Starfall To-Do List and Impressions! (SPOILERS)

Oh, boy...this alt has some work to do!
Oh, boy…this alt has some work to do!

Hello again, Dimensionerds!  Tonight, I’m taking a break from strictly speaking about dimensions to touch on some preparations for the upcoming Rift expansion, Starfall Prophecy.  As always, my way is not the only way.  My normal disclaimer:  Everything on PTS is subject to change.  Things have already changed on PTS from previous posts and videos–and even last Saturday’s livestream.

However, now that the disclaimer has been issued, there are some things that I’m almost certain will NOT change, which are quests, the bulk of crafting, and the absurd amounts of platinum certain things cost.

Yay for empty bank spaces soon! Holy crap, I need more space!
Yay for empty bank spaces soon! Holy crap, I need more space!

As soon as Starfall Prophecy goes live, the following items will become gray vendor loot, as salvaging will no longer be in the game:

Attainium Crystals: don’t vendor these yet, they’re only 99s per stack on live, but 8+ plat on PTS

Sarfiber Flakewood

Thalasite Ingots

Recut Thalasite Crystals

Pelagic Fragments

Tooled Fabled Leather

Rewoven Diaphanous Cloth

Existing recipes that require these materials have been changed to reflect that the salvaging materials are no longer available.

At the very top, the image is of a gathering skill on my North American warrior, Damanor@Greybriar.  I like to play her for Guardian PvP (Guardian Banners make excellent tables!) but she doesn’t do much crafting.  However, all of my alts have all gathering professions, so I can be fully self-sufficient and not have to pay Auction House prices for anything.  To be able to train for Visionary gathering, I need to get her to a Foraging skill of 445 to be able to train the next rank.  That 445 requirement is across all professions, just as in lower crafting tiers.

You can, of course, gather the materials in Starfall zones at any skill level thanks to the character boosts, but getting to 445 ahead of time means I don’t have to stop what I’m doing as I’m leveling to go back to Tempest Bay and train.  By skilling up as I’m leveling, I can train at my convenience to actually process the materials whenever I make it back to town.

As an aside, you can level crafting to approximately 460-465 using Nightmare Tide materials, which will save you a bit of farming right at the start.  Professions have been changed so that the dailies are meant to be a viable way to level the profession and perhaps give your characters a bit of an XP boost as well (324 million XP to get from 69-70…just sayin’).

Speaking of training…

52 plat to train Visionary skill--across all professions. OUCH!
52 plat to train Visionary skill–across all professions. OUCH!

Initial crafting training is a significant investment, particularly if you have all professions on one character.  Everyone has their own preferred methods for farming platinum, so I’m not going to touch too much on that (but level 50 raids are, for the most part, easily soloed at 65 and can be a good source of additional income along with Tempest Bay fishing dailies that pay out 12 plat per turn-in).

Another significant investment are Planar Fragments.  Planar Fragments are new to Starfall Prophecy, as a means to add secondary stats to your gear.  By secondary stats, I mean things like Crit Power, Spell/Physical Crit, Spell/Attack Power, etc.

For ease on PTS, I did buy the gear bag to eliminate a lot of grinding and to make things a bit easier on myself. However, all gear comes with only base stats and hit.
For ease on PTS, I did buy the gear bag from the test vendor to eliminate a lot of grinding and to make things a bit easier on myself. However, all gear comes with only base stats and hit (if it applies to that piece).

I am a Queen at being a hardcore casual, but I do like to do some things outside of my dimensions–like PvP, very occasional raiding, and lots and lots of farming (for which I want gear to make the farming go faster and be less of a mind-numbing grind).

A small look at planar fragments.
A small look at planar fragments.

If you have a ton of platinum, planar fragments are not going to be that much of a hardship.  If you don’t, these things may make you tear your hair out.  Here is a thorough, excellent guide on Planar Fragments, from The Ghar Station.

A bit of personal opinion, my least favorite thing about Planar Fragments is their random nature.  I really don’t want tank stats when I’m trying to set up for DPS, but my own RNG being what it is, my fragments are loaded with tank stats.  I can dodge like a champ, and hit like a wet noodle!

I might want to start running some premium missions!
I might want to start running some premium missions!

One other thing to remember is that Aventurine from your minion adventures now caps at 5,000.  When I first logged in to the PTS to start testing, I was slightly over the cap, and I did not lose my excess–it worked like the inventory overflow when you run out of space in your bags picking up dimension items–but it may be better to be under the cap than over at launch if you want to be sure you don’t lose any of that currency.

Welcome to Alittu, where all the best people hang out!
Welcome to Alittu, where all the best people hang out!

My initial impression of the expansion, opinions about Planar Fragments aside, is a good one.  As primarily a casual and a dimension builder, I’m extraordinarily pleased by the attention that dimensions have received recently.

The fix to Uncle Stan’s Super Secret Lure and the Affinity lures as regards the loot table definitely makes the pole and lure something worth chasing after again–even though I have no intention of going through the grind I went through with Baradara’s pole and lure ever again.  The sheer volume of notoriety items is staggering, the simplified naming convention makes things easier to find, consolidating some of the old minion/lockbox items on the store and fixing world drops is a very nice quality of life change.  Even normal fishing with a Trophy Lure is worth it again.

There you guys are! You've moved!
There you guys are! You’ve moved!

I ran through the entire story line from all four Starfall zones, as well as side quests AND carnages.  The story quests are, for the most part, engaging and enjoyable.  Carnages…well, they’re carnages (but a decent source while leveling for Celestial Remnants).  The side quests were actually pretty damned fun.  I mentioned on the last stream the one side quest in Ashenfell where you ding the cages containing trapped souls to make them scream a song.

Theodor's Spear in Ashenfell is simply stunning.
Theodor’s Spear in Ashenfell is simply stunning.

That quest was freaking hilarious, and it was still funny when I went back and did it as a daily.

A peek at the overall map.
A peek at the overall map.

Along with all of those carnages, I also explored the vast majority of the map.  The art in the new zones–even Ashenfell, where lava spelled my doom many, many times–is beautiful and well done.  I didn’t fall into any holes in the terrain to get stuck, I only had a couple of issues with collision in tree clumps blocking access to certain things, and I expect bugs on the PTS–that’s why it’s there, to identify those bugs and get them fixed before things go live.

I will say as a bit of a critique that foraging nodes in Scatherran Forest are very hard to see, and having minimap tracking turned on will be essential.

All of the rest being said, there are a couple of things you WON’T see when Starfall goes live this Wednesday (or Thursday, depending on your part of the world)…

This is why we can't have nice things. Apparently, she could be exploited.
This is why we can’t have nice things. Apparently, she could be exploited.

Zhaspae is in Tempest Bay, and she is where you can convert crafting marks, as well as buying Storm Legion material bags that also had a rare chance to drop crafting marks.  Apparently, there was a potential exploit identified where you could keep getting Master and Grandmaster Marks to be able to purchase all recipes without doing all that work.  (Who thinks up shit like that?  No, really.  Who thinks up shit like that?)

He is actually still around...if you want to grind old faction Notoriety.
He is actually still around…if you want to grind old faction Notoriety.

The current Commendation Officer–that’s the vendor where you can turn in Commendations of Reknown, 15 at a time, and spam the turn-in with no cooldown to max faction Notoriety immediately–will not be in Alittu at launch.  All older Commendation Officers (such as TB or home cities or Margle Palace) will still be around.  At launch, however, if you’ve stockpiled Marks of Notoriety, you’ll only be able to turn them in on a daily basis.

I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed or forgotten here, but at least there’s a general idea without giving too much away.

I’m excited on a lot of fronts for the expansion’s launch, and I hope you feel the same!

On a final note, beware of unicorns who puke rainbows.  And now, I’ve got some foraging to do.

Happy Farming!

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