Altar of Malice Zone Preview: Zavith’loa

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Expansion News

From EQ/EQ2 Creative Director Akil “Lyndro” Hooper on the EQ2 Forums:

The Pygmies of the Tranquil Sea lived their lives not knowing that they shared their island with a subterranean threat. Deep underneath Dshinn live the lizardkin tribe, Allu’thoa. Using their magic to control the flows of magma, the Allu’thoa carved out their home, a below-ground labyrinth known as Zavith’loa. Worshipping their enigmatic god of lava and prophecy, the Allu’thoa lived for millennia sequestered from the world above.

eq2_aom_zavithloa701

New Adornment Window to Become Optional

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

On September 23rd, a new Adornment UI was added to EQ2 which presents a list of items that adornments can be applied to, rather than allowing you to apply adornments directly to the equipment tab. The new interface has not been universally liked:

For those who dislike the new window, we have news from EQ2 Buildmaster Bunji that the new Adornment window will become optional:

I’ll add an option that allows you to default back to old manual select style.

But instead of everyone just disabling the new window, it would be helpful to have a discussion about what could be done to make applying Adornments less tedious and potentially confusing and just a better experience overall…

EQ2U Updated for Grandmaster Spells, Recipes, Also Check out our Materials Chart

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

spellbook

Character Spell Lists Now Support Grandmasters

We’re happy to announce that EQ2U has been updated to fully support Grandmaster spells and combat arts. First up, Character Spell lists now support Grandmaster level for every spell, while still distinguishing between character choices and those spells which must be researched or crafted.

eq2u_spells_grandmaster

NOTE: There are approximately one dozen spells game-wide which will not be offered in Grandmaster quality. Please post here in the comments or e-mail us so we can add them to our Grandmaster exclusion list.

EQ2U Recipe Database Updated

We have also loaded nearly 5,000 new Recipes into our Recipe database, including all 3,200 new Grandmaster spell recipes. We have added the necessary stuff to alert us if any characters know a recipe which is missing from our database.

SOE-Wide Maintenance Notice: October 8, 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

From the SOE Forums:

We will perform account and commerce maintenance beginning at 6:00 AM PDT on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. We expect this maintenance to take less than two hours. Actual downtime for services should only last 15-20 minutes within this maintenance window.

This will impact the following SOE services:

  • Account management
  • Commerce functions, including purchases
  • Game, web and forum logins

Time Zone Conversions

  • PDT: October 8 @ 6:00am-8:00am
  • EDT: October 8 @ 9:00am-11:00am
  • BST: October 8 @ 14:00-16:00
  • GMT: October 8 @ 15:00-17:00
  • AEST: October 8 @ 11:00pm-1:00am

Grandmaster/Level Agnostic Patch Slips to 8th October @ 4:00BST/5:00CET (5 14 Hours Late) for EU Servers

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

At 7:00am PDT (15:00 BST / 16:00 CET), players on Storms, Splitpaw, and Valor noticed that their servers had not come down for today’s update. An hour later they still had not come down and Afista provided this update when asked if EU would patch at the same time as US:

These are the correct scheduled server down times for each server. I am looking into why there was a delay and will update you all whenever I have the information.

Two hours in, Windstalker tweeted this:

@BabaGraPL @everquestii we didn’t forget. The patch is taking a longer time than we expected. Tons of stuff in this one.

and then Afista had this update:

No one forgot the EU servers. This is a very large patch and things took longer than expected.

Altar of Malice Beta is Now Open for ALL ACCESS members

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

EQ_2_Altar_of_Malice_keyart

On/behind/ahead of/who knows schedule, the Altar of Malice beta is now up and running for ALL ACCESS members.

How Do I Get to Beta?

There is no Non-Disclosure Agreement to accept this year, and no separate Beta launcher to run. To access the Altar of Malice beta, simply close and reopen your EverQuest II Launcher, click on the Version link in the top left corner (US English for US players), switch the region to “Beta“, click Apply, and let the patching begin!

Copying characters from live to beta is really easy now. Instead of typing /beta on the live server and hoping that an hour or two from now, your character will miraculously appear on Beta, the /beta command now takes between 10 and 15 SECONDS to copy your character over.

After the jump, a detailed pictoral of how to do these steps, and some useful time-saving info…

Update Notes: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Level Agnostic Dungeons, Grandmaster Spells

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

UPDATE from Afista on the EQ2 Forums:

These are the correct scheduled server down times for each server. I am looking into why there was a delay and will update you all whenever I have the information.

ALL servers are supposed to be patching at the same time. Here’s the announcement from the EQ2 Forums:

All US EverQuest II Live Servers will be brought offline on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM PDT. Estimated downtime is 1 hour.

All EU EverQuest II Live Servers will be brought offline on Tuesday, October, 2014 at 7:00 AM PDT. (3:00 PM London Time). Estimated downtime is 2 hours.

From buildmaster Bunji on the EQ2 Forums:

LEVEL AGNOSTIC DUNGEONS

  • These dungeons allow players, level 20-89, to group together without the need for mentoring and have both a challenging and rewarding experience.
    • Charasis: Maiden’s Chamber
    • Library of Erudin
    • Nejena’s Deep Forge
    • Vasty Deep: The Conservatory
    • Templeof the Faceless
  • You can enter an agnostic dungeon by queuing through Dungeon Finder or by using the agnostic dungeon entrances found near the arena entrances inFreeportand Qeynos.

MASTERS

  • Grandmaster spells are now available from crafting or via the spell upgrade (Research) tab in your Knowledge Book.
  • Free players can now scribe and research spells up to the Master level.

Watch the EverQuest II Art & Animation panel from SOE Live 2014

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, EQ2, Expansion News, SOE Live (Fan Faire)

Members of the EverQuest II Art team including EQ2 Art Director Tim “Hoahmaru” Heydelaar, Dave “Covic” Brown, Tom “Ttobey” Tobey, and Chris “Phatkins” Atkins talk about the upcoming Altar of Malice expansion, and give us a look behind-the-scenes with concept art, clips and stills.

Recorded live on August 17 2014 at SOE Live. Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada. Video edited and produced by EQ2Wire.

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
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