Closed Beta 4 Begins Tomorrow

The time has come again for you to join us in the world of OrbusVR! We're super excited to have you back with us, and we've been hard at work on a ton of new features, content, and more to get us that much closer to launching into Early Access.

The beta test will begin tomorrow at 12 PM (Noon) US Central Time. See the handy Countdown Clock to find out when that is in your timezone.

If it's your first time in the Beta

Everyone who has backed the game at the Founder tier and above has the ability to participate in Closed Beta testing.

Be sure to check out the Getting Started Guide on the Wiki. There is now an in-game tutorial as well that you will see when you first log in on a new character, but the Guide is still worth reading.

Download the Launcher and run it to get the latest patch in preparation: https://community.orbusvr.com/t/closed-beta-launcher-download/2687

If you don't already have access to the Beta, you can purchase access on your My Account Page at any time.

For our testing veterans

This test's feedback thread is here: https://community.orbusvr.com/t/closed-beta-4-feedback/3151

If you missed it, we discussed both our Early Access Schedule and our New Art Style Re-Work on the blog since the last test. So be sure to check those out if you haven't already seen them.

Art Style Re-Work

One of the things we've spent a lot of time and energy on since the last test is implementing our new art style re-work. This has taken up a significant portion of our resources since the last test, and as such a few things that I really wanted to include tomorrow (like the end-game dungeon) unfortunately got pushed back a little bit. The plan is to release those in a couple of weeks during this Beta test.

But, I think you'll agree with me, it's worth the short delay to see the amazing new look of the game. Here are a few more screenshots to whet your appetite:

We dove into the reasoning behind this rework already, so I won't repeat myself. However, I did want to spend a brief moment talking about performance. One of the reasons that we chose the old art style was that it was pretty friendly on GPU and CPU power in a large open-world setting. With this new art style, we have spent a lot of time making sure that the performance in the game world should be the same as it was previously. However, as a precaution we will be resetting everyone back to the "Medium" graphics setting (which will now be the default). We've successfully run the game on High on a GTX 1080 rig, and Ultra on a 1080ti, so it is totally doable, but the game really does look great on Medium now so we're just playing it safe and starting everyone off there in the new build.

One other side effect of the new art style and the tech behind it is that you will now see the terrain issues from before (where the terrain on the horizon had "holes in it") is now fixed, and we are experimenting with increasing the overall view distance of the game as well.

New Class Mechanics: Ranger

The Ranger has received some love for this patch in the form of a new core class mechanic: the Shot Rating. Now every time you attack an enemy, you will see a small message on the right side of your bow telling you a "rating" of that shot (on a scale of 1 - 200). The rating is determined by the size of the target as well as the distance that you hit it from.

In addition to that, you'll notice 5 new globes. Whenever you attack an enemy from a distance (as opposed to close-up), you'll see a globe fill in. If you get a Shot Rating of more than 50, you'll get two globes filled in at once. Missing a shot causes you to lose a globe. Each globe increases the damage you deal by 5%, meaning if you have all 5 globes filled, you're dealing 25% extra damage. We kept the base damage of the Ranger the same, so this is effectively a 25% buff to all damage output if you're able to take advantage of the globe system properly.

This new mechanic is all about incentivizing Ranger play around the core class flavor of deadly accuracy from a distance. When playing solo, you can charge up your globes from far away, and then "spend them" as the enemy approaches you to deal extra damage. In group play, your best bet is to remain on the edge of the battlefield, shooting targets from afar and using your abilities strategically when you have a full set of globes to maximize your damage.

In addition, we'll be re-working some of the group encounters in the future to give the Rangers plenty of fun little targets to hit from far away.

New Class Mechanics: Warrior

The Warrior has been a bit out of balance every since we greatly increased the amount of HP their shield could absorb. The problem was that we were balancing their suitability around group content, while at the same time trying to give them enough damage to still be able to solo creatures. This meant that they could take on some things such as soloing elites which were not intended at all.

The Warrior now has a Class slot just like the Ranger and Musketeer where they can equip one of two shields. The default shield is a smaller, circle-shaped buckler. It absorbs about 50% as much HP as the Warrior's maximum health, but in exchange the Warrior deals more damage than they did previously. If you're soloing, this is the shield you'll want to use.

The other shield available is the same one as before. When you equip it, your shield will be able to absorb 200% of your maximum HP, but you will do significantly less damage. This is meant for group content when you're tanking groups of enemies. When this shield is equipped, we also boost your threat generation to make up for the loss in raw damage output.

So now the Warrior has two different shields, each of which allow them to fulfill a specific role. Note that since this is a piece of equipment, it can only be changed out when you're not in combat.

In addition to the new shield mechanic, we are in the process of working on a threat meter for the Warrior, but it's not quite ready for testing just yet.

New Class Mechanics: Runemage

Runemages have been waiting a long time to get the rest of their spells added to the game, and I'm pleased to report they have arrived!

Fireball and Frostbolt now each feature 3 different levels of the spell. In terms of balance, the damage that the Fireball and Frostbolt that were already in the game did is equivalent to the Level 2 spell. The Level 1 of each spell does less damage, but has a faster rune to cast, and the missile itself travels significantly faster than the Level 2 version. The Level 3 version does increased damage, but requires a more complicated, 3D rune to cast. In addition, it travels more slowly, so it's best used on large targets such as bosses or elites.

In addition to that, a new tool in the Runemage toolbox is the various forms of Arcane energy they have. There's the current spell, Arcane Ray, which is great for blasting small groups in a line. In addition to that, Runemages can now use Arcane Explosion to blast a group of enemies in a radius around them, or Arcane Missile, which is an explosion that you can send out like a projectile to explode where you want it to be.

We've also implemented the portal rune for the Desert zone, and we're working on additional levels of the Fireworks spell to come in a future patch.

All in all, the Runemage now has a whole host of spells to choose from for many different situations. Groups of enemies nearby, or at a distance. Large creatures that need a powerful single attack, or small creatures running around quickly. Taking the time to cast a more powerful damage over time spell, or realizing that a quick and dirty approach is what's needed. They'll have to be quick on their feet and have their spell casting skills sharpened to take full advantage of all the spells at their disposal!

In addition to the new class mechanics and art style, we've got Market Stall improvements, bug fixes, more quests to tackle, and nearly all of the affixes for weapons are now fully functional. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow in-game!

Riley Dutton

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