Zatozia has posted our update notes for Thursday, March 17, 2011. They include numerous tweaks and fixes to Velious instances and Public Quests.
Public Quests have been keeping Windslasher rather busy and he had posted some detailed answers about just how Public Quests difficulty are set. The Ring War seems fairly straightforward, but the Storm Gorge PQ (which will possibly see some changes in the next few days) has sufficient complexity to worth a more in-depth analysis.
From Windslasher on the EQ2 Forums:
Loot is not totally and completely random. It is only partially random. I posted a complete breakdown of the baseline loot at this link:
Whether you get a humming, pulsating etc. cache is not random, but whether you get exquisite is. In addition, the fabled items have a fixed rare drop rate, but only for players who qualify to get a humming cache.
In response to players asking why Storm Gorge PQ lag fixes can’t be implemented ASAP, Windslasher had these responses on the EQ2 Forums:
There are multiple lag sources, some of which are obvious and unavoidable (Large numbers of players in combat at the same time = lag), some of which are interesting and somewhat fixable (30 players vs. 30 encounters is worse than 60 players vs. 1 encounter) and some which are too subtle & complicated to describe in one sentence without using jargon (There are scripts & abilities that load up the server at O(n^2)).
I’m going through all of these issues slowly & carefully so as not to break anything. The next hotfix will bring some improvements, and as I dig deeper there will be more.
As part of the twelve year anniversary events, join SOE President John Smedley and Brasse for a trip down memory lane. Brasse, some of you may remember, was a fixture in the fan community before joining the SOE team. Zatozia posts:
To celebrate EverQuest’s 12th Anniversary, John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, will join Brasse, Dwarven Overlord o’ Community, to take a look back at the history of EverQuest.
Join us on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. US Pacific Time*, as we live stream this webcast on the SOE channel on Stickam! You can also tune in through the Stickam tab on our Facebook page. The webcast is expected to last about 20 minutes.
See you on Stickam!
Are you a dedicated decorator that likes to play with house layouts? If so, check out Gracey’s course in EQ2 Layout Editor being held this Thursday, March 17, on the Test server:
This Week’s Topic: New to the layout editor? We can help!!
Time: THURSDAY @ 5pm PST, 8pm EST, (Friday @ 01:00 GMT)
Where: Test Copy server – Gracey’s 1 Room Gorowyn house
What to bring: yourself and maybe some paper and a pen for notes
What level do I need to be: You can make a level 1 char on Test Copy if you don’t already have a char copied over.
Chat: If you come to Gracey’s house or let us know in either Antonia_Bayle.Homeshow or Test.Test we will get you a guild invite and we are using Norrathian Decorator Academy guild for chatting. Sending a tell to me around class time will get you an invite into the guild as well.
Fun stuff to come: Tiling displays are set up in the guild hall to help you work through some of the most common problems – it’s in Halas if you would like to visit.
Reports on previous classes have been very positive. Beginners are welcome! For instructions on how to access the Test server, see page two of the original thread. For an introduction to the EQ2 Layout Editor, EQ2 Designers.com has a good tutorial.
From Piestro on the EverQuest Forums:
Almost 12 years ago the first truly 3d massively multiplayer online role playing game was awaiting its release to the public. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we here in EverQuest are celebrating and we want you to join us!
In Other Norraths
Grand events are afoot in EverQuest II starting later this month, where mysterious apparitions have been sighted! Portals through time have been appearing around Norrath, linking this age to an age before the Shattering. Journey through these portals to find the ancient heroes and villains of an age gone by. Reminisce about them. Then kill them and loot them for the really cool items they possess. There may be a connection between them; perhaps you should investigate them all.
So happy 12th EverQuest Anniversary, see you all at our Livecasts and in Norrath!
EQ2 Designer Windslasher is working on the lag issues in the Storm Gorge public quests, but apparently it’s not an easy problem to solve:
I am working on changes to reduce lag. I’m very aware of how bad it is, and I consider that the #1 problem to fix. It also happens to be the hardest, which is why the going is slow. That is all.
The player base has started a very interesting discussion thread on how long the Public Quests will remain popular. Currently, everyone is scrambling to get gear — raiders, non-raiders, casual players. The PQs are packed, players are complaining no one wants to group or do anything else, and for most people who are participating, they are getting most of their gear slots filled with the best upgrades. Being nearby a successful raid seems all that is necessary. But how long will the gearfest last? Once everyone gets what they need, why would they continue to join the PQs? The AA gain for choosing the AA reward is only 6-10%, and currently, the lag is bothering a lot of people, with the end result being an attitude of “get my gear and get out,” not a great formula for longevity.
Not getting any Public Quest loot? It may be your personal loot settings if you’ve got Auto-Loot or Auto-Decline enabled. urgthock responded to a player who was unable to access the loot in a Public Quest chest.
Make sure you don’t have auto greed or auto decline turned on. Since you keep saying “access to”, I am guessing you are probably getting the red message saying you are not entitled to any of the treasure, but just in case you are simply not getting anything instead… make sure auto greed or auto decline are not turned on.
I’ve been reading a lot of /bug reports describing exactly this issue. If you were in there the whole fight and nothing happens upon clicking the public chest (Nothing at all, no red popup or anything), then open up your options -> group options and check your Default Auto Loot Mode at the bottom of that section.
I’m going to get a UI error message put in to tell you when your auto loot setting prevents you from clicking a chest, but it might be a while before that kind of change can be pushed onto the live servers. Thanks for pointing that out here.
Brewday starts on Friday, March 11th and will run through March 22nd. Here’s an opportunity to complete past and new quests alike for this celebration of Brell and all manner of mayhem involving indulgence in spirits. You too might see a pink elephant if you overdo it!
Here are your Update Notes for today, March 9th. Of note, Frost Gryphons acquired by crafters are now usable without being a Guide, and a mysterious note that Critical Mitigation values are being reduced on some items.
The March 8th Game Update Notes contain an interesting item:
The anti-slacker threshold has been raised on all PQ’s [Public Quests].
The Developers are serious about this! Windslasher said:
Freeloading was not part of the public quest design and will not be allowed. I’m approaching the problem slowly and carefully, to avoid denying loot to players who deserve it, but measures are being taken to tighten up the participation requirements.
The next hotfix [March 8] will make a slight change to address the problem, and depending on the response, I may take progressively stronger measures.
We reported earlier this week that some players were already complaining about missing out on chest drops due to healing and buffing, or even lag problems, as opposed to doing straight damage during an encounter. Surprisingly, it seems that a significant number of players are actually getting unfairly rewarded, since Windslasher found it necessary to raise the threshhold on the participation calculations.
It will be interesting to see what this change will do to support classes, as well as traditional damage dealers. It is still unclear what the parameters are for “participation scoring,” so it’s anyone’s guess what the new threshholds will be.
When Velious was announced, lots of folks asked for Faction to matter. Wish granted! 🙂
Faction must be acquired with the Othmir, Snowfang Gnolls, Thurgadin, and Ry’Gorr to buy their adornments (unique to each faction) and gear, and it can be rather slow-going!
The Othmir, Snowfang Gnolls, and Ry’Gorr all have daily (18 hour repeatable) quests to kill overland mobs and gain faction. Crabs for the Othmir quests occasionally drop an item which provides an additional faction boost. Alas, Thurgadin faction must be gained by running dungeons.
A variety of rewards become available once faction milestones of 10,000, 20,000, and 40,000 are reached. After completing all of the solo quests in Velious, most folks will end up with at or above 7,000 faction with each so the first items should be available in just a few days, with the better rewards taking a couple of weeks to earn.
Public Quests drop Cloudy Velium Jewels which can be sold to any of the 4 factions for +500 faction. Also, mobs inside the contested Kael Drakkel can be killed for a small amount of faction gain as well. If you’ve only done the Othmir quests at the arrival point in Velious (Great Divide), you’ve only gotten half the story (and are missing a good chunk of faction). Head to the Eastern Wastes once you’re done.
Thurgadin also has their own crafting faction, the Forgemasters of Thurgadin and you’ll want to befriend them if you are interested in acquiring the Coldain Prayer Shawl. And there are plenty of opportunities to work on Far Seas Supply Division faction, as well as Order of Rime faction if you are one of those people. 😉
UPDATE: This article has received a substantial rewrite since its original publication and is now part of a series of articles about Faction in Velious.
After the jump, we talk more about what else you can get for your hard-earned faction in Velious…
Two weeks after the release of Destiny of Velious we see a rather hefty patch that tackles many of the issues we’ve seen on the EQ2 Forums with dungeon and quest progression.
After the jump, your March 8, 2011 Update Notes…
Players have been surprised by a change in Thursday’s Game Update affecting the Critical Mitigation of Fighter armor received from Public Quests.
As we know, both Public Quests award armor upgrades for hands (gloves) and legs. Storm Gorge PQ’s also award armor for head and feet (boots), while Ring War PQs award armor for shoulders and wrists. There are also rare drops from these events, including Fabled chest pieces and Weapons.
During Beta, Othmir solo quest givers offered a full set of armor which was essentially Sentinel’s Fate Tier 1 raid armor minus adornment slots. After Beta concluded, this was changed to be more of a progression from Sentinel’s Fate heroic gear. You’ll recall that we were cautioned that Critical Mitigation would be necessary to participate in Velious, even when killing solo mobs.
Although there are many things we can do on our end to reduce poor performance when playing EQ2, Public Quests have really pushed things to the limit both on the client and AND the server end. Especially in Storm Gorge which has some 60 combatants in the highest difficulty setting. In the past, there have been some tit-for-tat arguments about people’s slow computers vs. issues on the EQ2 servers themselves. While there is a lot players can do to reduce graphics performance aka “client lag”, it is up to the EQ2 devs to tackle any issues on the SOE servers.
Fortunately, Rothgar has stepped up and posted this about Public Quests performance (ironically the thread started on the topic of Gazebo placement griefing):
We are lowering the hard population cap on Great Divide to keep people from working around the soft limit. We may also change the group teleport mechanic to use the soft cap limits in the near future to keep people from circumventing these limits.
As far as the lag goes in Great Divide, its definitely server lag and isn’t caused by mounts, pets or gazebos. These things might contribute to your client FPS, but changing your visual settings to a lower option should more than make up it.
We are working on several angles to improve the lag situation in these zones but for this weekend the only thing we’re able to do is reduce the population cap. We’ve also tweaked the load-balancing settings on this zone so it should get a larger percentage of server resources.
From Kaitheel on the EQ2 Forums:
Brewday 2011 has been activated on both Test and Test Copy.
Grab a stein and celebrate Brewday! The shouts of rowdy patrons located near every player city will lead you to The Bar of Brell where adventures and crafts await those thirsty and foolhardy enough to enter. Meanwhile, the Avatar of Below has returned to Antonica. Help him find the best sampling of drinks from all around. And as you’re crawling through the bars and drinking holes throughout Norrath, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for special items of interest to collect!
New features for ’11:
- “Thurgadin Ice Brew” a new quest is being offered by Oldar Foambeard within the Bar of Brell
- New Halas is celebrating Brewday Festival!
- Thurgadin Harbor in Great Divide is also involved in some of the Brewday activities.
- Balin Copperfoot in the Bar of Brell has some new items for players to buy, including new tradeskill recipes!
Great news if you have been running Public Quests and been rather puzzled at Legendary (or Fabled) gear with Yellow adornment slots, yet receiving Red adornments (which only go on Raid gear). Now, you will get a select window/choice for Yellow or Red, and it’s based on archetype.
After the jump, your update notes for March 4, 2011:
Today’s Update Notes fix a variety of quest and zone issues, as well as some issues with Public Quests, not to mention a fix for the quest Ominous Hints and the Twins in Thurgadin. The detailed Update Notes for March 3, 2011 after the jump…
We heard about this in Beta, but Windslasher intends to add more Public Quests in future updates, possibly even to older zones. From the EQ2 Forums:
The Eastern Wastes public quests were pulled from the expansion for use in game updates. I can’t reveal what I’ve created for Pit of the Awakened yet. Sorry!
Also, Gninja has heard our pleas and will be adding zone portals near the Public Quests allowing players to join each other in the same zone for PQs, as well as our personal preference: spreading out into different instances of the Great Divide.
I will be adding a portal in the Othmir area and the Thurgadin docks area in Great Divide and the spires area in Eastern Wastes. Keep an eye on the patch notes for this to be coming to the live servers.
There’s nothing sadder than being part of 60 people unable to complete a Public Quest at Difficulty #5 (x4 raid) because of 8 second casting lag. Folks, FAN OUT into other zones please. As long as you have 24 players smoothly and quickly killing mobs, you’ll get the good loot!
This is not the picture of success:
It was strongly suggested that if feedback were positive, the Aether Races which allow ANYONE level 1-90 (with or without the Velious expansion) to participate in a live event, and receive a temporary flying mount to get a taste of flight. Now we know that Windslasher‘s event will be coming back!
Well, now it’s over and I’m back to my regularly scheduled tasks. Thank you all for the great feedback! It’s absolutely heartwarming to hear how much you all loved the racing, and I’ve taken notes on all your suggestions.
Rest assured, after such a glowing response this event is definitely going to return!
No word just yet on intriguing rumors that this event will expand beyond its initial zones of Butcherblock Mts, Lavastorm, and Tenebrous Tangle.
For the last day of the Destiny of Velious launch celebrations, every EQ2 and EQ2X player from level 1-90 is able to travel to Lavastorm, Butcherblock Mountains, or Tenebrous Tangle and fly around using a Tinkered flying machine. The quest and event has been placed near the entrance of the zone, thus the level of enemies should not prevent celebrations by all players of all levels.
Once you compete in a race through airborne rings in the allotted time, you receive a temporary flying contraption which is NO ZONE but which you can use to fully explore the entire zone and see just how much fun Flying Mounts are. After completing the race five times, you will receive a permanent C.R.A.S.H. Pad reward which is an appearance flying mount which requires having completed any flying mount quest to use, but can also be used as a 25% ground speed mount. If you love flying, but were hoping for an alternative to the various Gryphon mounts, here’s your chance.
- 1 run: Test Pilot (title)
- 5 runs: C.R.A.S.H. Pad flying appearance mount (permanent)
- 10 runs: Crash Test Dummy Extraordinaire (title)
And according to Wilhelmina, there are special titles for finishing the course within a certain time:
- 54s in Lavastorm: Smoking Ace (title)
- 165s in Tenebrous Tangle : Cloud Buster (title)
- ~80 in Butcherblock : Sea Hawk (title)
From SmokeJumper on the EQ2 Forums:
So…it turns out that the gnomes are horribly, terribly jealous of the “meat solution” to flying mounts found in Velious and they’re working furiously to come up with a tinkering substitution instead.
Thus, the debut of “Aether Racing” tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1st!
The tinkerers have cobbled together a rattling, wheezing deathtrap of a flying machine, and they want YOU to test it for them! (They’re not stupid enough to test it themselves.)
It’s one week since the launch of Destiny of Velious and there are always bugs and issues that make it through from the Beta. Today’s update tackles many of them. With today’s update, many of these issues are fixed.
Tradeskillers can now equip their Boreal or Frost Gryphon as a flying mount at level 85 tradeskill. Freebloods who have completed their Cloud of Bats quests can now use it. And the Collector’s Edition (still available as a $25 upgrade today until 10am PST [18:00 GMT] ) Stormfeather Brood Guardian is now usable by 85 tradeskill and 85 adventurer.
The Coldain Ring War and Storm Gorge Public Quests were a lot of fun this weekend, however several issues plagued both, making it difficult or impossible, even with a full raid of 24 players, to reach difficulty #4 or #5 to get the better rewards (including Legendary armor with yellow adornment slots). The Ring War PQ kept scaling down to solo difficulty, and the Storm Gorge PQ seemed to start at maximum difficulty, steamrolling everyone present, rather than ramping up.
We also see bug fixes in various quests, including both the group and raid versions of the Tower of Frozen Shadow.
A syndrome that I think many people who write about MMOs experience is that find ourselves actually PLAYING the game less and less. I’m certainly guilty of this myself. We get interested in a game, start writing about it based on our experience, and next thing you know we aren’t catching groups or raids anymore. So with Velious I made a commitment to get back in the game.
So one of my first experiences has been getting into Public Quests, which spawned the article yesterday. The concept certainly makes for an interesting type of content, one that was popular in Warhammer and is a huge draw for the new Rift. So far, I have heard feedback from quite a few players who have checked out Public Quests and have gotten mixed results.