Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson, EverQuest Franchise Director of Development, steps up and hosts the second Game Update 63: Skyshrine Preview Webcast, with guests Holly “Windstalker” Longdale, EverQuest II Senior Producer, and Akil “Lyndro” Hooper, EverQuest II Lead Designer.
After the jump, notes about the Game Update 63: Skyshrine Part 2 Webcast, as well as hints about Prestige Classes, the Qeynos Revamp, and more!
Game Update 63: Skyshrine Part 2 Webcast Notes
- Level 92 and 280 AAs — Once you reach level 90 and have 280 AAs, that allows you to start earning experience towards level 92. This allows us to make solo quests and even solo dungeons where we know that the player is level 92, has 280 AAs, and their 10 Prestige points. We don’t have to try to balance content for a level 90 character with only 75 AA points.
- In fact, one of the limitations of Dungeon Finder has been high level players who have very few AAs. Skyshrine will not immediately be added to Dungeon Finder, because it would let you bypass certain requirements. It’s like with travel bells and druid travel. We want people to discover these zones first, and then later we can consider adding faster travel.
- We want to be sure that people do the Skyshrine quests. The access quests for Skyshrine dungeons only require 1 person to be keyed to access them.
- Windstalker said “Going up to level 92 also affords the design team the opportunity to build in Prestige Points, which give you growth in your abilities, and are also the foundation for where we’re going to go in the future with Prestige Classes. Over level 91 and 92, you’ll earn 10 Prestige Points that you can allocate into 5 rows of Prestige Talents. Some of these abilities are not just adjustments to existing abilities, but game changers. The ability to reuse some of your abilities faster is going to change the way you play in some instances.”
- Withered Lands has 100+ Adventure Quests, plus Tradeskill Quests, and then all of the quests in Skyshrine. Adventurers and Tradeskillers will both get parts of the Withered Lands storyline.
- Skyshrine has daily “Solo” Dungeon missions that can be done Duo, Solo with a Mercenary, or even Solo depending on your gear and skill.
- All of the unique Raid animations, scripting, cinematics, etc. have been brought to the Heroic dungeons so players get the full storyline of Skyshrine. Lots of new NPC models and dragons.
- Tradeskillers also can level to 92 (no it doesn’t require 280 AAs!). New recipe books for level 91 and 92.
- New Tradeskill Apprentices are oddly acquired through Skyshrine adventure quests which require grouping and raiding. Fortunately, they’re tradeable and can be sold on the broker. The new Tradeskill Apprentices use new components (drops) which come from Skyshrine instances.
- New type of Shield appearance that has combat animations. There’s a Skyshrine quest to acquire one of these shields, and of course there will also be a Marketplace Shield with a unique appearance.
- New Drake Mount. At least 5 versions available through Skyshrine quests. SmokeJumper “See, we don’t always add new things to the Marketplace!”
- New Rare Mercenary with a Dragon/Golem appearance which has a special buff when used in Skyshrine zones.
- Beastlords gain some new appearances for their existing Warder families, such as a new Raptor appearance available through a quest, a corrupted wolf, a mist panther.
- Beastlord Easter Egg Hint: If Beastlords pay close attention to the rewards given during one of their quests, they’ll unlock some additional Warder appearances.
Q: How will the Veteran Bonus be handled now that the level cap is being raised to 92?
- Lyndro: For now, we’re leaving the Veteran Bonus at level 90. I won’t guarantee that it will stay level 90 forever.
Q: Are you planning to revamp any old zones in the near future?
- Lyndro: We’ve got Qeynos coming this summer (Game Update 64 in August). That’s going to be a Freeport style revamp. We’re going to tell new stories, and add new quests. Qeynos is going to be turned into two zones where Freeport was one zone.
- Generally, we don’t like to rip out old content and add new content. It’s nice to go back and tell new stories with zone variations like Runnyeye: The Gathering and Nektropos Castle: The Return, without having to tear out content.
Q: What about PvP content which slipped GU63?
- Windstalker: There will likely be an announcement from Lyndro in the near future about what we’ll be doing with PvP.
- Lyndro: I would like to get some new PvP stuff out in the next Game Update if possible. I know it’s been a long time since PvPers have seen some love. It’s absolutely a priority. You’re not forgotten. We love you guys.
- Windstalker: There are guys on the team that are absolutely 100% PvP committed.
- SmokeJumper: Is it fair to say that we’re not only just leaving it on a list but we’re actively working on something that could dramatically affect PvP?
- Lyndro: Yes.
- Windstalker: There’s documentation.
- SmokeJumper: (joking) That’s what we call a leading the witness question. But seriously, you guys have some good ideas.
- Lyndro: (joking) Everyone’s a Beastlord now!
Q: How useful and relevant will Destiny of Velious Part 1 be after Game Update 63 (book 2 of DoV)?
- Lyndro: Right now, DoV is the current “end of the game”. So it won’t be as relevant since it’s content you level through rather than stopping and playing forever. It’s our goal that you still have some equipment that you acquire through Velious Part 1 content that you still want to use. But it’s hard to have new content yet have it all stay at the same tier.
- Lyndro: For people who are doing Plane of War, that will continue to be the best gear for quite some time.
Q: Is there anything players need to know, such as items being outleveled, or things players need to worry about? Do they have to worry about reassigning their AAs, or is there anything strange that’s going on?
- Windstalker: Ah, another leading question. Yes, there is a 280 AA requirement to advance beyond level 90. The team has looked at the experience curve, and have shortened that curve significantly. When you login for the first time after Game Update 63, you will get additional AA points (if you aren’t already at the 320 cap).
- Lyndro: This is the first time we’ve done a retroactive change to the AA curve.
Q: Are there any parting comments about Game Update 63? Something you’re particularly excited about?
- Windstalker: I’m really proud and honored to be part of this team. It’s coming in on a winning team. It’s been a joy for me to see what they’re developing. There’s some really good intrigue and story and really immersive content in this update. I’ve enjoyed playing all of it.
- Windstalker: We really are excited and think it’s worth playing through. The team has done an amazing job from the art all the way through design and even some of the code improvements. New Pathing will be included in Game Update 63. I know we promised it in March, but it’s coming next Tuesday.
- Lyndro: I’m just looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep again.
- SmokeJumper: I do want to say thank you to the community. The response this time around for GU63 has been fantastic. You’ve shown up on Test, you’ve given us all kinds of feedback. We’ve gotten great comments on raids, and overland, and quests. You guys have really stepped up and it’s just huge for us. We can’t say thank you enough.
- Lyndro: I think this has been one of the longest testing times for a Game Update and we’ve had a pretty consistent amount of people in there testing the whole time and giving us great feedback, and it absolutely shows.
- SmokeJumper: It’s been Night-and-Day different from past updates.
Game Update 63 rolls out next Tuesday, April 17th, 2012.
Tags: game update 63
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