Mobhunter: Death of the Fisher King

Patch day today! Here is the full contents of the patch.

People seem to be confused about the actual change to today's melee changes. Almost all of the changes mentioned in the patch apparently already existed. I don't remember seeing the 5% damage mitigation for warriors before but the rest of it doesn't appear to be new. Here were the changes mentioned:

- Discipline timers were revamped, allowing greater freedom and frequency of use.
- Endurance bar was added as a limited resource to power melee abilities and disciplines.
- Warriors received an innate 5 percent increase in their ability to absorb damage.
- Warriors received the Incite line of abilities, giving them a new tool for aggro management.
- Monks received the Phantom Call line of abilities, giving them a new tool for pulling.
- Several new disciplines were introduced for all three classes.

Items were given more statistics on their inspection screen. Many worn items now show what their actual statistical values are for attack, mana regeneration, damage shields, and hit point regeneration. Everquest lacks a lot of viewable statistics. We have piles of meaningless numbers like AC, attack, and damage and no numbers at all for mana. Everquest could improve the game for the statistic junkies by showing more of the calculations for damage, armor, mana, and spells. They should show what the actual minimum and maximum damage a character can do with their current weapons, equipment, and statistics. They should show a numeric value for mana. It won't damage the game and it won't be doing anything a thousand other RPGs have done since 1970.

Items with innate spell effects that also had level requirements will now scale down the effect as well as the item's statistics. If you had Flowing Thought 3 boots with a recommended level of 50 on your level 10 wizard, you won't be seeing FT3 anymore. Its a nerf, but not one that we shouldn't understand. If an item wasn't meant for a level 10, then it shouldn't work for them.

It appears that Cleave was added back to the items that lost it before. I love the name of that effect. Some other weapons had some minor changes and only the Hammer of Striking appears to be a nerf anyone is talking about.

Some epic drops were increased. It is good to see that they are keeping an eye on the problems with old-world content like epics. If they would fix the Plane of Sky by allowing Call of the Hero it would be a great help for a lot of people who still need their epics.

Tradeskill combines were fixed today. The selling costs of Gates of Discord fish got nerfed. Most everyone seems to think it was either acceptable or inevitable but people are still angry.

Gates of Discord spells now drop a bit more often but we don't know where or how much yet. There are a lot of level 65 people who can use these spells but aren't powerful enough to go deep into Gates of Discord due to a lack of equipment or AAs. This is also a problem with Planes of Power. Ancient spells are a good way of giving the more powerful hunters of Gates a reward for their work, but they shouldn't be the only ones to see any of the Gates 65 spells. 65 spell drops in both Gates and Planes of Power should be increased. I'd even like to see one or two be vendor purchasable.

Some heal spells were modified and it seems to have upset shaman and druids. Clerical spells got a bit of an increase to their overall power while the shaman heal over time got a higher mana cost and no increase. All of this talk of the new Holy Trinity (warriors, clerics, and enchanters if you believe the propaganda) has everyone on edge. The 5% damage mitigation of warriors and the healing increase for clerics (on spells most of us cannot get yet) won't help the matter.

A single LDON style adventure camp in GoD would have gone a long way towards quieting some angry voices. The adventure point system was the best thing to happen to equipment progression and it is a shame we don't see it at all in Gates of Discord. Adding some new higher point items to the existing LDON adventure camps would be a big improvement.

Tribute items were messed with again. I don't know what the results were yet, but I still had an item worth 20k points that probably isn't any longer. This isn't a big surprise, more like aftershocks after a big earth quake.

Dire Charm was modified but I haven't heard any enchanters scream about it. It seems to be more of an all-or-nothing ability now.

There were a bunch of smaller changes as well that I haven't discussed. If any of them are big deals that I've missed, feel free to comment about them.

There are some good things on the horizons including the new graphics engine and the graveyard zone.

The engine was released on test for compatibility testing but we won't know how much of an actual effect it will have on performance for a little while. Frame rate increases are a great way to make the game look better overall. While visual effects are easy to spot, a good frame rate is what makes a 3D game like Everquest look really good. The higher the frame rate, the better everything looks and feels.

I am hoping they make the graveyard zone a bit more useful than it sounds so far. While the current description of the zone will prevent people from losing equipment after a full week corpse rot, Everquest could use a better corpse recovery method overall. One common complaint of Gates is that corpse recovery can be very difficult. There have been a few good options mentioned on various class forums to improve corpse recovery in EQ. Hopefully the developers pick up on this and make the graveyard zone a little more useful.

This hasn't been the most exciting patch ever but I still can't help but get excited when I log on after changes like this. We will get more information as people play around a bit

Loral Ciriclight
10 March 2004