A large portion of the RoK content has a faction element. While much of it is geared towards high level adventurers, there are specific portions of it aimed at high level (70+) crafters as well. I'll first go over the high points for both adventurers and crafters, then I'll dive more into the crafter nitty-gritty.
Important Notes for Everyone
Note that Kunark is not a friendly place to outsiders. It never has been and likely never will be, though you can manage to be tolerated by many of the groups there. This means that even once a group accepts you enough to do business with you, they are going to fleece you for everything they can. They will love to have adventurers do their dirty work, but they will charge you an arm and a leg when it comes time to buy from their merchants, shop from their brokers and repair with their menders. Their prices will not improve as your faction goes up - all the faction does is allow you to do business with them in the first place.
How much any given NPC will overcharge you will depend on how difficult it is to reach them. This means that the Teren's Grasp residents will make you pay for the "convenience" of shopping there with the highest rates (such as a 40% broker fee - ouch!) An area way out in the wilds in one of the nastier zones, such as Jarsath Wastes, will still overcharge you, but it will likely be by a smaller amount.
You will be unable to obtain the crafting writs unless you have completed the appropriate quests from Taskmaster Greeblentus. (The quests in question are New Lands, New Profits for Riliss/Bathezid and High Risk, Higher Profits (for level 75+ crafters). Note, however, that you can purchase the recipe books and such once you have received the appropriate faction level by whatever means you prefer. So, if your preference is to bash monsters over the head for quests, rather than crafting yourself silly, you can. If you want to to a mix of adventuring and crafting, you can.
Why Faction at All, Then?
On top of the convenience of having yet another group not want to kill you, and the ability to shop and such without running home (even if you pay through the nose for it) is simple.
They have cool stuff. Some of it is even for crafters! Only you, of course, will be able to decide if there is enough yummy stuff to make it worth your while to faction-chase or not.
First and foremost, the quest for the Earring of the Solstice, also known as the "crafter epic", will require that you have -20,000 faction with Bathezid's Watch in order to begin the quest.
At "amiable" faction (10,000), you will be able to purchase your level 70-75 advanced recipe books via either the Riliss or Bathezid factions, and your level 76-79 advanced recipe books via the Danak faction. Provisioners are not left out, either! The Riliss faction will sell you "Sathirian Provisioning Reductions" and "Sathirian Provisioning Infusions". The Bathezid faction will sell you "Di`Zok Provisioning Reductions" and "Di`Zok Provisioning Infusions". The Danak faction knows something about some very difficult to obtain magma rockfish or somesuch, and will offer you "Sathirian Magma Recipes".
With the release of GU43, crafting recipes became available for every class at the 20K and 30K faction levels. The best all-inclusive summary of these offerings can be found in the GU43 Faction Recipe Preview. None of these recipes are meant to be game-breaking, or things that you absolutely must have, but are, instead, something extra as a reward, for those who wish to do the proper grinding.
Again, you can quite easily continue on your merry crafting way in the normal fashion with just your Essentials and Advanced books obtained in the normal manner, without touching a drop of faction. Really. If you like the faction grind routine, however, consider this a challenge with some reward at the end.
You can now raise faction with three specific factions (Riliss, Bathezid, Danak) via special crafting writs (to be explained below) to ally. (This was a change added with GU54, as RoK crafting writs only went to warmly before.)
What Else Will it Get You?
On top of the ability to buy recipes when you hit 10K, 20K and 30K faction, there are a few extras that you will see along the way. As soon as you hit apprehensive, the fuel vendor for that faction will sell you fuels at normal prices (wheee!!). Once you break into the positive faction, and indifferent, you gain a new revive point near the related faction area.
I will mention Teren's Grasp here, simply because if I do not, someone will complain that I forgot it. I didn't. Teren's Grasp is not looking for crafters, other than for possible aid in the crafter version of the sokokar
quest. Sad, but true. They get enough adventurers rushing through this convenient outpost to not really go out of their way to lure folks in. They're also one of the more overpriced places in the expansion anyway. (After all, they're only a quick hop away from Qeynos or Freeport and friendlier merchants, so you're really better off hitting one of those for your shopping needs.)
It really is a good idea to obtain your sokokar, however, as it will immensely speed up your travel times to the other faction outposts once you have done the proper exploration to find the posts.
This sarnak fortress, nestled in some mountains in the Fens of Nathsar, could really use some crafters to help their armies in their ongoing struggle with the area's iksar. Supply Sergeant Anuhadux is the person that will give these writs to level 70+ crafters, once they have been properly introduced to him. (Complete the quest "New Lands, New Profits.")
If you are a member of the iksar race, due to the struggles between the iksar and the sarnak in the region, he will not give you writs. However, the intent is that this can be bypassed with illusions of any other intelligent race (i.e., dwarf, dark elf, what have you. This sounds like a great time to use those petrified ___ eye quest rewards if you don't have some other handy form of racial illusion.)
This iksar encampment in the middle of the Fens of Nathsar is involved in skirmishes with the above-mentioned soldiers of Bathezid's Watch. It isn't quite open warfare, however, so you can quite easily gain faction with one without harming your faction with the other. Once you have earned his attention (again, with that "New Lands, New Profits" quest), speak with Preparations Officer Zekilius to start working on crafting writs to aid the iksar army.
If you are a member of the sarnak race, due to the struggles between the iksar and the sarnak in the region, he will not give you writs. However, the intent is that this can be bypassed with illusions of any other intelligent race (Again, a good time for a petrified elf eye, guise of the deceiver, etc.)
Once you have obtained level 75 in your crafting profession, Greeblentus back in Teren's Grasp should offer you a further quest series, starting with "High Risk, Higher Profits", which will gain you faction and a virtual letter of introduction to Work Requisition Sergeant Zildrax at the Danak Shipyards in Jasarth Wastes. This will allow you to perform crafting writs for faction with this group of iksar for your level 76+ advanced crafting goodies.
If you are a member of the sarnak race, due to the struggles between the iksar and the sarnak in the region, he will not give you writs. However, the intent is that this can be bypassed with illusions of any other intelligent race.
So, just what are these special writs that they offer? Each of the appropriate NPCs mentioned above will offer you a writ appropriate to your archetype (scholar, outfitter, craftsman) and level (Writs are level 72, 74, 76, 78 for Bathezid and Rillis. Danak's writs are 80, but will be doable starting at level 75). You will be handed a recipe book to scribe to complete the writ, and the recipe will be removed from your books when you hand in the completed products. The items that you will be asked to make may have some really neat names, but they won't really do anything (other than giving you something more interesting to make than a kajillion and one of the same weapon or something). This means making extras won't do you much good, as they will sit in your inventory as no-trade lumps. There is, of course, the souvenier aspect, mind you. So, if there's something that you want to keep just to have one around as a conversation piece, make sure to make an extra before you hand in the writ and the recipe is removed from your book!
Your immediate reward for grinding these writs, of course, other than the xp for creating the items, plus some extra for completing the writ, will be +750 faction with the appropriate group. No riches, no fame, no glory, just another step towards being liked enough that they will share their crafting secrets with an outsider like you. (Faction rewards were raised from 250 per to 750 per with the Nov. 21 hotfix.)
At this new 750 faction per, it will take you 45 writs to hit indifferent, then another 14 to hit amiable so that you can purchase your advanced books.
If You Decide to Pursue the Writ Path
Note where we said that it gives you a writ appropriate to your archetype? This means that, as a provisioner, you may be asked to make furniture, or a bow; as a tailor you may get asked to make metal armor or weapons. Be sure to carry appropriate fuel and resources for your entire archetype with you when you're going to do these writs. This means craftsmen should be bringing along sandpaper, kindling, coal, and filaments plus food harvests as well as wood, ore, leather, roots, deklium and kunzite. Outfitters should be bringing along coal as well as filaments. Scholars should be bringing along coal, incense and candles, as well as soft metals, gems, loam, ore, etc.
But Wait, There's More! Daily!
With the release of Game Update 54 in December of 2009, RoK Daily Crafting Quests, to give players some relief from the writ grind. In addition, one can now craft their way to ally faction, instead of not being able to receive RoK crafting quests after attaining warmly with the faction. Check out the link above for more details on the RoK daily quests.
Is It Enough?
In the end, you and only you, can decide if you want to pursue these faction paths as a level 70+ crafter. Some will love the faction grinds, others will hate them. Do them if you wish, don't if you don't.
For myself, once I can find time to breathe, I'll be doing the faction work for one of my crafters ... or three ... or four.
Many thanks to Domino (and her apprentice Olihin!), for putting together these quest lines that give crafters an optional progression path and rewards!
Created: 2007-11-15 02:26:04
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother
Last Modified on: 2010-08-13 10:25:16
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