July 14th Hotfix

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

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

July 14th Update Notes

GENERAL

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

EMPEROR’S ATHENAEUM

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

KURN’S TOWER

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

MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION

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

PVP

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

QUESTS

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

SPELLS
Necromancer

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

Shadowknight

  • Mortal Embrace will now scale properly across all versions.

VENRIL SATHIR’S LAIR

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

YKESHA’S INNER STRONGHOLD

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

AA XP Slider in Gu53?

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

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

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

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

July 7 2009 Hotfix

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

July 7, 2009 Hotfix Update Notes

EMPEROR’S ATHENAEUM

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

FENS OF NATHSAR

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

GUILD HALLS

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

ITEMS

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

KURN’S TOWER

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

_________________

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

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

Tradeskill XP Fixed — July 4th

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

The bug that was preventing the Tradeskill Bonus XP in certain instances such as Guild Halls has been corrected. In addition, this July 4th weekend has been changed to award a +50% bonus to Combat XP, Adventure XP, and Tradeskill XP. Although EQ2Players and the forums were accurate, an e-mail that went out could have been interpreted to suggest that Combat XP was getting a bonus this weekend.

Thanks Rothgar (source)!!!

Tradeskill XP — Check your Window

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

Several folks are reporting that bonus Tradeskill XP is not working in certain guild halls or instances but only on outdoor crafting tables. Check your Tradeskill XP bar carefully to see if you are getting the bonus.

Note that the e-mail notifications that went about were vague and suggested that July 4th weekend was offering bonus XP for adventure and tradeskilling. In fact this is the first AA bonus XP weekend ever offered for EQ2, along with Tradeskill. Combat XP is not currently getting a bonus this weekend.

July 4th Weekend – Bonus AA & Tradeskill XP

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

For the first time ever, EQ2 will be having a Bonus AA XP weekend. Tradeskillers will also get some XP love as well. :) Posted by Kiara on the EQ2 Forums:

To commemorate the holiday weekend, we’ll be turning on bonus AA and Tradeskill exp starting at 4:00PM PDT tomorrow Thursday, July 2nd and running until 10:00AM PDT Monday, July 6th.

For the UK servers it will run from 12:00AM (midnight) Friday July 3rd until 8:00PM Monday, July 6th for folks residing in London (presuming I did my conversions correctly).

Thanks and happy gaming!

EQ2 Achievements System

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

EQ2 is getting an Achievements system! Much like the systems on XBox where you get points for completing certain tasks in certain games, EQ2 will recognize certain in-game achievements. To avoid any confusion, the Alternate Achievement system in EQ2 is officially being renamed “AA”.

If you’d like to read more about the upcoming Achievements system and give feedback or suggestions, check out Rothgar‘s thread on the subject.

Shaders 3.0 Video

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

Thanks to Ke’la who has posted a video captured from the Shaders 3.0 presentation at Fan Faire 2009. The snapshots are from Nek Forest and show a dramatic improvement in lighting. This should appear in Game Update 53.

Once you see the screen snapshots, you realize just how flat, grey, and unrealistic the lighting in Nek Forest has been.

Check it out:

EverQuest II Shaders 3.0 Video

As soon as I get screen snapshots, you’ll see them here on EQ2Wire. :)

Race Changes, VP Scaling, and Tokens Oh My

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

Here are some less concrete things that were discussed at Fan Faire.

Race change is something a LOT of people are asking for. EQ2 devs asked for a show of hands of how many people would like this feature and half the room raised their hands. It IS being looked at. Yes, there was some resistance for lore reasons, and betrayal/alignment/quest issues are substantial, but it’s certainly possible with enough development time. The amount of money they’d make off this would more than make up for it. You can scratch “never” out of your vocabulary for this one.

Heck, they said after their database hardware upgrade which is happening right now, they may reconsider number of character slots. Each character we create takes up a massive amount of data but it’s under consideration.

Initially, I got the impression that VP would “scale”. Now, I am not so sure. I think they might still be in the conceptual stage on this. Epic and Mythical weapons will stay level 80. The unique effects of the Mythical weapon will be usable perhaps as a clickable item, charm, or mythical slot, but it will not be your primary weapon at level 90 as the green and blue stats will be scaled down 33% or more.

T9 will have a new token system similar to how void shards work to get armor. I do not think they will be doing level scaling dungeons in the new expansion like they did in TSO. It didn’t really work out as far as getting level 55-70 players to play the content — the rewards just weren’t there and the encounters too difficult. Something tells me that trying to close the grey shard farming hole has gone to the back burner. I mean really, the horse has already  left the barn on that one. With the delay of the expansion, the focus is on improving the live game, all while looking forward to the expansion. There is a lot of content still to come this year in Gu53, Gu54 (of which nothing was revealed) and Gu55 (Halas and a new EQ2 Trial).

I hope everyone realizes that none of this is set in stone. I’m not going to try to nail down developers a year from now for everything said at a Fan Faire. If you want the “facts and figures” go read my other post. ;)

Play the Game!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Grouping

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

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

Soloing to 80?

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

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

The AA Problem

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Every Group Has Six

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

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

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

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

Fan Faire 2009 EQ2 News Rollup

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

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

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

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


EverQuest II Expansion: Sentinel’s Fate

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

Artwork-by-Mail, and StationCash

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

Game Update 55 — Halas and Streaming Launcher

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

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

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

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

Extremely preliminary zone art was shown of the new Halas.

Who Gives a Crit

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

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

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

Gear Scaling

NOTE: Gear Scaling has been canceled.

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

Legends of Norrath

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

Buffs

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

Class Balance (Bards, Enchanters, Summoners)

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

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

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

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

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

Class Balance (Druids)

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

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

Tradeskill

Over 2000 new recipes for Tier 9.

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

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

Players will be able to be a Tinkerer and Transmuter.

Shaders 3.0

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

EQ2 is getting a graphical facelift!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mob Designs

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

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

EQ2 Potpourri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOTE: Game Update 54 added this Magic Mirror ability.

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

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

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

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

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

Out-of-Control Curing

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


EverQuest II Game Updates & Features

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

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

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

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

  • EQ2 Achievements

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

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

  • Shard of Love & Miragul’s Planar Shard

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

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


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

More Links!

EQ2 Potpourri

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

Parsing Gravitas, Cures, CoB, etc.
Will consider it.

Determining where guild rally flag is located? Some coming has already been done for this.

Auto mentoring – hail an npc and mentor to a level in 5 level increments. Old quest completion missions. Probably not on PvP.

Daily double shard zone in Welcome window or MOTD? Possible.

Achievements (like CoH or Xbox Live) like 500 kills, 20 heritage quests, etc. In a new tab in the quest window.

Current tier upgrades are coming for bone clasped gridle. Not so much for the bloodthirsty choker. :)

Streamling buffing for classes. Buffing while running was the first part.

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

Lavastorm elevator to WoE will be fixed to continue to it’s destination. This one got a lot of applause. ;)

Teaser of Shaders 3.0 — Nek Castle before and after.

   

Character and Enemy models and animation

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Expansion News

Some seriously funny, cool, and creative new mob designs and revamped appearances to some existing mobs. More interesting animations.

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

Random illusion appearances driving you crazy? Looking at a possibly a Magic Mirror house item to save illusion setups.

Npcs only have about 50 animations.
Players have about 1,000 animations.

Kelethin houses will get a transparent window. Both Kelethin and Neriak houses will have more rooms.

Male ratongas with whiskers but without glasses? We’ll look into it.

Illusion picker UI to switch illusions in development.

Devs would like to add more mannequin choices ie ratonga.

More magic user clothing options is in production.

Fan Faire Day 1

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Expansion News

The comprehensive writeups on Fan Faire and the events and photos are always worth a read if you couldn’t make it. I admit I’m all about the details and the expansion news. I don’t try to cover the whole event as others do that better than I can… One writeup I want to mention is CompleteHeal. Calthine (great to meet her of course!) has a writeup at Zam as well.

I took some pics of the event last night, some general Fan Faire pics, and of course lots of pics from the EQ2Flames gathering last night. Hope to get them up soon. Meeting BigRon was cool as hell, as well as meeting a bunch of Saints of Norrath folks which is of course Lord Pantz’ guild. Oh, and Gage was there too. ;) Hell, he went up and talked to Aeralik who was out and about and nobody died. ;)

So what am I doing now? I’m logged in right now helping a guildie get their epic after betraying.

Gonna catch as many EQ2 panels as I can. Of course the big announcement will be tonight at 7 as far as the name of the expansion and then tomorrow from 4-6 will be the epic panels with nearly everyone from EQ2 telling us what’s coming and when. I know there is quite a bit a lot more content coming before the expansion.

If you caught this video at MMORPG.com, you know that there is some big news at Fan Faire with regards to Shaders 3.0 in EQ2. Namely boosting the look of the game and taking a lot more work off the CPU and putting it on the graphics card where it belongs. Already the new GPU shadows look awesome outdoors (indoors will require more work as I’m sure most instance zones lack point lights and use ambient light which doesn’t cast shadows). I will post some comments as soon as I see some side-by-side comparison screen shots.

If there is one awkward element to the event so far, I am kind of wondering why Bruce Ferguson is so publicly visible at Fan Faire, especially around EQ2 events. It’s clear that we’re moving in a different direction, so I guess I just don’t understand. I don’t have any ill will towards the guy, but he shepherded some decisions which are now being backed out of the game now. Maybe I’m overthinking it. :)

I’ll post more goodies about the future of EQ2 as soon as I have it…

An Awesome, Chaotic Day

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

An interesting day indeed, talking about the game. As much as people may doubt it, most of the Devs really do listen and want folks to play the game. It would pretty dumb if they didn’t.

They know the mistakes of Kunark, and the issues (to a lesser extent) in TSO.

Oh and talking to Pantz, Crabbok, Atan, and more isn’t too shabby either.

Record turnout for the eq2flames mashup. WTF are you Gage? :P

Fan Faire 2009 Opens

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

A line of folks stretching out into the casino, ready to head into the main Fan Faire hall. Then at 8, the welcome by Brenlo, who couldn’t resist havimng a little fun, using every opportunity to hawk the game he is now Exec Producer for — EQ2.

Prizes included Turtle Beach headsets, 3d display goggles, and PNY 8800gts video cards. Well, if you could do an emote (you’d think folks would practice by now ;)).

Cirque

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

My 4th Cirque de Soleil — Ka — freakin sweet!!

The engineering that went into the 360 pivoting tilting stage is incredible. And of course great performers.

Awesome!

Legroom

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

While i do not feel entitled to special treatment (even though I’ve been asked enough basketball and weather inquiries to last a lifetime), in the end it came down to a stewardess getting me into a seat less likely to induce leg cramps. ;) Thanks. :)

Now to get situated…

Useless Airways

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

Getting ready to board the sorriest excuse for an airline around. First airline I’ve ever dealt with that cannot offer an exit row to a 6’9″ passenger online, at the ticket counter, at the gate, and when the gate rep made a rude comment about my height not being his fault, I notified customer service.

Maybe there is some small satisfaction in getting a cocky employee of the most customer-hostile airline in trouble. But as I stand in a completely backed up jetway, because three gate attendants haven’t learned the fine art of staging an aircraft boarding, I realize there can be no satisfaction.

See you in 4 hours.

June 23 Hotfix

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

GENERAL

  • The Order of Rime illusion no longer has a minimum level for use.
  • Fang the direbear has received some additional defensive bonuses.
  • The Eggstractor should now only work on its intended target (which is, of course, eggs).
  • There is a new EQ2VoiceService.exe from Vivox that should resolve some crash issues that players were experiencing.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Coercer

  • Coercive Healing will once again apply properly to reactive heals.

KURN’S TOWER

  • A cinematic event when slaying Ione (with a quest requirement) has been turned on. Fear Kraytoc’s wrath!

MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION

  • The void sapper adds associated with Ozyk in Munzok’s Material Bastion have reduced health, and don’t spawn as quickly as before.
  • Umzok will not automatically sacrifice his adds to gain their buff as quickly as before.

QUESTS

  • It should no longer be possible to gather every available reward when completing the Shadow Odyssey signature quest line.
  • The Order of Rime barrel of fish and box of bones in Kunzar Jungle will now offer the quest “Fishing for Faction” and “Set of Bone Plates” correctly, when you have completed Kellaen Mednevn’s quest “Stockpiling Stone Mucus” and have the Rime illusion cast.
  • Kallaen Mednevn in Kunzar Jungle now consistently offers her quest “Task of the Rider” to only those that have enough Rime faction and are masking themselves with the Rime illusion.

SPELLS

Necromancer

  • Nylph’s Misty Image has been reverted to its previous illusion state.

Moonlight Enchantments — Every 20th

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

Moonlight Enchantments is a new recurring World Event in the forests of Norrath which will only be available the 20th of every month. I apologize for not getting this information up before June 20th, but it should be available for the 20th of every month hereafter.

This event is now known as Moonlight Enchantments (formerly known as the Enchanted Grottos of Norrath).

Essentially, there is a mushroom ring in each of the forests of Norrath which can be entered once per month (on the 20th) to visit five unique hidden instances. Each has purple shinies and quests to be completed. Both offer house items, charge-based mounts, and illusion forms. The mounts in particular have some…unique choices. Between magic mushrooms, brownies, and sunshine yellow carpets that bloom flowers and belch mushrooms, it was quite a trippy day let me tell you. ;)

For those with a scientific mind who wish to know what these instances look like, here is my best guess:

  • Emerald Halls entry
  • Lower Guk entry
  • Lesser Faydark
  • ? – mushroom area — dig up compost
  • ? – fawns and brownies — make root beer

As always, EQ2Traders is on the ball with a full accounting of these five new forest-based instances and the rewards they offer. It’s quite a selection of house items if you are looking to spruce up your terrarium or take the plunge with a more interesting looking guild hall aquarium. :) Ok, no more bad humor I promise. At least until Wednesday…

Cross-talk in Palace of the Ancient One

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

If your guild has been experiencing heavy lag in Palace of the Ancient One and perhaps noticed that you are seeing combat logs from another guild that is in their own instance ‘leaking’ into your combat logs for this zone, you’re not alone.

There is an amusing screen snapshot that shows partial combat logs that demonstrate this ‘cross-talk’. It seems likely this is the cause of some of the lag in this zone.

There is also another issue with regards to adds continuously spawning, to the point of hundreds of adds appearing if the zone bugs out.

It’s being addressed by timetravelling.

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