City Festival Feb 1-7: Gorowyn

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

Last month, the first ever City Festival camped outside the Kelethin gates and provided a selection of both local and traveling rewards, house items, and temporary costumes (I want that Gi as a permanent item!!).

When it pulled up stakes, we had no idea where it would end up next. Early this morning we caught wind of the news that the traveling City Festival had arrived in Gorowyn. The theme for Gorowyn seems to be all things in a deep crimson. Here’s a sneak of what you can purchase with City Tokens for the next week, before the event rolls on to the next city.

cityfestival_gorowyn

While the City Festival is running, City Tokens can be earned for doing tradeskill and other tasks for the event hosts. City Tokens can also be earned any time just by doing City Writs.

If you are going to plan out your Guild Hall or house, there is no better place to lookup Furniture, House Items, etc. than EverSeek.com. Expect them to have the updated Gorowyn city fest items soon!

Halas Slips to GU 56?

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

We’re now less than 3 weeks from the release of Sentinel’s Fate. There has been no sign of Halas on Test. We’ve already been told that Halas is important to SOE, that they want it to be a starting zone to win new players. And I just don’t see them adding a starting zone with 20 levels of content with less than 2 weeks of testing. So at this point, EQ2Wire is now ready to call Halas for for Game Update 56 a few months after the Sentinel’s Fate expansion. This is purely speculation on our part until there’s an announcement, but we feel confident enough to post it.

sad_puppy-med

I understand there are folks who are nostalgic for Halas after playing it in EQ1 and have really been looking forward to starting new characters there. I know I was looking forward to seeing what the Art department could turn out after seeing preliminary artwork at Fan Faire.

But Halas not being in-game for the expansion won’t ruin my life. Timorous Deep and Darklight Wood are still excellent options for leveling toons from 1-20. Really that level range is pretty saturated. The Golden Path we’ve been hearing about will be a polishing of existing zones (the changes to Sinking Sands were the first part of that) to make a smooth progression from 1-80.

More news on Battlegrounds and Sentinel’s Fate as we have it… This has been a busy news week and next week will probably be even busier!

January 28 2010 Hotfix — Mega-Macros

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Tomorrow’s Hotfix will include some changes targeted at server performance/lag. These changes will affect the number of spells and combat arts which can be linked together in 1 macro. We are trying to determine the maximum number of spells or combat arts which it will be possible to put on a single macro.

Thursday, January 28th Hotfix

GENERAL

  • Ability commands such as “useability” are now being throttled in an effort to cut down on server lag.  This means that “mega-macros” that attempt to cast many spells will no longer work as expected.
  • Housing zones and persistent instances will now automatically shutdown after one hour of inactivity.  Any AFK players left in the zone will be camped back to the character select screen.  You may still AFK indefinitely in overland zones, city zones and non-persistent dungeons.

Battlegrounds Maps & Level Range

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

As we now know, EQ2 will be getting Battlegrounds in Game Update 55 in February to coincide with the release of the Sentinel’s Fate expansion.

If you are wanting a closer look at the Maps of the 3 Battlegrounds zones, look no further than this EQ2Players writeup.

Battlegrounds are NOT intended as “end-game” or high-level only content. Although at launch they will be limited to level 80-90, there will be continuing effort to make Battlegrounds available to lower levels, complete with unique armor awards for these level ranges. Kiara posted about it here.

Preview: Erudin Royal Palace

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

Kiara is continuing to give us detailed previews of every zone we’ll be seeing in the Sentinel’s Fate expansion. Today’s preview is the third of the Erudin zones — Erudin Royal Palace.

The last of the Erudin group instances is the Erudin Royal Palace. It is the central stronghold of the corruptive influence on Erudin and Odus as a whole.

Stephanie Young is one of the artists who worked on the Erudin zones. She [has a history with these zones as]  also worked on Erudin in EverQuest and EverQuest Online Adventures.

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.

Powered by Warp Theme Framework