Friday, October 16, 2020

She's Crafty

After I hit max level on my EverQuest magician I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my Overseer quests any more but I did know I wanted to carry on doing them. Setting and collecting ten missions each day has settled into a ritual. I wouldn't say I look forward to it but I definitely get some level of mild satisfaction from the simple process.

It did occur to me to start leveling another character, naturally. You need to be at least level 85 to access the Overseer system but thanks to multiple rounds of free Heroic handouts over the years I have quite a few characters sitting around at precisely that level.

The question I found myself asking was why bother? What would I do with another max level character if I had one? It's not like I'm doing much with the one I've got even though I've made the effort to get her passably well-geared and Magician is probably the best solo option there is. Would I get anything out of a maxed Necromancer or Druid or Beastlord that I can't get from the Mage or would, as I suspect, playing any of those feel more limiting?

There certainly wouldn't be much point having another maxed character on the same account, either. That really would limit the synergy. A druid or enchanter or shaman on another account could provide extremely useful buffs or teleport my Magician to places it takes her a long time to travel to on her own. I can definitely see the utility there. Having two max levels on the same account would double the workload for no gameplay benefit at all.

If I was going to level up a character on a second account, though, wouldn't I be better off dual-boxing, with the Magician, who would be godlike to a level 85, power leveling? Except I've tried two-boxing in EverQuest a few times and I find it quite irritating. It's definitely not something I can imagine doing for pleasure.


So, maybe Overseer leveling another character on another account might make sense. Then again, if I was really interested, I could have been doing it the whole year already, couldn't I? It would only have taken another fifteen minutes a day. I'd have been pretty much finished by now. It's not like it didn't cross my mind.

And anyway, it doesn't address the core issue of what to do about the Overseer quests on the primary account. The one I do (sort of, sometimes) play.

I thought maybe it was time to take a closer look what else you can get from Overseer quest rewards other than experience. The options are

  • Character experience - self-explanatory
  • Mercenary AA experience - self-explanatory
  • Tetradachms - a currency useable at a specific Overseer vendor
  • Collection Item Fragments - combine four to get a Collection Item Dispenser
  • Ornament Dispensers - choose from a large variety of cosmetic "ornaments"
  • Tradeskill Items - specific items from specific expansions

The currency sounded interesting. I checked the vendor to see what I could get. There were some definite possibilities, a range of stat-enhancing augments and plenty of cosmetic adornments, all of which appeared to be non-Prestige. Generally both of those categories require a paying account to equip so I could certainly get some value there.

I've only recently begun to investigate collections in EverQuest. They work much the same as in EverQuest II, where they've been a staple since launch. Completing them gives some excellent, practical rewards and some of the individual collection items sell for big money in the Bazaar

The problem is randomness. As is well-documented, I like randomness and I'm not at all averse to spinning the wheel and seeing what I get but the fact is I've barely begun collecting in EQ. Almost anything I get is going to fall into an open slot in a collection I'll most likely never finish. If I was going to start on the system in earnest I'd be far better off running Heroic Adventures and visiting older zones to work on specific collections.

As for Ornament dispensers, it's true I could really do with a new look. With a relatively limited choice in both armor and weapons due to not being able to equip Prestige items, access to adornments a non-paying player can use is quite an attractive option.

I was mulling over all of these until I looked at the tradeskill items you can get for doing Overseer  harvesting, crafting and research quests. For most of the last year my primary source of income in EverQuest has been twofold - selling cash drops like gems to NPC vendors and selling tradeskill materials to players. 

When I was selling my mats via barter the two income streams ran about neck and neck
but when I took the trouble to set up a bazaar vendor on a second account and leave him in offline sales mode 24/7 my Bazaar earnings quickly dwarfed anything I could make by clearing old content for drops. The only problem was keeping my trader supplied with stock and it looks like this could be the solution.

I looked at the Overseer tradeskill rewards with the Barter and Bazaar windows open at the same time so I could check the going rates for the stuff I'd be getting. I knew exactly what that would be because there's no random factor. Each quest gives you listed quantities of listed items for each expansion. The higher quality and/or longer the quest the more items you get.

Checking the current offers and wants there were several possibilities but in the end it looked like I'd get the most bang for my buck out of either 2018's The Burning Lands or, surprisingly, 2012's Rain of Fear. The former gives out relatively small amounts of indigenous mephit blood and meat, both of which sell in the Bazaar for five to seven thousand platinum pieces each. The latter gives considerably larger quantities of befouled silk, which turns over at around a thousand per.

Both also hand out lots of other period-specific items, almost all of which sell for a few hundred or so a time. Doing all the appropriate available quests looks as though it could net upwards of a hundred thousand plat a day. Always assuming people are buying, that is, but I've found it to be widely true that anything someone is asking for on barter will sell fast at a much higher price on a Bazaar trader. And most of this stuff is very much in demand on barter.

After the first day's questing I logged in both accounts and handed the mats from one to the other. Since I'm not currently adventuring with the magician I guess I could cut out the middlegnome and just have her do her own trading but somehow it feels tidier to use a dedicated trader and aggregate the income from across the various accounts.

And yes, of course, as I priced up the loot and calculated just how much money I might be making it did occur to me that I have access to half a dozen accounts with level 85 characters, thanks to all those promotions in the past. What's to stop me logging them all in to do Overseer quests and thereby massively multiplying my income?

Nothing, apparently. Out of curiosity I logged in three more accounts, ran through the Overseer tutorial, which takes less than a minute, and set them all to doing crafting, harvesting and research quests. They were all able to do it although one account was only allowed to take three quests whereas the others could all take five. I suspect it may have something to do with when the accounts were originally made or possibly whether I ever paid the nominal five-dollar fee to go Silver back when that was a thing you could do.

Whatever the reason it doesn't much matter because I don't propose to make a habit of logging five or six accounts in twice a day to farm Overseer quests for mats. Or not for long, anyway. Maybe just until I've earned enough to buy the Magician all the spells she's missing from the last ten levels. They get expensive when you pass level one hundred or so.

And I guess, if I'm logged on anyway and there aren't enough of the right kind of quests to fill the daily allowance, which sometimes there aren't, I might fill out the empty slots with the ones that give experience. I mean, since I'm there anyway...

Yeah, well, we'll see. For now, though, let the money roll in!

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