I’ve been skim-reading this now rather epic post on the offical forums about the fact that gaining shards through doing the quests in grey zones are considered an exploit and that the SOE team are looking to fix this (although apparently not taking back shards gained through this manner). My initial reaction had been one of horror…. how on earth am I going to get my alts geared up with shard armour now? Once I’d had little time to reflect though, I don’t think its actually going to make a huge difference to me. Firstly, I would say I gained about 10-15% of my shards from grey zones, the vast majority I have earned by running the lvl 80 instances. I found the whole opening up a grey zone too much of a faff to be honest ;), secondly, I am only planning to upgrade Saraya’s armour to shard at the moment. Finally, the shards are heirloom and there is now a daily solo shard mission.
I have got the T2 armour with Suzita but there isn’t a massive upgrade between that and the T1, so you only need 38 shards for the T1 armour – which you can gain quite quickly even just doing the (now) snoozetastic zones that are obelisk, deep forge and scion of ice 😉 My personal view is that my main character needs to be geared as well as I can manage but my alts will be able to manage just fine with T1. As previously mentioned, there is also the Daily solo shard mission in Lavastorm now – I haven’t braved the bunfight in Lavastorm as yet, but I’ve heard that its a bit of a pain, kinda boring BUT only takes 30 mins… Which to be honest, isn’t far off how long it would take to grey out a zone and get a shard that way… There have been no red name comments as yet that I can see (at 41 pages lol), so it will be interesting to see their response after all the discussion. I think the only thing I find strange (and unfair) about grey shards now being considered an exploit is that its taken them 5 months to say that it is so… why now?!
I’ve always seen the T1 gear as being the equivalent ‘got to get’ pieces as the legendary set armour pieces of EOF/ROK (although they are not comparable stat wise at all ofc – but then the mobs / instances are not equivalent either) and the shard system for the T1 gear as a much better replacement for the random number generator/smart loot system we had back then. So instead of running Obelisk of Blight 1 – ??? amount of times to be lucky enough that your legendary set Boots drop, you now do a Deep Forge run on a double shard day to gain 4 shards for your crafter made boots. (It may be 5 shards for boots but you get my point!). It takes a lot of the uncertainty out. But certain items of the EOF/ROK legendary sets were tradeable and instead of farming these zones, you could buy them off the broker or be given them by a guildy…. In that sense, gaining a few shards via grey zones is not so different… But I know they are moving away from tradeable dropped loot and have removed the ability for crafters to use their shards for others via the commission system so I guess it is not entirely surprising they are looking to removing this also. I guess we end up farming instances just the same 😉
Some exciting news though 🙂 We have formed a group/heroic content based alliance with another guild and we have set up a joint channel between us. Hopefully this means that on quiet nights / arranged times, we can still get out and about in instances 🙂 Kalyyn is currently raiding with them (it was through Kalyyn’s efforts that this whole thing came about), but I think the main focus of the alliance will be at group level 🙂 I’m hoping that we may be able to do the x2 content with them at some point though and I guess there may be some opportunities for a little raiding.
I’m just looking at this wall of text and thinking I should have found time to post over the weekend 😛 Well I’ve been carrying on running Saraya through the Fens and the Moors quests, she is getting closer and closer to level 80! I’m also up to the raid stage of Deathtoll access with suzita, and Oaphepia is now a level 69 tailor 🙂
On Saturday night, I had set up a guild event for levels 50+. We ended up going into Deep Forge with a real mix of levels but mentored down to level 50. I had a sudden whim to tank (!) so I took my lvl 50 pally (oaphepia) along. I had huge amounts of fun, and I think the rest of group did too (once they’d got over the shock of danger ranger tanking anyway 😛 ) We did wipe a few times, as I expected, but we did complete the zone – yay! Once I’d got over the first couple of pulls, I found the tanking to be fairly easy as I do know the zone very well (and ofc our group was slightly overpowered – but not hugely lol). What I found I really liked about the pally was the amount of encounter CAs and AOEs she has – huge fun and so different to my ranger who only has 2. Well you never know, I may bring her out again 😉 Sadly though, it wasn’t halfway round the instance that I looked at gear – she does have lvl 42 MC gear, but her weapon and shield were in the level thirties, her jewellery is appalling and her spells were mostly app 1 – oh the shame!! I’ve been thinking about levelling her to 52/55 and kitting her out properly now lol