Monday, October 27, 2008

Better Living Through Chemistry

Since I had tried out talisman making with my Warrior Priest, I figured I'd see what the other crafting profession was like with my Ironbreaker. I thought the natural gathering profession to pair this with would be cultivation. Much like TM and salvaging, I foresaw cultivation providing the main ingredients for apothecary that I would need to level.

This plan worked all the way up until the level where the level 1 stabilizers failed to ensure even a slight chance of success even using the maximum of 3 per attempt. Obviously, I would need higher level stabilizers if I wanted to level up any further. The problem was, getting a steady supply would be problematic unless you had access to a scavenger or butcher. So whereas fragments were the bottleneck in TM which ensured you needed to also be a salvager to level efficiently, stabilizers were the limiting factor in apothecary. This means you need to either be a scavenger or a butcher as your gathering profession in tandem with the crafting of apothecary. I switched over to scavenging from my relatively high cultivation skill as soon as I figured this out. Luckily, I didn't need to grind in low level areas to start leveling up scavenging. In fact, it seems you can only level it through level-appropriate mobs and the drops improve as your level does and not necessarily have anything to do with mob level.

I have even found that there are apothecary main ingredients that can be scavenged or butchered. So where does this leave the gathering skill of cultivation? Well, all those seeds that find your way into your backpack will still need to be converted into ingredients via this profession. But it's the perfect alt tradeskill in that it isn't really level dependent or require you to do much travelling. Once you get to the chapter 2 town to learn the skill, you can just park by the mailbox and level from 1-200 from seeds sent to you from your other characters. I was not happy with the prospect of going through cultivation 40-50 again but there seemed to be no other choice if I wanted to level apothecary up anytime soon.

The tradeskill shares a similar interface with talisman making in that you get a crafting window where you can plug in the various vials, main ingredients, and additional ingredients you are qualified to use. After finding a mix you are happy with, you hit the brew button and depending on how stable the mix is, you will get a random result as far as potency is concerned. The main ingredients will inform you as to what the potion will untimately be but you can still get random results depending on the additional ingredients you choose to also include in the mix. A skillup is gained if you successfully brew a potion depending on your current apothecary level and the level of the main ingredient.

Is it worth it? Only if you like the idea of always being stocked with every kind of potion you might ever conceivably need. And if you just hate empty bag slots for some reason.

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