Tradeskilling in EQ2

Yesterday the EQ2 Tradeskill bug bit me again, and I lost several hours leveling up tradeskillers.

Now granted, I’m prone to enjoy tradeskilling in MMOs, but only in EQ2 do I have “career tradeskillers” — characters that pretty much only exist to do tradeskills. In part, that’s because EQ2 allows pure tradeskill characters. As far as I know, you never have to suddenly go fight a dragon to advance tradeskills like in some (most?) other MMOs. Granted, you either need Adventuring characters/guildies to gather resources, or be a pretty shrewd wheeler-dealer, but the actual tradeskill character doesn’t have to go out and adventure (at least, in my experience, as in all other aspects of EQ2, I haven’t seen the endgame).

But there’s more to it than that. Sony seems to have really nailed the sweet spot in making tradeskilling interactive enough to feel like a process, but not so fiddly that it feels like a headache. And kudos to them for being flexible, because when EQ2 launched it was headache-fiddly, with sub-combines and a jillion different tradeskill materials. They heard the cries of torment of the players and streamlined it.

Also, tradeskilling here is useful, even if only for fun items. I personally am working on an Alchemist who makes Skill “Potions” for fighter archetypes, as well as various health potions, and poisons for sneaky rogue types. Since my main is a Berserker (a fighter architype) every time he levels and gets new skills, the alchemist can hook him up with decent upgrades. My other main tradeskiller is a Provisioner, who keeps the rest of my brood in good food and drink. Aside from the obvious weapon and armorcrafters, there are tradeskills that let you make fun items for your house; the imagination that EQ2 players have demonstrated in house-decorating is pretty astounding (see screenshot; that was an empty room before Angela/Seagoat started decorating it to reflect the Halasian theme of our guild), and the broker is always willing to sell your items to these home-makers if you’re not interested in that activity.

Tradeskiling doesn’t have the excitement of adventuring; it’s more a “relax and unwind” activity for the most part. After a couple of hectic days of Thanksgiving travel, it just felt good to sit at the PC, chatting with Angela, listening to Christmas carols streaming over her 24/7 Streaming Christmas Carols station, and mellowing out. It feels like maybe the same kind of process as knitting (maybe? I don’t knit but have spent many hours observing people who do)…something to occupy the ‘physical’ part of your brain while the rest of it kind of idles and rejuvenates.

Of course this only works because of the complex web of systems in EQ2. If the skill system didn’t require ‘augments’ to improve skills, or if the food and drink system didn’t exist, or particularly if the game didn’t have highly customizable housing, then there’d be no way to keep all the tradeskill careers interesting.

Later in the night, we did go adventuring. It was a topsy-turvey day, with me mentoring one of Angela’s alts for a change (I’m usually the mentor-ee). We ran around in the Ruins of Varsoon for quite a while; a zone I’d never been in beyond the first room or two. We both downed a +55% Experience Potion (a veteran player reward) so even though most of the mobs were green (with a few blues) we got good experience. Her Inquisitor made 4 levels during the evening, and my Berserker made one. A somewhat frustrating zone, though. A lot of target mobs seem to spawn very rarely, but the fighting was good fun.

7 thoughts on “Tradeskilling in EQ2

  1. Dude, that screenshot is pretty sweet.

    I also enjoy the crafting in EQ2, and you’re right about it being a relaxing activity, at least most of the time.

    Right now my beserker is in the process of gaining positive faction for the city of Qeynos in order to become a citizen. I should have asked if you guys are Queynosians or Freeporters.

  2. We’re mostly Qeynosians, I guess, but we have both “good” and “evil” characters in the guild. There’s some kind of Guild Hall Doorway you can buy to teleport into the guild hall from ‘the other side’ without traveling through the city, and really once you’re in the guild hall you’re golden. Bank, broker, vendor, all the tradeskill machines… all in one big room!

  3. I’m getting the itch to wake up Denat again. I really like EQ2 and there is so much of it I still want to adventure in but its just not a game I can play solo in for too long. I’d just love to be able to visit my Halasian Empire friends.
    With WAR and LOTRO though I just don’t think I can really find time to do so at the moment.. it is tempting though 🙂

  4. Crag – Well, not to tempt you even more, but you haven’t seen the Guild Hall yet, and Seagoat has been decorating it for Frostfell. LOL. Sev and Elyssia are playing a lot these days, and the Halasian Empire has joined an Alliance of guilds so there’re more folks available to group with.

  5. To add to the temptation …

    The new TSO expansion has scalable instances from 50-80 in Lavastorm, Commonlands and Everfrost (nine total). Many of the encounters now have scripts and other ‘tricks’ similar to what you might find in a raid environment. They are much, much tougher than the ‘old land’ dungeons that were never scaled to take into account the relative increase in character power from the AA lines and the buffed up master crafted gear. You can also level insanely fast if you choose to do these days (you can however turn off combat, quest and discover experience if you wish.) If that isn’t enough level 50+ crafters also have access to more crafting content via the expansion (which I have yet to even explore!)

    The alliance we are in is filled with friendly and helpful folks as well. We ran a very cool but very long ‘vampire’ instance in Loping Plains last night. The good news is that all of the zones are persistent — you can come back later and leave off where you ended.

  6. P.S.

    I forgot to mention that Seagoat has done an amazingly awesome job with our guild hall. It’s a sight to behold 🙂

  7. Thanks Sev! 😀

    I mentioned to Elyssia earlier in-game that with all the new Frostfell furniture this year, I can see myself redoing bits of the guild hall (again)…I won’t be able to resist the ice-themed room dividers and such!

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