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.

Multihousing Questions Answered

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

Anobabylon from Oasis posted some questions about multi-housing coming in Game Update 60 and SmokeJumper provided some answers:

Q: While you are putting in the ability to own more than one home, could you please also add in the ability to share homes with other characters?

A: Prestige Homes allow this already. Add each character to the others’ trustee lists, then link the homes together via portals. Voila! Now your homes are linked and you can edit them freely.

Q: Change *Guild Port Doors* to be heirloom/attunable (heirloom selfishly because my main character buys all the doors for my other girls) rather than no-trade and let the location of our attuned guild port door be where the “Guild Portal to Player Housing” sends us to. This would allow us to use the “Guild Portal to Player Housing” to load in to whichever of our multiple housings we choose, or even into a home where we are trustee if that is what we desire.

A: More good news. This already works! You can place your Prestige Home portals in your Guild Hall directly, *and* the current “Member Housing” amenity now allows you to travel to any house that is linked in your home network. This can be a large amount of houses if you have lots of links and friends.

GU60: Multi-Housing on Test in 1-2 Weeks?

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

As always, this is subject to change based on any number of code issues, delays, etc. but we now have a soft timeframe for when Game Update 60, or at least the Multi-housing (the ability of 1 character to have multiple houses) will be hitting the Test server. It sounds like it may be on Test for several weeks for players to test everything out and make sure there are no problems with houses and guild halls. Undoubtedly a change like this requires major alterations to the database.  We haven’t got anything concrete how what changes will be made Teleport to Player House guild hall amenity, but we’ve heard good things.

From SmokeJumper:

It’ll probably hit testing next week or the week after. It’s a LOT of code changes, so we’ll probably let it stew on the Test server for a while until we’re confident we kill all the major issues and then release it thereafter.


Computer Generated Itemization?

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

At last year’s Fan Faire, I found out that work was being done on a program/script/tool to help the developers create items for EQ2. As with any game development, any number of little tools and scripts are created and passed around the office to help take some of the tedium out of certain repetitive tasks.

At the time, it was explained to me as a tool that could be used to whip out a bunch of Treasured and low level Legendary gear. Why? So that more time and attention could be spent creating unique higher level Legendary and Fabled gear with unique effects. It was hoped that we could see items with interesting procs and effects like those popular items from Shard of Hate, as well as the better raid drops from Shadow Odyssey, and even drawing some inspiration from Avatar Gear (although maybe not THAT powerful).

However with the cookie cutter, cut-and-paste itemization of Velious which seems to pigeonhole players into the 4 main archetypes with few exceptions, players are looking for answers and latched onto a post by SmokeJumper confirming the existence of said “itemization tool”.

More Mounts

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

From SmokeJumper regarding new mounts:

We have some really interesting kinds of mounts coming in the next couple of GUs that will become available to players at different levels throughout the game. Things will keep changing and we intend the fun factor of them to increase as well. But true fliers? They’re a level 86+ perk, and they’ll end up staying that way. (Consider it a lure to get to 90.

We are still hopeful that existing flying-type mounts will be usable as appearance flying mounts, such as carpets, clouds, and hover discs.

Listening to Forums (the Vocal Minority)?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

I hear this a lot:

Most of the people I know in game never visit the forums, and the “majority” opinions you see here rarely represent their opinions.

It’s often used as a reason to belittle, dismiss, or outright ignore player feedback on the EQ2 forums.

SmokeJumper responded:

And that’s the tricky part for developers also. The loudest voices are always here on these forums, but there are many opinions. That’s one of the reasons that I spend so much time playing the game. Talking to players within the game as I play is always interesting and educational, even moreso when they don’t know it’s me. Most of us on the dev team do this, whether anonymously or known within a guild.

We get *lots* of info about the game from the forums, but no, it’s definitely not our only source of data.

Silius: Multi Attack Clarifications

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization

From Silius on the EQ2 Forums:

Greetings All,

I want to take the time to explain the reasoning behind some of the recent multi attack adjustments. Multi attack like any other stat is meant to grow base on item tier. In the creation of these items some of them were given a generous amount of multi attack unintentionally making the progression look odd. In the process of increasing loot power we rebalanced some of these items so they would fall within the guidelines we desired.

That said there still exists some items we are ok with having a bit more multi attack. In most cases these items are sacrificing something to have a larger value of multi attack in other cases they are special items like the Coldain rings.

Thank you all who have given concise feedback in PMs and on these forums it is greatly appreciated.


Battlepriests (Melee Warden, Inquisitor, Templar) still wonder if Multiattack will come back on gear for them, or if it’s gone for good. And fighters wonder why they are having to farm instances to get more multiattack than anything on easy or hardmode raid loot. We’re still looking at yesterday’s itemization changes to see how this will play out, but there are still too few options for all but the main classical archetypes of fighter, scout, priest, and mage.

Players Checking out Revised Storm Gorge PQ

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

After today’s update, players have been checking out the re-structured Storm Gorge to see how the fights have changed, and how server lag has been reduced.

Players generally reported improvements in lag, and also shared their strategies on dealing with the changes in the fight, which in some cases make it more challenging and interesting.

Windslasher‘s response:

It’s great to hear that the latest lag fixes worked! With that game-breaking issue mostly solved, I can now turn more my attention to other important issues.

For example: Goredeth Maulhammer has always had the ability to heal himself while enraged. His fight is certainly not “impossible to win” but I’ll take a good hard look and see if it needs to be tweaked.

I’m also going to try and optimize performance on the Ring War a little more, and take care of some uncommon but serious glitches that many of you have reported. Thanks!

OFFICIAL SOE Restructuring Announcement

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

From the EQ2 Forums:

Fellow Adventurers,

We wanted to share this information with you here, rather than having you read about it on another site. The EQII community is a large part of the ongoing success of SOE, and the game is in a strong position to succeed. Development continues unabated on EverQuest II, and you can look forward to a Producer’s Letter next week with more information about what lies ahead for the game’s development in 2011.

For those who wish to comment, please use THIS thread. It will remain unlocked as long as conversation remains constructive and polite. Our CMs and Mods have been asked to redirect all other related posts to this one as well.

~Linda “Brasse” Carlson

Director, Global Community Relations

Following is the official notice that you may see on other sites:

As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios.  As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games.  All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern.

This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE’s current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios’ suite of products to its San Diego headquarters.  This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year.

March 31, 2011 Update Notes

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

Today’s Update Notes for March 31, 2011 bring those Itemization changes we’ve been hearing about, a redesign of the Storm Gorge Public Quest, and the Aether Races flying event has now been folded into City Festivals, starting with Antonica. From SmokeJumper:

There will be a new track for each city until we start looping around again. Each city’s track will only be available during the City Festival and you can earn festival coins and titles when you race.

We might trot them all out at once at Tinkerfest or something, but they’ll usually be linked individually to the City Festivals now.

The full update notes after the jump…

Raid Lag Fixes Now and Incoming

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

Raid Zone Lag can add randomness to an already challenging fight. There are many causes such as how an encounter is designed, unintended interactions in the zone code itself, etc. This issue is of particular importance in Velious because the Tower of Frozen Shadow x2 raid zone drops a Clicky item which is required to take on most of the Velious x4 raid content. Players receive an item which must be clicked by certain classes at certain times in certain named fights in Velious hard mode raid zones in order to make them defeatable.

Although some guilds have been unable to progress due to lag specific to certain zones/encounters, compounding a consistent level of lag already present on their server (Unrest, etc.) I have received word that guilds on every server have managed to get these items, albeit with a lot of extra runs and some luck.

That said, while we wait for new server hardware, Rothgar and his team have been working on fixing specific issues within the raid zones to reduce lag:

All Velious raid zones should be running much better from now on. We’ve also found a few other performance improvements today that should hopefully make it out next week.

We are focusing very hard on performance along with the features for GU60.

added another quote:

Please do try the zones again and let us know how its working for you. We do have plans in place to resolve issues like these and we were able to make some changes last night without taking the servers down that should have helped tremendously.

We have additional plans in place to improve server performance even more over the next few weeks and months.

Why The Big Fuss Over Itemization?

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

So, you’ve heard all the hullabaloo about Itemization changes. Well ‘big deal’ you think to yourself. There will always be adjustments and shuffling around of things missed in Beta. The last 2 years have seen big changes to itemization after the expansion comes out. Why is this news?

Well never mind the confusion and inconvenience for players, but there’s the feeling that players have wasted their time defeating a much more difficult mob only to receive an item that is only a minor upgrade or in many cases with Velious, a downgrade in quality. Quite a few players have told me that they now bank ALL of their gear for the first 60 days after an expansion, just in case we see sweeping changes.

However, with Velious’ astounding dependence upon Adornments to provide any uniqueness whatsoever to gear from the Othmir quest gear all the way up to Hardmode Raid gear, Adornments matter now more than ever.

Hope Cometh in the Morning?

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

If you thought the Itemization threads on the EQ2 Forums have been harsh, they really took a turn for the worse after players took Silius‘ advice and checked out the changes on Test and Test Copy, only to find that several items had lost upwards of 75% of their MultiAttack, 4.0 weapons received additional boosts (leaving out 6.0 weapons), and most of the ‘boosts’ were upwards of 0.6% increases on just a handful of stats.

SmokeJumper came to Silius‘ defense:

Silius has made huge strides into setting things up so that the completely haphazard systems of yore, where half a dozen designers just made stuff up on their own without checking anything against each other, is eliminated. Systems have been created, and like with any new systems, there were hitches in a few assumptions here.

We’re fixing those assumptions (thanks in large part to some of the feedback provided here) and the systems will keep improving. We hope to avoid the typical “expansion item debacle” in the future by providing reasoned methods to make items in the future.

So yes, there were a few glitches here, but it’s all in the interest of progress.

Silius is doing an excellent job. If you think he’s doing his job in a vacuum, then you’re incorrect. Half the design team is working with him to make things better. Please feel free to continue to hate him, because that’s your prerogative, but he’s not going anywhere.

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