EQ2 “Shards of Destiny” Update Notes

snoopy_danceDowntime is scheduled from 6AM PDT to approximately 10AM (4 hours) — announcement here, and the patch notes are up here in the official forums. There’s an awful lot of notes there, so rather than copy and paste a ream of text (which I already did into Word so I could read the damn things more easily), I’m going to highlight the ones I find particularly interesting or exciting. So no, there won’t be much swooning over new raid content or stuff like that.

Okay, here goes for the update highlights, Ysh-school.


  • The new achievement system gives players a fun new way to track their accomplishments! Most achievements will award players with achievement points that can be used to compare their progress against other players. Some harder to complete achievements will offer non-stat item rewards. The basic categories are General, Dungeons, Exploration, Player vs. Player, Quests, Raids, Tradeskills and Triumphs. Triumphs are large scale achievements that combine multiple achievements into one large one. An example of this would be to do all of the combat, quest, and exploration achievements in a specific area.

Yeah, it’s achievements, and everyone has them and they’re totally flavour of the MMOnth… but the reason everyone has them is probably because they’re so incredibly popular. I’m usually somewhat ambivalent about them — I like them, but I don’t like to feel pressured to do them, and I have days where I’m just competitive enough that the “must… achieve!” twinge is like a nagging toothache. Fortunately, my slacker gene usually wins out in the end. Thing is though, nobody has to do them, not even me on my Achiever days, which means it’s a choice. And more choice is always better in MMOs.


  • A number of mysterious erudites have set up in Qeynos, Freeport, Neriak, Gorowyn, and Kelethin. Any player level 20 or higher can speak to them and for a small fee temporarily lower their adventuring level.

{and yadda bladda mechanics blah blah} This is most excellent! As Stargrace once pointed out, it’s possible that this will make mentoring down to new players an extinct pastime, much like being courteous or answering n00b questions with anything other than “Go back to WoW” or “this game is obviously not for you”. She’s right, it is possible, but from the (admittedly little) I’ve seen while putzing around in the 1-60 areas these last 4 months, most of the mentoring that does go on is a higher level wanting to chump down to a lower level so that they can kill their named, get in wherever it is, do whatever it is — all without the assistance or indeed presence of the lowerbie, who only needs to be in the same zone anyway. So while self-mentoring removes the interaction of finding another player, said interaction was often very limited in any case.

  • In general, most named mobs (with some exceptions) changed by this pass have a very high chance to drop treasured. Those with rare fabled items had their chances to drop raised significantly as well.

On the positive side, auto-mentoring may rejuvenate whole areas — which may then need a bit of a facelift, but that’s another kettle of fish –as people go back to experience content that they may have skipped once it went grey to them. (Ah look, another bad effect of the quest-lashed, forward-uber-alles MMO design style. But I digress.) Many overland encounters and bosses and stuff are in fact getting a facelift to go along with this change, and will drop shiny fun stuff to make going back and slaughtering them even more worthwhile aside from their value in AA experience.

As a crafting type, I see several other benefits that I’m geekishly excited about. For one thing, now I’ll be able to auto-mentor down to whatever level I need and farm mobs myself for the dozens of advanced crafting books I’m still missing. Those books only drop from equal level mobs (which actually doesn’t seem to be entirely accurate, since I got a 65 book off a 59 mob the other day, so let’s call it a range of levels, but grey is still “no loot chest for you!” grey), so once they’re greyed out, you need to mentor down to be able to have any chance of obtaining them for yourself. Or, you could spend stupid amounts of money on the broker. I’m way too cheap to spend more than 20g max on any single crafting book, kthx.

So, anyway, advanced crafting books = good. And getting those means you can get general treasure chests, which means you can get a bunch of treasured loot that transmuters can crunch down into … raw material transmutey goodness. This is A Good Thing (TM), because right now the prices for that stuff are beyond ludicrous. If more people are able to get more stuff, chances are broker prices for said stuff will drop. Price drops in MMOs are generally not bad things, provided they’re not “zomg the bottom fell out of the market” drops.

Shard of Love

  • The Sisterhood of Erollisi has returned to Antonica with grave concerns! Adventurers interested in helping them should seek out a Disciple of Love in Antonica, Kelethin or Gorowyn. Those with more devious intentions should seek out Disciples of Hate within The Commonlands, Neriak or Gorowyn.
  • This will be followed at 6PM by a presentation of Hair (we have none) by the Freeport Froglok Thespians Society. Book early! (Okay, I made that up.)

Teleportation Spires Event

  • The Quellithulians are hard at work reactivating the Ulteran Teleportation Spires across Norrath! They may be found in Antonica, Commonlands, the Thundering Steppes, Nektulos Forest, the Enchanted Lands, Zek, the Orcish Wastes, the Feerrott, Everfrost, Lavastorm and Loping Plains. A wide variety of rewards is available for players who assist their project.

I remember when the Teleportation Spires were first reactivated for access to the Overrealm, way back when, so I’m intrigued about what they’re doing with them this time around. A couple of my characters are still sporting the titles they got from that original event, if only because those titles are so old now, you hardly ever see them around. Some days even I like to wear my “I may be a noob but I’m an OLD noob” badge.


  • Melee, defense and casting skills should now be easier and more straightforward to level up.
  • Swimming will now skill up faster.
  • You can now buy the Translocate and Druid Portal spells from the trainers.

About damn time. EQ2 is a game where you do a lot less well if your skills aren’t maxed out, and trying to get a neglected weapon skill from 50 to 250 or, worse, a neglected (or little used) casting skill anywhere up to snuff was painfully dull.

  • Adventure writs are now offered to a player’s effective level, so that mentored players can complete adventure writs at any level!

Also good. For levels 10 to about 60, if memory serves, writs level x0 to x4 (10-14, 30-34, etc) were soloable ones, but the x5-x9 writs are all ones that send you into dungeony places to fight heroicky type monsters — in other words, group-content writs. Now, I’m not starting the group v. solo debate here but if you only had a short time to play and wanted to whack out a few writs to get some personal status or help your guild get xp, you were SOL if you were in the wrong part of the level bracket. And vice versa — if you particularly enjoyed a series of group writs you got in the high 30s but you’re in the 60s or higher, at least now you’ll be able to mentor down, find some buds, and go kick some nostalgic ass. Win-win.

  • You can now put adventure experience into the achievement pool from level 10 and higher by adjusting the slider in the achievement window.

Yay! AA stuff is such a large part of the game now that being able to get the experience for it without having to artificially hobble yourself by turning off combat and/or quest xp is great. I know, it’s mostly a matter of nuance, but it’s an important nuance: you’re not refusing the xp, you’re funneling it into something else, which is far more satisfying as far as I’m concerned.


  • Players will find that Gorowyn has become a good deal easier to navigate.

Yay! I really liked what I saw of Gorowyn, but I spent an hour trying to get to the crafting area while not losing my lunch; I eventually gave up in dizzy disgust and haven’t been back there again.  The city is built inside a volcano I think, so it’s all vertical with a bloody big FALL DOWN GO SPLAT! open area in the middle which acrophobics — like me — are bound to love. Being able to get from A to B without having to peer over hurl-inducing edges is likely to make me check the place out as a possible home base for some of my alts.


  • The Heirloom flag has been added to a large number of items in the game with the exception of quest items, heritage items, PvP items, and items gained from patterns (but the patterns themselves were flagged as Heirloom). This will allow players to join groups with the character that can help the group the most without the worry of not being able to gear up the character of their choice! As a side effect, items affected by this change will unattune and be sent to overflow initially upon first login.

Yay! Note that, however, this does NOT necessarily mean that you’ll be able to merrily pass the items around from character to character. There are crafting utensils (a spoon, a rolling pin) that were made “Heirloom, attuneable” an update or two ago, which means that you can pass them around only until a character decides to equip it. After that it’s bound to that character just like any other item. On the bright side, as the notes say, you don’t have to be there with that specific character to loot the item. I know a couple of guildie altoholics who will be very happy with this change *cough* Severon, Elyssia *cough*.


  • The difficulty of the waves of orcs that spawn at the beginning of Bloodskull Valley has been lowered to be more in line with the difficulty intended for Return of the Light Heritage quest.

This earns a yay! from me only because they totally KICKED Fairuza’s backside a couple of months ago when she went in there to try and finish that quest alone. They were grey. They should have been manageable. Instead, I ended up training about 40 of them all around the zone before squeaking out the zone door with 3 hit points and my dignity in tatters. They pwned me but good. Ah, I love the smell of payback in the morning.


  • Druid Portal spells have been consolidated into one spell and now work similarly to the druid guild hall amenity.

About damn time. Sorcs get the same type of deal for their translocation spells.


  • Tradeskill level will now count for purchasing racial traditions.

Hot DAMN! Yet another example that crafters in EQ2 may not quite be in the same league as raiding adventurers, but they’re a damn sight more equal than they are in many other games out there. It’s not a huge thing, but it’s significant all the same.

Last but oh-so-not-least, and you can be happy in the knowledge that if you’ve made it this far, there isn’t much more to go:


  • Player houses have been given an extra room!
  • Players can now save and restore their house item layouts. Use the commands save_layout and load_layout . Loading a house layout works on the type of item, so some items that are unique but share the same type, like player-written books and guild hall teleporters, might be restored in different locations.
  • House layout files can only be loaded in houses of the same type. This also works in guild halls!

That’s more than yay!, that’s /SNOOPYDANCE! I’ve seen the extra room in the basic inn room, which has gone from being one step up from a hovel to being a very respectable home at a stupidly low price, so I expect all the higher-up housing that got a pass will be even gooderer. Decorators rejoice!

= = =

NOTE — If you use quest journal mods, chances are GU53 will break them. “But Ysh,” you say, “how do I know if I’m using one? I can’t remember what all I threw in my custom UI folder all those weeks ago!” — True, and I know how you feel. So, hit your custom UI folder (if you have mods you’ve GOT to know where it is, or you can check this post I made) and look for “eq2ui_journals_active.xml” and “eq2ui_journals_quest.xml”.

If they’re not there, you’re not using a journal mod … or you’re looking in the wrong place and I’m not going to help you out here. If they’re there, delete em or move em or rename them to make sure they don’t get loaded up, or you’ll likely crash. I generally just rename mods to “OLD_blahblah.xml” until I’m sure I want to get rid of them, since it’s so hard to figure out whose mods I’m using and I have several score of them in my downloads folder. Just less hassle all round if I want to restore one after trying another.

My marvellous and talented guild leader, who happens to write mods in her spare time (yeah, I’m bucking for a raise) tells me any Inspect mods are broken also, so do the same for “eq2ui_mainhud_inspectplayer.xml” if you have one in your custom UI folder.

Once you’ve found your mods and disabled them if needed, you’ll have to remember to check for updates to those mods in a few days/weeks. Any more than that and I’m going to have to teach you how to find your backside with both hands and a map though, so we’ll stop the advice here.

8 thoughts on “EQ2 “Shards of Destiny” Update Notes

  1. Good stuff. Means very little to me overall as I just returned to the game, but glad to see that this is a game that is constantly improving. Makes me wonder why I ever left.

    Now I’m wondering if I have that title for the original spire construction…

  2. I’m happy that you can get traditions based on crafting level, but I wish they’re put a bit more work into that whole racial revamp. Unless your new racials are irrelevant for your class, you’ve got to choose between adventuring and tradeskilling.

    Also, the Iksar are the big winners for tradeskill alts, with 3% success chance (and 1% durability) to all skills through racials, where no one else gets more than 2%.

    1. Yeah, it irks me that some of the rejigs are as stupidly unfair as their previous versions. -power cost means almost nothing, and +skill equally little. The *real* modifier that’s all round useful in crafting is +success chance, followed by +progress. The durability stuff is currently very (and stupidly) broken.

      But hey, their heart’s in the right place at least. 😉 I’m usually optimistic on patch days, unlike many who tend to see it as a chance to gripe. (Not implying anyone here is, I mean the general internet reception to patches.)

    2. The racial ability shake-up was a huge boon for me. As a Kerra SK, I know added Track and Safefall to my skills. So, I can now wear plate, Feign Death, Evac, Track, fall from great heights unharmed, and lifetap any fool who wants to hurt me. The only thing I’m missing is hide or invis…

  3. I get internet in my new place on Friday. I’ll have to check out the new stuff then. Looking forward to it!

  4. >I have days where I’m just competitive enough that the “must… achieve!” twinge is like a nagging toothache. Fortunately, my slacker gene usually wins out in the end.

    That is hilarious as I am the exact same way.

    I should probably give EQ2 a try, it sounds like it would be at least partly my bag, but I am test-driving Ryzom at the moment.

    1. From what I’ve heard, Ryzom might be your bag too, so it works either way. If I were looking around for an MMO I’d re-try Ryzom too, it’s been 3 or 4 years since I last gave it a spin, and even then it was only the 10-day (or whatever) trial.

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