So, Nusquam’s wife is becoming less pregnant which means Nusquam is going to spend some time with his family for a couple of weeks. (Gratz on family ding Nusquam! ) This means that you guys get to read my extremely awesome, brilliant, super, pwn, hawt, and epic blabla instead this month.
So let’s get straight to business! This month we have been hard at work delivering the latest updates you have already seen patched to the Live servers. We are also coordinating with ARK to run events and to challenge Omni-Tek’s presence in Borealis. Get ready Clanners. We have of course also worked on the engine and new player experience.
As you all know, AO is turning 12 years this year and an amazing 12 years it has been. We invite you all to join the tinker in her shady birthday preparations and to claim a couple of goodies from the Item Shop for free. As for events, conflict will fill the streets of Borealis during the anniversary events, resulting in a change in the balance of power.
The New Player Experience
I just want to give you some general information about the NPE patch (18.7). Visually, the NPE is close to ready. With the 18.7 patch ICC HQ will be completely rebuilt. The suburbs of this massive city are a restricted area called Arete landing, which will be the start of the journey for all new citizens of Rubi-Ka (Including Shades and Keepers).
You will start out having snuck on to a cargo shuttle from the morning star space station with nothing but some basic equipment and your mission will be to obtain the proper identification for entering ICC HQ. The missions in Arete landing will teach you about survival, tradeskills, implants/spirits, mechs, pvp, fighting aliens, choosing a side to fight for and many other things.
If all missions are completed before you leave the area, you will be well equipped to face the new challenges that await you in the Subway. However, if you just want to just pass through, you will be able to bribe the ICC guard to ignore that you don’t have the proper identification. There is a short quest that could provide you with the proper amount of credits for this bribe should you choose to keep the money instead of returning them to the rightful owner.
When you enter ICC HQ you will be in an arrival hall, where there are many NPCs to talk to. Outside this hall, you will find a frustrated NPC who needs help finding her purse that got stolen by a thief in the Subway. Entrance to the Subway is now available only in ICC HQ, and by exploring the area further you will find quest NPCs guiding and/or transporting you to the various other dungeons on Rubi-Ka.
ICC HQ will be the neutral center point for transportation with a shuttle landing area and completely remade Whompah art assets. All indoor neutral shops will be ICC branded and have gotten a complete content overhaul.
The New Engine
Development on the engine is going well, and this month we reached another internal milestone; we have been able to patch one of the QA servers with 18.7 new engine code and assets, which shows that our patching and build process works with the new engine branch. Having the new engine accessible and deployed on an internal server is important, and helps us show off the new look of Anarchy Online to the rest of Funcom.
With this we have taken a big step towards eventually making the new engine available externally, but there is obviously still a lot of work to do. (We have had/still have bugs like decapitated/upside down critters, swimming fish filets, floating heads, and female characters making interesting gestures with their arms while standing idle). So for old time’s sake and from all female characters in AO: All Hail Macrosun!
I’ll leave you with that for today, and with a couple of brand new screenshots taken from the freshly deployed new engine on our internal server.