I took a very much needed break from MMOs in general for a while. And now I’m back, currently playing: NeverWinter, Vanguard, RIFT and D&D Online – all free-to-play. I’ll try to get back into the swing of posting sometime this up-coming week,
So, my laptop was out of commission for two weeks. Immediately upon getting it back up and running I logged into Vanguard, and I was… bored. This isn’t really a surprise, as this tends to happen in any MMO I play unless I have a few RL friends playing with me. So, I’ve packed it up for now and begun patching The Secret World!
Future installments will be in TSW, for now.
I’ve got a slew of alts on the “hardcore” path, and the one problem I noticed was that you just can’t get your bracelet of lucky charms in the racial starting areas. Which means, since you can’t go to the IoD after choosing to start in your home area, a trip to one of the Continental Newbie Areas. These are: Shang Village on Kojan, Tursh Village on Thestra, and The Cliffs of Ghelgad(near Khal) on Qalia.
I headed over to Shang Village on Raitaro. This is where i discovered that it’s a rather lengthy proccess getting this bracelet, at least on Kojan. I’ll check into the Qalian and Thestran routes to it later on other alts.
The short of it is that I had to run through pretty much the entire newbie questline that starts in Shang Village, just to get my bracelet. This wasn’t a very big deal to be honest, as Raitaro was level 12 and running this questline took about an hour while gaining me a level. However, for others considering the “hardcore” route there are a few things i should note:
1) Having to go do a bunch of grey quests for a diplomacy wrist is rather annoying.
2) The weapon rewards were upgrades from my racial starter area weapons, which isn’t neccessarily a bad thing – but I can see how some may consider that bothering with the racial starting area may be a waste of time in light of this fact. Personally, I equipped the upgrades and was glad that I didn’t need to craft myself some weapons right away as I had been considering doing for some time.
3) I got a couple of gear upgrades, but not very many and the upgrades weren’t major – which I found surprising. In the interests of still at least looking like a good Orc of clan Martok, I placed the Darkscale pieces which I replaced into the appearance window.
4) The Bracelet is Magically Delicious 😉
For some reason when I re-roll a character repeatedly I think of V for Vendetta. Introducing Ratairo mark 4:
“Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.”
Right, I’m a nerd. But then, you knew that anyway since only a nerd will blog about playing an MMO.
So, I determined that diplomacy was something I’m okay with dabbling in, but not something I want to delve into at this time. That being the case, I opted to go “hardcore” on my Ranger main. At least, I think he’s my main. We’ll see how these things go. In any case, I used the information found here to discover where I would have started off as an Orc back before the addition of the IoD and the combined racial starting areas.
It. Was. Epic.
The IoD and the Shang Village Kojani starting area are hand-holding hubs for sissies compared to what I put myself through. i started off on a boat, apparently some raiders from another clan had taken us prisoner to enslave us. So I escaped, freed another slave and fought my way to Clan Martok’s holdings. I died 3 times and ate half my food by level 4.
On the IoD, and even Shang Village, your quest rewards have stats, and are comparatively easy. To give credit where it is due: I find the IoD and Shang Village to be more challenging than say the WoW starting areas. But not by much. But Grimsea Watch to Martok? I didn’t receive an item with stats on it from a quest until level 8. When I got these leggings:
This was after receiving Belt, Boots, Bracers and arms Arms in the Darkscale set which had no stats, just AC, on them.
In fact, the random rare drop usable green item is an important part of my gearing up in this world. With a dropped mask, club for my offhand, and chestpiece providing stats along with those Darkscale Leggings – I’m pretty “geared” for what I recall from the early days of Vanguard. This experience readies one for a bleak, harsh world – where the strong and skilled survive. A flavor i find sorely lacking in the default starting areas. I didn’t run into a diplomacy quest until I was level 5, or a crafting quest until I was level 9 – very little hand-holding here. We Orcs are a hardy race! Not only am I highly impressed, I’m hungry for more.
So, considering that I’m playing a game which you can play for free, but with restrictions which are removable by the application of Market items, it occurs to me that I should probably be making a spreadsheet. Hell, I’ll recommend one for every free player of a freemium model MMO. A subscription costs 15 dollars a month. You get all sorts of unlocked features, and 500 bonus SC per month. So, if you’re going to be a free player – make sure it doesn’t cost you more than 15 dollars a month.
I’d recommend getting a walmart gamecard your first month, just for starters. That’ll give you 2000 Station Cash to get started up on. Buy some item unlockers, and bank your remaining SC. Sell the lockboxes you find as drops – I’ve been getting 10g or so per lockbox, and I’ve made almost 2 plat from market sales already. The gear unlockers(which are the only item from the market you really need as a freemium player) are sold by other players, so you can spend maybe 1000sc on gear unlockers, and from this point on buy them with profits from Marketplace sales.
So, yeah, I’m a good Orc. In the WoW /silly sense of having “Ooh, Shiny!” Syndrome. As such, I had a rather busy day in Telon. First off, last night and today I did some serious quest grinding on Grelleth. I got some shinies. I broke down and bought some Station Cash, and I got item unlockers in the store. I did the first two quests in the URT questline, for bracers and gloves, out of Renton Keep – these quests became available to me at level16 and kept me occupied for quite some time. Each quest having 5 separate subquests to do. I’m a big fan of this quest line so far, and I think the “Surprise! Drudgery!” is an integral part of the experience, so I’m not providing spoilers for this one. Suffice it to say that you should clear about an hour off your schedule for each one. In the end, I got these items, which were upgrades from the Hunter’s League wrist and hand slot items.
Then I knocked out the next 2 Hunter’s League quests. Which weren’t as bad as I expected them to be, I’d say these were the easiest of the series so far, and the rewards were well worth it. Probably took me about an hour and a half to knock these out.
The gear unlockers were found on the second page of “Services” in the marketplace. at 250sc per 5. Here’s what they look like:
I returned to Telon on Grelleth, and headed off to work on the next quest in the Hunter’s League chain titled “In Search of More”. This quest seemed to take forever, the Manticores weren’t too bad – being 2dot mobs, but the Manticore Barbs I needed 15 of were a rare drop. The 15 Lasher Hides I needed took much longer to acquire. Lashers were level17 3dot mobs, and I leveled to 17 and gained half of a level just from killing these for the uncommon drop hides. Finally, after another 2 hours of questing I obtained my reward:
I guess, if we’re going to classify things properly we should say that Part 1 of the Hunter’s League chain consists of the belt and boots, from the two quests in Qa Riverbank; and Part 2 consists of the bracers and gloves, from the two quests in Ksaravi Gultch. I headed over to Skrillen Point, and picked up the next quest in the chain “Moving on Up”(which I mentally sang “To the East Side” immediately following). Immediately I noticed that, while up to this point the Hunter’s League rewards were blue items, the reward for the next quest in the chain was a yellow item. Since yellows cannot be equipped except with either a Subscription or the use of gear unlockers, purchased from the Marketplace, I decided to take a break from the Hunter’s League chain at this point until I level a bit further.
Before logging off I claimed my rewards from the marketplace claim items section. As I mentioned when I started this blog, I had bought Vanguard many years back and thus had a snazzy bag I was able to claim. Surprisingly, since Orange items are higher quality than Yellows, my snazzy new bag did not require a gear unlocker or Subscription to use.
Innate 10% run speed increase? Smexy.