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?)