Adventures in Armouring
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
I have long met the word "tradeskilling" with sneering, doubt, and sobbing. When I heard the news of the tradeskill revamp last year at the community summit, I was skeptical but it sounded good on paper. After months and months of work by Beghn (who I'm sure had help), Live Update 24 finally rolled around and brought forth those dreams. Now if you're looking for a complex story of advanced tradeskilling and precise changes, I invite you to head over to Niami Denmother's site EQ2Traders. If you are interested in reading the unusual experiences of someone who hasn't crafted since around launch, read on.
When EverQuest 2 started, it had bugs as any MMO does at launch and quite a few were with tradeskills. EverQuest 2 tried to break new ground by making crafting actually interactive. While the crafting process was going, there were actual events to counter which means you couldn't just fall asleep. They also instilled interdependency of tradeskills on each other. For example, in order to make a spell, one class needed ink from another class so no one crafter was independent. The exception to this was Provisoners, who had other difficulties. Ah, these were good times. When the skills to counter the events didn't even work, so you just mashed whatever you felt like. Yeah, I made it to level 20 and stopped.
The system broke down with the interdependency, but why? First of all everything required 2 billion subcomponents. In order to make a burrito, you had to get unrefined beef, then flour to make the tortilla, then beans to make the...well you get the point. Problem is, your class couldn't make the tortilla, so you were stuck with a bunch of beans. So, I quit crafting because (and no disrespect to anyone from the old school tradeskilling) it bored me. It made me want to eat glass, and play with matches.
So when Live Update 24 showed up, I thought I'd give tradeskilling another chance. I mean Niami spends so much time doing it, so there must be something to it. I set off with my level 9 Artisan (I got up to level 9 so I could finish the Manastone Heritage Quest) and began making crap. There are no more subcombines! I don't have to make tortilla shells anymore! The changes now just require you to grab 3 raw components and toss them in there with a fuel. The only multiple combine stuff, is imbued and mastercrafted. I zoomed through level after level with no questions, other than how a forge can hit me for more damage than a level 60 heroic.
22 levels later as an armourer I'm still going strong. I find it a little annoying the first level of a tier gives you a ton of recipes, while the last year gives you like one. I don't want to make 35 pairs of pants to level. Another huge annoyance, is the lack of metal. People are fighting over metal nodes like the last piece of chicken in a KFC bucket. Those cursed loams don't help either. They are almost useless! Why? Why do they taint my metal nodes? Overall, I think the tradeskilling changes are amazing, and while they did remove some challenge appealing to masochists, I think anyone who hasn't ever tried it should stop what they are doing and go.
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