The Black Death

Patch Notes: V0.16 – Magnum Opus

Welcome adventurers to update V0.16 – Magnum Opus! We’ve got a new Catacombs pillage area named Reapers Rest by our Community, Improved “notes from a friend”, Player written books collection & Notes and our new clues/notes system. Plus loads of fixes, optimisations and improvements.

Catacombs Pillage Area – Reapers Rest

As voted by the Community in our Pillage Poll, our new Catacombs pillage area has been named Reapers Rest. A huge congratulations to BierBaron for the winning entry!

This new pillage area will take Player’s on a journey across Mercia to the far West. Stocking up on supplies at Crutchley Hill before venturing into here is a must. If you thought The Black Gate was challenging you may want to take a party with you for this one!

Improved Notes From A Friend

We have added more notes from a friend into V0.16. Who is this mysterious individual? Maybe these details will be revealed in the future!

“We also reworked the “note from a friend” section in the in-game Exit/Pause menu. Each new day you will now get a new “note from a friend” containing simple tips and advice to  help you survive. The first three days are set texts to help give new players direction. Then after day three,  the tips will be randomised from a large list so hopefully even seasoned players will find something new!” – James (SIG_JRow)


Player Written Books Collection & Notes!

V0.16 brings together a collection of every player written book that we have received for The Black Death. In total there are now 21 books to collect and read on your travels. These books can be found at events in chests around the world are are quite rare, who knew the Bandits of Mercia loved a good story! Below you can see the updated text and UI appearance of the books in game. Some of these player written notes may also be covered with splatters of blood…

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We had a book/note system already in-game but it hadn’t been touched since it was first implemented in a rush in early beta and the system as a whole needed some love. Mike went about concepting and improving the visuals, making sure the style was in line with our now UI. Emily worked on gathering players stories and tweaking them so they would work within our technical limitations and I made adjustments to the book/notes mechanics themselves (optimisations, flow and adding some polish). Now that we have reworked the book/note system it will be far easier in the future to add more books and notes into the game. It was great fun to see the stories that people had written about the game and we are looking forward to seeing more!” – James (SIG_JRow)


Stories Of Mercia – Books

Aaron Calbot Fitch’s Journal
Adventure’s In Mercia
Hoist That Rag – I
Hoist That Rag – II
Hoist That Rag – III
The Legend Of The Wolf – I
The Legend Of The Wolf – II
Madeleine Diary’s – I
Madeleine Diary’s – II
Madeleine Diary’s – III
Madeleine Diary’s – IIII
Rol Morblunts Journal Entry
The Hangman
The Wash
Battle Of Strumble Pass
The Heretic I
Uthred the Unlucky – Diary – I
Uthred the Unlucky – Diary – II
Uthred the Unlucky – Diary – III
Uthred the Unlucky – Diary – IIII
Uthred the Unlucky & Jax’s Adventure
Stories Of Mercia – Notes
Note To Mother
Poem – Royal Pestilence
Here is an in-Engine screenshot of how the books are displayed in a players Inventory:


New Notes & Clues Loot!

Not to be confused with our “Notes From A Friend” system, these Notes & Clues can also be found amongst loot in the world of Mercia.

Notes are a new addition to the game. Notes will be found across the land of Mercia while looting. These notes contain clues towards places in the world that contain treasure or  specific resources such as gold ore deposits! – James (SIG_JRow)


Optimisations & Performance Improvements

We have made significant improvements to performance in The Black Death, specifically for replication. This change applies to item data, Merchants and vendors, Player housing storage, AI including Bandits and Animals and more. When playing The Black Death usually on every Engine tick item data is checked and read in the background. This can make RAM and CPU usage high, to combat this changes were made. Now when playing The Black Death item data and information is only checked when the player is close to an event, AI or NPC for example. So hopefully with these improvements we should see an increase in performance.


  • Used Network Dormancy settings to lighten server load when checking actors to replicate
  • Optimised VFX spawning method across many of the game’s mechanics
  • Optimised timers in ai so they don’t need to run if no players are nearby
  • Optimised AI helmets by reducing net update frequency and cull distance squared
  • Stopped billboards that are only needed in-engine from getting cooked into the game and taking up memory
  • Optimised spline based blueprints and some of their static meshes (e.g. rivers)
  • Optimised infection areas timers by stopping them running when no players nearby
  • Optimised growables (plants that grow when you plant them)
  • Optimised doors, removed audio component, instead spawn the sounds when needed
  • Optimised UI textures
  • Unhooked and deleted UI textures


  • Eating/drinking while sitting down doesn’t break the sitting/using intractable animation pose now
  • Fix to flying ravens, so they don’t stopping moving while players can see them still
  • Fix to inventory UI for resolution scale/overlap problem
  • If you are at full weight your HUD inventory item now says “Bag full” instead of “bag almost full”
  • Fixed array out of index check problem (in hanging man) which was spamming the logs
  • Fixed damageable spikes feedback. Players can see blood vfx spurts when other players run into spikes (before you could only see yourself get hurt vfx)
  • Fixed spelling mistakes in HUD


  • 21 books now in the game, based on player submitted stories! (found in lootboxes around the world)
  • Notes(clues) can be looted around the world, which hint at points of interest around the map.
  • Note from a friend updated, first three days are set to help new players get a direction in the game, then after that it randomises hints
  • Reapers rest entrance located south of Freeman’s Port


  • Books/note system has be refurbished, updated UI visuals and polish to flow
  • Updated map, new icons and place names are easier to read
  • Added back in the no stamina noise and UI warning pop-up
  • Updated version number across the UI
  • Small UI tweak to the main menu title scale/placement
  • Adjusted timing of holster/unholster to match the animation of the weapon
  • Adjusted the time at which the vfx spawns when gathering resources to match when the tool animation hits
  • Re texture of cart models
  • Re texture of loot model
  • Re texture of crate models
  • Re texture of windmill models
  • Re texture of city stall

Hall Of Heroes

Once again we give a big thank you to our amazing Community for all your contributions to our Google bug form, forums posts, content creations and social media posts! We have added more adventurers to our Hall Of Heroes, check out the hall at the link below.




…See you in Mercia!

// The SIG Team

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