What's New In 2.5?
“...all men are equal before fish” – Herbert Hoover
“Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
2.5 will be on Testbed next week, so I wanted to talk a bit about what’s coming!
Treasure Aisle Content
You can now purchase Society Renames from Treasure Aisle! If you formed your group ages ago, its possible you’ve changed direction from your initial charter and a new name would suit you better. Or, shortly after you formed, a clever member proposed a better name but it was too late to change it. Now you can!
You can also purchase Character Renames. We can’t rename you while you’re logged in so the rename doesn’t show up visually until you log out and back in again.
The Fine Pipe has been one of our most popular Treasure Aisle items. In 2.5, we’ve added the Simple Pipe. It’s wooden but none too shabby – clearly made by a clever captain on calm seas.
Our latest follower pet is my personal favorite – the cat! There are a few varieties available: Orange Tabby, Silver Tabby, and Brown Tabby. That last one is modeled after my very own Petey! Unlike the other follower pets (and very much like most cats), ordering the cat to perform a trick (such as /petsit, /petplaydead, /petjump, and /petspin) may or may not result in them performing that trick.
As promised in my last devlog, Design have gathered data and begun tuning ships and mission rewards. Tuning of skills should happen soon after (probably 2.6). The changes are very targeted. The current plan is to tune 5-7 ships (you can probably guess which ones ). These tweaks may turn up other changes that are needed but, when the Macedon is less popular, it’ll be clearer which way to sail next. Design will post more information in the near future and details will be available in the Release Notes as we push these changes to Testbed for you to give them a whirl.
DevCo have been working hard on the “out of memory” crashes! This involved some complicated changes in our engine’s code. We’ve stress tested in house but we have never been able to reproduce these issues as well as players so be sure to spend some time on Testbed to confirm this is as much better as we expect.
New laws have forced SOE to charge taxes on certain transactions, depending on where you live (particularly if you live in WA or TX). So they need the zip code of your billing address to be associated with your payment source. You may have already noticed changes in other SOE games or when interacting with your Station Account on the web.
The changes to the purchase process were somewhat extensive on the back end and took up a lot of DevCo’s time this milestone. We also had to make some slight UI changes to display tax information.
From your perspective, you’ll only notice a difference if you don’t already have a zip code associated with your credit card and we ask you to provide one. You will also see a bit more information about the final cost of your transaction.
For the Future
- Social Tools – DevCo made good progress on the Society tools mentioned in my last devlog. We expected to release Society Roles and they almost made the deadline for this milestone but changes needed at the last minute were pretty risky so we decided to wait. Plus this feature will be more useful with History so we expect to launch them together in 2.6.
- Fishing – In my previous devlog, when I mentioned “a new type of content never before available in PotBS,” I was alluding to fishing! Soon you will be able to while your time in port by casting a rod out into the deep blue dea. Armadillo and Hesh will be posting a devlog in a next few days to explain how the system will work. We’ll have a prototype version available on Testbed for 2.5, and then the full system will arrive in 2.6.
- MrTheTooth, FlyingShark, and Rhaegar have also been working on a couple of projects that you’ll be hearing more about in the the next few weeks.
We very much look forward to your feedback from Testbed. You’ve got just a day or two left of being able to copy from the live servers to Testbed before we upgrade Testbed, putting the server versions out of sync again. As always, we’ll either have a Testbed event or at least have GMs available at a specific time to help you level and acquire items for testing.
In any case, when the new items and tuned ships are on Testbed, if you want to take ‘em out for a spin, let Customer Service know what you need and when you’ll be online and they’ll work with you.
Meanwhile, I’m off to review the spec for the next nifty feature after Society tools!