October 21 Hotfix

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

Here are your Hotfix Notes for October 21, 2009:


  • Nu’roga now has plunderable loot!
  • Malicious Thoughts and Icicle Explosion now trigger on ranged and melee attacks.
  • Frostburn and Mutagenic Burst now correctly modify each other’s damage.
  • Purifying Persistence should properly modify the caster’s heals rather than the targets.


  • The Cloak of Crystal Shards, Assassin Master’s Cloak and Cloak of Runes returned from Collector Rattelis are now Heirloom.


  • Icy Prison now has 3 shield effectiveness to match its deflection chance.
  • Charm of Solusek Ro once again triggers multiple times on AE casts, however its effect is now limited to 5 targets.

Miragul’s: Crucible

  • The Master’s spell reflect percentage has been greatly reduced.

Miragul’s Planar Shard

  • In the final hard mode fight with Miragul, his Brilliant Adepts will no longer stun/mez players within a second of initially spawning, but will wait 3-6 secs after spawning to start casting.
  • The Miragul encounter (Hard mode): Miragul will now cast Curse of Confusion on up to 2 players per cycle, rather than 3.


  • The Vampiric Protectors that spawn during the Mayong encounter will now respawn in the center of the room if they break, rather than rapidly spawning and despawning near the point where the encounter broke.


  • Certain items that drop from Munzok have become slightly more powerful.
  • Overlapping unstable void protrusions should provide protection from Munzok’s edict as expected, and no longer conflict with one another.  Additionally void protrusion protection now more closely matches the sphere’s size.
  • Munzok’s max health has been reduced.


  • Altius Volfban in the Hollow Hedge should be much easier for mage classes to handle.
  • The Headless Horseman now spawns somewhere near his tree instead of just in the same spot every time. He also requires someone offer him the necklace instead of simply taking the necklace near him to activate. His respawn has also been lengthened slightly.
  • The Nightmarish Ceremonial Armor has gotten a slight change to color.
  • The Nightmarish Ceremonial armor should now all have an equal chance of dropping.
  • Altius Volfban now has a chance to drop a piece of the Nightmarish armor when killed.
  • The Blanket of Fog now comes with a remote so you can turn them on and off. In the off state it should be much easier to tell where they are!


  • The option to always show the threat window has been moved from Game Features to Options->User Interface->Game Windows.

A Cure For Curing

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Raiding

After reprinting the excellent Letter to SoE written by Shianne (Spritelady), we here at EQ2Wire weren’t expecting much of a response. So today’s detailed feedback from timetravelling was a real eye-opener. As he says, there is a fine line between challenging and frustrating. Some fights in TSO are just plain annoying with the unbelievable amount of curing they require. Nobody is asking for easier fights, just ones that are not hair-pulling annoying, fights that healers are quitting over.

Here’s the refreshing quote from EQ2 Forums:

A good thread with some excellent feedback!

From the population side, we are definitely always trying to improve the ‘fun’ of fights going forward. It’s a very thin line between challenging and frustrating, but we are always looking for ways to improve y’all’s experience. As a couple of people mentioned, Miragul’s Planar Shard was a step in this direction, and one we plan to continue with Sentinel’s Fate. We would like for many guilds to be able to have the satisfaction of clearing an entire zone while preserving the very difficult fights for players to really test their limits!

You have been heard on the curing side of things. We’ve begun to move away from it already, but we’ll make sure and look at each fight to hopefully ensure that the curing required is part of the fight, or plays an important role but does not devolve into ‘spam’ curing an excessive number of debuffs.

I spoke with our lead raid designer today and we’re going to look into perhaps removing as many ‘non-essential’ debuffs from the TSO raids as we can. A number of the fights had varying amounts of spells and effects that were not necessarily an integral part of the difficulty or flow of the encounter and we’re going to re-evaluate whether or not they need to be there. The goal of this proposed change (for the devil’s advocates out there) is to reduce the # of cures required while not affecting the difficulty of the fight in any significant way.

Thanks again for all the feedback, and good luck!

Headless Horseman Has Head in Clouds

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Itemization, Live Events, Raiding

One of the exciting aspects of the 2009 Nights of the Dead live event is the contested x2 Headless Horseman Knight. No less exciting (and surprising) than the loot that drops from said encounter:

Hallows Gallows
Bloodthirsty Choker 2.0?
\aITEM 430679940 306448646:Hallow’s Gallows\/a
\aITEM -1026839664 -1911359172:[Soulleach]\/a
Secret Sash
\aITEM 71107619 -1772367845:[Secret Sash]\/a
Brainless Belt
\aITEM 1534172351 1374785267:[Brainless Belt]\/a

and of course these humorous items:

an oddly empty crate
\aITEM -1414756000 -2003420917:[an oddly empty crate]\/a
Frictionless Piece of Eight
\aITEM -1495753407 -624402372:[Frictionless Piece of Eight]\/a

Note that some players are reporting issues with the new Hedgemaze zone (an instance of Cauldron Hollow). Not all players have been able to progress beyond the “Trick” step.

What’s Wrong with EQ2 Raiding?

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

Most of my gametime these days is either raiding with my Ranger, or leveling my Dirge alt. I do live events (looking forward to Nights of the Dead), but otherwise, I’m fairly bored with the runaround quest lines. Groups in the 20’s-60’s are few and far between, but that is an issue for another blog post…

Our guild is currently running Ward of Elements (I have all but shoulders and the cloak from Aiden) and we do as much x4 raiding as we can with 2 1/2 groups. That’s the first 3 named of Tomb of the Mad Crusader (including Thet) and the twins in Palace of the Ancient One. We’re probably going to start doing Kurn’s X2 because we’re pretty much blocked from doing anything else by lack of players/needed classes.

This is a chronic problem on Butcherblock, and I think other servers. At last count there were over 15 semi-casual raid guilds each about 4-8 players away from having a full raid force. Nobody wants to merge or switch guilds. And there’s never been a successful Raid Alliance on Butcherblock.

I read the EQ2 forums every day looking for news and info for EQ2Wire readers. So today I found a couple of posts that really jive with how I’ve been feeling lately…

First up from Shianne <Tainted> @ Kithicor:

Dear SOE,

I have been a loyal subscriber since July of 2005.  I have been a co-leader of a raiding guild since Dec of 2006, and an officer prior to that.  In the time I have played I have seen many people come and go.  I have seen good expansions and bad.  I have seen nerfs and character balance issues; server mergers and many other developments and setbacks.

One thing I can say is that I have always enjoyed the game, no matter how badly my class was messed up or how many of my friends or guild mates left for greener pastures in other MMOs or guilds or just to experience the real world. However, my enjoyment is waning along with so many others.

My server, Kithicor, has suffered many guilds disbanding of late due to a lack of available players to fill out their rosters.  i have lost 8-9 people of my raid force myself.  The commen thread to all of the people leaving?  They are bored.  Most of them (including myself) have multiple characters that are level 80 and at 200 AA or close to.  They have no need of shard gear.  They have no need of instance loot.  They don’t want to level yet another character.  The only thing to log in for is raids and when you can’t get classes you need, those are getting old to since you can’t progress.

The release of GU53 did little to entice people to remain.  The Achivement System gives no tangible and USEFUL rewards.  Those that missed out on getting AA for various things aren’t likely to go get the achievements done as they will hold out till there is an AA cap increase.  So, there is still no reason to log in.  The Shard of Love offers nothing but fluff items and 1 time AA experience.  A fair amount of people will do it once, then never again.  Miragul’s Planar Shard – while it is nice to have another raid zone, many of us can’t clear what is already out there due to lack of population to flesh out our ranks.  Then, you add items into the heroic instances to make the raids easier, so in essence creating the necessity for many people to run zones for no other reason than to collect those items.  It is becoming a JOB and not fun.

If the achievement system had offered useful rewards, such as dual stat adornments, or the ability to add 2 points to an AA tree when completing an achievement, or rocking charm items, etc. This MIGHT have been a draw for those of us who want something to work towards that IMPROVES our characters.

If you had done server mergers, then at least the population wouldn’t be spread so thin.  I realize that server mergers would cut into the Cash Cow transfer potions that are available thru the Marketplace, but please, understand that the economy sucks at the moment.  For many people this is their entertainment.  This is their hobby.  This is their escape from reality.  Many people are struggling just to pay the subscription fees.  Throw us a bone and think about merging some servers so that we have a base of people to work with so perhaps we may find some enjoyment in the game again.

This latest expansion with its cure heavy scripting has burned out the healers.  I have been looking for ONE templar for going on 3 months. I have had 2 applicants in that time and neither were able to handle the whack-a-mole curing as well as keeping their reactives up. When you spend THREE months trying to find a single class and have no success, this tells you things are not well in the land of Norrath.

In the last three months, we have lost at least two major guilds to collapse.  Unfortunately, those people didn’t remain on the server.  Most went to other servers or quit entirely.  We have had one guild transfer here to “rule the school” and another leave to go to another server to do the same.  We have at least 2 other non-avatar raid guilds on the verge of collapse and at least 2-3 others with severe recruitment issues.  Much of this is being caused by people QUITTING EQ2.

Please SOE, I implore you to do something to breathe some life into the game before more people take of for Aion or other MMOs. Delaying the expansion is killing the game, fluffy GUs with no real substance aren’t keeping the interest of a vast amount of us,  continued nerfs and re-defining classes isn’t the best way to hold on to people.

I see hundred of posts from people on ways to improve the game, ways to work towards class balance, ways to deal with itemization, ways to implement avatars into instanced encounters, and a majestic array of other ideas, suggestions, wants, desires,etc.  People WANT to play EQ2, but they also want to know their voices are heard, that the devlopers realize the we, the players, have a borader understanding of the game than you may think.  We the players are a font of knowldge, we are talented and skilled and we know what gamers want, do you?

Pervis has a nice followup which makes some great points about Itemization:

There is nothing more disapointing in raiding when you spend weeks working on an encounter to finally get the kill, only to have the one item in the chest be totally worthless. What this game needs, and what one of my primary complaints has been with TSO (paired with Research Assistants, which only add to the issue) is the total lack of any raid-based quests.

The original game was great. As soon as your guild killed Darathar, you basically took a giant step forward. Every mage and healer in the guild got a huge upgrade, and scouts and tanks got an item that was invaluable on many encounters.

Desert of Flames had the same with killing the Godking, and getting the weapons from the peacock quest series.

Kingdom of Sky had similar with the Claymore, though once you had killed Taranax you had no progression left until Fallen Dynasty was added.

Echoes of Faydwer was wasted, due to the Soulfire quest taking so long to implement. While it was great for lore reasons, it was horrible for content/mechanics reasons.

Rise of Kunark of course had epic [weapons], and as soon as you were able to kill Nexona and Druushk, you had an almost clear run to getting every mythical weapon. There is no need to even mention the difference between a raid with identicle equipment, but one with mythicals the other without.

The Shadow Odyssey has… umm… the earring from Munzok’s Material Bastion (MMB)?

There is no carrot dangling. When we kill a mob, we have no guarentee that the item it drops will be wanted. Why bother working on mobs in MMB if you know you are going to get a summoner-only item (we had the cloak and charm both drop 3 times in a row, prior to GU#53, we have no summoners).

While raiders are less interested in quests for the story aspect (in general, many raiders are as into the lore of this game as any non-raider), what they like is the guarantee that the time and effort they put in to killing encounters is going to be rewarded. Again until GU#53, I was looking at Ykesha thinking… why even bother? As a mage, he had no items that were worth me even looking at, and since he is not required for any quest update, I have no personal reason to care.

How is that good for the expansion’s end mob?

I have seen more raiders quit in TSO than any other time. Most of the players I know that have quit have done so for itemization reasons. While there are more item options and effect in game than ever before, it is how those effects have been distributed that has simply caused people to not want to bother. Its not enough to just create 100 items and throw them on loot tables at random, the placement of each item should have more attention paid to it than the creation of the item itself.

I have zero faith that the next expansion will be any better, simply because the same issues have been bought up with every previous expansion. Players have asked during beta to look over items to check for progression, and have either been not heard or ignored. Just look at how long it took to get items in to Miragul’s. If us players are being asked to test content out to make sure it is working as intended, and is set to the appropriate difficulty, we should also have someone asking us to test itemization progression.

Revisiting the same content over and over is just part of any MMO. Keeping players hooked as long as you can to keep subscription rates up is just part of the game business model. However the reliance on the Random Number Generator in gearing players up is really getting out of hand. Folks identify the best item for a slot (sometimes the best item in the game for a certain class and for a certain slot drops in an easy group zone, sometimes off the hardest raid mob in the game, it’s completely random) and then run that zone until they get the item. Then they never go back. Then there’s Healer Burnout, where healers are sticking around even though they currently hate some of the encounters just to not let their friends down.

October 13 Hotfix

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

This week’s hotfix will be hitting today, October 13th (not the date on the Update Notes announcement).


  • The zone boss, Ka’El Ka’Vrish, should now reset properly in Kor’Sha.


  • Fists of Judgment will no longer indicate that they have a duration.


  • Tuskers will now stagger his memwipe effects.
  • Enraged Haladan no longer gets an AE auto attack buff when he goes berserk, but will instead proc Haladan’s Fury (frontal only, slash damage AE spell).


  • You may now speak to the Priest of Discord on all PVP servers.
  • PVP weapons have been adjusted to bring them more in line with the intended damage for their tier.


  • There is a new option to always display the threat window. It can be found under User Interface -> Game Features -> Always show threat window.
  • Fixed a bug where the threat window would flash or disappear when it shouldn’t.

We’re keeping our eyes out for any further LoN news, by the way.

October 7 Update Notes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Live Events, Raiding

Here are your EQ2 Update Notes for October 7:


  • Legends of Norrath (LoN) cards and booster packs that drop in game are once again tradeable.


  • The Maj’Dul Monitor Achievement now accepts quests completed in the Courts.


  • The dire and alpha snowbeasts associated with Enraged Haladan now have somewhat less health.
  • Hard Mode: Brilliant Adepts have less health.  Boreas and Argos should no longer cast Trio of Teeth on players while they are leashed.  Curse of Confusion now lasts 18 seconds rather than 30 seconds.


  • Anashti Sul will no longer reset her ring event (the Manta Ray) when raids wipe to her (after the ring event was completed).

Player vs Player

  • Novice of Discord ward will no longer place you into combat when hit.
  • You may now purchase the Crystal of Discord from the general merchant.


  • Quests now sort properly by name.
  • The section of the heritage quest for the dark mail gauntlets, Tie up Some Loose Ends, should now update properly upon entering Miragul’s Phylactery: The Crucible.


  • Spell Trainers will now provide you with the latest information about spells.


  • The Magic Mouth now can be placed in guild halls, as originally intended.
  • Boss encounters will once again spawn for full groups in The Ethereal Rift.
  • The quest “Connecting Threads” should now be a little less confusing.
  • The Ethereal Rift would sometimes be empty if the player entering it was very lagged. This should no longer happen.


  • Magics in Veeshan’s Peak are no longer able to restrict players from entering certain wings of the stronghold!

Miragul Himself

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

Well, now we know the real reason that Avatar Loot was nerfed. It wasn’t because it was “overpowered” or because it would “break the next expansion”. It was so similar items could be put on the endboss of an instance.

As posted by Jasuo on the EQ2 Forums, two of the charms dropped by Miragul in Miragul’s Planar Shard (x4 raid zone) are very similar to Avatar Charms:

and yes, we will be back later today to talk about the new EQ2 zone which requires a LoN item to access.

October 1 Hotfix

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

Resolving hopefully the last of the Game Update 53 issues, we’re expecting the next Hotfix on Thursday, October 1. Here are the Update Notes:


  • The destroy confirmation is now more clear in confirming that you are actually destroying an item.
  • The Guardian of Eternity has returned to Charasis: Vault of Eternal Sleep
  • Research Assistants are a little more helpful when asked about their jobs.



  • Enhance: Mend will once again work properly.


  • Najena’s Ring of Readiness is no longer heirloom. Additionally, the Ring of Readiness effect will only function as long as the ring is worn.
  • The Charm of Rallos Zek now has 2 additional melee crit bonus.
  • The Charm of Anashti Sul now has 3 additional ranged doubleattack.
  • Scourge Knight Spaulders have been restored to their previous salmon color.
  • Chainlinks of Hatred now have ranged crit chance and bonus, as well as ranged skill.
  • Barbute of Curling Horns off the Tangrin now has only 3 shield effectiveness.
  • Rohop, the Icecleaver has been redesigned.
  • Perfect Cube of Ice now has 2 deflection chance to match its shield effectiveness.
  • The 5-piece Riftcloth bonus Empowered Minion V now works correctly.
  • Armor pieces from Miragul’s Planar Shard now have the intended critical mitigation.
  • The Loops of the Undying and Girdle of Ykesha’s Warlock have been slightly upgraded.
  • The hate reduction modifier on armor will once again display properly.


  • The chest for Glaciactus now spawns in the center of his room, in front of the throne.
  • Some of the adds associated with Haladan Moonrunner, Kervis Pendlair and Qxectus Qxectus can now be stunned/mezzed.
  • Haladan Moonrunner (non-enraged), Glaciactus and Kervis Pendlair have had their chance to critically hit players reduced.  The Tusker’s trumpet buff and berserkers fury buffs associated with the enraged Haladan encounter will no longer result in as massive a damage increase for the NPCs.
  • Many NPCs in this zone have had their damage, health and levels reduced.  AOE spells should now be spaced more evenly in encounters.
  • Certain bosses in Miragul’s Planar Shard now drop The Shadow Odyssey Armor Patterns.
  • Certain items in Miragul’s Planar Shard have had their power increased.


  • Back in Fashion should no longer be granted by Collector Rattelis.  The quest will be available when the cloaks are obtainable.


  • Poolburn type effects like Manaburn or Anashti’s Presence of the Void will once again function properly.
  • Combat arts which combine a melee attack and a DoT will no longer display really low values on the initial hit.
  • Barroom Negotiation will once again work with Double Up.


  • Fatal Followup will increase values appropriately for AOE based attacks.


  • Nexona has had the DPS cap removed for the fight.

No Grand Finale for Spires Quests

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

It’s too bad EQ2 developers don’t really talk to the players about Live Events and instead make assumptions.

Over 2 years ago, the first Spires were being rebuilt. Tradeskillers did all the work, and then when the spire reached 100% completion, an Epic x4 dragon appeared, killing them all. Raid guilds swooped in and battled it out for the contested win. Some even swarmed the various zones by logging in dozens of alt characters to intentionally lag out other players to prevent them from successfully taking down the mob. In the end, the raid guilds got Titles and all the credit, and the tradeskillers, the ones who had done the work of building the Spires, got nothing but a bitter taste in their mouths.

This time around, I do believe the event developer wanted to make sure there was not a repeat of these hard feelings. Certainly, there were many precautions taken. First, participation in the Spire Rebuilding came in the form of solo quests, small group quests, harvesting, and tradeskilling. Second, there are a huge variety of awards available on the merchant, more than have ever been offered for a live event. Third, the quests varied depending on whether you were rebuilding a spire or attuning a spire.

With all of these precautions, I thought for certain that we could now safely and fairly have this Grand Finale when each spire neared completion. What with the event now encompassing 9 spires instead of 3, I thought more guilds would have a chance to participate in the event. And every player who had the smallest part to play in the event still got something.

I’ve taken a small part in these events myself. Not only the repeatable quests, but  when the spire in Zek reached 30%, a cry of frustration rang out from other players who gave up and moved on to other spires. Four of us grouped up and defeated the 84^^^, allowing the Zek Spire Rebuild to continue. So I had been looking forward to dealing with the forthcoming x2 mob, and eventually (presumably) a x4 raid mob.

So I was disappointed to read this account from Hellswrath of the Alliance Guilds of Blackburrow and how their completion of the Everfrost Spire turned out:

First, I would like to say a big congratulations to everyone in the Blackburrow Guild Alliance for their hard work over two days in first building the Everfrost spire to 100%, and then starting all over and aligning it to 100% too!  An awesome job and a lot of hard work for two days straight!  Also, thank you to everyone else who helped on the spire, even for a little while!

Next, I’ll give a quick breakdown of the spire event to all those who are wondering what goodies these spires hold for those willing to put in the effort to complete them!

As most know, the spires in Zek, Everfrost, Lavastorm, and Loping Plains need to be built while the ones in CL, ANT, EL, Feerrott, Nek, and TS are already built and need to be aligned.

While being built, the spire in EF spawned a lvl 84 ^^^ heroic mob at 30%.  The mob killed all npcs and most low level alts doing the spire quests until he was taken down.  The reward for killing the spawned heroic was a small chest that gave 20 spire tokens to each group member.

The spire progressed as normal until it hit 90%, when it spawned a x2 epic.  It was a mob that looked very similar to the heroic, and gave 50 spire tokens to each raid member for killing him.

At 100%…….the spire reset back to 0%.  lol, yes, after all that work we needed to start all over again.  So we picked up again the next day and ground it out again.  While we expected another spawned mob or two, nothing happened by 70%, so we figured the next one would be a logical progression to an epic x4.  By the time we approached 100%, we had a full raid of people who had all been spending time building this spire.  The lowest contributor was a couple hours, the highest was somewhere well over 20 active hours.

It was the way it should be, with most of the people who had spent all their time to build the spire being the ones to get the epic pull and the credit.  Even the people from other guilds who came to look at getting in on the kill were gracious about being politely turned away.

We hit 100%, the spire completed, and . . . . . nothing happened.

Not a thing.  We stood around looking for a mob, checked track, checked the quest npcs and the spire itself to see if we were missing something.

Nope.  There was simply no point to completing this live event.  I must say that a full raid of great people (and many who were cheering on from the sidelines who had helped as well) went away feeling dispirited about the complete lack of reward for all this work.

That being said, thanks again to all those from Alpha Legion that entertained this crazy notion and stayed with us for a ridiculous amount of time to finish this event!  And a huge thanks to everyone who joined us from Casual Alliance, Wayward Waifs, Vainglory, Solace, and everyone else in the Blackburrow Alliance (and outside, too) who took their time to come hang out and grind out this spire to completion!  Awesome job!

I believe if, during Testing, or even the planning of the event, a dialogue had been opened with players asking what they felt was Good or Bad about the past Spires event and how these concerns could have been mitigated, watering this event down would not have been necessary.

It seems there is a dichotomy within the EQ2 team of what is easy, what is just plain tedious, and what is difficult, and decision after decision proves that these definitions are unclear. There is only one reliable way they’re going to find out how players feel about difficulty and fairness– ask the players. Yet this tool is ignored far too often.

Miragul’s Planar Shard

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

This year has seen the introduction of three raid zones to EverQuest II.

  • The Ward of Elements x2 — Once some initial bugs were corrected and a few mobs adjusted, this zone is a real success story. It’s very well-balanced for its target audience with sufficient difficulty and very good rewards.  Players with T2 armor, Epic weapon, and the right group makeups are successfully clearing the first 3 named, working their way up to clearing 5 and then finally clearing the zone once they’ve geared up further.
  • Kurn’s Tower x2 — This zone got some initial complaints, and gear was adjusted to compensate. Specifically the better patterns from Ward of Elements made an appearance here, and items were moved around to better match progression. All told it’s a reasonably popular zone.

And now we have Miragul’s Planar Shard. Despite the most organized beta testing process I’ve seen yet, the itemization came very late (just a few days before the update went live) and so these items have not gotten the scrutiny they should have.

I’ve already reported about zone issues with the 2nd and 3rd named crashing the zone and resetting all trash mobs on the 1st floor. This is not to mention that the chest from the 3rd named seems to prefer spawning under the floor.

But the bigger issue is the itemization and challenge for this zone.

The gear seems to be designed for casual raiders on the theory that these players will not have any T4 armor or Mythical weapons. However zone difficulty has been consistently reported as requiring players who have successfully killed Kultak and Switchmaster. By progression, this would mean players who have 3 pieces of T4 armor and Mythical weapons.

Patherpanchali has provided the details about how this zone can be scaled up and down in difficulty:

With regard to Miragul’s Planar Shard, the only MOBS in the zone that have a more difficult mode are Haladan and Miragul himself. During the Haladan fight there is a point at which he asks you to make a decision, which allows you to complete the encounter in standard mode or continue on to fight enraged versions of Haladan and Tuskers (hard mode). Hard mode encounters have their own loot table, and do not share items with their standard mode counterparts. When you get to the final floor, near the spiral staircase, you have a conversation with Miragul himself during which you can either insult him and he will fight you himself (hard mode), or let him make his speech without insulting him to get standard mode (his menagerie).

In addition there are items available from some of the Everfrost group instances that can affect aspects of the first floor encounters, giving players an additional advantage on the first floor. These are not needed to complete the zone, and have no effect on the treasure dropped by encounters they affect.

So what loot is actually dropping?

It is unclear at what difficulty this zone is being attempted, but the links I have seen so far for items that drop here are surprisingly average. While I’ve seen a decent Ranger off-hand and ring, some of the items defy belief. Some of the weapons cannot be used if you already have a Mythical weapon equipped. This is true of Fighters who already have their Mythical and a Shield, and Mages who cannot dual wield. So far, armor drops have not had any Critical Mitigation, making them a poor upgrade over even T1 armor.

Here’s a quote from Hecula which I think sums it up:

I think it’s time to seriously re-examine the way loot is heading and change it. Miragul’s took some time to design – the encounter scripts are inventive and unique. Yet the zone and all that work is ruined because people won’t want to play it. The rewards are too bad. It’s the same reason why almost noone is killing Munzok.

I would like to point out two of the most popular zones in EQ2 history. Runnyeye: The Gathering and Shard of Hate. These zones have probably been run more times than any other zones in the game. They were both zones that were considered very difficult when released (SoH slightly less so except for Maestro and Byzola) and both zones featured extremely good gear. The cloaks and set pieces dropped by the x2 in RE gave people a good reason to keep running the zone. Same thing for SoH – much of that gear is still highly desired by players and it is still a regularly-run zone. I would like to see more zones patterned after these zones.

If this game is to keep going until February, players need challenge and reward. Fluff and beauty aren’t enough. Just as a small segment of the population is kept alive by contested camping, only a small segment thrives solely on appearance and house decorations.

Bug Fixes and Bonus XP Weekend

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

Like any Game Update, inevitably a few bugs slip through. Game Update #53 (Shards of Destiny) had more than a few. Some received attention in Today’s Hotfix:


  • /hide will once again hide illusions.
  • Discord (PvP) tokens are no longer fabled.
  • Saving and Loading house layouts is temporarily disabled for further tuning.


  • The Octagorgon Assassin achievement is now located under Dungeons instead of Raids.


  • Certain items dropped by Munzok have been upgraded.
  • Spirit Drain on the Spirit Draining Wristguard no longer heals the target of the attack.


  • Regardless of which order you defeat the four bosses in Shard of Love, the doors to the chapel should always open.


  • Arasai and Fae Glide are now toggled spells found in your Ability book.


  • Sorcerers may now translocate to any Ulteran spire even if they’re already in that zone.


  • Vertical hotbars will no longer have the large amount of empty space on the right side.

Other bugs introduced in Game Update 53 persist or are still being discovered. Here are the bugs and issues we’re tracking related to GU53:

  1. Anashti Sul‘s Presence of the Void causes double damage and drains twice as much power as it used to. The issue has been identified and a hotfix is forthcoming.
  2. When the third named in the new Miragul’s Planar Shard zone (Glaciatus) dies, the chest spawns in the floor and is unreachable.
  3. Many players are reporting zonewide crashes on the 2nd and 3rd names in Miragul’s Planar Shard, which reset all of the trash mobs on the first floor.
  4. Completing Quests seems to make the Quest Helper window randomly disappear.
  5. The gloves in the Ro Achievement, Overrealm Achievement, and Faydwer Achievenment armor crates make Sarnak hands invisible.
  6. Certain users are reporting that GPU Shadows cause either flickering, or random dark spots on their screens.
  7. The Brigand spell “Double Up” is not working properly.
  8. Once you complete one of the 37 missions from the Chronomages, the mission cannot be reset, preventing you from picking up another one.
  9. Self and Group Buffs Persist on death. Not only are they there when you are revived, but they are functional while you are dead.
  10. The Threat/Agro Meter (Ctrl-T) disappears when out of combat and sometimes when in-combat.

Players are continuing to express their frustration at the changes to the Racial Traits. Specifically, that a large quantity of players will need to pay an extra fee just to get racial traits back that they have been using for the last 3 years. Presumably this token (which is not yet in the game) will made available for $10-15 on StationCash.

This is the best quote I’ve seen yet covering Game Update 53. Thanks Fendaria:

Recently the statements were made there was going to be more communication from the developers with the player base.  I believe this was given as one of the reasons for the GU updates to occur less often, to allow for more feedback.  This goal appears to have been largely unachieved for GU 53.  There was minimal, if any response to the feedback provided for the racial revamp.  There was minimal, if any notification or response to the feedback provided about the black shard merchant.

Besides the Achievements system and Spires event, I can’t point to another area of GU 53 which did have good developer communication.  (And please note, the Achievement system is largely considered a positive change by most players, in part due to better developer communication).

Avatar Loot Nerfs

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

So far, today my coverage of Game Update 53 has been entirely positive. I think Game Update 53 is actually an excellent update, with the live quest, HEIRLOOM LORE-EQUIP flag, etc. However in the long term, I think all the great things about this update may be overshadowed by some colossal mistakes.

The bland Racial Trait revamp which I’ve already talked about. And an issue that a lot of people don’t take seriously, but I think needs to be discussed — the Avatar Loot Nerf. So far, I have refrained from covering these changes, hoping that cooler (and wiser) heads would prevail. However it seems that didn’t happen, so now I have to write this article…

Game Update 53 implements a massive reduction in the desirability and effectiveness to a large percentage of gear that drops from the Avatars of Norrath. The overwhelming majority of these items are now less effective than items that drop in instance raid zones and in some cases single group zones. In short, there was absolutely no point in anyone killing any of these mobs for the last 9 months.

Contested vs. Instanced

When EverQuest II came out, almost all of the content was contested. In dungeons, in outdoor zones, almost every enemy was free-roaming, able to be killed by anyone. As a result, players would camp these mobs, and contact each other when one appeared so they could quickly group up and kill it before anyone else could take it. It was contested content. However there has been a gradual shift to instanced zones in the last 4 years and this trend is no more obvious than with The Shadow Odyssey which contained not a single new contested zone or encounter.

Every time I zone into Deep Forge, or Ward of Elements, or Palace of the Ancient One, I am guaranteed the opportunity to kill every single named. I know they will be up, and I won’t have to compete with any other players to get to them. I can visit Ward of Elements twice a week and kill 7 named each time. The only competition here is against the Random Number Generator % chance that the item I want will drop.

The Shadow Odyssey started out with 3 instance raid zones. Certain mobs have certain patterns they drop. If you kill these mobs, you are guaranteed to get certain patterns to T4 armor set pieces.

What is an Avatar?

An Avatar is a Planar Manifestation. It is a Norrath-bound representation of a deity or God. And furthermore, Avatars are the only substantial Contested content left in EQ2 right now.

Three avatars spawn every 3~5 days. Every 3~5 days, if your guild has enough members logged in and with the right gear, and if you are quick enough, you can try to kill these 3 avatars. Avatars typically have 15 million hitpoints and you must kill them in 7 minutes or they put a debuff on your entire raid called Battle Weary which makes it almost impossible to kill them. This is not to mention the competition from other guilds, and the inevitable zone lag caused by ~50 spectators watching your guild try to defeat an avatar.

A few of the Avatars are slightly easier to kill than the hardest mobs in the hardest instance raid zones in the game, however they are not Contested. I think this point gets lost in the shuffle in many discussions.

On some servers, 1 guild has these Avatars on lockdown. On other servers, there is competition between 2 or 3 guilds to kill them. There are entire guilds that had their entire membership pay $20 to move their characters over to another server just to have a shot at killing avatars. In other words, they are contested. Each avatar that is killed drops 2 items from one of three shared loot tables (good, neutral, and evil) and a master spell. (details from Lithin.com)

The Problem

The big problem is, Contested Avatar gear was designed around crunch time in the development of The Shadow Odyssey. Some of it had effects on it which were not fully understood until after the expansion was released. Simultaneously, the Tier 4 armor, which is the set piece armor obtained by completing Instance Raid zones, is very powerful, to the point where there are concerns that this armor will be effective even when the Sentinel’s Fate expansion increases the level cap to 90 next February.

So there was discussion by the EQ2 Developers as early as February that some of this Avatar Gear would be nerfed. When the changes appeared on test, which rendered most of the items useless in comparison with Instance gear, there was unanimous negative reaction. The changes were shelved. For the next 6 months, players went about their business, playing the game as it was apparently designed — with contested mobs dropping the most powerful items in the game.

Players invested thousands of man-hours into playing the game as it has been presented since the Echoes of Faydwer expansion, namely that Avatars drop the best items in the game, and if you want this gear, you will need to invest the time and effort to get it.

Then in August, the changes appeared again on the Test server, with even more dramatic changes than the ones mentioned in February. For the next month, a 75 page thread developed trying to get some answers from the developers as to why such drastic changes were necessary. It was subsequently closed and a new thread created asking if we would be getting any developer explanation for these heavy-handed changes. That thread was also closed.

I have never been prouder of the EQ2 community for the detailed analysis of each item, screen shots, comparisons between Avatar Gear and other in-game items which are similar or better, in-game statistics, etc. they did in these two threads. Most importantly were many impassioned pleas from the players of these guilds that tackle these encounters week-after-week that they would no longer have any desire or need to participate in this content once the changes went live.

I was very frustrated to see these threads closed, and the result of that was I think some undeserved attacks have been made towards Kiara, who I think has done an excellent job turning the EQ2 forums from the Gestapo, uncomfortable place they were 2 years go, into the receptive place they are now that accepts feedback, even if it’s a viewpoint the devs might not like.

The blame for this Avatar Loot situation does not fall on Kiara’s shoulders. It belongs on the shoulders of the developers who let this go for so long.

On September 23rd, we saw the launch of the Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53). With few exceptions, every Avatar Gear item in the game has been reduced in effectiveness (nerfed) exactly how they appeared on Test in mid-August. Customer Feedback was completely ignored, and the suggestion that these changes wait until the expansion received no attention.

Regardless of whether some of these items may have been slightly overpowered, the point now is that I have never seen the players of EQ2 do such a good job explaining in intricate detail, with examples, screen shots, comparisons, Excel spreadsheets, ACT reports, exactly why the changes were flawed, and how they would break the game.

Why You Should Care

So far, all of the Raid content that has been added to EQ2 in Kunark and The Shadow Odyssey has gone live broken, with substantial bugs that make it impossible to kill mobs. Avatar-killing Guilds have been instrumental in providing detailed bug reports to get this content fixed.

I predict that a lot of raid content will be going live in the next expansion with a serious lack of testing and bugs as a result. I am really not looking forward to seeing some of the most experienced players, who have given me a lot of advice about how to be a better player, outright quit the game.

People try to classify members of raid guilds as players with “no life” who get woken up at 3am to kill these mobs. It is a fact that raid guilds successfully take down avatars without waking up at odd hours or playing “24/7”. Some do so playing as little as 20 hours a week.


There is so much worth reading in the Avatar Nerf #1 and Avatar Nerf #2 threads, but I wanted to include some of it here without making this post too long. Yes, there is a lot of whining and nonsense in those threads, but there are also very detailed, constructive arguments.

I think you already have your feedback. Within hours you have seen that this massive nerf to an entire playstyle is completely unacceptable to most.

This goes beyond what is actually being done to avatar gear right now. This is showing a sense of disdain towards the high end content and the players that give the most back to the game in terms of feedback about mechanics and encounters. To me it shows that not only is a contested playstyle being destroyed right now, but that soe has no intention of having a contested level of loot/play/gear in the next expansion. Progression is a very important thing. Making encounters more difficult to progress through, and also having those encounters drop loot that also progresses.

This nerf will do massive damage to raiding guilds on every server, and will take away one of the aspirations of every raider. ~~ Korrupt @ Najena ~~

Many of the changes to avatar loot appears to be done arbitrarily without consideration for how the end result compares to existing items.

Further, some items that were -already- worse than instanced items have received additional nerfs. Since items that were regarded as ‘trash’ already were reduced, this does tend to reinforce the idea that these changes were largely arbitrary and done without a great deal of thought. Examples include the Pantaloons of the Visionary, which were already an inferior choice to set pants for people trying to get their set bonuses and use their free slot for something better. Other examples include the avatar belts, which were already inferior to mobs from instanced zones – which no one complained about. ~~ Chath of Bloodthorn on Antonia Bayle ~~

The problem is with the DESIGNERS not with the MECHANICS.  The designers continue to make items that are irreplaceable. They continue to make items that everyone knows are too good, and they continue to show they have no idea how their game actually works.

Take the base damage and the Bloodthirsty Choker for example.  They didn’t even realize why it was so good.  They had no idea that base damage affected poisons and procs.  They even went so far as to start adding base damage to LEGENDARY gear.

After two expansions of everyone wearing the choker and numerous posts about it, what do they do?  They add MORE base damage items to the game.  Even though Fyreflyte says himself “previously the highest you could hope to attain is 10% ~ 15%”.  He acts like the items made themselves.  HE MADE THEM.  The TEAM made them.

Stuff like this isn’t the player’s fault.  Its the team’s fault.  Continual design ignorance and a lack of the future of the game results in the mechanics changing every expansion and months of player’s time wasted. ~~ Gage ~~


EQ2 needs to be itemized from the top down. Really, if you look at it, almost all of the gear in The Shadow Odyssey is overpowered. Even the Tier 1 and Tier 2 armor. Even some of the quest gear. Going forward, if gear issues are identified early on, they need to be applied early in the expansion. Waiting until September is just really bad form. And needlessly reducing the effectiveness of gear to below the effectiveness of other items in the game, especially ones that drop in Heroic dungeons, is just plain wrong.

There is no doubt that due to the choice to apply these changes now, rather than February as they were strongly advised to do, will result in many people quitting the game, perhaps indefinitely. If SoE is serious about EQ2 having Contested content in the future, they need to understand the time investment that is made to playtest and participate in this content. There are only so many times players will come back from this kind of sea change.

Leaving the Game

Normally, when someone posts on the EQ2 forums or EQ2Flames that they intend to quit the game, they are met with ridicule, disbelief, and disingenuous requests “can I have your stuff?” However, you will find none of that here.

If you are considering leaving EQ2, please post a comment with your character name(s), guild, and server, and I will post them here.

Dracos Argent – Butcherblock
Grump, Emericant, Karmalina, Kindalar, Lucii, Merovius, Leisure

Validus – Splitpaw
Lithin, Cexi, Lineshta

Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53) Summary

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Live Events, Raiding

Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53) goes live tomorrow, Wednesday September 23rd.

Most notably absent from the Game Update 53 notes are whether the Avatar Gear changes are going live, and whether the Racial Traits received any changes based on the significant feedback posted on the forums.

If you want to read the full Gu53 Update Notes you can read them by clicking right there. I did some significant cleanup for readability and a few clarifications. It’s worth a read, even if you’ve read the official notes.

HOWEVER… we do understand that the full Update Notes are a lot to read and some folks might want just the key points. I can’t guarantee it’s much shorter, but maybe it’s more pleasant to read. So we present them here…

Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53) Notes

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

UPDATE: Servers will go down September 23rd from 6am to 10am PDT.

And you can read the complete update notes from EQ2Players. However you might want to read my revised notes…

NOTE: I have gone through these notes and slightly improved them for readability specific to issues I’m familiar with. If that bothers you, go and click on the EQ2Players link above.


Game Update #53 (Shards of Destiny) on Test

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

Shards of Destiny (Gu53) appeared on Test just moments before midnight last night. This update is expected to go live in late September (the initial date was September 22nd, but this was an internal target). Here are the Test Update Notes:

Test Update August / 27 / 2009



The new achievement system gives players a fun new way to track their accomplishments!  Most achievements will award players with achievement points that can be used to compare their progress against other players.  Some harder to complete achievements will offer non-stat item rewards.  The basic categories are General, Quest, Exploration, Combat, Slayer, Tradeskills and Triumphs.  Triumphs are large scale achievements that combine multiple achievements into one large one.  An example of this would be to do all of the combat, quest, and exploration achievements in a specific area.


A number of mysterious erudites have set up in Qeynos, Freeport, Neriak, Gorowyn, and Kelethin. Any player level 20 or higher can speak to them and for a small fee temporarily lower their adventuring level.

This works very similarly to mentoring except:

  • You do not need a mentoring target.
  • You can only choose levels in increments of 5 (10, 15, 20, etc).
  • You do not receive the bonuses granted from mentoring other players (currently you receive a very large bonus to AA gain while mentoring another player, this is not granted by the Chronomagic system).

The chronomagic will last until cancelled (right-click on your nameplate or /unmentor). Once cancelled, you must return to any Timeless Chronomage to reactivate the effect

Additionally, 37 new missions have been added that work similar to The Shadow Odyssey’s daily doubles. They task players with slaying various bosses within zones of all levels throughout Norrath  And, of course, these missions reward players with an array of exciting new items!

Chronomagic works the same on PvP servers as it does on PvE servers. However, it also has all the same restrictions as mentoring—namely that you cannot engage in PvP combat while the chronomagic effect is on your character. This makes it quite a bit more dangerous on PvP servers, so good luck and be careful!

Bosses and Events

As part of the chronomagic initiative, a pass was made through old-world overland and contested dungeons to greatly increase the frequency with which bosses and events spawned or occurred. Many placeholders and placeholder ring events were either removed or weighted much more heavily toward actual bosses spawning. Some of the notable highlights include placeholders being removed from:

(Note: These are all from forum feedback)

  • Crypt of Betrayal – Specter of Ire
  • Enchanted Lands – Chomper
  • Everfrost – Chieftain Iceburn
  • Feerrott – Screaming Mace HQ targets Agony, Hukulan, Kaxor, Xilarga, and Tzugaax. Also Bouncers Prud, Hurd, Fug, and Flerb who were also changed to no longer despawn
  • Greater Faydark – Crushbone Expedition Leader, Chef, Weaponsmith, and Planner
  • Lavastorm – Fire Toad, Magolemus
  • Nektulos – Dannian Blackleaf – removed respawn time and despawn time, should always be up now
  • Obelisk of Lost Souls – Mediums of Dyrt, Cron, Iza, Odris, Norrath, and Lysys, Soul Harvesters Kul, Na, Gron, and Zej, Avulsor
  • Old Telescopic Lens (quest starter for The Staff of Observers) drops much more frequently
  • Zek,  Orchish Wastes – Sentry Goorlux
  • Palace of the Awakened – Skylord Stormclaw, Advisor Soliddar
  • Rivervale – Willowmaw the Rotting
  • Ruins of Varsoon – Weavemaster Esh’rax, Tome of Life, Tome of Death, The Creator
  • Solusek’s Eye – Enforcer Maj’Fahd, Soulslaver Djar’veh, The Speaker of Fates, The Castigator, Lord Crana, Onyxlam
  • Steamfont – Bulka Bloodhorn, Digmaster Pechpooka, Slave Pechmooka, Scout Pechyooka
  • Thundering Steppes – Stiletto, Bloodtalon
  • Stormhold – a caveroot horror, Battlepriest Alexandria
  • Stormhold – The Scions – Archiovianix, Hephinntari, Qelinatias, Tumarinan
  • The Vestibule – The Medium of Hykor
  • Tombs of Night – The Leucous Maw

There are a large number of ring events that work similarly in the zones: Antonica, Commonlands, Everfrost, Sinking Sands, Enchanted Lands, Feerrott, Nektulos, Orcishwastes, and Thundering Steppes. They had a very high chance to spawn a placeholder, a small chance to spawn a boss, a small chance to spawn a shrine that buffs the player, and a small chance to spawn a number of different merchants. The chance to spawn a placeholder was greatly reduced and there is now a very high chance for one of the ‘events’ to occur. The merchants were all combined into the ‘rare’ merchant, who will now always spawn for that event. They also have a much larger merchantlist, and will buy, sell, and repair your gear! Contested Epic spawns in lower level zones were lowered to spawn every three days (with a large variation) instead of once a week.

A number of x2 and x3 contested mobs were downtiered because they had a 0% chance to drop fabled gear. They were lowered to triple-ups and their spawn times were adjusted accordingly. The contested epic mobs who did have fabled loot were given a 100% chance to drop at least one fabled item each time they are slain. Some of the mobs changed include:

  • Allidax the Ancient
  • Alrendi Thoughtsong
  • Broog the Banished
  • Commander Nagrat
  • Cragshell
  • Cyenadros, Lord of the Sanctum
  • Doomsquall
  • Equestrielle
  • Grimfeather
  • Haraghur the Deathless
  • Haywire Opticron (lowered to one-up and added loot)
  • Lavin Dusk
  • Mangler
  • Meathooks
  • Scytheclaw
  • Spiregazer
  • Ssilth Rageclaw
  • The Unseelie JumJum Thief
  • Vox

In general, most named mobs (with some exceptions) changed by this pass have a very high chance to drop treasured. Those with rare fabled items had their chances to drop raised significantly as well.

  • Named mobs in New Tunaria should have a 100% chance to drop legendary gear, and a much higher chance to drop Cloak of Flames pages now!
  • A new boss has found his way into Sebilis.
  • Bosses in Sebilis and Chardok should match Karnor’s Castle and spawn every 45 minutes + variation.
  • The despawn timers from all of Kylong Plains’ rare mobs have been removed.
  • The Fiery Apparition in Lavastorm should spawn once again

Note to testers:
Because of the size of Norrath, a number of placeholders may have slipped through our net. Please /feedback these with two pieces of information:  the full name of the zone and the full name of the placeholder-challenged named mob.

Shard of Love (heroic zone)

The Sisterhood of Erollisi has returned to Antonica with grave concerns! Adventurers interested in helping them should seek out a Disciple of Love in Antonica, Kelethin or Gorowyn. Those with more devious intentions should seek out Disciples of Hate within The Commonlands, Neriak or Gorowyn.


Illusions cast from petamorph wands will now last for two hours and persist through zoning.

Melee, defense and casting skills should now be easier and more straightforward to level up.

Swimming will now skill up faster.

You can now buy the Translocate and Druid Portal spells from the trainers.

Racial choices have changed.  As a result, your character development choices have been reset.

Adventure writs are now offered to a player’s effective level, so that mentored players can complete adventure writs at any level!

You can now convert adventure experience into the achievement pool from level 10 and higher by adjusting the slider in the achievement window.

Examining a ranged combat art will now display the ranged critical bonus properly.

Fixed an issue where items might trigger when they are restricted to a certain damage type.

The /auction channel is now server wide!

You will now receive chat feedback for dispels and cures.

Scouts will automatically disarm chests now when attempting to open them.  As a result, the disarm verb will no longer display.

Pets will no longer be hit by AoE autoattack unless they are considered in front of the attacker.  This should in turn make it easier to position pets to avoid it since the avoidance range for them is now flanking or behind instead of just behind.

Beneficial Poolburn effects will now display to the chat log.

Target locking abilities will now terminate if the locker is no longer a valid target.

Triggered Spell based effect tooltips will now update appropriately if your intelligence or strength change.

Player-written books will now be editable when transferring to another server.

Fixed a bug where when sometimes editing a very large player written book some text would be lost when closing and reopening the book.

Zoning into a new raid instance will no longer clear your raid looters.

Turning the avatar autoface option ON and the camera autoface option OFF will keep your character facing the target regardless of what direction your character is moving while autoattack is turned off. Toggle autoattack off to toggle off autoface if you just need to turn and run and toggle it back on again to make a final stand.


  • Players who leave Charasis: Vault of Eternal Sleep and return later will no longer find their progression blocked.


  • Players will find that Gorowyn has become a good deal easier to navigate.


  • A quest has been added to assist with certain progression within Miragul’s Planar Shard!
  • Items that can assist in certain elements of the Planar Shard fights are now random drops in the Miragul’s Phylactery group TSO zones.


  • Umzok and Ozyk now drop the less specialized cloaks and charms more reliably.
  • Certain items in Munzok’s Material Bastion have become slightly more desirable.


  • The Nerius pirates camping along Nektulos beach are now armed (and still) dangerous.


  • Turgen Bremhurst now offers a more interesting way for you to earn the key to the gates of Bridge Keep.

ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENT  (formerly Achievements)

  • Ooze Crawler will now benefit from Wrath of the Undead Servant


  • Spirit of the Ancients will apply properly to Ancestral Sentry when another player is targeted.


  • Pet Achievement Spells now have a higher priority when casting.


  • Fixed Shattered Infections to cure the correct person.


  • Cry of the Warrior will be resisted less often now.


The Heirloom flag has been added to a large number of items in the game with the exception of quest items, heritage items, PvP items, and items gained from patterns (but the patterns themselves were flagged as Heirloom). This will allow players to join groups with the character that can help the group the most without the worry of not being able to gear up the character of their choice! As a side effect, items affected by this change will unattune and be sent to overflow initially upon first login.

Fixed a case where some item based triggered effects would begin to critical.

The Brethren of Night quartermaster by Soul Eater Falls in Nektulos Forest has improved the appearance of the armor and robe he sells.  (Existing armor purchased from him previously will not be affected.)  The Hand of Marr quartermaster in the nearby camp has also begun stocking a robe.

The Cudgel of Obviation’s Spirit Tap Effect is now unresistable.

Old Telescopic Lens (quest starter for The Staff of Observers) drops much more frequently.

Volcanic Knight’s Tempered Helm now has spell and heal crit chance to match its melee crit.

The ‘Deception’ effect on the Bracelet of the Trickster no longer affects fighters.

Unbound Elemental Essences from Lavastorm are now heirloom and the items that are purchased with them are now easier to obtain.

Balanced Ayr Stones may now be applied to fist weapons of any damage type.

Saita’s Glowing Gem will automatically cast on the user when activated. Amazing Presence now shows up in the Maintained Spells window.

The Bangle of the Spiteful now slightly increases spell crit bonus.

Anashti Sul and Ykesha now have a chance to drop new items for Mages.

The descriptions on Petamorph Wands and their spells now declare that they will only affect combat pets and not cosmetic pets.


  • Going linkdead while accessing your mailbox will no longer cause your mail to be inaccessible if you log back in before your character leaves the world.
  • After sending a guild mail or ranks mail the “to” text box will no longer have a random guild member name in it.

Player vs Player (PvP)

The Priests of Discord have returned.  Reports state that they are currently teaching young adventurers the path of discord.

New Shattered Lands, Faydark, Kunark and Void Discord tokens have been created.  The Discord tokens will now replace all previously used currency.

Faction merchants have agreed to reduce their status and faction costs!  In return, their items have been enhanced to be more desirable to prospective buyers.

EoF, RoK and TSO Faction items have been enhanced to be more desirable by prospective buyers.  All previously purchased items have gained the attributes as well.

Writ givers are eager to see more adventurers in battle and are willing to ignore previous requirements for their job completion.

Spawn location near Dreg’s Landing and Teren’s Grasp have been moved to be favorable for all factions.

The Kylong Plains writ giver has moved to Teren’s Grasp from Dreg’s Landing.

The dirge epic triggered effect (Intrepid Strike) will no longer force an attack to inflict maximum damage while in PvP combat.

Hate will now age faster while you are on a server controlled mount.

You will no longer gain immunity while on balloon platforms.

Reactive should no longer trigger incorrectly.


Player houses have been given an extra room! Note to testers: Currently homes in Qeynos and Freeport will be unable to customize the new room. This will be updated shortly.

Players can now save and restore their house item layouts.  Use the commands save_layout <filename> and load_layout <filename>.

House layout files can only be loaded in houses of the same type.  This also works in guild halls!


Creature mastery quests (Lore & Legend) now use a system of progressively increasing luck that eventually guarantees an update.

The third scout for “Connect the Dots” in Kylong Plains is now easier to find.

The quest “A Strange Gem” Has been re-introduced into Antonica.

The quest “The Final Report” from the Qeynos Claymore progression in Kingdom of Sky should now allow citizens of all evil and good aligned cities to obtain the quest.

The quest “Aelia and the Butcher” can now be completed properly in North Freeport.

The respawn time on a named needed for the Screaming Mace quest within Temple of Cazic Thule has been shortened.

The difficulty of the waves of orcs that spawn at the beginning of Bloodskull Valley has been lowered to be more in line with the difficulty intended for Return of the Light Heritage quest.


Cheap Shot will now last the full four seconds on single up arrow NPCs.  Higher difficulty NPCs will remain at two seconds since they are not typically used for solo encounters.

Group and self targeted buffs which do not expire will persist through death.  This does not apply to pet spells.

Deity Spells now have a two second casting time.

Ranges have been adjusted to many spells to more consistent.

Maintained spell descriptions from cast items will now look like if you examined the item directly.

Spells that are hostile and beneficial will now apply their beneficial effects to anyone in the group with an AOE avoidance spell on them.


  • The Earthen Avatar line will now break invisibility spells when cast.
  • Communion should inherit the proper names from Fiery Magician now and use the appropriate Hydromancer appearance.


  • Druid Portal spells have been consolidated into one spell and now work similar to the druid guild hall amenity.


  • Inquisition will now overwrite existing copies of the spell properly on a target.


  • Amends 3 has been removed from the Paladin Training choices like it was prior to GU51.


  • Miss your old skeleton pet?  Then visit your local Shadowknight trainer and get your new skeleton pet today!  Scrolls are going fast so hurry up and get yours today!


  • Sorcerer translocate spells have been consolidated into a single spell that works similar to the druid guild hall amenity.


  • Faerie Ally will no longer attempt to save dead people.
  • Tunare’s Watch will now scale by level since it is not upgraded at higher levels.


  • Rays of Disintegration will no longer interrupt the group and is now only cast by the wizard.  The casting time is slightly less while doing a bit more damage now.


The tradeskill society tutorial books now have an improved appearance.  If you do not have a copy and would like one, visit your local tradeskill society merchant.

The recipe for the Flame Tapestry found in Najena’s Forge is no longer limited in uses.

Carpenters can now provide a few essentials for those stabling their mounts in their homes.

Byproducts from tradeskilling will no longer have the crafter’s name on them.

Tradeskill level will now count for purchasing racial traditions.


The recipe window now auto adjusts to fit very long recipe names.

Title lists on the Details tab of the Persona window are now sorted.

A new user-interface has been wrapped around the mentoring system.

Type /mentor to display the mentoring window.

You can also use the /unmentor command to cancel mentoring.

The mentoring window will be displayed when you join a group if your level is too high to allow all players to earn XP.

The Welcome screen now shows the number of unopened LoN booster packs you have.

The examine recipe window will now use multiple lines for very large recipe names.

The threat window now has an improved tooltip and will only show when it is relevant.

Timers on quests in the group quest window will now have correct times.

Double clicking an item in the Marketplace section of the welcome window will now open the Marketplace window with that item pre-selected.

You can now alter the hotkey for the zone reuse timer window in the options window.

The confirmation box for destroying a player written book with special characters in the title will no longer displayer gibberish.


Critical damage will once again be tracked properly.

Game Update 53 Test News, Hot Zones

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

Alan “Brenlo” has chimed in on the EQ2 Forums with the news that GU53 will be appearing on Test servers tomorrow. He’s also spilled the beans on Hot Zones and what this means for you.

Tomorrow morning, Shards of Destiny is going to the Test server!  Woo Hoo!  We hope you are as excited as we are to see the new content and try it out for yourselves.  I encourage you, if you have time in your busy schedules, to jump onto Test and try the new content out.  We would love to hear your feedback and the more people that take part, the more solid we can make sure this update releases.

One thing you will notice missing from the update notes are the Shader 3.0 changes.  Unfortunately the work is turning out to be a little more time intensive than our initial estimates.  We did not want to rush it out, as it is a far reaching change that can impact many players and systems, so we are going to let it bake a little longer.  Working with it and testing it internally on as many system configs as our compatibility lab can put together, and they can put together a TON, to make sure it causes as little disruption as possible.  We want everyone to enjoy the vibrant lighting and shader changes this brings to the game and we hope you can be patient as we continue to tweak it until the next game update, which is tentatively scheduled for early December.

One of the new systems we are really excited about is the Chronomagic, formerly Auto-Mentoring, system.  This allows you to level down your character and experience lower level content that you may have missed, want to play over, or experience with new friends.

Houses are getting room upgrades! How exciting is that?  Most housing will soon have at least one additional room added to their architecture.  Maj’Dul housing gains multiple new rooms, I may finally up and move there.  Along with the new rooms, there is a modest increase in the number of items a house can hold, so we hope that you decorators out there make good use of the added space.  If you are a decorator and have something to show off, we encourage you to show images on the forums or even send them to us as we love to see the imaginative things you create.

There are a good deal of additional features and content pieces coming too, so check out those Test update notes and let us know what you think.

You may have noticed a hotfix this morning with a couple of small code changes.  One of which was a small change to the Welcome Screen.  Nothing huge, just a single new field in the lower right corner.  The welcome screen now displays each days Daily Mission!  A welcome and useful change I hope!  Above that you will see a new field that simply says Hot Zone.  “What is that Brenlo?” Well I am glad you asked!  Our brilliant coders and designers have come up with a new feature that each day increases the fabled drop rates in one dungeon.  The welcome screen will display which dungeon currently has the increased drop rate.  “But Brenlo, right now it says None!  I want my Hot Zone!” Do not fret my friends, we will be turning it on soon.

In fact. . .  Because we were unable to provide our European and Japanese players with GU 52 at the same time as our North American servers, we will be turning the Hot Zones on for those servers this weekend!   Look for an announcement from Kiara on the specific time it turns on and then watch the welcome screen.  For our North American servers, you will get this new hotness, yes I just said new hotness, let the hate mail begin, the following weekend.  Just in time for Labor Day.

We have lots going on here in the EQII laboratory so we will continue to keep you updated and keep that feedback coming as we love to hear from you.  Well most of you, you know who you are . . . Kendricke.  =P

I hope to see you in Atlanta at Dragon Con.

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby
Senior Producer EverQuest II

Shards of Destiny (Game Update 53)

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Raiding

As announced at EQ2Players…

EQII’s next Game Update #53, Shards of Destiny, is slated to go live in late September. We will be bringing some exciting new content to the world of Norrath with Shards of Destiny.

love1 love2

Erollisi Marr’s influence is felt once more in Norrath. Our players will be able to explore the Shard of Love and learn more of the popular goddess’ story. The Shard of Love is a single group zone.

There will also be a new x4 dungeon to test your skills. Miragul’s Planar Shard will continue the story of the powerful mage.

miragul1 miragul2

There are several other exciting additions coming with Shards of Destiny!

Auto-mentoring: Revisit content you may have missed!

Housing renovations: Enjoy more space to exercise your decorating creativity, or just more room to store your booty! Several housing types are receiving an additional room.

Achievement System: Killed 100,000 undead? Now you’ll be able to track your accomplishments and earn nifty rewards.

Shader revamp: The changes to the shader system are ready! Enhanced graphics and more realistic-looking shadows await.

We do not yet have an exact date for Shards of Destiny (Gu53) to appear on Test (ETA?) or be pushed to Live. But when we do, you’ll be sure to find that information ASAP. 🙂

August 12th Update

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


  • x4 raid mobs who heal themselves by 2% when they kill players now only heal this way to 45% of their max health.  They will no longer heal at all if they kill players and the mob’s health is above 45% already.*


  • During the final Munzok fight, Elemental Augers will no longer cast Icy Storm (instead they cast two weaker spells).
  • Munzok’s AOE spell Void Inferno no longer clears players’ targets, and Ripping Voidforce does slightly less damage to players who are close to Munzok himself.


  • Void Rippers on the first island and Void Renders on the fourth island have less health than before.


  • You can now purchase Station Cash in increments of $25 dollars.


  • Ykeshan researchers are no longer immune to stun, stifle and mesmerize effects.

* As written, it seems this would affect all raid fights, including any Kunark raid mobs with this mechanic. This is a pretty substantial change, which may allow  raid forces to have a particularly disastrous run, have a healer pull off a raidwide resurrect, everyone get rebuffed, and continue on their merry way, with the mob parked at 45% health. We’ll see how it plays out over the next months.

August 4 2009 Hotfix

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


  • The Meathook from Sinking Sands is now a piercing weapon.
  • Illusionists: The Shifting Visions 6-piece set bonus properly adds damage to Dynamism again.
  • The Stick of the Sootfoot Boomer now triggers correctly off of offensive spells.
  • The Great Horn of Drelakor can no longer be wielded by priests.
  • The Purple-Saddled Mistrunner Horse can now be turned into a house plushie.


  • Kurns Tower (x2) has been tuned a bit and the bosses are not so stingy.*
  • Ilenee’s Despair and Betrayal now teleport less frequently.
  • Kurn now has an additional spell to help make transitions between controllers smoother.

* Check out my previous blog post for more information on how Kurn’s Tower x2 rewards have been tweaked.

Kurn’s Tower x2 Rewards

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

Some of us who have made significant progress in Ward of Elements and have wanted to sink our teeth into some new x2 content have ventured into Kurn’s Tower x2 raid zone and found the challenges to be formidable, but the rewards not so much. Perhaps the biggest concern about the zone was that no set patterns dropped.

Timetravelling has chimed in with some big news. He has made substantial changes to the loot table including:

  • The common items from the first 3 bosses have been removed and moved to a basepop (trash) table
  • Ione can now drop up to 3 items, including rares from a brand new table
  • The first 3 bosses now drop a raid set item (the WoE set) in addition to their normal loot

I know this will go a long way to making folks more interested in this zone.

I’ve only dipped my toe in the water on this one, but found even the trash had some interesting scripts to them (the single trash mobs have an AoE on a timer, the paired trash mobs summon a burynai helper at ~30 seconds).

It’s also worth reading the thread if you have had some difficulty with the 3rd named as there are some ideas posited by devs and players alike.

July 14th Hotfix

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

Before I start the notes, July 14th marks the availability of the Automated Character Transfer Service. For $25, you can transfer your character from one server to another. Check out the “Station Marketplace” within EQ2. I don’t have a current link for you as far as this announcement, but I can confirm that the items appeared on the Station Marketplace for me this morning.

July 14th Update Notes


  • The Firiona Vie statue distributed to Fan Faire attendees is no longer a LORE item.


  • 4 Warriors are no longer control immune. Enchanters, show us what you got!


  • The ominous shadow reavers in the Kurns x2 will no longer use Theer Strike.
  • Haggle Baron no longer respawns adds until his final phase at 10%
  • Haggle Baron should no longer ever spawn red and blue bubbles on top of each other.


  • Umzok now casts his AOE spells at level 88 so players can use potions to dispel them.  The activated automatons he uses during the fight now have less health, and will take longer to automatically buff Umzok during the fight.
  • The giant Cyclops summoned via the Channeling Crystal of the Sullonites will no longer be susceptible to damage prior to possession, so the rare times it would attack the raid rather than assist them, should be gone.
  • During the final Munzok fight, the abyssal channeling proc that charmed tanks use is no longer focus damage, it should be mitigateable as mental damage now.  Energized Void Ripper adds no longer cast frenzied slice, so players will no longer briefly become immune to beneficial spells due to this innate.  The unstable void protrusions they leave on their death now has a larger protective radius and the abyssal rager adds (these are NORMAL adds, not punishment adds) have less health and spawn with slightly less frequency than before.


  • Charm I and II now have the appropriate duration in pvp.


  • The Order of Rime now offers a mystic icemare suited more for priests and mages who have proven their worth to the Order.
  • Players should now be able to choose between one Ethernaut item, and one cloak from the city leaders when completing the Shadow Odyssey signature quest line.  Professor Fondfate’s dialog should now reflect the change of how the reward it given out.
  • The ghost dwarf for the quest, “Enduring Friendship” should no longer attempt to complete the quest for players who are not on it.


  • Miragul’s Dark Heart Summoning will now properly overwrite older Dark Hearts.


  • Mortal Embrace will now scale properly across all versions.


  • Venril Sathir no longer punishes players via Qxzytl’s Conversion if they have too much mana.
  • The ornamental statues in his encounter now have reduced health and do less damage.


  • The froglok cavalier, footsoldiers and bodyguards that accompany Ykesha will no longer memwipe to players banished to the back of the zone.

Race Changes, VP Scaling, and Tokens Oh My

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

Here are some less concrete things that were discussed at Fan Faire.

Race change is something a LOT of people are asking for. EQ2 devs asked for a show of hands of how many people would like this feature and half the room raised their hands. It IS being looked at. Yes, there was some resistance for lore reasons, and betrayal/alignment/quest issues are substantial, but it’s certainly possible with enough development time. The amount of money they’d make off this would more than make up for it. You can scratch “never” out of your vocabulary for this one.

Heck, they said after their database hardware upgrade which is happening right now, they may reconsider number of character slots. Each character we create takes up a massive amount of data but it’s under consideration.

Initially, I got the impression that VP would “scale”. Now, I am not so sure. I think they might still be in the conceptual stage on this. Epic and Mythical weapons will stay level 80. The unique effects of the Mythical weapon will be usable perhaps as a clickable item, charm, or mythical slot, but it will not be your primary weapon at level 90 as the green and blue stats will be scaled down 33% or more.

T9 will have a new token system similar to how void shards work to get armor. I do not think they will be doing level scaling dungeons in the new expansion like they did in TSO. It didn’t really work out as far as getting level 55-70 players to play the content — the rewards just weren’t there and the encounters too difficult. Something tells me that trying to close the grey shard farming hole has gone to the back burner. I mean really, the horse has already  left the barn on that one. With the delay of the expansion, the focus is on improving the live game, all while looking forward to the expansion. There is a lot of content still to come this year in Gu53, Gu54 (of which nothing was revealed) and Gu55 (Halas and a new EQ2 Trial).

I hope everyone realizes that none of this is set in stone. I’m not going to try to nail down developers a year from now for everything said at a Fan Faire. If you want the “facts and figures” go read my other post. 😉

Fan Faire 2009 EQ2 News Rollup

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Commentary, Expansion News, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, Raiding, Tradeskill

I present the EverQuest II Expansion & Game Update News from Fan Faire in a rollup post. This is partly based on the Fan Faire 2009 Consolidated News by Kalyyn. I started with Kalyyn’s great writeup and have built upon it, adding dozens of new details and minor corrections based on everything I observed at the 2009 Fan Faire EQ2 event in Las Vegas.

I’ve archived the individual news posts I submitted over the weekend. If you still want to read them, they’re [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

And now, without further ado, my writeup of EQ2’s future in 2009 and 2010. UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 29, 2010:

EverQuest II Expansion: Sentinel’s Fate

  • EQ2: Sentinel’s Fate will be released on February 16, 2010.
  • SF will be based around the EQ1 continent of Odus and will cover Erudin, Paineel, and Ratonga lore. The void storyline will be ending with this expansion.
  • Adventure, Tradeskill, and Guild Level caps all increase to 90.
  • 2 large overland zones (Stonebrunt Mountains)
  • The Hole — a large level 82+ contested zone (similar to Sanctum of Scaleborn) with 3 wings, you spawn in the middle
  • 12 New Group Instances
  • Some existing TSO group instances will also be available in a T9 (level 80-90) version.
  • Guild Level increases to 90. New Guild Hall Amenities and Amenity Slots.
  • No new deities with expansion, nor will there be T9 solo deity quests.
  • Deity miracles may be reconsidered.
  • Group and raid zones will scale in difficulty (not adventure level). A choice will have to be made when pulling or fighting certain mobs that will set the encounter difficulty to easy, normal, or hard. The difficulty level will be set by the manner in which you start the encounter (i.e a boss may have a narrative, depending on your choice, you may get ‘easy mode’ where he sends his minions and escapes, or hard mode where you fight the boss himself)
  • AA cap to 250. New abilities are going to be added to the bottom of the Class (KoS)  and Subclass (EoF) AA Trees, below what is now the end abilities. Some of these endline abilities will be passive, triggering based on specific chains of other abilities being cast.
  • Mythical weapons will not be the ‘Number 1’ weapon, but will have another, important, use. It will be usable as a clicky item to get the unique class-defining abilities.
  • Grouping, Soloing, and Questing will all be viable leveling options.

Artwork-by-Mail, and StationCash

  • HP will be offering — through StationCash — high quality EQ2-related artwork (paintings of Antonia Bayle, Lucan, etc.) prints and eventually in-game items and prints of your character sent directly to your door. One being considered it a hardback book containing pictures of all of your guildmates.
  • The plan is to make it possible, in the future, to purchase expansion packs and new game keys through station cash.

Game Update 55 — Halas and Streaming Launcher

NOTE: Halas has slipped to Game Update 56 and the Streaming Launcher was made available in November.

Halas is being added as a good starting city in Gu55 to coincide with the release of the new expansion, Sentinel’s Fate. Gu55 will be a free download whether you choose to purchase the expansion or not.

The starting race has not been confirmed, but in EQ1 Halas was the home of the Barbarians.

Incidentially, this new area will be considerably streamlined and will be built out as the new EQ2 Trial. The existing EQ2 Trial is a massive download and really not that great a tool at recruiting new players. The new EQ2 Trial will be optimized for download size, will have streaming download, and will really act as a marketing tool for new players.

Extremely preliminary zone art was shown of the new Halas.

Who Gives a Crit

Critical damage stats including Spell, Melee, Ranged, and Heal are being merged into a single ‘Crit’ statistic. Each class will have a critical coefficient. So the same item will offer taunt and melee crit to a fighter, ranged crit to a ranger, and heal crit to a healer.

Double Attack and Ranged Double Attack are being combined into DA, with an appropriate coefficient as RDA is c0nsidered more powerful to a ranger than DA is to other scouts.

Resistance types are being streamlined down to just Noxious, Elemental, Arcane and Physical. Naming on items will not change for variety/lore reasons.

Gear Scaling

NOTE: Gear Scaling has been canceled.

Once considered for the Rise of Kunark, items will now scale down in effectiveness starting at Level 60, eventually “greying out” when the item is 10 levels below your adventure level. The effectiveness of such items will be reduced by 33% at 10 levels.

Legends of Norrath

Set 7 of the LoN cards, Storm Break, goes live on July 9th. This will be the final part of the void series. New loot cards include a cloak with a, once-per-day, clicky effect that completely repairs your gear.


The number of buffs and casting time of buffs is being considered, especially for support and healer classes. Certain classes always use the same self-buffs and these may be consolidated.

Class Balance (Bards, Enchanters, Summoners)

Typical raid lineups currently include 3-4 illusionists, 1 coercer, 3-4 dirges, and a troubador. Yet they often do not offer ANY slot to summoners or druids.

Some Enchanter and Bard buffs will become raidwide or applicable to one person in each of the 4 groups. The example given was an illusionist giving Time Compression to one member of all 4 groups. Other buffs could go raidwide. This will be done in such way so that having 4 illusionists will not be a significant advantage over having 1 or 2.

Currently, Brigand “Dispatched” and other debuffs are crucial for raiding and some group situations. Meanwhile, Summoners are finding they rarely get a seat at the table. As a result, Rogue debuffs are being refocused to work on melee, while Summoners step into a new role of debuffing spell abilities.

Also, with regards to Rogues, Brigands and Swashbucklers each have irreplaceable abilities such that most raids have 1 of each. Some of these abilities will become common between the two classes so that any Rogue can be effective in raid situations.

Summoner pet survivability is going to be looked into. Dumbfire pets will now act like a spell with appropriate graphics, rather than being affected by AoEs. These pets will also do spell debuffs in line with Summoner’s new role as spell debuffers.

Class Balance (Druids)

It has been recognised that Heal-over-Time spells come way behind wards and reactives when dealing with large spike damage (mainly in a raid and the hardest heroic settings).

A new component is going to be added to Heal-Over-Time spells for Druids which will save up the heal after each tick if the target is at full health, and further, any leftover heal will transfer to the group member with the lowest health on expiration.


Over 2000 new recipes for Tier 9.

No Rare Loams in Tier 9. Instead, Ore and Gems will be used to make Expert (Adept III) spells. Ore nodes will always respawn as ore nodes, gem nodes as gem nodes.

Would like to completely revamp Adornment system, but at the very least, new adornment recipes will be Transmuter-crafted only.

Players will be able to be a Tinkerer and Transmuter.

Shaders 3.0

NOTE: Shaders 3.0 will likely slip to Game Update 56.

EQ2 is getting a graphical facelift!

Shaders are small pieces of code which take the textures and apply an effect to them, providing  metallic appearances, glows, bump mapping, caustics (rust, decay), lighting effects, etc.

These are being upgraded from the ancient Shaders 1.0 to Shaders 3.0. Nearly any graphics card since GeForce 3 will be able to handle the new GPU Shaders. At higher resolutions, preliminary tests have shown that framerates stay largely the same. At lower resolutions, framerates of GPU shaders seem significantly improved.

This will not be a substantial download. Each shader is just a few kilobytes. So far, 3,000 shaders have been upgraded.

Nek Forest looks awesome now. The whole idea of a torch in the darkness, lighting up trees, rocks, and enemy mobs looks head-and-shoulders above the current “flat” pea soup grey haze and flat colors on everything.

When the EQ2 developers saw the first screenshots, they thought it was another game.

In addition, Flora Displacement which moved to the GPU last year will still get further performance tweaks (known issue on nVidia cards).

Finally, he’d like to move particles to the GPU but due to some  design decisions, some particles are tied to animations. Will have to go back and separate them out.

There is developer interest in a torch slot, so this is being considered.  Devs would also like to do High Dynamic Range (HDR) in a future update, but nothing is immediately planned.

Mob Designs

Expect several new mob designs with more robust animations. Some seriously funny, cool, and creative new mob designs and revamped appearances to some existing mobs.

* fighting pandas
* displacer beasts
* two headed giants
* stalagmites
* scarecrows

EQ2 Potpourri

It is known that emergency “Stun-and-Heal” is a real detriment to healers and is required for too many encounters. Will be reconsidered.

Rangers — Stream of Arrows will be changed to an AoE. Originally intended as a fill in between auto attacks, but auto attacks are so large now that using it reduces DPS output.

Although it is higher than intended, there are no immediate plans to adjust Auto Attack damage.

Bruisers/Coercers — Drag, thought snap are so overpowered we have to disable them or mobs are trivialized

Conjuror Mythical Pet — This pet is class-defining for Conjurors. However with the current mechanic, that pet would stop leveling at low-to-mid 80’s. Will look at this going forward.

Certain raid encounters will benefit from crowd control, giving enchanters another job besides power regen and buffs.

Will void shards have value in T9? No. A different token system is being used for T9 armor.

Guild Rally Flag – Can we have some means to find out where the guild rally flag is located? Some coding has already been done for this. Putting it in guild window would be somewhat wasteful for those guilds that don’t have this amenity (one of the most expensive amenities FYI), so considering hailing the strategist.

Illusions Driving You Crazy? – A change was made in GU52 that racial illusions pick a random appearance each time they are displayed. This applies to guild hall NPCs as well. Even the devs are annoyed at this change, so are investigating a Magic Mirror house item to set your illusion appearances, and a similar mechanism for guild hall NPCs. Also, some folks make frequent use of different illusions. Look for an Illusion Manager window.

NOTE: Game Update 54 added this Magic Mirror ability.

Smart Loot is being implemented over time. Lock boxes in Mistmyr already have mini-smart loot for each person that loots.

Harvester NPCs could auto-deposit in Harvest supply depot in the future.

More new Armor Appearances in EQ2:SF are coming than are currently in the game. Substantial new choices for mage appearances other than robes, such as tops, pants, etc.

Devs would like to add more mannequin types such as Ratonga mannequin.

Current tier upgrades are coming for Bone Clasped Girdle. Not so much for the bloodthirsty choker.

Out-of-Control Curing

It is recognized that Curing is perhaps getting out-of-control. Casting time of individual cure potions may be considered. In addition, certain detriments are getting different effects on them such that curing that detriment can be worse than leaving it, or may cause another detriment to trigger. The intention was never to stare at the Profit Cure bar the entire fight.

EverQuest II Game Updates & Features

These are features and updates announced at Fan Faire which are now present in EQ2:

  • AAXP Slider, when earning xp, you will be able to set a ratio that is earned as AA instead.
  • Automated Server Transfers will be available on the Station Marketplace for $25.
  • Buffs – Certain persistent buffs now persist through death.
  • Wizard “Rays of Disintegration” has been changed to single-cast spell, instead of causing all mages in the wizard’s group to stop all casting to cast this spell. Rays of Disintegration was very disruptive for Enchanters who must maintain a certain casting order and rhythm to do their jobs.
  • Quest Window received facelift. Namely side-by-side quest list and quest details.
  • Revamped Player Inspect window shows regular and appearance slots  and many more stats.
  • Daily Double and new Hot Zones are now shown in the Welcome Panel.
  • ACT Parsing – Gravitas, Chimes of Blades, and Cures (some healers spend their entire time curing but don’t show up on the heal parse) are now parsed in ACT.
  • The Lavastorm Elevator to WoE was fixed to continue to it’s destination.
  • Kelethin houses received a transparent window. The most expensive Maj’dul house received additional rooms and a skylight.  Kelethin, Neriak, Freeport, and Qeynos houses gained an additional room.
  • Auto-mentoring

Hail an NPC in one of the home cities and you will be able to mentor down in 5 level increments (20, 25, 30, 35, etc.) and complete quests, kill named encounters, etc. at the appropriate level. This does not require mentoring another person and will not offer the extra bonuses given to folks who naturally mentor one of their friends.

To prepare for this feature, a list of named mobs on long spawns in existing zones has already been assembled to have their timers tweaked. Also, low level contested zones will instance themselves (Sinking Sands 1, 2, 3, etc.) in case of large populations.

  • EQ2 Achievements

Similar to XBox Live, EQ2 is getting an Achievements system. The expansion will launch with 500-700 achievements. This will merge the old Slayer titles (kill 5,000 Orcs), plus adventurer titles (complete 20 Heritage Quests), and introduce new titles. For example, number of level 80 characters you have. Whether you defeated a dungeon/raid on the hardest difficulty, Going back and completing old zones while mentored, etc.

The Alternative Achievement system in EQ2 (currently 200 points) is officially being renamed to Alternate Advancement to avoid confusion.

  • Shard of Love & Miragul’s Planar Shard

In GU53 is Miragul’s Planar Shard, a raid zone which will use the new mechanic of difficulty scaling on certain bosses.

The Shard of Love — a casual group zone. The storyline for this zone will relate to Erolissi Marr.

There will be more commentary to come, but those are the salient points about the rest of 2009 as the EQ2 team takes some extra time balancing the live game before plunging into the expansion in February.

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