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PotBS updated once more, build live to open beta

William Dobson

Whew. Just a couple of days ago, Pirates of the Burning Sea was updated to build, but build has already gone live. This revision includes the planned changes to Ships of the Line, bringing them closer to how they were originally intended to be.

Also in, swashbuckling has been tuned quite a lot, and some new voice acting from foreign speakers has gone in. The invisible avatar problem hasn't been fully resolved yet, but we're promised some more progress when the next patch is released.

Once again, this is but a small portion of all the changes in the patch, and the full list is pasted after the break.

Known Issues:

  • In fixing some holes in the Economy Tutorial, we made more. If you've already built structures before doing the tutorial, you get to skip the part of the tutorial that covers that. But then that prevents you from building other structures. If you hit this, log an "I'm stuck" incident in the support system and a GM will try to help you.
  • This build does not include any improvements to the invisible-avatars issue, but we made progress on that today and that will be in the next patch.

  • Differences between and include but aren't limited to:

    Ships / Combat:

  • Changes to Ships of the Line: For the big picture, see this devlog. Basically, it works like this: Added a new item, the Lineship Structure. It requires something like 2000 units of wood, iron, and cloth to produce one of these items. High-end ships require anywhere from 1 to 10 of these items to build. The earliest ships that require these items are the Pommern variants (Sleek and Armored) at 1 each, increasing their costs to about 370k doubloons. All ships more powerful than those variants are more expensive, capping out at the 104, which has a minimum production cost of about 9.6m doubloons. This represents an increase in cost per level per durability over the 50 gun of two orders of magnitude. Also increased cost of huge cannons, and generally adjusted high-end ship recipes. Most of them now require far more provisions than they used to, in addition to the new item requirement.
  • Reduced the top end speed on the Open Sea. This has little to no effect on most frigates and a small to moderate (up to 10%) effect on smaller ships. Also reduced the OS speed for the starter ships. Now pretty much any of the ship upgrades available from 1-20 will make you faster on the OS.
  • Adjusted stopped turn rates. New values are generally equal to 1/3rd the value of the ship's slow turn rate. This decreases the stopped turn rates of most mid-upper range frigates. The change is small for most ships. A few of the higher ships may need additional adjustments. A stopped ship shouldn't be a swiftly-turning gun platform and these changes should help that.
  • Reduced the target tracking available on big ships. This has a very small effect on the early frigates. It has a significant effect on the highest end ships.
  • Adjusted the accuracy bonuses based on ship size. Big ships got a little easier to hit, small ships got a little harder to hit.
  • Improved the speed and wind angles on the Renard Chasse Maree. It's supposed to be a fast ship, but it was very slow.
  • Reduced the size category of the Mordaunt and the Alexander to Huge instead of Colossal. Also increased their armor. Now that the high-end SOLs are so much rarer, we want these ships to be the workhorses of port battles and PvP. Changing their category to Huge means you have a lot more outfitting options available for these ships.
  • Tweaked the stats on the Algiers Polacre. Main changes include increased speed and masts.
  • We changed the Crew Focus skills so you get them at first level instead of fifth level. When you get them at fifth, it's easy not to realize you got them and then they're just buried in your skill inventory. These skills are core gameplay and should be on your toolbar from the start so you Learn To Play.

  • Swashbuckling:

  • Players in boarding combat were frequently going out of combat due to our new avatar-in-combat rules. This meant, among other issues, they could exit any encounter by boarding a ship. Fixed that.
  • Elbow: Decreased cooldown, added increased chance to hit, and reduced initiative cost.
  • Vicious Elbow: Reduced the cooldown significantly, added increased chance to hit, reduced initiative cost, and reduced amount of initiative damage dealt
  • Weak Grip: Reduced duration from 10 seconds to 5. Reduced the damage effect also.
  • Scoundrel's Loop: Reduced the bonus balance damage a touch.
  • Mighty Swing: Increased additional damage, decreased initiative cost.
  • Off Hand Shot: Decreased the balance loss and cut cooldown in half. Also reduced the cooldown triggered on alternate ranged weapons by offhand shot to about half. The secondary cooldown triggered by offhand shot on alternate ranged weapons is designed to prevent a player from spamming two ranged attacks in rapid succession for both animation and PvP balance reasons.
  • Take Aim: Decreased the balance loss a bit, cut the cooldown time drastically, and decreased the offense bonus a bit. Also reduced the cooldown triggered on alternate ranged weapons to about half.
  • Brace of Pistols: Decreased the balance loss, decreased the cooldown time quite a bit, and decreased the cooldown triggered on ranged weapons to about half.
  • Footslash: Increased the maximum balance damage and added an offense bonus to the attack.
  • Hamstring: Decreased the minimum and maximum damage. Added an initiative cost. Killed the offense bonus. And reduced the effect of the proc.
  • Vicious Foot Slash: Added initiative to successful attacks and added an offense bonus.
  • Stomp and Grind: Increased cooldown and increased range.
  • Swipe: Increased the damage dealt. Increased cooldown.
  • Whirlwind: Decreased the damage dealt. Increased cooldown.
  • Reckless Maelstrom: Decrease damage, increased balance cost, increased initiative cost.
  • Vicious Strike: Reduced initiative generated.
  • Vicious Thrust: Reduced the damage dealt, reduced range. Added chance to reduce target's initiative.
  • Improved Vicious Strike: Increased damage dealt.
  • Counter: Reduced the balance damage dealt.
  • Vicious Counter: Increased initiative awarded.
  • Grenade: Added balance cost.
  • Low Thrust: Reduced Offense Bonus.
  • In Quartata: Increased cooldown and reduced the attack modifier. Reduced dodge effect.
  • Advance: Increased damage bonus.
  • Mark: Increased cooldown, reduced the damage, and reduced the duration of the initiative drain to half (this also reduced the amount of initiative drained).
  • Vicious Lunge: Reduced bonus reduced proc rate by about a third.
  • Spinning Attack: Reduced Balance cost
  • Spring Attack: Reduced reset time
  • Slice: Reduced damage penalty
  • Dual Fangs: Reduced initiative cost, increased bonus damage.
  • Screened kick: Added initiative cost and reduced damage
  • Improved Screened Kick: Added initiative cost and reduced damage.
  • Flurry: Reduced initiative cost, reduced offense bonus by half.
  • Throw Dagger: Reduced damage
  • Thrust: Reduced bonus damage
  • Changed the name of Lunge in the Florentine tree to "Vicious Thrust" to differentiate it from Lunge in Fencing.
  • Offhand Feint: Increased bonus balance damage and added offense bonus.
  • Vicious Offhand Feint: Reduced proc chance
  • Shin Kick: Reduced cooldown. Added damage
  • Loop: Increased bonus balance damage
  • Elegant Loop: Increased bonus balance damage
  • Rending Strike: Increased initiative gained
  • Counter Beat: Increased Initiative gained and increased bonus damage a tiny bit.

  • Missions:

  • With Interest: Gave Armante Lacroix a sword so he could fight.
  • Still Beyond the Sea: Gave Lucien Carrasco a sword so he could fight.
  • Elegy: Fixed the bug that prevented you from entering the encounter.
  • Iguana Rendezvous: fixed the bugs that were preventing completion.

  • Economy:

  • Players claimed that you couldn't build medium fore-and-aft rigs in small shipyards. They were right. Now, you can.
  • Large Fore-And-Aft rig recipe wasn't available from any structure. Oops! Added it to the medium, large, and master shipyards.

  • UI / Art / Sound:

  • The default toolbar layouts had gotten scrambled somehow. Cleaned them up and improved them.
  • The Swashbuckling toolbar now starts with Beat, Strike, , Active Block, Taunt, Sprint, First Aid, Revive, Attack Target, Follow Me, Hold Position, and Avatar Quick Reference Card. (Among other changes, this puts the prep attack in slot 1 and the basic attack in slot 2. If a new player spams the 1 button, they won't kill anything but they will see that funny colored circle around the enemy's feet change color and get smaller. We hope this is a Learning Opportunity.)
  • The Ship Combat toolbar now starts with Volley, Crew Focus: Gunnery, Crew Focus: Sailing, Crew Focus: Maneuver, Call For Help, PvP Surrender, Heavy Round Shot, Bar Shot, Hull Patch Rough, Mast Brace Rough, Keg of Rum Rough, and Ship Quick Reference Card. (There was no room to include Langridge but you don't have much use for that at low levels.)
  • The Open Sea toolbar now starts with Engage Enemy, Heavy Round Shot, Bar Shot, Ship Quick Reference Card. (This teaches you that you can set your ammo type in the open sea before the battle begins. You knew that, right?)
  • Expanded the Help UI so that ship deeds fit better.
  • Fixed a code bug that prevented Skill requirements listed in Help from showing up localized. If you were wondering when that text was going to be translated, it had been. We were just preventing it from showing up.
  • Fixed the bug that forced you to use X to enter the Charlesfort tavern. Now you can also use the mouse to enter.
  • Fixed a bug that caused an error when clicking Random Appearance with some settings of female hands or pants.
  • We've added new code support for looping music in missions and ad hocs. This makes a few minor improvements for now in music generally, but in the next patch we will be adding all the new looping combat music and you'll hear how the game should sound.
  • Added more lively town sounds (particularly crowd sounds recorded with actual native language speakers!) to many, many towns. There's mixing and volume tweaking that needs to be done still. And we have more lively sounds to add in more places later on.

  • Performance / Stability:

  • We made performance improvements to the profanity filter. As more and more words were added to the list of forbidden terms, filtering was slowing down things like chat, society names, etc. Should be better now.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause Serverdir to shut down processes when they shouldn't be. We're not sure this ever happened outside of automated testing but why wait until it causes human players problems? Fix it now, we say!
  • Rearranged things so that one Connection Server doesn't get overloaded the minute we bring a cluster up. The load is supposed to be spread across them (that's why there's more than one) and, after the first minute or two it was. But on startup, most load was going to one so we fixed that.
  • Made some changes to improve performance of the Connection Servers.
  • Fixed a zone server crash that could occur while you were trying to buy User Content flags or sails.
  • Fixed a zone server crash that could occur when your shot landed after your enemy had been sunk.
  • Fixed a zone server crash that could occur in the tutorial.

  • Misc:

  • Moved direct chat to the main chat tab. When we were first laying out tabbed chat, the Groups tab was called something else and it actually made sense to have /tells go there. But then we changed things around and now they make more sense in the main chat tab.
  • We changed the titles of Society members to reduce confusion. Executive -> Society Leader, Leader -> Society Agent, Member -> Crew Member.
  • Improved the message you get when your Station session times out. It was confusingly telling you to log in again, not clarifying that it's Station you needed to log into again, not just the server.
  • "default.txt^NxPhysicsNotFound" should have shown helpful English (or whatever language) text, not code. Fixed that and a few other errors like it.
  • Integrated the most recent translations of German, French, Spanish, and Russian from SOE.
  • We were allowing Hebrew and Arabic characters in names and then not displaying them correctly. We shouldn't be allowing them at all at this point so anything that's not in our font is currently disallowed.
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