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RoK Press Tour, DenMother Style! (part 2)

Note: If you haven't read the first part of Mum's press tour writeup and been introduced to Cobbles Wordsworth, you can find Part One of Mum's Press tour here The disclaimer over there is pretty important, too, but I'll paraphrase here. The NDA is still in effect. This is part of an SOE-sanctioned beta press writeup, and does NOT give other testers permission to leak additional beta information. Nor does it give Mum permission to share additional information above and beyond what is contained here. Enjoy the sneak peek at a few things, but don't expect full details right yet. This is still the beta phase, which means that details can/will change at the drop of a hat. Any hat. So if I seem intentionally vague on some things, it is to leave a little "wiggle room" for final changes and tweaks.

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"I knew summat was up when I heard that Cobbles was trying tae catch dinner after I sent ye off wi' my picnic basket, lass. By th' look in yuir eyes, Kiara-lass, ye hae news frae me o' that gnomish windbag, an' I am nae sure I am going tae like it."

"You said you wanted him alive, right Mum?" Kiara gritted out through tightly-clenched teeth, her eyes practically shooting sparks.

"Och! But, ye're an Inqui-"

"Oh, I rezzed him for you, but then I almost killed the little twerp myself."

"Oh dear." Niami reach up and patted the lovely dark elf's hand gently. "Hae a couple cookies an' tell me all aboot it, lass."

"Yay! Mum and cookies?! The day is definitely starting to look up!" She nibbled on the cookie as she continued. "You were right about his run-in with the drachnids. One of them had him following her around as a pet as she led him into that cave they have up in the hills. When I broke his trance, he got all upset at me for ruining his wooing of the 'luscious and busty spider woman'." Both women rolled their eyes expressively at that one. "When I pointed out that she wasn't luring him in to be her gnomish cabana-boy, but as dinner, he mumbled something about eating, then hit on me. As if I'd play second fiddle to those hussies, much less with a nerdy little gnome using corny old pickup lines!" She stared down at the remains of the cookie she had just crushed into crumbs in dismay.

"There, there, lass. Get it all oot o' yuir system." Mum handed over another cookie with a motherly pat.

"Anyway, I found the most absolutely perfect picnic spot, and while it would have been a shame to mar it with the presence of that officious little lech, I was ready to let him beg for his dinner. Only he never showed up."

"I backtracked a bit and found him playing something called 'fooseball' with Krunnk and some hill giants."

Mum clapped a tiny hand over her mouth. "Ye don't mean ..."

"Yup. He was the ball. So, anyway, I convinced them that playtime was over, had Krunnk drag him up to the picnic spot, and rezzed him. Instead of being properly grateful and catering to my every whim, he started pontificating about exciting near-death experiences and newfound energy ... while making a grab at me. He even ripped my favorite cloak!"

"I won't bore you with the details dearling, but suffice it to say that the picnic basket went over the side of the mountain, and he would have, too, if Krunnk hadn't intervened. It seems he belatedly remembered he was supposed to be playing bodyguard, and wouldn't let me re-kill him." Mumbling almost too low to be heard, she continued, "At least I patted him down for coin before I rezzed him."

Mum couldn't resist a snicker as Kiara gave her an innocent look. Well, as innocent as a dark elf could look, that is.

"Well, that at least explains why we hae reports o' him over in th' Fens, trying tae catch dinner. At this rate he may or may nae be back afore th' portraits come back from th' studio frae my tour report. Feh." She heaved a heavy sigh, then stood, tugging on Kiara's hand. "Come wi' me, sweetie, an' lets make ye a new cloak, an' some food, an' mayhaps some new jewelry tae cheer us both up, eh?"


RoK from a Crafter's Perspective

There are certain assumptions that can be made based on the increase in the crafting level cap, and the addition of a new starting race and newbie area. Let's spell out a bit more, what crafters can expect when RoK goes live. Some of this will be things that you already know, from past posts by Domino, but I'll slip in a few new things that they've cleared me to talk about, too. As with anything beta, however, there is always the chance that things can change without warning, so expect an update from me right before launch with any last-minute changes.

First and foremost, let us get the first major "known" thing out of the way. The level caps for adventuring, guilds and crafting are all being raised to level 80. Yes, this means an entire new tier of recipes to level through for both your main tradeskill as well as your tinkering or transmuting, where applicable. You will see pretty much what you would expect to see with a new tier of gear and goodies, and then some. Yep, lots of neat little odds and ends here and there on top of what you would expect to see from normal progression. And, yep, I'm not going to spell it out for you yet. :P

Newbies Ahoy!

A new race, with thier own starting area, of course, means they will have their own tier 1 and tier 2 harvesting areas out in Timorous Deep. Their home city of Gorowyn contains all the crafting amenities that you have come to know and expect, and there will be appropriate housing as well. (The housing isn't available for preview at this time - patience, grasshoppers!)

We should also see the unveiling of the redone introductory newbie crafting tutorial. While this has been discussed in the SOE forums as Domino sought feedback on what we would like to see in the redone quest, you will likely have to wait until November 13 to see any of the details of it for yourself. Personally, I have high hopes that we will see something that makes learning the crafting process fun and more understandable than the old system.

Redoing Reaction Arts

The current reaction art system is plagued with inconsistencies from class to class and often within the class, from tier to tier. Oftentimes new crafters don't know how to use them and have issues reaching pristine-grade as a result. Even the most experienced of crafters has also been known to forget to upgrade their crafting hotbars with the newest versions of the reaction arts as they get new ones in each tier. In short, the system was messy and kludgy.

Domino has been hard at work redoing the entire reaction art system, and the devs are giving us a shiny new crafting interface, to boot. When the system is released with the expansion, instead of getting a new set of reaction arts every tier, and having to compare them with the arts from earlier tiers and figure out which ones you want to swap in to replace older versions and which to conveniently ignore, you will only have two sets of reaction arts for your main tradeskill profession. Ever. One set will be the three +durability arts, and the other set the three +progress arts, and they will auto-upgrade to newer (and better) versions as you level through the tiers.

That takes care of the forgetting to replace your old reaction arts with new ones, but what about the folks who don't even know the reaction arts exist? You know, the clueless younglings who stand there, taking damage from the forge, because they don't know how to react to crafting events?

I'm glad you asked!

The new crafting interface will automagically populate the reaction arts across the bottom of the interface as you start a recipe. No having to rummage for arts you haven't used in ages when you make some tier 1 weapon recipe with your level 70 provisioner, for example, no juggling hotbars (unless you REALLY want to). They're all laid out for you and ready to go! Mmmm, shiny.

Crafting In Other Areas

There are a lot of interesting areas under the control of various intelligent races out in the wilds (various iksar and sarnak outposts, for example) that may contain some crafting areas, and maybe even some crafting quests and the like, but there's a catch. They require faction work before they will even sell you fuel, much less be semi-civil to you. (Those of you who play/played EQ know how unfriendly places like the Overthere were, and let us just say that time and isolation hasn't turned them into friendly and giving folks.)

Before anyone gets upset, let's face it. Other than the sarnak starting area, this is a high-level expansion. These faction spots are in high-level adventuring areas. They are meant to adventure in and aren't going to be the safest spots for lowbie adventurers, no matter how high their crafting level is. The fact that they give high end crafters a chance at a little extra something is a bonus for them, not some way of penalizing "pure" crafters who aren't feeling up to running through the dangerous lands. (I know, I know, some of you will feel the need to scream anyway, but, enh, there's no way to please everyone.)


Mum looked around the outpost with interest, some elusive thought tickling at the back of her mind, just out of reach. Scampering along beside Kiara as they performed a whirlwind shopping spree, she suddenly stopped dead as she saw a kerra walk by.

"Och! We have nae seen hide nor hair o' Coyote frae a bit! I would hae expected he'd be warming himself by a fire by now."

"Oh, um, sorry, Mum. The whole gnome-thing made me forget to tell you. The last I heard of him, he was running from some yetis." Kiara's eyes glinted with amusement. "It seems he was trying to get an interview with one of them. The guard who told me about it said folks heard mention of 'Bigfoot' and 'fur conditioner' right before he dropped his microphone and started running."

Mum controlled a horrified giggle with an effort. "He does seem tae spend a lot o' time running, doesn't he? Ooooooh, that gives me an idea frae the perfect totem frae him ..."


A Walk On the Safer Side

One of the more popular areas, complete with a full array of crafting equipment, trainers, fuel, etc., will be the Dreg's Landing and Teren's Grasp outposts in Kylong Plains. Unlike the other high level areas hinted at above, as long as you don't do anything foolish, like run up to some of the nearby mobs and try to hug them, even your level 10 tissue-paper wizzie that is a level 70 provisioner can safely make the run between the docks at Dreg's and the outpost at Teren's Grasp.

Like the other areas, however, it will require faction work if you want to use the broker, buy fuel, and so on. (There will be a non-combat method to get some basic faction if you are a low-level adventurer but a high-level crafter, but it likely won't have quite the same oomph as you'd see from doing the adventuring quests.) The prices here will be higher than you would pay in the crafting instances, and broker fees are doubled when shopping from there, but you can always stop in and do some quick crafting if you have everything on you, instead of running back home to do so. The goal here is not to replace your home city, but to give those who would rather pay for the extra convenience an additional option if they don't feel like traipsing all the way home. (Just like in real estate, it is all about location, location, location. Convenience and proximity cost extra. :D)

Lest "pure" crafters feel neglected, you're getting a considerable number of new recipes in the new tier for every primary and secondary tradeskill, as well as a new tier of crafting writs. You will also see a rise in demand of the lower-end crafted goods as all those sarnak newbies start running around needing skill/spell upgrades, bags, boxes, gear, etc.

Anything above and beyond that, such as the various crafting faction quests is purely optional extra stuff. So, if faction work isn't your cup of tea, snag your recipes, figure out your resource-grabbing strategies, and simply enjoy your new tier of recipes, the new reaction arts, the crafting interface, etc.


Later that day, Mum plopped down at a table in Teren's Grasp to do some final writing before submitting her report. She was still fretting over the delay that had been caused when some careless adventurers trampled right over her and her writing at the docks earlier, resulting in the loss of several pages of notes, and her last bottle of ink. She really liked the new inkwell that she'd purchased while shopping, however, and was already trying to figure out ways to smuggle it home without paying import taxes on it ...

Waitasecond, here. Why all the fireworks? Well, it seems that Mum has 10 beta invites to give away, and not much time to do so. Check out this post on our forums for more details!

Created: 2007-10-18 07:36:56          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2007-10-30 08:32:08          

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