In the beginning there was chaos.
Before Old Epic and when things only came in Prefix and Suffix. Most of the items were garbage. Partly because of the ability cap around 11 but also because of just how few transmutation existed and so many items were of the ability x of Skill.
Weapons were a little bit better but certainly not as flexible. Armor was (and have for most part always been) terrible.
It’s no wonder players looked at named item for universal gear; green steel for items and weapon, dragontouched and GH for armor and ToD for rings. Then when the Old Epic rolled out some items quickly because THE gear to get, such as red dragon armor and helmet and SoS. And for people who didn’t want to run until their eyes bled; Antique Great Axe.
Gear got new life with the release of Crafting 1.0 and 2.0. First with solid ability gear without the split awful transmutation (such as +3 strength of Spot – worthless 13-14 ML gear). Now you could crafting the solid +6 strength item. 2.0 added flexible shards when Epic gear outpaced anything you could make.
After MOTU dropped however even crafted gear, with flexible shards and all, were relegated to the few items that still functioned well; such as Alacrity items (10% capped) and Fire and Electric absorb (33% capped until a few named items offered different tiers).
MotU also added better weapons and caster gear. Weapons that could have rare transmutations that added several better effects. Both for melee and caster gear. Spell power dropped on helmets, shields and rings – adding much more flexibility in what remained at that time only a few named/challenge gear with spell power.
This remained true and expanded until EGH and the revamp of old named gear and introduction of augment slots. This was reduced with Shadowfell. You could now find multi augment slotted gear but at the same time they removed a lot of permutations – such as spell power from gear and the great ghost baning – removing almost completely all the cool recipes since it didn’t scale well with upper end gear. They instead introduced a Roman numerical system of adding more damage dies to say flaming. This also included the barrage of deadly of accuracy items – adding great amount of power to melee and ranged.
And then finally 4.0 – redoing most of the gear and introducing more options; once more adding spell power and such to gear but also a cleaner display of items. With one exceptions – weapons. Instead of dividing them into arcane/divine and martial, they allowed this to be mixed on the item itself. That is why most weapons are terrible melee and ranged but great caster items. There are some rare functional drops for this, but most of the items are really broken. This will luckily change in u32 with strictly caster and martial weapons.
This is less of an issue however since there are so many Named items in the system now, making weapons either early MotU raid, level 26 ToEE/Thunderforged/Green Steel or higher level from some of the latest packs. Most of them 27-30.
So is it time to throw everything out with Crafting 4.0? Not really; there are a few examples of existing gear from 1.0 and forward that can be disjuncted (or saved outright) that work as crafting base or functionally a diverse choice.
Items 1.0 – crafting base
There are few items worth keeping from this period, except for the examples of armor above. You will no longer find admantine and mithril (I can’t remember seeing any anyways) and the guild slot system went away with the release of Augments.
These are excellent low level gear. This is particularly more useful now with the new crafting system since all bound shards are BTA, not BTC. So you can make a few low level stuff and store when not in use. Guild augments are particularly good because you can slot things like 80 additional SP and it does not increase ML like with augments. Adamantine as you see here also add early blanket DR – which is terrific at low level. Combine this with twilight and invulnerability and you have super low end protection. Or maybe some acid/fire absorb – altho ship resist buffs should take care of most of it.
But the old system is not good for just armor – in some cases you will find special metal ones. This is true with the current system and even some rare augmented metal weapons, but these are now perfect foundations for great recipes. The current crafting system don’t scale well; so weapons are generally somewhat under powered – but it is great if you need a DR breaker, such as silver of pure good with bane or such.
Now you will be able to create functional well scaling weapons that are terrific for those one offs where you don’t have the perfect named item. Again, this is not unique to 1.0 – you’ll find these items in most of the different systems.
2.0 – weapons
When MotU dropped you could find more different unique combinations on items. Like the slice bleed low level stuff or the suns fury. This is an example of lower level gear with a festival frost on it.
There are of course much better examples like these. You could definitely put festival recipes from the winter games on 1.0 gear but it’s so much better on 2.0 weapons. Only one problem – most really good weapons from this period are BTCoE (bound to character on equip) so once you put it on that guy, it’s his/hers for good. You can’t add festival frost to crafted items. Don’t know why – it’s just one of those silly limitations I guess.
But it does add another dimension to low level weapons. I particularly like it on low level keen items. They usually drop around level 2 or so. Add festival burst to it and now you have a good source of early good DPS. But if you can only get one of those piercing bleed items, add frost and see the numbers roll in.
2.5 and 3.0 – Time to augment
Crafting wise this added some new life into low level stuff, but with one exception. Augments slots increase ML (but not when u32 drops). So if you have that low level feather falling that is normally level 1, you might end up increasing the level if you add it to something with a blue augment.
This was expanded on in Shadowfell with items now dropping multi colored augments (originally intended for named only) such as green slots. Also multi augment items.
What to keep in old items and old crafted stuff
First and foremost – low end items 10 and below are in general sharper than a lot of the new random and crafted items.
Ability is on par with todays items and if anything only 1 level behind. Such as +6 strength can be crafted right now as level 9 where in the new system it’ll be level 10.
That’s not such a big deal anyways; the benefit of the new system is that multiple effects don’t mess up the ML, so you might get that ability slightly earlier in the old crafting system but in the new you can then have 3 effects at level 10. Prefix, suffix and extra.
But there are some slight differences to note.
Alacrity items are capped in the old system compared to the new. Same with fortification.
Like this robe armor ML 6 or most other items at ML 7. You won’t be able to craft 100 percent until ML 17 in the new system. You can of course just make an item with a green or blue augment slot and put a heavy fort augment in it at level 8. That way you can easily use the strength of the new system and still benefit from fortification.
But there are other reasons such as alacrity mentioned and some absorb items.
As you notice these are very low level items. The flexible shards system allows you to put these very effects on many diverse slot types like belt, ring, cloak etc. Making it possible to fit in both ranged and melee alacrity and absotb of different types early on.
You won’t be able to craft a 10% melee alacrity in the new system until level 14 and only in a few select slots and level 27 for absorb (33%). Altho absorb is a little bit more flexible now that covers all elements.
But there’s another reason; flexibility of slot – touched on above in the example of cloaks and rings with absorb and alacrity – namely ability points and things like deadly.
As you can see here you with the ring and cloak, you can have a +4 Wis ring at ML 5. That’s not different from the new system. In fact the new system could make an even better ring. Such as Con of Dex, same strength, same ML. But as you notice – this is Wisdom. Thanks to the flexible shard. You can only do con, char and dex on rings. And only specific prefix and suffix. Int for example can be had on goggles, helmets and cloaks etc (where trinket can have anything) in the new system.
You can easily do an int ring today in the old crafting system.
The cloak is another example. You can’t find and craft deadly on cloaks in the new random or crafting system. So if you happen to have a lot of these deadly items you might want to hold onto it at least for slots where you can’t get them now.
Now deadly exist on a host of items including named. If anything that’s a fairly prolific item type. But having item flexibility is a good thing, particularly with the slightly more limited new system.
And that is of course why some lament the removal of the flexible shard; it allowed a lot of cool combinations.
As you can see from above there are lots of foundational items from the older item systems. Be it armor with Adamantine or rings and such with augment slots. And some items even have combos that you might not find on gear today.
Granted; a lot of the foundational items will most likely be crafted as low end and everything 15 above will be fresh from the latest system, but for everyone that want to do true heroic reincarnation this type of gear will feature prominently until the above 10 levels.
So now is the time to use your crafting and safeguard some of the flexibility before U32. That is why I spent this weekend making some rings, cloaks and such with absorb and alacrity, just so that if I need to run low end stuff, I have far more items to choose from. As I see it diversity is a good thing.