Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Free Realms - Finished mining / blacksmithing
After having received friendly advice from a reader who told me that you don't actually have to enter the haunted mines to find the hilt of the Summersaber for the level 20 blacksmithing quest series, I finished those quests last night. That involved getting mining up to level 20 as well, as you needed gems from gold mines which are only accessible at level 20. While the whole quest series was fun enough, the final reward was a huge disappointment: The legendary Summersaber turns out to be a "white name" level 5 ninja weapon with worse stats than the "green name" level 5 ninja sword I already had the recipe for.
It appears as if the quest series is planned to be a requirement for further blacksmithing content. But right now the NPC you are getting send to at the end basically tells you that this content isn't implemented yet, and you should wait for some content patch.
So after having reached the level cap in mining and blacksmithing, and finished all the quests, I have a pretty good idea about how useful mining / blacksmithing is. As you need different weapons for every job, being able to smith your own weapons is useful enough, but only if you don't want to spend $5 per job for a level 1 weapon which is better than the best level 20 weapon you can smith. Beyond making weapons, mining / blacksmithing is a great combination to get gold and treasure tickets. The supplies you need to buy and add to smelt the ore into bars, and smith the bars into weapons, cost less than the sell price of the weapons you make. The ore and gems you get for free from the mining game. Thus if you mine, smelt, and smith all day, and sell the weapons you made to a vendor, you'll end up with a lot of gold.
And even me, who isn't the world's fastest button masher or greatest puzzle game player, I can manage a lot of goals and secondary goals in the various mini games of this process, getting rewarded with treasure tickets every time. The treasure tickets are used in a cave under the bridge leading to the main city, Sanctuary, to exchange for random treasures. There is a royal vault for non-members, and a royal deluxe vault for members, and each contains three chests. The first gives a random level 1 to 4 item for 10 treasure tickets, the second a random level 5 to 14 item for 20 treasure tickets, and the last a random level 15 to 20 item for 30 treasure tickets. The chests respawn quickly, so you can take the same chest repeatedly. I usually go for the middle chest, because in the mid-levels gears is most useful to help you to advance. Of course the rewards being random means you can end up with gear you don't need, but then you can sell it and get gold instead.
Of course you don't need mining / blacksmithing to make gold and treasure tickets, there are other ways in Free Realms to get those. The average quest gives you 31 gold and 5 tickets. But I'd say that with smithing you get gold and tickets faster, and it's repeatable, you don't have to run around looking for quests you didn't do yet. Ultimately it depends on how much you like or dislike the mini-games of the various mining and smithing activities.