Last night I started messing around with the Apothecary skill in Warhammer Online. I had a backpack full of ingredients I’d grown, and not a clue as to what to do with them all. I just knew my packs were full of smelly herbs and slimy fungi and I had to use ’em or sell ’em.
Even for a nub like me it was easy to figure out I’d need vials, so I bought some of those. I got the cheapest ones possible because I had this vision of flinging them at monsters and I wanted them to break easily (ok ok, I just assumed low skill level = cheap ingredients).
OK vial. Check. Now I needed a main ingredient. I had half a dozen or so of those so I added one. “This potion will surely fail.” says my Home Apothecary Kit. Try another. Same result. Another. Same. Slowly it sunk in; I needed something other than a main ingredient.
Applying my keen logic skills, I thought “Well maybe I need a liquid to make a potion.” so I bought some cloudy water. Bought it. After traipsing through bogs and ponds and rivers, now I’m buying rank water from some vendor. But oh well, when in Rome, or High Elf Land, or wherever you are…
So vial. Check again. Main ingredient. Check. Cloudy water… “This potion will be volatile at best.” Well, volatile sounds good to me. I want to see fireworks, baby! So I make it and get a weak-sauce potion of something-I-now-forget. Try again using 2 cloudy waters, and now I get a slightly better potion. I’ll try 3 cloudy waters! And I get the same as when I used 2. Damn.
“Well,” I think to myself, “I have these other non-main ingredients. I probably need to add a cloudy water or two, and one of these other ingredients. Heck, how am I going to keep track of this stuff?”
And then my inner nerd woke up and shot to my frontal lobe.
I then spent the next hour carefully experimenting with ingredients and making note of all my results in a spreadsheet. While my inner nerd (which, lets face it, isn’t very “inner” on my least-nerdy days) gleefully listed ingredients, my rational self was yelling “This is a waste of time; some even bigger nerd has already compiled these lists and put them online somewhere!” But I didn’t care… using one of those lists was like reading a nerd spoiler. I wanted to figure out the logic behind this process.
All night I made maybe half a level. I did take part in a couple of RvR Scenarios with the CoWs and proved once and for all that nerds suck at RvR, but the bulk of my time was spent mixing ingredients and filling out a spreadsheet. And I had a great time doing it!!
Plus I now have potions that let me breathe fire, which is fun for effect if not all that deadly.