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Author Topic: Tier 11 - Kael Drakkel  (Read 7739 times)
Sarthin
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« on: February 18, 2024, 06:50:37 am »

Welcome to...
T11 - Kael Drakkel

The War of the Giants in Kael Drakkel
Product of Norway (and Canada).





Story:


For decades, the frigid citadel of Kael Drakkel stood as a testament to the might and ferocity of the Kromzek and Kromrif giants. Under the rule of the formidable King Tormax, the Kromzek worshiped the god of war, Rallos Zek, and their citadel echoed with the sounds of battle drills and the fervent prayers to their patron deity.


We all know the story about how the giants and other creations of Rallos Zek were cursed by The Rathe for making war upon the gods themselves. That curse did not seem to apply to these giants, though how they managed to escape divine wrath is still a mystery.

At the outset, the Kromrif clan reveled in the splendors of Velious. However, as time unfolded, discontent seeped into their once contented hearts, disenchanted with the Kaelian way of life and the rule of the Kromzek King, Tormax. Fjordavind, a formidable giant among the Kromrif, emerged as a charismatic leader. He united his kin and embarked on a journey to the northern realms of Antonica, seeking refuge in the unforgiving and icy expanse of Valdeholm.





Years passed, and in the harsh land of Valdeholm, the Kromrif giants observed their brethren in Kael Drakkel. What began as a tempting journey long ago, ended up with a mix of envy and resentment. In Valdeholm, they believed that the Kromzek had grown complacent in their alliance with the deity. The Kromrif desired a stronger connection to Rallos Zek, one that would elevate their clan above the Kromzek and secure a more prominent place in the god's favor, but the decision to split from their once friendly clan had done them more bad than good.

Driven by the ambition to strengthen their own position, the Kromrif chieftains devised a daring plan. In the dead of winter, under the cover of a blizzard, the Kromrif launched a surprise assault on Kael Drakkel. The element of surprise was their greatest ally, catching the Kromzek off guard and plunging Kael Drakkel into a bitter war of giants.




The battles raged through the icy corridors and towering spires of Kael Drakkel, echoing with the clash of massive weapons and the roars of giants. King Tormax, though a seasoned warrior, found himself facing an unprecedented challenge as the Kromrif forces, fueled by their fervent desire to prove themselves to Rallos Zek, fought with unmatched determination.

In the midst of this chaos, a new and ominous presence emerged in the form of Velketor the Sorcerer. King Tormax, recognizing the threat posed by the Kromrif assault, summoned Velketor from his lab to aid the Kromzek in their time of need. Velketor, a master of dark sorcery, lent his formidable powers to the Kromzek cause.




However, the Kromrif clan had become an even more formidable force, their resilience forged in the harsh conditions and unforgiving upbringing of Valdeholm. The relentless trials they endured in their new icy homeland had honed their strength, endurance, and combat prowess to unparalleled levels. As the Kromzek giants, now accustomed to the relatively sedate lifestyle within the towering walls of Kael Drakkel, King Tormax realized that additional measures were necessary to fortify their citadel against impending doom.



In a daring move born of desperation, King Tormax sought an audience with Kerafyrm, The Sleeper, a legendary and ancient dragon of immense power. Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, Tormax proposed a pact with The Sleeper to secure the aid of his powerful minions, the formidable Storm Golems. These ethereal constructs, crafted by the draconic mastermind, were summoned to Kael Drakkel to help fight off the invasion.

The Kromrif, however, were not without their own formidable leader. Fjordavind the Fearless, chief of the Kromrif clan, led his warriors with unmatched courage and tactical brilliance. Fjordavind's presence on the battlefield brought a renewed sense of determination to the Kromrif forces, as they sought not only to claim Kael Drakkel but to prove their worthiness to Rallos Zek.

The centerpiece of the conflict remained the grand chamber housing the Statue of Rallos Zek, the sacred symbol of the god's favor. Both factions saw control of the statue as the key to securing Rallos Zek's blessing. The Kromzek fought to maintain their long-held dominion, while the Kromrif sought to seize it and reshape the destiny of their clan.




As the war rages on, the fate of Kael Drakkel hangs in the balance. The bitter rivalry between the Kromzek and Kromrif giants has turned the once-unified citadel into a battlefield, where the outcome will determine not only the rulership of Kael Drakkel but also the favor of the god of war himself. The icy winds of Velious carry the echoes of the giants' clashes, and the gods watch with interest as their followers vie for supremacy amidst the frozen peaks.

In the concealed depths of the icy pools within Kael Drakkel, Sirens, mystical denizens of the ocean depths, have long remained veiled in mystery. Unseen by the giants engaged in their relentless battles, these enchanting beings have observed the ebb and flow of elemental energies resonating from the heart of the citadel.





Amidst this strife, word spreads across Norrath of an opportunity for adventurers. Motivated by a desire to bring about a more peaceful Norrath, these intrepid souls seize the chance presented by the raging war. As the giants lock horns in a bitter struggle for supremacy, the adventurers see an opening to exploit the chaos, strategically weakening both clans to reduce their power and influence. The Dwarven race eagerly contributed to the intensification of the war, providing assistance to adventurers from across Norrath. Their deep-seated animosity towards the Giants was unmistakably evident, motivating them to actively aid the adventurers in their endeavors.

Navigating the icy halls with a singular goal — not to quell the conflict, but to turn it to their advantage — the adventurers strike at opportune moments. They target key figures, crucial positions, and exploit the discord among the warring factions. In the shadow of giants, both Kromzek and Kromrif, the adventurers aim to reshape the destiny of Kael Drakkel and bring an end to the giants' powerful reign in Norrath.



T 11:


The time has finally come to welcome you to Tier 11, Kael Drakkel. I dare say me and Draca are about as excited as you all are to see this finally happening. While the players of EZServer have seen some additional content being added in the last years, it's certainly been a minute since we last saw a complete progression tier. As we have mentioned previously, T11 was for a time supposed to be Dragonscale Hills, but now you can all look forward to yet another progression tier later this year.

As all new tiers on EZServer have had a habit of being, Kael Drakkel will also be challenging for many. Especially when you're first breaking into the zone. It also depends on the manner of which you enter the new tier, gear wise. There are a good variety of upgrades to be found in the zone, so eventually we're sure you'll handle things more smoothly than to start with.





That being said, we will pay close attention to the first weeks of the release of Kael. Please do not get disheartened if you die, or possibly die quite a bit more than you are used to. We're always around and listen to constructive feedback, but we also take into account that it will be some time before things are settled, at which point we will have a clearer picture of how our balancing has hit. In other words, you can expect that there may be some minor adjustments in one or the other direction within the first few weeks. If it's needed or not remains to be seen, but one thing is clear. The zone is meant to be focused on handling a few mobs at a time at best, not many, like we've been accustumed to in recent years.

I've been on EZServer since 2009 and I've seen the server grow into a more and more including place over the years. I have faith in this trend to continue. If someone has issues in this new tier and is asking for help, I'm sure there are plenty of people that can share their points on how to overcome various challenges both in game and on the forums/Discord.

When it comes to balancing the difficulty of the new tier, we have had to take into account the huge stat gain people have gotten from Sleepers and Veeshan's Peak. If we did not account for that, most long term players would have swept through the new tier without ever really feeling a sense of accomplishment. With this in mind, it's recommended to gear up your characters from Sleepers and Veeshan's Peak to a certain extent before you go too hard on playing in Kael.

Regarding loot, you should expect that many items and quest will require quite a bit of time to acquire or complete. It won't be raining Essences of Kael Drakkel or uber loot on every boss kill you tackle.

One of the hardest parts of making new content is finding a good balance for everything. That includes adjusting drop chances, spawn rates, NPC damage and overall zone difficulty to match me and Draca's intent with the zone. Again, we will monitor and log events to get the general picture of how the zone presents itself to you all as the weeks move along.

When it comes to the power of various spells and items, I've tested about as much as I can, mostly alone, but I've also gotten some damage numbers from Pubise to compare with (Thanks!). However, there is always a risk of i.e. an augment or spell turning out much weaker or stronger than intended, so you should also expect that there can be cases where something needs to be tuned post-release.


Features:

Following are some features you can expect from Kael Drakkel, but it's by no means a complete list.


• Tier 11 armor for Plate, Chain, Leather and Cloth.

• All classes receive new spells.

• New weapons and items.

• T11 Class Epic augments

• Ultimate Weapons, rank 13

• Updated HP and Resistance Gems.

• Mantle of the Ages, a new progression item.

• In Kael, Bards may learn the ability to lull targets and for Enchanters to mez them.

• Certain NPC's in Kael can be FD pulled.

• Various quests tied to both progression and powerful items.

• Kael Drakkel is full of Giants, so expect them to hit accordingly  Wink

• Some mobs should be regular 'tank and spank', but expect to be challenged when you meet the various named spawns and bosses in the zone. There is a certain amount of tactics involved in some fights.

• Don't be surprised if some of the named and bosses have variable damage, as this is intended. It's a good idea to look through your arsenal for spells and item clicks that can give you the margins needed during certain phases of some fights.

• You will not be able to use Zone Pull, Guardian Charm, Levitate, fast mounts, Death Touch, Ignore Death or Fading Memories in Kael Drakkel, nor will you be able to bind any class to the zone. You can make a double or triple instance of the zone, but it will not alter the drop chances in the zone.

• Any new buff spells that drop in T11 will be limited to player level 79.





Important notes:



• Music, vocal and sound effects are added for flavor, context and lore. You have to go into your eqclient.ini file and set Sound = TRUE to get them to work.


• You can set all other in-game sounds to zero and the sound effects we've added will still play, while all client game sounds can be shut off. Much like sound triggers work while all other sounds are off. It's not recommended to leave SOUND=TRUE on for any of your clients other than your main client, as sounds can overlap.You normally just want sounds to be played on your main client. There is also a command in game to stop any unwanted music by saying 'stop'.





• Make sure you download the updated server files. You will need to update/download the following files: dbstr_us.txt, kael_chr.txt, spells_us.txt and giants_war.mp3 and place them in your root directory of Everquest.
Link to client files: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Icm9dh2EDmtfzOqEZ6iEWuq7XSenp4uh



Personal thanks:


First and foremost, I want to extend my gratitude to Akkadius. As many of you probably know, he stands as one of the primary driving forces behind the EQEmu project. Through his innovative toolkit, Spire, I've certainly cut off much time and frustration after jumping into this immersive job as a developer for EZ.

Past that, Akkadius is also ensuring the continued vitality of EZServer, and part of that is with his unwavering support in Draca and me.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to help continue the story of our server. It does not end with T11. I have many thoughts on future content and the plan is to continue to release new stuff for you guys in the coming months and years.

As Draca has noted earlier, Kael Drakkel has mainly been my project. Within the vein of what EZServer is about, I have had a lot of freedom to design the zone the way I wanted. That doesn't mean that I have been on my own. Without the support of Draca, this tier would not have happened the way it is. I have been able to lean on him for help whenever I have needed it, while also keeping him in the loop and sparring ideas with him for just about everything with this project, on a day to day basis. He has also been part of making scripts, adding quests, giving me directions on how to proceed in various cases, and much more.

I honestly could not have asked for a better person to collaborate with. The trust he has placed in me is much appreciated. Transitioning from a player to a GM and Developer has been nothing short of super smooth, much thanks to Draca. He has given much of his spare time to ensure that I get a clear picture on how to proceed and I can tell you, it's quite intricate. There are a lot of wheels involved when you create new content. There's certainly more that one pitfall and his thorough introduction and explanation to how things are done has been clutch to the work I started two months ago.

Last, but not least, I thank you all for your continued support in our work, and your support in me as a new GM and developer for EZServer. Many of you have jumped to the occasion and helped us out when we needed data for balancing the tier. We appreciate you all.

So all that remains now is to wish you good luck  Grin



For Akkadius & Draca,

-Sarthin
EZ Admin Team
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Sarthin
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2024, 07:00:15 am »

Updates 24.02.24 (Remember to update your spells_us.txt)

- Increased spawn chances of some of the NPCs in Kael Drakkel.

- Increased drop rates on certain items in Kael Drakkel.

- Added a new quest NPC, Morgana. She is found close to the entrance of KD. She will offer a task. Complete the task to get access to a menu where you can translocate to a few coordinates in the zone. This was made to make it faster for players to go from A to Boss(es).

- Experience has increased significantly in Kael.

- The item, Fenrisulven's Veil has had it's click effect changed. Instead of the Mass Group Buff, it will now cast a spell that significantly increases the casters aggro towards the target. This item has a long recast delay and is meant to be a "last resort" effect should you lose aggro, or to be saved for important boss fights.



Updates 07.03.24


- Increased spawn chances of some of the NPCs in Kael Drakkel.

- Increased drop rates on certain items in Kael Drakkel.

- T11 chest pieces have had some of their worn and focus effects changed to their original intent.

- Gemstone of the Ages have been added to the loot table of Kael Drakkel.

- Ragnar Fjordason has been adjusted. Expect him to be slightly less challenging now.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2024, 10:37:53 am by Sarthin » Logged

gnonim
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2024, 08:12:33 am »

Spent several hours in there yesterday.  Granted, this was my first time, however, I see a challenge ahead for folks like myself.

It doesn't have to do with mob difficulty, that seems fine.  I'm more concerned with how much time it takes to enter the zone then fight to a boss and achieve a win.  Meaning, how long should that take from a design perspective?  Obviously breaking in to the zone should be hard, that's not what I'm asking.

How long should it take, let's say once you have a few UW13s to enter the zone and then kill whatever the hardest to get to boss mob is?

The reason I ask is selfish, as I personally can't string together 3-5 hours of concentrated play more than a couple of times a year.  Now, if it takes that long and there is a safe spot or two where you can go AFK every so often, that would be great.  But if you're forced to keep plugging away due to repop, or even fear of a wipe after the zone starts repopping behind you once you finally get to the boss mob hence only giving you one shot, that's a tough one.

But hey, it's all good.  I think the zone is pretty fun so far regardless of the potential issues for me and others with similar play styles.

Thanks again for working on this.  Very cool and fun!
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Sarthin
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2024, 02:01:16 pm »

Spent several hours in there yesterday.  Granted, this was my first time, however, I see a challenge ahead for folks like myself.

It doesn't have to do with mob difficulty, that seems fine.  I'm more concerned with how much time it takes to enter the zone then fight to a boss and achieve a win.  Meaning, how long should that take from a design perspective?  Obviously breaking in to the zone should be hard, that's not what I'm asking.

How long should it take, let's say once you have a few UW13s to enter the zone and then kill whatever the hardest to get to boss mob is?

The reason I ask is selfish, as I personally can't string together 3-5 hours of concentrated play more than a couple of times a year.  Now, if it takes that long and there is a safe spot or two where you can go AFK every so often, that would be great.  But if you're forced to keep plugging away due to repop, or even fear of a wipe after the zone starts repopping behind you once you finally get to the boss mob hence only giving you one shot, that's a tough one.

But hey, it's all good.  I think the zone is pretty fun so far regardless of the potential issues for me and others with similar play styles.

Thanks again for working on this.  Very cool and fun!

Thanks for the feedback. We talked in game. Let me know how it feels in the next days regarding AFK spots.
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gnonim
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2024, 06:59:34 am »

Thanks for discussing.  I think there will be sufficient areas to AFK, even if you had to for a couple of hours.  I'm planning on doing more of a holistic clear today / tomorrow.  Again, great jog on the zone, has been a lot of fun!
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gnonim
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2024, 07:56:38 am »

After having spent a few more days, really enjoying this.  Just as a reference, I've only managed to get one boss down twice, ..the Fearless, in 6 attempts, however, that seems appropriate given how hard it should be to break into a zone.  I've got no "armor" pieces yet, though have gotten a number of the new HP and resist augs, and the mask off of Fearless.

So far I've only gotten two "afk" spots I use, although I know there are some more that are possible.  More than sufficient for the casual player.

Thanks again!
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Sarthin
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2024, 09:11:15 am »

We did some adjustments yesterday. Also with the addition of the new Translocate quest, I have made four new safe spots around the zone. Once the quest is complete, it's a quick way to get to a safe spot or close to a boss you have spawned.
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