Where’s the Good Stuff?

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

I’m sure a lot of you are wondering. Where’s the good stuff?

Where’s the shard gear? Where’s the raid gear? Where’s the Battlegrounds gear? Where’s the detailed analysis of class changes, the new AAs, racial traits, etc.? The meat and potatoes of groupers and raiders that my readers have come to expect from EQ2Wire? Frankly, I’d like to know too. :)

However even at this late date, all of these items are in such a state of flux on Beta, that it seems to document ANYTHING at this point would be foolhardy. Beta veterans assure me that there’s plenty of time left, but I admit this makes me nervous. Remember folks, raid gear didn’t even appear on Beta until 72 hours before TSO went live.

Two weeks ago I thought I’d be working my fingers to the nubs so I could present you with the coverage you’ve come to expect. Folks can go to EQTraders, EQ2 Zam, and other sites to get the grand tours of the overland and group zones, artwork, tradeskill info, etc. I know that’s where I look. ;)

I will be providing some documentation of the Red Adornments system very soon, but the raid gear, battlegrounds gear, and shard gear will have to wait until it’s finalized.

   

Mythical Weapons in Sentinel’s Fate

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Grouping, Itemization, Raiding

Mythicals present a significant challenge to EQ2 developers trying to create desirable weapons for players at level 90. Some of the Mythical effects are uniquely powerful and no player would even consider replacing them without getting the same effect with another weapon. For this reason, it was announced at Fan Faire that mythicals would become either an equippable charm, or a clickable item.

Already, in Beta, players have discovered that, when equipped, Mythicals would not modify level 81-90 spells (eg. Chimes of Blades III, etc.).

The Truth Comes Out

Frizznik has posted in the Beta forums that owners of their Epic weapons will be able to do a challenging heroic quest called “Epic Repercussions” at level 90 to gain a Persistent Spell which gives them the effects of their Mythical weapon.

Mythical Conversion

Mythicals are a large part of character power, and we don’t want to remove that functionality at higher levels.  We did however want to make weapon slot upgrades viable again.  In the expansion, mythical weapons can be converted into a spell by doing a quest.  The new spell will take the mythical’s proc and buff components and convert them into a “Until Cancelled” buff. Any subclass with an activatable effect will have that effect converted into a spell as well.  You will also be able to retain the mythical appearance through an appearance only or house item.

Effect Changes

We needed to make a few changes to how some of the mythical effects worked. The modifications will also be applied to the effects on the existing mythical weapons.

Mystic: The reuse time of the activatable portion is now 10 minutes rather than 5 minutes.  We didn’t want to weaken the effect, but the duration and reuse made this effect too powerful so we increased the reuse time.
Wardens: The triggered proc will now trigger off of any heal rather than only critical heals.  The effect will only trigger once per cast rather than up to six times per cast for group heals.  The power gain on group heals was greater than intended.
Illusionists: The triggered power proc was reduced to one trigger rather than three.  The power gain was too too high across the entire group.
Rangers: The bonus based on proximity was removed and replaced with a bonus that is active all the time.  The bonus is equal to the bonus you would have gotten at point blank range.
Conjuror and Necromancer:  The new spell effect will increase the damage of the pet’s spells and auto-attack damage directly, rather than summoning a new pet.  The existing mythical will not been altered.

Most of the mythicals are a direct conversion from the item to the spell.  The spell version will modify level 80-90 spells.

The heroic quest to acquire the Mythical Spell effect will be available to players who own either the Fabled or Mythical versions of their Epic weapons.

The significance of these changes will be felt by Rangers (yay, I can stand anywhere I need to!). And Summoners starting out the expansion will be able to continue to use their special Mythical pet. My understanding is that the mythical pet’s maximum level is 83. Then, after completing the quest, they’ll be able to cast one of thier other pets and cast the Mythical Spell to buff that pet instead. The folks who will lose out the most are Illusionists who will see a huge loss in how much power they are able to regenerate.

Bracing for Betrayal

Kaitheel has advised us that the Mythical spell will be cancelled, and the Mythical spell removed from your knowledge book if you betray to another alignment. The last step (as well as previous steps) of “Epic Repercussions” requires you to have the fabled or mythical weapon in your inventory or bank to complete the quest.  Completion of the quest removes the original weapon (from either inventory or bank).

Once you have completed the quest “Epic Repercussions”, if you betray your class, you will be able to speak with an NPC on the Nektulos Forest docks to trade in your useless spell gem for a new one of your new alignment. In other words, you no longer need to re-do your fabled/epic/mythical quest if you betray.

The Mythical Appearance

Gninja reports in on the topic of still having your mythical weapon appearance:

When you finish the quest you get the spells appropriate for your class, an appearance only weapon to use if you so choose, and a house item version of your weapon.

Our Stand

Considering mythicals are pretty much just knowing the right person or paying the right amount of plat to get into a raid, I have no issues with this change.

Preview: Sentinel’s Fate Raiding

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Itemization, Raiding

From EQ2Players:

Raiding is an important part of gameplay for many and is a part of every MMO. Roger “Patherpanchali” Uzun designs the raids for EQII and Brett “Timetravelling” Scheinert often works with him on these. Timetravelling was kind enough to sit down and give us an overview of the new raids coming with Sentinel’s Fate.

We have three x4 raid instances launching with:

  • Sentinel’s Fate: Lair of the Dragon Queen (x4)
  • Perah’Celsis’ Abominable Laboratory (x4)
  • The Palace of Roehn Theer (x4)

For x4 content players will discover the Lair of the Dragon Queen first, then Perah’Celsis’ Abominable Laboratory, and finally The Palace of Roehn Theer. The relative difficulties progress in a similar pattern. One thing that is relatively new is that they are all built in a manner similar to Miragul’s Planar Shard—the normal mode encounters are challenging and offer internal progression. However, the challenge-mode versions within all zones are a step above and offer players a truly difficult foe!

There will also be a x2 raid — The Vigilant – based on the 3 Vigilant difficult level 90 group zones.

Further, Timetravelling has dropped the other shoe, so to speak, on the other Adornments which will be available to raiders. Instead of 12 sets or 24 sets of gear, there will be just a handful of raid gear sets. It would seem that the Sentinel’s Fate Raid Gear Sets will have a second adornment slot which will allow players to further specialize their gear how they see fit.

There were numerous balance issues in both TSO and RoK that came up again and again:

  • Unique set bonuses were often so desirable, that players often worked very hard to avoid having to break the bonuses when upgrading to a later set
  • With 24 classes and 24 sets, loot tables had a tendency to often be…unkind

In The Sentinel’s Fate we are addressing these issues by moving away from class-specific sets. Many of the sets will fulfill a role/playstyle—such as a plate-wearing tank, or a leather-wearing healer—instead of being the Berserker or Fury set. However, we certainly did not want to cause players to lose the unique focus effects and set bonuses received from their gear.

For that, we have created a new system of adornments based upon color. Gear in Sentinel’s Fate can be created to allow more than one adornment upon each item. Almost all items will have a ‘white’ adornment slot that will allow players to continue to apply adornments normally as on live. In addition, raid armor will receive an additional ‘red’ adornment slot that is restricted to raid-level adornments. These adornments can be either powerful generic effects (such as dps-enhancing stats or critical mitigation) or a number of class-specific adornment effects. For example, the Berserker might—in some bizarre Kiara-run-world—receive an adornment that causes them to spawn Rabid Bunny pets whenever their Berserk effect is activated.

These changes should help to reduce the often extremely wide range of loot on any particular encounter while additionally providing players with even more ways to tailor their characters to their playstyle and spec.

Check out the complete article at EQ2Players.

Sentinel’s Fate Adornments Revamp

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Itemization

The Adornments system in EQ2 has always been pretty confusing. And so far, there just have not been a lot of options for certain classes in certain slots for adornments.

Each of the 9 tradeskill classes and the 2 secondary tradeskill classes have each made a handful of adornments. necessitating adornment websites to keep it all straight. We are thrilled to see that the Kanga will be updating her fantastic EQ2 Adornments site for Game Update 55.

With Game Update 55, adornments have been rebuilt from the ground up. In fact some prized adornments (Parry) can no longer be crafted as the recipes have been removed.

Starting with Game Update 55, all adornments are crafted by those players who choose the secondary tradeskill of Adorning. If you were a 400 Transmuter, then you will be a 400 Transmuter and 400 Adorner on February 16th.

Consolidated Stats Persona Window

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

Consolidating Stats

Sentinel’s Fate consolidates many separate stats in an effort to simplify itemization. Developers have been hounded on the EQ2 forums for “ignoring” healers, hybrid classes which need both spell and melee abilities, etc. in designing gear. Stat Consolidation is a huge step in making a smaller set of gear usable by a larger player population. Here is the list of changes:

  • Crit = Damage Spell Crit, Melee Crit, Range Crit, Heal Crit
  • Crit Bonus = Spell Crit Bonus, Melee Crit Bonus, Range Crit Bonus
  • Double Attack = Double Attack, Ranged Double Attack
  • Potency = Base Spell Damage, Base Combat Art Damage, Base Taunt, Base Heal Amount
  • Ability Mod = +CA Damage, +Spell Damage Mod, +Heal Amount
  • Physical Mitigation = vs. Crushing, vs. Slashing, vs. Piercing
  • Elemental Resist = Cold, Heat resists
  • Noxious Resist = Disease, Poison resists
  • Arcane Resist = Divine, Magic, Mental resists

Consolidated Stats naturally lead to a simplified Persona Window. Most classes will no longer have to hunt in Spell Stats and Melee Stats to find their Crit, Crit Bonus, Double Attack, etc. numbers. They’re all right there on the main Persona page. There isn’t even a Ranged Stats page anymore.

Inflated Stats?

If you think about how this consolidation works, you’ve probably realized that it’s going to be very easy for Druids, for example, to end up with 100% spell/heal/melee crit, or for rangers to end up with 100% self-buffed Double Attack/Ranged Double Attack. We already know that this expansion is going to be all about Crit Bonus. I think the developers have just accepted that even casual raiders are going to be at (or very close to) the 100% caps for Spell/Heal/Range/Melee Crit on day 1.

Primary Character Stats Changes

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

Everything you know about the main Character Stats is about to change.

For the past 5 years, in addition to the primary stats that each class uses:

  • Predators have focused on STR to do melee and ranged damage and INT to increase poison damage.
  • Druids have focused on STR to do more melee damage.
  • Crusaders have focused on INT for spell damage and WIS for healing.

These are just the most obvious examples, but all 24 classes had some unique benefits from the different Stats. Starting with Sentinel’s Fate, each class now benefits significantly from just ONE statistic, even if they are considered a “hybrid” class.

Najena’s Ring of Readiness

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Itemization

From Fyreflyte on the EQ2 Forums:

Post expansion-launch, the useable effect on Najena’s Ring of Readiness will give a flat +2000 spelldamage buff. The cooldown and duration will remain the same. I realize this effect has been available to you for over a year now, but due to the way it scales, it can not be left in game as-is. Without a rating system to curb its effects, the item would have only become more powerful with each expansion, crippling our ring itemization for sorcerers.

I understand this will be an upsetting change for those that spent countless hours running the Hollow Tower in order to acquire one, but it is absolutely necessary for the health of the game. I know this information is coming fairly late, but hopefully it will save those who are still farming for it further frustration.

Why the item wasn’t changed when it was realized how powerful it was, or why this change wasn’t announced last summer when Gear Scaling was cancelled, we may never know.

Closing the Book on Void Shards

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

When Commission crafting was altered in March 2009 to prevent crafters from using their own Void Shards and other NO TRADE/HEIRLOOM materials for other players, it closed the book for several crafters on this highly profitable market.

However it was quickly discovered that a crafter could still use their own shards if the customer had at least the requisite number of shards in their own inventory to make the item. This was accomplished by swapping out ingredients in the Commission Materials window.

Today’s Hotfix marks the closure of this exploit:

Patch Notes January / 26 / 2010

GENERAL
You can no longer swap no trade and heirloom items given to you in a consignment trade.

Patch Notes January / 26 / 2010
GENERAL
You can no longer swap no trade and heirloom items given to you in a consignment trade.

Mentored Shards

Further, EQ2Wire is now hearing rumors that it will be impossible to run mentored “grey” void shard runs in Shadow Odyssey dungeons once the Sentinel’s Fate expansion launches. This likely will take the form of either being booted from the zone or a forced mentoring if a “trivialized” condition exists (mobs are grey).

It seems a concerted effort is now being put forth to restore the logical progression of gear in EverQuest II:

  • Treasured/Mastercrafted — solo gear
  • Legendary — group gear
  • Fabled — raid gear

The Problem

1) Some players have no interest in getting into any sort of group, and play EQ2 entirely as a solo game, yet they are currently getting exceptional gear.

2) Some players are husband-and-wife or trio setups. Either they don’t want to do a full group and deal with the personalities, or they are undergeared and not able to get into a group.

3) And some players already have several main characters and are leveling an alt, possibly an alt that is not always desired (summoner, druid, brawler, etc.).

One of the biggest problems players of The Shadow Odyssey faced is that all 20 dungeons were targeted for level 80, and if more than one mid-70′s character joined the group, then zone rewards were scaled down (no chest, no shinies, level 67 gear).

The Solution

1) Treasured and Mastercrafted gear in Sentinel’s Fate will be much better gear comparatively than level 72 gear was for level 80 characters. Considering how powerful the T1 and T2 void shard armor are, for many solo players, it will likely last them well into the 80′s until they replace that gear with Mastercrafted and quested rewards.

2) The Hole offers a large sprawling open dungeon ranging from level 82-90. Most of it is tailored to 3-4 players. Instead of waiting for hours, trying to build the “perfect” group, I expect players will simply show up at the entrance and jump into whatever ragtag groups are running through. Also, a variety of quests and large number of named encounters exist within the zone.

3) We haven’t heard much word on Class Balance, but hopefully with the changes, and the fact that Sentinel’s Fate dungeons range from level 82-90 means that people will actually get to group up with mains AND alts throughout the level range. With the AA slider, it should be possible to earn AA just as easily this way as solo questing.

With the dungeons in Sentinel’s Fate not being locked to level 90 (The Hole is 82-90, and the first instance is accessible at level 83), players won’t be pressured quite so bad to “solo quest grind to 90″ before being able to play the group game.

Buffrat’s Gear Guide

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization

Plane of War – Page 1

Essences {
an essence of war
an axiom of war
an artisan of war
}
drops: secondaries

Warboars {
a Warhide battlecharger
a Warhide guardbreaker
}
drops: forearms

Diakus {
a Diaku warfury
a Diaku doomcrusher
a Diaku battlebrute
}
drops: boots

Morlocks {
a Morlock afflictor
a Morlock thrasher
}
drops: charms, wrists

Aviaks {
a Hendin wardiver
a Hendin battleclaw
a Hendin brawlwing
}
drops: gloves


war wraiths {
a Decorin warscourge
a Decorin deathmonger
}
drops: helms

The Enraged War Boar

drops: ranged, belts

Berik Bloodfist

drops: legs, secondaries

Tagrin Maldric(?)

drops: necks?, cloaks, weapons, wrists

Glokus Windhelm

drops: necks?, ring1s, ear2s

Eriak the Fetid

drops: shoulders, ears, rings.

Commanders Goreslaughter and Corpsemaul

drops: chest, 2h weapons, charms

Flawless Achievements

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

A new Achievement has been added for Raiders who are able to clear the original Shadow Odyssey raid mobs without dying (earning a Flawless Victory at least once on each mob). These are some pretty amazing awards, commensurate with the effort required to get them.

flawless_charm_of_combat flawless_symbol_of_stealth
flawless_gem_of_healing flawless_stone_of_destruction
  • \aITEM 92894355 -1176837326:[Flawless Charm of Combat]\/a
  • \aITEM -625928716 1415794346:[Flawless Symbol of Stealth]\/a
  • \aITEM 1132459187 -1244409981:[Flawless Gem of Healing]\/a
  • \aITEM 1381090014 420207800:[Flawless Stone of Destruction]\/a

Oct 28 and Nov 3 Hotfixes

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

EQ2Wire is back in town and brings you some Hotfix notes.

October 28 Hotfix

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • New Achievements have been added! Test your skill with three new types of Achievements: Flawless Victory, Sense of Urgency and Shorthanded Victory achievements have been added to Rise of Kunark and The Shadow Odyssey zones.

ITEMS

  • Equipment with pet buffs should no longer experience stacking issues which cause the cancellation of multiple pet buffs when removing a single piece of armor.
  • Jewelry items purchased from Lavastorm and the Moors of Ykesha are now heirloom attuneable.
  • Jewelry items acquired with Void Shards is now Heirloom.
  • The “Blanket of Fog” should now be placed as a red puzzle cube then after placed should retain its fog effects.
  • The “Blanket of Fog” should now change into a red puzzle box when turned off by the defogifier.
  • The Necklace of the Plague has been increased to 12% base damage.
  • Hallow’s Gallows now grants ranged crit.
  • Frostburn and Mutagenic Burst now give larger gains when stacked.
  • The appearance of the Ceremonial Robe of the Brethren has been corrected.

MIRAGUL’S PLANAR SHARD

  • Miragul Encounter (Hard mode) : Miragul’s Arcane impairment now only affects spells. Miragul’s Physical Impairment now only affects auto attack and combat arts.

USER INTERFACE

  • The placeholder detriment icons were removed from the raid window.
  • The raid window’s font-size was decreased and the overall window is a little more compact.

November 3 Hotfix

ITEMS

  • The Collar of Ice is now Heirloom.

October 21 Hotfix

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

Here are your Hotfix Notes for October 21, 2009:

GENERAL

  • Nu’roga now has plunderable loot!
  • Malicious Thoughts and Icicle Explosion now trigger on ranged and melee attacks.
  • Frostburn and Mutagenic Burst now correctly modify each other’s damage.
  • Purifying Persistence should properly modify the caster’s heals rather than the targets.

LoN

  • The Cloak of Crystal Shards, Assassin Master’s Cloak and Cloak of Runes returned from Collector Rattelis are now Heirloom.

ITEMS

  • Icy Prison now has 3 shield effectiveness to match its deflection chance.
  • Charm of Solusek Ro once again triggers multiple times on AE casts, however its effect is now limited to 5 targets.

Miragul’s: Crucible

  • The Master’s spell reflect percentage has been greatly reduced.

Miragul’s Planar Shard

  • In the final hard mode fight with Miragul, his Brilliant Adepts will no longer stun/mez players within a second of initially spawning, but will wait 3-6 secs after spawning to start casting.
  • The Miragul encounter (Hard mode): Miragul will now cast Curse of Confusion on up to 2 players per cycle, rather than 3.

MISTMOORE’S INNER SANCTUM

  • The Vampiric Protectors that spawn during the Mayong encounter will now respawn in the center of the room if they break, rather than rapidly spawning and despawning near the point where the encounter broke.

MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION

  • Certain items that drop from Munzok have become slightly more powerful.
  • Overlapping unstable void protrusions should provide protection from Munzok’s edict as expected, and no longer conflict with one another.  Additionally void protrusion protection now more closely matches the sphere’s size.
  • Munzok’s max health has been reduced.

NIGHTS OF THE DEAD

  • Altius Volfban in the Hollow Hedge should be much easier for mage classes to handle.
  • The Headless Horseman now spawns somewhere near his tree instead of just in the same spot every time. He also requires someone offer him the necklace instead of simply taking the necklace near him to activate. His respawn has also been lengthened slightly.
  • The Nightmarish Ceremonial Armor has gotten a slight change to color.
  • The Nightmarish Ceremonial armor should now all have an equal chance of dropping.
  • Altius Volfban now has a chance to drop a piece of the Nightmarish armor when killed.
  • The Blanket of Fog now comes with a remote so you can turn them on and off. In the off state it should be much easier to tell where they are!

USER INTERFACE

  • The option to always show the threat window has been moved from Game Features to Options->User Interface->Game Windows.

Headless Horseman Has Head in Clouds

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, Live Events, Raiding

One of the exciting aspects of the 2009 Nights of the Dead live event is the contested x2 Headless Horseman Knight. No less exciting (and surprising) than the loot that drops from said encounter:

notd-hallows_gallows
Hallows Gallows
Bloodthirsty Choker 2.0?
\aITEM 430679940 306448646:Hallow’s Gallows\/a
notd-soulleach
Soulleach
\aITEM -1026839664 -1911359172:[Soulleach]\/a
notd-secret_sash
Secret Sash
\aITEM 71107619 -1772367845:[Secret Sash]\/a
notd-brainless_belt
Brainless Belt
\aITEM 1534172351 1374785267:[Brainless Belt]\/a

and of course these humorous items:

notd-an_oddly_empty_crate
an oddly empty crate
\aITEM -1414756000 -2003420917:[an oddly empty crate]\/a
notd-frictionless_piece_of_eight
Frictionless Piece of Eight
\aITEM -1495753407 -624402372:[Frictionless Piece of Eight]\/a

Note that some players are reporting issues with the new Hedgemaze zone (an instance of Cauldron Hollow). Not all players have been able to progress beyond the “Trick” step.

Legends of Norrath Brings Powerful Items to Norrath

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Grouping, Itemization

If you have been following the increasingly train-wrecky Legends of Norrath Affects Gameplay topic on EQ2 Forums, you know that the Legends of Norrath card game is on the cusp of making powerful items available within the EverQuest 2 universe.

Already, by purchasing booster packs of cards (at $2.99/ea) and/or playing the LoN card game, one can acquire cloaks, mounts, appearance items, potions, and other items within the EQ2 world. So far these items have drawn the line at being comparable to dungeon/raid drops.

Many have argued that EQ2′s $15/month subscription + $50/year expansion cost should be more than adequate for Sony Online Entertainment to cover their costs. The latest subscriber estimate is 250,000 players. Considering 6 months a year and 25% expansion buyin, that’s $26 million revenue per year.

Yet increasingly, in-game items have been made available through StationCash (funded with a credit card, items have a fixed price) and Legends of Norrath (player must purchase an unknown number of card packs until they find the loot card they desire, trade with others, or buy such cards at an extreme markup on such sites as LoNLoot.com).


Today marks the launch of the 8th expansion: Legends of Norrath:Travelers. It was announced 2 weeks ago including this controversial passage:

Incredible loot cards, including exclusive new quests in EverQuest® and EverQuest® II that open all new chambers and rewards of loot and XP!

Starting today, players can acquire a Legends of Norrath loot card “Legends of Norrath: A Mysterious Key” ( \aITEM -691738313 583949373:Legends of Norrath: A Mysterious Key\/a )

  • This key will unlock a unique level 80 combat instance for the holder and his/her group. One use only.

lon-keyitem

Examining the key offers the quest Repulsing Repuuli.

  • After receiving a location of an up and coming threat to all of Norrath, you are sent to destroy Repuuli the Destroyer within the Moors of Ykesha.
  • Find and enter the Destruction Chamber near the Obelisk of Ahkzul in the Moors of Ykesha.

lon-questoffer lon-questjournal

EQ2Wire went on safari to The Moors of Ykesha to get the facts. Upon entering the portal (which is a short distance from the Obelisk entrance), the surroundings immediately seemed familiar.

lon-portal

Indeed, I was greeted with the sight of the last room of Obelisk of Ahkzul.

lon-obelisk1

lon-obelisk2

After defeating four roaming 80^^ void beasts, Repuuli the Destroyer (82^^^) became interested in my presence. Defeated as easily as Executor Vark in the Obelisk, it is then that the true nature of this Legends of Norrath tryst was revealed. Although housed in an unassuming Ornate chest, the rewards found within were anything but ordinary.

lon-questcomplete

Inside the Ornate chest is an item container called A Void Cube. One player per zone visit gets to loot this container.

lon-ornatechest

The recipient must then choose between 7 items. Make no mistake folks, these items are comparable to Ward of Elements x2 raid drops:

lon-portalbracerofthevoidwarrior lon-portalclaspofthevoidinvoker lon-portalwrapofthevoidassassin

  • Portal Bracer of the Void Warrior ( \aITEM 1363089210 -1153524204:[Portal Bracer of the Void Warrior]\/a )
  • Portal Clasp of the Void Invoker ( \aITEM -29585155 -1544401326:[Portal Clasp of the Void Invoker]\/a )
  • Portal Wrap of the Void Assassin ( \aITEM -932311402 966076848:[Portal Wrap of the Void Assassin]\/a )

lon-portalbangleofthevoidknight lon-portalbindingofthevoidcaller lon-portalbraceofthevoidwarder

  • Portal Bangle of the Void Knight( \aITEM -1348074215 2070418077:[Portal Bangle of the Void Knight]\/a )
  • Portal Binding of the Voidcaller ( \aITEM 935669575 190604106:[Portal Binding of the Voidcaller]\/a )
  • Portal Brace of the Void Warder ( \aITEM 552342734 -2044085964:[Portal Brace of the Void Warder]\/a )

lon-portalbraceletofthevoidpriest

  • Portal Bracelet of the Void Priest ( \aITEM -1900203042 2008289082:[Portal Bracelet of the Void Priest]\/a )

How Does Legends of Norrath Affect Me?

Legends of Norrath is a game I was never interested in, that I’m forced periodically to wait for it to download updates. It has never appealed to me. So far I’ve been able to ignore it other than checking to see if I get any loot cards. I’ve gotten a few cloaks. I got the heal potion.

And I bought some StationCash when it was half price. I’d probably use it for appearance gear or name changes. Maybe even a vitality potion to level a 5th tradeskiller to 80.

So I’m not like “Mr Furious” about RMT/SC/LoN. But I know others are, so LoN affects my gameplay if others want to quit EQ2 because of LON getting further and further entrenched in the game.

How does one level from 1-80 in EQ2 these days?
How does one get geared up in EQ2 these days?

Right now, I think a lot of folks solo quest from 1-80, missing the entire content of this game. Then they transfer plat and HEIRLOOM gear from their main to twink out their alt. They might even run a few Mentored (grey) Shard Runs to gear up their alt.

Without having ever stepped in a 1-80 dungeon, people feel they need to gear up alts just to have a chance — just to get a group. Imagine if you are a level 80 character these days and go LFG (Looking for Group) and show up in mastercrafted/quest gear and adept 1 spells? You will be laughed out of the building (and dropped from the group). When I started playing EQ2, grouping from 1-70 was prevalent. I feel sorry for the players now who will never know this content.

I am lucky that I was level 80 when The Shadow Odyssey was released. I already had the best Kunark group gear available to me, and started the first night earning as many void shards as possible. It’s just expected now to get a group you have full T1, possibly T2 gear, fabled weapon, etc.

Hand Me Downs

It’s easy to earn plat in this game. So easy that the plat farmers aren’t doing as well as they used to. With a few hundred plat, you can gear up with some significant jewelry and even T4 bracer/boot pattern to a toon that’s never fought in a dungeon let alone a raid zone. If you are raiding 4 nights a week and getting all kinds of patterns that everyone already has, then your alts are going to be built to the hilt.

When my Dirge dings 80, he will have full Tier 2 Void Shard Armor, with Tier 3 (Ward of Elements) boots, and pretty substantial jewelry. Who knows, he might even have Tier 4 FABLED bracers by then.

If some idiot really wanted to pay a few hundred bucks to acquire a few thousand platinum pieces and spend it on T4 raid patterns (The T4 chestpieces go for 1200-2000p on BB right now), they could. They could even pay for group updates on their Fabled epic, and then pay more for VP updates for their Mythical. In short, with a few waves of the credit card, I can build a toon in full Tier 4 FABLED gear, jewelry, and Mythical having hardly ever DONE the content.

People gear up alts with plat (earned or bought) and shards (earned or greyed out). Enough people view this as shady that there is still some sense of dignity maintained. Some folks still take pride that they built their characters without the aid of a powerful main character supplying them shards, gear, and plat.

I am NOT advocating stopping loot rights. It’s just a somewhat dysfunctional reality that I too have benefited from (I got the Ethernauts Roundshield of Ranger Pwnage for 120p). I think grey shards screwed them up and should have been stopped it.

So I think by putting FABLED-like gear into Legends of Norrath, SoE are legitimizing this process. It is a signal to a lot of players that SoE does not care how you build your toon. In combination with all gear getting the HEIRLOOM tag, it sends a message that rules can be bent and/or broken. You can build up your toon however you want, either by playing the game or swiping your credit card.

So I stand on principle and say that I will not use my credit card to get Legendary or Fabled gear and build out my character. I will not buy Legends of Norrath cards to get access to some significant loot. Already, so many barriers have been broken down in how characters are geared up in such a short time, I wonder how it will affect the future of the game. I think it will inevitably kill it. The thrill of the chase, the actual PLAYING of the game is diminished. Why learn the encounters and play the game when you can just put in a few bucks and get to the same destination?

When Legends of Norrath was launched, several promises were made by John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. It seems the expression “Time changes everything” is never more true here.

How Good Is the Loot?

The following diagram compares the LoN rewards with equivalent or similar items elsewhere in Norrath. It is disturbing to me that some of the rewards are similar to Ward of Elements x2 raid drops:

lon-cat-comparison
LoN Item Comparison

The truth, as they say,  is out there.

What’s Wrong with EQ2 Raiding?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Itemization, Raiding

Most of my gametime these days is either raiding with my Ranger, or leveling my Dirge alt. I do live events (looking forward to Nights of the Dead), but otherwise, I’m fairly bored with the runaround quest lines. Groups in the 20′s-60′s are few and far between, but that is an issue for another blog post…

Our guild is currently running Ward of Elements (I have all but shoulders and the cloak from Aiden) and we do as much x4 raiding as we can with 2 1/2 groups. That’s the first 3 named of Tomb of the Mad Crusader (including Thet) and the twins in Palace of the Ancient One. We’re probably going to start doing Kurn’s X2 because we’re pretty much blocked from doing anything else by lack of players/needed classes.

This is a chronic problem on Butcherblock, and I think other servers. At last count there were over 15 semi-casual raid guilds each about 4-8 players away from having a full raid force. Nobody wants to merge or switch guilds. And there’s never been a successful Raid Alliance on Butcherblock.


I read the EQ2 forums every day looking for news and info for EQ2Wire readers. So today I found a couple of posts that really jive with how I’ve been feeling lately…

First up from Shianne <Tainted> @ Kithicor:

Dear SOE,

I have been a loyal subscriber since July of 2005.  I have been a co-leader of a raiding guild since Dec of 2006, and an officer prior to that.  In the time I have played I have seen many people come and go.  I have seen good expansions and bad.  I have seen nerfs and character balance issues; server mergers and many other developments and setbacks.

One thing I can say is that I have always enjoyed the game, no matter how badly my class was messed up or how many of my friends or guild mates left for greener pastures in other MMOs or guilds or just to experience the real world. However, my enjoyment is waning along with so many others.

My server, Kithicor, has suffered many guilds disbanding of late due to a lack of available players to fill out their rosters.  i have lost 8-9 people of my raid force myself.  The commen thread to all of the people leaving?  They are bored.  Most of them (including myself) have multiple characters that are level 80 and at 200 AA or close to.  They have no need of shard gear.  They have no need of instance loot.  They don’t want to level yet another character.  The only thing to log in for is raids and when you can’t get classes you need, those are getting old to since you can’t progress.

The release of GU53 did little to entice people to remain.  The Achivement System gives no tangible and USEFUL rewards.  Those that missed out on getting AA for various things aren’t likely to go get the achievements done as they will hold out till there is an AA cap increase.  So, there is still no reason to log in.  The Shard of Love offers nothing but fluff items and 1 time AA experience.  A fair amount of people will do it once, then never again.  Miragul’s Planar Shard – while it is nice to have another raid zone, many of us can’t clear what is already out there due to lack of population to flesh out our ranks.  Then, you add items into the heroic instances to make the raids easier, so in essence creating the necessity for many people to run zones for no other reason than to collect those items.  It is becoming a JOB and not fun.

If the achievement system had offered useful rewards, such as dual stat adornments, or the ability to add 2 points to an AA tree when completing an achievement, or rocking charm items, etc. This MIGHT have been a draw for those of us who want something to work towards that IMPROVES our characters.

If you had done server mergers, then at least the population wouldn’t be spread so thin.  I realize that server mergers would cut into the Cash Cow transfer potions that are available thru the Marketplace, but please, understand that the economy sucks at the moment.  For many people this is their entertainment.  This is their hobby.  This is their escape from reality.  Many people are struggling just to pay the subscription fees.  Throw us a bone and think about merging some servers so that we have a base of people to work with so perhaps we may find some enjoyment in the game again.

This latest expansion with its cure heavy scripting has burned out the healers.  I have been looking for ONE templar for going on 3 months. I have had 2 applicants in that time and neither were able to handle the whack-a-mole curing as well as keeping their reactives up. When you spend THREE months trying to find a single class and have no success, this tells you things are not well in the land of Norrath.

In the last three months, we have lost at least two major guilds to collapse.  Unfortunately, those people didn’t remain on the server.  Most went to other servers or quit entirely.  We have had one guild transfer here to “rule the school” and another leave to go to another server to do the same.  We have at least 2 other non-avatar raid guilds on the verge of collapse and at least 2-3 others with severe recruitment issues.  Much of this is being caused by people QUITTING EQ2.

Please SOE, I implore you to do something to breathe some life into the game before more people take of for Aion or other MMOs. Delaying the expansion is killing the game, fluffy GUs with no real substance aren’t keeping the interest of a vast amount of us,  continued nerfs and re-defining classes isn’t the best way to hold on to people.

I see hundred of posts from people on ways to improve the game, ways to work towards class balance, ways to deal with itemization, ways to implement avatars into instanced encounters, and a majestic array of other ideas, suggestions, wants, desires,etc.  People WANT to play EQ2, but they also want to know their voices are heard, that the devlopers realize the we, the players, have a borader understanding of the game than you may think.  We the players are a font of knowldge, we are talented and skilled and we know what gamers want, do you?

Pervis has a nice followup which makes some great points about Itemization:

There is nothing more disapointing in raiding when you spend weeks working on an encounter to finally get the kill, only to have the one item in the chest be totally worthless. What this game needs, and what one of my primary complaints has been with TSO (paired with Research Assistants, which only add to the issue) is the total lack of any raid-based quests.

The original game was great. As soon as your guild killed Darathar, you basically took a giant step forward. Every mage and healer in the guild got a huge upgrade, and scouts and tanks got an item that was invaluable on many encounters.

Desert of Flames had the same with killing the Godking, and getting the weapons from the peacock quest series.

Kingdom of Sky had similar with the Claymore, though once you had killed Taranax you had no progression left until Fallen Dynasty was added.

Echoes of Faydwer was wasted, due to the Soulfire quest taking so long to implement. While it was great for lore reasons, it was horrible for content/mechanics reasons.

Rise of Kunark of course had epic [weapons], and as soon as you were able to kill Nexona and Druushk, you had an almost clear run to getting every mythical weapon. There is no need to even mention the difference between a raid with identicle equipment, but one with mythicals the other without.

The Shadow Odyssey has… umm… the earring from Munzok’s Material Bastion (MMB)?

There is no carrot dangling. When we kill a mob, we have no guarentee that the item it drops will be wanted. Why bother working on mobs in MMB if you know you are going to get a summoner-only item (we had the cloak and charm both drop 3 times in a row, prior to GU#53, we have no summoners).

While raiders are less interested in quests for the story aspect (in general, many raiders are as into the lore of this game as any non-raider), what they like is the guarantee that the time and effort they put in to killing encounters is going to be rewarded. Again until GU#53, I was looking at Ykesha thinking… why even bother? As a mage, he had no items that were worth me even looking at, and since he is not required for any quest update, I have no personal reason to care.

How is that good for the expansion’s end mob?

I have seen more raiders quit in TSO than any other time. Most of the players I know that have quit have done so for itemization reasons. While there are more item options and effect in game than ever before, it is how those effects have been distributed that has simply caused people to not want to bother. Its not enough to just create 100 items and throw them on loot tables at random, the placement of each item should have more attention paid to it than the creation of the item itself.

I have zero faith that the next expansion will be any better, simply because the same issues have been bought up with every previous expansion. Players have asked during beta to look over items to check for progression, and have either been not heard or ignored. Just look at how long it took to get items in to Miragul’s. If us players are being asked to test content out to make sure it is working as intended, and is set to the appropriate difficulty, we should also have someone asking us to test itemization progression.

Revisiting the same content over and over is just part of any MMO. Keeping players hooked as long as you can to keep subscription rates up is just part of the game business model. However the reliance on the Random Number Generator in gearing players up is really getting out of hand. Folks identify the best item for a slot (sometimes the best item in the game for a certain class and for a certain slot drops in an easy group zone, sometimes off the hardest raid mob in the game, it’s completely random) and then run that zone until they get the item. Then they never go back. Then there’s Healer Burnout, where healers are sticking around even though they currently hate some of the encounters just to not let their friends down.

   

Nights of the Dead starts October 16th

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Grouping, Itemization, Live Events, Tradeskill

From EQ2Players:

The leaves are turning and the air has become crisp in the land of Norrath. Ghoulish activity has started to increase. It can mean only one thing; the return of the Nights of the Dead. Norrath’s annual Halloween celebration will be returning from 12:01am PDT on October 16th and will run through 11:59pm PST on November 9th.

New this year:

  • New Haunted Hedgemaze in Nektulos Forest!
  • New holiday collection.
  • New Headless Horseman in Nektulos Forest.
  • New rewards for some of the old Nights of the Dead Events!
  • New illusions from the goblins.
  • New costume illusions available from holiday merchants.
  • New holiday recipe book.

Returning favorites:

  • Trick-or-treating in Qeynos and Freeport.
  • Haunted house in Qeynos and Freeport.
  • Ponchy’s quest line in Antonica.
  • Decorations in the cities.
  • Goblins who cast costume illusions.
  • Haunted Mansion in Loping Plains.
  • Candy drops for tradeskilling.
  • Holiday tradeskills are back.
  • Purchaseable costume illusions.
  • Neriak’s clandestine (and smashable) decorations!

Some Nights of the Dead Wallpapers

Miragul Himself

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

Well, now we know the real reason that Avatar Loot was nerfed. It wasn’t because it was “overpowered” or because it would “break the next expansion”. It was so similar items could be put on the endboss of an instance.

As posted by Jasuo on the EQ2 Forums, two of the charms dropped by Miragul in Miragul’s Planar Shard (x4 raid zone) are very similar to Avatar Charms:


and yes, we will be back later today to talk about the new EQ2 zone which requires a LoN item to access.

Miragul’s Planar Shard Upgrades

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

Much has been made of the difficulty, and more importantly the limited desirability of the loot that drops in the new raid zone — Miragul’s Planar Shard — which arrived in Game Update 53. Players capable of killing these mobs already have access to far superior gear, and indeed some of these items were not as good as Ward of Elements or even group instance drops.

Significant changes are expected to both the difficulty of the zone and the quality of the loot in tomorrow’s Hotfix. Gninja advises us that further changes to the difficulty of the zone should be expected in the near future:

Just an update for you folks.

The difficulty of this zone is getting toned down slgihtly. More specifically the level of the mobs and the crit chance of the mobs as well as some small tweaks to the AE effects that some of the bosses cast to make it a bit less painful. As you guys noticed with some of the changes above the items were also closely looked at and adjusted to fit the intended difficulty of the zone and taking into consideration the quality of items from similar zone with same difficulty.

You should see these changes do live as soon as we can get them in.

EQ2Wire has logged into Test and done side-by-side comparisons of the loot as it exists on live and what we can expect in Thursday’s Hotfix:

Fighter/Scout
offensive_instinct_earring_nochange
Offensive Instinct Earring
\aITEM -388580771 -638695899:[Offensive Instinct Earring]\/a
crystalline_blade_of_the_tracker_nochange
Crystalline Blade of the Tracker
\aITEM -316628234 -923770519:Crystalline Blade of the Tracker\/a
drape_of_ice_knives
Drape of Ice Knives
\aITEM -1560491499 1713236965:[Drape of Ice Knives]\/a
temporal_bludgeon_nochange
Temporal Bludgeon
\aITEM 1014861936 -1849987806:Temporal Bludgeon\/a
thought_frosted_rhombus
Thought Frosted Rhombus
\aITEM 1420730539 582560697:[Thought Frosted Rhombus]\/a
swift_frostlink_boots
Swift Frostlink Boots
\aITEM 948554117 804576793:[Swift Frostlink Boots]\/a
swift_frostlink_coif
Swift Frostlink Coif
\aITEM 1280635002 -2030227484:[Swift Frostlink Coif]\/a
rohop_the_icecleaver
Rohop, the Ice Cleaver
\aITEM 643973595 1990042517:Rohop, the Icecleaver\/a
band_of_jagged_ice
Band of Jagged Ice
\aITEM 1605011023 1764687837:Band of Jagged Ice\/a

Crusader/Cleric
superego_sabatons
Superego Sabatons
\aITEM 525125006 -1215697349:[Superego Sabatons]\/a
ego-imbued_coif
Ego-imbued Coif
\aITEM 180032609 1595324054:[Ego-imbued Coif]\/a
ego-imbued_treads
Ego-imbued Treads
\aITEM 1738261032 79569467:Ego-imbued Treads\/a
id-infused_cap
Id-infused Cap
\aITEM 428078571 -1324929700:Id-infused Cap\/a
- -

Mage
sash_of_creeping_cognition
Sash of Creeping Cognition
\aITEM -241257653 460997427:Sash of Creeping Cognition\/a
dodecahedron_of_mispronunciation
Dodecahedron of Mispronunciation
\aITEM -1690781327 -1801892191:[Dodecahedron of Mispronunciation]\/a
glaceus_the_ice_comet
Glaceus, the Ice Comet
\aITEM 1124854224 -263555851:Glaceus, the Ice Comet\/a
glacial_sheet_cherubs_drape
Glacial Sleet Cherub’s Drape
\aITEM -1950366370 -344374835:Glacial Sleet Cherub’s Drape\/a
black_mindweave_hood
Black Mindweave Hood
\aITEM 1861451831 -1537581143:[Black Mindweave Hood]\/a
black_mindweave_slippers
Black Mindweave Slippers
\aITEM -1150004573 1682610743:[Black Mindweave Slippers]\/a
mobius_band_of_the_mind_nochange

Mobius Band of the Mind
\aITEM -1347628754 1584699148:[Mobius Band of the Mind]\/a

dangle_of_twisted_thoughts_nochange

Dangle of Twisted Thoughts
\aITEM -1308454009 1556516884:[Dangle of Twisted Thoughts]\/a

-

Priest
nebulous_loop_nochange
Nebulous Loop
\aITEM 1222148207 2119916759:[Nebulous Loop]\/a
hypothermia
Hypothermia
\aITEM 455426760 -1457104545 -1862364414:Hypothermia\/a
octagonal_ice_sculpture

Octagonal Ice Sculpture
\aITEM -2059655992 446295863:[Octagonal Ice Sculpture]\/a

hoop_of_hope
Hoop of Hope
\aITEM 273246243 890145727:Hoop of Hope\/a
frozen_font_of_life
Frozen Font of Life
\aITEM 864297868 1608526987:Frozen Font of Life\/a
-

October 1 Hotfix

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

Resolving hopefully the last of the Game Update 53 issues, we’re expecting the next Hotfix on Thursday, October 1. Here are the Update Notes:

GENERAL

  • The destroy confirmation is now more clear in confirming that you are actually destroying an item.
  • The Guardian of Eternity has returned to Charasis: Vault of Eternal Sleep
  • Research Assistants are a little more helpful when asked about their jobs.

ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENTS

Monk

  • Enhance: Mend will once again work properly.

ITEMS

  • Najena’s Ring of Readiness is no longer heirloom. Additionally, the Ring of Readiness effect will only function as long as the ring is worn.
  • The Charm of Rallos Zek now has 2 additional melee crit bonus.
  • The Charm of Anashti Sul now has 3 additional ranged doubleattack.
  • Scourge Knight Spaulders have been restored to their previous salmon color.
  • Chainlinks of Hatred now have ranged crit chance and bonus, as well as ranged skill.
  • Barbute of Curling Horns off the Tangrin now has only 3 shield effectiveness.
  • Rohop, the Icecleaver has been redesigned.
  • Perfect Cube of Ice now has 2 deflection chance to match its shield effectiveness.
  • The 5-piece Riftcloth bonus Empowered Minion V now works correctly.
  • Armor pieces from Miragul’s Planar Shard now have the intended critical mitigation.
  • The Loops of the Undying and Girdle of Ykesha’s Warlock have been slightly upgraded.
  • The hate reduction modifier on armor will once again display properly.

MIRAGUL’S PLANAR SHARD

  • The chest for Glaciactus now spawns in the center of his room, in front of the throne.
  • Some of the adds associated with Haladan Moonrunner, Kervis Pendlair and Qxectus Qxectus can now be stunned/mezzed.
  • Haladan Moonrunner (non-enraged), Glaciactus and Kervis Pendlair have had their chance to critically hit players reduced.  The Tusker’s trumpet buff and berserkers fury buffs associated with the enraged Haladan encounter will no longer result in as massive a damage increase for the NPCs.
  • Many NPCs in this zone have had their damage, health and levels reduced.  AOE spells should now be spaced more evenly in encounters.
  • Certain bosses in Miragul’s Planar Shard now drop The Shadow Odyssey Armor Patterns.
  • Certain items in Miragul’s Planar Shard have had their power increased.

QUESTS

  • Back in Fashion should no longer be granted by Collector Rattelis.  The quest will be available when the cloaks are obtainable.

SPELLS

  • Poolburn type effects like Manaburn or Anashti’s Presence of the Void will once again function properly.
  • Combat arts which combine a melee attack and a DoT will no longer display really low values on the initial hit.
  • Barroom Negotiation will once again work with Double Up.

Assassin

  • Fatal Followup will increase values appropriately for AOE based attacks.

VEESHAN’S PEAK

  • Nexona has had the DPS cap removed for the fight.

Avatar Loot Nerfs

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

So far, today my coverage of Game Update 53 has been entirely positive. I think Game Update 53 is actually an excellent update, with the live quest, HEIRLOOM LORE-EQUIP flag, etc. However in the long term, I think all the great things about this update may be overshadowed by some colossal mistakes.

The bland Racial Trait revamp which I’ve already talked about. And an issue that a lot of people don’t take seriously, but I think needs to be discussed — the Avatar Loot Nerf. So far, I have refrained from covering these changes, hoping that cooler (and wiser) heads would prevail. However it seems that didn’t happen, so now I have to write this article…

Game Update 53 implements a massive reduction in the desirability and effectiveness to a large percentage of gear that drops from the Avatars of Norrath. The overwhelming majority of these items are now less effective than items that drop in instance raid zones and in some cases single group zones. In short, there was absolutely no point in anyone killing any of these mobs for the last 9 months.

Contested vs. Instanced

When EverQuest II came out, almost all of the content was contested. In dungeons, in outdoor zones, almost every enemy was free-roaming, able to be killed by anyone. As a result, players would camp these mobs, and contact each other when one appeared so they could quickly group up and kill it before anyone else could take it. It was contested content. However there has been a gradual shift to instanced zones in the last 4 years and this trend is no more obvious than with The Shadow Odyssey which contained not a single new contested zone or encounter.

Every time I zone into Deep Forge, or Ward of Elements, or Palace of the Ancient One, I am guaranteed the opportunity to kill every single named. I know they will be up, and I won’t have to compete with any other players to get to them. I can visit Ward of Elements twice a week and kill 7 named each time. The only competition here is against the Random Number Generator % chance that the item I want will drop.

The Shadow Odyssey started out with 3 instance raid zones. Certain mobs have certain patterns they drop. If you kill these mobs, you are guaranteed to get certain patterns to T4 armor set pieces.

What is an Avatar?

An Avatar is a Planar Manifestation. It is a Norrath-bound representation of a deity or God. And furthermore, Avatars are the only substantial Contested content left in EQ2 right now.

Three avatars spawn every 3~5 days. Every 3~5 days, if your guild has enough members logged in and with the right gear, and if you are quick enough, you can try to kill these 3 avatars. Avatars typically have 15 million hitpoints and you must kill them in 7 minutes or they put a debuff on your entire raid called Battle Weary which makes it almost impossible to kill them. This is not to mention the competition from other guilds, and the inevitable zone lag caused by ~50 spectators watching your guild try to defeat an avatar.

A few of the Avatars are slightly easier to kill than the hardest mobs in the hardest instance raid zones in the game, however they are not Contested. I think this point gets lost in the shuffle in many discussions.

On some servers, 1 guild has these Avatars on lockdown. On other servers, there is competition between 2 or 3 guilds to kill them. There are entire guilds that had their entire membership pay $20 to move their characters over to another server just to have a shot at killing avatars. In other words, they are contested. Each avatar that is killed drops 2 items from one of three shared loot tables (good, neutral, and evil) and a master spell. (details from Lithin.com)

The Problem

The big problem is, Contested Avatar gear was designed around crunch time in the development of The Shadow Odyssey. Some of it had effects on it which were not fully understood until after the expansion was released. Simultaneously, the Tier 4 armor, which is the set piece armor obtained by completing Instance Raid zones, is very powerful, to the point where there are concerns that this armor will be effective even when the Sentinel’s Fate expansion increases the level cap to 90 next February.

So there was discussion by the EQ2 Developers as early as February that some of this Avatar Gear would be nerfed. When the changes appeared on test, which rendered most of the items useless in comparison with Instance gear, there was unanimous negative reaction. The changes were shelved. For the next 6 months, players went about their business, playing the game as it was apparently designed — with contested mobs dropping the most powerful items in the game.

Players invested thousands of man-hours into playing the game as it has been presented since the Echoes of Faydwer expansion, namely that Avatars drop the best items in the game, and if you want this gear, you will need to invest the time and effort to get it.

Then in August, the changes appeared again on the Test server, with even more dramatic changes than the ones mentioned in February. For the next month, a 75 page thread developed trying to get some answers from the developers as to why such drastic changes were necessary. It was subsequently closed and a new thread created asking if we would be getting any developer explanation for these heavy-handed changes. That thread was also closed.

I have never been prouder of the EQ2 community for the detailed analysis of each item, screen shots, comparisons between Avatar Gear and other in-game items which are similar or better, in-game statistics, etc. they did in these two threads. Most importantly were many impassioned pleas from the players of these guilds that tackle these encounters week-after-week that they would no longer have any desire or need to participate in this content once the changes went live.

I was very frustrated to see these threads closed, and the result of that was I think some undeserved attacks have been made towards Kiara, who I think has done an excellent job turning the EQ2 forums from the Gestapo, uncomfortable place they were 2 years go, into the receptive place they are now that accepts feedback, even if it’s a viewpoint the devs might not like.

The blame for this Avatar Loot situation does not fall on Kiara’s shoulders. It belongs on the shoulders of the developers who let this go for so long.

On September 23rd, we saw the launch of the Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53). With few exceptions, every Avatar Gear item in the game has been reduced in effectiveness (nerfed) exactly how they appeared on Test in mid-August. Customer Feedback was completely ignored, and the suggestion that these changes wait until the expansion received no attention.

Regardless of whether some of these items may have been slightly overpowered, the point now is that I have never seen the players of EQ2 do such a good job explaining in intricate detail, with examples, screen shots, comparisons, Excel spreadsheets, ACT reports, exactly why the changes were flawed, and how they would break the game.

Why You Should Care

So far, all of the Raid content that has been added to EQ2 in Kunark and The Shadow Odyssey has gone live broken, with substantial bugs that make it impossible to kill mobs. Avatar-killing Guilds have been instrumental in providing detailed bug reports to get this content fixed.

I predict that a lot of raid content will be going live in the next expansion with a serious lack of testing and bugs as a result. I am really not looking forward to seeing some of the most experienced players, who have given me a lot of advice about how to be a better player, outright quit the game.

People try to classify members of raid guilds as players with “no life” who get woken up at 3am to kill these mobs. It is a fact that raid guilds successfully take down avatars without waking up at odd hours or playing “24/7″. Some do so playing as little as 20 hours a week.

Quotes

There is so much worth reading in the Avatar Nerf #1 and Avatar Nerf #2 threads, but I wanted to include some of it here without making this post too long. Yes, there is a lot of whining and nonsense in those threads, but there are also very detailed, constructive arguments.

I think you already have your feedback. Within hours you have seen that this massive nerf to an entire playstyle is completely unacceptable to most.

This goes beyond what is actually being done to avatar gear right now. This is showing a sense of disdain towards the high end content and the players that give the most back to the game in terms of feedback about mechanics and encounters. To me it shows that not only is a contested playstyle being destroyed right now, but that soe has no intention of having a contested level of loot/play/gear in the next expansion. Progression is a very important thing. Making encounters more difficult to progress through, and also having those encounters drop loot that also progresses.

This nerf will do massive damage to raiding guilds on every server, and will take away one of the aspirations of every raider. ~~ Korrupt @ Najena ~~

Many of the changes to avatar loot appears to be done arbitrarily without consideration for how the end result compares to existing items.

Further, some items that were -already- worse than instanced items have received additional nerfs. Since items that were regarded as ‘trash’ already were reduced, this does tend to reinforce the idea that these changes were largely arbitrary and done without a great deal of thought. Examples include the Pantaloons of the Visionary, which were already an inferior choice to set pants for people trying to get their set bonuses and use their free slot for something better. Other examples include the avatar belts, which were already inferior to mobs from instanced zones – which no one complained about. ~~ Chath of Bloodthorn on Antonia Bayle ~~

The problem is with the DESIGNERS not with the MECHANICS.  The designers continue to make items that are irreplaceable. They continue to make items that everyone knows are too good, and they continue to show they have no idea how their game actually works.

Take the base damage and the Bloodthirsty Choker for example.  They didn’t even realize why it was so good.  They had no idea that base damage affected poisons and procs.  They even went so far as to start adding base damage to LEGENDARY gear.

After two expansions of everyone wearing the choker and numerous posts about it, what do they do?  They add MORE base damage items to the game.  Even though Fyreflyte says himself “previously the highest you could hope to attain is 10% ~ 15%”.  He acts like the items made themselves.  HE MADE THEM.  The TEAM made them.

Stuff like this isn’t the player’s fault.  Its the team’s fault.  Continual design ignorance and a lack of the future of the game results in the mechanics changing every expansion and months of player’s time wasted. ~~ Gage ~~

Conclusions

EQ2 needs to be itemized from the top down. Really, if you look at it, almost all of the gear in The Shadow Odyssey is overpowered. Even the Tier 1 and Tier 2 armor. Even some of the quest gear. Going forward, if gear issues are identified early on, they need to be applied early in the expansion. Waiting until September is just really bad form. And needlessly reducing the effectiveness of gear to below the effectiveness of other items in the game, especially ones that drop in Heroic dungeons, is just plain wrong.

There is no doubt that due to the choice to apply these changes now, rather than February as they were strongly advised to do, will result in many people quitting the game, perhaps indefinitely. If SoE is serious about EQ2 having Contested content in the future, they need to understand the time investment that is made to playtest and participate in this content. There are only so many times players will come back from this kind of sea change.

Leaving the Game

Normally, when someone posts on the EQ2 forums or EQ2Flames that they intend to quit the game, they are met with ridicule, disbelief, and disingenuous requests “can I have your stuff?” However, you will find none of that here.

If you are considering leaving EQ2, please post a comment with your character name(s), guild, and server, and I will post them here.

Dracos Argent – Butcherblock
Grump, Emericant, Karmalina, Kindalar, Lucii, Merovius, Leisure

Validus – Splitpaw
Lithin, Cexi, Lineshta

Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53) Notes

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

UPDATE: Servers will go down September 23rd from 6am to 10am PDT.

And you can read the complete update notes from EQ2Players. However you might want to read my revised notes…

NOTE: I have gone through these notes and slightly improved them for readability specific to issues I’m familiar with. If that bothers you, go and click on the EQ2Players link above.

More Game Update 53 Notes

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

While we wait the last 1 1/2 hours for the EQ2 servers to come back up, I thought some of you might like to check out a few more tidbits expected to come in Game Update 53 at the end of the month. I’ve focused on new features here. If you want, you can read the full EQ2 Test Update Notes courtesy of EQ2 ZAM.

GENERAL

  • Runic Deflection should proc slightly more reliably.
  • House layout files now properly save the scaling of an object.
  • The save_layout and load_layout commands now properly save and load positions of NPC amenities.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • New crafting Achievements have been added.
  • Certain Achievements have had rewards added to them.
  • The Antonican Adventurer Achievement should now be able to be completed. The Achievement has been reset.
  • The Lavastorm Nomad achievement has been reset to allow completion.
  • Some Slayer quests will no longer be added back to your player after converting them to Achievements.
  • The guild event for members earning achievements will now show up in the event list.
  • Achievements can now be expanded even if they are completed.
  • Achievements that give rewards will now display the reward when expanded.  The rewards can be clicked to open an examine window or control-clicked to view in the dressing room window.
  • The Commonlands Colonist and Ykeshan Trekker achievements have been reset to allow completion.

CHRONOMAGIC

  • The Chronomagi Taskers (quest givers to complete older Norrath content) have moved to be near the Timeless Chronomages [article at EQ2 Zam] (causing them to change zones from Qeynos South -> Harbor and from Freeport North -> East. In Gorowyn and Kelethin, they simply moved)
  • When mentoring or chronolocking scaled down item bonuses will now be applied correctly.

ITEMS

  • Rare drops from Tradeskill instances (Deadly Mixing Spoon, etc.) have been flagged as LORE-EQUIP ATTUNEABLE HEIRLOOM.
  • A large number of the Station Cash and Legends of Norrath items are now HEIRLOOM.
  • House items placed in moving crates will now stay in those moving crates, even when you are not looking!

USER INTERFACE

  • Tooltips for Books inside of packing crates will now look correct.
  • The Threat window now resizes properly.
  • The Welcome Screen now displays the name and zone of the Daily Double mission.
  • Hotbar windows no longer have as much empty spacing around them making it easier to stack them close without overlapping.
  • There are now Save Layout and Load Layout buttons on the /house window to help make it easier to manage your house layout setups! You can save the location and size of all your house items, and restore it later (Frostfell setup anyone?)
  • The raid window has been put on a diet and is now slightly more compact.
  • The raid window progress bars are slightly larger and more readable.
  • There are now placeholder icons for the detrimental icons on the raid window.

What Does 150 Shards Get You?

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

So what exactly does 150 Void Shards get you these days?

So you were frugal with your void shards and hired a tradeskiller to make your T1 set [38 shards] and T2 sets [112 shards]. You traded in more shards for Jewelry, Charms, Cloaks, and Baubles. You needed a few more shards for that shiny new T3 pattern that dropped out of Ward of Elements. And after all this, you’ve still got 150 shards or more just burning a hole in your money purse? Have we got a deal for you!

As you may or may not know, almost every named in the 20+ Shadow Odyssey dungeons has rare and semi-rare Fabled drops. These items reward the fastidious, the lucky, the patient, and the rich, but so far, not those who have an overabundance of void shards.

Game Update 53 (appropriately named the Shards of Destiny) will be adding an eighth vendor to the already bustling Void Shard Outdoor Market on the Moors of Ykesha docks. This vendor will be offering some of the Fabled instance drops for a cost of 150 shards.  For folks who have been exceptionally unlucky with the random number generator (RNG), or simply have accumulated a ton of shards among multiple alts, this provides yet another opportunity to quickly gear up.

None of these are particularly rare. They’re not the best items from any zone, and the newer zones like Emperor’s Athenaneum and Kurn’s Tower, as well as the best Palace of Ferzul are not represented at all. None of this is game-breaking stuff folks.

moorsgu53_150shards

Edric Fyrecog <Elemental Treasure Hunter>

Speaking of… You may remember that one of the Order of Flame disciples never tires of hearing your triumphs over the Void Beasts and conquering the various Elemental Lords contained within the temples. Turns out, the Jewelry merchant on the Lavastorm docks feels that just 15 [Unbound Elemental Essence] will suffice for the wares he’s offering up instead of the previous 30 essences he expected you to part with. Considering you can cleanse 3 temples per day, that’s a mere 5 days to earn these items.

Awnya N’Kval <Najena’s Elemental Jeweler>

This is not a change in Gu53 at all, but just a reminder that if you have picked up any of the nicer jewelry in the Ward of Elements x2 raid, be aware that many of these items have upgrades available from Awnya N’Kval on the Lavastorm docks by merging them with other shard jewelry.

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.

August 26 Hotfix

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

Here are your EQ2 Patch Notes for August 26th:

ACHIEVEMENTS

Fury

Enhance: Hibernation should trigger properly when falling below 15%.

ITEMS

The focus effect on the Robe of Shifting Visions will increase the damage properly now.

MISC

The Welcome Screen now lists the current Daily Double.

Rothgar reports further at the EQ2 Forums:

Also, the Welcome Screen has been updated to include information about the current Daily Mission as well as support for upcoming Hot Zones.*

My understanding is that Hot Zones will be a rotation of zones that offer extra XP, AA XP, or other rewards.
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