EverQuest patch highlights: Station Voice and weightless coin

EverQuest players rejoice! You now have the ability to use Station Voice for your in-game communications, thereby saving you typing -- or your own Vent or TS server costs. Eventually, this will also include the ability to get in-game voice mail, allow players to receive external voice connections (like phone calls) and even offer voice synthesizing. This should help players change their voice for role-playing their characters. Best of all, Station Voice is completely free to current EverQuest players with accounts in good standing.

Aside from that, all EQ players will be glad to know that SOE has removed the weights on EverQuest's coinage. No longer will you have to stop and run to the bank to change out all those pesky coins that like to pile up. This particular change may not seem like it would be all that large a thing to other MMO players. However, EQ players who have ever had their run speed decreased because they spent a little too long out playing and landed bags heavy with coin weight will understand why we're cheering for this particular (no pun intended) change.

If you're curious what else changed in today's update, join us past the break for the full update notes!

EverQuest Update 9/03/2008

*** Highlights ***

- Station Voice: Station Voice is a voice chat service powered by Vivox and included with certain SOE game subscriptions. Station Voice allows players to talk person-to-person in-game at no additional cost. Players can go far beyond basic real-time chat with the usual headset and microphone setup that is commonly used today, and will be able to access a suite of voice communication tools.

Upcoming features are scheduled to include voice mail, the ability to receive external calls, and voice fonts to synthesize player voices into in-game character voices. Station Voice will be hosted and managed on the Vivox Network. Game software and headsets sold separately. Station Voice is also present in EverQuest II and Star Wars Galaxies.

Features at Launch in EverQuest include:

-- Talk person-to-person in game with any microphone and headset combo.
-- Chat with your party, guild or any other group in game.
-- Create automatic channels for guilds, raids and groups.
-- Play and communicate without worry of a significant increase in game lag.
-- Manage group/user participation with moderator controls.
-- Individually mute and set volume per user Create automatic channels for guilds, raids and groups.
-- Set up easily without the need for separate software, accounts or registration.

(For details on Station Voice see below under the UI changes.)

- Weightless Coinage: Coinage no longer adds to the weight of player characters. Adventurers all across Norrath rejoice... especially monks!


*** Items ***

- The spirit of Dain Frostreaver will be very angry if the Ancient Frostreaver or Ancient Longhandled Frostreaver are used by anyone else.
- The Skullstepper should be usable by any race that includes the classes on it. Really.

*** Spells ***

- Tears of Qandieal returns to its changed state. It now destroys the target's mana and inflicts damage based on the mana destroyed.


*** NPC ***

- A recast timer has been placed on the NPC version of Lay on Hands. The player version of this spell is not affected by this change.


*** Quest & Events ***

- The Demi-Plane version of Mayong's swipe attack will now properly ignore the top player of his hatelist.
- The lockout from Bimbalicus the Soulbleeder's event will be 4.5 days from now on.


*** Miscellaneous ***

- Guild Banners will again be sustainable with only one guild member in the zone.
- Weightless Coinage: Coinage no longer adds to the weight of player characters. Adventurers all across Norrath rejoice... especially monks!
- The timer for returning to the game after going linkdead with a character has been reduced from 3 minutes to 1 minute.


*** UI ***

- Station Voice Comes to EverQuest!

- How does it work in EverQuest? -
To begin using voice chat, verify the feature is enabled by opening the Option window (Alt+O) and navigating to the Voice tab. This feature will be turned off by default.

Devices: Once Voice Chat is enabled EverQuest will attempt to connect to the correct hardware.

Push-to-talk key: Initially the voice chat system uses Ctrl+Tab as the push-to-talk key. This can be reconfigured to any available key from the Options window, Keys tab.

Output volume: Master volume for all incoming Voice Chat traffic. This setting is independent of music and sound effect volume settings. Setting this to high results in distortion of incoming speech.

Input volume: The relative sensitivity of your microphone. Turning it up means your microphone picks up quieter sounds. Setting this to high results in distortion of your outgoing speech. The sound indicator gives an estimate of the distortion. Red signifies high distortion, yellow medium distortion and green low distortion.

Testing your setup with Echo channel: The echo channel allows you to get an idea of your settings by broadcasting what you say back to you after a short delay.

- The Voice Bar -
Once Voice Chat is enabled and has successfully connected the Voice Bar will automatically be shown. The Voice Bar by default will remain active as long as voice chat is enabled. A hot key may be mapped to open and close the Voice Bar.

The Voice Bar offers a push to talk button, a list of users of the current channel, what channels are available, a link to Options, and indication of who is currently talking.

The Talk button is simply a push-to-talk button that is mouse activated instead of keypress activated.
The Voice Users button presents a list of the users of the current channel. Clicking on the speaker by any user allows you to adjust the volume of that player relative to your master volume. A particularly loud player can be turned down relative to other voice chat traffic Moderators for a channel are given additional options of muting a player for the entire channel, banning a player from the channel and kicking a player from the channel.

The channel button pulls down a menu of channels available to you. The currently selected one is shown in green if connected. Red if the connection has failed. Unselected but available channels are shown in white.

Voice chat has been integrated into some other interfaces in the game. Speaker icons show up for players that have voice chat active. The speaker icons behave as they do in the Voice Users window, giving access to Voice Chat options specific to that player.

There is currently an issue with leaving a private channel making you unable to invite someone to a new private channel. We are working on resolving this issue, but until then, logging out and back in should clear your channel status.

- Using the /voicechat Command -
The /voicechat command offers the following options:

-- on: activate voice chat (ex. /voicechat on)
-- off: deactivate voice chat
-- Moderator Controls:
-Mute <player> - mutes a player for everyone in the current channel
-Unmute <player>- unmutes a player for everyone in the current channel
-Kick <player>- kicks a player form the current channel
-Ban <player> - bans a player from the current channel and kicks them if they are present
-Unban <player> - unbans a player from current channel


- New -

EQUI_VoiceActionBarWnd.xml
EQUI_VoiceNoticeWnd.xml
EQUI_TopLevelScreens.xml
VChat.tga

- Changed -

EQUI.xml
EQUI_Animations.xml
EQUI_FriendsWnd.xml
EQUI_GroupWindow.xml
EQUI_GuildManagementWnd.xml
EQUI_OptionsWindow.xml
EQUI_PlayerWindow.xml
EQUI_RaidWindow.xml
SIDL.xml

This article was originally published on Massively.