Here are your Hotfix Notes for February 25th, after the jump..
According to Brenlo on his Twitter, work continues on getting Battlegrounds up today. This is resulting in a longer than expected downtime.
Maintenance is running a little long. We are working on some network settings for the Battlegrounds.
We are restarting the servers and expect to have everything up and running about 10am PST.
The good news:
Battlegrounds are now enabled on Test and Test Copy.
The bad news:
Test is closed until Battlegrounds have passed their sanity checks and considered “ready to go live”. This may be Wednesday or Thursday. OUCH
It doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Folks on Test are used to things being broken, unstable, etc. They can always just NOT go to Battlegrounds if they are buggy. Posted on EQ2 Forums
Battlegrounds have slipped again to February 25th. From the EQ2 Forums.
Since we’ve stated in this thread that the Battlegrounds feature is launching on the 23rd with the digital launch, I’m updating here to say that we’re actually going to be pushing it back a few days to put a few extra anti-cheating measures in place.
The plan is for Thursday the 25th If there are any other updates, we’ll let you know!
The EQ2 Developers are looking for players to help load test the Battlegrounds over on Test Copy before putting them on live servers on the 23rd. Join developers in playtesting Battlegrounds at 2pm PST today, Friday Feb 19th.
We have received word that Battlegrounds have been delayed until February 23rd.
Alan “Brenlo” Crosby, Senior Producer of EverQuest II has posted this Producer’s Letter:
Happy Valentine’s Day All!
Here we are, perched on the precipice of another big launch for our beloved game, EQII. Next week is a big week for us and for you, the players of this grand game. You will finally be able to log into the new areas of Odus and explore, level and play in the new area that the team has spent nearly a year putting together. Characters can now advance to level 90 as adventurers and tradeskillers. More items, more spells, more AA’s and we hope lots more fun.
As many have noticed, Halas is not going out with the expansion, many have asked why and the reasoning is twofold. We have three pretty decent starting areas already. Darklight, Greater Faydark and Timorous Deep. We know they are not perfect and so the team has done considerable work in reworking those areas, streamlining the progress path to make for a better experience. We believe that you will find the experience in those zones to be far better than it had been. So, we went to work on higher level content for this launch, which we have with the expansion content and the new Battlegrounds.
Additionally we really want new Halas to be something special. We want more time to polish the area and make sure the progression path is fun and smooth. We also hope to get kilts in there. Currently we are looking to have Halas out with the Halas Reborn update later in the year.
With this release, we are proud to open up the Pre-Season of EQII Battlegrounds. Three zones will be available, each with a different playstyle. They will have progression and items and we hope add a whole new element of fun to the game. Unfortunately we didn’t quite get as many players as we had hoped on the server to give it a proper test, so we are going to use this pre-season phase to iron out any kinks and tweak the balance a bit more beyond the testing phase. When we are ready, we will begin Season 1 and the mayhem will begin in earnest. You will be able to work towards the new Chaos Armor during the pre-season, which might be the best looking armor we have added to the game.
With a game like EQII, it is evergrowing and everchanging, on occasion we find the need to adjust items, spells etc. . . and some mythicals had their power reduced with the release of the expansion. With each launch, we have to look at the items released previously and decide if they are perhaps too high to encourage players to look for upgrades. EQII is, at its core, a game driven by itemization. The constant desire to get the next biggest, baddest piece of gear. So on occasion we have to make some difficult decisions. This was one of them. For those who feel their mythical was devalued, I offer my apologies.
Next Tuesday is the retail head start, so to get you all ready, we are turning on Bonus XP from now until the servers come down for the update Tuesday morning. I hope you all login and enjoy. We look forward to seeing you on the Battlegrounds and running around Odus. Mostly, we thank you for playing EQII.
Alan “Brenlo” Crosby
Senior Producer EQII
Didn’t I promise the Battlegrounds news would slow down? Oh well…
In response to concerns that 6 vs. 6 is too few players to set up an adequate defense in the Battlefield of Ganak: Capture the Flag Battlegrounds scenario, the number of players is being changed to 12 vs. 12.
This should also hopefully address the issues of spawn camping (AoE root/nuke players as soon as they revive). as a defense perimeter can be setup to protect your allies.
Download the EQ2 Battlegrounds Promo Video
Justin did a fantastic job on this Battlegrounds video and it’s one of the better EQ2 promos I’ve seen. You may remember he also did the stunning GU54: Will of a Tyrant video (Download in HD) which got a lot of positive comments on different forums. It’s nice to see promotional materials that do a great job selling the game. Hopefully we’ll see more like this!
Ok I promise we are not renaming this site to EQ2BattlegroundsWire. We’ve had a lot of news about them lately, but we will be getting back into the PvE side of things with Grouping and Raiding very soon!
There has been some talk on the EQ2 Forums both in PvP circles and elsewhere, in the Beta forums, not to mention EQ2 Flames, with a lot of concerns about how fairness is going to play out in the Battlegrounds. There have been suggestions that people will exploit and game the system as a stepping stone to progress further in raiding. I am not taking sides in this, but so far I am reasonably happy that these issues are being watched like a hawk.
Parts 1 and 2 of what should probably be a 2 part post.
What are Battlegrounds?
Battlegrounds is a new feature launched on February 25, 2010. Battlegrounds are a Player vs. Player (PvP) environment which take place on a completely separate server from the regular PvE and PvP servers. It roughly coincided with the release of Sentinel’s Fate (Feb 16) and Game Update 55.
Each of the 3 Battlegrounds have their own unique Token. These tokens can be spent at the Battlegrounds Merchant in Qeynos Harbor or North Freeport. Multiple tokens from different zones are required to buy items.
Just by participating in a Battleground, you will earn at least 1 token. If you are the winning team, you will earn 3 tokens.
In addition, there are 2 Battlegrounds quests available for each of the 3 Battlegrounds zones. Don’t forget to pick these up before joining up!
How Do I Join a Battleground?
To join a Battleground, press Alt-Z to bring up the Zones window. Select the Battlegrounds tab. Click to view the Battlegrounds Window. You can choose one of the 3 zones presented in the list:
- Battlefield of Ganak (Capture the Flag: 12 vs 12)
- Gears of Klak’anon (Protect the Relic: 6 vs 6)
- Smuggler’s Den (Hold the Fort: 24 vs 24)
or you may choose First Available.
If you are already in a group or raid, you can click Queue Group or Queue Raid to bring your pre-made group or raid over to the Battleground. Otherwise, you can click Queue Self and jump into a pickup group.
When the zone becomes available, you will be prompted to join the Battleground.
What Happens Next?
As soon as you accept the prompt, you are immediately logged out of your main game server and whisked away to the Battlegrounds server. Your group (or raid) is assembled on either the Red team or Blue team and off you go!
You are now operating under a PvP ruleset. This can substantially change how your gear works on Battlegrounds vs. your regular server. You can look at how your gear will behave in PvP by clicking the [X] PvP checkbox on the examine window. The duration of your stun/stifle/mez/root spells is substantially reduced. And you may not use any sort of Evac/Escape ability.
You may not speak to the opposing party or any other public chat such as Out-of-Character, Shout, or level chat.
Capture the Flag (Battlefield of Ganak)
In Capture the Flag, you are naturally trying to bring the opposing team’s flag to your home base. To do this, you simply run up to the flag of the opposing side and your character will grab it and carry it around.
You cannot score unless your team’s own flag is safe and secure in your home base. With the change to 12 vs 12, if you coordinate your strategy, you can set up a defense perimeter of 2-3 players to guard the flag, 1-2 players trying to get the flag, and then the other 7 players involved in skirmishes in the center of the playing field.
The first team to successfully capture and return three flags wins.
Protect the Relic (Gears of Klak’anon)
Acquire and hold the relic to accrue points faster than the opposition. The team with the higher number of points at the end of the time limit wins.
Hold the Fort
Gain control of the five spires which jut out over the raging ocean and hold your position longer than the opposition!
At the End of a Battle
When a Battlegrounds encounter concludes (either the prerequisite number of points have been reached, or the timer runs out), all characters are teleported to their home bsae and rooted in position. A scoreboard appears show how both teams did.
After approximately 30 seconds, the Battleground closes and you are returned to your place of origin.
We are currently working on a complete guide to the Battlegrounds armor and weapons.
At launch, Battlegrounds is restricted to level 80-90 with Battlegrounds armor at a minimum level of 90. It is intended for Battlegrounds to have rewards added so that Battlegrounds are open to players from level 10-90.
We’ve seen some screen shots on the web of the Battlegrounds armor, but it’s been pretty low quality images. We took some images with the maximum graphic settings. This is the most detailed armor EQ2 has seen yet!
One surprising aspect of the Battlegrounds is that each of the 3 Battlegrounds zones give different tokens. The Battlegrounds merchants (now parked in Qeynos Harbor and North Freeport) require 30-40 tokens from at least TWO different zones to buy each item.
More after the jump…
As of 3:15pm PST (6:15pm EST), the Test Copy server is being rebooted for testing Battlegrounds. From the EQ2 Forums:
Battlegrounds are up on Test and Test-Copy!! Teams who win their matches between 5 and 8pm PST every day that the BG’s are up for testing will get an awesome battlegrounds cloak for their characters!
As a special Battlegrounds event, several members of the SOE staff will be available for match-ups on Thursday, February 11th from 4 until 6pm PST.
Our SOE teams will play anyone who wants to challenge us and (if you beat us!) the winners will receive a special in-game title after the event!
So make sure you head on over to Test and Test-Copy to practice and we’ll see you Thursday!!
Battlegrounds have been activated on the Test Copy server and we’d like to see people starting to join as soon as possible.
We will be re-enabling the /testcopy command today, so if you aren’t on this server, go ahead and queue yourself up.
We expect a lot of people requesting a copy, so it might take a little time to get everyone moved over.
Expect bugs and expect crashes so if you notice something out-of-place please report it to us using the /bug or /feedback command.
To access battlegrounds, press Alt-Z (the old Zone Reuse window). The first tab should allow you to select a match and queue yourself or your group.
NOTE: Some players are reporting crashes with EQ2Maps and Battlegrounds. For the time being you may need to uninstall EQ2Maps and use the default UI.
So far, we’ve spotted a dozen individuals who seem particularly interested in player’s triumphs and exploits in the Battlegrounds.
- The Tinmizer’s Tinkerers want you to straighten things out in the Gears of Klak’anon
- The Pirates of Gunthak want to hear of your conquests in Smuggler’s Den
- The Iksar want to know when you will next face the challenges of the Battlefield of Ganak
Each camp offers 2 different quests for their Battlegrounds zone — defeat other players, or complete the scenario.
Qeynos Harbor seems to be the quest hub for good characters wishing to participate in Battlegrounds. Those of the evil persuasion can find these tasks in North Freeport.