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Monthly Development Update - 31st July 2013

Genele brings you the latest news from the AO team.

Forum post can be found here.

Hey All!

After a few requests of more "Genele updates", I have made an agreement with Nusquam to write every other update. This month has been rather quiet. After the birthday patch following by the update of Borealis, it has been summer and we have had some well deserved time off. Or at least so we thought until we got called early morning because the Market had issues. No rest for the wicked.

New Player Experience
We have had some time to work on the NPE before the vacation. Most of the work in this area has been put in to making sure the assets look right in the new graphics engine and making sure players cannot get stuck in the geometry.

The New Graphics Engine
We are getting closer and closer to a beta now. And this month I have helped Macrosun out with finding more issues since he had run out of bugs to fix. We are also getting help from the render team to fix the issues related to character animation (some of our monsters have too many bones and the new engine needs to accept the same amount of bones as our old one) and getting more shiny water, lava and toxic liquid (water is currently running a bit too fast and in the wrong directions).

We have also put some focus in to fixing art related issues in the new engine. Some assets have started to flicker/z-fight, some should cast shadow but don't and others simply won't convert because they were made the wrong way. We also had an issue with some armors showing way too much melons because of transparency issues. Hehe. (Sorry guys, I fixed it!)

The Item Shop
With 18.7 we will add new items in the Item Shop, and this month we have made some of them:

  • A bodyguard social outfit.
    • This outfit will make you look like a bureaucrat bodyguard.
    • This will probably be added to veteran shop too.
  • A portable vendor nano and nano can.
    • A Buckethead Technodealer vendor will appear for 10 minutes, he will sell ammunition, hacker tools, lock picks, mission key duplicators, screwdrivers, stims and rechargers.
    • His sell and buy modifier will be the same as neutral vending machines.
  • Access to the Trader shop for non trader characters.
    • This is an item that will set a bit on your character. This will let you access the specialist commerce vending machine even though you are not a trader.
    • I know some may have mixed feelings about this, but I feel it is the right move to put this handy item in the Item Shop because it already contains other profession specific items/nanos, such as a portable bank/market and the Fixer grid nano can.
  • A treatment transfer twinking nano can.
    • This buff will last for 4 hours, but will break if you get hit. Convenient for twinking.
  • Gift wrapped bazzit's alien library.
    • Unlike the garden keys, you will still be able to do the quest later if you want to.
  • A premium lottery ticket.
    • This lottery ticket will be more expensive and give nicer prizes than the standard lottery ticket.

That's it for this month. Hopefully I will have some more interesting news for you at the end of September!

- Genele