The Nacene Training Grounds are one of two places that players can start the game in, the other being the ICC Shuttleport on Rubi-Ka. The Training Grounds are located in the Shadowlands in Jobe's Nascense Research area. Only those people who have the Shadowlands expansion can choose to start in this area, and if you choose Shade or Keeper as your proffesion you are required to start here. The area contains many quests and missions to help new players get used to the game as well as get some unique low level equipment that will help them on their way. Since the area is level locked to players level 50 or below, many people who started on Rubi-Ka on 'newbie island' come here to do the additional quests.
| After leaving the ICC Shuttleport we wandered about with Dravet for a while, looking for fun and profit, while some of that was vaigely successful after running around half of the world we got offered a strange job. This guy suggested that we go to this place called "Jobe" (whatever that is) and look for "Drake" (whoever that is...) and help him out. After Dravet stood there slackjawed for more than thirty seconds, the weird guy did... something and we blacked out.|
After waking up on this platform we saw some pretty weird stuff! Strange swirling vorticies of light in the air, tall white buildings... Clans and Omnis working together... we could only come to one conclusion for the unreal sights we were seeing: we were drugged. Dravet mentioned something about mushroom pizza but I was certain that there was some XXX-Plumbo Beer involved.
Drake Rodriguez Edit
| Drake is a major scientific mind in Jobe and has made signifigant advances in understanding how the weird environment of the shadowlands effects human DNA. When we approuch him to ask him about how the heck we got here, he immediately turns to us and asks us if we are ready to participate in his experiments. Experiments!? We just get pulled through space and time in some sort of hallucinogenic adventure and now he wants to mess with us more!? After a little bit of explantion, Drake says that there are signifigant rewards for participating in the tests, and that he has never had anybody refuse to participate. Well, with the thought of an ambigous disclosed reward on the line I happily singed up Dravet, maybe the good doctor can find out what is wrong with him. It seems that you need a special bracer to go through with the tests and when we arrived, we didn't have one, so we asked Drake for one to slap on Dravet.|
After talking to a couple of the other 'test subjects' we found out that if you started here in the Shadowlands from the Morning Star Space Station (such as if you are a Shade or Keeper) drake well give you an experiance boost and a standard equipment set like Brandon Thorn did for us.
Mission: Test of Strength Edit
Objective: For Drake's first test you need to kill three monsters in order: a Weaver, a Coiler, and a Beit. The extremely easy way to find these mobs is to simply jump off the platform that drake is standing on and you should find the mobs around the base of the tower pretty easily. Otherwise, you can find a whole group of weavers and coilers back across the laser bridge near the guards. If you are a new character, this might be pretty tough for you, so you might want to spend a little time fighting the weavers and coilers before you take on the beits, but do not take too long though since you have a half an hour to finish the mission.
Healing in the Shadowlands Edit
It happens in life: people get hurt. Dravet is no exception, especially like the time he held his gun the wrong way, or tried to jump on a ... well never you mind that! Getting hurt in the Shadowlands is a little different than being back on good, old, Rubi-Ka since the same old heal kits and first aid stims wont work! So instead of poking ourselves with needles and shooting ourselves up like junkies we have to use these interesting Spiritech devices to merge ourselves with the source of all life momentarily. Sounds very Zen doesn't it?
We found out from the handy vendor just outside the training area (don't worry, if you leave you can get back in till you are level 50)that there are two kinds of magical recovery spirit tech. The first are called Coils and they take the place of similar health labs on RK in that they require you to sit down to use it. Coils restore health and nano in a very different fashion than RK Health and Nano kits, they restore a small amount over time in ticks, but will continue restoring you as long as you sit, until you are full. A very weird property to be sure, which we found out when Dravet had been beaten senseless by a Beit. Higher levels of coils heal or restore more with each tick. The second type of Spiritech recovery device is a Spindle, which function like first aid stims or nano stims. Similar to the coils, the spindles work in ticks, but each only gives 2 ticks of Health or Nano recovery, but it doesn't require you to sit down to use it.
Mission: Test of Agility and Stamina Edit
Objective: This mission can get a bit hairy, you need to extremely quickly find three monsters and tag them with the biomarker sensor that Drake hands to you. To do this you need to target the creature and than right click the sensor on them.
The main problem with this mission is that some of the creatures are very far apart. The Hungry Predators are located to the East of Drake on the plains, the Chimeras can be found to the South in the canyon, and the Dryads can be found to the North of Drake in the swamp. Once that is finished, the quickest way back to Drake is using the teleporting ability of the jobe bracer he gave you, and from there you will give him the biomarker sensor back.
The shirt you are given isn't the best shirt in the entire world, and it looks horrible, but the extra Run Speed it gives you will really help you get around in the lower levels, but if you find anything with significantly better AC (such as Sundance Armor) replace it.
Mission: Test of Sense Edit
Objective: Drake wants to test Dravet's senses. While we know that Dravet lacks any sense at all, we decide to humor the old guy head out and find a Shadowleet near the area that Sundance Smith is standing. You can do this by using the search command in your actions menu, which should reveal the invisible Shadowleet. Sometimes though, you will find the Shadowleet Boss: the Shadowleet of Powah, as we did, which will attack you (or Dravet) if you see it; it is stronger than a normal Shadowleet but shouldn't give any character around level 5+ any problems. When you have found the leet, target it and return to Drake for your reward.
In the Shadowlands, you don't get normal maps to upload to your map system because the geography 'changes' so much, in that case you let nano bots do the work for you. The first two maps of the areas can be used and uploaded by anybody, but the maps of the latter areas are only available to adventurers who will need to cast the nano on you. When you cast the nano on yourself, you will be able to look at the minimap of the area.
Mission: Test of Psychic Edit
Objective: Drake wants to see how we react to testing our mind to the unknown, so we need to go talk to one of two representatives of the major Shadowlands factions and help them out with a problem they have. Clan should go help out the Redeemed, labeled as El Domo on the map. Omni should go help the Unredeemed, labeled as Celeth-El on the map. Neutrals can help anybody at their whim.
Realistically though, you can help both of the factions if you want, and there are good reasons to at least help the Unredeemed. Doing this does not affect your standing with either faction latter in the game. Which was great news for Dravet, since he always like double dipping on the people he's supposed to be helping... err. Something tells me that this will ultimately come to no good in the end...
The Redeemed Edit
After Drake sends us off, we are looking for a guy named El Domo who is part of the Faithful or the Redeemed faction of the Shadowlands. To find this guy we will need to head to the north east portion of the area and look for a small entrance in a rock wall, it will be on the hill leading down to the area with the silvertails and hungry predators. Once you start seeing white birds all around,or as Dravet put it: "if you feel like you should be duck hunting...", you are in the right place! Once we saunter up to El Domo and tell him that we are here to help him out he immediately gives us a job. It appears that one of the Silvertail young has lost their way, and now we need to go find it and help it out. We do this using a rag item that El Domo provides to us. Luckily the location of the Young Silvertail is marked on our map and compass. Once we find the young silvertail, simple right click the rag on her and the quest will update: Back to Drake!Reward: +5 Faction for Devoted, Conservers, Redeemed
The Unredeemed Edit
If you decided to help the Chosen you need to go locate Celeth-El who heads up the Unredeemed faction in this little corner of the Shadowlands. Locating him qill require you to head to the west side of the training area around some silvertails near some rocks. To get into the area you need to be, you will head through a big crack in the rocks into an area with a lot of red/orange birds called Tempterus and really made Dravet want to head out on a turkey shoot. Celeth-El seemed pretty disinterested in in speaking to us until we showed him our bracer, which he wanted us to give him in exchange for a job, but after a baffling reaction, he gave it back to us in an 'improved' state. After all this excitement, Dravet was so confused that he just wanted to go kill something, so Celeth-El had us take care of a little 'problem' of a mother silvertail looking for her young, which is more to say he wanted us to kill her. As bloodthirsty as Dravet was at this point, he happily obliged, finding the Silvertail Mare in question next to the entrance of the area.Reward:233804 Scourged Bracer of Jobe.Reward: +5 Faction for Followers, Operators, and Unredeemed,
Important Note: getting your bracer scourged by Celeth-El complicates your mission because Drake will no longer recognize it to end the mission if you give it to him, so you will need to ask him for a new bracer before you end the quest. It should be noted that the scourged bracer also has the same teleport ability as the normal bracer, with the same limitations.
Wrapping it up Edit
In the end, we managed to run around to all the factions and complete their quests. This had the ironic effect of guiding the lost silvertail young home to her now dead mother... Oppsy! Drake doesn't seem to care very much about this, and after we turn in our bracer to him, he hands us some cash and a very nice ring that buffs out Nano Resistance. If you really want to, you can avoid helping both sides, but in order to complete the quest you must help one of them. We do recommend getting the scourged bracer of Jobe though, even if you do not 'pull the trigger' on the silvertail mare, because damage buffs can get hard to come by this early in the game.
The Shadowlands and Faction Points Edit
Main article: Factions
Something about the Shadowlands reminds us of being down on the farm: everybody just seems to know everybody elses' business. After fighting our way around for a little while, causing all sorts of hate and mischief, Dravet found out the hard way that there are factions in the the Shadowlands. Since the fight between the Redeemed and the Unredeemed has been raging on for aeons, it makes sense that everybody knows where they stand, and if you do something to hurt or help somebody, everybody will know about it pretty quickly. In terms of game mechanics, this is the gain and loss of faction points with various factions, but it affects gameplay directly also, with the behaviour of faction mobs varying with faction standing.
Mission: Test of Intelligence Edit
Objective: Bring supplies to Jobe's field operative. Well, at least that is what you are told, the real task here is to get you to use your grey matter on some problems. The first problem is where you need to find this operative at. The person you are searching for is Scientist Sarah Willis and she is tucked away in another cave like area in the region. The second problem is how to actually get the supplies to her in the first place, because once you find her, she seems to be guarded by a creature appropriately known as a Disrupting Imp. The first time we found Sarah's cave, Dravet rushed right in to give her the supplies only to be sent packing back to Borealis via the white-light express (aka he died painfully). After Dravet used his bracer to get back we figured we had a problem: since the Imp is so powerful, we needed a different approach to try and get the supplies to Sarah. We noticed that Assistant Brad Willis was standing nearby in his snazzy Jobe guard gear, so we thought we would chat him up about the problem. Brad immediately offered to help us out, for free no less, given that we would wait for him to engage the imp before we rushed in. Once Brad had walked to the cave and started fighting the Imp, we were able to slip in and talk to Sarah a moment before we jumped back to Drake for our final (or so we thought) assessment.
Note: The Bonfire Kit is a social item that allows you to make a fire that lasts for a little while, but has no other benefits. It does not seem to be possible to get more charges of this item, so once you make all 50 fires, they are gone for good.
Mission: The Brink Edit
Objective: So the jig is up, and as it turns out, it seems like the Shadowlands are falling apart. Drake and company are extremely concerned about this, and after finding out that we were not complete morons (well, at least one of us) they want us to go out and look for some clues that will explain a little more about the situation. Lucky for us, Drake has no idea where he wants us to start looking, so Dravet figures we might as well just go out there and start shooting stuff, since it always seems to have worked out for him before.... and how can you argue with that?
We decided to travel to the east and southeast portions of the Brink area of the training grounds, and there we found hordes of Mortiigs, Cripplers, and Hecklers mobs all just waiting to pounce on us. After shooting around for a little while and gaining some experience, we moved closer to the edge of the Brink because Drake said that was the most problematic. Here we found a lot of big rocky looking things called Hecklers just sitting around and occasionally attacking and eating stray adventurers that wander past. We set about killing a lot of the Hecklers of Nature that were laying about and than decided to move around the brink region to see what we could see, and found a Heckler that was slightly different, called a Heckler of Evolution. Since we had killed all the other hecklers, we killed this one too, but upon attacking him, some Hecklers of Normality appeared out of no where and attacked us too.
After the tremendous beatdown, we found a Delicate Metal Device laying about in the ruins of the Heckler of Evolution. It seemed like the weird sort of thing that Drake might like, and we really didn't want Dravet using it as a coaster for his XXX-Plumbo Beer, so we took it back to Drake. Drake was overjoyed to have this little trinket and thought it might be a sign of an entire ancient civilization in the Shadowlands. Whoop-de-do. Drake does pay out though, and tells you to find Donna Red or XXX if you want to continue your explorations into the Shadowlands.