Play the Game!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Grouping

I’ve edited the “EQ2 Fan Faire Rollup” post so many times, trying to get it factually accurate and inclusive, I’m surprised I haven’t worn a spot on the hard drive.

We’ve had the facts and figures. Let’s play the game!

Soloing to 80?

I’ve always considered soloing to 80 a recipe for disaster as you will be at a huge disadvantage. Playing the game solo to 80 ill prepares most classes for grouping. You don’t know how to play your class in a group. You don’t know how other classes complement your class. Soloing to 80 can be bad if you have aspirations to group afterwards. You might even earn a bad reputation on your server which is hard to erase!!

Why have folks chosen to solo to 80? Out of fear. They would rather earn as much AA as possible while leveling up, rather than wait until 80 and then need to earn nearly 100 AAs in one long grind. Clearly there is an issue that needed to be addressed…

The AA Problem

If one thing is clear from both Gu52 and Fan Faire, the EQ2 dev team realizes there was an AA problem, which is now being addressed. Already, Gu52 nearly tripled the AA XP rewarded for running Shard quests, substantially increased the AA rewards for killing named encounters, and increased the Combat XP to AAXP conversion ratio to something reasonable.

So what’s coming in the expansion to further deal with the AA issue?

First of all, the much-requested AA slider. You’ll be able to choose how much AA vs. Combat XP you gain by grouping up and adventuring in dungeons and in overland zones. Your group may choose to set 100% AA and just crawl dungeons to build your character.

In the expansion, you’ll be able to mentor in 5 level increments just by hailing an NPC. If your group wants to run an old dungeon, perhaps one that rarely gets explored like the Forsaken City, and do so at the tier-appropriate level to earn AA and even loot, now you can, even if you don’t have a friend online to mentor.

There will even be missions to complete old content specifically killing bosses of older zones. And to prepare for this, respawn times on names are being analysed and populated zones will “instance” themselves, like Stormhold 1, Stormhold 2, etc.

I am hoping that with AAs being easier to earn, plus the expansion being in February instead of November, that folks will stop PANICKING about AAs and start playing the game again. Actually you know, GROUP in level 20-65. Because they won’t have to fear that endless AA grind when they hit 80.

Not Every Group Has Six

As for content doable without a full group, The Hole, the new level 82+ contested dungeon in the new expansion is going to be in the same vein as Sanctum of Scaleborn, but over twice as large. It will have 3 wings and you spawn in the middle, so you make a difficulty choice right there. Some of it will be tuned for 4 players. With the deepest reaches tuned for the strongest players. It will have a full progression within the zone. There will be quests picked up within the zone (which are NOT part of long linked chains of quests) which can be completed within the zone.

The new expansion is all about having a full range of game difficulty. Having a choice of zone difficulty (not clicking a door and choosing ‘Easy’, ‘Normal’, or ‘Hard’, but instead triggering this type of choice in how you pull an encounter, or choices you make while progressing through a dungeon, which will effect the drop rate or completely change the loot table.

They know how popular solo and 3-person instances (Haunted Mansion) are, and are looking at that as well.

Then they are looking at the other end for those hardcore folks who would like to be taking down avatar-difficulty mobs but are on servers whose avatars are already on lockdown by a successful guild.

   

Fan Faire 2009 EQ2 News Rollup

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

I present the EverQuest II Expansion & Game Update News from Fan Faire in a rollup post. This is partly based on the Fan Faire 2009 Consolidated News by Kalyyn. I started with Kalyyn’s great writeup and have built upon it, adding dozens of new details and minor corrections based on everything I observed at the 2009 Fan Faire EQ2 event in Las Vegas.

I’ve archived the individual news posts I submitted over the weekend. If you still want to read them, they’re [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

And now, without further ado, my writeup of EQ2′s future in 2009 and 2010. UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 29, 2010:


EverQuest II Expansion: Sentinel’s Fate

  • EQ2: Sentinel’s Fate will be released on February 16, 2010.
  • SF will be based around the EQ1 continent of Odus and will cover Erudin, Paineel, and Ratonga lore. The void storyline will be ending with this expansion.
  • Adventure, Tradeskill, and Guild Level caps all increase to 90.
  • 2 large overland zones (Stonebrunt Mountains)
  • The Hole – a large level 82+ contested zone (similar to Sanctum of Scaleborn) with 3 wings, you spawn in the middle
  • 12 New Group Instances
  • Some existing TSO group instances will also be available in a T9 (level 80-90) version.
  • Guild Level increases to 90. New Guild Hall Amenities and Amenity Slots.
  • No new deities with expansion, nor will there be T9 solo deity quests.
  • Deity miracles may be reconsidered.
  • Group and raid zones will scale in difficulty (not adventure level). A choice will have to be made when pulling or fighting certain mobs that will set the encounter difficulty to easy, normal, or hard. The difficulty level will be set by the manner in which you start the encounter (i.e a boss may have a narrative, depending on your choice, you may get ‘easy mode’ where he sends his minions and escapes, or hard mode where you fight the boss himself)
  • AA cap to 250. New abilities are going to be added to the bottom of the Class (KoS)  and Subclass (EoF) AA Trees, below what is now the end abilities. Some of these endline abilities will be passive, triggering based on specific chains of other abilities being cast.
  • Mythical weapons will not be the ‘Number 1′ weapon, but will have another, important, use. It will be usable as a clicky item to get the unique class-defining abilities.
  • Grouping, Soloing, and Questing will all be viable leveling options.

Artwork-by-Mail, and StationCash

  • HP will be offering — through StationCash — high quality EQ2-related artwork (paintings of Antonia Bayle, Lucan, etc.) prints and eventually in-game items and prints of your character sent directly to your door. One being considered it a hardback book containing pictures of all of your guildmates.
  • The plan is to make it possible, in the future, to purchase expansion packs and new game keys through station cash.

Game Update 55 — Halas and Streaming Launcher

NOTE: Halas has slipped to Game Update 56 and the Streaming Launcher was made available in November.

Halas is being added as a good starting city in Gu55 to coincide with the release of the new expansion, Sentinel’s Fate. Gu55 will be a free download whether you choose to purchase the expansion or not.

The starting race has not been confirmed, but in EQ1 Halas was the home of the Barbarians.

Incidentially, this new area will be considerably streamlined and will be built out as the new EQ2 Trial. The existing EQ2 Trial is a massive download and really not that great a tool at recruiting new players. The new EQ2 Trial will be optimized for download size, will have streaming download, and will really act as a marketing tool for new players.

Extremely preliminary zone art was shown of the new Halas.

Who Gives a Crit

Critical damage stats including Spell, Melee, Ranged, and Heal are being merged into a single ‘Crit’ statistic. Each class will have a critical coefficient. So the same item will offer taunt and melee crit to a fighter, ranged crit to a ranger, and heal crit to a healer.

Double Attack and Ranged Double Attack are being combined into DA, with an appropriate coefficient as RDA is c0nsidered more powerful to a ranger than DA is to other scouts.

Resistance types are being streamlined down to just Noxious, Elemental, Arcane and Physical. Naming on items will not change for variety/lore reasons.

Gear Scaling

NOTE: Gear Scaling has been canceled.

Once considered for the Rise of Kunark, items will now scale down in effectiveness starting at Level 60, eventually “greying out” when the item is 10 levels below your adventure level. The effectiveness of such items will be reduced by 33% at 10 levels.

Legends of Norrath

Set 7 of the LoN cards, Storm Break, goes live on July 9th. This will be the final part of the void series. New loot cards include a cloak with a, once-per-day, clicky effect that completely repairs your gear.

Buffs

The number of buffs and casting time of buffs is being considered, especially for support and healer classes. Certain classes always use the same self-buffs and these may be consolidated.

Class Balance (Bards, Enchanters, Summoners)

Typical raid lineups currently include 3-4 illusionists, 1 coercer, 3-4 dirges, and a troubador. Yet they often do not offer ANY slot to summoners or druids.

Some Enchanter and Bard buffs will become raidwide or applicable to one person in each of the 4 groups. The example given was an illusionist giving Time Compression to one member of all 4 groups. Other buffs could go raidwide. This will be done in such way so that having 4 illusionists will not be a significant advantage over having 1 or 2.

Currently, Brigand “Dispatched” and other debuffs are crucial for raiding and some group situations. Meanwhile, Summoners are finding they rarely get a seat at the table. As a result, Rogue debuffs are being refocused to work on melee, while Summoners step into a new role of debuffing spell abilities.

Also, with regards to Rogues, Brigands and Swashbucklers each have irreplaceable abilities such that most raids have 1 of each. Some of these abilities will become common between the two classes so that any Rogue can be effective in raid situations.

Summoner pet survivability is going to be looked into. Dumbfire pets will now act like a spell with appropriate graphics, rather than being affected by AoEs. These pets will also do spell debuffs in line with Summoner’s new role as spell debuffers.

Class Balance (Druids)

It has been recognised that Heal-over-Time spells come way behind wards and reactives when dealing with large spike damage (mainly in a raid and the hardest heroic settings).

A new component is going to be added to Heal-Over-Time spells for Druids which will save up the heal after each tick if the target is at full health, and further, any leftover heal will transfer to the group member with the lowest health on expiration.

Tradeskill

Over 2000 new recipes for Tier 9.

No Rare Loams in Tier 9. Instead, Ore and Gems will be used to make Expert (Adept III) spells. Ore nodes will always respawn as ore nodes, gem nodes as gem nodes.

Would like to completely revamp Adornment system, but at the very least, new adornment recipes will be Transmuter-crafted only.

Players will be able to be a Tinkerer and Transmuter.

Shaders 3.0

NOTE: Shaders 3.0 will likely slip to Game Update 56.

EQ2 is getting a graphical facelift!

Shaders are small pieces of code which take the textures and apply an effect to them, providing  metallic appearances, glows, bump mapping, caustics (rust, decay), lighting effects, etc.

These are being upgraded from the ancient Shaders 1.0 to Shaders 3.0. Nearly any graphics card since GeForce 3 will be able to handle the new GPU Shaders. At higher resolutions, preliminary tests have shown that framerates stay largely the same. At lower resolutions, framerates of GPU shaders seem significantly improved.

This will not be a substantial download. Each shader is just a few kilobytes. So far, 3,000 shaders have been upgraded.

Nek Forest looks awesome now. The whole idea of a torch in the darkness, lighting up trees, rocks, and enemy mobs looks head-and-shoulders above the current “flat” pea soup grey haze and flat colors on everything.

When the EQ2 developers saw the first screenshots, they thought it was another game.

In addition, Flora Displacement which moved to the GPU last year will still get further performance tweaks (known issue on nVidia cards).

Finally, he’d like to move particles to the GPU but due to some  design decisions, some particles are tied to animations. Will have to go back and separate them out.

There is developer interest in a torch slot, so this is being considered.  Devs would also like to do High Dynamic Range (HDR) in a future update, but nothing is immediately planned.

Mob Designs

Expect several new mob designs with more robust animations. Some seriously funny, cool, and creative new mob designs and revamped appearances to some existing mobs.

* fighting pandas
* displacer beasts
* two headed giants
* stalagmites
* scarecrows

EQ2 Potpourri

It is known that emergency “Stun-and-Heal” is a real detriment to healers and is required for too many encounters. Will be reconsidered.

Rangers — Stream of Arrows will be changed to an AoE. Originally intended as a fill in between auto attacks, but auto attacks are so large now that using it reduces DPS output.

Although it is higher than intended, there are no immediate plans to adjust Auto Attack damage.

Bruisers/Coercers – Drag, thought snap are so overpowered we have to disable them or mobs are trivialized

Conjuror Mythical Pet – This pet is class-defining for Conjurors. However with the current mechanic, that pet would stop leveling at low-to-mid 80′s. Will look at this going forward.

Certain raid encounters will benefit from crowd control, giving enchanters another job besides power regen and buffs.

Will void shards have value in T9? No. A different token system is being used for T9 armor.

Guild Rally Flag - Can we have some means to find out where the guild rally flag is located? Some coding has already been done for this. Putting it in guild window would be somewhat wasteful for those guilds that don’t have this amenity (one of the most expensive amenities FYI), so considering hailing the strategist.

Illusions Driving You Crazy? – A change was made in GU52 that racial illusions pick a random appearance each time they are displayed. This applies to guild hall NPCs as well. Even the devs are annoyed at this change, so are investigating a Magic Mirror house item to set your illusion appearances, and a similar mechanism for guild hall NPCs. Also, some folks make frequent use of different illusions. Look for an Illusion Manager window.

NOTE: Game Update 54 added this Magic Mirror ability.

Smart Loot is being implemented over time. Lock boxes in Mistmyr already have mini-smart loot for each person that loots.

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

More new Armor Appearances in EQ2:SF are coming than are currently in the game. Substantial new choices for mage appearances other than robes, such as tops, pants, etc.

Devs would like to add more mannequin types such as Ratonga mannequin.

Current tier upgrades are coming for Bone Clasped Girdle. Not so much for the bloodthirsty choker.

Out-of-Control Curing

It is recognized that Curing is perhaps getting out-of-control. Casting time of individual cure potions may be considered. In addition, certain detriments are getting different effects on them such that curing that detriment can be worse than leaving it, or may cause another detriment to trigger. The intention was never to stare at the Profit Cure bar the entire fight.


EverQuest II Game Updates & Features

These are features and updates announced at Fan Faire which are now present in EQ2:

  • AAXP Slider, when earning xp, you will be able to set a ratio that is earned as AA instead.
  • Automated Server Transfers will be available on the Station Marketplace for $25.
  • Buffs - Certain persistent buffs now persist through death.
  • Wizard “Rays of Disintegration” has been changed to single-cast spell, instead of causing all mages in the wizard’s group to stop all casting to cast this spell. Rays of Disintegration was very disruptive for Enchanters who must maintain a certain casting order and rhythm to do their jobs.
  • Quest Window received facelift. Namely side-by-side quest list and quest details.
  • Revamped Player Inspect window shows regular and appearance slots  and many more stats.
  • Daily Double and new Hot Zones are now shown in the Welcome Panel.
  • ACT Parsing – Gravitas, Chimes of Blades, and Cures (some healers spend their entire time curing but don’t show up on the heal parse) are now parsed in ACT.
  • The Lavastorm Elevator to WoE was fixed to continue to it’s destination.
  • Kelethin houses received a transparent window. The most expensive Maj’dul house received additional rooms and a skylight.  Kelethin, Neriak, Freeport, and Qeynos houses gained an additional room.
  • Auto-mentoring

Hail an NPC in one of the home cities and you will be able to mentor down in 5 level increments (20, 25, 30, 35, etc.) and complete quests, kill named encounters, etc. at the appropriate level. This does not require mentoring another person and will not offer the extra bonuses given to folks who naturally mentor one of their friends.

To prepare for this feature, a list of named mobs on long spawns in existing zones has already been assembled to have their timers tweaked. Also, low level contested zones will instance themselves (Sinking Sands 1, 2, 3, etc.) in case of large populations.

  • EQ2 Achievements

Similar to XBox Live, EQ2 is getting an Achievements system. The expansion will launch with 500-700 achievements. This will merge the old Slayer titles (kill 5,000 Orcs), plus adventurer titles (complete 20 Heritage Quests), and introduce new titles. For example, number of level 80 characters you have. Whether you defeated a dungeon/raid on the hardest difficulty, Going back and completing old zones while mentored, etc.

The Alternative Achievement system in EQ2 (currently 200 points) is officially being renamed to Alternate Advancement to avoid confusion.

  • Shard of Love & Miragul’s Planar Shard

In GU53 is Miragul’s Planar Shard, a raid zone which will use the new mechanic of difficulty scaling on certain bosses.

The Shard of Love — a casual group zone. The storyline for this zone will relate to Erolissi Marr.


There will be more commentary to come, but those are the salient points about the rest of 2009 as the EQ2 team takes some extra time balancing the live game before plunging into the expansion in February.

More Links!

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.

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.

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.

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.

EQ2 Dev Chat at Zam

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping, Itemization, Raiding, Tradeskill

On May 14th, there was an EQ2 Dev Chat hosted by Zam.

  • Bruce (Froech) – Producer
  • Jennifer (Kirstie) – Mechanics Supervisor
  • Ryan Favale (ImagoQuem) – Graphics
  • Roger (patherpanchali) – Raid content
  • Nick (GlipSOE) – Associate Producer
  • Brett (timetravelling) – Associate Game Designer
  • Greg (Rothgar) – Sr. Programmer
  • Emily (Domino) – Tradeskills
  • Chris (Aeralik) – Class Balance/Combat
  • Jason (Fyreflyte) – Itemisation
  • Nathan (Kaitheel) – Events and Quests

Complete chat logs of that event can be found at EQ2.Zam.com, however some people might like to get the highlights that I think my readers might be most interested in…

My question about Set Bonuses:

Ward of Elements is fun and challenging. One issue with the zone however is set bonuses. Equipping more than one piece of T3 armor breaks up the T2 set bonus. For tanks this means losing 7% mitigation. Going forward when armor sets are added, can one of the items in the NEXT tier include the set bonus of the PREVIOUS tier?

Fyreflyte responded in the live chat with:

We’ve run up against this issue in a number of places recently, and have certainly been giving it a lot of thought. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as allowing the next set to count toward a current set’s bonuses.

You end up with some issues with double bonuses, and we’d need some new code support for it. We have a few plans for our next round of sets that should help avoid the problem, however. No specifics yet, as we’re still testing them =)

Fyreflyte provided additional details in the free-for-all chat afterwards:

The problem with upgrading set bonuses was compounded this expansion due to the way players upgrade their shard sets. It’s an issue we hadn’t run into much before. One idea I’ve had to help alleviate it would be to drop set pieces in WoE that were inferior to the actual shard armor, but helped complete the set for classes that absolutely needed their set bonuses.

This takes a bit of new code that allows for larger, slightly more dynamic sets, but may present an option to avoid this same problem in the future. It’s still just in the idea phase, but is an example of the types of solutions we’re looking at. For future gear, I’m definitely going to be careful about using such powerful bonuses high up in the set, as that by itself will reduce this issue a lot.

Camphor wanted to know what to expect, difficulty-wise, in the two new group zones coming in GU52. timetravelling gave some insight:

The two new group zones will certainly be challenging, but not extremely difficult. There will be some really fun scripted encounters, but they shouldn’t be nearly as difficult as somewhere like Palace of Ferzhul or Guk Stronghold.

One of my questions got a surprising response:

Will anything be done to keep Veeshan’s Peak a viable zone in the next expansion? Assuming the level cap is raised to 90, acquiring Mythicals will be incredibly trivial.  Has SoE considered scaling the zone to 90 and providing a quested item that dings the player to level 90 similar to the Munzok’s item?

timetravelling replied with:

Yes, actually we do have plans to keep older, low-level content much more relevant! And not just Veeshan’s Peak! But I can’t tell you what those plans are, yet =D

Cayanetta asked a question which was on the minds of several vocal forum posters:

Why did you choose to revisit Kunark with GU 52 instead of expanding on TSO content?

timetravelling had this to say:

There are always a number of reasons for those sorts of decisions, but a huge part of this one was the lore. The story we’re telling with the update revolves around quite a bit of stuff specifically in Kunark. Just wait til y’all get the chance to dive into the huge # of awesome quests Kaitheel is making =)

Fyreflyte about Itemisation:

Shield progression got a bit messed up last expansion, and it was hard to correct it without a level cap increase.

We’ll be paying good attention to it in the future though =) I’ve got more help with itemization now, which gives me more time to provide oversight, rather than just scrambling to pump out items.

What would a Game Update be without some tradeskill content. Domino reports in with:

Level 50+ Sages will soon be able to make a set of notebooks, which can hold user-created content (user-written books).

Carpenters may find it worthwhile to investigate — or send their friends to investigate — the Estate of Unrest a little more closely.

Tailors will see some changes to their hex dolls, which include a much reduced casting time, stat increase, and a set bonus for the mastercrafted ones.

Woodworkers and tailors will see their ranged weapons (bows, satchels, bandoliers, etc.) get a stat upgrade also!

Adventurers may find some small goodies in the new Charasis West wing, including perhaps a couple small goodies for provisioners.

I’ve made a few minor changes to the void tradeskill instance that folks have been asking for… including a slightly more satisfying ending, and more harvests per click.

Oh, and lots more I don’t really have room to talk about…

So no … nothin’ really. ;)  Sorry!

Aeralik confirmed what he had posted on the forums about the combat XP to achievement XP conversion rate being upped substantally, although did not give hard numbers:

Currently the adventure xp to achievement xp is really small.  So to better match the current level scaling this had been adjusted for gu52.  Completing a dungeon should net you a good amount of achievement xp now.

Also in gu52 there are 80+ quests which will net you a good chunk of achievement experience.

It seems people ask all the time about why EQ2 does not allow Armor Dyes. Those folks always keeping their eyes peeled for any details about this may be interested in these quotes from Fyreflyte:

(Expect more) set jewelry from instances/raids. I’ve had some plans for some extra shard gear too for awhile, but have had zero time in which to implement it.

I’m not a big fan of armor dyes. We actually have some technical issues with them as well, since a LOT of our armor isn’t tintable.

All of the new sets that have been coming out, I’ve had to ask artists for specific colors of when I need them. When they use a fresnel shader, they become difficult to tint.

Much more at EQ2.Zam.com.

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.

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.”

   

April 7 Hotfix

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

GENERAL

  • An issue that was causing UI icons or elements to look blurry and low-quality has been resolved.
  • An issue that was causing low-quality textures on player characters after switching from third person to first person view has been resolved.

EVERNIGHT ABBEY

  • Marcus Thex should turn aggro now once all five clan leaders have been slain.

ITEMS

  • The Dancing Satyr has learned how to dance and is anxious to show off his new moves.
  • Bite of the Wolf will now trigger properly and apply to the warden.
  • Restitution Master 1 should no longer drop from spell tables.
  • The Signet of the Flame Disciple has been changed from +3 spell critical bonus to +3 spell critical to be more inline with the other quest rewards.
  • Vampire and Void Bane proc stacking has been fixed such that additional pieces of gear will increase the damage and proc rate, but will not add additional procs. This is the originally intended functionality.
  • The Stone Tower void shard jewelry set now has Deflection Chance as its 3-piece bonus instead of deflection skill. The block and deflection bonuses should now be roughly equivalent.
  • Corruption of the Elements should now proc on offensive spell casts.

MYSTMYR MANOR

  • Rhul’maldis should no longer occasionally never respond to the volatile liquid.

PvP

  • An issue that might cause no infamy gain when multiple players are attacking a single target has been fixed.

SPELLS

  • Tortoise Shell will once again work properly on group members
  • An issue that would cause Surging Tempest to get into an unusable state has been resolved.

TRADESKILLS

  • The Advanced Armorer Service quest now requires the new improved version of fulginate kite shields.
  • Scholars’ volume 12 books now once again contain recipes for idols, symbols, tomes, and orbs.
  • Jeweler Far Seas writs now correctly accept the new secondary items.
  • An issue where Adornments would disappear when upgrading or imbuing items through tradeskills has been fixed.

WARD OF ELEMENTS

  • Najena should respawn when players watch the flythrough then leave the instance and return.
  • Aiden’s banishes have been re-timed to be closer to the beginning of a land phase, giving players more time to get back to the tower.
  • Aiden’s adds have been linked into sizable groups instead of all in separate encounters.
  • Digg should no longer chain-kill players that die and are rezzed during his fight.

Mentoring for Void Shards VERBOTEN!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping, Itemization

Editor’s Note: This was later declared to NOT be an exploit and that no further action would be taken.

In a shocking about-face, after 4 1/2 months of tolerance, EQ2 devs have reversed course and now consider mentored Void Shard runs to be an exploit and intend to patch the game so shards cannot be acquired in this manner.

Presumably with the addition of daily solo shard quest, EQ2 devs now intend to close this loophole.

From Kiara:

This is an exploit and we are currently working on a fix for it.

I’d suggest not doing it.

Whilst you won’t have the shards you’ve gotten via this method removed, it is something we are actively working on removing from the game.

Kiara posted the comment here and then closed the thread.

My Duty

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

It seems it is my duty after each Live Update to report those bugs which managed to slip through. It’s not a job I enjoy, but someone’s gotta do it.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • Warden Mythical/Epic proc is feeding power to the target instead of the Warden. Hire an extra illy or switch weapons until the hotfix.
  • Druid AA “Tortoise Shell” AoE blocker spell is now broken as of LU51. No word on a fix. [discussion]
  • The x4 Raid zone (Munzok’s) did not go live. No word as to why, only to expect an explanation later. Possibly because so few people were flagged to be able to test it? (must have been flagged for and cleared the x2 raid zone) [link]
  • The Autofollow Changes seem to be causing a lot of problems for certain people. The person following seems to randomly run off cliffs, run in circles, swim or run in a triangular pattern, etc.. In other words pathing like a mob rather than following the player. [link]
  • The Access Quest series for the x2 raid zone the Ward of Elements is screwy. This is due to the fact that you must spawn several Elemental Lords, but the 4th pillar in each room needed to spawn the Lord cannot be clicked except by someone who is on step 3 of one of the Cleansing the Elements quests. You can do Cleansing the Elements, More Cleansing the Elements, and Final Cleansing of the Elements once per day, then you are done and are thus unable to click the pillar and proceed on the Access Quest.
  • You can group with someone who has not completed the 3 Cleansing quests and is on the Lord step, or you can do what a lot of bastards out there are doing and hanging out in the rooms and when the Lord spawns, stealing it because you A) have no clue how to spawn it and B) think it is random or on a timer.
  • Wizard Spell Storming Tempest gets permanently locked out and cannot be reused until dying/zoning. [discussion]
  • The Cleric shadows AA ability Sacrifice has been rendered almost completely useless. It now takes 95% of the cleric’s health (which can no longer be mitigated) regardless of how much or little health the tank has.  Any cleric with 5% health for more than .012 seconds during a raid is probably going to die. So why was this change made? Here’s the thread that started it all. [Discussion]
  • There are some comments about the Solo Shard Quest. You inhabit the body of another being and have to use its abilities and spells. I guess they did this so they could design a quest that can be done by any class. Also apparently if you go Linkdead, you can be completely trapped, unable to Evac, Zone, or use Teleport Pads. If this happens to you, you can try to /camp or intentionally go Linkdead again by disconnecting your Internet connection. — thanks brammator
  • The Tinkered Banker in Steamfont is just an NPC. There isn’t a recipe to make one. Boo hiss. [discussion]
  • Automated Hammers in Deep Forge now only spawn when you pull the Doomsmith. I guess this was once again done to try to prevent folks from sharing cleared/mentored instances. [comments]

Raid Trophies

It’s not a bug, but I’m sure some folks would like to check out the new Raid Trophies you can decorate your guild hall with. You need the head or other appropriate body part of the mob, which is a drop off the mob, plus a tradeskiller-made pedestal.

Don’t miss The Brasse’s map of the new x2 zone The Ward of Elements.

Game Update #51

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

GAME UPDATE 51

March / 31 / 2009

FEATURED

  • Weapon Appearance Slots
  • Players now have access to primary, secondary and ranged appearance slots. The wield style (one-handed, two-handed, shield) of the weapons must match the weapons that are currently equipped.
  • Bristlebane’s Day
  • (3/31/2009 – 4/8/2009) Jesters, thieves, bards and fans of mischief are invited to enjoy the festivities that surround Bristlebane’s Day! You never know what laughs and pranks are to be found, during this enjoyable time of year. Celebrators are present in every home city, and the oddest of objects have been spotted in Antonica, The Commonlands, Darklight Wood, Timorous Deep and Greater Faydark! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for special events occurring only on the highest of silly days, 4/1/2009!
  • Lavastorm Revamp
  • Lots of brand new content has been added in this classic zone. Almost all of the population has been re-tiered for solo players, with a new level 45 to 55 adventure quest line with the industrious–but rather insane Sootfoot goblins, and a new level 40-45 tradeskill quest line. Brand new void invaded areas also feature new level 80 solo quests. Additionally, a solo-able daily shard quest has been added as well as flying horse paths and additional teleporters to make traversing the zone much easier!
  • T3 Shard Armor
  • A new set of shard armor is now available from merchants. This requires Molds that drop from the new x2 raid zone, your T2 void shard armor piece, and additional void shards.
  • Threat Meter
  • Players can now see how much aggro they have generated towards NPC’s in combat. A new UI element will display players’ aggro percentage for their current target or implied target.
  • Players with the most hate will also see the hate value for the player below them.
  • Players’ aggro value will also appear above an NPC’s head, just below their remaining power. The aggro value displayed above an NPC’s head may be toggled off under Options -> User Interface -> Name and Chat Bubble
  • Ward of Elements
  • A brand new level 80 two-group (x2) raid instance has been added! This zone is balanced for players without a proliferation of raid gear, and should provide an exciting challenge to any group of 12! The first six bosses can be tackled in any order, and provide fantastic fabled loot with brand new armor sets upgraded from the tier 2 void shard sets, complete with new appearances! They also drop Molds which are necessary to create T3 Void Shard Armor.
  • You can find the Ward of Elements in Lavastorm by taking the elevator down to Hollow Tower (in front of Deep Forge) to its lowest level.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Cleric
  • Sacrifice is now instant cast and recovery but will no longer be absorbed by wards.
  • Allied Prayers will trigger properly if the Cleric is casting.

ATREBE’S LABORATORY

  • Many NPC spells within Atrebe’s Laboratory: The Fabled City of Kor-sha will no longer target other NPCs.

GAMEPLAY

  • Xebnok and other charming mobs should no longer cause clients to crash.
  • Picking character advancement and training spells (i.e. Master II spells) will now attempt to add the spells to your hotbar and indicate where they are with spinning arrows.
  • Group members can now use the /invite command to request that the group leader invite a player to the group. Just type /invite <playername>
  • The entire group will no longer be zoned out of Scion of Ice when 1 person leaves.
  • Chests looted with NBG or Lotto looting options will now give the group 120 seconds to make their decisions.
  • Players that have completed the access quest to Trakanon’s Lair will now be able to zone directly to Trakanon without clearing Veeshan’s Peak.
  • Sarnak teleporter technology in Gorowyn has expedited transport from the base of the main lift to the residential area.
  • Gnomeland security R&D have created a tinkered banker prototype, which is now available for use. No warranty applies, use at own risk, no refunds, gnomeland security accepts no liability for injuries or loss incurred due to malfunction or spontaneous combustion.

GUILD HALLS

  • The guild hall mender will now correctly remember the new coverage setting after it is changed.
  • Paying upkeep on a house or guild hall now requires confirmation.
  • The “Call to Guild Hall” spell to has been modified to have less of an impact on server performance when many players use it at once.
  • Amenities will now move with players when moving to a new guild hall.
  • Any amenities that are not allowed in the new guild hall will continue to be refunded to players’ escrow accounts. If the move results in having more amenities than allowed, players will not be able to move items until some amenities are removed.
  • Permissions for the Harvest Supply Depot amenity have been changed as follows:
  • Any player with access to the guild hall may deposit items into the depot.
  • Only players with Trustee access to the hall may withdraw items directly from the depot.
  • The ability to craft using items in the depot is defined using the permission level on the amenity tab.

ITEMS

  • Forgotten Ring of Souls had a higher bonus on it than was intended. It has been changed to 2 base spell damage and 2 spell crit.
  • The Paladin Voidbeam set’s 4-piece bonus has been changed.
  • The Ranger Flightrift set’s 2-piece bonus now lowers the reuse time of Focus Aim.
  • The Zealot’s Steel armor set is no longer sunshine yellow.
  • The Shadow Odyssey dirge set armor has had its chest and 2-piece set bonus swapped.
  • The Void Shard merchant in the Moors of Ykesha now offers weapons suitable for Brawlers.
  • Items collected from the ‘old’ Ethernaut Relics collection now apply to the ‘new’ Ethernaut Relics collection.  The ‘old’ Ethernaut Relics collection has been deleted.
  • Set bonuses for Shadow Odyssey raid gear and some “T4″ shard-purchased gear have been modified and improved.
  • Flightrift Leggings now have a ranged crit bonus instead of melee crit.
  • The High-Pressure Forged Breastplate awarded by Tertiary Gurowyn Riz’Din in the Timorous Deep can now be equipped by crusaders as well as warriors.
  • The delayed shipment Nagafen statues have finally arrived. Anyone who had /claimed their Nagafen at Rest item should now have a statue in place of the delivery crate.
  • The Thex Mallet can now be purchased from Shady Swashbuckler if you have completed the heritage quest.
  • Darkened Rapidity now adds +10 Deflection Chance to the fighter version of the Dark Mail Gauntlets.
  • The effect from the Talisman of the Ethernauts should now stack with similar effects, like Frenzy of the Dead and Adrenaline Rage.
  • The Tainted Ring of Anashti Sul should now proc Deflection Chance similar to its Shield Effectiveness.
  • The Signet of Vampiric Kind should now also proc Barrier on a successful deflection.
  • Many quest items in Moors of Ykesha have been fixed to no longer trigger procs.
  • Quest items for the Befallen missions will no longer trigger procs.
  • The Wantia Artisan’s satchel and meager harvesting bag no longer hold non-harvested raw items such as wolf fangs. Only items that are actually harvested can be placed in them.

MOORS OF YKESHA

  • Many parts of the solo population within Moors of Ykesha have been reduced in difficulty.

PALACE OF THE ANCIENT ONE

  • Multiple occurrences of Abstalius should no longer spawn in Palace of the Ancient One.

Player vs Player

  • Players can no longer revive while their group is still engaged in PVP based combat.
  • The infamy system has been adjusted.&nbsp; Players no longer lose infamy when they die. However, their infamy will slowly decay over time. Also, a new title has been added.

QUESTS

  • Lord Byron and his cohorts should be much more accessible for updating quests in Stormhold.
  • You can now assist with Qho Augren’s harvesting obsession as you level up, starting at level 5 (adventurer or tradeskill).
  • City writs that previously sent adventurers into Lavastorm have been adjusted due to the changes to the Lavastorm population.
  • Some of the collection items that were previously only available through the Kunark Burynai have been made available again in certain zones.

RAIDS

  • All Shadow Odyssey Expansion raid bosses now have a chance at dropping master spells.
  • Some raid bosses in each zone now drop void shards! (2 per instance, except Zarrakon)
  • A void shard now drops from the final boss of Obelisk of Ahkzul, two from the final boss of the Anchor of Bazzul, and three are present within the Palace of Ferzhul!

RUINS OF GUK

  • The Ruins of Guk: Halls of the Fallen, The Ruins of Guk: the Lower Corridors and Atrebe’s Laboratory: Fabled City of Kor-sha all have had some changes made. Most of the more undesirable spells have been removed from NPC’s and or are now dispellable.

SPELLS

  • Strike of the Ethernauts and similar type effects should now all stack with each other.

TRADESKILLS

  • The Far Seas Supply Division has learned of another mission where a group of talented tradeskillers may be sorely needed.  Madria Varas will have details of the new mission once they are available.
  • Representative Purrla from the Far Seas Trading Company is seeking help from the cities’ tradeskill societies! Tradeskillers level 40+ may wish to assist.
  • Armorers, woodworkers, and jewelers have improved their recipes, and can now make improved versions of tradeskilled shields and secondary items. Old shields and secondary items that already exist will not be affected, only new ones created henceforth.
  • Tradeskillers with their epic earrings may soon find more red collectibles if they look in the right areas–
  • The “Tunare’s Gifts” volumes 1 through 5 and “Bartending for Sadists” recipe books are no longer limited in number of uses.
  • All armorer reaction events in the level 50 range should now result in a success round if successfully countered.

USER INTERFACE

  • Players can now drag equipment from their appearance slots to the macro window.
  • Fixed a bug where damage reduction info was not displayed correctly in the mitigation tooltip.
  • The raid window has a new “Advanced’ mode that will display effect icons for all members of the raid. To switch views, right-click the raid window.
  • A bug in the raid window sometimes causing users to not be drag-able has been fixed.
  • The carat in text boxes will no longer render if the EQII client doesn’t have focus.
  • UI Settings files are now stored in a new XML format.  Existing INI files will be converted the first time a character is logged in.
  • Tooltips of icons in the collection window now look like regular item tooltips.
  • The quest journal can now be sorted by quest name.
  • Players may now specify key bindings for all 10 hotbars in the Options window under Controls -> Hotbar Keys. Right-click a hotbar and choose “Hotbar Setting” to assign a key mapping.
  • The group window now displays a health bar for your group members’ pets.

ADVANCED USER INTERFACE

The following modifications were made to UIScripting / UI Builder and are mainly of interest to the modding community:

  • UIScript now supports the following functions: int(), abs(), floor(), ceil()
  • Results of math operations in UIScript now only return the required precision instead of always forcing 3 decimal places.
  • Fixed a bug parsing negative floating-point numbers.
  • New Scripting events added: OnMove, OnSize, OnTextChanged.
  • The BackgroundEmpty image of a UIProgressbar will no longer render unless the progress value is zero.
  • Support has been added for a new UIColorStyle object.&nbsp; Any object property that accepts a color will now accept a reference to a UIColorStyle object.
  • Players can now press F2 to edit the name of an object in the TreeView
  • Players can press Enter or Escape while editing an object name to commit or cancel editing.

YKESHA’S INNER STRONGHOLD

  • Ykeshan Footsoldiers in the Field General Uktap encounter in Ykesha’s Inner Stronghold now drop warbeads.

ZARRAKON’S ABYSSAL LAIR

  • The mark of attack spell associated with the Mystmerian Wraiths in Zarrakon’s lair no longer persist through death, but the wraiths recast it on newly resurrected opponents within 3 seconds, allowing them to resume fighting with their group.

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 12 Update

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping, Itemization

GENERAL

  • The Legends of Norrath Museum is now open for visitors!  Talk to Angie Patterson in South Qeynos or Angus McPhergin in West Freeport to gain entry.  Once inside you can follow the guided tour given by Mott Muttle.
  • Dispersion, Displacement, and Transposition no longer stack with each other. Additionally, their power increases have been lowered slightly.

HALLS OF THE FORSAKEN

  • Hapless prisoners were spawning much too frequently and gating a quest in this zone. They have been sacked.

ITEMS

  • The Eye Mounted Ring received an effect that was out of progression for the zone and intended for the zone boss. This effect has been removed.
  • Diamond Dust is now toggleable.
  • A display error was fixed on the Guardian Ether Champion’s 4-piece set bonus. The persona window will now show the proper shield block gain.
  • Bangle of Polished Marble’s proc, Amplify Healing, now properly affects wards.

NAJENA’s HOLLOW TOWER

  • Fitzfangle’s bombs will now properly scale to the level of the zone.
  • An issue that sometimes would cause people to be killed at the zone by thrown lava has been fixed.

ORCISH WASTES

  • Axltaxatus, the dog of war, associated with the Avatar of War is no longer rooted.

PERFORMANCE

  • An issue that sometimes caused lag when several players entered into a zone has been addressed and should hopefully help reduce such occurrences.

SINKING SANDS

  • Anashti Sul should cast her AoE spells more reliably now.

YKESHA’S INNER SANCTUM

  • Tyrannus should cast Crushing Void Energy more reliably now.

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.

The Squeaky Wheel gets the 200,000 lb Stone

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping

Looks like it has been brought to the attention of developers that on the Atrebe’s Lab fight, folks were making sure all their bags were filled so the 200,000 lb stone wouldn’t get deposited in their bags.

Might want to comment in this thread if you feel any changes to it will break the fight:

http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=442572

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.)
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