The key points I've learned:
- You never have to visit your Shipyard. It might as well be a window in the UI.
- It is a window in the UI. Open the map, click on the City, click on your house and there you go.
- All the mats to make your raft go in your Warehouse. That place you probably thought of as your badly-translated bank.
- Your Warehouse is full of fish.
- Rotting, unsaleable fish. You probably want to do something about that.
- It has to be the Warehouse in the same town your Shipyard is in. All storage is local.
- No, the Warehouse is not a window in the UI.
- Oh, wait, yes it is.
- Don't get excited. It's a read-only window. You still have to go to the real Warehouse to put anything in or take anything out.
- I think. Don't quote me on that.
- You can hire multiple workers.
- Every worker needs a bed.
- Okay, not literally a bed. Just somewhere to sleep. You'll be glad they made you buy those other two apparently unrelated houses just to get to your Shipyard.
- You can set your workers to work on more than one project.
- Or they can work on different parts of the same project.
- Best of all, they can even share the load on the same task for the same project, thereby reducing the overall completion time and the grinding of your teeth.
- You can do all of the gathering and some of the processing yourself.
- The more you do the faster the whole thing goes.
- I mean, if you want a job done properly, do it yourself, amiright?
- If you set it up correctly your project will carry on just fine without any input from you. You can go do something interesting like kill goblins or something profitable like fish or maybe just afk and do something else entirely, like play another game that has raids and flying mounts and what all..
- I mean, why keep a dog and bark yourself, amiright?
- If you log out your workers will down tools and, for all you know, get drunk and chase girls. Or guys, depending on preference.
- The second you log in they will jump back to work like guilty schoolkids when the teacher comes back into the room.
- Two giants can easily make a whole raft before you have to give them any beer.
- Working together they can get the whole thing done in, like, six hours.
- Don't laugh. It's better than eleven.
And so I have a raft. It was moderately satisfying, getting it made, and at least next time I'll know what to do. And there is almost bound to be a next time because
- The raft has a set lifespan.
- The raft has durability.
- The raft exists only to remind you that you really need a real boat (just as the donkey exists to remind you that you really need a real horse, but that's a pleasure I have still to come).
The appearance of the raft is excellent. It looks very authentic. It handles excellently and the character animations while using it are very fluid and convincing. The way you berth it at the wharf and summon it again when needed are a fine, workable compromise between convenience and realism.
It's a great little craft in every respect but one. It moves at the pace of an arthritic snail. In fact I think it moves at the exact same pace that a character swims, albeit with the huge advantage that you neither drown nor die of exhaustion. Unless you fall off and can't get back on. Don't think that can happen...
The first thing I did was sail - actually paddle - to an island I hadn't yet visited. On the way there the Velia-Iliya ferry ran right over the top of me, apparently doing about 90 knots. I thought that thing was slow when I was riding on it. How naive I was.
The ferry was no more than a dot on the horizon when I beached my raft on the rocky shore of the island, whose name I forget. It had a Node which is why I went there.
You might wonder why a rocky islet with no habitation or significant features would have a Node, let alone a full-time Node Manager. There's a story behind that.
I'm taking it as ironic foreshadowing. I'm getting a bigger boat.
Didn't say I was going to make it myself.