I loved the greensteel crafting system from the very first time I started running shroud. Sure, it’s convoluted and recent changes haven’t exactly made it less so, but there are plenty of sources on the web that helps people figure out what they need, what they can make and what the final result can be. And there are many things to like about it – unbound mats other than power shards (they should be bta but I digress). Level 11 items and level 12 weapons – leaving you with 8 levels of gold standard goodness until level 20. Pretty much ‘the’ items and weapons to use before Epic (and some even use them at level 28 like my ranger and his con op helmet).
Diverse permutations for weapons and items. Sure; it makes less sense to have stat stuff and amp/absorb things on weapons than on items, but other than that you can pretty much craft a highly specialized item/weapon for your needs.
Like an amp item that allows my FvS free cure light to hit him for something like 100-300 in HP. Not bad for something that cost zero spell points. Or my ranger con op that adds healing lore for tier 3 and his ability to regenerate SP in a steady pace which of course helps when using cure serious and cocoon all the time. That allows him to buff himself using his 700 SP pool and keep healing himself. I’ve yet to find something better – sure – the Halcyon boots might be good but it doesn’t look as reliable. I do wish that they’d get away from those temporary SP for upper end gear since you can make much better stuff either with greensteel or pickup a Torc.
And I bet most people have some type of HP only gear either on their toons or banked for TRing – I do. In fact I made a HP item with heavy fort on it. For my ranger. The cool thing about it is that you can find named items that are pretty much iconic gold standard. Like the legen out of Necro. 20 HP and heavy fort. Or you can make a similar helmet with same ML and more goodies, also with heavy fort. Instead of 20 HP, how about 45? Or additional SP and con op (chance to proc SP)?
If you compare that to the new unofficially dubbed greensteel 2, there are some similarities but a lot of differences. First – most mats are unbound. That’s good. And you can make a fairly good first time by running wilderness only. Similar to Shroud – in so far that you could hit all the rear encounters, collect 20 ingots and make yourself an item. And item with ML 22 and pretty darn good. Plus it’s unbound if I’m not mistaken (or perhaps BTA). You can also make the first tier without doing the actual raid. It cost 3 times as many ingots and more comm of valor. The difference between this and GS is that there are far less permutations and it’s weapons only. As I mentioned yesterday however is that all named items can be upgraded using materials from the wilderness and raids (GOOD!). But other than that you can only make weapons and orbs in the forge so no items (lets hope they add that). Another difference is also that with each tier the ML of the items goes up (max 28). That’s different from GS and bad.
The thing about GS that makes it so good is that you get amble use of it until level 20 – ergo the gold standard. That adds longevity. Here and with this system you’re basically creating end game stuff to beat end game stuff with. With little use outside the last levels. Sure, once they up things to 30 you’ll have those ‘2 levels’ to play around in – but that’s it. The charm with GS was not only the flexibility of creating things but how they became the mainstay for so many levels. Even at a ripe old age at ML 28 that GS con op helmet is a vital part of my rangers build, so much so that it’s hard to replace it even if that means forgoing the black dragon set bonus. That’s a powerful statement about its versatility.
And the one thing that the new system removes, is versatility. Fair enough – you can make some pretty powerful items. Like a scepter with 150 acid spell power, +6 conjuration and +22% acid lore. That’s not bad – add an orange augment slot to that as well.
But tell me who’ll experiment outside setups like that? With GS the better effect like con op and heavy fort were in addition to the 3 tiers. So you could have an item with +5, +10 and plus 15 or something like that HP and if you double power shard the tier 3 (look it up for explanation) you got a nifty effect in addition. In fact you got a nifty effect if you didn’t double shard tier 3 (explanation – mixing 2 elements could add a really nice tier 3 bonus, but you could also do straight of one element and get something). Like triple earth (acid) gave you earthgrab. So you could have a weapon with triple type acid damage and with a proc for earthgrab. Very nice on 2 weapon style fighting or things like repeaters. And doing a triple positive it gave you greater disruption with a chance to outright destroy non red boss undead. Very nice. Or how about neg and positive for a chance to proc negative levels. Or positive and earth for metalline (note that newly crafted weapons using the new system automatically get it). Or positive and electric for a proc of lightning strike.
The new system leaves out the benefit of spending a few more resources for some type of premium effect. Instead they bake in the concept of procs as a choice rather than bonus. It’s not bad – in fact in many ways the new system is a less convoluted version of Cannith items and certainly a lot more simple that greensteel. The downside is that you can’t cover the entire spectrum of interesting effects. Like all elements – right now for starters there’s only fire or negative damage. These items are poorly made to fight the end raids. Sure – the negative should be able to fight the red dragons but it’s useless against the shadow dragon, and the fire is worthless against the fire dragons and a lot of creatures inside the forge. Ideally there should be a way to create a cold based item for the fire raid. Again – there are very few permutation so most of the items will follow a similar formula. You’ll find dps weapons going for a few set effects, mostly according to what people see as most useful for the endgame and the casters will go for spellpowers and lore that best boost what they use the most. Like force for Shiradi casters and whatever element that covers any other spells. Then followed by some form of DC boost.
That’s not saying that most of the choices or even weapons are bad, but the combination of high ML and few permutations make it end game stuff only and choices formulaic. And perhaps that’s no different from GS after all. Caster would do Spellpoint con op stuff, most would do HP items and melee/ranged created their LI 2 or MIN 2 weapons with a few maybe doing dust or vacuum. But at least you had the choice of making all cold or all positive or all acid. The choices were there. And you had all kind of slots to create them for. We’ll see what the future will bring, here’s me hoping for a lot more choices and more interesting permutations.