EQ2 May Update Plans: DM Play As Yourself, NPC Quest Identifier, Real-Time Beta/Test Development

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

From EverQuest2.com:

We made it! Whew! The Skyshrine Game Update went live and was well tested thanks to the community at large as well as the internal teams. We are all really proud of it and it seems like a good bunch of you are enjoying it too.

While we are still watching Skyshrine and responding to any issues that come up, we are obviously marching onward to our next big projects. Also, as we’ve said many times, we are looking at the existing game and how to make improvements to what we have. We’ve jotted down a few things below that are in progress this month to give you an idea of just some of what we’re working on right now.

We hope to release them in May but won’t until they are ready:

  • Remember in December 2011 on Test server we offered the ability to play as your character in Dungeon Maker? We took a look at the results and it was pretty clear we needed to make some significant improvements. Our team of engineers took to doing some research and experimentation and has come up with a great solution that we feel will have other applications as well. We are calling it “Level Agnostic” game play. What it means is that no matter what your level, you will be able to go into Dungeon Maker as your character and be effective. While that’s a bit of a no brainer, this goes for groups in Dungeon Maker too. We have already done early tests of groups of level 90s with level 50s and lower and it’s really fun! There’s a bit of tuning we need to do here and there, but there are definitely other ways we can use this. We are still in testing and want to get this one right, so we are going to do a lot of testing before we go live. And of course we’ll have it on the Test server when we feel it’s ready.
  • On a more practical side, the team has been looking at low-impact solutions to improve the game experience for everyone. One of them was to be able to target an NPC and have an indication of what quest they might update. The engineering team already has this working for simple quests. The challenge now is to make sure we get every quest in the game flagged appropriately. That’s going to take some time, but the functionality is already there and it’s been great to see it working in game. We are hoping to get the first phase of this out to the Test server soon.
  • Another challenge the team faces is being responsive during testing during our Beta periods. It’s very frustrating for designers and engineers to be testing raids and group content and have to stop due to a bug or difficulty and have to wait a day for another build. Not anymore! The engineers are already well into developing a testing tool that allows developers to make changes on the fly in real time. This is HUGE news for us and those players who help us test certainly will recognize the value. We certainly hope to start using this during testing for our next update.
  • We are also starting to push through a list of historical bugs and prioritizing those and we’ll give updates on those as we go forward.

So from all of us, to all of you, thank you for the amazing support and playing the best MMORPG around!

Holly “Windstalker” Longdale

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Comments (31)

  • Daalilama

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    Yay! More Dungeon fail tweaks but no word on outstanding class and mechanic issues.

    Reply

  • Vinyard

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    So….nothing important is happening in May.

    Reply

  • Dazin

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    “We are also starting to push through a list of historical bugs and prioritizing those and we’ll give updates on those as we go forward.”

    What I want to know is how a bug becomes “historical” oh yeah that’s right when the studio lose all interest in previous broken work and just move onto the next….despite constant community yelling for years at a time to fix something

    Reply

  • Taka

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    From a software development POV, testing bug fixes without having to wait on another build is actually a big deal… but that insinuates there were limited ways to test without building, which I imagine would be a tremendous pita with a game this big.

    Fix bug, build game, test, still broke, retry, build game, test, still broke,get frustrated, break free realms action figure on desk. etc etc.

    In other news, I’m interested in seeing how level agnosticism [or the disbelief in levels(haha] plays out with play your own toon in Dungeon maker.

    Reply

  • Ssue

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    Yeah! Still no mention of any PvP updates. ::sigh::

    Reply

  • Dedith

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    They said they are working on historical bugs.. ‘historical’ meaning bugs prior to now. I’m a developer who works with old code that others have created/maintained, fixing older issues and providing new content is harsh in those situations, they fact they’re even making effort is a good sign, relax and let them work.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    I am interested in the level agnostic as it has ramifications on future playstyles. It would not be a far cry to say that old zones could become level agnostic. Guess we will see how it goes. Being able to fix bugs on the fly would be amazing as well and an amazing asset to a game this big. The hard part will be to fix bugs without bugging something else. Now that I would love to see. LOL

    Reply

  • Electri

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    My favorite part is the opening sentence:

    We made it! Whew! The Skyshrine Game Update went live and was well tested thanks to the community at large as well as the internal teams.

    She forgot to add, ‘however we fixed a limited percentage of the bugs that were found and released it anyway.”

    If they want to fix something, fix tank agro. I have played with every type of tank imaginable from leather to plate, and none can draw and hold a snap agro. One ranger shot, one assassin hit, one wizard cast, and the tank is pulling their hair out to get it back (which usually doesn’t happen until the mob or the secondary player dies.

    Reply

  • Whystherumgone

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    @Electri how about the ranger/wiz/assassin etc learn how to de-hate and use the abilities they have instead of worrying g about how it will affect their parse?

    While I agree snap agro could be adjusted agro management is a big part of game mechanic that lazy assed players ignore.

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    So that’s why they didn’t bother with more content in the Skyshrine update – they want us to go through the Dungeon Maker…

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    The mouse over NPC for quest update information is directly from WoW’s quest helper application.

    Talk about more EZ mode. It’s handy, but I hate to see any more dumbing down of this game. How hard is it to figure out what mob you have to kill?

    Dungeon Maker, meh. To my knowledge no one in my guild runs them, or has made one. Occasionally I will see something in chat about a group forming for one, but not that often.

    I just can’t believe I am going to be running skyshrine for the next 6 months … it’s all brown and orange. The rest of the content seems to have fallen precipitously into the background, since the rewards far outshine anything else in the game from SS. I think there are still PQ runs, but far fewer now.

    Maybe I will try DM, after all.

    Reply

  • Shadowed

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    @Electri First, I’ll start that I play an assassin and yes I can take agro from nearly any tank if I WANT to. However, if the group has a chanter or bard for hate modifiers and my hate transfer and I am still taking agro then it is my fault.

    Things that dps need to know are to use de-hate as necessary and not to touch till the tank has it positioned, not just after the tank tags it.

    If your dps classes are significantly better geared than the tank, it is difficult and I expect to psuedo tank occasionally because they simply won’t be able to hold agro if they are undergeared.

    More or less I agree with @Whystherumgone. Yes, I think they should do something about it but more important is people know how to play their class.

    Reply

  • Brakepiston

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    All DM means to me is more spam in the 1-9 channel from people pleading with you to run their dungeon so that they get tokens and a chance to go up in the leader boards. DM is a yawn despite how much effort some people put into their dungeons to make them look nice and original. I’ve tried several DM dungeons and after 30 minutes of auto attacking with the only useful avatar (the fighter), I’m ready for the red exit portal.

    Reply

  • zerigo

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    Historical bugs = Call of the Veteran? We can only hope.

    Reply

  • thait

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    I’ve heard people complain about COV a ton and yet it works about 98% of the time for me. The only times i’ve had problems was every now and then in instance zones when for some reason it would think we were still in combat, and even that happens very rarely. Maybe I’m just lucky.

    Reply

  • Striinger

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    It’s nothing new or unexpected that they are going through another cycle of ‘borrowing’ stuff from other games. I mean, heck…we have ‘rift’ lords…and crafting is looking more and more rift-like with the latest GU. Might as well go with WoW’s “agnostic” dungeons and quest helper thing on mobs.

    I personally can’t wait for the desktop EQ2 credit card chip reader that allows you to plug in…and instead of using health and mana….it just sucks money straight from your credit card account instead. Wouldn’t that be awsome!!?? With a good stolen card with no real limit…I could win the game!

    Hehe…sorry…sarcasm took over….again. hehe

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    I rarely have trouble with CoV. Always at the most inconvenient time, however.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      2 of us tried CoV multiple times to pull people into Skyshrine. On 3 separate occasions with 2 people trying it didn’t work. I get CoV problems all the time for thinking one of us is in combat, or just refusing to do anything without even an error message.

      CoV worked great at the beginning. Then they started adding hundreds (if not thousands) of lines of exception code to try to stop trivial “exploits”, repeatedly breaking the feature in the process. Just let anyone CoV to anyone. Problem solved.

      Reply

  • Blueraiderman

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    @Electri 92 Ranger here and I am not over geared and I most definitely CAN pull aggro but ONLY if I am not careful. I am almost ALWAYS able to give aggro back to the tank by using my hate reduction CA’s in an effective way. So I will add my voice in agreement to @whystherumgone and @shadowed. If a scout just pushes buttons without thought to what they are actually doing then yes they will die often and yes you will not be able to grab aggro until they perish.

    Reply

  • Snowdarc

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    A lot depends on the Tank as well. An undergeared 90 tank with 220 aa can’t hold aggro from my brig just auto attacking. And my brig isnt all that geared, and im not an idiot bowshooting on /pull

    COV is hit and miss.

    Fix the damn bug that won’t let me into my GH without insta crash! Been an issue since AOD.

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    @Whystherumgone amen to that.

    I also agree that “historical bug” is a funny term. Thanks to those who explained it (it makes sense now) but at first glance I thought it meant “bugs that have been in the game for so long they are part of the history.” Ha.

    Level agnostic sounds great so long as it’s not fun agnostic, too. :P

    Reply

  • Dreiden

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    Feldon, I wonder if you ran a poll on the site here, of how many people use Dungeon maker what the results would be? I personally used it for about 2 or 3 hours when it was brand new before I got bored of it. I have no desire to use that system over standard group zones. I just wonder if there is a significant portion of the community that actually give a damn or if like the arena system from desert of flames SOE should just drop all effort and move on.

    Reply

  • din

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    With striinger speaking of sucking money from your credit card, I was reading about Diablo III, and they will have an auction house. You will be able to use real money, or ur toons gold, to buy stuff people have put up for sale. Blizzard gets a dollar per sale if real money is used

    Reply

  • Tarb

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    10+ year EQ vet here, I have never used DF and have zero interest in it, when they announced it i had minimal interest but as it came closer to release with the details just made it less appealing, I too wonder how many people use it, however I think alot of EQ vets don’t use it and the new casual players probably do.

    Reply

  • zerigo

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    I have used DF 3 times so far, and have no plans on ever setting foot in there again. I subscribe for the challenge, and right now, DF cannot offer that. The only challenge is staying in dungeon long enough to make it to the exit.

    Reply

  • Tarb

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    Someone needs to call them out on this crap at fanfair this year, if they allow it, I remember seeing a video from last year how the people cheered when they said were were going to re-itemize ever item in the game 20-90, man if they only new what a bad job they were gonna do, same with the dungeon finder.

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    @Electri: I know exactly what you mean about tank agro. Find yourself a good Coercer and make them your new best friend. Or have one or more of your regular group members roll one up. That’s the reason my coercer exists, to make life easier on our guild tanks in instance groups. With coercer, nobody notices any agro issues. Without coercer, unless it’s one of our best played, best geared tanks, agro pong. There are a few other classes that have some nice tricks as well for agro management. On my coercer, along with the until canceled buffs, I’ve got two agro snaps that can take loose mobs and make them agro the tank. I use them quite often for adds and memwipes. Comes in quite handy. That class is like a freaking swiss army knife when it comes to the tools it has available. Has to be my favorite class right now.

    Reply

  • Starlakay

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    Be nice if we could get transfer tokens and just pay the 25$.
    Or even get a RMT server and it would save all the cheating on plat sales.
    EQ2 is a good game but their management has destroyed it.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Be nice if we could get transfer tokens and just pay the 25$.
      Or even get a RMT server and it would save all the cheating on plat sales.
      EQ2 is a good game but their management has destroyed it.

      I think I’ll start an RMT server. I’ll call it the Bazaar! And just to keep the PvP folks happy, I’ll make a PvP RMT server and call it Vox!

      I am puzzled at folks who think that plat selling has anything to do with how others play the game. Ive bought items from SLR auctions. News flash: I don’t buy plat, I earn it through standard gameplay, not cheating.

      Run the Kunark quests and you will make 150p. Run a DoV instance and sell the shinies for 10-30p. Plat is rediculously easy to earn in EQ2 and there’s nothing to spend on.

      Reply

  • Kytara

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    wish they would just remove the call of the veteran, people just complain, how about you just run,jump,glide, or fly to a bell, spire, druid ring or whatever and zone in remember there was life before the call of the veteran, go wait by a spire for it to be activated or a dock and wait for the boat to take you around, wait they dont do that anymore cause people cant wait, and another thought set your reset point infront of your house or guild hall and port there, only one extra step but works every time

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      remember there was life before the call of the veteran

      Back in the day when the overland zones had heroic content and lots of groups, sure. But these days, travel in MMOs has gotten to be like commercials. I choose to skip the commercials.

      Reply

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