EQ Traders Corner
  
Fletching

by Quon (Tunare Server)

I have good news for fletchers. I have designed a clockwork fletching kit, which will not only make bows and arrows for you but actually go out and gather the necessary raw materials based on how you have set a series of selection levers. Sadly, ever since an unfortunate incident in which my first prototype suffered a malfunction involving King Ak'anon, his favorite feather duster, two score drunk dwarves, and a rather large clump of dough, I have been unable to find a patron willing to fund my research. Until that blessed day arrives, it will continue to be necessary to craft one's bows and arrows by hand. To that end I have come here to provide you with instruction.

The first thing every fletcher should know is that arrows are for learning and bows are for selling. As arrows are much cheaper to make than a bow of similar difficulty level, you can make many more arrows, and thus have many more chances to improve your skill at fletching, than bows for the same amount of money. Thus, when trying to improve your skill, you should always work on arrows instead of bows.

Fletching is a very easy skill to learn in terms of time spent on it. Everything you need to master the skill is available from a merchant so that you don't have to run around hunting creatures that no longer provide you experience in order to gather needed components. There are really only two recipes to learn, one for arrows and the other for bows, so you don't have to keep a lot of different recipes straight. Difficulty levels for crafting items rises in a logical progression removing a certain degree of guesswork in deciding what to work on next after mastering a particular item. The more expensive the components used to make a particular arrow or bow, the more difficult that item is to make. At present we don't even need any items crafted by another trade skill. (Niami's note: however, smiths have learned how to fashion arrowheads that match what we could buy from a merchant.)

Arrows are composed of four parts; tip, shaft, feathers, and nock. To make an arrow, simply place one of each component type in your fletching kit and press the combine button. For each successful attempt you will receive five arrows back. (Ed: With the upgrade to silver arrowheads, you get ten arrows from recipes using them.) Each component has a specific effect on the arrows. The more expensive the tip and/or shaft used, the more damage the arrow will do. Furthermore, silver tips will make the arrows magical in nature so that they can hit willowisps and similar creatures. The smaller the nock, the greater the range of the arrow. Feathers affect both range and damage with parabolic feathers increasing the range and shield cut feathers increasing the damage. Vanes take the place of feathers in the higher end arrows and increase (Ed: or decrease) both range and damage.

Bows, at their most basic, are composed of a bow staff and a string. The more expensive the staff is, the greater the bow's base damage, range, and delay will be. The more expensive the string is the lower the bow's damage and delay. There are several other items such as whittling knives, planing tools, and cams that are completely optional. Each of these optional items has the effect of further lowering the bow's damage and delay. Note that you can't use both a whittling knife and a planing tool on a bow. It has to be one or the other. Also note that you can't use one of the optional items on a bow staff that is cheaper than the optional item. You cannot, for example, use a whittling knife on a hickory bow staff.

With that knowledge under your belt, you are now ready to begin practicing fletching. The very first arrow you should begin with is with a field tip, wood shaft, round feathers, and large nocks. This is the easiest and cheapest arrow to make and all subsequent arrows that you make will be variations upon it. Once you've mastered this particular arrow, visit your arrow merchant, make a list of the remaining components, and order it by price. This is the order in which you will work on mastering the remaining components. The difficulty of making an arrow is based on the single most expensive component of the arrow, not the sum of the components. Thus a field tip, steel shaft, round feather, large nock arrow is the same difficulty as a hooked tip, steel shaft, parabolic feather, small nock arrow. Therefore you should only swap out one component from the basic arrow recipe at a time when trying to learn. When mastering small nocks, make field-wood-round-small. When mastering bone vanes, make field-wood-bone vane-large. If you practice in this manner, you will maximize your skill at the least cost.

To repeat what I said earlier, do not practice with bows to raise your skills. Bows are very expensive relative to arrows. If you practice with bows you're just throwing your money away and if you've got that much money to waste you ought to be giving it to me instead so that I can complete my clockwork fletching kit research.

Now, if there are no questions, class is dismissed.

Created: 2003-05-14 01:37:49          
Last Modified By: EQTC Editor Krazick          
Last Modified on: 2003-05-14 01:37:49          

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