Changes with the February Update: Alternate Ability Grants for Gold Members and Ability Changes

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by Piestro, Feb 4, 2014.

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  1. Inga Elder

    While I can understand you wish to help new/returned players to catch-up,
    I feel all AAs auto-granted is not so good.
    As some passive AAs, Spell Casting Subtlety or Twincast, can cause problems in certain situation.


    Some ideas about auto-grant AA change:

    Each Gold Account player can buy manually "essential AAs for their class" for free (up to Underfoot).
    If some AAs are useful, but not so important for that class, the AA cost is same/reduced.

    So different class gets diferrent AAs for free, and can "customize" your character.

    As your character gain more Achievements, you can "unlock" more free AAs.
  2. Nekrad New Member

    i am slightly annoyed with the aa part i think i could get over it but the changing decap and lich sting to only work on normal swings is going to pretty much kill the game for me... just my 2 cents first post ever on the boards...
  3. Langya Augur

    Is this a "We are rolling all this out regardless but thanks anyway for your input" situation or a "We are currently planning on this but allowing alterations to the plan based on feedback" situation?
  4. playful0 Journeyman

    or what about the crazy people that like me took a toon and from level 52 on grinded every aa to have a maxed aa per level toon. to bad for them too
  5. Dynn New Member

    Be careful what you are shooting for. If returnees can come back, spend three months and be in the current content, they will probably quit again at four months. Do you really feel that if you take away the grind that there is enough to keep people around? You would effectively be trivializing and rendering (even more) useless 14 years of content. If I want to be handed levels and jump right into the latest and greatest for a couple months, there a newer, prettier games out there that offer that. Your remaining time with EQ would be better spent going back through all those empty zones and making them relevant again.

    It's probably too late for EQ, but important to remember for EQ Next. What made EQ great was the journey, not the end. Don't forget the "Ever" in "EverQuest", or you will just end up to be another failed clone of yourself.
    beryon, iniari-TR, Graybeard and 2 others like this.
  6. iniari-TR Augur

    mixed feelings about these changes.

    I agree that the AE lagging spells / abilities need to be adjusted.
    however I see no need for nerfs to other classes where causing lag is not an issue.

    as for the auto-grant AA's. I see the logic in making it so new / returnees can be a viable player easier and not having the impossible grind to be of any use.
    the issue I have with this is what is really left in the game ?

    if the AA's are granted according to lvl and expansion progression I would have no problem
    i'd be against someone just getting 4000+ AA's from buying a toon or krono.

    the main attraction of any game is the feeling of achievement with the progression of your toon..

    it would be better to increase the aaxp for lower lvls , grant more aa xp for doing low lvl tasks / missions.
    grant bonus AA for each lvl gained. so a player can quickly be more useful while maintaining the need to progress.

    devs have gone to great efforts to keep the game exciting and limit content becoming trivial as players progress. - - this change and other planned ones will make the players themselves trivial.
    beryon likes this.
  7. Zirkolak New Member

    First post ever on EQ forums. I read them actively but have never felt the burning need to post in response to one before.

    I'm also amazed at the number of posts by New Members and those who have never posted before.

    I am currently discouraged by the lack of response from the SoE team despite how profusely they keep saying our feed back is worth it to them. I recognize there has been some posts in response but there have been some incredibly clever suggestions & fixes to the proposed problems, yet SoE doesn't seem to want to consider them.

    I have played on and off since PoP, and I am extremely happy with where things are right now. Everquest has always been about finding ways around things that weren't intended. It's always been about being clever, then learning to adapt, or meeting new people to learn new techniques. Don't take away that fun of being inventive.

    Now a couple things.

    To all those who keep telling SoE to upgrade their hardware, it's an unfair and truly naive thing to say. I doubt very much it's top of the line, but it's clearly not "ancient". That being said, name any other game with giant zones such as this one that allow you to pull more than 100 mobs. Any other MMO server based type game simply has mechanics or will not allow you to aggro that many mobs. Any kind of NPC based pathing algorithm if written well is already intensive, and will likely run at least n^2 permutations per a mob. Where n is the total number of possible ways to get there. If every zone was 100% flat and open it'd obviously not get bogged down, but throw some hills & cracks and other obstacles in the way, and all of the sudden the computation just sky rocketed. Blah blah blah more talk no one cares about.

    That being said, I have yet to see or hear of anyone complaining about swarming and affecting their characters... I generally play 6+ hours a day, and in the RoF expansion, and near Evantil... heart of Mage beaming. I would love it if SoE could put forth some solid examples of actual player complaints/issues. I'm not necessarily for or against it, as obviously there's no way that someone should go from 90-100 in 2 hours. Blah blah blah more ethics talk no one cares about.

    In the long run, people will always swarm regardless of whether it's current content or old content. You take this away I promise you someone clever will figure something else out. Your best option is to discourage it, for example.. You could have diminishing returns on XP. This means that if you're level 90 & just killed 10mobs in 10seconds, for the next 30s the next 5 will give 80% xp, then the next 5 60%... so on and on it goes. There are countless other ideas on these forums.

    In regards to mage beaming, rather than nerf the # of targets you can hit you could increase cast time, or reuse time, shorten the range, any of the above.

    Beserker/Rogue swarming, it's all about their disciplines, simply make it so decapp/Assassinate do not stack with disciplines, if you have one up the other will not function. Easy fix and easy solution, will limit the number of mobs they would want to pull.

    In conclusion in regards to swarming, it's a valid strategy and I have yet to see people complaining about performance issues or that it's disrupting their play. Your best bet is to discourage it.

    Now then, those are my thoughts on swarming...

    Ranger HSing I personally think is perfectly fine, it doesn't PL at such a rate that it's crazy, you don't pull more than 5-6 mobs at a time, and it's capped out to temple at the highest levels. It's requirements are restrictive, you can't HS on anything but humanoids, and anything that summons and you're screwed. I think HS is a very well balanced AA tool. Granted I have a ranger.

    It's really sad to see the developers not like where the game is heading. The player base directs the play, if people really didn't like PLing, people wouldn't do it , or they would boycott it. If people really disliked Mage beaming, they would go and grief the mages attempting to do it. There is such a big market & so many people PLing because that's what people want. For some of us our satisfaction comes from helping people out. You know you make someones day when they wander into HoT on a lvl 88, and you invite them to your group and start Decapping for free just to be a nice guy. By making their day you instantly feel better.

    At some point later in time, i will be polling all the forum replies to see what the total +, -, and meh's there are for each topic.

    Onto free AA's...

    Pay to win. I don't like it. Take a page from many other free to play games, they crumble and fail because people instantly pay to win. I just came back, decided to re-roll my druid as my main, got him up to lvl 96 & 3.3k AA's by working hard and doing a lot of dailies. By giving everyone free AA's it's kind of cheap and un-called for not to mention a massive slap to the face. I do give my sympathy to your plight however. There is a big despair for people who ding 85 or 90 and realize that only have 1k AA's is woefully dreadful for their level. But there is a lesson there, and people learn it! My monk I ground him up to 90 with 978 AA's and realized I got flattened left & right. So when i did it with my druid & my ranger I learned and stepped up my game. blah blah blah more personal QQing no one wants to hear.

    Giving AA's is a dreadful idea, and I have seen very few positive responses to it. Again there are some solid easy to fix solutions to it.
    Idea 1:
    a) Increase the amount you can bank at a time, lvl 51 - 50, lvl 80 - 100, lvl 90- 150 blah blah blah you can figure that part out.
    b) Dailies, now give XP & fixed # of AAs. This way if you want to level your character you will, but you will also be forced to accrue AA's, and if you want to grind AA's well then setting your XP to AA's will get you there.
    c) the Xp amount can stay the same, it's a great leveling rate, but the AA's on the side can be bumped to 30-50 per a quest. (like the Shards Landing partisan quests)

    Idea 2:
    a) reduce cost on low-level AA's
    b) (I understand this is time consuming) weed out useless AA's & refund any points spent in them.
    c) Increase bonus to AA's up to 3-4k AA's but have it scale with level. This will prevent people from abusing the easy AA experience at lower levels, but make it easier to stay on par with their level. Ex after 1000AA's at 80, it now become normal rate AA.

    On a side note, I would love to see some massive AA experience bonus if you have a group of 5-6 players all within 4-6 levels of each other. It would highly encourage people to make groups with people & not mercs. (or make mercs more expensive... Shhh people will flame me for this... If you make them expensive enough people might actually want to group with a cleric... SUPRISE!)

    Oh and I almost forgot!!! You need a reason for people to spend more $$ on gold memberships. I didn't forget don't worry. Give them a 20% bonus to AA experience or 30%. Also allow them to have complimentary daily pots, that refresh daily. You get the idea, I'm sure your market place wizard's can figure it out.

    Long story short, while I won't be the cliche over dramatic person who's like I'm ending my 5 Gold accounts NERD RAGE!!!! I would realistically still play, but will only keep 1 account as there will be an incredibly reduced advantage to having 2 accounts, as the free AA's thing would be a major insult and slap to the face. Would be the equivalent of having a teacher assign math homework & making all the kids do it by hand. Some new kids join the class 1/2 through the term, so rather than have them work to gain the necessary skills & practice she lets them use a calculator instead. It would be so dumb in so many ways. Please I hope you can see the outrage to this topic in this forum and will change courses sooner rather than later.


    P.S. Will become frustrated & incredibly disappointed if SoE keeps failing to comment on some of the ingenious ideas that have been posted here. THAT DOESN'T MEAN MINE other people have posted some incredible ideas that deserve time and consideration. Although some feedback on mine would be great.

    #Endwalloftext

    -Zirkolak/Geaddwin 93 Ranger 2150 AA's/96 Druid 3320 AA's.
    Runzwith, Airowen and Lucretius like this.
  8. Peppers New Member

    I just came back after 9 years... more or less spent $100+ over 4 accounts since i have been back and can say I wont go gold after reading this.... I may take another 9 years to come back!

    Ps... Lotus cult will never die!!! We just move on!
  9. AlmarsGuides Augur

    I have an honest question for Piestro/any dev following this thread.

    Out of the feedback you've seen and if you continue to get more feedback from all different parties about this and it continues to be as one sided as it is now (anti AA grant) will you reconsider your thoughts?

    For me personally I really hate this change. Like hate it hate it and when I hear a change like this, I am often so upset by it that I don't want to play the game anymore until I hear some sort of confirmation on whether or not you're even willing to reconsider your original approach. If you tweaked it and made it better/rolled out this AA grant differently/never I would feel much better than if you just went ahead and did it.

    There are a lot of great ideas in this thread, and I am sure (maybe we vote) on one that we can actually mostly agree upon.

    For me personally, i vote towards just increasing the bonus XP for being under a certain number of AAs. Hey, I'm all for giving people 5 AAs a kill under level 85 or something like that at such an insanely stupid high rate because that will still FEEL like you earned them and give a sense of accomplishment. Earning the AAs and spending them is super fun for me, it's like getting a new piece of gear or a new level. But getting everything at the same time is kind of blah. MMORPGs are meant for long term enjoyment not such short term.
    Bloodfrost, beryon and Lucretius like this.
  10. Khubok New Member

    Alright, somehow I read this post initially with the opinion of:
    Games need to change and will change regardless, so embrace it.
    But after reading enough posts here my opinion has changed to this:
    There are reasons the game is good. (the grind, exploration)
    Giving out free AA takes away from the grind and exploration, because it's easier to lvl, therefore requires less exploration in order to reach max level.

    I returned to this game within a month, got from lvl 1-62 on 2 accounts.
    But, now it's time to put this game back in the closet.

    I appreciate the difficulties that Everquest provided.
    I also liked it for nostalgic purposes.


    But, something about these changes and reading about it made me realize something:
    I simply want there to be a NEW game that is like Everquest was. (EQN is not anywhere close)

    Long story short, I can't get the excitement I used to get from Everquest, my friends won't play it because it's 'too old', and now they're making changes that sway even further from what I truly want.

    I want a game that is hard, slow, and has a lot to explore a long the way, while also being focused on grouping.

    Hard? - EQ really isn't that hard from my experience, unless you make it hard by going somewhere dangerous (as is true for all games. Though, I will say EQ makes it more rewarding than most other games to go somewhere difficult)
    Slow? - Yeah, EQ is slow, slower than most MMOs anyway. Giving free AAs only makes it faster, AKA, less of what I want.
    Exploration? - The past changes make this less rewarding (AKA xp boosts in certain zones). So, not that this is an upcoming change, but next time just give a flat out xp boost and not specific to zones.
    Grouping? - Again, not an upcoming change, but mercs really took away the group play. (EQ was generally struggling for players at low-mid range, so I can understand the thought process. But, it was a bad decision in the long run(Imo))

    So, this announcement has made me realize that EQ is not what it was. And is not what I want. So it is time to stop playing games and start creating them. This way at least they're hard, slow, group dependent, and exploration is fun.
    Ha! (good luck to me)

    Just unsubscribed (/sigh)
    Thank you Sony for a great game. But it is not what it was.
    Leeroy Jenkins likes this.
  11. Savagefist New Member

    I've been playing this game, without a break, since Sept. 1999. This game started out as a leader. The game was more about the lore than the power toys. As has been mentioned in a plethora of posts, giving away AA's to people that are returning to the game is tantamount to rewarding them for staying away and punishing those that have stuck with the game. Of course, the other perspective is that maybe you're trying to bribe people into coming back, so you are making the game more and more like WoW. The difficulty level of the game was one of the attractions. I remember needing 2 sets of armor, just so that I could survive a corpse run. Dying in the game is no longer a major consequence. Travelling in general has become easy and no longer requires the services of a Druid or Wizard. And now, the work of some is freely granted to the masses. LOL Socialism has come to EQ.
    When class balancing was first introduced, it was a problem, and it continues to be a problem. In your efforts to make things "fair" (from YOUR perspective at least), you continuously give a slap in the face to different classes. How many Clerics and Warriors now have a problem finding groups because they are no longer crucial to the group since the Mercenaries were introduced? Granted, Mercenaries cannot be used in a raid, but how many raiders are there compared to casual players? I switch from a Warrior to a Ranger and a Shadow Knight so that I had a class with which I could solo when a group was not available. A now that Mercenaries can gain AA's to become more powerful, it's an even greater incentive to continue using the Mercenary instead of dropping it for a live player. Nice job guys. Now you want to take away or minimize certain abilities that YOU gave us, simply because you had not anticipated the way they would be used. That sounds more like a lack of foresight on YOUR part, than abuse (or whatever you want to call it) on ours. Part of your complaint stems from the fact that swarming, in all its different flavors, is too taxing on the servers. Maybe if you had focused your resources on building up EQ and its infrastructure, instead of projects like EQ2 and EQN, it might not be such a problem. As I mentioned, I've been playing this game for 14 years straight, but even I'm considering dropping it for good. Have you taken into consideration how many long-time players share that sentiment? Especially those of us with multiple accounts.
  12. Basko Bladewhisper New Member

    So what is your true goal here, stop the zone lag while 'giving' a runner up prize the perceived reason folks swarm in the first place? This game has so much content that is never used anymore. I for one enjoy the complex puzzles or multiple ways there are to accomplish things. This nerf is quite literally the nuclear option for a problem. Yes the zone lag caused by swarming is a problem, but to shoot your baby over it, while solving the problem (servers will run great with nobody here to play), I am not sure this is your intended goal.

    This problem like many things can be solved with a much less disruptive manner. There have been many good posts on the forum so far, and even those that are indifferent have no idea how much these changes are going to effect them directly. I for one am not looking forward to replacing 15-20 of my raiding members because they just rage quit over this, and the idea that you 'broke' their favorite toy. A few of them would be upset with just the lost of swarming, but a great deal of them will refuse to play if they can not perform their classes job on the raid.

    As for the Freebie AAs, reduce the costs (or allow them to be reduces each expansion cycle). For example lets use Combat Agility for example, Ranks 1-3 cost (SOL) 2,4,6, 3-8 (POP) are 3 a piece now, 9-18 (OOM/DoDH) are 5 a piece, 19-28 are 6-10 a piece, Make all these cost 1 a piece and reduce the costs of them by expansion as the new expansions come out. So for this example what currently costs 485 AAs to max, would be reduced to 312. This is would be received much better by the folks that have all earned their way through, as it is similar to someone today getting an Anguish BP very easily, but when that content was current it was something that was very rare to have. Just do not mass autogrant AAs, let people choose how to spend their AAs, and please make them earn them, even if you give bonus AAs are mile markers in regular experience and reduce the costs to make it easier. The journey is the everQUEST, once you reach max AA/Experience I am not sure what you have left to do other then work on checkmarks in the achievement window. Also allow there to be some nearly useless AAs that can never be maxed but allow folks to increase their characters 'wow' factor by minimal amounts, (i.e. 1 hp increase for 25 AAs, or something silly crazy like that). NOBODY should ever get the message <YOU HAVE FINISHED THE EVERQUEST EXPERIENCE GRIND>

    As you have said in the 'Future Content" post, zones take a great deal of time to create, well spend your development time on proper class development and balances, along with challenging raid/group/overall storyline type contents. Sure a new zone is neat, but a well recreated old zone with an actually thought out storyline, and new dynamics can help a great deal. No I am not talking about just tune up the old zone with harder hitting mobs, Start with the 'skin' and rebuild the 'guts' of it. You have literally Hundreds of unused content already developed, you have storylines that have been left hanging all over the place. Why do you need to start completely from scratch each and every expansion. Yes 18 new zones with 1 raid/mission/quest line per zones great , but 3 new ones, 5 reused ones, with the same 18 new events to work through can still do wonders if you have stopped trying to make the old zone 'feel' like the old zones.

    Basically what I am saying is the team really needs to find a way to use the resources that you have (Dev time, Public Relations time, creative development time, whatever) to create fulfilling content. Even your new game you are wasting time and energy on things that the average Everquest player is going to think is cool for about 120 seconds the 1st time they log in. We play this game, and I would think most MMORPG's are the same way to work through challenging and interesting content with our Friends.

    Anyway, please reconsider the way you are planning to fix the problem. There must be a better way that will solve your zone interruptions without completely destroying the enjoyment of a class completely.

    I do thank you though for putting these changes up here on the forums and are by all indications taking the feedback from your customers well, and hopefully this is just a 'draft' that will be refined to include some of the communities ideas while still accomplishing your goal.
  13. Rainbowdash Augur

    I wanted to stay away from this thread, because to be honest I love every single change going in and I'm glad it's happening. But...jfc 43 pages of crying and whining? (It'll probably be like 45 or 46 by the time I hit the post button on this....I'm expecting it to be at least 100+ by the time I wake up tomorrow.). Grow up..

    I'm gonna be 100% blunt and honest on this. Cause I think it needs to be said. The mass killing is seriously lame. If you really cannot just xp like a normal person at a normal rate and are too freaking lazy or incapable of doing so you seriously shouldn't even be playing this game.

    In the end you all have no one to blame but yourselves though.

    "But this nerf hurts my class in ways other than just mass killing!"
    Well why didn't you try to stop people that did this kind of thing over the years? Heck I bet most of the people complaining frequently did mass killing themselves. You had to have seen this coming. HAD too. Good job trying to stop it at the source before the devs had to get involved.

    "But there's so many AAs now! This is the best way to do it!"
    Maybe. And I totally agree that we have too many AAs these days. It's no longer even "Alternate Advancement" It's "Required Or You Suck Advancement". But who's fault is that? We have people these days wanting new level caps with every single expac, new clusters of AAs with every major content release. There's even people posting in that thread about content release changes that they want new AAs with every single little content release....every week. Seriously? And you wonder why we have so many these days. Or why it's so much work to catch up. And they are working on fixing that anyway by auto-granting all AAs for Gold (Soon to be, All-Access) up to 4 expacs old. So who cares?

    In the end, you all can thank yourselves for every single nerf in the OP. Every single one of them. Me? I'll be sitting back watching the tears and laughing. Along with many other people. So so glad this is finally happening.
    Dalamyre, Izcurly, Mintalie and 2 others like this.
  14. Tygart Journeyman

    Nice way to put the nail in the coffin SOE. Giving away AAs is a terrible decision and will cost you subscriptions of loyal players who kept this game alive.
    CaptAmazing and dpsdpsdps like this.
  15. Dimencia Journeyman

    Plat Sellers wont have anything on the SOE AA PL'rs!!!
    Message of the Day:
    -Fire Sale!!! and make sure SOE looses $$ (Gain up to 30,000 AA's! for $14.99)
    -Log on all 8 toons after going gold that had No AA's gain 3500aa's per Toon!
    -Go Silver again and your good far longer than you could have you bought all those silly aa caps for station cash... (that would have cost you aprox $700 to buy those aa caps)

    Really... this is the proposal....
  16. Tornicade_IV Augur

    you leveled an sk to 100 in a month and dont believe you got value from your purchases?
    You also state you wont have to swarm to build up his base aa and this is a problem?
    it seems you got the value you wanted. people still have to level up their character. its a 4 expansion and 15 level difference along with accounting just a third of the aa that the toons will need as they level up into content. it saves an unnecessary grind for a top heavy game. Im not sure how Autogranted for people you dont play or group with should bother you or the savings youll have not choosing not to spend SC to get aa except for the ones you want fast and now.
    Smallpox likes this.
  17. Cyantune Journeyman

    Btw.. if you cant control your CPU usage for AI under these conditions you need a new AI programmer. Even if your AI architecture doesn't allow you to defer path finding (rookie mistake imo) on can easily solve this issue by faking the deferred pathing.

    Maintain a list of which AIs received path recently (define be your architecture) and the path they received. Given swarming requires gathering mobs the server will naturally increase the A* load over a number of frames you have warning that the CPU is going to be stressed. If you are at 80% utilization you start returning stale paths to some AIs. At this point you treat it as a thread starvation problem. The longer it has been since a thread was serviced the more likely it is to be served in a given time slice. Without knowing your architecture internal I can solve this correctly but it honestly not that hard.

    Btw given what I have seen of the results of your AI and the swarming techniques this actually probably greatly hinders swarming btw. It naturally causes the mobs to spread out instead of bunch tightly. For riposte base kites this will also cause the mobs positions relative to the player to vary in such a way that are more likely to end up on sides and rear even when corner tanking.
  18. deathconn New Member

    auto-give aa's and Ill gladly auto-boot my 4 gold accts 9 yrs of work to be given if your gold for 30days is just plain b.s.
    dpsdpsdps likes this.
  19. Atvar Augur

    What are the low aa bonus rates and caps nowadays? It might be worth actually using that system to its full potential to get around all the people crying about auto-granted aa's. Have it give say 5x exp up to 8000 aa's.
    genaro44 and menown like this.
  20. Dabrixmgp Augur

    1. who are you to tell someone else how to play the game? Are you paying their $15 a month?
    2. not everyone can box so its really hard to be able to do "normal" EXPing.
    Ramson likes this.
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