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264 Service Pack 2.0

 "Your Majesty, it's me, Kis'Shtingbrah. You named me yourself, Sire," Dave pleaded, looking up at the majestic visage with sorrowful eyes.

The king was unmoved by the appeal.

"Majesty, the draugr speaks truly. Your Majesty Named the draugr and accepted him as Your own Childe. He saved Your royal daughter's life more than once. You granted him entitlements and territories as a greater undead within your domains. It is through his efforts that we are both here now, returned from oblivion to our rightful place."

"We believe you, my friend. But We cannot rely on things We have no memory of. Until he has demonstrated his mettle and his loyalty to Us, he has no voice in Our council.

"Leave Us draugr, We will summon thee if We have need of thine services."

Dave opened his mouth, but Samael shook his head.

The draugr bowed then signaled Dog to follow.

Summarily dismissed after bringing the king and the entire legion of undead back to Conquest from oblivion, they left the Undead King and Samael conferring about the next strategic steps.

Feeling like he had just been kicked out of his home Dave brooded as they made their way down the tower, his mood dark and frustrated.

"C'mon Dog, let's head back to the settlement. At least the Boyz will be glad to see us."

***

"And that's what happened. There wasn't enough time to get to my estate before the server went down, so I sent Dog and the basilisks ahead. Then I just logged off and went to bed. I was exhausted, so I slept like the dead. Heh heh."

She groaned at his quip. Their coffees were almost untouched and had long since cooled, Zoe had been completely engrossed by Dave's story.

"So, just like that the undead are back?"

"Yup, seems so."

Zoe hesitated for a moment, "Dave, about..."

"Yeah, that. Listen, Ralph is the only family I had growing up. He's not like a brother, he IS my brother, not a 'bro' or buddy.

"Conquest is his job, and he's doing pretty good for himself with the guild and all. What you did was out of line. You jeopardized his position because of what happened after a night of drinking. Not to mention how it could have affected MY quest."

"It was supposed to be a joke."

"Zoe, we both know that isn't true. It wasn't a joke, it was retaliation, and it was way out of line. You are judging him just from the incident between you two. You need to step back and see past that. Like how he was willing to help you, a stranger, level up your character just because you asked."

"What he did was-"

"I am absolutely sure he thought I was in that bed when he laid down the 'Ralph Stamp.' I know it's douchey, but he doesn't Stamp women, only bros."

"The 'Ralph Stamp'? He named it? What the hell Dave, I still have a bruise on my butt."

"You should see some of the bruises he's left on my...uh, nevermind, that came out wrong. What I'm saying is, Ralph is important to me and so are you. You want to start a prank duel with Ralph, that's fine, I'll even help you. But don't go over the line and try to fuck up his life."

Dave paused uncomfortably, he didn't like confrontations, but the stuff from that night and in Conquest afterwards had festered for too long.

"Anyway, the important thing is I don't want this awkwardness hanging between us."

"Me either."

"Okay, so we're cool?"

"Yeah, we cool.

Despite having just cleared the air Zoe shifted uncomfortably, "Sooo, there's one other teeny tiny thing. Tivo wants to talk to you personally. Not about business, something else."

"Like what?" Dave asked suspiciously.

"He might have mentioned something about you courting Caitlin without asking permission and unsupervised."

Dave stared at her, his mouth open.

"You didn't?" Zoe.

"No. Even if I wanted to when..." then the light dawned, "...Ralph."

Dave grabbed his phone and dialed. The line started ringing, then he heard a familiar electronic tune come from the sidewalk.

Dave turned, Ralph was moseying by the coffee shop shoving a hotdog into his mouth with both hands while holding a white paper takeout bag. Mustard was smeared all around his mouth and his cheeks bulged with food, he looked like a power-lifter chipmunk.

Ralph stopped to juggle his phone out of a pocket and finally answered, still chewing.

"Dafe, shup, bro."

Dave hung up.

Ralph stopped mid-chew and looked at the phone, puzzled. Dave tapped him on the shoulder.

"What're you doing?" Dave asked.

"Mmmnph," Ralph pushed the rest of the hotdog into his mouth, "Wash gawng back to ah hotel."

"Did you see Caitlin last night?"

"Why you wan...hullo Zoe. HEY! Are you guys on a date?"

"Ralph, focus! Are you and Caitlin dating?"

"Of course not. You know me better than that, bro. I'm a free agent."

Dave relaxed, "Okay, that's good."

"But we did hang out last night."

"Gah!"

Zoe had heard Ralph and joined them.

"You took Caitlin out on a date?"

"No. I don't do 'dates,' we just hung-out. Why?"

"I've known Caitlin a long time. She's never, ever, gone out with a guy as far as I know."

Ralph smirked and flexed his guns, straining his shirt sleeves, "Ralph Charisma strong, resistance is futile."

Zoe gave Ralph a peculiar look, "Do you know who she is?"

"Sure, Mercy from It's Just Business, the best assassin player in Conquest. You know all this, you were there the night we met," Ralph said impatiently.

"No, I mean in real life."

"Don't know, don't care." Ralph shrugged.

Zoe stared at Ralph much like Dave had stared at her earlier, speechless.

She took a breath to start explaining, but Dave touched her arm. He shook his head slightly. Her eyes widened and she coughed to cover the hysterical laugh that almost escaped.

Ralph wasn't paying any attention to their little byplay. As he'd said, he had no cares in the world, his attention was already on other, more relevant, topics.

"So did you guys see the Conquest patch notes?"

"Nah, not yet. What's new?"

"Everything basically. The devs dropped in a new combat and damage system. And they changed the player interface AI. Alfred was buggy, so they replaced him with Albert."

Zoe and Dave looked at each other. No more Alfred, that was a relief.

"The patch details are up, on the Conquest website."

"Yeah, I'm going to it," Dave browsed for the Conquest website on his phone.

Zoe and Dave navigated through their phones, checking the patch.

***

Conquest Patch Notes 3.0

"Hello Players,

Emile Kada here, the Conquest Development Team has decided to make some changes to the gameworld and how it players interact with it. This Service Pack update includes changes to several key game mechanics as well as a few other items. The patch notes give a brief summary of those changes.

PATCH NOTE CONTENTS

New Skill Progression System

Removal of the Level Difference Penalty

Status Screen Template Update

EXP and Combat Damage Calculations

Changes for Calculating Experience Gain and Level-Up

Changes to Monster and NPC defensive attributes

New Death Penalty System

Player Interface AI Replacement

Attribute Point Refund and Re-spec

***

New Skill Progression System:

The game of Conquest is meant to be experienced as a world of fantastical and magical wonders. Players can explore the massive world of Conquest as they quest, create, forage, trade or any of a myriad of other activities available for their enjoyment. But the main focus of the game has always been and always will be about strife and player combat!

To encourage more ingenuity in combat and other gameplay, the developers added a progression system for Skills. Players should experiment with Skill combinations and uses them in different ways to discover how they synergise to create more powerful abilities with additional effects.

***

Removal of the Level Difference Penalty:

The Level Difference penalty between players and monsters was meant to extend gameplay longevity. However, on balance it has done more to impair the adventurous spirit of players..

***

Status Screen Template Update

A new effect has been added to the Dexterity Attribute [Reflexive Evasion]

[Reflexive Evasion]: Players have a chance to completely evade damage an attack.

Agility now increases critical chance to skills and attacks. Critical hits cause double damage and do flat damage.

Critical Hit chance is increased by 1% for every 100 AGI. (Capped at 50% CRIT)

Reflexive Evasion is increased by 1% for every 100 AGI. (Capped at 10%)

The Vitality attribute has been removed.

Adding one attribute to Health Points increases character's health maximum by 10.

Rogueclasses, adding one attribute point to Health Points, increases health maximum by five (5) Health Points (HP).

For avatars that are considered 'tank' classes, adding one attribute point to Health points increases their character health maximum by 20.

Strength now increases carrying limit by one kilogram (1 Kg) for every ten (10) points of STR.

Stamina consumption is decreased (becomes more efficient) 1% every 100 STR (Capped at 50%)

The defensive attribute, Magic Absorption, has been renamed Magical Defense.

The defensive attribute, Damage Nullification, has been renamed Physical Defense.

Damage Immunity has been removed due to its redundancy with the other defensive attributes.

Items with Magical Defense attributes, Physical Defense attributes or both will be modified by a 1.3 base attribute multiplier (items that do not already have these stats will not gain anything)..

The amount of Stamina an avatar has will be displayed in the corner of the player's interface in a Stamina Bar.

When an avatar takes damage Stamina is consumed. Emptying the Stamina bar results in the player entering the [Exhausted] state in which the player will be unable to attack and receives 50% more damage from all sources for 5 seconds.

The Focus and Rage attributes have been removed, Skills that used Focus or Rage will now use Stamina. The restrictions of Focus and Rage combined with Skill cooldowns created unreasonable delays in the pacing of combat.

The base Stamina Point, Health Point, and Mana Point now regenerate at a fixed percentage rate. Each pool is restored by 0.1% per second starting 150 seconds after combat, taking damage or engaging in combat stops the regeneration.

Below is the new character status screen template.

***

|Name| [X] |Level| [X] |Class| [X] |Race| [X]

|Stamina| [X] |Mana [X] |Health| [X] |Strength| [X]

|Intelligence| [X] Wisdom [X] Dexterity| [X] |Agility| [X]

|Physical Defense| [X] |Magical Defense| [X]

|HP Regen| [0.1%] |Mana Regen| [0.1%]

|Stamina Regen| [0.1%] |Prestige/Honor| [X]

|Unassigned attribute points| [X]

|Titles| [X]

***

EXP and Combat Damage Calculations

The new formula used to calculate the amount of EXP needed to level up is:

(4*(CL^3)/5)+200

Where:

CL is the character's level.

EXAMPLE 1: Using this formula a level 100 player needs 800,000 EXP to level up to level 101.

The amount of EXP a player gains from killing a monster is calculated using the following formula:

(4*(ML^3)/(10*(MR+LD)/4 EXP.

Where :

ML is the monster's level.

MR is the monster's rarity, from 1 to 5 (1=legendary, 2=Epic, 3=rare, 4=uncommon, 5=common)

LD is the difference between the monster and player level (From 1 to 20).

This is only valid if the monster is below the player's Level.

The EXP the player gains from killing a monster that is higher in levels is calculated by:

(4*ML^3)/(10*(MR+LD))/4 = EXP+ (EXP*0.2* LD)

Players will not receive any EXP for killing monsters 20 levels below their own.

EXAMPLE 2: If a player avatar at level 100 kills a Common monster level 90 the EXP rewarded is calculated as:

(4*(90^3)/(10*(5+10))/4=4860

Which means the level 100 player in EXAMPLE 1 would need to kill 165 Common monsters at level 90 in order to earn the EXP necessary to progress to level 101.

EXP from killing a monster is divided equally between players in a party.

To prevent power leveling, the Support EXP system was removed.

Players in a party must meet one of the following conditions to gain EXP in a party:

Player must cause at least 1% of monster's total HP in damage.

Player must heal at least 10% of the total HP lost by the party during the fight.

*Bardic classes, see details.

***

Changes to Monster and NPC defensive attributes

The hit points and defensive attributes of Monsters and NPCs have been revised to account for the now removed Level Difference system.

Only a set number of players will be allowed in a dungeons at one time. The number varies according to dungeon difficulty and other factors.

There is a 50 player cap on the maximum 'raid party' size.

All World Bosses have a new trait, called [Territory], which limits the number of players fighting the boss to a maximum of 200 players. Once the boss fight begins new players cannot replace the original raid members that are sent to respawn.

If a world boss kills the entire raid party the world boss will regenerate Health, Stamina and Mana to maximum levels instantly.

***

New Death Penalties

When a player character is killed the avatar loses all EXP and one (1) character level.

The player will respawn without a delay period in a planar reality adjacent to Conquest called Limbo. The player is banished to limbo for 8 hours in-game time, after which the player can choose to return to Conquest at the player's previously chosen 'normal' Conquest respawn point.

While in Limbo and before returning to Conquest, the player can earn EXP (at double the normal rate) to regain the penalized character LEVEL, but not the lost EXP.

***

Attribute Point Refund and Re-spec:

Last but not least. There are a lot of changes, so of course, Players will be able to re-spec their characters when they log-in after this Service Pack is installed. All attribute points from level ups will be refunded to players. The character re-spec is meant to allow players to optimize and personalize Character builds to suit their game preferences.

***

That's it for the Patch Notes Players. But before I leave you, we want to welcome a recent addition to our group. A new General Artificial Intelligence, named Albert, is administering the player/game interface. Due to the higher demands and growing complexity of game operations management made the decision to replace Alfred for a more adaptable AI with greater capabilities.

That's all for now.

Emile Kada, Conquest Lead Developer

***

"What do you think?" Ralph asked.

"This is going to change things. A lot," Dave had a faraway look in his eyes.

Zoe groaned, "I gotta re-spec my character again. And that death penalty is icky."

"Yeah, but it'll keep people from doing a lot of really dumb stuff in the game," Ralph said.

Then, at the same time, Ralph and Zoe both looked at Dave.

Zoe shook her head slowly, "Maybe not so much."