EQ Traders Corner

GU57: It Takes a Thief ...

Shavanna was an apprentice chef in New Halas. That was her story and she was sticking to it! However, the smiling barbarian lass had been taking some extra lessons in secret, to learn the skills of an assassin.

An honorable assassin, but an assassin nonetheless.

This was a new concept for cities such as Qeynos, Kelethin and New Halas, where such a profession had generally been considered inherently evil. The new line of thinking seemed to be that such skills could possibly be useful, especially as bodyguards for important people, to protect them from less scrupulous attackers.

Most of them, however, still clung to their old prejudices, and preferred to not know about such things, so, on the surface at least, an apprentice chef she was.

Her instructor had canceled lessons for a few weeks, telling her to work on her cover profession, and to "practice situational awareness", which, to Shavanna's thinking meant to keep her eyes open and her mouth shut, while figuring out how to turn everyday items around her into things she could use for either attack or defense.

Tired of studying "101 Uses For Battle Bread (And Other Baked Goods)", she decided to help out a visiting artisan, Tami Swifthammer, with a few projects. Tami was hoping to set up a trade agreement between the Ironforge Exchange of Qeynos and New Halas, and Shavanna looked at it as a way to gain a bit more experience and notoriety.

As she ran around town delivering cookies and seeing if anyone needed Tami's help, she made a mental note to herself that giving out baked goods was a useful tool for information-gathering, and made relax around her.

She was distracted from her thoughts of how useful that could be for an undercover assassin by the sight of an unfamiliar, but very striking, barbarian man. His muscles rippled, his eyes were like melted chocolate, his hair just begged to have fingers run through it. "My, my, my. Now that's a fellow that I'd like to see in a kilt!" As she was running her errands, something about the way he slipped into the building where Tami was stationed, struck a familiar chord, however, and she began to suspect that he, too, had some training in the art of being stealthy. Maybe he was another student of her trainers?

She was going to ask Tami about him when she returned with the results of her visiting and information-gathering, when she was distracted by the vandalized spinning wheels. Eager to help out, Shavanna quickly ran up to the crafting area to make replacements and brought them back.

Along the way back, with her arms full of spinning wheel parts, she saw the handsome fellow leaving the storage building, but he disappeared around a corner before she could call out to him. "Hmmm. Negative 1000 faction points for him for not sticking around to help carry these. I wonder if Tami has put him to work as well?"

After setting up the spinning wheels, she was off to replace damaged plates before a banquet. Then she was asked to make and place a rat trap, for some odd reason. Everywhere she went, it seemed the cute, but apparently antisocial fellow was just disappearing around the corner.

As the day went on, the list of calamities continued to grow -- damaged fabrics, a fire in the warehouse. She was beginning to get the feeling that the other crafting emissary who was lobbying for a trade agreement with New Halas, from the Coalition of Tradesfolke, might be attempting a more heavy-handed way of stacking the deck in her favor ... with sabotage

No matter what calamity had hit, however, Tami and Shavanna had rushed in to craft up minor miracles to keep things running smoothly.

So, since sabotage had failed, the next step, would be ...

"Tami? Did you have a handsome barbarian fellow also helping you out today?

"No, I've been too busy to seek out other local help. You were the only one who walked up and offered to help out! I appreciate it greatly, by the way." Tami said. Then she took a closer look at the frown on Shavanna's face. "Why? What ...?"

"If we've foiled their attempts at sabotage, their next step is likely to be something bigger, and I am beginning to see a more sinister theme to a certain fellow's appearances and disappearances today. Do you think ..."

Tami's face was grim, " ... if this is sabotage, and it certainly looks as if it may be, then I can think of one very large landmark that would be a tempting target."

In a flurry of activity, Shavanna and Tami split up, running to warn the guards and the sisters at the Cairn of the Huntress about a possible sabotage attack. Apparently, they had been just in time, and had narrowly prevented an explosion at the pilgrim-filled shrine.

Her last sight of the mysterious hunk was of him being dragged off by the guards.

While she was unsurprised to hear later that he had escaped, she somehow suspected she'd come into more direct conflict again in the future. After all, there was some truth in the saying "It takes a thief to catch a thief," and the same could be said to hold true for assassins.

Game update 57 is due to be released on Wednesday, August 18. As usual, there is quite a bit to cover, even if I focus on things that are only of crafter interest, so please excuse me if I miss a thing or three. (I also suspect there may be several things that didn't make it into the Test patch notes.)

UI Facelift

One of the first things that you will notice upon logging in, especially if you use the default UI, will be that things look ... different. Different shadings, different layout for certain things, new xp bar, buff durations and names showing on your maintained spells, and much, much more. I won't go into detail here, other than to mention the one that will cause the most instant confusion. Your (I)nventory and your (P)ersona screens have been combined into your (C)haracter screen. So, if you're in the habit of hitting "I" or "P" a lot, either train your brain to hit "C" instead, or consider going into your options and remapping what key is used to bring up that screen. Those of you with custom UI's will likely want to check for updates right away.

Crafting Quests!

Ever wished you could buy your level 10-19 advanced recipe books from a vendor? How about your 20-29 advanced books? Your 30-39? Sound like a dream come true? Domino has smoothed out the crafting progression so that lower level crafters can progress more via questing and less via grinding, and as an added bonus, open up the ability to buy advanced crafting books in the level 10-39 range. Plus earn a 25 speed mount! And did we mention earning a few Tier 2 and Tier 3 rares along the way?

Yummy stuff!

I will get a full quest writeup up, once I recover from this bug, but here's some pointers to get you started:

New Halas, Level 10

  • Tami Swifthammer in New Halas (in the building with the guild cloak designer) has quests for good-aligned who are level 10+ crafters.
  • Varla Z'Velram, also in New Halas (south of the village, in the Rogues of the White Rose building), has quests for evil-aligned and exiles who are level 10+ crafters.
  • These quests provide two very different storyline perspectives on a series of events
  • When you finish either version of the questline, the table beside Tami will have a recipe book that you can snag, containing recipes for the items pictured below. (Since evils can't see Tami, you want to head to 61, 153, -130 to snag the book from the table.)
  • Also when you finish the questline, Tami will gladly sell good folks any of their level 10-19 advanced recipe books. Evils wishing to buy their level 10-19 advanced books will have to chase down Varla, who has returned to the crafting area in Neriak. (Exiles, buy your books from Varla on the final step of your quest, or you'll need to either have someone call of the veteran you to her in Neriak, or finish your darn citizenship change first! ;D)

Butcherblock Mountains, Level 20+

Seek out Cordelia Galeston from the Far Seas Supply Division on the Butcherblock docks for a crafting quest series for level 20+ crafters (any alignment). Among other goodies that you will get doing this questline will be a 25 speed horse mount with some harvesting bonuses, recipes for a neat turtle-shell appearance shield, Far Seas Supply Division faction and tokens, and the ability to buy your advanced level 20-29 crafting recipe books.

Steamfont Mountains, Level 30+

Level 30+ crafters should seek out Karalyn Cinderton at Gnomeland Security in Steamfont Mountains. More questing, more crafting xp, coin, Far Seas faction, etc., and an amusing bit of field testing for EQ2's own version of ... the Mythbusters?!

Odds and Ends

  • Guildhall harvesting NPCs will no longer spam you with a long list of items that they harvested. Instead, they'll hand you "a bunch of harvests".
  • Wrist slot items can now be made for the 10-19 crowd by scholars. (For a very long time, there were no crafted bracelets/bangles in the T2 recipe books, but they now have been added for coral, silver, electrum and turquoise.)
  • You will no longer need to play the equip-cast-unequip game with Jin'tu's Gift, the port to hua'mein village charm. Activate the item once after the GU hits to earn the port ability directly to the village, then you can happily stuff the charm in the bank if you aren't using it as an everyday charm
  • As mentioned a few times, the druid ring event is staying around through another GU, so you've plenty of time to earn and spend tokens.
  • There have been a lot of changes to spell/combat art advancement in the low levels, so things may have changed a bit in your recipe books for them.
  • Gorowyn has been renovated a bit to make it easier for lost rangers (and others) to find their way around.
  • In-zone flight paths have now been linked a bit more, so you should be able to fly from any flight spot in the zone to any other flight spot in the zone without having to fly from point A to point B, then ask to fly from B to C, etc.
  • The Seeker's Disc of Darktruth can now be used by level 80 crafters
  • Weapon appearance slots no longer need to be the same wield style as your equipped items
  • Appearance slots are no longer restricted to levels 20 and higher
  • Totem of Escape and Totem of the Great Chameleon can now be used at level 30!
  • The newbie experience in Darklight Woods and Greater Faydark has been changed a bit with some new occurrences and quests
  • There is now a broker in the inn in Gnomeland Security
  • More adventuring classes were made neutral, so new characters will have a wider choice of starting cities for the newly-neutral: Assassin, Ranger, Templar, Inquisitor, Coercer, Illusionist, Bruiser and Monk. While this isn't really anything to do with crafting, it may impact what adventuring class you create for crafting alts

Created: 2010-08-17 04:13:51          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2010-08-25 12:13:00          

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