Well, it’s taken 6 months but we are finally here – a brand new engine and a brand new world. This release celebrates the culmination of a lot of new tech in the game and a complete remake of the game world from scratch. No more “edges”, a single consistent world with 5 layers of underworld to explore. Every zone has been remade and reworked, many zones have moved, all zones have been expanded, and care has been taken to make sure everywhere is more easily reachable with a large number of new shortcuts (I’m looking at you, abyss!).
One of the main gripes I have heard over the last few years has been how far players have to travel to get to where they want to hunt. In an effort to address this, there are now 3 towns. Emberton (the town you already know), Gilead (a town south of the lowlands where the slimes live) and Tartarus, an underground town near the imps. You are able to take the ferry between Emberton and Gilead for fast travel, and there is an NPC in each temple that will allow you to set your respawn point to any town you like 🙂
As the engine was quite literally being rewritten from scratch, it made sense to add some things I wanted from the beginning. Houses now have roofs that disappear when you are near, the stuff you are walking on can affect your movement speed, and a new fringe layer means you can walk underneath things. It’s not just all about the new open world though, there are a number of other improvements I’d like to highlight.
The lighting engine needed to be rewritten to work with the new world technology, it seemed like a good time to have a play around with it. Artificial lighting is now softer and more atmospheric, giving underground areas a more immersive feel. I have increased the radius of lights also so you should be more easily able to get around in the darkness.
The PC client now has tooltips for many things all over the place. This seemed like an obvious addition and it is about time we got it. By default the tooltips will show whenever you hover over anything, I appreciate players with small monitors will find this annoying so there is a preference to only show them while shift is being held.
Various new graphics can be found around the world, we’ve added these to try and make it easier for you to understand what to expect when you interact with things around you. Caves are now all underground, so cave entrances have spiral staircases. Holes that you can climb back up from have ladders, and terrain edges are now more clearly defined so it is more obvious where you can / can not stand.
The world is a big place now and it is easy to get lost. A world map is the next feature that will be added to Mirage, but to help with navigation and world identity you will now be prompted when you enter a new area. It is my hope that this not only helps you understand better where you are, but also helps start to make the world feel a little more real, or if not real, at least more like a world.
This screenshot also showcases something new, ferries. Supporters are now able to take ferries between towns and also access some new islands via various ferries distributed around the overworld. Several end-game hunting zones have been shifted to islands accessible only by ferries, though if you are under level 85 this change shouldn’t affect you at all unless you want to use the town ferries. The intent here is to bring value to the supporter scroll while still making it totally viable to level up and play as much as you want without it. It is a difficult tightrope to walk, and I am committed to making a game that is fair.
The goal is quite simple, give everyone hundreds of hours of content for free then offer everything else behind a £2 fee. No pay to win, no microtransactions, just a bit of extra content if you ever get that far in the game. I think having a single subscription like this is the fairest way to offer a game as a service as it keeps everything at a completely level playing field – I know some of you disagree and would prefer a microtransaction cosmetic store… but I personally really hate that and genuinely think people should look cool for doing cool things not for borrowing their mum’s credit card.
The supporter scroll will be the ONLY subscription you need to access EVERYTHING in the game. It’s priced at £2 and I wouldn’t even think about it until level 85 unless you really want that ferry access between Emberton and Gilead, like having a little star next to your name, or need some extra bank space. As with event scrolls it is tradeable so you should be able to pick one up from other players if you are desperate.
If it was up to me I’d keep the entire game totally free, but unfortunately even starving artists need to eat 🙁
Anyhow, now that’s out of the way…
The new engine supports portals, and you will find them scattered throughout the realm. Be careful though! Some portals are one-way and you never know what could be on the other side… when exploring through portals it is always best to go as a team 🙂
NPCs can now only be interacted with if you have line of sight. When i was testing this initially it wasn’t obvious why the NPC wasn’t responding to you, especially when we have been able to shout through walls for so long, so it seemed time to add some notifications that let you know why something isn’t happening. To start with these are only for basic things like being full or being unable to interact with something, but it is my intention to expand these notifications to tell you why a craft has failed, or why a spell hasn’t cast, etc.
This update is so significant in terms of world content – so large, that taking you through the changes would be insane. Instead, I think I am going to let you explore the new world yourselves, it will feel familiar in some ways and very different in others. I sincerely hope you like it. One last thing to mention, and it’s quite a big one….
You will now lose experience if you die with a skull!
White skulled players will lose 7.5% of their experience to next level, and yellow skulled players will lose 5%. You can lose levels this way, and to further make it risky to kill other players combat lock for killing another player has been increased to 10 minutes. After the world map is live the skull system will be overhauled, experience loss will be expanded to everybody (not just skulled players) and red skulls will become a thing. Furthermore, once home teleport scrolls have been added safe zones will be removed from stairs so beyond level 30 the world will start to feel much less safe indeed!
With all of that said, here is a list of the changes I could dig out of the commit history:
- Brand new open-world engine
- The entire world has been remade
- 2 new towns
- Every single area has been expanded and reworked
- Full monster balance pass
- Mana potions now restore 25% more mana
- Movement speed is affected by what you are walking on
- Data security improvements client and server side
- Traps animate when sprung
- Experience loss on death if skulled
- Combat timer upped to 10 minutes for unjustly killing another player
- Supporters can now use ferries to travel between towns and access other islands
- Each town temple has an NPC where you can set your respawn point
- NPCs will poof if lured more than 50sqm away from their spawn point in a single direction
- Lighting engine upgrades, light radius expanded & atmospheric soft lighting
- Houses have roofs!
- New fringe layer, you can run underneath tall things, amazing
- New account button added to login screen
- Stack sizes are abbreviated
- Full stack size listed in item details box
- Item stack text size small by default on PC, configurable via a preference
- Tooltips added all over the place on PC, configurable via a preference
- Changing zones pops up a notification letting you know where you are
- Line of sight required to talk to NPCs
- Potions sorted from small to large
- Some basic HUD notifications added so you know what is going on, many more to come
- Various sets of new graphics to make it clearer where you can and can not stand
- Android Emulation no longer supported
- Client will no longer run if certain tools are detected on the host system
- Significant under-the-hood technical changes to the client
- More extensive google play purchase redemption message
- Deleted 113054 low level unused characters
- Deleted 354378 characters that have been played for less than 10 minutes
- Deleted 472 permabanned characters
- Removed 320838 subsequently empty / unused accounts
And here is a list of fixes 🙂
- Fix for sometimes being left with 1 ammo when all arrows have been used
- Monster AOEs now applying damage correctly
- Enchanters show a trade emote
- Traps correctly spring if players are pushed into them
- Warp poofs appear where the player is stepping from
- Dying with the realm store open allowing perma-tabbing
- on-screen Level up messages hang around for much longer
- Enchanter UI cleaned up
- Mages not losing targets correctly when they leave screen and being unable to heal themselves
- Some status icons not showing unless you are within 4 tiles
- Bringing up some player’s details causes a disconnect
- Capacity visually stuck after buying arrows
- Unable to move after dying with lag
- Adding a player that is already a friend results in a disconnect
- Lights and signs sometimes being visible in the wrong area
- Weird scaling on some inventory screens
I sincerely look forwards to seeing you all pile in online and start exploring. We have had extensive test servers over the last month but please do keep in mind it is likely there will be issues we didn’t find during community testing, if something goes wrong or you find an issue don’t panic! Head over to the discord, explain the issue in #bugs_glitches, and I’ll get it sorted asap.
Thanks to everyone for their support, it has been really quite hard at times dealing with the amount of daily negativity from the vocal minority over the last 6 months but to the quiet majority who message me with support and remind me the 10 or so idiots on discord don’t represent the community as a whole I say thank you so much for keeping me going, I couldn’t do this without you <3
See you online!