Fan Faire: EQII Mechanically Speaking Panel

Guest contributor Sutures Woundmender brings us this report of the EQII Mechanically Speaking panel at Fan Faire.  Highlights include crafting news and a closer look at the upcoming class mechanics changes. 

PANELISTS:  Jen Gerull, Rich Waters, Jason Woerner, Greg Spence, Emily Taylor, Chris Kozak, Josh Kreighauser

The panel began with the panelists introducing themselves to the attendees. Jen Gerull stated that the panel would begin with a presentation by Emily “Domino” Taylor, followed by a presentation by Chris “Aeralik” Kozak, then the floor would open to questions from the audience.  This is from my notes, not a transcription.  Since the expansion is not due until February 2010 and game updates are now quarterly, the information below is subject to change. 

In Emily “Domino” Taylor's presentation, she covered upcoming changes to tradeskills specifically.

  • The first (and most obvious) change is that the level cap will increase with the expansion to level 90. (Emily put some images on the big screen monitor displaying what a few of the new harvests would look like.)

  • While showing some of these new harvests, she paused to ask, “What do you notice missing from these examples?” The next slide showed us the answer. Starting in Tier 9, loam will no longer be harvested from any node. Recipes that used loam before will now use a different resource. The reason for this is that the lore to ore demand was greatly imbalanced. Also, the market demanded much more inflated prices for loam as a result. If this change works as intended, it is very likely that we will see the same changes to the previous tiers.

  • When the expansion goes live, many players will get their wish of being able to be both a tinkerer and a transmuter. (Resounding applause erupted to this news.)

  • She wrapped up her part by stating that Tier 9 will focus much more on questing rather than faction grinding. (Again, applause.)


Now it was Chris “Aeralik” Kozak's turn...

Chris had many key points outlined on the big screen. They included:

  • Individual level cap increase to 90.

  • Guild level cap increased to 90.

  • New Alternate Achievements.

  • No new AA trees, class and sub-class trees will expand.

  • Max AA points increased by 50.

  • Final Class Ability (Complete certain criteria in class tree to gain final ability.)

  • New spell upgrades.

  • No new spell lines, however some spells will gain secondary effects to keep them desirable. The event would happen in a chain, not at once.

  • The all new AA slider! Just like you had in EQ! (PvP restricted to certain percentage.)

  • Many types of crit chances to be combined into one stat. The number shown in this combined stat will auto-adjust for the class type. (i.e. fighters would get melee crit chance.)

  • Mitigation types are to be reduced to just four types: Physical, Elemental, Noxious, Magical.

  • Buffs are to be consolidated. (i.e. all Templar group buffs combined to one spell instead of three.)

  • Items over level 60 will soon have a rating system that decrease the armor's effectiveness as you gain further levels. This will not affect AA abilities that trigger from or use this gear.

Chris had some specific things to say on certain classes.


  • Healing is to be adjusted to be more in balance with the increases to max health that tanks gain.

  • Priests will get better tools to help balance the individual classes.

  • Priests that have heals that stun the caster will have those spells evaluated and possibly improved.

  • Druid heal over time spells (HOTs) will gain the ability to further heal even once the original target reaches full health. The additional amount would go to another group member that has been damaged.

  • AA adjustments to be made to priests in regard to melee abilities.


  • Summoners will soon work in tandem with scout classes when it comes to buffing and debuffing.

  • Improvements are to be made to the scout pets, making them much more valuable.

  • Changes are to be made to dumbfire pets in regard to damage and debuffing.


  • Adjustments are being made to key buffs to increase versatility.

  • Group spells will most likely become raid wide.

  • Most key buffs will be expanded to allow use on selected members of other groups within the raid.

  • Adjustments to be made in order to balance DPS versus support role.


  • Balancing will come to focus more on hate gain and defense. Improvements are to be made to taunts and defensive stances. The focus is on tanking instead of DPS.

  • Block and deflection will be consolidated.

  • Brawlers will receive an advantage to avoidance buffs.


The floor was then opened up for questions from the audience. This went very quickly in order to get as many questions answered as possible in the time alloted. I will be giving a summary version of the answers given during this Q&A in the interest of space and time in this article.

  • Loams will most likely go away in T1-T8 as well. However, this will not happen at the same time as the expansion.

  • The developers are not looking into any changes to auto-attack at this time.

  • Exact details on what will happen with Mythical epics once the level cap is increased is yet to be determined.

  • The team will look into the desirability of ranger skills.

  • Aggro bouncing (lack of usefulness for hate mod abilities) in a lot of TSO expansion instances is by design.

  • Summoner mythical weapon pets will not scale with increasing levels. They will max out at level 80. New pets are in the works for these classes.

  • The team is still in planning stages in regard to summoners which will effectively have 3 pets, but can only spec for 2 with the AA mirror.

  • No changes in the HOTs for clerics and shamen like those planned for druids. The druid changes are to make them more desirable in groups/raids.

  • The team will take into consideration casual players working with raiding players in pick-up groups when balancing out the fighter changes.

  • The developers will look into pet survivability as well as possibly making swarm pets more useful.

  • There is no talk of adding an equipment tier between fabled and mythical. However, in balancing out items, the gap between the two qualities may become smaller.

  • The brigand class is not being “watered down” but rather being brought in line with other classes in order to make those other classes desirable to a raid force.

  • Consolidation of crit stats should also serve to balance out melee crit versus spell crit where many players feel that spell crit is always higher.

  • Cure Curse will be looked at to determine if an error can be displayed when attempting to cast that spell on someone that has just been cured by another player; and allowing the error to interrupt the spell which has a long reuse counter when successfully cast.

  • The team will look into adding a chat filter for maintained buffs, that can be tracked in a parse.

  • Increased ranges for pet buffs will be looked at seriously.

  • NPC procs triggering off of friendly procs will be looked into. Some may be by design.

  • There is no discussion of making potions that cure curses due in part to the intent behind curses in encounters.

  • Brawler lack of AoE hate gain will be looked at.


Sutures Woundmender is an occasional contributor to Zam.

At the time of this article, he is a 80 Templar and 80 Jeweler in the guild, Arcane Masters.


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