Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good stuff coming in GU58.

Game Update 58 for EQII will bring a lot of nice additions to the game. When the update notes are posted, you'll see just how many things we've fixed and added over the past few months.

In the meantime I'll give you a little preview of the things I've been working on.

NPC Casting Bars

Casting bars have now been added to the target and implied target windows that will allow you to see exactly what spells that NPC's are casting. You've always had this information in one way or another normally by viewing particle effects or reading the spell text that appears in your chat window. This would allow tools like ACT to parse the data and give you the information, but for most people that don't use these tools, it was more difficult to understand what the mobs were doing. Hopefully with this new feature you'll be able to better time your stuns, stifles and interrupts.

Mount Appearance and Inventory

We've added a Mount tab to your character window, right behind the Appearance Tab. You can now store up to 50 mounts in this special inventory window and get them out of your normal inventory. In addition, you'll be able to define which mount is your "Equipped" mount and which mount is your "Appearance" mount. Following in the footsteps of appearance gear, the Equipped mount will provide the buff and stats, but the appearance will be overridden by the Appearance mount. We've also create a new "Summon Mount" ability that appears in your knowledge window as well as the bottom of the mount tab. Clicking this button will automatically summon/unsummon the equipped mount combination.

Currency Window

Behind the mount tab on the character window, we've also added a new Currency tab. Currency tokens and items will now be stored in this window freeing up even more inventory space. You can drag tokens to and from this area, so tokens can still be tradable or placed in your bank. When purchasing items from vendors that require tokens, the vendor will consume them directly from the currency window. Also, when acquiring new tokens, they will be deposited automatically into this window.

We also have a huge list of fixes and features that came from Fan Faire so I hope everyone really likes this update. We have a bit longer cycle between GU58 and GU59 since 59 is the launch of Velious but we are planning for a few things to be released in hotfixes between now and then. We also have 3 holiday events happening between 58 and Velious so hopefully there will be plenty to keep you busy!

We've also just announced that character slots will be going on sale through the in-game marketplace at a price of 10 dollars (1000sc) per slot. When you buy this slot, it'll be permanently added to that account and won't increase your monthly fee.

Thanks for reading and thanks again for being a Norrathian citizen! :)

14 comments:

Lilith said...

I LOVE YOU Rothgar!

kaozz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kaozz said...

Gah... typos!

Very neat changes. I like the mount tab and the appearance change for it, very neat. Storing them- if they are heirloom, can you still remove them, once added?

The casting bars will be very handy for timing stuns and interrupts, a nice change in that direction.

Nice changes, keep up the good work :)

Greg Spence said...

Yep, mounts can be removed from the mount window and placed into inventory any time. Since many of our mounts are HEIRLOOM, especially Marketplace mounts, we didn't want you to lose the ability to trade them.

Anayma said...

OH. My. God. Prayer has been answered! I've been dying for a mount appearance slot, especially after getting the 12-month sub superfast horsie (amazing mount, but too gaudy-looking for my main char).

Thank you thank you thank you!

KTriol said...

What about a 'walking/running' mount appearance item, to use in place of a Mount in the Mount app slot?

I don't particularly like running around on mounts. They make my tummy unhappy. But, extra stats are nice, not to mention +runspeed is always good!

Loving the Token Vault! Thank you!!! *cyber hug!*

waylorn7 said...

Is Velious dropping sooner than Feb? Because if not, that's not a "slightly" longer time between GU 58 & 59.

Aside from that, lookin good, alot of stuff finally going in the right direction.

tamafury said...

Will there be any recompense for us Station Access account holders, who paid the extra monthly fee for 5 extra slots? :) I could have saved a decent chunk of change had this option been available sooner.

Keep up the good work!

Lord Ebon said...

Interesting. I know you've wanted to make it so you didn't have to rely on tools like ACT for quite some time, and the ability to see NPC casting is an interesting way to tackle that. It'll certainly be nicer to see when they're actually casting than having to rely on animations (which can be troublesome).

Mount appearance & storage tab was a long time coming but needed, good work at getting that out =). Currency tab was also something that's been more and more needed as the token system continually expands, so /thumbsup on that one as well.

The thing that remains to be asked is this: with changes to mounts, will the 'equipped' mount always provide it's non-runspeed bonuses regardless of whether or not it's summoned now? I'm really hoping for a 'yes' there, since traditionally you cannot summon a mount in an 'indoors' zone.

Word of the day: Crestse. Ratonga-speak for "crest."

Mustang| said...

I really appreciate the effort to improve on GU57 which frankly was very disappointing.

Are there going to be any major performance updates between now and Velious? It is my main complaint against the game especially after playing LOTRO which ran silky smooth compared to EQ2 which is currently chunking around on balanced settings. With the two games now both available to play for free this is more relevant and obvious than ever.

Thanks for continuing to be the best EQ2 dev!

Fabrice said...

I think these are great additions. I'm glad to see you're working on improving the UI. I'm using the default, except for eq2map which I find didn't spoil the game for me, and instead helps me discover much more content than I would have seen otherwise.

I can't wait to see the casting bar. It was a key component of Guild Wars's interface. In Guild Wars I learned a lot both in pve and pvp with this feature. I could for example watch other healers and learn from them how to play my class better. I could learn from other player's pvp tactics (if you spectate and target a player, you can see what they are casting). The nice think about Guild Wars's system though is that it shows every skill, not just spells. I hope this will also show combat arts, pretty much everything the target does except for auto attacks.

Greg Spence said...

Fabrice,

The casting bar will show all abilities, however, only for NPC's at this point. We were concerned that showing every casting ability for PC's would have a huge impact on PvP/Battlegrounds play, so for now it only works for NPC's. This is something we might evaluate and change in the future.

Mustang| said...

After patch report: I *LOVE* the cast bars but they seem really inconsistent. In your screeshot, for example, you show Drusella's spell at about 3/4 complete, but I have never actually seen a spell reach that far. Identical spells on the same mob can either flash on the screen for a millisecond or maybe spend 1-2 seconds up, but never the full duration.

I /feedbacked this, but if you want this to be useful for players this should probably be worked out. A great first attempt though, I call AEs for my raids and it has made pinpoint accuracy a lot easier (but I really have to stare at the healthbar as stated above) :)

Lomax said...

I'd just like to say a big thanks for GU58, it just added so much extra polish to the game.

And like GU's before it the biggest feature to change my gameplay has been the adding of cast bars, I was on the fence when they said it would be added in since I feared it detracted from immersion in the game. But overall its made the gameplay so much better and encounters feel more tactical and less random.

One other change I only recently noticed though was the GPU shadows. There was no mention there, but the distance vs quality has gone now, and even better on my ATI HD4870 I cannot see any performance difference between low and high quality now.

This should have been mentioned somewhere, the quality settings are hidden away too and perhaps could be better defaulted (I'd be intrigued to see what setups actually take a performance hit with higher quality, the range of shadows now seems to work much better - not sure if it has a limit even?