As we get to the end of this release, which is sort of a combination of Release 12 and 13, I thought I would reflect upon my time in the game, what I’ve accomplished, what was good, what was bad and what nearly got me killed. It’s been nearly 2 months of game play and I’ve accumulated a lot of items, a lot of skills, a lot of gold, lots of gaudy decorations that I’ll be sad to see get wiped away. But that’s the way it goes with these Alpha releases. We have to wipe the slate clean from time to time and scrape away ankhs stacked up into the sky so that we can move forward. And move forward we shall with all new items to place and all new skills to learn. Melee has been good to me, but I find I like the archer build too.

Anyway, for this release session, I bought a plot, built a house and decorated it with just about every trinket I could find or in some cases pilfer. As mentioned, I got the plot in Braemar mostly because it was available, but it’s turned out to be a great little town. Compared to the others, I like the “forest” feel to it. It’s also had a lot of players wandering through which is kind of nice. You get to see and help new players which makes things feel more alive. Kingsport is nice, but the Merchants and Market feel out of the way. And even though the Market is more central to Owl’s Head and you have to go past houses to get to the center of town, it feels somewhat remote as well. Maybe it’s just the size, but Braemar feels more closely knit. I’d like to get a house down there again for Release 14, but you never know how these things are going to work out. If houses are tied to accounts, it’ll be a land rush from the get go and I have a feeling the guilds will be scooping up lots. Kingsport could be nice, or perhaps a ferry ride over to Port Mirren this time around. Or maybe I will just play the part of vagabond or perhaps wandering minstrel and I will just walk from town to town only calling it home for a day or two before the good citizens and store owners throw me out.

So what was good about this release? The Crafting is coming along very nicely. There are lots of recipes to work with and plenty of decorations to make for yourself. Also, the “auto populate” of items on the crafting table is great! It’s so much easier to make tables, chairs and cooking items with multiple ingredients when you don’t have to drag and drop and place them all in the exact right spot. And I admit, I’ve had a lot of fun making the Gothic furniture, the bookshelves, the wall shelves and making explosives. My house may look like a garage sale is in progress, but I had fun making that mess and that’s what’s important! Screw you HOA and you’re wicked rules!

I reached Level 46, which is a pretty big milestone for me since that’s 40 levels further than I would have expected to get. Combat still needs work, but it’s getting better. I still use the locked glyphs because it feels easier. I might try the stacked glyphs next time, but don’t hold your breath. And speaking of combat, I was able to defeat the Lich on my own in a couple of different areas so even with my locked skills I can dish out some damage and stay alive. I took care of the Lich in Ravenswood, in the Tower of the Shuttered Eye and in the Obsidian Keep, so not a bad showing. Early in my adventuring career I was smited quite handily and left for dead on the dusty floor. Haha! Vengeance is mine!

And let’s not forget the Dungeon Runs, those were a great deal of fun. It’s a chaotic experience, but well worth the effort. Considering the new elementals coming, the next set of Dungeon Runs should be even more exciting. Hopefully I can join Bayridge and go through a couple more times.

I amassed a pretty tidy sum of cash from crafting as well. I used the Merchants to gather most of my goods and turned those into multiple high dollar items. If you watch and wait, you can turn a tidy profit from the items a vendor sells. Not to mention I made quite a bit in the beginning from quests and the gem mines. Hard to say how money will act in the next release, but I will probably follow some of the same techniques I’ve already learned.

There were LOTS of places to explore in this release and I documented a bunch of them. Not everything is in plain sight either. Look for trap doors, false walls and secret entrances. There are plenty of them hidden around. Look at the places I ended up! You never know who’s basement you will end up in.

Lots of tournaments got underway during this release as well. There are proving grounds in Kingsport, Ardoris, the Brave Coast and Braemar. If you’re looking to participate or just watch, you don’t have to look far. There’s a lot of action out there. I wonder when Rock Vegas will be added to the list of towns you can visit and bet on the battles?

And of course there we a lot of silly ass antics (hot tub diving!!!). We won’t go into them all and some are best forgotten. What happens in Braemar, stays in Braemar. Just know that if you get in trouble, Halmar is not the guy to turn to for help.

About the only thing I would log as disappointing is I wish there were more quests. Mind you, there are quite a few to work with now, but they sort of taper off. For those of us who want to focus on adventures and quests, I hope more will be coming for Release 14. Even if not, there is still plenty to keep me busy. Aside from the crafting and the dozens of recipes I haven’t tried or gathered the resources for, there is the entire combat skills tree to work with. I was going to try magic, but now I think archery may be my game. Too bad I can’t set up targets and shoot arrows in the house.

Overall this has been a very good release. It has been stable, there have been a minimum of glitches, and there always seems to be something to do. The little guild skirmishes that seem to break out right at the entrance of town are getting a little tiresome, but I suppose that’s relatively minor. Hopefully with all the new arenas going up, the kids will find a safer place to play than in the streets.

I’m really looking forward to the next release and all the new areas it’s going to offer. There is a new Control Point, a new PvP only area (dangerous business), and of course a new Hat for the Grand Tour reward. Time to get ready Avatars, all new adventures (and mishaps) await!!

We go this way!!!

Right, sorry, my apologies, it’s this way.

No, wait, hang on. Over here.

Aw, damn… Can someone point me toward danger? And can I borrow a torch?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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