Houston we have a Problem
After reviewing the components necessary to upgrade my armor to Conqueror’s and beyond, I decided to use the cloth version gifted to me by our guild leader Fannel. For an alpha character it wasn't worth the cost and effort to upgrade from Artisan's to the Conqueror's, let alone beyond that.
Of the available roles as a Paladin, my preference in a group setting is to heal. In ArcheAge, all classes can wear every armor type. However, cloth provides better stats for healing roles. You can augment your armor with gem slots but you’d still be behind the curve compared to someone in cloth using the exact class build.
The difficulty with this choice is that my offensive skills are all melee. To compensate, I tried swapping out Battlerage (melee) to each of the ranged classes. Unfortunately, I didn’t like any of them. Not even adding the popular Auramancy into the mix made me like anything as well as the Paladin. Grrr! If this was purely a PVE game I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m not actively doing quest content and have no need to kill many mobs on my own. However, ArcheAge’s nonconsensual PVP makes roaming around gimped unwise. Especially since my largest property is in a PVP zone.
As I was considering my options one of our guild members, Killset, offered a solution. He linked me the level 50 purple set he was wearing. The stats were much better than mine all the way around and would allow me to obtain plate for when I wasn’t healing. A quick Google search returned a Reddit thread that contained information on where to find the quest starters.
As often is the case in ArcheAge, armor comes in a multi-piece box as a quest reward – 3 upper body pieces or 3 lower pieces or choose between 3 offhand weapons or choose from 3 main hand weapons. The helm comes alone as a quest reward and you’re on your own for the rest, such as accessories and class specific items like 1H scepters a DPS caster might want or 1 H club for a healer.
The above being the case, meant that I was looking to complete the quest chains for upper body, lower body, helm and choose a shield from the 1 H quest reward set. Everything else I’d need to upgrade by some other means. I spent most of Saturday upgrading my crafting professions to upgrade/craft what the quests wouldn’t provide.
First up I needed to raise my Handicraft skills to be able up craft a better lute. My class doesn’t use the lute for anything other than a stat stick. It doesn’t serve a purpose in a Paladin build. Regardless, I wanted better than the level 18 stats I was wearing. After that I upgraded my bow. The bow for me is a tertiary weapon. I use it to pull or kite but it’s primarily another stat stick.
The most expensive undertaking was my 1 H club for healing. As a paladin, I was using a sword for the DPS until I received the Judge’s Gavel from completing a quest associated with the Trial System. The gavel itself couldn’t be upgraded which meant that I’d need to go back to a crafted club for better stats at level 50. Crafting a club from T1 up to T4 was going to be expensive. Ugh!
I had to make a few trips to the auction house to buy Archeum Sunlight dust then shards as I converted the lower tier version to the upper tier version. I also had to craft other items to gain the proficiency required to advance to crafting the next tier of items. It was a crafting station to auction house, back and forth affair but I got it done. I also crafted my own gem slot enhancements to avoid the crazy AH prices. This allowed me to add + defense, + healing and + magic defense to various items. Whew!
On to the Quests
I started Sunday with all the slots I could upgrade on my own completed and began the quest chains for the rest. It took me several hours to get the uppers, lowers and shield. It’s pretty much all I did on Sunday in game. It could have gone much faster but all of the quests are in PVP zones. One area in particular had stealth gankers waiting for you to be engaged with a mob before attacking you. This was a tedious affair.
No one succeeded in killing me but it delayed the whole quest process. I had to make sure I was full health before engaging the mobs who root, sleep and hit like a boulder. I had to kite one group I was farming so that I could get my back against a wall to avoid being attacked from behind.
On another quest I left my pet in the bushes while I kited mobs to it so I wouldn’t be visible from the road. On the last one, I pulled them toward buildings with neutral guards so any would-be gankers would be ganked by the guards. One idiot tried to kill me 4 times. And even though the guards lassoed him to them and beat his ass each and every time, the idiot still kept coming back for more!! I mean seriously, this fool had to have been bored as hell to continue his stupidity. Half way through I took a 1.5 hour break to have lunch and do some other stuff. When I came back the idiot was still there trying the same nonsense.
The tactics I had to use while completing these quests took me back to my days on Illidan, a densely populated and highly contested PVP server in vanilla WOW. Watch your surroundings. Always assume you’ll be attacked and prepare yourself accordingly. There’s rarely 100% safe location outside of your faction city.
Toward the end, Brokenwind was online and he joined me as a lookout. This turned out to be a very good thing. The final NPC for the lowers was clustered in between hard hitting mobs. I would have had a hell of a time getting him down to 20% to net/capture him with his buddies on my back. You couldn’t take out the buddies first because he roams and teleports around the ring. By the time you killed what was next to him when you started, he wouldn’t even be there anymore. I guess this is planned as group content.
When it was all said and done, I was in a 6 out of the 7 armor pieces – 4 purples and 2 that proc’d orange when I opened the box. I also had the purple shield. Next session I’ll do a few extra trade runs to replace what I spent crafting the other items and upgrades. Brokenwind left me to start the helm quest for himself and it appears to be a longer chain. I’ll tackle that during the week as well.