No Not That Tiger

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

cartoon_01_mount
illustration by Dozer

Mount Up

EQ2 has yet to fill out its stable of player mounts with the variety available in other MMORPGs.  The hygiene-challenged Wargs and motion sickness-inducing Rhinos weren’t my up of tea. When I heard that EQ2 were getting Dire Bears, I was thrilled, until my hopes were dashed when the Sabertooth/Werewolf-like mount was revealed.

In lieu of a desirable fluffy travel companion, I’ve limited myself to running barefoot. I’ve long since outgrown the 40% speed of the venerable Carpet of El’khazi, wrangled from the ever-sarcastic flying carpet dealer in Sinking Sands, the 48% upgrade in the Mage tower, and the 55% inferno version offered in Lavastorm. I’ve flirted with the impressive Order of Rime ice mare as well as the Refer a Friend mounts but just haven’t had the persistence to get them. I really want a NEW attractive mount!

I waited with trepidation to check out the new Highland Stalker shipping with the Sentinel’s Fate expansion collector’s box. Rumors persisted that the mount was in fact a Lynx. One of the smaller cats out there, I was curious how EQ2 artists would handle this.

No matter what an artist produces, he or she will always be challenged, questioned, and criticized. Create a sculpture, painting, or 3D model based off a real creature, and you will be criticized for not making something more creative and stylized. Create something stylized, unique, and exaggerated, and you will be criticized for not making it real enough.

Having seen the Highland Stalker (Lynx), I personally feel that with some adjustments to the size of the head and perhaps the look of the eyes, we will have a very good looking mount, whether you choose the saddle-only version, or pick up your stalker fully loaded with head-to-toe armor plating.

In case you haven’t had your fill of Tiger-related controversy, check out the Highland Stalker Video and Highland Stalker Sneak Peek threads on the EQ2 Forums for further discussion. If you would like to read some developer comments about the proportions of the Highland Stalker, check out this post by covic. This may or may not be the finalized mount. Since the pictures and videos were taken, additional adjustments based on character race/size vs. mount size have been made.

Dozer Joins the Team

Speaking of the challenges of artists face, you may have noticed the illustration presented with today’s writeup. We are proud to present the first of what we hope to be a regular series of EQ2-inspired cartoons by Dozer. Some of you may have already seen his fine work around the interwebs and we are thrilled to be working with him. Look for a Portfolio section featuring Dozer’s work soon. Welcome!

Buffrat’s Gear Guide

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization

Plane of War – Page 1

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Enraged War Boar

drops: ranged, belts

Berik Bloodfist

drops: legs, secondaries

Tagrin Maldric(?)

drops: necks?, cloaks, weapons, wrists

Glokus Windhelm

drops: necks?, ring1s, ear2s

Eriak the Fetid

drops: shoulders, ears, rings.

Commanders Goreslaughter and Corpsemaul

drops: chest, 2h weapons, charms

EQ2Players Preview of The Sundered Frontier

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

EQ2Players has as new preview available of The Sundered Frontier, which is one half of the overland area of Odus. This includes some screen shots and an interview with gninja, leader designer of this zone. You can also find some wallpaper sized screenshots which have not previously been posted. All of this after the jump:

First Screens of The Sundered Frontier

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

EQ2Wire is thrilled to present some more screen shots from the upcoming Sentinel’s Fate expansion. These images are taken from the first part of Odus players will encounter, the Sundered Frontier.

It seems many things have changed, and many others have stayed the same. Odus seems to have been scooped from out of the earth and is now scattered across the Norrath sky. Visitors will likely arrive by Spire or Airship!

Check out these screen shots (Scroll down to get a clickable grid of thumbnails):

Also check out this exclusive Sundered Frontier screen shot available only on EQ2Wire:



EQ2Wire Exclusive Screenshot (Large Version)

The complete set of images available in this round of screen shots is available below:

Hope you enjoy these great snapshots!

Son of Banhammer

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

There have been a lot of reactions to the clarification of just what types of multiboxing are permitted in SOE games and which aren’t. What most of these reactions have lacked is perspective.

A careful read of the key pards Kiara‘s post in another thread on the multiboxing subject:

That is what allows us to nuke the farmers and plat sellers that we all loathe so much.

If you’re not doing something you shouldn’t be doing, multi-boxing is fine.

People are over-reacting and troll-feeding.

Please stop trying to read into it anything that says we’re going to start nuking our legitimate players for playing more than one account at a time.

along with past history suggest to me that SOE does not see any benefit in wholesale banning of players. Players are typically banned for disruptive behavior, and typically get several warnings.

Let’s look again at some significant exploits which have happened in past expansions such as item and plat duplication, profiting from item buyback, grey void shards, and instance reuse for shard updates. Very few consequences came out of these exploits.

Also, every discussion about this multiboxing issue seems to have referenced a single petition replied to by a single GM. However one person does not make a policy. It is certainly possible that this GM was being perhaps a bit too understanding, or suggesting (and not communicating) that what matters more than anything is to not be a nuisance or a disruptive player.

  • If you are dominating content that others wish to play, or are preventing other players from getting updates, then that is disruptive behavior.
  • If you are using software like this to flood a server’s economy with tradeskilled goods, etc. then that is disruptive behavior.
  • If you are causing server lag due to inefficient macros causing tremendous amounts of keypresses being sent to the server, then that is disruptive behavior.

If, however, you are multiboxing just to see what kind of heroic content you can tackle all by yourself, especially instanced content, I don’t think it really hurts anyone and I doubt anyone is going to go out of their way to remove you (and your additional subscriptions) from the game. In short — don’t be evil.

EQ2Players Update

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

The biggest loss of functionality on EQ2Players for many viewers was the ability to lookup Alt characters. This is used by guild recruiters to weed out players with a known history of troublemaking and guild bank plundering. So we’re happy to report that this functionality has been restored to EQ2Players.

DarkViper has been reporting steadily on fixes to the site:

The team is actively working on adding in quite a few new features, they’re just not ready yet SMILEY The community team will be posting a list of the features soon with when you can expect them.

Players are asked to do a hard refresh (Ctrl-F5 or Ctrl-R) to make sure they are not viewing a cached version of the page.

Players who wish to hide their alts can do this in their Settings area. Platform are looking at the possibility of adding a way to apply this setting to all your alts.

Platform responds to EQ2Players Concerns

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

DarkViper, from SOE’s Platform (websites, forums, etc.) department has responded to widespread criticism of the EQ2Players revamp which went live last week:

Everyone, thanks for the feedback on the web site. With Station Players becoming a free service, I hope you’re checking out all of the sections of the site if you’ve never had access to it. It’s important to keep hearing this feedback so we can continue to evolve the site.

To address the browser crashing:

We’re already planning on making a version of the site that is ‘lighter’ for the in-game browser. It has always been the plan, but we could not get that version of the site done in time for this release. We’ll investigate why it’s crashing, though I have heard that other sites (not just EQ2′s) have crashed in the past as well so it’s not something I can guarantee that will be in our control to fix before the in-game version of the site.

Re: Guild Chat visibility:

We’ll improve the placement for this, we agree that we need other entry points to this beyond just the profile pages. In fact, the profile bar is planned to be accessible via the entire site.

Re: Search functionality

We’re re-tooling this after much feedback to be more intuitive and accessible.

Re: Speed of loading

We’ll investigate this. It loads fast on all machines we’ve tested, and loads relatively fast even on the iphone. This could be browser version specific so we’ll have our lab here see if they can replicate this one.

A few additional comments:

Re: Alts

We’re adding this back in next build of the site.

Re: Guild Roster

Agreed, 5 is too low, we’re tweaking this next build.

Re: Best in Class Leaderboard

We’re adding the update in the next build of the site.

Re: Login remember me

We’ll speak with the teams responsible for this functionality and will hopefully have a fix in place soon.

Re: RSS Feeds/CSV functionality

We’ve been working on making this more accessible for folks and are looking into ways we can get you guild data for your use whether it be for web sites or not. We’ll have an update soon for this.

Please keep sending the feedback, we’re listening and addressing it. If you run into any problems (i.e. errors), please PM me or post it and we’ll get someone looking into it.

Sentinel’s Fate In-game Armor and Highland Stalker Video!

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

>> Download Highland Stalker Preview HD Video [22.5MB WMV]. <<
>> Download Highland Stalker Preview SD Video [13.8MB WMV]. <<

robes_learned_and_reasonedGuarding of the Reasoned and Guarding of the Learned

The Guarding of the Reasoned (right) comes with the retail boxes
The Guarding of the Learned (left) comes with the digital downloads.

Keyboard Mapping and You

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

SOE has clarified their policy on using third party software to broadcast or duplicate keypresses on multiple computers for multiboxing purposes. An exclusive EQ2Wire Commentary…

It Started with /Follow

Since the first time someone discovered the /follow command in EverQuest II, ingenuous players have been fascinated with the possibilities of building a force of players all under their control. Naturally, it started with having a healer tag along to spot heal mobs that were too challenging to solo. Then players realized they could handle 3 or even 4 toons on separate accounts playing simultaneously with multiple keyboards and strategically arranged hotbars.

Keyboard Mapping Survey

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Guide

Please take this Multiboxing/Dual boxing survey, even if you do not multibox/dual box. Results will be posted soon.

Are you affected by the clarification in EQ2 Multi-boxing Policy?




Because of this clarification of multiboxing policy, are you considering cancelling any of your EQ2 Accounts?






Do you multibox or dual box (control 2 characters simultaneously)?





If you multibox, do you use input redirection/mirroring or broadcast software to trigger multiple computers?


Do you feel that multiboxing with the use of broadcast software should be permitted?






Moonlight Enchantments

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

The phase of the moon is just right and the mushroom rings will be active again for a short time.

There are more house items and other rewards than ever for the Moonlight Enchantments event this time around.

The event will turn on at 12:01am PDT on December 20th and run until 11:59pm PDT on December 21st. These times apply directly with no time conversion to all servers.

EQ2Players Merges with EQ2 Site

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

EQ2Players has undergone a revamp and the results went live this morning. Actually, it’s more than just a revamp. All trace of EQ2Players has been wiped away! This is now the main EverQuest2 website.

Searching

The first thing we noticed is that to Search for Characters, Guilds, or Items, you must either be on the Home page, or click the Search link in the upper right corner. It used to be possible to search from anywhere on the site. We also noticed that simply typing a character name and pressing Enter no longer works. You must now specify Character, Guild, Item, or Forum.

Performance

We’ve also noticed that the site renders noticeably slower. Perhaps with some tweaks to the Javascript code (which is now used throughout the site) can speed up performance.

Guild Searches

  • When browsing a Guild Roster, now only 5 members of that guild are displayed at a time and the viewer must page through roster.
  • It is no longer possible to click on a member of a guild to view their profile page. One must backtrack to the Search page and type in a character name and perform a new search.
  • There is no header table in the Guild Roster, so it is unclear what some of the numbers represent.
  • The graphics indicating tradeskill and adventure class are gone, replaced with text only (Dirge, Weaponsmith, etc.).

Character Searches

  • When you do a search for a Character, it shows a list of characters matching that name. However the Guild link next to each character brings you to an error page. You must click on a Character to bring up their Character Profile and then you can click the link to their Guild.

Character Profiles

  • It appears all of the Paper Doll graphics have been reset, so everyone’s Character Profile image is blank. If a characters wants an image of their character on their Profile, they will need to upload a new image.
  • While it’s more a design decision than a bug, we’re sad to see that the Alternate Advancements page when viewing a Character now has just about the minimum information possible.  Information about each AA is not available. No graphics are used. And it is impossible to tell at-a-glance, how many AAs are used in each tree. Hopefully this is just a placeholder until the expansion when AAs are getting tweaked and new lines.

Right now, the EQ2Players site, or I guess I should start calling it the EQ2 site, is a step backwards for usability. But hopefully with some tweaks, these nagging issues can be resolved.

PvP Battlegrounds in Sentinel’s Fate

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

While there is still a lot we don’t know about the PvP Battlegrounds feature first mentioned in October and slated for inclusion in the Sentinel’s Fate expansion in February, we have sussed out a few details.

Battlegrounds will be cross-server. Specifically a shared instance or instances accessible by players from different servers where you can meet in battle.

Battlegrounds will be available on both PvE and PvP servers.

It is currently unknown if these Battlegrounds will be the full PvP Ruleset (which is quite different than dueling on PvE) or a hybrid. PvP gear is quite powerful compared to the PvE gear that most players have.

It is currently unknown if these will be free-for-all or include campaigns such as capture the flag, etc.

It is currently unknown if European, Russian, and North American servers will be able to connect together, as they often have different Game Update schedules.

Brenlo reports in with this preliminary info:

This is still going through mid development so we are locking down details.  We are working on maps, rewards, gameplay styles etc. . . We will have lots of details soon. However just one quick note.  This will be for all servers, not just PVP.

Yes it will be cross server. =)

December 15 Hotfix

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Hotfix Notes for December 15:

ACHIEVEMENTS
The Butcherblock Bloodhound achievement will now acknowledge players that had previously completed the Butcherblock quests: “Silent Beckon”, “A Dim Light”, “For the Dogs”, “A Mind Of My Own”, “Sarnak Sympathizer: Part 2″, “Dark Tides”, “Picking up the Pieces”, “Ain’t No Monkey Business”, “Simple Grunt Work”, “When You Mess With An Angry Dwarf” and “Solid Foundation”.

QUESTS

  • The intended pages of “Hrath’s Journal” are now readable while on the quest “Hadden’s Earring”.
  • Learning the Path quest should now update correctly when completing a PVP writ.
  • Sinking Sands quests should now scale to the difficulty of the zone.
  • The Freeport Emissary in Highkeep for the Qeynos Claymore quest line should now spawn in Tenebrous Tangle near the Norrath portal.

SPELLS
Call Servant spell is now instant cast.

Saddle-Only Highland Stalker Revealed

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby has posted on his Twitter (specifically at TweetPhoto) a couple of screenshots of a saddle-only version of the Highland Stalker.

sentinels_fate_mount_noarmor2
Download

I know I have been interested in a non-armored version and glad to see this.

Since the official announcement of the Collector’s Edition includes specific verbiage indicating that the only way to get the Highland Stalker will be in the Collector’s Edition, a safe assumption would be that there will be a choice in the box. More info as we have it.

December 10 2009 Hotfix

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

The servers are coming back up after scheduled maintenance, patching in Frostfell, and more importantly, fixing some bugs introduced by Game Update 54:

GENERAL

  • You can no longer summon players to the tutorial islands with Call of the Veteran.
  • Captain Varlos in the Queen’s Colony and Outpost of the Overlord will no longer offer safe passage to the opposing city to you if you should not be there!
  • The Six Year Veteran rewards are now no-value.
  • Most Wanted Posters are no longer affected by spell reuse buffs.

Just FYI, the main 2 reasons people want to travel to the Queen’s Colony, Outpost of the Overlord, etc.  are they want to complete the quests there, or more importantly, they want a decent choice of deity for their class.

Game Update 54, Frostfell, City Festivals

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

It’s going to be a busy week for Norrathians.

Will of a Tyrant
(Game Update 54)
Weduesday, December 9

PRELUDE EVENT

  • Freeport has been rocked by the sudden destruction of Dethknell Citadel.  What was once an ever-present reminder of The Overlord’s power and will floating above the city has collapsed, and the tenuous peace held within the city by the watchful and ruthless Overlord has been obliterated. Something has obviously befallen Lucan D’Lere, the Overlord of Freeport! Start your investigation into these mysterious events in West Freeport by speaking with Sir Tallen Yevix.
  • The destruction and chaos in Freeport has not gone unnoticed by the Qeynosians, but they, too, have encountered some clandestine acts committed against their leaders, the royal house of Bayle.  Help Qeynos recover some stolen texts relating to the history of Enoxus and the Bayle bloodline by speaking with Royal Librarian Brinn in Qeynos Harbor.

BUG BASH

  • A great deal of effort was put forth in this update to fix as many old, annoying bugs as possible.  Players will notice many existing issues once thought perhaps forgotten are now fixed. All told, nearly 800 bugfixes are in found within GU54, which should help provide a much more polished and streamlined gameplay experience for existing content. As a result, players will notice the patch note section below is significantly longer than in updates past.

Complete Update Notes at EQ2Players

Additional GU54 Unofficial Notes:

  • The Spires event comes to a close with GU54. The quest givers will be removed from Norrath, with only the Merchants remaining. Only those servers that successfully completed all 9 spires will see those Ulteran spire assistant Titles on the merchant (for 50 tokens).
  • Rangers will have to wait until a later hotfix for that “set-it-and-forget-it” Autoattack setting of Default, Melee, Ranged, or Auto.
  • It’s worth reading over the complete list of bugfixes as there are fixes far and wide, including fixing Silverwing in Veeshan’s Peak, and tweaks in nearly every zone.

.

Frostfell
Thursday, December 10, 2009 ~ January 7, 2010

If you want to avoid missing any part of Frostfell, check out these writeups:

.

In other news, the Highland Stalker — the Sentinel’s Fate Collector’s Edition mount — will get a speed boost over the previous announcement. Out-of-the-box it will have a runspeed of 65%.

Looking Ahead

On December 20th, we’ll see the return of the monthly Moonlight Enchantments event which takes places in the forests of Norrath. These zones will have several new house item rewards including tiles with the textures of water, clouds, sand, etc.

Also around the first of January, we can expect the new City Festivals to start up. Every month, there will be a city festival just outside the gates of one city for the first week of that month. These offer many house item and other rewards.

Collector’s Edition Mount Revealed — It’s a Lynx!!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Expansion News

We are thrilled to present the first snapshot of the new in-game Highland Stalker mount exclusively available to players who purchase the EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate Collector’s Edition ($69.99).

sentinels_fate_mount_ingame

The announcement from EQ2Players:

This is the Highland Stalker mount! The Highland Stalker will be available to characters from level one through level 90 and will have a 50% 65% boost to run speed. One important thing to note about the Highland Stalker: This mount is exclusive to the Collector’s Edition of Sentinel’s Fate. There will be no other Highland Stalker mounts!

Also, here is a photo of the Highland Stalker (armored lynx) miniature you’ll receive in the Collector’s Edition box:

reaper_miniatures_mounts_th

EQ2Wire Commentary

I think it’s the best-looking animal-based mount EQ2 has ever had. However the 50% runspeed is going to limit its popularity, to say the least. Our latest news is that the Highland Stalker will have a runspeed of 65%. Hopefully devs will provide a way to upgrade it to 70, 75, or even 80% with some stats, say by turning in the in-box Whistle, plus some raid dropped item, and turning it into a new mount.

And for this to be exclusive to the Retail Collector’s Edition would require a complete reversal of what we saw in Kunark/TSO where raid devs, group devs, tradeskill devs, live event devs all get in on the action of putting popular mounts anywhere and everywhere. Within 2 months of The Shadow Odyssey launching, the bear mount was available via grouping and raiding. EQ2Wire predicts that we’ll see this mount again, just with a name other than “Highland Stalker”.

Game Update 54 “Will of a Tyrant” Trailer

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

SOE have put out a pretty cool trailer for GU54: Will of a Tyrant update going live December 9th. Check it out:

Will of a Tyrant will contain the second prelude event leading up to the Sentinel’s Fate expansion arriving mid-February. The first event involved Thumore D’armer and was active during Thanksgiving week.

Also, on December 10th we will see the launch of Frostfell!!

Back soon with previews of the Sentinel’s Fate beta and hopefully that Sentinel’s Fate Collector’s Edition in-game mount. All rumors point to it being a lynx, and if they do it right, I might finally sell my Carpet of El’Khazi. No slobbery mounts for me, but a sleek lynx would rock! :)

Producer’s Letter: EQII Dev Team Update

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

Class Balance

As many readers of EQ2 Forums and EQ2Flames have sussed out, Chris Kozak (known on the forums and in-game as Aeralik) stepped down in his position of Game Mechanics (class balance, mechanics, etc.) in early November. Today’s Producer’s Letter announces his replacement, the scrapping of the unpopular Gear Scaling system and Fighter Revamp, and the rescheduling of Shaders 3.0 to Game Update #55:

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby, Senior Producer of EQ2, has posted a Producer’s Letter for December 2009:

Hello Norrathians!

Lots going on in the EQII world!  We are just about to release our next update, Will of a Tyrant and couldn’t be more excited!  With this update you are going to see a few hundred lingering bugs fixed in EQII.  Some of these bugs date back to launch and are being knocked out before we gear up for the expansion.  In fact, we have taken to calling this update our “bug bash” as we pulled out our hammers and smashed them into oblivion.  As for content in this update, it might feel a little lighter than recent updates however there is a reason for that. Actually, there are a couple of reasons.  The first is that it was a shorter development cycle for us, with only about two months of time between this update and last.  The second reason is that we are starting to shift many of our resources over to expansion work as it gets closer to its release.  In addition, we have some as yet to be announced surprises coming.  They’re some rather large features, which we hope will excite you.  More on those in the months ahead.

One feature we have been receiving a lot of questions about is the Item Ratings system, which some of you may know as item degradation.  I know that since it was announced there has been a great deal of confusion over the system and what it is intended to accomplish.  After many internal discussions, and listening to feedback from you, we have decided not to move forward with this system.  We are exploring alternatives that would allow us to continue to grow items and allow your gear to advance in meaningful ways, without giving the impression that you are going backward.

Another long announced and long awaited feature has been the rework on the “fighter revamp”. This is another project that is going to fall by the wayside as we now focus on small changes, rather than sweeping revamps.  Fighters are going to see some love here in the near future, thanks to Xelgad, who is taking on some of the class balance responsibilities. Other classes will be seeing improvements and tweaks as we take a hard look at how each class performs in solo, group and raid play.  Our goal is to make sure every class has a role and will be wanted in groups and raids, as well as being able to successfully solo.

Shader 3.0 work is pretty much complete at this point, with all of the shaders being converted to the new system.  That being said, we will not be releasing it with Will of a Tyrant.  We are not seeing the performance increases that we had hoped so we will continue to optimize and tweak until they provide not only a visual boost, but a performance boost as well.  We do not want to take a step backwards in performance just to make things look shiny.  Currently it looks as though this feature will land with the next game update, on expansion launch day.

I know you are all excited about the upcoming expansion, or at least I hope you are.  We are very excited as a lot of hard work has gone into making Sentinel’s Fate.  We still have a lot to do and the time for release is getting close!  So close in fact, that you can now sign up for beta which should begin admitting folks in less than two weeks. You can sign up on the EQII players site, so if you are interested in joining in, make sure you sign up soon.

Lots going on,

See you soon in Norrath and Merry Frostfell.

The EQII Team

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby

We can only assume that Aeralik’s departure was fueled by the aborted Fighter Revamp, unpopular Gear Rating/Scaling system, and untimely Avatar Loot nerfs (gear he designed and submitted in October 2008 was identified as overpowered in February 2009, and then finally substantially nerfed in August after players had invested many months of game time acquiring it).

Several classes in EQ2 have endured major shortcomings and balance issues, some all the way back to the Rise of Kunark expansion in November 2007. Druids and summoners have been described as outright “broken” by many players. These issues have received little attention, allowing as much as 2 years to elapse without necessary changes.

Class balance received very little focus in 2009, with no significant fixes in Game Updates 52, 53, or 54, even as the game has gotten more complex, raid encounters gotten more demanding, and groups have become more selective about which classes and players they accept. Tolerance for players who have elected to play a class that doesn’t have the same tools for curing, healing, tanking, or DPSing, as other classes have dropped to a point where players are routinely asked to give up and “re-roll”.

With this challenging stage set, and a frantic 2 1/2 months before the expansion, we see Xelgad stepping into this hotseat position. He has not been very visible on the forums, but we understand he has already been hard at work sorting through the changes we’ll see in Sentinel’s Fate.

We are cautiously optimistic that each class will finally be given the tools necessary to do their job. We are hopeful that a new approach of subtle changes, picking-and-choosing the best aspects of what was previewed at Fan Faire, along with Player Feedback, can be used to solve some long-standing problems. Of course, only time will tell what his vision of the game is.

We will continue to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the upcoming EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate expansion with a critical, but fair eye for detail.

Sentinel’s Fate Situation Improves

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, International (Pro7Sat1)

Since our exposé on the lack of options for anyone outside the continental United States to order the EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate expansion, it seems we stirred up a hornet’s nest behind the scenes, causing the resolution of at least  some of the issues facing EverQuest II customers.

We are now able to report that BestBuy.com has corrected its release date to February 16th, Amazon.com is now offering shipping outside the U.S., and Amazon.ca is now offering Sentinel’s Fate for sale directly to Canadian customers. We are still awaiting word of the selection of one or more international distributors.

The official news from Marketing posted on the EQ2 forums by Kiara (who has been repeatedly and completely unjustly thrown under the bus on this issue):

Update from sales regarding shipping from Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop:

Amazon.com – Amazon will have all the information fixed by Friday AM.  They will also have all the shipping options spelled out for both International and N.A. customers.  Players will be able to choose an option for release date delivery in the continental U.S.  International customers will have the ability to get the expansion day one but that all depends on how early the order is placed and willingness to pay shipping costs.  They are also working with Amazon to start shipping on the February 9th to get to international players on day one and working with Amazon Canada to have release day delivery.

Best Buy.com – Best buy has added the pre-order button and put the 16th as the date of release.  They will have the site perfect by Thursday night.  They do not guarantee same day delivery; but like Amazon, they may start shipping on the 10th to hit houses on the 16th.  They are working with Best Buy to on this.

GameStop – They know they need to add more information for our customers and will do so ASAP.  Also GameStop Canada is going to be ready for this release.  They just put the GameStop Canadian site up yesterday.

When I have further word on international distributors, I’ll pass that along as well.  There currently is no updated information on how those discussions are working out.

SOE are apparently in talks with 2 international distributors and looking at options to make sure that Sentinel’s Fate is available locally in countries outside the U.S.

Flawless Achievements

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

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

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

Game Update 54 & Sentinel’s Fate Beta

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Game Update 54 — December 8th

We are now expecting Game Update #54 — Will of a Tyrant to go live on Wednesday, December 9th. EQ2 Forums Announcement

Game Update 54 contains:

  • Over 300 bugfixes
  • 40 slot crafted bags and strongboxes
  • choice of Melee or Ranged default AutoAttack
  • added tiles and house items to the Moonlight Enchantments event (20th of every month)

Game Update 54 also see the second prelude event leading up to the Sentinel’s Fate expansion. You can read the EQ2Players writeup on this Attack on the Crowns event, and when the event goes live, head over to EQ2 ZAM which already has a full walkthrough of the entire event.

In Game Update 54, we’ll also see the conclusion of the Spires event. It is currently unclear whether the Spires Merchants will be sticking around after GU54 goes live, so go ahead and run all your quests and buy everything off the vendor you wanted to buy.

Niami at EQ2Traders has a great writeup of everything in Game Update 54, check it out!

Sentinel’s Fate Beta

In other news, the Sentinel’s Fate expansion Beta registration process has begun. To sign up, visit EQ2Players.com and fill out the NDA and form. Sources indicate that the first Beta invites will go out mid-December, perhaps earlier. Currently the /beta command is not switched on on live servers.

And we have seen reports that players with a month-to-month or 30 day card subscriptions are currently not able to sign up for the Beta. They’ve been advised to contact Customer Service.

More news as we have it.

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