Community address starting now.
Brenlo getting the crowd riled up for Smedley.
SoE game montage.
Community address starting now.
Brenlo getting the crowd riled up for Smedley.
SoE game montage.
Parsing Gravitas, Cures, CoB, etc.
Will consider it.
Determining where guild rally flag is located? Some coming has already been done for this.
Auto mentoring – hail an npc and mentor to a level in 5 level increments. Old quest completion missions. Probably not on PvP.
Daily double shard zone in Welcome window or MOTD? Possible.
Achievements (like CoH or Xbox Live) like 500 kills, 20 heritage quests, etc. In a new tab in the quest window.
Current tier upgrades are coming for bone clasped gridle. Not so much for the bloodthirsty choker. 🙂
Streamling buffing for classes. Buffing while running was the first part.
Harvester Npcs could auto-deposit in Harvest supply depot in the future.
Lavastorm elevator to WoE will be fixed to continue to it’s destination. This one got a lot of applause. 😉
Teaser of Shaders 3.0 — Nek Castle before and after.
Some seriously funny, cool, and creative new mob designs and revamped appearances to some existing mobs. More interesting animations.
* fighting pandas
* displacer beasts
* two headed giants
Random illusion appearances driving you crazy? Looking at a possibly a Magic Mirror house item to save illusion setups.
Npcs only have about 50 animations.
Players have about 1,000 animations.
Kelethin houses will get a transparent window. Both Kelethin and Neriak houses will have more rooms.
Male ratongas with whiskers but without glasses? We’ll look into it.
Illusion picker UI to switch illusions in development.
Devs would like to add more mannequin choices ie ratonga.
More magic user clothing options is in production.
The comprehensive writeups on Fan Faire and the events and photos are always worth a read if you couldn’t make it. I admit I’m all about the details and the expansion news. I don’t try to cover the whole event as others do that better than I can… One writeup I want to mention is CompleteHeal. Calthine (great to meet her of course!) has a writeup at Zam as well.
I took some pics of the event last night, some general Fan Faire pics, and of course lots of pics from the EQ2Flames gathering last night. Hope to get them up soon. Meeting BigRon was cool as hell, as well as meeting a bunch of Saints of Norrath folks which is of course Lord Pantz’ guild. Oh, and Gage was there too. 😉 Hell, he went up and talked to Aeralik who was out and about and nobody died. 😉
So what am I doing now? I’m logged in right now helping a guildie get their epic after betraying.
Gonna catch as many EQ2 panels as I can. Of course the big announcement will be tonight at 7 as far as the name of the expansion and then tomorrow from 4-6 will be the epic panels with nearly everyone from EQ2 telling us what’s coming and when. I know there is quite a bit a lot more content coming before the expansion.
If you caught this video at MMORPG.com, you know that there is some big news at Fan Faire with regards to Shaders 3.0 in EQ2. Namely boosting the look of the game and taking a lot more work off the CPU and putting it on the graphics card where it belongs. Already the new GPU shadows look awesome outdoors (indoors will require more work as I’m sure most instance zones lack point lights and use ambient light which doesn’t cast shadows). I will post some comments as soon as I see some side-by-side comparison screen shots.
If there is one awkward element to the event so far, I am kind of wondering why Bruce Ferguson is so publicly visible at Fan Faire, especially around EQ2 events. It’s clear that we’re moving in a different direction, so I guess I just don’t understand. I don’t have any ill will towards the guy, but he shepherded some decisions which are now being backed out of the game now. Maybe I’m overthinking it. 🙂
I’ll post more goodies about the future of EQ2 as soon as I have it…
An interesting day indeed, talking about the game. As much as people may doubt it, most of the Devs really do listen and want folks to play the game. It would pretty dumb if they didn’t.
They know the mistakes of Kunark, and the issues (to a lesser extent) in TSO.
Oh and talking to Pantz, Crabbok, Atan, and more isn’t too shabby either.
Record turnout for the eq2flames mashup. WTF are you Gage? 😛
A line of folks stretching out into the casino, ready to head into the main Fan Faire hall. Then at 8, the welcome by Brenlo, who couldn’t resist havimng a little fun, using every opportunity to hawk the game he is now Exec Producer for — EQ2.
Prizes included Turtle Beach headsets, 3d display goggles, and PNY 8800gts video cards. Well, if you could do an emote (you’d think folks would practice by now ;)).
My 4th Cirque de Soleil — Ka — freakin sweet!!
The engineering that went into the 360 pivoting tilting stage is incredible. And of course great performers.
While i do not feel entitled to special treatment (even though I’ve been asked enough basketball and weather inquiries to last a lifetime), in the end it came down to a stewardess getting me into a seat less likely to induce leg cramps. 😉 Thanks. 🙂
Now to get situated…
Getting ready to board the sorriest excuse for an airline around. First airline I’ve ever dealt with that cannot offer an exit row to a 6’9″ passenger online, at the ticket counter, at the gate, and when the gate rep made a rude comment about my height not being his fault, I notified customer service.
Maybe there is some small satisfaction in getting a cocky employee of the most customer-hostile airline in trouble. But as I stand in a completely backed up jetway, because three gate attendants haven’t learned the fine art of staging an aircraft boarding, I realize there can be no satisfaction.
See you in 4 hours.
MUNZOK’S MATERIAL BASTION
Moonlight Enchantments is a new recurring World Event in the forests of Norrath which will only be available the 20th of every month. I apologize for not getting this information up before June 20th, but it should be available for the 20th of every month hereafter.
This event is now known as Moonlight Enchantments (formerly known as the Enchanted Grottos of Norrath).
Essentially, there is a mushroom ring in each of the forests of Norrath which can be entered once per month (on the 20th) to visit five unique hidden instances. Each has purple shinies and quests to be completed. Both offer house items, charge-based mounts, and illusion forms. The mounts in particular have some…unique choices. Between magic mushrooms, brownies, and sunshine yellow carpets that bloom flowers and belch mushrooms, it was quite a trippy day let me tell you. 😉
For those with a scientific mind who wish to know what these instances look like, here is my best guess:
As always, EQ2Traders is on the ball with a full accounting of these five new forest-based instances and the rewards they offer. It’s quite a selection of house items if you are looking to spruce up your terrarium or take the plunge with a more interesting looking guild hall aquarium. 🙂 Ok, no more bad humor I promise. At least until Wednesday…
If your guild has been experiencing heavy lag in Palace of the Ancient One and perhaps noticed that you are seeing combat logs from another guild that is in their own instance ‘leaking’ into your combat logs for this zone, you’re not alone.
There is an amusing screen snapshot that shows partial combat logs that demonstrate this ‘cross-talk’. It seems likely this is the cause of some of the lag in this zone.
There is also another issue with regards to adds continuously spawning, to the point of hundreds of adds appearing if the zone bugs out.
It’s being addressed by timetravelling.
Any software update is going to bring bugs.
I just wish SoE hadn’t tried to completely revamp the voice system on the same day as all this new content was added. Last night we spent most of time just fiddling around with voice, trying to get it clear and stable. Mostly it was choppy, stuttery, laggy, and folks had a tough time joining channels.
We also had to inform a few folks running Windows Firewall that they would need to allow Eq2VoiceService.exe. This service was spun off from the EQ2 client to allow voice chat outside the game as long as the Station Launcher is running.
Instead of running new dungeons as we originally planned, a lot of solo quests and old HQs got done instead. It’s perhaps just as well that we elected not to try the new zones.
Quests and AA
I just wanted to reiterate that our AA prayers have been answered. If you are coming up short on Achievement Experience and have had enough of grey quests, once you reach level 80 (and provided combat XP is not disabled!), your combat XP will be converted to AA XP at a significant rate. It may make sense to pick up City Writs not only to help your guild level but also for AA. 🙂
GU52 adds a series of solo quests regarding the Order of Rime starting on the Kylong Plains docks. Kaitheel was nice enough to enumerate the quests and their general locations:
timetravelling fixed a bug with all instances that would prevent certain people from zoning in. The error message these folks were receiving — You may not enter an instance created prior to when your previous instance’s minimum lockout timer has expired — seems to imply time travel!
Try the Pie
If you are a diehard provisioner, who is more than willing to fling 10 plat pieces and toil for an hour in exchange for some new provisioner recipes, you might want to check out the stats on the recipe reward first. It may or may not be worth your effort. I’m not sure why such an expensive recipe wouldn’t have some main stat bonuses.
I would love to see Advanced Provisioner recipes that produce good to very good food/drink.
From the Shadows
There are several threads going on about the new GPU Shadows which have had an extended stay on Test and have finally made it to Live. The consensus? They look fantastic outdoors in full sun. Indoors? Well, let’s hope we see enough point light sources added that GPU Shadows can be enabled indoors.
Ultimately a lot of this comes down to not enough people being on Test and Test Copy. Also if folks go over there and there are issues with zoning and timers, they quickly give up and come back to Live.
My suggestion would be rewards for testing. Perhaps a Quest is offered at a certain time on Test and Test Copy which rewards a short-term 80% mount, or a house item, or guild hall item, or some other rare item. And this time would be announced on Live either in the MoTD or in that handy Welcome box.
Through a bit of internet sleuthing we’ve discovered that recently, Sony Online Entertainment decided to trademark two new titles, one each for EverQuest and EverQuest II. The trademarks in question took place on June 10th, 2009 and are EverQuest Underfoot, and EverQuest II Sentinel’s Fate. While nothing is announced yet, there’s a good chance these two titles are the names of each game’s respective expansions.
So why would SOE do this? Well, they have the annual SOE Fanfaire coming up in a week, in which they’ll no doubt continue their recent tradition of announcing expansions for their flagship MMO titles, so ensuring the trademark was in place prior to the announcement is always crucial.
EverQuest fans will no doubt recognize the Underfoot fairly quickly. It’s an area that many wished would be introduced to the game early on in its lifetime; the realm of Brell Serilis, deity whom created the dwarves. Coming off its 10th anniversary and a new server ruleset, this would be the 16th expansion for the game.
On the other hand, what Sentinel’s Fate will bring is questionable. Will this be the much-anticipated Velious expansion for EverQuest II, related to the dragons of the continent? Or will it continue the story laid out by The Shadow Odyssey?
Regardless, I think it’s safe to say we’ll hear these new expansions announced at the SOE Fanfaire during John Smedley’s Community Address on Friday, June 26th at 7PM PDT. Stay tuned next week as we’ll no doubt have more information not only on EverQuest and EverQuest II, but other titles shown at the Fanfaire as well!
A week without news, some of you might be getting jittery. 🙂
GU52 is still on Test, getting nipped, tucked, and tested out. I believe they are on track to get it onto live servers perhaps as early as June 16th (my estimate, arrived using my advanced degree in EQ2ology). I know they really wanted it to be on Live before Fan Faire.
I’ve already documented the broad strokes of Gu52 in my earlier posts. If you haven’t seen a preview of player made Books, upgraded Hex Dolls and Ranged Weapons, or new furniture coming to EQ2, check out the EQTraders.com preview.
Many folks have been asking for more Live Events to be added to EQ2 especially during the summer doldrums. Due to changes in how server updates can be handled, it is possible to roll out Live Events a lot more easily. You can look forward to:
Further, you can expect a recurring event which will likely be available only one day per month (perhaps when the moon is full!):
These two live events are discussed further on the EQ2 Forums, as well as links and pictures to some of the awesome rewards.
It wouldn’t be an EQ2Wire post without a hairball or two…
If you are a bard and your Drum of the Ethernaut Chronicler is starting to sound a little flat, you’re not alone. A change on Test will make this item (which Fatuus wisely observed is more difficult to acquire than the Dirge/Troubador epic weapons) practically useless. Risk vs. Reward? Discuss it.
She’s got Skills
Adventurers in EQ2 go out of their way to be the best they can be, learning their class, tweaking their AA setups, adjusting casting orders, getting their skills up, and of course getting the best gear. I can assure you that EQ2 Tradeskillers are just as passionate about bettering themselves.
Tradeskillers acquire every recipe available to them, run the Tradeskill group instances added in TSO (some run them solo — oy vey!), earn faction to get access to more items, furniture, clothes, and recipes, work with adventurers to bring home more recipes, etc.
So when a scientific analysis of harvesting revealed that having significantly higher Harvest/Mining/Gathering/Trapping/Fishing skill had such an minimal effect on getting a rare as to be statistically insignificant, I had to dig deeper.
It is possible by donning the harvesting cloak (A Gathering Obsession), tradeskill epic earring (Proof in the Pudding), tradeskill jewelry, diety quest rewards, etc. to increase ones harvesting abilities to 540. This is 59% increase in this skill over what is required for T8 nodes (340). To put this in other terms, to naturally get a harvesting skill of 540, you would have to be a level 108 player.
Now, do I expect a 59% increase in the likelihood of harvesting rares? No. I’m well aware that this would unbalance the game and make rares too common. EQ2 operates on a diminishing returns curve. However nothing prepared me for the revelation that increasing Harvesting skill by 59% only increased the chance of harvesting a rare by .369%.
I know some folks would like to protect their lucrative market for rares (especially silicate loams), but a less than half of one percent increase? Instead of taking roughly 90 minutes to harvest one silicate loam, it will take 89 minutes and 27 seconds.
I love Domino to death, and she has always been above board, telling us exactly what we can expect, what she is looking for input on and what has already been decided. You know where you stand with her. But I will be making the point at Fan Faire — in the politest, most respectful way possible — that some of us expect Skills on items to actually do something. 🙂
As you might be aware, EQ2 Automated Server Transfers have been down for over a year now. As a result, server transfers are something which must be done manually by a customer service rep. Server transfers have cost $50 per character, which makes it absurdly expensive to transfer all of your characters from one server to another.
Hopefully good news on this front is that the EQ2 Automated Server Transfers are coming back, but rather than through the Station Store, they will be triggered in-game through Station Marketplace (StationCash). Check out the Coming Soon thread at the EQ2 forums. Or just read these quotes requesting a definition for ‘soon’, how much it will cost, and whether server transfers were being held up for stationcash.
[Server Transfers] were not withheld to implement Marketplace. Just fortunate timing on the work.
A few weeks is the current plan.
I am confirming pricing options.
Inevitably, comes the question of whether we’ll see Free Character Transfers, as a summer promotion, but Brenlo indicated that there were “none planned at the moment.”
Xalmat asked if EQ2Players Character Stats such as most mastered, discoveries, etc. would carry over.
Zoltaroth replied with:
The new system builds upon the old automated system, which should support transfering over your stats. If it does not work with the new sytem, it is something that I will look into fixing.
I am sure we will post a FAQ at some point, but a few things I wanted to point out since this thread is here (keep in mind these are subject to change):
- Transfers will be limited to monthly current subscribers only
- Transfers will be limited to characters above level 10
- Transfers will be limited to accounts older than 60 days
Anyone wishing to transfer who does not meet those requirements, will have to use the old manual proccess. However, since the vast majority of transfers meet those requirements, manual transfers should become less impacted and faster as well.
We’ll have more info as it comes down the pike. Hopefully one of the options is to move all characters on the account to another server.
One of the biggest complaints about the otherwise fantastic Ward of Elements x2 raid zone is that by upgrading a few pieces of armor to T3, fighters and mages lost huge 5-piece bonuses from their T2 armor.
An undocumented fix in GU52 is that these bonuses are now distributed over the set bonuses in such a way that 3 pieces of T2 and 3 pieces of T3 will yield a similar bonus to having 5 pieces of T2.
This is fantastic news, as it seemed this would be a long-term fix based on the Zam devchat. Glad they could squeeze this fix in sooner rather than later!
Although it’s not really posted in the right forum, I’m going to link to the thread which has the first information about this fix that I’ve seen.
For your viewing pleasure if you have not yet been able to make it over to the Test Servers, look what washed up on the northern shores of Fens of Nathsar not 500 yards from our old friend the Tangrin…
It is unexpected to see humans, halflings, giants, and ratonga working so closely together. What could their mission be?
Note also that this is not just a temporary event, but that it will persist into the next expansion. Whether we should read further into that is a question that I just don’t have enough information to know the answer to. Some have suggested that this is confirmation that Velious is on the way. Others have suggested that this may be the beginning of the reviled ‘Discord’ expansion (primarily because it signaled an increase in the difficulty of group and raid content beyond what even most hardcore raiders would find reasonable).
Hopefully I’ll know for certain in exactly one month, when the EQ2 expansion is revealed at Fan Faire 2009. Yes, I’ll be there. 😉
That’s a lot of notes to read, so I will distill some of the key points.
If you read Bruce Ferguson’s parting comments, and you generate a good potion of your DPS from gear with effects like Goblin Bane, Void Bane, or Vampire Bane, or if you are an Assassin wearing Soul Lancer armor, you might want to read the relevant section again:
We’ve discovered that with the items that we released with The Shadow Odyssey, that proc additional damage, the amount of damage being caused has grown considerably, and we need to adjust it. So, in the next game update, we’re going to be adjusting to the way triggered procs on items work.
We’re removing critical damage from the item’s base proc.
Procs can no longer be modified, with a few notable exception.
Generic bonuses will no longer apply to triggered damage generated from items
Predators will see a change to Toxic Expertise. We are refocusing affected combat arts back to improved poison damage, rather than spell crit damage. Spell Crit is going away as a benefit to Rangers and Assassins.
and the relevant lines from the Test Update notes:
Item based triggered effects can no longer critical or have their damage components modified unless done directly through something like an achievement or set bonus.
We were told that Soul Lancer’s days of generating massive dps for Assassins would come to a close, and this confirms it.
Of course GU52 also brings 2 new dungeons including Charasis 3 and Kurn’s Tower, 80 new quests, an overall improvement in Achievement Experience earned, Research Assistants, Player-made Books, etc. but I wanted to highlight these points.
I’ve made my points on Research Assistants elsewhere. I do believe it will kill the market for Masters if every month, everyone can get one for free without any questing or effort. I think other measures such as producing T8 upgrades for all non-upgraded spells would have been a great idea. Also adding more mobs that have these rare masters on their loot tables would have worked. Hailing an NPC twice 30 days apart and rewarding people for NOT playing the game seems very odd to me. But we shall see…
I really do encourage everyone to head over to the Test Server and try out GU52, check out the Test Server FAQ.
Here are the notes for GU52 which has now appeared on Test. It is unknown exactly when these changes will go live.
Charasis: Emperor’s Athenaeum
Kunark Overland Quests
GPU Shadow System
WARD OF ELEMENTS
We’re hearing from EQ2’s new Senior Producer Brenlo that GU52 (Kurn’s Tower BTV, Kurn’s Tower x2, and CEA) will not hit Test and Test Copy until at least Tuesday, May 26th. It is unknown if this will push back the internal estimates of seeing GU52 on Live ‘several weeks’ before Fan Faire.
Check out this preview at EQ2Players which includes additional photos and gives more info on the difficulty of Kurn’s Tower: Breaching the Void (the group zone).
A bit of a bombshell for some of you. Bruce Ferguson has stepped down as Senior Producer of EQ2 (his announcement):
Just like any evolving game, things change. Since release, we’ve had an ongoing and heavy interest in game balance. Much of the critical implementation work in the last several years for EverQuest II has been on the shoulders of Aeralik, but the discussion and decisions are shared across the entire team, as we review information that you provide us in various ways. Data comes from the many reports we run against our log files, from the posts you make in the EQII forums, and even from external forums. Once we gather that data, we process it so that we can see the underlying issue it reveals.
Fairly often the data confirms something that one of you has pointed out in a post, or in feedback, or a ticket with Customer Service, and we start looking at ways that we can correct whatever that issue is. There is not a one of us who enjoys putting something into the game that eventually needs to be “nerfed”, but at times changes get in that end up doing something completely unexpected, despite our testing. Even the most innocuous item or change can make a significant difference in a game with the complexity of an MMO, especially with the size and scope of EQII.
This is the situation we’ve run into now. We’ve discovered that with the items that we released with The Shadow Odyssey, that proc additional damage, the amount of damage being caused has grown considerably, and we need to adjust it. So, in the next game update, we’re going to be adjusting to the way triggered procs on items work.
The first change of note is that we’re removing critical damage from the item’s base proc. This will help us even out damage from the items we’ve already released, and also assist us in maintaining a standard going forward.
The next thing you’ll see in this update is that the values of the procs can no longer be modified, with a few notable exceptions like achievements or item set enhancements. Generic bonuses will no longer apply to triggered damage generated from items. This will allow us to move forward with creating items that can have higher damage item procs in the future.
Predators will see a change to Toxic Expertise, The spell will now improve the base damage of poisons. We’re also making adjustments to the Death Mark and Inspired Daring spell lines so that they trigger melee attacks instead of spell based attacks. This is to refocus the combat art back to improved poison damage, rather than the spell crit damage it has been doing.
We recognize that these are substantial changes. We wouldn’t be making them if we didn’t feel that things were currently unbalanced, and becoming more so as the game continues to grow. These changes will bring the item procs and spells back to a reasonable standard.
What about the rest of the content in this game update? Well, there are a bunch of additional changes you’ll be seeing, beyond the spell rename that we’ve been talking about on the boards for a while now; you can expect to see a brand new x2 raid, two single group instances, lots of overland solo content, player created books, a whole new and more efficient shadow system, and research assistants to help you study up for your next spell upgrade.
We’re expecting to have most of this rolled out to the test server sometime during the week of May 18th, and then out to the live servers in June, around Fan Faire. We’ll be sure to keep you updated if dates change.
We hope to see your feedback on all of these matters and hope that you’ll join us on the Test server once we update. Until then, please give us your feedback in the Official Forums.
Finally, this will be my final Producer’s letter to you all. I’m moving on within SOE to another position, but wanted to thank each of you for your continued comments, concerns, and discussion. Between the team and the players, it’s been a most enjoyable experience for me again, and I will certainly miss you all – without being too far away. Fortunately, I’m leaving you in good hands, and I think the future of EverQuest II will continue to shine.
I’ll see you in game!
Bruce A. Ferguson
Today brings the announcement that Alan “Brenlo” Crosby is taking this position (his announcement):
You know, the most awkward part of writing one of these is the introduction; it almost always comes across as cliché.
So, now that we have that out of the way….
I am extremely pleased to join the creative and passionate EQII team as the Senior Producer. Bruce has always been wonderful to work with and leaves me some rather large shoes to fill (speaking of clichés; they are actually about the same size as my own). Bruce has been a strong shepherd for the team and the game and we all wish him well as he moves into his new role here at SOE. I know he will do well, as he carries the dedication he shows in all things with him.
As far as Community Relations, I am leaving the team in very capable hands. Richard “Greeblen” Schmelter will be giving that team the love they need now, and I know he will shine. Why the change for me? Well, first you should understand that it is not as different a career as you might think. A producer is a manager, just like a director. So, many of the skills are the same. Just different processes, more people, more assets. More, more, more. And of course, now I have these large looming deadlines. What was I thinking? I love games, especially MMO’s. EQ was my first love and brought me to SOE, but it was EQII that held me longer than any other. I love the game and when the opportunity arose to work with this team, I could not pass it up.
This team is amazing! I have spent the last two days in meetings as they talk about their work and their passion for this product; I am excited, as I could not be blessed with a better group to help me make this transition into Production. Coders, Designers and Artists are all working very hard to make sure EQII stays the quality game it is today. Over the next few weeks you will see some of their plans come to fruition as we publish Monument and Might (GU 52) to Test and then Live servers sometime in June (possibly before Fan Faire).
But that ain’t all we have in store for you. As we sat together and went over the plans for GU 53 and beyond, the player in me was piqued. I wanted this new stuff NOW. I wanted to play with the new zones, items, and dungeons. I smiled and laughed as I saw new creatures and their animations (complete with sound effects provided by Tom Tobey, one of our Senior Artists), and I know that you will love them too.
We also have some not so much fun stuff to get to, maintenance to the game to allow us to continue to develop content, expansions, and items for years to come. Some of those pills will be tough to swallow (cliché). The team and I will work hard to make certain you understand why we’re making these changes, why they are necessary. We will discuss them with you and listen to your feedback. While that doesn’t mean we can always go the way some players feel is correct, it does mean we want you to know the WHY of our decisions. I used the word “shepherd” for Bruce and it is fitting, as that is what a producer does. They make sure the game is headed in the right direction, away from cliffs and pitfalls so that it stays around, competitive, and most importantly fun, for a good long time.
I will be available on the forums occasionally, on Twitter often (handle is Brenlo) and in game when I can log in to chat with you. I look forward to hearing from you. I look forward to playing with you. I look forward to being a shepherd for this game and development team. Leading them, shaping their plans and guiding their passion. A passion you, I and the team share.
See you in Norrath.
Alan “Brenlo” Crosby
Senior Producer – EQII-