We are still playing some New World, though I did not play all that much over the holidays when everybody was away. I mean, I did get to the highest level of the Winter Convergence, though as an event it has been going so well that Amazon has extended it until January 25th, so everybody has time to join me as a Holiday Regent.
Why stop the party if everybody is still having a good time?
But still, between Pokemon Shining Pearl and a fresh round of Stellaris playtime, I wasn’t spending much time in New World. So when we logged in this past weekend, the first surprise was the map. I had mentioned that the Syndicate’s claims on the map were pretty small when our server was merged into another back before Christmas. And, while the Syndicate immediately go busy assaulting the two other groups, the Covenant seemed to have the upper hand and the map turned more orange than before.
But when we returned after New Years, the Syndicate seemed to have rebounded somewhat, grabbing a few more areas including the key central town of Windsward.
We will have to see how that plays out. The Covenant has been working to retake Windsward and the last time I was on the fortress in the region was changing hands back and forth between the Syndicate and the Covenant every half hour or so.
The only group that seems left out in the cold are the Marauders, who have been relegated to Cutlass Keys for a while now.
Our company is still too low level to get involved in any of that right now. Instead three of us, Mudstone, Oswald, and myself set out on Saturday in search of one of the rarest of cooking ingredients… salt.
Yes, we’re on an island in the ocean, which is salt water, and you can literally make salt from that, but in New World salt can only be obtained from provision crates in certain zones.
There is a lot to complain about when it comes to crafting in New World, but cooking is in its own special zone of annoyance. Advanced recipes, ones that give you stat boosts, all require some rare in the world ingredients where you can, say, harvest a couple dozen sets of herbs and maybe have one show up. But salt, you cannot even harvest that, despite the ocean being close at hand. And salt is used several recipes that would add con and str, which would help me out.
So having a nice tier 5 kitchen in Windsward doesn’t help us much if we’re chronically short on ingredients.
In our division of labor, Oswald has taken on the primary cooking role, so we have been handing him rare ingredients when we come across them. But salt has been the hardest, so on Saturday he announced that he was off on a quest to find salt. He had looked it up, came up with a map of provisions crates that yield salt, and was going to go run the loop of them.
Mudstone and I both offered to come along as the planned loop was in Everfall and Brightwood, so we thought we could at least speed the journey by helping cut down mobs. And then we realized that crates are not competitive for looting, and that for each provisions crate we found we would get three bites at the apple, so to speak, in our search for salt. So off we went.
There were some issues finding the right locations. The map is vague enough that you can be close and still out of sight of what you are looking for. But the provisions crates tend to be in similar locations… also, we weren’t going to ignore other supply crates. I never have enough sand flux for armor working, so we were grabbing everything we saw in passing, going into every structure and looking behind every wall.
We did hit a bit of comedy when we stumbled into the location Daybreak Borough. There are more than a few mobs and items in there that will no doubt make for video game humor in the days to come.
And I’ll be saving this one for a particularly rainy day.
Meanwhile, our salt quest was going slowly. We had hit a few crates that yielded up salt for one or two of us, but it wasn’t very consistent. I seemed to have the worst luck with the salt, though I had quite a stack of green beans by the time we were done.
Still, we carried on, moving from spot to spot, clearing out buildings in our search. But it was quick enough work, at least until we got into Brightwood. There were supposed to be a few choice crates around the location Brightwood Island. However, not only were the mobs higher level in Brightwood, but the area we were looking around seemed to be a haven for some especially tough mobs.
I haven’t sat down and figured out the difficulty levels indicated by the name plates of various mobs, but the system doesn’t seem to be anywhere as complicated as EverQuest II was back in the day. And the only place I can recall seeing mobs with two gold bars on either side of their level marker was in the Amrine Expedition instance. So we were getting into some tough mobs for overland content.
We managed to get through the area and hit all of the crates, but it was some work and we lost Mudstone at one point, though the revive system in the game meant that wasn’t too much trouble. But I had been lolling about with my great axe for funsies up until then. In Brightwood I had to get out my sword and shield and Oswald his staff of life because tanking and heals were suddenly a thing for us.
In the end we did manage to collect up a few dozen units of salt along with some other ingredients. After making a big loop we recalled back to Windsward to divide up the loot.
While we got some cooking supplies, the stuff I needed for armor work seemed to be more prevalent. I ended up with so much sand flux, crossweave, and tanin that I had to go store some in another town. But we should have some good food handy for our next full group outing.