Here is the 6-part Question & Answer panel for EQ2 from Saturday at Fan Faire 2010.
I have just posted all 6 parts of the EQ2 Mechanics / Class Balance panel from Fan Faire 2010.
Apologies for any typos. They jacked up the AC in here!! Remember folks, lots of EQ2 t shirts, hoodies, and polos.
EQ2 Mechanics and Class Balance panel.
Rich Waters, Greg “Rothgar” Spence, Paul “Frizznik” Carrico, Mike “Xelgad” Ganz.
Update: As of 2:00AM CDT I have made some cleanup and additional information added to these notes based on memory. There are 3-4 missing questions which will get filled in after the video is reviewed.
Live blog from Fan Faire with q&a on EverQuest II.
No doubt the best part of Fan Faire is talking to the developers. So far I’ve gotten to ask Rothgar both serious and geeky questions about the new UI, server upgrades, guild halls, and of course free-to-play.
I’ve made no secret of my concerns about the logistics of free to play seemingly cutting off the flow of new players to the live subscription side of EQ2.
If you’re attending Fan Faire and interested in participating in the EQII Platinum-Pass Battlegrounds tournament or the Zraxth’s Unseen Arcanum tournament, you might want to compete with your own character.
I still talk about the 1-50 (or 1-89) game in EQ2. I would be naive not to realize that once most folks reach 90, does it really matter how they got there? To a growing population — not really.
However people quit EQ2 all the time. Whether over an unpopular policy, or the draws of real life, a slow trickle of players are always leaving MMOs and they must be replenished. You need new players. All the great players of eq2 had the luxury of leveling up at a pleasant pace, playing fun content from at *least* 35-70 with KoS and EoF.
If you aren’t training up new players, then eq2 is a bucket with a steady leak and no refills (thanks to whomever coined that apropos euphemism).
The last 3 expansion have been all at endgame. I’m not saying they were great. But the focus is in the right place.
But I feel that level grind + aa grind using parlor tricks like RAF, potions, and high xp potions is a sorry introduction to an MMO for new players.
Remember all that time spent revamping named and adding achievements and quests for level 1-50 content?
Imagine if there were optional quests to unlock AA lines. Imagine quests that reward 1-2 aa points for experiencing defining content of the game. Imagine if Alternate Advancement really were an alternative means of advancing.
I know 1-50 or 1-89 is meaningless to endgame raiders. Honestly I want to blow through those levels myself. But you know what happens if you stop scouting and drafting from high school and college games? You get empty Pro teams with no players.
Of course announcing 1 week before Fan Faire that the eq2 subscription servers will be all *downside* compared to F2P servers does not instill confidence either. Nobody wants to start playing a new-to-them MMO on older servers that, by all accounts will be “teh suck”.
Game Update 57 is now up on the Test and Test Copy Servers and we’ve got the Update Notes. We’ve already taken some new screen shots of the new default interface including the new pictorial tutorials for new players.
- User Interface – One of the touted features of Game Update 57 is the revamped User Interface. The Persona and Inventory windows have been merged into a Character window. The XP bar has become a sort of “dock” at the bottom of your screen. All buttons and window corners have been rounded off. And for the most part, everything that was blue is now red! No doubt UI modders will come out with a classic re-skin to turn everything back to blue. We will be posting a preview of the GU57 Interface Changes soon. Discussed Here
- Map Points of Interest – Many points of interest have been added to the default map, including quest locations. This will provide some of the functionality of EQ2Maps.
- Additional Travel Revamp – There have been additional revamps to Travel. With path linking, you can now choose the ultimate destinations of any inter-zone travel and it will “connect the dots” to get you there. All transport pads in Kingdom of Sky connect to all others, and travel between the three Kingdom of Sky zones is much easier.
- Character Creation & More Neutrals – The Character Creation screens have been revamped, and several more classes have become neutral, including Assassin, Ranger, Templar, Inquisitor, Coercer, Illusionist, Monk and Bruiser.
- Extraneous Spells/CAs Removed from Levels 1-15 – Many spells and combat arts that new players generally did not use at level 1-20, such as Taunts, De-Agros, Agro-reduction, etc. have been postponed until level 15+ to decrease the number of new spells/CAs that players are exposed to in the increasingly brief sprint from level 1-20. First Discussed Here
- Spell Effects Visual Revamp which was rumored for GU55 is now on Test. This is an update/revamp of the animation which plays for each beneficial and hostile effect cast by characters.
- Lucan D’Lere has returned!
- Additional Tradeskill Quests have been added at level 20 and 30.
- Starting Zone Conflicts – Frostfang Sea (New Halas) and Greater Fay starting zones are now under attack by invaders, adding an additional level of interest to these zones. In addition, Gorowyn has received yet another architectural revamp to hopefully improve navigation.
- General – You can also expect the usual array of tweaks and bugfixes to raid zones, battlegrounds, AA lines, Quests, and Items. Most classes got some kind of benefit here.
As this is all on Test and Test Copy, the EQ2 team are really looking for bug reports, feedback, and comments on everything that’s been added.
Complete Game Update 57 Notes after the jump…
Xelgad has been paying close attention to feedback on his Guardians: Requesting Feedback thread on the EQ2 Forums. His response to this feedback includes some additional tweaks we might see as a result of ideas submitted by players. These changes are expected after Game Update 57.
You can read his comments after the jump…
Zraxth’s Unseen Arcanum is a new challenging one group dungeon which will make its first appearance at Fan Faire this August.
Xelgad has taken another measured step towards collecting player feedback. Last month, it was a shoutout for Top End Guilds to post some of their highest parses. Today’s request appears to be some light finally being shone on guardians after nearly 2 years at the lower middle of the “fighter” pack in tanking ability.
First off, allow me say that we understand that the class is being outshined at the moment, and we’re working on it. It’s going to take more than just one change to get Guardians back to working as a strong class again. I’m not going into details yet, but we do have a mechanics change in the works that will at least help a bit to distinguish Guardians as a more defensive tank. Even with that, the class is currently lacking in other areas, including threat generation and utility.
It’s utility that we want to focus this thread on. We want to bring Guardian utility up to the level that the other fighters bring to a group or raid. We have three tentative changes that will be going to test soon:
- Got Your Back will become raidwide.
- Cripple will become a maintainable debuff with a damage component.
- Call of Shielding will also increase the health of the raid. The level 87 version at master will amount to around 1,000 hit points.
We’re looking for feedback on these ideas, and we’re open to boosting Guardian utility even a bit further, especially in heroic content. I want to emphasize that we’re not trying to turn Guardians into plate-wearing Bards or anything of the sort. However, I do want to try to focus this thread on the utility aspect of the class.
UPDATE: These changes will come after Game Update 57.
We’ve got Today’s Hotfix Notes straight from the Patcher for you. They include the aforementioned changes to various instances in Desert of Flames and Kingdom of Sky, some itemization fixes, and tweaks to raid mobs in Underfoot Depths and Icy Keep.
So we just had a Double XP weekend over the July 4th holiday. It was heavily promoted, and featured in an e-mail and on the forums. EQ2 Senior Producer SmokeJumper posted about spending almost the entire weekend playing and how quickly he earned levels, AAs, and how many groups he got.
Now, apparently, it’s time for the pendulum to swing the other way.
Yesterday’s Test Server Update Notes include the following details which will eventually make it to Live servers:
Many instances from Deserts of Flame and Kingdom of Sky are now persistent. This includes Ancient’s Table, Cazel’s Mesa, Scornfeather Roost, The Halls of Fate, The Blackscale Sepulcher, The Den of the Devourer, The Vaults of El’Arad, and The Nest of the Great Egg.
It will be impossible to repeatedly zone into and out of these zones, killing all the mobs inside multiple times.
Here are your June 22, 2010 Update Notes:
DRUID RING EVENT
- The druid rings in Feerrott and Loping Plains are now safe destinations for newbies to zone in.
- Kurista, Elwe, Dalarim and Tolla Clorto no longer change appearances every time they zone.
- The Defender of Growth guards are now much more powerful, to better protect the druid rings.
- A couple harvest nodes near the Stonebrunt Highlands druid ring were left floating when the terrain was adjusted. This has been fixed.
- Antonica will once again broadcast the call to arms.
- Fallen Foe Charms can now be used by Wardens.
- The Priest of Discord in New Halas now resides closer to the PvP merchants.
- Vaclaz Encounter: Crippling Nausea no longer stuns players. Instead it causes their actions to have a chance to impede those around them. Players hit with keen insight no longer can be hit with crippling nausea. Players with crippling nausea will never be picked to handle the keen insight adds. Roekillik beastmasters now have more health.
- The Taehric Construct and Vaclaz no longer debuff player’s physical and Noxious mitigation levels.
- Rathgar will now hit players with Deathblow once per 55 secs rather than once per 45 secs.
- Master Syfak’s Roekillik Deathbringers will not cast festing plague as quickly as they did before.
The Vigilant: Rescue
- Amahn Prime Nirel now summons flames and fire more quickly during the fight.
Xelgad has created a thread on the EQ2 Forums laying bare some of the mechanics that go into stats, resistances, and gear.
Here are your hotfix notes for Thursday, 10 June 2010:
Here are your hotfix notes for June 3, 2010:
- Effects can once again proc on an AE autoattack.
DRUID RING EVENT
- Tunarian supply officers will now buy items for coin, like many other merchants.
- The druid portal to Nektulos Forest now lands adventurers closer to the druid ring.
- An issue preventing players from harvesting magiliths after they died has been fixed.
- The bug that prevented looting A Floret of Growth with certain group loot settings has been fixed.
- Ancestral Sentry can once again be cast on raid and group friends. It can no longer be cast on pets or NPCs.
ROYAL PALACE OF ROEHN THEER
- Plane Cracker should no longer occasionally cast if Approaching Equilibrium is slain before reaching Roehn Theer.
- Approaching Equilibrium should now despawn almost immediately upon being slain.
- Void-charged Soul and Star-charged Soul should now correctly be dispelled from both players when they successfully reach each other.
- Void-charged Soul and Star-charged Soul now have a 3s delay after being applied before they begin reacting to other nearby charged souls.
- Hook arrow will no longer cause the victim to drop the flag.
Today’s Hotfix (Patch) fixes a bug in the Druid Ring Live Event, and includes tweaks to itemization, the new PvP Warfields, and numerous bugs in the Icy Keep raid zone. We also include the hotfix notes from May 27, 2010 which somehow got left out.
May 27th’s hotfix notes make mention of a change to Procs which were not working on spells. However, this change resulted in certain procs, specifically Pestilential Rain and Torrent, no longer working properly for melee. You can read more about this issue on the EQ2 Forums. Xelgad has responded:
Thanks for all of the information. We’ll take a look and see if we can’t get this working.
Players noticed that the cap on Arcane, Noxious, and Elemental Resists was seemingly lowered from 80% to 75%. Xelgad has clarified this change:
The cap was always 75%. The 80% you all were seeing when your resists were high enough in the persona window was a display error. The display error has been fixed, so it is now showing 75%.
Do note that that 75% is against a target that is your level. A higher level target will require higher resists to reach the 75%. Also, some spells are harder to resist than normal (you should see this effect in the spell’s description) and will need even more resists to get to 75%.
After the jump, we’ve got the complete Game Update 56 Notes for May 25, 2010:
Today, we reflect on a dungeon that I had high hopes for when it was first announced, but which underwent dramatic changes within 72 hours of its launch. 3 months later, there are no clear answers on the current intended audience of this zone, whether we’ll see any rollback of those changes, and going into the next expansion — EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious — will these lessons in design and balance be learned from?
Here are your hotfix notes for May 12, 2010:
- Summoning Brace of the Wyrmkind now properly adds Molten Carnage IV to the caster’s pet.
The following mobs will no longer attack you if you have faction points equal to or above -39,999 points with them. The faction point requirement should now be consistent with other standard mobs under the same faction.
- “an animated watcher”
- “a disheveled refugee”
- The “Caetaxian dominator” located on the fallen pillar bridge in the Old Paineel section of the zone.
- Killing “disheveled refugee” should now have an effect on your faction status with “Caertaxian Legion” as well as factions that are against them.
Lessing (known on EQ2Flames as mafoe) has taken screen snapshots of the FABLED loot offered by the new Vendor being added in Game Update 56.
Here are links to these screen snapshots:
Game Update 56 is looking to be a huge update, with many tweaks and adjustments throughout Norrath. In brief…
- a substantial Travel Revamp
- more quests in Stonebrunt Highlands to hopefully fill that level 87-90 solo questing gap
- a new Storyline feature
- a new Icy Keep x4 Raid
- Shaders 3.0 Graphical Revamp
- Research Assistants can help all your characters
- Blue PvP Adornments
- Yellow Adornments on T9 Mastercrafted gear
- Level 90 Character Traits
- PvP Warfields
- new Training Dummy options in your guild hall (solo, group, raid, and AE group)
- and of course New Halas
Also of note, is that a vendor has been added to Moonfield Hamlet selling some of the rare Heroic drops from Sentinel’s Fate zones. It will be interesting to see if this is like the vendor added late in the release of The Shadow Odyssey, where only the lesser Fabled items were available, and for a whopping 150 shards/marks each.
With the Test Server being updated nearly a month before we are estimating Game Update 56 will hit live servers, hopefully there will be plenty of time to test out all the changes.
With the powerful buffs and bonuses of our Mythical/Fabled Epic Weapons safely squirreled away to a separate permanent spell (thanks to the Epic Repercussions quest), we’ve been able to divert our attention towards finding other, better weapons.
While the choices are not plentiful (even with their buffs stripped, our Mythical weapons still have some formidable stats), the Sentinel’s Fate expansion is nonetheless supposed to offer us a variety of replacements for our now Enervated Weapons.
Thus far, there have been a scant few upgrade choices for healers. Fortunately Kander has responded to these concerns:
There will be some new 1 handed and 2 handed healer weapons with GU 56. In both heroic and epic content.