Ethereal Coins & Vendor Coming This Summer

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, Raiding

pain_reliever

MMOs like EverQuest II can’t help but include a loot chase. While EQ2 offers many different styles of gameplay from crafting to decorating to soloing, those players who elect to group or raid find themselves on the loot treadmill and want to be able to point to forward progress. In recent years, the EQ2 team have scattered a few best-in-slot items throughout the content so that crafters and soloers get some “Whoa!” items. Still, most Progression items come from extremely difficult content that requires substantial coordination. There’ll always be that one ridiculously difficult heroic zone. There’s always that Wing 3 of raid content. With Terrors of Thalumbra as well as Altar of Malice (after some post-launch tuning), the heroic content has been made accessible so that more people get to enjoy it. But as with any organized sport, the tolerances between success and failure shrink the higher you go into more challenging fare.

I don’t envy game developers who are forced to create enough content to last a year. What has concerned me about Ethereal runes, Ethereal weapons, Mythicals, and Ancients is that they are acquired almost entirely based on the luck of the dice roll, not player skill or effort. It saps the sense of accomplishment when you say “This item took me 374 heroic runs!” after the person next to you says “I got it the first time through. Now what?”

I like checklists. I like setting goals for myself like I can with a long Epic Weapon quest, a set of Gemmed Armor that has a specific number of gem slots, an item that requires multiple runs through a Public Quest to upgrade, or a Jewelry Set that has pieces scattered throughout different zones. Heck at this point I’d celebrate a new Prestige AA tree that requires a lengthy quest to unlock with lots of artificial timesinks in it like contested names on long spawn timers. Those are things I used to abhor, but at this point I’d be thrilled to look ahead and see a roadmap for myself based on sticktuitiveness rather than luck.

When a designer sets an item at 1/150 chance, the averages dictate that the player will receive it after 75 runs. That’s a logical, reasonable rate of progression. But as we all know about Random Number theory, either something will happen or it won’t. You might get it on the 1st try or fail to get it 150 times. And again, with the RNG, a player cannot look ahead and see where they will be in 3 months or 6 months. They can’t tell their raid leader when they expect to be “ready” for the harder content because they don’t know. Most EQ2 and MMO players probably don’t plan the future of their characters and just go where the road takes them. But for a self-selected group of players, it’s nice to know what’s coming up on the horizon.

Ethereal Runes and Weapons, especially [eq2u]Ire-Dread, the Undead Devourer[/eq2u] are so powerful that someone just getting into grouping who acquires one is instantly catapulted to the same power level as someone who has been playing for a decade. An experienced player who has one can carry the weight of 2 players who don’t. This has caused friction and hard feelings within even the most forgiving raid guilds for obvious reasons. Until you get these items, your character is dragging the rest of your teammates down.

It is with a great sense of relief that I’m able to report that with this summer’s Ethereal event which will not be weapons, players will be able to acquire Ethereal Coins that, should fortune fail to shine on you and you’re on your zillionth dungeon run, now you can go to a vendor and buy said items.

From Kander on the EQ2 Forums:

Hello,

We are currently discussing alternative ways for people to earn the Ethereal Runes. Something like this, starting with the new Ethereal drops here in two weeks.

  • New Ethereal drops in heroic content this summer.
  • New Ethereal Coins for running heroic Missions
  • Ability to either get on heroic drops or purchase new Ethereal Drops
  • Ability to get on heroic drops or purchase Ethereal runes this summer.

Feel free to discuss this constructively. Feel free to offer feedback, constructively.

When asked if the team have an idea on how many dungeon runs it will take to earn an Ethereal…

Yes. We have a goal post. Its still in discussion.

Loot will be on mission crates.

Here’s that quote about this summer’s Ethereal event

Ethereal’s will not be weapons this year.

Very exciting news indeed.

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Comments (12)

  • Olee

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    Last year two month of farming, hundreds of instances, no ethereal drop. ToT more than 5000 keys to get 1 mythical. SK already 3000 keys for 7 blood iron and … 7 charms …

    At least they realised that their random loot system is discouraging players. Now I hope that they will put in place a fair system…

    Reply

  • GriffonLady

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    That’s pretty cool. Things that are estimated at 1/20 usualy take me 1/60. :\ (Or more)
    I’m just lucky like that. >.>
    And my hubby has spawning “luck” like that. Took 22 hours for Blood Tallon to spawn for him, back in the days of placeholders. >.>

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    It is the poor chance rates that drove me away from doing instances. I hate random. If I am going to do something I want to know I can earn a reward, not a random chance at fail. I hope this works.

    Reply

  • Rebelde

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    I was trying to get the Lacerator twice a day/7 days a week for 3 months. I didn’t get it and other guildies sold it cause they have it even with alts. Very frustrating. I hate random. I didn’t play since February. Now a new belt in 4 parts (like rum). I didn’t finish the rum belt…. Will see what happens with this if I turn back.

    Reply

  • Aaron

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    Wow. I’m really happy to hear this! I’ve always disagreed with the way BiS gear was handed out in a way that totally goes against risk-vs-reward and effort.

    Reply

  • Charn

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    Too little, too late . . .

    Reply

    • Charn

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      In fact, reading this, it will NOT solve the issue. The people that get the ethereal by RNG will still get coins, no? Then they’ll have the item AND be able to buy it . . . . Make it so it’s ONLY bought, then let people have to earn it, otherwise the RNG is crap, the whole system is crap, and the one big thing that’s turned me off this game . . . ethereal weapons, themselves, didn’t ruin the game for me, it’s how they were implemented by the Devs that killed it for me.

      Reply

      • Aerinn

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        I bet you’re one of the folks that always gives gift cards for Christmas, aren’t ya? *lol*

        Reply

        • Charn

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          What the F does that mean? No, seriously, what the hell does that have to do with the topic at hand . . . at all?

          Reply

  • Stabaholic

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    Again, there is nothing here that will encourage me to leave BDO. With the upcoming Valencia expansion and high level content I don’t see myself ever returning to EQ2. Like stated above, too little, too late. They should have pumped out EQ3 if they wanted my money.

    Reply

  • Regolas

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    Glad they finally listened, but I’m so fed up having farmed for these runes for so long and not got ones that I wanted.

    1/150 drop rate would be a dream. My experience in contested is about 1/500 for a rune. There’s 12 different ones so if they’re the same chance that’s 1/6000 to get the one YOU want. It’s just too small a probability, and it’s severely reduced the pleasure I get from this game.

    Hopefully these are reasonable to get if you put in the effort. If you can only get 1 if you run every mission before they’re gone then that will suck.

    Reply

  • Saladin

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    I may be late to this thread but finally i find someone who agrees with me, and by extension, a lot of other people.

    This ethereal system is absolutely broken/lazy design by the developers which completely destroys any sense of achievement by players who have invested time and effort to raid and beat encounters which only few people will ever kill when the content is relevant. I was late to the last years ethereal party so missed out on incredibly overpowered weapons which now have been turned into runes that can be acquired by anybody who either runs the content over and over again to either beat the RNG or simply buys it outright and still won’t get more than two items even with coins.

    You simply cannot compete with players who have all runes and eth items right now. Skill goes out of the equation as resets/high potency completely obliterates any competition of skill vs gear. To make it more worse, i resent the fact that some of the raid items i worked hard to get are now bettered by items that everybody can farm. It is just not fair.

    I really hope the developers make drastic changes going into the next expansion and either remove these items or put them on a progression of difficulty. The solo ethereal should not out do heroic and heroic remains inferior to a raid item.

    Reply

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