EQ2 Allakhazam IRC Developer Chat log

Well folks, our first EverQuest II Developer Chat is over. I want to say thank you to everyone who participated in the event, to the EverQuest II team for taking the time out of their day and to the amazing Allakhazam staff. Cuppycake beat me and managed to post a log minutes after the chat was completed. Good work Cuppycake, we salute you!

Below is the entire chat log for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

[tamat] Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first of many IRC Developer Chats hosted right here at Allakhazam. I’m your host Andrew “Tamat” Beegle and joining me from Allakhazam we have Amy “Calthine” Lanam, Helen “Raven” Banks, Christie “Kiara” Renzetti and Jeffrey “Danalog” Abshire.
[tamat] First we have Scott “Gallenite” Hartsman. Welcome!
[gallenite] Hi everyone! Thanks for comin’ out
[tamat] Next, Craig “Grimwell” Dalrymple. Welcome!
[grimwell] Howdy folks!
[tamat] Akil “Lyndro” Hooper. Welcome!
[lyndro] Why did you introduce me after Grimwell? That’s not right! He should be last!
[lyndro] I demand a recount!
[tamat] Liz “Feconix” Sigmund. Welcome!
[feconix] Greetings Adventurers!
[tamat] Chris “Aeralik” Kozak. Welcome!
[aeralik] hello everyone!
[tamat] And last but certainly not least, Tony “Vhalen” Garcia. Welcome!
[tamat] It would seem I also missed Emily “Domino” Taylor. Welcome!
[domino] hi all!

[tamat] All of tonight’s questions have been pre-selected over the last week and during the last hour in IRC. They will be asked in no specific order so please understand that due to time constraints we wont be able to ask all of the questions that we’ve had submitted. That said; we appreciate all of your questions and thank you for your understanding.

[tamat] Our first question comes from Mirander of Unrest
[tamat] Are you guys still working on that revamp of character models? And if you are, could we get any new info on it? A rough timeframe until it’s finished, more info on what exactly this change entails, things like that.
[gallenite] Indeed we still are. I’m thrilled to say that it’s been progressing very well. For the past few months, this has become much more of a hard production project and much less of an R&D effort. When we said this was a long term project last year, we weren’t joking around. It has been a ton of work. (more)
[tamat] Gallenite is an amazing typer no doubt
[gallenite] There are two main goals - Both improvements in performance as well as improving the speed at which we can create new visible armor.
[gallenite] We’ve had to improve both the underlying character systems, as well as how they tie into our game data, and introduce significant new morphing tech into our engine.
[gallenite] At the moment, we’re targetting having it out by the end of calendar 2007. Expect us to start talking more about it this fall.
[gallenite] (Yes, I pre-answered some of that - I admit.(Done.)

[tamat] Second question - Much of the raiding community has voiced concern about the lack of raid progression and raid quantity in Echoes of Faydwer (though many guilds have still not completed all of the content.) Are there any plans in the future to add extra raid instances to the EoF content, a la the additions of Halls of Seeing and the Lyceum of Abhorrence in Kingdom of Sky?
[lyndro] Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten the raiders. We have a high end raid zone, Thex Castle, going out in GU 36. We also have a few other surprises coming in the next few updates. One of them may even fill your hearts with loathing.
[tamat] Shadowreap of Guk asked that!

[tamat] Josgar has the next question - Can we see some villages gain housing and basic ammenities? (Village of Shin, Gnomeland, crossroads, windstalker, Kugup, fort irontoe, Josgarian Village to Reclaim Felwithe, etc)
* Grimwell looks to Lyndro
[lyndro] We don’t have any plans to add any player housing options outside of the cities. Maj Dul is the exception, it’ll probably remain that way. Ideally there will always be reasons to return to the cities.

[calthine] Question 4 from an unknown person:
[calthine] When Neriak was on Test there were instruments and recipes for instruments for sale. Why didn’t these go live? The instruments on Test were just “fluff”, will bards ever get functional instruments?
[calthine] you know what? That was the wrong page.
[calthine] My Bad.
[gallenite] (Since the instruments question came up — We do lots of different kinds of prototyping on test server. Instruments on test were one early-stage experiment there. Ideally, before we’d release instruments to a live server, we’d have them more fleshed out with sound and gameplay.)

[calthine] On the Official Forums Domino initiated a conversation about removing “levels of quality” from recipes and only allowing Pristine items to be made. Can we expect to see that change with Rise of Kunark?
[domino] Based on the discussion in the tradeskill forum and the tons of helpful feedback from the crafting community, crafting recipes released with from the Kunark expansion onward will work similarly to recipes crafted in “the Nest” zone. This means that in order to get the finished product you will need to complete the pristine level of quality.
If you fail to get a pristine result on a handcrafted item, you will get your fuel back, and possibly some harvests also. If you fail to get a pristine result on a mastercrafted item, you will get the rare back, but lose the fuel.
[domino] I’ll post more details in the tradeskill forum shortly! (How else do halflings post?)

[tamat] Havoc of Permafrost - It’s been stated that they are revamping the AA line weapon requirements with RoK, do they intend to give any type of one time offer to trade epic quest rewards in for those of us that picked a weapon based on those current requirements.
[aeralik] IN GU36, the weapon restrictions are being removed from the aa lines except for a few cases that require shields or ranged weapons
[lyndro] The first part of a larger achievement revamp is going live with GU 36. With this first phase most of the weapons requirements for achievements are being removed. Your quest reward choices will remain, the weapons are still good after all.
[lyndro] Since it is related, we also have an upcoming change on test that will allow you to wield any 1h weapon like a dual wield weapon, and all dual wield weapons will become 1h weapons. Of course some weapons will remain primary only.

[calthine] This question is from, well, me: Domino, you’ve talked a lot about new furniture models and the return of chocolate to Norrath. Have you made any progress on these?
[domino] While we’ve been in here, Kirstie has sneakily posted some new test update notes! They include these lines:
[domino] Continued efforts by confectionary-savvy cooks, has led to the discovery that you can dip many fruits in chocolate! Not to be outdone, bakers have started to make a variety of flavored cheesecakes! You may find that your favorite fruit has been used to make one of these delightful treats.
[domino] and
[domino] An intrepid band of single-minded interior decorators has returned from an exploration of Stormhold and vicinity, bringing more furnishing ideas to the cities of Norrath.
[domino] once these changes hit test server, provisioners and carpenters should find some surprises appearing in their recipe books. More still to come!

[tamat] Aerio of Najena - Why does the queen of Neriak speak in a spooky, scary, gnome frightening voice? And who are the Prince and Princess that reside in her castle?
[feconix] Queen Cristanos is incredibly old. In that time she has worked with magics of all types. These have taken a toll on her. Her voice is just one example of that… Her mindset is another. And the Prince and Princess are her children…

[calthine] Dendory asks: will we get faster means of travel (pok books, flying mounts, teleport gnomes)?
[gallenite] Travel in EQ2 is a topic that we continue to talk about internally as well. Earlier today we were just talking about which parts of the world could use additional travel options, be they new griffon paths or other types of speedier flight.
[gallenite] It’s a topic that we’re usually keeping an eye on, but don’t see many truly glaring deficiencies at the moment. EQ2 is definitely much easier to get around than many other worlds out there. Other than possibly some new paths in some of the EoF zones, we’re likely to continue down our existing road.
[gallenite] (done)

[calthine] About a kajillion people ask: Are there any plans to add Armor Dyes?
[lyndro] Short answer: no.
[lyndro] Longer answer: probably not.
[lyndro] Longest answer: We like for the color of your armor to be recognizable. When you see that Shadowknight run by with the hot pink pants, you know which pants she is wearing. On a side note, our lead character artist, Lotus, has been putting a lot of time and effort into removing the “clown” armor sets from the game. So you shouldn’t actually see any more hot pink pants.
[gallenite] Longest answer yet: When a game developer makes armor for a game, they need to build support for tintability in from the get go. Thematic reasons aside, it’s also not something that’s feasible for EQ2 without us redoing a prohibitively large amount of armor.
[gallenite] Since it’s not logistically possible, it’s not a road we’ve decided to pursue. Hope that explains a bit more.

[calthine] Ever think of a new setting in EQ2 that would prevent people from sending you a private msg unless in your friends list ?
[gallenite] I’m assuming that reason for this question is related to spam - And I sympathize with that. Let me answer from that angle:
[gallenite] Yes, we’re committed to addressing spam, but no, not by removing the “meeting new people” aspect of an MMO that is key to keeping the game feeling alive.
[gallenite] We have quite a few medium and long term projects that we’ve been working on in the background. Some we don’t talk about much at all until they’re about to go live. One of those projects has been a prototype of an intelligent spam filter, built into the game itself.
[gallenite] Ideally, we’ll be at the point within the next few weeks to where we can start talking about our progress down that front on the boards, in more detail.
[Gallenite] But the end goal is, as you have a right to expect, that we’re working hard to combat spam.

[Calthine] Klathar from Kithicor asks: Is there more they can tell us about the new raid zone the Throne of New Tunaria? Where does it fit on the EoF progression in respect to EH and MMiS?
[Lyndro] First raid difficulty is kind of a difficult thing. Whenever you have a raid with tricky mechanics, its hard to gauge exactly where the difficulty falls in comparison to other raids around the same level.
[Lyndro] That being said, it should be around the same difficulty as the last floor of Emerald Halls, with rewards of similar power.

Can you tell us the lore behind Darklight Woods?
[Vhalen] Darklight Woods exists in an area of Nektulos forest that has long been hidden from Norrathians, other than Teir’Dal and Everlings.
[Vhalen] The Razzorrock Ridge does a good job of keeping the Freeportians out.

[Calthine] Question from several people - will there be an option to reset adventure class in the not too distant future in the same way the tradeskill class is being done?
[Kirstie] We have already implemented that feature, on the Character Select screen click on “Create New Character”
[Grimwell] I’m going to have to bake some cookies and bring them in for that answer!
[Gallenite] hahaha — We’d do it if there was an overwhelming demand for it, but resetting adventure class is a bit scarier of an internal operation for us, given the sheer number of quests and special flags that occur during an adventuring life

It was recently posted that Tradeskillers will no longer have to deal with the “Would not take effect” message. Has the actual Mechanic been changed?
[Domino] Yes! The wonderful coding geniuses that we have here assure me that if you use a lower level tradeskill art, it will now override a higher level one if you have one still active. Crafters rejoice!

[Tamat] Whitedragon - I noticed that Neriak contains housing that seems cheaper than that of qeynos or freeport
[Feconix] Housing in Neriak is priced evenly with the housing in Kelethin, because they are around the same square footage. For the next update we have added housing in both Neriak and Kelethin that uses status. We are evaluating the prices of the rest of the player housing, as well. as they don’t have large status upkeeps as well. Will we see that trend follow to the other cities?

[Raven] A lot of people in game have commented that the older races have silly dances compared to the Fae - will new dances be added soon?
[Lyndro] Again I’ll answer for Lotus, since he’s not here. Racial dances are something that he wants to add for sure. There’s no ETA, but its something you can look forward to.

[Raven] Nelfia: question about clothgear - will it be possible to select a robe to be a vest instead of a robe. Some ppl prefer to have leggings shown…and others prefer the robe. I would so much like to be bale to select “make it a vest or make it a robe”-choise.
[Gallenite] I have a couple robe classes too. Personally, I’d actually like the vest action a lot better, myself. However, if we were to do something like that in EQ2 it would have to be via more vest options, and not really by having loot morph. But I definitely understand where you’re coming from.

Sabaal of Antonia Bayle asks about the tradeskill respec and an ETA for when it will go live please
[Domino] Tradeskill respec! It’s free, and you can do it as many times as you want, BUT you get reset to an level 9 artisan each time. When you choose to give up your old class, you give up everything about it, you don’t get to just keep the stuff you like.
[Domino] For example! If you were a tailor and you respec and then choose to be a provisioner, you don’t keep your tailor recipes, you don’t keep your tailor reaction arts. You’ll be a provisioner, not some weird provisioner-tailor hybrid. It’s a complete start-over-again.
[Domino] There will be tradeskill career counsellors available in each of the 4 starting cities plus Haven, who will assist you if you want to take this big step! It is heading to test soon [tm] and should go live with Game Update 36. Feel free to visit the tradeskill forum to comment.

Okay the big question now….. is the Arasai dance based on the South Park goth character dance?
[Feconix] Its based on AWESOME!
* Grimwell shuffles over slumped shoulders
* Grimwell cackles
[Gallenite] Busted.

[Tamat] The last question of the night comes from Dellmon - Dellmon - In Darklight Woods and EoF zones we see the restriction of level-locked quests removed, would there be any plans to remove level restrictions from all quests in previous expansions/releases?
[Lyndro] I assume that you are talking about quests that have a max level at which you can receive them. Removing restrictions like this is definitely in line with what we’d like EQ II to be going forward.
[Gallenite] Amen to that.

[Tamat] If we didn’t get to your question, we’re sorry!
[Lyndro] Thanks for coming in! I have a bet with grimwell saying he can’t get a message from every person in chat. Let’s see if you can make me a winner!
[Tamat] Thank you everyone for joining us, it’s been a somewhat chaotic Developer Chat but we’ve had a great time and hope you have as well. Until next time….


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