While SOE and by extension EQ2 were offline during the 12 day downtime, what were the devs doing? Scrapbooking? Needlepoint? Actually, they continued work on Game Update 60 (now slated for a May 31st debut according to SmokeJumper) as well as looking ahead to Game Update 61 and beyond.
While players were not able to test Game Update 60, the developers have continued to polish it up and add new things while the servers were down, as well as addressing the feedback from players during the short testing period.
Game Update 60 Testing
Game Update 60 is still on test, and will see more changes and improvements over the next few weeks, as well as bugfixes and tweaks from player feedback. Already there have been some new update notes for Test. Of interest to mages will be these changes to Spell Multi Attack, and a corresponding change to Illusionist's uber Time Warp buff:
Alternate Advancement Abilities
- Spell Multi Attack now works on damage over time abilities. If a damage over time spell multi attacks then each tick of the damage over time will multi attack as well.
- Time Warp no longer adds additional ticks to damage over time abilities since those abilities can now Spell Multi-Attack.
There are numerous fixes to quests and zones, such as a fix for the long-standing issue of some active participants in Public Quests getting nothing. The biggest changes are further refinements of major PvP and Battlegrounds changes (including the new Battlegrounds Lobby) and tweaks coming with Game Update 60.
This is not to mention new Quests and the new Drunder and Crystal Caverns zones also on Test.
Lower Level Itemization
Regarding itemization of levels 1-85 which was disrupted by the Mechanics and Itemization changes in Velious, a player named Sambril asked what many of us have been wondering:
I would be interested to know if the itemization changes will include lower tier gear (particularly crafted gear) as well as Velious items. A lot of lower tier gear was effectively nerfed with the change to primary stat + stamina and the removal of +health and +power mods.
These fixes are on our near-term lists of things to do.
Seeing at least crafted gear but hopefully more items from 12-82 getting some attention in Game Update 61 (slated for late August) would be welcome news.
Lower Levels and Flying?
Speaking of lower levels, SmokeJumper has posted more enigmatic comments about his plans for the entire level range of the game (not just 86-90):
While it's true that Velious content releases will be level 90 content, we're also expanding our vision to include multi-level content.
Freeport and Qeynos are all about multi-level content, and we intend to backfill lots of good ideas back into the older content as we move forward this year.
Also, the mysterious flying mount thing I promised to explain...well...I don't want to build it up too big, but it's aimed at lower-level characters also.