Daily Archives: November 25, 2006

Shadowfang Keep – Round 2

While it was only Friday night, we decided to use the holiday to get in another victory lap instance run and maybe get a few blue drops for Thanksgiving.

The lineup for the night was:

30 Priest  – Skronk
30 Rogue   – Blintz
30 Mage    – Ula
30 Warrior – Earlthecat (late arrival)

Skronk and Ula were already on when I logged in around 9:30pm.  I had a quest to finish up in Thousands Needles (Highperch Venom), but I was camped there so it did not take long before I recalled to Stormwind and began the flight to Southshore.

Skronk had jumped into the instance by this point to start clearing the way.  I jumped in when I got there and Ula joined us in time for Rethilgore the Cell Keeper, which was good, because in a sloppy moment I managed to pull his whole room to us.  Still, they were all grey to us, so the fight was not too long and soon Sorcerer Ashcrombe was opening the door to the keep for us before he went on his own merry way.

The courtyard was equally uneventful.  The fights were brief and Ula was there to uncurse us when we got hit with some of the nasty curses that the undead carry in Shadowfang Keep.

We headed into the keep, avoiding the battlements route that we took last time, and aiming straight for Razorclaw the Butcher and then Baron Silverlaine.  Both declined to drop any rares, with only the Bloody Apron dropping from Razorclaw and The Baron’s Scepter from Silerlaine.  At least the scepter disenchanted into a small glimmering shard.

We headed up the stairs in the keep, then to the left to work our way to Commander Springvale when Earl logged on.  We bade him rush out to Silverpine and join us, and he made it just in time for the battle with the Commander.  Unlike last time, when Commander Springvale dropped the Commander’s Crest, which we had to disenchant because we had no shield user with us, this time we got nothing.  There was no rare or even uncommon bind on pickup item.  Oh well.

From there we went out onto the walls of the keep.  Again we did not get the rare named NPC, the Deathsworn Captain.

Odo the Blindwatcher was a little better to us.  After trouncing him and his two bat companions, we found he had Odo’s Ley Staff on him.  Nobody wanted it, so it got DE’d into a large glimmering shard, but at least we finally got a rare drop.

Onward through the keep, slowing down only to do our triple disable trick again on the four mobs that sit at the bottom of the stairs on the way to Fenrus the Devourer.  I sapped the humanoid, Ula sheeped a live wolf, Skronk chained the undead lupine horror, and then we killed the remaining mob, then slew the others one by one.  We did not really need to do it this way, but it is kind of neat to practice this sort of coordinated attack.  We might need it in earnest some day.

We got to Fenrus.  As before, he dropped Fenrus’ Hide, which nobody wanted, so another item was disenchanted.

Here is a picture of Fenrus with the raid icon above him for scale.   Even a big wolf in game is less than half his size.

Fenrus and the raid icon

 

For the sake of scale, here I am as Blintz with a raid icon over my head.  Pretty big compared to me, now isn’t it?

Don’t sheep me bro!

At least at this point we were well into mobs that gave us experience.  Nobody was going to level on this run, but it is nice to advance your exp.

Wolf Master Nandos, Archmage Arugal’s door guard was less trouble this time around.  His four lupine defenders went down smoothly and when the wolf master himself charged into battle he did not last long enough to summon more than one additional helper.  He was also nice enough to drop the Feline Mantle, which went to Ula in a roll off with Skronk.

And, at last, we were outside Archmage Arugal’s room, the door was open, and only three minor mobs stood between us and the last battle.  As before, our tactic with the Archmange was to rush him.  As he teleports around during the battle, Earl and I ended up doing some running while Ula and Skronk stayed in a more central location and laid down the bad magic on him.  Unfortunately, Arugal’s attention was thus focused on Ula, and she ended up dying during the battle.  She got battle ress’d quickly and was up and in the fight when Archmage Arugal’s end came.

The late Archmage was kind enough to drop the Meteor Shard, which I got to take home.

And, to make up for our missing screenshot last time, here we are in Archmage Arugal’s chamber, standing, or sitting, around his corpse.  You can see everybody in the shot has a nice, glowing red weapon, indicative of the minor beast slaying enchant.  That is Ula’s pet chicken in the foreground.

Victory over Arugal

I will have to warn Skronk that sitting like that lets us see up his robes, a view that, frankly, none of us asked for.

We are skill looking at Razorfen Kraul as our next major target.

Crafting in Kelethin

I had some time to spend in EverQuest II yesterday.  I got out Blintz, my Fae, and ran through some more quests, explored a bit more, and tried to get my bearings straight in Greater Faydark.  I am always a bit turned around in a new 3D environment until I get some landmarks by which to navigate.

I also used the opportunity to harvest.  I wanted to get my harvesting skills up to 20 so I could continue to harvest as I worked my way into tier 2 (10-19) areas.

After I hit level 12 and was on my way back to Kelethin, I thought I would use some of my harvested bounty to see what it was like to start a new trade skill in the age of Faydwer.

Which brought me to the first issue: Where to begin?

In The Island of Refuge tutorial, you could hardly avoid picking up your artisan trade skill.  But where in Kelethin do I start?

I looked around and found some trade skill stations in various buildings, but I could not anybody to teach me a skill.

Eventually I had to resort to the noob refuge, OOC.  I got my answer right away.  The trade skill NPC, Ralika Mekkila, is standing back behind the building, in front of which there is the NPC treant who gives you your 5sp a week apartment.  You hail her and she will initiate you in trade skills and give you the level 2 artisan recipe book. (You go automatically to level 2 by just finding and hailing her.  I guess that is the first lesson for an artisan: Know where your trainer works!)

I ran around and did some cooking first.  I had some fish and frog’s legs, so I made a couple of food items from those.  That got me nearly to level 5.  I realized then that I needed some more books, fast.  But where to buy them?

Eventually I made my way back to Ralika again.  She will sell you all of the artisan books, both regular and advanced.  She also carries the books for outfitter, scholar, and craftsman.  I bought the full artisan set and headed over to the forge to make some armor. 

I hit level 9, with exp stopped because I was already in to level 10 in exp, in a very short time.  I would estimate that I made no more than 15 items to get to level 10.  This is much better than my old practice, which was to make 30 chocolate bars, then turn those into 30 bars of fudge.  That used to be the easiest route to 10 because you could buy all the ingredients in the trade skill instance.  Now, with all of those intermediate stages gone from trade skills, making your first pristine piece of chest armor is worth a level in itself. 

Trade skills are now much easier to get into.  And I barely used any of the stuff I harvested.

I made one more run back to Ralika.  You hail her and she gives you the choice of which trade skill path you would like to pursue.  I chose outfitter.  I think I am going to make an armorer.  I know we have one already in our group (he was on and wonder aloud why I was making an outfitter when we have a weapon smith, leather worker, and armorer) but I figure a backup would be handy. (Somebody else is already working on an alchemist in our group, so why not?)

WoW – How to Stay in the Game

This morning in the MMORPGDot.com newsfeed there was an article titled “WoW, how to avoid being banned.”

An interesting title indeed, even if not capitalized in the way they taught us in school. 

Not that I worry about being banned, but I thought maybe they might have something interesting to say on the subject.  In fact, they had almost nothing to say on the subject, since it was pretty much a pointer to a Blizzard support site document titled “How to Stay in the Game.” (Correctly capitalized, I might add.)

That was a mildly interesting read.  I did not find anything in there that would make me worry about being banned.

But if a site is going to link up that article, I thought they also ought to follow up with a couple of associated articles.

So if you are interested, you should probably also visit the Exploitation Policy article, which goes over in much more detail an array of things that will get you in trouble and, once you are in trouble, you should take a peek at the Account Penalties article which features the dreaded “Penalty Volcano.” (I am not making this up.)