Thursday, June 15, 2006

Patch: June 16, 5am PDT

Update Message - June 16, 2006

- Fixed a crash while trying to search the bazaar when not using the default UI.
- Fixed the problem with AA experience being reset when you enter monster missions or use a shroud.
- Fixed a bug with some tasks not being available to be given out to players.
- The ‘;’ chat commands should now work again.
- Setting a chat window's default channel to a chat channel (instead of say, group, raid, ...) will now broadcast the chat to that channel.
- Fixed a problem that was causing the Concentration AA to not function properly.
- We've reverted the fix to channeling made with the last patch. After much discussion, our general feeling is that channeling has been broken for long enough that players have come to rely on that broken behavior as expected gameplay. For the time being, we've reverted back to that broken behavior and will address spell interrupts in general at a later date.

New Hot Zone Itemization - June 2006

I hope that everyone is enjoying the new Hot Zones released with the update this week. Now that the first players to hit the zones have had a few days to run through the content I wanted to discuss what some of you have already noticed, namely that there are some new items dropping in each of the Hot Zones.

This is something that we've wanted to do for some time now. I very nearly was able to itemize the Hot Zones that went live when PoR came out but we just weren't able to complete the items before that set of zones went live. Rather than tack on the items partway through the Hot Zone period I decided to hold off until we released the next set of items. This is not by any means a complete re-itemization of these zones and does not mean they were "revamped" in any way. New items were simply added to the zones in a variety of ways that I will discuss below.

The first and most obvious source of items in the new zones are the new named NPCs to be found in all of the Hot Zones. Some zones have more new named npcs than others but each zone should have at least one new npc. These NPCs have brand new drops that should be a bit more level appropriate for current day EverQuest than some of the items that might drop elsewhere in the zone and are older.

The second source of items are global rare items. A number of the Hot Zones have new global rares. In some zones nearly any NPC can drop these items. In other zones the global rares are restricted by race so only certain types of NPCs drop these items.

The final loot mechanism I used in the Hot Zones is something new I came up with for these zones - feedback is welcome! I did something I call the "Call for Help" mechanic. Basically it works like this....

Some (not all!) npcs in the Hot Zones will, during combat, realize they are in trouble and are not going to win. If they decide to call for help at this point a new NPC will spawn somewhere nearby. This NPC will be the same race as what you're fighting but will be just a little bit stronger. This new NPC will then run over and, well, start hitting you. Obviously a new NPC hitting you isn't fun so the up side to this is that the new NPC is a Named npc with loot that essentially spawned just for you and your group.

The chance of this happening is about the same as the chance to get one of the global rare drops found in the Hot Zones.

I'm hoping that this will add a bit of excitement and danger to normal experience grinding while offering a chance at some nice items in the process.

I hope you all enjoy the items and the zones in this set of Hot Zones.

- Nodyin, EQ Designer

Full thread is here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Channeling Changed and to be Changed Back

I posted this in another thread, but will mention it here as well.

We fixed a problem with channeling that was causing it to basically be backwards. If you had no AAs, you channeled through damage 100% of the time and as you got AAs, that decreased. It now scales like it should, and like how it worked in the past, where you start out low, channel more often as you gain channeling skill, and your AAs increase that even further. You're going to see more interrupts than before simply because you are no longer channeling 100% of the time (or close to that if you had AAs that were decreasing it). Your chance to channel is still really high at high levels (it caps at 90%), though, assuming you have maxed channeling skill.

One caveat to this...channeling doesn't apply to being bashed, stunned, or moving. Even with a high channeling skill, if you get bashed, stunned, or moved too far, you're going to lose your spell. That hasn't changed.


Thread is here.

Ok, here's the scoop...

The bug dates back at least a year. For the time being, we're going to re-break channeling, putting it back to where it was before the patch, so you'll channel through damage 100% of the time if you have any channeling skill at all. Rather silly, but at this point its expected gameplay. The only difference from before the patch to after is that channeling AAs won't actively reduce your chance to channel...they just won't do anything at all for the time being.

In the near future, I'm going to take a look at the whole interrupt system and likely make some significant changes to it. At that point we can make channeling actually mean something again as part of the larger interrupt change.