The very first, most preliminary version of Update 32 is available on Lamannia right now, as I write this, for preview by those players who are preview-minded.
The preview does not yet include any content, just systems work and bug fixes. Ho hum, right? No, not at all, this includes our first look at the new and improved Cannith Crafting system! Not ho hum. Hah HAH!
The first difference is apparent immediately – character copy has been built directly into the game client. No longer something you do from a webpage on DDO.com, the client itself has a “Copy” button built-in. Clicking Copy takes you down a path where you select which servers you want to copy From and To, something that looks to have been built with an eye toward the future, when maybe we can transfer servers ourselves.
But for now the only To choice is Lamannia, and soon I have several of my best characters there for testing. Except … testing the new Cannith crafting is not very rewarding. The machines look the same as they always have. My Crafter, Coin, now only has one school of crafting, rather than the three she had before, but even that is displayed on the same Crafting character tab as it has always been, in the same place, looking the same.
It quickly becomes apparent that the big changes are not visible and are not in the UI at all. Rather instead they are in the recipes. And there, everything is different. In ways that are going to take me hours to thoroughly explore. Hours that I don’t have.
PsychoBlonde has many posts in this thread, detailing one aspect or another, but has also posted two handy summaries. This one captures her initial thoughts:
Okay, here’s the rundown:
- With an xp pot (which I HIGHLY recommend) you can get to level 380ish just by making ML shards.
- There’s really no point in going above level 380 (even though max level is like 400) because there’s just nothing to make above that point–I hit 100% success on all possible shards before then.
- The most efficient way to level seems to be to get a 35% crafting booster or four (and an xp pot!!!!!) and make the highest-level ML shard you can. Ideally you want it to be only a 3% base success chance in order to maximize your xp. If you do it right, you can get 20k+ xp just from the one shard. With that xp return it doesn’t matter if you lose several stacks of essences due to failed crafting attempts. After you get that BIG xp hit you want to make slightly lower level shards so you’re not losing tons of essences to failed crafting until you get access to another 3% success chance shard. Use your success boosters for the BIG xp hits on 3% shards and spend the majority of your essences on reasonably high chance/return shards.
- Once you put an ML shard on an item you can’t upgrade it, it is the ML it is. Derka derp, you CAN change it by deconstructing the item again.
- I didn’t have any random items with augment slots on me (oversight) so I wasn’t able to see how those interact with the disjunction.
- Expect it to take you in the range of 170,000 essences to get from level 240 to 380–that’s about what I used. You may be able to be more efficient than that, but that’s what I’d expect if I were you.
- The toon I used is an artificer so that may skew the numbers a bit.
Other than her use of the word “toon”, a pet peeve of mine, these seem like reasonable conclusions, reached reasonably, after thorough testing and usage.
Later, PsychoBlonde expands her summary. Still in bullet points! Kudos for conversational organization!
Okay, so after all those informative posts, here is my actual FEEDBACK:
- Devs did a REALLY good job with labeling and so forth so that it’s REALLY easy to tell suffix/prefix/extra slot/whatever. REALLY good–I found it all basically self-explanatory with no real effort.
- To me, the leveling RATE seems . . . okay, but my preferences as to how grindy it “should” be are pretty open, so I’ll leave that to other people to argue about. Yes, it’s going to take a LOT (as in, more than I’ve pulled since the original crafting was implemented, but I’m also lazy when it comes to grinding essences so it’s really hard to give an exact picture there) of essences to reach the top-end stuff, but there’s a lot of useful low/mid tier stuff, too. Plus I think that since unbound items are basically identical to bound ones, now, those who don’t want to craft will be able to hand their essences off to crafters and get GOOD stuff out of it fairly easily. So I don’t think it’s going to be a devastating amount of grind compared to the benefit you can get out of it. Those who don’t want to grind crafting may want to find somebody who is more crafting ambitious than they are and latch onto them, though.
- The items are strong across the levels even up into max epics–maybe a bit too strong at low/mid heroic levels depending on your personal preferences–but keep in mind that the top-end bonuses are HIGH LEVEL–the crafting level of the type of bonus isn’t tied to the item level any more, so you need to be HIGH up there to be able to put insightful bonuses on LOW LEVEL heroic gear. To me, this isn’t an excessive reward considering the work involved. Also, the unbound items DON’T say “bind on equip” any more, so getting items crafted for you shouldn’t be a headache any more.
Things I’m still curious about (and I hope others will make an effort to answer if possible, because I’m kinda out of time for now):
- How does this system interact with items that have augment slots on them?
- How exactly do the arti bonus levels work? Is it better to level up crafting then TR into an arti for maximum leveling cheapness, or is it better to level AS an arti so you get access to the higher level shards faster for max xp?
- Does crafting XP gain reset on TR? (I should check this one myself later.)
- Where do the new collectibles drop?
- Are the random collectibles boxes going to go into the live DDO store? If so, how much are they going to cost? (I’m assuming it’s going to be more than 1 point.)
- Make the “add an extra slot” line go away when you have already added an extra slot to an item, that’s just confusing. Also, I’m not sure why there are TWO recipes for this (and you can put them both on the same item although it does nothing.)
- Also, you might want to consider some kind of Otto’s Crafting Box–maybe with a Crafting XP Stone and some mats/collectibles/crafting xp pots/success boosters/purified dragonshards. If the price is reasonableish and the XP stone is of decent size (as in, around 5K points and around 150K on the crafting XP) I’d probably buy one.
- You don’t get enough purified dragonshards for Eberron Dragonshards, which aren’t exactly common. I’d make it 3/6/9 instead of 1/2/3
- ABSOLUTELY MUST add a way to deconstruct shards into essences.
Note that PsychoBlonde’s postings do not necessarily represent the forum consensus. I am not sure there even really is such a thing as “forum consensus”, but even if there is, this is not it. Plenty of other posters are asking pointed questions about the relative power of crafted items, and especially, about the difficulty in obtaining some of the ingredients.
In particular, the recipes make heavy use of Purified Eberron Dragonshards, which cannot be looted and can only be obtained via trade-in. Trade materials include a Tome, or an Eberron Dragonshard, or a Token of the Twelve, or by buying them with Astral Shards. Only one of these methods, Token of the Twelve, can be farmed, one has to just be super-lucky to get a Tome or an Eberron Dragonshard, and with the collapse of the Astral Shard Exchange one may have to buy Astral Shards. With money. Real money.
And that is raising some controversy.
As for me, I am going to go with “too early to tell”. I probably won’t be crafting high level items anyway, not right away, I think named items are still better and if I am going to farm something, I’d rather farm the named items.
But that’s just me. PsychoBlonde seems to think otherwise.
What do you think?
🙂 😀 🙂