Oh when, oh when could it be?
With its new recipes
and crafting dailies,
Oh when, oh when can it be?
I just can't get this song out of my head. No matter how hard I try, I can't keep my mind away from Aion's upcoming 3.0 patch/expansion, Ascension. Ignoring it didn't work. Taking one little peek didn't either. Perhaps sharing and getting the tune stuck in someone else's head might do the trick? Nope; I've tried that for the last two weeks to no avail. I have even tried replacing it with other ditties, jingles, and orchestrations, but the melody always morphs back into something about that tempting little patch. My last hope is to play, but since that won't be a viable option for a while (still no definitive date, dagnabbit!), I guess that leaves me with just one choice: If you can't beat it, join it.
Yup, I will just have to hum along while busying myself learning more about all the neat little tidbits, like the ones coming the way of the crafters. Ah, you thought that perhaps adventurers were the only ones getting the goods? If so, you thought wrong. Beyond recipes, Ascension actually introduces some intriguing (and useful) new features specifically related to crafting.
Here's a familiar scenario: You spend millions upon millions of kinah building yourself up to the highest levels of crafting, only to decide later that this was not the profession you were looking for. Unlike many games, Aion gives Daevas the chance to dabble in every single crafting profession; however, the expert level is limited to just two crafting professions, and each toon can only be a master at one. Although certainly generous, this system sometimes leads to regret.
Maybe you suffer from crafter's remorse, having chosen a less than useful -- or lucrative -- profession. Perhaps you chose a specific one to make yourself one nontransferable item but find little use for it otherwise, or worse, you have a no-trade item you want to make, but you are the wrong profession! Before, a player's only recourse to remedy this situation was to either make multiple alts or just plain suck it up. Now, NCsoft is making it possible to undo that once-permanent choice of which profession you advance to expert and master levels. Just by visiting your profession's crafting master (and paying a fee), you can relinquish your expert or master crafting status. Of course, you will lose all access to the corresponding expert or master recipes from that profession, but you will be free to then advance in a different occupation instead.
For those who want every single master profession in game, alts are the best answer. For those (like me) who are not so keen on alts, having this new options is wonderful! I definitely envision some profession swapping happening at launch.
Furnishings, aisle five
Although there will be decorations that can be purchased from Shugo traveling merchants, looted from bosses, and even awarded via quest completion, new crafting skills are being added so that some house items will be player-made. It is not exactly clear whether furniture crafting will be a completely separate profession or just a set of skills that can be added atop others. What is known is that there will be crafting quests related to furniture crafting added and that furniture crafting skill level can be increased through these furniture crafting quests. I'm hoping some of the truly great items (like wardrobes) will be player-made-only to give crafters a much-deserved boost! Furniture can be crafted in both the capital cities of each race and the new residential areas of each faction, Pernon for Asmodians and Elian for Elyos.
As crafters, I am sure many Daevas feel underrepresented in their chosen playstyles. I mean, so many of the best features and goodies seem to always be geared toward the adventurers, am I right? Well, the crafters are finally getting the chance to participate in and reap the benefits of a feature that adventurers have been enjoying for a long while: dailies.
That's right folks! Crafters are getting their own organization that will offer daily quests. What the rewards for completing the quests will be isn't spelled out, but all Daevas who have crafting mastery above a certain level in any profession will able to do the quests after joining the organization.
Go Speed Racer, go!
Another tasty little morsel being served to crafters comes in the form of specialized crafting stations that will increase skill level faster than current ones. These new focused-learning crafting stations will be located in the crafting zones inside the new residential areas only. Utilizing these stations will not be free, however; players will have to buy crafting boost items sold by the crafting merchants and use them along with regular crafting materials. Lessening the crafting grind? Booyah! And though the boosts are going to have a cost, chances are good that the cost will be offset by the savings in materials and fuels.
Another boon to crafters involves the new magic enhancing system using AP that was discussed last week. Official word is that crafted items will have a better enhancement success rate than non-crafted items, so +1 to the crafting community!
Adventurers won't be the only ones getting some adjustments to their "skills"; there will also be new recipes added for each crafting profession, and some existing designs will have their level adjusted as well.
While I don't personally craft much in Aion (partially because I have never been fond of the system as implemented), I have always strongly believed that crafting is a vital part of games, especially when it comes to a vibrant player economy. And I applaud crafting's getting some much needed loving in this next patch... er, expansion... er, whatever it's called this time! Chances are, I just might pick up my frying pan again and take another crack at it. I mean, it's not like I can set Sanctum on fire...
Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down weekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.