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. ;)

The Squeaky Wheel gets the 200,000 lb Stone

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping

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

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

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

Feb 5 Game Update Notes

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

This was planned to be Game Update #51, but with the Fighter Revamp changes postponed, this is now just a big hotfix. There’s still some great stuff in here:

HIGHLIGHTS
A new (item tag) has been added: HEIRLOOM. These items are the same as NO-TRADE except that they can be placed into your shared bank. Characters on the same account and server can then pick them up out of the shared bank. Normal shared bank rules apply on PVP servers.

  • Void Shards
  • Proof in the Pudding update items (Master Tradeskiller)
  • Certain Tradeskill Faction Reward items
  • Kunark Faction Tradeskill Recipes

GENERAL

  • The spider ability ‘Sticky Webbing’ (on overland trash mobs in the Moors of Ykesha) has changed from a 30 second root to a 3 second daze.
  • Merchants in the Village of Shin will now buy as well as sell items.
  • It should now be slightly easier to avoid the blood gorgers in the entry passage to Grobb, if you are careful.
  • Spotting a business opportunity, a new fuel merchant has recently set up shop in Firmroot Moot near the mender.
  • Large attribute values over the base cap will no longer cause your max hitpoints or power to decrease.
  • Adornments which add additional damage to a weapon will now correctly report critical attacks.

ACHIEVEMENTS
General

  • Bountiful Harvest should no longer display a combined harvest on root and foresting nodes. Instead you should see two messages similar to other nodes.

Assassin

  • Frontload will no longer cause poisons to cancel when it is toggled off or expires.

Berserker

  • Perseverance is now a buff and works in a similar fashion to Reversal with a hidden spell that can only trigger once every 15 seconds.

Shaman
Kindred Restoration will now cast properly if the shaman is casting another spell.

DUNGEONS/ENCOUNTERS
Anchor of Bazzul

  • Imprisoner Y’nosii’s death now results in his weakened soul spawning. Killing the weakened soul gives a key that will open Ynosii’s treasure chest.

Cavern of the Afflicted

  • A group of zombies near the first Maledictive Terror should no longer continue to respawn.

Evernight Abbey
Players on the quest A Brother’s Revenge should no longer be able to get a quest update and be asked to turn in Gabardine Obisgnul’s head when they do not have the item.

Halls of the Forsaken

  • The mission End of the Forsaken should no longer occasionally have too few forsaken soldiers and conscripts present in the zone.

Nektulos

  • The Avatar of Hate should cast crushing hatred more reliably on attackers now.

Palace of the Ancient One

  • The Switchmaster should critically hit players somewhat less often now.
  • Tythus can no longer have his Voidslide AOE interrupted.
  • The duration of Nether Bolt, the reactive associated with Pentaclypse and Ultaclypse, has been reduced to 1.5 seconds.

Ravenscale Repository
The two parts of Mission of the Macabre can now be completed in any order, so that Noyle is no longer occasionally already dead once players reach that step.

ITEMS

  • Atrebite Mantle of Destruction may now be worn by all plate tanks.
  • Drum of the Ethernaut Chronicler’s proc now functions on both spells and melee attacks.
  • Cloak of the Overlord and Cloak of Antonia Bayle now have additional ranged bonuses.
  • The proc text on Ripper’s Stiletto now more clearly states that it triggers only from attacks made with that weapon.
  • A number of the Frostfell reward armors have been changed to create a more balanced stat progression.
  • Paladin’s Zealous Voidbeam 4-piece bonus now adds mitigation instead of Spell and Combat Art damage.
  • Silk Robe of Summoning, Aramid Robe of Voidcaller, and Staff of Elemental Mastery no longer function on swarm pets, but should stack with other pet effects better than they did previously.
  • The 5-piece bonus on the Conjuror and Necromancer raid sets has been improved slightly.
  • Razhish’s Cloak of Flowing Power has a new proc.
  • The effect on Ferhustr’s Furious Rolling-Pin should now add 20% to heals and runes.
  • Overloaded heal procs will now trigger properly from reactives and wards
  • Unholy Rift 4 piece bonus to Tenacity should now have a 35m range.
  • The Neutral Avatar 2 piece charm bonus will now work correctly.
  • Protective Platemail Helm of the Rising Sun is now properly classified as plate.
  • Void-Etched Blade and Void Cutlass of the Lethe now have delays more suitable for offhand weapons.
  • Extract Mana on the Illusionist robe from VP now functions properly.
  • The collection reward Cape of Infatuation now has an appearance.
  • Many of the fabled items within Palace of the Ancient One, Ykesha’s Inner Stronghold and Tomb of the Mad Crusader, have been upgraded and or had effects added.
  • Gynok Moltor will no longer drop Stained Mummy Bandages or the Eye Mounted Ring. His drops have been upgraded and new items have been added in place of the ones that were shared.
  • The Savage Wall was dropping from both Captain Ikalus and Xebnok the Wretched. Xebnok will no longer drop the Savage Wall and has had a new item added to his table to replace it.
  • A few pet caster effects have been added to select mage items.
  • The Silvered Link Chain is now usable by rogues.
  • Zarrakon will now drop new items. In addition some of his existing drops have been upgraded or had effects added to them.

QUESTS
Moors of Ykesha
Captain Lip Marrsquire’s “Evidence?” quests are no longer impeded if completed after finishing the quest, “Who Dun It?” Return to Captain Lip Marrsquire to complete these quests.

SPELLS
General

  • Examination Data will now show the critical damage multiplier if it differs from the base amount.
  • Spells that are affected by achievements will no longer drop after being charmed.

Defiler

  • Spiritual Circle will now apply properly to members of the raid.

Inquisitor

  • Repenting Strike will now trigger if the inquisitor is stunned or stifled.

Necromancer

  • Siphoning of Souls adept 3 will now trigger Soothing Soul properly.

TRADESKILLS

  • A number of trade skill faction rewards are now considered heirlooms. The components required for “Proof of the Pudding” are also considered heirlooms.
  • “Tools of the Trade” set bonuses are now slightly different for each set. (previously, the level 55, 65, and 75 items were identical, now they have 5%, 7%, and 9% bonuses to tradeskill durability).

User Interface

  • Critical Mitigation display in the persona window will now show the attribute gains as well. (Each 100 points of AGI provides 1 point of innate Critical Mitigation ability to Scouts and Fighters. Each 100 points of INT provides 1 point of innate Critical Mitigation ability to Mages and Priests.)

Lavastorm Revamp Preview

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

EQ2Players is now hosting a lore-filled, if vague preview of what is now being called Game Update #51 “Elements of Corruption”. This is the Lavastorm revamp, adding means of travel, teleporters, x2 raid zone, new 45-55 content, new 80 content, etc. The release date for this update is unknown, partly because of the separation of the Fighter Revamp from the old Game Update 51, which is now being released as part of Erollisi Day.

Lavastorm Revamp Preview at EQ2Players

   

The Lavastorm Revamp

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

As I predicted, the Lavastorm revamp will take a page from the Everfrost revamp last fall. As posted by timetravelling here:

Travel around lavastorm will be MUCH MUCH easier. We’ve added more teleporters as well as travel mount paths.

None of the old content is slated to be removed, some of the mobs will see slight tweaks and might be moved around a bit, but we don’t plan to actually remove any quests or content.

The level 80 content is actually in brand new areas we’re adding to the island, none of the old areas are being overwritten.

Lots of new quests, both in the 45-55 range and at 80.

I know some purists will be upset but Lavastorm is 3 years old now. Most folks run through it just for quest updates, not because they want to explore the zone. This is great news that there will be questlines there for level 50-55 as this is one of the holes in EQ2 content right now.

I hope the mounts being added aren’t too “easy mode”, but additional teleporters will be great. You still have to get to these locations to get the teleporter update. And yay for more 80 content since a lot of folks are hitting a brick wall at ~165 AAs.

12 New Armor Appearances and x2 Raid

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Commentary, Raiding

From timetravelling‘s post here:

The x2 (new raid zone) is going to be balanced specifically for people who do Not have mythicals. Our aim is that once you get some good TSO gear, such as the tier2 legendary set, you’ll be able to clear–or at least begin clearing–this zone. Mythicals should not be required for any stage of the instance.

In fact, I created a brand new buffbot for test-copy so that we can put intrepid testers into legendary-ish gear and test the zone that way, sans-mythical.

And, when I said new armor appearances, I didn’t mean recolors. That’s not a new appearance, that’s a re-color. These are New Appearances with a plate, chain, leather And cloth version. =)

This is certainly some awesome news. Looks like EQ2 developers bit the bullet with the cancelled skeletal revamp and have created 12 new armor appearances, covering plate, chain, leather, and cloth. Because of all the difference races in the game, this means that this armor had to be created 12 times and then substantially tweaked or even re-created many many times to line up and look good on the different races.

I’m really looking forward to seeing these new GU51 Armor appearances. The existing armor appearances are starting to run out of steam. ;)

It is unknown just what Void Shard armor sets will be added in GU51, but I would guess some will have these new appearances.

And I’m dying to jump into this new x2 raid zone which will have 9 bosses, some of whom drop void shards. My guild Shadow of Sun Tzu is starting to progress in Kunark and TSO raids and this will be a great training ground for us. Can’t wait!!

Erollisi Day and GU51* too?

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

Looks like whenever the servers come down to patch in Erollisi Day (which will be sometime between now and February 10th), we will see most of the various patches, fixes, and changes expected to come in Game Update 51, minus the Fighter Revamp.

I know some f0lks have been anxiously awaiting the HEIRLOOM tag so they can move Void Shards from one character to another, do updates for Proof in the Pudding (Tradeskill Epic), etc. with alts, and buy faction recipes for alts as well.

Erollisi Day will be activated February 10th, but the patch will happen before then.

Extrapolated from several posts by Kiara in this thread.

Fighter Ravamp Postponed

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

Selected quotes from EQ2 Forums:

Last summer, at Fan Faire, we discussed making some changes to the Fighter classes, in order to bring them back in line with our original vision, where all fighters manage their own aggro, instead of relying on other group members to channel them some hate.

We released the first part of these changes last year, and placed the second group of them out on our Test Server several weeks ago. The response has been tremendous, on both sides of the coin.

The whole team has been taking feedback from you, both from our in-game /feedback function, as well as the posts in our forums, and even information posted in other forums.

We’re going to postpone releasing these changes to the live servers, while we continue to evaluate the feedback that you are giving us. We truly appreciate all of the data that you provide, and most particularly from those who have joined the excellent folks on the Test server in running through these changes, both on their own, and in conjunction with the devs. In fact, if you play a fighter class now, and haven’t been on the Test Server to experience these changes yourself, we’d certainly encourage you to do so, as your informed opinions are very valuable to us. Once we’re more comfortable with releasing the second part of the fighter revamp, which will include the Hate Meter, we’ll certainly let you know, but in the meantime, please keep play-testing, and continue to give us your thoughts.

Bruce A. Ferguson
Senior Producer, EverQuest II

Venril Sathir

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Raiding

UPDATE: I have stricken out all parts of the strategy which are no longer applicable as of July 14th hotfix.

Venril Sathir, leader of the Sathirians, will challenge us in ways we have not had to deal with before. Venril Sathir is not a DPS fight. Venril Sathir does not hit very hard or require a lot of healing. Venril is just a totally different kind of fight than most of us have ever had to deal with before. What Venril Sathir does is require intense concentration by each and every player on what is going on with your player and other players.

Venril Sathir starts monitoring the power (mana) of every person in the raid. If one person’s power goes too high or too low, he kills the raid. If someone fails to cure the noxious effect, the raid will usually die. Someone who possesses a Mystmyrian Soul Cube (from Tairiza the Spider) will be on statue duty, clicking the statue repeatedly to prevent epic adds from coming.

If you think you can go into the Venril Sathir fight and do your usual healing or DPS or tanking then you are in for a rude awakening.

To say that the VS fight is frustrating is an understatement. The group coordination and individual attention required for this fight is intense. A useful quote I’ve seen:

Venril Sathir, more than any other mob, will shape your raid force into what you will need for the fights to come.

Every time one person makes a mistake, your name will flash up in red letters at the top of the screen indicating that YOU caused the raid to fail. After 10-15 times of the same person’s name coming up, frustration will build. This fight will test us as a raid force, and will test our friendship. I believe we will pass this test.

No “How to Kill Venril Sathir” strategy guide will be perfect for us as a guild. As we learned with the Tairiza fight, none of the existing strategy guides worked 100% for us, so we had to adjust it until we found something that did work. I do not believe that it was dumb luck or a fluke chance that we defeated her.

Here I present the credible information about Venril Sathir I have found so far:

During the Entire Fight

  • During the fight, VS will try to summon statues to help him. 1 or 2 people will be assigned to click 2 statues to prevent these adds from coming. These people need to have a Mystmyrian Soulcube from Tairiza the Widow Mistress. Graphics may need to be turned up to be able to see when the statues light up.
  • At various times during the fight, the statue clicker will be able to click the statue. It is very important that this not happen at the same time that VS reaches 90% health. This means that we may need to hold off DPS at 91-92% until the statue can be clicked, then burn him down to 88%. It will be helpful to have the statue clicker announce when he is clicking the statue so this timing can be determined.
  • Every 38 seconds or so, VS will cast Toxic Infusion, a Noxious AoE. Each member of the raid is expected to cure this effect themselves using potions within 6 seconds. Otherwise, a subsequent curse — Fatalisis – will either kill that person (bad) or leave that person with very low power and health (much worse!).
  • There is an 8% chance that anyone doing damage to VS will get Feared for 2-3 seconds. It may be helpful for folks to stop DPS for the 5 seconds prior to him casting Toxic Infusion.
  • VS will randomly AoE Stun the 14 players closest to him. Fighter/scout DPS should be in front, mage DPS forming a second row, and healers at Max Range.One of the healers outside of the MT group needs to target the MT healer and be ready to Trauma Cure them so that the MT healer can then group Trauma Cure.
  • VS will randomly reflect your spells back onto the group. Due to the importance of curing the Noxious effects, it is strongly advised that no noxious/poison damage be done to VS. If he reflects these on the raid, then Nox cure potions may not be reusable quick enough.
  • At 65% health, Venril will emote about “Finishing the Fight”. One of the raid members who has the Mistmyrian Soulcubefrom Tairiza must use it on VS within 5 seconds.

From 60% Until He’s Dead

  • Once Venril Sathir reaches 60% Health, the difficulty of the fight increases exponentially. Venril will begin to watch the power consumption of everyone in the raid. It is up to every member of the raid to watch their power consumption — do not depend upon illusionists or coercers, they will NOT be generating power as usual.
  • The following conditions apply when Venril Sathir is under 60% health:
  • If any member of the raid allows their power to drop below 20%, VS will spawn adds that wipe the raid.
  • If any member of the raid lets their power go over 65% they they will get zapped for a health and power drain, leaving them near death and without power. If the raid force cannot get them healed and power up to 30% quickly, the raid will wipe.
  • Every 45 seconds, VS will cast Mana Sacrifice on 2 members of the raid. All spells then require 300% power to cast. If you are in the middle of casting a spell, STOP. You can add a macro to your hotbar with the command /cancel_spellcast for this purpose. If necessary, use a mana potion, hearts, shards, etc. to regen power.
  • Every 45 seconds, VS will cast a Power Boost on 2 members of the raid. VS will feed approximately 1% power every 2 seconds for 10-12 seconds. Toggle Sprint on and off to use up this additional power.
  • Every member of the raid should try to keep their power at around 50%. Stop casting if you are below 50%, cast if you are above 50%.
  • VS will occasionally strike the tank with Hateful Concussion. This is a hit for approx 20% health and 20% power.
  • If someone dies in the raid, STAY DEAD. Unless someone in the raid force is able to resurrect you with 40% power (priest AA or Tinkered item), when you resurrect, your low power will wipe the raid.

Further Notes

  • Priests and Mages should remove any gear with Displacement/Dispersion effects.
  • Priests should not do ANY damage to Venril Sathir. Priests should focus on curing and healing.
  • Cancel all Run Speed buffs. This includes Spirit of Wolf, Pathfinding, Selos, etc. Once everyone is in position, they should press “C” to Crouch.
  • If the raid is going to wipe, let EVERYONE die. Don’t use Feign Death and don’t have priests/necros Resurrect. Revive all at the same time. This is supposed to resolve an issue with statues spawning at 90%.
  • Avoid Heroic Opportunities. Mages have a Heroic Opportunity which has a substantial power boost.
  • 1-2 people in the raid who are running ACT should install the Mana Sacrifice plugin and be watching for it, and announce it when it is on a member of the raid force.
  • Every member of the raid will probably want to move their Detrimental Effects window from its location in the lower right corner to the upper left, so that they can easily glance at their health, power, and detrimental effects (Mana Sacrifice, Toxic Infusion).
  • Every member of the raid may also want to set up a separate hotbar just for the VS fight with SPRINT, MANA POTIONS, NOX CURE, and emotes for “MANA SACRIFICE on FELDON”, “FELDON is under 40% power, PLEASE FEED!”.
  • It may be necessary for someone to be watching everyone’s power and calling out members below 40%.
  • It may be desirable for the statue clicker to be outside the raid. This way thee status of their power (mana) does not matter.

Fairness

  • If there is one thing I can make clear about this fight. There are very few raid forces who desire to fight Venril Sathir — even ones that are considered “hardcore”. For being the 4th kill in the Kunark Progression of 19 bosses, most guilds consider VS to be one of the most annoying, frustrating, challenging of them all. We should have a great sense of accomplishment when we defeat Venril.
  • The easiest way to stay at exactly 50% power is for raid members to stand in one place, enable Auto Attack, toggle Sprint if they get Mana Sacrifice, click Nox Cure, and otherwise just stand there, not casting any combat arts or spells. I realize this makes the VS fight about as much fun as Tradeskilling, but Venril Sathir is not a fun fight, it is a test of individual ability to follow a script and the requests of your fellow raid members. Venril Sathir is not a DPS fight or a Heal fight. Most of your time will be spent watching the Detrimental Effects window.
  • Venril Sathir announces in red letters at the top of the screen who, in his eyes, “failed” the encounter. This can be extremely frustrating and cause people to point fingers. It would be easy to blame other players, but if everyone is trying their hardest then that is all we can ask for. This fight can come down to the luck of the draw. Sometimes he will fail to do his worst effects. It is these times when we must take fortune and run with it.
  • I can imagine that after dying a few times, some people will be tempted to start calling people out or sending people “helpful” private tells asking them to “quit screwing up”. However this is NOT the job of individual raid members. This will just create resentment as that person probably already feels guilty or frustrated enough. I think as a raid force we will have to set a policy that only raid leaders can send individual messages to members pointing out what wrong, making suggestions, etc.
  • Winning this fight is NOT WORTH IT if people quit the guild or game over it!!!
  • One of the least fair aspects of this fight is that it harshly penalizes players on a slow Internet connection or who experience unexpected lag (response delay) spikes. These folks may need to sit out the fight unless they require it for a mythical update.
  • As I mentioned above, some raid guilds resort to only bringing a smaller subset of the guild, perhaps as few as 12 players, to reduce the chances of failure. This may seem unfair to leave people behind after we have worked so hard to get their epics and have dedicated themselves to this raid force, but getting 12 people to click all the right buttons at all the right times is exponentially easier than getting 24 people to do the same.
  • A point worth making… Only Monk, Fury, Mystic, Troubadour, Ranger, Coercer, and Conjuror must kill Venril Sathir for their Mythical update. And only 1 person in the raid must have killed Venril Sathir to lead us into the Chamber of Decay (to kill Leviathan and get flagged to enter Veeshan’s Peak).

Fail Conditions

Venril Sathir is known as a fight with a lot of “fail conditions”. If any of these occur, the entire raid will wipe and the fight must be started over.

  • If the person on “statue duty” fails to click the statues in time.
  • If VS reaches 90% health while the statues are clickable.
  • If VS reaches 65% health and we forget to use the Mistmyrian Soulcube.
  • If a member of the raid fails to cure Toxic Infusion, gets Fatalisis and does not die.
  • If a member of the raid lets their power drop below 20% (while VS is <60%).
  • If a member of the raid lets their power exceed 67& (while VS is <60%).
  • If a member of the raid uses too much power while under Mana Sacrifice (while VS is <60%).
  • If a member of the raid gains too much power while under Power Poost (while VS is <60%).
  • If the tank gets hit by Hateful Concussion (and fails to resist) draining them for 12%-22% power instantly.

Sources

The EQ2 Forum post Venril Sathir – unfair roadblock for some classes was vitally important to the creation of this document. The basic details come from EQ2 Wiki.

Parting with Heirlooms

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

This comes to us from EQ2Traders.

As we mentioned last week, GU51 is getting a new HEIRLOOM tag. There were theories that this might be applied to The Proof in the Pudding quest combines (Master Sage/Jeweler/Woodworker/Carpenter/Armorer/etc.).

We now have confirmation that this will in fact be the case. If you have a level 80 sage and level 80 carpenter and both are on (or have completed) the quest, you’ll be able to make the combine for your alt, put it in the shared bank, log out, log in, claim it, and update your quest.

What we did not know at the time is that HEIRLOOM is being applied to several other items!

If you have 50,000 faction with Riliss, Bathezid’s Watch, and Danak Shipyards with one of your characters and it is driving you crazy that you cannot buy recipes and share them with your alts, it’s party time! Now you can buy RoK faction recipes and “pass them on” to your alts. I know my Sage will be thrilled that he doesn’t have to do a hundred rush orders in Danak to get those recipes.

As previously reported, Void Shards and Far Seas Supply Division tradeskill tokens will now be tradeable between your alts by placing them in the Shared Bank.

Some other changes coming in GU51:

  • Bountiful Harvest messages will now delineate the original harvest from the bountiful harvest on roots and wood. Previously, they were combined.
  • The gathering animation has changed a bit.
  • Guild fuel merchants will now buy back tier 1 fuels.
  • The “Tools of the Trade” set bonuses on the Tradesman’s (55), Artisan’s (65), and Crafter’s (75) belt and earring sets are now appropriately scaled for level, with 5%, 7%, and 9% durability bonus on the sets.

Thanks again to Niami for her writeup!

Lucan’s Art of War Playtest

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Today (Jan 27th) at 3pm PST is Aeralik’s GU51 playtest over on the Test Server. This is the second one of these hate/agro playtests with developer involvement.

These changes are espected to go live February 3rd according to this missive by Kiara:

The estimated date for GU #51, Lucan’s Art of War, to go to the live servers is Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009.

What’s the Shard of the Day?

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

Kander slipped an interesting comment into the raging TSO Stinks topic:

FYI: Stay tuned for the Shard of the Day solo quest, with some additional solo content. Cannot say more, but keep your eyes peeled for GU52.

The current plan is that it will take a time investment similar to that of running an entire instance.

So there you have it folks, while people have found a variety of more or less legitimate ways (which not everyone else approved of)  to load up on Void Shards, now there is going to be an official way to get 1 shard a day.

.

It’s an interesting discussion to be sure.

  • Fabled armor and Master spells were always designed and intended for Raiding.
  • Legendary armor and Adept III spells were always designed and intended for Grouping.
  • Treasured/Mastercrafted armor and Adept I/Apprentice IV spells were always designed and intended for Soloing.

Kunark started adding some Legendary-in-name-only as quest rewards. Kunark also added one Fabled reward for a quest series that could be trioed (A Fistful of Metal/A Few Coins More/An Ugly Bounty).

So the question of the day is: Is SoE painting themselves into a corner by making Legendary armor the new “solo” spec? What if in GU52 or the next expansion, you’re just expected to have Legendary armor even to survive doing solo quests?

It makes you wonder what form the new Solo content being added to Lavastorm will take.

Time will tell…

Hate Change?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Looks like substantial changes are being made to agro control and hate generation on the Test server in response to the Topic I linked here. Aeralik has hosted one play test and is expected to host a second one tomorrow.

Time will tell which classes benefit the most, which ones are the losers in all these changes, and whether this will really rewrite the book on tanking in EQ2.

The GU51 Fighter Rebalance — Better than a Sharp Stick in the Eye?

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

The complaints about GU51 are rolling in. Even the biggest fanboys who usually cannot find fault with any of the EQ2 team’s well-intentioned changes are not happy with what seems to most to be a rushed, massive change to something that has taken 4 years to develop in its current form.

The issue that many are bringing up is not only have fighter stances and taunts been changed dramatically, but most Hate transfer from Swashies, Assassin, Coercers, Rangers, and most other classes have been reduced dramatically or eliminated.

It would probably have been wiser to make all the taunt changes first, and then start dialing down the hate transfer until folks start crying uncle.

UPDATE: Aeralik has responded to the widespread criticism of GU51 with a lengthy post in the Developer’s forum. There are 251 responses to the thread. 3 of them are from fanbois who don’t even have a tank character. The rest are entirely negative (or Aeralik’s mentioning of various piecemeal fixes to concerns). Folks, this thing is NOT READY!

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