View Full Forums : SoF Information Thread


Fenier
10-20-2007, 03:28 PM
This is thread for discussion about SoF. Posts must not violate NDA, so until launch you're limited to Press News, Dev Chats, etc.

Once SoF launches I'll take the important parts from this thread and make a SoF Summary Thread, like used to be done with previous expansions.

-Fenier

Fenier
10-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Source: http://forums.station.sony.com/eq/posts/list.m?start=0&topic_id=116076#1629448

Anyway, here's a bit of generic information before I go into some of the zone's details. Most of this I believe is accurate, but it's possible I wrote down some stuff wrong.

-- The expansion has 15 static zones and 6 instanced zones. Some of the static zones may also be instanced for raid content, etc.
-- The level increase is going to level 80
-- The expansion is primarily geared for levels 70-80. This means a huge boom of content for players at the level cap.
-- SoF features two seperate, but intertwined storylines. The first is based on Meldrath the Magnificent who basically raises a castle from the ground up in Steamfont, and the second is based on Kerafyrm. Meldrath's encounters are around Solteris level and must be beaten before you can do the Kerafyrm arc.
-- Kerafyrm is getting a new model though it wasn't available for viewing/hadn't been made yet.
-- Interactive objects and interactivity with other PCs will be having an important role in some of the content. (More on this later.)
-- Brownies and Minotaurs are getting new models
-- Steamfont is getting revamped, but no other Faydwer zones are... yet.
-- There will be a clockwork dragon. -- New AAs and Spells though nothing released yet.
-- Beta will hopefully start in 2-3 weeks if all goes well.
-- There is a new race in the works, but don't expect it to be out in time for the expansion. As for what it is, Zajeer couldn't tell me.

Here are some of the pictures I took. Unfortunately, due to location of the monitor and the time of day, there's a glare on some of the pictures. Also, some of the pictures are obviously blurry. Most of that is because the character was moving around. You should still be able to see the pictures pretty well though. Zajeer showed us 10 zones. Some I got more details about than others, but I explain what I know about each. Some of the spellings of these may be off also.

Hills of Shade- A largely undead plains. Paladins, Necros, and Clerics rejoice at this zone as you'll be able to kill undead elfs, humans, and many more mobs. Also will be lore about the creation of the Half-Elves from this zone.

Guardian- Guardian is basically a giant robot that broke free from Meldrath's castle. He'll be roaming around in a static zone. To enter him, you have to get stepped on basically. You'll be prompted if you'd like to zone. If you don't answer in time, you get squished and die. The goal in this zone (which I believe is instanced) is to shut him down. And instead of beating up NPCs, you'll have to destroy parts inside him while being attacked from NPCs. It's a really big zone also for what it is.
Mechanutius- This is an outside zone that has slingshots. In certain zones you'll be traveling by slingshot to get to different areas.

Meldrath's Mansion- This is the endzone for the first story arc of the expansion where you'll encounter Meldrath. Inside you'll find minotaurs, crypts for when he's messing around with Necromancy, and of course, plenty of clockwork related encounters.

Crystallus- Crystallus is the endzone for the expansion, and the current resting spot for Kerafyrm. The whole zone is covered with a prismatic sheen that was created when Kerafyrm first breathed into the area. Inside the zone is a giant statue of him also. He's guarded by the many prismatic creatures he's created. There's also a spot with eggs and a broodmother. He's guarded by 4 elemental dragons that must be killed to unlock his room.

Bloodmoon- One word sold me on this zone, Were-Orcs. The lore goes that something happens to the Orc Shamans from the Darkhollows when they come up to land. We didn't get to see any pictures, but they sound awesome.

Shipwork Docks- Zajeer didn't have too much information on this zone, but it looks pretty

Steamfactory- The building place of clockwork and clockwork things, this zone uses object interactivity. One example Zajeer gave me was of 2 characters tethering. The goal is to turn on these fans, but in doing so you're flung out the airlock. However, in tethering to another person, the second person who is beside the fan can swing the other person around and away from the fan instead of being blown off once he or she turns it on. Pretty cool huh? There's also a part (I'm not 100% sure if it was in this zone) where you have to avoid getting hit by an object. These objects can knock you down a pit where you'll die.

Dragonscale- Crystallus is off this zone. Don't have too much other info on this one, but look at the pics anyway.

Loping Plains- Don't have too much info, but look at the pics.
SoF movie video:

http://everquest.station.sony.com/

SoF section - video.

Box Art:

http://eqplayers.station.sony.com/images/news_images/eqsofimage01.jpg

SoF News from October Dev Chat:

<[QT]Destinova> *Ronda* The SoF Retail box seems to have a poster and real life cards (that won't be included in the digital preorder). Is there any bonus in the digital preorder than buying the retail copy?
<[Rashere]> If you pre-order the digital version, you get the Gnomish Steamfists as a bonus item. The artist really went above and beyond on those and they are, in my opinion, one of the coolest looking hand-held items in the game.
<[Rashere]> Oh, and the digital order gets a different Worg mount than the retail box.

<[QT]Destinova> *Swampfunk* How will the new group armor be designed? I hear it will be very good, how good? How long will it be designed to take to create a full set of the best high end group armor?
<[Merloc]> The group armor will start off with archtype armor that is slightly better than top end TBS group armor. The armor can be upgraded to a class specific version at the next tier of group content, and then upgraded a second time at the final tier of group content. The final tier upgrade will have 4 elemental variations, and a 5th variation that is a combination of the 4 elements.
<[Merloc]> The final level of group items for the expansion will be over 500hp/mana, and will have all of the new stats and mods we are adding into the expansion.

<[QT]Destinova> *Swampfunk* Can we find out more about the Heroic items? How many items will have heroic stats? What are some of these bonuses I keep hearing about?
<[Maddoc]> Heroic stats will exist on many items, both on the raid-attainable level and the group-attainable level. Some of the bonuses you can expect to see are modifications to your avoidance skills, additional damage for melee and ranged combat, and of course additional bonuses to health, mana, and endurance.

<[QT]Destinova> -18:06:09- *Armarant* Will the retail version of SoF get the Gnomeish Steamfists?
<[Rashere]> As far as I know, those are only available via a pre-order of the digital version.

<[QT]Destinova> *Bingy* what is the movement rate of the Steamfists?
<[Rashere]> They're about jboots speed.

<[QT]Destinova> *Uliadyen* What can we expect from the raid content in Secrets of Faydwer?
<[Merloc]> There are 4 tiers of raid content with increasing difficulty, the first two are slightly above TSS, and TBS raid content, with the final two tiers being significant increases over those levels of difficulty. I'm not sure of the exact number, but I believe there are 3 times as many events in SoF as there were in TBS.
<[Rashere]> 28 raids total
<[Merloc]> As for the events themselves, they are following the EQ tradition of increasingly more complex and interesting raid events.

<[QT]Destinova> *Armarant* are there any quests added to the revamped steamfont with the revamp that are equivilant to the quests added to lavastorm?
<[Rashere]> The revamped steamfont is all the original content. What we've added is a live event that will be starting in early November to kick off the expansion. It includes a number of events and quests that take place in the days leading up to expansion launch.

<[QT]Destinova> *Tulisin* Short and sweet: How do we get spells in SoF?
<[Nodyin]> Prathun and I have had a lot of discussions about how to distribute spells with this expansion.
<[Nodyin]> We looked at what worked and what didn't work quite as well in TSS and are taking our cues from that.
<[Nodyin]> There will be spells from vendors, quests and drops in this expansion and we'll be looking at how those come into the world to try to make the process as fair and fun as possible.

<[QT]Destinova> *Uliadyen* What can we expect from the tradeskills this expansion? I've heard there are several long quests involving the tradeskills, how will they compete with previous tradeskill quests?
<[Ngreth]> Tradeskills will get the normal baking we have seen the last few expansions, and a small amount of brewing. Additionally there will be a revamp to Jewelcraft, the continuation of alchemy potions to XIII (level 80), Spell research will get some consumable scrolls and all of the old spell research recipes in the systematic spell system.
<[Ngreth]> Additionally there is a long tradeskill quest, I estimate this quest to take 10 hours if you are extraordinarily lucky, but it is more likely to take about 20 to 30 hours to complete. It will involve all of the seven major tradeskills, and cross seven of the zones within SoF. The content is rather high level, so may require that you gain some adventurer levels in order to complete the quest.

<[QT]Destinova> *Kalomer* What are the different items the DD pre-order and the store box copy will have? It seems there is a lot of confussion as to which will have what on the boards
<[Rashere]> The store box has the in-box items (oversized card, poster, etc) and you get the worg mount and the two lon items. The digitial version also gets you the worg mount and the two lon items and you can get the steamfists as well if you pre-order it.

Fenier
11-02-2007, 10:20 AM
Mobhunter Q & A about SoF:

http://www.mobhunter.com/001553.html

ohioastro
11-05-2007, 11:21 AM
76+ spell information on Lucy (accuracy unknown):

http://www.antonius-bayle.org/kumbaja/spells/spell_view.php?class=DRU&sof=1

Including AAs:

http://www.antonius-bayle.org/kumbaja/spells/spell_view.php?class=dru&show_aa=1&sof=1

ohioastro
11-05-2007, 11:50 AM
From the Lucy/Alla data, rk. ii spells, heal and buff related:

Group heal from 1750/75 to 2000ish/80. Feeble; weaker than prenerf lunarlight. Major class concern not addressed.

Patch heals: 14% bump up. Same old same old.
72/3287 (Pure Life) to 77/3729
75/3560 (Adr Surge) to 80/4093

Skin from 965 HP/10 mana regen to 1255 HP/12 mana regen. Mask line replacement (sharp eyes, 77; unknown regen)

Reptile upgrade (lvl 79); 1 minute or 10 hits, 800 per tick (vs. 600 for level 68 spell, many more hits possible)

"New" heal spells: survival of the fittest (group heal?) and Preincarnation (appears to be based on second life, but there is no reason to xerox this ability unless it adds some new twist)

Damage Shield xerox from 69 to 86

Fernspur xerox ( 481/ 71 to 600/76 x8 ticks)

Fenier
11-05-2007, 02:26 PM
Survival of the Fittest is the new heal I mentioned in my writeup. It doesn't work like anything you've ever seen before and the lucy values are very misleading.

-Fenier

Tobynn
11-05-2007, 03:56 PM
Regarding the spell list:

I assume Preincarnation provides an increased chance to trigger the DA effect, or increased HoT rate/duration, else why upgrade it? Unless as suggested it has some completely new twist.

The massive Reptile downgrade is disappointing, even if it was fully expected.

The mask upgrade was foretold, and the increase is about what I expected.

I did not notice a single target corruption cure, which was surprising.

Looks like a fully upgrade to everything magic/fire/cold based, including the revision along the Dawnstrike line (Inferno with the Solarsliver recourse), although I did not notice a listing of an associated detrimental recourse.

I'm interested to hear specifics regarding Survival once the NDA is lifted.



Regarding the AA list:

Howl of the Wild? An upgrade can only serve two purposes; a decreased refresh timer, or some other new twist. I'm banking on the timer.

Storm Strike looks to be melee style special attack. Kinda strange. At least its not an upgrade to Wrath of the Wild. I have damage shields coming out of my ears, I don't need any more thanks.


We'll see just what gets cleaved by the usual swing of the axe at two minutes to midnight~

Daldaen
11-05-2007, 04:44 PM
If I am seeing this correctly they are upgrading Dire Charm to level 55.... I hope this means in the new zones they will add DCable mobs as they did in PoP, for example the baby turtle in PoWater, spider in PoFire etc. I could actually justify the spending of AAs in this now!!! I always wanted to buy it but other more important AAs always came in the way.

Fenier
11-05-2007, 04:57 PM
There will be no upgrades to Dire Charm, for any class, in SoF.

Further - there are no upgrades to Dire Charm planned in the future - and the odds of ever seeing an upgrade, are nearly Nil.*

Posted with permission.

-Fenier

serinity_inny
11-06-2007, 11:13 AM
I am disappointed in the cookie cutter look of these spells.

I look forward to the heal you speak of but otherwise we didn't get anything to wow about.

Why does it say the mask is outdoor only?

Maybe I will be suprised once NDA is lifted and you can shed some light on why we have cookie cutter spells.

Did they not listen about combining debuffs?

ohioastro
11-06-2007, 11:19 AM
I see no evidence for buff consolidation. There are also a couple of annoying level limited items (our mighty 5% cold damage increase spell is so powerful that it has to be level capped?)

I also hope that they're removing the level cap from the epic 1.5/2.0 effects...

Fenier
11-06-2007, 01:53 PM
Why does it say the mask is outdoor only?

Because the spell you're looking at is not a Mask line spell.

Did they not listen about combining debuffs?

Combining debuffs effects Druid stacking and can obsolete several spell lines and they want more time to consider what they want to do about that. They are going to look into it more post Launch.

-Fenier

Fenier
11-06-2007, 02:35 PM
I am disappointed in the cookie cutter look of these spells.

I look forward to the heal you speak of but otherwise we didn't get anything to wow about.

I wanted to comment on this.

All classes have 'core'-esqe spells which are increased every level raise.

For us, we've had neverly every spell upgraded from DoD onward with the exception of our Aura. Even spells brand new in TSS have upgrades.

Most classes get 2-4 spells which are 'new' every expansion, and SoF is no different. There is quite a bit more time devoted to tuning 'new' ideas then standard upgrades. The new heal we get required code support, developer time, and several hours of testing after each change to reach it's current form.

Historically, we've always seem more cookie-cutter upgrades in level raise expansions, and more 'new' stuff in the spring expansions. Now that we're not having spring expansions, they are increasing more spells then normal and adding the new stuff early on. They also have a list of class balance issues they want to look into post launch and are hoping to use the spare developmental time to address those concerns.

Keep in mind there are 16 classes, and that's an amazing amount of work on both the Spell and AA sides. Even in a 2-3 month beta cycle there simply isn't enough time to test out over 50 new spells and make sure they are all 100% ok in addition to making sure all the upgrades are done to the right scale based around the new content.

-Fenier

Bono_Pak
11-06-2007, 03:26 PM
The only thing I'm actually curious if they addressed was group buff vs single target buff overwriting.

I mean, really, it'd be nice if our single target buffs *finally* overwrite the group version...you know, like every other buffing class.

Fenier
11-06-2007, 03:56 PM
The only thing I'm actually curious if they addressed was group buff vs single target buff overwriting.

I mean, really, it'd be nice if our single target buffs *finally* overwrite the group version...you know, like every other buffing class.

I've mentioned it to every developer I've talked to in the last 3 weeks, heh.

Tenielle
11-06-2007, 04:13 PM
Fen new spells are great novelties, but when it comes right down to it, we have 9 spell slots and most of us have to devote every one of them to core class abilities. IMO fighting for new spells should take a backseat to addressing the inability to take advantage of them.

Fenier
11-06-2007, 04:17 PM
Erm, I am not sure where you got that from - this is why we don't get tons of new spells every expansion.

-Fenier

Tenielle
11-06-2007, 06:40 PM
Erm, I am not sure where you got that from - this is why we don't get tons of new spells every expansion.

-Fenier

I was referring to the cookie cutter spell convo, little earlier in the thread. The point was that the new spells they want us to get excited about are irrelevant if we can't use them practically. I have no use for another heal spell unless it can replace the current quick heal permanently. I've loaded adrenaline surge once - ever!

Tanom
11-06-2007, 10:51 PM
In truth AS is a good spell .... costly on mana but if u got an emergency, no time at all to cast normal heal, this is one to cast, fairly fast and with high heal focus pair with healing AAs u can get anywhere between 10-12k heals, as well as giving the person a mitigation buff.
As to the subject ... I would have preferred not just upgrades to spells, but with some recourse to make us more valuable ..... I'm sure that the heal spell Fenier mentions will be great for us but we cant depend on that only to get us groups and respect. We need more interesting, simple and better spells that will provide as assets to groups and/or raids. I personally think their way of upgrading Skin of the Reptile was a downfall .... for the amount of damage u can take is less and I would rather stick with Reptile with 1200 crits and able to take more hits rather than something that heals slightly better for a short amount of time and less hits

Elric91
11-07-2007, 05:29 PM
Personally, im very Disappointed over some of sony's choices of what are druid "core spells". when was the last time anyone EVER found a use for tectonic quake? and direwood guard? almost as worthless given its 15 min prep time and it only soaks up 6k damage..nowadays thats about 2 hits.

And i have to completely agree with tenielle..as a druid my available spell slots are always in high demand, and although AS can be useful its not reliable given its horrible cool down time and the fact that, with mobs quadding 3k+ in higher lvl zones, you need alot better than a single one shot "10 - 12k" heal with a 15 second cooldown. lets face it..were talking about emergency heal here and if the person is weak enough that they couldnt last an extra second for the main heal then most likely they will be one rounded to dead a second or 2 after the heal lands. i find it hard to get exited abt a new gimmicky spell with new pro's and con's, unless its useful enough to replace my current main heal as a constant..as i simply dont have room for it in my limited spell line up.

Fenier
11-07-2007, 05:41 PM
At the total risk of derail.

What exactly do you have up on raids?

9 Slots

I have up:

A:CB
AS
Nuke (WF normally)
Debuff
Moonshadow
Debuff
Cure (varies by encounter)
Flex Slot (any spell I may need up, like Direwild)
Direwood Guard

Elric91
11-07-2007, 06:18 PM
im not really a raid player but speaking as a casual player here is my typical spell line up:

1) main heal (usually pure life)

2) Lunar light rk 2

3) Mire Thorns

4) Spore Spiral

5) Blistering sunray rk 2

6) Swarm of fireants rk 2

7) Sunscorch rk 2

8) Nature's blazing wrath rk 2

9) Flex spot (ds,dire,regen, whatever i need)

This is what i typically use and while it may be subject to some debate you will notice there is not room for any debuff's, vinelash cascade if a bad pull( the low resist rate and fast 1.5 cast time make it great), a charm spell for times when there is no tank available (on those occasions we go to deadbone reef or icefall),or even a basic nuke spell.

and that was my main point..gimmick spells like AS simply have no use for me as a heal spell because i dont want a spell with a long cooldown and limited use locking up a spell gem.

Fenier
11-07-2007, 10:14 PM
This is my opinion. but both Sunray and Fireants take to long to work in a group setting.

-Fenier

Elric91
11-07-2007, 10:39 PM
true..but the cast time on DD spells of 5 seconds is pretty long..i lost track of how many times i was locked into a 5 second cast time (and 1-2 second gem cooldown) and somone drew agro and i was unable to cancle the spell in time to save them. on the other hand with dots u toss them when the mob is incoming and then can be prepared in case somthing goes wrong. After all...lets face it : if we are in a group as a druid we are not there as a dps class; if you have a full grp with some pure casters any damage we do is negligible.

Wildeagle
11-08-2007, 06:42 AM
these are my spell line ups now on raids i assen a debuff druid each niet for debuff so them spotes open if i am not debuffing that nite.

groupline up will chage fre spell out depending on group line up.

soloset stayes same inless i am fighting a mob that dont summon then i lod a root of some form depending the place i am at if it summons retile is up.

and in my 4years play i have never seen druid under powered or seen us to gimp to main heal.

my reg spell line up is for raids
1debuff
2as heal
3debuff
4purelife heal
5groupheal
6cure
7nuke
8nuke
9reptileskin

for solo
1self evac
2snare
3purelife
4sunscroch
5blisteing
6beedot
7beedot
8NBW
9reptilskin

groups
1 group evac
2snare
3asheal
4purelife
5group heal
6nuke
7nuke
8nbw
9reptile
if any thing druid can be over powered

lets goto AG/

i was waitign for a group to chage me in when one of ther guys leave so i figered ill try to ks them

ok group was war rougesx3 clr 1 beast1
and out side group was one druid me i ks them allmost every pull and i was only useing nukes.

now these guys are all ag/fc geared just liek me so ther not lackign gear/wepons

now how can you say druid are under powered

ohioastro
11-08-2007, 01:00 PM
Raid:

Pure Life II, Ad Surge II, Moonshadow/LL II
If required by the script: RGC or Pure Blood
Nature's Blazing Wrath, Nuke (EB II if short on gems,
WF II otherwise)
Debuffs x 3 (Hand/Ro, Fixation/Ro, Solar C) or
Debuffs x 4 (Hand/Ro, Fix/Ro, IBreath II, Hoarfrost II)

(I usually cover debuffs for raid bosses)

In rare cases - snare, AE root. Once the defensive proc issue is fixed I will swap in Reptile - which I use quite a bit in group settings, especially for pullers and knight tanks (vs. Warriors).

Tanom
11-08-2007, 03:33 PM
Raid:
AS
A: CB
Moonshadow
Skin of the Reptile (Hand of Ro for DPS)
Second Life (Immolation for DPS)
Aura of Life (Hoar's Frost for DPS)
Remove Greater Curse or Pure Blood (Icefall Breath for DPS)
open slot ... usually Direwild Skin (Equinox Burn or a cold DD for DPS)

Group:
AS
A: CB
Moonshadow
Skin of the Reptile
Second Life or Direwild Skin
Hand of Ro
Immolation
Equinox Burn

Solo I just load up dot based if the kite room is small or rooting or all the debuffs I can and Winter's Flame if I got enough room.

Daldaen
11-08-2007, 03:58 PM
Raid:

Nuke
CHeal(ya ya I know it's out of date)
Ancient Chlorobon
AS
Direwood
Debuff
Debuff
Debuff(replace with RGC/PB if needed on encounter)
Reptile

Group:

Nuke
Nuke
Anicent Chlorobon
AS
Direwood
DoT
DoT
DoT(or Succor if evac AA isn't up)
Reptile

And as for the question of when do you use Tectonic Quake or Direwood Guard.... I use each of those spells almost every single time I play. Tectonic quake i do see being worthless to people who only raid, but when I want to farm TS things this is unbeatable, we are probably the best class for AEing mass amounts of mobs, other than mabye a Furious/Earthshaker using warrior. Direwood helps a ton if you overnuke in the beginning of an encounter or have to chain heals to keep the tanke up, this will keep you alive and make them get back on the tank. Granted we have Spell casting Subtetly, Silent casting, and our 2.0 still it is nice to be able to drop aggro quick. The recast time definitely could be fixed for the little amount that it does, but that + Reptile can keep you up against any groupable mob. And the reason moonshadow/lunar light are absent from my list is that I really haven't put in the time to get them. If I had one I'd drop a debuff in raid situations and depending on group situations I'd toss it in.

Alaene
11-08-2007, 04:30 PM
It's not good enough to say "there are 16 classes, it's too much work". It's their job. It is disappointing to see our tired old spells upgraded, and further exacerbates our position of imbalance (i'm thinking of DPS specifically, reserving postion on heals until I see the new one). I feel very, very bad for mages, also.

I don't know who they think they're kidding with the new reptile spell, unless it procs off every hit I'll never bother memming it.

Fenier
11-08-2007, 04:50 PM
It's not good enough to say "there are 16 classes, it's too much work". It's their job.

Sometimes stuff they want to do requires code support - the ability to actually do it rests on getting that support, which depends on what the Coders are upto. Occasionally, They try new ideas, and find out they can't make it work like they want and scrap it.

But AA or Spells or Items is not 100% of their job. They -do- work on content also. That said there are certain spell lines for every class which get upgraded every level raise. Kunark, PoP, OoW, TSS - and the PBAE happens to be one of those spells.

This isn't to say we get nothing new, or things don't take new twists. ATU from TBS was a very interesting twist from our previous summoned nukes, but lets be realistic, between the 7 Casting classes are over 200 spells which each need to be looked at, then you add in Hybrids and Melee discs.. it's a lot of work. New spells have to be checked in relation to each other, and the content to make sure they don't overlap or 'break' anything.

As far as the DPS comment, I agree, but there are a few things which should interest DPS-Centric druids in the expansion.

-Fenier

Tenielle
11-08-2007, 05:17 PM
It's not good enough to say "there are 16 classes, it's too much work". It's their job. It is disappointing to see our tired old spells upgraded, and further exacerbates our position of imbalance (i'm thinking of DPS specifically, reserving postion on heals until I see the new one). I feel very, very bad for mages, also.

I think it's time people realized that we're the few, the proud, the dwindling number of people still playing this game.

Let me put it into perspective: I'm not sure how many people here play World of Warcraft, but I'm sure you've at least heard that the only expansion for the game so far (Burning Crusade) was a disappointment to say the least. The only "new" thing about it was content and allowing either side to play classes previously available to the one or the other.

WoW has nearly 10 million active accounts
Everquest has 80,000, 1/5 of it's peak during the PoP era.

My point is that Blizzard put out a very sad and sorry attempt at an expansion with 125 times the number of people paying monthly charges and the expansion price of 40 bucks.

So it's only natural that the skeleton crew of programmers still working on Everquest is allocating their resources in a way that doesn't please everyone. I actually think they know the game pretty well and are doing a pretty damn good job. I just also happen to think they're pretty stubborn about some things that are pretty archaic as far as today's game play is concerned.

If every one of the programmers currently there all simultaneously decided they were sick of player whining and quit, do you honestly believe SOE would expend the resources necesssary to hire and train a new crew to continue pumping out expansions for this game?

Tenielle
11-08-2007, 05:31 PM
At the total risk of derail.

What exactly do you have up on raids?

Too late.

For non FC or AG raids:
Moonshadow
Chlorobon (no fizzles FTW)
Icefall
Hand
Skin
Cloudburst
Winter's Flame
Fernspur
NBW (for GORM procs)

Tenielle
11-08-2007, 05:33 PM
when was the last time anyone EVER found a use for tectonic quake?

Overwhelming Numbers raid in Frostcrypt

Alaene
11-08-2007, 06:10 PM
I actually think they know the game pretty well and are doing a pretty damn good job. I just also happen to think they're pretty stubborn about some things that are pretty archaic as far as today's game play is concerned.

If every one of the programmers currently there all simultaneously decided they were sick of player whining and quit, do you honestly believe SOE would expend the resources necesssary to hire and train a new crew to continue pumping out expansions for this game?

I agree in many ways - they're doing a pretty good job in many regards. Class balance isn't one of those.

I wouldn't bemoan "cookie cutter" spells so much if it wasn't for the fact that there are (and have recently been) very notable exceptions that materially impact class balance.

Mahzz's writings to the effect of "new spell lines determine DPS for certain classes, those who rely on old spell lines are screwed" ring very true when you look at the SoF list, and that's what I mean by exacerbating class imbalances.

As for your final question... I imagine what they'd do is hire the keen, and relatively skilled, from the playerbase. As for how it'd work out, that's anyone's guess... (no hard feelings, Merloc *grin*)

Discanthir
11-08-2007, 07:10 PM
The thing that really gets me is spell slots. I was really, really hoping to get some of our debuffs combined, as that would save so much trouble. I'm really disappointed that it isn't happening. Switching out spells is hell, espcially with all our refresh times. If we could mem a spell and have it ready, or ready in 6 seconds, then have it's refresh timer used when we cast would be *so unbelievably, hugely* helpful. Getting the AA snare was a godsend. It freed up a spell slot for me in almost all situations, even with the lame resist it gets. Direwood Guard, Fernspur, a debuff, and maybe even a dot turning into an AA would also do much to fix this issue.

DPS has been covered by others.. we need more, but reserving judgement until NDA is lifted. Reserving judement on heals until the same time.

In almost any situation I have to switch out spells for a fight. This goes triple for raids. Of course mobs resistant to fire take a lot less slots/switching out.
Raid lineup-
-Heal
-Lunarlight (Fernspur if I don't have to worry about group heals and mob is extra resistant)
-Winter's Flame (EB or RC if resistant to cold or fire)
-Reptile Skin (not many druids in my guild use this on raids, so if anything hits hard, we are short on healers, lots of adds, whatever, I keep this on the group or main tank. With it's refresh time it needs to stay memmed)
-Hand of Ro (For raid bosses I switch this out with Fixation of Ro, then Blistering Sunray, then maybe between Swarm of Fireants and back to Sunray)
-Icefall Breath (For raid bosses this switches with Hoar Frost, then Skin to Vines or Sunscorch if I feel like it)
-Root, Adrenaline Surge, Cure, or Sunscorch, depending on the situation
-Nature's Burning Wrath
-Direwood Guard (It saves me enough to keep it memmed, but it really needs to take a lot more damage or have a lot shorter cast time. Imo it should be an AA)

If a situation depends something like root, a cure, and extra fast heal I either forget full debuffs or switch out more.
I like debuffing fully since I know it makes a difference. Only 1 other druid in my guild is not too lazy or irritated with spells to switch anything and fully debuff, so I try to get everything in I can.

Solo DoTing-
-Heal
-Hand of Ro (switches out with another debuff or Wasp Swarm)
-Blistering Sunray (switches out with a nuke)
-Sunscorch
-Swarm of Fireants
-Vengeane of the Sun
-Root
-Nature's Burning Wrath
-Direwood Guard

My other solo sets vary quite a bit, changing to whatever I need for what I am killing.

Group-
-Heal
-Mire Thorns or Lunarlight
-Nuke
-Hand of Ro\icefall breath (switches to other debuffs if a mob will take a long time, named or whatever, then maybe a dot)
-Reptile Skin
-Fernspur, Sunscorch, Adrenaline Surge, Cloudburst Hail, or Annhilate
-Root
-Nature's Burning Wrath
-Direwood Guard

Weolyen
11-08-2007, 08:58 PM
Yes spell gems is by far my biggest concern right now. It's the reason I'm dubious about the new heal. It has a 3 min recast so if it sucks I'll never mem it, but if it's good I've just lost yet another spell gem because I can't afford to unload it.

Direwood Guard is another spell I never load because of the long refresh. I think it's a great spell but still not worth losing a spell gem over.

Why does group Direwild have a long recast? Group Elushar doesn't.
Why does Second Life have such a long recast? It's annoying to load it and then have to wait the 15 seconds or whatever it is for it to pop.

If I want to play anywhere near top capacity I'm forced to swap spells in and out a lot and that's not a direction I want the class to go in. I want to spend my time casting spells, not constantly rememming them.

Tenielle
11-08-2007, 09:36 PM
Direwood Guard is another spell I never load because of the long refresh. I think it's a great spell but still not worth losing a spell gem over.

I had this and its cousin oaken guard on my raid set since I was raiding Ikkinz. It wasn't more than a month ago that I realized that I had used it not more than a dozen times. Anything that's was worth using it on typically had me dead by the time I could react.

So I ditched it for fernspur.

Elric91
11-09-2007, 05:38 AM
Well..there has been so much negative energy surrounding this thread i feel its only fair to give credit to sony where credit is due : they have added spells based on feedback from the community and, as i see it, these are the complaints when the various expansions came out :

Some websites complained we had no defined place in a raid because we had no way of tossing a grp heal so they gave us a very decent grp heal with the release of PoR : moonshadow spell line

Others said we dont have solid enough dps spells and finally they added a very solid all around spell : Natures Blazing Wrath somwhere in between tss and tbs (maybe a bit hi on mana cost but does hi dps in a short time span)

And ive changed my mind on vinelash cascade : i have used it over and over on occasions when we had no enchanter: i step up and AE root the whole crowd ...and whats sweet abt it is there is no need to select a target and its a fast 1.5 cast time..just step up and let er rip. not to mention the low resist rate.

Going out on a limb i think almost every expansion since PoR has given druids at least one or two very nice spell additions that are useful.

Does that mean all the spells they give us are useful? no way...i stand behind my remarks about tectonic quake and direwood as being virtually worthless, but thats not to say im complaining. i can simply choose not to use them and use the other ones we get.

This is probably gonna get flamed but in my opinion (and opinions are'nt wrong) as a druid i see myself as 1/2 mage, 1/2 cleric. so we are pretty much tied down. we can't get amazing heals without making the cleric class obselete, and we can't get damage that compares with a mage for the same reason.

Sony can't possibly please everybody. if you read this thread everyone has a different opinion on the spells that are being talked about. but i think they have done a great job on giving most druids at least 1 new spell per expansion that, in their opinion, is a good one.

I personally dont agree with the assesment that druids get "cookie cutter spells". i think the druid is the most versitile class of all the classes with the most diversity among spell selections.

While i may not agree with a few of thier choices of "core spells" and i may grumble about what i see as a gimmick spell, i can honestly say i like about 90% of the spells they give us and i think they are good choices and are very useful.

I think sony works very hard to give us this new content and spells; and any game with this many expansions is bound to have some bad ideas and a few lemons, but i think expansions has been kind to druids as a whole.

As an aside note i never said druids have poor dps. i happen to think they are very solid dps especially with the right aa's. if you read my earlier post i said when we are in a full grp with other purecasters (mage,wizzy,necro)that have a good amount of aa spent on damage, then our damage is negligible. and it is. period. mages and wizzy's can both nuke at around well over 20k (ive seen it) and necro's dot's can do well over 10k per tic and still be fm if they are buffed. what do we have that will compare? we can honestly stop nuking or dotting and trash mobs might last 15 more seconds without our damage.

And i can see the wheels turning "my druid can do this and that", but from my experience, if you have constant pulls and no down time the benchmark damage the purecasters can achieve without running out of mana is much better than ours, and on trash mobs that typically range, in atiki, many katta tasks, or tbs, with abt 70k - 100k hp that mob is gonna fall pretty fast no matter what happens if a mage is nuking for 20k or a necro is fully dotting them for 10k per tic.

But thats game balance : they cant heal...they cant take hits...thats all they do is dps. we can do very solid dps while, as a whole, maybe lower than them, but we can take hits better and can heal with some pretty useful heal spells.

We can't have it all. i can keep a main tank up and going in most tss zones (including frostcrypt, but not ashengate last time i tried) with the heal spells i have, and if there is no purecaster in grp i out dps all the other classes by far. all in all i think thats very good for a single character.

I will reserve my judgement on the new spells till i see em...but even if they are a flop then from what i see this is a massive expansion and the new content should more than make up for it.



And btw tenielle : i love your quote at the bottom. it sums up how i feel exactly. these opinions might be wrong but they are mine =)

ohioastro
11-09-2007, 12:09 PM
Sometimes stuff they want to do requires code support - the ability to actually do it rests on getting that support, which depends on what the Coders are upto. Occasionally, They try new ideas, and find out they can't make it work like they want and scrap it.

But AA or Spells or Items is not 100% of their job. They -do- work on content also. That said there are certain spell lines for every class which get upgraded every level raise. Kunark, PoP, OoW, TSS - and the PBAE happens to be one of those spells.

This isn't to say we get nothing new, or things don't take new twists. ATU from TBS was a very interesting twist from our previous summoned nukes, but lets be realistic, between the 7 Casting classes are over 200 spells which each need to be looked at, then you add in Hybrids and Melee discs.. it's a lot of work. New spells have to be checked in relation to each other, and the content to make sure they don't overlap or 'break' anything.

As far as the DPS comment, I agree, but there are a few things which should interest DPS-Centric druids in the expansion.

-Fenier

Long term one of the best things they could do is to abandon the fixed-effect spell. In every other MMORPG, for good reason, you get spells that just get more powerful (and expensive) as you level. E.g. you get fireball at level 6 and you're casting the same spell at level 50 - it just does more damage. The EQ model of Fireball I, II, III,,,XIV is not just annoying - it wastes the efforts of testers and developers. Focus effect "degradation" could be solved in a lot of ways, either by tying it to character level or by simply making newer focusses better (there is no reason why you can't have a healing or damage focus above 100%; only a couple, like spell haste and mana preservation, are naturally capped.)
They can easily start with the level capped abilities such as lull and charm; recode them so they can be used on (caster level +/- x) rather than a 71 spell that works to 73, replaced by a 76 spell that works to 78...

Add in more spell slots ( a lot more, at least double) and we can actually use the various situational spells we get.
You''d make the game a whole lot more fun without knocking balance out of whack (none of this would impact dps, for example - just flexibility, which is a druid forte).

Fenier
11-09-2007, 01:36 PM
This is probably gonna get flamed but in my opinion (and opinions are'nt wrong) as a druid i see myself as 1/2 mage, 1/2 cleric. so we are pretty much tied down. we can't get amazing heals without making the cleric class obselete, and we can't get damage that compares with a mage for the same reason.

Actually...

Druid DPS == Mage DPS (-Pet DPS)
Druid Direct Healing is 75% of cleric healing power (single target) at 80 percent of the HPM.

There are issues on both counts namely the huge gap between Cleric and Shaman / Druid which can't be solved by baseline percentages, and the gap between Wizards / Necros and everyone else, but that's where we stand at present.

Discanthir
11-09-2007, 01:53 PM
If I want to play anywhere near top capacity I'm forced to swap spells in and out a lot and that's not a direction I want the class to go in. I want to spend my time casting spells, not constantly rememming them.

This isn't future tense. This is where our class has been and is currently at.

Fenier
11-09-2007, 01:59 PM
This isn't future tense. This is where our class has been and is currently at.

This has been partly addressed with AAs such as Entrap. It's something I am going to keep working on, but the dev team likes that you have to pick and choose spells.

That said, no are no where near as bad as shaman for spell swapping.

-Fenier

serinity_inny
11-09-2007, 02:15 PM
I honestly think if they would make new spell slots aa driven and very expensive it would be a thing the community would embrace and be thankful for. (somewhere like 9,18,36 for 3 new slots or more)

Discanthir
11-09-2007, 02:46 PM
Thank you Fenier, you are doing an awesome job as correspondant. I and many druids in my circle of friends really appreciate it.

The AA entrap was a big step in the right direction imo, but it needs to get pushed a little further to be okay. I can't think of any other AAs that help this besides the 9th gem AA.

We can still pick and choose the spells we use, I mean, we have a zillion. I'm just asking for a few of the basics to get turned into just that, basics, not some big juggling act to get the foundation for our spells down, or to keep a group alive and do some damage. I had a lot more written here, but it is just stuff every druid worth their salt already knows, and my posts are already long enough. This paragraph isn't directed at you Fenier, just venting some frustrations about the pick and choose thing.

Fenier
11-09-2007, 02:56 PM
You forgot Exodus and Innate Camo =p

That said tho, there are a few things in SoF which should make you pretty happy based on what you wrote.

-Fenier

Tenielle
11-09-2007, 04:44 PM
Actually...

Druid DPS == Mage DPS (-Pet DPS)

This was true with PoP era spells (in fact, I'd argue druids had better DPS as mages didn't have Quick Damage). OoW gave mages some sick bolt spells and some 3 second nukes, not to mention Quick Damage.

Fenier
11-09-2007, 08:20 PM
This is still roughly true. It's the entire reason we got NBW.

-Fenier

Discanthir
11-11-2007, 02:58 AM
You forgot Exodus and Innate Camo =p

Oh yeah, those do help a lot. I do *not* miss switching out spells for invis constantly. Our guard spell took over evac's slot in the permanent position of my last spell gem. Both aren't used that often, but save my butt enough to stay there.

~Dis