Game Update 61 Reitemization Pushes Devs, Players to the Limit

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Game Updates & Maintenance, Itemization

I could write 50,000 words about the disappointing Game Update 61, with referenced links to the nearly 100 forum discussions about its flaws, plus countless player and developer quotes. But what difference would it make?

Despite a 2-day delay, and despite pushback from both Developers and Testers warning that the update still needed weeks, possibly a month of work to meet any reasonable measurement of build quality, Game Update 61 was released Thursday, August 25th.

It was clear on Monday the 22nd that there was no way the Reitemization of EQ2 would be completed in time for Game Update 61′s launch. Not only were thousands of items still in a bugged or unusable state on the Test server, but the scope of the project seemingly kept growing. Despite the incredible time pressure of trying to re-do 50,000 items in a span of 2 months, the project grew as the release deadline loomed. We were more alarmed than impressed by news that Sentinel’s Fate had been added to the already overwhelming slate.

SmokeJumper admitted after the release of Destiny of Velious that much of its Itemization had been done programmatically by a computer under human supervision, rather than by hand. To get the Reitemization ball rolling, those automated scripts were tweaked and updated and then turned loose on the whole of level 20-90 gear, some 50,000 items. The results suggest that humans aren’t about to be replaced by computers any time soon, at least in the realm of MMO itemization.

So who is going to clean up the Itemization mess? Apparently that responsibility falls partly to the Players.

In thread after thread from players documenting problems with Itemization, the response from SmokeJumper and others has been consistent:

Please list the items you’re comparing. It’s easy for us to compare and adjust if you can provide the item names.

Can you please be specific? Even just the item names you are comparing would help immensely.

Please be specific. We can make fixes if you let us know more than what you’re telling currently.

Apparently it is on the Players to go through every item in the game, compare them to their pre-GU61 versions, post screenshots of both, and explain to the developers why the change(s) are undesirable.

What kind of unexpected changes have we seen?

  • Hundreds of items which were previously usable by more than one archetype, or a cross-section of classes, were reitemized and reclassified to only work for one archetype. The choice of archetype seems to have been derived from which stat appeared first in the list of green stats on the original item. For instance, items with +12 INT and +20 WIS became Mage items, while items with +20 WIS +12 INT became Priest items.
  • Many items that listed Wisdom as the first stat were turned into Priest-only items. Wisdom used to be useful for Resists, but most of these items were not Priest-only. And yet many other items such as Scimitars and Katanas have lost their Wisdom, despite being usable by Druids.
  • Many FABLED items were inexplicably downtiered to LEGENDARY, LEGENDARY downtiered to TREASURED, and TREASURED downtiered to UNCOMMON.
  • According to one report, Named mobs in Kunark overland zones, Maiden’s Chamber, and Chelsith now drop no loot, with this loot having moved to trash mobs.
  • Mastercrafted armor sets have been merged down to archetypes. Previously, there were Brigadine vs. Reverent sets, or Devout vs. Plate vs. Vanguard vs. Dextrous which had some overlap between archetypes. Mastercrafted armor is now not only worse than Treasured of the same tier, but often of worse quality than Handcrafted from the same tier.
  • Crafted armor has been consolidated down to just a few weapon delays (5.0, 6.0), stats, and damage ratings, when there was previously a lot of variety, allowing player customization.
  • Some Mastercrafted bows are flagged as Thrown weapons and cannot be used by Rangers.
  • Mastercrafted armor is missing Toughness, a crucial stat for Battlegrounds.
  • Certain Mastercrafted armor/jewelry tiers completely omit one or more archetypes. Some crafted armor has also changed material type from cloth to chain or leather to plate, making it impossible to equip for some classes. Some items cannot be equipped at all due to a bad Category. Some Imbued items are now worse than the original items before they were imbued. Some items switched slots from, say, hat to hands.
  • Crafted Resist jewelry is now missing all primary stats.
  • Some Crafting gear (clothes, tools, etc.) saw Tradeskill skill stats replaced with Adventure stats.
  • Numerous items had the LORE-EQUIP tag unnecessarily added.
  • Spring Loaded Gnomish Boots as well as several different Goggles are plate/chain only.
  • The new Elements of War easy mode group zone seems to be dropping more powerful loot than Drunder hard mode raid loot.

WHAT WOULD EQ2WIRE DO?

I would have liked to have seen this:

  • All level 1-82 items revamped so that the primary (green) stats match the mechanics changes in Destiny of Velious.
  • Any item usable by Priests add an appropriate amount of WIS (leaving other stats as they are)
  • Any item usable by Fighters add an appropriate amount of STR (leaving other stats as they are).
  • Any item usable by Mages add an appropriate amount of INT (leaving other stats as they are).
  • Any item usable by Scouts add an appropriate amount of AGI (leaving other stats as they are).
  • NOTE: It’s PERFECTLY OK that items have 3 or 4 green main stats on them so that items can be used by different classes depending on player choice.
  • All items gain a minimum amount of STA based on the level and tier of the item.
  • Add items to fill in those few itemization gaps here and there (probably 30-40 items per Tier tops).
  • Sentinel’s Fate items reitemized to be just below Destiny of Velious in progression. Echoes of Faydwer did not negate Kingdom of Sky gear, and The Shadow Odyssey did not completely negate Rise of Kunark gear.
  • A gradual increase of Crit Bonus and Potency from level 70-90 without removing the unique effects on items.

What we got:

  • Thousands of items have been “rebuilt”, with unique interesting effects, procs, and stats replaced with the DoV formula:
    • +XX MainStat
    • +XX HealthMod (STA)
    • +1.2% Crit Bonus
    • +1.2% Potency
    • +XXX Elemental resist
  • There are now huge itemization holes due to some items being removed or the class flags on items switching to different archetypes or excluding classes.
  • Unique armor appearances are no longer available.
  • Level 50-80 items now rival the power of Sentinel’s Fate items.

Looking Forward

So what can we expect going forward? Some quotes from SmokeJumper:

Updating zones that are not yet reitemized:

  • Icy Keep: Retribution
  • Shard of Hate
  • TSO raid zones

Item categories that are not yet reitemized:

  • TSO raid armor sets
  • Legendary armor sets
  • Epics
  • Power differences in SF raid items (easy mode and hard mode differences)
  • Bugs from feedback in regards to items being changed to a class that did not make sense

These changes will get into the game ASAP.

and…

Tuesday’s (8/30) hotfix has many itemization changes. This includes the following:

  • Many weapons and most jewelry are now “multi-class”. In other words, they have multiple primary stat boosts on them so they are useful to more classes.
  • Easy mode Heroic content in the Plane of War will be getting a significant reduction in power for both Potency and Crit Bonus.
  • The new rares that named NPCs drop in the other dungeons (added in GU 61) will also be getting the same power reduction so that they are in-line with other items dropping in that same progression.

These changes, plus the myriad miscellaneous fixes we’ve been making as people report the odd item here and there that’s strange, should solve the majority of issues. However, we are continuing to read and tweak even after tomorrow’s hotfix.

and…

Also, in regards to Velious items and why they are not being altered:

We knew that re-itemization would cause lots of heartache, so we didn’t want to change the items that people had *just* received in the Velious expansion (we were planning to change them later). However, we’ve decided against changing them later and it’s likely that instead, the old items will just stop dropping in the near future, replaced by items using the updated progression so those new items are in-line. In other words, you’ll keep your current gear, but if you went back to the same spot, you might earn different gear than last time.

There are still a raft of quotes from SmokeJumper and others which we’ll get to tomorrow.

Tags:

Trackback from your site.

Comments (37)

  • Murfalad

    |

    Well I just went to the broker, brought gear for every slot that was cheapish and ran through Kaladim soloing it all.

    I really don’t see any need for a low level dungeon finder now since even a poorly played class can solo ^^^ heroics.

    This update rather then making progression more fun has instead just turned large level ranges of this game into solo only content, very disappointed.

    Reply

  • Murfalad

    |

    One other bug (I assume its a bug) that has been seen is a large amount of fabled gear dropping from solo mobs in SF (stonebrunt highlands), I’m guessing they decided to push the drop rates up, but went overboard.

    And the other observation I’ve seen is that fabled gear at many levels isn’t all that exciting since most of the power upgrade is maxxed out at legendary, hence there isn’t space in the itemisation budget to make fabled really special.

    Its all fixable, I would like to see the following

    1) Last use of a script would be to remove crit bonus from sub 70 gear (potency then is just equivalent to +CA damage).
    2) Use a script to remove 0.1/0.2% stats on > level 70 gear to clear up the tooltips so that they are not 1/2 a page long.
    3) Then go through by hand and fix everything else.

    Reply

  • Breanna

    |

    keep my old gear as is!! OMG do u people realise raiders spend HUGE amounts of dkp that takes MONTHS to earn for ONE ITEM!!! and your not gonna fix it :( wow this sucks more than anything SOE has ever messed up :(

    Reply

  • Robert

    |

    I’m taking a break from EQ2 and staying away until this mess becomes somewhat sorted out. I’m beginning to wonder if EQ2 will ever be able to push out quality content from the get go, instead of having to do tons of work weeks and months after initial release of the content.

    Reply

  • Baddabing

    |

    yep game is broken maybe beyond repair. The stat increases from going over max cap need a rethink as well really .1 spell double attack for 10 casting speed really whats the point. I would be thinking 2 not .2 yes 2% spell double for every 10 casting speed over cap that way when u hit 200 casting speed u get 20% spell double attack really that would almost make it worth while.

    Reply

  • Silzin

    |

    IF and only IF the items are getting down graded could i see expecting that they are not going to give us the new stats. but I think they are going to add procs and maybe move some stats around to we are not losing dps just making the gear more powerful….. and I can see if people are losing some stat that they see as the most important stat in the game like MA then its a nurf…. so its no lows/lows for them any way the go…

    Reply

  • Isest

    |

    All I can say is gu 61 probably the worst fail this year. Not only has the itemization changes broken so much, you got folks on a daily basis having to get gm’s to get out of their guild hall.

    Its been a buggy mess and is going to take some fixing.

    Reply

  • Lamar

    |

    Just wondering that we worked so hard and long to get this new Rygorr Armor to only see the revamp come through and destroy the worth of it all with the Sundered Frontier Raid gear. The question is will we see the Rygorr, Thugadin and Drunder gear pick up more and better stats to be closer to its current expansion raid gear or are we going to be left to switch out for last Expansions raid gear with more Critical Mitigation and less green stats then any of the crafted gear?

    Reply

  • Eschia

    |

    I haven’t logged in since last monday and based on what I’ve heard so far i probably should wait until next monday.

    Reply

  • Chreo

    |

    I’m probably among the few people being very pleased with this GU. Having stopped after the last holidays, I just came back to DoV recently and struggled with the crit mit requirements for harder DoV dungeons (was wearing SF legendary with a few raid drops). Along with scaling down my playing activities from 3 chars to 1 I got:
    - nice CM boosts on the SF raid gear
    - nice CM boosts on the SF crafted legendary (Ley Line)
    - the chance to equip my sole main with the best gear from 3 chars (including lots of priest items that turned mage)

    Together with the first piece of Ry’gorr I’m finally ready for DoV x2/x4 and Drunder!

    Reply

  • Dharvane

    |

    Couldn’t agree more with what Breanna said, which was…

    “keep my old gear as is!! OMG do u people realise raiders spend HUGE amounts of dkp that takes MONTHS to earn for ONE ITEM!!! and your not gonna fix it :( wow this sucks more than anything SOE has ever messed up :(”

    Idiotic SOE programmers…

    Reply

  • Waitup

    |

    “old items will just stop dropping in the near future, replaced by items using the updated progression … you’ll keep your current gear, but … you might earn different gear than last time”

    What a terrible idea! Imagine all those DoV x4 raid drops we earned, and had to spend unlockers on! Now when they fix the items we will simply be left with raid gear that is worse than what you can get in heroic zones, that is until you go to get the new loot to waste more unlockers on just to get back up to par!

    Reply

  • Sharann

    |

    While I do see the need of having a computer script run through the 50’000 items to change them automatically, it should also allow to compare the 2 files (prior and after the change), by running a comparative script to identify which ones have been changed from Legendary to Treasured or from 2 hands to main hand for instance,and work on those manually. I cannot imagine performing such an update without going through that step as well.
    It’s not upon the players to complain and post a bunch of before/after screenies of the items that have been nerfed in the process.

    Reply

  • melpheos

    |

    I’m mixed on this update. Of course, there is a lot of item that are bugged (like items with a green grinning monster instead of it’s icon and having no stat at all ). On the other side, i’m quite happy to see +crit (even in small amount) in lower tier items. It makes sense in term of character evolution and prevent the sudden jump in quality that started in higher level before this update.
    The only caveat with that is that i was able to solo a named 48^^^ with my conjuror 41 and can solo without trouble unamed 50^^^… This does not seems right.
    Also, seeing treasure item with +crit or +pot does not make sense neither. This should be reserved to legendary/fabled.
    Finaly i have seen in several occasion, legendary item with better stats than fabled. This should be fixed too…

    Reply

  • Golur

    |

    For me, this GU has been awful. Not only do I have a lot of Alts, all of whom need sorting out, but in particular:

    GH bug – I’ve been unable to get into any toon parked in a GHall since the update, apart from apparently random 1-hour slots yesterday and on Sunday. This is a game-breaker for me, making it almost impossible to Raid effectively.

    Talking of Raids – I spent lots of hard-earned DKP on gear that is now suddenly useless – stats on Healer gear changed to +Int, etc.

    Rollback, ignore GU61, until it has been PROPERLY tested and (as with GH bug) the Devs LISTEN to the Test feedback.

    Reply

  • melpheos

    |

    @Golur Rollback, ignore GU61, until it has been PROPERLY tested and (as with GH bug) the Devs LISTEN to the Test feedback.

    Haha, devs listen to the test feedback. That’s a good one…

    Reply

  • Trueflight

    |

    As much as I do like some of the changes, the overall experience is that GU 61 was barely near a beta testing level, let alone somethign to go live. I agree with the others that I would like to see a rollback to preGU61 and let them rerelease it in a couple months when its at a near playable level.

    Between this and the recent Dragon Ring live events, SoE is really dropping the ball and I fear it may be costing them more players than they can imagine. I really hope something can be done to remedy the problems and that it isnt too late already.

    Reply

  • Greg442

    |

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about, other than people that like to complain for the sake of complaining. After nearly 7 years of going through this type of thing with SOE every xpac or major update… you all should know by now, it ALWAYS takes a few days to iron out the kinks… nothing to see hear folks…everything is working as intended!

    Reply

  • Anaogi

    |

    How to fix this? Easy one.

    1.) Roll back GU61 gear changes.

    2.) Fire Smokejumper.

    Reply

  • Istar

    |

    There Actually another way to fix this mess along the same terms without gear being over imploded on stats ~ I mentioned this in DoV Beta … and basically Said that with the new Itemization they should just do away with STR/STA/WIS/INT/AGI and compile STR/WIS/INT/AGI into one designated named stat and STA to another Designated stat …. AKA such as Offensive / Defensive stats Since this is theoretically what they did anyway Just calling the offensive stat different names for each class is meaningless and doesn’t make the game seem anybit more complex … This would have also kept the loot easier to control on who uses it which just class restrictions as the handle. And would have made this conversion alot easier ~

    Reply

  • Woody

    |

    Well I am confused why something so encompassing and important as gear stats would be left to a script vs. a small group of individuals with a set of guide lines created by the devs. They had about 3 months to work on this from the start, you would think if they spent say a week or so on each tier or group of tiers they could have ensured some consistency and relvency to the items.
    I am not asking that a dev do this but seems this would be an ideal task for a junior member/intern/apprentice of the team to do with a set of guidelines and be there for some questions on special items like HQ things. I would think a bit of extra time and effort like this would have paid off in the long term.

    Reply

  • Corwin

    |

    Just one word: ROLLBACK. When you have so many disapointed and confused customers it is time for SOE to realise that this GU was not ready for primetime. We were much better off before than after. Take a step back and just push that rewamp to the next expansion. hopefully it would be better tested (meaning also SOE would actually take into account the itemization comments of the players spending time on the test server).

    Reply

  • Scott

    |

    Fire Smokejumpeer

    Reply

  • Kosovos

    |

    I rather not redo My AA again for the 3rd time through a span of 10+ characters. Thanks. a Rollback will only frustrate me.

    Reply

  • Lexxie

    |

    Same as some of the other posters, I’ve cancelled my accounts. I’m not continuing to pay for a game that is so beyond broken. It’s a shame, but I think they’ve finally ruined it.

    Reply

  • Charn

    |

    What SHOULD have happened this update was, everything EXCEPT the re-itemization should have gone through. The new zones, the beastlord event, AA revamp, DONE. The new itemization needed to wait until it was at least half ready and not the total and complete crap-shoot it turned out to be. Anyone who logged into test would have known this. Anyone who’s read the test forums would know this as well. So either the decision to go ahead with the re-itemization was out of complete and absolute folly and ineptitude (which, having met Dave at Fan Faire (and until now) I would have argued against) or he knew it, didn’t care, and went ahead with this fiasco anyway.

    Any way you slice it this is, IMO, by far the worst decision made in the history of EQ2, akin to the infamous SWG: “New Game Enhancements.” The fact that they are claiming to want to fix the problem, with our help of course, is still inexcusable.

    Since we are now forced to work for SOE to help fix this, are we going to be put on the payroll, I wonder? I know many (if not most) of us would work given free and credited game time. Until then, I report, bug, post, or link nothing. I do not work for free and refuse to be their indentured servant in this. Fix this fiasco that you created, yourselves, or expect to lose subscribers. (And sorry to those who have to fix this that may not have wanted the re-itemization to go through but didn’t have a choice. I don’t envy you your position . . .).

    Reply

  • Steve

    |

    Guess I picked a good time to get burned out on MMOs.

    Reply

  • Necromancer

    |

    GU61 – how to properly destroy an MMO because of the stupidity of your dev team.

    Take notice other companies with MMO’s out there – GU61 is everything you should NOT do to your MMO.

    Reply

  • trg

    |

    I wonder just how many people have posted to this site in just the last six months who don’t even play the game.

    Reply

  • sandain

    |

    I made the dumb decision of logging on today just to check out the changes. I decided to re-do my AA tree since I had some extra time on my hands. Of course my AA’sreset themselves once I logged off and back in. I knew I should not have logged on. This GU might be the straw that breaks the camels back for me. Certain developers seem more intent on making their “mark” on the game than actually producing a fun product for new and old players. There are too many other games out their to play for me to deal with this mess

    Reply

  • Merecraft

    |

    Hmm, won’t be renewing my sub to EQ2 once it runs out at the end of September. The Sony hack, coupled with this disaster and the fact that SWTOR is coming out soon has made my mind up.

    What I don’t understand is why did they decide to do this in the first place? I can understand them re-itemising the tier 9 items, but why do everything? The game is so easy from levels 1-80 now that itemisation is not an issue at those levels at all. They have made problems for themselves that they didn’t to.

    Reply

  • Kwill

    |

    That’s odd that your AAs reset today … they weren’t doing another AA reset. Apparently if you haven’t reset and zoned, it still doesn’t work. Interesting.

    Reply

  • Miragian

    |

    It would be interesting to know how much of the stuff that the devs are taking heat for is actually decided way above them (and smokejumper himself for that mater). I suspect that a lot of the pushing patches out ready or not isn’t something that the dev team has as much control over as people like to think.

    Reply

  • Steve

    |

    Miragian – that really doesn’t matter. If SOE is pushing stuff out before it is ready it really doesn’t matter if its Smed, SJ or an intern calling the shots. End results are the same. A bad product results.

    Reply

  • Murfalad

    |

    @Merecraft

    What I don’t understand is why did they decide to do this in the first place? I can understand them re-itemising the tier 9 items, but why do everything? The game is so easy from levels 1-80 now that itemisation is not an issue at those levels at all. They have made problems for themselves that they didn’t to.

    There is so much truth in this statement, while I like the idea of fixing the itemisation so that a lower level dungeon run isn’t a series of jokes as +wis tower shields and +int plate drops left and right (which friends have commented on as putting them off EQ2). But at the same time no one had any problem progressing through the content even with this broken gear.

    The lack of respect shown for their own game (the comment I heard given at fanfaire about how they are not worried about the lower levels being too easy), and the apparent indifference the dev in charge of itemisation gave to how it would effect gameplay really do depress me.

    Its easy to buff gear in a MMO, the first pass of this gear change should have been to correct the gear, if areas were found to be too hard there would have been no trouble buffing things up. Personally I think even just correcting the stats would have made things too easy without a nerf…

    EQ2 was never designed to appeal to the farmville type of “gamer”, people have to feel some sort of accomplishment at somepoint in the game or they get bored. I’m pretty sure that a sizeable chunk of new players (which are just realy new to EQ2) will get bored with the current solo and heroic (now soloable) dungeon content well before they get presented with a challenge.

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

    |

    @Istar… genius. Putting all those previous booster states into a combined Offensive and Defensive stat value FTW. I agree with you here. Sure, we lose a little flavor, but these days the flavor leaves a bad taste anyway. Functionality before flavor. Since we don’t have either, lol, anyway.

    Reply

  • AlienShine

    |

    Lol, quit for 9 months now. Checking back here, nothing has changed.
    The best to all the people still hangin on !

    Reply

Leave a comment

- Name (required)
- Website (optional)
Please post your comments without flaming or insulting other players or personally attacking SOE employees. Comments from bogus e-mail addresses may be deleted. If you wish to have an Avatar picture, feel free to create an account on Gravatar.com. Once you sign up for a Gravatar account, then any Wordpress-powered blog you comment on will automagically show your avatar.

Powered by Warp Theme Framework