Welcome adventurers to update V0.24!
This update we have lots of new features, systems, and changes to The Black Death. We have updates to our movement system, new combat abilities, revamped Item quality system, Quick Slot Bar, dragging & dropping in menus, loads of UI updates. new pillage areas and more!
WARNING! THIS UPDATE WILL INCUR A CHARACTER WIPE
There is a known issue where some players will experience being stuck in a loading screen when joining a server, please close the game and re-join then the issue should no longer occur, we are currently working on a hot fix to address this issue.
A Note For Admins Of Community Hosted Servers
If you own a Community Server please note that you will need to update your server with the latest update. To do this you will need to update the folder/files on your Server or update using our Steam Server Build in SteamCMD.
If you do not have the latest update to The Black Death your server will not appear in our in game Server Browser.
Updated Movement System
We have updated our Movement system! You are now able to sprint in all directions, with an update to our sprinting animations, jumping should also now feel smoother.
Each Weapon type now has it’s now combat pose which includes varying speeds for each of these. If you are wielding a dagger or knife the weapons movement will be much faster, but for two handers movement will be slower. The camera also adjusts to be slightly different when you are walking, sprinting and blocking.
Below are our improved animations for sprinting forwards, back peddling and also sprinting and turning.
New Combat Abilities
Our Combat attacks and abilities have been updated! These are unique to each weapon type ranging from Clubs, Swords, Maces, Axes, Knifes and more. Each weapon type now has it’s own set of attacks. Some weapons such as the Knifes can be aimed and thrown using the third attack!
These range from bleeding attacks, stuns, knock-backs and knock-downs. These are represented on the HUD on the left of the Quick Slot Bar. If you mouse over these attack icons, each one has it’s own tooltip which can be viewed by hovering over the icons when in your Inventory.
Check out our GIFs below to see our new Unarmed, Sword and Mace attacks.
New Improved AI & Rats!
AI are now fully procedural in terms of where they spawn, however harder A.I. will spawn in more dangerous parts of Mercia. All AI now have new logic and have been given a combat overhaul, new types of AI include, spearmen, archers, crossbowman, two handed bandits and more.
Procedural Friendly AI types have been added, these include; Guards, Hunters, Infected Peasants, Peasants and Wandering Merchants.
Large A.I. improvements have been made with their logic and large increases in population including a new wide variety such as:
- Groups of Infected Beggars that spread infection and hound you for much needed gold but will retreat with fear if attacked.
- Deadly Beggars that will kill in sheer desperation, only with fists they will punch their way out of any fight.
- Bandit Spearman that deal large amounts of damage and flank violently.
- Outlaw Crossbowman that tactically seek distance and cover between them and their targets.
- Shielded Templars that push forward with shield in hand putting pressure on even the most advanced player
- Templar Knights that wield giant two handed weapons dealing large amounts of damage but are slower and more calculative.
Need a good amount of building materials? track down the new bandit woodsman that carry copious amounts of wood.
Rats now spawn procedurally and wander the streets and villages, they can infect you with proximity. Rats can also be found scuttling around within the front area of Bandit houses! You may find some NPCs chasing them through town. They may also chase you if you are close enough, these rats can infect you quickly so beware!
Item Quality System Update & Crafting Stacks
Crafted Item quality system added, there is a chance of crafting various types of the same item that provide various values, such as the extremely rare Greater Silver Chest Plate which physically looks different and adds more armour. This is only applied to a few items currently, such as the stick club, bone club, water and silver chest plate.
When you have levelled up your ability to craft armour more, you will notice that the higher quality armour is crafted with more experience as you progress you should have a higher chance of crafting the higher tier gear.
The Armours above from left to right are: Rusty, Normal and Greater Silver chest plate.
We have decided to change up how our item Rarities work in The Black Death. Crafted and purchased items, weapons and armour will now have set rarities, this also includes harvested resources in the wild.
- Common (Grey)
- Uncommon (Green)
- Rare (Blue)
- Epic (Purple)
- Mythic (Yellow)
- Legendary (Orange)
New mythic tier Armour has also been added and is craft-able through fully leveling up the blacksmith. The royal chest plate:
It is now possible to craft a stack of an item if you have the required number of materials to do so. For example, if you have 5x Dirty Water, you can now queue these up and craft 5 Clean Water. In the future the time it takes to craft these stacks will be changed.
Changes To Gold
Gold, the currency of Mercia and that thing that Bandits want has had a couple of changes. Gold is now more of a physical item as seen in the new Inventory rework just under the Equipment Slots.
Resources & Lootables
Resources are now fully procedural and will randomly spawn throughout the world depending on the rarity of the resource. This means that if you find a Berry or Cotton Bush in one place chances are something different will spawn in its place when you return, or there might be no resource in that spot at all! This also includes Wood Logs and Mining Nodes.
This is to encourage exploration around Mercia and make gameplay feel more fluid so players are not returning to the same exact spots for materials and loot. Along with our big AI revamp we feel this will make for some great gameplay sessions and experiences.
To make gameplay feel more fluid and for a different kind of play session loot should now feel more rewarding when you stumble across something good. We have also added new loot items that can be found around the world and Player written books should now appear more often!
Loot item drops will spawn procedurally throughout the world within bandit camps, caves and beggar houses.
Quick Slot Bar, Drag And Drop, Splitting Stacks & Equipment Slots
Quick Slot Bar
A new feature being introduced with V0.24 is the Quick Slot Bar! This will now allow Players to click and drag Weapons, Food, Drinks and Tools to their Quick Slot Bar for easy one click use. You can now switch between Weapons and Tools with out needing to go into your Inventory or Context Wheel making for a smoother gameplay experience.
Food and Drink items will have their rotting status updating whilst they are on your Quick Slot Bar saving you entering the Inventory when checking on your food. With our new item stacking system it is possible to have a stack of Water and Bread Rolls on your Quick Slot Bar for easy use. Weapons and Tools will also display their respective durability status so with once glance when in Combat you can track your weapons status.
The central nature and placement of the Quick Slot Bar shows a more compact view of your stats such as Days Survived, Gold, Skill Points and XP which is displayed as a thin green line.
Drag & Drop
It is now possible to drag and drop items from a Shopkeepers window to your Inventory to purchase them and drag items to the Shopkeepers window to sell them for speedy transactions.
Items now stack in your Inventory making space much easier to manage. Items can now also be split from their stacks by right clicking on the stack and Selecting Split. You can use the plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the amount you would like to split from the stack. Items can also be dropped by using this same right click context menu.
From introducing the ability to now drag and drop items from your Inventory to your Quick Slot Bar, here is our other system that now uses a drag and drop feature, Equipment Slots!
Our new equipment slots now free up your visual Inventory space by having your armour in it’s own tab. Armour values are also now show correctly on items in your Inventory. The Epic Kettle Helmet and Mythic Lamellar show off our new colour tabs on items too for a quick glance on item qualities.
New UI Changes & Chat Box
Our UI and HUD have undergone some changes. Here is our refreshed Main Menu in game. The videos section has been removed and the options and social links are more centralised. Our Death Screen has also been given a refresh. In game Icons have also been given a revamp, giving them a more rustic feel.
The “Days Survived” pop-up is now more subtle and appears above the Quick Slot Bar at the bottom of the screen. This still displays your earned Gold, XP and Skill Point, with a less intrusive notification. Our HUD, Journal and other UI elements are now more thematic in their style.
We have added an option to change the size of the Chat Box text for Players using larger resolution monitor setups, or for Players may find it hard to read the default size text.
This setting can be changed in game and switched between x1 and x1.25. Pressing Esc whilst in game and bringing up the Settings menu, then going to “Game” you will see the Chat Box Scale option.
If you do use this new option in game and are still experiencing issues with the text size on your resolution or setup, please send us a Bug Report here and include your Resolution.
New Pillage Areas & Polished Areas
The Bandits, Beggars and Peasants of Mercia have decided to take the abandoned house strewn across Mercia from victims of the Plague and reside their themselves. They are very protective of their new homes and bases! Should you dare to try and loot their possessions they will not hesitate to attack you and throw rocks and fire arrows from afar!
More pillage/raid areas have been added to Mercia in the form of Beggar Hovels, Bandit Bases, abandoned farms and even deep in caves. Always carry a weapon or two when adventuring around these parts.
St. John’s Monastery Revisit
St.John’s Monastery has been taken over by the local crazed Monk’s and Templars and is now in disarray. It’s doors now branded with the Templar sigil, a strong weapon is needed to break into the Monastery. Rotting rats, smashed doors, spiked barricades, dead bodies and more awaits in store behind these closed doors.
Post Processing Updates
These graphical updates include changes to our lighting and fog effects as well as our new post processing. Below are some before and after shots of our new post process, lighting and fog effects.
We have been adjusting ambient occlusion and applying a volumetric fog technique to get distance shots to give a more immersive weather condition, this is especially effective on forests.
- Updated/polished a large numbers of areas around the world
- Coughing ai now has a cough particle VFX to make them more disgusting
- Crossbow rigged up and usable by player
- Updated bark textures for 2 types of trees
- Updated ai so they have aim offsets: now they can aim up and down to hit you
- Arrow count should always show on projectile weapons in the quick slots
- Updated the UI in the main menu to be more streamlined
- Increased view distance/replication cull range on loot bags so they dont pop in
- Updated Exit menu UI to match the main menu changes
- Increased collision size on a few weapon pickups
- Updated the UI for the Loot and shop windows to the new cleaner paper look
- Updated the death UI screen to match the main menu changes
- Animals now make sounds and can be heard from a fair distance, to give you warning
- Updated the large attenuation volume used in sound effects to be bigger but have a smaller inner radius
- Updated speed of player to be slightly slower when you have a tool equipped in your hand
- Updated the distance/network settings at which other players render at so you can see them from further away and they are less likely to pop in
- Updated the camera distance to the player
- Updated the punching aim offset angle so you can punch lower down (e.g. to hit people knocked out on the floor or, rats etc)
- Updated player character physics asset should be less buggy now
- Updated the sounds on pickups, so they match better the type of material they are
- Updated the attenuation size of combat sounds so players watching a battle from a short distance away can hear it
- Updated the rat ai to have squeaking sounds so you get warnings that a infectious rat is near
- Updated vfx and sounds in weapon impacts types, to add a different feel between weapon types
- Added camera shake into attack recoils and swings that might have missed
- Removed holster/unholster from the context wheel as it was causing bugs and didnt work with the new quickslot system
- All ai can now play the heavy hit reacts animations
- The players aim offset now does not affect the pickup animations
- Adjusted the procedural resources spawn rates/chances
- Adjusted the procedural ai spawn rates/chances
- Adjusted the procedural loot pickups rates/chances
- Resources requiring a tool now take multiple hits to break and give resources each time
- Optimised UI widgets
- Optimised tick rates
- Optimised concurrency of sounds
- Optimised audio components in the character
- Continued to remove hard blueprint references
- Optimised ai
- Optimised day/night
- Fixed several server crashes
- Fixed a crash that could happen when equipping a bow
- Numerous environment art bug fixes
- Fixed seam from fog cubemap
- Fix added for when knocked out to make sure you don’t spin around on the spot from other clients view when you rotate the camera around
- Fix to stop a bug where jumping and swinging at the same time could leave you unable to swing a weapon/punch anymore
- Fixed bug with putting resources stacks into house work bench number being incorrect
- Fix added to make sure splitting stacks always works as intended in code
- Fix to bug with shields that meant that ai projectiles got through your block
- Fixed a bug that stopped you being able place a campfire
- Fix added to stop the ai leaning so much when walking on angled slopes
- Fix added to gore system so spawned meshes shouldn’t move violently/unrealistically
- Fixed gore meshes spawn offset so they are closer to where the player body parts are
- Fix for items durability not visually updating if you get them from a lootable or a lootbag
- Stopped a few VFX from spawning on the server that slipped through
- Fixed a bug that stopped you from walking up some staircases (in particular the staircase leading to part of the tutorial of the game, tutorial can now be completed again)
- Fix for stack collapsing when you die and they are created in your lootbag
- Fixed an audio setting bug for music, where if you brought the slider value to 0 it would never play music again in that play session
- Fixed collision on gore arm that would cause it to hover in the air on spawn
- Fix added to stop loading screen getting stuck up when you are in character create
- Fix added to try and stop rare case where death screen not popping up when you die
- Fixed a bug where animals would have human names
- Fixed errors that were slowing down the cooking process
- Fixed a bug that stopped sickness animations playing on the player when they were sick
- when you hit person/animal with a arrow, the hit ui either side of the crosshair will now play
- Put in a fix to stop the crosshair ever showing “None” as a name
- Fixed a bug that would make an error sound when you put a weapon or tool from invent to the quick slot bar
- Fix added for not being able to change Keybinds for 1,2,3,4,5,6
- Fixed bug that would cause the equipped highlight to get stuck constantly on once a item was equipped through the quick slots on the hud
- Fixed various log errors caused by UI backend
- Group blend spaces for temporary upper body combat stuff/walk running speed stuff so they stay in sync
- Fixed bug that caused you to only put in one resource at a time into the house workbench
- Fixed bug where proc cotton swab pickup would give you a wooden sword item
- Fixed a bug which could cause you to not be able to swing your weapon after being hit
- Fixed a bug which meant you could split a stack by more than is possible creating a null inventory object
- Fixed some misc spelling mistakes
- Fixed the Ai bow angle in hand being incorrect
- Fixed collision error with arrows
- Fixed a slot node in the anim bp for the character
- Fixed the main menu twitter link being incorrect web address
- Fixed bug where f you run then go straight into a crouch your upper body would still animate at running speed
- Fixed the incorrect pickup mesh for wooden training sword
- Fixed foraging for water playing the drop anim instead of a pickup anim
- Fixed friendly ai (Guards, villagers) hit reacts not playing correctly
- Fixed a bug so now you can hit the ai rats that spread sickness to you
As always, thanks for playing!
…See you in Mercia!
// The SIG Team
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