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Answers for the Forsaken World Searches – II

With my characters at level 44, I thought it was time to follow up on my previous post on the issue and answer some more of the questions people who end up here after searching for information about Forsaken World seem to have, judging from the keywords used. Then again, it’s also time to do it because yesterday was the first time I seriously weighed the frustration the game causes against how sorry I’d feel for all the work so far if I’d quit. The frustration lost, but just barely, so don’t think it’ll be long now. Then again, this moment came after about three weeks back when I played Perfect World International, but it was three or four more weeks until I actually quit, and since it only came after about seven weeks now, who knows how long it will really be… But the rule remains that me and MMO games really don’t get along, so the end result is inevitable and I knew that all too well even before deciding to start playing.

By far the most common questions are about the locations of elite monsters, for gem shards, the Fleet of Myth merchants and gearing up in general. Out of those, I think I need to say a little about the first, since I didn’t cover it in the previous post: If you want the exact locations of elites, go look on some sites dedicated to the game, such as those I linked to in the previous post or some of the better guild sites, but I quite frankly don’t see why you’d need them. Elites are always in an area where other monsters of the same type also are, usually in a spot that can be indentified in some way, such as next to a landmark or somewhat more unusual object or in a cul-de-sac, they’re slightly bigger, aggressive and don’t wander around. And each of them seems to have just two possible spawn spots on the first maps, though I’m finding more starting from Lunagrant Woodland, and the spots are usually close to each other. It’s really not hard to find them, and you generally only need to know of one or two to get what you need anyway.
As for the other two common issues, all I can think to add to my previous post is that there are some other Fleet of Myth merchants on top of the “main” ones, those I noticed so far being one that wanders on the road in front of Fort Rotulor and one that stands on a pier in the Sea of Oblivion area, on the side with the Water Observatory and very close to an elite spawn spot. The first one sells all of three items, but the second is extremely important to artisans, weaponsmiths and armorsmiths, because he seems to sell pretty much every blue recipe for those professions. Otherwise, though I think I covered gearing up well enough already, I forgot to mention that, as far as I know, off-hand items can only be obtained through crafting, or of course by purchasing them from artisans, as they can’t be bought from any NPC and no monsters or bosses drop them.

The fourth most common question deals with an issue I haven’t bumped into so far. I may be able to answer, but since I’m not perfectly sure I understand I’d rather not, and won’t say what it’s about either so I won’t have even more people coming here for that answer. So let me move on to the fifth, which is another weird one, specifically the location of Charlie’s Tavern. Admittedly, it can be a bit confusing if you look at the map because for some reason it’s listed as Toteu’s Tavern, but you can get a quest the moment you end up in Freedom Harbor to go to the Tavern, so just click the target’s name and get there. But if you want details, it’s on a ship moored in Freedom Quay, next to the Fleet of Myth merchants and Matthew the teleporter. In the previous post I was saying that these NPCs are next to it, assuming everyone knew where the Tavern was, but it seems I was wrong.

Moving on, let me quickly go through the other issues mentioned several times, though noticeably less than the ones listed above…
If the launcher won’t start, open Task Manager and see if you have a process called patcher.exe in there. If it is, end it and try again, as sometimes it simply decides to freeze for no reason. If you keep trying to open it without ending the previous frozen process, it will just keep freezing each and every time until you either go to end all of the frozen instances of patcher.exe or reboot. If you have any other problem that has to do with the game not starting, really, check the forums. There are plenty of topics there about it, some even set to “sticky”, which can offer some solutions. They don’t seem to work for all, but they do appear to work for many. Just know that the game uses an outdated engine and therefore will have issues with new hardware and software, so you may notice worse performance with a new and powerful CPU and video card than with older ones and should expect some odd behavior under Windows 7 or any 64-bit operating system. Some people were saying that the engine the game’s based on is no less than eight years old, so go figure…
About the artisan job, as I said above, it’s very important because, as far as I know, it’s the only way to get off-hand gear into the game. But, like any crafting job, it’s notoriously difficult to level. Unlike weaponsmith and armorsmith, you can level it without actually producing gear, since you can make medals, but it also requires far more job experience to gain a level than those do. For example, if you just want to take it to level 2 by crafting medals, you need to make 125 of them, which means mining or buying exactly 1875 copper!
Another issue had to do with crafting, more or less in general, and yet another with soul gems. Yes, crafting gear is very difficult in this game. Not only do you need a lot of basic materials, but some very rare ones as well every single time you try to craft something. For artisan, you need the rare soul gems or the even rarer soul crystals, depending on whether you want to make green or blue gear, while for weaponsmith and armorsmith you need various items that can only be obtained by scavengers, so you need something to be broken apart in order to make something else. Now don’t ask me where can one obtain soul crystals because the only ones I saw so far were being sold for utterly insane prices, but some monsters can, extremely rarely, drop soul gems, and it also seems that you can earn some if you do the Battle on the Auriana (or Harbor Crisis) event plenty of times. I only got exactly one soul gem so far, after killing a Desert Robber, but there is a forum topic that points out the other options.
Next, there seem to be some questions about the Harbor Guide (or Find the Place) daily quest… Really don’t know what’s there to ask about that. You get the picture and the locator and, if you know where the place in the picture is, you go there and activate the locator. Something like a piece of parchment will appear, slowly spinning in the air, in the exact spot where you should activate it when you do, so if you’re close but not close enough for it to count you’ll be able to see just where you need to stand. Otherwise, if you don’t know where the spot is, you can keep activating the locator and it will tell you in which direction it is, so you can then check the map and try to figure it out better. There aren’t too many spots you can be sent to find, maybe around 12 or so, but it provides some experience and helps you get some footprint cards.
And now come the questions about leveling… Quite frankly, I’ve been having these characters since the open beta launched, made them as soon as the servers were up, and I’m just level 44, so don’t expect any advice on how to level quickly from me. In fact, what you’ll get from me when it comes to that is raised eyebrows and various phrases along the lines of “stop and smell the roses”. But, if you insist, of course the main way to level is God’s Trial. Do that every day, with a Lionheart Scroll active the whole time you’re inside, and you’ll go a long way, at least until level 40 or so. Past that, do your daily quests, look in the quest finder and go through everything with “Experience” as type, starting from those with a starting level closest to yours and working your way down through the rest if you still have time, and then you also have kill orders and, after level 30, the random adventurer quests and adventurer’s guild scrolls. And, since somebody was specifically wondering about leveling a vampire quickly, all I can tell you is that you’ll need a huge amount of drinks and possibly also mana potions, because vampires are outstanding at taking care of themselves and doing a whole lot of things alone, but they do so slowly, burning mana like crazy if you try to do anything quickly.
Lastly, people seem to also be wondering about the merchant job and merchant runs. All the merchant job does is allow you to learn merchant skills, which will allow you to earn more from merchant runs. As for those runs, it seemed to me that the little tutorial received during the first one should be enough for anyone to understand what they need to do, as long as they pay attention. You simply buy an item sold cheaply by one merchant and sell it to another who buys it at a high price, so you need to learn what the best places to buy and sell are and also keep an eye on the price variations, as they can make a difference even if they generally seem minor. You can’t teleport using normal trackstones and can’t use Town Portal while on a merchant run, and I believe you can’t join instances either, so know your way around and keep going from one merchant to the next until you hit the goal listed in the trade tab in your inventory. At that point, head back and talk to Christopher, who’ll see what profit you made, deducting the starting capital he gave you from your funds at the end. The reward consists of soul coins, merchant job experience and Mercury reputation and depends strictly on the profit you made, not being fixed per run or anything else along those lines. Keep in mind that you can store somewhat more than the goal, but can’t keep buying after you meet the goal, so if you want to truly make the most of it, try to complete one trade when you’re just short of the goal, being able to do another in order to take yourself to the maximum possible profit and therefore the maximum possible rewards.

Meant to go through some of those that were mentioned less too, but this is far too long already so I’ll continue some other time perhaps.

Written by Cavalary on April 29, 2011 at 11:57 PM in Gaming | 1 Comments

Answers for the Forsaken World Searches – I

Let me make my Sunday post actually useful to someone and try to answer some of the questions that people who reach this place after searching for Forsaken World information seem to be having. It’s not like you couldn’t get much better answers quite easily in plenty of other places, but since you’re somehow ending up here and I need to write something today anyway…
Still, I will start by listing the places where you should go if you want more information. The first is, obviously, the forum, where a little searching really goes a long way. Not to mention that even the brief guides posted on the official site can help you get started, though they don’t really answer any of the important questions. But if you’re looking for other sources, sites that have some detailed information organized in a way that’s much easier to go through than a forum, I could point you to Forsaken World HQ and The Eyrdaian. (Just learned of the latter today, actually. It obviously should be named The Eyrdan if it’s supposed to mean “inhabitant of Eyrda”, but there you have it.) There really isn’t that much there at the moment, and what is there is written poorly, but these are the sites I know of and they can get you started in the game, so they may be worth a look.
Right. Enough with the free advertising and rants that you wouldn’t be ending up here if you cared for; let’s move on to actually answering those questions I see, and then giving a little more information that I think could be useful as well. That said, do keep in mind that at the moment I just have a level 32 vampire and a level 31 human mage, the only other class I played being marksman, up to level 20 during closed beta, so I had no reason to look into things that start happening at later levels yet, not to mention issues specific to other classes. Also keep in mind that I’m not a social creature, only doing what few instances I find myself needing to do and just wanting to get it over with as soon as possible, so don’t expect me to be of much help when it comes to that.

Seeing as the approach is uncommon, I should start by explaining how one obtains gear in Forsaken World: Don’t expect to be able to purchase it from regular merchants, because those only carry the most basic gear for levels 10 to 19, and don’t expect to be able to craft it or purchase it from crafters either, because artisan becomes available at level 30 and all other crafting jobs only at level 40. In Forsaken World, the regular way of obtaining gear is by purchasing it in exchange for gem shards, and some soul coins, from the Fleet of Myth merchants, which are located on the pier in Freedom Harbor, right in front of Charlie’s Tavern and next to Matthew the teleporter. While all the gear you get from doing parts of the main quest is of green quality, everything these merchants sell is of blue quality. However, their wares are of lower quality than what you can get from running gear instances, though having multiple pieces of the standard set will grant you bonuses. As for those gear instances, you’ll see them clearly labeled as such on the party screen and can apply to them in order to hopefully obtain blue quality gear that has additional attributes on top of what the standard blue gear has. However, the gear that drops while fighting in these instances seems completely random, so you can never know whether anything for your class will drop, not to mention exactly what gear slot could be filled if anything useful would indeed drop. Under those circumstances, it seems to be a good idea to just rely on gem shards to gear up at the lower levels, though you’ll still want to try to get a weapon from a gear instance, seeing as the Fleet of Myth merchants only sell armor.
Which gets me to what seems to be by far the most common question: What are these gem shards, particularly ruby shards and sapphire shards, and how do I obtain them? The answer to that is very simple: As stated above, they are used as a sort of “currency” to buy standard armor from the Fleet of Myth merchants. There are five pieces of armor available for levels 10 to 19, six for levels 20 to 29 and seven for each level group afterwards. The number and type of shards required for each single piece of armor is as follows: Four obsidian shards for level 10 to 19 gear, six ruby shards for 20 to 29, eight sapphire shards for 30 to 39, ten turquoise shards for 40 to 49, 12 amethyst shards for 50 to 59, 14 topaz shards for 60 to 64 and 16 aquamarine shards for 65 and over. You will get 12 obsidian shards and six ruby shards for free from your memento boxes once you reach the required level, but for the rest you’re on your own. Which, unless you want to buy the shards from others, means farming elite monsters, as each elite monster will drop a gem shard of the type required to get gear for the same level range it’s in, so for example an elite pale hunter will drop an obsidian shard and an elite hyena mage will drop a ruby shard. Yes, it’s a very tedious process, but you can speed it up by switching realm after each kill, hoping that the same elite monster would still be alive at that location on the new realm, so you won’t have to keep either looking for more or wait out the pretty significant amount of time between respawns. Personally, I’d recommend completely skipping over the types of gear you can get for obsidian and ruby shards, making do with what you get from quests, and only starting to bother with it at level 30, but that’s your choice.

The next common issue seems to have to do with updates. The idea is simple: Whenever you load the launcher, it will check for updates. If there are none, it will let you start the game. If there are some, it will start updating the game and only allow you to start it once it’s done updating. However, update issues seem rather common, so instead of complaining about them all the time only to be told to verify, know that it is very strongly advised to verify the installation every single time after a patch. Yes, it takes quite a bit of time, but it prevents a whole lot of problems later on. Currently, patches seem to come once per week, with patch day apparently being Wednesday, but that may vary in time, not to mention possibly according to your time zone as well.
If you’re asking about the manual patching, there are always two patches available for manual download on the download page. The first one listed is the actual last patch, taking the game from the previous stable version number to the current one, while the second takes the game from the client version, as in the version you’ll get when you actually download the client, since that’s only updated on major releases, to the current one. To install a patch manually, download the file somewhere, then open the launcher, click “Patches” and select the file you downloaded. Can’t get any simpler than that. Just make sure you have the correct patch, according to your current version number, as listed by the launcher.

Gear and patching were the actual common questions that people seemed to have when they arrived here, but there were also a few who asked about other things, so let me briefly go through those I know how to answer here as well: As far as I know, currently the European English server is PvE only and there are no known plans to change that. Personally, I’m very happy with that, but you probably aren’t since you’re searching for European PvP servers. (If you know either language, try the German or French ones, as those have PvP as well.) Mercury statuettes can only be bought from the World Tree, so with real money. Or, of course, from other players who have bought them with real money, but I mean there’s no way to obtain one by playing the game. And yes, that NPC who buys them for three gold coins each utterly destroys the game’s economy. And if you want to get to the Sea of Oblivion, or basically any other map area that you can’t walk to, you use the teleporters that show up in green on your map. Matthew is the name of the one in Freedom Harbor and he is on the pier, next to Charlie’s Tavern and the Fleet of Myth merchants.
As for classes, no I have no idea what the best build for a certain class is. I doubt anybody could answer that question because it depends on what you want to use your character for and what your playing style is. Different skill paths, different equipment and different pets are best suited for different things. Just know that there are expectations for each class, and I’m not just talking about priests healing, protectors tanking, bards providing support and mages, assassins and marksmen dealing damage. If you play a warrior and find no protector in your group, or your protector seems really bad at it, you’ll be expected to tank instead of just dealing damage. Also, bards are expected to help whenever they can with healing, and even take the place of the healer if no priest or vampire is in the group, and at the same time priests are expected to help with support as much as possible if they can get a break from healing.
As for vampires… Well, these deserve a special mention because they can do everything except provide support. Jacks of all trades, masters of none. They can heal well, though not as well as priests; they can tank, though far less well than protectors and even warriors; they can deal damage, but are somewhat less reliable than pretty much every class except the priest when it comes to that. Their ability to heal means that they’re always seen as secondary healers, and can quickly become primary healers if the group doesn’t have a priest or the priest is doing a bad job. That applies even if the group also has bards. Quite simply, a blood vampire played well can be a very good healer, especially after a certain level. Also keep in mind that, thanks to their healing abilities, vampires are usually thought to be able to look after themselves, so if you play a vampire and are not the tank, keep yourself alive, don’t expect the healer to look after you! But you can be the tank, if a group doesn’t have or has poor protectors and warriors, so be ready to take up that role as well if needed, keeping in mind that you need to stay very close to the enemy and attack it as much as possible, because you’ll need to do everything you can to keep it from moving on to others who deal more damage. Bottom line, if you play a vampire and end up in a group, look carefully at what the group is missing and, unless what’s missing is a bard, know that you’re expected to immediately fill that role to the best of your abilities, so do just that.

Finally, though nobody ended up here from a search about that, I do need to mention that the game, and apparently all of Perfect World Entertainment‘s games, have been under a constant and very strong DDoS attack for the past several days. The US east coast servers are the primary targets, so Eyrda and Storm for Forsaken World, but the problems can occasionally affect other servers as well. Yes, this means you’ll have a lot of lag, you’ll be frequently disconnected and can have the server crash and cause you to lose things. The official recommendation is, quite simply, not to start anything important until this issue is somehow resolved. They are promising some sort of compensation for those affected, once the problem itself will be solved, but currently you’ll just have to wait it out, since nobody knows when it will end and you need to keep in mind that, being a free-to-play game, they understandably don’t have best technology available to defend themselves against this sort of thing.

Written by Cavalary on March 27, 2011 at 11:16 PM in Gaming | 2 Comments