Today we look back at the 1.6 patch cycle and how it fits into the progressive expansion mentality. The 1.6 patch cycle consisted of seven patches: four of which were Live Events meant to usher in new content, and three which were follow-ups to the Live Events.
The 1.6 cycle began with 1.6.0, Civil Unrest. This patch focused on bringing the existing content of the capital city into new light. The aim was to give the ranking of a city new meaning and to give a realm a reason to defend their city. Civil Unrest also ushered in the concept of infiltrating the enemy city during peace time, giving invaders an incentive to have their enemy’s city at the highest rank so they could safely infiltrate it. With the Infiltration Epic Quest players explore the enemy capitals and fulfill vital sabotage missions which reward players with a weapon that can be used to accommodate players who do not participate in scenarios as much.
1.6.1 began with the Bloodied Steppes Live Event, a Live Event focused on the underused content of Bastion Stairs and tied it into a greater storyline of the entry of Khorne into the war against the forces of Order and humanity, and how Kislev was driven to respond due to their proximity to Bastion Stair. Also introduced with the Bloodied Steppes was the Blood Arena scenario which offers players a new location to do battle in by utilizing existing content. This numerical cycle was concluded with the Northern Allies patch which introduced two new tank classes taken from the Khorne and Kislevite armies, which players could get early access to based off of their realms performance in the Bloodied Steppes Live Event.
1.6.2 began with the Norscan Fate Live Event which continued the story of the Bloodied Steppes following an Empire soldier on his new assignment to Norsca where the minions of Chaos sought to levy the peoples of Norsca for a new army for Khorne. This Live Event focused around Norsca and took players to the coastal fishing village of Stormstaad, in the form of a new scenario, which once again utilized existing scenery to give players a new location to fight in. 1.6.2 was concluded with the Faith and Blood patch which introduced two melee healers from the Khorne and Kislev armies to expand these two armies’ role in the struggle of the Age of Reckoning; and once again players could get early access to these classes based off their realm’s performance in the Norscan Fate Live Event.
The final patch in the 1.6 cycle was 1.6.3 which began with the Burning Sands Live Event, the story told from the perspective of a High Elf expedition sent into the deserts beyond Zandri to seek a route deeper into the desert. Players followed in the footsteps of this expedition and began a race to accumulate supplies for the expedition. With the Live Event focusing around Zandri, players were introduced to a new scenario, the Mausoleum of the Red Sun, which engaged players in a large open temple armed with traps. The last patch of the entire cycle was 1.6.3b which ushered in Khemri, the seat of the Tomb Kings deep in the heart of the Nehekharan desert. The city’s access was limited to players who could complete the Tomb of the Vulture Lord, and thus intended for players Renown Rank 70+ and was a ORvR zone accessible on a cyclical timer. Khemri is divided into several large Public Quests which force the realms to battle each other and the guardians of Khemri as they seek to find ancient relics which they can use to enhance their realm’s performance by placing them in their fortresses. Due to the decay timers on the relics, players will have incentive to keep returning to Khemri.
The 1.6 patch cycle seems a little eclectic, though its is linked in a grander tale which will continue to be built upon. The journey begins with the narrative of a commoner in Altdorf who turned to a life of crime to make ends meet. However, upon being captured by the patrols sent forth during martial law, the commoner was pressed into service for the Empire and sent to defend Praag where his tale introduces us to the forces of Khorne. The 1.6 patch cycle only introduces the tanks and healers for the Khorne and Kislevite armies because these are the bread and butter of an army, and for this reason they were introduced first. While mankind engages in the struggle against Khorne in the northern reaches of civilization, the High Elves seek other aims in the southern deserts of Nehekhara. These tales to not end here, they will grow in the trials to come.
Today our explorations take us to the three public quests in the southern sector of the citadel of Khemri. These three public quests are associated with Destruction; should Order win a public quest then the next public quest will be chosen from among these three which are closer to the Destruction warcamp.
Water Gardens of Geheb
Located in the south-western corner of Khemri are the Water Gardens of Geheb, the god of earth and giver of strength. What was once a lush pleasure garden for the noble elite of Nehekhara has withered away with the curse of Nagash and become a lifeless symbol of the fate of Nehekhara. The life that remains in the gardens is of a twisted sort, it would be more appropriate to call it a mockery of life. Vegetation sustaining itself on the poisoned waters, creatures cannibalizing each other and picking the bleached bones clean. Here invaders will have to maneuver the environment as they attempt to defeat the Aspect of Geheb, but will the invaders make the connection with Geheb and his earthly nature? The god of the earth still finds sustenance in the land despite its nature and will need to be separated from that which nourishes him. Also a unique feature of the southern sector of Khemri are the water canals that connect the Palace to the Water Gardens, as the royals sought a private route to the gardens. Will the invaders brave the poisonous waters to seek alternate routes in and out of the Water Gardens of Geheb? Or will the invaders risk the waters and just become another meal for the carrion feast?
Palace of the Tomb Kings
At the center of the southern sector of the citadel is the massive Palace of the Tomb Kings, a grand lofty structure divided into a main hall with smaller ante-chambers. Before the time of the Tomb Kings, the Palace served the Nehekharans who in their later years became more and more embroiled in strife. As the days of darkness approached elaborate escape tunnels spanned from the ante-chambers to different portions of the city. As players descend upon the palace from the main entrances and from the underground tunnels, a brutal struggle will erupt in these times much as it did in ancient times. Players will have the opportunity to clash on the ground floor and fire down upon their foes from the galleys and balconies above. While the structure is large and open, there are many corners for players to wait lurking for their prey to arrive.
Temple of Djaf
Tucked in the south-eastern corner of the citadel of Khemri is the lofty temple once dedicated to Neru, the wife of Ptra and goddess of the great moon. The times for praising Neru however have passed and the temple was rechristened in honor of Djaf, the jackel god of death. While the temple proper is dedicated to Djaf, the struggle will span into the deep depths of the temple, to the Catecombs of Usirian, the faceless god of the underworld. While the main floor of the temple may prove aery and open, the invaders will have no choice but to descend into the dark depths of the Catacombs and provoke the gods by desecrating the ossuaries. In these dark tight corridors reeking of death players will face the fears of the underworld. Only when sufficient damage has been done to the catacombs will the Aspect of Djaf appear to challenge the foolish mortals.
Today we take a slightly closer look at the three public quests in the northern sector of the citadel. These three public quests are associated with Order; and should Destruction win a public quest then the next public quest will be chosen from among these three which are closer to the Order warcamp.
Market of Sokth
Tucked in the north-western corner of the citadel is what was once a thriving economic center of the noble elite. As harsh times fell upon the peoples of Nehekhara during the civil war against Nagash, the market was rechristened in the name of Sokth, the god of thieves and assassins. This open-air market is a twisting labyrinth of stalls and warehouses. Now as the city of the dead is filled with the beating hearts of the living, the Market of Sokth comes to life with those who seek other means to make a living. As players race through the twisting streets and leap across the terraced roofs and cloth canopies, undead assassins lurk to leave their mark and pay their debt to Sokth. Survive the lurking dangers of the market and face the Aspect of Sokth in a brutal melee brawl.
Library of Tahoth
Situated in the center of the northern sector is the Library of Tahoth, a massive structure dedicated to the literary pursuits of the Nehekharans who came before, and the Tomb Kings who came after. The library of Zandri and those of the great urban centers of the Old World, such as those in the Inevitable City and in Altdorf, pale in comparison to the pursuit of knowledge reached for by the ancient Nehekharans and the fiendish Tomb Kings. The massive structure is a testament to the vast knowledge of the desert kingdom and is dedicated to the god of knowledge and keeper of sacred lore. Within the lofty halls of the library are many sacred texts pertaining to great knowledge of the past, and also many cursed tomes dedicated to the dark art of necromancy. Search the main floor and upper galleys for the heretical texts pertaining to necromancy and set them ablaze. Enrage Tahoth and face his Aspect to see which secrets he truly hides.
Pyramid of Eternity
In what is the north-eastern corner of the citadel of Khemri, and the actual center of the necropolis of Khemri, is the ebon Pyramid of Eternity – a conduit for dark magic. A massive image burned into the desert landscape created for the purpose of seeking eternal life… by any means possible. The Tomb of the Vulture Lord pales in comparison to the mighty Pyramid of Eternity, a vast structure of twisting corridors ridden with traps and dead ends. As the invading players of Order and Destruction seek the most precious relics and artifacts, their most cut-throat struggle will take place in the dark corridors of the Pyramid of Eternity. As players race to secure the passages and set traps for their enemies, they may unknowingly cut off their allies and seal their doom. The living have no place in the Pyramid of Eternity.
v1.6.3b brings players to the citadel of Khemri. Yesterday we discussed how players get to Khemri and what role it plays in the Tier 4 campaign, today we shall look at it in an introductory manner.
Khemri is a dense urban center with twisting streets and alleys (some which lead to dead ends!) However the battle over the city will not just take place in the streets, for players will be able to combat through the urban scenery, under ground, and atop the rooftops! Order players have their warcamp in the north-western breach in the citadel wall; Destruction players have their warcamp in the south-eastern breach in the citadel wall. The city is bisected from east to west by a wide avenue known as the Way of Ptra, enclosed on both ends by the towering Gates of Khemri, forever sealed like cold tombs. The northern portion of Khemri consists of the three public quests linked with the progress of the Order faction: The Market of Sokth, the Library of Tahoth, and the Pyramid of Eternity. The southern portion of Khemri consists of the three public quests linked with the progress of the Destruction faction: The Water Gardens of Geheb, the Palace of the Tomb Kings, and the Temple of Djaf. The central battleground which decides from which faction the first public quest will be is the Asaph Plaza.
The Asaph Plaza
When the 10 minute preparation timer ends, the Asaph Plaza public quest begins pitting players of both factions not only against each other but also against the Aspect of Asaph, the god of magic and vengeance. The Aspect of Asaph patrols the central plaza and does not attack back himself; however, this is not to mean that he will not fight back. In the corners of the plaza are four small obelisks which will emit magical blasts at the faction which is generating the most hate on the Aspect of Asaph. The key object of the Asaph Plaza however is the mighty obsidian obelisk that graces the center of the plaza, the tool with which Asaph will send forth his vengeance. At specific intervals of the Aspect’s health, the central obelisk will emit a powerful blast of Nehekharan magic which will alter the fate of those it touches. Asaph’s vengeance will be swift and just to those who would dare challenge him. Which realm will face the challenges Asaph will throw at them, prevail, and reap the rewards?
Deep in the south of the Nehekharan desert lays what was once a booming metropolis of the Nehekharan kingdom, but fate had another design for the prosperous city of Khemri. The pursuit for immortality led the Nehekharan nobility down the dark path of necromancy, a path which damned the civilization to an endless servitude to the lifeless desert and its greedy kings. The final blow to the Nehekharan kingdom was dealt when Nagash was denied the throne of Khemri and began a civil war which tore the lands asunder and led Nagash to cast a powerful spell over the land which sucked the life out of it and its people. And so the mighty metropolises of the southern lands turned into vast necropoles serving the Tomb Kings.
Stepping into the Oasis of Eternity, Firbael the Shadow Warrior became the first living soul to set foot in Khemri since the bygone era before Nagash. His journey into the heart of the kingdom of death would usher in a new era for the Land of the Dead, for it would bring word back to the realm of the living that such a journey was possible. In his footsteps the forces of Order and Destruction would race to secure the artifacts of the mighty Tomb Kings. Read more…
Three lone figures battled their way through a raging sandstorm south of Zandri: a Shadow Warrior, a Swordmaster, and an Archmage. Sent by the Phoenix King to seek a route deeper into the desert kingdom of the Tomb Kings, the three were on a mission of dire importance. Zandri had been picked dry of any powerful artifacts left behind by the ancient Nehekharans, and Khorne’s involvement in the war on the side of Destruction did not bode well for Order.
“I see no oasis Firbael, surely a mirage.”
“No, Rynellier, it is there,” the Shadow Warrior replied.
The three pushed forward through the sandstorm which grew ever stronger and thicker as they neared the supposed location of the oasis. Slowly the oasis appeared to the other two who lacked the keen eyes of the Shadow Warrior, but as it grew nearer it became increasingly more difficult for them to push on. The roar of the wind muffled out any words they spoke, and the sting of the blowing sand kept their heads low limiting the utility of gestures. Each step took agonizing effort and when they were but mere feet from the oasis it was as if they were pushing against a solid stone wall. Finally with the greatest effort they pushed through and it was as if the wall which they had been pushing against so fiercely collapsed and they tumbled into the oasis. The eye of the storm, a calm oasis in the sea of raging sands.
“Blessings upon Hoeth, a true oasis amid the foul desert,” Ledreal said as he spat sand out of his mouth.
“Careful friend, do not drink of that water. An oasis this is, but it is still in the Land of the Dead,” Rynellier warned. “This is what Teclis has seen, and we have found it.”
“Well I found it, but indeed credit to us all for our perserverance,” Firbael jested. “So, what is so special about this oasis? What good is water to us if it is tainted and will not aid us deeper into the desert?”
“There is more to this oasis than meets the eye. This is one of the Oases of Eternity, conduits between the Tomb King capital of Khemri and the other necropoles. Zandri was the farthest north established necropolis of the Nehekharans and Tomb Kings after them, and the primary sea-port of the kingdom. These oases were vital for the Tomb Kings to maintain a firm grasp over their bone-dry lands. However, the liche high priests were ambitious and paranoid and they surrounded these oases of life with deadly sandstorms to prevent the living from making use of them. They however did not anticipate the power of Hoeth.”
“This oasis… is a link to Khemri?” Ledreal asked.
“Yes, so to speak. Stepping into this oasis will supposedly take us to the necropolis of Khemri, the dark heart of the desert from which no living creature has ever returned… I find it is unlikely that a living creature has ever made it that far since before the age of Nagash… Though no one knows what will become of us, the living, should we step into the oasis…” Rynellier replied.
“One foot in the realm of the living, one foot in the realm of the dead…” Firbael said as he stepped into the waters of the Oasis of Eternity.
v1.6.3a consists of the Burning Sands Live Event. The Live Event has 9 tasks for each realm, with a title unlocked after completing all 9 tasks. Like prior Live Events, this Live Event also ushers in new content, early access to this new content is determined by the winning realm in a ‘realm-pool competition’. Players individually contribute to a realm-pool via collecting resources in the ORvR lakes, but the victor is determined by the success of the whole realm. The winning realm will have 5 days early access to the new content. Will you brave the sands of Zandri and push the exploration deeper into the dangerous lands of the Tomb Kings? Or will you fail your realm and let the enemy beat you in the expedition race? Read more…