Najena’s Ring of Readiness

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Itemization

From Fyreflyte on the EQ2 Forums:

Post expansion-launch, the useable effect on Najena’s Ring of Readiness will give a flat +2000 spelldamage buff. The cooldown and duration will remain the same. I realize this effect has been available to you for over a year now, but due to the way it scales, it can not be left in game as-is. Without a rating system to curb its effects, the item would have only become more powerful with each expansion, crippling our ring itemization for sorcerers.

I understand this will be an upsetting change for those that spent countless hours running the Hollow Tower in order to acquire one, but it is absolutely necessary for the health of the game. I know this information is coming fairly late, but hopefully it will save those who are still farming for it further frustration.

Why the item wasn’t changed when it was realized how powerful it was, or why this change wasn’t announced last summer when Gear Scaling was cancelled, we may never know.

Closing the Book on Void Shards

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

When Commission crafting was altered in March 2009 to prevent crafters from using their own Void Shards and other NO TRADE/HEIRLOOM materials for other players, it closed the book for several crafters on this highly profitable market.

However it was quickly discovered that a crafter could still use their own shards if the customer had at least the requisite number of shards in their own inventory to make the item. This was accomplished by swapping out ingredients in the Commission Materials window.

Today’s Hotfix marks the closure of this exploit:

Patch Notes January / 26 / 2010

GENERAL
You can no longer swap no trade and heirloom items given to you in a consignment trade.

Patch Notes January / 26 / 2010
GENERAL
You can no longer swap no trade and heirloom items given to you in a consignment trade.

Mentored Shards

Further, EQ2Wire is now hearing rumors that it will be impossible to run mentored “grey” void shard runs in Shadow Odyssey dungeons once the Sentinel’s Fate expansion launches. This likely will take the form of either being booted from the zone or a forced mentoring if a “trivialized” condition exists (mobs are grey).

It seems a concerted effort is now being put forth to restore the logical progression of gear in EverQuest II:

  • Treasured/Mastercrafted — solo gear
  • Legendary — group gear
  • Fabled — raid gear

The Problem

1) Some players have no interest in getting into any sort of group, and play EQ2 entirely as a solo game, yet they are currently getting exceptional gear.

2) Some players are husband-and-wife or trio setups. Either they don’t want to do a full group and deal with the personalities, or they are undergeared and not able to get into a group.

3) And some players already have several main characters and are leveling an alt, possibly an alt that is not always desired (summoner, druid, brawler, etc.).

One of the biggest problems players of The Shadow Odyssey faced is that all 20 dungeons were targeted for level 80, and if more than one mid-70′s character joined the group, then zone rewards were scaled down (no chest, no shinies, level 67 gear).

The Solution

1) Treasured and Mastercrafted gear in Sentinel’s Fate will be much better gear comparatively than level 72 gear was for level 80 characters. Considering how powerful the T1 and T2 void shard armor are, for many solo players, it will likely last them well into the 80′s until they replace that gear with Mastercrafted and quested rewards.

2) The Hole offers a large sprawling open dungeon ranging from level 82-90. Most of it is tailored to 3-4 players. Instead of waiting for hours, trying to build the “perfect” group, I expect players will simply show up at the entrance and jump into whatever ragtag groups are running through. Also, a variety of quests and large number of named encounters exist within the zone.

3) We haven’t heard much word on Class Balance, but hopefully with the changes, and the fact that Sentinel’s Fate dungeons range from level 82-90 means that people will actually get to group up with mains AND alts throughout the level range. With the AA slider, it should be possible to earn AA just as easily this way as solo questing.

With the dungeons in Sentinel’s Fate not being locked to level 90 (The Hole is 82-90, and the first instance is accessible at level 83), players won’t be pressured quite so bad to “solo quest grind to 90″ before being able to play the group game.

EQ2Wire Escape from Qeynos Beta Contest Concludes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Expansion News

Saints be praised! (No, not those Saints)

As I was ducking in and out of Fish’s Alehouse and Inn, trying to keep out of sight, not one, but 13 parcels of mail addressed to one “Feldon @ EQ2Wire” (that’s me!) arrived at the front desk. After bribing tipping the innkeeper, I opened the packages to discover that each contained a detailed illustration of an escape route to South Qeynos!

With the navigational guidance of my enterprising readers, I was able to avoid the Qeynos Harbor guards and use my tinkered spring shoes to make it to the secret exit! Further, my operative was able to smooth things over with the Queen. :)

The winners should soon receive their Beta access and be able to hop on the next wizard spires transmat to the Halls of Erudin to explore what remains of Odus. Of course they’re reminded not to tell anyone about their encounters in Odus until the NDA has been lifted. ;)

EQ2Wire BETA Contest — Complete

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

It seems after imbibing a little too much jum jum mash, I let slip a disparaging comment about Queen Antonia within earshot of a Qeynos Guard! Now I’m a wanted man and I need your help!

beta_sqeynos01

I’m stuck in Qeynos Harbor, but I can’t risk traveling by boat or carpet. As you can see, the exits are surprisingly well-guarded. My best chance is to high tail it to South Qeynos and meet a well-connected politician who can smooth things over with the authorities.

Legend tells of a secret entrance to South Qeynos. Can you help me find it?

If you find this hidden portal to South Qeynos and send me a picture of yourself (with your name visible) in front of it, I might be able to use that same route of escape. As a reward, I will give you a different sort of key, which I acquired from a travelling merchant marked “Sentinel’s Fate Beta”.

This contest is now closed.

Preview: Erudin Library

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

Check out this new zone preview from the Sentinel’s Fate expansion at EQ2Players.

The Erudin Library is designed for levels 87-89. You’ll need to rely on cunning to track down and bring a killer to justice.

This is the easiest of the Erudin zones, and has a very unique flavor to it: The zone was built as a Clue-style murder mystery. In order to get the best possible rewards (and complete some quests), players must search the zone for clues and accuse and defeat the guilty Scholar Primarch.

[We] set up the murder mystery such that each time through, the details of the murder are randomized. The murder weapons are part of a [shiny] collection [as well].

XP Changes — 65~75 Less Grind, Smoother 1-70 Leveling

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Alan BrenloCrosby has announced some tweaks to the Experience Curve in EQ2 that went live today (January 20th, 2010):

Hey folks,

I wanted to pass along some news that you will see on the live servers tomorrow.  We have adjusted the experience curve in EQII.  We have done so for a number of reasons;

1.  It really wasn’t a curve before, more peaks and valleys.

2. Some levels had some very crazy and erratic peaks while others were far too fast.

3. We needed to adjust the curve overall for the addition of 80 to 90.

What will this mean for you?  You may see your bar move a bit when you log in after the update.  For most of you it will move forward, for some it might shift back a little.  The rate of progression from 1 to 65 will be the same in terms of gross XP needed but the level progression will be smoother.  We have increased the speed from 65 to 75 and this is due to two changes;

The required experience was lowered as it was actually harder to get from 65 to 75 than from 75 to 80.  Now it is in line with our expectations of speed of progression.

The quests in that that range will now give more experience as they were slightly behind the times in terms of XP rewards.

We hope you notice the smoother rate of progression and this removes a few bumps in your leveling.

Thanks all.

and further from the January 20, 2010 Patch Notes:

We have taken a look at the experience required to gain levels and made some adjustments. Leveling from 1-65 will still require the same overall amount of experience, but the experience required at certain levels has changed.  There were certain levels that required much more experience than others, but now the progression should be much steadier. Leveling to 65-75 should be a bit faster now for two reasons.  The first is that required experience was lowered some.  The second is that quests should give slightly more experience in this range now.

BREAKING NEWS: Digital Download on Feb 16 for International

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

It seems sanity has prevailed at SOE. From EQ2 Forums:

The status of retail distribution for Sentinel’s Fate at launch internationally is still uncertain. However in an effort to properly serve our international community we have partnered with several digital distributors who will be providing the expansion to our international customers only starting on Feb 16th 2010. The digital downloads will be IP locked so that only the international community can take advantage of this.

When it became apparent that whoever at SOE Marketing signed deals with Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy forgot about the rest of the world, this should have been immediately addressed.

Instead, we’ve had 2 months of fear, uncertainty, and doubt about whether players in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Rim would even be able to play the expansion before late February.

I’d just like to personally thank whoever was SOE Marketing Dept‘s secret santa and got them this great gift:
worldmap

Sentinel’s Fate Patch Times

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

There have been some questions popping up on the EQ2 Forums as well as EQ2Flames about whether the Sentinel’s Fate expansion will be pushed to European servers at the same time as North American servers. Kiara has this to say:

All the servers will patch at the same time.  I’ll be posting a schedule closer to release day, just so everyone knows what to expect.  But the plan is that the servers will be up and ready for folks to begin patching their games by 8am PST.

And just to clarify, we have confirmed that just as with previous expansions, most of the updated files will be sent out as downloads through the Launcher (or Station Launcher) days in advance of the expansion so that only minimal patching is required on February 16th.

Also, we are continuing to track the current situation with European customers having limited options in acquiring Sentinel’s Fate on February 16th. If we have more to report on this subject, we’ll let you know.

January 13 Hotfix — Magic Mirror

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

Today’s hotfix notes bring news that your player appearances (including illusions) can now be set in-game using a Magic Mirror type tool. Update Notes from EQ2 Forums:

ITEMS

  • Appearance customization items have been changed! This affects these items:
    • - Shave and a Cut, Makeover (combined into the same item)
    • - Nalana’s All-Natural Cosmetic Balsam
  • When used, these items now open a window that allows you to customize your appearance in-game instead of returning to the character select screen.
  • In addition, Shave and a Cut and Nalana’s All-Natural Cosmetic Balsam now affect your current illusion if it is that of a player race (such as Erudite or Dark Elf). If an illusion is active, then the item will affect the appearance customization settings for that race. Once done, these will be saved and activated whenever you activate that illusion! In this way, you can create customizations for each of your player-race illusions!
  • You can now preview appearance backpacks in the dressing room.
  • Unequiping an item with a set bonus now cancels casting.

PVP

  • Signet of Devouring is now purchasable with tokens.

TRADESKILLS

  • Tinkered portable workstations can now be used from level 10 up.

Tumbling Down the (Rabbit) Hole

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

A zone I have been anxious to get a look at is the contested “The Hole” which will encompass an area over twice the size of Sanctum of Scaleborn, and a level range from 82 all the way to 90. We are thrilled to present the first screen shots of this zone:

Around the web, others have posted new screen shots this evening including:

EQ2 Zam | EQ2 Traders | Ten Ton Hammer | MMOQuests | Shattered | MMORPG-Infokithicor.org | LoreLibrary | Archive of Ik | EQ2 Daily | TheBrasse.com | EverSeek.com

Stonebrunt Highlands Preview @ EQ2Players

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

EQ2Players has been updated with a expansion zone preview covering the Northern half of Odus — the Stonebrunt Highlands. This is a level 85-90 overland zone with solo questlines.

Adam “Zaphax” Stephens was lead designer on this zone and answered some questions with his thoughts on the design of the zone. Check out the new writeup as well as some new images and wallpapers of Sentinel’s Fate at EQ2Players.

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.

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