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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Test Update 19A: Part 1 of a 12 Part Writeup

Kidding, kidding. I know some people thought my four part series on the press release last week was a little extreme so don't worry, I'll contain this to two posts. There is a lot of great stuff going on here. SOE continues to make my job harder by improving stuff I planned to write about before I even get the chance. They also addressed some of my previous issues.

- Raid leaders can now move a raid member to an empty slot in another existing group by dragging the character name to the desired group.
- Raid leaders can now swap raid members between groups by dragging one member's name on top of the other raid member's name.

From my
wishlist post: "Can you imagine a drag and drop interface which allowed the raid leader (before combat) to pull players from one group to another or switch players in two groups?"

Well, we won't have to just imagine it for much longer because it is on the way. I'm very happy to see this. I would suggest this be made one of the "headlines" when it goes live rather than just buried at the end of the UI notes because I think it is a significant change.

- Your high level spells are now useable (at a reduced effectiveness) when you mentor a lower level player. No more messing with your hotbar when you want to help out a friend!- Most spells will no longer drop or suspend when you start mentoring a lower-level player. Instead, they now adjust themselves accordingly.

Covered this one previously: "As a comment to my
wishlist post, Scott Adams made the excellent suggestion:

'I would like to see the mentoring system automatically scale spells/abilities down to whatever you have scribed in your book. No more have to shift hot bars around etc. Those spells with no precursors (like scout escape at 25) would then simply become red.'

And thankfully, it looks like this might happen in LU 19, according to
this post from Moorgard. Excellent. Mentoring should not be a hassle for the person doing the mentoring."

- Citizens of Qeynos and Freeport can now mail each other items and coin.

Again, I will cite a previous comment of mine:

"In fact, the restrictions on mailing items to opposing players should be dropped on PvE servers because it's meaningless the way things currently are. You can group with someone every night but then not mail them a flask of water? Ridiculous."

The Alpha test for the new character progression changes is now on the Test server in order to ensure existing below-20 characters will function properly.

I am in favor of this system as I
outlined in this post and I am glad to see it is coming along.

You can now select from a list of all writs you are eligible to embark upon when speaking to a writ giver.

From an immersion standpoint, it was more "realistic" the original way. However, I still support this change. Why? Because in reality, you want to do the same writs as your guildmates or go after a specific mob. So you click, delete, click, delete and it's just annoying. Back in the days when we used to do extended writ runs in EF this really drove us crazy. So I'm glad to see it changed.

I wonder, would it be good to extend this idea to other repeatable quests that have a "choice" of mobs? Last week, I was farming a few Aquim quests in Maj during some downtime and I fully admit I deleted and hailed until I got ghouls as the quest mob. Should this be changed too or is that going too far?

You should now be able to attack NPCs that are touching or partially inside a wall.

Yes, it would be nice if mobs were never inside the walls. But if this makes things easier until that problem is fully solved, I'm all for it. I'll have to see how effective it is in practice.

Alright, I'll cover the rest tomorrow. A lot of stuff in this update and this is only part A.


Anonymous Fjord said...

I'm calling this the "Common Sense Update".

These are all updates that probably should have been in earlier, but I'm glad they're coming in now.

Its probably Part 2 of your writeup, but the revamped Isle of Refuge, starter zones and levels 1-20 are looking good too.

Keep up the good work SOE.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really excited about LU 19... not only is it addressing a lot of existing player concerns and bugs, but its going out of its way to attract new players to the game.

Although my main is level 52, I'm looking forward to trying out the new Isles and, basically, new classes. I've always liked trying out new classes and I never liked the idea of having to play general archetypes before getting to my desired class. This will definitely also help new players - I've got RL mates who have a sudden interest in the game.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Part 1 of a 12 Part Writeup"? O_O

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nevermind me, i spoke too fast. man, one of these days i hope i'll learn to read posts properly before i reply =D

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Macy@Splitpaw said...

People are still not going to want to mentor because of the half-XP gain. It'd be great to be able to join a group 20 levels below me to do a quest I missed for whatever reason, and then get the same rewards (besides the mismatched tier armor drops, of course) as the others if I am mentoring to their level.

Removing the admittedly inconvenient hotbar rearranging was a necessary first step - but quests at any level take time (the most valuable resource in the game). I, and I'm sure most other people as well, want to be earning as much as possible/progressing (beyond the nicety of helping others) for the duration they have to play the game. SOE has to go the final step and remove the half-XP restriction from mentoring as well.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised I haven't heard a hundred people cry that the game is getting easier in this update like usual. I'm all in favor of these "common sense" changes and I hope they continue to devise new ways to achieve that goal. It seems like the game only will get better if they keep refining the little things. It still surprises me that they don't just make one update (LU20) the "fixing all the little bugs that we neglected to fix before." I'm sure that would be received favorable too.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Anskiere said...

RE not wanting to mentor: Yeah.. but I don't think I would really expect to get much xp for a quest 20 levels lower than me, much less the mobs involved in said lower level quest anyway. If you are doing it for xp you are probably doing it for the wrong reasons...

I don't see removing the half xp penalty for mentoring to be anything but the oh so famous "making the game easier"

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Quinan said...

As a chronic mentorer, I am always levelling up lower guild members for status HQs or needed classes, adding more XP gain for me would seem silly.

Getting the same XP from completed quests or adventuring in Pillars of Flames should not be the same as running around Ruins of Varsoon. I will make the assumption that most people who mentor do it to play with friends, help guildmates with a quest or join a group of lower levels on a spawn camp for an HQ or heroic quest, but not for XP.

Mentoring in its primal form was brought in as a way to help others or play with people you would otherwise not be able to.

My only problems with mentoring were the changing of hotkeys (being fixed), acrueing massive amounts of debt that carried over after mentoring (fixed) and paying for armor repairs at full cost. (me just being whiny and not expecting a fix) If anything, XP gain is too high now. I believe I got 20% XP at level 57 mentoring a group of guildies in Splitpaw for a couple hours. Please, don't make levelling in this game any easier than they have made it now.

LU19a looks great and I hope SoE continues along this trend.


12:45 PM  
Blogger Quylein said...

If anything they should get rid of the Double XP all together.. or make it a reward of somesort...

They should stop rewarding people who don't play their game. Got 50% Xp debt.. hey don't play you'll be good. Want dbl Xp while everone else is sluging along.. hey log off for a week. seriously like the poster above.

don't make levelling in this game any easier than they have made it now.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Brett said...

Undocumented in the patch notes (but very much on test): Tradeskill subcombines are GONE. Combines are final only, using direct raws to create the items. I honestly am not sure what I think about this yet. Benefits: faster item creation. Detriments: a lot fewer combines to pristine for bonus xp, expecially for certain classes (armorsmiths are the best example I can think of).

The Thread.

Beghn explains (sorta).

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Ilucide said...

The amount of status awarded by writs is now based on your level in relation to the writ's level rather than your guild's level.

Something got lost in translation on this one. The actual old formula for how much status was awarded was a black magic amalgamym that checked a player's level, their guild level, and the number of thursdays in the month.

Ok, kidding about the last part.

Suffice it to say though, the new way status is awarded is more generous overall.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Ilucide said...

Oops, I posted on the wrong update! Silly me. Don't mind the spam. ;)

2:17 PM  

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