I received two letters today from SOE regarding the new changes being implemented in the game. The first was the one Quemn posted yesterday, so here's the second. It's definitely something you should read through, as there are some significant changes listed here. Letter #2: Fri Mar 15 2002, Changes/Anniversary Detail As promised, we would like to explain in more detail some of the changes that you'll be seeing in EverQuest. Some of these changes are already available on the Test Server and will be arriving on Live servers just in time for EverQuest's third anniversary. Others you may expect to find on Test in the coming weeks, which we hope to make available to everyone soon afterward.
For those new to EverQuest, as well as our mid-level players:
The need to sit down and stare at the spellbook to regain mana has been removed at all levels. (Sitting down and having Meditation skill are still required.)
When starting a new character for the first time, it can take quite some time to get into that class' core abilities. In some cases, the style of gameplay needs to shift dramatically. That being the case, we've accelerated the rate at which people gain experience up to level ten.
In addition, undue frustration can occur during these youthful times. Traumatic events such as losing a corpse and not knowing where to find it or how to retrieve it can be quite the ordeal. With that in mind, we've changed the way that death works below level ten. Characters level nine and under who die will appear at their bind point with all of their equipment intact. (A short-lived corpse will still be left at the site of the disaster to allow the player to receive a resurrection.)
Experience gained in dungeons designed for players level 30 and under will be increased. For many people, there is nothing more satisfying in EverQuest than adventuring in dungeons. By giving people the tools to help them succeed earlier, and rewards to match, we hope that more players will discover why many people feel this way.
In the spirit of getting characters into more dangerous and rewarding situations, earlier, the following spell lines have been altered to make them easier to use and more widely available, across more level ranges.
* Resurrection, for Clerics and Paladins.
* Summon Corpse, for Necromancers and Shadowknights.
* Succor/Evacuate, for Druids and Wizards
The bind points of starting characters will more closely match the areas they are already familiar with. (No more getting lost as new characters die in town, only to show up someplace outside.)
New characters now start with considerably more food and drink.
After applying advanced mathematcs, the commonly known "hell-level" xperience gain effect in levels 30, 35, 40, and 45 has been largely done away with. Further, the "post-hell-level" experience loss in levels 31, 36, 41, and 46 was driven from the face of Norrath as well.
For all EverQuest players:
Rumors abound that Bristlebane, God of Mischief, for reasons of his own design, has infused the Gnome and Halfling races with new potential professions. (Whether this is a blessing or a curse has yet to be decided.)
The long-requested global chat channels are well on their way. We'll be supporting player-created chat channels for raids, for friends, for total strangers - Anything you'd like to use them for. Expect a documentation update (eqmanual_supplement.doc in your EverQuest directory) explaining how to use these soon.
We've cleaned up what happens while you're zoning. The days of a frozen screen full of blurry text may well be over, forever. (The days of losing /tells, /guild chat, and group messages while zoning will hopefully be heading out the door behind them.)
While we have aimed to support armor/skin layer tinting on the majority of video cards, some of the abandoned video cards that are still used to play EverQuest unfortunately do not have the power to handle this feature. With that in mind, we will soon be implementing a switch that will allow players to enable armor/skin tinting at their discretion. (Stay tuned to a patch message, coming soon.)
The last item we'd like to mention is a brief update on caster and priest rebalancing. (Please note that the balancing act is still going on, across the board. We wanted to update you on the progress we've made so far.)
Expect to see the first of the Focus Items for spell casters and spell-casting hybrids soon. We will leave the specifics to you to discover, but rest assured that useful and exciting focus items are making their way into the game as we speak.
Enchanters' Memory Blur line, and aspects of Rapture and Glamour of Kintaz have been improved.
The grouping requirement for the Translocate series of spells has been removed.
Clerics' Smite line has been improved.
The Post-50 Lich line for Necromancers has been redistributed.
Necromancers' Levant and Skin of the Shadow have been changed to allow them to be used any time of the day.
Necromancers' Quivering Veil of Xarn has been improved.
Many of the caster balance changes to date have been made with feedback from the dedicated players of these classes, both from EMails and message boards. We're grateful for the time and effort that has been put into many well-reasoned comments we've received.
Thank you for helping us make our world, yours.
- The EverQuest Team