Tag Archives: MMO Crafting

Suddenly Serious about Blacksmithing

I am unable to resist the lure of crafting and trade skills in MMORPGs.  Despite more than 20 years of fumbling with them halfheartedly and having them draw off huge amounts of play time and in-game resources, I still jump right on them every time.

Seriously.  My advice after all these years.  At most, pick up a harvesting skill or two and just sell stuff you get and use the money you make to buy things you need.  Don’t try to make it yourself.  Every brief moment of profitability and convenience at having investing in crafting is far outweighed by the cost and effort.

And yet, knowing this in the logical and analytical portion of my brain, every single time I start an MMORPG I immediately start on crafting.  Even in games where I have done it before.  I start on a new server and crafting is on the menu.

So it will come as no surprise that I have several characters who have picked up and pursued trade skills in WoW Classsic.  Not all of them, thankfully.  Most of the alts just have two harvest professions.  But I have a leather worker, an engineer, and a blacksmith that I have pushed along into the mid-200s for skill levels.

Viniki, tank for the current incarnation of the instance group, is my blacksmith.  I have been able to keep him moving along by sending him out to harvest ore on his own.  Unlike retail WoW, there is no xp for harvesting, so he has managed to progress.  Ula has an alt that does blacksmithing as well, so I made the choice, when he made it high enough level, to split off and specialize in weaponry.  Ula’s alt could go down the armor path.

On the weapons path

That meant crafting some weapons as part of the quest to open up that path.

A dozen weapons

That was actually a bit of a pain, but mostly due to inventory space.  Collecting up the materials meant devoting precious bank space to the task, and then as I made each group of weapons, they also had to be stored away or carried with me.  But I got that done and was able to turn it in.

That unlocked the first set of weapons for me.  I still have a sub-specialization to go after later.

But then I realized, as we were working our way through Blackrock Depths, that I had an opportunity to pick up some additional recipes.  In the Grim Guzzler, inside the instance, is a NPC who will sell you such, so long as you have sufficient reputation with the Thorium Brotherhood, the Dark Iron Dwarf faction that resides in Searing Gorge.

So I set my sights on doing that.

Getting the faction though, that meant getting the attention of Master Smith Burninate out at Thorium Point.  He has the quests that let you raise your faction.

Is that name a Homestar Runner reference?

But to get to those quests you first have to do another quest, What the Flux?, which requires you to obtain the Firey Flux plans.  The plans are sitting on a table behind Overseer Maltorius and his two companions down in the slag pit in Searing Gorge.

The table behind them

The problem is that all three of them are elite mobs and were a bit too much for Viniki to handle solo.  I managed it with my hunter some time back by sacrificing his pet while he grabbed the plans, but it looked like I would need help to do this with a warrior.

Then I realized that one of my skills, Intimidating Shout, might do the trick.  It is a short term AOE fear that sends nearby mobs running away.  So I ran over to the table, got all three on me, then did my shout.  They ran off just long enough for me to scoop up the plans and jump of the ledge and run away.  The hard part was over I thought, now I just need to grind out the faction quests.

There are three quest options, each of which gives you 25 faction to the approximately 2,500 faction you’ll likely need at this point if you’ve done most of the quests at Thorium Point.

The three faction quests

The first requires four Kingsblood, the second four iron bars, and the third ten heavy leather.  After assessing my situation, it seemed that Kingsblood would be the best route.  I used a bit of heavy leather and some iron bars, but I sent my harvesting alt out to the Wetlands to get me Kingsblood.  I supplemented that with some I found cheap on the market.

The quest requirements

Each turn in also required two Incendosaur scales, which come from mobs down in the slag pit.  I had almost enough on my hunter from his time in Searing Gorge, and sent him down to collect some more… and skin… to fill out my need there.  And then you need one coal, which Master Smith Burninate sells, so seems like something of a silver sink, as you buy they from him only to turn them right back into him.

So I did that set of quests the 100 times required, which got me to friendly with the Thorium Brotherhood.

To get to honored you have a different quest.  You need close to a thousand Dark Iron Residue climb the 6,000 faction you need to go from friendly to honored and you need to do it in increments of 25 faction.

Dark Iron Residue has a use

Fortunately we had all been saving or Dark Iron Residue from the Blackrock Depths runs, so when everybody sent me what they had I was pretty much covered.  The tough part was doing the four clicks to turn in the quest 240 times.  I did it over three sessions.

But I made it, and am now ready to go talk to Lokhtos Darkbargainer in the Grim Guzzler in Blackrock Depths.  Of course at honored I can only get a few of the recipes, and to get beyond that in faction you have to raid Molten Core regularly.  And the recipes require Dark Iron Bars, the smelting of which requires another quest from one of the dwarves in the Summoner’s Tomb.  But we’ll be going there.  Then to actually smelt the bars I have to get down the the black anvil by Lord Incendious again, so I have been collecting those up to carry along if we make a run down there again.

All of which is more serious than I have ever been in the past about a WoW trade skill.  We’ll see how far I get and whether or not I end up making anything in any case.

As usual, if I had used the time I spent on this to just level up a character I would no doubt have at least one level 60 by now.  But that is the way I roll.  I cannot stop crafting.

Crafting After Kunark

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.

newtswindow.png

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.