Glitch Delays Moonlight Enchantments on Butcherblock, Everfrost, Freeport, Nagafen, and Unrest

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Live Events, Tradeskill

moonlight_fireflies_th

EQ2 Senior Designer Kaitheel has posted an update explaining today’s delayed start to the Moonlight Enchantments event:

Unrest was not the only server affected. It turns out that the server maintenance that occurred this week for Butcherblock, Everfrost, Freeport, Nagafen, and Unrest removed all scheduled activations and deactivations.

The affected servers have had the following events rescheduled:
Erollisi Day now concludes on 2/20/15 at 11:59pm Pac.
Moonlight Enchantments began on 2/20/15 at 9:45am and will last through 2/22/15 at 11:59pm Pac.

New EQ2Stuff.com Fansite is One-Stop-Shop for Altar of Malice Info

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

EQ2 Player TrulyVexed has been working on a fantastic EQ2 fansite with information for players of all skill levels wanting to succeed in the Altar of Malice expansion. The new EQ2Stuff.com site includes a variety of guides, from Altar of Malice Heroic Zone strategies, to Altar of Malice gear and adornment selections, to lists of which shinies drop in which AoM instances, to useful (but not required!) ACT triggers, there is a lot of valuable information all in this one website. TrulyVexed announced the site on the EQ2 Forums a few weeks ago and we’ve been meaning to feature the site but some other news got in the way!

eq2stuff

Originally launched at www.mad-as-toast.co.uk, the site is now available at EQ2Stuff.com!

Notes from Today’s EverQuest II Twitch Livestream for Feb 18, 2015

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

eq2_twitch_2015-02-18

Members of the EverQuest II team took to Twitch today to reassure players about the direction and future of the game given last week’s stunning takeover and layoffs. While it was great to hear some of the team’s overall plans for the near future, it would have been great to start out with an acknowledgement of what happened, some high level broad strokes about how the team has pulled together to continue to give us content. I’d have also mentioned the expansion (Even if a date is unknown) as there is a doubt as to whether there will be one. For a monthly “here’s what we’re working on” this was perfectly fine, but with expectations as high as they were, we really needed a Home Run and this was more of a base hit.

The livestream included EQ/EQ2 Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale, Lead Designer Kyle “Kander” Vallee, EQ2 Designer Chris “Chrol” Garlick, EQ2 Senior Designer Nathan “Kaitheel” McCall, and EQ2 Animator Tom Tobey.

First up, Holly talked about how the EnterpriseDB migration is still under way. This is a lot of back end work to upgrade EQ2′s game servers which will have huge benefits once it’s complete, including Cross-Server Dungeons. The servers have been getting updates this week (thus the 4 hour maintenance windows) with an OS upgrade which is part of this process.

On Test: Brewday Festival Feedback and Bugs 2015

Written by Feldon on . Posted in DBG Wants Feedback, EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance, Live Events

EQ2 Senior Designer Kaitheel has posted the news that the popular Brewday Festival is now on Test and the developers are seeking testing and feedback:

brewday

Brewday Festival is now active on Test!

Make this Brewday Festival a memorable one! Follow the shouts of rowdy patrons located near every player city to the festival’s official brew house, The Bar of Brell. Once inside, grab a stein and celebrate Brewday with the holiday themed rewards, crafts, and adventures, both new and familiar. But don’t let the celebration stop there, the ale keeps flowing throughout the bars and drinking holes of Norrath this Brewday! Otengard Brauer’s Beer Garden in the Butcherblock Mountains seems to have attracted some unwanted patrons, and there’s news of goblins stirring trouble in the Enchanted Lands, too!

New Features for ’15!

  • 7 New Merchant Items sold by Balin Copperfoot in Bar of Brell
  • New Quest – Bog Mountain’s Eruption
  • New Tradeskill recipe book, “Brewday Accoutrements to Craft VI” sold by Balin Copperfoot in the Bar of Brell.

This event content is currently set to run 03/05/2015 at 12:01am PST through 03/16/2015 at 11:59pm PST on the live servers.

Read the whole announcement on the EQ2 Forums!

Everfrost/Butcherblock Downtime: Thurs, Feb 19 @ 4AM PST

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

From EQ2/EQ2 Community Manager Ry “Roshen” Schueller on the EQ2 Forums:

maintenance_notification

Both the Everfrost and Butcherblock servers will be brought offline on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 4:00AM Pacific* for server maintenance. This server is estimated to be unavailable for approximately four hours.

Keep an eye on the EverQuest II forums and social media for status updates and for news if additional downtime is needed.

EverQuest II Twitch Livestream Today (Feb 18th) at 3:00pm PST

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2

A reminder that there’s a Twitch livestream today about EverQuest II’s future. From the EQ2 Forums:

Hello all,

The team will be hosting a Twitch stream on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 3PM PST*. This stream will be hosted on www.twitch.tv/everquest2.

As mentioned in Windstalker’s letter to the EQ2 community here, we’ll be using this stream as a time to talk directly with YOU the players. As we prepare for this stream, please feel free to share any questions and topics you’d like to hear discussed as replies to this thread. We’ll get to as many of these as possible during the stream.

We’ll also have a replay of this stream available on the EverQuest 2 YouTube channel.

We look forward to chatting with everyone who is available to join us for this EverQuest 2 stream!

Unrest Server Downtime: Weds, Feb 18 @ 4AM PST

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

From EQ2/EQ2 Community Manager Ry “Roshen” Schueller on the EQ2 Forums:

maintenance_notification

The Unrest server will be brought offline on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 4:00AM Pacific* for server maintenance. This server is estimated to be unavailable for approximately four hours.

Keep an eye on the EverQuest II forums and social media for status updates and for news if additional downtime is needed.

On Test: New Conjuror/Necromancer Pet AI, Tradeskill Fixes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

summoner

Conjurors and Necromancers have yearned for a rewrite to their Pet AI for several years, and it looks like we’re about to get our wish. On Test, we’re now able to see what Xelgad had been working on with his complete rewrite of the Fighter, Scout, Mage, and Priest summoner pets. Once the changes have been thoroughly tested by players, they’ll be promoted to the live servers.

From the EQ2 Test Notes:

ABILITIES / ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENT
Summoners

  • Summoners can now right-click their pet and use the “Change Appearance” functionality. The summoner and their pet must be out of combat. The appearance list is generated based upon the caster’s knowledge book.
  • Possession is now Flash Cast. For a short duration, the summoner’s next primary pet spell will have no cast time, reuse time or recovery time. The second pet summoned will have a reduced cast time. Flash Cast itself has no cast time or recovery time and has a 120 second reuse. It terminates after two pets are summoned.
  • Summoner Pets now use a new AI system and cast their spells more reliably.
  • All Summoner Pets now gain the effects of Doublecast.
  • Summoner Scout pets now are immune to AE Auto Attack.
  • Summoner Fighter pets now hold aggro more reliably off of the summoner. They are also focused exclusively on encounter damage and effects.
  • Summoner Mage pets now focus exclusively on encounter damage.
  • Summoner Alternate Advancement priest pets are now single target pets that function similarly to scout pets. They have longer range, reduced damage and heal the group.
  • Necromancer Undead Knights no longer can ride horses due to systematic changes to how pet appearances work.

There are also a number of helpful changes to Quests, Tradeskills, and one to an Altar of Malice raid zone. Continue reading…

MJ Guthrie of Massively Overpowered Shares Her Thoughts on Daybreak Games

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2

massively_overpowered

SOE is not the only company in the MMO ecosystem world that has undergone a radical transformation over the last two weeks. Massively, the AOL/Joystiq-owned news site that covered all manner of MMORPG news and commentary was unceremoniously shut down despite being highly profitable and having an enthusiastic audience.

Through hard work, planning, and a lot of behind-the-scenes discussion, the Massively folks have performed a phoenix-like rebirth of the site on Kickstarter as newly independent Massively Overpowered. In just 48 hours, they met their $50,000 goal and that amount is still climbing. For independent, non-sponsored, well-written analysis of games in the MMOspace without a bazillion popup ads, there’s really no other site that comes close. Thankfully, a quick look at their roster of writers reveals that they were able to bring over virtually all the staff from the old site.

Amusingly, AOL had so little interest in Massively that they didn’t bother to change the Twitter accounts, making it possible to point the site’s existing readers in the direction of the resurrected site, rather than potentially losing a large chunk of the audience.

After the jump, MJ Guthrie brings back her Tattered Notebook column under a new name and gives her first impressions of the devastating news from Daybreak Games…

DBG Game Servers, Logins Being Affected — RESOLVED

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

network-connections

A handful of bored teenagers decided their celebrity status on Twitter is more important than us being able to play on DBG servers or participate in the forums this morning. I guess the job title of selling car insurance was already filled, so these reptiles are just wasting everyone’s time instead.

UPDATE — Noonish PST

DBG servers, games, and forums seem to be accepting connections reliably again, so we’re going to mark this one resolved!

Jethal Silverwing of Kithicor.org Posts Touching “Let Them Go” Song

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2

kithicor-letthemgo

Jethal Silverwing of Kithicor.org has posted a new song based on Frozen’s “Let It Go” about the Daybreak Games Layoffs.

I called it.. on Feb 11th.. the Gnoll Shit hit the Fan, and many.. MANY.. of our good friends got laid off. Our initial reaction was shock.. then the community took the next logical step to anger. One of the calm voices out there, among the mobs carrying pitchforks and torches.. was Linda “Brasse” Carlson. Now, former, director of global community relations.. and really, the face of SOE for the last 6 years. Perhaps her years dealing with the public giving her that calm in her voice, she assured me, personally, that yes.. this is a devastating blow to some, but those effected are strong and she has no doubt that they’ll all bounce back. If not in the gaming industry again.. then elsewhere.

Everyone at SOE (Now Daybreak) has been nothing but nice and helpful to me over the last 14 years. From my humble days as a newbie, navigating the Misty Thicket.. all the way to my multiple trips to the vegas Fan Faire and SOELive events.. and the big handshake I got from John Smedley after winning the “Player got Talent” competition this year. I love you all, and if there is anything I can do for any of you.. you have only to ask.

It’s in this spirit, that I present my new song. Inspired by the 2015 layoffs at Daybreak.

Let them go
-Sung to “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen”

Producer’s Letter: Quick Update on EQII & Livestream on Feb 18th

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

From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale on the EQ2 Forums:

Hello, Norrathians!

As you’ve likely heard by now, there’s been some changes around here in staff. I want to assure you though that this team is still in full-time dev and operation mode, and we continue to have awesome plans for EQ2. We’re shuffling a few things about, but our goals in delivering fun stuff won’t change. For example, in a couple of weeks we’ll be releasing rare bosses for the AoM dungeons and more. We’re tinkering a bit so I apologize for the silence and certainly any concerns or worry it may have caused you.

We’ll have more news as we rip along here doing what we do and what we love – which is keeping our world busy and alive for our incredible community of players. Above all, we are grateful for your continued support and love of the game.

I would really like to hear from everyone and chat with you about all of this which is why we’ll be hosting a Twitch livestream on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 3pm at twitch.tv/everquest2. The team looks forward to having you tune in so we can address any questions you may have.

Thanks and see you in game!

Holly Longdale
Executive Producer, EverQuest & EverQuest II

EQ2 Team Working on “Crash to Desktop/Character Select” Issues

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

What started out as a thread by players wondering why an interesting feature (Map Fogging) had been removed got a clear explanation from Gninja and Caith as the team tries to solve the crashing issues certain players have been reporting.

Gninja started with:

This was actually a quick change and the reason it was done was because the amount of data that had to be stored on each character was contributing negatively to individual performance.

Caith added:

This change directly reduces character data that is sent to the client when zoning, by a significant amount in many cases. Character data size is one of the primary reasons, when combined with slow internet connections, of zoning timeouts. Or as it is more commonly known, crashing to character select while zoning.

In another thread, Jamiss has asked players to send him details of exactly when and where they are crashing so that he can further debug the issues. He had this report today:

An issue was resolved in today(2/12/2015)’s patch that may have taken care of some of these issues. For the rest of them, I’m working on digging and gathering more information. Thank you for the PMs!

Let’s Get Serious About Adornments!

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

More than a few players have looked at my EQ2 character‘s vacant adornment slots with incredulity. Why have I been so slack on adorning? The answer has multiple parts:

  • I never knew when I will replace a piece of gear and thus be out the cost of the adornments or worse unable to carry those adornments forward.
  • War Runes have been by-and-large out of reach of my casual heroic gameplay style.
  • The purple adornments I really want have been drops behind an unfavorable RNG.
  • Green adornments for the most part have lacked significant growth, or just haven’t been worth the trouble to acquire.
  • White adornments haven’t kept pace with player power and barely increase stats with the exception of a few slots.

With Tears of Veeshan, Altar of Malice, and recent patches, nearly ALL of these issues have been resolved.

Daybreak President John Smedley Responds to Article

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

Not surprisingly, my article “Daybreak Games: It Didn’t Have to Be This Way” received a lukewarm response from its subject, Daybreak President John Smedley.

After exchanging a few candid e-mails with him, I’m able to release this comment:

We absolutely made sure that taking care of our employees was the highest priority and this deal was by far and away the one that took care of people the best.

It is absolutely true that Columbus Nova honored severance packages for those who were laid off and so salaried employees have time to find a new job, most with several months not including unemployment. CN could have reduced or eliminated this program as part of the deal but they did not. Mostly, Smedley feels that whoever I spoke to about the quantity and suitability of the buyout deals mentioned, specifically why Columbus Nova was chosen, doesn’t have all the facts.

Also since the publication of the article, I’ve heard from several players of PWE games that were skeptical about the rosy optimism. Specifically unlock boxes and cash shops and how their Customer Service is structured. PWE supports its developers, but was it a good fit for Daybreak’s games? We’ll never know.

EQ2 Developer Layoffs: FYreflyte, Xelgad, Lyndro, Endymion, Gnobrin, Jeff Bard, Afista

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2

Bumping this article up as we’ve learned of two three more layoffs — Xelgad, Jeffrey Bard, and Fyreflyte.

From EQ and EQ2 Creative Director and awesome fire dancer Akil “Lyndro” Hooper‘s facebook (a public post):

Sitting in a room, getting laid off with some of the brightest and most talented developers I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

No idea what comes next, but if history holds true I’m sure that it will be fun.

From @Douglastweets (Endymion) who worked on EQ2 as a programmer and added a ton of stuff including Gear Sets to EQ2, helping EQ2U and Dragon’s Armory on Census stuff, and the planned Public Quests which were supposed to be released this summer with Game Update 71. on Twitter:

It was fun everyone. Time to update my Twitter profile… again.

this was probably my one stint in the games industry. :P I don’t want to go back to Seattle either.

From Aaron “Gnobrin” Bisnett’s facebook, who had been producing every piece of armor and weapons for the last several years, and is just a fantastic guy.

Well. That was a good run in game development. Thank you for the last 12 years, SOE.

Michael “Xelgad” Ganz has updated his Linkedin with the following info.

Systems Designer with over 6 years of experience
Previously on EverQuest II at Sony Online Entertainment.

Currently looking for new opportunities. Feel free to contact me for any location and opportunity.

Jeffrey Bard updated his Facebook last night.

I’m gonna miss you SOE. What a great group of people I got to work with! Let’s do it again sometime…

Jason “Fyreflyte” Woerner updated his Facebook employment status.

 

Opinion on Daybreak Games: It Didn’t Have To Be This Way

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

sony_online_entertainment_sign

UPDATE: SOE President John Smedley has responded to this post.


The day has arrived that I’ve been dreading since I heard the first rumors. Layoffs have befallen Daybreak Games, affecting H1Z1, Planetside 2, EQNext/Landmark, EverQuest, and EverQuest II. The Community Relations team was one of the hardest hit, with Brasse, Amnerys, Ashlanne, Hats, and Afista all let go. We haven’t confirmed any other layoffs in any other department such as QA, CS, Platform, Web, etc.

I have to hand it to the EQ2 team who has pulled together as a family over the last week in the face of such terrible questions as “What content could you do with 10 people?” The EQ2 team isn’t as large as in the Kunark days, yet it continues to release Game Updates throughout the year plus an annual Expansion. The team puts in crazy hours to try to deliver what players want and I can only dream of what they could do with more staff. When they heard the news, and in the face of crippling uncertainty, the team started collecting notes on what they’d been working on so that the people left wouldn’t be totally screwed. They did this without prompting and it’s a sign of how strong the team is.

Former Planetside 2 Producer David Carey Shares Thoughts on ColumbusNova

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary

From former Planetside 2 producer David Carey on Planetside 2′s Reddit:

Hey guys,

I came on to say goodbye to you guys (at least in my current role, prepare for lurking), but after scanning the front page I wanted to change the flavor of the post a bit.

Columbus Nova deserves no hate in all this. They are more like white knights than negative forces here. SOE needed a shake up/new direction, and CN provided that. They have done nothing but been gracious in their new ownership, and they went out of their way to make sure that Devs and support teams that got laid off were taken care of. Right now things seem shitty, and of course for the folks that were let go, today was rough, but CN and DB were both very open about the need for restructuring. This wasn’t a surprise to folks in the company.

Gaming is a tough industry, and not for everyone. I’ve seen lots of people come and go, both good and otherwise. The fact is, there are no (or at least, extremely few) permanent gaming jobs. If you want to have just one job in your career, don’t pick gaming, or even computer software. It’s just the nature of the beast in such a pioneering industry. But the flip side is that there is always a new opportunity awaiting, it just may require a move to a new location or some other sacrifice.

Most of the let go folks will be working in the gaming industry soon. The rest may decide to move on to other, less volatile lines of work. But no one I talked to regrets their time making games for folks to enjoy. It’s a rare job that lets you bring pleasure to so many people’s lives.

Back to the subject – if you guys feel angry or betrayed, it would be misdirected to place that at the feet of the new company. They didn’t bring in new staff to replace us, or say we did a shitty job and treat us poorly – they looked at the bottom line and the numbers just didn’t line up. The new layout lines up now, and the goal is that DB can be successful and move on from this and eventually expand again. Saying “I’m cancelling my sub” or “I’m never buying another thing in PS2″ isn’t the right tactic, as much as the former Devs appreciate the intent of your support. If you want to make a positive impact, then keep doing what you’re doing – if you like the game, play it. Give feedback. Get your friends to play. Buy what you want to, and what you feel gives you value. If you aren’t happy, tell DB through the means you do now, social media and /bug reports. The game will grow or shrink depending on how you guys act, which is how it should be. If you make a statement on principal for the dearly departed devs, you will be hurting the remaining staff who have worked just as hard to make you guys a game you like to play. They may not be all names you know, but trust me, they put their blood, sweat, and tears into this.

TL;DR – CN didn’t do this, it was something that had to be done. CN is providing a chance for the games you love to continue going

-David C, former PS2 Producer

Edit: Ugh seeing the ‘former dev’ post header brought things home; I’ll miss you and your well-meaning pitchforks :-(

The Triumphant Return of the Duck Mount Request Thread!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2

There is a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt swirling around Daybreak Games and EverQuest II in particular today, for obvious reasons. We’re working on a more detailed reaction to today’s news which will be posted tomorrow morning. However EQ2 senior animator Tom Tobey took a moment today to do what he does best (other than animations of course!) and injected some humor into the day with this tweet:

and by resurrecting Errrorr’s “Official Duck Mount Request Thread“:

The Official Duck Mount Request thread.

Why does Norrath need duck mounts?
Ducks are majestic creatures, they look awesome, and they have all sorts of variety.
How would a duck mount work?

  • Well the ground animation would be similar to that of the terrorbirds already in place, and as such wouldn’t require a total redesign.
  • The wings would work very similar to the pegasus like mounts, in the fact that they flap, and as such wouldn’t require a total redesign.
  • There are many colours of ducks available, like the standard plain white, all the way up to the truly magnificent Mongolian duck.

(Mongolian Duck)
But why would I want a duck mount?
Why wouldnt you! They can be cute and fluffy, or they can be ferocious beasts! (Never seen an angry duck?). They’d look awesome just chilling round your guild hall, or battling Kerafyrm.
[IMG]

Update Notes: Thursday, February 12, 2015

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

From the EQ2 Forums:

GENERAL

  • Map Fog has been removed.

ABILITIES / ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENT
General

  • Expert Spells of a higher tier will now do more damage than the same spell Master previous tier. For example: Level 91 Faith Strike (Expert) will now do more damage than level 81 Faith Strike (Master).

ITEMS

  • Bound transmutation stones purchased from the loyalty merchant may now be transmuted correctly.
  • Corrected an issue where some pvp adornment added red gem armor lost its ability mod.

QUESTS

  • Altar of Malice and Tears of Veeshan Weekly Missions are now classified as Weekly Missions in the Quest Journal.
  • Altar of Malice Weekly Solo Dungeon, Weekly Heroic Dungeon and Weekly Raid missions will now award Malice Gemstones.

Kander elaborated on that last note with these comments:

Armor Gems will be on the weekly quests starting tomorrow. You will be able to earn any heroic gems and red raid gems once a week.

He also indicated that the ability to convert Green gems to Red gems was coming, and that those few Red gem armor pieces that aren’t upgrading correctly will be fixed soon.

EQ2Wire Chatroom

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2

Join us in the EQ2Wire chatroom!

Enter a nickname and fill in the captcha above, then click CONNECT!
There’s always someone in the chatroom during US or EU-friendly times.

java

Chat through your web browser

If you prefer to chat in a separate window rather than the iframe above, visit the FreeNode website, enter a nickname and type #eq2wire as the channel. Fill in the captcha and then click connect!

mirc

Chat through mIRC

If you are familiar with mIRC or another IRC client, install it and then connect to irc.freenode.net port 6667 and join the #eq2wire channel.

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