Waaaaaay back when, way back, in an ancient time that was known as “2013”, I wrote a couple of thousand words about itemization titled On Loot. I didn’t call it “itemization”, I just called it “loot”, itemization is a Turbine term that has been thrown about now and then since.
In 2013, itemization was broken. Large parts of the existing loot systems were indistinct, unused, or simply without purpose. Especially random loot which had been modified back and forth until it was an shapeless lump of uselessness that completely removed any of the excitement involved in opening a chest.
We have a lot of different kinds of loot in DDO, but each kind has to serve a purpose. Here is the most salient part of my old post, describing a world where each kind of loot was defined and had boundaries, meaning that each kind was also desirable and exciting within those boundaries:
Within a specific level band, items should differ in attraction:
- The most attractive item should be the most elusive and unattainable “perfect combination” random loot item
- Raid loot should always be the next most attractive, nearly as good as that perfect combination item but attainable via raiding (grinding? upgrading?) and not just incredible luck
- Named Loot should be better than random loot but part of that superiority is because because it can be farmed, has specifically targetable attributes, and allows combination or placement of attributes that is not available any other way
- Crafted loot should be nearly as attractive as good random loot, but of course can be designed rather than found
- Finally, normal random loot
It is important to us to have a system where Cannith Crafted, Random, and Named Loot is all usable by players. We do not want a system where Cannith overshadows Random loot making it not a true consideration to be used. By holding onto the Masterful Craftsmanship lucky power ranges on Random Loot, it should help Random Loot continue to have a use.
But what about the old flex shards? They let me put any Cannith crafting effect on pretty much any equipment slot:
The plan is to not launch with flex shards. We think there is a good balance that can be found between Random, Named, Crafted loot and flex shards will knock some of that out of the way. The Cannith system will be a bit different from before and some of the power and versatility is tough to see without getting your hands on the system.
He is right. If you can use Flex shards to put any effect in any slot, you are blurring the boundary between crafted loot and named loot, and thereby lessening both.
In fact, in a later post he goes on to say almost that exact thing:
Why not allow Cannith to put effects in any slot? In the new loot system, Named Items main advantages are that they don’t have to follow the slot restriction for effects and get the Quality bonus type for effects. If Cannith also ignores the slot restrictions it takes a way a big aspect of what makes Named Loot special and goes a long way to making Random Loot useless
So … crafted loot is not as good as the best possible random loot, but allows you to design the loot as you see fit?
Random Loot has a normal range of effect powers that can drop at a given minimum level. Then there is an extra lucky range of slightly more power. This is marked by having Masterful Craftsmanship on the item which indicates at least one of your effects is at the maximum of the normal range or slightly higher.
The plan is to have Cannith Crafting be the top of the normal random loot range.
As a final differentiation, there will be an whole list of effects that can be crafted but which do not appear on random loot:
- Ghost Touch
- Lesser Arcane Spell Dexterity
- Slowburst/Improved Slowburst
- Silver Flame/Sacred/Eternal Faith
- Efficient Metamagic
- Blindness Immunity
- True Seeing
And another list of effects that appear on random loot but cannot be crafted:
- UMD boost
This sounds amazing. This sounds like exactly the way that loot ought to work. I want to be excited about maybe getting lucky and pulling the perfect item from a chest. I want to be able to design an item that is exactly what I need, filling a hole perfectly, even if it is slightly less powerful. Or even an entire load-out of crafted items, trading in the possibility of getting “best in show” items in return for a perfectly interwoven set of exactly what I want.
And soon, I can. It will be on Lamannia within the next couple of weeks, unless I miss my guess.
Soon. And by that I mean actual “soon” rather than Soon™.
🙂 😀 🙂