Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs helms this week’s studio update, with a peek into the team’s progress on shadows, archery and combat animations, siege engines, CUBE structures, inventory functionality and art, ability VFX, realm portals, mines, and terrain assets. Testers, make sure you practice explosives safety during the holiday:

“Happy Birthday, America: Gabe fixed an issue preventing our impact explosions from remaining in the scene. Doing so gave us the great idea of making our bow and siege abilities a bit more patriotic for the holiday weekend.”

Meanwhile, the studio’s latest newsletter features news on a fresh programmer hire, the game’s unique music system, and a positively massive segment on game speed by CSE’s Ben Pielstick. Specifically, he discusses the pacing of combat and the desire to avoid one-shot kills, no matter how logical, in order to keep new players and endgamers literally on the same playing field.

“To accomplish this, our target minimum [time to kill] needs to be set to some number of seconds above zero,” he explains. “During early testing, we have set this minimum value to around 10-15 seconds, which will continue to be adjusted as testing continues. This means that a high-damage-output character with well-crafted gear shouldn’t be able to kill a freshly-created character with starter gear anywhere near instantly. This number might seem high at first, just for that purpose, but for the sake of large battles we want to provide a little extra buffer for when multiple characters are attacking the same target.”