Just this morning Davyydeous gained his final tradeskill level and is now a level 70 Armourer. This was, without question, a very arduous journey for me. When I first started playing EverQuest II I had no interest whatsoever in the tradeskilling component of the game. Looking at the levelling history of Davyydeous, it shows that it was almost a full year after character creation that I reached level 20 armourer. I found the whole process to be a real pain; this was back when you needed to create a bunch of subcomponents in order to make your final product. I’d spend the majority of my time crafting washes, oils, and goodness knows what else before I could actually craft a piece of armour.
It was probably in my 30’s or 40’s that the system was changed to remove the sub-combines. I enjoyed the process more, but I still found it to be a major grind. I’d craft all my newly scribed recipes (minus the mastercrafted ones because of the cost of the rares) each level, and that would usually net me somewhere in the area of twenty percent experience towards my next level. I’d spend the rest of the level just grinding out materials that ultimately nobody wanted and were in turn sold to the vendor. It got quite frustrating seeing my wife’s sage get about seventy percent towards her next level from the newly scribed recipes in addition to all her stuff selling quite well on the broker.
Regardless, I stuck with it, mainly for the need to equip one of my alts. Because of that alt, I forced myself to reach armourer level 50. Once at 50, the biggest pain came from having to harvest in the Sinking Sands. Competing with all the other players (and farmers) for the ore nodes was never a fun experience. Levels 50 through 60 were easily the most difficult for me as an armourer. 60 through to 70 however, were a different story entirely. I was stuck at level 62 for a few months with no motivation to continue crafting. By this point they had introduced the tradeskilling writs which helped a little, but it still took a huge amount of resources and time (grinding!) to make any levels.
Then SOE introduced tradeskill experience for doing the writs. This was my saving grace. I completed one out of curiousity to see what kind of experience I’d get. I just about peed my pants when I got about ten percent just for completing the writ. This was the motivation I needed. I was level 64 on August 1. Today is August 10 and I’m now level 70. I was receiving roughly 14% per writ turn in, and for the first time, I found myself without any tradeskill vitality and a desire to continue.
This morning after logging in, I almost immediately received a tell from a player asking if I could craft a full set of Xegonite armour for him. I did so which put me about 20% away from 70. With no vitality left, I completed another writ, then banged out a few more pieces of armour and got my ding.
Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of tradeskill writ experience! Hopefully it’s still around at its current levels when I need to level up to 80.