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"Something Special" For the 100th Patch To Asheron's Call

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the old-timers-staying-hip dept.

Role Playing (Games) 50

Turbine is reportedly planning on something special for the 100th patch of Asheron's Call . Having been on the scene since 1999, Asheron's Call will be sharing a 10th anniversary next year with EverQuest, and the developers have been offering up tidbits to their players about what kinds of shiny they may find waiting for them when that big patch hits. "Some of the hints the developers have dropped touch on treasure chest rewards, and the mechanics of the treasure system. They also have plans for a new landscape hunting quests. The most firm new information comes from Frelorn, with the AC community relations team, about an incoming tier of loot and its role in the landscape hunting game."

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50 comments

Great news... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23715669)

I hope the users enjoy their special patch.
All ten of them.

Re:Great news... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717229)

Thank You

I am just glad you acknowledge we exist at all.....

ok, haven't actually DONE anything in a couple years but log in a newbie for an hour or two now and then :( Most awesome game ever tho.

The low level stuff goes by so fast now even if you try and go slow you can't to a fraction of it ;( Hell the newbie armor is better than what i wore for the 1st year, maybe 2!

Re:Great news... (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 5 years ago | (#23718305)

Oh, back in my day, all n00bs got was a couple of rags on their feet, and a needle! And we slayed dragons with that damned needle! You kids, all you do is walk around with your +100 Brobdignagian Axe of Sundering, and talk about how impressive it is that you beat up on Minor Slimes! And the dragons were tougher in those days too...

Lanscape Hunting quests? (4, Funny)

Turken (139591) | more than 5 years ago | (#23715713)

Hunting landscaping, huh? I can see it now...

"And you shall bring us... A SHRUBBERY!"

Re:Lanscape Hunting quests? (3, Funny)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#23715759)

Some of us actually like to hunt landscape. I still have yet to find and kill the Troll Cave.

Slow day for other news? (0, Troll)

VoxMagis (1036530) | more than 5 years ago | (#23715819)

Either the MMORPG marketing machines are thundering through at top speed, or it must be a dang slow day in the world.

What is this, number 4 or 5 today?

Re:Slow day for other news? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23715955)

> "Something Special" for the 100th Patch to Asheron's Call"

"The return of the *atoyot* emote! You'll get quite the feeling all over again!"

Re:Slow day for other news? (1)

sirboxalot (791959) | more than 5 years ago | (#23742949)

It was the weirdest thing to log in on the very first day (using *free* NetZero internet access no less!) and see people frozen on top of buildings. Back then, knowing about *atoyot* made you officially no longer a noobie.

Asheron's Call Still Active? (2)

russoc4 (1223476) | more than 5 years ago | (#23716057)

People still play AC? Better yet, it's still supported?

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 5 years ago | (#23716157)

In name only. It's not even close to the same Asheron's Call you probably remember. Superficially it's similar enough, but there's nothing left of the game underneath.

Too bad, AC was the only MMORPG I ever really got into.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (3, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#23716177)

Too bad AC2's combat system was so bad and it failed. We'll probably never see an AC3. I was a huge fan of AC1.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

stretchpuppy (1304751) | more than 5 years ago | (#23716209)

Yeah it's a shame, AC2 was quite beautiful...

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23716941)

Actually, about a month ago I took a break from wow/lotro/etc and opted for the 10 day trial. The game's a little "monty haul" but, largely the combat and quests are still as I remembered. I've been playing about a month and having a blast. the levels come a little faster, but they've doubled the cap, the graphics are horrible, and there are still somethings that make me feel like I'm punished for playing. All in all though, in spite of graphics and a rather clunky UI it's still a really good game.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

Rhaize (626145) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717001)

I recently activated and on average, I see about 2 or 3 new players every couple of weeks. Looks like they have a few hundered players at a given time.. granted about 20 of those are bots..

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

krovisser (1056294) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717015)

AC was the only one I ever got into also. Then too many people got into it, and then money was weightless, and then ... I quit.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#23716823)

100 patches in 9 years is about 1 patch every 5 weeks. The only thing that I can think of that might have more is Windows.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23716967)

Less patch, more content update. they have evolved the story arc each month, as well as made tweaks to how the game is played, etc. There isn't another MMO around that has done a better job at interacting with their playerbase. It's one of the things that Turbine has always done best.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717099)

I'm quite sure my Ubuntu 8.04 installs have surpassed the "100 patches" mark.

And as the above AC posted, they patch a whole lot of content, changing the game world slightly as RL seasons pass. Or, at least they used to.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (2)

Psychochild (64124) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717477)

One of the real strengths of Asheron's Call was that the developers have added regular content patches. Their goal was about once per month, so a patch every 5 weeks is about on target.

Because of this rather aggressive content patching schedule, AC is one of the more dynamic games on the market. The game has changed significantly over the years. Unfortunately, for some people that's not a good thing. But, some people regularly complain about the "static" nature of other games. AC has shown that a quality development team can produce regular content updates over a very long period of time.

Too bad AC2 got such a negative reception. On the other hand, it looks like Turbine learned from AC's constant patching and have been able to add content to their new games on a regular basis. From most reports I've heard, LotRO is a significantly improved game after a year of updates. Not quote one update per month, but still pretty impressive. I wish more games would do significant content updates to keep the game truly dynamic, but I know first-hand how hard that can be on some systems.

Some thoughts from a professional online game developer.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (2, Interesting)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717949)

Quality dev team? You are talking about the dev team that announced such changes as allowing Breasplates (1 out of 9 possible armor slots, but could also be covered by things like hauberks which covered abdomen + breast + upper arms + lower arms) to be debuffable in PVP which meant that melees (who had the only autohit in the game) to be able to 1 shot anyone who had their breastplate covering debuffed, and led to such a huge account cancellation that they performed the fastest hotfix in AC's history. This was something they added after weeks/months of nearly everyone saying DON'T FUCKING DO THIS YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU ARE DOING IT WILL RUIN PVP, and they still put it in. Within a day hundreds of accounts were cancelled, and almost immediately it was hotfixed and removed. This is one of the numerous fuckups the current/recent dev teams have performed. I played from Jan01 till ~TOD release, with a month or 2 returns twice since then, and the game progressively got dumbed down (storyline as well, the storylines that I've read from Dark Majesty were epic and utterly awesome) and just fucked up as the devs had almost no clue how to balance the game, write good storyline, or really do anything well. They added so many health/defense buffs to the game that melees are nigh unkillable unless they allow themselves to be killed (melee attacks = undodgeable without melee defense specced/maxed, and even then it's negligible the amount you evade them).

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23718121)

This was something they added after weeks/months of nearly everyone saying DON'T FUCKING DO THIS YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU ARE DOING IT WILL RUIN PVP, and they still put it in. Within a day hundreds of accounts were cancelled, and almost immediately it was hotfixed and removed.
Sounds like a bunch of noobs to me. They should take a lesson from Blizzard. When there's a big World of Warcraft patch the Account Management site often "just happens" to be down for maintenance at the same time.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23718297)

Noobs? Almost every single old timer quit, essentially the entire pvp playerbase (not counting all the carebears who jumped to darktide from the white servers after buying accounts) quit when this patch was put in. They had so many accounts cancelled at once that if they hadn't hotfixed to bring them all back AC would have been shut down, and this was when servers had ~1000-1500 pops avg + DT having 2000 pop average

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 5 years ago | (#23718381)

I do not recall such a large portion of the population being into PvP.... Maybe DT would be affected.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23718405)

DT was extremely affected, and a huge proportion of DT accounts were cancelled, along with a substantial number of white server accounts, which led to one of the fastest hotfixes ever by turbine.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

llefler (184847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23720861)

DT was extremely affected, and a huge proportion of DT accounts were cancelled, along with a substantial number of white server accounts,

Just so no one gets confused, there was no such thing as a Dark Tide (DT/PVP) account and a white server account (non-pvp). Your account gave you access to ALL AC servers. And one thing unique about AC is that you could play on one server at the same time another member of your family played on another server using the same account. As far as DT having a huge effect on Turbine policy, I think it says a lot that there are 9 servers and only 1 is PVP.

And you talk about having 1000-1500 pops being big, when I first started it wasn't uncommon for servers to have 1800-2000 on white servers. When it started dropping below 1500 things started getting a little dead. Particularly since by that time there were quite a few trade bots, buff bots, and portal bots. From the looks of things they'd have a hard time breaking 2000 now with all the servers combined.

Maybe for the 100th patch they should give free access to AC for anyone who subscribes to either of their other games.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

Big_Breaker (190457) | more than 5 years ago | (#23729965)

Darktide is PvP only. Everyone is PKable, lootable or in AC speak "Red". There is no way to prevent yourself from being killed by a fellow player anywhere in the game. This makes getting and keeping good equipment a major part of the game, a game in which loot is a big, big deal.

All other servers allowed players to PvP through a special quest, but the default was non-PK or "carebear". Non-PK players show up on the radar as white dots. PK-able players at a red dot. Also a "lite" version was available that allowed PKing but not looting. They show up as pink on the radar screen. Carebear servers allow players to accumulate equipment while "white" and then swtich to "red". This changes the dynamic of PKing a great deal away from Darktide.

In it's day Darktide was the most hardcore PK scene in MMO-land and guilds such as Blood ruled the server.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

llefler (184847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23733829)

All other servers allowed players to PvP through a special quest, but the default was non-PK or "carebear".

And Darktiders never considered PKing on carebear servers true PVP. You rarely saw people go red on a white server. Occasionally between allegiance members around the House or between two feuding allegiances.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 5 years ago | (#23733505)

"And one thing unique about AC is that you could play on one server at the same time another member of your family played on another server using the same account"

Are you SURE about that? Or was that a patch that was done after I left?

I'd like to go back but apparently they will only let me have my mega high level account back if I can remember the CC number I used to create it in 1999.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

llefler (184847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23734021)

It was an undocumented feature. You had to log into the lobby of a specific world, which most people did anyway. Each world server only checked for activity in it's own domain. It may have changed when Turbine rolled onto their own authentication servers. I only heard about it when people started complaining that they would have to buy subscriptions for every member of their family, and that may have been when they were announcing the changes as they cuts the ties from Microsoft.

I'd like to go back but apparently they will only let me have my mega high level account back if I can remember the CC number I used to create it in 1999.

I doubt that I could recover my accounts either. I have the same e-mail addresses (assuming I didn't use my Yahoo account), but I doubt I could find the password for my accounts and there's no way I could remember the CC# that I used. But knowing the game you could jump through the first 40 levels pretty quickly, so the only real loss is all the pyreal I had and it would be a pain to level up trade mules again.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23735913)

Turbine's auth system doesn't allow it anymore like zone did. As soon as you log into the auth system via the launcher, you couldn't log into it on the same TurbineID(account) from another place without booting the first

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23759943)

Maybe for the 100th patch they should give free access to AC for anyone who subscribes to either of their other games.
I would fully support this. Or a LOTRO "Lifetime" subscription. $200 for a permanent account until AC dies in a few years.

Seriously though, they need to redo the graphics engine and start advertising. Make up little 1 minute long advertisements for each patch, and put them up on Youtube. Bribe the Penny Arcade guys, get them over there.

Something.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

llefler (184847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23720641)

Too bad AC2 got such a negative reception.

AC2 got a bad reception because it seriously sucked. And it never made any sense for them to create it. Why invest all that time and money into a new game that is going to steal from the user base of your existing game? They should have invested that time into AC fixing problems and putting out an updated graphics engine. I don't believe there was anything so broke in AC that it required a whole new game. For the people most concerned with living with the sins of the past they could, and did, create fresh start worlds.

If you need to create a new game, create one in a new genre. Space games are under served, and I know a few people who would love to see something along the lines of a fallout MMO. Yet Turbine does AC, AC2, D&D Online, and LOTRO? For me, that meant I stayed with AC until WoW was released, and only came back for LOTRO.

Re:Asheron's Call Still Active? (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#23725951)

Considering this is the only game I stopped playing before paying the first monthly fee -- it was fun, and had a nice concept but just required WAY too much boring grind and mundane quests.

Special Wand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23716117)

Ohhh maybe I can finally obtain the wand of three fingers, you know the one that shuts the servers down.

10 Year Anniversary? (3, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#23716295)

I suppose it's too much to ask for the editors to get the summary right, considering the 100th patch is in August and the 10 year anniversary next year - they aren't the same thing.

Re:10 Year Anniversary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23716587)

they did get it right. they simply mentioned that next year would be the 10th anniversary in addition to the extra stuff for the patch. Read before you type...

Re:10 Year Anniversary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23721625)

What's wrong with the summary? It says next year on the 10th anniv., and "when that big patch hits". Nothing connected them....

Having been on the scene since 1999, Asheron's Call will be sharing a 10th anniversary next year with EverQuest and the developers have been offering up tidbits to their players about what kinds of shiny they may find waiting for them when that big patch hits.

Re:10 Year Anniversary? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#23740009)

Read the title. The article is nothing to do with the 10 year anniversary (though I assume something massive will happen then) - this is about the 100th Patch.

Summary History of AC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23716639)

Does anyone have a link to a summary of the last 9+ years of AC? What went right, what went wrong, major events, economic upheaval, guilds, properties, griefing, bots, etc.?

There's a lot of history here - I'm curious if its collected in any one location.

Steve

Re:Summary History of AC? (1)

L7_ (645377) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717557)

http://ac.warcry.com/ [warcry.com]

Was always the best resource for AC related news. It was another gaming site way back in the day before it got bought out by the warcry network, then everyone started using the vnboards at ign.com to talk about the game and the community went way downhill.

That site should still have a content by content recap.

These patches are good (1)

Falconoffury (880395) | more than 5 years ago | (#23717731)

I actually still play Asheron's Call from time to time. It's a great game if you take the time to learn it. I really don't understand why so many people are frowning over the number of patches. These are not just bug fix patches. These are patches that add new things to do and places to go. Only about 5% or less of the patches are fix related. Even with all the newer mmorpg that came out, AC still did things that nobody has topped. It has the largest packs, a unique feel to the combat and spell system, and an open-ended skill advancement system. It's truly unique.

Re:These patches are good (1)

llefler (184847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23720893)

I really don't understand why so many people are frowning over the number of patches.

My only complaint is that you'd think by now they would have figured out how to add content to the game without needing to update the client and taking the servers down for several hours a month. But they designed the same type of system with LOTRO too.

Old School (2, Insightful)

sirboxalot (791959) | more than 5 years ago | (#23721421)

AC was one of the greatest and first really "deep" MMORPGs, much more varied, original storyline, and with a better skill/attribute system than Everquest, the only real competition at the time. I played in beta 1, through 2003 or so, then tried it again last year, but it's just too sparse these days. Back when you could log on and there would be 2000+ on a server, that was excellent.

Of all the great memories I have of AC, the greatest has to be the first sightings of the Tremendous Monouga, a 50 foot tall monster that basically wrecked everyone in the "end days" leading up to the shutdown of the beta. Keep in mind, most of us were on 56k back then, but it was easy to see that AC was going to be something special, and here they are, nine years later and still ticking.

Sure it's hopelessly outdated, but it's still hopelessly fun.

What makes it different? (1)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 5 years ago | (#23723665)

I tried out AC for a couple of days about a week ago, and I couldn't see what makes it so special compared to today's MMOs.

Is there something in it that modern MMOs don't have, or was it ahead of it's time then and outdated now?

Seems like it would've been jaw dropping 10 years ago.

Re:What makes it different? (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 5 years ago | (#23724483)

You probably won't see what's special about AC from a short trial. Its uniqueness is in the dynamic game world. Sure, other games add zones and places to explore...but as far as I know only AC has destroyed major cities in the game as part of their storyline.

The 'zoneless' nature of AC is unique, too, and it adds to the dynamic feel. You don't just get doors to new zones -- additions to the world are generally placed on existing terrain. So it feels like one world that is changing, instead of an expanding series of disconnected rooms.

I liked AC when I played it. The designers were a little too focused on PvP, and the skill system was a little unforgiving, IMHO, but for the most part it was a great game for its time.

Re:What makes it different? (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#23729797)

The things that I really liked about it was the huge land, large amounts of dungeons and interesting treasure. The place is zoneless, except when entering a dungeon and had no artifical borders(everything was a island and you could not swim in deep water, ok somewhat artifical) so if there was a mountain range off in the distance you could run and probably find a way to the top of those mountains. Far better then the current games with small areas high mountains on four sides.
The dungeons were great, when the game shipped it had close to 200 dungeon some good some bad, most had a theme to them. My favorite was a place call The Pit it was an inverted pryamid with with a spiral ramp running down the sides to the bottom as the went down the mobs got harder and then at the bottom was a harder mob with better treasure. Since the dungeon was open to all, no instances, you would have people fighting the smaller stuff and then when the big guy appeared people would make a mad rush and attempted to jump down and survive with enough strengh to survive the battle.
The treasure system was random so you could get a helm that was really good and be the envy of all or bad and worthwhile just to sell but it was all random so no camping a single mob to get the item you needed. Also armor types mattered, a set of plate armor provided great protection against an axe but if the mob was breathing electricity you better run since you were the same as no armor.
Also the battles were kind of unpredictable, with current MMORPGs you can pretty much tell if you are going to win or loose a few mins into the battle. With AC you could get potions to restore magic level and healing kits and other potions to restore health. So during a battle you could do some healing, but it made you more vulnerable during that time, which tended to draw out the battles for longer. Also there was stamina which could not be easly restored in battle and once you lost stamina you lost a good portion of defence and attack strength. So every battle were you were getting close to death came to should you risk healing, or running and if you ran did you have a high enough running skill(AC was skill based for everything) or depending on the mob could you advoid any distance attacks they did on you while you fled
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