Thursday, April 27, 2006

Taunt Changes Heading to Test Server

From Rashere, Lead Designer, on April 27, 2006:
I've mentioned this in the past, but have now made the taunt changes in code. They'll be going to test soon and I wanted to let everyone know what changes are being made. The changes are mostly relevant at high levels, where taunt was really a problem, and consist of the following:

Above level 60, taunt will use your taunt skill now instead of being a hard coded success rate. Before these changes, your taunt skill was irrelevant if you were above level 60 and taunting something that was also above level 60. The chance to taunt is roughly the same if you are max skill as it was before the change.

To go along with this, Paladin and Shadowknight now have the same taunt caps as Warriors. Previously, since the taunt chance was hard coded, they were taunting the same anyway so this ensures that the 3 tank classes keep that equality.

The chance to taunt an NPC higher level than yourself dropped off at double the rate if you were above level 60 than if you were below level 60 making it very hard to taunt creature higher level than yourself if you were above level 60. I've removed this check so the drop off happens at the same rate at all levels now instead. This will improve taunt success rates against yellow and some red con NPCs at high levels.

The mininimum chance to successfully taunt an NPC has been increased.

You now gain a bonus to your chance to taunt an NPC that is lower level than yourself with that bonus growing as the level difference increases.


Oh, one additional note I probably should have included in the original message.

Changing taunt is what I refer to as a "scary change". It's one of those systems that by itself doesn't do a whole lot, but affects a ton of other aspects of combat. Changes to systems like this have a rippling affect on balance throughout the game and no matter how many tests we run, we just won't see the full impact until its being used on a large scale. The changes I've outlined are what we are anticipating will work best, but I'm expecting we'll be making tweaks over the coming months as we see how it really plays out in true game conditions. When this hits test, I encourage people to log on and try it out as much as they can.


Full thread is here.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Redfang Bug to be Fixed

It seems that Redfang will not reset if the raid wipes under certain conditions.

Here is a post by Prathun, EQ Designer, on April 24, 2006:
Well, Redfang would reset if he were up for 10 minutes, but he's only up for 4. Each time he depops to disappear it resets the counter. This is now fixed on Test and Beta. I've stored the depop counter in a different location.


Full thread is here.

Vishtamar Bugged

Vishtamar has a DoT, it's a real tank killer, called Vishtamar's Corruption. Reduces AC by 600, decreases Aggro by 95% and changes max hp total by -75 and lasts for 5 minutes.

It is blocked if you have Steeloak on you.

Post made by Prathun, EQ Designer, on April 24, 2006:
Vishimtar has always had that spell.

I'll check on the stacking and see if it is getting blocked by a buff. At this point, the fight's hard enough without adding in any extra complications. I'd rather just remove the effect than "fix" it and drastically increase the challenge of an already difficult battle.

You know, this kind've reminds me of when we were doing 6th anniversary fabled events. While looking at Venril Sathir, we discovered that he had 2-3 unique detrimental spells created specifically for his fight that he can't cast. They've never worked because they cost mana to use and he doesn't have any.


The full thread on Sony's forum is here.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Traps in Inktu`ta and Fanning the Flames (Tirranun) Bugged

Posted by Prathun, EQ Designer, April 21, 2006:
The traps in Inktu`ta and Fanning the Flames (Tirranun) are making those fights much more difficult than I had intended.
Fixing this will probably simply mean making the traps much easier to disarm. Sorry for the inconvenience and I'll have a look at this as soon as possible.


Posted by Prathun, EQ Designer, April 24, 2006:
For the traps in Inktu`ta, I made them much easier to sense and disarm. You should hardly ever fail against them. Also, they were firing off 2.5x faster than they were originally, so I lowered the frequency of how often they can cast back to what it should have been.

For the traps in the Fanning the Flames instance, I removed them entirely. The new trap system has made it impossible to recreate the effect I was trying for.

This change has not gone live yet.


Full thread is here.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Gift of Magic / Abundant Healing Supposedly Fixed

Here is some reports from Rashere, Lead Designer of EverQuest:

Spell procs, including GM and AH, now work similarly to how normal procs do. The change was to allow all spell procs to continue processing if the first one failed and there are other ones that can still be triggered. It tries one first and if that fails, tries the next until it either runs out of ones to try or one succeeds. Order is based on "greatest effect" like other focus effects. In this case, greatest effect is determined by the chance to proc so one with a high chance to proc takes precedence over one with a lesser chance to proc.


Here is the report about it being still broken:
Few things...

First, as others noted, it looks like GM/AH is still not working properly on live servers. I did some checking and it looks like while the data side of the fix is there, the code to support it didn't make it into the patch to live servers. I'm working with the coders to schedule a patch to correct this issue, so hopefully we can get it resolved soon.

Second, the breakdown of AH and GoM proc rates is as follows:

AH (1) - 2%
AH (2) - 4%
AH (3) - 6%
AH (4) - 8%
AH (5) - 10%

GoM (1) - 3%
GoM (2) - 6%
GoM (3) - 10%

Third, like combat procs, you can get a proc from spells, items, and AAs in a single cast...but only one of each. It's possible to proc up to 3 spells on a single cast if you were to proc one from each.


More here:
When the chances are the same, it comes down to how they are read into the list. Whichever one is read in first gets processed first. I'm not 100% sure on that order, but its based on how they're stored in your character file. Since AH was blocking GoM before, its likely safe to assume that AH generally gets read in first.

The proc chances are whole numbers only, so I can't make it 10.1 or 9.9. Even with both at max ranks, though, its only a 1% reduction in the proc chance for whichever one is coming second.


Update: April 20, 2006
We usually have dozens of code changes going on at any time, so when we want to put something live, it has to be manually added to the live code. In this case, we had a lot of things we didn't want to include because they aren't ready to go out yet and mistakingly missed adding the code part of the spell proc fix to the patch. It's been working on test for a while just didn't get added to the patch to go live. So, I apologize. We know its a big issue for a lot of folks so we're going to patch tonight specifically to add this fix to the live servers.

Regarding the interaction of AH/GoM, while the actual in-game impact of having AH check before GoM is minor, I can understand the psychological implications and am willing to lower AH by a percent across the board to ensure that GoM always checks before AH does. That change won't go out until our next large patch, though.


The full thread is here.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Untrackable Mobs?

Certain mobs have been not showing up on track. When players mentioned this, here was the reply -

From Rashere, Lead Designer of EverQuest on April 13, 2006:
"There's a rationale for non-trackable mobs? Personally, I abhor them and fix them whenever I find them. The only things that should be non-trackable, imo, are NPCs you couldn't interact with as a player just so they aren't cluttering up the tracking list. There may be an exception here or there under certain situations, but they should be very, very rare.

I'm generating a list of all NPCs flagged as nontrackable right now. Most of them likely shouldn't be, so will be changed when I'm done."

It somehow got mixed into a thread about the Endless Quiver,

Update: April 19, 2006 -
This didn't make the patch notes, but the majority of NPCs that weren't trackable before should be trackable now.


Lorekeeper Blaimas Giving Monster Mission Info

Lorekeeper Blaimas, now in Plane of Knowledge, been exploring Norrath and discovered an exciting collection of experiences that allow you to have an adventure from the perspective of another creature or individual (a Monster Mission) He will provide a list of tasks to hail each mission giver for each currently available Monster Mission. The hail tasks are restricted by the same expansion check as the final missions so if you can get the hail task you should be able to accept the actual Monster Mission.

This NPC was created as a response to a repeated request on Sony Forum for something along these lines to help players locate the mission givers. At this time he doesn't tell you where the mission givers are but he does tell you which zone to look in, which is a start. Nodyin the developer will try to add a description for the locations at some point if he can.

Video Blanking Out or East/West Bug

When this bug occurs you see only sky, particles, and the UI. It often goes in and out as you rotate around, and "blanks" when facing a certain direction, like east or west. They did fix one bug that was causing this in several zones. However, it appears that there is still a remaining bug, so this thread is to get information.

Death on Mounts Due to Auras

As some of you know, with Auras came the risk of death due to a bug if you were on a mount and moving too quickly.

They found the problem with this code, but unfortunately it's too late to get proper testing of the fix before the next update though so for the time being please be careful of using auras and mounts at the same time.

The change is pretty deep in the collision/movement system and they say they've learned to be extremely careful about making last minute changes to these sorts of things. The code is now on the Test server. You can read more about this if you are interested here.

UPDATE: This is allegedly fixed with the patch of April 19, 2006. This blog entry will be removed shortly if this is confirmed.

Line Of Sight Issues

∙ Targeting via clicking with mouse not working even though you are clicking right on it.

∙ Spells that won't cast or land because you are blocked by something that really doesn't seem like it should be blocking.

∙ Combat where you should be able to melee but can't see your target.

Grumbuk-Dev is working on fixing this. You can help by reporting any problems you have here. Please be sure to read his first post so you know what information is needed. Currently, there is no ETA on fixing this.

UPDATE: This is allegedly fixed with the April 19, 2006 patch. This blog entry will be removed shortly if reports agree that it is fixed.

"Find" Command Not Working

They are aware that the Find command fails to work much of the time. This seems to be related to the Pathing problems mentioned here. They expect it will be fixed when Pathing is.

Druid Level 70 Aura Spell and Druid Level 55 Aura Spell

The druid level 70 aura spell and druid level 55 aura spells apparently had their cure disease effects reversed.

The level 55 seems to have been designed to cure two disease counters per tick and the level 70, four counters per tick. This was reversed on release of Prophecy of Ro. Currently, Sony refuses to comment on if it was fixed. Rumor has it that it is fixed, however, there is still no comment from Sony.

The in game description of the spells is still incorrect, stating that they cure curses.

Dain Monster Mission 3 Changed

The Dain Monster Mission 3 (official name "The Defense of Thurgadin") has been changed.

"I would like to underscore that the only changes that were made to the mission involved reducing the combat effectiveness of the Dwarves at Basecamp. When fighting through the mission normally (moving the armies around the field) you shouldn't notice any changes." - Nodyin, EQ Developer

Players have complained that the mission is now too difficult. It has also been noted that the mission only drops a reward for one person out of the six who complete it. More can be read here.

Freeport Arena Charm Downgrade?

Some people have noticed that their arena charm suddenly had reduced stats. This can happen if you tell Knight Champion Eddard that you would like to resume the battles from the beginning. If you do that he will reset your progress in the event and you will have to start from scratch again.

Note, this can only be done inside the instance by saying "beginning" to Eddard.

Read more here.

Workaround for Key to Corruption Bug

Workaround for the bug in the Key to Corruption mission in Elddar Forest.

"Currently on live there is a bug in the Elddar Forest mission "Key to Corruption" on the step where you need to find Orgaf. The problem is I moved him further away from the named orc raid because it was causing some funky agro problems having a quest giver be so close to.

If you get stuck on this until the next time we can update tasks to the live servers, you can get the update if you go to location positive 1603, negative 1435. Then run over to Orgaf who isn't to far away from that spot."

-Gordish the Gnomish Hero (Sony EQ developer)

Tris Wallow III Fixed

Tris Wallow III adds didn't despawn when failed and was three unmezzable wolf waves only. All should be fixed on live as of this morning (03-27-2006).

Tris's werewolf adds will come as 3 mezzable and 1 unmezzable every time instead of being random. The amount of time between her form changes will be a little more predictable as well.

The goal in these changes wasn't to make the fight easier, necessarily, simply more reliable.

Feedback indicated that success on the fight was a crapshoot, depending heavily on random components that were largely uncontrollable.

The spawns per wave per phase on Performer were increased to more closely match the original event:

Original encounter: Phase 1: 3, Phase 2: 4, Phase 3: 4, Phase 4: 5
Post PoR launch: Phase 1: 3, Phase 2: 3, Phase 3: 3, Phase 4: 4
Current day: Phase 1: 3, Phase 2: 4, Phase 3: 4, Phase 4: 4

My apologies for Tris being wacky over the weekend. It was something that didn't *quite* make it into an update on Friday of last week. Let me know if anything else seems unusual.

-Prathun (Sony EQ developer)

No ETA on Don Cultural Drop Rate Fixes

"Unfortunately I have no ETA, and will no longer be giving an ETA, nor answering questions about it (I don't have time to answer the same question over and over again, even if it is phrased differently). I will no longer say anything until the work is actually done and awaiting a patch so that I am no longer getting any hopes up.

I want to fix this. I believe it is important to fix. I have failed to convince my bosses of this. This may be my fault at not presenting my case properly. I will continue to try and get some time to fix this, as I do want to fix it."

- Ngreth (Sony EQ tradeskills developer)

Arch Magus Vangl Client Crashing Bug

Arch Magus Vangl in Anguish - Bug causing crashing when attempting to enter his room.

Here is a comment from Eric Cosky - "Grumbuk", Assistant Lead Programmer, EverQuest on 12-20-2005:

"I spent some time looking into this and it does appear to be related to our low level rendering code and/or specific graphics card drivers. The crash reports I get only make it here if players don't get the blue screen of death though; is the BSoD a commonly seen crash in this specific zone (ie NV4_DISP.DLL)? That would explain why this hasn't gotten our attention sooner, these are only logged as a linkdeath from our end since a driver level crash prevents the crash report from being sent in.

Thanks for any more information you can provide, we'll get to the bottom of this soon I hope."

Nothing else has been heard on this issue since, however it was stickied by Sony in the Veterans Forum here.

Key Ring News

The Hole Key (and the Bone Crafted Key) will go onto your keyring (hopefully) for the next update.

Here is a statement [edited] from Rainbird, EQ developer, about adding all keys to the key ring, that he posted on April 4, 2006 on the Sony forums:

"I would love for this to happen (and I'm not saying it won't). You understand it's not as easy as just changing a flag in the item database.

So until code gives me a magic code fix, the easiest thing to do is have you folks mention the keys that you would like to have added, and we can slowly tackle those one at a time. Not ideal, but really the only way it could happen at this point. Perhaps if someone wants to start another thread listing the name of the key, the key's item #, the door it goes to, the door's loc (helps us find the right switch), and we can try to work on that list. What'dda say?

Oh, and just so you know, I'm not the one who can give the approval on adding keys to the keyring. I am but a mere cog in the wheel so if there is a reason why a certain key should not be added, we'll let you know (but I can't think of a reason why not off the top of my head)."

Full thread can be read here.

Explore Elements in Nektulos Broken

Rainbird, EQ developer, April 4, 2006:

"Unfortunately for the time being, Explore Elements in Nektulos are broken. This should be addressed shortly. . ."

Update on Pathing problems from Sony

Increase in Riftseeker's Sanctum spawn times accidental, not intentional nerf

Rainbird, EQ developer on April 12, 2006:

"Ok, I'm back with some info on this.

I had QA check into it and this is what they reported to me.

They told me they were getting reports of double-length spawn times. They also told me they were getting reports of HALF-length spawn times!

They checked on Test, Zek, & Stromm and found Test & Zek to have the proper respawn times (20 minutes) but Stromm was at 36 minutes.

They checked the version of the data on both Zek & Stromm only to find out that they are running the same version of Data - this particular fact has us scratching our heads

So I went to code and they spent some time looking into it and couldn't figure out just what the heck would explain the difference. We are patching today/tonight [He later corrects himself. Patch will be on April 19 - ed.] I believe so I will have QA look into it after the patch - hopefully that fixes what ever is the problem.

That's all I have for now."

Update from Rainbird on April 17, 2006:
"We're one step closer to solving this issue. Code has identified what is causing the lag in Riftseekers but not the root problem. So they have a version running on their own box to see what causes that zone to enter into a bad state."