EverQuest II players have a long memory. The unpopular Critical Mitigation stat was removed from the game over four years ago, yet player suspicion towards progression stats seems to have hardly faded in the intervening years. Buried amongst the update notes for GU100: The Siege of Zek came a new stat, Resolve. Even though the stat is thus far confined to the five strongest raid targets and does not affect Heroic content at all (at least until this fall’s expansion), players have responded strongly.
Over the years, Crit Mit, Crit Avoidance, and Resists have all been used to stratify content and provide a steady treadmill for players to consume dungeons and vanquish raid content. However in the absence of one unifying progression stat, developers have fallen into a vicious cycle of compounding player power at an astonishing rate. Player damage output has grown by a factor of 5,000 in recent years. Whether we want it or not, we need a progression stat to keep growth of the other stats in the realm of sanity. Resolve, rather than a guaranteed death or failure, has been described as a kinder, gentler mitigation stat in our interview with the EQ2 team. The stat affects incoming damage for both players and enemies. With exceptional healing, a shortage of Resolve can be worked around, while the reduction in damage received by the enemy may be an even bigger obstacle.
In addition to character equipment providing Resolve stats, each class in EQ2 receives a buff that increases the amount of Resolve they grant to the group/raid by 5, 10, or 15 points. Players have interpreted the different numbers as a developer referendum on which classes are more or less popular. The biggest complaints about the new stat have focused on the fact that if your group or raid force consisted of more than one of the same class, the buff only applied once. Under this rule, three dirges would only contribute a total 10 Resolve to the raid force, while 3 other less-played classes might collectively contribute as much as 45 points.
Resolve was cautiously introduced six months prior to the expansion to allow for balance adjustment and player education. And so with tomorrow’s update, the least popular aspects of the Resolve raid buff are being changed so as not to penalize raid forces with more than one of the same class on their rosters and to reduce the penalty for bringing certain classes.
From Gninja on the EQ2 Forums:
Starting with the update tomorrow (5/24) all players resolve buffs will stack. The non-stacking of same classes has been completely removed and those classes that had 5 resolve buffs have been increased to 10 to make less of a disparity. The resolve requirement on raid bosses have been rebalanced accordingly so you will see slightly higher number on the bosses but the raids as a whole will grant more resolve than they did before. As we said before we expected some bumps along the way to getting this system into its final form. Keep the feedback coming and keep it constructive.
The Resolve stat will be required for both heroic and raid content in this fall’s thirteenth expansion, so it’s important for the EQ2 team to get this stat “right”. We’re glad to see changes being made. Gninja, you can come back now.
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