SOE released a large patch this week, one with many changes from the community feedback they received from the guild summit. Read the full patch message and then continue for today's editorial.
More collision bug fixes should reduce the bugs we've seen even more. Since the last update I personally haven't seen any of the big collision issues introduced with the Direct X 9 update.
The Plane of Knowledge now has a stone to the boat in Gunthak down in the evil section of the zone. Lower level players now have much easier access to the zones from Legacy of Ykesha. Changes allowing players to group and hunt more quickly are always welcome.
Quite a few changes were made to Gates of Discord. Most of these changes affect zones beyond Kodtaz, a land few people can see. The beasts that previously dropped class-specific spells now drop tokens. Turning in the token returns a class appropriate spell. In my hunts in the sewers, Tipt, and Vxed, I've seen spells drop only three times and each time it was for a class not present. This is a welcome change.
A scripting change to Plane of Time shuts down unused instances of Time. This helps guilds who became stuck because of a previous guild. While Time instancing is still a large issue for high-end guilds, it doesn't appear it will be fixed before Omens of War is released at the end of August.
An NPC in the Plane of Knowledge will now teleport you to the Plane of Hate for a price. This change has some wizards in uproar; previously the only way to the Plane of Hate was with a wizard's teleport. The cost is higher for the NPC version and Plane of Hate isn't exactly the most popular zone so I don't see the change as a large one.
A new /guidehelp system lets players ask for assistance with in-game events such as weddings, GM quests, and server events. I hope to see more GM events in the future. GM events breathe life into an otherwise static game. There is a lot of opportunity to enrich Norrath's lore through GM events like the Fironia Vie event in Kunark did years ago. Most GM events became smaller in scope and did not affect the story line. If GMs were handed a script or timeline of events to follow, the story of Norrath could grow over time through these dynamic events.
The raid management window received some changes including the ability to add notes to individual players, a Message of the Day feature, and the much needed ability to drop raid members who have left the zone. Horror stories of raids having to disband and rebuild because of an AFK raid member are over.
The "/stopcast" command has many people scratching their heads. The main reason people wanted it was to stop casting on horseback but the command specifically does not work on horseback. SOE never meant horses to allow mana regeneration while moving. Horses were designed to be a status symbol. The meditation while riding became the most popular reason to buy a horse. SOE has no intentions of "fixing" this "bug" but they will not improve it by allowing riders to cancel spells like they can do on their feet. This has been a long-standing policy with horses and is unlikely to change.
A new PvP test server includes a variety of changes for player versus player combat. New point-based armor rewards, new spell balancing, and rumors of an in-game hit-list complete with a reward system threaten to make PvP a fun place to play. The violent and aggravated PvP server citizens receive little in the way of an update so this is a nice change for them. As long as they don't bleed into my soft blue server and eat newbies, I'm happy.
New Lost Dungeon armor is under discussion though the developers continue to discuss the exact power of this armor. Hopefully it's equivalent in scope to Elemental and Time items considering the requirement for such equipment in Gates of Discord.
Keep an eye out for some form of augment swapping in the next update.
While the changes in this week's patch mean little to most players, the updates in the future promise some exciting changes for characters of all levels and all paths. Keep reading!