End-of-the-Weekenditus

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

Let’s see…

ReItemization

It seems we’ve finally made our voices heard on the problems introduced by the extreme stat consolidation with the introduction of Velious, namely that not only all dungeon-dropped (Legendary, Fabled) gear from level 1-89 has completely ineffective stats, but that even the Mastercrafted gear from 22, 32, 42, 52, 62, 72, 77, and 82 are almost nonsensical in their setups given the changes.

Multihousing

Multihousing has been on Test and Test Copy for a couple of days now and feedback has been flooding in from players who are testing it out. Zoltaroth has been slaying the housing code demons and responding quickly to the bug reports.

Prestige Houses

Those prestige houses we’ve been hearing about have been unveiled, leaving no surprises. The Qeynos Dojo from Elddar Grove makes an appearance. It’s cozy, which is real-estate lingo for TINY. Hopefully in a later update, some kind of outdoor area can be added. The Neriak Opera House is much bigger, although again there’s no outdoor area, as these prestige houses were actually produced in 2007 before houses were opened up to ‘outside’ areas. Rounding out the new Prestige houses are the Maj’dul Library which will be awfully familiar for those who have completed their Tradeskill Epic (no sign of weighty tomes or menacing djinn librarians though). We haven’t seen the Maj’dul Bottle house just yet, although we’re guessing that it’s not unlike the bottle found on the shores of the Sinking Sands.

GU60: Berserker Fixes, Persistent Buffs, Manaburn/Lifeburn Immunities

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

According to Xelgad, we can look forward to some class improvements/tweaks with  Game Update 60. Here’s what we know so far:

Re: the Berserker class issues thread post Velious thread:

These changes should hit Test with GU60. There should be plenty of time to give feedback on them while they’re on the Test Servers.

Re: Persistent Buffs- Post-DoV Abilities thread:

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to push these changes through until GU60

Re: Manaburn / Lifeburn Immunities thread:

These have been removed for GU60.

Shaders 3.0 and Renewed Dedication

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

If there’s one thing that SmokeJumper wants us to know about the EQ2 team right now, it’s that they are more motivated and focused than they have been for some time now.

There are some truly ambitious plans (public and rumored) to bring us new raid and group content in the next two major Game Updates. If they launch in a solid condition it could go a long way to working on the sustainability of the playerbase who have traditionally moved on to other things a few months after each expansion, only to return when raids are added, for holiday events, or for the subsequent expansion.

In any programming, scope creep will kill ya, and as we’ve discussed in the past the original plan for Shaders (a graphical bump for high-end cards) evolved into something entirely different (a rewrite of the entire shader pipeline to revamp Shader 1 AND add Shader 3). It did not help that art assets continued to be turned in long after Shaders 3 had been adopted which were only Shader 1-ready, leading to hours of chasing bugs and very public hotfixes. Time that could have been spent polishing up Shaders 3 in older zones, including numerous house items which displayed poorly. Shader 3 has many advantages when it works well, but there are just too many problems for it to be a realistic option for many players.

From SmokeJumper on the EQ2 Forums:

The passion to develop this game and make it even better is at an all-time high right now and SOE is supporting this game strongly. We have one of the largest dev teams in the company, and our product slate for the year is going to be tremendous. I know it’s easy to be negative, because that way you can never be disappointed, but sheesh folks, really. You’ve got a really solid dev team here and every single one of us wants the game to get better and better.

Regarding Shader 3.0, we’re shifting some resources around to start tackling it again, but there are many issues still left to address. It’s going to take some time. Just a warning that it won’t get fixed tomorrow or anything.

Multiple House Ownership Questions Answered

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

Such an involved change as rewriting the underlying housing code of EQ2 will no doubt lead to many questions about what has changed, what hasn’t changed, and what additional functionality we might first see in the future. In any programming project, just recreating existing functionality can often eat up most of your time, leaving little left to add new features.

Multiple House Ownership & Prestige Homes FAQ

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

An extensive Multiple House Ownership & Prestige Homes FAQ has been posted on the EQ2 Forums by SmokeJumper yesterday.

In brief, each character can have up to 10 houses. This can be any combination of regular houses within the cities (betrayal  and citizenship quests, which will be streamlined at a future date, will allow simultaneously owning houses in multiple cities), as well as ‘prestige houses’. Some of these prestige houses have been revealed (Freeblood manor, Everfrost summer house) and others have been hinted (Neriak Opera House, Qeynos Dojo, Maj’dul Library, Maj’dul Bottle). Within your 10 house limit, you may have 1 of each house type per character.

Players can now link their regular houses to prestige houses, and port directly to friend’s houses from their own house or even guild hall. This brings us a step closer to Guild Alliances, linking guild halls to facilitate grouping and raiding, but will still require an intermediate step of zoning to a regular or prestige home.

We provide the entire Multi-housing FAQ here for reference purposes:

Multi-housing Coming to Test Today…

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

Test and Test Copy will be brought down shortly in order to receive the new Multi-housing code which EQ2 code guru Zoltaroth has been beating on for the last several months. This is a substantial rewrite of the underlying housing code which will allow players to own up to 10 homes in different cities, jump from house to house, and also port to houses where they have been explicitly granted friend or trustee access.

Because there would be no way to reconcile the Live house data vs. the reorganized Test Copy house data, when doing a /testcopy of a character on Live to the Test Copy server, your house will not be copied over. Fortunately, vendors are being added to inexpensively buy houses just to allow testing.

Multihousing Feedback @ EQ2 Forums | Multihousing Bug Reports @ EQ2 Forums

From Zoltaroth:

Test-Copy will get the code the same time as test. However copied characters will not retain their houses from live. You will be free to purchase as many hosues as you want and play with the feature on Test-Copy though.

All of the underlying DB data has changed so there is no way for the houses to copy over when Live and Test are out of sync on the housing code. Once Live is updated the copy script will again copy houses (after some updates).

When exactly?

We are shooting to update test around 3-4pm pacific.

erm…

Some parts of the process are taking longer than anticipated. This will likely cause the update to be closer to 6pm than 4pm.

GU60: Cross-Faction Communication Coming to Nagafen & Vox (PvP)

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance, PvP/Battlegrounds

From Rothgar on the EQ2 Forums:

Just a heads up on the change coming with GU60.

You will now be able to change your spoken language on Nagafen (and Vox). This will enable you to communicate to the other team via /shout and /say commands. By default, your language will continue to be Lucanic (evil) or Antonican (good). If you don’t change your language, the other team will not understand you.

Dethdlr’s Adornment Calculator

Written by Dethdlr on . Posted in Dethdlr's Dungeon, Itemization

I recently spent several hours researching what adornments I wanted to put on my new gear.  This required going to multiple pages on multiple sites and manually calculating all the information I needed to know about adornments.  This led me to think, there has to be a better way.

What resulted from that thought was Dethdlr’s Adornment CalculatorDetails after the break.

Multi-Housing To Be ‘Out-of-Band’

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

A lot of us have been putting 2 and 2 together and getting that Multi-housing would be included in the forthcoming Game Update 60.

So many of us were sent into a tizzy when the Game Update 60 preview omitted multi-housing and today when Zoltaroth, wrangler of multi-housing code, posted this:

Housing will likely not be released as part of a GU. It will be a seperate update with its own set of notes etc.

Fortunately, our interpretations that multi-housing was now far off in the distance were unfounded. Multi-housing is something we’ll get when it’s ready, and it’s not tied to Game Update 60. It could appear on Test as soon as this week!

I think people are misreading what I am saying. It is not part of a GU. If it is ready before GU-60 it will go before GU-60. Right now we are in the final internal testing stages and are hoping to get it to test this week. If any critical bugs are found then it obviously will not be pushed.

GU60 Notes Today?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

You’ll recall SmokeJumper‘s posting on April 5th about the notes/plans/announcement for Game Update 60….

The GU 60 notes we post later this week should set the pace a bit.

Amnerys updated us today with the explanation for the hangup:

The press release is going out today and I’ll have an article for you this afternoon with more info. Yay! It was originally planned to go out on 4/5 but Marketing requested a small delay to align the timing with other things going on.

and just to confirm, SmokeJumper had a 1 word answer when asked when the notes will be posted:

Today.

We’ll have reactions to these notes in the morning.

Grabbing Flying Mounts by the Reins

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

For level 86~90 characters, the introduction of Flying Mounts had a not unexpected result — the vast majority of ground-based mounts have been retired to player stables. Even mounts that grant persistent buffs have been eschewed in favor of the convenience and freedom of flight.

While some players have hotbarred different mounts to be able to choose from their desired mounts on the ground, airborne players have limited options. We can choose one of the 8 gryphon mounts available from adventuring, crafting, the collector’s edition, or raiding. At this time, the only other option for flight is the Enterprise-like tinkered C.R.A.S.H. pad available in the Velious launch days event and subsequently available during City Festivals in the first week of each month.

What a lot of players would like to know is:

  • When will we see other flying mounts introduced?
  • Will existing flying type mounts be upgradeable for use as appearance flying mounts?

Update Notes for April 12, 2011

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

Today’s Update for Tuesday, April 12, 2011 brings PvP Character Transfers to and from PvP servers, fixes for the Storm Gorge PQ, fixes bugs in instances and raid zones including Tower of Frozen Shadow which has been broken since a week ago Thursday preventing raid progression, and eliminates harassment of other server’s chat channels (players were able to join the 1-9 and other numbered chat channels of other servers).

After many years of requests, it is now possible to transfer characters from PvP to PvE and vice-versa on both regular and exchange-enabled servers (exchange-to-regular is still not allowed).

Doing the Math on Primal Velium Shard Gear

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Grouping, Itemization

When buying Heroic/Legendary shard armor with Primal Velium Shards, you now have three choices.

  1. If you’ve got the various gems that drop in different instances, and you have faction, then head to the Ry’Gorr camp in Eastern Wastes. Each piece of armor will cost you 52 shards.
  1. If you don’t have the necessary gem but want your armor anyway, and have faction, then head to Thurgadin in Great Divide. Each piece of armor has a cost ranging from 33-90 shards.
  1. And if you know a crafter who has acquired the two Far Seas recipe books to make this armor , then you don’t need faction and can spend 25% less shards.

Thurgadin Armor

  • Shoulders and Legs – 90 Shards from the Merchant / 69 Crafted
  • Cap – 71 from the Merchant / 54 Crafted
  • Shoes and Gloves – 52 from the Merchant / 40 Crafted
  • Bracers – 33 from the Merchant / 25 Crafted

Ry’Gorr Armor

  • All Slots – 52 Shards from the Merchant / 40 Crafted plus Gem

Thanks to Nindaene for putting these numbers together.

Test Update Notes Point to PQ Fixes, ToFS x2 Resolution

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

Good news if you play on Test or Test Copy! Several crucial fixes to Public Quests and the Tower of Frozen Shadow x2 raid, as well as the wayward Research button in the Knowledge window  made their way to the Test Servers yesterday.

Normally, we only glance at Test Update Notes to check for new features. No doubt many players on Live will be wishing that this is how the Live Update Notes for yesterday looked. It would have been great to go into the weekend with a lot of these issues tackled.

Here are the Test Update Notes for yesterday, Thursday April 7th. It’s unclear when these will go live, but possibly next Tuesday.

Devil in the Details: Velious Progression

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

Destiny of Velious introduced an unparalleled strict progression to both its group and raid zones. Players wanting to group up in Velious instances have discovered that there are 3 sets of group zones which each require completing the one before it in progression before being granted access.

For instance, you must clear Tower of Frozen Shadow: Shadowed Corridors to gain access to ToFS: Umbral Halls, which must be cleared to gain access to ToFS: Haunt of Syl’Tor. And aspiring raiders must clear all 3 of these group zones in order to gain access to the Tower of Frozen Shadow x2 raid zone. And as we also saw in The Shadow Odyseey expansion, raiders who wish to take on the most difficult x4 Raid content in Velious must first acquire a clickable debuff item by clearing the Tower of Frozen Shadow x2.

With such a daunting interdependency on all Velious zones from group instances through x2 raid and onto the x4 raid zones, you would think that Progression Quests would have been fully tested through QA and ready for players on day 1 of the expansion. Alternately, you would expect that if bugs were discovered, some of these quests would have been passable through other means. Any MMO is going to have adjustments, tweaks, nerfs, etc. after the launch of an expansion. But it’s quite another to release content that MUST all work smoothly end-to-end, yet doesn’t.

Necretia the Widowmaker

Tuesday’s Update restored Necretia the Widowmaker, a boss of Tower of Frozen Shadow x2 nearly a week after she was removed from the game due to two problems. First, it was noticed several weeks ago that she could be killed and respawned. However it was when an extraordinary item on her loot table, the Necretia Bow of Webs was discovered that she was despanwed. This bow had inflated stats and effects such that it was equivalent to a “level 300 item”. However the issue here is one of progression. Tower of Frozen Shadow x2 cannot be completed without her.

It took several days to get this resolved, and guilds who had already started the zone must wait for their zone to reset and start over to get a chance at fighting her. Until then, certain guilds remain unable to raid Velious x4 content through no limitation of their own.

Storm Gorge PQ Participation Filter Being Worked On

Written by Kwill on . Posted in Grouping, Live Events, Raiding

The Storm Gorge Public Quests are currently denying eligible participants the ability to loot a chest, apparently as a result of the recent changes to weed out PQ slackers.   Gninja has acknowledged today there is a problem:

We are aware of the problem and are working to fix it.

In the meantime, players are reporting lag and the possibility you will not get to loot a chest even if you are participating fully. 

Producer’s Letter Responses from SmokeJumper

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

So we’ve been thinking about last night’s Producer’s Letter which lays out a little bit of the future of EQ2. Our thoughts:

Think about every quest, NPC, and clicky item in Freeport’s 10 subzones (North Freeport, South Freeport, East Freeport, West Freeport, Beggar’s Court, Stonestair Byway, Temple Street, Longshadow Alley, Big Bend, Scale Yard). Now imagine having to relocate them to a new zone/map/artwork, test them all, and make sure they all still work.

Now revamp any flavor or quest text which is long since obsolete such as NPCs wondering when Kunark, Velious, Odus, etc. are going to be discovered. Now revamp the instances linking off Freeport to be new style level 1-30 content with quest hubs, etc.

That sounds like almost as much work as an expansion.

A careful reading of the Producer’s Letter would suggest that we will receive most or all of the rest of Velious through Game Updates, rather than buying another expansion in November, or next February. Morghus asked if we will see the continuation/completion of Velious:

Sounds interesting, does that imply that we will be getting the “rest” of Velious, in regards to new raids/cities/overland quest areas and dungeons dealing with the dragon half of the continent in the future?

SmokeJumper replied with an affirmative “Yes“.

DoV Shard Armor Now Craftable by Players

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

Fastidious crafters took advantage of yesterday’s update and trundled back to the daily Tradeskill Group instances for a chance to loot one of the two volumes of the new Far Seas Strategic Pricing 3rd Edition. As with past editions, these recipe books allow crafters to create shard armor and jewelry for players with a reduced number of tokens/shards. Interestingly, neither players nor crafters must have faction with the Ry’Gorr to make or receive this armor or jewelry. They do however require the designated dungeon-dropped crystals.

With yesterday’s Test Update Notes, we found out that the current Velious shard armor will be dropping from 70 to 52 Primal Velium Shards per piece.

However it seems the recipe book to craft shard armor has been partially updated to reflect the new shard prices. Assassins, Berserkers, Brigands, Bruisers, Coercers, and Conjurors (all classes starting with A, B, or C) are asked to pony up 63 shards per piece, while all other classes pay 40 shards per piece. Nindaene, the player who brought up this issue, also noticed that crafted armor has more mitigation than Ry’Gorr purchased armor.

Domino posted on the issue:

As you may have noticed from the Test server update notes today, we are in the process of lowering the shard costs of the armor. However, it looks like some of the recipes were pushed live with a lower cost than they should have been set to yet. So yes, these prices are an error and will likely change again as we are still in the process of adjusting the prices based on feedback. We’ll get that corrected as soon as possible (hopefully Thursday) but in the mean time it might be safest to hold off on crafting the items, since the final shard cost is not yet finalized. Apologies for the error, and thanks for pointing it out!

Fix Incoming for Ry’Gorr Repeatable Quests

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Several of us have bugged out Blor Greatbasher‘s repeatable quests in such a way that he won’t offer quests anymore. This is rather frustrating as there are few ways to earn faction with the ever-important Ry’Gorr, who hold the best adornments and shard armor in Velious.

Today brings an update from Kaitheel about Blor’s quests:

Good news!

I had seen a few reports about issues with Blor Greatbasher’s quest line at the Ry’Gorr Keep, like this thread, but was never able to find a cause or to even reproduce the issue, myself. Thankfully though, with the help of a more detailed report, I finally was!

EQ2 Producer’s Letter from Dave SmokeJumper Georgeson

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

From DaveSmokeJumperGeorgeson on the EQ2 Forums:

So, you’re probably curious how EQII will be growing and changing in 2011, right?

Well, it’s finally time to share. This year is all about content and entertainment and we intend to give you plenty of both. The following outlines some of the broad strokes to get you thinking about what’s coming…and possibly just a little excited, as well.

First of all, if you’re a “Destiny of Velious” owner, you’re going to be *extremely* happy that you made that purchase. Why? Because DoV is going to be the biggest, best expansion that has ever been made. We’ll be releasing content on a regular basis that continues to tell the “Age’s End Prophecy” saga, and the only price of admission is that you own DoV. The Age’s End story gets really big before it’s done and it’s going to take us a good chunk of time to tell it all, but we’ll do so by releasing chapters of it every few months and building the story a bit at a time. Velious is a big place, and so is this story. It’ll be a good ride.

Secondly, we’re going to revamp Freeport and make Evil an exciting place to be. Freeport (and next year, Qeynos) will become multi-level adventure hubs with instanced content at many levels. The city itself is also getting a facelift as Freeport reorganizes itself to retake its place as a driving power of the world. Additionally, it’s becoming a single zone (instead of many sub-divisions) and flyable. When we upgrade Qeynos, it will get the same visual upgrade and zone treatment, and will bring back the “Greater Good”.

The Gods of Norrath will be returning to once again directly muck about with the lives of mortals. Too long has the world of Norrath spun along on its own axis. It’s time again for it to feel the touch of the divine.

On the non-content side of things, we’re going to be working on a lot of stuff “under the hood” to make your gameplay better. We’re looking into ways to increase the speed of our game and graphics engine, some of which could be very significant, which would obviously make raids and public quests a lot more fun, as well as boosting smoothness of gameplay for everyone. We’re revamping the way that our terrain is created so that we can bring you content more quickly, but still with high quality, thus increasing how big the world can become.

And last but not least, we’re crafting a host of new features and fun ways to play the game. Some of our current ideas are way outside the box for an MMO and we’re pushing hard to bring you new experiences (more on these later!).

We’re already one of the best MMOs out there. This year we’re going to become even more unique and exciting. 2011 is a good year to be Norrathian.

– Dave “Smokejumper” Georgeson

P.S., A detailed feature list of the upcoming GU 60 will be announced soon, and more elements of the longer-ranged features will roll out in successive months. This letter is just to let you know the general direction of where we’re going and what to expect.

Launcher Glitch Points to Phaseout

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

As we first officially heard in December, plans are afoot at SOE to reduce the number of “launchers” currently being supported and move everyone to a single codebase for their patcher. From Amnerys:

Sometime after the launch of DoV, we will be discontinuing Launchpad 1 and moving everyone to Launcher 3. But don’t worry, it’s not the Streaming Client so you won’t be forced to do the streaming thing.

Our support teams (the dev team doesn’t make the launcher clients, it’s another team) can’t keep supporting so many versions of launchers…they also support all the launchers for the entire SOE portfolio of games. So in the interest of saving everyone some time and eliminating outdated elements that they can’t keep running at 100%, we’ll be moving all games to the Launcher 3 launchers.

On Test: Velium Shards Go Further, Adornments More Flexible

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

A couple of interesting items appeared in today’s Test Update Notes:

  • The amount of Velium Shards required for Shard Armor has been reduced.
  • Several Yellow, Red, and War Rune adornment procs will now trigger on both spell and melee hits.

These changes do not appear in today’s Live Update Notes, so if you have had your eye on certain Adornments or Shard Armor, you might want to wait to see when this change goes live.

Also, in case you missed it in today’s live update notes, players who participate in Tradeskill Group Instances (granted these days, most people choose to solo them for 3 grueling hours ) now have a chance to receive 2 recipe books to make Velious armor/jewelry.

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