x4 Etyma Currency from ToV Missions is Coming Back!!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Grouping, Itemization

Have you been missing x4 Etyma currency (x2 for F2P) ever since this summer’s “Level Up, Gear Up” promotion ended? You’re not the only one…

From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale‘s twitter:

Also:

Join Team SOE and Play it Forward with Extra Life!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Live Events

Since September 24th, some 57 players of SOE games have contributed a whopping $3,920 for Extra Life. There’s still time to donate, and you can choose whose name you are donating for.

From the SOE forums:

playitforward

On October 25th, Team SOE will join thousands of gamers to share the joy of gaming, be it online, board games, LARP-ing, or whatever. Together, we will raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network charity as part of Extra Life’s annual 24-hour gaming marathon. All proceeds donated will go to the local hospital of each team member!

extralife

Why are we doing this?
Our team is on a mission to help kids through the shared fun of gaming, and we need your help. Each of our team members has chosen their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital where thousands of children are treated each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents. On October 25th, 2014, Team SOE will be part of a huge international celebration of the social impact of gamers with Extra Life. It’s our sincere hope that you’ll find it in your heart to support us with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to any team member’s chosen hospital.

Altar of Malice Zone Preview: Brokenskull Bay

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Expansion News

By Akil “Lyndro” Hooper on the EQ2 Forums:

Many years ago, while lost in a storm on the Tranquil Seas, the Brokenskull Pirates came upon an uncharted island. The pirates found a secluded cavern to the leeward side of the island to weather the storm. When the seas calmed, they set out to explore the new land, hoping to make a permanent port in the bay that protected them from the storm. Instead they found the urzarach, a sentient race of creatures that are part bear and part spider, who claimed the land as their own.

eq2_aom_brokenskullbay_1_981

Continue reading after the jump…

Double Your Fun with a Double Status Weekend — Oct 3rd – 6th

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Live Events

double_status_2014-10-02

From Afista on the EQ2 Forums:

Greetings Norrathians!

Have you been eyeballing some of those awesome status items on the city merchants? Are you running low on status upkeep for guild halls and need to restock the escrow? Get ready to refill your status, because it’s time for a double status weekend!
All-Access Members will earn double personal status beginning tomorrow, Friday, October 3rd at 12:00pm PDT. This double status will end Monday, October 6 at 11:59pm PDT, so make sure you take advantage of it before it’s too late!
We want to know what you enjoy most in Norrath. As you play this weekend, don’t forget to share screenshots of your adventures here in this forum thread!
As with past Double Status weekends, this is also effectively a Double Guild XP weekend as well.

Level Agnostic Dungeons, Grandmaster Spellpocalypse Delayed til Tuesday Oct 7

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Itemization

And here we were making sure that EQ2U was ready for Grandmasters tomorrow… From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale‘s twitter:

First Five Level-Agnostic Dungeons, Grandmaster Spells Coming Thursday Oct 2nd!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization

The first five level-agnostic dungeons, open to level 20-89 players, as well as the availability of Grandmaster spells at all levels and tiers, is expected this Thursday. Racheal “Afista has posted an in-depth preview of what we can expect on the EQ2 Forums:

We’re excited about Level Agnostic Dungeons and Grandmaster Spells coming to EverQuest 2 on Thursday, October 2, 2014! So what exactly are these dungeons and why should you check them out?

Level Agnostic Dungeons

Level Agnostic Dungeons are instances in which characters between levels 20-89 have a chance to group together, regardless of the difference in their adventure level. These dungeons are accessible by joining the queue on your Dungeon Finder Tab (Alt + Z) from the EQ2 Options Menu. Within each dungeon, adventurers will be able to battle heroic monsters and receive individual rewards based on their own level. This is a chance to earn great XP and enjoy a new spin on some classic dungeons!

New “Character Memories” Feature Slips to Live

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance

Over the last couple of days, players have noticed their game client taking screenshots of certain Achievements and other in-game activities. It looks like this was an in-development feature which slipped to live a bit prematurely. From Dave “Maevianiu” Kish on the EQ2 Forums:

Oh snap! This one is my fault. It got “pulled along for the ride” with the performance increases. It wasn’t ready for live and I’m personally sorry for this one.

This feature isn’t finished yet, so I’ll be turning it off with the next hotfix. I am very sorry for it sneaking out like this, again it was my mistake.

The idea was that your character would have memories, they could be the first time they defeated an epic monster, completed an achievement, did an epic quest, etc. And there would be an option to turn it off. Its going to take a hotfix to fix this one so please bear with me on it for a bit.

and:

As a bit of an Easter Egg you guys can manually make this happen with the command /cl_screenshot_character_memory FileName

That will create a file named “FileName.jpg” with the screenshot in it. That will continue to work after the hotfix. The automatic doing of it will stop after the hotfix. And the hotfix is planned for Thursday, not set in stone, but targeting Thursday.

I know I still have the screenshots of getting my Epic Weapons on my various characters, and I think people will use this as a scrapbook feature, especially if they can add some things in line a headline text with your character name and what achievement or event triggered the screenshot.

SOE Maintenance Notice: September 25, 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

From the EQ2 Forums:

Attention players: we will perform maintenance beginning at 7:00 AM PDT* on Thursday, September 25, 2014. We expect this maintenance to last about two hours. This will impact the following SOE services:

  • Game servers may sporadically lose connection across all games
  • Commerce functions, including purchases for all games
  • Game, web and forum logins for all games

Thank you for your patience as we complete this maintenance.

Time Zone Conversions

  • PDT: September 25 @ 7:00am ~ 9:00am
  • EDT: September 25 @ 9:00am ~ 11:00am
  • BST: September 25 @ 15:00 ~ 17:00
  • CET: September 25 @ 18:00 ~ 19:00
  • AEST: September 26 @ 12:01am ~ 2:00am

EQ2 Performance Boost Verdict, Adornment Cannot be Located, ACT

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance

Performance

This Tuesday’s update to EQ2 included quite a few tweaks to the EQ2 game client which have produced a substantial upgrade in framerates and overall performance for many players including myself. I have to give a round of applause to Dave “Maevianiu” Kish and others on the EQ2 code side who have worked the last few months to get these changes done. I was personally able to bump up one quality setting and my framerate still increased from 20′s to a steady 45-50. So…

orson_welles_clapping

There are a few players who have been hung up on these changes though. Any time you make core changes to a 10 year old game, there is a chance that problems will be found. It’s not an issue of higher or lower end video cards as I have a rather low spec video card (GT240), but nonetheless players have reported crashing before being able to login to the game. For now, I would try reinstalling the DirectX 9 runtime, and if that does not work, open a ticket at http://help.soe.com/.

“Adornment Cannot be Located”

Another change that went in on Tuesday is a new Adornment assignment window. Now when you right-click “use” on an Adornment, you are presented with a window that lists the items which will accept that adornment. I personally don’t find the window that helpful as it does not identify which items already have full adornment slots, so it could be possible to accidentally replace a useful adornment with a less useful one.

Anyway the issue here is that this change seems to conflict with the popular DrumsUI UI addon.

Altar of Malice Zone Preview: Phantom Sea

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, EQ2, Expansion News, Grouping

It’s time for another zone preview from this fall’s expansion Altar of Malice, this time the overland Phantom Sea. From Nathan “Kaitheel on the EQ2 Forums:

Unswayed in their quest to find Captain Greymast, the heroes sent by the Overlord of Freeport and by the benevolent Queen of Qeynos, arrive in the Phantom Sea, a body of water peppered with mysterious islands that have not been seen by eyes outside of the Far Seas Trading Company since the Age of Cataclysms.

eq2_aom_phantomseaprev_1_423

The island of North Dshinn shares a great many commonalities with its southern sister in Tranquil Sea, but here the zealous Allu’thoa have succeeded in decimating the pygmy population. The last few survivors have been forced to flee their village, Gazanti, leaving the revered deinodons on the island to fend for themselves. This abandonment has gained the attention of the Far Seas Trading Company, who has sent a small band of members to investigate.

Update Notes: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Performance Tweaks and Bug Stomp!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, Raiding, Tradeskill

From the EQ2 Forums:

PERFORMANCE UPDATES
We don’t want to get into too much detail, but overall we updated some very old libraries to bring EQII up to date. We also updated memory management, fixed some memory leaks as a result, and made some other code changes that look to be improving server performance.

Here’re a few notes to give you a bit more detail:

  • Improved client performance on maximum settings. Additionally, altered the “Extreme Quality” defaults to look and run better on higher end machines. This means that non-raiders who do quests, decorate houses, heroic dungeons (without oceans of proc gear), are going to notice considerable improvement.
  • We have made several improvements to spawning of items and NPCs to make this less of a load on the server.
  • We have made some optimizations to how data is sent from the server to the client.
  • Optimized some server side AA calculations.
  • Several Marketplace improvements on performance and improved how the welcome window is sent to clients.
  • Made improvements to how the server calculates stats during combat.
  • Made improvements to client for performance.
  • Utilized SSE and SSE2 instruction sets to improve graphical performance.

Things that are NOT specifically improved:

  • Client performance on lowest settings, it is already stripped down to the bare minimum.
  • Clients who are using custom UIs, specifically ones using UI script.
  • Raid performance still needs some attention, specifically stacking procs and double casts. We’re still looking into solutions.

Performance Update: September 23, 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance

From Racheal “Afista” on the EQ2 Forums:

We are excited to announce that the game update on September 23rd will include code updates to improve performance on servers as well as player clients! What does this round of updates hold in store for you? These changes will help game performance, whether you enjoy adventuring, tradeskilling, or decorating.

Improved Graphical Performance

  • Improved client performance on maximum settings, including “Extreme Quality”
  • Utilized SSE and SSE2 instruction sets
  • Improved how the Welcome window is sent to clients

Improved Functionality

  • Improved how the server calculates stats during combat (more to come!)
  • Several improvements to Marketplace performance
  • Made client improvements, including some optimizations to how data is sent from the server to the client (more to come!)

Improved Playability

  • Several improvements to spawning of items and NPCs to make this less of a load on the server
  • Optimized some server side AA calculations for player to load/save and modify AA trees (more to come!)

eq2_performancegfx

Thank you to all of the players who helped us test these improvements on the Beta server! More improvements, including additional raid performance upgrades, are currently in the works. Beta testing for Altar of Malice begins on October 7th for All Access Members and goes into Open Beta on October 14th. We look forward to seeing you there to help us test more exciting content!

This work has been done by the EQ2 code team, led by Dave “Maevianiu” Kish.

Altar of Malice Zone Lore Preview: Tranquil Sea

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Expansion News

From master of live events and senior designer Nathan “Kaitheel“, we have our first zone preview for the upcoming Altar of Malice expansion. And before anyone asks, this is NOT repurposed zone geometry, but an entirely new continent developed with the new Terrain Tool.

altarofmalice_tranquilsea1

Long had the Far Seas Trading Company provided Norrath’s displaced citizens a place of refuge, an island where they found respite from the chaos of the Shattered Seas, before being transported to the last great cities of Freeport and Qeynos. But strange tidings came and without another word, the seafaring merchants stopped honoring the Pact of Tserrin. The refugees that should have been arriving at the cities’ docks were replaced by rumors and speculation.

For years, the mystery remained.

Meanwhile, the future of Norrath hung in the balance of Age’s End, forcing tenuous alliances to be forged, and inevitably broken between the kingdoms. When all seemed lost, the great heroes of Norrath pushed the squabbling rulers aside, taking matters into their own hands. Kerafyrm the Awakened, the great Prismatic dragon, fell at last!

Continue reading after the jump…

Introducing Racheal “Afista” — New Community Staff for EQ/EQ2

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2

Sometimes life comes at you fast! On September 10th, Linda “Brasse” Carlson posted a remote position opening to work on EQ and EQ2 Community in a very public support role (through a contractor). On the 15th she announced that Racheal Afista“, well known to crafters and decorators in the EQ2 world for her EQ2DesignGallery.com site and involvement in the EQ2 forums, as well as part-time writer for EQ2 ZAM, had gotten the position.

Today, she introduced herself on the EQ2 Forums:

Fellow Norrathians,

I’m Racheal “Afista” McKenny and I’ll be joining the SOE Community Team working with EQII. Some of you may already know me from in game (yes, I really do play EQII !), the forums, SOE Live, or from various other forms of social media.

Racheal_afista

Double XP Weekend – 19-21 September 2014

Written by Dethdlr on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

bonus_xp_banner

Holly “Windstalker” Longdale announced today on twitter:

We’re going to have a Double XP weekend for members this Friday at noon to Sunday midnight PDT! Wee!

Update: Windstalker confirmed that this is for Adventure and Tradeskill, but not Guild XP.

Time Zone Conversions

  • PDT: Friday, Sep 19 @ Noon ~ Sun, Sep 21 @ 11:59pm (+ 1 minute)
  • EDT: Friday, Sep 19 @3:00pm ~ Monday, Sep 22 @ 2:59am
  • BST: Friday, Sep 19 @20:00 ~ Monday, Sep 22 @ 7:59
  • CET: Friday, Sep 19 @21:00 ~ Monday, Sep 22 @ 8:59
  • AEST: Saturday, Sep 20 @ 5:00am ~ Monday, Sep 22 @ 4:59pm

Update Notes: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, PvP/Battlegrounds, Raiding

From the EQ2 Forums:

GENERAL [WEEKLY FEATURE - Ed.]

  • All Access Members can now access the Broker almost anywhere. In the EQII menu, select the “Broker” option, or use the /start_broker_anywhere command.

POPULATION / ZONE PROGRESSION
High Keep: The Bloodless Incursion [Contested]

  • Grulk’s Toxic Submission no longer drains noxious resistance, but instead causes Poisoned Marrow to inflict greater damage.

ABILITIES / ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENT
Summoner

  • Minions Translocation can no longer be cast while under the effects of Carnage Shield.

ITEMS

  • Totem of the Succulent may now only trigger once a second and has increased damage and healing.

BATTLEGROUNDS
Balance of Theer

  • The order logo will now only grant points to your team after you have been on it for three seconds, and every three seconds thereafter.
  • Balance of Theer will now grant medals for victorious matches.

Episode #77 of EQ2 Talk podcast — What Happens in Vegas

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, SOE Live (Fan Faire)

Wow has it been 3 weeks since SOE Live 2014? I’m hopelessly behind on getting all my post-con stuff done, but Dellmon and Osgz have saddled up and recorded another episode of the best (wait, isn’t it the only?) EQ2 podcast!

From EQ2Talk:

Episode #77 – What Happens in Vegas
recorded on Aug 30

Dellmon and Osgz’s lives are finally returning to normal after SOE Live 2014. With Dell’s on the ground experiences and Oz’s perspectives via Twitch, there is much to discuss. From zombie prom to tournament play to Fippy and a schwag bag, your EQ2 Talk hosts leave no con stone unturned. As if that wasn’t enough Dellmon wraps up this episode with Tales of Flight 778, Seat 4C.

Click here to listen to Episode 77

Listen to all the shows from our website at http://eq2talk.com
Subscribe to us on iTunes here
Check us out at our Facebook page
Follow us over on Twitter too

Extra Credits – Free to Play Is Currently Broken – How High Costs Drive Players Away

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Free-to-Play (EQ2X)

If you’ve never heard of Extra Credits, it’s a semi-weekly show by game designer James Portnow and animator/narrator Daniel Floyd, with various guest artists providing the sometimes comical artwork. The series of videos discuss issues pertinent to video games and game studies, particularly discussing issues concerning video game development, addressing the legitimacy of video games as art, and creating intellectual discourse on important issues in gaming culture. We try to watch it every week, and we have a sneaking suspicion the EQNext and Landmark teams do as well, as a lot of the concepts they talk about are raised on the show.

We’ve been meaning to mention this show for a long time now. This week’s episode just happens to cover the topic “Free to Play Is Currently Broken – How High Costs Drive Players Away From Free-to-Play Games“. Most of the sins mentioned in this episode are not applicable to EQ2 — at least not anymore. Probably the biggest current examples were the $50 Bristlebane mount last year, and the $40 2-hour Group XP items.

EQ2 Insider Episode #4 – September 10, 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Expansion News, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Tradeskill

eq2insiderep4

EQ2Wire will be liveblogging EQ2 Insider Episode #4, which as it turns out will be Maggie "Luperza" Krohn's last episode as she has taken a position at Curse.com. You can watch EverQuest II Insider #4 at Twitch right now.

This was a live blog of today's EQ2 Insider Episode #4.

  • Talking about SOE Live and how positive and fun it was.
  • Talking about updates later this year.
  • Kander encouraging people to play Altar of Malice beta as players will earn very nice rewards on Live for their efforts on Beta.
  • Nathan (Kaitheel) will be talking today about Altar of Malice Lore.
  • They'll be talking about Level Agnostic Dungeons today.
  • Grandmasters.
  • Nights of the Dead.
  • Kaitheel will be going over House Decorating Dev Picks.

Watch the EverQuest II Q&A #2 panel from SOE Live 2014!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, EQ2, Expansion News, Free-to-Play (EQ2X), Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, PvP/Battlegrounds, Tradeskill

As long last we’ve resumed posting videos recorded from SOE Live 2014. After this, we’ve still got the EQ2 Art & Animation panel, as well as three player panels and the Player Studio panel. Oy vey!

This was the last panel at SOE Live 2014 for EverQuest II — Questions & Answers #2. Due to room acoustics, this recording took an inordinate amount of time to edit and normalize. Fortunately, Audio quality improves around the 3 minute mark when questions begin.

EverQuest II Gets New Community Manager — Ry “Roshen” Schueller

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, SOE Live (Fan Faire)

Forgive us if we have whiplash, as for the third time this year, EverQuest II has been assigned a new community manager.

From Maggie “Luperza” Krohn on the EQ2 Forums:

Norrathians,

We’ve had a short but sweet journey together. Although I’ve been a player in this community for a long time, it’s been wonderful being your Community Manager for the last few months.

I am proud of the contributions we have made together in this community, and remain inspired by the passion you all bring to the game with your feedback. We created a new web show series, EverQuest II Insider, that has provided everyone with a sneak peek into the Development Team’s side of the world, and I only foresee it growing further with the love and care of Roshen.

eq2insider-maggie-akil-kyle

Although he may be a troll at times, Roshen is a good chap, so please be kind and welcome him with open arms and /bows. He’s from a different version of Norrath, but I don’t think it’ll take him long to get familiar with our version, especially with the help of all of you wonderful people.

Feel free to keep in touch with me via Twitter or any of my other contact locations.

Thank you all for the great times and memories! I’ll miss you all!

Good hunting.

After the jump, Ry “Roshen” Schueller introduces himself on the EQ2 Forums

Update Notes: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, PvP/Battlegrounds, Raiding

From the EQ2 Forums:

WEEKLY FEATURE

  • Balance of Theer [PvP] battleground! A 6v6 deathmatch zone that is set on Roehn Theer’s platform.

GENERAL

  • Options to invite a guild member to a party, a raid, or gossip with them via tells about that healer that keeps forgetting to cure detrimentals are now available via the context menu in the Members list of the Guild window.
  • Resolved an issue where certain wards did not properly display the amount of damage warded in the effects list of their description tooltips and examine windows.

POPULATION / ZONE PROGRESSION
The Fabled Deathtoll

  • Several minor changes were made to Cruor Alluvium to prevent unexpected damage from the gazer’s damage shield immediately after being teleported by Watery Grave.

The Top 10 PlayerStudio Items in EQ2 for August 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Player Studio

playerstudio2014

There was a time when SOE kept this kind of information under their hats, but for the last six months, the Player Studio folks have been posting top 10 lists of the most popular items purchased in the EverQuest II Marketplace.

What I like about Player Studio is, players get to design things and see them added to their favorite game, while other players get to give feedback to those players and ask for which items they want next! There’s a forum just for Player Studio designers to collaborate and help each other to solve problems and get items up to the standard desired by each game’s Art Director. Player Studio is a complete microcosm of design delivery and it benefits both SOE and the designer. As we found out at SOE Live this year, some players have made upwards of $10,000 in just one year!

From the Player Studio forums:

These were the highest-grossing items for August 2014:

1. Papa Giuseppe’s Iced Delights Cog Café
2. [eq2u]Decorated Wooden Shingled Roof[/eq2u]
3. [eq2u]Temple Street F.M.[/eq2u]
4. Cloak of the [eq2u]Serpent’s Fang[/eq2u]
5. [eq2u]Papa Guiseppe’s Iced Delights Cog Cafe Expresso Counter[/eq2u]
6. Bundle of Birds
7. [eq2u]Assassin’s Cane[/eq2u]
8. [eq2u]Cloak of the Dragonslayer[/eq2u]
9. Neriak Door ([eq2u]Stained Glass Neriak Estates Door[/eq2u])
10. [eq2u]Lions Head Pub Bundle[/eq2u]

EQ2 Producer Letter: What’s to Come for Sept to Nov!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, EQ2, Expansion News, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, PvP/Battlegrounds, Raiding, Tradeskill

EQ_2_Altar_of_Malice_keyart

From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale on the EQ2 Forums:

Greetings Norrathians,

We’re all charged up and busy after a great time at SOE Live! The team is hunkered down and focused on the expansion, fixes, and updates on the schedule. Here are some details!

When is the EverQuest II: Altar of Malice Beta?

On Oct. 7 we will launch Limited Beta for All Access members. Most of the content will be focused on the Overlands and level increase content. We need your support!

Oct. 14 will be Open Beta for everyone. We’d love you to come check out the content and help us make sure it’s good, clean fun.

When is Altar of Malice Launch?

The expansion launch for All Access members will be on Nov. 11, just a few days after we celebrate our 10th anniversary!

On Nov. 25, the expansion will be available to everyone.

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