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EQ2 Artisan Crafters : EverQuest 2 General Discussions

Posted: October 15th, 2004, 5:10 am
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[align=center]EQ2 Artisans[/align]
[align=center]Crafting a better Norrath[/align]
The refugee becomes an artisan

Becoming an artisan... it is a path many will try. Some will love it, and some will find it not for them. With 9 distinct paths to pursue, there is likely a path you will enjoy in the Artisan world of Norrath. Here are my first impressions of this life.

There is a solitary pleasure found in crafting things with your own hands. Whether it is the food for you and your friends to enjoy, or the scrolls that will make their abilities more powerful. Weapons to better slay the beast, or armor to make you stronger. Adventurers will need bags and chests to store their treasures in. Poisons and potions, to ail and to cure. The power to craft is one that all races have equally - if they have the time, and the energy to devote to it. Your statistics will have no impact on your ability to craft, neither will your race or alignment. While some classes may find they have an advantage in their ability to harvest out in the world, within the confines of the tradeskill environment all artisans are equal. Your sucesses and failures will lie soley in your hands, and in the circle of support you build for yourself thru your in game friends, and the npc quests you perform.

Why craft? Part of it is the lure of the materials themselves. Everywhere you turn in this new world, there are raw materials crying out to be shaped. Elm branches, tin ore, roots... from your first minutes on the Isle of Refuge you're cursor will begin to glow as you pass it over potential nodes to harvest. If there is a crafter in you waiting to create, you will soon wonder just what you can make with these items you've harvested. And so your adventures as an artisan will begin.

You have come into Norrath not only a refugee, but an unskilled one. In fact, your persona page will tell you this - "Artisan level 1 - Unskilled". Near the beach you have started on, you will find the misfortunate Derek. He has made quite a mess in his lab, and he needs your help to clean it up.

It is a simple quest to clean the lab, but a charming one. Harvest a few items on the floor - this will introduce you to the mechanics of harvesting, if you've not picked them up on your way here. Pick up a few misplaced items and clean up a mess - you will learn how to arrange items in an area, which will help you when you're decorating your own home in the future. A short quest, but it gets you on your way.

With his lab clean, Derek has realized he needs a lock to keep his lab clean in the future. Off you'll go to find the tin needed to make this lock (a hint - those harvest skills may come in handy now). And then back into the cellar to make a shining new lock. On screen prompts will guide you if you need them. Several combines later, you're on your way back to Derek, receiving a nice reward for your efforts.

And so now, you have begun the journey of the Artisan. You have crafted, and you have earned some small measure of skill and a few new recipes. After that first glow of success has worn off, you'll look around and wonder... what do I do now? What do I make, and where will I make it? Who will want my goods, and how will I sell them?

Well, you craft. You have 5 recipes in your book, and more than a dozen waiting for you on a merchant sold book. Explore those recipes, see which ingredients you have already harvested, and which you can buy, and craft. Pop back down into Derek's cellar - after you have completed his quest, you'll find it populated with a complete set of tradeskill devices, ready for you to explore. Brew yourself a cup of coffee (yes! Black coffee!) and explore the devices, and the different effects that can happen while you're using them. You are on your way to becoming a true Artisan!

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Posted: October 15th, 2004, 5:12 am
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[align=center]EQ2 Artisans

Crafting a better Norrath

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to craft I go

You've done the artisan quest on the isle of refuge (or maybe you skipped it). You've crafted a few simple items, and gotten a feel for the basic crafting procedure. But surely there's more than just making these basic items? Tin bars! Tin spikes! Even coffee will lose it's appeal eventually. You became an artisan to make things of use, when can you start doing that?

Luckily, it won't take long at all. Besides food and drink, one of the most basic needs for all adventurers is for storage. Backpacks and bags to carry the items they harvest and loot are essential for play. As an artisan, you can very early begin equipping your friends for their journey around the world with Rawhide Leather Backpack's to carry their gear.

Harvesting materials as you travel the world will become second nature to artisans. Moving your cursor over item's that can be harvested will make the item turn blueish grey, easily identifying which items are just part of the scenery and which you should stop to harvest. The actual harvesting is as simple as clicking on the object, and takes only a few seconds. Some parts of the world are rich in material; those hunted most by new players have seemed full of things to harvest.

With your items harvested, you'll head off to any of the outer neighborhoods of Freeport or Qeynos. Near the town center you'll see a set of cellar doors set into the ground - these lead to the "tradeskill instance" as it's called. (I'm not clear on why it's called an instance, as they each appear to just be a tradeskill zone - they have different names depending on the city you have entered from, but for example all people that enter from Longshadow Alley end up in The Dark Bargainers. Perhaps after a set number of people have entered the zone it "instances" itself.)

Just inside the doors of the tradeskill instance, you'll find a merchant waiting with some of the many materials you'll need. Most importantly, fuel - it can not be harvested. It is not an expensive item, although at higher levels you will need more of them to craft your item. Browse thru your recipe to see what items you need, and purchase what you could not harvest. Then you are ready to craft.

Head down to the sewing table. Clicking on the Sewing Table will open up your recipe window, listing all the recipes you know how to make on this device. Find the item you wish to attempt, click Begin, and you are crafting.

Crafting in EQ2 is not the simple click and create matter it was in EQ Live. There is some interaction, and a process that requires attention. For those used to tradeskills being a mindless click-and-craft, I hope this will come as a welcome change.

As you are crafting, there will be random events that occur that will need your response. Failure to respond can lead to several undesirable consequences. You can damage your product, leading to a lower quality item. You can take damage yourself. You can lose power as well as health; lose too much power and you won't be able to react to the events. There is also a Stop button, convieniently placed - at any time in the process, if your product has taken to much damage (or you have yourself) you can stop the creation. If you have not progressed as far as the most basic level (a crude item), your fuel components will be consumed but you will retain all your other components. If you have reached crude level, you will have successfully created - something.

The picture above shows one of the random events. Note the icon with the words "Day Dreaming" next to it. You need to pay attention if you want to craft pristine objects! Match the icon here with the one that cancels this effect (the hotkey bar I have running vertical has the reactions). All the reactions can be found in your "Book of Knowledge", simply drag the icons onto a hotkey bar and you'll find them at your fingertips when you need them.

Besides the negative events, you also have a set of positive actions you can take. (I keep my hotkeys for these on a seperate row - the horizontal bar at the bottom.) Some possible benefits include increasing your chance for a good combine, increased durability, and decreased damage.

Combines take from 30 seconds to several minutes, varying by recipe and whether you are content to stop at "crude" or want to take the item to it's highest possible level. The higher quality the item you make is, the more experience you'll recieve for the creation of it - and the more valuable it will be to players.

I hope that this has taken some of the mystery out of the crafting process. Like adventure encounters, the crafting encounter will require your attention, and you will have the chance to positively impact your crafting with buffs. Learning these skills is no more difficult than learning to fight, and add some variety to what would otherwise be a tedious and repetitive clickfest.

We're still seeing many changes in the tradeskill world, and I expect to see many more in the weeks before launch. I do get the feeling that the developers are listening with an open mind to what the artisans suggest, and feel our input is important to making crafting an exciting part of Everquest 2. The crafting process has undergone major changes once already in the weeks I've been playing; I would not be suprised to find there are more ahead. If able, I will be certain to update this guide should they occur. Check back later this week for more on crafting in EQ2!

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