Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Project Gorgon -- The Pen Makes the Sword Mightier?

Lately I've been messing around a lot with the Calligraphy skill in Project Gorgon. What's that? Well it's a writing skill you originally pick up from a Dwarf named Sammie Grimspine. Sammie's an old soldier that had an "accident" that forced her out of the Military.
1- Yes, Project Gorgon has a female dwarf.
2- I think it's pretty safe to assume the "accident" is that she's a (spoiler) werewolf. During a full moon in game she turns into a wolf. LYCANTHROPY! GASP!
I picked up the Calligraphy skill several months ago but never really did much with it at the time. I do remember being a little disappointed when I tried to write a book in game and not being able to since my Calligraphy skill was low. 

As of last week, I decided to raise that skill up to some more respectable levels . . . and especially so that I could contribute a dad joke to the weekly Poetry Jam that happens on Saturday afternoons.

My dad joke made me level up in Bard, Oratory, and Performance . . . call me William Stingspear.

Come to find out, the Calligraphy skill is amazingly easy to train . . . pretty much like the Meditation skill only easier. All this skill really takes to level up is money to buy ink and paper! Unlike Meditation it doesn't even take time . . . you just buy 25 ink (the maximum you can buy at a time) and spam click the crafting button until you get to level 13 . . . where you buy Advanced Ink and once again spam click until you get to level 19. Wash rinse repeat. Just find the easy recipes and come with money to burn on ink.

I think I'm safe in saying I don't think it was really intended to work this way, however. The result you get from one click of the crafting button is an hour-long buff that gives you access to combo moves in Sword and sometimes an additional buff that would be of aid to offensive powers. In other words, I think you're supposed to slowly level this as you're playing though the game so you have access to the buffs while you play . . . and especially if you're a sword user. 

The buff I'm particularly trying for is at 55 Calligraphy skill. it provides an 8% damage buff to all piercing attacks. I NEED MOAR DAMAGE! I'll take it any way I can get it.

When I think about it, Calligraphy really is the yang to the Meditation skill's yang. They both use very common to find ingredients. They both open access to combo moves (Meditation gives Unarmed combo moves). The difference is that Meditation's buffs are all defense based.

BTW, I highly recommend you at least train up to Meditation 39 for the fire resistance debuff. It can be quite handy for fighting those fire Droaches in the Dark Chapel and Fae Realm. If you keep going up the Meditation path you can eventually get a nice +30 health boost buff for your character as well.

Sigh. This is my only Droach screenshot . . . at least Buzz and I did ~3600 damage on that one.

Meditation buffs are really worth it, but I'm not sure if the Calligraphy buffs really have that much pizazz.

Personally I'd like to see the devs revisit Calligraphy a bit to give it more flair since, you know, according to the wiki page it was one of the first 25 skills in the game.

Imagine if it did things like caused your core attacks to also cause burning or proc interesting debuffs on the enemy instead of just scaling the percent of one damage type. NEEDS MOAR PIZAZZ! It'd be great if the Calligraphy skill also opened up combo skills for players wielding two knives *cough* like me. Jus' sayin'.
The Pizzazz is a favored work appliance after all . . .

Once you hit level 50 in the Calligraphy skill, you have to move on from Sammie and seek out a higher level trainer in Rahu named "Ufkar." Unfortunately for some players, he also happens to be enemies with another Raksasha named Kohan. If you gain favor with Kohan, you lose favor with Ufkar . . . and vice versa. Kohan happens to train some pretty awesome Sigil Scripting and Gadgeteering skills.

A month ago or so I had favored up Kohan a little bit so he'd sell me a Gadgeteering skill around Christmas time so I could give mint candy canes out for free under the Serbule Christmas tree. Whoops!

So yesterday after hitting the level 50 cap, I switched to . . . CARPENTRY, WHAT?!?! WHY CARPENTRY? It makes sense, honestly, for two reasons:
1- Ufkar likes Capentry items as gifts, so I crafted and gave him 100 wooden crates.
2- Carpentry is a great complimentary skill for both Meditation and Calligraphy because you can craft meditation stools to increase the duration of your Meditation buffs, and you can craft calligraphy benches to increase the duration of your Calligraphy buffs.
Did you get lost in that maze of skills? I certainly did! 

While at the end of the day it's questionable if that 8% piercing buff will really be worth it, you know what was worth it? Handing out gag books to my guild mates during silent times and inserting my first book into the Project Gorgon library, which just happens to be a cut and paste of one of my first blog posts about Project Gorgon when I was playing the Demo.

There you go . . . that's really all I originally wanted to do anyway. :)

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Project Gorgon Player Interview: Gettin' Gabby with Yaffy!

I've got a pretty fun read today from a VIP (that's "Very Important Player") in Project Gorgon. This particular player has been around since the days of Project Gorgon's Alpha and is extremely helpful to the new players of Project Gorgon over on the officially unofficial Discord.

Read on for the Q&A!

Sneaking a Screenshot with Yaffy in Serbule.
~~
Q: Hi Yaffy! Players from Project Gorgon will recognize you from being a mod on the Player Run Discord and also from your years of participation on the Project Gorgon forums, but for those who may not have heard from you, can you introduce yourself and talk about how you became so involved in the P:G community?


A: Hi, I’m Yaffy! I’m a bit of an older player, but nowhere near as veteran as some of the older members of the Project Gorgon community. I stumbled into this game back in Alpha when it was recommended to me by someone else.

I didn’t start the game being interested in the community, but as you play PG you end up getting pulled into the community one way or another! It’s hard to explain, but one moment I was just some random player and then suddenly I had a lot of people asking me to join their group! I guess a big contributor to it was that I really like to help out other players and I really liked trying to figure out how the game worked on a mechanical level, so soon enough a lot of people were asking me for advice on the game.

~~
Q: What characters do you play and although it's a bit like asking which child is your favorite, which of your characters is your favorite?

A: Obviously my favorite character to play as is Yaffy! But I still enjoy playing on my alts, Yaf, Yaffster and Yaffy Taffy. If you couldn’t guess, I’m very good at names.

I focus mostly on my main, Yaffy, but my alts are very important to me as well. Playing on them lets me see the game from angles I missed on my main. For example, I’ve purposefully avoided permanent character altering choices on my main character, so my alts are there so I can try out things like Druid.

~~
Q: Project Gorgon is filled with fun ways to explore and experience the game, what's your favorite pastime in game?

A: My favorite pastime in Project Gorgon is theory crafting builds. I love to think of specific challenges and purposes and trying to create a build around it, or taking two skills and trying to work out the best build I can think of from it. This comes in handy too because a lot of players like to ask me for advice on how to build their characters, and I’m always more than happy to help.

~~
Q: Is there a build you've never tried, but would like to give it a shot?

A: This is a bit of a hard question because over my time of playing there are a lot of builds I would have loved to try out, but major skill changes overtime mean I’ll never get the chance to try it again.

If I could play ANY build at any point in time, it would have to be low-armor Werewolf/Unarmed. It was a build a friend of mine and I made a long time ago which took advantage of low armor mechanics on unarmed to potentially hit for 25 thousand damage in a single hit! I never tried it because I refused to make my main a werewolf and he never got around to it, so we’ll never see how good the build might have turned out. Nobody else ever came up with the idea either it seems so it’ll forever be lost in time now.

In current Project Gorgon I’ve been thinking about making a Sword/Shield build. Sounds boring right? But the thing is that usually I play tanking sets, and tanking in Project Gorgon is in a really really tough spot right now, and I think that Sword/Shield has the potential to be the best tank available right now along with very good solo capabilities IF it’s built properly. Nothing is really stopping me from making it right now but I’m personally biding my time to see if anything happens with the game first before I make the commitment.

~~
Q: Seeing this community grow and change through the years, would you say there is a constant with people who tend to gravitate to this game?

A: One pattern I’ve picked up very quickly is that most of the people who play Project Gorgon and stick around are older folks. It wouldn’t surprise me if the average age of the current playerbase was around 30-40! This isn’t a bad thing though, because it means most of the community is generally very chill and mature, which is probably a big reason why a lot of people like the community.

~~
Q: What's one feature and one bug that you'd like to see added to and fixed in Project Gorgon in 2020?

A: Now this is a very VERY hard question, because as someone who takes the game’s mechanics very seriously and has played for a long time, there’s a lot of things I would like to see changed or added, and in very specific ways.

If we want to keep things to “Features”, I think the biggest feature I want to see added would be armor smithing, so we can create our own armor sets. However, I specifically want to see armor smithing with meaningful mitigation options for players. One of my biggest gripes about Project Gorgon is how hard it is to build defense against certain attacks because the options simply don’t exist, which makes tanking (My favorite role) incredibly limited (Aka. Play Shield or die). The developers have teased “Tanking armor sets” a while back, so I want to see armor smithing as a solution to this problem which has plagued the game for a while.

As for a bug I’d like to see fixed? One of the most terrifying bugs in the game exists with the “Easy drop” option, which lets you drag items out of your bag onto the screen to drop them quickly. This feature is really handy, especially for someone like me who usually tries to manage inventory quickly. However, if you try to drop items repeatedly like this too quickly, sometimes it will drop the first item in your inventory instead of the thing you actually wanted to drop (Even if said first item isn’t actually visible). Combine this with the fact that sorting your inventory puts equipment in the first slots and you can see how awful this bug can be. I’ve lost some good gear because the bug made me drop it and I didn’t notice until it was too late.

~~
Q: What's the best piece of advice you can give new players to Project Gorgon?

A: Take your time and take it easy! It’s as simple as that. Some people who start PG might be too used to other MMORPGs, because it feels like they’re trying to get things done as fast as possible and are too worried about “Missing” things or “Losing progress”. Project Gorgon is not a game you need to rush and is a lot more fun when you just do whatever you feel like doing. You’re always making progress in PG one way or another, even if you decide to swap skill sets twenty times. Just keep playing the same character and you’ll get somewhere eventually.

Oh, also make sure to use the auto-run button. Trust me, it’s a life saver. Bind that thing to middle mouse or something because I can’t imagine life without it.

~~

Q: What do you feel is the most over looked skill in Project Gorgon and why should people check it out? (Please say it's gender studies)

A: One skill that I think doesn’t receive enough love is Sigil Scripting. I don’t know why, but it’s probably one of the least used skills despite being something you can pick up quite early. When I was leveling it was such an amazing skill, letting me solo enemies I normally couldn’t or farming significantly faster and easily paying for itself. Its applications might be a bit specific for efficient use but when it shines it’s great. For a quick summary, fire sigil is the best and lets you farm mobs really fast (1st floor Kur Tower is an excellent spot to use it), healing sigil is good for soloing tough elites/enemies, acid can be good if you place it where enemies can’t reach it (Ex. On top of Rahu houses) and lightning is worthless so don’t use it.

~~
Q: What other games have you enjoyed playing in the past?

A: I have a bit of a history with fighting games, but in terms of games similar to Project Gorgon I generally love sandboxy games. One of my favorite games is Elona, which looks like an incredibly bizarre and niche Roguelike game at first, but once you get into it you’ll find there’s a game with tons of incredibly well designed mechanics and ideas behind it. One of the reasons why I’ve been interested in PG is because it shares some of those ideas (Through pure coincidence I’m sure).

~~
Q: If you were to guess, how much different do you think Project Gorgon will look when it finally launches out of beta?

A: I’m honestly not sure! It’s hard to say because the game goes through such serious changes all the time, and I’m sure we’ll be getting many more by the time it’s out of beta. I can only hope that said changes are done well. I think that to an outsider or casual player, the full release will probably look pretty similar to the beta, just with prettier graphics (Assuming the devs hire an art team) and some obvious additions like mounts, but how the game plays as a whole could be changed radically just with a few decisions from the developers and I don’t think I can confidently answer how.

~~
Q: Anything else you'd like to mention to fans of Project Gorgon?

A: Have fun, join the Discord and never trust a werewolf.

~~

Thanks so much to Yaffy for taking the time to answer a few questions for the readers of The Friendly Necromancer today! It was my pleasure to interview this very helpful player of Project Gorgon.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Project Gorgon: Providing a "Stable" Environment for your Pets

I ran into a really cool player of Project Gorgon the other night who recognized me from my blog. Mr. 7!  One of the questions he had for me was concerning my Fae Bee pet, Buzz Tightrear.

The question was . . . Do I like him?

My response was yes and especially because I'm a poison damage build, but I don't like him if I'm going up against a poison resistant enemy.  If I am, Buzz is useless.

That said, if I am going against a poison resistant enemy, I typically switch to my fire rat pet, Bernie.  Yup, a fire rat . . . that same fire rat that crawls across the Eltibule hillside. And I switch my kit up so that I'm no longer using poison knife skills and instead am using more Slash type skills.  You can quickly do that through the power of loadouts. (Pro Tip: Click that little star icon on your button tray skill bar and level a few skills to 50.)

This conversation got me thinking about the pets I currently have in my stable, and it also made me wonder if most people know that each pet has a special trick and a damage type to it? I have to admit it took me awhile to really figure out what was going on with my pets and how to use them.

Animal Handling Tip 1: 

After charming a pet, target it and look at it's damage type and any special abilities. You do this by targeting them and clicking on the "i" in a circle.  Here's what happens when I do this with Buzz.

The deets on a Fae Bee pet.

You can see that buzz has high evasion, think armor. He's immune to poison damage. He only deals poison damage. He does a Poison Damage Over Time for his big attack. His special trick is a debuff Poison Vulnerability that's a ranged attack.  You also see that I really don't want to pit him toe to toe with mobs that do crushing, fire, and cold damage. Psychic and nature damage don't harm him much.

This is actually what makes you incredibly special as an animal handler. Unlike a person that solely specializes in one type of damage, you can own a whole stable of pets that specialize in a variety of damage types. The downside of course is you have to level all those pets up and keep them happy.

Here's a look at the rest of my stable.

The Blinding Wasp does piercing damage and applies a piercing debuff. 

The Fae Bear does slashing and crushing . . . serious crushing. 

Fire rat does fire damage, reduces rage, and applies a fire DOT. 

Freeze Wasp does cold damage, slows enemies, and poisons. 

Grimilkin is all about armor, slashing, crushing, and . . . fleeing

Looking at my stable, my pets do the following damage types:
  • Fae Bee Pet = Poison
  • Grimilkin = Slashing
  • Blinding Wasp = Piercing
  • Fire Rat = Fire
  • Freeze Wasp = Ice
  • Fae Bear = Crushing
I still have room in my stable for one more pet.  I hear that "Hissy" the giant red cat is a crown jewel for Animal Handlers . . . I may have to get that.

Animal Handling Tip 2: 

Click on your pet and use that big "Check" button to inspect it. There's a lot of interesting information in that window.  Here's how Buzz was looking earlier this morning.


Let's break down that information line by line.

Owner, Health, Armor are all pretty explanatory

Pet Level: 80 is the current maximum level for a pet . . . even if your animal handling skill is higher than 80.  That's just the way it is.

Bond Level: Per the wiki entry on Animal Handling. "As you fight alongside your pet, its Bond Level increases. A new pet will begin with a Bond Level of 0, or a pet you receive from another player (not yet available in-game). For each Bond Level, pets' base damage increases by 1 or 2, max health increases by 4, and max armor increases by 1."

Happiness: Basically, if you let your pet die, they lose happiness. If they lose happiness, their experience gains slow down.  Make sure you're always feeding and petting your pet between combat when you can.

Enthusiasm: Per the wiki entry on Animal Handling. "Pet Enthusiasm is boosted by its owner's equipped items. Enthusiasm determines the chance for pets to critically hit enemies. Higher Enthusiasm is required to critically hit higher level monsters. If a pet performs a critical hit, the pet's direct damage is increased by 25% (for cats), 40% (for bears), or 50% (for rats)."

I don't have any information on critical hit damage boost for bees. If someone knows the answer, you should update the wiki!

Unfortunately I don't have all my mods built out to really increase enthusiasm on my pets.  I'll get there eventually. Um, Animal Handling Tip 2.5 . . . get gear mods to increase enthusiasm for your pets. ;) I should do that myself.

Animal Handling Tip 3:

Don't let your pet die and always have a back up pet when you're in combat.  If you see your pet is about to go down, do your best to not let him die.  In fact, it's better to click on the "x" button under his health bar to dismiss him before he does.  Always have a secondary pet summon ready to go if you get in trouble like this.  The first two buttons on my side skill bar are always related to summoning pets.

This side bar is what I use for group play.

Animal Handling Tip 4:

Unnatural Wrath is your friend . . . even if it's a pain in the butt to have those Anchor Runes. I've recently been playing more and more with Unnatural Wrath, and the damage you can get out of your pets is impressive.

~~

And that's all I can really think of for now. Feel free to share your insights in the comments below.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Gettin' Krazy in Gazluk Keep

While Project Gorgon doesn't have a lot of raid content currently outside of the random World Boss event, it does have a couple really challenging dungeons: Labyrinth and Gazluk Keep. They are the level 60 and level 70 dungeons in the game with Gazluk Keep being the current top group content experience in the game.

Big Dungeon, Lots of Scary, Much Death!

A few weeks ago I wanted to test my new-found power as a level 80+ character and see if I could solo the entrance mobs to Gazluk Keep.  Knife Fighting has an Orc Language synergy level, and that might have also played a part in my curiosity . . .

So I dipped down the front stairs, agro'd an angry orc and pulled him up. I died of course.  Players aren't typically meant to solo group content, but I'm stubborn. So I switched up my kit a bit, and swapped out my Fae Bee Pet for my good ol' faithful fire rat. The next attempt was much closer! I got the orc down to within 1000 hit points and screamed excitedly into the guild chat.

There was a lot of death and it took a few tries, but eventually I was able to swap agro with my pet, hamstring snared the mob with perfect timing, and killed my first 12k melee-based orc all by myself . . . even better, he dropped a legendary quality item. (The bow-slinging elite orcs . . . well, let's not talk about those.)

After soloing five elite orcs, I drew some curiosity from my fellow guild mates, who started dropping by Gaz Keep and before you know it, we had a group formed up and were farming the front hallway and entrance of Gazluk Keep for loot.

BTW, those elites that lockdown your skill bar . . . nasty!

Since that time, we've headed back in to Gazluk Keep two other times, and we keep getting further and braver with each attempt.

It's pretty monumental for our guild. Rewind about four months ago, we didn't even have the strength to do the Dark Chapel Daily dungeon without wiping multiple times. Now the Dark Chapel is a cake walk, we frequently run the daily in Fae Realm, and now we're hitting Gazluk Keep. BAM!

Out of all of us, our Guild Leader has the most knowledge of the dungeon. He's got pins in his map at all the bosses and chests and breaks down the strats. He's been through pretty much all of it when the content was brand new (pre-Fae Realm) and everyone who was anyone was adventuring in Gazluk Keep.

Just a couple days ago we journyed to an NPC named Melandria, who . . . and this is uncomfortable to say . . . is an elf being kept as a sex slave in Gaz Keep . . . and she's ok with that.

Oh Project Gorgon, you're so quirky!

As it turns out she has a really cool "hang out" where you discuss Orc Grammar for 4 hours and earn 1,000 orc language exp!  That's huge!  Especially considering before this you're learning orc at a whopping 5 exp per rare drop. Do the math there . . . that's like getting 200 rare drops . . . yup . . . awesome. I'm now level 23 in Orc with only 2 more levels to go until synergy.

That's one dead golem boss!

Ultimately Gazluk Keep is all about the loots. Every time we go here, my backpack is overflowing by the time I leave. Unfortunately I have all better gear equipped and no "upgrades" drop for me . . .  it's phloggin' time! (My Transmutation skill is in the high 60's now yay.)

That's one dead golem boss's loot!

I guess it would be pretty cool to get a full set of Metal "Death Trooper" armor. If you're wearing 4 or more pieces of Death Trooper armor, you can get a kind of set bonus ability called the Death Trooper's Battle Cry, which heals you for 350 health, and this armor does have a cool look for Project Gorgon's standards. Squad goals.

It's easy to see why all the old guard in Project Gorgon are hoping for a new level 80 dungeon. There's really cool stuff in here, it's fun group content, and incredibly profitable.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Submerged Slot Machines in Sun Vale, Sorta'

The latest Project Gorgon update has removed all the Christmas, I mean Ri-Shin, decorations and brought us a smaller update with bug fixes and something new, Treasure Cartography in Sun Vale!

Just to quickly catch you up, prior to this update you could only do Treasure Cartography in the lands of Eltibule and Ilmari. This skill has you combining scraps of paper known as rumors with ink and parchment to create treasure maps.  When you follow the treasure map to the right location, you get a chest of goods. I wrote up a quick guide on Eltibule cartography over here.

Ilmari Treasure Cartography isn't nearly as fun as Eltibule cartography. You can only find the rumors as drops. BORING, and after this update, I'm sure that we haven't seen the last of Ilmari Treasure Cartography. They'll most certainly *have* to come up with a clever alternate system.

Throughout Sun Vale there are "old statues" scattered around the map. You'll find them both on land and submerged in the ocean of water.

Ominous! Spooky! Examine it!

Once you examine it, you are hoping to find slots to place gems, otherwise the statue simple says "Aside from its extreme age, you don't see anything unusual about this statue." If your statue does have gem slots, it looks a bit like the following.

Orange you glad you found this mystery!

I'm not sure what level of Goblinese you need to have to read the word "Orange," because my Goblinese was maxxed out a long time ago.  You'll need that skill to proceed any further because the object of this game is to make all of the symbols you see look like orange glass . . . kind of like lining up "7's" on a slot machine. The greater the number of slots, the better the treasure rumor that's going to appear.

Now, colored glass is a little hard to find out in the world of Sun Vale (you can dig it up there from beach combing and killing enemies), but colored glass is extremely plentiful back in the Casino.

All the glass you could ever want!

You can receive a TON of glass by playing Cashfall Match-3 games.  Also, a little hint, most people up until this point would run down the hallway from the Cashfall machines and sell their mostly useless glass to a Goblin named Ragabir . . . you might be able to find some glass there unless a friendly necromancer is buying it all up.

Now solving the code itself has been tricky, and I don't think I have it 100 percent figured out. I haven't tried all color combinations together, but I am noticing a few patterns of how to change colors:
  • Black + White = White
  • Green ­+ Orange = Purple
  • Green + Purple = Orange
  • Purple + Blue = Yellow
  • Blue + Green = Red
  • Yellow + Orange = Blue
  • Yellow + Green = White
  • Red + Orange = Yellow
  • White + Purple = Blue
  • Purple + Yellow = Red
  • Red + Green = Blue
(Update: Adding more colors as I try the combinations)
It makes me wonder if the system has something to do with complimentary colors on a color wheel? I'm honestly not sure.

When you finally crack the code and align all the glass to the same color, the old statue spits out a treasure rumor.

Small Treasure is still treasure!

Once you have the treasure rumor, use the Sun Vale Treasure Cartography skill that Preta can now teach you.  You'll have to build faction with her to unlock all the recipes.

Time to make a map!

Once you have the map, click on it and follow the circle on your map to a treasure chest, but a word of caution about how this differs in Sun Vale as opposed to Eltibule.  If your treasure spot is out in the ocean, you'll need to swim all the way to the bottom of the sea bed to find your chest.

LOOT!

Now the real mystery here is that the Project Gorgon community hasn't really figured out is . . . how does one know which statues are active? There are about 10-12 statues (I don't even have enough pins for them all on my map) and it takes a long time to find an active statue.  In Eltibule it's based around the phases of the moon, but in Sun Vale . . . is it based on the hour of the day?  It's still a mystery that we need to solve.

If you have any great info to share, please do so in the comments or over on the officially unofficial Project Gorgon Discord.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, January 3, 2020

P:G -- Out with the Ham, In with the Sharks in Sun Vale 2.0

The new Sun Vale revamp hit Project Gorgon a few weeks ago and the consensus seems to be

1) It looks great!
2) You took away all the hogs that were full of delicious meat, like candy all stuffed into a hairy Christmas Stocking. NO!

I waited for the crowds to die down after it's release so I could run around a mostly deserted Sun Vale and really take it all in distraction free. What I found there was almost every answer I was hoping for in regards to the Fishing deficit you see in the 30-45 range. I'm tellin ya' . . . the players who loved all that easy pork really need to switch over to easy shark meat because it is very plentiful here!

There's a new "Great White Shark" enemy among the waters of Sun Vale, and when you kill it, they typically drop a shark meat. If you then butcher the shark, it drops ANOTHER shark meat. There's a nice swarm of Great White Sharks hiding in the new coral reef . . . and that's shark meat heaven right there.


Shark Meat Heaven is so pretty during night time!

Another great fishing boon here is the inclusion of Oyster Shucking to the game.  If you buy an Oyster Knife, you can deep dive into the reef and pry open an oyster for even more fishing experience and seafood fare. you can also find . . . dun dun dun . . . pearls!

So, the new Sun Vale is divided up into three islands now instead of one, and by doing this, Sun Vale became a place of living water and interesting surprises. Along the bottom of the sea you can find treasure chests that spawn weekly among the wreckage of the seabed.

What happened to this ancient vessel? No one cares, gimme the loot!

The main large island actually seems the most underdeveloped and empty of the three. Hopefully more gets done with that mostly void center of the island (the devs did note that Sun Vale 2.0 is in alpha condition currently)

The other two islands in Sun Vale play off of the previous areas of old Sun Vale, namely a large abandoned inn and the home of the Ranalon frog race. There's even a couple new models here for enemies . . . Like this friendly fella:

Yup. They went ugly and scary on this guy.

Amazingly these guys only have 125 hit points and drop fantastic loot. You also get treated to the cutest most adorable mean hippo fights in the new Sun Vale.

Forget ham . . . Hippo Meat is what it's all about my friends!

The abandoned inn foretells more tragedy now. It's still full of strange tropical spiders, but ghosts, ghouls, and other undead roam the nearby island. A Ranalon trader sits on the island and boasts that he killed everyone on the island, but . . . did he really? Something more sinister seems at play here.

Just be prepared to get jumped by a whole hive of spiders if you go inside.

And Project Gorgon definitely gets a thumbs up from me for my new favorite NPC name. Behold the majesty of "Squidlips."

Squidlips is super footloose and fancy free.

Why settle for a boring name like Susan or Kate when you can call yourself Squidlips? She's a druid that specializes in all things fishing . . . I suppose it's a good name. Way to own it, Squidlips!

Squidlips will teach you the art of cooking all the new fish that can be found in Sun Vale and even other things like how to make your own conch shell horn weapon, which is amazingly easy to craft. I've heard a few complaints about how difficult it can be for new bards to find their first horn . . . here you go, Bards, enjoy! All you gotta do is collect a few shells on the beach and BAM . . . new horn.

For me, the best discovery was that you can capture a new, blue-colored "freeze wasp" on the island . . . so I dropped 8k on a Bee Lover's bouquet and captured me a bee-uty of a new pet.

That's a lot of Stingite-love right there

I'm having a hard time deciding between the name Buzz Coldrear or Frosty the Buzzman for its name. So far, he seems like a hearty little bee that procs cold damage and some kind of a slow.  I still need to level him and really put him through the paces in somewhere like the Fae Realm.  It's just pretty cool as an animal handler to have a cold-based option for attacking enemies.

All in all, I enjoyed the new Sun Vale revamp. Definitely looking forward to fishing more here and training up my new Freeze Wasp pet.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Project Gorgon: Seeing this year in 80/80 vision

I now have two combat skills (Animal Handling and Knife Fighting) leveled to over 80 in Project Gorgon! Eighty is the current level "soft" cap. (I talked about synergy levels in a previous post -- this is how you get beyond the soft cap.)

So, I always knew I wanted to level Animal Handling. That's a no-brainer for me. I've loved the "beastlord" class since I played it back in Everquest. Knife Fighting just helped bring it full circle. I had no idea when I began this journey that Stingite the Raksasha would have a bee sidekick named Buzz Tightrear and focus on a poison knife / backstab build, but here I am!

Backstabbin' the Trolls FOR LIFE!

Had the necromancer class been easier to unlock, I probably would have gone down that skill path. I mean . . . I "am" the Friendly Necromancer after all.

Anyway, post-soft cap the game becomes a hunt for the perfect Gear and the perfect mods for your play style. It's easy enough to get a set of level 80 equipment, but it's something special to get it with the correct mods.

A couple days ago I handed my guild leader 30ish gems for creating animal handling / knife fighting gear and a few stacks of materials. He went to work and crafted me a pretty nice set of "purple" gear for my class, but to be honest, the mods that came out on it were all wrong. I'm a poison build and it didn't really emphasize that.

To overcome this you either need to keep crafting gear until you get exactly what you want (or close to what you want) or you use the power of transmutation to change mods on your gear.

The Item Workbench is where the magic happens!

Remember waaaaaay back when? You know, allll the way back when I was saying I had joined a guild and my guild leader ran me out to the middle of the desert to train like four months ago?  I rarely touched the Transmutation skill after I had gotten it.  guess what: It's now important. I need tons of quality phlogiston to change out my mods. It's rare. It's valuable. The only way to produce it yourself is to level Transmutation and "deconstruct" high level magic items into this special dust.

These are the kinds of concerns I'll have in Project Gorgon from now on. How can I get my gear to a state that it rocks?  How can I further tweak and play with my build?  How can I find 360k to level the next skill to 80? You know what question would be fun to ask during 2020? How do I level my character to 90!!! I will have my hopes set on seeing that come true this year.

Luckily, I'm still having fun with Project Gorgon! There's still an abundance of things to do and I'm always finding myself broke from spending money on new skills. The never-ending quest for money is real for me.

Happy Dueling!