Whence GU51?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

While we do not have a date yet for GU51 (The Lavastorm Revamp, now minus the Fighter Revamp), we now know that it will be released sooner rather than later, with as many of the fixes, improvements, and content as possible, excluding the much maligned Fighter Revamp.

Kiara posted:

The Lavastorm changes ARE going to be pushed live.

Right now they’re being separated from the fighter changes so that we can push them live (and a little extra polish is being thrown on as well).

I don’t have an exact date yet for the Lavastorm changes going live, but I know that the team is working hard to push them as soon as they can.

When I have a clearer ETA, I’ll be sure to share.

Rothgar was nice enough to post here on my blog and at the forums:

Lavastorm is going live separate from revamp. Right now the plan is that {the Agro Meter} will still make the cut.  The next update to Test should include all of the features that have been accumulating over the past couple of months minus the fighter changes.

   

GU51 Delayed

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Looks like Game Update 51 — Elements of Corruption — including the Lavastorm revamp, new x2, x4 raid zones, T3 armor, and fighter revamp have been further delayed.

From a March 9, 2009 post on EQ2Players:

As many of you know, we’ve been working on Elements of Corruption (Game Update 51) for some time…there really is a lot of good stuff coming, including new zones, new raids, new quests, a revamp of Lavastorm, the list seems endless. However, we’re not quite ready to release it. I know many of you were expecting us to do so this week or next, but at this point, we just need some more time to spend working on it so that it’s just right for all of you. Please be patient with us while we finish polishing the update, and as soon as we have a good date that we can ship out all of this exciting goodness, we’ll let you know.

T3 Void Shard Armor Screen Shots

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

Here is the new Tier 3 Void Shard Armor.

NEWLY REVISED FOR 3/4/09 — T3 Set Bonuses have been adjusted.

Note: Just in case it’s not clear, I have Photoshopped out the Set Bonuses from all but 1 item in each screen shot. Every T3 Void Shard Armor set has set bonuses for having (2), (3), (5), and (7) pieces from the set.

bard2 enchanter2 predator2
Bard, Enchanter, Predator

druid2 rogue2 cleric2
Druid, Rogue, Cleric

summoner2 sorcerer2 shaman2 mystic_female
Summoner, Sorcerer, Shaman*

* You know those whacky Shamans… always running around buck naked wearing just twigs and funny hats. :) Actual screen shots BTW.

crusader2 brawler2 warrior2
Crusader, Brawler, Warrior

shamanbard2 crusaderwarriorcleric2 [placeholder] Bard/Shaman, Crusader/Warrior/Cleric, Brawler/Druid

I realized today that I do not have the T3 upgrade for Wilderness Warrior up.  I will work on getting this up today.

NOTE 1: For those folks with TSO x4 Raid Gear looking at these items and having a heart attack, stroke, or other blood flow stoppage, login to Test and look at your gear again. The TSO x4 raid gear from ToMC/PoAO/etc. (which people are starting to call T4) has been upgraded substantially to make room for these new T3 items.

NOTE 2: Bracers which are boss drops in the new x2 raid zone. These make the 7th piece in each set.

NOTE 3: For those resourceful Assassins out there who have been juggling 3 pieces each of Soul Lancer and Ravagers, the T3 upgrade for Soul Lancer is not usable by Predators. Fortunately Fyreflyte is making a code change to the T3 Void Shard Merchant to accept T2 Soul Lancer pieces to upgrade to the T3 Ravager pieces.

This is being discussed on the EQ2 Forums.

The T3 Void Shard Armor Equation

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

Ok, I hopped over to Test and got the scoop on how the T3 Void Shard Armor seems to work.

There are two NPCs:

  • Assilus Poisonbolt <Elemental Pattern Quartermaster>
  • Borden Chargehammer <Elite Void Shard Armor Quartermaster>

As you run the new x2 Raid Zone “The Ward of Elements”, one or more Molds will drop from raid bosses. To buy your T3 Void Shard Armor Pattern from Assilus, you must have the necessary Mold and the requisite number of Void Shards.

Borden will take your Pattern and the requisite T2 Void Shard Armor piece and turn it into a T3 Void Shard Armor piece.

For instance, I run the x2 Raid Zone and I get my Boot Mold. I give the Boot Mold and 5 Void Shards to Assilus and he gives me a Boot Pattern in exchange. Then I turn to Borden and I turn in my T2 Boots and the Boot Pattern and he gives me my brand spanking new T3 Boots. I do see how this could confuse people. The simplest way to explain it is with this chart:

T3 Void Shard Armor

8 Void Shards + Head Mold + T2 Head -> T3 Head
10 Void Shards + Chest Mold + T2 Chest -> T3 Chest
12 Void Shards + Shoulder Mold + T2 Shoulder -> T3 Shoulder
5 Void Shards + Gloves Mold + T2 Gloves -> T3 Gloves
8 Void Shards + Legs Mold + T2 Legs -> T3 Legs
5 Void Shards + Boots Mold + T2 Boots -> T3 Boots

But we’re not done yet. All of the T3 Void Shard Armor Sets have a 7 piece bonus, meaning you’ll have to get the Bracers somewhere. Note that some armor sets have multiple items of the same slot listed in the “set”. Coercer and Illusionist for instance have 2 headpieces they can choose from.

Tradeskill Love in GU51

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

From EQ2Players.

In Game Update 51 (scheduled for a mid-March arrival), Tradeskillers will get some love:

  1. A new Tradeskill Instance in the Void. This will be a bit different than the existing 3 group tradeskill instances which level 50-80 tradeskillers have been doing since TSO came out.
  2. Updated recipes for shields, orbs, and other secondary slot items.
  3. Guild Hall Trophies were mentioned at FanFaire ’08 and will make their appearance here. These trophies consist of 2 raid “bosses” from the original launch and 2 additional raid bosses from each subsequent expansion. Tradeskillers will make a “trophy mount” which, when combined with some remnant of the boss (presumably its head) will created a guild hall-placeable item. The recipe for this comes from the master tradeskill delegate you bought your AA mirror recipe from.
  4. The Far Seas Supply Division (the new TSO tradeskill faction) has work for you in Lavastorm! New mounts including a lava rhino and flying, flaming, carpet and of course there are the obligatory house furniture items as well. :)
  5. 2 New Red Shiny Collection Collections in Lavastorm exclusively for tradeskillers (NO TRADE).

Push Button Tanking?

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

You’ve probably heard a lot about the tanking changes which were put on hiatus. The cancelled Game Update #51 – Lucan’s Art of War was split into a couple of hotfixes and the fighter revamp got put on hold.

Currently, fighters hold agro through a combination of taunts, hate transfers from Assassins, Coercers, etc., and by putting out superior DPS. In the current situation Shadowknights are putting out more DPS in multi-target fights than some “DPS” classes.

The intention of this well-intentioned fighter revamp is for fighters to be able to hold agro in a fight entirely by taunting and taunt-based attacks. The theory is a fighter should be able to hold agro against classes doing 3-5 times as much damage entirely through taunting.

The issue with this is that taunting is not very exciting. And spam taunting defeats the current mechanism of timing autoattacks. It is well known that a substantial percentage of fighter and scout damage comes not from casting Combat Arts, but the gaps between your Combat Arts when “auto attacks” go off. Those occasional swings, whacks, or arrow volleys can account for 40-50% of your DPS if timed properly.

As proof of just how boring tanking might be under these expected changes, steelbadger has created a single Macro entitled “Tank” which, when pressed repeatedly during a battle, generates more hate and holds agro better than the most masterfully played combat.

macroyx1
Tank Macro

To quote Dasein:

Tanking in its current form is like chess –
the proposed changes reduce tanking to tic-tac-toe.

The response from EQ2 Dev Rothgar was startling:

I’m already seeing people do similar macros and this can’t be good for server performance, spamming it with so many commands in a short period of time.

If the trend moves more towards this type of play style we will be forced to limit the number of spells and command steps you can add to a macro.

Talk about treating the symptom and ignoring the disease!

From EQ2 Forums.

Feb 18 Hotfix

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

BROKERS

  • Players should no longer get an erroneous message about vendor slots being full when first opening the broker after a fresh login.

ORCISH WASTES

  • The Avatar of War will now cast Furious Axe of War at the start of each combat, rather than waiting.

QUESTS / MISSIONS

  • An issue that could prevent some players from getting daily missions if they had completed the previous mission has been fixed.

Odd Bugs

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

Some odd bugs have been introduced into the TSO Mission system and the Broker system as well.

The solution to the TSO Missions is to bring up your Completed Quests and click on any existing missions. They will vanish from the list.

The solution to the broker slots refusing to sell items is to send a mail or click Take Coin.

Feb 5th Graphic Tweaks

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

Don’t you love unannounced tweaks? :)

There are some threads on the EQ2 Forums indicating that some graphics were revamped as part of the Feb 5th update. The ice in Everfrost is more translucent and looks really cool. However an inadvertent change was made to the grass in the Antonica Guild Hall. It looks rather black and spotty now. A hotfix is planned.

Feb 15th Upcoming Update

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

It is not easy to take a Game Update, remove a significant chunk of it, and release the rest. What was originally planned as Game Update 51 contained the much-maligned Fighter Revamp, as well as changes to Auto Follow, Spells, Items, the introduction of the HEIRLOOM tag, and some other items as well.

Most of those improvements went live on February 5th. According to EQ2 Devs, for the remaining components of what was formerly known as GU51 (minus the Fighter Revamp) “We’re aiming for the week of February 16th as early as possible. “

There is no official list of just what this update will contain, but a quick perusal of the original GU51 notes, minus the Fighter Revamp, minus the Feb 5th update, puts these items on tap for a Feb 15th update:

GUILD HALLS

  • 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

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

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}

Again, this is NOT an official list. This is just my armchair analysis and will likely change between now and February 15th.

Pass the Mothballs

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

Looks like the new HEIRLOOM tag was not fully tested for The Proof in the Pudding tradeskill epic updates. The following characteristics have been discovered:

  • Pulling the completed items out of the Shared Bank will not update the quest. You must delete and reacquire the quest “The Proof in the Pudding”.
  • Turning in the quest “The Proof in the Pudding” will consume ANY update items from your personal bags AND the Shared Bank. So if you created more than 1 of each item in the hopes of updating the quest for multiple characters, they will be ALL used up by the first person turning in the quest if these items are in your Shared Bank.

Solution:

  • Make sure there is only 1 set of update items in Shared Bank.
  • Log in the character that needs to turn in the quest.
  • Delete and re-acquire the quest.
  • Turn in the quest, making sure that there are no other update items in the Shared Bank.

UPDATE: Proof in the Pudding updates are now totally broken and the quest is now impossible to complete.

Hopefully this will be fixed soon!

From EQ2 Forums.

New x2 Raid is the Place to Be

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

Looks like loot, AA, and the enjoyment of doing an x2 raid won’t be the only reasons folks will be packing like sardines into the new x2 raid zone.

Posted by fyreflyte here:

(The 12 new armor appearances being introduced in GU51) will indeed require some additional void shards (though not a staggering amount), but they won’t be directly purchased off the merchants. You’ll have to complete some of the x2 content to be able to get your hands on them =)

Thus far the appearances have only been used on loot that will require some running of the x2 zone to acquire. This is all very new stuff, however, and some of it will eventually be available through other channels as well.

So there you have it. The first application of these new appearances will be the x2 raid zones. You’ll need void shards, but you won’t be able to immediately buy these items.

No doubt these new appearances will be the “killer app” for StationCash. I’m certain that will be the second venue that these items will appear in. Followed eventually by faction recipes or faction rewards, etc. for soloers.

Glad I’m raiding these days. ;)

Feb 5 Game Update Notes

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

This was planned to be Game Update #51, but with the Fighter Revamp changes postponed, this is now just a big hotfix. There’s still some great stuff in here:

HIGHLIGHTS
A new (item tag) has been added: HEIRLOOM. These items are the same as NO-TRADE except that they can be placed into your shared bank. Characters on the same account and server can then pick them up out of the shared bank. Normal shared bank rules apply on PVP servers.

  • Void Shards
  • Proof in the Pudding update items (Master Tradeskiller)
  • Certain Tradeskill Faction Reward items
  • Kunark Faction Tradeskill Recipes

GENERAL

  • The spider ability ‘Sticky Webbing’ (on overland trash mobs in the Moors of Ykesha) has changed from a 30 second root to a 3 second daze.
  • Merchants in the Village of Shin will now buy as well as sell items.
  • It should now be slightly easier to avoid the blood gorgers in the entry passage to Grobb, if you are careful.
  • Spotting a business opportunity, a new fuel merchant has recently set up shop in Firmroot Moot near the mender.
  • Large attribute values over the base cap will no longer cause your max hitpoints or power to decrease.
  • Adornments which add additional damage to a weapon will now correctly report critical attacks.

ACHIEVEMENTS
General

  • Bountiful Harvest should no longer display a combined harvest on root and foresting nodes. Instead you should see two messages similar to other nodes.

Assassin

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

Berserker

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

Shaman
Kindred Restoration will now cast properly if the shaman is casting another spell.

DUNGEONS/ENCOUNTERS
Anchor of Bazzul

  • Imprisoner Y’nosii’s death now results in his weakened soul spawning. Killing the weakened soul gives a key that will open Ynosii’s treasure chest.

Cavern of the Afflicted

  • A group of zombies near the first Maledictive Terror should no longer continue to respawn.

Evernight Abbey
Players on the quest A Brother’s Revenge should no longer be able to get a quest update and be asked to turn in Gabardine Obisgnul’s head when they do not have the item.

Halls of the Forsaken

  • The mission End of the Forsaken should no longer occasionally have too few forsaken soldiers and conscripts present in the zone.

Nektulos

  • The Avatar of Hate should cast crushing hatred more reliably on attackers now.

Palace of the Ancient One

  • The Switchmaster should critically hit players somewhat less often now.
  • Tythus can no longer have his Voidslide AOE interrupted.
  • The duration of Nether Bolt, the reactive associated with Pentaclypse and Ultaclypse, has been reduced to 1.5 seconds.

Ravenscale Repository
The two parts of Mission of the Macabre can now be completed in any order, so that Noyle is no longer occasionally already dead once players reach that step.

ITEMS

  • Atrebite Mantle of Destruction may now be worn by all plate tanks.
  • Drum of the Ethernaut Chronicler’s proc now functions on both spells and melee attacks.
  • Cloak of the Overlord and Cloak of Antonia Bayle now have additional ranged bonuses.
  • The proc text on Ripper’s Stiletto now more clearly states that it triggers only from attacks made with that weapon.
  • A number of the Frostfell reward armors have been changed to create a more balanced stat progression.
  • Paladin’s Zealous Voidbeam 4-piece bonus now adds mitigation instead of Spell and Combat Art damage.
  • Silk Robe of Summoning, Aramid Robe of Voidcaller, and Staff of Elemental Mastery no longer function on swarm pets, but should stack with other pet effects better than they did previously.
  • The 5-piece bonus on the Conjuror and Necromancer raid sets has been improved slightly.
  • Razhish’s Cloak of Flowing Power has a new proc.
  • The effect on Ferhustr’s Furious Rolling-Pin should now add 20% to heals and runes.
  • Overloaded heal procs will now trigger properly from reactives and wards
  • Unholy Rift 4 piece bonus to Tenacity should now have a 35m range.
  • The Neutral Avatar 2 piece charm bonus will now work correctly.
  • Protective Platemail Helm of the Rising Sun is now properly classified as plate.
  • Void-Etched Blade and Void Cutlass of the Lethe now have delays more suitable for offhand weapons.
  • Extract Mana on the Illusionist robe from VP now functions properly.
  • The collection reward Cape of Infatuation now has an appearance.
  • Many of the fabled items within Palace of the Ancient One, Ykesha’s Inner Stronghold and Tomb of the Mad Crusader, have been upgraded and or had effects added.
  • Gynok Moltor will no longer drop Stained Mummy Bandages or the Eye Mounted Ring. His drops have been upgraded and new items have been added in place of the ones that were shared.
  • The Savage Wall was dropping from both Captain Ikalus and Xebnok the Wretched. Xebnok will no longer drop the Savage Wall and has had a new item added to his table to replace it.
  • A few pet caster effects have been added to select mage items.
  • The Silvered Link Chain is now usable by rogues.
  • Zarrakon will now drop new items. In addition some of his existing drops have been upgraded or had effects added to them.

QUESTS
Moors of Ykesha
Captain Lip Marrsquire’s “Evidence?” quests are no longer impeded if completed after finishing the quest, “Who Dun It?” Return to Captain Lip Marrsquire to complete these quests.

SPELLS
General

  • Examination Data will now show the critical damage multiplier if it differs from the base amount.
  • Spells that are affected by achievements will no longer drop after being charmed.

Defiler

  • Spiritual Circle will now apply properly to members of the raid.

Inquisitor

  • Repenting Strike will now trigger if the inquisitor is stunned or stifled.

Necromancer

  • Siphoning of Souls adept 3 will now trigger Soothing Soul properly.

TRADESKILLS

  • A number of trade skill faction rewards are now considered heirlooms. The components required for “Proof of the Pudding” are also considered heirlooms.
  • “Tools of the Trade” set bonuses are now slightly different for each set. (previously, the level 55, 65, and 75 items were identical, now they have 5%, 7%, and 9% bonuses to tradeskill durability).

User Interface

  • Critical Mitigation display in the persona window will now show the attribute gains as well. (Each 100 points of AGI provides 1 point of innate Critical Mitigation ability to Scouts and Fighters. Each 100 points of INT provides 1 point of innate Critical Mitigation ability to Mages and Priests.)

Lavastorm Revamp Preview

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

EQ2Players is now hosting a lore-filled, if vague preview of what is now being called Game Update #51 “Elements of Corruption”. This is the Lavastorm revamp, adding means of travel, teleporters, x2 raid zone, new 45-55 content, new 80 content, etc. The release date for this update is unknown, partly because of the separation of the Fighter Revamp from the old Game Update 51, which is now being released as part of Erollisi Day.

Lavastorm Revamp Preview at EQ2Players

   

The Lavastorm Revamp

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

As I predicted, the Lavastorm revamp will take a page from the Everfrost revamp last fall. As posted by timetravelling here:

Travel around lavastorm will be MUCH MUCH easier. We’ve added more teleporters as well as travel mount paths.

None of the old content is slated to be removed, some of the mobs will see slight tweaks and might be moved around a bit, but we don’t plan to actually remove any quests or content.

The level 80 content is actually in brand new areas we’re adding to the island, none of the old areas are being overwritten.

Lots of new quests, both in the 45-55 range and at 80.

I know some purists will be upset but Lavastorm is 3 years old now. Most folks run through it just for quest updates, not because they want to explore the zone. This is great news that there will be questlines there for level 50-55 as this is one of the holes in EQ2 content right now.

I hope the mounts being added aren’t too “easy mode”, but additional teleporters will be great. You still have to get to these locations to get the teleporter update. And yay for more 80 content since a lot of folks are hitting a brick wall at ~165 AAs.

Erollisi Day and GU51* too?

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

Looks like whenever the servers come down to patch in Erollisi Day (which will be sometime between now and February 10th), we will see most of the various patches, fixes, and changes expected to come in Game Update 51, minus the Fighter Revamp.

I know some f0lks have been anxiously awaiting the HEIRLOOM tag so they can move Void Shards from one character to another, do updates for Proof in the Pudding (Tradeskill Epic), etc. with alts, and buy faction recipes for alts as well.

Erollisi Day will be activated February 10th, but the patch will happen before then.

Extrapolated from several posts by Kiara in this thread.

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]

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.

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