- We have hidden Bey's Retreat and Fortaleza de Luz. We have not yet completed re-tuning these per the AvCom revision. We expect to complete that tuning and make them available again in 1.12.
- There are few bits of text here and there that have not been translated into other languages properly. If we patch this build, we will fix it then.
Differences between 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 include but aren't limited to:
Ships / Outfitting:
- Sharp's Blackout Stout decreased morale instead of increasing it. Fixed.
Ship Combat / Skills:
- There are now Buccaneer trainers in Oranjestad and Somers Isle.
- As noted above, there are many, many changes, most detailed here.
- Several new weapon models have been added including swords for Florentine and Fencing and a couple new guns.
- You can now turn on healthbars over avatars selectively. Instead of being on or off for all, you can set your own, your allies', and your enemies' healthbars. In Preferences -> Keybind, near the bottom you can set a key to toggle each of these. Or you can use /toggleSelfCombatName, /toggleAllyCombatName, and /toggleEnemyCombatName.
- Using Sprint would cause rubberbanding sometimes. Should be better now.
- In some cases, thumbs would clip weapon hilts instead of wrapping around them. Fixed.
- If you exited a mission via an exit on the map without actually completing all the objectives, the escape point would still show up even when you were running around town. Fixed.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: The noble in the library was facing the couch, typically facing away from you. Fixed.
- Back Ordered: You couldn't leave the mission when you'd completed the objectives if you were still in combat. Fixed.
- Escape to Which Mountain: NPC allies were no help. Fixed.
- Over Your Head: Changed the door to make it clearer the Shop is where you need to be.
- Bey's Retreat and Fortaleza de Luz (and their lead-in missions) have been hidden for now. They need to be revamped as a result of the AvCom Revision. We expect to make them available again in 1.12.
- Crazy Like a Fox: Adjusted the longboat so it's floating instead of partially submerged.
- Beyond the Island of the Monkeys: The reward given by this mission was useless. Changed the reward to be things you're more likely to be able to use.
- Burning Bridges: Bridges now has a crew and fights as he should.
- Walking Wounded, Walking Dead: Quitting would break the mission. Fixed.
- The Standover Man: The ship rewarded wasn't usable by everyone who could complete the mission so we changed the reward to items usable by anyone who can take the mission.
- Skill Respecs are now much cheaper than they were. We want you to be able to easily respec if you feel you've made poor choices for your character.
- If you were sailing near an ally and an NPC started pursuing that ally, you'd get the notification that you were being pursued. Fixed.
- Pirate fleets tended to be level 65 while national fleets tended to be level 50. The Pirate Hercules is now level 55 (down from 65) and we've switched the Navy fleets to 64 gun ships (from Alexanders). In this way, most fleets are now level 55.
PvP / Port Contention:
- In some cases, when a port went from Pirate PvP to PvP, extending the zone, players in the newly included red area wouldn't get flagged for PvP and yet would be able to attack other players. Fixed.
Art / Sound:
- The Hercules now has its own model. Added 2 cannons to the front of the Hercules model. Also changed the vertex color on under hull and added couple of mission stays.
- Cape de Vela: Multiple NPCs were occupying the exact same space. Fixed.
- Golden Lake: Now has a new look. We're in the process of replacing the town art in a number of towns while not further complicating the paths through them. This is one result of that effort.
- Grand Turk: Fixed an NPC who was sometimes in danger of losing his head.
- Oranjestad: There were several NPCs scattered about that you couldn't talk to except by clicking their icon in the local map. You should now be able to talk to them by clicking on them directly.
- Changed the way we were doing dx compression to improve the appearance of avatars. Sadly, that wasn't the biggest problem. Work on avatar lighting to follow but there is some improvement from before.
- The Male Duster had a cuff that, at low LODs, would float around detached from the avatar. Fixed.
- Fixed a couple NPC males whose chests were bursting through their jackets.
- Changed the proportions of female avatar waists and hips. In 1.10, we shrunk their shoulders a bit. The overall effect now should be that women look more like women than men.
- NPCs in Pointe-a-Pitre Church aren't just flapping their gums; now they're actually talking.
- Fixed the unreadable red that was showing up in recipes and the Auction House offer UI. Should be lighter and easier to read now.
- Several items used for parties and events were marked Uncommon. Now they're marked Special.
- Fixed some issues that made localized text not necessarily show up correctly.
- Some Russian random names were reported as being too long when they were perfectly valid because we were calculating length incorrectly. Fixed.
- The URL for trial accounts to buy the game was broken in the Russian version. Fixed now.