Introduced just before the launch of Frontiers, tradeskills and crafting allowed players to equip armor, jewelery, and weapons that were a strong improvement from the vendor bought items and random collection of rares a character usually had while leveling. Launched at the same time as auctions, this essentially changed the game’s economy on a massive scale. Most wealthy players went from having a few 100k tunar to having tens of millions thanks to crafting and auctions.

Three memories stand out to me when I consider tradeskills:

1. Gems.

When gems were first released, they almost never dropped. This made crafting higher level items not worth the price of materials. At some point in early 2004, SOE bumped up the gem drop rate to an absurd level. Every creature dropped one. Your inventory would be full by the time you were level 3 but you were too hesitant to sell the gems to the vendor because you were still in the mindset that they were worth something. Eventually, SOE calmed down the drop rates. With that said, grinding at 60 and being the master looter is still annoying. I wish you could just turn gems off.

2. Level 28 plate gear for tanks and level 48 black plate. 

Only two sets of tank plate gear existed before the light blue level 28 crafted set was introduced. Those two sets remain incredibly rare. Every player would stock up on level 28 pieces. Plate gear just looks much cooler and smoother than the eclectic mixes of 17 armor and random chain mail. Similarly, the level 48 gear is black. Black gear, along with white robes, seem to be what most people think looks the coolest. With a duration over 70 and some heartsblood alloys on their, every tank had a set of 48 gear for grinding.

3. Boredom.

There is no other activity in EQOA that’s more boring than crafting. You literally smash the X button for hours on end. I did it for 20 minutes straight and only got to 1.7. You start at level 1, go through till 1.9, then hit level 2. In total, there are 9 or 11 levels, which I’m not sure about since I refuse to give into that activity. The good news is, if you put in the time, it’s highly profitable. One black sapphire can net a jeweler 150k, easy.

I would say that tradeskills helped the game and yet also hurt it. Rares became less valuable but the average player could now compete in groups. One question remains though, why does crafting stop at level 48? It’s like SOE released Frontiers and forgot to expand that element of the game.

About Stonee

EQOA blogger
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8 Responses to Tradeskills

  1. Boneduke says:

    The one early plate set I definitely remember (and always watched the auction for 🙂 was the Windblast set…that stuff was really rare, and looked awesome. Not much out there looked like the Forest plate armor too – had a nice look to it.

    Aviaks dropped a variety of low level plate gear, like the storm’s rage bracers, skyrider helm, talonthorn breastplate…some of that stuff got nerfed and converted to chain/etc in a patch around Oct 2003 I think…

    Never much liked what crafting did to (IMO) trivialize a lot of the rare drop gear. You mention that black plate armor could craft with heartsblood alloy…before that stuff, it was pretty uncommon to see black plate armor. I remember the darkstone tunic…really rare and sought after piece of equipment. No one really cared much about it after crafting was introduced. Seemed like after crafting there was no need to have 75% maybe more of the drop gear even in the loot tables anymore. Crafted gear was as good or better… seemed like a shame, since obviously so much effort had gone into creating such vast loot tables.

    • Stoney says:

      Dang good call on the darkstone bp. Didn’t that drop at cyclops??

      • Boneduke says:

        As I recall the darkstone gear was in the mountain loot table – which meant pieces dropped off any appropriately leveled mobs that were tagged as mountainous.

        The darkstone stuff was a little different from most sets in that it was spread out across a wide level range (e.g., not like say rubicite which was all ~level 45). The darkstone tunic was I think level 48 – the greaves were in the low 40s, and the gauntlets also mentioned were I believe 35. Don’t remember what other pieces there were…

        I recall getting at least one darkstone tunic off the mountain griffons in Serpent Hills. Farmed there a lot on a rogue in the early days – was slow going alone…kill a griffon, stop to eat, kill another, stop to eat… 🙂

    • BoomstickSaint says:

      I have some darkstone gauntlets on my bank toon on PPO. Also, there is another set of low level black plate armor called Adorned around lv 30 – 33 or so. Good stats too, str, sta, hp and ar or something. I think it was new when Fronts came out cuz it dropped at Ankextets and Merkans for sure. I personally had the boots, helmet and bracers. I always checked auctions for bp or legs but only saw the bp once and missed out. It still drops cuz I have the boots on my war on CLW right now.

      There is soome crafting afting after level 48 at least for tailors and armorsmiths. There are lv 50 and 60 master armor sets for each class, but no one uses them cuz they are basically too hard to scrounge up the materials and inferior to other raid drops.

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