Tezcatlipocca : 20 alchemist at 40% XP. Had quite a bit of fun, and a tough time creating my iron bars, and iron spikes. Multiple failures – ended up with about 12 pristine spikes, 5 normal quality, and 3 shaped spikes. Also had several normal electrum clusters.
But the failures didn't matter. The metal components did not affect the final quality of the ingredients. The quality thing is very confusing to me at best. First, I thought the "main ingredient" was the only thing that mattered, to the quality possible for the final item. Then I found that not to be the case.
This session, by contrast, it appears to work exactly like the above ; the two "middle" ingredients were normal and shaped, the "main" was normal, and I get a normal item possible. With a pristine "main" and two normal "middle" ingredients, I get a pristine possible. Maybe I have it right now, but I'm still unsure.
So I made the runes for the Pounce ability, for the workshop task, and it went off fine. It required me to pay attention, and there was some risk of failure, but I managed it anyway. It also got me to the Alchemist level.
I'm glad I read the official forums and asked guildies about this. I made it to 110% or so experience in level 19 – I didn't want to leave because I had an insight event active, so I waited until I was finished with the jeweler table. You need to wait until you have more than 100% tradeskill xp at level 19.
Then I took a walk to Qeynos Harbor and spoke to Devona Ironforge. Finally, she talked to me, and was willing to make me an alchemist. I said yes, I am sure I want to be an alchemist, and she congratulated me or somesuch.
Next, I went back to the workshop and made another item. Ding, I'm an alchemist level 20.
Without getting it in exactly that order – 101% or more, Ironforge, make item – you don't gain that level 20. It's pretty confusing and I wish they would fix that. You get several chances to deal with your adventurer class choices, and these are much more flexible than level 20 for trades. Ah well.
Ended the night by making quills and paper, buying my incense, and being ready for the next night's writ completion by camping at the engraved desk.
But one thing is happening with the tradeskills – I'm getting bored. I'm doing a few, then switching out of everquest, then doing some more. I wonder if I have the juice to complete the levels I want – I'm trying to get him up to level 25 or so as an alchemist. I don't know for sure what I want to do, but the return of boredom in service of completing a goal – something EQ1 had plenty of – is not a thing I'm looking forward to.
Then you've got all the naysayers, both experienced people and everyone else, who say that alchemists don't make a lot of good stuff. I don't know. Maybe it's time to make some poisons and try and sell them. The one oddball I had, and put up for sale, did sell so it's worth a shot. The thing that kills potions, I think, is that they are not stackable. If I could add a stack of 20 of them to my activatable slot, I'll be much more likely to use them versus the silly several use, then toss, potions we have now. And then again, I can make the Fighter essences too, so I'm going to experience it all for myself and see where I end up.