Thursday, November 14, 2019

Would That It Were So Simple: EverQuest II

The crafting quest that comes with EverQuest II's 15th Anniversary Dragon Attack event turns out to be both straightforward and confusing. I've read two walkthroughs and there's still stuff I don't get. And yet I've been happily doing the quest anyway.

The wiki version is perfunctory but the EQII Traders write-up is much more comprehensive. Even that doesn't answer all my questions, though, or smooth out some of the wrinkles.

The basics couldn't be simpler. There are two new NPC camps, one in The Commonlands, the other in Antonica. Each has an NPC that gives a repeatable quest, asking you to craft items for the construction of a monument. The materials needed come from the corpses of the dragons killed in the spire attacks and from another NPC at the camp.

All you need to do is go to the spires and gather mats from the dragon's corpse until you have enough, then back to the camp, buy the fuel and the item from the NPC, craft the finished product and hand it in. Rinse and repeat.

The problems come in the detail.

The first thing that threw me was the way the recipes are granted. EQII already has several ways of handling quest and event recipes but naturally someone had to come up with a new one.

As far as I can tell, the recipes are automagically granted when you first speak to the NPC but they are also automagically removed when you do the hand-in, so you can only see the recipes when you have the quest.

I only ever saw them on the crafting table drop-down. I'm not sure if they appear in your recipe book at any time. I went to check on the mats needed for one of the items after I'd done the quest and it had vanished. That confused me for a minute or two.

When you take the quest you get three recipes: a generic one that everyone gets, a second for your crafting archetype and a third for your specialization. Counter-intuitively, the less specialized the combine, the more progress it gives for the project. Also, although you can make all three items and hand them in together and the NPC will accept them, if you do that you only get one reward instead of three.

Each recipe uses a number of standard and rare materials from the dead dragons plus one item from the vendor in the camp and some fuel that the same vendor also sells. The purchased items and fuel are as cheap as they possibly could be at one copper piece each.

All characters on the account can harvest five times from each dragon every time one dies. There doesn't seem to be any skill requirement. There are something like a dozen possible mats that can be harvested, some rare, some normal. You get can multiples of each and "rares"  are rare in name only.

All the dragons die conveniently right next to wizard spires so crafters of any adventure level can go rummage around in the remains. That said, as I already reported, the event offers a great opportunity to grab some adventure level, so why not take advantage?

There are several crafting tables at the camps and any item from any specialization can be made at any of them. I wouldn't really call it crafting. If you want you can just stand there and counter the potential errors and the items pretty much make themselves. I couldn't really see any significant difference in success or speed between my max-level Weaponsmith with all the AAs and my 70s Carpenter with very few.

Other than the xp itself, the rewards aren't that great compared to the dragon kills. Just handcrafted or mastercrafted mount items. Useful but not very thrilling. Maybe they'll improve in later phases.

Also unlike the dragon-killing and corpse-ransacking, there do seem to be some restrictions or requirements on who can get the quest. After my Fae Conjuror, also a lowish tailor, did her eighteen adventure levels in two kills last night she flew off to Antonica to craft something with the bits of dragon in her bags.

When she got there it was night time and very, very dark. At first I couldn't even find the questgiver, which seemed odd as there should have been a big, blue, glowing feather over her head. When I eventually made out her shape in the gloom, not only was there was no feather but the NPC wouldn't even speak.

This morning I tried it with my Channeler, who has has barely any crafting levels. He's a Qeynos-based goodie but he happened to be near the Commonlands camp so I went there first. The NPC had no feather but he did ask the Channeler if he'd like to help. I was very surprised to find the only reply I could give was a flat "Not interested". I can't remember seeing that before.

Thinking it might be faction-related, I took the Channeler to Antonica. The NPC there was happy to ask for help and explain where to go to get the mats but she wouldn't actually offer the quest.

My high-70s Carpenter, however, was able to take get the quest and complete it. Each turn-in was giving her about 80% of a level, making me wonder if there's a limitation at lower levels to prevent people from raising crafting at an overly-accelerated rate. Daybreak always seem a lot more protective of tradeskill progress than they are over adventuring so that wouldn't be a surprise.

To make things even more complicated, it's possible to think you have the quest when in fact you don't. At the end of the dialog there are two options. I didn't screenshot it and the servers are down right now so I can't give the exact phrasing but one has you asking where to get the mats while the other looks like you're accepting the quest.

You need to take the option that asks about the mats. If you don't, you don't get the quest. I took the wrong one and didn't notice. I was able to make the item, which is why I'm assuming it's granted at an earlier part of the dialog, but when I came to hand it in, nothing happened except that the item disappeared and I had to re-take the quest properly and make it again.

All of this could be individual bugs I experienced, of course. Maybe after today's patch it'll all work like gnomish clockwork. Actually, that's how it's working now...

Either way, I'm good with it. When the servers come up I plan on collecting the dragon mats from all the characters who have them and letting the Carpenter level up on the construction quest. It would certainly be faster than doing writs or regular crafting quests and I could do with a high-level furniture-maker.

Progress on the monuments themselves seems to be going attritionally slowly. Usually on events like this it's common to see hordes of crafters buzzing around the crafting tables like bees around the hive, but at the moment everyone seems to be out killing dragons instead.

We've got until Thursday, December 5th to get the statues (or whatever it is we're building) up, which I am guessing also means we won't be seeing the expansion until December 10th at the earliest, since that's the first Tuesday after Dragon Attack ends and everything in Norrath begins on a Tuesday for some reason. Although now I think about it I believe expansions sometimes do begin on a Thursday...

On Skyfire the Monuments are currently somewhere around 0.3% of the way to completing Phase One. I think there are three phases, with new rewards for each. Supposedly progress speeds up in the later stages. It'll have to. At this rate we won't have the things done in time for the thirtieth anniversary, let alone December.

Not to mention that Frostfell will be arriving about then, too. It's going to be a busy old winter in Norrath.

IntPiPoMo count to date 62.


  1. Am I understanding this correctly and this is some sort of community event? Either way, reading your post (and knowing absolutely nothing about EQ and still enjoying the read) it really made me think of community events and how much fun they can be when well implemented in an mmorpg. The Opening of the AQ Gates event in WoW is still one of my favorite gaming memories.

    1. Building the monuments is a community event, yes. EQ2 has a history of such things. Some of the Ulteran spires the dragons are attacking were destroyed in The Shattering (the event that preceded the launch of EQ2, offstage as it were) and had to be rebuilt in a community effort. I have screenshots from that event somewhere.

      Then there were reconstructions of druid rings during the re-discovery of Erudin and there was some kind of community project last year that I missed, I thionk. This one is supposed to leave two permanent monuments in place although I have no idea what they are going to look like.

  2. I'm surprised I didn't fall foul of any of these issues. I did the gathering / crafting once the last time I played and all went smoothly. I handed two items in and would have only gotten the one reward I imagine as per your comment above, I honestly didn't know what to expect so had no idea if I'd be credited twice or not.

    The only other issue I've had so far is that I only 'gathered' each dragon once for the first round of attacks. To me, as a veteran EQ2 newb, gathering a monster corpse multiple times is counterintuitive - it may be standard in other EQ2 situations but in every other MMO I can think of you don't get to skin a creature twice or more. I realised after taking the crafting quest that the counts of mats were a bit high for one gather per dragon so tried again and then realised my prior mistake. Hardly a big loss, but something I noted at the time.


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide