Game Update 56 is just around the corner (somewhere around May 25th-ish), and, as usual, I've been poking and prodding at it on the Test server. Also, as usual, there is quite a bit of ground to cover, even if I ignore anything not directly of interest to crafters or decorators. There is always the chance that any of this information can change at the drop of a fur-lined hat while still on the Test server. Changes made after the release of this article will be noted at the bottom of the page as I learn of them.
Now that the required disclaimers are out of the way, let's take a closer look at GU56, shall we?
Of course, the release of the city of New Halas and the Frostfang Sea zone is the first thing of note with GU56. This level 1-20 zone will be a starting city option for new good-aligned characters, and will also allow painless citizenship changes for good-aligned higher-level players. (Evils can wander around it just fine, but will not be able to live there, etc.)
You can find additional details about New Halas housing here and yet more images as well as housing costs here.
Of course there's more to cover on the New Halas front before we move on!
How about items from the New Halas crafting society vendor? Items pictured below require Ravens of the North faction.
|Carved Wooden Crate
|Small Display Case
|An ornate globe of Norrath
|Stone Inlaid Counter
|A Chiseled Mirror
|A long stone corner counter
Last, but not least, the appearance gear on that faction:
In addition, the following titles will be available for purchase: Settler (10K faction), Rebuilder (20K faction), Peregrine (30K faction), White Raven (40K faction).
That's all well and good, you say, but you want some New Halas house items that don't require days of faction grinding before you can get your hot little hands on them? Domino and the Art department are already ahead of you there!
There are two housing vendors in the New Halas housing area that will sell you many lovely new items, ranging in cost from a few silver to a couple gold. These items include: basic coldain crate, frosty Halasian barrels, Halasian barrels, Halasian andiron, Unlit Halasian Andiron, reinforced Halasian chest, simple Halasian chest, sturdy Halasian chest, blue oddysey wool rug, elaborate coldain crate, Halasian bench, Halasian feasting table, Halasian hardbound book, hanging Halasian coals, round rug of the frigid waves, and woven rug of the protector. Due to the number of items to be pictured, the images have been split out into a separate article found here.
There are two crafting-related quests on the starter isle in Frostfang Sea meant for new players. While experienced crafters can complete them, the rewards aren't anything that we're likely to need.
The first, from Trainer Hawk Dunlop, is meant to introduce the player to harvesting. Like the harvesting tutorial you find in the crafting societies, the quest gives you a meager harvesting bag (12 slots, harvestables only, no-trade) at the start of the quest, and asks you to harvest some tier 1 resources from the area.
When you finish the quest, however, you are given a "Disassembled Storage Box". Heed the warning carefully before you unpack this item, as you really, truly do want to be at the bank when you do so. The box unpacks into a Harvest Storage Bank Box with 36 slots, and a weight of 9999. (No, that is not a typo.) The box only holds harvestables, and only standard-sized stacks (200), but, for a new player interested in crafting, it will be a wonderful thing to have in their bank until they get bigger containers.
After completing the harvesting quest, the mender, Bull the Crafty, will let you try your hand at crafting something with the resources that you just harvested.
You'll grab the quest recipe (Artisan level 2) from the table beside him, a piece of crude coal (quest-only fuel) from the bag at his feet, and craft up a Lucky Wolf Paw using artificing. You get to keep the paw, which is a level 5 charm with 5 STA, 5 health, 5 power, and a 17% run speed buff with a 33 minute duration. (Unlimited charges). For those of us who have better charms, and better travel speed, it is nice for transmute practice! You are then sent into town to seek out the crafting trainer to learn more about crafting.
Some of the questlines in the Frostfang Sea area have had tradeable furniture rewards added to them. The ones I've seen so far require completion of several (under level 20) adventuring quests before you are awarded with a piece of furniture. (These quests are also a fabulous source of transmute fodder.) While I am unsure if I'll put much more effort into tracking these adventuring quests, I've put together a separate article with some item details.
Some folks move at the drop of a hat, any hat. Others tend to be more firmly rooted, but may find the allure of New Halas housing to be too much to resist. Whether your character a good-aligned type that "just" needs to change citizenship, or someone a bit more evil that needs a full betrayal, the new Ambassador NPC in each city will be able to inform you of what you must do in order to move to another city. For simple moves between cities of similar alignment (good or evil), it requires talking to the Ambassador in your current city, then talking to the one in the new city. For betrayals requiring alignment changes, they will be tell you who you need to speak with to get started with betrayal.
Mum just needed a little bit more skill before she was ready to make adornments to enhance her own gear, but she had run into a bit of a snag -- she didn't have enough of any tier of the right components on-hand that she wanted to "waste" making adornments for practice. Sure, she could always sell the end result via the broker, but she never knew when one of her extended family would need any of those expensive adorning supplies. Besides she was a packrat by nature, especially when it came to items that took a solid amount of effort to obtain.
Luckily for her, her local crafting society had just received a small order for adornments for the city guard. Coincidentally, they needed ones that fit nicely into her current adorning abilities. It wasn't a high-paying job, and she'd have to bring her own fuels, but if she was going to practice anyway, and someone else was going to provide the other materials needed, it sounded like a match made in heaven!
She had the feeling that she was going to be seeing a lot of Londiar for the next several days ...
Like many crafters, I am a packrat. Because of this, I've not been keen on grinding up adorning skill on my alts, even though there is an achievement for it. With my luck, a week after I made (and sold) adornments in a certain tier for skillups, I'd find a different need for the materials that I'd used, and would have to go find more items from that tier to transmute!
Thanks to a new feature with GU56, I will be able to skill up adorning on several alts without dipping into those precious supplies.
Each city's crafting society will have a new NPC (Londiar), who will offer an adorning daily task based on your adorning skill level. (All tiers of skill are covered - from brand-new adorners all the way to tier 9 adorners.) A quest recipe book, and quest-only adornment materials are provided, and you will be asked to craft 10 quest combines. You will need to provide the fuels (tier-appropriate coal), but you won't have to spend any of your precious powders, fragments and such on skillups!
Details - Each day adorners of any skill level can pick up the quest to create 10 quest adornments for their tier of adorning skill. The player provides the fuel, the NPC provides the book and quest materials. Reward is a tiny drop of xp, 300 faction with your home crafting society, a city token and a few silver.
Mum came home to find her niece, Fenrissa, sitting sadly on her doorstep. Since the last time she'd talked with the young halfling, she had been planning on an extended adventuring trip with some friends.
"Och, lass, what happened tae yuir plans frae a grand adventure?"
Fen's brown eyes were glittering with with unshed tears as she mumbled her response, "They left without me."
"But I thought they were yuir friends? What happened?"
"I had to hand update a quest before I joined up with them, and I got lost, and by the time I caught up to where they'd been, they had moved on, and someone opened up a druid port, only I'd forgotten to harvest the shrub the last time I'd been there, so they told me to shortcut through the carpet at Sinking Sands, but that only works for evil folks, so I had to backtrack and wait on a boat, and by the time the boat finally got me there, they were two steps ahead of me, and then they told me to go through Burned Woods, and I couldn't find a connection for it anywhere, and I got more lost, and then someone got snarky and harped on the old days and kids having it too easy with travel, and I got even more flustered and lost, and ..." Fen threw up her hands in despair, before letting them drop despondently.
"Psh! some friends. Let me tell ye aboot th' 'auld days', lass, an' then let's see what we can do aboot ye learning yuir way around a wee bit more..."
Years ago, when the pre-Shattering Norrath was one step away from being wild frontier, and refugees were just beginning to straggle into Qeynos and Freeport, getting from place to place took longer, but was easier to understand. This made sense, as we were slowly reclaiming the lands once again, and taming the frontier, as it were. Slowly, new lands opened up for exploration, travel in the more settled lands improved, and new ways of travel were introduced for the newly-reclaimed lands. Time went on and we made the Desert of Flames our own, then Faydwer, Kingdom of Sky, Ruins of Kunark ... etc.
The big problem was that each one added yet another level of complexity to travel. Getting around within an area may have been easier, but getting from one expansion's area to another might require zoning another 5-6 times, as well as some creative travel stops within a zone or two to get from one connection to another. Those of us who have been with the game from the start may be able to figure out how to get from point A to point Z in the shortest amount of hops, but that's because we learned how to travel in chunks, making it easier to remember. For a new player, however, it can be beyond confusing and time-consuming. Bells, boats, carpets (and don't forget to set all the carpet stops!), spires, druid rings (but don't forget your), in-zone mounts (but don't forget to visit the spot on foot before you can ride there!), sokokar (once you quest for them, then set each of the posts!), more boats, airships, cannons, balloons, more bells that don't connect to the other bells, etc. A body could spend more time zoning and staring at the loading screens than they could enjoying scenery as they traveled, only to realize that they "can't get there from here" without re-zoning another 5 times because they missed a vital connection.
It was definitely getting time to make travel a bit more cohesive, and while the new system is still having bugs shaken out of it on Test, it should make it a bit easier and saner for all of us to travel, once we get used to the system.
There's enough explaining and images to go along with it, however, that further details on this travel revamp that I'm making it a separate article!
Back when Bristlebane Day was active, I warned that the Rivervale Candle Row would be changing in appearance (since they looked exactly like a house item we could already craft). It was not forgotten! Here is what the item will look like once GU56 is released.
What on earth does this have to do with crafting or housing? Welllllll ... it seems that Gninja and those crazy goblins cooked up some new house items on a vendor in there. Right now, they're only on that vendor, and are something for raiders to burn extra tokens on (earned from that raid instance) once they are done buying gear from the vendor. However, I have heard, secondhand, that the tiles may eventually be available from an enchanted grotto instance, and the rest of the furniture may show up on the Frostfell Village goblin vendor next Frostfell. In the meantime, the furniture items are fully tradeable, so you may see them trickling around "soon".
Below are the icons for most of them (we're still missing an image for the chandelier, but that will be along as time/energy permits), and those wanting a closer look can find it here.
"Mum! Mum! I created a new spell! It needs a bit of fine-tuning yet, but just look!"
With no more warning than that, the normally restrained and reserved lady-erudite waved her hands, mumbled something under her breath, and ... every mount in sight just ... dissappeared?!
"But, but... my -"
Nebula hurried to interrupt, "Oh, don't worry, they're all still there. They're only invisible and immaterial to you! I was working on a spell to make monsters vanish, and came up with this instead. I remembered you complaining about people on rhinos and such blocking your access to the crafting tables, and figured you could put it to use. Just a small thank you for all the times you've fed me when I've been too busy with my research to remember to cook for myself."
"Anyway, I think I've figured out the final refinement for the monster-banishing spell, so I'm headed out to test it. Wish me luck!" With an airy wave, Nebula was gone, before Niami could get another word in edgewise.
A few hours later, as Mum was delivering baked goodies to a local infirmary, Niami chanced to see a very battered and bruised Nebula being carried in on a litter. Apparently invisble sleeping wyverns could not be walked through as if they weren't there, and didn't take kindly to their tails being stomped on in the name of science ...
Many is the time that I have longed for a way to hide mounts from view when in close quarters. It doesn't even have to be on a raid -- unless you count pouncing on the broker as a raid. An oversized ogre on a rhino takes up quite a bit of real estate, especially if you're playing a small race!
From everything I have seen on the forums, especially while the feature was first being introduced and tested on Test (with it being "just" mounts disappearing in combat at the time), the option to hide mounts has been a huge feature request from a lot of folks, and it is a happy thing that SOE listened, and refined the feature some more!
Thankfully, with GU56, there will be a way for you to hide mounts from view, with a couple choices on a new option setting. You can have the mounts simply blip out of sight during combat if you're worried about combat lag, but like to see them around the rest of the time. Or you can have them hidden from view all the time. Or you can keep things as-is, and see the mounts all the time. The choice is yours.
Details: The option only hides player mounts from your visible view, not from anyone else's. It does not affect zone mounts (sokokar, griffons, etc.), only player mounts. The mount effects are still there, as long as you have the mount buff on you, but the mount itself will be hidden. Using the hide in combat only option can be quite disconcerting, especially if you fight a lot of quick, short battles. On, off, on, off, flicker, flicker, gah! :D
The iced pomegranate ambrosia (Provision drink from Mara faction recipe using harvest from Shard of Love) is receiving an upgrade, and will be a 5-stat drink (STR/STA/AGI/INT/WIS) when GU56 is released.
Two lovely new red glowie collections are being added with GU56, one of which rewards a tub (you can change it between an empty and a filled version), and the other of which rewards a bear head trophy. The Paineel Bath glowies are found in the faction and crafting areas of Paineel, and the Halas Blizard Grizzly Trophy glowies are found in New Halas, including down at the docks. As always, red glowies can only be seen while you have the Earring of the Solstice equipped. Both reward items are no-trade and the glowies are LORE.
Mastercrafted gear is getting another facelift, to put it more in line with its intended role in gear progression. (Treasured drops > Mastercrafted gear > Legendary gear > Fabled gear). I'm not going to go into an in-depth stat comparison that could still change without warning, but I pulled up an example from tier 9 mastercrafted leathers so folks could get a feel for the difference.
Woven Spotted Pants (pre-GU56)
Woven Spotted Pants (after GU56)
With GU56, the tier 2 void shard armor will no longer require that the customer provide the matching tier 1 shard piece to be upgraded. For the crafted versions, this means no change in void shard cost, but no gear will need to be dropped into the commission window. (i.e., a T2 shard helm that cost 18 shards, the matching T1 shard helm and common resources will require the 18 shards and the common resources)
Even for a huge update, and "just" covering the information of main interest to crafters and decorators, that's a lot of ground to cover. If you chewed through this and alllll those supporting articles linked above, and don't feel your eyes glazing over and your brain turning to mush, you're doing better than me!
Game Update 56 is still in the testing phase, with about a week and a half before the expected release. This means things can/will still change. As always, please feel free to post any updates, corrections or additions to out forums, and I'll update this preview accordingly.
Any changes made after noon (Pacific) on May 14, will be listed below, to make it easier for you to find them.