GRANT ME, YOUR DUTIFUL CLERIC, FAITH, MY LORD, WISDOM AND DEVOTION. OH, AND ALSO, MAKE VERANT’S DESIGNERS BURN IN THE FIERY PITS OF THE NINTH HELL. AMEN. [Author: Lum the Mad]

The Verant Spin Patrol was out on the Whineplay hustings, trying to make sense of the delirium, with Abashi playing bad cop and Absor playing, um, other bad cop. First, from Abashi, comes this explanation:

Yeah, we’ve pretty much agreed all the way around that high HP heal items are a bad idea. These items were in fact created by a guy who plays a high-50s cleric in an “uberguild” and even he didn’t realise the impact.

In any case, while I personally agree that 1 minute more or less makes the effect useless, these items are such that there’s not really a middle ground. Usually somewhere between “Overpowered” and “Useless” there’s “Balanced”. I don’t think there is in this case given our current limitations.

And later, we get the follow-through from Absor:

I just wanted to stress here that we are not trying upset people, though we knew people would be upset by this change. We change things like this because we think they need to be changed.

Some folks are suggesting (perhaps because I mention that we do some things for the betterment of the game), that we are more concerned with the health of the game than the happiness of our cutomers.

I want to point out it that your opinion of what we plan to do is always a consideration, often it is THE consideration. But sometimes the health of the game is more important. In the long run, our customers will be happier with a good game. We need to find and correct our mistakes when they can harm the game.

Changing these items is not all that different than any of the ‘positive’ changes we’ve made to the game, with the exception of the way those changes have been perceived. All are done with thought about the health of the game in mind.

You know, he’s right. Negative changes are just like positive changes. Except for, you know, the negative parts.

As you can imagine, the reaction from the players has been fairly feral. As someone put it on a cleric board, on Whineplay “it’s an all-out flamewar between clerics and druids/shammies, hoping someone at Verant will notice.” Someone sent this via email to our good offices:

Tigole of Legacy of Steel fame has quit EQ. Add him to the list of high profile players quitting over clerical changes. Furor of FoH fame is making Tuesday his make it/break it patch. Afterlife has lost several members. The entire thing is coming down, baby!

Is the whole thing REALLY coming down? Probably not. People have been crying foul at Verant “readjustments” since the first change to Whirl Til You Hurl made enchanters hurl. Rogues have gone from joke characters with skills that were never actually used to frenzied gods of melee uberdamage. Necros get nerfed, and nerfed, and nerfed again, and – wait for it – nerfed yet again, yet still are seen as somewhat “broken” since they have an annoying tendency to not crumple up and die. Yet still people manage to log in and play the game and eke out their miserly alloted portion of fun.

Don’t worry, though. Verant does actually understand the pain you are going through. They understand that downtime is really horrible in Everquest and it’s something that people resent and well, they’re giving something BACK.

That’s right. TETRIS, now live on Test. As Nicademus noted in #lummies IRC, “We know our game is boring as shit, so here’s another game to play while waiting for ours to be fun.”

I can’t really say anything else about Medtris without breaking out into a fit of violent giggling, so instead I’ll point you to Aradune’s recent comment on the coming-to-a-server-near-you newbie dungeon, the Warrens.

You know, considering what I have heard coming from test (ie, high levels camping all the spawns in the warrens), I think Verant should seriously consider level capping the Warrens for the first few weeks it is out.

Maybe start out the first day with a level cap of 8 or so, and then increase it every day for two weeks.

The Warrens will not go live this week, but probably on the next patch.

And we have noted the bottom feeding, and may well do someting about it with this zone (before it goes live) and newer ones.

Given Verant’s history, why do I have the feeling it involves violent, repeated, painful death?