MARCH 14, 2001

Ever Changing, Evolving, Expanding:

The Warrens:

As part of our two-year celebration, we're pleased to announce the release of "The Warrens", a free expansion zone located on Odus. "The Warrens" is a low-to-mid level dungeon and the home of the Kobolds on Odus. You can patch the Warrens by running the "Optional Patch".

In addition to filling-out the continent of Odus, "the Warrens" will also serve as a platform to try out some of the new ideas brought forth by members of the team and the public aimed at addressing some common gameplay issues. We would like to see what options might be open to and enjoyed by the players in the future.

The first issue addressed in the Warrens is the problem of higher level characters competing with lower level characters for loot on lower level creatures. To address this issue, in the Warrens, a group that "outclasses" a particular foe will not receive any loot that is MAGIC, LORE, or NODROP. All other loot will drop. "Outclassing" a foe is defined as having a group makeup such that no one in your group receives experience from the kill. This can happen if, for instance, the foe is "green" to all group members, or if the group makeup is of such a wide level range that the system determines the fight was unbalanced using regular experience rules.

Any time that an NPC would have dropped special loot and does not due to it being outclassed, a message indicating that the combat was "trivial" will be displayed to the group.

As time goes on, we will be implementing new gameplay subsets and adjustments in the Warrens. Please be sure to let us know what you think!

The Planes:

The Planes of Fear and Hate have been updated as part of our two-year celebration. Adventurers in the Plane of Fear will notice that some high-level foes are now available. Rewards for former "boss npcs" have been moved down to underlings that are roughly as powerful as the old bosses were.

The Plane of Hate has also received a large update, but this one also includes the opening of a previously undiscovered part of the zone, now full high-level expansion-oriented content. Much as with Fear, rewards from bosses have been moved.

Epic Quests:

As part of the Plane updates, we've made several adjustments to Epic quests for a number of classes. Previously, questers of many classes were put in direct competition with regular non-questing adventurers for a few coveted spawns. In these cases, a new step has been added to separate the "Epic Encounter" NPCs from the "Epic Quest" NPCs.

For those who are mid-quest, all quest requirements have remained the same. In other words, if you turn the same items into the same NPC, the same reward applies. What has changed is that some components may be in a different location from where you expect them. It is recommended that you check with the last NPC in line or other adventurers to find where you need to go next.

Patch Day:

Along with the big announcements above, today was a patch day as well: