|One down, one to go.|
EQ2 has always been a gatherer's dream. The whole process is deliciously complex, with a full range of items, consumables and gear available to enhance your character's effectiveness. Harvesting even has its own epic questlines complete with signature NPCs.
The nodes spit out their highly desirable rares just often enough to make the whole process feel worthwhile rather than a waste of valuable leisure time. The chime of discovery when one pops is less the ringing of a pavlovian bell than the sound of a shot sweetly struck in the middle of the bat.
Satisfying is what it is, frankly. There's nothing in MMOs quite like it, not at least since Vanguard shut up shop. Consequently, when I completed my Research on Containing Magical Gemstones and discovered that I'd need not one but two Arcannium (Arcanniums? Arcannii?) I found my heart flutter more in anticipation than anxiety.
|My ore! Mine!!|
I confess (and it is a guilty confession) that the relatively recent addition of instant access to the Broker from anywhere that comes a perk of All Access Membership has led me into bad habits. To save myself a few minutes travel time I have been buying mats that previously I would at least have taken out of my own bank, mats that even if I hadn't mined or lumbered or gathered at the direct behest of the questgiver would at least, at some time in the past, have been dug or chopped or picked by me, personally.
Shopping was not an option this time. I had no choice but to flap my wings and go prospecting in Thalumbra. Because it was a Sunday morning and I was in no kind of rush, for once I took my time, stood back and had a think about the best way to go about this potentially time-consuming project. That was how I came to discover my AAs were up the spout.
|EQ2 lore. It's an acquired taste.|
A little out-of-game research reminded me I should have access to an AA ability that tracks harvesting nodes. Couldn't find it. Also I supposedly own a goblin that goes foraging for me, and unlike my old, trusty pack pony, he can forage rares. Couldn't find him either. And I should have at least a 6% bonus to rare harvests. Only had 1%.
|How did we ever manage without?|
A key-press, a long channeling animation and a smart blow to my own forehead later and everything was as it should have been all along. I also received a string of suffix and prefix titles, almost all of them relating to adventuring, and had to re-cast all of my combat buffs so I wonder if I've been fighting without AAs all this time? If so I can't tell the difference!
My AAs now correctly set and working, a couple of +harvesting items swapped in for adventure gear and having swigged one of the Bountiful Harvest potions provided long ago by my much-neglected Othmir apprentice, I was running a 37% chance at a second pull per strike and an 8% bonus chance on pulling a rare. Nothing more I could think of doing so off I went.
The current, excellent, signature crafting questline for Terrors of Thalumbra is the work of Domino, EQ2's recently-returned Crafting Queen over the Water. Unlike some lesser lights, Domino has always been scrupulous in ensuring that a pure crafter, maxed in her trade but with next to no adventure experience or levels, can still complete the crafting quests safely.
|Always knew this would come in handy|
Even so, I'd rather be doing it with a full set of level 98 plate and a level 100 Mercenary to back me up. There were some disputes between my Berserker and a few cave locusts that came to blows. Also there was that time with the named one. Stinger, he was called, not entirely originally I feel, but entirely appropriately as it turned out. Had a nice upgrade for me, he did. Would kill again!
|We're going to need a bigger swatter.|
The RNG in EQ2 is no better than any of them. Everyone always thinks the odds are set against them when it comes to playing the numbers in MMOs. There are even people who believe that different characters (or classes or races) have different luck. Even if that were true, which it isn't, there's nothing you can do about it. You just have to get on with it.
It doesn't help when the particular ore you need comes from the sort of node that has two different rares, of course. That really does halve your chances of getting the one you want. Factoring that in I was expecting a few hours work but the RNG gods must have had a good breakfast because in less than an hour I had the two rares I needed. I also had three Lucites and a Glittervein. Pretty good for around fifty minutes work.
|Remember, I'm a professional crafter. Please don't try this at home.|
|I guess it'll have to do.|
Let's go back to Mara instead and the distinctly unempathic Captain Ethan Dariani. He pays well, I'll say that much for him and not much more. Speak to him and that's the crafting signature quest completed.
Took about five or six hours all told, a good deal of which was traveling and gathering and all of which was excellent entertainment. Next comes the Adventure version in which I am betting I get to do what the trade-obsessed Captain wouldn't. I hope so, anyway.
As I was leaving another player arrived to hand in the quest and an achievement popped (for him, not me - we don't get Achievements for seeing other players hand in quests - well, not yet...). Out of curiosity I clicked on it and saw it was for completing both the the Craft and Adventure lines and now I know that comes with a gift I know I could put to good use.
Onward and downward for glory and reward! And fun. Let's not forget the fun.