Breaking News: Account Linking, Heirloom on SC/LoN Items?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping

Some breaking news for you!

As we’ve reported, in Game Update 53, almost all LEGENDARY and FABLED instance dungeon/raid loot except patterns will be picking up the new  LORE-EQUIP flag which, along with the HEIRLOOM and ATTUNEABLE flags will allow instance Fabled and Legendary loot items to be looted and transferred to alt characters on the same account. timetravelling clarifies:

-We do not currently have plans to change the looting options (by adding an Alt Need option between Need and Greed). However, it is something to monitor and we’ll keep an eye on it.

-This change is intended to grab nearly all instance, overland, and contested loots. But not items you can only ever get once such as epics, quest rewards, armor gained from patterns, LoN rewards, Station Cash items, etc.

We would greatly appreciate any feedback y’all have of items that may have been missed or flagged and shouldn’t have been! If you hadn’t noticed, EQ2 has, um, kind of a lot of items and we’d like to be as thorough as possible! =)

I know I’m very excited about this, as are many others. It will streamline what is currently a very tedious logout/login/zone out/zone in/loot process we curerntly do to give loot to alts. However there have been two limitations worth discussing:

Many folks have more than one account. Whether this is husband-and-wife paired accounts, dual- or multi-boxing, or simply because 7 or 12 character slots is just not enough, this is something that has grown increasingly popular. However there is currently no means to transfer any items between accounts. Folks with shared accounts wouldn’t benefit from this new LORE-EQUIP flag.

Second, there is a small and growing market for StationCash and Legends of Norrath items. However these items have always been flagged NO TRADE. In the past, requests to make these items tradeable have not gotten an affirmative from the team.

timetravelling has posted some great news on the EQ2 Forums. Keep in mind that this is future planning and we should not expect any of this in Game Update 53:

Y’all have given some great feedback, and brought up two of the main issues internally and wanted to give you updates:

Linking accounts:  I spoke with several of our coders and while there are limitations that prevent us from implementing it immediately, they thought it sounded feasible. We will keep it in mind and hopefully add it at some point in the future. No timetable promises, but hopefully we’ll be able to get the feature in for those of you with multiple accounts. It may even open up the possibility of some other features as a cool side effect!

LoN and SC items: Ye hast swayed us! Or…in less broken english, I am going to be going through our LoN and StationCash items and–where appropriate–adding the Heirloom flag.

A couple of examples of “where appropriate”:

  • Items that have charges–such as the potions
  • Items that must be equipped–such as appearance armor
  • NOT items that can be used from your inventory–such as mounts

As always, stay tuned for more information about these late-breaking developments. :)

   

Game Update #53 (Shards of Destiny) on Test

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

Shards of Destiny (Gu53) appeared on Test just moments before midnight last night. This update is expected to go live in late September (the initial date was September 22nd, but this was an internal target). Here are the Test Update Notes:

Test Update August / 27 / 2009

FEATURED

Achievements

The new achievement system gives players a fun new way to track their accomplishments!  Most achievements will award players with achievement points that can be used to compare their progress against other players.  Some harder to complete achievements will offer non-stat item rewards.  The basic categories are General, Quest, Exploration, Combat, Slayer, Tradeskills and Triumphs.  Triumphs are large scale achievements that combine multiple achievements into one large one.  An example of this would be to do all of the combat, quest, and exploration achievements in a specific area.

Chronomagic

A number of mysterious erudites have set up in Qeynos, Freeport, Neriak, Gorowyn, and Kelethin. Any player level 20 or higher can speak to them and for a small fee temporarily lower their adventuring level.

This works very similarly to mentoring except:

  • You do not need a mentoring target.
  • You can only choose levels in increments of 5 (10, 15, 20, etc).
  • You do not receive the bonuses granted from mentoring other players (currently you receive a very large bonus to AA gain while mentoring another player, this is not granted by the Chronomagic system).

The chronomagic will last until cancelled (right-click on your nameplate or /unmentor). Once cancelled, you must return to any Timeless Chronomage to reactivate the effect

Additionally, 37 new missions have been added that work similar to The Shadow Odyssey’s daily doubles. They task players with slaying various bosses within zones of all levels throughout Norrath  And, of course, these missions reward players with an array of exciting new items!

Chronomagic works the same on PvP servers as it does on PvE servers. However, it also has all the same restrictions as mentoring—namely that you cannot engage in PvP combat while the chronomagic effect is on your character. This makes it quite a bit more dangerous on PvP servers, so good luck and be careful!

Bosses and Events

As part of the chronomagic initiative, a pass was made through old-world overland and contested dungeons to greatly increase the frequency with which bosses and events spawned or occurred. Many placeholders and placeholder ring events were either removed or weighted much more heavily toward actual bosses spawning. Some of the notable highlights include placeholders being removed from:

(Note: These are all from forum feedback)

  • Crypt of Betrayal – Specter of Ire
  • Enchanted Lands – Chomper
  • Everfrost – Chieftain Iceburn
  • Feerrott – Screaming Mace HQ targets Agony, Hukulan, Kaxor, Xilarga, and Tzugaax. Also Bouncers Prud, Hurd, Fug, and Flerb who were also changed to no longer despawn
  • Greater Faydark – Crushbone Expedition Leader, Chef, Weaponsmith, and Planner
  • Lavastorm – Fire Toad, Magolemus
  • Nektulos – Dannian Blackleaf – removed respawn time and despawn time, should always be up now
  • Obelisk of Lost Souls – Mediums of Dyrt, Cron, Iza, Odris, Norrath, and Lysys, Soul Harvesters Kul, Na, Gron, and Zej, Avulsor
  • Old Telescopic Lens (quest starter for The Staff of Observers) drops much more frequently
  • Zek,  Orchish Wastes – Sentry Goorlux
  • Palace of the Awakened – Skylord Stormclaw, Advisor Soliddar
  • Rivervale – Willowmaw the Rotting
  • Ruins of Varsoon – Weavemaster Esh’rax, Tome of Life, Tome of Death, The Creator
  • Solusek’s Eye – Enforcer Maj’Fahd, Soulslaver Djar’veh, The Speaker of Fates, The Castigator, Lord Crana, Onyxlam
  • Steamfont – Bulka Bloodhorn, Digmaster Pechpooka, Slave Pechmooka, Scout Pechyooka
  • Thundering Steppes – Stiletto, Bloodtalon
  • Stormhold – a caveroot horror, Battlepriest Alexandria
  • Stormhold – The Scions – Archiovianix, Hephinntari, Qelinatias, Tumarinan
  • The Vestibule – The Medium of Hykor
  • Tombs of Night – The Leucous Maw

There are a large number of ring events that work similarly in the zones: Antonica, Commonlands, Everfrost, Sinking Sands, Enchanted Lands, Feerrott, Nektulos, Orcishwastes, and Thundering Steppes. They had a very high chance to spawn a placeholder, a small chance to spawn a boss, a small chance to spawn a shrine that buffs the player, and a small chance to spawn a number of different merchants. The chance to spawn a placeholder was greatly reduced and there is now a very high chance for one of the ‘events’ to occur. The merchants were all combined into the ‘rare’ merchant, who will now always spawn for that event. They also have a much larger merchantlist, and will buy, sell, and repair your gear! Contested Epic spawns in lower level zones were lowered to spawn every three days (with a large variation) instead of once a week.

A number of x2 and x3 contested mobs were downtiered because they had a 0% chance to drop fabled gear. They were lowered to triple-ups and their spawn times were adjusted accordingly. The contested epic mobs who did have fabled loot were given a 100% chance to drop at least one fabled item each time they are slain. Some of the mobs changed include:

  • Allidax the Ancient
  • Alrendi Thoughtsong
  • Broog the Banished
  • Commander Nagrat
  • Cragshell
  • Cyenadros, Lord of the Sanctum
  • Doomsquall
  • Equestrielle
  • Grimfeather
  • Haraghur the Deathless
  • Haywire Opticron (lowered to one-up and added loot)
  • Lavin Dusk
  • Mangler
  • Meathooks
  • Scytheclaw
  • Spiregazer
  • Ssilth Rageclaw
  • The Unseelie JumJum Thief
  • Vox

In general, most named mobs (with some exceptions) changed by this pass have a very high chance to drop treasured. Those with rare fabled items had their chances to drop raised significantly as well.

  • Named mobs in New Tunaria should have a 100% chance to drop legendary gear, and a much higher chance to drop Cloak of Flames pages now!
  • A new boss has found his way into Sebilis.
  • Bosses in Sebilis and Chardok should match Karnor’s Castle and spawn every 45 minutes + variation.
  • The despawn timers from all of Kylong Plains’ rare mobs have been removed.
  • The Fiery Apparition in Lavastorm should spawn once again

Note to testers:
Because of the size of Norrath, a number of placeholders may have slipped through our net. Please /feedback these with two pieces of information:  the full name of the zone and the full name of the placeholder-challenged named mob.

Shard of Love (heroic zone)

The Sisterhood of Erollisi has returned to Antonica with grave concerns! Adventurers interested in helping them should seek out a Disciple of Love in Antonica, Kelethin or Gorowyn. Those with more devious intentions should seek out Disciples of Hate within The Commonlands, Neriak or Gorowyn.

GENERAL

Illusions cast from petamorph wands will now last for two hours and persist through zoning.

Melee, defense and casting skills should now be easier and more straightforward to level up.

Swimming will now skill up faster.

You can now buy the Translocate and Druid Portal spells from the trainers.

Racial choices have changed.  As a result, your character development choices have been reset.

Adventure writs are now offered to a player’s effective level, so that mentored players can complete adventure writs at any level!

You can now convert adventure experience into the achievement pool from level 10 and higher by adjusting the slider in the achievement window.

Examining a ranged combat art will now display the ranged critical bonus properly.

Fixed an issue where items might trigger when they are restricted to a certain damage type.

The /auction channel is now server wide!

You will now receive chat feedback for dispels and cures.

Scouts will automatically disarm chests now when attempting to open them.  As a result, the disarm verb will no longer display.

Pets will no longer be hit by AoE autoattack unless they are considered in front of the attacker.  This should in turn make it easier to position pets to avoid it since the avoidance range for them is now flanking or behind instead of just behind.

Beneficial Poolburn effects will now display to the chat log.

Target locking abilities will now terminate if the locker is no longer a valid target.

Triggered Spell based effect tooltips will now update appropriately if your intelligence or strength change.

Player-written books will now be editable when transferring to another server.

Fixed a bug where when sometimes editing a very large player written book some text would be lost when closing and reopening the book.

Zoning into a new raid instance will no longer clear your raid looters.

Turning the avatar autoface option ON and the camera autoface option OFF will keep your character facing the target regardless of what direction your character is moving while autoattack is turned off. Toggle autoattack off to toggle off autoface if you just need to turn and run and toggle it back on again to make a final stand.

CHARASIS

  • Players who leave Charasis: Vault of Eternal Sleep and return later will no longer find their progression blocked.

GOROWYN

  • Players will find that Gorowyn has become a good deal easier to navigate.

MIRAGUL’S PLANAR SHARD (x4)

  • A quest has been added to assist with certain progression within Miragul’s Planar Shard!
  • Items that can assist in certain elements of the Planar Shard fights are now random drops in the Miragul’s Phylactery group TSO zones.

MUNZOK’s MATERIAL BASTION

  • Umzok and Ozyk now drop the less specialized cloaks and charms more reliably.
  • Certain items in Munzok’s Material Bastion have become slightly more desirable.

NEKTULOS

  • The Nerius pirates camping along Nektulos beach are now armed (and still) dangerous.

THUNDERING STEPPES

  • Turgen Bremhurst now offers a more interesting way for you to earn the key to the gates of Bridge Keep.

ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENT  (formerly Achievements)

  • Ooze Crawler will now benefit from Wrath of the Undead Servant

Mystic

  • Spirit of the Ancients will apply properly to Ancestral Sentry when another player is targeted.

Summoner

  • Pet Achievement Spells now have a higher priority when casting.

Warden

  • Fixed Shattered Infections to cure the correct person.

Warrior

  • Cry of the Warrior will be resisted less often now.

ITEMS

The Heirloom flag has been added to a large number of items in the game with the exception of quest items, heritage items, PvP items, and items gained from patterns (but the patterns themselves were flagged as Heirloom). This will allow players to join groups with the character that can help the group the most without the worry of not being able to gear up the character of their choice! As a side effect, items affected by this change will unattune and be sent to overflow initially upon first login.

Fixed a case where some item based triggered effects would begin to critical.

The Brethren of Night quartermaster by Soul Eater Falls in Nektulos Forest has improved the appearance of the armor and robe he sells.  (Existing armor purchased from him previously will not be affected.)  The Hand of Marr quartermaster in the nearby camp has also begun stocking a robe.

The Cudgel of Obviation’s Spirit Tap Effect is now unresistable.

Old Telescopic Lens (quest starter for The Staff of Observers) drops much more frequently.

Volcanic Knight’s Tempered Helm now has spell and heal crit chance to match its melee crit.

The ‘Deception’ effect on the Bracelet of the Trickster no longer affects fighters.

Unbound Elemental Essences from Lavastorm are now heirloom and the items that are purchased with them are now easier to obtain.

Balanced Ayr Stones may now be applied to fist weapons of any damage type.

Saita’s Glowing Gem will automatically cast on the user when activated. Amazing Presence now shows up in the Maintained Spells window.

The Bangle of the Spiteful now slightly increases spell crit bonus.

Anashti Sul and Ykesha now have a chance to drop new items for Mages.

The descriptions on Petamorph Wands and their spells now declare that they will only affect combat pets and not cosmetic pets.

MAIL

  • Going linkdead while accessing your mailbox will no longer cause your mail to be inaccessible if you log back in before your character leaves the world.
  • After sending a guild mail or ranks mail the “to” text box will no longer have a random guild member name in it.

Player vs Player (PvP)

The Priests of Discord have returned.  Reports state that they are currently teaching young adventurers the path of discord.

New Shattered Lands, Faydark, Kunark and Void Discord tokens have been created.  The Discord tokens will now replace all previously used currency.

Faction merchants have agreed to reduce their status and faction costs!  In return, their items have been enhanced to be more desirable to prospective buyers.

EoF, RoK and TSO Faction items have been enhanced to be more desirable by prospective buyers.  All previously purchased items have gained the attributes as well.

Writ givers are eager to see more adventurers in battle and are willing to ignore previous requirements for their job completion.

Spawn location near Dreg’s Landing and Teren’s Grasp have been moved to be favorable for all factions.

The Kylong Plains writ giver has moved to Teren’s Grasp from Dreg’s Landing.

The dirge epic triggered effect (Intrepid Strike) will no longer force an attack to inflict maximum damage while in PvP combat.

Hate will now age faster while you are on a server controlled mount.

You will no longer gain immunity while on balloon platforms.

Reactive should no longer trigger incorrectly.

PLAYER HOUSING

Player houses have been given an extra room! Note to testers: Currently homes in Qeynos and Freeport will be unable to customize the new room. This will be updated shortly.

Players can now save and restore their house item layouts.  Use the commands save_layout <filename> and load_layout <filename>.

House layout files can only be loaded in houses of the same type.  This also works in guild halls!

QUESTS

Creature mastery quests (Lore & Legend) now use a system of progressively increasing luck that eventually guarantees an update.

The third scout for “Connect the Dots” in Kylong Plains is now easier to find.

The quest “A Strange Gem” Has been re-introduced into Antonica.

The quest “The Final Report” from the Qeynos Claymore progression in Kingdom of Sky should now allow citizens of all evil and good aligned cities to obtain the quest.

The quest “Aelia and the Butcher” can now be completed properly in North Freeport.

The respawn time on a named needed for the Screaming Mace quest within Temple of Cazic Thule has been shortened.

The difficulty of the waves of orcs that spawn at the beginning of Bloodskull Valley has been lowered to be more in line with the difficulty intended for Return of the Light Heritage quest.

SPELLS

Cheap Shot will now last the full four seconds on single up arrow NPCs.  Higher difficulty NPCs will remain at two seconds since they are not typically used for solo encounters.

Group and self targeted buffs which do not expire will persist through death.  This does not apply to pet spells.

Deity Spells now have a two second casting time.

Ranges have been adjusted to many spells to more consistent.

Maintained spell descriptions from cast items will now look like if you examined the item directly.

Spells that are hostile and beneficial will now apply their beneficial effects to anyone in the group with an AOE avoidance spell on them.

Conjuror

  • The Earthen Avatar line will now break invisibility spells when cast.
  • Communion should inherit the proper names from Fiery Magician now and use the appropriate Hydromancer appearance.

Druid

  • Druid Portal spells have been consolidated into one spell and now work similar to the druid guild hall amenity.

Inquisitor

  • Inquisition will now overwrite existing copies of the spell properly on a target.

Paladin

  • Amends 3 has been removed from the Paladin Training choices like it was prior to GU51.

Shadowknight

  • Miss your old skeleton pet?  Then visit your local Shadowknight trainer and get your new skeleton pet today!  Scrolls are going fast so hurry up and get yours today!

Sorcerer

  • Sorcerer translocate spells have been consolidated into a single spell that works similar to the druid guild hall amenity.

Warden

  • Faerie Ally will no longer attempt to save dead people.
  • Tunare’s Watch will now scale by level since it is not upgraded at higher levels.

Wizard

  • Rays of Disintegration will no longer interrupt the group and is now only cast by the wizard.  The casting time is slightly less while doing a bit more damage now.

TRADESKILLS

The tradeskill society tutorial books now have an improved appearance.  If you do not have a copy and would like one, visit your local tradeskill society merchant.

The recipe for the Flame Tapestry found in Najena’s Forge is no longer limited in uses.

Carpenters can now provide a few essentials for those stabling their mounts in their homes.

Byproducts from tradeskilling will no longer have the crafter’s name on them.

Tradeskill level will now count for purchasing racial traditions.

USER INTERFACE

The recipe window now auto adjusts to fit very long recipe names.

Title lists on the Details tab of the Persona window are now sorted.

A new user-interface has been wrapped around the mentoring system.

Type /mentor to display the mentoring window.

You can also use the /unmentor command to cancel mentoring.

The mentoring window will be displayed when you join a group if your level is too high to allow all players to earn XP.

The Welcome screen now shows the number of unopened LoN booster packs you have.

The examine recipe window will now use multiple lines for very large recipe names.

The threat window now has an improved tooltip and will only show when it is relevant.

Timers on quests in the group quest window will now have correct times.

Double clicking an item in the Marketplace section of the welcome window will now open the Marketplace window with that item pre-selected.

You can now alter the hotkey for the zone reuse timer window in the options window.

The confirmation box for destroying a player written book with special characters in the title will no longer displayer gibberish.

EQ2Players.com

Critical damage will once again be tracked properly.

Game Update 53 Test News, Hot Zones

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

Alan “Brenlo” has chimed in on the EQ2 Forums with the news that GU53 will be appearing on Test servers tomorrow. He’s also spilled the beans on Hot Zones and what this means for you.

Tomorrow morning, Shards of Destiny is going to the Test server!  Woo Hoo!  We hope you are as excited as we are to see the new content and try it out for yourselves.  I encourage you, if you have time in your busy schedules, to jump onto Test and try the new content out.  We would love to hear your feedback and the more people that take part, the more solid we can make sure this update releases.

One thing you will notice missing from the update notes are the Shader 3.0 changes.  Unfortunately the work is turning out to be a little more time intensive than our initial estimates.  We did not want to rush it out, as it is a far reaching change that can impact many players and systems, so we are going to let it bake a little longer.  Working with it and testing it internally on as many system configs as our compatibility lab can put together, and they can put together a TON, to make sure it causes as little disruption as possible.  We want everyone to enjoy the vibrant lighting and shader changes this brings to the game and we hope you can be patient as we continue to tweak it until the next game update, which is tentatively scheduled for early December.

One of the new systems we are really excited about is the Chronomagic, formerly Auto-Mentoring, system.  This allows you to level down your character and experience lower level content that you may have missed, want to play over, or experience with new friends.

Houses are getting room upgrades! How exciting is that?  Most housing will soon have at least one additional room added to their architecture.  Maj’Dul housing gains multiple new rooms, I may finally up and move there.  Along with the new rooms, there is a modest increase in the number of items a house can hold, so we hope that you decorators out there make good use of the added space.  If you are a decorator and have something to show off, we encourage you to show images on the forums or even send them to us as we love to see the imaginative things you create.

There are a good deal of additional features and content pieces coming too, so check out those Test update notes and let us know what you think.

You may have noticed a hotfix this morning with a couple of small code changes.  One of which was a small change to the Welcome Screen.  Nothing huge, just a single new field in the lower right corner.  The welcome screen now displays each days Daily Mission!  A welcome and useful change I hope!  Above that you will see a new field that simply says Hot Zone.  “What is that Brenlo?” Well I am glad you asked!  Our brilliant coders and designers have come up with a new feature that each day increases the fabled drop rates in one dungeon.  The welcome screen will display which dungeon currently has the increased drop rate.  “But Brenlo, right now it says None!  I want my Hot Zone!” Do not fret my friends, we will be turning it on soon.

In fact. . .  Because we were unable to provide our European and Japanese players with GU 52 at the same time as our North American servers, we will be turning the Hot Zones on for those servers this weekend!   Look for an announcement from Kiara on the specific time it turns on and then watch the welcome screen.  For our North American servers, you will get this new hotness, yes I just said new hotness, let the hate mail begin, the following weekend.  Just in time for Labor Day.

We have lots going on here in the EQII laboratory so we will continue to keep you updated and keep that feedback coming as we love to hear from you.  Well most of you, you know who you are . . . Kendricke.  =P

I hope to see you in Atlanta at Dragon Con.

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby
Senior Producer EverQuest II

Gu53 One Month Countdown

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

Even though we do not have a specific release date for Gu53 (Shards of Destiny), “late September” has been posited as a timeframe we should be watching for. As we approach the duly appointed time, more information is coming out about what we can expect in this update.

Unless you follow the EQ2 Dev Tracker, you’ve probably missed some salient details.

Skill Up Catch Up

Not every EQ2 player has access to a Guild Hall, specifically the Training Dummy amenity. This is relevant because at the great speed most folks now level up into their 50′s or 60′s, many players find themselves deficient in certain skills such as priest skills (Ordination), mage skills (Subjugation), scout/fighter skills (Piercing, Slashing) and want to “catch up”. So far, the only easy means to do this was to grind kill mobs or fight a training dummy.

You get better at Ranged (126/400).

According to Aeralik, this issue has been identified and in Gu53, if there is a large gulf between your skill level and the maximum, you will skill up faster. From this Dev Tracker post:

If you are really low in skill it will be much easier to level it up and the skill gains will come along much faster.  Then once you get closer in skill to your level you will then slow down to a more gradual level.

AA XP Slider

One of the features I am the most excited about in Gu53 will be the AA XP Slider. On PvE (regular) servers, we will be able to channel up to 100% of our combat XP into AA XP.  PvP servers will allow up to 50% of combat XP to be converted into AA XP (until the AA cap is reached). I intend to roll an alt and see how feasible it is to level from 20-80 entirely by grouping all while earning sufficient AA points.

I am very hopeful that this AA XP slider will encourage folks to group in the level 20-60 range again. Flying through Stormhold, Nek Castle, Runnyeye, Deathfyst Citadel, and getting a solid amount of both Alternative Achievement (AA) and levels will be a great thing. A lot of folks out there are soloing to 80 and have no clue what their character brings to a group/raid.

Once again Aeralik chimes in on the EQ2 Forums with the facts:

The aa slider enables at level 10.  Pve players can put all adv xp into aa if they want but pvp players will be limited to 50% while below the current maximum level.

The AA cap only applies on pvp servers and works to keep players relatively close in strength.  We don’t have any plans to adjust this cap because its just a spending cap and you can still earn additional AA levels while capped.

Racial Traits

When racial traits were added after the launch of EQ2, players were surprised at just how good some of the effects were. Specifically, erudites are clearly superior spellcasters, while ogres are the obvious choice for tanks due to their health buffs.

With the upcoming Racial Respec tokens we will be able to purchase with StationCash,  and with certain racial traits being such obviously good choices, there is a concern that all wizards will change to Erudite, all predators to Dark Elves, all tanks to Ogre, etc. As a result, we can expect racial traits to be rebalanced and reshuffled in Game Update #53.

Here are Aeralik‘s comments on the EQ2 Forums:

The racial trait changes are staying largely in line with how they have always really been oriented.  Fighter races get some nice fighter bonuses,, caster races get caster bonuses, etc.  This really goes back to the base race design.  The original stats favored certain archetypes for play and usually their racial packages complemented these using effects of the time.  The previous racial update made things a bit more specific with current effect packages but we tried to make each race a bit more unique.

This next race update tries to mix them together so you have a wider variety of choices but the race’s abilities come from common pools.  So if you picked a mage oriented race and play a mage you get some nice choices but nothing really amazing.  If you went off the normal path and chose something like an ogre mage you still get a lot of benefits to yourself but overall dps differences from a mage race will be minimal at best and easily overcome.  In fact the ogre mage is probably a really good choice for a number of playstyles because the fighter package is really nice in some aspects and the priest package shares a lot with the mage one.

Leather & Lace

And I leave you with some leather screenshots to tide you over until the next posting. Toodles!

Tier’Dal Executioner Leather Assassin appearance gear

-available today on StationCash-

To Instance, or Not To Instance, That is the Question

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Grouping

Ratwarlock has chimed in with an article covering the appeal and drawbacks of both Instance and Contested Dungeons. It’s worth a read over at his site RatWarlock.Wordpress.com.

Sentinel’s Fate (The 6th EQ2 Expansion expected in February 2010) will ship with one large progressive contested dungeon (reportedly twice the size of Sanctum of Scaleborn, with a progression of shareable quests available as you traverse the depths).

Our Stand

EQ2Wire believes that both types of dungeon have their place. Folks have gotten a bit burned out on having to “stick to the script” each time they group up in the ~20 TSO instance dungeons and repetition over the life of the expansion can be an issue. While the guarantee of named mobs being up every time you run through the zones is a draw, variety is, as they say, the spice of life. Sometimes folks want to experience something unique each time they run a dungeon. That is where contested dungeons come in.

However, some contested dungeons are so target-rich (lots of mobs!) with such a short respawn (as little as 4 minutes) that they are rarely visited at the appropriate adventure level or only for quest updates essential to Epic Weapon and other questlines. The examples that come to mind are Kaladim and Mistmoore Castle.

These zones were designed as “end game” content, expecting multiple well-geared groups to be constantly clearing trash mobs. Now that these zones are not “current tier” content, groups often find themselves without other groups “clearing the way”. Average groups with average gear don’t have a chance at the appropriate level.

Perhaps we might see going forward smart contested dungeons that detect the presence of other groups and scale the zone up and down automatically by spawning additional mobs based on the number of players in a specific area.

Shard of Love Target Audience

Speaking of instances, it was not clear until last week that the Shard of Love would be a scaling instance dungeon for one group of players ranging from level 50~80. Kander provided us with the details.  Let’s hope the XP, AA XP, gear, and rewards from this zone make it desirable for the entire level range. So far, allowing folks under level 75 to do these zones hasn’t really paid the dividends of providing rewarding gameplay for level 50-70 players.

Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53)

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

As announced at EQ2Players…

EQII’s next Game Update #53, Shards of Destiny, is slated to go live in late September. We will be bringing some exciting new content to the world of Norrath with Shards of Destiny.

love1 love2

Erollisi Marr’s influence is felt once more in Norrath. Our players will be able to explore the Shard of Love and learn more of the popular goddess’ story. The Shard of Love is a single group zone.

There will also be a new x4 dungeon to test your skills. Miragul’s Planar Shard will continue the story of the powerful mage.

miragul1 miragul2

There are several other exciting additions coming with Shards of Destiny!

Auto-mentoring: Revisit content you may have missed!

Housing renovations: Enjoy more space to exercise your decorating creativity, or just more room to store your booty! Several housing types are receiving an additional room.

Achievement System: Killed 100,000 undead? Now you’ll be able to track your accomplishments and earn nifty rewards.

Shader revamp: The changes to the shader system are ready! Enhanced graphics and more realistic-looking shadows await.


We do not yet have an exact date for Shards of Destiny (Gu53) to appear on Test (ETA?) or be pushed to Live. But when we do, you’ll be sure to find that information ASAP. :)

July 14th Hotfix

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

Before I start the notes, July 14th marks the availability of the Automated Character Transfer Service. For $25, you can transfer your character from one server to another. Check out the “Station Marketplace” within EQ2. I don’t have a current link for you as far as this announcement, but I can confirm that the items appeared on the Station Marketplace for me this morning.

July 14th Update Notes

GENERAL

  • The Firiona Vie statue distributed to Fan Faire attendees is no longer a LORE item.

EMPEROR’S ATHENAEUM

  • 4 Warriors are no longer control immune. Enchanters, show us what you got!

KURN’S TOWER

  • The ominous shadow reavers in the Kurns x2 will no longer use Theer Strike.
  • Haggle Baron no longer respawns adds until his final phase at 10%
  • Haggle Baron should no longer ever spawn red and blue bubbles on top of each other.

MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION

  • Umzok now casts his AOE spells at level 88 so players can use potions to dispel them.  The activated automatons he uses during the fight now have less health, and will take longer to automatically buff Umzok during the fight.
  • The giant Cyclops summoned via the Channeling Crystal of the Sullonites will no longer be susceptible to damage prior to possession, so the rare times it would attack the raid rather than assist them, should be gone.
  • During the final Munzok fight, the abyssal channeling proc that charmed tanks use is no longer focus damage, it should be mitigateable as mental damage now.  Energized Void Ripper adds no longer cast frenzied slice, so players will no longer briefly become immune to beneficial spells due to this innate.  The unstable void protrusions they leave on their death now has a larger protective radius and the abyssal rager adds (these are NORMAL adds, not punishment adds) have less health and spawn with slightly less frequency than before.

PVP

  • Charm I and II now have the appropriate duration in pvp.

QUESTS

  • The Order of Rime now offers a mystic icemare suited more for priests and mages who have proven their worth to the Order.
  • Players should now be able to choose between one Ethernaut item, and one cloak from the city leaders when completing the Shadow Odyssey signature quest line.  Professor Fondfate’s dialog should now reflect the change of how the reward it given out.
  • The ghost dwarf for the quest, “Enduring Friendship” should no longer attempt to complete the quest for players who are not on it.

SPELLS
Necromancer

  • Miragul’s Dark Heart Summoning will now properly overwrite older Dark Hearts.

Shadowknight

  • Mortal Embrace will now scale properly across all versions.

VENRIL SATHIR’S LAIR

  • Venril Sathir no longer punishes players via Qxzytl’s Conversion if they have too much mana.
  • The ornamental statues in his encounter now have reduced health and do less damage.

YKESHA’S INNER STRONGHOLD

  • The froglok cavalier, footsoldiers and bodyguards that accompany Ykesha will no longer memwipe to players banished to the back of the zone.

AA XP Slider in Gu53?

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

Fan Faire 2009 presented a lot of ideas and plans for the future. A scant few were nailed down to a specific time frame. We know that we are getting the Shard of Love and Miragul’s Shard in Gu53, as well as the amazing Shaders 3.0 graphics tweaks. However the rest of Gu53 and any part of Gu54 remain a mystery.

You’ll be happy to know that the AA XP Slider is slated to be contained in Gu53! Obviously there is still some time between now and September, so this may change, but this is certainly good news that we will not be waiting until February for these changes.

I think this, more than anything else, will bring folks back to the low level dungeons in EQ2. It will give folks complete flexibility to group with friends for AA, quest, etc.

July 7 2009 Hotfix

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

July 7, 2009 Hotfix Update Notes

EMPEROR’S ATHENAEUM

  • 4 Warriors in Emperor’s Athenaeum should reset less frequently.
  • 4 Warriors have fewer buffs—especially defensive ones.

FENS OF NATHSAR

  • Kaluhm the Northern Lord now drops his treasure correctly.
  • Pulnil the Haggler is less confused about the quests he can offer and advance for those that have completed the quest “Everyone Loves a Snitch”.

GUILD HALLS

  • Players at trustee or higher access can change the appearance of mailboxes placed within their guild hall.

ITEMS

  • Focus: Lich III on necromancer item sets will now function properly.
  • Focus: Bane of Warding V should now properly increase the amount of the ward.
  • Scaling on a number of house items from the monthly “moonlight enchantments” live event has been adjusted.
  • The cloaks from Munzok’s Material Bastion now have custom appearances!

KURN’S TOWER

  • Sir Rouland now casts a detrimental warning on players he is about to kick off the platform (in addition to the onscreen message).
  • The energy bursts in Sir Rouland’s encounter tic for 30% of a player’s max health, down from 40.

_________________

By the way, I have to say that Emperor’s Athenaeum is a pretty inventive zone. 3 of the boss fights have some real creativity to them. The cheering crowds in the Drago’s Arena I found really quite contagious. So much so that I typed /cheer myself!

Finally, if you submitted any questions to the EQ2 Team about the present and future of the game, or even if you didn’t, check out the June 2nd 2009 “Dev Answers” thread.

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.

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