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.

EQ2: Age of Discovery Beta OPENS to Fan Faire Attendees Tonight

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

One tantalising bit of information from tonight’s AoD/F2P Webcast was that the Age of Discovery Beta may start allowing Fan Faire attendees in tonight. It’s unknown how quickly others will be brought into the beta.

Also, we were told that while Beastlords, the Freeport Revamp (a GU62 feature), Mercenaries, Tradeskill Apprentices, and Reforging would be in the Beta now (or soon), Design Your Own Dungeon won’t hit Beta until next week, to focus testing attention on the previously mentioned features.

UPDATE: We have it on good authority that Fan Faire attendees are now receiving invites to the Age of Discovery Beta. Hey! No peeking at my Inbox!

On Test: Pathing Changes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

Enemies in EQ2 have always tended to exhibit some odd behavior such as running long distances or zig-zagging around a room in an attempt to reach the player. Destiny of Velious greatly exacerbated this problem, causing enemies to “orbit” the player, or worse, warp or teleport around. Because raid mobs are often able to ignore certain movement speed limitations, this has been a major problem in certain raid zones that require the tank to slowly keep the mob moving in a circle around a room. The mobs will teleport on top of the tank, or start to orbit clockwise around the tank. This has ranged from amusing to maddening for tanks.

Last month, some changes were pushed to the Test and Test Copy servers in an attempt to improve enemy “pathing”. Alas, these changes increased the occurrence of “orbiting” mobs and pets and other undesirable behavior.

It looks like we’re ready for another attempt as this note was posted by Bunji on the test forums:

The updated pathing has been turned back on for the Test servers.

These pathing updates should make ground mobs take more accurate routes to their targets.

With the old pathing, mobs would sometimes zig-zag toward their target (instead of moving in a more direct route) or sometimes run up walls (that PCs couldn’t) to get to their target, but this pathing should force mobs to take more direct routes to their targets while respecting the same geometry rules PCs do.

Ground mobs can still drop down from heights to get to their targets.

Also, the fix for mobs “circling” around the PC sometimes while in combat should be fixed on the current Test server build.

Please check it out and let us know what you think.

20 Words or Less: Sum Up Your PvP Complaints

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds

From Rothgar on the EQ2 Forums:

What are your current concerns with the state of PvP in EQ2?

Separation of PvP/PvE stats?
PvP Mechanics?
Warfronts?
Battlegrounds?
Flying Mounts?
Population?
Something else?

Feel free to prioritize them in a list such as the one above.

Rothgar‘s thread has also served as a great literacy test. Most players have responded with novel-length feedback.

Silius Responds to “State of the GU” Request

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

After a growing silence about key parts of Game Update 61, specifically unexpected mechanics and itemization changes in high level gear, SalimSiliusGrant, EQ2 Mechanics Lead, has stepped up and provided a detailed response to the issues as laid out so well by a determined player, Nevao in a thread entitled May we have a “State of the GU” post?

Responses from Silius are in red:

  • Itemization Changes
    Tier 3 to T8 revamp? Last time I checked there were still reports of items with insanely out of whack stats given the tier (mid-tier items with 40+ weapon skills for example) and items that were previously open to multiple classes now restricted to just a few (either directly or through stats). Where are we on this and are the devs happy with where it’s going?
  • Stat values are being tweaked and fixed when we find the bugs.
  • The goal of reitemize was to make items relevent to our current mechanics. This means that items will become polarized to the more archetypical setup we use now.

On Test: Gninja Talks to Players, Tackles Reitemization Bugs

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

Moments ago, we spoke with Gninja on Test, who has been working hard on spot-checking and fixing any gaps in the Reitemization of level 20-80 items. He’s also been talking to players, examining linked items, and checking bug reports. He also linked some of the loot from Dynamic Dungeons and some higher level items which have gotten new effects.

From the EQ2 Forums:

If you have specific examples [of itemization issues] please PM them to us. We can take alook at them on a case by case basis. I should also be available on the test server looking for feedback/issues in the next day or two. Thanks for the work you guys have put into it thus far!

I also ask that you make sure they are still a valid issue before sending the info as we have caught a bunch of the issues and already pushed them to test server with the fixes applied.

Not Giving Away the Store on Veteran Rewards, Plus Test vs. Test Copy

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), Game Updates & Maintenance

It was easy to interpret SmokeJumper‘s suggestion that StationCash purchases could count as “time” towards Veteran Rewards and, taken to its logical conclusion, allow players on EQ2X or even Live to “buy” Veteran time. However this is not what he meant! Here’s a clarification:

Veteran subscribers that have been here forever have already received their rewards. That would be a “no” for [taking previous time into account]. We’d only give them “backlog” credits from the last vet reward time to now.

But for EQ2X’ers, you’ve never received credit, so you’d get credits as far back as August last year when we launched if you’ve been here that whole time.

There are many details to work out before we implement however, so I should stop throwing out details. We may want to change our minds about some things.

SmokeJumper Hints at Veteran Rewards System and Testing Rewards

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

SmokeJumper mentioned changes to the Veteran Rewards system at Fan Faire and touched on them further today on the EQ2 Forums:

I can’t get you a solid ETA yet, but yes, we’ll have a revamp coming. The design is outlined and we’re committed to the concept.

Basically, we’ll make a system by which you get a token or credit (or something) every day that you play (for subscribers, including Gold & Plat) and other metrics (for Silver & Bronze folks). Then we’ll create a category of things which are “veteran rewards” that all have costs associated with them. You can buy any of them after you accumulate enough credit.

There’s lots of fun stuff we can do with a system like this. That’s just the basics. It’s something we’ve needed to do for a while now and we’ll get to it as soon as we can after the big November release.

Naladini made a suggestion about spending StationCash on EQ2X:

Spend XX in SC, and it counts as an active month towards the point system.

SmokeJumper‘s response, along with mention of rewards for Testing content:

This is probable. We’ll probably also develop an incentive program for players that help us test features before release on Test-Copy. That would all tie into the same rewards system.

Contents Under Test Part 1: GU61 Itemization, Class Tweaks, House Rating

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

As we reach August’s midway point, we are potentially in the “home stretch” on Game Update 61. If internal schedules hold true, we could see the next update pushed to live servers in 2 weeks. This is usually the point where player anxiety levels are highest, as what’s on Test seems  incomplete and not ready for prime time. Although it’s a well-worn cycle, the question is always “Will it be ready?” Will 2 weeks of dev crunch time result in a solid Game Update 61?

Level 20-80 Reitemization

We’d caught hints, but Fan Faire brought confirmation that level 20-80 gear was being reitemized.

When I first heard this announcement, I hoped that this would be done with a light touch. Despite organic development over 6 years, through several different producers, the itemization in EverQuest II from level 1-80 has been one of its strengths. Only through several revamps has Mastercrafted armor managed to disturb this progression. A revamp of level 20-80 gear should provide an opportunity to the EQ2 team to put this right, all while re-aligning Mastercrafted armor where it belongs, behind Legendary and Fabled dungeon drops. With a few minor tweaks, mostly adding Agility to any item wearable by Scouts, Intelligence to Mage-equippable items, and so forth, itemization would, at least from level 1-80, work with the changed mechanics, without losing its uniqueness.

House Rating System Coming Soon to Test, No Monkeying Around

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

Bunji posted this on August 11th at 5:54pm PDT on the EQ2 Forums:

[Everyone having monk AAs] will be fixed tomorrow morning.  We couldn’t get the fix in tonight for [because?] the next build includes the house rating system which requires us to update the server databases (needed more time to do the update than normal basically).

On Test: Monkeying Around With AAs

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

image courtesy fangshendo.com

Does your Bard bear a secret admiration for the martial arts? Does your barbarian Shadowknight aspire to move with the deftness of a butterfly? Maybe you’ve just been feeling a little punchy?

Silliness aside, the latest patch to the Test servers seems to have had an unintended consequence: Every class has now inherited the Class and Subclass trees of a Monk. While this could normally be chalked up to “expect the unexpected on Test”, what makes it interesting is that everyone’s Class and Subclass tabs have been relabeled Animalist and Beastlord. This led to early morning speculation that Beastlord AAs were about to be revealed.

On Test: Need Before Greed Change Shelved

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

From Rothgar on the EQ2 Forums:

Hey guys, we understand that many of you feel strongly against this change. This is why we put things on test, right? We still have a couple of weeks before GU61 hits live. We’re busy finishing up GU61 and fixing bugs, so don’t expect daily responses from us on these issues, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t discussing them internally.

UPDATE: We have added an additional quote from Rothgar.

   

Summoners, Druids, Monks Get Answers on AA Changes

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

There are still many unanswered questions about the AA revamp currently on Test, but Summoners, Druids, and Monks so far have gotten one response apiece about specific lines.

Xelgad posted to “Focused Minion (and other summoner changes)” on the EQ2 Forums:

We decided to scrap the pet Spell Multi-Attack (Doublecast) for several reasons. First, we wanted to move away from pet-specific AAs. As some of you know, scout pets did technically get some benefit from SDA because their attacks are classified as spells, but fighter pets did not really benefit at all. Additionally, in terms of AA versus AA balance (within the Summoner tree), Focused Minion was obviously much too powerful. At least to some degree, that was the result of the improvements to SDA in GU60.

2 Positions Open Up on EQ2 Team

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

Fr0m SmokeJumper in a thread titled Are you good enough (and crazy enough) to work here?:

We’ve had a lot of luck in the past with hiring from our player community, so we’re giving it a go again with two new positions.

Please be sure to read any job requirements before applying and if you do apply…then thanks for your desire to help us build your world!

Game Update 61: The War of Zek — Test Update Notes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Daybreak Live (SOE Live/Fan Faire), DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, Live Events, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds, Raiding, Tradeskill

Hot off the presses, er patcher, here are the Game Update 61: The War of Zek Update Notes from the Test Patcher. Game Update 61 is expected to reach the Live servers near the end of August.


Game Update 61: “The War of Zek”

PLANE OF WAR

The time is near for the great Fortress of Drunder to reveal its true purpose to all. The very bedrock of the Eastern Wastes shudders and rocks as a massive planar portal rips itself open within the fortress walls. The sounds of war echo through its halls as the God of War himself prepares his innumerable armies to march across the frozen face of Velious and seize control of the lands of Norrath for all eternity.

The Plane of War is a normal and challenge mode raid.

Elements of War is a normal and challenge mode heroic experience.

Game Update 61: The War of Zek Hitting Test Today

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

Bunji dropped the news that Game Update 61 is hitting Test today:

We plan to push the current GU61 content to Test tomorrow morning.

GU61 (or most of it) is scheduled to hit Test around 7-8am PST tomorrow morning, 7/28.

What’s in Game Update 61?

  • Dynamic Dungeon: Silent City [60~90]
  • Dynamic Dungeon: Djinn Master’s Prism [60~90]
  • Plane of War: heroic dungeon (normal and challenge)
  • Plane of War: x4 raid (normal and challenge)
  • Reitemize Level 20-90 dropped, quested, and crafted Items
  • Alternate Advancement (AA) Revamp, especially Subclass (Monk, Templar, Paladin, etc.) tree.
  • Tradeskill AAs [25 pts]
  • House Rating System
  • Dungeon Finder – Dungeons of any level, same-server only
  • Fae/Arasai Flying
  • New content in Eastern Wastes
  • Beastlord Prelude Event for Good or Evil (Exile may choose one)
  • Velious Signature Quest continues

The disclaimer above makes it clear that not all of Game Update 61 will be on Test today, but we’re anxious nonetheless. Read more about Game Update 61 in the Fan Faire EQ2 Panel.

Note: The Freeport Revamp, Tradeskill Apprentices, Item Reforging, Mercenaries, Design Your Own Dungeon, Beastlord Class, etc. are all part of the EverQuest II: Age of Discovery expansion to be released this November.

Sound Off on Mob Warping / Dancing

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

If you’ve had it with mobs ‘warping’ around during fights due to the 5 meter melee range changes introduced with Destiny of Velious and recent attempts to fix it, there’s a thread for that. While I was initially happy to see the minimum melee range on mobs changed from 2 to 5 meters, allowing me to use all my ranged combat arts at melee range, the downside to this sweeping change quickly became apparent.

Mobs started dancing around, unable to attack me. Later fixes to try to eliminate the dancing effect made mobs more likely to warp around. With each ‘fix’, it has become harder and harder for tanks to control mobs, park them where they need to be, and keep them positioned correctly during fights. Since Velious was launched, tanking, especially large mobs like Dragons, Giants, etc. is downright unpleasant.

When this issue was raised at Fan Faire, it was initially dismissed as a case of Client or Server Lag. However we have watched this problem start with the change in melee range and grow progressively worse as attempts have been made to fix it. My recommendation is to roll back all of these changes and reduce the minimum range on all ranged combat arts to 2 meters. This would allow Tanks to position mobs without having to run around entire rooms, it would get rid of ‘dancing’ and ‘warping’ mobs, and it would bring Scouts what we’ve been wanting for a long time, not having to ‘kite’ to do DPS.

Submit your Comments on Mob ‘Warping’ on the EQ2 Forums

Submit Your EQ2 Fan Faire Questions!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Daybreak Live (SOE Live/Fan Faire), DGC Wants Feedback

Every year at Fan Faire, we get to watch EverQuest II Designers and Developers answer some really fantastic on-topic, valid questions from the Question & Answer panels. These questions help shape the future of the game and get problems addressed that the devs may not be entirely aware of.

However, every year, we also see some of the strangest, uninformed, facepalming (is that a verb?) questions that completely puzzle us (and the developers). Hey, they paid their Fan Faire admission price too, right?

Over the years, fastidious players have wised up and managed to intercept EQ2 devs in the breezeway between hotels  (or anywhere else they can find them including at the Pool Party) and get their questions posed. To quote a dev, “If you see me standing at a booth or demo all by myself, please come talk to me!  I’m probably bored!

ANSWERS to many of the Questions posed in this article have been posted in their own page: After the Q&A — More Answers from the EQ2 Team.

Soon: Anashti Sul Rep Gets Alignment Straightened Out

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DGC Wants Feedback

If you have been wanting to pledge your allegiance (and likely your immortal soul) to Anashti Sul, former prime healer of Norrath, you’ve no doubt been perplexed by her top disciple’s insistence that you be of a good alignment before taking the blood oath. Fortunately, Prathun is on the case and has a fix in the works:

This has been fixed. Plumator Dul’Sadma should rebuff you if you’re aligned with a good city, but allow you to continue her dialogues otherwise. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

Standard disclaimer: This fix will have to go through the standard testing, approval, hotfix procedures before it will appear on live servers.

On Test: Bard Rhythmic Overture Change Misses Mark?

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

tfetterman noticed a change in the June 13 Test Update Notes affecting the description and behavior of the Bard ability Rhythmic Overture.

Bard

  • Rhythmic Overture now applies as a buff to the bard. All damage inflicted by the bard will apply toward Victorious Concerto.

Lemilla of Permafrost described the change:

As it’s a buff on yourself instead of a debuff on the mob, it would mean that it will track damage inflicted upon multiple enemies instead of just one. This change makes it possible to charge a proper VC on fights where the mobs die within 10 seconds.

Same for the changes to Crusader’s Faith and Spirit Tap.

When asked if this would affect MultiAttack damage (which Dirges rely on), Spell Double Attack, Procs, etc., Xelgad dashed those hopes:

The same rules apply – so Multi Attacks, Spell Double Attacks, DoTs and Procs will not count toward the recorded damage.

Mastercrafted Gear to get Adjusted for Stat Changes

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

From Silius on the EQ2 Forums:

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let all of you know that in the next few weeks I will be pushing tradeskilled items to test with updated stats. This push should make all the current crafted items relevant. Their new growth is derived from the growth established in Velious.

This means they will all be modified to give appropriate stats based on the new mechanics of attributes and other stats. I will need some help from all of you when we push this to test so I can make sure that I have not missed anything. Please keep an eye out for this and thanks in advance.

When faced with a smarmy response from a player that no adjustments to quest or dropped gear will be made to match the stat changes, Silius confirmed what SmokeJumper said in a previous post:

Who says this is not being done?

In Testing: Tinkerfest — Will Go Live July 29~August 8th

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

From Kaitheel on the EQ2 Forums:

Tinkerfest has been activated on both Test and Test Copy.

Like clockwork, Tinkerfest has returned! Take up your favorite wrench and celebrate all things gnomish, be they metal, combustive, mathematical, experimental, or a combination thereof! Adventures, rewards, buyables and crafted items await you, both new and familiar. You won’t want to miss all of the fun at Gnomeland Security, your headquarters for all things Tinkerfest, in Steamfont Mountains.

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