CM diary #16 - 11/01/2021

Hello, hello!

After a slightly rocky launch, 1.5.5b is finally stable – and has indeed coincided with the activation of the Halloween events, right on schedule. In it, you may find all the fruits of our labor, and it’s the team’s sincere hope that you enjoy them as much as we did.

So for this brief diary entry, it being brief because my hands will acquire sentience and strangle me if I type any more, let me first briefly go through what exactly this behemoth offers. In brief.

The main stuff

All the new items, affixes, rebalances, and skills aside, this patch offers a few new pieces of content that amazed and confused. Here, let me delve into those.

The fateful tutorial

First, starting with the Baker in Holborn, comes a brand new tutorial questline with its own underlying narrative – and its own Skill Retrainer reward, for a total of 2 across both difficulties. It’s this questline that caused the aforementioned issues for players who had already completed Broker’s quests, so our subsequent hotfix focused on it.

So first, for those not dwelling on our Discord server, let me copy-paste the announcement that explains how it functions now:

Baker’s quest in Holborn Station has no prerequisites, and will no longer be influenced by Broker quest completion status. From there, the chain advances normally across stations, with each step requiring the completion of the previous one. The only exception comes with quests to areas not immediately available, such as Aldwych; there, unlocking the portal through story/side quests that lead to these areas will reveal the quest. Namely:

  • Covent Garden – Smith
  • Charing Cross – Librarian, 2 quests
  • Oxford Circus – Teacher
  • Temple Station – Seer
  • Monument Station – Auctioneer
  • Templar Base – Vicar

In Templar Base, the quest chain pauses. Envoy requires the completion of the story quest, “Triage”; this initiates her “The Call” quest which leads to Broker, and is required to start his quests. In the case of players who have already completed Broker’s questline, “The Call” will be unavailable but will not affect the chain’s progress.

The chain then resumes at Liverpool Street Station, where you will meet the Miner. His quest requires the completion of both Vicar’s quest, “Mind Over Matter”, and Broker’s “Invicem” quest. This is to account for Broker’s last quest, “Exinde”, being available for completion in only one difficulty.

Finally, the Miner will have a second quest available if you have completed his first one, “Mausoleum of the Emperor”, and the story quest “The Final Test” in Ploughyard. From there, you may continue to John Milton Passage to find the “Awakening” quest and claim your Retrainer.

The abridged version, pinned in #general, is much simpler. Also copy-pasted, here it is:

  • Start with Baker in Holborn, [follow the steps to] make it to Vicar in Templar Base.
  • There, complete “Triage” to access Envoy, who sends you to Broker. If you’ve completed Broker before this won’t be here, ignore it. If not, follow her to the Broker and finish his quests.
  • Then, find Miner in Liverpool. To access his first quest, you need to have completed Vicar’s quest and Broker’s “Invicem” quest. For the second, you just need the first and the Final Test in Ploughyard.

That’s pretty much it. If you’ve finished any steps before, just take it from the start and find which step is now open to you.

A note here should be that some players have already lost a Retrainer to these issues. Rest assured that we’ll replace those once the hotfix has been confirmed to be working exactly as intended :slight_smile:

The dungeon down under

Second on the list is the new dungeon in (possibly) Australia. This one was much more straightforward, BUT it too had its moments of confusion. So let me address those too:

  • Regular enemies not awarding exp is normal. This is to allow players to “park” lower-level characters there for the lower item tier, and not outlevel it as they run the dungeon.
  • Hell’s Cook disappearing is normal too. This has been this mob type’s regular behavior since the start, and the quest text states this too – and even suggests solutions :stuck_out_tongue:
  • The dungeon does indeed scale. Returning to point #1, the lower items may only drop from lower-level enemies; and, since the dungeon scales to player level, you will need to be of a lower level too.

Finally, remember that this dungeon is party-oriented. It’s admirable if you’re able to solo it, but generally you’ll have a much better time partying up for it – as the Explorer subtly suggests.

The future

Those aside, then, what does the future hold? Well, a break, as regards the immediate future. We’ve all spent unhealthy amounts of time and effort on this behemoth this time round, so we’ll need to recover.

Once that’s done with, there’s always more to work on. New content, for one; we’ve been dying to provide proper expansions for the game, and now we’re better-equipped to do so. Perhaps the old classes; we’ve now added icons for the first time (thanks Korosukuma!), and have a firmer grasp on how skills tick, so restoring those lost relics might be in order. New events? Players do love the Halloween stuff, and Flagship had planned for more. And, in case it wasn’t clear by now, we do care for Flagship’s plans and legacy.

But all of that will need to wait. We’ll probably need to start working with more focused aim, and not broaden the scope of each patch to this degree, appealing as it might be. You tell me; do you prefer these large and infrequent patches, or more regular, smaller ones? We do love feedback, so always feel welcome to provide yours.

And now…

…wow has this grown old. Now I must leave and slumber, for a while. But then, then we’ll fight against Hellgate’s inner demons again.

Until next time, happy hunting!