With the release of the EverQuest II expansion Rise of Kunark and the accompanying Game Update 40, there were some changes to trade skills. A few of these have changed the way I play, for better or worse.
Tools of the Trade
One of the joys of having a woodworker is that all of my characters are equipped with harvesting tools, the best of which shaves a full two seconds off of the time it takes do a harvest cycle on a resource node. There is a tool for each of the different types of harvesting, including a fishing pole for fishing.
The problem in the past was that you had to keep these tools in one of your inventory charm slots. That meant that you could only speed up two of the five harvesting methods (trapping, gathering, mining, foresting, and fishing) at any given time. For me, it also meant that most of the time I wasn’t harvesting, I would forget to put my hex doll or other charm slot item back into that slot.
Since GU40 and RoK, tools are only required to be in your inventory to speed up your harvesting ability. So now I can go into combat safe in the knowledge that I am not doing so with a fishing pole equipped!
Stacks and Stacks
Probably my favorite part of the update, the fact that raws and fuel now stack to 200 is a huge improvement for me. Storage and bag space is not such a big deal in EQ2, at least not compared to other games (WoW, LOTRO). But I still managed to fill up all of the bank slots on at least some of my characters. And one of the things that takes up a ton of storage space is raw material.
But since the rise from stacks of 50 (and it used to be 20 way back when) to stacks of 200, I have managed to free up a lot of bag and bank space.
As an additional bonus, bigger stacks means people can get more raw materials on the market, which might help stabilize market prices. Or it might just drive prices down to one copper faster. (I will never understand why people would bother to sell something for one copper, but that is another story.)
Window on the Craft
With the other updates, there is a new crafting window.
I like the fact that they put your skills right on the window now. I do not have to go through every once in a while to figure out if I have the most current set of crafting skills on my hot bar. And I do not have to remember which hot bar I loaded up with my crafting skills when I decided to revive crafting on one of my characters. (I seem to have put them all on different bars or in different orders with each character.)
On the other hand, it does not contain one thing I want, which is health and power bars. Since GU 40 broke all the old crafting window mods, I had to give up my compact crafting window with those bars and I am having trouble getting used to looking way up at the top corner of the screen (i.e. away from the reaction panel on the crafting window) to check my power.
And speaking of my old, compact window mod, I think the new crafting window is way too big. The middle of the window is mostly useless real estate. They should condense the section where the different quality tiers used to show up. SOE could simply make the icons smaller, say the size they appear in the hot bar, and condense down the window quite substantially.
I will keep checking EQ2Interface until somebody makes a crafting window I really like. Until then, the new standard one will have to do.
Low Quality No Longer Tolerated
This one confused me initially. You can no longer produce crafted items of less than pristine quality.
There is a post on the forums with all the details surrounding this decision, which you can find here.
I suppose the reasoning behind it is sound. Items that are less than pristine generally just get sold back to the NPC vendor. So why bother creating them at all?
There was a time, back in the early days of EverQuest II, when the lower quality tier items had reduced stats, but also had reduced requirements. So you could wear pristine carbonite armor only at level 20, but shaped carbonite armor could be put on at level 17. And it was generally better than the iron armor you were probably wearing. But with the disappearance of that, trade skill writs that required only shaped quality goods, and equipment that improved in stats as you leveled (interesting idea, but it confused way too many people), the need for different tiers of quality has passed.
So be it. But if they are getting rid of at least some of the interim tiers of quality (crude is out across the board, if I read that post correctly), I want them to go back and yank them out of the crafting window as well.
Back to Work
As this post implies, I am also getting back to work when it comes to EQ2 crafting.
My woodworker, ever in the vanguard of my crafting efforts, is back to making arrows, which are a steady source of income. The price of raw materials has jumped way up, of course, but he laid in a big supply back in the summer. (Well, it seemed like a big supply in stacks of 50. In stacks of 200 it doesn’t look like much any more!)
Now that I am back to that, I am back to plotting out a post on my philosophy on crafting, especially since these changes have mostly reinforced my own methods rather than causing them to change.