Don’t Forget: Developer Chat tonight at ZAM

Written by Feldon on . Posted in SOE Wants Feedback

Y’all are cordially invited to the next exciting EQII ZAM Developers Chat! This chat was originally scheduled for March 4th and then postponed. Members of the EverQuest II Developer and Community Teams will be there, bring your questions! If you’d like to submit questions prior to the chat, send e-mail to Calthine@allakhazam.com (subject Dev Chat).

  • Thursday, March 18 @ 5:00pm PDT (8:00pm EDT; March 19 @ 00:00 GMT; March 19 @ 01:00 Copenhagen)
  • In the #EQ2 channel on ZAM IRC
  • General chat during the actual event will be in #EQ2FFA
  • You can bet EQ2Wire will be there as well!
mirc For instructions on how to connect to the chat using mIRC, Trillian, or other chat client, check out the EQ2 ZAM Chat Instructions @ EQ2 ZAM.
java If you are not able to run chat software at work, or you just want to jump into the chat through your web browser, you can use the ZAMCHAT Portal here on EQ2Wire.

Check out this Time Zone Converter to help you find what time to sign in. NOTE: Due to America being on Daylight Savings early, please double-check your time zone.

source: EQ2 Forums

The Itemization Puzzle Part 1

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

Today brings the first part of a two part story about how we got to the Itemization situation we are in now. Part history lesson, part recap.

Part 2 will try to sort out the Sentinel’s Fate Itemization picture as we have it so far. I assure you that Part 2 will be MUCH shorter. :) After the posting of Part 2, we will be posting a survey to get your feedback on these long-form articles.

Spell Resist Changes for Battlegrounds/PvP

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/Battlegrounds

Mages have been rather effective in Battlegrounds and PvP combat of late. Moreso than perhaps was intended.

Timetravelling has laid out the details of the cause of this issue, what he intends to do about it, and how it will be tested in this EQ2 Forums thread.

We’ve been digging through the code to track down the inconsistencies we’ve been seeing in spell resists and spell avoidance. We have some changes incoming that I’d like to describe briefly for y’all.

Based on the old formulas, extremely high resists (if capped) would give players a 75% chance to avoid a spell AND a 75% reduction in the damage when it landed.

At level 70+, spell avoidance chance was being multipled by 0.6 (reducing your overall chance to avoid by 40%) and spell resists were being multiplied by 0.65 (reducing the damage reduction applied to spell damage by 35%). This has been contributing to the … ah … very high combat effectiveness of spell-damage based classes. We have removed all of these mults internally.

Once internal testing has been completed, we plan on pushing these changes to Test-copy (and temporarily flagging it as PvP). Once that happens, we’ll update the thread here and ask for y’all to jump over there and help us test the crap out of the changes. We’ll leave it up there for at least a week or two to give time for balance tweaks and such before considering a push to Live.

Our intention is *not* to make any classes unbeatable or make others unable to kill opponents.

However, spell resistances and high STA should be contributing to survival as expected instead of at a greatly reduced effectiveness.

Your feedback is encouraged, and hopefully lots of people will test these changes. In case you missed it, for PvP and Battlegrounds purposes, Spell Resists are now calculated using Stamina (STA), a stat that all classes have some of, and can gain more of, rather than Wisdom (WIS), which due to Stat Consolidation, is now much harder for certain classes to get in any quantity.

March 16 Hotfix

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

Today’s Hotfix notes for March 16th, 2010. Yellow Adornments also made it in, but they’re not in the notes…

GENERALMost of the guards in Freeport, Qeynos and Kelethin have had their levels reduced to what they had previously. Exceptions to this include palace guards and patrolling knights.

ITEMS

All jewelry from the Vigilant: Final Destruction (x2) has had resists added.

Summoning the mount from the Ykeshan Warbear whistle will now work if you are level 80 in either adventuring or tradeskilling.

The valuable, Onayan staff of the waves, should now be on the Vasty Deep collection tables.

QUESTS

The Footsteps of Dartain: Observation – The projected erudite will no longer disappear during conversation.

In Search of Lucan – Fyr’remd Lorak should no longer disappear during conversation.

“Confronting the Godslayer” requires the raid lichform version of Perah’Celsis in order to update. The prose is now more specific about this.

Delinah now properly updates “The Footsteps of Dartain: Emergence.”

Players who delete or decline the various “Footsteps of Dartain” signature quests can now re-obtain them.

Stage 3 of “Whispers from the Past” now correctly mentions Silent City instead of Living Tombs.

PALACE OF ROEHN THEER

Kendis and Penda United now have lower maximum health.

The 3 sages in challenge mode now synchronize their use of prismatic sphere with their exchange of stones (tank switching).

SUNDERED FRONTIER

Neophyte Sairal in the Hall of Necromancy seeks adventurers 80 and higher for a special task.

VASTY DEEP: THE ABANDONED LABS

Adds on the Kadara’Mola fight in Vasty Deep: The Abandoned Labs should now de-spawn should she reset or the encounter breaks.

Resists, Red Slots Trickle Onto Raid Gear

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

Most of the Sentinel’s Fate raid and heroic gear has had no Resists (vs. Arcane, vs. Elemental, vs. Noxious), presumably with the intention that players would have to wear 2-3 pieces of Mastercrafted jewelry. Also, all but the highest level raid gear in Sentinel’s Fate has lacked Red Adornment Slots. This made most of this gear a poor upgrade over TSO raid gear.

If you’ve been following the Equipment Adjustments thread on the EQ2 Forums, as well as yesterday’s Hotfix notes, you know that Resists and Red Slots have now started to appear on Fabled and Legendary gear. However there are some outstanding items, specifically the x2 raid (The Vigilant) items.

We are continuing to watch the changes in Gear Itemization, including Yellow Adornments which should appear in Tuesday’s Hotfix.

Brewday is Here!

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

Brewday has arrived in Norrath! This celebration of Brell and brew will run from March 11 to the 22nd.

For a guide to the updated events, collections, tradeskill recipes, and quests for this year’s Brew Day event, check out these sites:

Although the event is now available on live servers, Brell’s Bar remains closed until 10:30am PST according to an announcement I read in-game. For further discussion on Brell’s Bar, check out the EQ2 Forums.

A Light at the End of the Itemization Tunnel?

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

If you’ve been thinking that the pieces of the Sentinel’s Fate itemization puzzle just have not fit well together, you are not alone.

While we have not spent a lot of time covering itemization in SF, it is because things have continued to be in such a state of flux during, and after the Beta.

The smooth progression of TSO gear was seemingly replaced by a scattershot approach, with some of the x2 raid items being the best in the game, the x4 Hard Mode gear being only 1-2% better than the x2 Easy Mode gear, and Battlegrounds gear the red herring, providing a confusing shortcut to skip instance gear altogether. In short, the “plan” has not been clear. Until now.

After the jump, check out what Frizznik has posted regarding the EQ2 Team’s itemization plans:

Shadows of the Betrayed — Crafting Signature Quest

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Tradeskill

While not breaking news, some folks may not be aware that Sentinel’s Fate offers a Signature quest to level 85+ crafters who have completed the Quel’Ule portion of the Paineel crafting timeline.

Two weeks after you complete the final Quel’ule quest for Researcher Tahar, you will receive an item in the mail from him. He’s actually entrusting a relic to you, though it needs a bit of repair. This is the Shadows of the Betrayed signature quest.

The reward for this quest is a unique appearance weapon which matches your tradeskill class.

As always, Niami Denmother is on the case about all things crafting at EQ2Traders. :)

BG Exploiters Face Suspensions, Bans

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/Battlegrounds

As we have reported, players have been abusing an exploit which allowed them to login to Battlegrounds and consume/transmute/craft items and then get those items back upon being returned to their home servers. SOE have stepped up and shown they take this sort of thing seriously with the following announcement from Brenlo:

This weekend an exploit was found on the Battlegrounds server which allowed players to transmute items, and have those items returned when leaving the Battlegrounds.  This occured due to a change we made in the code to speed up the return process.  While we understand that this was a bug of our creation, some players chose to take advantage of it, knowing it was not meant to work in that fashion.

Many players took advantage of the bug, to varying degrees.  Some of our community however went to great lengths to abuse the bug.  For those accounts that abused this obvious bug, we have taken action.  Some have been removed from the game altogether, while others are losing all of the items on their characters.  All will face at least some time removed from the game as we sort through the various logs and track down their ill-gained platinum and items.

While we hate to remove anyone from our community, our family, there are times that for the good of the servers, the in-game economy and the community we do find ourselves forced to take action.  Unfortunately, this was one such occasion.

Thanks all for being a part of Norrath.

This action is not just limited to Transmuters:

We tracked spells, transmutations, abuse of Mender Bots, etc. We are taking action against all who reached a specific threshhold of abuse.

The most egregious offenders, who I have learned made thousands of plat off of this exploit, will find themselves suspended from the game for several days or possibly a longer ban.

Fair Warning about Battlegrounds Exploit

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/Battlegrounds

From Rothgar on the EQ2 Forums:

Customer Service will be investigating reports of players making use of a duping exploit.  If you’ve been found using this exploit, your character may be rolled back several days.

You should always be aware that using an exploit can result in suspension or bannings regardless of what the exploit is.  If you’ve stumbled across something on your own or heard of an exploit from a friend, your best bet is to petition CS about it right away and cease that behavior.

PvP to PvE Article

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/Battlegrounds

We have gone ahead and pulled an article we had posted about the possibility of transferring from a PvP to PvE server by way of using a Server Transfer Token while logged into Battlegrounds.

We have not been able to substantiate reports that players had been able to perform such a transfer.

RUMOR: PvP to PvE Server Transfers? ‘Sploit!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Guide

We have pulled this story until we can get further confirmation and corroboration.

It seems that in the avalanche of myriad mysterious hotfixes with no hotfix notes on Thursday and Friday may have introduced some unintended consequences regarding Battlegrounds which were discovered over the weekend.

It seems that Server Transfer Tokens may have been enabled on Battlegrounds servers.

We already reported on the item duplication exploit, namely transmuting or consuming items on BG and then getting the items back when you are returned to your own server.

But we have subsequently learned that players have successfully transferred from PvP to PvE servers by claiming Server Transfer Tokens while logged into Battlegrounds servers.

I guess where there’s a will (or a determined enough player), a way will be found. ;)

Raid Mob Damage Output

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Raiding

In our March 5th End-of-Week News, we neglected to post a link to the thread discussing Raid Mob Damage Output and some fine-tuning that will be happening to mobs as a result. From Rothgar:

This sounds like it was maybe due to another bug fix.  Sometimes when we find a bug with a profession spell and fix it, the fix also “fixes” bugs that were on NPC’s that we didn’t know existed.  It may have been possible that those NPC’s were bugged too and during beta tuning they were made harder and harder because no one knew that a spell wasn’t critting properly or something wasn’t procing correctly.

I’ll pass this info along so they can take a look at it.  The proper fix may be to go back through the mobs that were affected and tune them down.

And a report from Sinat:

The AE’s themselves seem to be doing more damage, even on noncrits.  If I compare it on something with virtually no mit, like my spiritual circle, the noncrit of AE’s were higher on it Thursday than it was on Tuesday. Even examining the AE spell information it’s much higher Thursday than what it was on Tuesday.  It’s possible the crit bonus is higher as well, but the AE’s, at least on Maalus, appear to be doing more damage regardless.

I guess using /bug does pay off, even if you are a dragon. ;)

SOE Marketing Dept. Pats Self on Back

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

The elusive SOE Marketing Dept. took a moment today to pat itself on the back for its “successful launch” of EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate. They also made a point of thanking “our great fans have responded with overwhelming support“. It is unclear what aspect of the Sentinel’s Fate launch players give “overwhelming support” to, but no doubt this will be a key point on a Powerpoint presentation somewhere soon.

EQ2Wire does not think it is too soon to start our campaign for NO retail launch of the next EverQuest II expansion. It costs too much money, diverts too many resources, and ultimately confuses and frustrates players to have retailer exclusives, head starts, and regional lockouts on who can buy the Digital Download when and where.

Did the Retail Push Work?

Marketing will point to retail figures saying “It worked!” but the reality is, these are customers who felt forced to buy the product in a certain way, at additional cost and hassle, just to get the same customer experience they have had in past years with a Digital Download.

There is such a thing as a false economy here regarding players who would have ordinarily purchased the Digital Download over a span of the next 2-3 months, as they had completed all the content they desired to in the previous expansion converted to the new product. No doubt some of these players felt pressured into buying Sentinel’s Fate retail version on launch day, so as not to be left behind, or to get the best possible game.

It just seems to us, although we have no sales figures to back up our theories, that making loyal customers jump through hoops just to add a few boxes on retail shelves is not worth it in the long run, and we feel that a true cost-benefit analysis of how the Sentinel’s Fate retail launch played out (provided it is not merely a self-serving exercise) would bear this out.

And there is no tangible way to measure the ill will created in the European community by the Sentinel’s Fate launch lead up chaos, missteps at DLGamer and Steam, and now almost daily Hotfixes during primetime Europe hours. These players have a right to be doubtful.

I have had some very harsh words for the SOE Marketing Dept, yet I feel like I am on pretty solid ground with my opinions. So far, this department has demonstrated that it does not understand its customers, does not value their feedback, and further, has gone out of its way to insulate itself from criticism.

EQ2Wire is extending an open invitation to any member of the SOE Marketing Dept who wishes to grant an interview on these and other subjects.

Artist Highlight – Stephanie Young

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

EQ2Players has checked in with another great Artist Highlight, this time for Stephanie Young. One of my favorite parts of Sentinel’s Fate has been the zone artwork. It has taken everything to another level.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

How did you get started in the industry?

I started out as a graphic artist for a subcontractor to the Office of Naval Intelligence.  Gradually the company started incorporating more 3D simulations into the products we developed and I became the primary developer for the 3D assets used by the engineers.  Eventually though I found it difficult to “love” what I was creating in 3D.

So I decided to get more formal training at the Vancouver Film School in British Columbia so that I could pursue a career in 3D that created, shall I say, art depicting the happier side of life.  After school I landed a job in Lake Tahoe working under contract for a gaming company based in the UK.  It was there that I fell in love with environments both in game and out on the Tahoe Rim trail.  When that company folded I was offered a job here at SOE and I’ve been happily making environments ever since.

What are some of the other areas you’ve done the art for in EQII?

I created Sebilis, Charasis, and Befallen.

March 5th End of Week News

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, PvP/Battlegrounds, Raiding

Here are some end-of-week news items which I’ve noticed on the EQ2 forums that readers may find useful…

Scale of Flame

Players have been having trouble advancing/completing the quest Scale of Flame. In response, Gninja has responded:

I found the issue causing the spirit to not spawn and have corrected it. You should see it come to live server early next week with our next build.

Breaking Combat on PvP/Battlegrounds

Rothgar has made some further adjustments in how combat is broken on PvP/Battlegrounds. It has been tweaked so that you must be at least 1000m from the other player as well as a timer based on activity.

Raid Mob Damage Calculations

There has been some wonkiness, to say the least, in how raid mobs have been putting out damage. Players have noticed these issues and been reporting in this thread on the subject. Rothgar has provided an update:

Yesterday’s patch fixed a bug that was causing many of a mob’s special abilities to not be applied correctly. So technically the code is working as it should be now and all buffs are being applied to the mob. However, this bug has only been in since the first hotfix after the 24th of February. So the mobs should be the same as they were on release, but unfortunately no one was probably raiding them that much during the first week or the people that did expected them to hit this hard.

I’ve spoken with our raid designer and he’s going to take a look at the mobs on a case-by-case basis and determine what needs to be changed. We don’t have any ETA’s on changes yet, but please continue to post your feedback on the ones that you think are way too hard.

Keep in mind we’re only a few weeks into the expansion and that mobs SHOULD be pretty tough until people get caught up on gear, levels and AA’s.

Battlegrounds Cloaks for Testers

For those folks who tested out Battlegrounds, there was an announcement that these players would be getting an appearance cloak. Kiara weighs in on the status of this item:

It hasn’t been entitled yet. Yes it will be very soon. The department that handles this particular sort of situation has been swamped under with another project.

Itemization Issues

We are continuing to follow a story about Itemization issues with the new EQ2 expansion. Players are reporting that Battlegrounds armor is far better than shard gear (Marks of Manaar), quest items are far better than Mastercrafted gear, and most notable, jewelry and charms from the Vigilant x2 raid zone have so far been far superior to the 24-person raid zones and contested x4 raid mobs introduced with Sentinel’s Fate.

We will be tracking this story to see how this all shakes out.

EQ2 ZAM Developer Chat postponed to March 18th

Written by Feldon on . Posted in SOE Wants Feedback

With the server stability and Battlegrounds issues going on over the past 2 weeks, it was not surprising to read that the EQ2 Developer Chat has been postponed a couple of weeks. Fyreflye had already sent word that he would not be able to make it. We will look forward to the EQ2 Developer Chat on March 18th.

In the meantime, continue to submit your questions to calthine{at}allakhazam{dot}com.

Breaking Combat in PvP and Battlegrounds

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/Battlegrounds

Players have been reporting an issue with being able to escape combat *very* quickly on both PvP servers and Battlegrounds, and then being able to join a Battlegrounds match while seemingly still in PvP combat (on Nagafen). After some discussion and diagnosis in this thread, Rothgar posted the backstory on the issue and presented a change that will be made to address the issue:

Prior to battlegrounds the only way you got out of combat was for your hate to degrade over time. So the more hate you built with someone, the longer you’d stay in combat.

When battleground development began, a new method was added to remove you from combat if you got far enough away from your attacker and hadn’t had any aggressive action with them in a period of time. (4 seconds) The aggressive action goes both ways, you attacking them or them attacking you.

This new check was enabled for all PvP, not just battlegrounds. We’re going to increase this timer from 4 to 10 seconds and see how that goes.

The old rule is still in effect. If your hate degrades to almost nothing, you’ll be removed from combat. But in addition, if you run 20 meters away and neither of you have attacked each other in 10 seconds, you’ll also be removed.

A Bumpy Flight for EQ2 Servers

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

There were some additional issues with the EQ2 servers today. The servers were set to come down for a hotfix, then that hotfix was delayed, but the automated scripts in place to prepare for a Hotfix continued. This resulted in there being no way to create new instances (visit dungeons, guild halls, cities, etc.). From Rothgar:

Due to an unrelated network issue this morning, the hotfix was not able to happen at the normal time. Since the servers were scheduled to come down but never did, this caused new instances to not be created. This is normal procedure for taking down servers but its normally resolved when they come down and then start back up.

This hotfix contains some performance changes necessary for battlegrounds to be more stable as well as some major bug fixes so we decided to bring the servers down now rather than delay the hotfix an entire day.

Then later, the servers were fixed so that instances could be created.

And then Kiara announced that the Hotfix was indeed pushed back until March 4th:

Update!

The US server hotfix is being pushed back a day to the morning of Thursday, March 4.

It will go ahead as planned for Runnyeye and Splitpaw this evening at 9pm PST March 3 (5am GMT March 4).

All of this is on the EQ2 Forums.

De-targeting Bug

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/Battlegrounds

Players have noticed a de-targeting bug in Battlegrounds and PvP open world environments were players can become difficult to target.

Thanks for all the info about the targeting issue. You guys provided enough clues to piece together reproduction steps for this sneaky little bug.

While I won’t tell you how to reproduce it (since it’s obviously exploitable in pvp) I can give you a workaround. When you have a valid target but start getting all these targeting errors, hit escape really quick and clear your target, then click your enemy again. This will clear out the bugged UI state so you can attack normally.

Unfortunately it looks like a code issue is behind all this, so I can’t fix it personally. It’s been forwarded along to Rothgar.

Sentinel’s Fate Mechanics Q&A

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization

Timetravelling created a thread on the EQ2 Forums regarding the Sentinel’s Fate Mechanics Changes. With all the changes to primary stats, lifting of various caps on bonuses, etc. there have been a lot of questions and this thread has started to answer them. Here are some updates:

  • Updated the Aggression question with info about other skills (yes, they work the same way)
  • Updated the base stat uncap section with more detailed information (new curve starts @ 1200, after that a 30% stat increase = ~ a 10% gain in effectiveness)
  • Added several more questions to the end of the post

The list of questions in that thread keep growing and timetravelling is continuing to update the first post in the thread with any answers he finds. It’s worth a read.

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