Posted by: mrrx | December 18, 2007

Harvesting Genius, and The Frustrating Mines of Nurga


On the beach near the Field of Bone

Tezcatlipocca : Ding 75, 40% XP. After a rare non-update on a Monday, you get a two-day post with a lot of detail, given that I took the day off yesterday.

Firstly, ran off and grabbed a fresh round of writs, and while banging them out managed to get the level. The whole reason to grab them – Nurgan Minedigger writ – turned out to be a false alarm. I can still do those writs at 75. Ah well.

Made a trip to Qeynos and back as well, netting 20p in various sales and cleaning out my bags. Stacks of 200 harvestables selling at 20s each brings in a bunch of money.

Afterward tried my first foray into the Field of Bone. Nice, spooky, similar to EQ1 and well laid out. Did several quests for goblins and managed to end up with +5000 faction with the Exiles. Mined Piter Sahlt (heh), killed scorpions, and had a great fight on a mini-boss. He should have killed me, but it looks like my underpowered emergency ward saved the day for once instead of delaying the inevitable.

And ultimately, finished up all the goblin quests. Nicely done, most of them. The idea of a giant who can’t kill scaled wolves without pulverizing them is a nice touch. The Tinkerer sends you on a really noteworthy couple. I found myself with my Minedigger writ, and being asked to kill a named inside of the Mines as well. People flitted past me bent on their own errands, and nobody was in the mood to group. Could I simply crawl through the mine and do my quest ?

Well, yes, it was just barely possible. The repops were too quick, which kept it from being a lot of fun. Invis did not work with Overseers, who populate the dungeon almost as thick as the miners. The supervisors are as numerous as the workers. Sounds like an American corporation ! Where’s my TPS reports ?

I crawled slowly for awhile until I got two gobs past one bend. One mob – no problem. Two, now, and when they’re goblins, that’s always going to kill you. Somehow, managed to run away and survive. Re-crawled my way in when **the impossible** somehow happened.

It’s not supposed to be possible to train people in this game. So when I see two guys running like mad out of the dungeon, a dozen goblins in tow, I don’t worry too much about it. Until, with a sudden stab of horror, I realize my pet decided to take a bite out of a passing goblin ! What are you doing Nashville ? /dismiss pet.

It was too late. Somehow he managed to grab aggro off of two goblins who proceeded to start pounding on me, and this time my mad dash out of the mine entrance wasn’t successful. It’s very hard doing this crawl – you have to go quick, pay attention, and heaven help you if you get a request for a glass of water from a four year old in the middle of the crawl.

I’m pretty sure it was try #4 that was successful. Ultimately make my way out to a small cavern with a structure in it, and there in the middle is Grizzik the tinkerer. Managed to sneak my way over to him, after about four solo fights, and successfully engaged him.

Not that he was much of a threat; I knew I could win the fight, but the thought of some add showing up and dirt-napping me was more than I could bear. I got him halfway dead and Incinerated him for the update. Good thing I did – as I tried to start crawling out, I find that I have repops behind me. Trying a fight with the first one, I found myself with an unexpected add, and back in the Nurgan graveyard.

And that was it. Done with the goblins, and also finished the Riliss quest asking you to talk to the ambassador. This leaves the Burynai, so I headed out and scooped up their quests and got started.

The memorable one is the fella who wants to build his little *Love Shack*, attract a mate and…….. get busy. To attract a female, all he has to do is head to each of the factions in the Fens and grab a trinket of some sort, and naturally I volunteered to help him. With the walkthrough it wasn’t too difficult, and it was kind of fun to fly back and forth across the by-now very familiar zone and pick up all of his goodies. Got started on a quest series for another one as well.

And then – I found out a problem with the previously-discussed Quest Line track. You know, the idea of not grabbing all the quests immediately to keep a sense of story going. Guess where that little Burynai bastard wants me to go ?

Mines of Nurga. Pick up the chests I had walked past before, as I crawled and died those four times, while wondering “Hmmm! I wonder if those do anything?”

Forget it, that’s not happening tonight. Tired, instead of stimulated, by both the pressure of quest racing combined with EQ2Players being down as it always is, I logged Tez and brought out my wizard.

Huehueteotl : Ding 33 carpenter. Huey was missing tradeskill ingredients required to finish the next writ – feyiron, of course. No big deal, I figured. (Hah! More on that later.) I’ll go out and harvest some myself and let’s see where that goes. Off to the Enchanted Lands.

On the way along, I get to the Thundering Steppes docks and see a feather over this halfling’s head – Druggin. Didn’t remember seeing him ever before. Curious about his quest I read through the whole thing, and I can get one from him for the Enchanted lands. So I went ahead and picked it up, still not quite understanding what they were doing.

Somebody took the criticisms and problems of the harvesting system to heart and came up with a neat solution. Must have happened during my not-playing period and I’m just finding out about it.

All the zones have a sharing system for Hard Rocks, Soft Rocks, Dens, Bushes, and Roots. But all anybody tends to need to harvest is the Hard Rocks. Soft Rocks and Roots too, but not as badly as the Hard ones. Grab every one of them, though, and they tend to get replaced with other stuff that you don’t want. The end result of a group of people doing serious cherry-picking in an area is an abundance of Bushes and Dens.

They depop after a certain amount of time, which helps. But that wasn’t a perfect solution. So enter in…. a quest to gather that stuff. I needed to gather 100 food items from Dens and Bushes to feed “A Starving Halfling”. Hahahaha ! I went on my merry way, grabbing whatever I could, paying particular attention to Hard Rocks but never shy about gathering a single node. Except fish – didn’t need fish. They don’t count in the land-based node rotation anyway.

Eventually I had gathered 100 foodstuffs, so I headed back to TS and got another surprise. I got a stack of gold for my troubles; a house item, and around 5% tradeskill experience. Excuse me ? I figured on adventure XP. And then I realized the beauty of the idea. Why are you gathering anyway ? To tradeskill. What if you can’t get the stuff you want to do tradeskilling ? At least you can gather this junk and make a certain amount of progress getting that next level.

I don’t think I’ve seen a smarter response to tradeskill issues in the entire time I’ve played this game. Way to go Sony Dev. Looks like there’s a whole group of quests there I need to have Tez finish off.

Do you know, it’s actually hard to take a good screenshot of an Ogre harvesting ? If I had one it would go here.

So I played the harvest game. Huey is a carpenter, which means he needs roots, skins, and iron. I wanted a stack of 200 of each item and then I’d go off and try some more writs. Got my 200 skins; then my 200 wood. Iron, though I only had 100. Hmmm.

Managed to complete my fourth round of feeding the starving Druggin when I got my final surprise – the quest reward drops to something like 10 silver. Too bad, but it didn’t negate my primary reason for doing the quest – keeping harvesting from getting too boring. It sure kept me going for an amazing long time.

By the time I got to 350 wood & skins, and 450 roots, I had managed to gather an amazing 150 irons. Part of the problem was the distribution of Iron versus Loams. I had managed to harvest maybe 250 loams with those 150 irons. It didn’t seem like it was going to be worth it to keep doing this, so I gave up and headed back to the tradeskill pit.

I had dinged from Druggin’s experience gift. So I, finished up my half-completed writ, and did my new recipes for the level. Then I took a hard look at what I could do for next level.

The writs were more or less out of the question, which is a shame. How come ? Well, each one requires iron. I tried six different writs, got four choices, and each one required iron. Iron sells for 32s a pop and will be needed once I hit 35 and get the ability to make boxes. It’s obviously very difficult to harvest. I spent many hours and never met my harvesting goal. Phooey. Guys, you’ve shot yourselves in the foot with this stuff. Win some lose some I guess.

OK then – how to get the next level ? I had two blue recipes that didn’t require iron. One required roots – some kind of hearth. Roots are not quasi-rares like iron, but they are kind of pricey. And I could also make a holiday candle, requiring meats and loams. Ah Hah! Something that uses up the junk for levelling, at last.

I did go ahead and make a dozen of them before I got tired and logged off, roughly 80% tradeskill XP. Have to go after grinding this stuff out, I’m sure my ability to make holiday candles will end once Frostfell is over. Even if that happens I can make the hearths, I have a ton of roots.

Besides, I really don’t want to crawl the Mines of Nurga again.



  1. I actually think that harvesting quest is new. Just this past weekend, I finally got my tradeskillers that were lagging behind to the point where I didn’t need nodes in Thundering Steppes any longer and half out of the Feyiron phase. The point being, I was hitting Thundering Steppes for harvesting at least once or twice a week. This weekend was the first time I saw the little starving halfling.

    I actually have a provisioner so I need the food harvests, but they are so plentiful that I’m never short on them. With people just nitpicking what they harvest, it seems I always have about 100 bushes and creature dens to clear out before I can start getting what I want/need. I have so much more foodstuff than what will be required to level him that it is nice to have some other reason for clearing them out.

    And the tradeskill exp isn’t much, but better than nothing. I figure each time I run the quest, I am saved at least a couple of combines for items that I’m not going to want and not going to be able to sell. Not much, but every little bit helps.

  2. You’re right – I missed GU #41, since it was tied in with Frostfell. That’s when he got added –

    * Duggin Brandywine at the Thundering Steppes docks may be looking for a helping hand from travellers with a talent for harvesting.

    I especially missed him because he’s under the heading tradeskills, not quests. Of all the things in the patch notes, I never read the tradeskill changes.

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