Test Notes For GU#38

We all should know by now that Game Update 38 is in the works. Going through my rounds of EQ2 blogs, it looks like I’m the last to write anything about this, but I’m going to highlight the stuff that interests me anyhow.

Dual Wield Changes:
These have been talked about for a couple game updates. We’ve all been waiting for this, and it’s been pushed back a couple times. Overall, this affects my Paladin very little, as we can’t dual wield period. But, it does affect my Brigand, and I’m interested to see what good comes of it. The additional damage added to two handers is nice though, as my Paladin is always swinging one when in raids, so that should up my DPS ever so slightly. I’ll revisit this when the update goes live and I can toy around with it.

Bristlebane Returns:
I have no idea if this appeals to me or not. Having more options for a deity is nice, because pretty much all dieties are suited to one or two particular classes, and that’s that. The major benefit is that you can choose one god, get his cloak, and then switch to another and get a different cloak, so if you can see more than one benefitting you, you may switch them out on the fly. I will reserve my opinon on Bristlebane until I see what his pet/cloak/miracles do.

  • Trivial Loot no longer includes Quest items, so Quest items will drop on gray encounters.

This is pretty awesome, as stargrace pointed out, people working on the Cloak of Flames HQ, who need “Snuffing the Fireknight” pages, can farm grey mobs for them. I am currently working on this quest, and managed to farm green mobs in LFay and New Tunaria, though the latter was tough, all being heroics. Well, not so much tough, but time consuming. I have one page left at the moment, in MMCatacombs, where I won’t be able to solo much. Anyhow, I can see how this would have been advantageous throughout the whole game, and I wish it would have been implemented sooner.

  • In efforts to clean up examination windows, the following effects now appear as attributes instead of as added effects, and have had their text description size reduced: Flowing Thought, Health Regeneration, Damage Per Second, Melee Double Attack, Ranged Double Attack, Melee/Ranged/Spell/Healing Criticals, +Spell Damage, +Healing, +Spell Damage and Healing.

This is pretty trivial, but I happen to like when the devs decide to clean things up. I’m pretty anal about things being “clean” (not germ free, but streamlined), so when they do this it just makes the game more efficient overall. Descriptions on these added effects are pretty well known by everyone, so why not cut them down?

Achievements
Paladin 

  • Smite Evil should now work on evil pets.
  • Group Armament achievement renamed Raid Armament: Affects all non-fighters in the entire raid.
  • Doom Judgement – Damage bonus increased from 5% to 7% per rank.
  • Doom Judgement – Improved reuse speed from 5 minutes to 2 minutes.
  • The following Fighter group buffs now affect all raid allies: Paladin: Vigor of Trust.

These are some nice updates to our achievements. I wasn’t aware that Smite Evil was bugged in this way, but glad someone caught that. I’m a little disappointed with Raid Armament. I respeced to Group Armament some time ago, just trying to do anything that might make me more desirable in a raid setting. It’s awesome that it’s now raid-wide, but I really think they should have removed the “non-fighter” portion of this spell. Pallies really need love in the raid department, and this would make us desirable, no matter what fuction we were serving. Vigor of Trust (Ardent Belief for us capped Paladins) was recently changed to add wisdom (removed strength component), but add +105 to all healing spells. Making this raid wide will help out the healing parses, and help resists around the board (especially for those that took the Hero line). But if they would have left strength on the buff, along with removing the non-fighter portion of the armament line, we would actually be buffing the MT, and that would make us desirable, finally. Lastly, increasing the damage on Doom Judgement is nice, though it doesn’t affect me seeing as how I branched off to get Brimstone upgraded instead. The reuse speed is nice though, putting it more in line with our other AOEs.

  • Intercept: If the ally is lower than 50% health when this ability is cast, the Fighter can absorb two hits instead of one

This is one ability I don’t like. It’s awesome in a heroic setting, but versatility is key. In a raid setting, this means death to most figthers. I guess if you want to sacrifice yourself for the MT, then great, but otherwise, it’s not very efficient. Just my two cents.

Overall, the update is putting some polish on recent work done to combat systems and achievements. I’m pleased with it, and I’m hoping it helps my class out as a whole. There can always be more, but then the ninja nerfs come in and put you back where you started. Again, I will revisit this once the shit hits the fan. Until then.