Typically, I didn’t find my screenshot key in time and missed out on the “You are now level BlahBlah” popup message and pretty light show, though I expect I’ll live. So, obligatory bragging screenie:
Aside from the bragging, I wanted to share with the other EQ2 crafting types out there that the 80-90 road wasn’t nearly as awfully grindy as I expected it to be — though it’s possible I have a different definition of “grind” than some when it comes to crafting.
It is worth noting that I would never have been able to level Fair this quickly (quick for me) if it hadn’t been for Halasian Empire’s spiffy guild harvesting NPCs: if I’d had to harvest all the stuff I needed myself it would have involved a lot more time and a great many more deaths, though I was glad to notice that Tier 9 harvesting isn’t impossible even if one isn’t max adventuring level. It just requires a bit more patience and a lot more cunning with respect to aggro ranges, and I saw several spots where harvesting was entirely safe.
While I ran out of crafting vitality (think rest xp) rather quickly, and don’t yet have access to the lovely lovely 6-year veteran reward that refills one’s crafting vitality once a week per char, I did still have a bunch of veteran-reward xp potions which gave Fair +55% xp for an hour each. I think I sucked down 6 or 8 of them in the course of getting to 90, mostly because I’m a slacker and keep running off AFK only to remember 15 minutes later that the precious potion is busily ticking down.
The first couple of levels came from doing crafting quests in and around Paineel — I haven’t finished those quest lines, since I haven’t even met the Panda People (aka Hua Mein) yet, but I got tired of having to ride those little platforms over great gulphing nothingness as I went from pillar to post, so eventually I stopped doing those and just went home to the guild hall to do crafting writs. That had two benefits: 1) A lot less crafting lag than I was experiencing in the new zones, and 2) a fair bit of guild xp, which is always nice to get.
It might interest other provisioners to know that the expansion is nicer to us than previous tiers have been. For one thing we get a dozen recipes each level rather than the measly 4 or so we used to get — that adds up nicely over the course of 10 levels, and it’s just plain better to have more stuff to make when you level up. Secondly, provisioner crafting has been fixed to bring it in line with other professions: flubbing an event counter now hurts (somewhat), but countering correctly also restores power, which it never used to do and which was a pain in my crafting backside in the lower levels. Sure, you can palliate that with power regen items like totems, but it always irked me that we weren’t coherent with other professions, with the exception of alchemists who (I think) are still shafted in the power-returning events department.
So all in all, getting Fairuza to 90 wasn’t nearly as painful as I was expecting. Like I said though, I don’t particularly mind doing a crapton (27 this morning, for instance) crafting writs; they provide enough xp, guild xp and personal status to keep me entertained and feeling like I’m being rewarded. Other people’s mileage may vary — I know I’ve heard a lot of people complain about how awful provisioning is, though I’ve never seen it myself. (Obviously, or I wouldn’t have levelled 2 of them on different accounts.)
The best thing of all — and the main reason I was prepared to chain all those writs like a maniac — is that my other characters on that account now have their xp bonus back for having a max-level character. It’s only 10% right now, but it all adds up; the next person I get to 90 will raise that bonus to 20%, and so on up to a max of 50% which really does make those levels fly by. It’s like free t-shirts — no gamer can refuse an xp bonus.
Good luck to anyone else out there levelling crafters in the expansion. And if you’re levelling adventurers, more power to you. I doubt any of mine will ever get to 90 adventuring before the next expansion comes out!