Keywords: nestalgia
What is the Black Sanctum?
As it's been described before:

The Black Sanctum is a massive optional dungeon filled with powerful bosses, valuable loot, and many more daily quests. Intended to be the "end game" activity for the current story content, the Sanctum will come bundled with new gameplay features and challenges.

...Now that we're on the verge of release, it's time for players to find out just what they're in for. Let's break it down by the numbers:
  • Four challenging new boss fights - two main bosses, and two "mini bosses"
    Sixteen new 3-piece gear sets, two sets for each class
  • Eight new weapons, one for each class (and each has a Spell or Skill that has never been seen before)
  • Five new base types of Rare (colored) Gear, including two helmets
  • Hair Dyes! Eight different colors
  • Five new types of Stat Seeds (Plus Fire, Plus Ice, Plus Storm, Plus Healing and Spell Piercing)
  • Five new daily quests, bringing the grand total up to seven
  • Two new items that allow players to reselect their Milestone Boosts and Moon Blessing (Greater Moon Blessings are preserved!)
The best number of all? 3/27/2011 - two days from now when the Black Sanctum is finally released!

Black Sanctum Release: Sunday, March 27th at (or before) 1:00 PM PDT

New Lore, Big Bosses
Explore the Black Sanctum and uncover the secrets behind the mysterious invasion of dark forces within the Warlocks' sacred home. Your journey will take you deep inside the biggest dungeon in the entire game, encountering new types of enemies with combat tactics that you've never seen before.

Along the way you'll encounter four exciting new bosses. Pictured here is Occularis, a massive beast that must be ripped apart one eye at a time using an item called a Hookshot. Occularis's specialty is an ability called "Eye Roulette", which will randomly select one of eight devastating attacks every turn. Every time that your group rips off an eye, Occularis will lose access to one of those attacks. Therefore, it's best to work fast.

Daily Boss Loot
Like daily dungeons in popular MMORPGs like WoW, the main bosses in the Black Sanctum will always drop a piece of loot, and you'll have the opportunity to "roll" on that loot once per day. All rolls are done internally, and the system will automatically distribute the item to the most appropriate party member.

The big draw in the Sanctum will be the new gear sets: sixteen total, two for each class. There are three pieces in each set - the off-hands drop from Occularis, and the armors drop from Malice. The third and final piece, the helmet, can be bought from the new Sanctum vendors using Shards.

The two sets for each class are there to help give players the option to choose between (at least) two different play styles. For example, here is a side by side comparison of the head pieces from the two Conjurer sets:

Please see this past blog post to learn more about how set items work.

New Abilities
Eight new Unique weapons drop in the Sanctum from regular monsters - one for each class. These weapons have powerful stats, but the big draw will be the new abilities each item comes coupled with.

To balance weapon abilities, we've created a new system where every item has a limited number of ability charges, which (for the time being) can only be refreshed by staying the night at an Inn. All existing items with abilities on them (The Obliterator, Spell Crystals, etc) will also use this new charge system.

Hair Dyes
You asked for them, and we're happy to oblige. Hair dyes are dropped by regular monsters in the Sanctum, and are Level 1 items that can be used by low level characters. Like regular dyes and masks, hair dyes can only be used by subscribers.

New Daily Quests
Five additional daily quests have been added, enabling you to earn up to seven Sanctum Shards each day. With the new Stat Seeds and set head pieces available for purchase using Shards, you'll definitely want to get acquainted with these new quests.

The Road Ahead
Many players have been asking if the level cap will be raised for this update. The answer is no - that will happen in future main storyline content expansions. Honestly, the gear that you find and purchase within the Sanctum will increase and expand your powers much more than a small level cap bump would.

After we get the Sanctum update released and properly balanced, our focus will be turn over to improving and optimizing the core of the game's mechanics, adding new features requested by players, some "secret" stuff like the addition of new classes, and most importantly: expanding the main storyline with more content updates. We'll continue to post regular news updates here as we make progress on all of that stuff.

Someone suggested maintaining a public to-do/priority list like the creator of Minecraft does. That's an interesting idea, so I'm going to look into getting that setup.

We'll see you on Sunday!

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Clerics getting a rare drop revive ability staff? Yes please.
The new 7 shards obtainable per day is a "Huzzah" in it's own right. Hopefully mostly grinding that can be done solo. Never been too fond of the Shade Search & Destroy quests. Funny to see Silk fighting a Boss alone. How'd that go?
Optional dungeon?

I thought it was like, necessary in order to progress through the game.

'We call this area the Pools of Warding. Before they broke lose, all of the dark...'

Should be 'Loose'. One of the bottom screenshots.
Yaaaay, you implemented my "Spell Charges" idea. Been waiting on this one since the Lightning Tome came around.
Liking the new Shard Quests. Was stuck getting only 1 per day because no one wants to fight a Shade with a Storm Ranger :-(

Are there any pre-conditions to enter the Black Sanctum?
SpaceGerbil wrote:
Are there any pre-conditions to enter the Black Sanctum?

You must beat the Ice Palace first.

Endless Night wrote:
Should be 'Loose'. One of the bottom screenshots.

Good catch, thanks.
Looks fun too bad I couldnt help you with testing :( oh well, will be able to play tomorrow!
FootX360 wrote:
Looks fun too bad I couldnt help you with testing :( oh well, will be able to play tomorrow!

Were you on the list? I added everyone who replied to that forum topics or sent me a message the other day (or at least I thought that I did).
Can you make more minigames on casino - Bruce Im watching you...
Looks good! Good work.
best free pixel artist i would like to icon for you.
Just so I know for Facebook this week, did this come to pass? =)
ACWraith wrote:
Just so I know for Facebook this week, did this come to pass? =)

Yup! It took me pulling an all-nighter, but it came out on time.
ONE day before I came back from underway. Nice work Silk, this is one hell of a welcome back present. Can't wait to start ripping it apart.
Lol you stole a boss from Zelda: A Link to the Past?
Lunaofthemoon wrote:
Lol you stole a boss from Zelda: A Link to the Past?

I think the word you're looking for is "homage" :P
Silk I don't know if anyone has suggested or asked about creating a monster or 2 to put into your game. Not trying to bash the current roster of monsters but you have reused some sprites. I'm not sure how difficult is to add more kinds of critters to fight but if you've got people willing to give you designs that would be half the battle.
Also the update I have been very satisfied with. Except the up cost of Black Sanctum items :P I was planning to get 2 shards for 15 days go pick up that Bleeder.
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