These notes will be updated as time and energy permit, and will be brain-dumps from various panels, conversations, etc. at Fan Faire. In many cases, they will be short notes, with deeper details waiting until after Fan Faire is over. You may also find that some information is in more than one section, or details/clarification are not tied to my original comments about it. This is due to getting information from multiple panels, and trying to transcribe my notes in the sequence in which they were written.
DESPITE the EXTREMELY rude table beside us that had to make loud, obnoxious comments through the entire presentation (making it hard for us to catch all that was being said on stage, I did manage to get some gems from the 7 p.m. address,containing some of the high-points for the various SOE titles. As expected, it revealed a few interesting bits and pieces of special note to the EQII players.
One thing of interest to all should be the SOE team-up with Vasco for an authentication system for station accounts. More details later, as I don't have my greedy little halfling hands on one of the new keyfobs for it yet.
On the EQ2 side of things, the next expansion will be "Age of Discovery". We can expect:
I suspect the above will raise more questions than they answers. I will be gleaning more details at various panels on Friday and Saturday, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, know that the Qho Mighty Mugg from last year is making an appearance ... with a noose around his neck, and I'm showing off the Qho-Dependent T-shirt today. :D
I am managing to have a lot of fun visiting with friends both old and new, despite being sick with the shingles ... again ... and hope to have some really great updates for you later!
First off, when faced with a small window for a panel, and lots of information to cover, Smokejumper wins the award for speeding through things quickly. This might explain why I am worried about figuing out my notes, as I don't know shorthand, and could barely keep up with the topic changes. :D
Dynamic Dungeons - they're going to try redoing 2 dungeons as dynamic dungeons, with randomized content within those dungeons. This should give a bit more variety when running them, and the dungeons will scale between 60 and 90, based on the group going into them. I caught that the two they're using as a test are off Sinking Sands, but missed which two specific ones it would be. Regardless, this is a test to see how how well they work and how the players like them.
New heroic dungeons and raids - easy mode and hard mode for both. (The benefit of easy mode on the raids is that it makes for a good introduction to raiding for folks who might not usually do so, and train them in raiding techniques before they get to the harder stuff. Thus, they make a good way to bring new guildies up to speed on raiding.
While we know the first phase of the tradeskill item revamp is on Test (still with many issues when I last checked, but progressing), it seems this is the tip of the iceberg. All gear items from all tiers, are getting revamped, along with another stats revision. Not a lot more details on this one yet, so your guess is as good as mine on the stats revision thing.
Tradeskill AA's Before you get too excited, some of these are being pulled from racial traits and the like, from what I understand. And the AA's you spend here, come from your overall AA pool. You're not getting any special crafting AA pool, you just have more options on where to spend your AA's. (If you've been doing crafting quests, you know you get a pretty respectable amount of AA from them, and this will let you spend them where you will be likely to use them, as a crafter.) The first row of crafting AAs will need to have 10 points spent before you can spend in the second row. You'll then need 10 points in the second row, before you can spend in the final two abilities. (One of the final 2 abilities will be a chance at a component-free combine, much like the prayer shawl proc. The other ability will be an increased chance at harvesting rares.) It sounds like they're planning for the crafting AA tree to have a cap of 25 points spent in it.
Of course, this raised concerns about AA swapping, and the fact that the mirrors are not portable, and only allow you to swap between two AA profiles, when some folks have 3 (or more) they'd like to swap to. It is something the devs are aware of, and discussing possible ways to address the issue.
House Rating System - decorators! Get ready! GU61 will see the release of a house rating system where you can put your home(s) up as available to rate, and folks can visit and rate your homes. There will be serverwide leaderboards, several categories under which your home can be listed/rated, and some rewards for staying on the leaderboards for a certain amount of time.
Dungeon Finder Having a hard time finding a group via LFG for a specific dungeon? This may help. You can queue up for random dungeons or specific ones, if I understand correctly, and the dungeon finder (which is server-specific for the forseeable future) will try to fill in the blanks in the group with appropriate class/level folks who are also looking for dungeons.
Level 85+ fae and arasai will be able to fly via a quest series (much like Freeblood unlock theirs via questing)
Beastlords There will be a beastlord preview event with GU61, where you can help cleanse the true source (the true source being their spiritual link that allows them to bond with warders). Beastlords themselves won't be in until the expansion in November, but this prelude event should help fill in some of the lore questions that folks have.
The main Freeport zones will be merged into one single zone, and neighborhoods and sewers will become instanced for quest flexibility.
Calthine, concerned with what would happen to her little hovel that was currently in one of the Freeport suburbs was told "You didn't realize your house was a mobile home?!" Looks like those starter homes will be moved to the Freeport zone in some way.
Tradeskill Apprentice System Crafters will be able to obtain an (NPC) apprentice that they can/will train up over time. They will be able to assist in making items, including some pretty special/advanced gear for the crafter and the alts upon their account. As with all things expansion, it is early enough that we're not going to get a lot of depth of detail as they continue to hammer things out and develop the system.
Reforging - there will be some sort of reforging system going on that will allow you to take your gear items and reforge them - basically letting you juggle certain stats to make the item more personally desireable. The ability to customize particle effects was also mentioned.
AA system The AA cap will be increased. There will also be some retuning and cleaning up of the current AA trees, apparently to remove things that are undesirable and/or not used by players, and putting more desirable elements in. Again, enough time between now and then that details are not really being given.
Mercenaries - Mercenaries will be NPCs that you can hire to go adventuring with you (and they hang out in your home partying, or so the tale goes, when you don't need them). Hire = they will cost you money to hire, and they will also take a cut in your xp and loot. (However, I can even see especially squishy crafters hiring one on to help see them through some rough spots.) They will take a slot in your party as well, so you won't see a single-party group with 6 players and 6 mercs. :D
Beastlords - their spiritual link to the true source was lost with the cataclysm, which is why they dissappeared. The prelude event with the next GU will have players helping to cleanse the true source so that the spiritual link between the beast lord and their warder pet can once again be reforged.
They will be a leather scout class, using hand-to-hand (brawler) weapons. The plan is that they will have an epic quest, and a class hat, right from the start.
They will be able to collect different warders with different abilities, and each wader will have their own AA tree. The synergy between the warden and beastlord will open up new abilities during combat (warder does X, BL does Y, then Z opens up, etc.)
When asked in a later Q&A if the warders and beastlords would finish each other's HOs (heroic opportunities), the quip back was that "...they'll finish each other's sentences!"
Design Your Own Dungeon - Players will be able to build their own dungeons for others to run amok in. You start with a basic starter pack, then have to go out and quest/etc for added components. Then you bring them back and use a special new housing interface to place traps, mobs, etc. You will be able to run through with NPCs to test the dungeon before you release it. Once you release it, there will be fame leaderboards, much like the leaderboards for housing that are mentioned several paragraphs above. Winners on the leaderboards have a chance to earn tokens for more goodies for their dungeons, or goodies for their own personal use.
What's to prevent someone from making a super-simple cake-walk and folks abusing it for loot and such? The game will compute the easiest possible path through your dungeon design based on traps, mob locations, etc., and rewards (tokens) will be computed based on this challenge rating. The higher the challenge rating, the more reward.
These dungeons will scale based on the number of players you have in your group and their levels.
There's an interesting catch, however. You won't be running through other people's dungeons as yourself, but as one of many adventurers (templates, sorta), that you pick up in your travels, and you use them, with their specific abilities to run through these dungeons.
Yeah, going to be lots of questions on this one as they move forward developing and refining it over the next several months.
Squirrel glider mounts!
The SQeynos/South Freeport house portal chaos will be changing to a single house directory that will allow you to visit any prestige home in any city. I didn't catch an ETA, but if I had to guess, I'd guess for GU61 when the house rating system goes in.
Upcoming SC purchase prestige homes include a Felwithe Mansion and a Tenebrous Island Refuge (complete with water feature).
House rating system, added notes. Additional categories will include things like most recently added, friends and more. (Someone even asked for a "slob" or bachelor pad category. o.O)
Carpenters will soon be able to create house signs that will allow up to 250 characters. This will be handy for folks who have had to resort to using many notebooks around rp homes for things like bar rules, etc. I didn't catch when this was due to arrive.
There will be a Frostfell Crafting instance this year, much like the crafting group missions, only faster to progress through. There was mention of Vox's lair while Vox was away ...
More Thursday notes with some pics (including Mum doing Qho abuse) can be found over on kithicor.org in Jethal's summary of the day
The AA revamp mentioned before is mostly an issue with subclass trees. In addition, the webbing between abilities on those trees will be removed and progress from line to line will be unlocked by points spent. All classes will have 4 endlines.
Spell autoattack will be a ranged attack option for casters and priests.
An "overcap" of the focus skill will give you some ability to cast while moving.
The AA revamp will force a respec on every tree that gets changed. We are unsure if there will be an additional overall respect option as well or not.
A portable AA mirror and/or one that allows the storing of more than 1 AA profile is desired, but there is nothing yet in the works. (i.e., no idea when/if it will be tackled)
Call of the veteran is still very buggy. Apparently pulling folks in from other zones results in more complex code than one would think - they will continue to work on the issue.
A poison revamp is desired, however, there are no plans much less an ETA for it at this time.
There was a request from a player that various crafting classes be able to repair the gear types that they craft. The response was lukewarm, so I don't expect much to come from this.
A player asked if character traits would be redone at the same time as the AA revamp. They're unsure if they'll make it in for then or not.
Kaitheel made a point to publicly thank Test and Beta for their invaluable input when things are tested. Give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back, Test!
Freeport as it is currently is too oppressive and filthy. The Freeport revamp will merge the 4 main Freeport zones into one large zone. It will become a bit more unified, a bit cleaner, city banners will be put up, etc. Players will become heroes, not just more of the downtrodden for the NPCs to abuse. The city should be something that they are proud of! There will be class quests, racial quests (for those races that can start in evil areas), and a public quest (PQ) in Commonlands.
In addition to more ratonga storyline, we should see additional details and content for the freeblood. We may also see some focus on other races, such as trolls (lore, etc.)
Many books are still being worked on to get them updated to the new book style. They are also working on returning some of the past books that are no longer available. (There is lots of lovely lore that nobody sees because the books aren't around anymore, so this will be fixed.)
Nights of the Dead will see an "Undead vs. Flora" event.
Mirror reflection issues were brought up by a player (mirror facing a mirror, causes a black area instead of a reflection). This is a bug and will be fixed.
Two goddesses who have never appeared in EQII will be making an appearance in the next 6 months ... ?!?!
In response to a query from a player, it was clarified that most mercenaries for hire will be found in the cities.
Query: 8 year vet reward? There may or may not be one, depending on when they change the vet reward system. The change will be to a point-based system, where you earn points (probably monthly), and then can buy desired rewards with those points.
Request: Prestige homes with a yard - Keep an eye out for Tenebrous Island on the marketplace, as a good outdoor area to decorate
Request: make eq2players data exportable for manipulation. It is actually being worked on now, with the plan being that it will be able to be exported for just such a purpose.
Commonlands Public Quest level? It will be meant for around level 20. They may/may not put in some chronomentor feature nearby for it.
Request: Shave & a Haircut - enlarge screen? Can be done, was added to a list or two.
Request: More tradeskill instances There will be another one available with Frostfell.
Request: ability to reorder group members (So the tank can be in spot 2, and such, to make it easier on healers and the like.) It is something they can look into
Request: broker filter option to show only the glowies that you actually need. Since the broker stuff is shunted over to a special server, that would require a lot of back and forth data sharing. (i.e., this one isn't as quick and simple as it sounds on the surface.)
Request: appearance gear tab While they'd like to do this, they're still discussing how to go about it. This is NOT something that will happen quickly, with everything else that is going on.
Request: ability to delete unfinished page collections from journal Gninja has actually been removing no-trade tags from lots of those collection pages, to make it easier to finish them. PM him when you find ones that were missed.
Request: added adornment slots for 2-handed weapons, since they take up two gear spots The gear revamp with GU61 will be doubling the adorn slots for 2-handers.
Request: raid leader ability to reset zones for all raid members. Will be looked into (though it probably would involve a confirmation box popping up, which still causes issues if someone is afk).
Request: faction gear from Maj'Dul, etc be turned into appearance gear instead of restricted class gear, due to the fact that it isn't worthwhile as adventuring gear anymore. It wasn't included in the planned equipment revamp - I get the feeling that the person asking the question will need to forward a list to Silius of some of those odd sets that have been overlooked.
Smokejumper Comment With regards to the pace at which things are changing with EQII, he gave the analogy of a very big ship with a very tiny motor. It takes a while to change direction, and much of what we're seeing now has been in the works for the last 6 months or so.
Random Trivia The fifth most popular race is kerra. However, almost always, when a kerra does a race change potion, they change to a ratonga
Need vs greed change With the next GU, the need button will grey out if it is an item your character cannot use. (While I forwarded on a concern after the panel about folks who roll for alts, that is something the group can/will have to sort out on their own -- keeping in mind the ability to trade those loots with other party members for 24-48 hours.) This change is being spurred by the dungeon finder, to prevent the greedy from grabbing stuff that others in the group may need.