Great news! RoF2 is ready for full support and we plan to upgrade the live server on Monday!
We want to thank everyone who took part in the beta test. You helped us eliminate some issues early and gave us great feedback. Peterigz will give you more information shortly about the upgrade and what to expect but it's a really exciting time for everyone here at THF! If you need to get the RoF2 client, please download it from here.
Remember, the RoF2 client will only work on our test server right now and will only work on our live server after it's been upgraded on Monday.
Just so you know, we intend to continue allowing UF clients to connect to our live server once it's migrated and this is mainly so returning players can at least log in and play, in case they've not yet seen the announcements here. We have no current plans to change that but please be aware that we will discontinue technical support for the UF client once RoF2 is in place and stable. For the most part, the UF client works fine with the RoF2 build but there are some features that simply won't work and if you do encounter any issues whilst using the UF client, we will advise you to upgrade to RoF2 before looking into anything.
Otherwise, returning players can log in to the RoF2 server with no issues but there will be prompts to encourage everyone to migrate to RoF2 (the list of reasons RoF2 is better than UF is huge anyway)
We may one day fully discontinue UF and set the server to only support RoF2 connections but we'll give you plenty of warning if we do decide to do that.
More great news! The new Tier 9 custom, content is ready for launch!
We also wanted to take a moment to give you an update on the new content that’s been in development for the last several months.
We’ve announced three progress updates so far, each outlining some of the features coming with the new content. Following our last update, we have focused a lot on getting the RoF2 client supported for THF and the beta test is still underway for that. We felt this was really important to get done first, particularly as it included a lot of fixes for the underlying functions that support quests and scripting.
Due to this, the new content for Tier 9 has been delayed but I’m here to tell you today that it’s now officially complete and ready for launch!
Brief recap summary
First up, a recap/update on some of the numbers and stats relating to this new content (this is a nice summary for the TLDR amongst you )
- Two new custom zones for Tier 9!
- One outdoor, open zone and one group instance dungeon.
- The continuation of the Foresight of Farseer story, with rich lore that will take the first chapter into whole new epic levels of player interaction.
- Over 170 new NPCs.
- New AI behaviour (both enemies and friends) that will force you to rethink existing strategies
- 199 scripts written for NPCs and quests
- More than 20 new quests/tasks/trials written, some including events/tasks not yet seen on THF (so not exclusively kill/loot types)
- 100+ items created
- 67 new player spells/item effects
- 5 new recipes
Overall Content Design
To recap what this content update is all about, it will be T9 content that sits alongside the existing T9 content (DSK3, VT) and continues the story that starts in T7 (the Foresight of Farseer and Citadel of the Worldslayer, released in December 2018). It will be a large open zone (no access requirements but tough T9 level content) and an instance, which you’ll need to complete an access quest for.
A reminder; in the last teaser update, we told you this new content would require some thought and puzzle solving to unlock everything there is to see. There are several small tasks that will be great fun to take part in and you can do in an hour or so, but the main story-line will take several hours, if not days, to complete.
With this, the final teaser, I want to make something really clear in case you didn't pick up on this previously...
In order to take part in this story, you have to start in the T7 zone Citadel of the Worldslayer!
Citadel of the Worldslayer is a group instance that was released in December 2018. This content introduced the story of the Farseer sisters and their battle against the Blight. Along with this content, two new quests were introduced but they were not advertised!
Both of these quests are a pre-requisite to the access quest for the new T9 instance that is coming with this content release!
I want to quickly cover the two quests, give you some clues and point you in the right direction. This is because you have time to get them completed before the T9 content is released. This also means you get to enjoy the T7 group instance if you haven't already.
The quest is entirely contained within Citadel of the Worldslayer. Speak to Ghillie to gain access to the instance and bring a group!
For two hints about this quest, please click on the link below...
WARNING *** SPOILER ***
Quest 2: This was a silent content release. It wasn't announced whatsoever with the release in December.
For two hints about this quest, please click on the link below...
WARNING *** SPOILER ***
Final note on this... If you haven't already, please DO go and read the lore. To recap, you can read it here or you can speak to Azakir the Storyteller, in the forest zone.
Even if you have read it, you'll want to familiarise yourself with the story again soon. The new content, the puzzles and a lot of clues are all linked to the story. And this new content is all about the story!
When it is being released?
All that’s left to do is for us to roll out full RoF2 support (planned next Monday) and perform some final tweaks/tests. Once we're happy Rof2 is stable and there are no major issues, we'll release this content.
What’s next for THF?
The Future of The Hidden Forest
We’re not stopping there. Our list of things we have planned (and things we really want to do) is long and is growing all the time. The below list is a summary, roughly (but not definitely) in the order of priority. We’ll release more details about all of these as we begin to work on them!
- Spells revamp (level 1 to 69)
- The hard work for this massive update (over 580 spells!) has actually been completed. All that's left to do is apply the (many) changes to the spells and roll it out. We’ll be implementing this soon (after RoF2 is released and stable) and will give you a detailed update shortly.
- Lore building update
- This is an ongoing project that’ll be worked on aside other developments. We said that the Foresight of Farseer storyline was just the beginning of what we planned for THF’s already excellent lore. This project will tie everything you already know together into several epic stories that will bring the world of THF to life.
- This project isn’t just for looks, though. The storytelling approach will extend to events and quests/expeditions to provide a more rich and interactive narrative that you really can feel a part of.
- These events truly will be unique to THF. The new T9 content will give you a taster of just how unique they are.
- Part of this project will be to totally revamp the new player experience with a new standalone hub zone that'll walk brand new players through everything they need to know before taking them to the hidden forest.
- This change will let us clean up the Forest a bit by moving the NPCs meant only for new characters (and some others besides) away from the hub and into their own zone
- It will let us guide new players through the basics in a much more linear and structured process (that will be optional of course) so new players won't be overwhelmed and can start playing with confidence (like, for example, not setting off to distant lands before getting their charm!)
- Epic 3.0 updates
- This update will consist of two phases and the first is very much tied into the Lore update.
- Before we begin to complete the remaining epic 3.0 quests (more below), we want to revisit the existing structure of the quests already available. In particular, the solo route.
- More information will be available closer to the time but the aim is to remove the long (very, very long!) grind-fest camps from these quests completely and replace them with content that is as rich and challenging as the raid pathway, whilst keeping it suitable for solo players. In fact, it’ll be much better designed for the soloist.
- Think less “sitting watching the same NPCs spawn for 13 hours for my cleric” and more “embarking on an expedition with my cleric to a solo instance with a bot, to crawl through a dungeon filled with undead with a special weapon designed to kill said undead to hunt down and find a boss that is needed for the quest…”
- Once we’ve revisited the structure and we’re happy with it, we will make a real effort to finish the remaining quests so everyone can enjoy them.
- Group content pathway
- We held a community discussion recently on the forums and we’ve discussed this internally a lot. Our intent is to create enough content from Tier 1 through to Tier 9 so that players can find challenging content to enjoy that still allows you to progress through the tiers even if you cannot form a full raid, or at quiet times when you only have enough online for a group.
- The plans have been drawn up for this content already (the zones, the basic stories and how they’ll fit into the existing content)
- The plan is for us to create up to 8 brand new custom group zones (instanced) and 8 “overland” open zones to accompany these (this is between tier 0 through to 9)
- This content will be fully-fleshed out! It’ll be weaved into the new lore stories and will be every part as important as the existing content.
- These new zones will not be mindless dungeon crawls for groups! They will feature new challenges and will also allow us to appropriately set the difficulty to a group of the right tier, so don’t expect this to be an “easy” route to Tier 9.
- Ranked Tiers: An entirely new ranking system based on the raid tiers.
- We have planned an exciting new ranking system that will enable us to properly measure players and guilds against their progress through tiers.
- The benefits of this system are many and we’ll let you know more about these closer to the time but we are confident that this approach will be a huge benefit to our content and how players progress through it.
- Tier 10 content!
- This is a huge one and it’s only this far down the list because it’ll be a gigantic undertaking that will likely require an enormous, concentrated effort, for us to deliver the way that we want to.
- The basic plans and story for this content have been completed already, so we know where we’re going with it but this is a (very brief) list of the headline features:
- Two huge open zones
- Two raid zones (possibly three)
- Three group zones
- Two special events/battles, ultra-unique, never been seen before on EQEMU.
- A whole new tier of focus effects
- New worn and worn2 effects
- Lots of amazing unique weapons and gear
- Epic 3.5 quests!
- and much more
- Player Housing!
- One of the (many) benefits of the recent build of EQEMU is that we can now support player housing and neighborhoods.
- This isn’t a huge priority for us as our focus will be on actual game play features before this but we’re excited to investigate this as an option for the future (and we know it to be possible).
- In the event that we do support this feature, it’ll be tied into other areas of the game and we’ll aim to give it a proper place (so not just a nice-to-have feature).
- We’ll hold a community discussion about this in the future if required.
- Non-progression content
- This won’t be very specific but we have long wanted to provide some content for you to enjoy that wasn’t purely based on progressing up the tiers.
- We want there to be something for players to log in and take part in that doesn’t require a raid or group necessarily and that you can take part in for ten minutes or several hours and get something from it.
- Rewards won’t necessarily be gear or coin or even experience (although you may still get these for taking part).
- This new feature is likely to be an attempt to create a self-sustaining, dynamic event system that players can interact with and, most importantly, change the outcome of.
- The tasks will be dynamic and, for example, the rewards could consist of things related to player housing (again, just as an example but not limited to this)
- This is just in alpha/theory stage right now but the potential for what we could do is really exciting. More detail at some point next year.