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Thursday, October 06, 2005

EQII Community Summit: Part III

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Alright, back to business. Let's chat about raids. At the Community Summit Roundtable, one player raised the fact that it is hard for casual guilds to complete the tougher raids. The hard-core raiders in attendance answered that there should be some separation betwixt the casual and high-end raiders. I am going to get into it in more detail when I hopefully interview one of them, but the work and time put in by the top raiders is daunting to say to the least. I have to agree that they deserve to have certain raids which are challenging to them, at least for a period of time, because frankly, they are the best. An analogy I would give is that a pick-up softball team is not going to beat the New York Yankees.

Don't get me wrong, as a member of a more casual raiding guild, it sometimes burns me when raids seem impossible. But I know that is the way it should be based on the level of commitment we put in. As long as there is enough content I don't think it is a problem and it also gives us something to strive for. I got the impression from the SOE comments that this separation will continue.

Scott Hartsman told us that the contested to instanced raid mob ratio is somewhere between 50/50 and 60/40. He stated that the scaling of zones, which worked so well in Splitpaw, would continue to be used, but not in raid zones. Someone also asked if there were large raid zones like Spirits of the Lost to come and the answer was yes. It's worth mentioning here that the players in attendance who have tested some of the DoF raids spoke very highly of them and it sounds like they are pretty interesting.

I piped up and asked what the deal was with the old world raid mobs. I had noticed that some of the old raid mobs were now ridiculously hard. This was apparently known by the SOE team and they intend to fix it. But each raid mob is a unique "snowflake" as Scott put it so it will take some time. My advice to you is just chill on the raiding of old world mobs until you hear otherwise. The DoF ones are working as intended. While this situation is not optimal and I do wish they had fixed this before the changes went live, I must admit the timing is fortuitous because people are currently more focused on leveling than doing the old world raids.

While they're fixing raids, one thing Scott mentioned as a possibility is to make the way damage is handed out different on different raids. That way some healers would be more suitable in some situations rather than just one subclass being the uber-healer. As an example, some mobs might do AoE so that a healer with good group heal would be needed. Some fights might have huge damage spikes so large instant heals would be important. Others might be drawn out affairs. Well, you get the idea.

With regards to the future, players mentioned Alternate Advancement. Scott told us that the whole issue was a tricky subject. It is difficult to make content for level 60 players when some have 500 AA points and some have zero. Also, you don't want "must-have stuff" or the whole point of customization is defeated. In general, I would say this might come at some point but it won't be what you are used to. Scott also mentioned that he would like undo paths in for any system of this type so that you could change your choices, possibly by making exponentially increasing coin payments.

As for future expansions, they didn't want to release any specific information at this time, which is understandable because DoF just came out. Players were saying Faydwer a lot but I stress that was only players and probably wishful thinking. Frankly, I don't care where the next expansion is set, as long as it is good. I wouldn't be surprised if the expansions roll out somewhere along the lines of the original EQ timetable of every six months, but that is just a guess.

The discussion on the combat changes was pretty peaceful, to be honest. Most agreed that combat was previously broken and I don't think anyone had any major issues with their classes. Someone raised the issue of wizzie roots being overpowered and though a part of me wanted to leap across the table and stab him with my pen, the rational part of me realized he was probably right. With my root fiesta, I've been soloing pretty nasty heroics without even breaking a sweat. There were some minor complaints but the basic answer to everything was that the classes are pretty much as they intend them to be. SOE does intend to fix the upgrades on some spells so that upgrading actually does something or, alternatively, to just make certain spells non-upgradable if upgrades don't make sense.

I raised the issue of the annoyance factor of mobs being green which were not green before (i.e. trying to get to Drayek in PF) and the aggro being a nuisance when you have already fought through the zone a hundred times. Scott said the reason for that change was increased target availability for players and we agreed that the stealth speed changes might help alleviate my concerns.

Saavedra spoke a little bit about re-tiering some of the zones to add more heroic mobs. He stated that the initial down-tiering was done in somewhat of a blanket fashion and so he went back in and raised the mob tiers where he felt it made sense (i.e. the scarecrows in Antonica). I haven't really checked this out but I do know that after the original downtiering I was playing a low-level Guardian alt in Antonica and I could not find a group mob for the life of me. It was actually pretty embarrassing for me. "Let's try the scarecrows!" "Umm...they're solo." "Oh." I'll have to go back with my Guard or Bard alts when I have a chance and check out the new mob tiers.

I know there’s stuff I missed here but I did write three long posts so this is the end of my summit info.

For me, the game has gotten markedly better since the first time I entered Splitpaw and sat down at the feet of Sarchel the story teller. The content has been much improved since that point and I’m glad combat now actually works. It was a painful adjustment, but for the most part, it’s over. I’m pretty convinced that they have a good team in place who are very familiar with the tools they need to use. I believe the philosophical direction the game has been going is a good one. So now, there are no excuses. Make this a great game and make us proud. I’m watching you.

As I said, my time in San Diego also inspired me to seek the perspective of other players, so you can hopefully expect some interviews here on Aggro Me in the next few weeks.

Now that I'm done with my Community Summit recap, be sure to check out the recaps written by other attendees:

Ethec, over at TenTonHammer,
has a three part summary up.
Tamat has an
overview up at EQII Vault.
Methos gives
his take at EQ2OGaming.
And, Radar-X
posted a recap on the official forums.

If I missed any, be sure to let me know.

Ah, one final note before I go. I'd like to wish a happy birthday to Aggro Forums poster Anskiere who has been a major part of our forums so far, even if Karnatos recently passed his post count (haha the gauntlet is down, Anskiere). And no, you certainly don't have to put your date of birth in to register for the forums. I just know these things. I'm Aggro Me.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol. Nice job! Though, I don't think SoE should give up on the class balancing already. There are a few things that DO need to be tweaked.

Enjoyed the posts. Keep it up!

Narcissisa.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Hey Narcissisa. I didn't mean to imply that they are done balancing just that the majority of classes are pretty much where they wanted them to be. So I wouldn't expect major changes but there will be tweaks. One thing I forgot to mention in my original post is that there was some discussion that warlocks were a bit overpowered at the moment.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Anskiere said...

"Ah, one final note before I go. I'd like to wish a happy birthday to Aggro Forums poster Anskiere who has been a major part of our forums so far, even if Karnatos recently passed his post count (haha the gauntlet is down, Anskiere). And no, you certainly don't have to put your date of birth in to register for the forums. I just know these things. I'm Aggro Me."


*dances around!*

12:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"part of me wanted to leap across the table and stab him with my pen..."

Best - line - ever.

5:14 AM  
Blogger warm_machine said...

Gratz on the ding Anskiere! ;)

9:44 AM  
Blogger jaipehg said...

Yah, Anskiere was reading my IMs (while I was making him FOOD, nonetheless) and found out before hand that I asked you to wish him a happy bday. What a whore. :(

11:06 AM  
Blogger Anskiere said...

Yeah.. I suck. But it still made me smile because 1) I forgot it was thursday (or minutes before when I read the post) and 2) I forgot you asked him to do it until I actually read it :D

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Quinan said...

Heya:

First time I've posted anything, but long-time reader :)

Xalmat from the Summoners Tower, who was also an attendee, did a write up as well on his forums.

http://eq2.eqsummoners.com/viewtopic.php?t=2144&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25

and warlocks are overpowered?

oh oh

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warlocks? Forget warlocks!

..Geez. You should see bruisers..

They're just totally crazy. I mean, I'm not even talking about in PvP, either. Watching them tear through yellow ^^^ mobs solo.. it's like a car commercial.

"Green to red in three-point-oh-seconds!"

Sign me up..
Narcissisa.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Brenlo said...

It was great to meet you this weekend Aggro. You were much quiter and subdued than I thought you would be, yet still a pleasure to chat with.

Thanks for all of the great feedback!

Brenlo

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Brenlo said...

Err Quieter not quiter. I meant Quieter.
Sheesh I hate typing. I demand a edit field for your comments area!

What do we want? EDIT!
When do we want it? NOW!

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Rotacidare said...

Good write up on everything. Thanks for all your time and effort.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure how to contact you by e-mail. Will you please add my site to your links?

EQ2I

It's a pretty damn cool site; lots of DoF-articles, editable by everyone.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure how to contact you by e-mail. Will you please add my site to your links?

EQ2I

It's a pretty damn cool site; lots of DoF-articles, editable by everyone.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Argh, double post :-(

Sorry

4:45 PM  

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