Friday, November 30, 2012

Dev IRC Chats Scheduled on AA Issues / Suggestions

From a post by Elidroth, EQ Developer, on the SOE forum:
This is the schedule for the IRC chats for the new AA development. I'm going to be doing things a little differently this go around to be more flexible with people's schedules.

A new IRC channel has been created on the Stratics IRC Network.
Channel: #EQAAChat
Time - 10am - 7pm PST (+8 GMT)

The chats will be a little different in that I'll be discussing things all day in the channel (except if I need to leave/focus my attention elsewhere for some reason). For example, on Dec 10 (WAR & PAL) we'll be discussing things for both classes. While I'd LIKE to do Warrior first and then Paladin, I'm ok doing both at the same time.

It's EXTREMELY important to keep the noise and idle chatter to an absolute minimum. This is not the place for class warfare, calls for nerfs, complaining about another class or anything of the sort. This is the place to lobby for new developments in the AA system that you'd like to see. This is YOUR chance to shape your class. While I can't force people out, I will not tolerate people trying to derail the discussions to topics not related to the classes of the day. People who test me on this will find themselves banned from the discussion permanently, including on their class' day.

Dec 10 - Warrior & Paladin
Dec 11 - Shadowknight & Ranger
Dec 12 - Cleric & Shaman
Dec 13 - Druid & Beastlord
Dec 17 - Monk & Rogue
Dec 18 - Bard & Berserker
Dec 19 - Necromancer & Wizard
Dec 20 - Magician & Enchanter - Hopefully Ellyra will be joining us here as well.

Dec 21 will be a open forum kind of day where anyone is free to discuss anything AA related they'd like. This includes adjustment to existing AA, bugs, etc. The previous days are for NEW DEVELOPMENTS ONLY.

Thanks all.. Hope to see you there, bright and early(ish) each day.
If you don't know what IRC is or don't have an IRC chat client, you can go to and click the IRC Java Client button at the top.  This does require that you have Java installed on your computer.  If you do not have Java on your computer, you can get it from

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Level 96+ Mercs Healing Bugged, To Be Fixed

From the Mercs became useless thread on the SOE forum:
Thanks for all the extra information. We've discovered what the problem is: Some focus data did not make it to Live servers. We'll be working on a patch to correct this, and we'll try to get it out as soon as possible. I'll post again when we narrow down the time for pushing out the fix.
We're working on a patch to fix this for tomorrow morning (Friday the 30th). Test will also be updated.
UPDATE:  The Friday patch should have fixed this.  If you still have problems, report them to SOE on the SOE forum in the Update Bugs 11/30/12 thread.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RoF Ports Locked Behind Server-Wide Portal Quest

Guild portal, druid, and wizard ports to Shard's Landing are all waiting for each server to complete a server-wide quest.  Once enough people have turned in Fear Shards to Magus Burlshin in Shard's Landing, he will complete the druid ring there and:
  • Guild portals will be able to port to Shard's Landing.
  • Druids will be able to purchase their port spells.
  • Wizards will be able to purchase their port spells.

Read more about this on the SOE forum here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shrouds Disabled Due to Exploit, No Return Date Known

From the SOE forum:
There is an exploit with shrouds we deemed unacceptable. It has to do with the shrouds themselves and not the quest. I will not give details on the exploit. We are unable to fix it in the time available before launch, so we disabled them. You can continue to petition for shroud removal if you are stuck and want to un-shroud. They will not be available immediately post launch either.

- Adam "Ngreth" Bell, Lead Designer, EverQuest

Rain of Fear is Go For Launch!

Final confirmation from SOE that RoF is ready to go for Wednesday:

EverQuest: Rain of Fear launches Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All EverQuest Live Servers will be down on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. US Pacific* for the EverQuest: Rain of Fear Game Update. The servers are estimated to be unavailable for approximately 10 hours. Keep an eye on the EverQuest website and the forums for status updates and for news if additional downtime is needed.

While we're down tomorrow don't forget to keep an eye on the Official EverQuest Forums, Facebook, and Twitter pages to get up to the minute news and behind the scenes looks at what it's like to be here at SOE on launch day!

*Convert to your local time

Rain of Fear: Pre-Orders to End, Corpse Wipe to Come

From the SOE forum:

Get ready for EverQuest: Rain of Fear on November 28, 2012!

EverQuest: Rain of Fear’s launch is approaching quickly; just a few more short days! Are you ready to journey into the city of Shard’s Landing, and experience all new content? The Pre-Order is drawing to a close, and will only be available until Tuesday, November 27, 2012. Don’t miss your chance to get the best deal on the EverQuest: Rain of Fear Collector’s Edition!

On November 28, 2012 we will be having a corpse wipe as we prepare for the launch of EverQuest: Rain of Fear. Make sure to get all your corpses resurrected before then, as they will no longer exist when the servers come up that day.

What will you be doing to get ready for the Rain of Fear?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rain of Fear Beta NDA Lifted

From the SOE forum:
Hey folks,

Just to let you all know the EverQuest: Rain of Fear Beta NDA [Non-Disclosure Agreement] is no longer in effect. You are now free to discuss all details of the expansion.


Community Relations Manager - EverQuest

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SOE Releases Details on Rain of Fear's In Game Loot

SOE has released a whole bunch of info on what in-game items you get with the Rain of Fear expansion,  both the regular and the special Pre-Order items.

It's a nice look at what we will be getting.  Of course, it's also a plug to get us to pre-order to get the bonus items, as well as letting people interested in the Digital Collector's Edition see what extras they will get.

So, without further ado, read and view it here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SOE Live 2012 - After Action Report: Addendum

Here are some additional things that are not in my SOE Live 2012 - After Action Report, which was posted here Tuesday, November 13, 2012.  Be sure to read the After Action Report linked above first.

EverQuest Next:

Although not really part of EverQuest, for those interested, it was announced that most of the work on EQ Next was basically thrown out (1.5 years wasted) and SOE is starting over.  It is still in the works.  They made a promise to show it at next year's convention.

SOE Live Video:

Here are some links to some video of SOE Live from Twitch TV:

Questions for the Devs:

Denlar, of the Omani Winter guild, was kind enough to take questions from various people and ask the ones he could of the EQ Developers.  Unfortantly, he could only speak to the Items and Collection Devs.  Here is a list of the questions and answers:

How long can the Audio triggers list be before it impacts performance?  Devs answer is no reported issues yet with large lists. Some players reported at the table having no issues with these.  [Editor's note: With the ability to now toggle your triggers on and off, this is less of an issue.]

Custom Avatar on Forum ? Devs answer only six available at present but more will be added one day.

Focus effects with RoF/ level 100:  Devs answer old gear NOT going up to 100 but staying at 95th level.

Increased guild hall space for items: Devs answer was sure that’s not hard at all. Well be taking at look at that this week to see how large it can be bumped up. He did not promise it before launch of course.

Guild banks to hold coins: Devs answer Very hard to do so unlikely at present.

Trade skills pertaining to cultural armor, opal bricks and AOAA’s: Devs answer they are already looking at this to make it easier, again not before release.

Key Ring pertaining to Brells Temple Keystone: Devs answer can be done not sure it was not, will be requested but as two expansions back likely not a high priority fix.  [Editor's note: Can confirm that the Keystone does NOT go on your Key Ring.  Also, it was requested by the players two expansions back, when Underfoot first came out.  The fact that the Devs never got around to doing it when we asked for it back then is not a good reason to claim it is now too old to be a priority...]

Tank mercs and root tanking: Devs answer NO , mercs are only a partial substitute for real players and will not be changed, they even killed off the EXPERT mercs because they want people to group with real people.

Handing a merc potions for Haste or buffs: See above

Increase Merc buff slots past 15: See above

Heroe's Forge Armors give us tribute or plat value: Devs answer already working on it , Tribute YES , plat value no. They stealth nerfed drop rates by 50% the last patch, they really overloaded system of armor at first.

Tribute running and players forgetting and it draining to 0: Devs answer first it’s obviously a issue players they can fix themselves easiest. They might make it possible to turn off tribute when a character logs easier than a player countdown message like mercs. They will look into it.

Line of sight for Enchanters and other targeting issues (blade of grass giving "you can't see target" message): Not able to get an answer on this.

Fix Confusing Constriction stacking: Not able to get an answer on this.

Door from new GH direct to old GH: Not able to get an answer on this.

Timers for our Auras: Not able to get an answer on this.

Pet Dyes: Devs answer is NO , but you will be getting new pet weapons an gear this expansion. They regretted allowing color dyes for players as that is something they could have Station Cashed these over free content that dyes are now.

Extra answers:

Rain of Fear will have the usual class only weapons and 1 new illusion mask of a new race.

No long quests like the Shawl in the Rain of Fear expansion.

15 of the 16 Epic ornamentation quests are done but last one takes a month more to do, so not ready anytime soon.  Of course, they started this with HoT two years ago, keeps getting pushed down list.

They agreed the PlanetSide 2 people were hard to hear talking at once and disappoint-lying long.

New cultural armor for this expansion, and again the orbs are not useable from older armors.

No new spell gems.

No word on EQ Players still.

Bigger bags than what we have now are possible and likely to be added eventually.

The two-handed caster staff in Oseka Time and Tides is working correctly and very powerful, expect to see more items like this in expansion.

Seven stat sets of gear basically, healers, melee dps, tanking, spell dps, and hybrid types. Each tier is flat out better, no getting stuck with a T3 gear neck because T4 was worse in VoA.

No new Headshot, Assassinate and Decapitate ranks this expansion.

EQ is aware of the VoA crashing issues in Valley and mostly tier 4 instances. The biggest suggestion they had besides a complete log out before zoning into those areas (a difficult thing when in a raid at the time) is to drop the Luclin models, and lower streaming textures. They are really running up to the limit of what 2 Gigs of RAM can do in these new VoA instances.  [Editor's note: Dropping Luclin models means you can't use a mount on the models you drop, which is something they seem to disregard, or maybe you are to drop only those models you don't play as characters.]

Group gear will not be as good as end tier raid gear for this expansion.

Chest emblems will be gone in RoF, the base items stats will just be higher in expansion.

The 12 group leaders for raiding bug is being looked at, this is a bug where once you invite 12 people into a raid who are not grouped, you can't add more to the raid until you put them into a group.

More Q&As:

Shea, also of the Omani Winter guild, asked the following:

How about sticking in armor mannequins for use in houses etc so you can display old suits of armor (fear/hate/ToV.. etc. etc.), especially for people who are doing hero's forge stuff: It is something they'd like to do and have looked into. It's not as easy as one would think but something that should be doable. It's on the list.

Better chat filters: Something that can be looked into but uses resources on server side and requires deep code diving which takes a lot of time/resources.

Splitting log files.. i.e. separate log files for regular chat stuff, battle spam, etc.: Should be doable and might be worth while. Someone said 'why not just do it with gameparse' and the response was... they would prefer not to rely on 3rd party software and who knows what might be coming in the future with client side parsing possibilities.

How about increasing the range on dmg/spell dmg messages to make parsing more accurate (asked by someone else): Would be very resource intensive, especially in some areas/events/raids so it is not likely to happen. Also there would be concerns about bandwidth issues.

Enchanter Spin Stun: Broken or Nerfed?

It has been reported that since the patch on November 7, 2012 the duration of the enchanter spin stun has been reduced.

It was also reported as a bug:
With todays [sic] patch, the timer on stun has been reduced so you can't get a recast to land before the stun breaks. This lets the targeted mob run up on you or merc before a new stun can land. This change was not in the patch notes. This is using dizzying gyre.
The only response noted from SOE has been:
We're having a hard time reproducing this. Is there a particular zone / mob that is occurring on?
Which seems to indicate that it is a bug.

In the seven days since this was reported by multiple people, no further comments or information from SOE has been heard.   Hopefully, we will soon get at least an acknowledgment that it is a bug and being worked on.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SOE Live 2012 - After Action Report

SOE Live 2012 - After Action Report

by Fanra

This is a report of my trip to SOE Live.  Obviously, I couldn't do everything.  Some things were scheduled at the same time and I could only be in one place at a time.

Yes, I'm aware it's been three weeks since SOE Live, sorry for the delay :).


Beginning - Registration and Badge Pick-Up:

SOE Live officially began with registration / picking up badges at 3pm Thursday.

For those with pre-ordered badges, the line was relatively short.  I joined the line and soon was asking for my badge.  Since I was on a player panel (and therefore got my badge for free) I was told I needed to go to the VIP / Media line instead.

Ironically, the VIP line was much longer and slower than the non-VIP line.

Once I finally managed to get to the front of the line, the sole person serving it seemed to have some difficulty with the software.  I wanted to get my character name (Fanra) up top in the largest print with the game (EverQuest) under that and then my server name (Bertoxx) and finally my real first name.  It wound up with my real first name, EverQuest, Fanra and VIP, in that order.

The badge has your name on one side and a partial schedule on the other side.  The partial schedule was fairly useless, as it was missing most of the important information.  What was more of a problem was that the badge tended to flip over all the time, so I spent a large amount of time checking to make sure the side with my name was being shown.  Many people had the non-name side showing, making it rather difficult to figure out who they were.

Everyone picked up their "goodie" bag with the phat lewts that SOE gave out.  In the bag was a note explaining that SOE would also be giving out various in-game awards to attendees.  Although it mentioned that, "...all registered attendees will receive the upcoming EverQuest®: Rain of Fear...", it failed to mention that it would be the Standard edition and not the Digital Collector's Edition.  Although I think everyone pretty much assumed that.

More importantly, it didn't mention that for $20 attendees could upgrade their Standard edition to the Digital Collector's Edition, something I asked Brasse about and she confirmed that this is an option.  So if you want the Digital Collector's Edition, be sure to go to your online SOE account and order it now, as the prices may change or bonus items may not be available once RoF goes live.

Kickoff and First Keynote Address:

Rather than one Keynote Address, there were three.  This first one was 99% PS2 (PlanetSide 2, not PlayStation 2).   This would be a familiar theme of the SOE Live, PS2 is the next big thing for SOE and all the stops were being pulled out for it.


SOE Player Studio panel:

More information on the Player Studio.   Not much here that you can't learn by visiting the SOE Player Studio web page.


EverQuest Live Quest:

This was a LARP (Live Action Role Playing) event.  We formed up into groups of six? (I don't remember the exact number) and went to various places in the room.  A Dev or Guide (I think they were all Guides but I can't be sure) would give us a challenge and we would get scored on how well we did.

One was to give the shortest path to a zone.  For example, how do you get from PoK to Katta Castellum in the least number of zones.  Without using ports or the guild portal.

Another was throw some beanbags at a target representing ship to ship combat.  Another was to "train" some "mobs" around a "zone" (all imaginary in the room) while singing a happy song.  Another was to use a rubberband gun to shoot at a target.   Another was an EQ Charades game.   One was to take a Barbie type doll and make some Hero's Forge armor for it out of paper, tin foil, glue and various other items.

This was reasonably fun and it was nice of SOE to have this.

Player Panel: Making Data Sexah - Building Fan and Player Sites with SOE Data Feed:

This is titled a Player Panel but it was more of a SOE panel.  SOE described their service which provides anyone with the raw data from their games.   Currently working for EQ II and planned for EQ and SOE's other games.

Basically, you can request the same information as you get in-game on items, spells and other things.  You can also get information on players.

Known in-house at SOE as "Census".

When it is finally working for EQ, it should enable EQ Players to be reactivated.  It will also allow anyone (re: Fan Sites) to pull the data as well.   So if you have a quest on your web site, you can link the reward directly from SOE.

For those concerned about in-game privacy, there will be an option to "opt-out" of allowing everyone to see your characters.

For EQ, most of this information on spells and items is already available from sites like Lucy's, Allakhazam's, Magelo and other sites.   Census will allow those sites to be more accurate and enable them to get the information with less effort, they won't have to rely on players sending in the information.  Other sites will also be able to get the information without having to build their own database from scratch.

Census will not reveal an item until at least one player has discovered it.

Player Panel: Power to The People - Fansites:

This was the panel I was on.  Linda "Brasse" Carlson, SOE Director, Global Community Relations, was moderator.   Linda discussed that SOE was getting more involved in the "Community".    Besides myself, someone from DCUO Unlimited, EQ2Wire and Allakhazam (or ZAM, as they call themselves) was there.  The ZAM person was only representing EQ2, however.  In addition, someone from Wikia, a wiki hosting site, was there.

Most of the panel was about how SOE is partnering with Wikia and will encourage the wikis there and provide them with some information.

The Wikia person was very friendly and eager to help out.  Unfortunately, Wikia itself is user and administrator unfriendly and very hard to manage.   Based on the open source and popular MediaWiki software (used by Wikipedia), the extreme customization that Wikia does to the software makes it difficult to use and adapt to individual wikis.

I can understand why SOE has partnered with them, as they most likely provide the largest single source of eyeballs.  But the actual wiki you get is what happens when you design by committee.  Overcrowded, difficult to understand, difficult to navigate, and things are changed for no reason other than to be different.   Administering them is a nightmare.   Things are bolted on for no reason, unless you consider crowding pages to be a reason.

Strangely, the huge number of advertisements is not the reason why I can't deal with them.  It's more the fact that things are changed for no reason and you have to jump through hoops to do things, if you can do them at all.   25% of the page is wasted blank space, for no reason.

Other than that, the panel went well.

I asked about the lack of communication on several issues.  One was the return of Dragons, Dragons, Dragons! and Giants, Giants, Giants! without any notice.  Even more annoying was the ignoring by SOE of several requests on the SOE forum asking when they would go away.  It was clearly hinted that the return of those quests was an accident, which explained the lack of notice.  Still didn't explain why no one at SOE would say when they would end.

I also asked for separate forums on the SOE forum for players reporting bugs and asking for features.  That would be best with some kind of database, so that players know that the bug has been already reported or the feature has already been suggested.  It could also contain a comment by SOE that they are working on the issue or the feature has been decided not to be included, etc.

I understand the database part would be a lot of work, but separate forums would be easy.  We could at least start with the forums and think about the database later.  I was told that SOE would "think" about it.  Which is either a true statement or a very nice way to tell me "not going to happen" :)

SOE Keynote Part 2:

This Keynote Address actually discussed EverQuest!  Not much I remember that isn't already covered in many places elsewhere.

Pool Party:

It's a party.  At a pool :).   Free drinks (although I did tip) and sit around the pool.  The music was, as usual, too loud.  I never understand the idea of gathering with your friends to drink and talk, and being unable to talk because the music is too loud.

Very few went swimming (October in Vegas is not as hot as July), but yours truly did.



EverQuest Death Death Death! Tournament:

I did not attend this.  My guildmates who wanted to do so found out too late that you had to be there to sign up at the beginning, the program guide did not mention this.  As a result, they were unable to do this.

EQ: Rain of Fear - Don't Get Wet!:

This is the big panel on Rain of Fear.  Most of what was said has been already released to everyone on the EQ web site.

Not mentioned much is that there will be a easy quest to get your Alaran up to 100, for those who still haven't gotten it to that point.  This seems to be only for those who continue to play in VoA, as I don't think Alaran will serve any purpose in RoF.

Some other highlights (as best I can recall, don't quote me on this:):
  • Chapterhouse of the Fallen zone is a previously hidden part of Befallen which is inhabited by The Burning Dead, which is a necro cult.  Expect this zone to be very popular with paladins.
  • The Breeding Grounds is a revamp of Dragon Necropolis.  It will have some new types of dragons, Terrorwing and Fearwing dragons.  There should be no see-inviso mobs there, but will have traps (which might knock off your inviso)  Lava there will hurt.
  • Temple of Veeshan is a revamp of NTOV.  13 Boss dragons.  It is an instance.  12 of the dragons will be T2 VoA raid level and Vulak is a T4 VoA raid level encounter.  There will be no faction hits in the zone.  And, yes (I asked), these guys will dispel your buffs.
  • Shard's Landing - This is the starting zone and the hub of RoF.
  • Valley of King Xorbb will be the end zone of RoF.

EQ: Drawing Death - Design a Mission:

Design a mission with a Dev.  This is where we broke up into groups of around six and each group sat with a Dev.  We then tried to design a mission.

This was pretty straightforward.   My group wound up with Elidroth.  He's exactly like he seemed from the time I saw him answer questions in a webcast.  Rather dour, does not suffer fools gladly, stubborn, but interested in improving EQ.

We designed a quest which he said would likely make it into the game, he was rather taken with it.

The idea I came up with was, since Rain of Fear was sending shards of fear everywhere, that a previously brave creature was suddenly struck with fear.  I proposed a clear rip-off (or homage, if you prefer) of the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.  A creature that used to be brave was now afraid of his own shadow.  The players would be tasked with helping him recover his courage.

Under Elidroth's direction, the group proposed ways to construct the quest and fit it into the Rain of Fear.  It was tentatively titled, "The Timorous Dragon", and hopefully makes it into the game.  Should you like it, I'll be happy to take the credit and if you don't like it, you can blame everyone else involved :).

EQ/EQII: The Business of the EverQuest Franchise:

There was a great deal mentioned here about the future of EQ, EQII and LoN.

I got the chance to mention to Thom Terrazas, the EQ Producer, that the way to get new players into EQ would be a brand new client, with improved graphics.  This would also help solve many problems, especially crashing.  What I heard back was what I expected: it would cost a huge amount of money and take up a lot of programming talent.  In other words, SOE isn't going to invest that kind of money into EQ.

Thom Terrazas also had no idea about the crashing in EQ, which might not matter, since it is the job of coding to deal with it.  Still, it was a strange disconnect.   I let him know some small details in the hopes that, as management, he could look into allocating more resources into fixing it.

About halfway through the panel, they invited up the Marketing guy for SOE, who should have been there from the beginning.  He was asked about the lack of advertising for EQ.  He said they were advertising, mostly with web ad boxes in FarmVille type games.

He said that advertising for EQ was mostly aimed at people looking for nostalgia.  I didn't get the chance to tell him he might be better off marketing EQ as the game for hard core gamers.  Think WoW is too easy for you?  Looking for a REAL challenge?

There was a great deal covered by SOE in this presentation about the future of EQ.  I can only hope that SOE can post at least the PowerPoint presentations online for everyone.

Here are some highlights of what I can remember:

  • Less Marketplace Focus.  SOE wants fewer employees working on the Marketplace and more on the games themselves.  The Player Studio is part of this, to get the players to do more of the work, so fewer SOE people are needed.
  • More Free Content / Less Expansions.  SOE said they want to shift from only providing new content once a year during the expansion (and charging us for it) to providing new content year round for free and more content in general.
  • They plan to make Marketplace items cheaper.
  • Move Marketplace "Appearance Items" to Tradeskillers.  Appearance Items would be created using tradeskills, with a rare mob dropped item needed.  The rare mob dropped item could also be purchased in the Marketplace.  I'm not sure what exactly "Appearance Items" include.  It will be seen how rare the drops are to see if this actually changes much as far as needing Station Cash to obtain them.
  • De-Clutter the Marketplace UI to make it easier to find items.
  • Krono.  Which has been explained by SOE on their web site.
  • PoN - Point of Need .  This involves having a window pop up when you need something in the game and offer it to you for sale for Station Cash.  For example, when you die, while in hover mode, a box might appear offering you a rez for Station Cash.

I also mentioned regarding the PoN plans that some players (like myself) don't ever expect to use them, so that we would like an option to avoid the advertising for them.  I pointed out that the current SC button in the game can not be removed without using a custom UI modification.

I stated that I understood the concept, as far as SOE revenue was concerned.  But I did suggest at least offering us the chance to check a box, "Don't offer this again for a month", since I knew it was unlikely they would offer us the ability to remove these things permanently (with the ability to bring them back if we change our mind).

There really needs to be an option that we can choose whether or not to see these advertisements, considering we pay them a subscription fee.

I was told this would be "considered", for what that is worth.

Player Panel: EverQuest - A Player Perspective:

I just popped into this panel, which was supposed to be about veteran players discussing the inner workings of the game.  I didn't stay long.  The beginning didn't start well, as the members of the panel seemed to have no idea what they were supposed to talk about, and seemed to have done zero preparation.  I even heard one of them remark that he just signed up for this for the free pass, an intention I totally understand since I did that myself, but which doesn't excuse a failure to actually contribute to the proceedings.  Maybe things improved once I left, I hope so.

Geek Out With SOE Coders!:

This is the panel where I annoyed the SOE programmers.  They discussed a lot of things and answered some questions, but I only remember those that I was interested in and asked.

All my questions were about EQ, as I don't really care about the other SOE games.

Crashing:  I really beat the dead horse on this issue.  I kept repeating that VoA has been out for about a year and we still are crashing.  Although most of the crashing relates to a patch around the time that Free-to-Play went active.  Still, there are people who have been crashing entering Valley of Lunaryn since VoA first came out.

I was told (which I already knew) that they have fixed a number of crashing issues.  I replied that I was aware of that but people are still crashing a lot.  I mentioned that Thom Terrazas, the EQ Producer, was unaware of the crashing issues, but I also mentioned that maybe he didn't need to know it, as long as the programmers were on the case.

Jen Chan, EQ Lead Programmer, soon left the panel, whether because of my constant harping on these issues or because she was scheduled to also be on another panel at the same time as this one, I'm not sure which.  A bit of a mistake there by whoever was scheduling.

I asked about druids and bards being able to sort tracking results, like rangers can, since someone at SOE once posted a while back that this was a coding issue, which made no sense.  SOE coders confirmed that it is a Dev choice, not a coding issue. 

I hope to post more on this later, as I think this is one of the most misguided Dev decisions ever.  How a UI option becomes a class skill boggles my mind.  Apparently only rangers understand the alphabet and sorting by alphabetizing.  We need Sesame Street on Norrath, it seems.

I asked about if merc tanks could leave push rooted mobs alone when more than one mob was on aggro, so we can use push root for crowd control, as it is designed for.  I was again informed this is a Dev decision, coding can work it out if requested of them.

I mentioned that the Universal Chat Server (UCS) sucked, with it going down constantly.  I was told that a new UCS was in the works, with, as usual, it coming to other SOE games first, then coming to EverQuest, Soon™.

I also mentioned that no one uses the EQ Voice Chat since it sucks.  I asked if it would be fixed and was told that since no one uses it, they don't see a need to fix it :).  I was also told that an improved Voice Chat was on the list to be done, Soon™.

It was not outright stated but implied that the new UCS and Voice Chat are likely to be years away from implementation, due to the many other higher priority issues.

Grand Banquet:

Not much to say about this.  There was some food and prizes and the costume contest. 

They decided to have voting for the costume contest be done by texting, which left me out of it, since I don't have a phone with texting.  That was fine, as I really didn't care too much anyway.   Of more importance was that the voting had to be redone, as the first attempt was marred by a failure to properly identify who you were voting for.  In addition, sitting in the back it was hard to read the screens showing how to text for each contestant, they need to work on making the numbers larger and improving how it was displayed. 

Not all of us are 18 years old with 20/20 vision.  It also did not stay up long enough.  Still, it was a good attempt to improve older methods of just trying to judge who got the most applause.

As mentioned above, once again the sound system was not up to snuff, but we could make out most of what was said. 

Still, the poor sound system turned out to be of a benefit when the "Planetside 2 Meth Partners" (as I call them) were doing their show.  I'm not sure if it was during the Grand Banquet or before, but everyone at my table; not being 15 year old kids into First Person Shooters, calling everyone obscene names while T-bagging them, and generally being too cool for skool; found them very annoying.  I'm sure they were doing their best to hype PS2 and try to bring some enthusiasm to it, but I think everyone in the room became dumber from having to endure it.

Also, for some reason the air conditioning was way too high during this and most of us were freezing.

Still, it was well worth attending and SOE did their best to put on a good show.  Brasse was in full regalia with her dwarfish accent as M.C. and kept things moving, with some help from her Server Hamster assistants.

Suggestions for This Year / Next Year:

Make the badge software easier to use.  Print the person's information on both sides.

Do something about the sound in the "Bally's Event Center" (Keynote room).  It is too loud and echoes.

Make the DJ lower the sound at the Pool Party.

Make sure the Program Guide mentions that you must be there at the start of the EverQuest Death Death Death! Tournament to sign up or you can't participate.

All the Panels had a sign outside saying what the panel was.   However, the poor person in charge of changing them when a panel ended and a new one began was unable to get to them all quickly.  It would be a better idea to have all of the signs for the day on the stand, so anyone there could just take the old one and put it in the back and show the latest one.

The Raffle needs to be done differently.  The way it was done involved certain times (usually twice a day for an hour at a time) that required people to form a line to the wheel of prizes.  Waiting on a line for 30 minutes to reach the wheel was not cool.  The line stretched through the entire room, winding back and forth.  Because I was unaware of how it was done, that some of the times were the same as the time of panels, and the fact that you could only redeem one ticket at a time, I only managed to use one of my three raffle tickets.  I got a string of beads on a bottle opener, about the worst prize you could get.  I can't complain too much since I got a free pass, though.

All the "PowerPoint" presentations should be made available online after the SOE Live is over (or during it).  This way people who were not there can view them.  Also, recording all sessions and showing them on the TwitchTV channel would be nice, but I'm not sure how practical that would be.  

RoF Pre-Launch Shard Collection Quest To Stay

The Rain of Fear pre-launch quest "Fear Shard Collection" will not end once RoF begins.  Unlike other expansion pre-launch quests, this one will remain in the game.

Piestro, EQ Community Relations:
Just to clarify this quest has nothing to do with progression. Nor is it a launch event in the fact that it isn't going away after a set period of time. It's pretty much here to stay. After launch it will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. Drop rates will be bumped with the Expansion patch, and there are some slightly more farmable spots in RoF.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Patch Scheduled Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From SOE EverQuest Community News:

Server Downtime for Game Update – Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Posted On 11/06/2012

All EverQuest Live Servers will be down on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 3:30 a.m. US Pacific* for a Game Update. The servers are estimated to be unavailable for approximately 4.5 hours. Keep an eye on the EverQuest website and the forums for status updates and for news if additional downtime is needed.

*Time Zone Converter

Friday, November 02, 2012

"Secret" Triple Station Cash: Sunday, November 4

From Allakhazam's:
Apparently Sony Online Entertainment was planning a triple Station Cash event this week, but has postponed it due to hurricane Sandy. According to John Smedley, president of SOE:
We were going to run a surprise Triple Station Cash promotion tomorrow. Due to the horrible storm and our East Coast players being impacted ... we are going to move that promotion to this upcoming Sunday November 4th. We normally do not announce these, but under these conditions we ... decided it was the right thing to do. Smed
Update: Linda "Brasse" Carlson tweeted: "RT : What’s eligible for the triple promotion? SC cards or online purchases? [Everything except SMS!]" So I'd save those Walmart and SOE Live cards!