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Old 09-10-2005, 07:52 AM   #1
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Read EQII Senior Producer Scott Hartsman's latest Producer's Letter and feel free to comment on it in this thread.
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Old 09-10-2005, 08:20 AM   #2
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One major concern I have is in regards to the /respec.  Essentually, you are creating an entirely new (ok, mostly new) game mechanic and everyone will need to re-learn thier characters.  The producer letter even stresses that the choice you make, will be more meaningful (and thus, more critical).  And yet, the very first thing that will happen when a player logs on to this new game is that all of thier old choices will be wiped and they will need to make new choices - generally, without even knowing what spells/skills might be important to upgrade.

PLEASE tell us that there will be multiple or even unlimited oportunities to /respec after the big change (?).

Thanks.

 

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Old 09-10-2005, 08:26 AM   #3
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EQ2 definitely seems to be ready to move forward into its next stage. It needs to do this because while it is an outstanding game for those who enjoy it, it needs improvement if it is going to be able to continue to be what the SOE team has always stated it should be: a fun, challenging game with the ability to foster a great community. Right now there is a lot of controversy on beta and test about the latest changes. But they will continue to adjust them. I'm not in beta or on test so I'm not qualified to discuss the details. But after you get past all of the negative posts, you find something positive: they made this into something challenging that you can sink your teeth into. If it's too difficult now, it can be adjusted. But it will be better for it. I appreciate the fact that we have something we can use as a benchmark and that introduces these changes to us. This is not the place to post rants and complaints, I can do that very well in plenty of other threads. In this one I just wanted to say thanks to the devs for at least trying to improve this game for us. ***I'll be sure to get flamed for this post by someone, so let me save you the trouble: not a fanboi. Not a SOE employee. I can howl and complain with the best of them anywhere on these boards. Yes, I have my issues and concerns with Live Update #13. So try something else, thanks!***
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Old 09-10-2005, 08:30 AM   #4
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While I can understand making archetypal changes to a class..some classes were changed to extremes. Paladins are now half tank-half clerics..which is something many of us that play palys did not sign up for. Now that invested almost a year into my char Im forced to learn how to become a HEALER in order to be a TANK.  I invite you to look at the Paladin thread for guidance. The Paladin, which was promised a seat at the raid table and to be the competition to a Guard, has now been relegated to some hybrid half healer-half tank char.

This is not my idea of a beneficial change. If I wanted heals I would have rolled a healer, and I'm not the only one who feels that their class, which people invested VALUABLE time, is now something totally different. I play this game to have fun, and I can honestly say I've gotten more stressed from playing than not...and now the combat system, which many testers are deriding, is being rolled out.

No one picked this game to be a time sink. EVERYONE picked this game to have fun. While some people might enjoy relearning their class, there are MANY of us who were happy with what we had and thought there were just minor tweaks needed here and there. How many more times will we have to do this? How many more customers will you lose until you realize thats its not SOE who deems a game fun, but the players who play your games and pay your suscriptions. Lose those and you lose your games. Theres a reason why WOW has 4 million suscribers. Its because their players are having fun. I have never played the game, but I'm so dissapointed in SOE right now, that I dont know what im going to do.

I havent bought DoF, because I want to check this "revamp" before I waste any more of my hard earned money on something that its just not going to be worth the time and effort to play. If your company changes direction every 10 months based on information that we, the player classes. have no clue how you obtain, what kind of consumer confidence do you expect us to have? What type of loyalty do you expect us to have?

 

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Old 09-10-2005, 08:40 AM   #5
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Psydoc wrote:

 PLEASE tell us that there will be multiple or even unlimited opportunity to /respec after the big change (?)



I wouldn't go so far as to ask for unlimited, but I do agree that players should get at least one additional opportunity to respec after they've had a chance to try the changes out. Even people who played on test may not have gotten their test character as high as their main and won't really know how their live character will be affected by the changes.
 
This change is going to cause some customer service headaches if a lot of people feel they are stuck with choices they really didn't get a chance to fully understand.

Message Edited by CaptXpendable on 09-09-2005 10:44 PM

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Old 09-10-2005, 08:40 AM   #6
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Will be picking up the expansion tomorrow, well, because I want to give it a go.  I think the team worked hard on it and I can appreciate that.

However....may I suggest that in the future, the amount of general detail given regarding the combat changes be communicated to the populace.  I only suggest this because while some read the forums, some get info from word of mouth, the shock of the new system coming into place may rub folks the wrong way.  Communication is key for the players help you help make this game a success.

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Old 09-10-2005, 08:41 AM   #7
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Why are we unable to read the letter as a forum post and quote from it in our reply?
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:00 AM   #8
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Psydoc wrote:

One major concern I have is in regards to the /respec.  Essentually, you are creating an entirely new (ok, mostly new) game mechanic and everyone will need to re-learn thier characters.  The producer letter even stresses that the choice you make, will be more meaningful (and thus, more critical).  And yet, the very first thing that will happen when a player logs on to this new game is that all of thier old choices will be wiped and they will need to make new choices - generally, without even knowing what spells/skills might be important to upgrade.

PLEASE tell us that there will be multiple or even unlimited oportunities to /respec after the big change (?).

Thanks.

 




I really agree with this. As a fairly new player (about two months now) I am still not entirely sure I've picked the right choices all along with the current system. Having to pick everything all over again in one shot without knowing what exactly is going to turn out to be important is not something I'm looking forward to.

I believe there's a bug present where if one doesn't pick a trait/ability then they are unable to receive quest rewards until they do so. Has this been fixed? If not, I'm tempted to not play for a while and let others figure out the nuances of the new/modified abilities.

 

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Old 09-10-2005, 09:08 AM   #9
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I respect the devs willingness to undertake such massive changes for the long-term health of the game.  I believe the overall direction of the changes to be positive.  They should result in better balanced and more challenging tactical gameplay.
 
That said, there are parts of the revamp which have missed the mark.  I profess expertise only as to the illusionist class, and I will restrict my criticism to the changes we have undergone.  Bluntly put, it appears that the devs have no plan for the class.  In Live, we're a boring mana-bot class with good (though rarely used) crowd control talents.  A week ago, on test, we were a flexible utility/ CC class with significant DPS.  On test, now, we're a pure CC class, with templar-level DPS and marginal utility.  New epic spell talents appear on test, then vanish a few days later.
 
Bluntly put, this particular subclass has a completely different focus every few days.  It's... goofy.
 
Specifics on what to do are beyond the scope of this post.  Ten minutes spent perusing the illusionist forum would better inform you.  Just, please, pick a focus for the class and bloody stick with it for more than a few days in a row.  Better yet, post in our forum what it is.  It would be a fine occasion for the first post ever in the enchanter forums, dating back to mid-beta.
 
Again, I like the overall direction.  I'm also grateful for the long hours the devs are evidently working prior to the DoF release.  But there's still some work to do.
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:14 AM   #10
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uzhiel feathered serpent wrote:

No one picked this game to be a time sink. EVERYONE picked this game to have fun. While some people might enjoy relearning their class, there are MANY of us who were happy with what we had and thought there were just minor tweaks needed here and there. How many more times will we have to do this? How many more customers will you lose until you realize thats its not SOE who deems a game fun, but the players who play your games and pay your suscriptions. Lose those and you lose your games. Theres a reason why WOW has 4 million suscribers. Its because their players are having fun. I have never played the game, but I'm so dissapointed in SOE right now, that I dont know what im going to do.



 

I understand what you are saying but there is just as many people (past players and present), if not more, that do not agree with your line of thinking. It wasn't SOE that deemed the game unfun. It was the players that did and they spoke out about it with their money. From what I have gathered from reading previous EQ2 players gripes is that these are two of the biggest ones (not going to go into too much detail here):

1. It was/is too easy. This was due to a variety of factors. Combat skills, monsters, experience gain, etc...all of this caused the game to become a very watered down mmorpg. It was fun at first but when you can pretty much kill anything you want with a small group, it loses it's charm. From what I have read, raids were not any better. No snese of accomplishment for anything. Killing something, gaining a level, getting a new item...most of the time it was *yawn*.

2. No class distinction. Every class could do so much more than they should have been able to in the first place. Combat could not be fixed with making a few minor adjustments to the classes. You try to change one small thing and it throws the other things like balance out of whack. I don't know any other way to really explain this but look around for examples and you'll find them.

I could elaborate much deep into the problems that these two issues create and what the effect on the game as a whole due to them is. It will be too long though and I am not really trying to turn you over to thinking differently. This is just more of a heads up. I am not some expert on combat and game mechanics but if you really sit there and think about these changes, they are logical and make sense. With some searching around you'll find the information if you really want to understand what is going on. Bottom line is this needed to be done for the health of this game. It's going to be a hard sell for SOE to convince people of this though. Most do not like change at all.

Finally, the old WoW debate. Despite what you may have heard, WoW does not have 4 million paying customers. They inflate the numbers just like every other company does. Anyhow, that is not the point here. That game has a high turnover rate because of how the game is structured. People get bored and they quit once they reach the max level. EQ2 is suffering from this too. The problem here is that SOE does not have the name power Blizzard does to attract customers...

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Old 09-10-2005, 09:18 AM   #11
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I noticed it said the Risk versus Reward for solers would be better. I've been wearing Crafted Ebon Armor for 3 months, and as a soloer am I going to see better rewards for my time or am I stuck wearing Crafted the whole life of the game. If I continue to kill mobs and still not receive better armor or weapons than crafted why should I continue to play? Where is my incentive to play if the game isn't rewarding me with better than crafted? We play the game to improve our characters with armor and weapons, but this hasn't happened in the past for soloers. Hope there is better growth for soloers in this expansion.
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:12 AM   #12
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When you respec this time you get a dialog box , one side tells you what the spells are , the other gives a detailed description of each option as you click on it..and it's really detailed...no more guesswork.

Message Edited by wullailhuit on 09-10-2005 07:12 AM

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Old 09-10-2005, 10:15 AM   #13
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Being that i made some bad choices (and some good) the first 50 levels playing a mystic (crosses fingure they fixed). I can attest to how important picking the right spell/tradition can be. Most of that will be eliminated*maybe* by the fact that all priest's will have cures included in there main group of spells. I only hope that includes group cures (only ones that matter) but i would still like to have some idea of what i am picking and why i should/shouldn't pick what. Guess it will be trial and error..sigh..As for being able to /respec..Ok unlimited is out of control. But it is not unreasonable to ask for more then one chance.
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:56 AM   #14
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Altoss; It WAS SoE that deemed the game UNFUN by the radical changes they have made, and unmade, and made again and again to EQ2 during the Beta process.  The old saying, he giveth and he taketh away is appropos in the extreme here.  There was one or two points in the Beta where there was nary a complaint...people were heaping praise on the boards for the changes that were made.  Then the next update, those positive changes were turned into negative changes in one fell swoop.  The changes to mitigation and avoidance was one of the worst.  As a Warden, going from 63 mitigation and 59 avoidance to 27 mitigation and 19 avoidance resulted in my dying to a GRAY mob.  Now tell me, how does that help make the game fun?.  Well, the following  update, my Mitigation rose to 50 and my avoidance to 42...and again, the next update, my mitigation dropped to 41 and my avoidance to 30.7.  Am I supposed to be happy?  Do I think this game is FUN?  I think NOT, as I am still nearly HALF what I was and can barely solo level 46 mobs and I am level 48. I am NOT in a Guild, and I do NOT play enough when I do log on to group.  I do that enough on EQ1 and the casualness and NON-PRESSURE of soloing and having FUN is what brought me to EQ2.  And it brought ALOT of people to the game for those same reasons.  So now, after nearly a year, SoE comes up with this radical change to the game I have come to love and enjoy,  and they expect us to accept their NEW vision?   Once again, I think NOT. Nanocx MajicBlade 48 Warden Mistmoore Server
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:45 PM   #15
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I was a subscriber at Release. I choose EQ2 over WoW due to the Better graphics, better lore, and greater number of choices for Races and classes. I talked 6 of my friends to play (inc. one EQmac player that bought a PC just for EQ2). What we got was a game that had few quests. Just about anything you did had to be done in a group. I remember the IoR bridges that had the White con Paired ^ mobs that would just tear you up. Not much in the way of soloing was possible. We hit our teens and found that the game just ground to a halt with all of the boring mob grinding. So what happened? We quit and went to WoW where we could solo and do little things here and there. EQ2 was just too boring and there wasn't much to do unless you were in a guild. Heck they even screwed crafting up so that I wasn't fun anymore.Now I am back. I have another friend who has been having fun on AB and said that grinding isn't as bad. So I came back and yes it is fun again. I have some characters that have some nice armor for their levels and I don't think that live is some kind of boring godmode. I still die when things go wrong. None of my characters can really fight orange mobs let alone red ones solo.My biggest worry about the latest combat update is that the pendulum will swing back to the game being too hard again. I don't mind dangerous, but not impossible. I don't want the game to become like it was in January when I quit last time. I am hoping that SOE will keep the game casual friendly. WoW has this problem in that the higher in level you get the less quests there are, and the more time they expect you to spend in either PvE or PvP instances grinding for equipment. That is just totally boring. I want new lands to explore, EQ2 has that for me. Heck since I don't need keys I am getting to explore places in even Antonica that I hadn't visited before and that's part of the fun.I hope EQ2 continues to have quests that tell a story and don't make you feel like you are farming/Grinding a bizillion mobs (Betrayal quest aside, just completed that darned thing...) Also I hope they continue to keep the lvl 10-20 game fresh, because that is what new customers will be playing not the lvl 30-60 areas.Brannwyn
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Old 09-10-2005, 01:24 PM   #16
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In the letter it is said:

First and foremost, we want to ensure that each class has a fun and fulfilling role to play.

In addressing Class Diversity, we wanted to place a greater emphasis on people's final Subclass selection, focusing less on Archetypal roles than previously.  As one example, very few people start a new game and think to themselves, "I want to be a Generic Mage!"   That's a fun stage to grow through, but not a destination in itself.

My main is a monk, and I don't think I have a "fulfilling" role to play because imo monks and bruisers aren't balanced with each other.

See my post here (with parses, screenshots, suggestions): http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board/message?board.id=doffi&message.id=1622

Also on the diversity part...I'm yet to see a real diversity between monk and bruiser (I won't speak for the other classes as I didn't play them enough to tell)... So far the diversity is : bruiser have fear, better heal with half the recast time of the monk one, debuffing attacks, more attacks and damages, a default advantage in avoidance and the choice to fight bare fists...Monks have...hmm...and...hmmm..... *scratches head* SMILEY (finally, it's diversified, monks have to wait lvl 55 to start having something bruisers envy lol)

Message Edited by Sauryah on 09-10-2005 02:26 AM

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Old 09-10-2005, 02:34 PM   #17
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I am mostly a Solo player although I do group sometimes. I like being a healer who can solo. I group when I meet or know others that I am comfortable with not because I have to. I hope that you will be able to keep this in mind.  I play because I like to do as many of the quest as I can - I do not care for just mindlessly killing everything in sight. I rarely kill anything that is not quest or craft related in or out of the game lol I probably level slower that way but  I want to enjoy getting to 50 or 60 or whatever.

I like being able to throw a heal on someone else as I pass by because I want to help.  I am mostly a Solo player because my experience with grouping is that (not always) of course, but too many times to name not generally fun because I seem to be expected to keep players alive no matter what.  Well  I think you already know my point. 

 Please note that there are players who are absolutely wonderful, generous and kind in the full tradition of EQ and EQ2 These players have become my friends.  I am anxiously awaiting your release so I can really see what the effect will be on my character. 

Sounds like it will be an interesting time.   Thank you for all of the thought and effort you seem to be putting into creating a world that gives me options.

 

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Old 09-10-2005, 02:34 PM   #18
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--------------------------------

EQII Senior Producer Scott Hartsman's Producer's Letter says:

If you'd like to take an early look at the changes, you're welcome to check out the Test Server, where anyone can come take a look at what the future has in store.

--------------------------------

 
Ok, so I tried that...  I wanted to see what this means to my character as he suggested...
 
But I CAN'T get a test buff to my current level character.  So how am I supposed to see what these changes are like for my character?  Start again at level 1?????
 
Do I really need to spend 6 months to get a character to my current level on Test just to see how the changes will affect my character on Live?  Am I missing something?
 
 
 

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Old 09-10-2005, 04:16 PM   #19
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Things highligthed in yellow.

Are commented on right below in red.

 

EverQuest II Producer’s Letter – September 2005

It's been a couple of months since we've done one of these and there's more going on in EverQuest II than there ever has been before.  While we've added all kinds of new places to play in and quests to do, this time we're more focused on the overall feel of combat and encounters.

For those of you who keep up with the forums, some of this is going to be things that you've heard before.  For those who haven't, some of this may come as a surprise. 

Many people will be relearning parts of their characters, getting used to new spell lines and working with altered buffs.  That's a lot for us to ask, and we realize that.  As a way of thanking you for sticking through the effect this will have on your first few sessions, we'll be running a week of Bonus Adventure Experience for characters under level 50 beginning the day that Desert of Flames launches.

"We want as many as possible to get to level 50.. When they have nothing else to do, they will buy the expansion and make us more money"

I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about what it is exactly that's going on with the game, what you can expect to see on Tuesday 9/13, and our reasons for bringing you these combat changes.

The Goals of the Changes to Combat

Our goals in pursuing these changes to combat were originally aimed at addressing Character Diversity, Game Rewardability, and the overall challenge present in EverQuest II. 

Along the way, we realized that we had a unique opportunity to enhance other parts of combat and to improve on other parts of the game as well. Most notably, these changes affect the Encounter and Death systems and are aimed at providing more chances for positive interactions between people.

"Force people to group. They can't do Jack S... solo"

When You Log In…

What's going to happen on (and after) the first day of Desert of Flames going live (currently scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13) is that you're going to log in and will be asked to "Respec" your character, which means you'll need to choose new Trainings, Traits, Traditions, and Mastery Strikes.

You're going to see that you have gained some abilities, and that others have changed around entirely.  Some spell lines that weren't primary or secondary abilities (e.g. even better see invis!) no longer exist.  Their lines have been shortened to reduce spellbook clutter.

Instead you get small upgrades to exsisting spells every 4th to 6th level and a lot of spells are on the same timer, so less cluttered hot-bars, yes... but a lot more spells in your spellbook.

Class Diversity

First and foremost, we want to ensure that each class has a fun and fulfilling role to play.

"You can't do Jack S... without a group, so ALL will be needed"

In addressing Class Diversity, we wanted to place a greater emphasis on people's final Subclass selection, focusing less on Archetypal roles than previously.  As one example, very few people start a new game and think to themselves, "I want to be a Generic Mage!"   That's a fun stage to grow through, but not a destination in itself.

If a person wants to be a Necromancer, they want to be a Necromancer.  There are certain images that conjures up.  The same thing applies when you say the word "Enchanter" to someone who is familiar with EverQuest.  It's our responsibility to ensure that the expectation is met, and the absence of certain abilities is not jarring. 

In some cases, we've added entirely new spell lines to classes, and in others we've made them the game-wide experts in existing lines, where previously everyone in their archetype may have had an approximately equal ability.  For other classes, we may have just bumped an emphasis slightly in one direction or another.

Abilities and Items as Rewards

In many cases in the current system, spell and combat art upgrades do not always feel like satisfying upgrades.  We've changed the system and all of the spells and arts in it with the goal of making sure that this is the case.   Getting a new or upgraded primary ability should be one of the most proud moments of a character's career.  Those are the moments people look forward to.  They need to have meaning.

You get small upgrades to your spells every 4th to 6th level (Reducing clutter? Yeah right)

The same thing can be applied to items.  The fact that items changed their stats as people leveled up made the game more confusing than it needed to be.  It was a very interesting dynamic to those who prefer to crunch numbers, but once a person needs a calculator to determine if an item is an upgrade, it loses some of the appeal.

Now your gear cons either Red = cannot use, White = can be used, or Grey = worthless. To further simplifie matters all mitigation stats have been removed from accessories (rings, earings, ect ect)

General Combat Challenge

We had two issues with the general feel of combat that we wanted to address. 

As a result of the existing combat system, we've essentially had to make every creature red to be a challenge to a group.  In addition to being too limiting in terms of what is available for any group to do in the game, it also leaves the /consider ("color con") system less than entirely meaningful.   For a sufficiently advanced group, there's really just "red…and everything else."

Most of the combat system changes themselves target "you vs. a yellow or harder."   You should be hearing a good many classes saying that they're noticing little difference when soloing the things they've soloed in the past, since the majority of people weren't soloing things far past their level.

Note the "since the majority of people weren't soloing things far past their level".. Now its close to impossible to solo ANYTHING above your level. Not to mention that mobs on your own level will most likely kick your butt.

The idea is that there should be different targets for different strengths and formations of groups. Fighting orange and red creatures needs to be a Very Hard Thing, not the standard, and that system needs to make sense all the way through all of the /con's.

Note the "group"... You won't be soloing much now... except green cons.

Additionally, at the high levels, certain professions could make themselves nearly invulnerable due to there being too many, too generous skill modifying buffs. This evidenced itself primarily in stacking certain buff lines to make tanks invulnerable to all but the most difficult raid targets. This caused us to have to make some truly insane high end content in order to provide people with any amount of satisfying challenge.

THIS is the REAL reason for the changes... Too bad it make the game very hard and unfun all the way to the higher levels.

Naturally, as a part of these changes, since there are no longer classes in a state of invulnerability, the NPCs' abilities which only existed to counter it have been put to rest, and combat should feel like a much more natural, consistent, and fun challenge.

Content will be more challenging to the average person, and we will be permanently increasing the experience gains where this is the case. 

In some cases, creatures intended for solo players were previously less than challenging, and frequently unrewarding.  We're aiming to make them a challenge that rewards appropriately.

Greater challenge and risk merits greater rewards.  There will be "solo" creatures that are now a greater challenge, and the rewards earned from them will rise to match.

As said before.. Solo will be a LOT harder. And please note the " " around solo... Yeah right... if you want to get anywere you WILL need a group.

NPC Abilities in Combat

One other thing that exists on the live servers today is that NPCs often unload all of their power in a barrage at the beginning of a fight. This made all of the excitement and challenge of any given fight happen right at the beginning.  That unevenness will no longer exist.  NPC abilities are there to be an interesting challenge that occurs during the entirety of combat, and not something that if the average person gets in the way of, they instantly fall down and die.

More Things to Fight

The new combat rules let us provide a wider level range of NPCs that present the possibility for reward to you, at all levels.  NPCs no longer "grey out" (providing neither challenge nor reward) as quickly.

Now you wont grey out mobs as fast as you did before, so yes.. its still possible to solo, because there will be more mobs below your level now.

Improved Buff Usability

In many cases, we had different kinds of abilities that characters would have to choose between.  We used Concentration as the means by which a person would be told, "Sorry - You can't have this buff up while you have that buff up."  In cases such as that, Concentration is frequently no longer the limiter -- Instead, buffs such as Combat Stances, Forms, and Pet Stances can now be toggled at will, and toggled back and forth much more easily.

Concentration still has a role, but when it comes to these particular kinds of buffs, we're going for what we hope is a more intuitive method of communicating this exclusivity.

"We started by setting Mage Shielding at 3 concentration... then removed the concentration... We really don't have a clue about what we want..."

Character Choices

When we first set out to add Training abilities every ten levels, the idea was to give people a choice that would let them make their character more distinctive from others of the same class.

More often than not, what happened in practice was that there was only one long-term option that was far and above superior for each profession – Priests required their cures, Pet casters required their Pets, and anyone who chose anything but "the good one" was left out in the cold. That's not much of a choice. A character who chose the less than optimal one would only be able to get so far into the high end of the game and had their effectiveness severely penalized on their way up.

As a part of this revamp, we've removed the old Training abilities and expanded the definitions of each profession to include the parts of their Training tree that the game depended on, and others gain abilities they didn't have before.  Priests and their cures, Bards and their run speed, and so on.  In essence, the critical parts now become a part of the class, and there's still plenty of room for differentiation.

Instead of one or two training choises that you MIGHT have a use for in higher levels, you now get to choose a Master II of one of your exsisting spells (4 choises). So now the "differentitation" is that people choose one of four spells, and use them for about 8 to 10 levels at most. Nice differentation.. (*shakes head* - yeah ok.. its nice to have a Master II.. that you can use for a few levels.)

New Ways to Affect Your Character

The Training abilities themselves take on a slightly different form, in that every ten levels you're now able to choose one spell to upgrade to a new rank -- Master II.  These abilities are very powerful and useful, and there's a significant differentiating choice to be made.

In addition to the new Training abilities, the choices you make for your character will have more impact.  Resistances and stats both play a larger role in your character's existing capacity.

Indeed... Since all resistances have been heavily reduced, you WILL need them now.

As one example, where Intelligence currently increases a Mage's power pool, it will soon also increase the damage they're able to do with their spells.  Raise your Wisdom to increase your ability to avoid spells outright.   Raise your Strength to increase your melee damage.

While this is true, concider this... +100 intelligence gives you roughly 10% more damage... you are really going to notice this at the low to mid levels, right?.. Right??

Beyond that, items and spells now exist that will grant skill raises for skills that could not be raised before.  Raise your Focus skill to be less likely to be interrupted.  Raise your attack skills to gain greater effectiveness with your abilities.

Grouping, Death, and Community

In looking at a few of these gameplay mechanics and the long-term effect they had on the way friendships were made and the way groups formed (or broke up), we decided that it would make a better gameplay experience for everyone if we made a few changes to the system. 

As a part of the next update, single-group encounters will no longer "hard lock," and in a way that doesn't open up the system to free-for-all kill stealing or infinite powerleveling. 

We are approaching this change with caution to ensure the game does not turn into something that's far too easy. This would be the case, for example, if encounters were to let dozens of people attack raid targets, which is why we're keeping the encounter locks as-is for raid targets. 

However, for single group encounters the loss of positive social opportunities far outweighs the protection that hard encounter locks were providing.

Also in the update, group experience debt has been removed.  If you die, you take the death penalty, exactly as if you were solo.  The system that we have in place currently is absolutely the most fair - Of that, there's no argument.  However, it has ended up having the practical effect of causing more groups to break up faster, which has to be our overriding concern.

If the priest fails to keep the tank alive, the tank will get all the xp debt... Does the priest care? Will the tank leave pretty quickly now, due to the healers failure?

"The system that we have in place currently is absolutely the most fair - Of that, there's no argument." Then why change it?

To sum up these changes:  In any MMO, people come for the game, and they stay for their friends and the long-term challenges and rewards present in the world.  We're not just in the business of providing an interesting, fun, and challenging world to adventure in.  We're equally responsible to ensure that we provide a setting in which our game draws people together as best as it can.

If you'd like to read an even more in-depth discussion regarding these changes, you can find one on our boards right here:  http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board/message?board.id=pround&message.id=2945

Other Changes

Before I go, I'll mention a few other changes of note. 

  • Since we've made so many changes to spells, you'll notice that the Knowledge book will have a new Sort button to let you sort your abilities a number of different ways.
  • The area in which rear attacks such as Backstabs can take place will be widened.
  • Power costs will no longer increase as you gain version upgrades (Apprentice through Master) of the same spell or combat art.
  • Casting times will be significantly reduced on many combat arts.
  • Race specific vision effects will no longer consume power when they're used.
  • New tooltips have been added for all spells and combat arts, containing details of what the effects do.  These tooltips can be completely customized under the Options menu, letting you include as much or as little information as you like.

The possitive things..

WOW that many (/sarcasm off)

In Closing

We understand that changes of this magnitude, even when many of them are positive, can be disconcerting.

If you'd like to take an early look at the changes, you're welcome to check out the Test Server, where anyone can come take a look at what the future has in store.

We will also be creating new pages on the EQII web site that delve into our changes in greater detail.

As always, if you want to keep up with all of the things going on in EverQuest II from week to week, we urge you to keep an eye out for our posts on the forums, where we keep people up to date as frequently as we can.

Good hunting,

- Scott

As a last comment. I have cancelled my pre-order of Desert of Flames as well as my account.

If SOE EVER get it just half way right I may concider re-subscribing, but with SOE's track record I highly doubth it.

To every one else that do not like the changes comming I suggest that you also cancel... You will still be able to play until your subscribtion runs out, but by cancelling maybe, just maybe SOE will FINALLY get a clue. (Yeah... right)

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Old 09-10-2005, 05:27 PM   #20
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As we pull into the home stretch for this much talked about revamp, I would like to commend you and your team for the hard work they put into this rebalance.  Being a Comp Sci major I can appreciate the amount of work invovled in doing a re-coding job of this magnitude.  Also the PR team has done a decent job in letting us know the Why's and When's of this patch.  Where this info has fallen a bit short is the How's...  mainly How does this affect my live charater's class, character's abilities, and how well my character can survive in the world.  All these things effect why we chose the class combos that we did; and that in turn affects our fun-factor for the game.

In addition to updating the EQ2 webpage with all the new spells, class breakdown info, and stats, your also going to need to do more then one /respec opportunity to alleviate the anxiety that most players are feeling.  Most of us don't have high level duplicates of our live characters on Test, and cant 'see' the changes in action.

My suggestion would be to offer a few respec opportunities set to a schedual.  POST this schedual on the forums for all to see!  Something to the effect of:

  • Sept 12th - the manditory character respec.  Give players a week to play their revamped classes.
  • 1 Week later -  Offer a full class tree change respec (all the way back to level 9).  Those that are sufficiently dis-pleased with their revamped class could slide to something else in the tree (ie Pally to Monk) and give the "class I think I would have chosen" a try.  
  • 1 Week after that - Offer a final full class tree change (again back to level 9) as a way to let players make their final decissions as to what class they want to play.
  • 1 Week later - remove/disable the unused full respec options.  A posted "last day" note on the login screen the day before would be nice. 

Doing the respec like so, almost all players could feel comfortable trying the new revamp out and/or shifting their character around without the feeling that "you only get ONE chance to choose" hanging over their heads.  Also, by doing this on a pre-set schedual, you shouldn't hear a lot of complaints from players about not knowing when the respecs were being done.  You could even make it a post on the login screen.

In the end, you need to balance the game and keep the fan-base happy.  I think this would work well toward accomplishing both goals.

 

--Mezz

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Old 09-10-2005, 05:50 PM   #21
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I'm a raid level MT on live right now. I had the chance to check out a lvl 50 Guardian on the beta server.... wasnt impressed at all. Even looking at lvl 60 Guardians in fabled gear, their stats were hardly anythnig to look forward to (inspecting Blackguard's lvl 60 Guardian was a letdown). It seems like i'll be going from the top of the tanking food chain (all i really have) to being just a gimped up fighter that can't tank nearly as well as Monks wearing pajamas (tested several times with a warden healing on triple up heroic single mobs).

HOWEVER, doom and gloom aside I havent cancelled anything yet. The game will go live on tuesday and ill do my best to try to enjoy it so i havent thrown away almost a year of my life on a character. I'll try to stick around for the friends and the commitments that ive made, but those can only keep someone around for so long.

One thing that SOE should be aware of though, my guild on the Permafrost server has spent many hours on teamspeak talking about what we're going to do if this sucks as bad as most of us that have checked it out seem to think it does. We have the most members, most fighters, most priests, most mage members and the most scouts compared to any other guild on the server... and we're all talking about "what if we cant stand this anymore?".

Will we still be able to take on Zalak after DoF and the "upgrade" goes live? Will we have to wait until lvl 60 to have another shot at Darathar? Will there even BE players at level 50 that need us to take Darathar down for them or will they all get the hell out while the gettin is good? Do you guys even know the answers to these questions?

Have to give you credit for a gutsy move, but cant help but wonder how hard you're going to get bitten in the backside for it.

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Old 09-10-2005, 08:40 PM   #22
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Edited: Figured I should post some constructive stuff rather then just a snide comment. I'd quote Cyrano but it would take to long so Ill summarize for all of you. AHHH the sky is falling the sky is falling. I haven't tested any of this for myself but it must be horrible. There all done. Snide remarks over. I was lucky enough to get to play in the Beta for DoF, I tried almost one of every subclass. I was playing only with the equipement a buffed character was given and app 3 spells/arts. I was able to solo with every class I tried, yes some were easier then others, but every class I played could definately kill a no arrow mob fairly easily. You can attribute some of the difficulty to me not knowing how to play a given class or it may just have been that the class couldn't solo all that well. I was also able to take groups of 2 or 3, single and double down arrow mobs with most of the classes. Again some were easier then others, but with most I was able to do it with some skill. I'm not going to list my main or the classes I tried, simply becacuse I don't want people to assume that just because I couldn't solo as well with xxx class and that is their main class, they can't either. Sony has definately made the game more challenging, but I like it this way.  I could still do pretty much everything I did in Live soloing, I've never raided and I hardly group so I'm not going to comment on those. Yes the game is harder, yes you can still solo. Oh and I fully expect my class to get balanced(nerfed), hopefully before tuesday, because I can look and see that I probably shouldn't be able to do some of the stuff I can do so easily.

Message Edited by Lethari on 09-10-2005 10:17 AM

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Old 09-10-2005, 08:58 PM   #23
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CyranoDK wrote:

Things highligthed in yellow.

Are commented on right below in red.......

As a last comment. I have cancelled my pre-order of Desert of Flames as well as my account.

If SOE EVER get it just half way right I may concider re-subscribing, but with SOE's track record I highly doubth it.

To every one else that do not like the changes comming I suggest that you also cancel... You will still be able to play until your subscribtion runs out, but by cancelling maybe, just maybe SOE will FINALLY get a clue. (Yeah... right)



CAN I HAVE YOUR STUFF! SMILEY
 
Well, if serious, some of your comments are pretty senseless. There is quite a few places you are asking a question and then in the next sentence of the original post the answer follows why it has been done. I think your problem is that changes don't match with something that you were expecting. You cared to critisize a lot but didn't really care to add anything useful to it. Maybe it's because you think it's useless.
 
I can tell you, that I am very picky myself. And I had (still have but don't go so crazy on it) a tooth for SOE for doing certain things and not doing something that I'd want.
I really hope you are one of the TEST server users and have tried all the changes on yourself. If you haven't then I guess you don't even have a right to critisize here anything, unless you want to earn pretty bad reputation.
 
But since you already cancelled pre-order and your account, I can just wish you farewell, because you are not gonna be the one who will try new expansion and have a lot of fun in it before it will get boring. So... so long.
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:04 PM   #24
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wullailhuit wrote:
When you respec this time you get a dialog box , one side tells you what the spells are , the other gives a detailed description of each option as you click on it..and it's really detailed...no more guesswork.

Message Edited by wullailhuit on 09-10-2005 07:12 AM


I sure hope so! They gave a similar claim last respec time, and it turned out not to be the case. Of course, they didn't really give ANY useful information in the description of anything then. SMILEY
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:07 PM   #25
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You know, the PvP crowd has been calling for PvP servers for a while, why don't they make a group only server while they are at it. (As much as I like soloing, I don't think a solo only server wwould fly)
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:16 PM   #26
SeedsOfChan

 
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Mezzellion wrote:

As we pull into the home stretch for this much talked about revamp, I would like to commend you and your team for the hard work they put into this rebalance.  Being a Comp Sci major I can appreciate the amount of work invovled in doing a re-coding job of this magnitude.  Also the PR team has done a decent job in letting us know the Why's and When's of this patch.  Where this info has fallen a bit short is the How's...  mainly How does this affect my live charater's class, character's abilities, and how well my character can survive in the world.  All these things effect why we chose the class combos that we did; and that in turn affects our fun-factor for the game.

In addition to updating the EQ2 webpage with all the new spells, class breakdown info, and stats, your also going to need to do more then one /respec opportunity to alleviate the anxiety that most players are feeling.  Most of us don't have high level duplicates of our live characters on Test, and cant 'see' the changes in action.

My suggestion would be to offer a few respec opportunities set to a schedual.  POST this schedual on the forums for all to see!  Something to the effect of:

  • Sept 12th - the manditory character respec.  Give players a week to play their revamped classes.
  • 1 Week later -  Offer a full class tree change respec (all the way back to level 9).  Those that are sufficiently dis-pleased with their revamped class could slide to something else in the tree (ie Pally to Monk) and give the "class I think I would have chosen" a try.  
  • 1 Week after that - Offer a final full class tree change (again back to level 9) as a way to let players make their final decissions as to what class they want to play.
  • 1 Week later - remove/disable the unused full respec options.  A posted "last day" note on the login screen the day before would be nice. 

Doing the respec like so, almost all players could feel comfortable trying the new revamp out and/or shifting their character around without the feeling that "you only get ONE chance to choose" hanging over their heads.  Also, by doing this on a pre-set schedual, you shouldn't hear a lot of complaints from players about not knowing when the respecs were being done.  You could even make it a post on the login screen.

In the end, you need to balance the game and keep the fan-base happy.  I think this would work well toward accomplishing both goals.

--Mezz


The biggerst problem with multiple respecs is some luser will try to minmax everything and come up with the uber loadout, and other lusers will hop on the band wagon and ostracise anyone not complying with their view of how things should be chosen.
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:09 PM   #27
Kai Longbla

 
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Noticed that one week of bonus XP to given at DOF launch, could you may be see your way to continue this for One and One half, to Two weeks, so that some of us who have the extreme bad luck to have to be out of town for a week at launch. By the way love the game and most of the changes, look forward to the challenges it will present and create.
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Old 09-11-2005, 03:06 AM   #28
Arinwulf

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I would like to know what the difference is between a Beserker and a Guardian after the combat changes?

I don't know if anyone has clued you producers in, but a lot of us that played warriors in EQ don't want to go back to the same old meat shield role.  It was actually nice to play a game that allowed warriors to kill things not just stand there and take abuse so some Bewitched fanatics playing finger wagglers could nuke things. 

EQ2 was the best product that SOE had because it gave people multiple ways to play their characters, but here you go again shoving people into tiny little pigeon holes.   There is no FUN in playing an emasculated meat shield.  Don't take away the ability of a beserker to kill things. How in the world do you justify Rangers doing more damage than a beserker??? What made you think that was a good idea? Rangers get special abilities that Beserkers don't get to compensate them for doing less damage.

I will not play this game if I am bloody forced to join groups just to play the narrow mindless role of meatshield.  I think someone better put their thinking caps back on and try again because this isn't going to fly.   You guys are rolling the big dice on this in an effort to keep the subscriptions you got,  did you think alienating large chunks of your player base by turning them into enuchs was the way to do it????

Between EQ, SWG and EQ2 is there anyone at SOE that knows how to run a FUN game?  I thought the EQ2 team did, but they certainly seemed to have taken the path of folly on this.

 

 

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Old 09-11-2005, 03:09 AM   #29
WAPCE

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Scott Hartsman says: In many cases in the current system, spell and combat art upgrades do not always feel like satisfying upgrades. We've changed the system and all of the spells and arts in it with the goal of making sure that this is the case. Getting a new or upgraded primary ability should be one of the most proud moments of a character's career. Those are the moments people look forward to. They need to have meaning. while EJdev says: The difference between Master I and Master II is marginal. The intent is to upgrade non-Master spells to Master II, not existing Master I spells... you're already a Master at that spell, why would you need additional training? Which is it?
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Old 09-11-2005, 03:12 AM   #30
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The lack of anythng but a brief mention of  soloing  pisses me off .
 
Unless Scott is going to come to the el docks every time I can't find a group for 3 hours and give me 3 hours worth of group exp for sitting there  i'm really [Removed for Content] off .
 
 
It sounds like once again they focused on the group instead of the individual and while I agree this is a grouping game  there are times when grouping isn't going to happen.
 
1) When I only have 45 minutes and i can't have a meaningfull group experiance
 
2) when I simply can't find a group
 
3) When I really don't want to talk to anyone
 
So I want to be able to have just as fun of a time   soloing as grouping and this producers letter  seems to portray the opessite
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