New Player Experience NPE - Crafting
I just starting playing last week and wanted to provide some feedback on the NPE.
First the Test server is a huge improvement over the time I spent on the LIVE server at the start. I also acknowledge that there isn't much in the way of start or intro tutorials at all so the addition of those would be a huge help.
Onto everything else:
As a new player crafting is where I feel the biggest gap between myself and existing players. I have the basic crafting for tools and beginner weapons but after that it's all a mess. In the city I can find all the different crafting benches and some give me additional crafting options but not much. For example I can craft "intermediate armor" but it seems to just be cloth, I can't seem to craft leather. At the blacksmith table I can see the various components I can make, but little information about how to use them. It also shows components I can't make use of because I don't have any recipes that call for them. The worst example I've seen of this is the intermediate harvesting tools, I can make them but it doesn't give any indication that I can't use them, or what is needed to use them.
It is also unclear what items can be crafted and how to learn new recipes. As a ranger I can see that I can use bows, spell bows, high tension bows, etc. but I can't see any way to craft them, or anywhere to buy them. Same with quivers. I see some player vendors that may be selling them at some point but the prices are far more than I can afford. I can guess that some of it might be behind the passive skills/professions for crafting, but even that is a guess. I had gone through one of the crafting trees and complete the "Blacksmith Basics" a pip in the starting "Crafting Basics". Mousing over that node says "Unlocks the blacksmith skill tree" I initially thought it would give me more blacksmithing recipes but realized too late that this was one of the 5 pips needed to actually unlock blacksmithing.
While the idea of these account wide passive skills sounds neat it also makes it really intimidating to jump into because there are so many permanent choices to make. Additionally it's hard to figure out what to pick without having more detail, are bows blacksmithing? Woodworking? Other? I can see that I can craft bow parts with blacksmithing but who knows after that? It also makes it overwhelming knowing that it's account wide and leatherworking might be good for my ranger but leaves my lacking if I have a plate-based class. Because they're account wide It led me to spread points all over the place or to try and focus on things that (seem?) like they'd be useful for all classes like necromancy and runemaking.
The other big thing I've noticed is the importance that upgraded vessels have. The tooltip shows my vessel as being Legendary but it's actually white. There isn't any real information in game around the vessels and how they work. Can I change my race with them? Do I start leveling over again? Do I need to create a new character to use it? How do I get them, are they crafted? I've seen some player vendors sell them but, again, they're too costly for me to get any time soon. The upgraded vessels seem to provide a lot more for stats so running around in a default vessel leaves me feeling very exposed.
Finally how do disciplines play into all of this? The only exploration disciplines I can get from a vendor are harvest specific. I equip them but don't really notice any benefit, they mention harvesting pips for skills (like I remember seeing on Live) but I don't see them at all when I harvest. How do the major disciplines work? If I buy the blacksmith related one will that unlock blacksmithing recipes?
I understand that it's an MMO and you're meant to play with friends, find a guild, and play together, but that isn't always possible for people. There are a lot of people that might play solo for different reasons. Even with a guild or friends playing there's still the issue of people being on at the same time, needing to get resources and parts across different players.