Game Update 56 Hits Test: Travel Revamp, Warfields, New Raid Zone

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds, Raiding, Tradeskill

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.


Healer Weapons Post-Mythical?

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

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.

April 20 2010 Hotfix Notes: Research Assistants

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

Today’s Hotfix grants Research Assistants the ability to research for all of your characters at once, instead of just one per account. Also included are tweaks to the UsabilityOnPlayer macro command, some adjustments to the Labs SF raid zone, and a change to the Focus: Death March adornment so that its effects are different between PvP and PvE.

We’ve been advised that some Database maintenance will be performed at the same time, so the Hotfix and associated downtime may exceed 1 hour.

Mythical Weapons Unequippable?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, Raiding

An unintended consequence of today’s Hotfix seems to be that certain players have been unable to equip their Mythical weapons. Players affected include those who have not progressed in the Epic Repercussions quest. Xelgad has posted this comment:

We’re aware of the issue and looking into a fix. In the meantime, please use the /petition command to contact Customer Service if your weapon cannot be equipped. They’ll be able to fix your weapon for you.

UPDATE: This issue is related to the Balanced Ayr Stone adornment which used to provide +3% Parry and was applicable to weapon slots. On March 1st, it was changed to a less powerful adornment. In Today’s Update, this adornment was internally changed to a Neck Only adornment, but someone forgot to make the adornment auto-remove itself from main hand weapons.

April 7, 2010 Patch Notes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds, Raiding

Today’s Hotfix include some anticipated tweaks to Itemization and Battlegrounds, such as resists and fixes to adornments. It also includes a cutback in the amount of damage put out by the 3-headed dog in The Vigilant: Final Destruction x2 raid zone. Even during the Beta, this particular mob was completely out of progression for the difficulty of the zone, gear players are expected to have at this point in the expansion, and intended audience of the zone.

The complete April 7, 2010 Patch Notes after the jump:

Shifting Shards

Written by Dethdlr on . Posted in Grouping, Itemization, Raiding

Been saving up your T8 shards for armor?  Soon you’ll need less than you do today.  Frizznik writes on the EQ2 Forums:
  • Tier 1 will cost the same amount of shards as it did before (38 shards crafter-made, 44 shards vendor-bought)
  • Tier 2 will cost the same amount of shards as it did before (112 shards crafter-made, 126 shards vendor-bought).  It will also cost around 5 platinum.  It will no longer require the tier 1 armor piece.
  • Tier 3 will cost the raid dropped mold, the same void shards it did before, and around 9 platinum.  You will no longer have to trade the mold in for a pattern.  You will no longer need the tier 2 piece to buy the tier 3 piece.  If you have traded a mold for a pattern, that vendor will let you trade the pattern back in for the mold.

Battlegrounds Jewelry Bait-and-Switch

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds

During the Sentinel’s Fate beta, many of us were surprised at just how powerful the armor and jewelry available from participating in Battlegrounds were. Many of us warned SOE during beta that having Battlegrounds gear that’s better than TSO raid jewelry would make Battlegrounds an expected/required part of progression for guilds.

  • Battlegrounds gear launched with a new stat — Toughness — which is a type of Critical Mitigation that only works in Battlegrounds.
  • Later, the most powerful effects on Battlegrounds gear (i.e. +10% Base Damage) became PvP-only.
  • With the March 30th Update, the Resists and Physical Mitigation on the Indomitable Jewelry set now only apply to PvP combat.

So, it seems we have eventually arrived at the goal put forth by players — make Battlegrounds gear only desirable for PvP and Battlegrounds. Just not before players spent dozens of hours earning hundreds of tokens in Battlegrounds. A conspiracy theorist could make the case that Battlegrounds armor launched with powerful effects to encourage players to come back and play the content, and then the items nerfed a month later to mitigate their effect on PvE gameplay.

Join the Discussion/Rant/Bitching

Brenlo Looks Forward to Game Update 56

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance, Itemization, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds, Raiding

In an unusual move, Alan “Brenlo” Crosby, Senior Producer of EverQuest II, has posted some high level updates on what we can expect from Game Update 56 coming in May.

As many of you know, several items planned for the expansion and corresponding Game Update 55 slipped: New Halas, Shaders 3.0, New Spell Animations, Thundering Steppes revamp, etc. Also, there have been major performance problems with many of the live servers, which have been alternately attributed to Battlegrounds, Database Issues, or the expansion itself.

After the jump, you can read Brenlo‘s response to these issues, copied from the EQ2 Forums:

News Rollup for March 14-20, 2010

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, Live Events, Raiding

The previous Thursday and Tuesday hotfixes have brought some itemization changes, specifically with the increase in the number of items holding Red Adornment slots, the introduction of Yellow Adornments for heroic gear, and the addition of Resists to Legendary and Fabled gear (previously, players were expected to run around with 2-3 pieces of Mastercrafted jewelry).

Now, we are starting to see the second prong of these changes, intended to fix the itemization mess that Sentinel’s Fate launched with. Frizznik brings us:

Thanks for your patience with us as we look at items, spells, and combat arts.  We are reading your concerns and are trying to make adjustments where we can.  This week we have been hard at work on raid item changes.  Those changes should happen in the next hotfix, so please don’t transmute those drops, you may want them after the changes hit.  After the changes next week, we are going to be looking at resistances on Legendary drops and some other things as well.

Please understand, we have a lot to think about.  The expansion, battlegrounds, and the golden path added a lot of content that we have to keep an eye on.  The content team did an excellent job with the golden path and if you haven’t tried it, you might want to talk to a chronomage or roll a new character to check it out.  Battlegrounds are a lot of fun too, even if you don’t like PVP combat you might want to give it a shot because the cooperative team play is a lot of fun.  I am not trying to make any excuses, but instead I am trying to say that there are only so many hours in the day.

Defense/Parry — Useless?

An interesting thread, which I’ve been following, on whether the +Defense and +Parry skills have any utility whatsoever.


  • Frizznik and Xelgad are looking into the Crit Multiplier for Wards with regards to Shamans. They are currently falling behind Druids.
  • Ward of Elements (T3) Armor may become available without the prerequisite of T2 Shard Armor. (link)

Yellow Adornments

A handful of Legendary items from level 80-83 received Yellow Adornment slots, however Yellow Adornments were all initially flagged level 84.  This has been remedied in the March 18th hotfix, as they are now level 80 adornments.

Flurry, Double Attack, and AE AutoAttack

When you Auto-attack with your mainhand weapon each of the following has their own independent chance firing off in addition to that mainhand attack (from EQ2 Forums):

  • Flurry — results in 2 to 4 additional mainhand weapon swings. These swings do not proc additional procs.
  • Double Attack — Auto-attack the target a second time, this can also proc (trigger) off an offhand weapon swing
  • AE Auto Attack — Attacks up to 4 targets in front of the player, but cannot flurry or double attack

AE Auto-Attack is primarily an AA line that points can be spent in. Double Attack has a cap of 100% and now appears widely on gear of all kinds. Flurry is much rarer to find, and is mostly found in AA lines, but look for it on items.

Making Sense of Tier 2 & Tier 3 Raid Gear

Whether you are rewarded Tier 2 or Tier 3 raid gear is dependent upon which raid mob you are killing, and whether you are taking on the “easy” version of that mob, or the “hard mode” version of that mob. Hard mode mobs typically have more adds, more hitpoints, unique effects, stronger detrimentals, etc.

I have to tell you, even after reading this thread laid out by established raiders, I’m not clear on every single mob and Tier. 😉

Moonlight Enchantments

Don’t forget that Moonlight Enchantments start tonight!!

Itemization Puzzle Pt 2

We’re still working on part 2 of the Sentinel’s Fate Itemization Puzzle. SF Gear is still in a state of flux, and we now know that the “Tier 3” Sentinel’s Fate raid armor, which drops from the hardmode version of each mob are all being upgraded, loot tables adjusted, etc. so it’s hard to get an accurate picture of the gear at this point.


Fyreflyte, itemization lead for EQ2, has been conspicuously absent from the EQ2 Forums in the last couple of weeks. Further, Xander, Frizznik, and timetravelling have all been stepping in to answer itemization-related questions. It is unclear what, if any conclusions can be drawn from this.

Meanwhile, a former EQ2 developer, Aeralik, has been posting some of his perspectives on how the Shadow Odyssey expansion played out behind-the-scenes. He still holds forth that he fought the good fight for the players against the Fighter Revamp and other sweeping, ill-considered changes. EQ2 team members I’ve spoken to on the condition of anonymity dispute this viewpoint.

Dev Chat Covers Wide Range of Issues, Offers Few Revelations

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, DGC Wants Feedback, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, Raiding

Thursday night saw the first post-expansion developer chat of 2010. Hosted by ZAM, this chat had previously been scheduled for March 4th, but was postponed to March 18th as developers focused on issues with Battlegrounds.

You would have assumed, with the key issues of Battlegrounds and Itemization consuming a great deal of development effort in the month since Sentinel’s Fate launched, AND the 2 week postponement in the EQ2 Developer Chat, that Calthine at ZAM would have received an avalanche of hardball questions. Instead, we saw just a few of these critical issues raised, with the rest running the usual gamut of comfortable questions.

The Itemization Puzzle Part 1

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Grouping, Itemization, Raiding

Today brings the first part of a two part story about how we got to the Itemization situation we are in now. Part history lesson, part recap.

Part 2 will try to sort out the Sentinel’s Fate Itemization picture as we have it so far. I assure you that Part 2 will be MUCH shorter. 🙂 After the posting of Part 2, we will be posting a survey to get your feedback on these long-form articles.

March 16 Hotfix

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

Today’s Hotfix notes for March 16th, 2010. Yellow Adornments also made it in, but they’re not in the notes…

GENERALMost of the guards in Freeport, Qeynos and Kelethin have had their levels reduced to what they had previously. Exceptions to this include palace guards and patrolling knights.


All jewelry from the Vigilant: Final Destruction (x2) has had resists added.

Summoning the mount from the Ykeshan Warbear whistle will now work if you are level 80 in either adventuring or tradeskilling.

The valuable, Onayan staff of the waves, should now be on the Vasty Deep collection tables.


The Footsteps of Dartain: Observation – The projected erudite will no longer disappear during conversation.

In Search of Lucan – Fyr’remd Lorak should no longer disappear during conversation.

“Confronting the Godslayer” requires the raid lichform version of Perah’Celsis in order to update. The prose is now more specific about this.

Delinah now properly updates “The Footsteps of Dartain: Emergence.”

Players who delete or decline the various “Footsteps of Dartain” signature quests can now re-obtain them.

Stage 3 of “Whispers from the Past” now correctly mentions Silent City instead of Living Tombs.


Kendis and Penda United now have lower maximum health.

The 3 sages in challenge mode now synchronize their use of prismatic sphere with their exchange of stones (tank switching).


Neophyte Sairal in the Hall of Necromancy seeks adventurers 80 and higher for a special task.


Adds on the Kadara’Mola fight in Vasty Deep: The Abandoned Labs should now de-spawn should she reset or the encounter breaks.


Resists, Red Slots Trickle Onto Raid Gear

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

Most of the Sentinel’s Fate raid and heroic gear has had no Resists (vs. Arcane, vs. Elemental, vs. Noxious), presumably with the intention that players would have to wear 2-3 pieces of Mastercrafted jewelry. Also, all but the highest level raid gear in Sentinel’s Fate has lacked Red Adornment Slots. This made most of this gear a poor upgrade over TSO raid gear.

If you’ve been following the Equipment Adjustments thread on the EQ2 Forums, as well as yesterday’s Hotfix notes, you know that Resists and Red Slots have now started to appear on Fabled and Legendary gear. However there are some outstanding items, specifically the x2 raid (The Vigilant) items.

We are continuing to watch the changes in Gear Itemization, including Yellow Adornments which should appear in Tuesday’s Hotfix.

A Light at the End of the Itemization Tunnel?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds, Raiding

If you’ve been thinking that the pieces of the Sentinel’s Fate itemization puzzle just have not fit well together, you are not alone.

While we have not spent a lot of time covering itemization in SF, it is because things have continued to be in such a state of flux during, and after the Beta.

The smooth progression of TSO gear was seemingly replaced by a scattershot approach, with some of the x2 raid items being the best in the game, the x4 Hard Mode gear being only 1-2% better than the x2 Easy Mode gear, and Battlegrounds gear the red herring, providing a confusing shortcut to skip instance gear altogether. In short, the “plan” has not been clear. Until now.

After the jump, check out what Frizznik has posted regarding the EQ2 Team’s itemization plans:

March 5th End of Week News

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds, Raiding

Here are some end-of-week news items which I’ve noticed on the EQ2 forums that readers may find useful…

Scale of Flame

Players have been having trouble advancing/completing the quest Scale of Flame. In response, Gninja has responded:

I found the issue causing the spirit to not spawn and have corrected it. You should see it come to live server early next week with our next build.

Breaking Combat on PvP/Battlegrounds

Rothgar has made some further adjustments in how combat is broken on PvP/Battlegrounds. It has been tweaked so that you must be at least 1000m from the other player as well as a timer based on activity.

Raid Mob Damage Calculations

There has been some wonkiness, to say the least, in how raid mobs have been putting out damage. Players have noticed these issues and been reporting in this thread on the subject. Rothgar has provided an update:

Yesterday’s patch fixed a bug that was causing many of a mob’s special abilities to not be applied correctly. So technically the code is working as it should be now and all buffs are being applied to the mob. However, this bug has only been in since the first hotfix after the 24th of February. So the mobs should be the same as they were on release, but unfortunately no one was probably raiding them that much during the first week or the people that did expected them to hit this hard.

I’ve spoken with our raid designer and he’s going to take a look at the mobs on a case-by-case basis and determine what needs to be changed. We don’t have any ETA’s on changes yet, but please continue to post your feedback on the ones that you think are way too hard.

Keep in mind we’re only a few weeks into the expansion and that mobs SHOULD be pretty tough until people get caught up on gear, levels and AA’s.

Battlegrounds Cloaks for Testers

For those folks who tested out Battlegrounds, there was an announcement that these players would be getting an appearance cloak. Kiara weighs in on the status of this item:

It hasn’t been entitled yet. Yes it will be very soon. The department that handles this particular sort of situation has been swamped under with another project.

Itemization Issues

We are continuing to follow a story about Itemization issues with the new EQ2 expansion. Players are reporting that Battlegrounds armor is far better than shard gear (Marks of Manaar), quest items are far better than Mastercrafted gear, and most notable, jewelry and charms from the Vigilant x2 raid zone have so far been far superior to the 24-person raid zones and contested x4 raid mobs introduced with Sentinel’s Fate.

We will be tracking this story to see how this all shakes out.

Sentinel’s Fate Mechanics Q&A

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization

Timetravelling created a thread on the EQ2 Forums regarding the Sentinel’s Fate Mechanics Changes. With all the changes to primary stats, lifting of various caps on bonuses, etc. there have been a lot of questions and this thread has started to answer them. Here are some updates:

  • Updated the Aggression question with info about other skills (yes, they work the same way)
  • Updated the base stat uncap section with more detailed information (new curve starts @ 1200, after that a 30% stat increase = ~ a 10% gain in effectiveness)
  • Added several more questions to the end of the post

The list of questions in that thread keep growing and timetravelling is continuing to update the first post in the thread with any answers he finds. It’s worth a read.

Xilaxis The Explorer (Labs x4) has neither Pants nor Loot

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Expansion News, Itemization, Raiding

Several players have reported that Xilaxis the Explorer in the new Labs x4 raid zone is not dropping any loot other than small wooden chests of plat (not a bad reward, but some armor would be nice). Fortunately, timetravelling is on the case:

I found the issue with both his normal- and challenge-mode item tables and corrected them. Should be hotfixed soon, apologies for the frustrations!

No words on those pants though.

Point Blank Range without Eagle’s Talon (Ranger mythical)

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, Raiding

One of the unique characteristics of the Ranger mythical bow Eagle’s Talon is that it allowed the user to do ranged auto-attacks at point blank range (zero meters distance).

Once a ranger has completed the Epic Repercussions quests, they are awarded an enervated version of Eagle’s Talon with all of the special effects stripped off, and then zero-concentration spells are added to their Knowledge book to get all those unique effects on whatever bow they decide to use. The issue is that those persistent buffs do not grant the ability to use other bows at point blank (0m) range.

Fyreflyte has given some unexpected response on the subject of rangers always being able to use their bows from point blank range:

I feel rangers ought to be encouraged to deal their damage at range. I don’t plan on releasing any more bows with a min range of 0. Standard longbows have a minimum range of 2, which is close enough to use your CAs, so at present there is no benefit to 0 range except that it makes your positioning slightly more convenient.

The issue with having no 0m range bow is that some epic mobs are so gigantic, and their “hit boxes” are so large, that a ranger must back out 20-30 meters to get to a range where both melee and ranged combat arts are usable.

Flyreflyte continued with:

We’ve been discussing this internally, and have some good ideas for it. We’ve been holding off on touching this, however, until we can get a good idea of where everyone’s at after the stat changes and consolidation. Just to quell any suspicions, the ideas all focus on providing an incentive to attack from range, rather than a penalty for using the current melee range methods.

A ranger usually stands at 5 meters so that all of their ranged and melee attacks are available. A ranger that uses only ranged attacks is losing up to 40% of their DPS. It’s usually only done if the mob has a particularly nasty Area of Effect (AoE) attack. We’re not sure how this change will work. Although as he said it’s in the planning stages, not set in stone.

Balancing Battlegrounds

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, PvP/BG/Proving Grounds

There has been some talk on the EQ2 Forums both in PvP circles and elsewhere, in the Beta forums, not to mention EQ2 Flames, with a lot of concerns about how fairness is going to play out in the Battlegrounds. There have been suggestions that people will exploit and game the system as a stepping stone to progress further in raiding. I am not taking sides in this, but so far I am reasonably happy that these issues are being watched like a hawk.

Parts 1 and 2 of what should probably be a 2 part post. 😉

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