Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Feb 1 update: Heroic Opportunities

Many, many revisions were made to Heroic Opportunities in the latest update of Everquest 2. The updates are described in SOE's own words, with my comments in italics.

  • Using a spell or art other than one needed to advance a starter chain will no longer break it.

  • This is a major change. What this means is that the chain won't be broken by high-priority actions. It also means that 5 people don't have to stop what they are doing to allow the HO to go through. This is critical to making HO's useful, since 2/3rds of all damage done to mobs is done via specials, not normal melee.

  • Once a chain has begun, it can be purposefully broken by using one of the archetype abilities that initiates a chain (Lucky Break, Arcane Augur, Divine Providence, and Fighting Chance).

  • I've often been in a scout/priest group, and ended up with a chain that needed a mage to advance. Dead end. It wasn't a problem, because any other skill or spell would break the chain,
    and you could start again. But not with the new changes. A different way to break starter chains was needed.

  • You now have 10 seconds to complete the Heroic Opportunity wheel instead of 30 seconds.

  • They made it easier to complete starters, but raised the bar on completing the wheel very significantly. Since the HO does not advance if a spell is resisted, this makes things very tight. Smite has about a 5 second casting time. So, if the priest waits until the wheel is up, and the first Smite is resisted, you've used up all the time alloted. This puts the premium on thinking ahead. It also doesn't hurt to have two characters from the same archetype trying to advance a starter chain, in fact it will probably help. Still, 10 seconds may be challenging.

  • Starter chains now properly report who broke the chain. It had been reporting that the last person to advance the chain was the one who broke it.

  • This isn't that big of a deal, now that they are so much harder to break. But it was confusing and difficult before. Not sure how much this helps, given the other changes. Now if only they'd make a message about who or what broke mez...

  • Opportunity shift now has a much better chance of switching to a different opportunity.

  • Making HO's more intentional. This puts a big premium on scouts who know the HO chains and
    can think strategically.

  • Heroic Opportunities have been given enhanced visual and sound effects.

  • Players will receive a visual cue when an opportunity has been successfully completed.

  • It's always fun to see cool things happen on screen as a result of something you did. This will also encourage execution of HO's, since with more feedback comes more learning.

  • The duration of buff effects has increased from 3 minutes to 6 minutes.

  • If only they would do this for Breeze and Alacrity.

  • Heroic Opportunity effects now stack with class spell effects.

  • The last two items seem to address the relative power of Heroic Opportunity non-damage spells.
    Clearly many players felt that, overall, HO's weren't good enough to attempt, especially if it meant stopping anything else you are doing. Now, I don't see the downside to doing one. Stacking with other effects certainly makes sense, I'm not so sure about increased durations.

  • All Heroic Opportunities that hit more than one target now have an area of effect radius of 25 meters.

  • I don't know how this changes things. How was it before? Did we increase the range, or limit it? More research is needed.

  • Removed the display ranking from Heroic Opportunity starters (Lucky Break, Arcane Augur, and Fighting Chance) since you can't upgrade them.

  • In addition, a number of new starter chains and wheels have been added. I'll go into them in another post.

    Overall, there's been a big boost to Heroic Opportunities. In fact, even the casual pickup group will be pulling them off nearly nonstop. The only way to break a starter chain is to hit the starter again, and it's easy to either designate one player as the starter, or define a starter rotation.

    Players, especially scouts, who want to play a superior game will find it profitable to learn what the different HO's do, and think about which ones to go for. And how to complete wheels under significant time pressure.


    Post a Comment

    << Home