Post news RSS News Article #32: A List of Changes

(The Archangel Verow) the Gates of Survival Developer posted the following News Article on 09/18/2017 at 6:30 PM (EST) regarding the massive skilling update that was released.

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Hey everyone, this will probably be quite a long post (that if you're reading this, might be edited a bit as I try to flesh out all the changes made), but this should hopefully be a comprehensive list of all the changes made with the September 16th game update / re-work.

To start, the biggest change is that Stamina has now been completely removed from the game. Stamina and Agility became somewhat of an antiquated system that felt stuck in the past. Many players never ran out of stamina past a certain amount (very early game), and it pretty much made Agility in general just feel like a pointless skill. So how do you solve that? By reworking the idea of stamina, and the importance of Agility itself.

What we are introducing is a system where every agility level now helps you skill faster, by introducing a new "cooldown" for skilling. The default skilling timer for non-members is 15 seconds (like prior), and 10 seconds for members. The change with the cooldown, however, is that you can now skill faster, whether being a member or not. I'm not going to divulge the actual formula, but you can get down to roughly 8 seconds or less (and about 5.61 seconds if Haste is on and you have maxed Agility at 1,500 -- with Haste now deducting a few seconds total from everyone, instead of 5 second timers for everyone). This now makes Agility rightfully one of the most important skills in the game, and one that everyone will want to train up to get the most out of other skills.

The second biggest change is obviously the re-working of skilling in general, especially fleshing out skills to feel more complete or to be "completed", to make room for future expansions in to other areas. You'll notice this in skills such as Fishing & Cooking, and also in Forestry, Mining, and other gathering and also some resource skills. The reason for this change is simply due to the fact that the game needs to evolve, and not devolve. Since the initial introduction of skills and skilling, the levels required to skill in general have been abysmally low and easy for anyone to obtain. At points, thanks to the introduction of things like boosts, auras, and the massive amounts of free clan experience, a player could literally reach the highest tier ore in a day or two if these were all running and they played their cards right. This would lead to an over-saturation of high-tier items being made and harvested, and literally would destroy any sort of possible economy for players to have to trade with or do anything productive; besides gain millions to billions in a very short period of time.

This is why things such as Smelting have changed to require more resources, and varied resources. You'll see this in Cooking as well, which now requires logs from Foresty; and or one of the many newer skills like Botany or Transmutation, requiring ashes or other materials from gathering skills. The idea here is to make a balance between all skills, and to cast an expansion to the economy of the game. If a player wants to make high-tier items, they now might also need some low-tier or mid-tier resources to do this. The easiest way for them to now do this, is to help fuel new players by making the food-chain go from the top to the bottom. If you're at high-tier, you should have the money to spend and fund for your resources, which will allow lower-tier players to gain, and then return the same favors. This is to establish a proper and balanced economy, instead of to have it stagnant by requiring too little resources, or the same high tier resources, which would just make the skills and items useless (which they basically were).

To go along with the above changes, we have also changed a few skills around. Woodcarving has been removed from the game, and has been replaced with Fletching. Fletching will now host all arrowmaking and bow making (even arrowhead making, which is no longer in forging). Forging will now be solely weapon and armour creation. We also introduced 7 other brand new skills to the game with this last update, which includes an expansion on the Crafting skill (which introduces Summoning pouches as craftables), and then you have Botany, Hunting, Skinning, Summoning, Thieving, Transmutation, and Woodworking. Each of these are brand new fully fleshed out skills, most of which take advantage of either brand new items (this update introduces over 184+ new items to the game in general); and some that are also prepping for future content (like Woodworking will be the pre-cursor to Construction). I implore everyone to try out these new skills, and hopefully there's a lot of content in here that everyone will love (as a small note for Botany, Prayer Potions will be used fairly soon, as the immunity system rework will be coming, which will introduce a Prayer Points system that these potions will be used for).

Besides that, all skills now have a built-in reverse skilling structure that you can change at anytime in the settings menu, as well as a vastly improved UI that will not only tell you how much XP you get (aura XP is calculated in the base totals), but also easier access to alching an item (the button will show if you are able to -- and also no more separate level caps for Alchemy! If you unlock an item in the game, you can alch it at anytime!). You'll also see the "purchase" prices, sell prices, alchemy prices, the new Success / Fail Rank Points system (all items have varying amounts, so go check around for what's the best for rank points now!). To add to that, you will now also ALWAYS see your inventory in the skilling menus. There's no need to go back and forth between your inventory and skilling, because if you don't have enough items to train a skill, the game will no longer give you access to that button, and as stated, will display materials required (and your inventory amounts) next to everything at all times. Forging will also show weapon stats and other vital information, including how many of an item you have.

I've also expanded on the Mastery system, which add's a mastery for everything in the game (sans Transmutation currently). You can now master anything and everything, including forging items. A mastery in forging items will make it so the quality of the items is always at or near 100% when forging. The plan is to expand the mastery system even more, allowing you to unlock special icons, rewards, and even badges to display in the chat. That, and also a +RP system for every item you have mastered while training said skill (so if you have 5 / 25 items in a skill mastered, you'll get a +RP bonus for training anything in that skill -- this will be coming soon).

Archery and Arcane stand-alone have received a similar re-work like Agility, where they are now much easier XP. There's no more "damage" systems, but instead a nice flat rate for training, which should be preferable to training it outside of combat. Another massive change is that all resource skills in general will now have the ability to give you x2 the items; Forging included. This means that if you are training smelting, you have a chance to activate a bonus that will give you 2 bars instead of 1 bar.. or in the case of Forging, 2 weapons instead of 1, or 2 sets of armour instead of 1. This should really change the dynamic of resource skills, as it's basically taking what was the "Resourceful" boost and applying it all times to these skills.

From a coding perspective, though it may not be imperative to anyone (besides myself), I've actually completely re-coded the game from scratch in the back-end. This has made it so most things in the game now are using proper OOP coding where we weren't, as well as re-doing the base structure of everything to also be more "proper". As I said, this isn't probably something noticeable by a lot of people, but it's worth noting as it should really increase the speed and performance of the game itself for everyone quite a bit.

In addition to these changes, there's also many changes to other existing content as well! There have been three new logs added to Forestry / Firemaking (and now Woodworking and Botany), two new jewels to obtain in Jewelcrafting (Onyx and Dragonstone), and a bunch of new items and imagery in general (again, roughly 184+ new items). This should make a lot of skills even better for players who may have reached or exceeded the old caps, you now have a lot more content in these new areas to obtain (with much more to come)! An update I released about a week early as well has now fixed timezone issues, which allows you to now set the time of the game to be relative to your own timezone (instead of everything showing as from / in EST).

Small Edit: With the removal of stamina, a question I've been getting is are captcha's still in the game? The short answer is yes, they are. However, they are now a lot more infrequent then previously. You will now have basically double the amount of time between captcha's, however I've currently removed the timer letting you know when as an anti-cheat measure. You are looking at basically double the time of your previous captcha's, however, and I will be adding more things that will allow manually re-rolling of captcha's and other things such as that soon.

I hope this helps to explain the basics of the new systems, as well as why the changes were needed. I hope everyone enjoys all of the new content, even though it may be rough to get used to some of the level changes (which I'm sorry for, but it's a needed change for balance and continued growth of the game and to help sustain it for the future). Enjoy all of the changes, and if you have any issues, please let me know.

- Rob (GoS Staff)

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