Next week's 0.10.4 content update introduces a new player skill, four new unique items and various other features. We've prepared a teaser image showing some of the changes in the new patch. Read on for an explanation of the screenshot, news about 0.10.3 updates and discussion of the shipping of physical goods.
You may recognise the new skill demonstrated in the screenshot from monsters in Act Three. It was prepared as a player skill during Closed Beta, but due to balance concerns it was only used on monsters. We believe we've solved most of those balance problems now (though it's still scarily effective in certain situations).
The skill book shown in the inventory in the screenshot is the way that we're now handling passive skill points and respec points granted by quests. We always intended to give them in the form of consumable items, because the extra step not only feels more meaningful to the player but helps communicate to new players what they have received and why. There is no way to abuse these items to get more than the right number of points from each. They cannot be transferred to other characters.
We deployed the 0.10.3b patch yesterday, which fixed a bug with chest drops and adjusted map drop rates (upwards) based on feedback, testing and analysis. We're planning to deploy 0.10.3c later today. I'll discuss its changes in the patch notes thread for that patch once it's posted. UPDATE: Looks like it'll be Monday, NZ time. We ran into tiny problems and don't want to break the realm just before a weekend when we only have a few developers around to fix it!
Many people haven't yet received the physical goods from the supporter packs that they ordered towards the end of Closed Beta (or in the case of some of the more crazy signing requests, earlier in the Closed Beta). Our bulk signing of physical goods was delayed by the launch of the Open Beta, but we now have signing stations set up at the office again and a lot of shirts/posters/DVDs/CDs are getting signed each day. We have also replenished our stocks of the manufactured physical goods required for these packs and are packaging/shipping as many as we can per day. Thanks very much for your patience!
Quick question: How much interest is there in the return of physical goods supporter packs for Open Beta that have different contents than the Closed Beta ones? We've been holding off on pursuing this idea until we have fulfilled the orders that people have been patiently waiting for from Closed Beta. I get more and more mail about this per day from excited fans who want to purchase packs that include physical merchandise (and exclusive pets).
Thanks again for your feedback and support. We'll continue to work on 0.10.4 and are currently on track for deployment on Wednesday NZ time as usual. Have a great weekend!