While I expect most writeups will focus more on the adventuring aspects of the new adventure pack, this one will cover more of the flavor of the region, as well as cover items of interest to crafters. (This is, after all, a crafting site, and anyone who is familiar with me should come to expect these sorts of writeups from me.) Please note that the information on the tradeskill quests may change slightly with regards to requirements and reward during these last few days of beta.
|It seems the Far Seas Trading Company is always looking for new ports of call, and new items to trade. Fortunately for us, they found that, and more, on a recent ocean journey.
Welcome to the Isle of Mara, and the quiet little village of Shin. (Well, mostly quiet, if you don't count the squeals of the pigs, but we'll go into that more later.) The area is rich in history and personality, complete with many vibrant stories and quests. Among other things, mainlanders (that's us) will learn what happened to the Whistling Fists Clan, which many had thought died out before the Rending.
Unlike the cities of Qeynos and Freeport, where it seems that everyone is awake and active all the time, you will find that time has distinct meaning for some of the residents of Shin. If you wish to sit in on the lessons of Master Long Shan, for example, as he not only walks his students through their forms, but also tells them more of the history of their order, you will want while away the daylight hours in the courtyard below the temple. Nor will he be the only person who has a schedule based on the time of day.
|The village is mostly dominated by three main artisan families, each with their own areas of creative expertise. While there won't necessarily be a quiz later, skilled crafters will want to keep track of which family specializes in what. One never knows what can be learned by trading crafting techniques with folks who share similar skills....
The Nurwin family is filled with craftsmen, creators of many of the finely carved wooden items on the isle, as well as cooks of some renown. (They sound like Mum's kind of people!) After seeing some of their furniture, Mum just had to find a way to import one of the lovely Wantia cupboards back to the mainland.
The Ventur family, on the other hand, are the island's outfitters, creating many fine items of clothing, as well as what limited armor and weapons that the natives require. Given a recent problem with pirates that started up soon after the Far Seas Trading Company arrived on the scene, perhaps they will have more need of such gear than they did in more peaceful times?
Last but not least are the scholars of the island, in the form of the Augren family. While most of them tend towards quiet pursuits with the creation of scrolls and fine jewelry, you'll find one youngster in the family far prefers alchemical experiments that might be a tad more energetic now and then. One might even call them explosive. Small wonder that they call him the Mad Scientist of the family!
|New arrivals to the island may find a couple familiar faces mixed in with the residents of Mara. Many older ex-refugees will remember their trip aboard the Far Journey, before being deposited on the Isle of Refuge. The lovely Ingrid, now sporting the title of "Captain" is waiting on the dock to greet you when you first arrive on the Isle of Mara. She'd really like some help convincing the locals that it is to their benefit to trade with the "mainlanders" if you have a bit of time to spare. (Crafters will find it is in their best interests to help her out, not only for a lovely piece of furniture, but also because it means those crafting families mentioned above will be a bit more willing to chat with you later on.)
The irrepressible gnome, Geredo, is also on the docks, and it seems he still has his eye on the aloof Ingrid. However, since he's not managed to sway her with his gnomish charms, he's willing to consider one of three young ladies from the Village of Shin as his potential heartthrob. Of course, he feels you are the perfect person to find gifts for each of these young ladies and determine which is most the most suitable bride for him. Ah, that everburning gnomish love - it may burn forever, but it is sounding more like the sweetheart of the hour club than true love.
Across the water from the Far Seas Outpost, directly below the peaceful rice paddies, you'll also find one very enterprising fellow and his ... pigs?! That's right, folks, it seems Swinson's Protecting Animals Through Exploitation Society has set up a little wagering scheme, and you, too, could win (or lose) a bit of money by betting on one of the frequent pig races. Buy a ticket for your favorite pig (or pigs) and stick around the area to cheer on your piggie of choice. (If you wander too far away before the race is complete, Swinson is apt to pocket your winnings for himself.) Depending on their mood at the time, these little trotters will run, walk, stand, and squeeeeeealll like the little porkers they are. (Mum picked a piggie at random, walked up to it and told it very plainly that it was going to be turned into sausage if it didn't win for her. Unsurprisingly, at least in her eyes, little Grinder seemed to have extra incentive to win that time, and she walked off with a couple extra gold in her pocket.)
While all of this is very picturesque, I'm sure most of you folks want to hear about more meaty things, so here goes:
The adventure pack, which is released on June 14, will contain 7 new zones, most of which are geared towards adventurers from level 55 to 70. However, before all the crafters shake their heads and walk away, there's some things that may interest you folks, too.
The first zone, which is a non-fighting zone, contains the Village of Shin and surrounding area. Once you've performed Captain Ingrid's task (which involves no combat), if you are level 50 or above in your chosen tradeskill profession, you can complete a quest specifically designed for your class. In each case, you will seek out someone from the crafting family that has the most in common with your chosen tradeskill and they will set some tasks for you to complete. The alchemist, for example, wants some components to make some fireworks. The tailor is looking for new ways to work in leather and cloth. Some will have you scouring high and low in the area looking for ants, or shrubs or the like, others will require that you put your harvesting skills to work. (The tasks vary by class, and yes, as of this writing, some classes will need 240 in various harvesting skills to complete the task, so be aware of this in advance.) No combat will be required, so highly skilled crafters that haven't done much adventuring can also participate (and earn a bit of adventuring experience), provided that either their harvesting skills are up to snuff, or they get lucky and have tasks that don't require harvesting. While the rewards may see a bit more tweaking in the next few days, it looks like there will be a tradeskill-specific charm slot item that will enhance your crafting abilities, as well as a nice, roomy bag to hold all of your harvestables.
You will receive your choice of one of two lovely pieces of unique furniture as a quest reward from Captain Ingrid, as well as another choice between two more items during the second stage of the quest. Geredo will also reward you with a house item, should you wish to do his wooing for him. Carpenters should not fret, however, as these items, while nice, can't hold a candle to the newly-released tier 6 carpenter rare furniture in all it's glory. Nor is there any overlap between these quest rewards and the items that carpenters will make, which has been a fear voiced in the past. (Note that the carpenter rares are not part of the adventure pack, but they are being released on the same day.)
As an added bonus for players who have not purchased either expansion, they will find that their level cap is raised from 50 to 55 with the purchase of this adventure pack, as a way to give them a taste of slightly higher level content. Owners of Fallen Dynasty will also be able to /claim one of two different bonsai trees for their home.
For more information on the Fallen Dynasty, as well as a link for preordering this new adventure pack, please see the Fallen Dynasty web site.