Two posts in one day? Is it a sign? Are the End Times upon us? Or could it be that GW2 is having connectivity issues for the third day in a row, leaving me with an unexpected hour to fill before I get my second wind for yet more questing?
I spent most of the afternoon and early evening working my way through Kunark Ascending's crafting quest-line and I have to say it's pretty entertaining. Domino certainly knows how to put these things together.
Without giving too many spoilers, the tradeskill and adventure quests fit together like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. As far as I know, if you're both an adventurer and a crafter, you can do the quest-lines in either order but I'm very glad I did Adventurer first.
The whole crafter storyline has you coming along after the adventurers have hacked and slashed their way to Kunark, leaving you to deal with the mess they left behind. As a story it works very well indeed. I particularly liked Queen Alwenielle's account of the actions of the party of adventurers she accompanied, which, of course, are the actions I carried out as a player only last night.
The biggest advantage crafters have over adventurers is that instead of waking up in a cave the crafters get teleported to a beach. Also Queen Alwenielle has time to explain what she's doing in a little more detail so the transition is less confusing. That all makes for a much more pleasant introduction to the new zone.
It also helps a lot that instead of being threatened by Iksars and sent to fight Sarnaks crafters get to deal with a series of Goblins who seem to fancy themselves as stand-up comedians. I appreciate some people may prefer to be barked at by lizardmen than gurned at by goblins but it got a laugh out of me.
The questing itself is relaxed and laid back. There's plenty of picking up driftwood, catching crabs and making simple structures for simple fisherfolk. The usual routine that, if you're a level 100 crafter in EQ2, which you must be if you're there in the first place, you can almost certainly do in your sleep.
It sounds dull, perhaps, but for dedicated crafters this kind of thing really does never get old. This is DBG playing to the gallery and my experience of EQ2 over many years has been that crafting is often a crowdpleaser when adventuring falls flat on its face.
As yet I haven't run into any brick walls in either quest line so it's not true to say you have to do all the pre-reqs to get started. I am already past the point where you have to speak Goblish for the crafting line (something my Berserker could already do) but I spotted a stone tablet on the beach that would help with that. You could do it on the fly if you arrived under-rehearsed.
There's a handy forum thread giving tips on how to approach the new content, most of which applies to players planning on raiding or doing the harder Heroics. Of the suggestions there I would definitely endorse the advice to come prepared with some form of tracking. I use the scrolls you can buy from the cash shop but there are many free alternatives.
As a max level crafter I also have the ability to track harvestable nodes, which includes many kinds of non-craft-related ground spawns too. I can track shinies in other words. That has to be the single most useful ability in my entire repertoire when it comes to questing. Hard to imagine how I ever managed without it. In my opinion it's worth maxing crafting just for that even if you plan on being a pure adventurer ever after.
With two types of tracking to call on the absence of quest markers seems to make very little difference. I've had to refer to the wiki only infrequently, usually because I couldn't understand the particular mechanic the designer had chosen to employ. There are so many ways now to activate a quest item sometimes I miss the bleedin' obvious.
All in all it's going swimmingly although I do find questing quite exhausting somewhere into the fourth consecutive hour. Which is why I took a break to play GW2 and then, when that failed me, write this.
And now I'm refreshed it's back to the Goblin Workbench.