Today went much much smoother then the previous two days of playing – even with the four hour down time (which occurs again today, at least things are getting fixed). I did CTD (crash to desktop) once randomly while crafting in some lag, but for the most part everything ran smoothly. I grabbed Randolph the reindeer and decided to pick up those rift points. There are a lot of them. I finished off the Kojan ones, and the Qalia ones, I still have the third continent to go adventure through. I grabbed them on Satia (the 23 blood mage) and it took about two hours. I haven’t decided if I’m going to get them on my alts as well while Randolph is around for use.
I also spent quite a bit of time crafting, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Since EQII’s gone the rout of “KISS” I’ve taken little to no pride in any crafting, anyone can do it now, and it doesn’t take any skill or finesse. However, I find Vanguard crafting really complicated. That can be good and bad. My blood mage had no gear on her, so I made her a full set of level 6 gear, grade A. I was exceptionally happy. She also managed to level from 3 to 9, almost 10. At level 8 she was able to learn a recipe to make bags, which are a huge plus in my book, not to mention a little source of income, as bags (on my server at least) are REALLY expensive. We’re talking 50s for a 14 slot bag. I’ve been pricing mine at 25s, because they don’t require a whole lot to make, and they’re pretty simple.
I’ll have to stock up on some for myself / my alts / any friends who want any (if you want some made just let me know MrrX!) but it’s been really fun so far. Granted, I feel a little under geared, as my level 23 is wearing level 6 gear, but hey it’s better then running around naked.
One thing I noticed is that they’ve changed the death penalty slightly. You used to have to buy crystals to bind your gear to yourself, so that when you die, the gear comes with you and you don’t just end up running back to your corpse naked. While I love having to do corpse retrievals, doing them with no gear was not fun. Now it seems they’ve implemented the same system most mmo’s have, which is a BoE (bind on equip) and so when you die, your gear will still be on you. Of course you’ll still want to go get your corpse, for experience loss reasons and all those items you had in your inventory (or you can summon your corpse, for a loss of experience etc).
I’m very glad that the game doesn’t seem too dumbed down. Yes, there’s another 4 hour patch today. Fine by me. They’ve made significant progress from what I can see. I love how smooth things run. I was getting around 56 FPS flying Randolph around above the land, 25 FPS in the cities, which is a huge improvement from the 3 FPS I got at release. I really did have a blast harvesting and crafting last night. I’ve decided since Satia is already my outfitter and has reaping and skinning as her crafts, I’ve picked up Armorer on Arysh, with mining and Quarrying, and I’ll pick a third one for Ishbel (maybe, I haven’t decided). It’s nice to be able to make my own gear and make some lowbie gear at that.
Anyhow, if you’re in VG let me know so I can get some brotherhoods or adventure groups going! I’ve got my level 23 blood mage, but also have a level 9 warrior I’m quite partial to. With the bonus experience covering all three spheres, it’s going nicely.