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EQ2 Mercenaries. Seriously?

Discussion in 'EverQuest II General Discussion' started by Feldon, Jan 5, 2023.

  1. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    I found myself chuckling today and had to put down some words even if nobody reads them.

    So back when I was still playing EQ2, I tried mercenaries a few times but was never impressed by their choice to just stand there and watch you die, busy themselves casting long buffs while you were taking a dirt nap, and then fail to notice your body due to a bump in the carpet and choose not to rez you.

    So not for lack of other things to do but thinking MAYBE if I make some use of the incomplete mercenary data that Census does give us, that might encourage the devs to give us Mount Armor and Familiar Data, I set out to see what's possible. After a solid week of massaging the data as much as I could, I actually logged in today and piddled with mercs for 2 hours.


    Here are just SOME of the things that occurred to me about the whole merc experience:
    • The Mercenary UI could be so much better.
    • The list of Known Mercenaries shows ones you've unlocked, and ones you haven't, but not ones you've signed a contract with but haven't physically met yet.
    • The Broker doesn't grey out mercs you've signed a contract with or hired. You can buy them over and over.
    • Only season 5 mercs show the Battalion Buff right on the examine window. This will become important later.
    • To see the Equipment and Spells of the summoned merc, you click an odd button at the top left.
    • To get back to the Mercenary List, you click an odd button in the bottom right of the Merc Equipment window.
    • There's a flippy thing at the top to switch from Merc Armor to Merc Appearance Gear for all those 1st generation mercs and occasional later merc that allow appearance gear.
    So already, I see ways this could be hugely improved.

    Tabs: { Mercenaries } { Fippy Darkpaw } { Equipment } { Appearance }
    • Mercenaries tab -- shows your Known Mercenaries (Unlocked), Known Mercenaries (Travel to Unlock), Contracted Mercenaries -- the last group would show the zone they are in
    • Current Merc Name -- Name, Buff, Description, Picture, and Spells for your Active Merc
    • Equipment -- current equipment of your Active Merc
    • Appearance -- for those ~30 mercs that allow appearance gear, show this tab too
    • Handle learned/hired/unlocked mercs better so the Broker is clearer?
    • Repackage each existing mercenary into a container that shows the relevant Battalion Buff.
    Moving on. Ok so far so good I've got the lay of the land.

    So there's 263 mercenaries. AWESOME. Lots of choices of appearance, class, race. A great backcatalog that players can choose from. Wait a minute. I'm hearing about something called Seasons. And then something called a Battalion Buff based on expansion. Hmm... ok well I'm sure it's a nice little boost, but the base stats of the mercs based on their rarity/tier (TREASURED, LEGENDARY, FABLED, CELESTIAL) should still be the most important, right?

    Surely the Battalion Buff on each group of Mercs wouldn't be SO POWERFUL that they completely invalidate all prior Mercs?


    Wow. Ok so out of 263 mercenary choices, the number of useful ones is 16 in the Rogues Gallery and another 6-8 in the current expansion. That's... not wasteful at all.

    Alright, so let's take this slot machine for a spin. I had some Daybucks burning a hole in my pocket, so I said what the hell and dropped 4,999DBC on the 7 Pack Season 5 Mercenary Crate. So what did I get for $50 worth of Daybreak cash?
    • Melvinda Fogbell -- cash value 2 copper
    • Melvinda Fogbell -- cash value 2 copper
    • Melvinda Fogbell -- cash value 2 copper
    • Melvinda Fogbell -- cash value 2 copper
    • Melvinda Fogbell -- cash value 2 copper
    • Kerund D'Velt -- NO TRADE but common/TREASURED
    • Kerund D'Velt -- NO TRADE but common/TREASURED

    Folks, I've walked out of a casino feeling significantly less rogered than I did here and I spent actual cash. Most of this DBC was from the monthly accrual when I was an active subscriber.

    It seems like if the EQ2 team mimicked the Magic the Gathering concept of reissuing cards with new/upgraded buffs so that nearly every merc continues to be useful, it would help the bottom line. Then I'd made the card pack behavior more amenable and less random. You should not get the same merc FIVE times. And for $50, you should not get 7 mercs with less than 1 silver's value.

    I did find a recently-added Mercenary Search feature which gives the name, role, and zone of every merc in the game. That was helpful. Found a bug though. :)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2023
  2. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    Oh as for Census, here's what it gives us for Mercs:
    • Mercenary ID*, Name, Class, Race, Gender, Stats, Equipment
    It does NOT give us the Tier, Battalion Buff, Location, or Level of your merc. It also does NOT give us Ability Double Cast stats. o_O

    With help of a few folks, we've additionally been able to add:
    • Pictures of all but 11 5 of them
    • Location for all mercs
    • Expansion for many mercs
    • Tier and Battalion Buff for almost all mercs
    Q: Will EQ2U show every mercenary a character knows?
    A: We're not sure why, but Gelga Gloomspellsl is not exporting to Census for any character that has hired her. Perhaps some data value is outside the range of allowed values and failing?
    A: Mercenaries only publish to Census if you /camp with that mercenary active.

    Q: Will the Battalion Buff show the actual stats?
    A: Funny story. With a recent change to EQ2, not even EQ2 shows the Battalion Buff stats anymore. We may have to put some best guess/potential placeholder stats.

    Q: Can you provide Mercenary Level?
    A: Darq has graciously provided me with some logic to guess your merc's level based on how many merc equipment slots you have utilized. Not perfect, but better than nothing.

    Q: Will we be able to search for mercenaries by Buff, Class, Archetype, Tier, etc.?
    A: Brell yes!

    Q: Will Mercenaries be a free feature on EQ2U?
    A: Good question. Mercenaries have required more work than other recent features. Every feature on EQ2U for 10 years has been free. For those who have donated over the years, it has been massively appreciated and would be recognized going forward if we ever amend our model.

    * When mercenaries were added to Census, for reasons that escape understanding, the mercID and characterID get smashed together into one long number. We're going to be able to parse this to handle renamed mercs, but it makes searching for a specific merc by ID impossible. We have to search by name, which is slow.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2023
  3. Alarra

    Alarra Active Member


    Thanks for checking out the mercs Feldon, I'm sure quite a few people will find your information very useful.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  4. Mysstie

    Mysstie Member

    I haven't tried camping with my Merc active yet so does it now show something in our character info screen when we do? I guess if the Merc buffs our stats that the modified values would show? Probably already did this.
  5. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    If you always dismiss your Merc before camping, then I don't think census will have any record of your mercs. If you message me here or on discord with your character name I can tell you what I'm seeing.

    For a few years now, merc stats are a percentage of your stats, based on Treasured, legendary, fabled, celestial.
  6. Mysstie

    Mysstie Member

    I camped with my merc this time. It's a Treasured one that I named Xena. I think she was Vittia Direshadow or something. The character name is this one, Mysstie Fyss. I do notice my stats changing but that's about all. Is there a query for currently summoned merc?
  7. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

  8. Mysstie

    Mysstie Member

    Looks like in that list that this one is the one I had summoned.
    <mercenary id="8632892737472495007683"><type classid="9" name="Xena" raceid="1" gender="female" race="Dark Elf" class="Shadowknight" /></mercenary>
    Thanks for the info.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  9. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    That's the most recent merc you had summoned?
  10. Mysstie

    Mysstie Member

    Yes, I believe so. Well.. wait. Maybe not. It's an Inquisitor type, not the Shadownight. I renamed my merc and camped again. It's this one:

    <mercenary id="8632892737473772177134"><type classid="14" name="Xenab" raceid="9" gender="neuter" race="Human" class="Inquisitor" /></mercenary>
    Should probably give them different names LOL. Guess I need to camp with all my mercs to have them show up in the list as it is missing some of the ones I can summon. Guess I can try and camp with one of them and see what happens.
  11. Feldon

    Feldon Administrator Staff Member

    I just wanted to make sure your mercs were still updating and I think they are. The one you linked above hadn't updated since like 2018!

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