Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Big Tradeskilling Changes

Along with many other changes, these notes showed up on the test servers today:

  • Four new crafting abilities have been discovered: apothecary, weaving, timbercraft, and geomancy. These skills allow all artisans to refine the materials and components needed to make final products. New recipe books can be found on merchants or scattered throughout Norrath which teach you how to use these skills. Artisans automatically gain 5 points per level in these skills.

  • New events and reaction arts have been created for apothecary, weaving, timbercraft, and geomancy. Reaction arts for these skills are based on thaumaturgy, binding, woodcraft, and geocraft. These skills increase through use. The higher your skill level, the better your chances of creating higher-quality items.

  • All tradeskill recipes now require a new type of fuel at each tier. Fuel cost increases with level.

  • A bug causing certain artisan-related skills to be 5 points too high has been corrected.

  • The Advanced Scholar 15 book has been added to the appropriate loot drops.

  • The biggest and most controversial change is that washes, oils, resins, and tempers (WORT) will no longer be the exclusive province of the alchemist. All classes that need them will be able to make them, using new abilities and reaction arts. This implies that the are different recipes, as well.

    I haven't seen definitive data on this yet, but I'd like to know whether all tradeskillers can make WORTs in the same volumes that alchemists can. I can easily imagine a recipe that only produced in quantities of 2 or 3 at the highest quality tier. So while you can produce your own, the alchemist can do it more cheaply, which gives a reason for trade to occur. I hope that's what happens. If I find out more, I'll post about it. Word is that the changes to interdependence don't affect everything you expect to get from other tradeskillers, just the basic refines. So perhaps everyone who needs lumber can make it. And everyone who needs to refine carbonite can make it. Inks will still be exclusive to alchemists beyond tier 2. I'm not sure where this leaves sages. Will they be able to make paper? I hope so.

    This is fairly disappointing to those like me who recently decided not to become a sage based on the difficulty we saw the sage class would have in leveling. Of course, that also means it was probably a good idea to fix it. I'd love to see some statistics on the numbers of different classes. It seems that alchemists clearly had too much to do.

    Another major change has to do with the new fuel requirements. This seems aimed at a tradeskilling technique known we'll call cancellation. If a combine is stopped before the first progress bar is completed, only the fuel is lost, and no combine is produced. If you are attempting a difficult combine with expensive primary or secondary components, this is an invaluable technique. Whenever you get less than satisfactory results at the beginning of a combine, cancel it and try again. At the moment, this costs 6 copper. So you go for it. It might even make sense to hold out for a complete string of successes in the first tier, cancelling at the first -50 to durability.

    But now the cost of fuel is level dependent. Cancellation just became a lot more expensive. Whether you will do it or not depends on how valuable your primary components are in comparison, and how important it is to get to pristine. If you are making stuff for a secondary slot, where quality doesn't matter, then you probably won't bother. If you are making an item from a rare drop, you most certainly WILL bother, even when you are consuming 3 fuel per try.

    There are a few store-bought components for poisons and essences; the prices on these have been reduced, probably to rebalance the costs of poisons and essences. The message is clear, alchemists should be focusing on making potions, poisons, and essences, not WORT. If they aren't, it's a sign that game design goals are not being met, and adjustment is needed. But nobody likes being the ball being hit by the nerf bat.


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