Ooh Shiny! Part 1 (Hunter’s League pt3a and URT pt1)

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.

URTbracers   URTgloves

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.

HLshoulders  HLarms

The gear unlockers were found on the second page of “Services” in the marketplace. at 250sc per 5. Here’s what they look like:

unlockers

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Hunters League, part 2 & Claim Items

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:

hlhands

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.

claimbag

Innate 10% run speed increase? Smexy.

Hunter’s League, Part 1

I headed off to Qa Riverbank on Grelleth, fully intending to knock out all of the Hunter’s League quests in a day. Boy, was I in for a surprise. The first two quests were rather simple, requiring drops from 2-dot mobs, in areas full of 2-dot mobs. They were marked as level12 (small group) in my journal, but my level15 Dread Knight easily tore through them solo. I even did a few extra quests that were in the same area as the Hunter’s League quests. The third quest was in Ksaravi Gulch, it gave me a run for my money, and I leveled almost to 17 while doing it.

That third quest, for the Hunter’s league bracers, deserves a bit of attention. First off i needed 15 lizardman fangs. These drop off level15-18 3-dot lizardmen, I only got drops from Warriors and Villagers, and they were an uncommon to rare drop. Fighting 3-dots my level or higher was a learning experience, I quickly learned how to fear kite(Abyssal  chains, Frighten, bow spam or chase and melee), but still had a number of less-than-glorious deaths. Secondly, I needed 15 snapper shells. These weren’t much of a challenge, dropping from 2-dot level15 turtles, however I only saw them drop off of snappers on the beach, and in the water, in a small stretch ranging from the edge of the Lizardman village, to the giant turtle carcass a ways down the beach. The same exact mobs, in other parts of the area, did not seem to drop the shells. Snapper shells were also an uncommon drop.

All in all the first two quests, for belt and boots, took me perhaps an hour, including the time I spent doing side quests in the same area. But the third quest, for bracers, took me almost 2 hours.

Nevertheless, I received some snazzy rewards, and I’m looking forward to working on the Hunter’s League chain further in the near future.

HLpt1

Dam Dwarves!

First off, as Ockene mentioned in his blog, Three Rivers looks a helluva lot like Ireland. An image reinforced by the large number of leprechauns, I mean Dwarves, in the area. I, of course, am rather horrid at remembering to take screenshots, but I wrapped up pretty much every soloable quest in the area, and leveled to 14 on my Dread Knight Grelleth.

I did remember to stop by and take a screenshot of the Dam Dwarves, and here it is:

Image

Having run out of solo quests in the area, i think I’ll head off elsewhere next. I’ve been told of two quest chains that reward a solid amount of gear and xp: Hunter’s League, which starts in Qa Riverbank, and URT(United Races of Thestra), which starts in Renton Keep. More later.

Fortune Favors Procrastinators.

Now, I’ve never had much faith in SoE’s ability to have a decent freemium system. Their EverQuest and EverQuest2 freemium systems seem haphazard at best, especially when compared to other, successful, freemium games such as LoTRO and DDO. So imagine my surprise, as I’m bullshitting in general chat on the good ol’ IoD, when someone mentions that Vanguard changed their freemium system, removing the majority of the f2p restrictions.

 

You can see the announcement here, and the f2p/premium comparison grid here.

Basic summary: All races and classes are now free to level55(Justifying my utter procrastination in unlocking the race/class combos I was using, see I knew it’d be cheaper than 1000sc to unlock orc rangers at some point!). As a matter of fact, Premium now seems like a convenience option more than anything. Discounts on travel, repair and broker fees. The only gameplay-altering change I see between f2p and premium is gear limitations – and if there are gear unlockers in the Marketplace(something I need to check out now, I’m assuming it’s probably had a radical overhaul as well) even that only changes the leveling game, as a player can just purchase gear unlockers for their best in slot dungeon  and/or raid gear and deal with being slightly underpowered until they get those drops. I forsee raid tanks all being subscribers, at least until they have all their BiS items.

Yeah, Vanguard just got upgraded from ‘experiment’ to “I wanna see how cool this game is”.

Kudos to Sony on what is now the most awesome free to play system on the market. Even Smedtard deserves his share of the credit for this, now if only he could stop ruining EQ1 for the first time since 2005….

Raitarolled!

I’m a great one for going back to something that I’ve previously abandoned and finishing it up. Unfortunately for me, there is no going back to the IoD in order to finish the Diplomacy saga there. So, of course, I just had to reroll Raitaro. 6 hours later I find myself a level 7 ranger, level 6 artificer and level 4 diplomat. The IoD diplomacy chain is still rather annoying to me, but my experience with various diplomacy quests in the greater world tells me that I’ll have an easier time with diplomacy quests that are a level or two below me, but at level ones will be rather difficult.

I’ll stick it out and chronicle my temple experience for the blog of course. Oh yes, I almost forgot. Turn’s out I was missing something when I tried the old starter area quests. I found this page over at vanguard.wikia.com which shows where the old racial quest lines ACTUALLY start. I’ll add that to my list of to do’s for after I leave the IoD. Or maybe I’ll reroll Grelleth and see about doing all those quests on him with a home city starting option.

A Need for Heroes and On to Ca`ial Brael

On to Ca`ial Brael is the name of the level4 diplomacy quest that sends me across the continent of Kojan to the Wood Elf city of Tawar Galan on my intrepid Orc Ranger Raitaro, while I’m still somewhat iffy with diplomacy, I decide to go for it. Upon completion the reward is a horse, identical to the one I got on the IoD. However, the person I receive this reward from is a horse vendor, who gladly sells me a Dark Gray horse, one of several stylish choices, for 12 silver and 50 copper.

Did I mention that I took a rift to get from Wildgrowth Forest to Jalen’s crossing to cover about two-thirds of my journey? The Rift Keeper at Wildgrowth told me that apparently, there’s A Need for Heroes – in 4 different places. I accepted all the quests, which are really just pointers, simply because the reward for the pointer quest is a 10% xp boost pie. I recall, and being bound near Martok City proper, I find my way to the forges, where I meet a nice Orc lady named Kimak who let’s me specialise as a weaponsmith. Then I make myself a snazzy little blade.

sword

By this time i’m getting bored with the Martok quests. It feels like I’m doing the broken remnants of what was once a great quest chain. Almost as if there was a revamp, which was implemented when it was about halfway finished, but then got scrapped before it was complete. So, with some trepidation I abandon my Martok quests, but keep the Need for Heroes quests. After all, 10% xp boost pie! Besides, everyone knows the Cake is a Lie, right? Unable to completely abandon my Orcish roots, I retain the quests from Wildgrowth forest, and start working on those.

I also retain some pointer quests that go to Ranger and Crafting trainers, might as well collect free xp and silver on my way to find adventures and glory elsewhere after I finish with Wildgrowth Forest. There’s also a pointer quest to Gulgrethor Fortress which I find. It’s red, and marked as level15 in my log, on the map Gulgrethor Fortress is a level12-15 area, and i’m guessing it’s a dungeon. Might as well hang onto this quest too.

Wildgrowth proves to be a well made, although small, questhub. The scenery is gorgeous, reminding me of my local Cascade Mountains at times. There prove to only be a few quests however, and these are rather easy to solo. I’m soon on my way to Khenvor with a pointer quest after finishing the quests at the Wildgrowth Forest hub.

Khenvor itself, turns out to be pretty fun. I piss off some necromancers and get turned into a rat at the end, but essentially Khenvor is a city ruled by the devious Clan Gulgrethor, and as a memebr of Clan Martok it is my duty to cast honor aside and infiltrate this town to gain information for my war leaders. Mostly i run errands for some self-important Goblin bean counter, and poke around at the behest of another Clan Martok agent whose cover is apparently already blown.

Somewhere in this period of time I get rewarded these snazzy gloves, I’m hoping they are the first of several pieces in a new set of gear, we’ll just have to follow this through and see now won’t we?

Gloves

All in all not a bad run, leveled to 13 and gained a few upgrades, 3 of my IoD set pieces are now taking up space in appearance slots so I don’t look all patch-work.