This new saga will be the start of a fun new adventure in our game's timeline. Even as you read this, the team is in a flurry of dire last minute work.... adding item drops, adjusting dialog, fixing map data, making crafting shops, hammering down bugs, and making last minute changes. There is a 65% chance we will go live on Thursday. But rest assured there is a 100% chance we will have depleted our remaining sanity when it does launch. Want to join us?
The Nulgath Saga is the next major "main story" in AdventureQuest 3D. It begins in Seleden, the Red Forest. As a map it is creepy and quite huge; filled with new characters, side adventures, and strange things to be discovered. Just like the 1st part of the Ashfall Saga, it focuses on introducing a new cast and begins building up to the... *gulps*... things that will come next.
This release is a hybrid. Using the concepts from the Tower of Necromancy (Noxus) and the Nature Guardian Tower (Silvan), the story portion can be enjoyed by everyone. There will be plenty of drops and items to help you level. However, the level 35 to 37 power progression can only be obtained through max-level restricted content. A unique set was created for level 36+ players which can be obtained through drops, crafting, and bonus/side/challenge fights. Also, players with a version of the Sun Fury should be excited to discover a way to upgrade their weapon through this release.
I highly recommend taking your time in this release and really read the cutscenes and explore the side areas. Memet's writing is fun. Turn on your music to hear Jongaar's newest tracks. Korin created the 1st "killer" cutscene for this saga.
A tip. The map is super big. There is A LOT of walking. So I hid a teleport shard somewhere that you can use to quick teleport back to the town. (worth finding).
We have a few engine-level bugs we are working out that will not be solved by the time of the release. The first is a glowing yellow teleporter beam that oddly appears in the center of of side-quest maps. (Update: This has been fixed) It does not actually do anything. Super frustrating. We need to do a bigger fix to make it go away. Second is a craft preview bug. (Infusion has the same bug.) I put in a request to the coders to have this fixed ASAP. But it will not be in until after the release goes live. This is why many of the level 35+ craft shops will only be located inside of challenge areas. Although, we will also put it in the town of Battleon so you can see it there.
So, there it is... everything you wanted to know about the... WAAAAAAIT!
Drops. Let us talk about item drops!
There will be monster drops, crafting, dailies, and challenge fight rewards. Dage, Thyton, & Winnie made several sets this release. There is also a bunch of statted fiendish weapons, armors, and if you do a certain side quest line... one fiendishly fun cosmetic.
In addition to all the earnable items, a Nulgath themed fiend collection will be released. It is strangely named Nulgath Collection 1 even though we have no idea if there will be any others.
I am really looking forward to seeing what you think of this style of release. I am pretty sure it is the first time we have done a main story release in a "hybrid" way. It packs a lot of things aimed at 35+ players. If it feels as good as we are trying to make it feel... this could be a great way to make power and level matter while also making new content for all players. Also, I am hoping this release attracts some long-time AE players who have not tried out AQ3D yet. It could be that thing that finally gets them to join us in the game. So, it is pretty important that the story portion of this is accessible to them.
UPDATE: I actually wrote this around 9pm last night at the lab. The team did a good job today despite a good portion of our crew still being out sick or having internet issues. Testing is currently the top priority. I will make the final call if this is ready for showtime shortly after noon on Thursday. The testers have not had sufficient time to test a release of this size, so if we do release I expect rapid hotfixes through Friday. Worst case, we will put it on the PTR over the weekend and do the full release on Tuesday.
And that.... is everything you wanted to know about the Nulgath release but were afraid to ask. (Except for the new questions you are thinking about. Why are you so good at asking questions? Do you already know what the plot is going to be? Are you psychic!? If so, what time will we get to sleep tonight?)