View Full Forums : The Serpents Spine Expansion Has Launched!

09-19-2006, 01:37 PM
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September 19th, 2006

*** Highlights ***

Welcome to EverQuest: The Serpent's Spine, the 12th expansion for EverQuest!

- New Player Race: The Drakkin have been created from both human and dragon blood to protect the future of all dragon kind. Several colors and customizations will be available to make each Drakkin character unique, such as elegant scale markings and horns.
- Level Cap Increase: Players can now reach level 75, complete with new spells, abilities, raids and quests for greater power.
- Content for Levels 1 to 75: Play through every level of the game without ever leaving the Serpent Spine Mountains. The entrance to Serpent's Spine can be found within Highpass Hold.
- New Starting City: Crescent Reach is a fully functioning city with all that is required to learn and thrive in EverQuest, including merchant, quest, combat and tradeskill areas. All classes and races are welcome within the city.
- Dynamic Features: New zones, NPCs, destructible and interactive objects.
- New AAs

Spell Ranks: The new spells that you can acquire in The Serpent's Spine have different ranks to them. The higher ranks of a spell are generally more powerful and more difficult to obtain than the lower ranks. When you scribe a higher rank of a spell that you already know, the lower rank will automatically be overwritten by the higher rank and your spell casting gems and hotkeys will be updated to reflect that you now have a higher rank of the spell.

*** General Game Improvements ***

*** AA System ***

The AA system has undergone some significant back-end changes. The experience you get toward an AA point is now based on the difficulty of the NPC relative to you rather than being based directly on the NPCs level. This means that you will gain a similar amount of experience killing even con creatures at all levels. The amount of experience required to gain an AA is based off the current amount required for a level 70 character to do so, so players at level 70 shouldn't see much of a difference. Players below level 70 will gain AA experience at a rate faster than they were before since they are now gaining it at a similar rate as the level 70. Going forward, this rate will remain static so the amount of kills to gain an AA point at level 75 will be the same it is at level 70. Current abilities and points spent are not affected by this change.

*** Death ***

We've made a change to the way death works. When you die now you will be "hovering" over your body and can choose to stay that way while waiting for a resurrection instead of immediately zoning to your bind point. This is being done to help players on slow connections who take a big hit from having to zone twice when they die.

*** Character Creation ***

We've changed character creation to make it more graphical, allow characters to be created from a single page, and updated it to include features associated with the new Drakkin race. As part of this, we've set up some character defaults so starting point allocation, starting city, and starting deity all have defaults now, which can be changed if you wish.

*** Con Color Changes ***

We have introduced a new con color, dark blue, which represents a range of blue con NPCs that give a bonus to their experience due to being very close to your level, generally within 5 levels. The concept of a dark blue con NPC has existed in EQ for a while now, but we've decided to change the con system to visually include this range so you can visually see when an NPC falls into this "sweet spot". To properly display a different shade of blue, we've had to reorder the cons a little bit. From trivial to highest con, the colors are now:

- Gray - This creature is trivial to you and will give you no experience for killing it.
- Green - This creature is not much of a threat, but will still give you some experience.
- Blue - This creature is below your level, but high enough level to give you experience.
- Dark Blue - This creature is below your level, but close enough to provide a solid challenge and gives you more experience than normal blue cons.
- White - This creature is the same level as you
- Yellow - This creature is slightly above your level.
- Red - This creature is well above your level.

In addition, yellow con now extends up to 3 levels above the player for high end NPCs to help casters determine what can be affected by their spells.

*** Downtime ***

As EverQuest has grown over the years, the amount of downtime imposed upon players has grown as well and we'd rather players find challenge in the fights themselves than in the time between them. Toward that end, we've created a new system that is simple to use, but powerful and flexible enough to control downtime as the game continues to grow.

The basics of the new system are simple. Once you have been out-of-combat for a sufficient amount of time, you can sit down (or be on a non-moving horse) and begin to rest. While resting, you enter an accelerated regeneration state that will quickly recover your mana, health, and endurance. For most single group content, once you are out of combat for 30 seconds you can rest. While dealing with multi-group content, that time is 5 minutes. The amount of time you have to be out-of-combat before you can rest varies for group content and raid content due to the different needs of the different encounter types.

There are a series of icons that will display by your character's name to let you know what your character's current state is.

- Crossed Swords - You are currently in combat.
- Hour Glass - You are recovering from combat and cannot rest yet. In addition to the hourglass, there is a timer bar beneath the endurance bar that will count down as you get closer to being rested.
- Poison Drop - You are no longer in combat, but cannot rest because of a debuff that is affecting you. You must get rid of the debuff before you can rest. Certain debuffs now have a yellow border instead of a red one. These debuffs do not affect your ability to rest.
- Void - The void is the default icon and indicates that you are not in-combat and you can rest at any time.
- Energy Swirl - The energy swirl indicates that you are currently resting.

*** Group Mentoring ***

Players can now share their group leadership experience with another member of their group.

*** Reward Window ***

Tasks within The Serpent's Spine have a new way of giving out rewards. When there are multiple rewards to choose from, you will get to choose which one you like from a selection window. If you don’t choose a reward immediately, you can bring up the window later to make the selection but you can only have a maximum of 5 outstanding rewards at any time. If you go above that, the oldest reward will be replaced and you will be unable to claim that reward.

*** NPCs ***

- Corrected a couple of problems in the NPC call-for-help code. NPCs will now call for help immediately when attacked regardless of when they were last aggroed if they are no longer aggro. Also, NPCs will now properly aggro on the owner of a pet if the pet is sent to attack the NPC.
- Shrewd halfling bankers have set up shop in the guild lobby.
- Coldwind in Nektulos will now offer a confirmation box to players when they try to remove their Curse of the Blood AAs.
- Various issues with the Trial of Lashing in Plane of Justice have been resolved.
- The balances in the Kvxe Pirik event in Tacvi will once again reset to full health between waves.
- The Alchemy vendors have set up shop in Innothule, Everfrost, West Cabilis, and Shar Vahl.
- A new vendor has appeared in East Cabilis that caries some basic adventuring supplies.
- Tani N`mar and Founy Jestands are now pick-pocketable again.
- The skeletons summoned by the Swarm of Decay ability are casting their spells properly again.
- Tegea Prendyn has grown tired of her ocean view and now rests near an inn.
- Char and Blaze in the ROTA raid now have their spells functioning correctly again.
- Many healer NPCs in Depths of Darkhollow now require some casting time to get off their big heal.
- The Vengeful skeletons in Everfrost should no longer evade the guards quite so well.

*** Tradeskill ***

- Made the Foldable Reinforced Medicine Bag a bit roomier.
- For clarity, the tradeskill trophies and carry-alls now list the lore group they are part of.
- The yield when making metal bits has increased to 2.
- Modified the recipe for Blessing of Reverence to make the spell line more consistent.
- Lost Dungeons of Norrath and Omens of Wars spells have become tradable. Additionally, Lost Dungeons of Norrath spells will have no token sellback value to NPCs.

*** Spells ***

- Stun-caps have been added to the various levels of the Strike of Opportunity spells.
- The Circle of Power aura effects will now improve all melee and ranged attacks instead of affecting only one-hand blunt.
- Wolf form illusions will no longer automatically make you KOS to guards.
- Illusion: Tree now uses a different, global tree model rather than the tree model it used to use, which was only available in older zones.
- The damage dealt by high level NPCs that have been charmed has been increased.
- Increased the regeneration of pets while they are out-of-combat to keep pace with the increases of out-of-combat regeneration for PCs.
- Translocate spells no longer require a reagent.
- The reuse on the warrior disciplines Bazu Bellow and Mock are no longer linked together.

*** AAs ***

- Most beneficial AA effects that last for less than 30 seconds will now go to the short duration buff window instead of the normal buff window.
- Improved Harm Touch and Leech Touch are now on different timers.
- The Shadowknight AAs Consumption of the Soul and Improved Consumption of the Soul now provide a greater increase to Leech Curse.
- Refunded all AAs that increased your chance to channel through damage. Channeling is currently set to 100% for all classes due to a long standing issue in how it is calculated, so the abilities weren't doing anything. This includes Channeling Focus, Channeling Mastery, and Internal Metronome. Item Channeling abilities, such as Concentration, are not affected.
- You will now get a message if you have the Stonewall or Willful Death AA and successfully feign death through a spell that hit you.
- Lowered the reuse time on the Monk AA Imitate Death to 18 minutes. Modified Hastened Death to reduce the reuse by 2 more minutes per rank of the ability.
- Increased the mitigation of the higher ranks of the bard AA Shield of Notes.
- By popular demand, removed Spell Casting Subtlety from the Bard AA lineup. Any points spent in that ability will be refunded.
- The Beastlord AA Feral Swipe has received a damage increase.

*** Skills ***

- Modified skill progression for many classes.
- Bards and Beastlords now have access to Double Attack starting at level 71.
- All bard instrument skills are now available starting at level 5.

*** Veteran Rewards ***

- Issues with the Steadfast Servant casting lower level effects at certain level ranges have been corrected.

*** Events ***

- The Aura of Destruction from Uqua and Prick of a Poisoned Pin from Demi-Plane of Blood will land reliably again and last their intended duration.
- Slightly reduced the hit-points of the third wave adds in the Sendaii event.

*** Items ***

- Changed the name of the "Stromguard Forge" to "Stormguard Forge".
- Many items that had extremely strong light sources have had their light sources reduced a bit to help with the issues where lightly colored surfaces become blindingly bright.
- Many spell reagents now stack to 100 instead of 20.
- Some items now have a new tab on them called "Lore" that will give extended information about the item.
- Shield of the Immaculate, Amulet of Necropotence, and Holgresh Elder Beads are now flagged all/all.
- Upgraded Stats on Class Specific Items in Demiplane of Blood.

*** Disciplines ***

- You may now learn combat abilities by right-clicking upon the Tomes instead of delivering them to your guild master.

*** Miscellaneous ***

- Race based experience penalties have been removed.
- You can you enable texture streaming from the advanced graphics options window. This should reduce the total memory used by the client during any given play session.