It would not be Achaean Christmas without a few surprises (sometimes pleasant, sometimes not), and 2016 is no exception. We're very pleased to bring you the final phase of the shrine system, which we very much think shall fall into the former category!
Though you'll be able to read all about it in HELP CRUSADES, here is the breakdown of what you can expect.
Once an order has collected enough essence (this must be order essence, personal will not suffice), a sufficiently ranked member of said order can stand at the master shrine on the Prime Material Plane, and BESEECH <god> FOR CRUSADE. This will drain that order of the essence (4000000, to be exact) and initiate a crusade. Crusade initiation is seen worldwide and area wide, so there's no real chance of missing it. However, CRUSADE STATUS shall also note any ongoing crusade and the status of said crusade. Only one crusade can be underway at a time.
So, what exactly is a crusade?
a crusade will start a countdown of three hours. After that three hour
timer expires, the crusade begins. After that point, an order member may
TOUCH their Master Shrine on the Prime Material Plane which
will initiate a channel. Once the channel completes, they will be moved
to a random room in the area on the Plane of Nishnatoba where their
God's True Master Shrine is located.
Once upon Nishnatoba, the crusading order may locate the Master Shrine for the god they wish to attack and a member with sufficient rank may BESEECH <their god> FOR DEGRADATION, severely damaging the targeted shrine. Over the next hour, 100 splinters of divine essence shall fall in sets of ten all across Nishnatoba. At this point anyone in a Divine Order may collect said essence (though, do note, you will not become an avatar when upon Nishnatoba: such a thing is only achievable on the Prime Plane). Members of the order which is being attacked may GATHER ESSENCE: everyone else must SUBVERT ESSENCE. Gathering is twice as fast as subverting.
Once you have essence you may RELINQUISH ESSENCE at any True Master Shrine. If relinquishing to the order being attacked, this will strengthen the shrine. If relinquished to anyone else, that essence will now belong to the order. ORDER ESSENCE will show all of the essence that your order has stolen, broken down by the god it was claimed from.
A crusade will end either after three hours or once all essence is relinquished. Everyone will be moved off the Plane of Nishnatoba at conclusion, and for those that log out there (though you should not be doing this, it is a lawless plane) you will be moved off of the Plane on logging back in, assuming a crusade is not active. There is also a portal located in the circle of black columns in the centre of Nishnatoba that will take you back to the Prime Plane, if you decide it is time to beat a hasty retreat.
So, what can you use stolen essence for, and why should you try to restore a shrine that has been degraded?
If your patron's True Master Shrine is damaged, you will find that certain things become limited. If it is below 10% empowerment, you will be unable to raise shrines at all. Below 50%, you will be unable to perform greater miracles. Shrines do fix themselves on their own after a crusade resolves (a small amount each Achaean day), but it is very possible to find yourselves lacking some of your greatest weapons at a critical moment.
As for stolen essence, you can use this to perform some new Greater Miracles. These miracles drain exclusively stolen essence, and are:
Benediction: resurrect a fallen order member. That order member's soul must stand at the shrine. There is an internal cooldown on this miracle.
Fervour: This miracle increases the potency of all other offensive shrine powers, and grants a custom order-themed deathsight to all members of the order.
Veneration: This order miracle empowers all members of the order that are dragons, granting them:
* A custom dragon description, themed for the order.
* A critical hit bonus in areas your order holds sovereignty over.
Elevation: the greatest of the order miracles (and incredibly expensive to match!), raise a member of your order as a Divine Avatar. This requires a gathered 500000 stolen essence minimum, but will consume the entire stolen essence reserve of the order. The more essence that is available, the longer this status will last. These avatars are a little different to the ones you're familiar with from the event:
- Avatars are not open pk.
- Avatar's have high base stats.
- They may wear things, including artefacts.
- They may utilise fast travel.
- They do not have access to avatar miracles.
- They may enact lesser order miracles from anywhere, without the use of the shrine. Greater miracles (such as worldburn) still require a shrine.
- Their status is not stripped upon dying.
- Their essence reserves will naturally decay over time, and once they are expended the Avatar shall lose their status.As a final note, custom dragon messages and deathsights are disabled by default. In order to gain them, you must CONFIG ORDERMESSAGES ON. This is to allow people to hide membership in a given order for cases where this may be desired.
And there you have it! We'll be closely monitoring this in the coming days to ensure everything is working in a desirable fashion.