Game Update 66 for EverQuestII is due to be released on April 30, 2013. While this is "just" a game update, with 1 overland zone, and instances, there is enough here that it required multiple articles. I have not written any story to go with it, but you will find quite a rich storyline if you read through the quest text that I have included.
(A helpful hint for those of you who tend to have Bristlebane/Murphy frequently interfere in your life. Never, EVER think/say, "Oh, my immune system is doing well for once! The hubbyogre got bronchitis, and I managed to squeak by with 'just' a sinus infection." As sure as night follows day, you will end up back at the doctor's office soon enough, and spend the next couple of weeks either feeling like you're going to cough up a lung, or slowwwwwly recovering from it. Especially don't think such thoughts if you have a boatload of testing and writing to do.)
Since this will be one of the most-asked questions at release of this update, here's what you need to know. Take the bell to Great Divide, which will place you firmly on the docks below Thurgadin. Once you are there, ignore the first gryphon, which is for in-zone travel, and head to the farthest branching of the dock from where you arrive, to the gryphon that leads to Withered Lands. Depending on how they set it up, it will either give you a direct route to Cobalt Scar, or you may need to fly to Withered Lands, then get right back on to fly to Cobalt Scar.
Quest recipes require level 90 to scribe, are level 92 difficulty, and will use tier 10 common resources. Fuels and crafting equipment are provided near questgivers, other than the othmir line. You'll either want to have a portable or summoned forge for the othmir line, or dodge flying snakes a few extra times to get back and forth between Yeppa and the base camp.
You will start in the base camp where you first arrive in the zone, and do several quests there. You will then be sent up to the Scarstone Camp to help out there, and you will be asked to check on an othmir. While the questlines for Scarstone and the othmir seem to be totally separate, you will need to do both, and then another chunk of questing in Scarstone, in order to get the glove reward that you'll hear folks talking about. It is a solid amount of running about, and the othmir part of the line can be dangerous due to aggro flying snakes, but you might find this worthwhile. :D
You must do all of the crafting quests listed in the following 4 articles in order to obtain the gloves. The only real flexibility comes in deciding if you want to do the Scarstone stuff before or after the Yeppa's stuff.
In addition to the gloves, you will also gain the ability to use the world bell in Scarstone, and can bell to/from Cobalt Scar. This is already enabled on Test/Beta, but we are not sure it made it into the build for GU66. If it isn't working on GU66 launch, expect it to be working with the first hotfix after GU66 goes live.
There are several new carpenter recipes with this game update. However, make note that your carpenter will have to do a chunk of the above-mentioned quest series in order to unlock the ability to buy each of the individual recipes, and will also need a bunch of the heirloom mysterious blue coins that are available as crafting quest rewards, adventuring dungeon drops and from your level 95 crafter apprentice runs.
Check out the full details in this GU66 Carpenter Furniture Guide.
There's also some buyable furniture and some from adventuring quest rewards. Once you finish one of the intro adventure quests ("The Lost Othmir"), the vendor unlocks your ability to buy some of the (fully tradeable) furniture. You can check out the full details in this GU66 Buyable Furniture Guide.
There are enough new details with the new tradeskill apprentice stuff that it has been split out into a separate article. However, note that it is only for the regular tradeskill apprentice, and only level 95 recipes, so if you're not a level 95 crafter or a level 95 adventurer looking into what it takes to get the new gear, you can skip the GU66 Apprentice Information article for now.
Scout cloak - the tier 10 cloak lineup didn't really include a good scout-type cloak. This has been fixed, and the handcrafted and mastercrafted versions of the cloak will be automagically added to the recipe books that contain the other T10 cloaks.
"Matoppie & Banyan Hex Doll recipes now use Matoppie Roots as build components instead of Thick Bear Pelts" - I'd say that is a pretty self-explanatory patch note, cleaning up an older oops. :D
There were no thrown ammo tailored items in T10. A satchel and bandolier have been added in both handcrafted and mastercrafted form, to the appropriate tailor books.
(As with other automatic, or as I like to call them "automagic", recipe book updates, if you have already scribed the appropriate books, the recipes will automagically appear in your recipe book once the patch hits.)
We're still trying to get an explanation for the final tailoring change that was just added a few days ago. A second handcrafted backpack has been added to the tier, containing 46 slots. For those who aren't confused by this, here's the reason to be confused. Backpacks and strongboxes follow a "+4" progression. Each tier's handcrafted has 4 more slots than the tier before it. Each tier's mastercrafted has 4 more slots than the handcrafted. We already have a 44 slot handcrafted backpack, and a 44 slot handcrafted strongbox, both in T10. The mastercrafted backpack and strongbox for the tier have 48 slots. So, um ... why do we have a 46 slot backpack suddenly, in a tier that already has the handcrafted backpack and strongbox categories covered? Bugs have been submitted, posts have been made. I don't know if this will make it live or not, but I want to include it here "just in case."
This one may cause some brain pretzels as well, and has definitely spurred some hot debate in the beta forum. I'll cover the facts of what is happening, then give you the official SOE response as to why it is happening, and leave the opinions to you folks while I stand clear. ;)
90-92 Before: Recipe books for levels 90-92 were quest-only, and followed the "Grandmaster ____'s Essential Compendium Volume I/II" and "Grandmaster ______'s Advanced Compendium Volume I/II" naming scheme. This caused folks who respecced their crafting tradeskill when they were 90+ to have problems getting the books, because they couldn't redo the quest series.
90-92 After: Books will be automagically renamed to _____ Essentials Volume 91/92, and Advanced ______ Volume 91/92. (There is no level 90 book, there will be no level 90 book - there were only 2 essentials and 2 advanced books to cover the 3 levels, so 90 was ignored. Since you can scribe the books at 90, it won't hinder your leveling any.) The books are also buyable, should you so desire. The essentials are priced the same as the essentials for the rest of the tier, but the two advanced books are over 50p each. So, you really want to do the quest series for the books.
93-95 Before: Books followed the Grandmaster naming listed above for the 90-92 books, adding volumes III, IV and V to the set. The essentials were buyable, the advanced were mob dropped.
93-95 After: The books will automagically be renamed to _____ Essentials Volume 93/94/95, and Advanced ______ Volume 93/94/95. Essentials are vendor sold for the same price they were sold for before, and the advanced are both mob-dropped and vendor-sold -- with a price tag of over 50p a book for the vendor sold version. So, drops are still the way to go unless you can't find any on the broker and are desperate.
Why was this done? From Omougi:
We wanted to give players more options to acquire these recipes. You can still quest for the level 91 or 92 books if you want, but if you'd prefer to skip that content and pay a plat fee instead, that's also now an option. This change is all about opening up more options for you all to obtain these recipes. 50p seemed like a good price point to encourage questing for the books while not essentially requiring you to do so.
While we were changing over the 91+ books to the new merchant pricing, it seemed appropriate to make the level 93-95 advanced books available for the same price as the level 91/92 books. To do otherwise would be to create another one-off situation with how you acquire these more basic recipes, which is something we wanted to streamline.
The merchant is there for those that just want to knock it out as quickly as possible. If you instead spend some time running the quests, getting the drops or buying the books from a player, you'll be rewarded by saving a good chunk of plat.
Level 91/92 books:
You can either get these books through the Withered Lands tradeskill quest line, or buy them from the merchant.
Level 93-95 books:
You can get the books as a drop, buy them from a player, or buy them from the merchant.
Buying them from the merchant is not intended to be the primary, low-cost method to get these recipes. It's intended as more of a shortcut for those with more plat than time.
If you want to see the full, ongoing discussion, you can read it in this thread in the SOE forums (or at least until they take down the beta section of the forums when the beta ends in a few days.)
Jesdyr has put together a fabulous layout editor. There is no doubt about that. However, there are times when you don't want to have to go to an external editor for a quick tweak to your home. There are also those of us who simply are more visually-inclined than mathematical, and the editor loves math. Either with this update, or when the Player Studio housing goes live, the in-game house editor is finally getting options for pitch and roll. This "should" make house decorating a bit easier.
Accessing the house editor can be done in one of two ways, while inside any home for which you have trustee access. The default key sequence for it is Ctrl-E. The new player housing bar mentioned above can also be used to enable and disable edit mode. Once edit mode has been enabled, click on a furniture item to call up the editing interface.
The ability for decorators to sell their decorated homes in the Player Studio section of the Marketplace will not be released with the rest of GU66 on April 30th, but will be coming soon. They want to hammer out a few more things first. This means that I will be working on a separate article for it later. If you are impatient, and need information right away, the following is a repeat of the information from the beta forums: Player Studio Housing Notes.
POSSIBLY DELAYED Did not appear in the patch notes, so may/may not be part of GU66
If you are in any city zone (Qeynos, Freeport, Kelethin, etc.), you can now directly access your homes from your character sheet's Housing tab. By this, I mean you can zone into any of your homes and/or pay rent and such, from any city zone, not just the zone that your house is in.
As an example, Niami was standing in South Qeynos when she clicked access on her New Halas home, and was able to access the door of that home, and zone directly into it.
You will find a new bar on your screen when you zone into any home or guildhall. The default minimizedd version will look the same for everyone. What you see in the expanded version is based on what level of access you have to the home, if it is published and/or if it is sellable.
What do the icons mean?
If you wish to disable, or re-enable the housing bar, you will want to make note of the following two commands:
POSSIBLY DELAYED Did not appear in the patch notes, so may/may not be part of GU66
When the game was changed to allow the ownership of up to 20 homes per character, many thought that was a bit excessive. Compulsive decorators, however, can actually run out of home allowance, and have to resort to alts. With Player Studio housing looming on the horizon, the number of homes a single character can own has been raised to 50.
There are two changes for station cash (SC) purchased house items, and there is excitement about both. The first is definitely in the patch notes, the second (SC items in guildhalls) is not, and may be delayed
First, they have been testing stacking SC house items to 900. Wheee! The last word we got is that they're seeing how it works with the smaller number of marketplace house items before they even consider it for crafted furniture. Let's all cross our fingers that it gets the green light soon!
The second is the ability to place those SC house items in guildhalls. In the past, this has been a no-go for most SC house items because of the customer service nightmare of folks wanting to retrieve items that they spent real cash on, when they no longer have access to the guild where the item was placed. If they decide to move forward with this, there will be a prompt when placing the items, warning you that you could lose ownership of the item. (The prompt will be able to be disabled from the control panel if you're really, really, really sure you want to risk your marketplace items in a guildhall.) POSSIBLY DELAYED Did not appear in the patch notes, so may/may not be part of GU66
(Times listed are PDT)