EQ2 Potpourri

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Game Updates & Maintenance, Raiding

Parsing Gravitas, Cures, CoB, etc.
Will consider it.

Determining where guild rally flag is located? Some coming has already been done for this.

Auto mentoring – hail an npc and mentor to a level in 5 level increments. Old quest completion missions. Probably not on PvP.

Daily double shard zone in Welcome window or MOTD? Possible.

Achievements (like CoH or Xbox Live) like 500 kills, 20 heritage quests, etc. In a new tab in the quest window.

Current tier upgrades are coming for bone clasped gridle. Not so much for the bloodthirsty choker. :)

Streamling buffing for classes. Buffing while running was the first part.

Harvester Npcs could auto-deposit in Harvest supply depot in the future.

Lavastorm elevator to WoE will be fixed to continue to it’s destination. This one got a lot of applause. ;)

Teaser of Shaders 3.0 — Nek Castle before and after.

   

June 23 Hotfix

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

GENERAL

  • The Order of Rime illusion no longer has a minimum level for use.
  • Fang the direbear has received some additional defensive bonuses.
  • The Eggstractor should now only work on its intended target (which is, of course, eggs).
  • There is a new EQ2VoiceService.exe from Vivox that should resolve some crash issues that players were experiencing.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Coercer

  • Coercive Healing will once again apply properly to reactive heals.

KURN’S TOWER

  • A cinematic event when slaying Ione (with a quest requirement) has been turned on. Fear Kraytoc’s wrath!

MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION

  • The void sapper adds associated with Ozyk in Munzok’s Material Bastion have reduced health, and don’t spawn as quickly as before.
  • Umzok will not automatically sacrifice his adds to gain their buff as quickly as before.

QUESTS

  • It should no longer be possible to gather every available reward when completing the Shadow Odyssey signature quest line.
  • The Order of Rime barrel of fish and box of bones in Kunzar Jungle will now offer the quest “Fishing for Faction” and “Set of Bone Plates” correctly, when you have completed Kellaen Mednevn’s quest “Stockpiling Stone Mucus” and have the Rime illusion cast.
  • Kallaen Mednevn in Kunzar Jungle now consistently offers her quest “Task of the Rider” to only those that have enough Rime faction and are masking themselves with the Rime illusion.

SPELLS

Necromancer

  • Nylph’s Misty Image has been reverted to its previous illusion state.

Moonlight Enchantments — Every 20th

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

Moonlight Enchantments is a new recurring World Event in the forests of Norrath which will only be available the 20th of every month. I apologize for not getting this information up before June 20th, but it should be available for the 20th of every month hereafter.

This event is now known as Moonlight Enchantments (formerly known as the Enchanted Grottos of Norrath).

Essentially, there is a mushroom ring in each of the forests of Norrath which can be entered once per month (on the 20th) to visit five unique hidden instances. Each has purple shinies and quests to be completed. Both offer house items, charge-based mounts, and illusion forms. The mounts in particular have some…unique choices. Between magic mushrooms, brownies, and sunshine yellow carpets that bloom flowers and belch mushrooms, it was quite a trippy day let me tell you. ;)

For those with a scientific mind who wish to know what these instances look like, here is my best guess:

  • Emerald Halls entry
  • Lower Guk entry
  • Lesser Faydark
  • ? – mushroom area — dig up compost
  • ? – fawns and brownies — make root beer

As always, EQ2Traders is on the ball with a full accounting of these five new forest-based instances and the rewards they offer. It’s quite a selection of house items if you are looking to spruce up your terrarium or take the plunge with a more interesting looking guild hall aquarium. :) Ok, no more bad humor I promise. At least until Wednesday…

Cross-talk in Palace of the Ancient One

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

If your guild has been experiencing heavy lag in Palace of the Ancient One and perhaps noticed that you are seeing combat logs from another guild that is in their own instance ‘leaking’ into your combat logs for this zone, you’re not alone.

There is an amusing screen snapshot that shows partial combat logs that demonstrate this ‘cross-talk’. It seems likely this is the cause of some of the lag in this zone.

There is also another issue with regards to adds continuously spawning, to the point of hundreds of adds appearing if the zone bugs out.

It’s being addressed by timetravelling.

June 18 Hotfix

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

EMPEROR’S ATHENAEUM

  • The final bosses no longer ambush players.
  • Players should get experience from each location discovery within the zone, instead of just the first.
  • Drago’s Boar’s Eruption does less damage.
  • Added a clue to help decipher the floor-set vault lock.
  • Master of the Embalmers summons adds much less frequently.
  • The Curator teleports less frequently.

KURN’S TOWER

  • Ilenee’s Betrayal and Despair no longer heal after they teleport and no longer can teleport to the same room.

VOICE CHAT

  • EQ2VoiceService.exe should now run on Windows 2000.
  • Players should no longer show as talking intermittently when their push-to-talk key is not pressed.

June 17 Hotfix

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

GENERAL

  • Players experiencing problems customizing Wood Elf males should no longer have any issues.
  • Persistent instances should no longer boot players out when they were not committed to the previous instance.

EMPEROR’S ATHENAEUM

  • The final bosses should no longer despawn if players died next to their spawn locations.

Laryngitis

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Tradeskill

Any software update is going to bring bugs.

Laryngitis

I just wish SoE hadn’t tried to completely revamp the voice system on the same day as all this new content was added. Last night we spent most of time just fiddling around with voice, trying to get it clear and stable. Mostly it was choppy, stuttery, laggy, and folks had a tough time joining channels.

We also had to inform a few folks running Windows Firewall that they would need to allow Eq2VoiceService.exe. This service was spun off from the EQ2 client to allow voice chat outside the game as long as the Station Launcher is running.

Instead of running new dungeons as we originally planned, a lot of solo quests and old HQs got done instead. It’s perhaps just as well that we elected not to try the new zones.

Emperor’s Anathenum

Quests and AA

I just wanted to reiterate that our AA prayers have been answered. If you are coming up short on Achievement Experience and have had enough of grey quests, once you reach level 80 (and provided combat XP is not disabled!), your combat XP will be converted to AA XP at a significant rate. It may make sense to pick up City Writs not only to help your guild level but also for AA. :)

GU52 adds a series of solo quests regarding the Order of Rime starting on the Kylong Plains docks. Kaitheel was nice enough to enumerate the quests and their general locations:

  • Kylong Plains has 10 new quests
  • Fens of Nathsar has 31 new quests
  • Kunzar Jungle has 20 new quests
  • Jarsath Wastes has 20 new quests

Timers

timetravelling fixed a bug with all instances that would prevent certain people from zoning in. The error message these folks were receiving — You may not enter an instance created prior to when your previous instance’s minimum lockout timer has expired seems to imply time travel!

Try the Pie

If you are a diehard provisioner, who is more than willing to fling 10 plat pieces and toil for an hour in exchange for some new provisioner recipes, you might want to check out the stats on the recipe reward first. It may or may not be worth your effort. I’m not sure why such an expensive recipe wouldn’t have some main stat bonuses.

I would love to see Advanced Provisioner recipes that produce good to very good food/drink.

From the Shadows

There are several threads going on about the new GPU Shadows which have had an extended stay on Test and have finally made it to Live. The consensus? They look fantastic outdoors in full sun. Indoors? Well, let’s hope we see enough point light sources added that GPU Shadows can be enabled indoors.

More Testing

Ultimately a lot of this comes down to not enough people being on Test and Test Copy. Also if folks go over there and there are issues with zoning and timers, they quickly give up and come back to Live.

My suggestion would be rewards for testing. Perhaps a Quest is offered at a certain time on Test and Test Copy which rewards a short-term 80% mount, or a house item, or guild hall item, or some other rare item. And this time would be announced on Live either in the MoTD or in that handy Welcome box.

Been a While

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

A week without news, some of you might be getting jittery. :)

GU52 is still on Test, getting nipped, tucked, and tested out. I believe they are on track to get it onto live servers perhaps as early as June 16th (my estimate, arrived using my advanced degree in EQ2ology). I know they really wanted it to be on Live before Fan Faire.

I’ve already documented the broad strokes of Gu52 in my earlier posts. If you haven’t seen a preview of player made Books, upgraded Hex Dolls and Ranged Weapons, or new furniture coming to EQ2, check out the EQTraders.com preview.

Many folks have been asking for more Live Events to be added to EQ2 especially during the summer doldrums. Due to changes in how server updates can be handled, it is possible to roll out Live Events a lot more easily. You can look forward to:

  • Tinkerfest — Tinkerfest is the great annual gnomish festival of tinkering and all things tinkered. It’s that time in the year when gnomes spend time with family and friends, exchange tinkered gifts, and celebrate the gnomish life.

Further, you can expect a recurring event which will likely be available only one day per month (perhaps when the moon is full!):

  • Enchanted Grottos of Norrath — Enchanted Mushroom Rings have sprung up in the forests of Norrath. These lead to instances which contain purple shiny collections, not to mention quests which award Elemental Tokens. Both the collections and the Elemental Tokens reward fantastic furniture and house items.

These two live events are discussed further on the EQ2 Forums, as well as links and pictures to some of the awesome rewards.

It wouldn’t be an EQ2Wire post without a hairball or two…

If you are a bard and your Drum of the Ethernaut  Chronicler is starting to sound a little flat, you’re not alone. A change on Test will make this item (which Fatuus wisely observed is more difficult to acquire than the Dirge/Troubador epic weapons) practically useless. Risk vs. Reward? Discuss it.

She’s got Skills

Adventurers in EQ2 go out of their way to be the best they can be, learning their class, tweaking their AA setups, adjusting casting orders, getting their skills up, and of course getting the best gear. I can assure you that EQ2 Tradeskillers are just as passionate about bettering themselves.

Tradeskillers acquire every recipe available to them, run the Tradeskill group instances added in TSO (some run them solo — oy vey!), earn faction to get access to more items, furniture, clothes, and recipes, work with adventurers to bring home more recipes, etc.

So when a scientific analysis of harvesting revealed that having significantly higher Harvest/Mining/Gathering/Trapping/Fishing skill had such an minimal effect on getting a rare as to be statistically insignificant, I had to dig deeper.

It is possible by donning the harvesting cloak (A Gathering Obsession), tradeskill epic earring (Proof in the Pudding), tradeskill jewelry, diety quest rewards, etc. to increase ones harvesting abilities to 540. This is 59% increase in this skill over what is required for T8 nodes (340). To put this in other terms, to naturally get a harvesting skill of 540, you would have to be a level 108 player.

Now, do I expect a 59% increase in the likelihood of harvesting rares? No. I’m well aware that this would unbalance the game and make rares too common. EQ2 operates on a diminishing returns curve. However nothing prepared me for the revelation that increasing Harvesting skill by 59% only increased the chance of harvesting a rare by .369%.

I know some folks would like to protect their lucrative market for rares (especially silicate loams), but a less than half of one percent increase? Instead of taking roughly 90 minutes to harvest one silicate loam, it will take 89 minutes and 27 seconds.

I love Domino to death, and she has always been above board, telling us exactly what we can expect, what she is looking for input on and what has already been decided. You know where you stand with her. But I will be making the point at Fan Faire — in the politest, most respectful way possible — that some of us expect Skills on items to actually do something. :)

GU52 — Learn to Love Set Bonuses Again

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

One of the biggest complaints about the otherwise fantastic Ward of Elements x2 raid zone is that by upgrading a few pieces of armor to T3, fighters and mages lost huge 5-piece bonuses from their T2 armor.

An undocumented fix in GU52 is that these bonuses are now distributed over the set bonuses in such a way that 3 pieces of T2 and 3 pieces of T3 will yield a similar bonus to having 5 pieces of T2.

This is fantastic news, as it seemed this would be a long-term fix based on the Zam devchat. Glad they could squeeze this fix in sooner rather than later!

Although it’s not really posted in the right forum, I’m going to link to the thread which has the first information about this fix that I’ve seen.

GU52 Screen Shots

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

For your viewing pleasure if you have not yet been able to make it over to the Test Servers, look what washed up on the northern shores of Fens of Nathsar not 500 yards from our old friend the Tangrin…

It is unexpected to see humans, halflings, giants, and ratonga working so closely together. What could their mission be?

Note also that this is not just a temporary event, but that it will persist into the next expansion. Whether we should read further into that is a question that I just don’t have enough information to know the answer to. Some have suggested that this is confirmation that Velious is on the way. Others have suggested that this may be the beginning of the reviled ‘Discord’ expansion (primarily because it signaled an increase in the difficulty of group and raid content beyond what even most hardcore raiders would find reasonable).

Hopefully I’ll know for certain in exactly one month, when the EQ2 expansion is revealed at Fan Faire 2009. Yes, I’ll be there. ;)

GU52 now on Test — Update Notes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Raiding, Tradeskill

Here are the notes for GU52 which has now appeared on Test. It is unknown exactly when these changes will go live.

FEATURED

Charasis: Emperor’s Athenaeum

  • The Order of Rime has managed to re-open this ancient vault of Venril Sathir’s. What secrets lie within? What terrible guardians? Venture in with a single group of adventurers to find out what awaits!

Kunark Overland Quests

  • A mysterious army has appeared upon the shores of Kunark and begun pillaging the land and slaughtering those that oppose them. Citizens of Dreg’s Landing in Kylong Plains, Riliss in Fens of Nathsar, the City of Jinisk in Kunzar Jungle and Danak in Jarsath Wastes are looking for your help in learning about the invaders and defeating them.

Kurn’s Tower

  • After Najena’s magic revealed the void tear slowly consuming the tower, the Bellywhumpers have frantically dug a passage into Kurn’s Tower once again! Delve into your choice of the x2 raid or the single group instance, and attempt to solve the mysteries within!

Research Assistants

  • Research Assistants have moved into many cities in Norrath.  These hardworking men and women will do the research to upgrade a spell or combat art from journeyman to adept or from expert to master.  They will only assist one character per account at a time and only help those level 20 or higher.  Research Assistants can be found in each of the six hoods and villages of Freeport and Qeynos, Neriak, Haven, Gorowyn and Kelethin.  You can ask any guard in those areas to point you in the direction of a Research Assistant if you can’t find them.

GPU Shadow System

  • A new shadow system has been implemented for the game.  This new system uses your graphics card to build the shadows rather than your CPU and it comes with a few extras as well.  Using the shadow mapping technique and 3.0 Shaders we’re now able to cast softer shadows, fade shadows, and cast dynamic shadows from trees, plants, feathers, and more!  The new system fixes a few shadowing glitches found in certain armor sets and self-shadowing and depending on your computer’s settings may also significantly improve performance.

User Books

  • Players can now leave their permanent mark in the world of Norrath by authoring their own books. Empty books are now available from sages.  Once you edit the content of an empty book you become the author and from that point forward you are the only one who can edit the book content.  Player-written books are tradable so you can give them to your friends or even sell them on the broker.

GENERAL

  • Indus Surion should no longer sell “The Freeport’s Guide to Opportunity – 2nd Edition”.
  • Navarius Orvalis should no longer sell “Welcome to Qeynos, Citizen! – 2nd Edition”.
  • Class Trainers will now only sell Entertainment spells and not Apprentice II spells.
  • By popular demand, the Gigglegibber Gamblin’ Lotto game has expanded onto the Lavastorm docks (void where prohibited by Norrathian law).
  • After a disturbing number of Koada’Dal disappeared while speaking with him, Vindain Greenfaith has moved slightly away from the entrance to The Down Below in Castleview Hamlet.
  • Daily faction missions in Tupta, Grobb, and Firmroot Moot now award more faction.
  • Killing NPCs will now accumulate achievement experience faster.
  • Missions now grant slightly higher achievement experience.
  • Merchants who formerly made a living selling Apprentice II spells are experiencing an economic downturn and have either found new employment or departed the city to seek fortune elsewhere.
  • Menders based in Kunark will now assist you even though they may be apprehensive.  Bankers and brokers are also willing to deal with you once they consider you indifferently.  Fens of Nathsar now has a mender, banker, and fence.
  • Mounts will now persist through death.
  • Most Baubles that apply illusions will show the illusion in the dressing room when Ctrl+Left Clicked.
  • Beneficial spells will no longer fail to cast if you have an object such as a harvest node or non-attackable npc targeted.
  • Cosmetic pets will no longer be killed by AOE from monsters.
  • Castable items will no longer trigger proc spells.
  • Item based triggered effects can no longer critical or have their damage components modified unless done directly through something like an achievement or set bonus.
  • You can now cancel a maintained spell by using /cancel_maintained spell name.
  • Fixed a case where some triggered spells would cause reactive damage triggers to go off.
  • Power draining dots will no longer trigger reactive damage once applied.
  • The elusive Schizophylum Spore in upper and lower Guk instances can now be found!

ACHIEVEMENTS

General

  • Castable Achievement abilities have been moved to the Combat Art or Spells tab depending on the class and the ability type.

Bard

  • Heroic Storytelling will now apply properly to damage and heals.

Druid

  • Reduced the recast of Rebirth to 5 minutes.

Predator

  • Toxic Expertise will now improve the damage of poisons instead of increasing spell critical chance.

Shadowknight

  • The Shadowknight will now be healed properly from Malevolent Protection.

Summoner

  • Reanimate pet will properly apply TSO pet modifiers now.

AUTOFOLLOW

  • Improved auto follow to avoid having the follower sometimes run large circles around the character they are following.
  • Auto follow now works when following someone who starts climbing down a cliff.
  • Autofollow while climbing used to only go up or down, now it also goes left or right.

CODING

  • EverQuest II now supports the Philips amBX experience.  With the amBX system, you can experience dynamic lighting, wind and rumble effects. See http://www.ambx.com/ for more information.

GUILDS

  • Players now get the message “GuildLeader has kicked YourAltName from the guild” if you are online and one of your alts is kicked (the message used to read “GuildLeader has kicked YOU from the guild”).
  • Changed the guild hall teleport pop up window to reuse the existing window rather than spawn multiples of the existing window.
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes causes a guild rally banner to deactivate before the two hour time limit.
  • Guilds are able to hire a research assistant hireling for their guild hall.
  • Fixed a bug causing level 79 guilds to only get 25 amenities instead of 29.
  • The slayer sign guild hall amenity no longer uses an amenity slot.
  • The guild hall amenity limit is no longer constrained by the size of the guild hall.  The number of amenities allowed is now only based on your guild’s level.

ITEMS

  • Upgraded the appearances on Aiden’s cloaks from Ward of Elements.
  • The Ground Granite Helm should now match the coloration of the rest of its set.
  • Adept and Master spell scrolls for Unyielding Will are no longer no-trade.
  • Bite of the Wolf will now trigger properly and apply to the warden.

LAVASTORM

  • “Efforts Repaid” has had the number of kills required reduced.
  • “Snuff the Flare Reapers” has had the number of kills required reduced and now all flare men count as quest targets.
  • “Colossal Lava Rocks” now includes hardened colossi as quest targets.
  • There is no longer a group of goblin ritualists that cause the Fiery Apparition to attempt to attack from across the zone.
  • There should no longer be any heroic encounters in the Temple of Sol Ro.
  • There should no longer be the occasional mob that can see invis in the Temple of Sol Ro.
  • Teleporters in Lavastorm can no longer be used while engaged in PvP combat.

MISTMYR MANOR

  • The Stewardess should no longer occasionally reset.
  • The 3 reward chests no longer have an unintentional 1-hour time limit before they despawn.
  • The Primogens teleport less frequently.
  • The Primogens should be a little less reluctant to give up certain items.
  • The Curator has slightly fewer hitpoints.

PLAYER HOUSING

  • The front door of a player house now always leads back to the city.

QUESTS

  • Kunzar Jungle: Any players who have completed the quest “Slice Your Way Up the Ladder” will now be able to get “Do Unto Havik” regardless of the order in which they did the Swifttails quests.
  • Characters that feign death or run away from the grave watchers for “Gathering Feathers” can now return and try again.
  • Gerun Pontian in the Commonlands will now update “Speckled Rattler Venom” for non-Freeport aligned citizens.
  • Kregnok Legbreaker in the Commonlands is not quite as good at breaking legs anymore.
  • The Clefts of Rujark – Players that have already completed “The Key of Coins” quest no longer need “a fancy steel key” in their inventory to access the Rujark treasure chamber.
  • Citizens of Gorowyn should be able to complete the Qeynos Claymore quest now.

SPELLS

General

  • Fighter avoidance buffs will once again persist through zoning.
  • Persistent spells should apply modification data properly upon zoning now.
  • Interpose effects will no longer trigger reactive procs while intercepting damage from another player.

Assassin

  • The Death Mark line will now use melee effect modifiers instead of spell modifiers.

Defiler

  • Spiritual Circle will once again apply to raid members.

Dirge

  • Cacophany of Blades will now make a melee attack instead of using a spell attack.

Enchanter

  • Mesmerize spells will no longer trigger additional spells.

Summoners

  • Some pet appearances have changed to match the new spell names.

Swashbuckler

  • The Inspired Daring line will now use melee effect modifiers instead of spell modifiers.

TRADESKILLS

  • Magmatic Bronze armor from Najena’s Forge now requires fewer components to create.
  • Tailors across Norrath have been experimenting and have discovered a way to improve the utility of crafted hex dolls.  Already existing pristine quality hex dolls will automatically improve.
  • Meledi Augren in the Village of Shin is looking for assistance from an experienced Sage.
  • Scholar recipes have been modified to reflect the spell naming changes.
  • Woodworkers and tailors have upgraded their recipes and can now make improved versions of tradeskilled ranged weapons (bows, satchels, bandoliers, pouches, and sheaths).  Old ranged weapons that already exist will not be affected, only new ones created henceforth.
  • Carpenters may find it worthwhile to investigate — or send their friends to investigate — the Estate of Unrest a little more closely.
  • Provisioners may find it worthwhile to investigate — or send their friends to investigate — the arena in Charasis West Wing.
  • Harvests are now more plentiful in the Palace of the Ancient One tradeskill instance.
  • Sages are now able to craft the level 34 Illusionist spell “Manatap,” formerly known as “Devitalizing Gaze.”
  • Alchemists among the Far Seas Supply Division have found new uses for Reflective Smoldering Shards.

USER INTERFACE

  • Statistic labels on the persona window now display the same tooltip as their values.
  • Updated the heading on the compass tool tip to be in line with the direction the compass is pointing.
  • Updated the deposit window to take eight digits rather than just seven.
  • Changed tool tips to auto widen if there are very long lines.
  • The friends list on the welcome screen will now ignore offline friends if that option is enabled on the community window.
  • Items that are appearance-only will now show APPEARANCE-ONLY in the examine window and on the tool tips of those items.
  • Fixed a bug causing hidden quests in players’ quest journal to become unhidden after zoning.
  • You can now specify the text format of your hotbars from the Hotkey Settings window.
  • You can now use the macro window to equip weapons in appearance slots.
  • You can now modify the key setting for toggling your point-of-view (F9) under Options->Controls->View Keys.
  • Fixed a bug where when a player would complete the last quest in the journal there would still be information from the completed quest showing in the details window in the journal and in the active quest window.
  • Textboxes now support selecting all text by pressing CTRL-A.

WARD OF ELEMENTS

  • Najena should no longer occasionally be floating up above the tower after Aiden has been slain.
  • Dayakara summons her imp minions slightly less frequently.

GU52 Preview Delayed

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

We’re hearing from EQ2′s new Senior Producer Brenlo that GU52 (Kurn’s Tower BTV, Kurn’s Tower x2, and CEA) will not hit Test and Test Copy until at least Tuesday, May 26th. It is unknown if this will push back the internal estimates of seeing GU52 on Live ‘several weeks’ before Fan Faire.

May 19 Hotfix

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

ITEMS

  • Death Chimes will now work correctly.
  • Ill Will now properly applies the heal to the owner of the item.

PALACE OF THE ANCIENT ONE

  • Pets should now be able to attack the Void Annihilator.

QUESTS

  • Boss mobs should now drop multiple keys for early progression in Veksar: The Invasion.
  • Innate spells used by much of the population in Veksar: The Invasion can no longer be used towards other creatures within the zone.

YKESHA’S INNER STRONGHOLD

  • The Archmagus now banishes players less frequently than before.  Field General Uktap’s Sappers now take longer to set explosive charges, and do not spawn as often.
  • Field General Uktap now drops legging patterns.
  • Ykesha now only drops chest patterns instead of both chest and legging patterns.

GU52: Return to Kunark

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

Ok, actually it’s Game Update 52: Monument and Might.

GAME FEATURES

  • Player-written books
  • Research Assistants
  • Spell Naming ConventionsAs spells upgrade through tiers rather than entirely new names, each subsequent spell will have a roman numeral increment afterwards. For instance Ice Comet and Ice Comet II. Rather than Apprentice I, II, IV, Adept I, Adept III, and Master I, Master II, spells will progress such as Apprentice, Journeyman, Adept, Master, Grandmaster, etc.
  • The end result of this will be spell names such as Ice Comet II (Adept).
  • Level 80 characters currently have their Combat XP converted into Achievement Experience at an extremely, almost immeasurably small rate. This rate will be adjusted upwards in Game Update 52.

NEW ZONES

  • Charasis: Emperor’s Athenaeum — a new group instance in Jarsath Wastes
  • Kurn’s Tower: Breaching the Void — a new group instance in the Fens of Nathsar
  • Kurn’s Tower — an extremely challenging new x2 raid zone

NEW QUESTS

  • We’re also adding more than 80 new quests to the overland zones of RoK. There will be all new adventures to be had in the Fens of Nasthar, Jarsath Wastes, and Kylong Plains.

These changes will appear on the Test Server sometime the week of May 18th.

   

May 12 Hotfix

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

ITEMS

  • The Bane Warding line can no longer be stacked by wearing three pieces of two different sets. All Bane Warding spells now deal less damage and cannot trigger more than once per second in PvP combat.
  • The Combat Art damage displayed on the Assassin’s Thirst abilities now matches the bonuses they give.


MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION

  • Yzlak Encounter – The clone adds of player priests now have reduced health.
  • Yzlak Encounter – The clones themselves will remain longer before becoming a Yzlak Presence.
  • Yzlak Encounter – Yzlak Presence adds can now be affected by all classes, not just the ones that match their archetype.
  • Yzlak Encounter – Infuriating Madness now only affects three players rather than five, the one targeted and the two closest to that player.
  • Ozyk Encounter – The void sappers have less health and hit players for far less damage.
  • Ozyk Encounter – Void sappers will not explode as quickly after they spawn, and the timed explosive charges looted by players are now stackable and instant cast, with a very short recast time.

QUESTS

  • A Cleansing This Temple Needs (Shard of the Day Quest) – Players who are not on the quest and not in Void Stalker form can no longer assist with killing the void-touched invaders.

Undocumented Fixes:

  • The T3 (Ward of Elements) Conjuror head piece proc effect now applies to the target encounter just like the Necromancer T3 headpiece. It previously only affected the conjuror’s target (single). See this thread.

Guild Hall Guards going on a Diet

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Game Updates & Maintenance

This will be good news for those of you with large guild halls and want to use more of the available guild hall amenities, but not without losing your Hall Guards.

In GU52, Hall Guards will no longer take up Amenity slots. Already, mailboxes do not take up amenity slots.

Also, as some guilds have used these Hall Guards for other purposes than guarding (indeed they don’t actually have any function and will not ‘defend’ the hall if invaders come in, nor are they agroable), in GU52, they will lose the “Hall Guard” flag under their name.

More Info

AA Curve to be Tuned

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

On May 6th, we were all reassured that the “AA problem” is a figment of our imaginations:

In EQII, we allow you to gain achievement experience at a fast rate by questing, discovering new locations, killing named creatures and even by getting certain items without this impacting your adventure leveling.  We feel that this ends up being a good overall compromise so players level up in both systems together pretty quickly.

So you can imagine my surprise when Aeralik popped  into one of dozens of threads discussing the AA Grind with this less than clear comment:

Or maybe someone can just adjust the adventure xp to achievement xp conversion so that you don’t have rely solely on quests.  Sounds like a good idea to me now if only someone would do that

I chipped in with:

Fantastic News, Aeralik. When are you going to do it? Cause right now it’s .0001% AA per kill.

and the surprising response was that we should expect changes in the conversion ratio from combat XP to achievement XP in GU52 (expected to appear on Test on or about May 18th and go live around the first of June).

Of course there was outcry from those folks who through a lucky set of circumstances (started playing EQ2 after KoS, didn’t reach 100 AAs before reaching level 70, didn’t do any quests beyond 100 AAs in EoF, and didn’t do any quests beyond 140 AAs in Kunark, so that all those quests are still available to earn AA) and through dogged determination grinding hundreds of grey quests have managed to reach 200 AAs. In response, Aeralik had this to say:

I would disagree that this is making the game easymode.  People are going through all sorts of strange methods to get to 200aa that we never intended.  The progression from achievement experiences hasn’t changed since it’s introduction with KoS and the initial curve.  As a result of that, level 199 to 200 is almost like doing 79-80 twice by grinding.  We wanted some difficulty in going to 200 so that we didnt repeat RoK where you got to 80 the same time you got to 140 but this is on the excessive side.  Changing it so that someone who runs a dungeon real quick gets 10-15% aa plus a mission bonus just lets you use the current content properly as a source of advancement. You can still go do those gray quests in old zones if you choose but having the option to advance through the current content should be the preferred method.

I’m sure some of those “strange methods” he is talking about was the Icy Keep mission at Frostfell where some folks gained 10-15 AA points just from doing mentored 5 minute runs through Icy Keep.

My opinion on all this can best be summed up by this quote from Gage:

This is a fix that is long overdue.  As long as the conversion % is scaled up enough it will make doing missions, doing instances and actually playing the game AT THE CURRENT TIER a meaningful way to earn AA experience.

The Mandate Detrimental

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

A substantial (and undocumented) change which was made to all of the “key mobs” in TSO dungeons was clearly intended to prevent Monks, Bruisers, and Shadowknights from acquiring Void Shards (and Plat in some dungeons).

But it now looks like this detrimental effect, called Mandate, may affect groups attempting to clear TSO dungeons. Here’s a thread discussing it. I’ve even got art… Thanks Merriestar:


One can assume this is the first half of SoE closing the “Void Shard loopholes” first identified in TSO beta but which got no official attention until just a few weeks ago.

May 5 Tuesday “Hotfix”

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

Posted by Kiara:

GENERAL

  • Overpaying shard chests in Guk Upper, Guk Lower, Guk Stronghold, Nu’Roga, Veksar and Korsha have had their platinum payouts decreased to be inline with the other zones.

ATREBE’S LABORATORY

  • Sannik the Unfinished in Atrebe’s Laboratory has had his damage significantly lowered.

PALACE OF THE ANCIENT ONE

  • Players in combat should now be able to harvest energized crystals within Anashti Sul’s room in Palace of the Ancient One.
  • The Void Handlers associated with Pentaclypse and Ultaclypse in Palace of the Ancient One now do slightly less damage.

YKESHA’S INNER STRONGHOLD

  • The unstable minions that spawn in Ykesha’s Inner Stronghold during the Tyrannus encounter will no longer target priests or mages.

ZARRAKON’S ABYSSAL CHAMBER

  • The Mystmerian Wraiths associated with Zarrakon will not spawn quite as quickly now.

I wonder if anyone will ever run Nu’roga again? Without a 30 plat chest waiting at the end of that 3 hour dungeon crawl (unless you are full fabled/mythical), why would anyone visit this zone again?

And as for the changes that DIDN’T make it into the notes…

The “key mobs” in each of the 20 TSO dungeons have been substantially buffed so that they can no longer be soloed by Shadowknights, Monks, and Bruisers. As with all EQ2 changes, this buff is a complete overreaction and will probably wipe many groups. Each of these key mobs has been buffed to ^^^ with two ^^ adds and now has an effect called Mandate:

  • Forces Target to clear their selected targetPrevents target from changing targets

    Interrupts target

    Disarms Primary, Secondary and Ranged slots of target

    When target begins casting a spell this spell will cast interruption on target

    Inflicts 227-530 magic damage on target

    Interrupts target

    Throws target back

    When target uses a combat art this spell will cast shock on target. Lasts for 9 seconds

    Stuns target

    Interrrupts target

    Epic targets gain immunity to stun effects of 27 seconds and duration is reduced to 3 seconds

File this under “Why don’t you worry about how YOU play the game and quit worrying about how OTHER PEOPLE play the game.”

New x2 Raid Zone

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

Lest ye think that the Ward of Elements zone is the only x2 raid zone we will be seeing for a while, Kander has given us an update.

Timetraveling and I have no plans to make this zone any easier, we feel that the challenge vs reward is about right. If there is anything you feel that is a flat out bug and needs to be fixed, please feel free to PM either him or me and we’ll look into it ASAP.

In other news, we have another x2 coming soon, that will be a tad more… challenging.

The Ward of Elements, introduced in the GU51 Lavastorm Revamp, has gotten a lot of positive feedback from casual and established raiders on its difficulty and rewards. Yes, there are some folks out there who are totally overwhelmed by the difficulty of the zone. But SoE made clear the requirements of the zone before it went live — it was tailored for folks with full Adept 3, Epic Weapon, decent Jewelry, and T2 Void Shard Armor.

Folks who feel comfortable running most of the heroic dungeons in TSO should have no trouble with at least the first 3-4 names in Ward of Elements, and then via internal progression, once several raid members have acquired their T3 armor in the WoE, should be able to start progressing to the last 4 names in the zone.

I know our guild has already got the first 3 named on farm status and we made a valiant attempt at Digg and are going to work on our placement issues. It sure would be nice if those bridges were solid instead of floating rocks that you can slip between and fall to your death.

The immediate supposition has been that the new x2 raid zone will be Kurn’s Tower. We’ll give you more details as soon as we have them.

Spell Naming IV

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Bravo to those of you who have managed to keep up with the 39 page topic on Spell Naming. That’s almost as remarkable as those who have managed to read every single post in the 64 page Research Assistants thread!

For the rest of you who just do not have that kind of time, I present some highlights, which offer some insight into just what direction the game is heading. In particular, Aeralik points out how there are some game mechanics which are complex or only really understood by folks who have an in-depth knowledge of how the game works.

Aeralik posted in the Spell Naming thread:

I just want to reiterate that this change has nothing to do with creating new spell names.  Some members of the mechanics team were in meetings discussing balance and why certain aspects were overly complex while giving little gain for that complexity. We outlined several tasks going forward and this is just one of the areas we wanted to adjust going forward.

Take for example mitigation.  Some of you know that a level 70 bp with 500 mitigation is far worse than a level 80 bp with 500 mitigation even though both are plate.    On the broker they look the same but when you put on the level 70 one you probably notice the persona window tells you the bp you bought actually isnt all that good for your level. Unless you are an avid veteran of the boards here, you probably would not have known that and purely by the examination they should have been the same but they arent due to the level difference between you and the level 70 bp.  That is an example of something we are looking to make more obvious going forward and an idea of what we have redefined our goals to be.  Other aspects are things like why not have a common double attack instead of 2 double attacks and needing to make special items with ranged double attack from rangers.  Or why double up on deflection chance and shield effectivness when we can make common fighter items that increase block and deflection.

Back on topic though, Spell renaming just happened to be one of the simpler and more straightforward changes.  We decided to start off with that first while investigating how to handle some of our other concerns like the ones stated above. As a veteran player myself, I understand the players desire to not change spell names.  We have all been through several expansions and level cap raises.  We understand the spell progression and even take it for granted at this point.  If we don’t know when exactly we get the next spell or what its name is, we know what resources to use to figure it out.  Put yourself in a complete newbies shoes though and say you are a wizard.  You get your level 1 spell that you use for a few levels and then suddenly at 6 you get a new version of that with a new name.  You then get an upgrade to this at 12, 20 and 29 before going to the 14 level pattern.   That is a pretty strange pattern to be honest and with varying name structures I can see where some people might get confused.

I’ve seen several comments from people in this thread and others, where the different names have caused confusion.  If there are several here in this thread that means there are probably many more in game.  So if we can make a small change which helps keep some newer players in game then I think that ends up as an overall positive thing going forward.

Edit: Also the current format I am working with is Ice Comet II ( Journeyman ) which is pretty close to what we have today.

I know as a Ranger I would certainly have preferred if the merging of Double Attack and Ranged Double Attack he speaks of had happened prior to TSO launching. Before TSO, except for raid gear, RDA was a very rare stat. Now it’s on everything. And I wonder exactly what this will mean as Aeralik has frequently added less RDA to items than DA with the explanation that RDA = more damage per point than DA. Does this mean that Rangers are going to see a net 10-15% DPS loss on existing itemization when this change goes through? Inquiring minds want to know.

As of April 20th, the Spell Naming polls located in the class forums have been closed and tallying of scores begun. Again from Aeralik:

Thanks to everyone who has voted on spell names so far.  We will be closing down the polls today and beginning the conversion with the winners. I don’t have an exact estimate of when you will be seeing this go to test but it should be within the next few weeks.

No word on whether Conjurors and Necromancers dodged the spell renaming bullet. I have no problem with the spell renaming, but I feel that Conjuror and Necromancer pets should be exempted as they are completely different pets in each tier.

And on April 28th, Aeralik gave us an update:

Just wanted to update everyone that internally this is pretty much done and awaiting our internal testing.  I don’t have an eta as to when it will go to test but probablly not until sometime in early May.  When you view your spell book it will say Ice Comet, Ice Comet II, etc.  Tooltips and spellscrolls will use the same basic format followed by Apprentice, Journeyman, Adept, Expert, Master or Grandmaster.  The old apprentice 2 spells have been removed because the Norrathian Merchant association decided they were not selling enough in the economic downturn.

Any scrolls, recipes or writs you have should automatically convert to the new system.  Also fighter Taunt and Kick have been removed and replaced with the appropriate line instead of a generic all archetype spell.  Priests also had some common class heals which are now replaced by a new spell of the appropriate line name.  Summoners also had their heart and shard spells condensed into one spell for each class.  The new version replaces existing hearts and shards and scales to the level of the caster.

Any old Apprentice II and Apprentice III spells will scribe as Apprentice, I believe.

P.S. Throughout the Spell Naming thread, numerous suggestions have been thrown out about spells being given at low levels and “scaling up” all the way to level 80. However this would eliminate the need for 3 tradeskill classes, eliminate the source of dusts which are used to make mastercrafted poisons and cures, and also eliminate the idea of Masters in high level dungeons.

Consider the suggestion of auto-scaling spells to be about as likely as Beastlords being added to EQ2.

Update Notes: Tuesday, April 21

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

Posted by Kiara:

GENERAL

  • The friends list on the welcome screen will now ignore offline friends if that option is enabled on the community window.

ITEMS

  • The 4-piece bonuses on the Paladin, Monk, Berserker, and Defiler Shadow Odyssey raid sets have been improved.
  • The Lycanthrope Bracelet’s effects in PVP combat have been slightly lowered.

QUESTS

  • One of the lists of names for the Task “Hidden Agenda” could appear in an unreachable spot on a bookshelf. This has been fixed.

WARD OF ELEMENTS

  • Elemental bosses in Ward of Elements now drop non-stacking encrusted gems. The encrusted gems can be unpacked to yield stackable elemental gems. This change allows the gems to be split between players when dropped.

First Hints of GU52

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Aeralik has chimed in with the first hints of what we can expect in GU52:

GU52 has a wide variety of things coming. From what I understand there will be an assortment of new quests and additional content which means additional ways to raise your aa points if you havent yet.  You have to keep in mind dfferent people have different responsibilities.  My job is to work on the class balance and combat systems which this falls under and like I said is the first part of a greater plan which we will talk about more in the future.  While I am working on this and some other things,  the other projects do not suffer at all and actually its actually pretty amazing how much stuff is going into this next update.

Update Notes: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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

GENERAL

  • Players will now see a new Welcome Screen upon login.
  • The Welcome Screen can be disabled by adding cl_show_welcome_screen_on_startup 0 (that’s a zero) to your eq2.ini.
  • You can now ctrl+left click the armor crates in the Station Marketplace window to see all of the armor pieces in the dressing room at once!

MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION

  • A mysterious and powerful void entity has made its presence known on Norrath.  Although its motives aren’t clear, its powerful presence has sent shivers through even the most powerful denizens of the realm.  This zone represents its stronghold and should prove a challenge for even the most experienced raiders.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Bruiser

  • Enhance: Ignore Bruises will work properly

Priest

  • Litany of Combat will no longer affect combat arts

Templar

  • Focused Prayers will now increase hostile spell casting time instead of reducing it.

Crusader

  • Cavalier’s Call will now work correctly.

ITEMS

  • The Harbinger of Malcontent and the Virtue’s Guard are now kite shields with higher protection.
  • Raiders who defeat The Leviathan can now collect their trophy from its corpse.
  • Many raid drops have had +crushing skill added to them where appropriate.
  • The Bruiser epic weapons will once again proc properly.

PVP

  • The Earthen Robe should now cost the same as other chest slot set items

QUESTS

  • Spells used by the Void Stalker on the daily shard quest have been made to cast faster and refresh faster to speed up combat.

WARD OF ELEMENTS

  • The mystery ogre that has been attacking adventurers at the entrance of the Ward of Elements has been removed.
  • The Tempest within Ward of Elements should be far less likely to leash within its own room.
  • During Aiden’s encounter, Smoldering Updraft now grants players in-combat runspeed and slowfall in addition to glide.
  • Aiden’s adds are now tier 8 instead of 9.
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