Author Archive

Parting with Heirlooms

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

This comes to us from EQ2Traders.

As we mentioned last week, GU51 is getting a new HEIRLOOM tag. There were theories that this might be applied to The Proof in the Pudding quest combines (Master Sage/Jeweler/Woodworker/Carpenter/Armorer/etc.).

We now have confirmation that this will in fact be the case. If you have a level 80 sage and level 80 carpenter and both are on (or have completed) the quest, you’ll be able to make the combine for your alt, put it in the shared bank, log out, log in, claim it, and update your quest.

What we did not know at the time is that HEIRLOOM is being applied to several other items!

If you have 50,000 faction with Riliss, Bathezid’s Watch, and Danak Shipyards with one of your characters and it is driving you crazy that you cannot buy recipes and share them with your alts, it’s party time! Now you can buy RoK faction recipes and “pass them on” to your alts. I know my Sage will be thrilled that he doesn’t have to do a hundred rush orders in Danak to get those recipes.

As previously reported, Void Shards and Far Seas Supply Division tradeskill tokens will now be tradeable between your alts by placing them in the Shared Bank.

Some other changes coming in GU51:

  • Bountiful Harvest messages will now delineate the original harvest from the bountiful harvest on roots and wood. Previously, they were combined.
  • The gathering animation has changed a bit.
  • Guild fuel merchants will now buy back tier 1 fuels.
  • The “Tools of the Trade” set bonuses on the Tradesman’s (55), Artisan’s (65), and Crafter’s (75) belt and earring sets are now appropriately scaled for level, with 5%, 7%, and 9% durability bonus on the sets.

Thanks again to Niami for her writeup!

   

Lucan’s Art of War Playtest

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Today (Jan 27th) at 3pm PST is Aeralik’s GU51 playtest over on the Test Server. This is the second one of these hate/agro playtests with developer involvement.

These changes are espected to go live February 3rd according to this missive by Kiara:

The estimated date for GU #51, Lucan’s Art of War, to go to the live servers is Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009.

What’s the Shard of the Day?

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

Kander slipped an interesting comment into the raging TSO Stinks topic:

FYI: Stay tuned for the Shard of the Day solo quest, with some additional solo content. Cannot say more, but keep your eyes peeled for GU52.

The current plan is that it will take a time investment similar to that of running an entire instance.

So there you have it folks, while people have found a variety of more or less legitimate ways (which not everyone else approved of)  to load up on Void Shards, now there is going to be an official way to get 1 shard a day.

.

It’s an interesting discussion to be sure.

  • Fabled armor and Master spells were always designed and intended for Raiding.
  • Legendary armor and Adept III spells were always designed and intended for Grouping.
  • Treasured/Mastercrafted armor and Adept I/Apprentice IV spells were always designed and intended for Soloing.

Kunark started adding some Legendary-in-name-only as quest rewards. Kunark also added one Fabled reward for a quest series that could be trioed (A Fistful of Metal/A Few Coins More/An Ugly Bounty).

So the question of the day is: Is SoE painting themselves into a corner by making Legendary armor the new “solo” spec? What if in GU52 or the next expansion, you’re just expected to have Legendary armor even to survive doing solo quests?

It makes you wonder what form the new Solo content being added to Lavastorm will take.

Time will tell…

Hate Change?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Looks like substantial changes are being made to agro control and hate generation on the Test server in response to the Topic I linked here. Aeralik has hosted one play test and is expected to host a second one tomorrow.

Time will tell which classes benefit the most, which ones are the losers in all these changes, and whether this will really rewrite the book on tanking in EQ2.

The GU51 Fighter Rebalance — Better than a Sharp Stick in the Eye?

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

The complaints about GU51 are rolling in. Even the biggest fanboys who usually cannot find fault with any of the EQ2 team’s well-intentioned changes are not happy with what seems to most to be a rushed, massive change to something that has taken 4 years to develop in its current form.

The issue that many are bringing up is not only have fighter stances and taunts been changed dramatically, but most Hate transfer from Swashies, Assassin, Coercers, Rangers, and most other classes have been reduced dramatically or eliminated.

It would probably have been wiser to make all the taunt changes first, and then start dialing down the hate transfer until folks start crying uncle.

UPDATE: Aeralik has responded to the widespread criticism of GU51 with a lengthy post in the Developer’s forum. There are 251 responses to the thread. 3 of them are from fanbois who don’t even have a tank character. The rest are entirely negative (or Aeralik’s mentioning of various piecemeal fixes to concerns). Folks, this thing is NOT READY!

[View Topic]

Heirloom Doesn’t Mean Old Fashioned

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, Tradeskill

Originally posted on EQ2 Forums (Heirloom Flagging)

Looks like SoE have been listening to the overwhelming feedback from many gamers feel that the NO TRADE flag has been overused in The Shadow Odyssey. You’ll recall that TSO offers 20 closed (instance) dungeons and no open (contested) dungeons. As a result, all of the LEGENDARY and FABLED items that drop in these popular zones cannot be traded, even amongst character alts of the same account. This also includes the much vaunted Void Shards used to buy special Legendary armor.

In a future update, some items will be changing tags from NO TRADE to a new tag called HEIRLOOM. The first recipients of this new tag are Void Shards and the Far Seas Supply Division Tokens. HEIRLOOM-flagged items can now be placed in your Shared Bank and collected by other character alts on your account.

It will be interesting to see how this flag is applied to other items in the game. The first request thread that popped up is the Proof in the Pudding updates for level 80 Tradeskillers to become a Master Artisan should be HEIRLOOM flagged. That would allow a character with a level 80 Sage to make the necessary combine for their level 80 Jeweler, for example. When Kunark was new, the grouping was actually fun, but now that the Master Artisan program is 14 months old, it is getting harder and harder (and more expensive) for most players to get updates. I see no problem with these updates being flagged HEIRLOOM.

I would not mind seeing NO TRADE removed from more items in the game, or even some method of once a month using some type of transmuted or tinkered gizmo to strip the NO TRADE flag off one item once per month. The flag would be replaced with ATTUNABLE.

Folks are already selling and using Looting Rights (setting the loot to Leader Only, inviting someone to a group, and having that person enter the zone and loot the chest in exchange for Plat).

EQ2, EQ1, Vanguard Get Steamed!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

From WorthPlaying

Sony Online Entertainment has signed a distribution agreement with Valve to bring its MMO titles to Steam, starting with the EverQuest and EverQuest II collections, as well as Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Pirates of the Burning Sea.

“We are always looking for additional ways to introduce our great catalog of games to new audiences. It’s hard to think of a larger group of PC gamers interested in multiplayer games than those connecting to Steam,” said John Smedley, president of SOE.

Inexplicably, old versions of EQ and EQ2 are being offered through Steam as well. Users have a choice of purchasing last year’s EQ1: Secrets of Faydwer and EQ2: Rise of Kunark at a reduced cost. I am not a Steam user, but hopefully it is obvious which versions are the latest so people aren’t confused. I’d hate for someone to buy Kunark, realize it’s a year old, and then to get TSO they have to spend another $40.

Special Bears

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, Raiding

I was really surprised to see this item linked in open chat.

Bjorn’s Whistle
Summons Bjorn, Elder of the Western Wastes
FABLED LORE NO TRADE

Applies Summon Bjorn when Activated.

  • Summons a mount to ride that increases your speed by 70%
    • If level 80 or higher
  • Increases Heal Crit Bonus of caster by 1.0%
  • Increases Heal Crit Chance of caster by 3.0%
  • Increases Max Power of caster by 350.

\aITEM -329826907 573012519:Bjorn’s Whistle\/a

DROPPED BY Gynok in Tomb of the Mad Crusader.

There is also a Fighter bear whistle that drops from Anasthi Sul in Palace of the Ancient One. No word on where the Mage bear whistle drops:

Khast’s Whistle
Summons Bjorn, Zarrakon’s Warbringer
FABLED LORE NO TRADEApplies Summon Khast when Activated.

  • Summons a mount to ride that increases your speed by 70%
    • If level 80 or higher
  • Increases Spell Crit Bonus of caster by 1.0%
  • Increases Spell Crit Chance of caster by 3.0%
  • Increases Max Power of caster by 350.

\aITEM -1515621778 -1742637707:[Khast's Whistle]\/a

Thanks for the comments everyone posted about where to find these!

Fighting about the Fighter Rebalance

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

The fighter rebalance in GU51 is coming, whether we want it or not. There is a lot of “The Sky is Falling” responses about it both Pro and Con.

Here are some useful quotes:

Originally posted by Aeralik:
Prior to this change, tanks relied heavily on hate transfers and hate gain/hate reduction while dpsing to gain aggro. Now the emphasis is more on the tank achieving this with their abilities…

Originally posted by Flaye:
NOBODY should be getting a “set it & forget it” hate transfer, if we’re ALL supposed to be playing more intelligently, paying more attention, & working to help our tanks hold aggro.

Originally posted by Kordran:
Once GU51 hits, the only parse for tanks (particularly plate tanks) that will matter is TPS, threat-per-second. That’s it. They’re going to be there to hold aggro and control the encounter, and that’s it. The era of offensive tanking and high DPS is coming to a close with this update; if you’re a fighter who wants to parse high, then you’re going to have to be in your offensive stance, and that means you’re going to be near the bottom of the threat list for the mob. Ironically, in offensive stance, fighters now have some of the best detaunts in the game (e.g.: Rescue will shed something like 12K hate and lower your threat position by 4). Although they’ve otherwise been nerfed heavily, the only plate tank I can think of that could really “stance dance” effectively is the Paladin, because Holy Ground + Restitution gives them the snap aggro that would be needed to (nearly) instantly put them back at the top of the hate list.

And, as another poster pointed out, in this new paradigm, tank auto-attack damage — which used to be significant, and a critical part of generating enough hate through DPS — is now a small minority of the overall threat generation. The great bulk of their threat is going to be generated through taunts and CAs which generate additional threat, not through the damage itself. Abilities which are going to be important for tanks will no longer revolve around damage output, but in things like increasing the base threat of taunts and the percentage chance for taunts to critical. I imagine we’ll also start seeing tank gear, either new or revamped, which has additional threat bonuses tied to it, instead of increases in double attacks or critical hits (e.g.: +2 to base threat, +3 to critical threat, +50 threat, etc.)

Originally posted by Kordran:
A tank will be a tank because of the damage they can take and the threat they generate, not the damage that they inflict. That’s not to say a fighter class can’t take a DPS role, they can. But it will be in offensive stance, and in that stance they have no real chance to hold aggro against any T1 DPS class because not only are their taunts turned into detaunts, many of their CAs will have a detaunt component to them (e.g.: high damage attacks with threat reducers tied to them, somewhat like scouts).

With GU51, a fighter can either be a meatshield or T2 DPS. They can’t be both.

Test Update 51 Notes

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

As scheduled, the Test Update #51 notes have been posted. Substantial changes to Tanking and Hate Generation are included. Test Update #51 is promised to run on the test server for 3+ weeks to allow adequate time for feedback.

GAMEPLAY

  • Taunts and detaunts can now critical similar to how melee and spell criticals work.
  • Threat output and hate position changes will now be displayed to the chat windows. You can find it under Combat in the Hate Adjustment category.
  • Hate gain mods will no longer affect taunt adjustments.
  • Area of effect spells and combat arts will no longer spread hate to encounter members when damage is applied.
  • Auto-follow:
    • Your character will now swim up and down to follow the target underwater.
    • Characters on auto-follow will always turn to face their target when auto-attacking.
    • Players on auto-follow now follow up and down climbable walls.
    • You may now /camp (and, incidentally, sit) while on auto-follow. If the person you’re following moves (causing you to follow) your camp will be interrupted.
    • The camera will now re-center on the person you’re following only when you’re moving.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Bountiful Harvest should no longer displayed a combined harvest on root and foresting nodes. Instead you should see two harvests similar to how other node type work.

Warrior

  • Executioner’s Anger now has a chance to increase your taunt critical chance instead of the player’s hate gain.

Crusader

  • Idolic Axe has changed to increase the base amount of the crusaders taunts and gives them an additional chance to critically taunt an enemy.

Assassin

  • Frontload will no longer cause poisons to cancel when it is toggled off or expires.

Berserker

  • Perserverance is now a buff and works in a similar fashion to Reversal with a hidden spell that can only trigger once every 15 seconds.

Brawler

  • Crane Twirl has been changed to increase the brawlers chance to aoe auto attack
  • Eagle Spin now increases the threat of the brawler with their enemy.
  • Eagle’s Talon now increases the chance of the brawler to critically taunt and increases the amount of threat applies by taunts.
  • Monkey Dodge now increases the brawler’s defense and parry skill.

Shadowknight

  • Enchance: Anguish will now increase the base damage of the combat art appropriately.

SPELLS

As a result of spell changes, the triggered effect on Charm’s Way has been changed to be upfront and target enemies in the area of effect.

Fighter

  • Kick has been moved to level 3 to fill in a gap caused by spell consolidation

Guardian

  • The Hold The Line spell line has been merged with the defensive stance lines.
  • The Iron Will Spell line has been merged with both the offensive and defensive stances.
  • The Battle Tactics line has been merged into the Call to Arms line of spells.
  • The offensive stance line will now increase damage done to the guardian and also has a damage based proc while also reducing the hate gain of the guardian.
  • The defensive stance will now also increase the amount of taunts and increase the hate gain of the guardian.
  • The hate reduction of the allay line has been reduced.
  • The Assault line now grants additional threat gains.
  • Reduced the recast of the Shout line.
  • The Kick line now generates additional threat.

Berserker

  • Berserk has been incorporated into the defensive and offensive stances.
  • The Battle Chant line has been merged into the Bloodlust line.
  • The Bullying Defense line has been merged into the defensive stance line.
  • Uproar has been moved to level 2 to fill in a gap created by the ability mergers.
  • The Growl line is now 10 second reuse and more powerful.
  • The Offend line has increased threat.
  • The Whirl line now has a threat component.
  • Reactive taunt strength of the Insolent Gibe line has been increased slightly.

Paladin

  • The Redemption line now greatly increases your threat with the target instead of siphoning hate.
  • The Incite line now increases threat initially instead of overtime.
  • The Charge line now has a hate component.
  • The Divine Circle line now has a hate component.
  • The Blessing of the Penitent and Blessed Weapon lines have been merged into the offensive and defensive stances.
  • The Blinding Rays line has had its reuse time reduced.

Shadowknight

  • The Dark Caress and Unholy Weapon lines have merged into the offensive and defensive stances.
  • Defensive stance line will lower damage but increase threat output.
  • Offensive stance boosts damage slightly but reduces hate gain.
  • Sickening Circle will also increase threat now.
  • The Kick line now has a threat component.

Bruiser

  • The Roughhouse and Dodge and Strike lines have been merged into the bruiser’s stances.
  • The Brag line is now more potent.
  • The Kick line now has a threat component.
  • The Blazing Strikes line now has a threat component.
  • The Impose line has faster reuse speed now.

Monk

  • The Martial Focus and Dragon stance lines have been merged into the monk’s stances.
  • The Stare line increase threat by more.
  • The Kick line now has a threat component.
  • The Cobra Circle line now increases threat to any targets it hits.
  • Beckon has had its reuse time lowered.

Swashbuckler

  • The Swarthy Distraction line of spells has changed to be a short duration buff which greatly increases or decreases their target’s hate.

Assassin

  • The Shadows line has changed to trigger a hate reduction effect.

Ranger

  • The Reconnoiter line has had its hate reduction effect removed and has a chance on any hit to reduce the rangers hate.

Predator

  • The Stalk line is now faster casting and lower recovery time.

Scout

  • The Evade line no longer has any recovery time.

Sorceror

  • Concussive is now faster casting and quicker reuse time.

Dirge

  • Hyran’s line has reduced hate gain modifiers but also increases the threat amount.

GUILDHALLS

  • Guild Hall Fuel Merchants will now buy back tier 1 fuels.
  • The guild hall mender will now correctly remember the new coverage setting after it is changed.

ZONES

Veeshan’s Peak

  • Milyex Vioren’s engineer should no longer occasionally become unkillable

Palace of Ferzhul

  • Ferzhul should no longer fail to unlock his portion of Varsoon’s portal if players kill all of his adds before killing him.

Village of Shin

  • Merchants in the Village of Shin will now buy as well as sell items.

Moors of Ykesha

  • Spotting a business opportunity, a new fuel merchant has recently set up shop in Firmroot Moot near the mender.
  • It should now be slightly easier to avoid the blood gorgers in the entry passage to Grobb, if you are careful.

ITEMS

  • Overloaded heal procs will now trigger properly from reactives and wards.
  • The Ferocious Presence spell from Stormbringer’s Bulwark of the Unstoppable will suspend if the shield is no longer equipped.

QUESTS

  • Knight-Captain Santis will complete the quest, “Bog Sludge Hunt”.
  • Zoning into the Nasin’s Library on Chapter 4 of The Shadow Odyssey should now automatically zone in a full party, regardless of whether all members have the quest.

MACROS

  • You can now drag equipment from your appearance slots to the macro window.

GROUPS

  • Group members can now use the /invite command to request that the group leader invite a player to the group. Just type /invite {playername}

GU51: Fighter Rebalance Part II — Coming to Test

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

According to Kirstie, Game Update #51 will be coming to the Test Servers on or around January 7th. [link]

What should we expect in GU51? Here are some quotes from Aeralik:

The focus of part 2 is looking at the different ways players gain ( or lose ) hate and putting more emphasis on player responsibility. You will likely see the numbers scale up on taunts a lot and hopefully fighters will start to look more at their threat per second while tanking and less so on the raw dps output we see now.

With the changes offensive and defensive stances become more meaningful. You will want to use offensive stance if you are in a dps mode and switch to defensive stance when you expect to tank. We are also combining some of the fighter self buffs so that they are used in the correct combinations they were meant to be used rather than say a guardian running offensive stance while still having the bonuses of hold the line up.

The offensive stance is your dps oriented stance and improves damage but at the cost of hate gain and threat while defensive stances lower dps but increase your hate generation and threat. Also, with the changes everyone will have a new blue aoe taunt tied to one of the blue aoe lines.

The gu51 changes are going to make you choose a stance based on what you expect to be doing. If you want to be high on the hate list so you can pick up aggro quickly then using defensive stance and riding just below 100% on the threat meter is probably better than using offensive stance. Offensive stance is more for soloing or plowing through trash when you know you won’t be tanking.

The reductions in the new stances are pretty minor. It never made sense to keep reducing them linearly which in some cases made lower level stances better. Besides in a raid or group situation someone should be debuffing defense anyways which helps to make sure everyone hits better including the tank.

Thanks to CriticalOverload for catching all of those quotes and putting them in one place.

Game Update 52 Preview!!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Game Update 52 Notes from Timetravelling:

As a New Year’s Resolution (a few days early, admittedly), we pledge to create within a few months (aka GU52):

  • A brand new two-group instance with 9 bosses—over half of whom drop Void Shards—balanced for players in legendary gear
  • A very challenging brand new four-group raid instance
  • Brand new tradeskill instance in the Void
  • A Lavastorm revamp
  • Brand new areas added to Lavastorm with level 80 solo content
  • A new faction with gear to gather from the new Lavastorm content
  • 12 new armor sets
  • All of them with brand new armor appearances
  • Including a brand new robe model in which the Helm and Shoulders and Legs are all visible, separate pieces from the Chest
    • And it looks rad *cough* See also: Varsoon *cough*

EQ2 Holiday Updates

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

December 18, 2008 Update

A ton of changes small and large have been implemented throughout Norrath, “as a special gift from the developers”

  • The master scroll drop rate in Desert of Flames has been increased to more closely match those of the rest of the game.

  • The twin dragons in the Pedestal of Sky now drop 3 pieces of fabled armor.

  • Godking Anuk now drops 3 pieces of fabled armor.

  • When clearing a filter your last scroll location will be restored.

  • Collections can be sorted by:

    1. Ready to turn in status (Default)
    2. Name
    3. Level
    4. Category
    5. Progress - sorts by the number of items needed to complete the collection, starting with the smallest number needed. (Does not including ready/completed collections)

  • The Harvest Supply Depot can now hold up to 150 unique harvestables.

  • The max player / detrimental spell effect icons displayed have been increased from 30 to 45.

  • The player house window will now display the address of the house below the house name.
    Your full house address and location will be shown on the Details tab of the Persona window.
    Players who currently own a house will need to enter then exit their house before the data will appear.

Also included in this update..
GAMEPLAY
  • Many of the deity avatars have enhanced damage abilities, and will grow stronger during long fights.
  • The Pythoness should no longer cast a de-level, and players should be able to obtain Clan Leader powers if they return to a saved instance.
  • Void Shard and Far Seas Trading Company Tokens are now No Value to prevent accidentally selling them to merchants.
  • When you /camp to a specific character the client will choose the character on the existing world if that character name exists.  (Thank you Blackburrow.Rheem for the feedback!)
  • The guild bank transaction limit has been modified so you no longer become throttled for an hour.
ITEMS
  • Swapped the 3 and 5 piece bonuses on the Dauntless void shard set back to their original places.
  • Raid Armor Sets have been altered to better match progression from Veeshans Peak raid sets. Several of the effects on leggings have been improved.
SPELLS AND COMBAT ARTS
  • Empowered Essence now enhances Combat Arts granted by achievements.
  • Displacement and Disruption will no longer refresh themselves while their stoneskins are still in effect.
QUEST JOURNAL
  • Fixed a bug where all collections would not be sent down to the client if the client returned from being linkdead before the server unloaded their character.

And on December 22nd, a longstanding bug in what was the most accessible (and probably most often completed) Void Shard Quest — Liquid Hot Mag-ma in Najena’s Deep Forge – has finally been fixed after bugs were introduced to it on Frostfell. This quest now requires killing the Overseer.

Developer Chat at Zam

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

On December 11th, Allakhazam had a developer chat with the EQ2 development team on Dec 11th.

Some relevant quotes:

Anon: Is there any plan to at Raid x 2 content to TSO?

  • Ilucide: Yeah, absolutely. Though not necessarily ‘part’ of TSO, we will be adding a pretty nice sized chunk of x2 content in the not-so-distant future. Keep your eyes peeled, it will be part of a larger content release with a new x4 zone, and a whole bunch of new solo content in Lavastorm for level 80ish players.
  • Ilucide: Timetravelling and Kander are hard at work on the x2 zone, and it’s shaping up beautifully!
  • Ilucide: (Addendum: Domino totally reminds me that she’s got something special for tradeskillers as a part of that content update too.) *ducks*

Casual Players Getting Locked out of TSO?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

It seems that a LOT of people have been raising a stink and filing /bugs and /petitions about how easy it is to get void shards in certain TSO dungeons. I will admit that the current situation is exploitable in a couple of different ways.

The first exploit that people discovered was the sharing of cleared instances so that other members who had not initially been present during the group could come into the zone and get harvest/clickable updates and get their Void Shard.

The first attempts by SoE to close these exploits was to close the Lava Wall in Deep Forge under certain conditions (i.e. turning in the void shard quest). However there were complaints that this locked people out of coming back and getting that named if they wanted. Recently, some of us noticed that the Automated Hammers (required to kill Doomsmith with lower DPS groups) despawn under similar conditions. I had suspicions but there seemed to be no good reason for this behavior. Now I have my answer:

Starting with the Frostfell patch, all the Deep Forge missions require a kill.

The Cold Heat mission I can deal with. It requires killing an automated hammer in addition to collecting the idols. This seems to have the desired effect of making it difficult to share an instance.

However the mission Liquid Hot Mag-ma now requires killing the named Overseer.

If you are a frequent reader, you know that Deep Forge has been my “Example A” of easier TSO instances that allow even casual groups of 4-6 players to work towards getting void shards.

It is obvious that the named mobs in Deep Forge — Doomsmith, Overseer, and Firelord Kaern — have been tuned up in difficulty the release of The Shadow Odyssey. With the recent tuning up of Deep Forge’s difficulty, I have been encouraging people to merely skip the nameds and work towards their void shards. I have recently found myself in groups who were not able to kill Overseer who were previously able to kill him with no problem.

I have not checked out the other missions, but if they put named kills on more missions then they’ll certainly be slowing down the flow of shards for at least one group of people: Casual Groupers. I’m sure well-informed players will be able to dodge the bullet and find more devious or coordinated methods to rack up the void shards. However the main people who will feel “screwed” are casual players.

I can tell you if you are in a low DPS group, Evernight Abbey is a one hell of a lot of clearing work for 1 shard if all you can get now is the Void Shard. Remember this zone was flagged “easy” by developers.

P.S. According to the recent SoE Developer chat, the 3 TSO instances which take place in The Void will soon reward Void Shards as well. I wonder what circumstances will be required to get them.

   

An EQ1 Dev’s View on Station Cash

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

From http://forums.station.sony.com/eq/posts/list.m?topic_id=144049

First of all wanted to say “what a crazy launch”! Many of the developers have spent countless hours in the Station Wallet design and implementation. Our morning started pretty early (1am) and we wanted to make the downtime as quick and painless as possible. As part of our new update roll out we aim to have the servers back up at 8am so that everyone can jump back into the game after getting a few hours rest

I know that Station Cash surprised many of you and I can assure you that we planned it that way! We debated back and forth on the offerings. Some items were far to powerful and others weren’t worth a players time. What we ended up with was a unique combination of items that any player in the game can benefit from. The key decision in each offering was… does this unbalance the game, or does this make the game more fun? Convenience was a critical part of the decision making process as well.

The initial items available for Station Cash can help anyone who wants to use them and they don’t ruin the experience for those who don’t want to participate. That is the balance we were looking to achieve.

I have been watching the boards and many of the devs have been in the game watching and listening to players’ feedback. Sure, some of it is good and some is bad… but that is what makes SOE so unique. Your feedback will directly impact the future offerings via Station Cash. I can assure you that we have some really cool things planned and this is a perfect time to get involved as a player with the dynamic relationship we have together.

If you have a suggestion… or if you have 10 suggestions… please share them. We are always looking for constructive feedback that has an angle we didn’t think of or a way to improve the current offerings.

Sure, Station Cash isn’t for everyone and that is OK. For those of you who are checking it out, let us know what you think. For those of you who are on the fence, we pre-funded it so you can check it out for free. Finally… for those of you who are steadfast against it, I think you might be surprised when that friend you have always been wanting to play EQ with can now lvl up quicker, fight longer and be able to join you on the front lines of our latest expansion!

Smed Says Don’t Worry Be Happy

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

It’s interesting to see this posting from John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment from Dec 22, 2007:

I’ve been a regular lurker on this site for a while but I wanted to step in here and dispel something that’s just plain not true – I don’t have my name highlighted here, but anyone that doubts it’s me can email me at jsmedley@soe.sony.com and I’ll happily reply.

We aren’t going to be allowing RMT in any way, shape or form on the non-exchange enabled EQ II servers. Period. End of statement.

EQ2Flames Posting by Smed

He responded today with:

Just to be clear here – We aren’t allowing RMT (i.e. players selling items to each other for real money) on servers other than the existing Live Gamer enabled servers. What I said still stands.

John Smedley

No response yet to this Smedley quote:

This [LoN] is not some slippery slope towards selling items directly in EQ & EQ II.

A quote from Brenlo:

Station Cash is not tradeable nor are the items purchased and they will not be. The items will remain “fluff” items for convenience or customization. House items, pets, etc. . . This will not take away from anyone’s hard work and no one is forced to purchase anything. If you like the items offered, you can buy them. If not, keep on playing the way you always have.

and further (in response to the idea of trading plat for cash):

Well again, I suppose, however you would not recieve cash for the plat. You would recieve Station Cash which is only usable on the Marketplace. Thus you would be trading plat for access to potions, house items, pets, etc. . . I guess for me I an not seeing the incentive to do this. I imagine that some folks out there would try but the payoff just does not seem to be there.

The discussion rages on in the main Station Cash forum topic.

Station Cash

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Here’s the FAQ:
http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=438343

Here’s the Official Website:
http://www.station.sony.com/stationcash/

Conversion Rate for Dec 9, 2008 is $1 (or 1 Euro) for 100 Station Cash.

But what I think most people are interested in is the LIST of items.

Cosmetic Pets

  • Knight of Shadow’s End
    • Summons a pet shadow lich knight
    • Duration: until Cancelled
    • 400stationcash
  • Zhog, Groz’s Little Brother
    • Summons a pet Zhog, Groz’s Little Brother
    • Duration: until cancelled
    • 700stationcash

Equipment

  • Seafury Buccaneer Armor Crate
    • a 7 piece set of statless/appearance armor with only one adorned shoulder.
    • 1000stationcash
  • Tunarian Alliance Armor Crate
    • a 7 piece set of statless/appearance armor (identical to Wilderness set but bare arms and 1 shoulder is bare)
    • 1000stationcash

House Pets

  • Slimy
    • An electrically charged slimy ooze!
    • 100stationcash
  • Grunting Warrior
    • An armored boarfiend
    • 300stationcash
  • Handy Servant
    • Disembodied hand (Thing!)
    • 500stationcash

Potions

  • Flask of Achievements I
    • Increase Achievement XP by 10% for 4 hours.
    • 100stationcash
  • Flask of Adventuring I
    • Increase Combat XP by 10% for 4 hours.
    • 100stationcash
  • Flask of Tradecrafting I
    • Increase Tradeskill XP by 10% for 4 hours.
    • 100stationcash
  • Flask of Achievements II
    • Increase Achievement XP by 25% for 4 hours.
    • 300stationcash
  • Flask of Adventuring II
    • Increase Combat XP by 25% for 4 hours.
    • 300stationcash
  • Flask of Tradecrafting II
    • Increase Tradeskill XP by 25% for 4 hours.
    • 300stationcash
  • Flask of Achievements III
    • Increase Achievement XP by 50% for 2 hours.
    • 1000stationcash
  • Flask of Adventuring III
    • Increase Combat XP by 50% for 2 hours.
    • 1000stationcash
  • Flask of Tradecrafting III
    • Increase Tradeskill XP by 50% for 2 hours.
    • 1000stationcash

Note these potions DO NOT STACK with any other potion.

Arctura has posted a bunch of screen snapshots here.


Grunting Warrior
Handy Servant
Slimy
Tunarian Alliance Armor
Seafury Buccaneer
Marketplace

Welcome to RMT

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Although there have been ways to get plat with money (for instance, buying packs of LoN cards and then selling them in-game), selling looting rights to items, and “buying” mythicals, there has been no official RMT in EQ2 other than the Station Exchange servers (which fell under the management of LiveGamer last year). Until now.

The servers are presently down and the Live Server has the following Update Notes:

Live Update December / 9 / 2008

STATION CASH

Station Cash is a new virtual currency from SOE that has been created to allow for the purchase of premium in-game items within EverQuest II.

To get started, access the “Marketplace” from the EQII Window within the game. Click on the “Add Funds” button to purchase Station Cash to fund your wallet and then select items to purchase.

EQ2 Forums (2 independent posters)


Click to view Update Notes

Oh Where Oh Where are Those Bears?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Frequent readers of EQ2Wire may be wondering where to buy the Ykeshan Warbears which were teased at Allakhazam last month. I know several folks were looking forward not only to the 65% runspeed but the various buffs available on these warbears.

A price of 50 void shards was given by Kiara late in the “Retail vs. Download” firestorm for this bear, but as yet nobody has been able to buy them. Turns out this was a bug. In a future hotfix, they will be available from the Void Shard Miscellania Merchant for 50 void shards.

EQ2 Forums: Void Shard Mount?

Frostfell and More

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Frostfell
Frostfell appears to be in full testing mode, with some new zones and quests being added. There is supposed to be a group instance similar to the Haunted Mansion during Halloween.

Update Notes
Mobs in TSO dungeons will have an appropriate number of hitpoints for mentored instances; Tupta, Grobb, and Survival Accord faction merchants require less faction to sell; [Dec 3 2008]
Stability update for Windows Vista; [Dec 2 2008]
Fix for Repeatable Missions; [Nov 25 2008]

As you know, I had further problems with these Repeatable Missions. I was unable to get either the mission for Deep Forge or the Daily Tradeskill Group Mission yesterday. I petitioned and a GM deleted the quest from my “completed quests” journal which may be what people have to do if they are completely locked out of getting missions for certain zones.

Back in the Saddle

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Hey folks,

I’m back from Big Bend National Park.

First up, the bug with Void Shard Missions being unrepeatable was supposed to be corrected on the 25th. EDIT: This is still broken, as I am unable to get missions for Deep Forge or Tradeskill Group Missions. I hope it is properly fixed in the near future.

In other news, a bug with the amount of AoE damage being put out by the boss of the Atrocious Amalgam in Miragul’s Phylactery : the Anathema will be corrected in the next hotfix. Thanks Kander!

There were reports that the “Daily Double” 2 Void Shard quest NPC in Moors of Ykesha had been “nerfed” and was only offering 1 shard as a reward for his missions. This is being investigated.

Will check back as there is more to report.

Void Shard Chests

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Aside from the 3 new TSO dungeons located in the Void (including Obelisk of Ahkzul), the other 17 TSO dungeons located around Norrath each contain a “bonus” void shard quest. Find the key and loot it, and your party each get void shards. Until a bug is fixed, the group leader must temporarily switch looting to “Lotto” before everyone clicks on the chest.

Each of these chests has a key hidden somewhere in the zone. Some are harder to find than others, and fastidious EQ2 players have been documenting and reporting the locations of these “key” mobs and some of the chest locations as well. Sometimes, the holder of the key is obvious because they are 1-2 levels lower than the rest of the mobs. Sometimes, the chest itself gives clues with its name.

Here’s our first, incomplete, Void Shard Chest and Key list:

  • Najena’s Hollow (Key) – At the bottom of the lava spiral ramp (4 levels down) is a goblin in the Lava Pools hiding behind a ramp.
  • Najena’s Hollow (Chest) – Halfway down the lava spiral ramp. You have to kill a fire golem to get to it.
  • Najena’s: Deep Forge (Key) – “a Spurned alumnus”
  • Miragul’s Scion of Ice (Key) – Kill “a frozen thought”. A white ^^^ mob in the upstairs “open” area.
  • Miragul’s Scion of Ice (Chest) – In the room to the right of the frozen thought with one of the 4 elemental orbs and the bed with the robe on it.
  • Befallen: Cavern of the Afflicted (Key) – “a thieving jester”, hidden in the corner of the room with the 2nd maledictive terror.
  • Befallen: Halls of the Forsaken (Key) – a drunkard
  • Necrotic Asylum (Key) – a tiny glob of goo (?)
  • Necrotic Asylum (Chest) – near Wilhelm Horrorbile.
  • Mistmyr Manor (Key) – Click a book in the Library, it spawns “a possessed tome”.
  • The Anathema (Key) – On the left side of the outdoor area where the Amalgym spawns, look for “a wandering experiment”.
  • Miragul’s: The Crucible (Key) – In the right side room with polar bears, look up for “a hidden tome”.
  • Evernight Abbey (Key) – Near Marcus Thex and one of the vampire lords look for “an enraged libant weard”.

Thanks to Detor and others in this thread:
http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=436968

P.S. I will be back after Thanksgiving to post more EQ2 info as I get it. I’m hoping that more locations will be discovered and the bugs with the void shard quests will be resolved by then!

A Man (or Woman) on a Mission

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

The TSO Mission system is, how shall we say, VERY buggy at the moment. Especially if someone shares a mission with you. Some people are getting totally locked out of missions if someone shares the Double Void Shard mission from Moors of Ykesha and they complete it. Quest Sharing is often not giving people the items necessary to do the missions (Holy Water, etc.).

All of this is being investigated by the Developers according to Kiara:

http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?&topic_id=436585

A Word About Difficulty

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

I have been pleasantly surprised by the range in difficulty of the TSO Dungeons. Other than my my previous blog entry, which left no ambiguity about my opinion of Befallen, players have been presented with a lot of choices about these dungeons.

Don’t give up just because you do a few runs and die a lot!

The most important point I can get across is that some Void Shard quests only require killing 1-2 of the easier names, some require none at all. I could see a mastercrafted/legendary group of 4 determined players completing some of these Void Shard quests and gearing themselves up over time. Of course if you are doing tradeskill group missions, then the recipe books you collect there will help you stretch your void shard dollar further, as each recipe costs 1-2 void shards less than retail.

If you are a group that is not the best geared or don’t have a full group, I’d look at:

  • Najena’s: The Deep Forge
  • Najena’s Hollow
  • Miragul’s: Scion of Ice

If you decide to give Najena’s Deep Forge a shot, I recommend skipping the sadistic smithy Doomhammer. There are at least 2 Void Shard missions which don’t take you anywhere near him. Unless you’ve got his strategy hammered out. :) Yes, that was a little joke. A bad one.

The first four names (everything up to and including the Jailer) in Najena’s Hollow are a pushover once you’ve got them figured out, and at least one void shard quest there requires going no further than the Jailer.

Similarly, the names in Scion of Ice have little tricks to them, but once you figure them out, it’s not all that tough.

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