On Beta: Game Update 66 Notes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, PvP/Battlegrounds, Raiding, Tradeskill


Logo Mockup by EQ2Wire

In addition to the new content in Game Update 66, which hits Beta today and will go live on April 30th, there are numerous class tweaks. But instead of class balance (although there is some of that), the overriding theme of the class improvements in this update could best be summed up as “What Bugs Your Class Most?” All those things about your class that drive you crazy, like having to be directly behind the mob to use your biggest hits as a Dirge, or having to be exactly 5 meters from the mob to do both your Melee and Ranged CAs as a Ranger.

Read over the notes and give us your take. Are these great, long overdue changes, or does it almost go too far, making things a little too convenient? As a Ranger, I’m excited about the changes, but will I become even lazier now that I can stand pretty much anywhere in the room and do my maximum DPS? I certainly applaud a number of the changes which were things that “didn’t make sense” which have now been fixed.

After the jump, Game Update 66′s Beta Notes

EQ2 Team Seeks Feedback Class Spell/CA Improvements

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Raiding

Even the most jaded player must admit that the EQ2 team have spent a lot of time in the last 18 months tweaking and balancing the classes, both in PvP and PvE situations. Every class in EQ2 now has a role to play, and the tools necessary to play that role, even if that role may not be the most engaging or fun to play.

On Friday, Mike “Xelgad” Ganz, EQ2′s Mechanics Lead, posted threads in each of the Class forums seeking feedback not for further balancing, but what tweaks could be done to make each class less tedious and more enjoyable to actually play. This message was posted on the EQ2 forums under the Priests, Mages, Scouts, and Fighters subforums:

We’re requesting focused feedback on the current state of each class. We’re particularly interested in suggestions on how to make the classes more enjoyable, such as improving tedious abilities to be more user-friendly. Balance issues are always a concern, but numbers tend to spotlight those issues, while it’s easy to overlook problems that simply make the classes less fun than they should be.

We do read your normal forum feedback, but we have had the most success with feedback during betas and in the testing forum. However, it’s difficult to address existing class issues when the focus is on new additions. The idea here is to put the focus on the classes as they exist on live, including everything from the new Prestige Abilities to the spells and combat arts granted at early levels. We’re going to close this thread at the end of next week, but we’ll do more focus feedback threads if they are successful. The goal is to get some improvements to live with the next game update.

Thanks!

How Sleeper’s Tomb was Tested and Delivered On-Time

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, DGC Wants Feedback, Grouping, Raiding

In the weeks or months leading up to a new Game Update or Expansion, players have come to expect the familiar call to Testers to try out new Group or Raid content. Sometimes a specific schedule is posted, with developer chaperones to monitor player reaction to encounters, zone design, and so forth. At other times, testing as at-your-own pace. Either way, Bug Reports are collected and placed in a queue to be fixed at some future date.

If any “show stopping” bugs occurred during this Testing, such as a boss that would not spawn or could not be defeated, or a door or gateway which would not activate, the testing session would end prematurely with the feeble hope that players would return the next night to make another go of it. Even if many of those players could find time in their schedule to test again, this shortcoming has led to less enthusiasm for testing and a diminishing pool of testers.

Achievements Reporting Bug Stomp

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance

Ok folks, let’s get those bugged Achievements fixed before the next expansion! If you have done all the tasks necessary to complete an Achievement, but it did not register, please visit the link below and post a report on the bugged achievement!

From Gninja on the EQ2 Forums:

I will be going throguh this list over the next few days in an attempt to get most of these fixed with the expansion release. If you know of any achievements that are not listed in this thread and are not currently updating please just post the name of the achievement in this thread. The less said in the post the better, I just need to know the name and I can investigate it from there.

Thanks again for everyone’s help with these!

SOE Asks: Supporting Returning Players and ideas for Refer-a-Friend?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

From Windstalker on the EQ2 Forums:

Howdy Norrathians!

The team has been brainstorming ideas that would ease the re-entry back into the game and soften the learning curve for returning players as well as creative options for a Refer-a-Friend program.

  • What would float your boat if you are, or were, a returning player at some point? Creative suggestions?
  • And do you have ideas that would make you excited to not just refer a friend, but play with them too?

Post your thoughts and ideas here. Answer one or both if you like!

Quickies: Sleeper’s Tomb Bonus Named, White Shards, and Beta Copies

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance

Some players exploring the heroic version of the Sleeper’s Tomb will encounter a chance named “The Overseer”. But instead of dropping armor or weapons, he drops equally valuable Tradeskill Raid materials. As posted by Kander:

The Overseer is a bonus named, if you spawn him. He only drops TS components.

As to why the Sleeper’s Tomb does not reward white Velious shards, Kander again:

This instance is linked to the storylines for Chains of Eternity. It will not have shards from Velious. It is 500 or 600 years in the past.
Lots of other instances to run to get shards.

Beta Copy

Finally if you tried to get a character copied over to Beta in the few days before Sleeper’s Tomb opened, you probably ran into difficulties. Turns out, this is because the old /beta copy function, which feeds a copy of your character into an hourly “transfer queue”, has been retired in place of a nearly real time transfer. Now, when you /beta copy, your character will appear on Beta in about 10-15 seconds.

Let the Sleeper’s Tomb Testing Begin! Group & Raid Zone

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Raiding

This month will see the introduction of the Sleeper’s Tomb group and x4 raid zones. So when can players test these zones? Oh, really any time.

Some astute players noticed late last week that the EQ2 Beta server was accessible from the Launchpad. We received confirmation last week that the Test Copy server was morphing into the Beta server. That’s great, but there was no clarification or announcement of whether anything was ready to be tested. Until today…

From Gninja:

Currently the beta server has the next update on it (Prelude). It has been getting some focused testing in preparation for going live. If you would like to check it out feel free to log in over there copy a character over and check it out. You can find the entrance in the Pit of Awakened in Eastern Wastes. As far as expansion content that content has not been added to the beta server as of yet.

Get ready to Tweet with Members of the EQII Dev Team

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

UPDATE: The hash tag for EQ2 Developer responses has changed from #EQIITweetChat to #EQ2Dev.

From EverQuest2.com:

On Thursday, August 23, members of the EverQuest II development team will be answering player questions in our first-ever Tweet Chat. Visit Twitter or Tweet Chat and follow the hashtag for your game to see the responses to player questions (#EQ2Dev for EverQuest II). The chat time is:

5:30-6:00 pm PDT* – EverQuest II (#EQ2Dev)

Players can submit questions through the EverQuest II Facebook page or by Tweeting to @everquestii through 12:00 pm PDT* on Wednesday, August 22.

Facebook/Twitter EQ2 Developer “Chat” – Submit Questions Aug 20th

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Live Events

From the EQ2 Forums:

On Monday, August 20, there will be threads on the EverQuest and EverQuest II Facebook pages where you can leave your question. We will select a handful of questions, and the developers will answer them during the Tweet Chat!

On Thursday, August 23, developers of EverQuest and EverQuest II, as well as Dave “Smokejumper” Georgeson, Director of Development, will be taking to Twitter to answer your questions about the game!

Stay tuned for more details!

On Test: Goblin Games for StationCash

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Daybreak Cash, DGC Wants Feedback

Those Goblin Game Tickets we heard about are now available on the StationCash marketplace on the Test server. It looks like the ticket is only consumed after you succeed at one of the three mini-games and receive one of the prizes. Thus far, the prizes seem to be run-of-the-mill StationCash items.

From the EQ2 Test Forums:

Now in the Test server marketplace, under the Goblin Games category, you can buy a Gigglegibber Glockenspiel for 100SC which will allow you to play one of three games. You recieve a prize everytime you win, selected at random from the following list:

Game Update 64: Qeynos Rises Comes to Test

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

Game Update 64 “Qeynos Rises” has arrived on Test and Test Copy and the Notes for this update have been posted on the EQ2 forums. GU64 is expected to hang around on Test for about a month before going to the Live servers.

Among a number of other changes, GU64 sees Qeynos rebuilt as two zones. North and South Qeynos become the Capital District, Elddar Grove and Qeynos Harbor become the Provinces. Changes to Battlegrounds, PvP, and Fighters are all headlines, with the curious change that Plane of War has been opened to all.

GU64 Fighter Changes Coming to Test

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

Xelgad (by way of Ashlanne) has posted some additional information about the upcoming Fighter changes that come with Game Update 64. But first, Piestro has some comments about rushing to judgment:

Obviously this is a change that we knew people would be passionate about. Of course until people see the actual changes any evaluation of their impact is premature. The best way to move forward is to write down your concerns, and then formulate a test plan based on those concerns. That will give you the best possible start to actually testing the changes, and seeing what their actual impacts are.

And now that overview of the Fighter changes in GU63 from the EQ2 Forums:

Greetings everyone, Xelgad here! I’d like to explain some of the changes to our fighter archetype that you will be seeing on the Test Server soon.

Smedley Acknowledges Voice Chat Issues

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

Although MMO players who desire voice chat have always had the option of third party voice chat services such as TeamSpeak and Ventrilo, their offerings have always stood behind daunting licensing terms and high monthly fees. In mid-2008, SOE sought to give players an in-house option: free in-game voice chat provided by Vivox.

The Vivox service has had its ups and downs, but we can only assume that it is widely used. Sometimes, a certain amount of fiddling with firewall or sound card settings has been required, or a cycle of leaving and re-joining channels to force a connection, Vivox has worked reasonably well for players and guilds who can forgive its less-than-99.99% reliability.

However since the end of May, a growing number of players have faced a consistent connection problem with the service which have not been resolved with repeated disconnect-reconnect cycles and reboots. A thread posted to the EQ2 forums “Cannot join voice channels” has already reached five pages in length. To help steer players who are experiencing this same problem to the easily overlooked Support area, our own Dethdlr created a linking thread “Voice Chat Issues?

On Test: Dungeon Maker Play as Self (Level Agnostic Play)

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Grouping, PvP/Battlegrounds

Dungeon Maker “Play as a Character” has arrived on Test for the second time, but with a totally new Level Agnostic mechanic that turns the concept of Mentoring on its ear, by interactively adjusting the damage and heals of grouped characters in real time. The claim is, that a level 30 and level 92 will be able to group together, heal, buff, and do DPS effectively. And careful reading of the June Update indicates that Battlegrounds will soon inherit the same Level Agnostic mechanic, so proper testing of this functionality on Test is a good idea.

From Maevianiu on the EQ2 Forums:

Hello!

We just added playing as your character in Dungeon Maker, but it is with a twist! Dungeon Maker dungeons are now “Level Agnostic” as in your level doesn’t matter much when in there. Players who are any level can group with players of any other level and fight side by side against the same monsters!

June Update Plans — SOEmote, Play As Yourself in DM, Quest NPC Targets

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

From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale on the EQ2 Forums:

Another month has zipped by already!

We wanted to wait until after E3 to share a few more details about what we’re up to and what’s coming up this month.

By now you may have heard about the SOE corporate initiative called SOEmote(tm) that will launch in EQII later this month. SOEmote uses a webcam and microphone to project your facial expressions, including talking and voice, onto your character in real time! It’s used in groups and also allows you to broadcast to your guild, almost like a webcast. We’re all excited to see this launch and how you use it. If you want to share your shananigans, the YouTube recording option is now in the EQII Share window.

Player Poll Results: 65% Favor Self-Rez, Health, Power Potions for Solo play

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Daybreak Cash, DGC Wants Feedback, Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

From EverQuest2.com:

In our last in-game poll, we asked players what they thought of us selling health, power, and self-rez potions for solo, group, and raid players.

The results are in! Overall, for all items, there was an average of 65% support for the solo versions in all three categories (and, in fact, there was only a minor variance in the percentages for each item). Group and Raid items averaged at 55%.

As we saw with the EQ2X (Freeport) server, where we sold similar items, these types of items help the solo player have fun while adventuring alone. We also added limitations to these items so they will not affect group or raid players.

Starting on Friday, May 18, 2012, you will see the solo health, power, and self-rez items for sale in the marketplace! These items will be found in the Consumable category, under Combat Skills.

EQ2Talk Interviews Holly “Windstalker” Longdale

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Daybreak Cash, DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Tradeskill

From EQ2Talk.com:

Episode #44 – Wind Power

recorded on Apr 14

EQ2 Talk is excited to bring you Holly “Windstalker” Longdale, EverQuest 2 Producer. We asked her some of the burning questions about mechanics, dungeon finder, the in-game polls, and EQ2 Players. She also gives us a closer look at what the team has in store for players in GU63, offers some insight into the 2-level increase, explains a bit about prestige abilities, and talks about the team’s goals looking ahead.

We’ve listened to Episode #44 and here are a few gems:

  • We may get some more detailed information on the breakouts for certain In-Game Poll questions, but providing detailed numbers on some of the questions would possibly provide information to competitors. We may see a future poll with more detailed questions about StationCash “power” items breaking out the use of power items in groups vs. raids.
  • Only your FIRST poll entry on your account “counts”. The number of character alts you have does not determine how many “votes” you get.

Windstalker: April Update Recap for EverQuest II

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Live Events

From the EQ2 Forums comes a recap of what we can expect in April. With the exception of a Double XP weekend over Easter, there’s little  new to of note except some vague comments about bug fixes. And no word on DOV Dungeon Timers being Reduced to 90 Minutes, which was promised for March.

Here are the April Update Plans for EverQuest II!

The Skyshrine update (GU 63) is taking the lion’s share of the team’s focus right now (launching in mid-April), but other things are still happening as we continue to smash bugs, improve systems, and look to the future of EQII!

The team is busy reviewing GU 63 feedback and making tweaks, fixing bugs, and still adding new goodies to the content – and there is a LOT of it – one of the biggest ever done on EQII! I want to say a big “Thank You” to the community too. We’re very grateful for the support and constructive feedback we’ve been getting on the Test Copy server and forums and ask that you not stop now! During this month we’ll be doing interviews and giving detail on what is being added to this monstrous update because there is plenty to say. The more we see the final touches the team is doing, the more excited we all get!

Holly “Windstalker” Longdale

On Test: Dungeon Maker Avatars Getting ‘Power’

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Grouping

As we reported last night, Dungeon Maker Avatars (the limited NPCs we’re supposed to ‘drive’ through player-made dungeons) will be getting a new mechanic where combat builds power, which unlocks more powerful abilities, akin to the Savagery and Primal abilities introduced with Beastlords.

From Bunji on the EQ2 Forums:

Hello Testers!

Changes to the Dungeon Maker Avatars are headed to test and we definitely want your feedback!

Please feel free to post bug reports and feedback in this thread, though remember that you can also /feedback and /bug.

As for the changes, our goal has been to improve the pace of play, remove reliance on auto-attack, add some strategic decision making, and, overall, make the avatar play experience a lot more fun. To that end, we’ve introduced a power-management mechanic to the avatars. In short, power will rapidly drain while out of combat. While in combat, each avatar has a quick-use, low-damage attack that also builds power. This will allow the use of various high-power, high-affect abilities once power has been built up. It’s a pretty significant change and will almost certainly require some tweaks before going live so please be as detailed as possible in your feedback.

We’ll try to keep this thread up to date with a list of known issues as they come to our attention.

Thanks for your help!

So far there hasn’t been any further word on playing your own characters in Dungeon Maker dungeons, which has been possible on Test for over a week now.

SOE Lays Out Plans Leading Up to April’s Game Update 63

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Live Events

After getting called to the carpet for a revised Game Update schedule that won’t see new level 90 content coming to EQ2 until April, nearly 9 months since last year’s Game Update 61, SOE has laid out a gameplan for February events.

From EverQuest2.com:

February Publish Plans – More to Play, Your Way!

February is here already, and the team is hard at work on Game Update 63! We’ll have some “behind the scenes” videos for you in the coming weeks to give you a sneak peek at the art of some of the exciting new zones coming up, and more information will follow between now and then.

In the mean time however, there’s plenty of new stuff to do in the world of Norrath, and we’re not waiting for the Game Update to bring you some of the improvements and changes we have in store. Here are some of the things we intend to bring you in the month of February!

Love is in the Air

Erollisi Day quests and events will be available from February 7th through 20th.

Dungeon Maker Adventurers to Gain Powerups

Dungeon Maker is becoming even more more fun, as we improve Adventurer gameplay to provide a more active game style using power management! While playing as an Adventurer, you’ll use certain abilities to build up your power, which you can then spend to use other abilities. This should give Adventurers a much more engaging playstyle that we hope everyone will enjoy! This change will be heading to Test server shortly so you can try it out yourself and give us your feedback before we finalize the changes. We hope you enjoy them as much as we are!

In-Game Polls to Arrive as Mail

We now have the ability to send you polls through the in-game mail system, and as promised, we’ll be seeking your feedback on a number of topics of interest. Poll questions will arrive in your mailbox like normal letters, and you can simply delete them if you don’t want to answer; however, we hope you’ll take the time to let us know what you think and how we can continue to improve your experience! We’re looking forward to testing out this new feature and hope that it will be a great source of information.

Read more at EverQuest2.com.

Gninja: Mercs Shouldn’t Dominate PvP

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, PvP/Battlegrounds

At last year’s Fan Faire, Leko, champion of PvP balance, stood up after Mercenaries were announced and asked “Will Mercenaries work in PvP?” and then a series of questions about how they would be balanced, tested, etc. Well…better late than never. :)

From Gninja:

While I can’t really address everything being said in this post right now I can say we have been taking a look and we have a plan on how to make mercs not quite as overpowered in PVP combat as they are currently. Once we get the fix in place and we can accurately test it I can lay out the plan for you guys.

If you die to a merc you should not take damage to your gear. This will be addressed asap and we should be getting some power tweaks for them out to you as we can.

Breaking: Critical Mitigation Removed!!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Raiding

In what may go down as the best decision in EQ2 history, or a total overreaction to a problem that could have been solved with a 15-20% reduction across the board, Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson has announced that in the very near future, the Critical Mitigation stat will be COMPLETELY GOING AWAY.

First introduced in The Shadow Odyssey, greatly expanded in Sentinel’s Fate, and then becoming the most important stat within Destiny of Velious as an alternative form of progression to raising the level cap (which is technologically challenging), here’s the announcement of this revelation from the EQ2 Forums:

We’ve listened to all of your conversations since Critical Mitigation was originally introduced. The dev team has extensively debated about it internally. (Very extensively.) But ultimately, we decided that the right move for EQII is to remove Critical Mitigation entirely from the game.

Critical Mitigation initially seemed to do what it was designed for, but it has always suffered from a complete lack of intuitiveness for players, and it’s not a forward-extensible system. Ultimately, it doesn’t add any fun factor to the game.
So we’ve decided that a complete removal of it is by far the best solution for all concerned.

This Week in EQ2: January 1-7, 2012

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Daybreak Cash, DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Tradeskill

First I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all of you. No doubt many took advantage of the Double XP weekend and squeezed in the last bit of Frostfell magic.

In the coming weeks, we should be hearing more from EQ2 developers and their work on the upcoming Game Update 63 coming in February. This update is expected to include new Destiny of Velious content, including dungeons, raids, and more.

Here are some issues we’re tracking this week, some of which got a nod from a developer or community:

  • Character Lighting
  • EQ2Players
  • Invisible Mercenary Healers
  • Timorous Deep (Kunark) client crashes
  • Tradeskill Apprentice Recipes for Provisioners
  • Characters Stuck in Frostfell
  • Character Transfer Server Tokens
  • What House Items do you want?

On Test: New Mercenaries, Tweaks to TS Apprentices

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance

Test Update Notes from the EQ2 Forums:

DUNGEON MAKER

  • Mystic Guardian avatar for Dungeon Maker has had the zombie scare attack changed.
  • Fixed an issue with avatar power consumption rates. (also on Live as of Dec 22nd)

MERCENARIES

  • Ten new mercenaries can be found within the major cities of Norrath. This includes Freeport, Qeynos, Neriak, Gorowyn, New Halas, and Kelethin!
  • Gaeri Tallspire [Warlock] and Firus Scorchtouch [Wizard] have returned to their normal hangout and can once again be hired! They have been rebalanced a bit to do less spike damage but in some cases might do more DPS on sustained battles! Gaeri is now more encounter based where as Firus is more single target based damage.

SmokeJumper Hints at New Initiatives, Talks Player Feedback

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Expansion News

On last night’s EQ2Talk Podcast, Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson shared his thoughts about the importance of player feedback. We provide a transcription of the segment from 7:55~12:15.

In the past, we’ve been a little heavy handed on a few things. I admit that. We’re trying to be really serious this year about getting you guys [all the players]  involved in a lot of stuff. Traditionally, the game has been… you know we try to communicate on the forums, but you know what the forums are like. It’s a challenge. The trolls enjoy their game. And it’s tough to fight them because if you pay attention [to them], you lose. The forums are tough to get really good feedback from so we have to rely on things like Fan Faires and talking to people individually and Customer Service Reports and those sorts of things.

That’s why I want to start putting in in-game polls. I suspect that there’s a lot of really good information, a lot of opinions we’re not hearing at all. [To Dellmon:] You’re a broadcaster, so you’re familiar with the concept that if somebody calls you, you have to figure there’s a hundred or a thousand other people with the exact same opinion out there, but didn’t bother to call. There’s a lot of people out there that are basically not voting.

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