This Dev Chat took place at 3pm PDT on October 8, 2009. At peak there were 155 people attending, not counting devs and staff.
Kain: Hello, and welcome to the ZAM EQ2 developers chat. I'm Kain, one of the CM's for the site and I will be your host for today. Raven will be taking any questions and Calthine will be herding us in the right direction! Now, I'll hand over to the SOE staff and let them introduce themselves
timetravelling: Heyo! I'm Brett Scheinert, primarily a content and dungeon encounter designer. For more recent questions, I did a lot of work for GU53 with the Chronomagic and Heirloom systems.
Brenlo: I am Alan Crosby, Producer of this awesome team.
Kaitheel: I'm Nathan "Kaitheel" McCall. Quests and event wrangler.
Gninja: Hey folks, I am Gninja and I work on Quests, Zone Design, and Live Events :)
Brenlo: Rather Producer FOR this awesome team
Rothgar: Hi there! I'm Greg "Rothgar" Spence and I'm the Lead Programmer on EverQuest II.
Frizznik: I'm Paul Carrico, I work on mechanics stuff.
SOECronyn: Hello, all! I'm Paul Molina, Lore Dwarf, content, and quests. :-)
Domino: I'm Emily "Domino" Taylor, also part of the mechanics team; I do tradeskills and random odd jobs and occasionally bake cookies!
Rothgar: mmm, cookies
Domino: Tinkerfest was my fault, and the mushroom rings too, if you want to lay blames!
Questions and Answers
Calthine: We got a ton of questions about the LoN zone being introduced, so I'm going to try and summarize them. Can we get some general information about the zone like: will we be able to zone in people who have not gotten the LON loot card? Will the content be solo or heroic? Can it be repeated? What tier is the loot?
- Brenlo: First calling it a zone is a misnomer. It is really more of an instanced encounter. A group can enter, and it does take a group to complete. Only one member of the group need have the key from LON. It is not repeatable unless you get another key from LON. The loot is not something we want to talk about at this point as we want to have some mystery. However I will say that it is equivalent to some stuff that can be solo'd for.
Calthine: Many players are concerned with the introduction of a zone that one must pay to enter that is not widely available. The vehicle of LoN and what makes it essentially a lottery type situation leaves many players with a bad feeling. Is this something that will become the norm or is it, as many hope, an exception?
- Brenlo: Well we are not sure. We will see what the reaction is like once it is in peoples hands and they understand what it actually IS rather than the conjecture. It is for the moment an experiment
Calthine: With this LoN expansion, will LoN cards once again drop as loot in Norrath?
- Brenlo: At the moment we have no plans to drop LON cards. That is why we went to giving each active player 5 packs a month. We like the current delivery method as it gives every player the cards regularly
Ariven: Can we have the ability to purchase LON loot cards individually on the station marketplace? (i.e. select which one we want, and buy it, with price based on rarity)
- Brenlo: We get that question a lot Ariven and at the moment we are trying to keep those as two seperate entities. At some point we may make a decision to allow LON card purchases on the Marketplace, but that is not something we are planning for currently
Aegir: As someone who has been away from Everquest II for over a year but plans on returning very soon, I'm happy to see there is no decline in the game development. Just how much of the current EQ2 development is focused on new content versus how much is focused on modifying the basic elements of the game? We've seen quite a few changes from the removal of the corpse spirits to the new spell naming scheme. Are these changes solely based on feedback from the user base or are they directly related to the future expansion of new content?
- Brenlo: As far as how much time is devoted to Live work, a great deal. Which is why the expansion was pushed out. As we get closer to the expansion, that will shift with more work being done on expansion rather than live. In fact that is what is currently happening now that Shards of Destiny is live. We are still working on live issues but not to the extent we have been.
- Brenlo:As for the second part of the question. It is a bit of both. We do respond to player concerns and feedback and many changes come directly from your comments and concerns. We are always looking at the game, however and looking for places to improve it and that leads to changes as well. Such as the spell rename
Kaisha: What happened to the EQ's 10th Anniversary In-game Gift?
- SOECronyn: We actually are planning to introduce in-game gifts with our 5th Anniversary event that goes live in a couple of weeks, so look for them around then. :-)
Annie: I have several high level crafters who are low level adventurers with classes who are not my play style. As there is a way to reset tradeskill class in game would there be any way to reset adventure class either through an in game function or through station cash?
- Rothgar: This is something we've talked about and understand that it would be a desired feature. However, we don't have a timeframe on it and haven't worked out the details. We'll have some more discussion on it and see if we can work it in soon (tm).
Gareth: Are there any plans to expand PVP on the PVE servers? Things like adding an instant travel and public queuing option to the Maj'dul arena to give casual PVP battlegrounds.
- Brenlo: I would look for a big announcement in the very near future
Crabbok: I love the re-emergence of certain old world event rewards, such as the imperceivable beauty set. Might we see additional old items brought back someday, specifically the house items from the deity quests, or something similar? My new bruiser woudl love an in-home HP buff!
- Kaitheel: That's great to hear! I know that I have many characters that also were looking forward to getting their hands on those armor pieces. Although we had not looked at putting in all previously available items, we were and can look further into making more of them available.
Dawnslight: Will there be a new player race with the expansion... since evil toons are one up on neutral and good.
- SOECronyn: I'm sorry, we have no plans to introduce a new player race for this expansion.
Argyuile: Has the dev team considered making an more intelligent AI as a way to make raid mobs more difficult instead of just hitting, harder, using bigger AE's?
- Rothgar: We're always looking at new ways to make raid encounters fun. However, we understand that randomness doesn't always make for more fun either. So if by smarter AI, you mean more random behavior, probably not. But we always try to come up with new and interesting "puzzles" to solve.
- Rothgar: If you have some suggestions, feel free to send them our way using the /feedback command.
Winwin: Can we expect more appearance and house item zones akin to the Shard of Love in the future?
- Kaitheel: It's not out of the question, as its popularity has certainly been good, but we don't have any specific plans for one at this time.
Renegade X: Will there be entry level quests when the new Halas is released?
- Kaitheel: Oh, yes there will! It needs to support the characters starting there. Think Darklight Woods.
Aurelis: Can we expect pretty new books added with the expansion, and is it too late to ask, pretty please, no more open-book graphics? Open books just look funky on the Library's bookshelves!
- SOECronyn: Indeed! There will certainly be more book introduced in the coming expansion... and we can take the request for no open book graphics under consideration. ;-D
- Domino: though some people love those!
Rijacki: When can we get more of the "cherry grove" furniture in-game as craftable pieces with a different fabric colour? Can we get even the first batch of the blue ones in another colour, too?
- Domino: there are no current plans to make the cherry grove set craftable in different colours, however, I've been hard at work on carpenter recipes for the coming expansion and I can assure you there are some fantastic looking items coming up that I think will make everybody happy!
Josgar: When will the new shaders be pushed to Test? Will we have ample time to test them before December?
- Rothgar: We are still working hard on the Shader 3.0 system. This is a huge amount of work to convert all of our thousands of existing shaders into the new model. We still have some challenges to overcome and we're still tweaking performance. We don't have a date yet as to when we will push it to Test, but as soon as we feel comfortable with the final product, we will let you know.
Dawnslight: Will Carpenters ever get spiral staircases and or strait staircases to craft?
- Domino: since every house and requires a different size, shape, and style of staircase it would be very difficult to put in pre-built staircases that would match people's needs. It's possible we might see one or two in the future if the art team has the time, but it's more likely we'll see a variety of more building blocks that can be used to build the wider variety of shapes, sizes, and styles that are needed.
Lisanne: Is there any chance that Quest Appearance items, like the Quest reward of Erollisi's Bow, can be House Mounted too for those of us unable to use a bow, please? It is so lovely and worth a place on my wall, and it is part of our game Lore.
- Kaitheel: Several of those rewards are so beautiful, it would be a shame not to. And yes, that will be coming!
Winwin: Do you guys have a tentative date for the race change service on station cash?
- Brenlo: We do indeed. It is tentatively scheduled for the next marketplace update which is the 20th. Just in time for Halloween
Xalmat: Seeing as how some top end encounters were balanced around pre-nerf avatar gear (namely Ykesha and Munzok) are they going to be adjusted to account for the reduction in player power?
- timetravelling: Both of those fights, and several others have already seen a number of tweaks and we are certainly keeping an eye on them to make sure that y'all's progression isn't hurt.
Crabbok: Appearance helms and cloaks are popular, but can we expect some new designs for other armor slots, such as gloves, or boots?
- Domino: everybody loves pretty items and we're always looking for exciting new appearances to add. We can't show you any pictures yet, but the art team has outdone themselves with some of the equipment in the coming expansion and I look forward to being able to wear some of it myself! Rest assured there's a lot of new looks coming up, and will continue to be more in the future.
Ray B: I would like to see boxes that can be opened and items stored in them to be able to be put in guild hall vaults and our personal banks. It would offer more storage or at least something like that. Example would be like putting a 36 slot box in guild bank 1 and be able to open it up and put 36 items in it. Could limit amount of boxes or sizes your discretion. I feel this would be a big hit on all servers.
- Rothgar: Adding more storage is always a balancing act. I don't think we can ever provide enough storage for everyone to feel like they have enough. But when we add more, it can severely impact server performance and that's something we take very seriously.
- Rothgar: We are always looking at ways to solve storage problems that don't have a negative impact on performance but don't have anything we can announce right now.
Staven: Can you smooth out the ride on the rhinos some? Tired of getting sea sick when my alt rides his and I'm in first person mode.
- Rothgar: We made some changes to rhino mounts in the past that should have helped a good deal. I haven't heard any other complaints about them until now but this is something we can look at.
Ariven: Since there are more things to buy with shards, are there plans to add more solo shard quests into the game sometime soon?
- Brenlo: I do believe that we have at least one solo quest coming. However, I have heard rumors that they may be dropping from almost anything around Halloween
Jeehi: Regarding the EQ2 complete Collection coming out the 19th of this month, I was wondering what it comes with in the box and If it comes with any new in game items and If so can the code be added to an existing account to get the items.
- Brenlo: The compilation coming out actually has no ingame item. We are putting this out there to get boxes on the shelf and try and attract more new players. So for existing players nothing new. For possible new players, free 60 days of gameplay and everything up to TSO
Aurelis: Is there any chance we might get to see more "customization" options for guild hall guards and other amenity NPCs -- for example, an option for their stance to make them be sitting so we can put them on chairs to relieve their tired feet?
- Rothgar: When we initially planned the hireling system for guild halls we had a lot of grand ideas that would be 'cool' to do but just didn't have time to implement all of them. I'll certainly look at the ability to add stances to them, but I'm not sure that sitting in a chair would be one that we could accommodate. Our next update to guild hall content will come with the expansion, so if we can work it in by then we will certainly give it a shot.
Fendy: I read the in next expansion classes will not be receiving any new combat arts or spells (disregarding skils gained through new AAs); that the existing combat arts and spells will only be upgraded with new versions. Why not?
- Aeralik: The main reason we decided to pass on an additional spell is just the number of spells characters have. We felt that adding another spell line would just add to an already large number or spells. I think the new AA abilities though will more than make up for the lack of a new ability.
feldon30: What role (if any) will Armor and Weaponsmiths have in the expansion? Mastercrafted items would have to be incredible to be desirable at their classic level of 82. Will we see level 90 mastercrafted gear become important, as other games are doing?
- Domino: We're not planning a *completely* different direction for mastercrafted gear at this point, however we're definitely aware that it's going to have to be balanced assuming that many people will be wearing at least some shard gear. It's something I've been working with Fyreflyte to balance, and we'll probably need to continue the balancing based on feedback during beta. Both armor and weapons will definitely be seeing a lot more nice blue stats, for one thing. And I know I can count on you and others in here for honest and helpful feedback!
Deson: As of a recent Aeralik post we know the Rogue wisdom line is being reworked. Are there other AA lines/Spells e.g. Inquisitor reactives) being redone as well?
- Aeralik: Summoners will see some significant changes to reduce the number of pet lines. Rogues will see the wisdom line changed to be more inline with current itemization. The cure lines are all seeing a number of changes. We are also looking at individual abilities make sure they are desirable.
Aurelis: Why can't we use really any punctuation besides apostrophes in their names? I smell discrimination against the beautiful periods and commas, exclamation and quotation marks, hyphens and equal signs, and so on and so forth!
- Rothgar: I'm not sure what the rationale was behind the original decision. That was made long before me. Unfortunately I don't see any changes being made to the naming system in the future.
- Rothgar: All of the systems that work in and around EQII make assumptions about allowed characters and we'd probably break a lot of stuff if we changed it now. :)
Mystfit: There was a brief mention in the homeshow forum of dev's considering making a permanent stay option for house pets (like turning them into plushies). I haven't' heard it mentioned in awhile, is this on someone's to-do list?
- Rothgar: It's still on the to-do list but we haven't had a chance to get to it yet. :(
- Domino: wait till he steps on a pet frog in the middle of the night ;)
- Rothgar: This is why you don't see pets roaming around in *MY* house. :)
Ariven: Can we have some fluffy/pretty/cute/sexy clothing put on the marketplace soon?
- Domino: ok. there are a couple pretty dresses coming up for one thing - I believe the first should be available mid November. I've seen 'em!
feldon30: Why after the recent changes to Anashti Sul making her substantially easier, was the Manta Ray part of the encounter changed?
- timetravelling: It was not. However, if you feel portions of that part of the encounter are not working as intended please send us details and we'll look into it!
- Rothgar: There was a bug with the manta ray encounter that crept in with the first fix, but that should have been repaired earlier this week.
feldon30: Is there any further news on the transmuting changes to report?
- Domino: Feldon, there aren't any new updates but there's a pretty comprehensive post on the Tradeskill forum. Once I'm able to give more details you bet I'll be asking for feedback! =)
Fendy: Can we have any more details on how item degradation is going to work? When can we expect to hear more?
- Frizznik: We are looking at the system now. It is a work in progress so we can't give exact details of what it is right now because we are still working them out. We are trying really hard to make sure that you don't lose overall power from one level to the next, and will want to get items that provide better power gains for you. We will definitely be providing information in advance so will have notice of what it is. When we know, you will know. :)
Crabbok: The Fist of Judgment (Avatar Brawler weapon) has a damage proc that includes the line "Lasts for 15 seconds", yet there is no effect (such as temporary mitigation or avoidance). What is missing from this weapon and can I expect a fix?
- Aeralik: I just looked at the data. It just looks like a data entry problem that is easily fixed so that it will not display the duration. You are not missing out on anything but I will get it fixed quick to avoid further confusion.
feldon30: Could it be possible to provide a way for new characters, regardless of alignment or race, to be teleported at level 1 to Timorous Deep or Halas?
- SOECronyn: Travel is something we are looking at currently, especially between cities of similar alignments. Nothing to announce now, but look for changes in the future.
Renegade X: Are Sentinel's Fate questions allowed this dev chat? If so will The Warrens return in SF?
- SOECronyn: The Warrens will not be making an appearance with the release of The Sentinel's Fate. However, look for a few other familiar areas, and even some new ones you might not have expected to see. :-)
Obligatory Fluff Question and Farewells
Spanky Does Sony give the developers free coffee at work? This is important to me and my gaming style. Thanks
Brenlo: Yes, as much as we can drink. And we drink alot. For Domino though, who does not drink coffee . . . Toasted Marmite
SOECronyn: Yes, they do. I love you, coffee. You are so wonderful.
Kiara: ewww marmite is just eww
Domino: nom nom nom. Who needs coffee when there's toast and marmite!
Rothgar: Donuts > Coffee
SOECronyn: I DO OMG
Gninja: I believe Cronyn has a Caffeine IV at his desk...
Domino: and bread and marmite ... and bagels and marmite ... and marmite and marmite ...
SOECronyn: That's why you're a coder, Rothgar. You aren't normal.
Kiara: Alright folks. That's the end :) Time to strap everyone back to their desks.
Kiara: Thank you for coming by!
Calthine: Thanks Everyone!
Brenlo: Thanks all!
Brenlo: Thanks for playing!
Kaitheel: Well, it's been great but I have to run off to the local coffee chain now. Thanks all!
Domino: thanks everyone, see you on the tradeskill forum! Bring marmite! =)
Kain: And that's the chat all done! Thanks to the SOE devs for turning up from everyone here at the EQ2 ZAM site, and thanks to all the users for popping in and sending us questions :)
Rothgar: Thanks everyone!
Here are tidbits of Dev interaction gleaned from the #EQ2FFA room logs after the chat.
Pharone: wo wo wo... did they just say that summoners will get fewer typs of pets?
- Aeralik: one fighter pet line and one dps pet line in the summoner tree. the dps pet line works on scout/mage pets
- Aeralik: the int line then transforms into something like the summoner version of the rogue strength line
I know the next expansion is going to add some new racial traits... is there any new info on that available?
- Aeralik: there are no new racials with the expansion. we added additional ones with the past update
timetravelling do you know if the eq2 complete collection comes with any exclusive items
- timetravelling: I'm not sure, I know there were a number of things discussed but I'm not sure of any final decisions
Timetravelling you know if Instruments have been scrapped? or are they still in the works?
- timetravelling: tariussAB - no current plans for the instruments. but they are always on the backlog of "want to do"
As for the Shard of Love zone . . . nice small zone that can be handled for quick play. Any future plans to re-use this zone for more difficult mobs and a real loot table that is not appearance only? Perhaps on par wtih Deep Forge as they are about the same size.
- timetravelling: Artemiz - hehehe, good question. it is indeed a great looking zone, but i can't say whether or not we plan to use it again =)
Should we expect more raid style scripted encounters in the heroic zones for Sentinels Fate like the ones in the Shard zones for TSO or something more casual players will find fun as well?
- timetravelling: Artemiz - Yes and Yes? The scripted encounters have actually been quite popular. One of the big pieces of feedback we received though was the desire for more 'casual' content, and we've created quite a bit of that as well!
Scripting yes but when scripts in heroic zones will get down to requiring a certain class to be present it can pinch group formups and exclude certain classes from playing those zones.
- timetravelling: artemiz - we are definitely not intending to force class requirement with our scripts.
I just wish AB didnt lag so much :(
- Rothgar: We have AB in our sights.
- Rothgar: As soon as we get the Venkor merge behind us we will be looking at upgrading the DB hardware for AB.
Nice that Venekor merged. Wonder about the fate of Vox though...is that livegamer contract really that profitable? Seems like a third party has EQ2 by the nuts and I can see lots of players leaving Vox eventually...pvp and exchange are a bad mix
- Rothgar: Thats a business question that most of us can't answer Ripchord.
I can't believe the first server merge they do in a long time was a PVP ... I thought the game was called EverQUEST not everPVP
- Rothgar: Venekor needed it the most.
In fairness jupiter venekor was almost completely dead it was either merge or have a bunch of players that couldn't even form an x4. For real
- Rothgar: If anything, PvP players have a wider set of options because they can still do everything you do on a PvE server. :)
So is the Arena on PVE gonna get some lovin?
- timetravelling: TariussAB - as brenlo said, wait for a big announcement ;D
- Rothgar: Like Brenlo mentioned in the chat, you expect an announcement.
- Rothgar: bah, TT beat me to it. :)
*wonders if Calthine will forget to post the FFA logs this time* :P
Any idea when Sentinels Fate beta is going open guys?
- timetravelling: artemiz - that's still some number of months off, but we'll definitely let y'all know once we do!
Aeralik any chance you can look into the pally AA stonewall? it seems a tad underpowered compared to other fighters
- Aeralik: stonewall looks a lot like guardian block to me :) so are you saying that ability is underpowered too?
yes actually, I think they both suck Aeralik :(
- Rothgar: I play a guardian and I'm fine with Block
only blocking a melee attack doesnt really help much when the mob can 1 shot you with a spell
oh is the no longer going to be able to make freeport and qeynos starting chars still going in with lu 55
- timetravelling: jeehi - the plan is to let players create new characters in any starting area of the 'good' or 'evil' alignment and not restrict areas based on race
any chance of making the item illusions into spells im running out of space to store em all lol
- timetravelling: jeehi - definitely something we'd like to look into. that's a pretty common feedback
thanks i think i have at least 4 bags full of em and i dont have ema ll lol
- timetravelling: so...you're saying we should implement garage sales? ;D
This page last modified 2009-10-09 16:32:27.