I like the very last part: no more App1, App2, App3? AZpp 4, Ad1... etc.
Research Assistants (RA)
Eighty-some-ugh pages of speculation, adoration, arguing and whining... (that thread is in the Development section here: http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/...topic_id=444889
) Please keep the rants there!
I have been working backwards through the thread to try and find some updated answers as this is going to be here very Soon(tm).
Answers below are from Kirstie...
Where this is at this time? GU52 will probably hit the test servers on the week of the 18th, and this feature is slated to be part of that. Once it goes to the test server we'll be looking for feedback again on the specifics of the implementation which should be fully spelled out then.
How to get it? The research assistants are going to be moving out into the world instead of staying in people's homes. You'll find them in many of the places where you would have previously bought App II's. There is also a good chance that we'll be adding a research assistant as a guild hall amenity either in 52 or future update.
What if I get the spell as a drop before the RA is done? As it is implemented now, if you change what the researcher is working on you'll be refunded one third of the days he's been working on the spell. So if he's been working 10 days on a spell you'll get 3 days back (it's rounded down) to apply to the next thing you want to research whether he's part way through the research or all finished.
How long for a spell? A level 80 upgrade from Adept III to Master I is set to take about 30 real life days to complete. Even if we don't get a full 30 days on test, there are a lot of other levels of upgrades I'm hoping people will try on test to help us make sure its working correctly (range is 1 to 30 days). The time spent researching a spell is based on the spell level, not the player level.
What are the requirements to get a spell? There were a few changes made between my initial post and now. The primary one is that we removed the tradeskilled versions of spells and combat arts from the progression of the research assistants. This means that in order to use the research assistant you will have to have scribed one of the tradeskilled versions (APP IV or Adept III) of the spell/ca you want to research.
How many can you get? Each account can have one character working with the research system at a time. The only exception is if you have characters on separate servers. Antonia Bayle researchers don't talk to Sebilis researchers so one account could have one character on each server researching.
Right now there is no limit on how many you can get other than the time investment. Getting all the spell upgrades for a full account of characters would take a long time.
What is the cost per spell? The only cost associated with the RA is acquiring the previous tier of the spell (Journeyman or Expert) and the time required by the Research Assistant to finish your upgrade.
One other thing alluded to was the veteran rewards system. Currently you only acquire time towards your veteran rewards while you have an active subscription. In the past it has had some problems, but the RAs are using the same logic to find out how far you are in researching your spell as we use in determining veteran reward time. In the process of implementing the RAs we've cleaned up some of the bugs that system had.
Does this mean we can upgrade “masters” to “grand master”? Nope. The Master II system is not being touched right now. You'll get Master II's or "Grand Masters" as they will soon be called the same way as you did previously.
The spell system will be changing to:
App I -> Apprentice (Level gift)
App IV -> Journeyman (Handcrafted)
Adept I -> Adapt (Drop)
Adapt III -> Expert (Mastercrafted)
Master I -> Master (Exquisite drop)
Master II -> Grand Master (Training Choice)