Oct 152012

Cows are now oxen
Formerly cows. No bull.

There is something about playing on Lamannia that feels off to me. Maybe it is because characters are so ephemeral there, subject to being re-wiped at whim? Maybe it is because the server is so empty, and my friends are on Sarlona (or Cannith)? Maybe it is just because I don’t like to spoiler the new content; my favorite way to discover new content is with my guild or my girlfriend, neither of which is possible on Lamannia.

Yet there I was. Again.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate being on Lamannia. I don’t even really dislike it. I just usually have better things to do. Except sometimes when Turbine is previewing a new class. Or sometimes when there are big changes to (combat or spells or something else important) and one of my characters may be significantly changed.

Or in this case, when I am supposed to talk about Update 16 on a podcast in one day and I have no clue about the topic at all. None. I’ve done DDOcast before, I probably won’t be overcome with nerves or anything, unless of course I have no idea what I am going to talk about for my share of this very public hour.

Time to get some idea. Reload the Lamannia client, and then re-update everything. This is a lengthy process – too long as it turns out, too long to hold my attention – and soon I am distracted with the Update 16 release notes.

Bear in mind that this preview is early in the Update 16 process. Some of the items shown in the release notes may not actually be released. Other items will be added. But what is there now is quite interesting. Especially if analyzing things interests you the way it does me.

There are five new quests. And one new Epic Destiny. And then about six more pages of notes that I will summarize:

  • 53 Bug Fixes
  • 4 Enhancements
  • 4 Tweaks
  • 2 Seemingly Random Headscratchers

53 bug fixes! That is a lot, really a lot, and it means that Update 16 is  a bug fix release more than anything else. No new tech, a bit of new content, and a great big double-handed dip into the bug fix barrel.

Sadly for me at least, the list of bugs is similar to the Update 15 Patch 2 list in that it continues to avoid fixing the bugs that bother me the most. No handwrap fix, no stances. But 53 bug fixes! So far! They promised that they would focus on beating down the bugs and improving the quality and they are keeping the promise.

The four enhancements all seem rather minor, although there is one all-new type of item coming: the Orb, something you carry and use like a shield except it provides defenses against magic, not damage.

The four tweaks are probably being added to set up future changes? I can only guess. For instance, I don’t see any way that changing dragon scales and relics to ingredients (instead of collectibles) accomplishes anything. Maybe it will make sense after update 17?. The other tweaks are similar; moving NPCs around, changing icons, etc.

The two headscratchers are … well I have no idea what they are. I am sure we are all relieved that “Vases in the Realms now shatter better when you break them”, even if we have no idea why this is a good thing, or for that matter what makes a type of vase shattering “better” versus “banal”.

But my favorite note in this release is maybe my favorite release note of all time, and one I cannot imagine the game really needing: “Cows are now oxen”.

How do you improve on that? It is the perfect release note.

Technical writers
dream of the perfect sentence:
Cows are now oxen

In the meantime, fear not, I eventually did manage to get my Lamannia client patched up and launched. I learned quite a bit about Update 16, including a quick run through all the new content.

We’ll talk more. Soon.

🙂 😀 🙂

  3 Responses to “A First Look at Update 16: Cows Are Now Oxen”

Comments (3)
  1. ah-hem. They should be called domesticated ungulates

  2. Mizz is gonna have a few things to say about that “perfect release note.”

    I like scales and relics going to ing bags rather than collectibles bags simply because large ing bags are easier to get. My non-Thelanis toons tend to run out of red bag space quickly, but not green bag space.

  3. I can improve on that release note. From Lotro’s Update 8 release notes:
    ■That thing that bothered everyone has been fixed. It will now bother everyone that it is missing.

What do you think?

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