Author: stargrace (Page 299 of 320)

Things I *really* wish I’d known before hand

Welcome to Vanguard crafting 101. Where every single day you learn something new (or so it would appear). I bring your attention to the image above. It’s for Kojani Jute leg patern (a let piece, seems simple enough). Here’s what you don’t really see from the start though. On initial glance, it would look like (to me.. am I the only one who saw it this way?) you need 20 pieces of jute bolt. 4 of each of the mentioned types, drifter, charlatan, votary, and mystic.

WRONG

You only need 4 of any ONE of those types. So you could have 4 plain jute bolts, or you could attune some, and use 4 drifter, 4 charlatan, 4 votary, or 4 mystic. Don’t be like me and make 20 pieces of jute bolt thinking all of them go into a single piece of gear! It is funny now that I think about it, but damn what a waste of well, everything. I have all this attuned jute now though I suppose I could actually do something with it.

Something else that they don’t tell you as you’re working along the crafting process. Mystic = Wisdom, Drifter = Constitution, Charlatan = Intelligence, Votary = Vitality. How do you learn them without having to search all over? Simple, trial and error as you purchase these 2s each attunements (yes, you can make 3 at a time though, so it’s not a total waste at least). That, was my afternoon, crafting. I didn’t get any experience for any of the jute bolts I’d worked so hard to make either since they were trivial (which I REALLY wish would SHOW YOU in your dang crafted book.. for now you’re expected to simply remember what you’ve made and trivialized in the past). Still sitting at level 4 outfitter. I’m close to 5 though at least. Now that I’ve vented… back to your regular scheduled blogging.

Now I’m free, free falling..

Elissa, doing some Jin trials and falling through the air

Ok, I tried to play the goblin and it just didn’t work out for me. Why? Because I am one of those people who just don’t want to be a green little kid looking creature with a giant man face. Yes, there, I said it. In game looks matter to me. I’m going to be playing for hours possibly, and staring at that character was just very uninspiring. So I remade my rogue, and yes, I know, Kojan again?! A few reasons for this though. A good deal of my friends are playing Kojans, and I really like the starter zone and Tanvu. I also like their racial ability. In a few short hours I’d reached level 8 with Elissa, the new rogue. Mailed her the money I had stashed on the old rogue. I really like the class. I worked diplomacy to a skill of 40 (just enough to be able to do the free mount quest once I hit level 10) and called it a night. I figure I’ll switch out between the rogue, the necromancer, and the blood mage, depending on my moods. I have a warrior that I’ve been mailing plate gear to over time, I haven’t logged her in at all though.

Learned that archery is a hard skill to increase, especially as a rogue. Why would I even bother? Well one of my beginner quests gave me a bow, and while I may not be a ranger (and may instead end up poking out some poor blokes eye) I figured I’d give it a try. Bows don’t auto-attack for you (that I saw at least) so that’s slightly annoying, it was like a combo move that I had to hit every time it refreshed. Managed to find myself about 9 things of pocket lint. I’m working on a sweater I think for the upcoming cold winter.

Learned a new helpful hint when you get stuck some place (as long as you’re in a group). The /rope command saves you from having to use the /stuck yes command (which ports you, typically to the nearest altar or binding stone). Just have your group mate target you and use it, it’ll pull you to them, and free you from whatever plant/tree/bush/rock/outcropping you managed to land yourself in. I imagine there are all sorts of handy hints and tips out there on commands in game that I don’t even know about at all. I remember EQ1 being like that, since they also had the /corpse command, /corpse drag, etc. EQ2 didn’t have any of these short cuts.

Two more important commands for me to remember were /autojoin set and then the channel name, regionsay. For some reason when I joined a channel my EQ2 guild set up on Vanguard, I didn’t remember to autojoin the region channel any more, so I was just in that channel, and wondered for a few days why it was so utterly quiet. Turns out it’s not very quiet at all, /autojoin regionsay, randomchannelhere and you’re set.

Also found a nice site for some VGSoH UI’s, there is of course VGinterface.com, but there is also Vgsohinterface.com – which has a nice selection. I started off by using Drox, it’s one of the most commonly used UI’s mainly because it’s been around the longest. I recently switched over to Grim though. You can find it under the complete sets category. A UI is important to me, makes me feel like I’m playing a game without the crappy WoW screen. Plus I like to see my stats and my coin actually on the screen with me instead of tucked away in my character screen.

Noticed Vanguard doesn’t have any place to let you write a personal bio about yourself. Neither does WoW. So it makes the Rp server slightly lacking. In fact, I’ve rarely come across anyone who Rp’s at all. I figure give it a few months when people are not quite so preoccupied with leveling and crafting, and then we’ll find ourselves some Rp. Though in the regionsay channel yesterday some people were selling the first sloops on the market (small ships), 15g and you get to pick the colours. An entire guild built dedicated to harvesting the materials for these ships. Sounds interesting to say the least.

Pocket Lint, and all of it’s Wonderful Uses

Wow, I wonder what could be made from this! Perhaps a dust bunny, or two!

Qutey brushed a strand of her coarse hair out of her eyes, the straw-like quality it had was becoming ever so annoying as she trekked through the region doing various odds and ends for whomever required her services. The goblin sighed. It was not exactly how she had envisioned her career as a pick pocket. Not that she really had pictured any sort of career from her talents – if they could be called that. The sun was setting, and she was ending yet another task that was required of her. All this to prove herself in the eyes of someone else who just simply didn’t matter that much.

She trudged up the kill, and glanced to the sky, asking for patience.

“Are you Qutey?” a raspy voice asked from her side.

“Err..” She stuttered, knowing very well she’d not given out her name. One of the first rules, after all.

“The Ancestral Spirits talk of you, whispering of great things you will do..” the voice hissed, and spittle flew from the strangers lips. They glanced at her as though they had very little faith in the Ancestral Spirits, and that perhaps they’d been mistaken of this goblin woman who stood hunched over absentmindedly brushing away invisible strands of hair.

“Well.. thanks.. I guess…” Qutey trailed off, unsure of what to say. This person was obviously a lunatic. Her mother had taught her better though, and she kept silent about what she personally thought of the stranger and their odd prophesies.

Finally the one she’d been waiting for arrived, a bunch of notes and papers trailing after them. He eyed Qutey, and got right to business.

“The Legend of Grakkor..” he murmered, eyes glazing over some what. “Tell me girl, what do you know of it.. ” Qutey tried to think back, it had been a while since she’d had any sort of history lessons. She shrugged, letting the newcomer know she knew very little to nothing at all about this legend.

“Ah, foolish child,” he coughed and started shuffling through his bags. “Do they not teach any more these days,” he continued to mummer under his breath, pulling papers out and tossing them towards Qutey so that she was forced to catch them or they’d fall to the ground in the mud. “Read those,” he said with a flicker of annoyance in his voice. “Then you will learn of the Legend of Grakkor, and why it is so important to the clan Martok.” He said no more, and left Qutey standing there wondering after him. She looked at the booklets in her hands and winced. It was going to be a long night.

(( Ok, so the little Rp blurb actually had very little to do with why Qutey likes to pick pocket lint off of people, but it was amusing none the less. I’ve been having a lot of fun with the rogue, she’s now sitting at level 8, with 22 diplomacy. No crafting quite yet. The starter zone is still one of the better ones I’ve seen besides Tanvu. The lore is interesting, the quests are fun, and she’s died a handful of times but it hasn’t bothered me. Game is unfortunately coming down for an emergency patch so I can’t play her too much more right now. ))

The Latest Addition – Qutey Patootie, Rogue of Martok

Isn’t she a little Qutey?

I finally managed to grind my necromancer to 10. It was.. not fun. I really was not enjoying the dark elf starter city at all. So I decided I’d start a few more classes and find the one that stood out to me. Granted, maybe I’m just not the sort of person who ever has that happen. In WoW (as you can see by the character sheets listed under quick links) I had an abundance of characters, same with EQ2. So why would Vanguard be any different — even if I was trying to change my alt-ness ways. I made a druid and quickly grew bored of her, fun, but it was just like playing any other nuker. It was very different to be wearing cloth as a druid instead of leather, and to be nuking instead of healing. Almost every game I’ve played has the druid as a healer. The unique take on this was fun. I’ll probably pick that character up again once I’m bored of my latest trial.

Meet Qutey Patootie, above. A goblish rogue who skulks around stabbing at things. Sneak and hide remind me very very much of my rogue back in EQ1, where you had to work the skills up or you were detected. There’s a few small bugs. Number one being — when you are sneaking and hiding, there is no real indication as to whether or not the mobs actually see you. Their names remain red, agro to you. When you sneak a little closer to them — if they have the chance to see you (especially if you come up at them from the front) little question marks will fly about their head as though they’ve heard something, and they will look directly at you, or if you’re close, they’ll charge you and break your stealth. So there’s some indication. But if you’re just wandering around, they all still look aggressive.

After reading this post on weaknesses and how to exploit them, I found myself teamed up with a monk. Low and behold, monks have a move that I can exploit with one of my level 2 skills. That was fun. I did notice one other small bug, as I was fighting, on a random encounter it said I had done a legendary attack.. and at level 5 — which was astounding to me — I hit the mob for 700 damage roughly at first, and then finished it off for another 600 damage.. at level 5?! That just did not seem right to me, I couldn’t understand it. Not that I was about to complain!

The goblin starter city is a lot of fun. The quests there pay far more then the ones in any other starting zone I’ve been to paid. Maybe to entice those who find the race ugly? I was getting on average 70-80 copper per level 5-6 quest. My necromancer didn’t get paid that amount until level 8-9 quests. So Qutey is sitting comfortably at 6 silver and some change. I’m finding the rogue a lot of fun, and perhaps this will be one of those characters I actually level to some degree. Martok (the starting point) is wide and open, with lots of places to explore, having stealth makes this a whole lot easier. Hopefully as I develop the character some, I’ll get around to writing some rp stories about the gal. We’ll have to see how it goes.

Now that’s a Skeleton – and Views on the Dark Elf Starter City

My little level 9 necromancer, standing beside a giant skeleton for one of her quests. Now, I have a level 10 blood mage and a few other characters. I have started in a lot of new zones, and the dark elf one by far just.. sucks.

I’m level 9 and the only quests I have left are mainly diplomacy (she’s only sitting at a skill of 27 right now), and the adventuring ones she has are a lot bigger then her. I’ve tried to group up for them but no one seems interested. I’m looking forward to being slightly higher level so I can at least join my friends who are off adventuring all over. Anyhow.

The majority of the dark elf quests also do not have locations that show up on your map. They’ll say ‘in a canyon close to here’, and then you get to wander around and find out it’s not actually close to there at all. Or they’ll say ‘go find so and so, he’s east of this outpost’. It’s late though and you log off, the next morning you go back to the quest, you’re no where near the original outpost and the quest has no way to show you where that is, thus you are not even sure where the second outpost that you need to head to is.

I’d also say there’s a lack of quests. For my blood mage she ended up finding two npc’s who had no less then 10 level 8-10 quests on them, she got her levels easily and painlessly. The necromancer is struggling along, the quests are difficult, and there are not very many. Not in comparison to the other classes I’ve played at least. I was going to scrap the necro all together and remake a different race just to get out of their starter city, but decided I’d stick it out until 10 and see if it got any easier.

My blood mage was also a hell of a lot easier to level solo then the necro, while I applaud Vanguard’s idea to make the healer classes more ‘fun’ and unique, there’s no reason why a healer should be able to heal better then anyone else in the game – and dps – and tank. Which is exactly what a lot of healers are doing. It’s a wonderful way to keep people interested, but why bother being anything else, when you can be a healer and just simply do it all.

Ok, enough of that rant. On a completely different note — I finally understand crafting. That’s right, you heard it here first! After struggling with it since release, I sat down and spent a few hours working on it yesterday. I did refining and finishing work orders, started with the easy ones and worked up slightly to moderate. I didn’t bother with anything harder then that for the time being. The experience started going very slowly, but I still had fun. I made more coin then I ever had adventuring, and bought myself some new gear upgrades and 10-slot bags with it. Also got the necromancer to level 6 artificer. It was fun. So I’m finally at least comfortable in the game. Here’s hoping they’re going to be fixing bugs. There’s plenty of lore and story lines if you look for them, especially with diplomacy. It’s easy to get into a role play mode and create an elaborate background for yourself simply following those. For example the dark elves are testing the blood of their race to see if they’re worthy and all this stuff. There’s been an outlaw I’ve been helping because his wife was not found worthy or what have you, but now she’s dead and he’d like to come back to the city, so the guards said he could — if — he defeated some bird thing that’s way up on a cliff (where I would have to fight level 10 ^^^ just to get to him). So yeah, there are certainly a lot of stories around. I still hate the starter zone though.

Hopscotch – Free Diplomacy Horse

Hopscotch, Satia’s new horse

Have I mentioned that I love diplomacy? I have? Just once or twice, right? Well, let me mention it again. I’m taking my time with Vanguard, I really have no other choice. I some how found myself surrounded by quests yesterday and as I diligently did each one the experience climbed until I managed to move myself from level 7 to level 10 (and half way through that). I got a lot of new skills, some interesting, some confusing. Finishing blows, which are of course self explanatory. Parts of chains.. which still elude me. A new stance, that takes 5% of my health and transfers it into energy (mana). I’m basically a cross between a healer, and a necromancer. I also got my first rez. I have a skill that lets me boil my own blood and make vials of it. Then those vials are used as a reagent in another spell that lets me avoid all damage for 6 seconds and mitigate 10% of the damage back to my opponents. I have sets of heals that I can only use on other people, which is a unique idea to me.

So I worked on my diplomacy until I got it to a skill of 40, and then was told I could acquire a free horse if I wanted! Of course I jumped at that chance. It required a lot of traveling, I left Tanvu and took the port at the dock to Ca’ial Brael, then headed towards my quest npc. He lent me a horse, and I did some fast courier type quests, then I was told that if I wanted to do more, I could — but I’d have to reach level 10 in either adventuring or crafting first. Hence my mad questing to get to level 10. Once I’d gotten it I returned to the npc and was sent on another courier quest, to deliver 3 items and of course parle with each of them as well (and win).

With my skill nearing 47 now, and theirs at 50, it was pretty simple. I had 23 minutes left on my 40 minute timer. Turned it in, and ta da, Hopscotch. I claimed my new horse shoes for her, and equipped my saddle bags, which apparently you can fill and keep with you if you die — not certain about this though I’ve not tried it. I’m glad I didn’t have to save up coin for this new mount, there’s no way I’d be able to afford it. I’m down to 7s after purchasing my level 10 spells. Still having some issues making money. I’m going to attempt crafting again today — maybe. A few more of my friends have been talking about how much fun it is, so we’ll see how it goes!

Working along..

Working my way through Vanguard, has been interesting. Crafting is pretty much the last thing I feel that I should learn how to master, even though I haven’t really grouped up very much yet. I did get a guild invite on my bloodmage but declined. When it comes to choosing a guild I want to know what I’m getting into. A friend of mine invited me to their guild but it’s absolutely huge, and I’m not really looking for something that already has over 100 members. I’d just get lost in there. Speaking of guilds, there’s been a whole lot of drama with my old raiding guild on EQ2, who broke up due to Vanguard being released and leadership moving on. They’re all trying to cover it up, saying recruitment lacked, and they didn’t have enough for raids (when they were sitting members out due to having more then the required 24, and kicking out people they deemed unfit for their idea of a raiding guild) when what it came down to was lack of interest in Eq2 on their parts. A lot of people’s feelings were hurt, and I can’t say I blame them. At least if they had of just admitted it was the new game, and not tried to shift the blame onto other things (that can be worked around if any of them actually had any interest) people would be slightly more understanding. It’s not a bad thing that they’ve moved on, I can understand it, but they handled it very poorly.

In real life news, I am back home! So thankful to be here too. There’s no place like home, it was great to sleep in my own bed for once. I wasn’t so sure my kitty would remember who I was, but after a few minutes hiding under the bed she finally seemed to remember. 

Still lots of issues with Vanguard, and they haven’t done any patching in a few days. I hope they’re going to continue fixing some of the major bugs. I’ve managed to get to 40 diplomacy, except there’s one quest I can’t seem to finish. A woman in Tanvu (I may have spelled that wrong, I forget now) wants me to find out why her soldiers are not working. There’s a mysterious house they’re all standing around, afraid to go inside. I’ve beaten all of their arguments, even hers (who has a skill level of 40) numerous times now, but the quest won’t update. It says to continue interviewing each of the guards until she deems the situation solved. I don’t know if perhaps I have to win every single argument without failing any in between for it to update or if it’s broken or what. The reward is quite a few pieces of diplomacy gear, which I’m really looking forward to.

Another diplomacy quest rewarded me with a 12 slot bag, now THERE was something I could use! I’d been walking around with the default bag and some 4-slots since creation. I seem to always be broke, which is something I need to adventure for a little bit more. Diplomacy doesn’t pay that well, not that you really need it to I suppose. I’ve got a couple of silver to my name. The bloodmage is still one of the best classes I’ve tried so far, so I think I’ll stick with it and see where I go.

In the mean time I’ve also been playing a little WoW, I still love the PvP there, and it’s lack of complexity is a joy after trying to figure things out in Vanguard.

Wrapping my head Around Crafting

Attempted crafting, again, and got the hang of it. Almost. Until I looked at these recipes I was getting for finished products, and realized that I don’t know what the heck a ‘charlatan’s just bolt’ is. So I decided to nose around some and try to figure it out. Apparently there are special items you can buy from a goods merchant that you can use during refining, and imbue (so to speak) magical properties into the base products. However, they don’t tell you what makes what.. so to test it, I bought wisdom. It costs 2s each, expensive. Combining it allowed me to make a mystic’s jute bolt. I have no idea what the rest are stat wise, but then I can take all of those, and make that one item.Confusing! Complicated! Expensive! At least it’s expensive for me, if I look at each piece costing 2s + utilities each. I don’t even know how to make just a plain simple Jute bolt yet…. Anyone know of any crafting guides out there? Specifically for outfitter if possible. I tried doing some work orders as well, but ran out of harvested items fast. I’ll have to gather more before I attempt any more. I did get to level 4 though! Small accomplishments are always nice.

 I finally wrapped my head around diplomacy enough so that I feel fairly comfortable with it. My only issue now, is knowing what cards to use before I engage in it. How do I know if it’s a gossip conversation or any other type first? Other then that, it’s not going too poorly.

I still wish the game mechanics were better. I’m typing /flush every few minutes, been dropped randomly from the game, and horrible spurts of lag. I like it when I’m out in open places though. Harvesting as an outfitter is also much easier then my artificer. I love being able to skin my kills.

Erollisi Day, flowers, and what EQ2 did wrong

Even though EQ2 may not have it’s fingers grasped so tightly in me lately, I did log in and find a pleasant (and also saddening) surprise with their set up of Erollisi day, which is Valentines day pretty much. There was no shortage of house items, two merchants stood outside the Inn in Qeynos Harbor (they may look familiar, I suggest you go in for a peek and watch their head-bobs in sync for yourself) with flowers, heart shaped pillows, and boxes of chocolates for sale. The price has gone up significantly from what I remember house items (from vendors) first going at, 1g50s-2g each piece, with well over 20 different types of items for sale. I of course bought one of everything, and two of the pillows and boxes of chocolate.

Checking my mail also proved to be a little fun, a secret admirer apparently sent me a rose (everyone in game should have gotten one) with directions to the two quests that also focus on the holiday. Unfortunately after buying the house items I wasn’t really in the mood to play any more, and logged out without experimenting with the new quests.

The reason why I say this is saddening, is that Eq2 has been concentrating on providing the quick little things that satisfy their customers, rather then the big picture. So many of my friends have now left in preference to Vanguard, which is basically still in beta when you play it there are just that many bugs. Yet they still would rather that then play in the boredom that is Eq2. Unrest is still not in game. EoF was a very nice expansion — for some. Here’s where it failed.

If you were already level 70, with a nice set of gear, who raids fairly frequently, there was just enough content and quests to get you your extra 50 aa, and to complete the few raids that there were, and then you were done. Two months after the expansion came out. Clockworks is a joke with crappy gear. Freethinkers was slightly challenging, but once you got the tactics down, it was a breeze. Emerald Halls is very difficult, and fun — however the zone is so full of trash mobs that drop nothing at all it makes it annoying and frustrating to work through just to get a chance at the names who may or may not be up. Inner Sanctum has been revamped a few times now, after people complained it was far too easy to farm the fabled class gear. Mayor Mayong being the only ‘real’ challenge in the zone.

Then there’s the gear. Very little of it is actually upgrades from KoS. Also, with KoS we saw the introduction to relic gear — where at least you had a chance to roll on the type of armor that your class wears, for example, leather. Chain. Plate. With EoF however, there is class specific gear, where you may see 10 coercer pieces drop and not have a single coercer in your guild to take advantage of the loot. It takes a lot longer for anyone to get anything they actually need. You start to get doubles fast, and unless your 24 person raid force has 2-3 of the same class, things start to go to waste, and you could be waiting literally months before you see your specific piece drop. Frustraiting.

EoF was great for people who wanted to start new characters. Who had alts. Where they could explore each of the new zones and the instances as they leveled up, and earn their aa along the way (which is so much easier now that they start at level 10.. imagin being level 70 and having to try to max out those aa from named and quests and collections that are already very grey to you, while the level 10 can do it all as they level). The fact that the level cap was not raise, seemed like a good idea at the time, it gives people a chance to catch up. However, with the mentor system in place, there’s no reason why the level cap should have stayed at 70. Having your friends catch up is no longer an issue.

I can’t speak for other servers or other players, just what I’ve seen and experienced myself. On Lucan D’Lere the server is practically dead. The 5 ‘hardcore’ raid guilds have diminished down to one. Players, leaders, and members leaving for other servers and other games. Where as I saw Eq1 running strong when I joined it after it had already been live for 5 years, I do not see the same for Eq2 and SoE is going to have to implement drastic measures if they want to hold their audience. Vanguard may be buggy, but it’s also a huge new world, with unique methods of battle, harvesting, crafting, diplomacy, and various other things. It’s complex, which is what the hardcore Eq2 crowd is looking for. Games like WoW may have a huge player base, but the game is not complex lets be frank.

Anyhow, that’s enough of that rant. It was nice to be back in Eq2, but I don’t see it keeping me there any longer. I’ll be keeping my account open since I’ve got station access (for now) and it lets me play both Eq2 and Vanguard, we’ll see where it goes.

Vgplayers.com – oh how I love you

A partial screen shot from http://www.vgplayers.com

One thing I loved about eq2 (when they finally implemented it) was their leader boards. I like to keep track of my characters, see where they’ve been, where they got their levels, where they are in comparison to everyone else on their server and even world wide. It’s fun, and gives me little baby goals.

So I was very happy to see it carried over to Vanguard, and done so very well. I looked up my character Tashina just to see what things looked like. The blog, is an awesome idea. It auto-updates every time your character does something of significance, such as hitting level 5, or 10, discovering an item. The portraits are a neat feature that let you update from in game as well. It would be great to see more of these sorts of forums set up for other MMO’s, I’m pretty sure WoW doesn’t have anything at all like that.

I started a new bloodmage, level 5 so far and I may have stumbled into my new favorite class. They use blood points, basically every offensive attack you do has a reward of blood points. When you cast a heal after accumulating some of these points, the base heal gains a bonus. It strikes me as a combination between healer and necromancer. I eat some of my health to cast a dot, then heat the mobs health and regain some of my own as a heal. Very fun to say the least. They also wear cloth, making them slightly weaker then the other healer types who mainly wear leather chain or plate, but their abilities more then compensate for this.

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