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Wings Over Atreia: Miragents -- let there be pants!

MJ Guthrie

Whew. I made it through acquiring three pieces of the Miragent armor set in Aion relatively intact -- even with the majority of my sanity (although, I really didn't have that much to start with!). A decent accomplishment, I must say. However, a girl simply can't be running around Atreia without pants! So with my eyes affixed on the fourth piece of my set, I take a deep breath and plow ahead on the next lap.

The biggest cause of grief for most Aion players is none other than this fourth quest of the Miragent/Fenris questline -- the leggings. If (when, should I use when here?) you succeed, there will never be heard more exalted shouts of joy among all the lands. In fact, you can't convince me that the Reian tribe in Gelkmaros doesn't hear these carried on the winds. Yet if you fail? Such weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth as to bring to mind fiery pits of brimstone will reverberate throughout Atreia instead; even the walls of the Temple of Scales are sure to tremble at such a cacophony of anguish.

With Assault on Balaurea released and the consequent introduction of new armors for levels 51-55, is there any reason to continue clawing my way up the Miragent/Fenris mountain? Perusing the new offerings of gear demonstrated that yes, indeed, it is worth staying in the race; Miragent armor still comes out as a very strong choice in gold apparel for the high-level Daeva.

Admit it, how many of you want to skip to the end to see if I made my first attempt at crafting the Hot Heart of Magic? Mmhmm, thought so. Go ahead -- peek past the cut to follow the next step of the journey and see how exactly I fared.

I am now on Well Rounded, the quest that can break even the stoutest of hearts just trying to craft one. In order to receive your leggings, you must craft a Hot Heart of Magic on the apparatus of your choice. A show of hands: How many want to buck the odds and be one of the lucky Daeva whose craft succeeds on the first try? Me! Me! Ahem. And how many are resigned to casting their lot with the hordes who must repeatedly inflict the craft upon themselves? While I am first to eschew instant-gratification and find value in working for what you have, I openly admit that I want to be a lucky Daeva. After all, it's not like I haven't already put quite a bit of work into the preparations for it.

Anyone seen a Costco?

Before clicking that craft button, you need to make sure you have all of the ingredients. Hopefully, all throughout this questline (and even before), you have been gathering the necessary materials: 100 boiling Balaur blood stains, 12 hot Balaur hearts, two pure aether, and one each expert premium weapon, armor, and accessory flux. Because getting these all yourself is definitely cheaper and stockpiling 100 bloods is no easy feat, you need as much of a head start as possible. As it is, once you take the quest, you don't want to have to wait, you want to try now! After such an arduous grind just prior, the possibility of a quick completion is almost intoxicating.

If you didn't gather in advance and need to rely on the broker for some of these items, be prepared to shell out millions of kinah (15 million kinah for the 100 bloods alone, and then there's still six million needed for the oath stone afterwards). Despite many a hope that the blood stains would be more plentiful in Balaurea, Ingisson has shown itself to have sparse offerings. Supply has been dropping significantly, and prices are going up almost daily as the higher levels leave the Abyss in favor of the new areas.

WTB an Easy-Bake oven!

Now that you stand before your torture device of choice, all the materials snug in your cube, all you have to do is click. Yup, it's that easy. What comes after the click, however, is not -- watching that little craft bar. Just today, I heard frightening numbers like "only a 20% chance of success." How on earth do gamblers do this?! Although, I have to say, the rush I feel right now -- the hope, tempered just a bit with uncertainty -- is powerful. I really do not think my heart could handle a second Heart attempt (nor could my pocketbook survive my having to reacquire all those materials). I know that making it on your first attempt is possible -- I have watched my best friend sigh with relief when his procced. But I have also cringed inwardly with companions who are now staring at their ninth attempt. Who will I be more like?

So, here I sit, staring at this stove. It is mocking me -- I know it. Never mind the imagery of crafting a heart on a stove (or a forge, or an alchemy table for that matter); I cannot even describe to you the apprehension I feel, mixed with insane amounts of adrenaline. Like they do on a first date, your heart flutters and your stomach tightens... I find myself holding my breath each time my mouse hovers over the craft button.

I can't do it, seriously!

Upping your chances

One of the most interesting parts of gaming is the superstitions that permeate the culture; each game has a plethora of old wives' tales that some will swear by, and Aion is no different. Delete cursed fragments or you wont get a gold drop in instances. Craft your expert test while naked and with a full DP bar. Today, I listened as someone gave the advice "spin around 360 degrees before you craft." You know, at this point, I am willing to entertain any amount of superstition! Think positive! If I don't utterly fail and lose everything, I hear five of the unprocced white hearts can be turned in for 100 free bloods. So what is there to lose? Gulp.

Not for the first time, I contemplate this one facet of Aion that really has no place in gaming. Think about it -- we try to teach in society that if you work hard, grind enough, and do well enough, you will ultimately be rewarded. While that hasn't always shown itself to be true in the real world, we have always been able to count on getting that carrot for our efforts in game. OK, maybe the grind sucks and you choose not to do it, but if you do, the reward is yours. Unfortunately, in this case, there is no guarantee. Ever. While one friend did succeed on his first try, my legion and friends list are filled with those who are working on their fourth, ninth, or even 12th tries.

One for the money, two for the show...

OK, deep breath. Here goes... oh wait, I forgot to eat the perer aether jelly, and I didn't spin around! For the love of the Seraphim Lords, I forgot the sacrificial qooqoo!! I can't watch!

Doh! Looks like someone forgot to grease the pan. So, who is up for some Balaur grinding groups?

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