Gnomish Tinkering. There are at least half a dozen terrific items to add to your bag of tricks just from tinkering alone. I've never been a big tradeskiller, but I've actually started tinkering just so I can get some of these handy items (and also so I can get my husband off my back -- he keeps prodding me about learning tinkering). The overclocked manastone is a great item for power regen, and the Defibrillating Heart Stopper gives you a 99% chance at feign death plus a heal. The Call of the Tinkerer is a nice item when you need to teleport to your friends who are deep in a zone. Those who run Battlegrounds probably want to have a few gnomish parachutes on hand for those long jumps off the Smuggler's Den tower. And who would pass up the chance at flinging a dumbfire cow pet at a mob! It's worth noting that most tinkered items require a certain tinkering skill to use, so even if you buy an item from the broker, you still need to work up the skill to use it. The EQII Wiki and EQII Traders Corner both have great guides if you choose to pursue it.
Relics and signets. If you have the status, it's worth buying some of the single-charge relics and signets on the status merchant. On raids, the replenishment signets are nice power clickies, and the redemption of failures, which provide a group rez, are potential raid savers. There are several others that are handy in a pinch, so it's well worth looking over.
Roots. Most know this, but newer players might not be aware of the importance of all those waters, fertilizers, and bones that drop from mobs. Those can be turned into carnivorous plant house items (in various combinations) for some nice clickies. Power roots and escape roots are generally the most helpful, but there are also roots that give heals, invisibility, speed buffs, and even an attack speed increase, among others. The handy chart over at EQII Traders Corner gives a nice breakdown of what combinations to give in order to get your root of choice.
Totems. If you're starting out and soloing, Spirit Totems are nice to have, because they cut down on the amount of time you need between pulls to regen your health or power. If you run Battlegrounds, I recommend bringing a stack of the Totem of the Sabertooth, which gives you a run speed buff. In addition, the Totem of the Chameleon grants invisibility, the Totem of the Void makes your entire group invisible, and the Totem of Escape is a handy evac. One fun side effect is the illusion you get from using them. My personal favorite is the Spirit Totem of the Monkey.
Potions. If you raid, you'll definitely want to carry stacks of cure potions. But even in general, there are several others that come in handy. Clarity potions are great if you are finding yourself in need of mana. Fortitude potions provide a little boost of health in a close fight. And you should make sure to carry stat potions that apply to your specific class -- intelligence for mages, agility for scouts, wisdom for priests, and stamina for fighters.
Temporary adornments. These can be pricey, but if you're knee-deep in coin, or if you are looking to maximize your output, these are very handy. Temporary adornments stack with regular adornments, although they're on a pretty short timer (15 minutes usually). If you do use them, make sure to get an adornment that matches the level of your weapon. (A level 90 adornment can't be used on a mythical, for example.)
Repair kit. If you are a skilled-enough tinker or are hunting with someone who is, a mender bot is very handy. A good fall back, though, are repair kits, which are made by Carpenters. They don't repair completely, but they save you a trip back to town to repair if you're busy hunting and have broken gear.
Fluff pet. These are mostly cosmetic, but they sure are fun to have around, and with all the choices, it's hard not to have at least one creature following you around. Choices vary from a romance pet (floating purple hearts) to a slimy slug. My favorite is the Bot Made Cream Cart, a Legends of Norrath loot reward. It's not a pet that follows me around, but there's nothing better than summoning the Good Gear Man and his wield-able ice cream cones. Raid mobs run in fear when they see a force dual-wielding mint chocolate chip and rocky road charging at them.
Before I wrap up, I wanted to briefly discuss the comments I received from last week's column. First, Merge This! was somewhat tongue-in-cheek on a few points. I don't really think small races should be merged, for example, and I'm sorry to the reader who took offense to that. Second, many readers used the phrase "dumbed down." I personally feel that there's a difference between "dumbing down" (taking the challenge out of the game) and making it more intuitive, or between being able to spend less time on distracting or managerial tasks and more time on enjoyment of the game itself. But while I respectfully disagree about the definition of "dumbing down," I do understand that there are some things in EverQuest II that players feel define the game. The removal of the starter isle was a good example of this, and it's no coincidence that its removal garnered a similar reaction. Hopefully in a future column, we can revisit this issue.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy the Festival of Heroes, and please share your thoughts on what you never leave home without!
From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to firstname.lastname@example.org.