New Area: Western Expanse
West of the orc enclave Brithbarad lie the Western Expanses – a wild area teeming with dangerous creatures and untamed geography. Many an orc, both youth and veteran, have ventured into the expanses to bring home a trophy of their valor. Few have returned, and those barely clinging to life. Thangmar, the orc ranger of Brithbarad, is able to direct those interested to the Expanses.
The scan skill has been renamed ‘far scan’. Opt autoscan has been retired and replaced by scan -o (see help scan for more information) – you now have more granular control over how scan, far scan, and autoscan behave. Scan output can be tweaked as well to make parsing easier (see scan -d).
We have added the concept of a binary skills: abilities that you either have or you don’t. Cartography has been converted into a binary skill (practice points have been refunded if you had this skill). Cartography will not cost practice points (future quest planned) but other binary skills may require practice points. Expect practice point costs of binary skills to be higher, generally speaking. When binary skills have no practice point cost they are not included in your pool for improve/prac point calculation. Binary skills have no chance to improve and will not generate practice points when used.
The ‘scan’ skill has been renamed to ‘far scan’ and is now a binary skill. Practice points have been refunded if you practiced/improved the old scan skill beyond the new far scan prac costs.
When the bash or charge skills are at level 10+ they no longer have a chance to cause you to fall, though they still can fail.
When the paladin changes occurred last year changes were also made to shields (for any class). This was not clearly announced before so I wanted to put some details out there now: Previously when a shield block could occur (after dodge, tumble, parry, guard, etc) there was a 25% chance to block OR a % chance based on the shield’s AC and shield block/strike. The problem we found was that almost no shields in the game made any difference in this check and it nearly always used the 25% rate. This was adjusted so that shield AC + shield related skills make a more meaningful difference in the rate.
When berserk, focus, or spin kick are used with repertoire these skills should now occur first. (previously you might go berserk after an attack or two) Messages were also cleaned up.
Thieves now get an off-hand backstab skill (skewer).
The searching skill has been updated to make it possible/realistic to improve the skill. This involved a change to the skill itself as well as a review and modification of many room actions throughout the game. There are now 350+ search actions across the game that can improve the skill.
In many cases making an action improve searching was a subjective decision but generally it is possible to improve searching with actions that have a chance to load an item once per area reset such as the haystack in Pennan. The command in these cases is usually search but not always. Actions related to picking fruit that can be executed multiple times or are used to take things obvious to the reader in the room description are not eligible.
GMCP Changes/GA Signal
We have enabled the GA signal (go ahead). GA is a telnet protocol control character that tells the client that the game is done sending output and can respond in some way (sending input, processing triggers, etc.).
With the GA signal in place it should no longer be necessary to add an extra “carriage return” (%) character at the end of your prompt if you use Mudlet or TinTin (may apply to other clients but I did not test beyond these two). These clients force the next line of output onto a new line after a GA signal even if there has been no line break sent.
If you use Mudlet, turn off this option: Preferences window -> Main display -> Fix unnecessary linebreaks on GA servers (You need to reconnect for changing this option to take effect)
GMCP value “Room.Info.vnum” has been replaced by “Room.Info.num” and “Room.Info.terrain” has been replaced by “Room.Info.environment”. These changes are to help TFE be more compatible with the standard “IRE” mapping script for Mudlet. “vnum” and “terrain” will continue to work for now but will be removed entirely in the future. Please update your scripts.
Wind/weather changes in a room should cause a GMCP update. If you find situations where this does not occur please post details on the bugs board.
Abandoned pets now have a chance to disappear when the room/area resets that they were abandoned in.
Plant-based creatures now leave “remains” instead of a corpse. This change happened awhile back but was bugged such that all dead plant corpses were “remains of a plant”. This has been fixed, for example if you kill the gigantic eggplant the corpse will be “the remains of a gigantic eggplant”.
Items that have a command associated with them now show available commands when you look at the item. For example looking at a cotton seed will tell you the command to use the item is ‘plant’. This doesn’t always work especially on area specific items – I would appreciate you pointing out missing commands on the bugs board so this feature can be improved.