Getting Crafty in
Beta Crafting Preview
A few Fridays ago I was lucky enough to receive my beta invite to
Vanguard Saga of Heroes. After many minutes of wondering if this was a
hoax or some cruel joke it dawned on me that at long last I had
actually gotten into beta. I immediately registered the key and began
the download. While downloading I became quite afraid that Vanguard
would not live up to my hopes and that maybe all the angry posters
claiming beta leaks were right. By the time the download was finished
it I was quite scared to start the game. It was also getting late and
almost time for me to go to sleep. I thought for all of about 5 seconds
about going to sleep and starting on Saturday. Nervously, I made a
character and entered the world with the intention of doing some
crafting tonight and then adventuring the next day.
Let me start by saying the critics were very wrong. Vanguard is much
more than I could ever have hoped. It’s an amazing game.
It’s really hard to compare it to anything else because
it’s so huge, complex and has such an epic feeling to it.
Most games can’t compare to Vanguard. Sigil is actually
building a living breathing world while most MMOGs are building small
The crafting in Vanguard is very good; much better than I could have
hoped for. It’s easy to get started in crafting, but at the
same time it is complicated. I have been in beta a few weeks now and I
still feel I know very little about crafting. But my lack of knowledge
does not stop me from crafting (although I suspect it stops me crafting
as well as I should). But the little I do know, I have been allowed to
tell you. Just be aware that I am still a noob and my information is
far from complete.
I started as a Gnome Blood Mage, named Zinn. In Vanguard crafting is
performed in the crafting areas of cities and towns. To become a
crafter I had to first get to the Gnome city of Mekalia. After reaching
adventuring level four and finishing a number of starter quests I
entered the city of Mekalia. It is an amazing and stunning looking
city. Like the Gnome city in EQ1, Mekalia is a maze but much easier to
get around. I spent a good deal of time being wowed by the beauty of
the city. Once I looked around a bit I went looking for the crafting
master a quest NPC had sent me to see.
Upon meeting the crafting master I started the crafting tutorial
quests. My first choice was to select one of three crafting classes:
Artificer, Blacksmith, or Outfitter. I chose Outfitter. (One can change
crafting classes later by speaking with a crafting instructor, but you
will lose all crafting experience gained.)
The crafting tutorial took me on a journey through the basics of
crafting. It taught me what to bring with me to a crafting encounter,
the basics of making an item, the tools and items needed in crafting,
work orders and more.
Crafting is done at crafting stations. There are 3 types of stations:
refining, finishing and assembly.
The first thing the tutorials taught me is what materials I needed to
make an item. Every crafted item has a recipe indicating what tools and
ingredients are required. One cannot add tools or items once a crafting
encounter has begun so it’s important to bring the correct
tools to the crafting encounter. Let’s first take a look at
what I learned about these items.
User Interface (UI)
One of the nicest features of the Vanguard UI is that players have a
separate inventory screen for adventuring, diplomacy, crafting and href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?set_albumName=article-illustrations&id=ScreenShot_00006&op=modload&name=Gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 150px; height: 120px; float: right;"
alt="Crafting UI" title="crafting UI (click to enlarge)"
hspace="4" vspace="2"> harvesting gear.
Players wear all 4 sets of gear at once so there is no unnecessary
tedium involved in changing out crafting and adventuring gear and
weapons. The UI also changes your gear and your avatar’s look
depending on what action you are performing. Attack a mob and
you’ll find yourself automatically wearing your adventure
clothes. Begin harvesting some copper and you automatically change into
your harvesting clothes.
I was given a three slot tool belt in one of the crafting tutorial
quests. Each recipe requires 3 tools to make. Finishing tools needed
are different from those needed for refining work. Upon completing the
tutorial quests I immediately bought a six slot tool belt from the
crafting supply vendor to avoid having to switch out tools. Tools, like
adventuring items, come with statistics which can make one tool
preferable over another.
There are slots for three tool belts. You can equip all the tool belts
at once in your inventory and decide which to bring with you to a
crafting encounter. Some non-standard tools are needed to perform
There are four types of ingredients:
Every recipe requires a raw material to start. To make mangled leather
one has to have mangled hides (obtained by harvesting animals) as raw
materials. When you’re completing work orders (which are
issued by NPCs) the raw material is always provided.
Each recipe requires one fuel ingredient. For outfitting that
ingredient can be either solution cleaners or corrosive solvents. This
ingredient is used in one of the crafting actions. Fuel can be
purchased from one of the crafting supply vendors.
These are non-standard ingredients that can also be purchased from the
crafting vendor. These ingredients are not required to make the product
but are listed on the recipe list. You can use these ingredients to
perform special actions during the crafting process, but it is not
necessary to use these to make items.
Enhancements are used for making player items but not on work orders.
One can bring enhancement powders into the crafting process and use
them during the refining process. These enhancements will add
statistics or abilities to the final product.
The crafting process is not as complicated as it may look. Actually it
is very easy. All one is trying to do is make the best quality product
without running out of action points. But more on that later. Now that
we know what we can bring with us in the crafting process
let’s look at how the process works.
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