x2 and x4 on 4/7

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

From Kiara:

The fix for the Ward of Elements is planned to go in on Tuesday (4/7) along with Munzok’s Material Bastion (the x4 zone).

People have to have finished Ward of Elements to get the level boosting item that will allow them to kill things in the x4 zone.

No further info just yet on what will happen for people who have completed the x2 zone but had Najena being shy.

When I know more about that, I’ll let you all know.

Here you go.

Can you Digg it?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Raiding

The new x2 Ward of Elements zone is certainly creating a lot of discussion!

Some say it’s too hard and requires full fabled/mythical. Some say it’s easy. Some say the 5 day lockout is too long, but I am with those who feel that if each named drops 2 patterns or 1 pattern and 1 exceptional fabled item, and the whole zone is on Smart Loot, then folks can get upgraded very quickly in this zone. So far I think it is a good zone to bridge the gap between grouping and raiding and helping to gear folks up who are struggling in the x4 zone.

We did a run through last night and did not have 2 of our dedicated folks that we would normally have, but we learned a lot and pieced together the strategies which have been posted online. We intend to go back and have every intention of getting at least 3 names down. It is clear that the last 3 names will probably require some combination of gear that drops from the first 3 named, which creates a very clear progression in zone difficulty.

What would an EQ2Wire Post be without a few Zone Strategies? :)

Bugs?

Apparently Najena (who is giving hints and help before and after each fight — after all it is she who is trying to flush all these corrupted minions out of her house) is not appearing after the Aiden fight for many people, which prevents the zonewide quest from being completed (and thus, those folks will be unable to progress to Munzok’s x4 raid zone expected to patch in on April 7th).

Some folks are reporting that Digg is not working properly even when a member of the raid force successfully picks up the snake, badger, or mushroom totem and drops it at Digg’s feet as requested. Here’s word directly from timetravelling on this:

The snake totem places a buff on everyone around it and allows your DPSers to proc a debuff that prevents his healing. Please check ACT to see if this is in fact triggering.

As for the difficulty discussions – we are keeping a careful eye on it and will make adjustments as we feel are needed. Remember though that the first night through a new zone is typically the hardest, and most all of the fights are constructed such that an excellent strategy helps lessen the gear requirements. Good luck and happy hunting!

I’ll look into the snake totem and make sure it is working as intended. And if it’s not…whoop it into shape.

Also currently you cannot be revived on the Digg fight, or you will be killed immediately. timetravelling again:

It’s a bug. He casts that spell to prevent players from trying to fight him from anywhere except his floating platforms. Cept…when you die, it’s forgetting that you’re in the right place.

I’ll get a fix in for it, sorry for the frustration!

I know we were getting nailed by Ice Fall from Gelidus Ventus the Tempest (the icy room) even though we were nowhere near the edges of the upper platform. This may be working as intended, as we have been informed that if there is any line-of-sight between the fans on the edge of the room and players during the fight, they will get hit during Ice Fall, and it seemed to hit the worst when a few folks got kicked around by the Knockback. We’ll certainly give it another shot.

Mentoring for Void Shards VERBOTEN!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping, Itemization

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

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

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

From Kiara:

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

I’d suggest not doing it.

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

Kiara posted the comment here and then closed the thread.

My Duty

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

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

Here’s what to watch for:

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

Raid Trophies

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

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

Game Update #51

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

GAME UPDATE 51

March / 31 / 2009

FEATURED

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

ACHIEVEMENTS

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

ATREBE’S LABORATORY

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

GAMEPLAY

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

GUILD HALLS

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

ITEMS

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

MOORS OF YKESHA

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

PALACE OF THE ANCIENT ONE

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

Player vs Player

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

QUESTS

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

RAIDS

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

RUINS OF GUK

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

SPELLS

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

TRADESKILLS

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

USER INTERFACE

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

ADVANCED USER INTERFACE

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

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

YKESHA’S INNER STRONGHOLD

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

ZARRAKON’S ABYSSAL LAIR

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

Game Update #51 — Elements of Corruption LIVE TUE MAR 31th

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Kiara chimed in this evening with this news:

This is a head’s up to let you know that we’ll be bringing the servers down tomorrow morning to push Elements of Corruption (GU #51) live!  Unless of course the “big one” hits and Southern California drops into the ocean…  In that case, it might be delayed again…

In addition to this, Vivox will be updating voice chat, so it will be unavailable across all games.

The estimated time for the servers to come down is 7am PDT.

If there are any changes to the plan, we’ll let you know.

Whence GU51?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

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

Kiara posted:

The Lavastorm changes ARE going to be pushed live.

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

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

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

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

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

March 17th Producer’s Letter

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

After the deafening silence of the last 3 weeks with regards to the Fighter Revamp and the state of GU51 in general, we’ve got a response on March 17 from none other than Bruce Ferguson, Producer of EQ2. Read it Here.

The changes made with the initial release of the fighter revamp (on the Test server) need to be removed.  However, rather than just roll back your characters to when we first introduced the changes on Test back in January; we’re going to need to split out the consolidated spells, which will reset them to Adept 1.

For our Test Copy server, we’re going to need to wipe the entire character database, which will likely take several days.

For all of our players, this means that we’ll be reinitiating the adjustments to tank balance from a fresh point.  The difference is going to be in how we go about planning and communicating the changes, because we want, and need, to know what you think.

Our plan is to start an open dialogue with you, our players, and to get your feedback every step of the way. This will mean more time in between updates, but we think that it’s worth it to get you more involved in the direction of the game.  We hope that you agree.

We realize we haven’t been stellar at consistent communication in the past, but consider this a big step towards this goal.

We are also looking at incentives to get more of you playing on the Test server, for further feedback.  We truly believe that if we can get more of you testing and contributing your feedback, we will know more about what you all want, what you all believe is best for the game.

We want this to be a collaborative effort between SOE and its players. When we get the details of the Test server incentives worked out, we’ll be announcing it on the forums and on EQ2players.  We’ll also be announcing the plan for improving our communication and creating an open two-way dialogue with you as soon as we’ve worked out all of the details.

This is a very refreshing and surprising communication. It tells me that the Ivory Tower approach to the fighter revamp has cost SoE a lot and tarnished the praise they had been receiving from casual to hardcore groupers and raiders about how The Shadow Odyssey addressed a lot of their needs including Shadowknights and Berserkers becoming desireable tank classes and the introduction . I feel that the raid progression of TSO will be even better with the forthcoming x2 and x4 raid zone.

If there is one truly frustrating issue in all this, we don’t know when the Lavastorm Revamp of GU51 will go to the Live servers. I know I have been very excited about the x2 raid zone and other quests to help gain AA points.

We’ll keep you informed as soon as we know when GU51 is going live (and I have 99% confirmation that it will go live separate from the fighter revamp).

GU51 Delayed

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

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

From a March 9, 2009 post on EQ2Players:

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

T3 Void Shard Armor Screen Shots

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

Here is the new Tier 3 Void Shard Armor.

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

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

bard2 enchanter2 predator2
Bard, Enchanter, Predator

druid2 rogue2 cleric2
Druid, Rogue, Cleric

summoner2 sorcerer2 shaman2 mystic_female
Summoner, Sorcerer, Shaman*

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

crusader2 brawler2 warrior2
Crusader, Brawler, Warrior

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

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

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

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

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

This is being discussed on the EQ2 Forums.

The T3 Void Shard Armor Equation

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

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

There are two NPCs:

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

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

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

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

T3 Void Shard Armor

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

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

Research Assistants! — for those hard-to-find Masters

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Itemization

Originally posted by Kirstie at EQ2 Forums:

We have some exciting new features in the works for EQII! One of the first we’ll be talking about is Research Assistants.

These hardworking researchers will help you acquire upgrades to your spells and combat arts while you’re off adventuring in the deepest darkest dungeon or asleep in your own warm cozy bed. Even though they’re hardworking, they’re not a speedy service and they are limited in how much they’ll help you. Because this kind of research is complicated, they’ll only be able to work on one spell or combat art for one character per server.

All research requires a base amount of information to work with. In the case of the Research Assistants, this manifests in that they require you to have the previous tier of the spell being upgraded before they can begin work for you. So, in order to research that Master I, you’ll need to first know the Adept III version, though it doesn’t matter whether that Adept III version came from researching or from your friendly neighborhood sage, jeweler or alchemist. The time required to research a spell increase will vary based on the level and tier of the spell. A level 20 Adept I may only take an hour, while a level 80 master will likely take a month or longer.

We’re still working out the details of how these assistants will work in Norrath and we want to hear your feedback. Do you have a preference on how these researchers would look or how you interact with them?

There have been many requests over the last couple of years for SoE to provide a way for people to acquire hard-to-find masters such as level 53-58 masters which do not get upgraded beyond that level. Rangers have a level 53 buff which does not get upgraded for instance.

I think it’s a good idea. If you have characters on 3 different servers, then you can have ONE character per server researching a spell upgrade.

Considering the time investment (2-5 weeks) for ONE spell, this meets a need that many people have been begging for. There are level 50′s Masters that do not get upgraded. Also, Illusionist and Conjuror master pet spells routinely go for 200-300 plat.

This allows people to choose WHICH spell they want to upgrade rather than having to continue grinding old dungeons or old raid zones to get a master which might or might not be on various loot tables.

I think most people WILL NOT use them to get Adept I’s but I suppose ubercasual players who only play once in a while and don’t want to drop the 4 plat on a silicate loam might upgrade 1 spell a month this way.

I think this is a good idea.

Personally, I would also like to see a device that strips the NO TRADE tag off ONE item per month.

Change to No-Trade Commission Crafting

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, Tradeskill

Recently players noticed that they were unable to start Commisioned crafting of void shard items if the crafter was in possession of the void shard. Emily “Domino” Taylor, EQII Tradeskill Developer, responded on the Official Forums:

“The transfer of no-trade items (including void shards) via commission crafting was unintended. Going forward, you can expect that this kind of transfer will not be possible. A recipe that requires a no-trade item to make and produces a no-trade product, should require all of those no-trade components to be held by the person who is going to end up with the final product.”

Many players used this to sell no-trade crafting components along with the crafting service (usually 2-3p per shard).

From EQ2 Forums. First on Zam.

How Aeralik is going to Single-handledly “fix” EQ2.

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

I saw the most terrifying quote today from the mechanics developer of EQ2, Aeralik.

this is the first part of trying to get people back into their core roles so to speak.  Tanks take the brunt of it now but we realize other classes are doing high damage when they shouldn’t be while some others don’t have the utility to match their role.  Some may even pick up new roles down the line.  So while we are currently tweaking the fighters we do have things in mind for the others albeit probably not as dramatic as the fighters( at least I hope not ).

I would respond to it, but I cannot think of better words than some of the quotes from other players in that thread:

Maroger said:

Is this rewriting of the game some form of job security? I really don’t see the point in overhauling a 4+ year old game that everyone but you seems to be happy playing. And the fact that you do not bother to answer question of why buff mergers, why nerfs to spells merely indicate that you honestly have no real justification for what you are doing. What you have just written seems like a job security description than a meaningful effort to improve the game.

Aeralik’s statement is truly scary. I cannot understand how he convinced some producer that what he was doing was the right thing and that he even knew what he was doing. Management should step in and stop him if they want to have a game with paying customer left when he is finished.

UntilitSleeps wrote:

Only when the last class is changed, the last decent raid loot is nerfed and the last bit of challenge is gone from that game you will realize that no playerbase = no money.

You are on your best way to destroying a game lots of people enjoy. I bet enchanters, bards, clerics and shamans can’t wait to be “balanced” by you.

The quoted statement makes me want to QUIT INSTANTLY.

STOP DESTROYING YOUR OLD GAME YOU NEVER ADVERTISED
BY PISSING OFF THE CUSTOMERS YOU HAVE LEFT.

Of course if there is one thing I can guarantee, Assassin DPS will not go down one point. :)

Tradeskill Love in GU51

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

From EQ2Players.

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

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

Push Button Tanking?

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

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

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

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

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

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

macroyx1
Tank Macro

To quote Dasein:

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

The response from EQ2 Dev Rothgar was startling:

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

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

Talk about treating the symptom and ignoring the disease!

From EQ2 Forums.

Feb 18 Hotfix

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

BROKERS

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

ORCISH WASTES

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

QUESTS / MISSIONS

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

Sony donates 4 years of Raw Server Logs to Science Foundation

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

ArsTechnica.com is reporting that 60 Terabytes of Raw Server Logs from the EverQuest II universe captured over the last 4 years have been provided to a collaborative group of academic researchers — including psychologists to epidemiologists — at a number of institutions.

Dmitri Williams introduced the project and described how researchers have been approaching various game developers over the years. He paraphrased the conversation with Sony as:

“What do you collect?”
“Well, everything—what do you want?”
“Can we have it all?”
“Sure.”

The end result is a log that includes four years of data for over 400,000 players that took part in the game, which was followed up with demographic surveys of the users.

The team can now track how individual customers dropping out of the game influenced others who they typically played or interacted with.

Gender turned out to be a negative influence on interactions: even after their low numbers were taken into account, female players avoided interacting with each other. Older women turned out to be some of the most committed players but significantly under-reported the amount of time they spent in the game by three hours per week

Time zones had some influence; players in the same time zone were 1.25 times more likely to partner than players even one time zone apart. But distance had a much larger effect; players within 10 kilometers of each other were five times more likely to interact.

For the most part, the companies that the researchers have approached either haven’t been interested in sharing their logs or the logs themselves don’t contain the sort of data that would make for fruitful research.

Odd Bugs

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

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

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

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

Feb 12 Update

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping, Itemization

GENERAL

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

HALLS OF THE FORSAKEN

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

ITEMS

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

NAJENA’s HOLLOW TOWER

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

ORCISH WASTES

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

PERFORMANCE

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

SINKING SANDS

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

YKESHA’S INNER SANCTUM

  • Tyrannus should cast Crushing Void Energy more reliably now.

Feb 5th Graphic Tweaks

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

Don’t you love unannounced tweaks? :)

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

Feb 15th Upcoming Update

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

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

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

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

GUILD HALLS

  • Guild Hall Fuel Merchants will now buy back tier 1 fuels.
  • The guild hall mender will now correctly remember the new coverage setting after it is changed.

ZONES

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

QUESTS

  • Knight-Captain Santis will complete the quest, “Bog Sludge Hunt”.
  • Zoning into the Nasin’s Library on Chapter 4 of The Shadow Odyssey should now automatically zone in a full party, regardless of whether all members have the quest.

MACROS

  • You can now drag equipment from your appearance slots to the macro window.

GROUPS

  • Group members can now use the /invite command to request that the group leader invite a player to the group. Just type /invite {playername}

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

Pass the Mothballs

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

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

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

Solution:

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

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

Hopefully this will be fixed soon!

From EQ2 Forums.

New x2 Raid is the Place to Be

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

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

Posted by fyreflyte here:

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

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

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

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

Glad I’m raiding these days. ;)

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