June Update Plans — SOEmote, Play As Yourself in DM, Quest NPC Targets

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, PvP/Battlegrounds, Raiding, SOE Wants Feedback

From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale on the EQ2 Forums:

Another month has zipped by already!

We wanted to wait until after E3 to share a few more details about what we’re up to and what’s coming up this month.

By now you may have heard about the SOE corporate initiative called SOEmote(tm) that will launch in EQII later this month. SOEmote uses a webcam and microphone to project your facial expressions, including talking and voice, onto your character in real time! It’s used in groups and also allows you to broadcast to your guild, almost like a webcast. We’re all excited to see this launch and how you use it. If you want to share your shananigans, the YouTube recording option is now in the EQII Share window.

Also the next week or so, the ability to play as a character in Dungeon Maker will be opened for Testing! We want your input before we push this addition to Live servers. You will be able to group with friends of any level and be competitive in the dungeon content. Take the time now to design a dungeon in the decorating contest and get ready to play your dungeon — as your character!

Also this month, you will see polish and improvement to Darklight Woods and Halas. In Darklight Woods we did a fairly quick art pass — because it wasn’t up to the team’s standards — which in just a week has given it a lot more ambiance and character. This came about through a quick conversation where an artist and designer volunteered to take a week to see how we could bring a bit more sparkle to the newbie experiences. Itemization is improved and a new armor set was created for each area. When we update these two zones this month, first-time players will see Halas and Darklight highlighted as newbie zones. Subsequent characters will see all newbie zones as they are displayed now. This was an obvious way for us to bring all new players together to build community from the get-go.

Whenever we can, we want to improve the playability of the game. On the test server you may have seen that NPC names now include an icon if it updates a quest, as well as an icon that indicates what type of quest it updates. The NPC’s details window also shows the title of the quest the NPC updates. One of our programmers, Andy Roecks (Terrogaunt), gave this idea a shot as a quick task and nailed it. He’s been chasing some oddball quests that have unique types of interactions so send us /feedback or /bugs if you find NPCs that should have icons.

At the same time, Andy added the ability to use quest items directly from the quest journal HUD by clicking on an item icon. No more will you have to fish around in your inventory to find quest items!

Behind the scenes we have been updating our core technology as well. The updates are well worth it and will improve development and performance for us. Part of the update that will be apparent to players is a new in-game browser that is more stable and flexible. We plan to use it going forward for tutorial videos and communications.

The bulk of the team is putting their hearts into the new Qeynos. Like Freeport, new characters, quests, and stories have been added that bring new life and context to being a citizen depending on your race and class. Qeynos will be two zones given the sheer size and detail of the city. North and South Qeynos will become the Capitol District and Qeynos Harbor and Elddar Forrest will be the Provincial District. The neighborhoods, like Willow Wood and Baubbleshire, will be used in the quest content.

Last, and certainly not least, we are very excited to bring some much-needed fixes and improvements to PvP and Battlegrounds that will be fun and easy to access for everyone. We will be posting details very soon as well as opening up the changes on Test Copy. Battlegrounds, like Dungeon Maker, will allow different levels of characters to play together and be competitive. Also, PvE armor will be effective in PvP again so everyone can easily jump into Battlegrounds without becoming squishy, and PvP players won’t need an extra set of armor or be vulnerable while adventuring on the Nagafen server.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this. And while this message is long, it certainly doesn’t include everything we are doing, like the expansion development. We look forward to sharing more about upcoming developments in the future. We can’t wait to see what you think!

Holly “Windstalker” Longdale

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Comments (14)

  • Kwill

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    Nice on the quest items being able to be used in the journal, and the other quest helping things.

    It’s great they are spiffing up the newbie areas, but can we have more content for 92/320? Please?

    Reply

  • XK

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    Some good stuff there, although I know a good percentage of players are waiting for high-end content. As someone working on alts at this point, I’m looking forward to seeing some of the changes.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    Anyone else see that picture and imagine a froglok head mounted above some troll’s mantle?

    Reply

  • noluk

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    Total Meh all the way around except for using the quest item.

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    “you will see polish and improvement to Darklight Woods and Halas”

    The newbie areas were already good enough. How about fixing up some higher level areas? The fishing hook can’t be the only thing that looks tempting. I wonder if SOE ever notices people dropping out of the game once they get past 20. That isn’t to say the rest of the game looks bad, but all the TLC gets applied to the front end. It’s like painting over the cracks of an old house, but only painting the front. Once you get inside you see how it really looks.

    “a new armor set was created for each area”
    So basically going back to how it used to be. I loved the fur armor you used to get as a newbie in frostfang. Instead of having to buy it from halas.

    “a new in-game browser that is more stable and flexible”
    Most likely they’re switching from Mozilla to Awesomium like everyone else has done.

    Reply

  • Ssue

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    PvP update!! ::happy dance::

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    I just don’t understand why a froglok is the mascot for SOEmote. Aren’t we supposed to be able to relate to those expressions and think they’re somewhat “human?”

    You may as well have a hand with a marker face on it, like so:

    http://www1.free-clipart.net/gallery2/clipart/Hands/Hand_Face.jpg

    Reply

  • ragefighter

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    nice maybe the in-game browser will work better now, although I always play in maximized windowed mode.

    It’s the same quests in Darklight wood, correct? just updated look and some new rewards?

    Reply

  • Cuteypie of Permafrost

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    Sooooooo……
    Now that Freeport is revamped and Qeynos, when will the Isle of Refuge starting areas come back???

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Sooooooo……
      Now that Freeport is revamped and Qeynos, when will the Isle of Refuge starting areas come back???

      The ‘lore’ direction of the EQ2 team is clear on this. The idea of people washing up on an island, or being fished out of the ocean post-Shattering is done. There are no more ‘survivors’.

      The populations of Qeynos and Freeport are such now that anyone starting in those areas would be born to families living there. So if they bring the islands back, the lore would have to change to make them training grounds or islands that aspiring adventurers are sent to as a ‘coming of age’ sort of test.

      If they really wanted to make something really immersive, they would have you start on the boat, but instead of being fished out of the ocean, you have chosen to come here to test yourself and start your adventuring career. Whether you came here by yourself, or at the behest of your mother, father, or both could be choices in a dialogue tree.

      They could also bring back the dragon attack on the boat, as well as the interesting storylines on the island. It would only take some tweaking of the dialogue. And they could add some more interesting quests that tie into the current storyline without removing the existing ones. Just please don’t turn the islands purple/corrupted/voidy.

      Reply

  • skippydippy

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    As if the game needs more starting areas.

    Reply

  • Daalilama

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    Hmm pvp getting rid of gear seperation for armor…wow the 5 vocal minority on the forums who got it implemented in the first place will be pissed….still no mention of new jewelry, weapons, etc. like they have promised for nearly a year…guess a half assed attempt at a fix isnt all bad considering how they usually overpromise and underdeliver.

    Looks like its bad news for the pisspoor players again now that raid gear is once again usable.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    I think it’s a hint we ought to all be makng new alts! So for those of you who do not have six 92/320 characters, get cracking.

    Reply

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