Offense/DPS Racial Abilities Were Removed for Balance… with SC?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Daybreak Cash

So you may remember that Racial Traits/Traditions were nerfed adjusted in Game Update 53 to remove all uniqueness, including all offensive buffs and abilities such as Ratonga bite and Sarnak fire breathing. From Frizznik:

Offensive buffs have been removed. We did this to help balance races better against each other.

It seems this ‘balance’ applies to only free races. Left out of the initial version of the The Freeblood: More Information and Images announcement on EverQuest2.com was this Racial Trait:

Another Racial Trait, “Bloodletting,” grants a minor Lifetap spell to occasionally drain health from targeted enemies.

Do you think those offensive buffs and attacks previously available as Racial Traits should be restored in light of this announced Freeblood ability?

Discussion on the EQ2 Forums

Prepaid Subscription Card Users Not Eligible for Velious Winter Rewards

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

This breaking news comes from an SOE GM (we are withholding the name):

As part of having an actual subscription through us is the fact that you get to use the bonus items unlike if you use a prepaid card. They get the special perks because they use us direct rather than going through a third type payment option. So yes, there is a benefit to have an account through us rather than a pre paid monthly gaming card. It may not seem fair that a player may have been playing for years with prepaid cards and feels they deserve the items, but the fact is that players who come to us direct made a commitment and thus reap better rewards.

Another thing with having a subscription is that we do give discounts when you purchase a 3 month or even a 1 year when you use a credit card. I hope that this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please let us know and we will be happy to help.

From the EQ2 Forums.

Updated Server Merge Timetable

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Things are moving fast in the Server Merge process, and even we are having trouble keeping up. From Rothgar:

We plan to have all U.S merges done by Monday night, the 20th. International merges will come after the first of the year due to database maintenance that must be performed before we can start the merges.

Wednesday night at midnight we will perform two more mergers. Then Sunday night at midnight we will perform the final two U.S. mergers.

I’ll post the server names sometime tomorrow with the corresponding day that we are planning to do the merge.

AA Resetting Fixed

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Rothgar has given us the all clear on those AA Reset issues:

It looks like we’ve found the issue related to the AA reset and coming up with a plan to fix it as soon as possible. Even though we’ve seen a few posts of people mentioning this happening prior to the merge and on other servers, we are currently only aware of a merge-related issue. There may be something more obscure happening to cause this problem elsewhere, and if it comes up we will look into it as well.

Guild Hall Amenity Research Assistant Just Won’t Leave

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

So it looks like Research Assistants weren’t so ready and willing to depart Guild Halls, despite yesterday’s hotfix. It looks like guilds did receive a refund, but the NPC is still on he list of Amenities and now counts against the number of amenities any guild can have. Fortunately, Rothgar has fixed the fix and we should expect it in the next scheduled hotfix.

Najena -> Unrest Servers Merge Tuesday

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Rothgar checked in with this announcement on the EQ2 Forums:

Monday morning will be a short maintenance in order to prepare for more upcoming mergers. The offical announcement should follow soon, but this should be a typical 7am downtime with 30-60 minute ETA.

Monday night at midnight we will begin our next merger with Unrest and Najena. Estimated downtime as with the last merger will be 24 hours but we hope to have servers up earlier. Several minor issues with the last merger have been fixed so we expect this one to go smoothly. We will do our best to keep you updated with the merger progress as it is happening.

Covic: Serious About Velious Armor Choices

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

After the launch of Sentinel’s Fate, players quickly noticed that a huge percentage of the level 81-90 gear had armor appearances from either the newbie islands, or level 40-49 armor sets, just recolored.

It turned out that new armor appearances had been built, but very few had been wired up, so most of the armor had placeholder appearances. It took at least a couple of months for another art build, and much work behind the scenes to get the situation resolved. Even still, there are considerable swaths of armor appearance choices which have remained limited.

Covic does not want a repeat of this and wants players to be genuinely impressed with the wide array of Velious armor options, with not simply re-textures and re-colors, but reworkings and new geometry (bolted-on pieces) to create truly unique appearances.

After the jump, his complete quote.

Cronyn Sinks Teeth into Vampire Lore

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

Ok, that was bad even by our standards… ;)

Anywho, Cronyn has put his two cents in on the Vampire Lore, to try to reaffirm that this isn’t just an afterthought to leverage other popular vampire franchises:

Heya folks! I thought I’d pop in here to help a bit.

So, I wanted to assure you that the lore for the vampires is indeed tied to bigger events and characters. The piece that was posted was mostly intended to be more of an overview, and was intentially more vague. I was hoping to get you all talking, and they start releasing more pieces fo the puzzle to have you work into your discussions. Unfortunately, it clearly did not work how I intended it to, and I apologize for that. What you see (and have surmised) is not the entirety of their origin, and there is more still to be told – I didn’t mean to give the impression that this was all you would be seeing.

Again, my apologies, everyone. I’ll try to fill in the blanks here sooner rather than later.

Thanks again, guys. You all are awesome.

AA (Alternate Advancement) Resetting on Login / Spending Point

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Since the most recent hotfix (and believed to be unrelated to the Server Merges), some players are reporting complete resets of their AA (Alternate Advancement) points each time they Log Out or Spend an AA point.

AA Mirrors to the Rescue

A workaround that some players have discovered is to use your AA mirror once and that apparently stabilizes the resets. If you don’t have an AA Mirror, you’ll need:

  • a reflective smoldering shard — drops off trash mobs in Sebilis; since few people rae farming Sebilis, these shards have skyrocketed from 1p each to 5-7p each on some servers
  • any tradeskiller of any class with 40k faction with either the Coalition of Tradesfolke or the Ironforge Exchange
  • a common location for you to meet, since it must be done via commission crafting (it’s NO TRADE not HEIRLOOM)
  • a house to place the item in

By the way, if you would like a website to help testing out AA setups, there is no finer website than Beetny’s EQ2 AA Calculator. It allows you to test out different ways of spending your points, and no cost to reset. :)

Also, if the “Are you sure you want to spend a point in XX ability?” prompts are about to get on your last nerve, go to your Options, make sure it’s set to Advanced and not Basic. Now navigate to User Interface -> Game Features and find the setting labeled “Confirm Alternate Achievements“.

Long Term Solution

SOE, specifically Rothgar, is aware of the issue, and some of the underlying causes and fixing this bug is a top priority for Monday or possibly Tuesday. In the meantime, use the workaround described above.

Guild Names, Mail, and Server Merges

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

While there were some interesting changes to how disputes over Character Names were handled in the first of these new Server Merges, Guild Names stuck with the original rules established long ago. During a Merge, if both servers have a guild of the same name, the one created first keeps its name, while the other receives an unceremonious “x” suffix.

While it has been a relatively smooth Server Merge between Blackburrow and Everfrost, it has been marred by some Guild and Player Name issues, other scheduled server downtime and maintenance, and some niggling issues with Mail.

More after the jump…

Unveiled: Revised Images & Info of Freeblood Race

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News

From EverQuest2.com:

We’ve got more info today about the new Freeblood playable vampire race that’s coming to EverQuest II! Read the initial lore story we shared yesterday at this link, then be sure to check back next week when we’ll have additional details and a new lore story that explains even more about this new race and its place in Norrath.

We also have some new screenshots to share, showing a variety of looks, and some of the special features available with the Freeblood. Because the nature of an MMO is ever-changing, we’re not necessarily done with the appearance of the vampires yet. There may be more adjustments and it’s still a work-in-progress, but we wanted to share a sample of the current state of the race’s female appearances.

One of the special features of the Freeblood is a Racial Trait, “Reveal Inner Self,” which lets the character change from attractive to demonic in appearance. Another Racial Trait, “Bloodletting,” grants a minor Lifetap spell to occasionally drain health from targeted enemies.

Editor’s Note: The highlighted section was added after publication.

Everfrost Players Not Receiving BG Tokens

Written by Feldon on . Posted in PvP/Battlegrounds

Everfrost players have reported that they are not receiving Battlegrounds tokens for either winning or losing Battlegrounds events, and also not receiving any updates on Battlegrounds Daily Quests. Rothgar has been made aware of the issue and it’s being looked into.

From the EQ2 Forums.

From Rothgar:

Ok, thank you for the info. It’s almost 11pm here tonight and there’s nothing we could do to fix it this late but I promise we will be on it first thing in the morning to determine the problem. Unfortunately its too early to tell if a fix will require a new build and downtime or something as simple as a configuration change.

I’ll keep you posted as I find out more information.

Covic: Building the Freebloods — New Screenshots Soon

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

Covic (Dave) on the EQ2 Forums, designer of the new Freebloods vampire race gives some insight into the design and issues:

I agree that most of our players want to have some freedom in customizing there characters. With the vampires I want there to be enough color options with eyes, hair and skin that players can get the unique look they want. When I make the color wheels for the custom colors I will have most of the color combos pointing to more of a dead look with greens and blues. But I dont want to take options from players that they might want.

New screens should be up soon. Still dialing in some polish and hair combos.

These are the first models that use normal maps instead of bump maps, the models are higher poly count then other character models but still within reason. The most time consuming task is getting outfits to fit on the new geo and the facial custom bone skinnning. But its all be worth the extra effort.

I will give more info about the models when the new screens are up. They are near completion but still doing some tweaks.

EverQuest2.com pulls Vampire screen shots

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

It looks like those EverQuest2.com Freeblood vampire screen shots we saw weren’t ready for prime time. SmokeJumper on the EQ2 Forums:

The screenshots that were released were not intended to be public-facing. Those have been taken down from the EQ2Players site and will be replaced with real shots soon.

Those screenshots were not approved. Real ones are coming later today that will hopefully reassure you that they’re cool.

He even went this far when asked why such awful screen shots saw the light of day:

I cannot disagree. Those shots should never have been published.

Character Name Cleanup Script Still Running

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Some characters still have x or xx after their name, despite meeting the qualifications necessary to NOT have those extra characters. Namely having the character with that name, with the longest playtime.

From Rothgar on the EQ2 Forums:

Our rename script was interrupted by the server maintenance last night, so every name conflict has not been resolved yet. We’ve restarted the script and the remaining name conflicts should be resolved in a couple of hours.

UPDATE:  the Character/Guild Name Cleanup Script has completed running. If you still have an issue or wish to dispute the name that was chosen for your guild or character, please open a /petition.

2 Days of Chat Channel and Login Snafus Caused by “Perfect Storm”

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

SmokeJumper and Rothgar have been weathering the storm of the Blackburrow -> Everfrost server merge, which knocked out in-game chat channels such as 1-9, 70-79, and cross-server chats on ALL servers for 24 hours, followed by 12 hours of an even deeper chat blackout on ALL servers, with guild chat, group chat, public channels, cross-server chat, login to SOE games, and even access to the SOE forums all intermittently interrupted.

Response on Where’s the EQ2X Marketing?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

So it was put forward that the Big Marketing Push for EQ2X that was promised for late summer never materialized. SmokeJumper tackled this one:

The decision was made to delay the marketing spend until January after the Christmas cage fights over banner slots and other advertising have died down a bit.

So…January now.

Vampire Race Was Originally to be SC-Only

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

SmokeJumper on the EQ2 Forums perhaps being too truthful:

It was basically the other way around and our announcement wasn’t very smooth. The [vampire] race was originally intended as a marketplace-only offering and then we decided to also create a way for players to get it as a promotion also.

The marketplace offering comes out sometime this month (it’s not done yet, so dates aren’t exact), but the winter promotion doesn’t end until Velious comes out, so that’s when we’ll give it away to those that want to wait for it.

Lemin summarized it thusly:

Frankly I don’t know which of the two announcements i find more deplorable, you actually come to the live servers and post you intended to add a race through the marketplace? You expect not to lose accounts over that? Quite a lot of people will find that this was your original intent an unforgivable betrayal giving it to us as a afterthought probably wont soothe these people.

to which SmokeJumper said:

I’m sorry that this bothers you, Lemin. But frankly, that offering breaks none of the rules we set for this marketplace on Live. And we are giving it away if you’re patient…and we decided to give it away before we told you about the race in the first place. I don’t see the issue here.

Since putting races on the Marketplace is something that has never been announced to the players until today’s ham-handed announcement, I’m not quite sure how we can compare it to any preconceived set of “rules”.

Freeblood Race in February (or Sooner)

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

Players have been wondering exactly how vampires are going to be sewn into the EQ2 storyline as a playable race. And some have wondered if any other medical conditions such as lycanthropy will make an appearance.

A new article has appeared on EverQuest2.com with Lore explaining the presence of the Freeblood vampire race and their place in Norrath. This article also includes teaser screen shots of the new Freeblood race.

Chat, Server and Session Maintenance – December 9, 2010

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

From the EQ2 Forums:

Beginning on Thursday, December 9th, at 1:00 am PST (9:00 GMT), the following SOE Services will be unavailable or interrupted while we undergo data center maintenance.

  • Chat Services
  • All Star Wars Galaxies Servers
  • All EQOA Servers
  • All PlanetSide Servers
  • All EQ servers
  • All Vanguard Servers
  • Session (Game Log-In)

We expect this maintenance to take approximately 11 hours, with a return to normal functionality around 12:00 pm PST. During this maintenance period, some game servers will not be accessible. During Session maintenance, some servers may remain online, but players who log out may not be able to log back in. This maintenance may also affect the ability to log into our forums.

We apologize for this interruption and will resume the affected services as soon as the maintenance is completed.

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