I like flexibility. Who doesn’t? And DDO have introduced a lot of it. First – old Epic and augments. Some flexibility – mostly in a few areas like heavy fortification, feather falling, greater false life etc. But I very much doubt that a lot of people slotted +4 protection or +1 DC to whatever. Especially since Epic items and other things usually added something better. So where there were flexibility it in large dependend on the item and if there was a good reason to dump a lot of tokens to add something to it.

Enter crafting; not perfect but it has since been enhanced with flexible shards and such. I’ve read a lot of gripe about crafting but for most part it has served me well. There are some stuff that makes no sense and others that does. And where I’d like to see even more flexibility I’m content with what I have. ‘Cause 2 of my alts are almost completely dependent on many different crafted items to fill in weaknesses and in other cases because there’s nothing better.

Enter the new augment system. More flexibility – on random items and throughout all levels. From 1 to 25 – named, unnamed and unbound. Making trading, augmenting and ultimately your gear selection a truly interchangeable experience. Personally I’ve managed to take great advantage of the new system on my ranger and when I’m done there I’ll move onto my other alts. Be it replacing their items with something better or augmenting what they already have. But more importantly crafting and augmenting is now fully completely on the same item.

Like today – I always wanted a good fire absorb item and when I checked the crafting app I could create a flexible fire absorb 33% shard and stick it on a ring. Which is perfect since I more or less have a ring slot open. Or at least always flexible. But it requires level 131 in crafting and 3 strong essences of water (with all the rest). I’ve been picking up and saving all my essences so far; be it from deconstruct or simply finding them in chests, so I knew I had a big bunch. And as I rounded it all up from my different high end alts I counted thousands. And with a saved major exp pot plus 20% crafting tools I ended up spending 30 minutes making shards and eventually a level high enough to make the shard itself. There was only one problem – I didn’t have the strong essences of water and there was none on the AH. So I switched over to my sorc, changed the dragon bolt spell with trap the soul, bought 1000 omnispell stones from the store (replaces Khyber shards) and went into the end quest in the madness series in twelve. There you can pick up unlimited amount of strong elemental essences from the areas where you’re suppose to trap the souls by fighting them. They’ll respawn quick enough – so under less then 30 minutes I had a dozen strong earth, water and aberration. All useful for different crafting spells.

And back on my Arti I put together 3 flexible fire absorb shards, dumped it the shared bank space and put the rest of the unbound (good) shards from all the crafting on the AH. I always do so at reasonable prices. Like acid burst, fire burst, shock burst, greater evocation etc. All the type of things you could imagine useful for less then the material cost. I mean, what am I going to do with them? Deconstruct for even less essences?

Back on my ranger I took the ring with the yellow agument, the shard and even masterful to lower it some more and crafted it all together with a yellow augment of 35 fire resist and I now have a ML 24 ring of 35 fire resist with fire absorb 33%. Perfect for the fire room in PoP and whereever I’ll run into lots of burning stuff (like the reavers refuge Kobold quest). And I’m even thinking about putting together a flame cloak for an additional 20 in fire absorb just to me ‘that guy’ that takes virtually no damage in specific quests. It’s good when doing EH and a must when doing EE.


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