Day two of Fan Faire was filled with a lot of panels for EQ2, including tradeskills and housing, art an animation, and information on Freeport and Beyond. While they all provided some pretty awesome information, I want to chatter a bit about the tradeskill and housing changes that are going to be going in. First of all we learned there will be two upcoming prestige homes added and they’re pretty awesome:

  • Felwithe mansion
  • Tenebrous Island Refuge: an empty floating island with two waterfalls. Completely empty for players to build from the ground up

Home owners have been asking for a ‘blank’ lot for quite some time now, actually ever since the layout editor came out I can remember these pleas, so this announcement was VERY well received. Player creativity and user generated content is something EQ2 has finally managed to get a grasp of – players WANT this sort of thing. More games need to implement this.

There will be a house rating system added to the game. It will allow home owners to submit houses for ranking on a server-wide leaderboard. You’ll be able to allow vistors to rank your house and you’ll be able to publish your house with a screen shot. The rated houses will also have a new window you can use that allow you to search for houses by type and layout. You’ll be able to visit your friends homes, and port directly to them.

Along with houses changes are the new crafting changes that will be added. There will be crafting aa which is something I’m really looking forward to. There will be three rows of abilities on their own page, and you’ll be able to spend points to increase the chance of harvesting a rare item, or make items without consuming materials like the prayer shawl.

Finally tradeskill apprentices are being added. There is a lot of discussion on what exactly these apprentices will do in the future, so I’m not going to talk too much about it until they’ve finally settled on something.

Q&A

We’re talking about more options for AA mirrors or being more portable.

Q: Instead of mannequins, can we provide some way for players to know what recipes our crafters can make? Maybe a display that shows the items you can make. It’s easy for a carpenter to make a furniture store that shows all the items.
A: What if mannequins didn’t require the rare to make the item to put on it? We can look at that.

When you unpublish a house from House Rating, you lose the awards and it drops off the list. So once you have a house set up, we want to be sure that what they see is reflected by the Ratings. Since you can own multiple homes, we think players can use their additional houses for showcasing, and keep a functional house that’s not Rated.

Q: When will we see New Halas guild hall design or other unique guild halls?
A: We want to do this but it comes down to time commitment. If we did this, it couldn’t just be New Halas, it would have to be all the cities.

Q: Searching through Recipes. Can we get a better interface?
A: We agree. We’d like to see. We just have to work it into the schedule.

Q: Does the Bountiful Harvest and Shawl increase chance of rare?
A: It just gives you a double harvest. You have the same chance of a rare off each harvest.

Q: Are you aware that the Far Seas crafting gear 5% success chance is bugged?
A: We’re under the impression that this has been fixed 2-3 game updates ago.

Q: Adornments for crafting gear?
A: We’ve talked about this but not a lot of detail at this time.

Q: Convert in-game screenshots to paintings?
A: We’ve talked about this kind of thing before as far as user-generated content. We open ourselves up to potential abuse. The other issue is Assets. Every time someone comes into your house they have to download the artwork. It could make the download size of EQ2 quite a lot.

Q: Can we get a quest to help the figure skaters in Frostfell and get a pair of skates and be able to ice skate?
A: This might take a lot of animation time. We can take a look at it.

Q: Can you increase House Item limits?
A: We have to maintain a balance so the zone will load on people’s computers. We just raised the limit not too long ago.

Q: Can we have some other way to acquire limited time, unique items?
A: We don’t want to take away the uniqueness of certain live event items.

Q: Transmuting and Adorning. When you transmute an item with an adornment, it doesn’t increase the chance of getting a better product. Is there any way we could de-augment crafted adornments and get components or rares back?
A: It’s not a bad suggestion, but the idea is Adornments take that money out of the economy. We can look into it. We want to balance the game economy and combat inflation. One problem is, if an item with an adornment has a higher chance to give a rare, then people would put cheap adornments on everything before they break it down.

Q: As an Armorer, with the level cap parked at 90, tradeskilled armor is pretty useless.
A: Every item in the game is being reitemized to use the new stats. Handcrafted is being bumped up to quest rewards level. Mastercrafted is not changing a whole lot. As part of the revamp, there will be more desire for crafted gear.

Q: Is there a way to move a bunch of items to the Guild Harvest Depot?
A: We’ll write that down.

Q: Since Tradeskill AAs come from the same pool as Adventure AAs, can we have it so once you are level 90 tradeskiller, any extra XP goes to AA?
A: Because the pools aren’t separated, you could grind a bunch of AAs by doing crafting writs.
Domino: If you do all the crafting quests you should have enough AAs, even if you don’t go out and adventure, you should have earned quite a few AAs from that. If we directly allowed tradeskill writs to turn into AA, we’d have major problems.

(retort: Players can grind AAs through all sorts of exploits, why can’t we get AA via crafting?)
A: In general, we want to avoid AFK crafting = AAs. Just because some players can cheat doesn’t mean we want to lower the entire game to that.
Domino: We have 25 crafting AAs, and there are ways as a crafter to earn AAs via crafting quests.

Q: 2 years ago, I asked about more room for our housing. You not only delivered but exceeded the expectations. I’m very thankful. As was said earlier, Mannequins require a rare for 20 plat to make. Can we get this removed.
A: Yes we have this written down to do.

Q: Can we get Prestige Houses via a quest?
A: Not currently planned. We have given some away at Fan Faire, LoN decks, StationCash, other events, one drops from Tallon Zek. We have a variety of ways to get them. Who knows we might have a way in the future.

Q: Can you make some adjustments to sitting in chairs?
A: We’re going to talk to our art team.

(of course this is just what the EQ2 devs were afraid of, each chair needing modifications to support sitting)

Q: Tradeskill Raids to get a tradeskill charm?
A: No immediate plan.

Q: Can we name our houses with the Ranking system?
A: Yes you’ll be able to name your house.

Q: I have 6 prestige houses. Can we have more than 10?
A: I’ve already talked to SmokeJumper about this.

Q: In other houses, if I fall through the world, I just get ported. If I fall through the Maj’dul house floor, I die.
A: I will pass this on to our Art team.

Q: I am an EQ2 hoarder, and StationCash is the devil. Last year I raised the issue about Appearance items taking over my bank space. Can we have a Wardrobe house storage item?
A: We want to do this. It’s crazy how fast a year goes by. It’s on our big To Do list.

Q: Can we make House Pets permanently Stay?
A: We don’t have any problem doing this, we just have to find time to do this.

Q: It’s hard to decorate the really large Stadium housing.
A: The Dojo is of course really small, some houses are really Large. We have a lot of different styles coming up.

Q: Can we get more Painting choices? Most Carpenter paintings seem to be Orcs.
A: Somebody loved Orcs. ;)

Q: I’m glad I can craft provisioner food and drink for myself as stacks. Can we get music in New Halas housing?
A: We can certainly bring that up.

Q: Can we get stone walls crafted that match Thurgadin walls?
Domino: OK (laughter)

Q: I’m a Decorator. The doors don’t really scale properly. They won’t fit in doorways. They open on the wrong axis. The Kelethin doors don’t fit Kelethin houses.
A: The doors were something we tried out to see if people liked them and what people would do with them. They were never planned to fit into the doorways in city housing because even in a single house the doors are all different sizes. It was always our intention if people like them to add more of them and more options. No promises on themes.

Q: Is there a way to get rid of all Training Dummies in a guild hall with a single click?
A: We could do this. By the way, your Boston in Karaoke last night was awesome.

Q: Is there any way we can buy city housing on StationCash just to have them rent-free?
A: We can talk about it. We currently take money out of the game with house rent.

Q: Rush orders at level 20 are very difficult.
A: At higher levels, you get better tradeskill arts to make items more easily. We don’t want rush orders to be really difficult at higher levels.

Q: Can we get a way to mail multiple items?
A: We can look into this. Mail goes through the universal uChat system who we don’t like to mess. We could maybe crate them in a box.

Q: I stayed at level 9 on a PvP server, with 90 tradeskill so that I don’t get ganked. Is there any way we can earn AA once we are level 10 tradeskiller?
A: Can look into it.

Q: Can we customize walls or floors in Guild Halls?
A: This question has come up a few times. The biggest problem is it’s very time-consuming. The system was very difficult to do. They haven’t done it with any new housing beyond Qeynos or Freeport.

Q: Cragmore Estate is so difficult to put paintings on the walls. I have to create walls. There are bookshelves that we can’t place books. There are geometry problems.
A: We can follow up with our art team on this. We weren’t aware of specific problems with the Cragmore Estate.

Lots of information to take in, and I’m pretty pleased to see there was such a great turn out to a side of MMO gaming that a lot of other game companies seem to ignore. EQ2 has an enormous community of crafters and decorators, and it’s a shame that other games don’t take this aspect of gaming seriously. So. With all that information out there, what do you think? What are you most looking forward to in the future of EQ2 crafting? Thoughts and ideas? Share them in comments below! As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.