Epic crafter is epic

There’s something the EQ2 team have understood that very few other games have: exploring, crafting, lore-chasing and other non-combat activities are playstyles in their own right. Most other games seem to assume there’s only one playstyle: end-game focused, raid-focused, achiever playstyle, and that anything else is just an amusing but temporary side-trek.

Now, before you tell me that combat is what these games are all about and all these games will ever be about — STFU. That’s a failure of imagination and not a failure of the games themselves. Look at oh, I dunno, Hello Kitty Online. I bet that’s not all about fighting. And if it is, I guess I’ll drink my own cup of STFU and raise ya a keg of Puzzle Pirates. Games are contests of some kind, sure, even if they’re only with oneself or against the game itself. Still, contest does not have to equal conflict does not have to equal combat; starting with the same letter is no logical reason either.

On Sunday, my first max-level EQ2 crafter, Fairuza, got her epic crafter’s earring. Yep, it’s epic. Yep, it’s only for crafters. Yep, it’s a pain in the butt to get — though in true EQ2 crafter form, it makes you (gasp) talk to and interact with a bunch of other players to get what you need rather than just making you craft a million different things. (Yeah, you can do it all with alts, but I talk to myself when I’m alting – that counts, right? *twitch*)

Nope, I don’t have a screenshot — though I did take one of an absolutely stunning giant chessboard I came across in my travels to get said epic. That’s not a single item “giant chessboard” thing — it’s a collection of other furniture bits cunningly arranged to form a chessboard. I love this kind of stuff, which is common in EQ2 and was extremely common in SWG, and once again shows that no matter what other boats SOE may have missed, they certainly understand housing and its importance to their players. (Oh, it’s not quite as huge as it may seem — my character is shrunk by 40% courtesy of her veteran moppet thingy reward.)

epic_chessboard

I’m pretty sure it was at the <Bloodsworn> guild hall, though it’s hard to tell from my scribbled notes. It might have been Bloodswoon or Bloodwoot.

I’d shout out to the various people who crafted the updates Fairuza needed, but I’m very sure none of them have ever heard of this place, and I thanked them on the day in any case. I’m polite like that.

So, you ask, what the hell do crafters need epic anything for anyway? Well now.

1. It has go-faster stripes. (45%) Granted, that’s not actually faster than me on my harvesting-buddy unicorn, and it doesn’t have harvest-better stripes, but it sure makes me zip around indoors like a demented purple-trousered thing. More on the purple trousers later.

2. It has craft-better stripes. Really,that’s standard equipment on crafter bonus gear, along with power steering (45%) and Sirius radio.

3. It lets you see SPECIAL RED SHINIES!!!!! Red shinies are like normal gold shinies (see shiny, pick up shiny, add to one of a million collections for various fun & funky rewards) but you can only see them with the epic crafter earring. I’m not sure what those collections are — I could look them up, of course, but where would be the fun in that? I’ve found a few in my travels in the last couple of days, and you can be sure I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more.

Oh yeah, and you get a Master <Profession> title which I mostly don’t bother with because I can’t stand it when I accidentally mouse over myself and my title + name + suffix takes up 40% of a 28-inch screen. Remember, I come from Asheron’s Call (where names over heads didn’t exist) and not EQ or UO. One’s early experiences shape one’s expectations, which is why I tend to turn names off in games. If I want to know who the hell you are, I’ll mouse over you or (perish the thought!) talk to you — but not seeing a mess of text on my screen helps preserve the immersion for me, as well as some of the mystery. (Tangentially, Vanguard was positively awful for that, especially when the name-bug was active where people’s names might end up staying in inch-tall letters. Besides, the base font that game used for names was fugly. But I digress.)

There’s a cool-looking master crafter cloak you get, too, though it’s kind of an Easter Egg — nothing in any of the quests tells you to hie thee back to the original quest giver, though I do remember promising him I’d give him an update on what I’d found out. But come on, since when do we actually listen to what any of the NPCs in these games say? Hah! Well, we should, especially in games like EQ2 where often then only clue you had was from some throwaway NPC line that doesn’t appear anywhere else in the recorded quest text. In any case I didn’t get that cloak till yesterday, since I didn’t know about it.

I even got an opportunity, that same Sunday afternoon, to pay forward the help others had given me by crafting someone else’s Provisioner update. The EQ2 crafting community is one of the tightiest, friendliest and helpfuliest I’ve seen anywhere, which was already the case back in 2005 and hasn’t changed a bit since. That whole paying it forward thing is motivating me to try and get at least to the last step of that epic quest for my other level 80 crafters (3 of them right now, 4 as soon as I get my tailor through the last 2 levels), which would enable them to craft updates for others. Problem is, as with most epic things, the steps you have to do before you can begin the epic quest are a little daunting, especially for a slacker like me. You have to do a couple of travel-access quests, then you have to grind a bunch of faction in a somewhat out of the way and pain-in-the-ass-to-get-to place — and those uncivilized bastards don’t even have a bank! Hell, their people are so wary of you until you’ve made them about 18,000 sets of field latrines that they won’t even sell you fuel, so you have to travel with everything you’ll need to begin with.

Okay, I’m making it sound like more of a hassle than it really is, and no pain no grain, right? Still, it’s a bit of a hassle and I’ve not done any of the pre-req steps with anyone else. So don’t expect a “Ysh has FIVE!! epic crafters, ah! ah! ah!” post anytime soon.

In any case, for the time being I’m happy to rest on my epic laurels and zip around like a demented purple thing. Purple because that’s the colour of the level 62 (aka Tier 7, 60-69) mastercrafted leather armour. I know, I know, I’m almost letting the hardcore crafting side down by gaining adventuring levels, but I assure you it’s entirely incidental. I was chasing achievement points because I was determined that at least ONE of my characters would have AA points higher than her level, and I’m hardly going to turn off adventuring xp when adventuring xp is something I tend to get once in a blue moon. So a side-effect of whapping out grey quests and getting AA was the slow but steady trickle of adventuring XP, and before I knew it, Fairuza was 60. And once you’re 60, if you want to wear the mastercrafted gear (made with rares), you may as well get to 62. So I did.

I’m amazed. I never thought I’d make it to 50, let alone 60. And now I’m opening cans of whoopass on bats and basilisks up in the Bonemire rather than being the can-openee, which trust me is quite a change. The Bonemire is a Tier 7 harvesting area I’ve been frequenting since Fairuza was in her late 20s, and when you’re level 28 or so a level 67 critter can lay you flat before you can say “My, what sharp spines you have!” When you level as slowly as I do, it can be quite weird to realise stuff can’t one-shot you anymore. It’s entirely possible I mayย have cackled maniacally a few times as I got some bat and basilisk payback, in between harvesting stuff.

Anyway. Whatever you’re playing and whatever you’re achieving, have fun with it. Do what you enjoy and not what others think you should enjoy. It’s worth it.

Gratuitous "I get out sometimes!" screenie

Get off my node, you bitch!

17 responses to “Epic crafter is epic

  1. Just as a side note / comment about the extra long titles (because they get on my nerves too) you can change them from horizontal to vertical, placing each title one under the other:

    Master Tailor
    Ellithia Reveur

    Instead of seeing it as Master Tailor Ellithia Reveur all in one string. Of course since you turn names off it doesn’t really matter – but it does help on those rare chances that you actually do mouse over someone.

    Don’t forget you also get 1 of every type of T8 rare! Which is great, some of those items (especially loams) are pricey.

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    • Heh, being a harvesting junkie has some perks, one of them being… I have quite a lot of rares. (Except cobalt and except all of T7, but we won’t go there. Cobalt is this year’s ebon.)

      Enough, in fact, that I was able to loan a guildie the 13 T8 loams I had so he could get his new 80 his arts. Since then (this was 3 weeks or so ago) I’ve got my stock back up to 9 loam. Helps that a) I harvest like a bitch to feed my crafting addiction and b) I have no need for the arts/spells stuff myself just yet, and likely won’t for some time.

      Now if only they’d add in a few more pieces of incarnadine furniture… I’m sitting on a crapton of the stuff and nothing nice to make with it! (If nothing else it’ll be useful for adventuring stuff someday, but yawn! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      And thanks for the name tip! I think some distant corner of my brain had seen that in the options, but it never really registered consciously.

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  2. While it does not make EQ2 any more attractive to me (I am idling around in LOTRO now and then at the moment), you definitely have a point.

    It is indeed that rather limited mindset that is destroying virtual worlds. Both on parts of the developers as of some players. Though I believe it is the mistake of developers that they reinforce this mindset.

    PVP+RAIDING are the bane of MMOs. I am sure that Raids emerged from what was a stopgap measure for players that exhausted all content already. And PvP was all too often proclaimed to be “fun, neverending endgame content” that one must be a fool to still think this is true. Even good pvp, which is rare, can only keep people entertained for a limited time if the world overall has not much else to offer.

    Crafting is also only a part of a good world, on the other hand. Especially as most crafting systems have little to offer, especially in the context of their world.

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  3. Epic post.

    Funny thing, in a ‘1 man’s ceiling is another man’s floor’ kind of way… stuff I find interesting, like having to actually pay attention to what quest givers say, is exactly the kind of stuff other folks tear EQ2 down over… everything you can do isn’t always clearly laid out, and there aren’t always pathways of velvet rope to guide you to t3h ubern3zz.

    And yeah, the Paul Simon quote was just for you!

    On the flip side, EQ2 does seem to be a game that holds all the really cool stuff back for its higher level players. I’m constantly watching over Angela’s shoulder as she encounters some really imaginative and creepy mobs that she needs to fight.

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    • Heh — if you mean that drakota, it’s a lowish level (but epic) mob that spawns in Antonica. Another thing you’ll never see unless you’re in the right place at just the right time.

      I didn’t actually fight it — I just made it look like I was ๐Ÿ˜€

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  4. “Still, itโ€™s a bit of a hassle and Iโ€™ve not done any of the pre-req steps with anyone else. So donโ€™t expect a โ€œYsh has FIVE!! epic crafters, ah! ah! ah!โ€ post anytime soon.”

    I have faith in you. Plus I’m counting on you, Ria, and the rest of the Halasian gang to have all the other bases covered in case I ever go after my earring. j/k ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. Congrats, you zippy purple thing! Special red shinies sound pretty fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    LotRO has some of that hidden stuff, as well. E.g. after you deliver all the mail in the Shire, you get a nice trait (Patience, fittingly enough – which increases power regen and other fun stuff). But if you should happen to look in your deed log, there’s a note saying you might want to check with Postman Proudfoot back in Michel Delving… and he gives you a spiffy cloak and a new title (“of the Quick Post”). There’s no onscreen cue though to point you to this; you have to kind of dig for it or get lucky.

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  6. Gratz on your epic! I did the prelim work on it for my jeweler back when she was adventure level 54, but then didn’t want to grind the Bathezid writs for faction. She’s 75 now and has done enough of the adventuring side of things to not need to grind writs anymore, but I still just haven’t gotten around to working on her epic yet.

    Hm. I may just have to start on that this weekend. I’m kinda bored with adventuring right now, after all. Plus I want to get the recipes for the level 77 Mastercrafted jewelry. The armor’s cheap, but people are asking 4+ plat for the jewelry, and I’ve got a nice stockpile of the essences, so I can make it cheap once I learn the recipes (I hope).

    Nice shot of. . . Ladon, isn’t it? I got a server discovery for some fabled chain boots with my monk off him *way* back in the day.

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    • Heh, I had to go look it up. That’s Anguis, level 23 ^^^ epic x2 according to my map info. I just happened to be riding by (harvesting, natch) while he/she/it was up, and I liked the way it gave me the stinkeye ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  7. Is it bad that I knew exactly who that Drakota was and exactly where on the map you were when you took that picture? ><

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    • It makes you an expert, geek and Bartle-type explorer dude alike, Wiqd. ๐Ÿ™‚ All explorer type players who did not recognize the location will for sure envy you!

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  8. Congrats on your epic! I’ve done it 6 times and I love the humor involved. I still think the master cloaks are the coolest looking in the game.

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  9. Aw, you’re making me want to play EQ2 with your talk of crafting. The only MMO I can still stomach atm is LOTRO, though, but the not having envelope-pushing crafting is a little depressing.

    I’ve been quasi-satisfying that somewhat by returning to the genre of my younger years, though – the city-builder. Ah, the joys of Caesar/Pharaoh/SimCity/Settlers! Right now I’m on an Imperium Romanum kick, but I may have to pick up 1701 AD since it’s on sale.

    The only thing I miss about these games is having other players to interact with … but Cities XL is coming out in a couple months, so we’ll see!

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