I keep talking about crafting 1.0 and random loot 3.0.

So I figured I should explain a little better what I talk about.

For me these different system have gone through significant changes at time. Some times only incremental and other times in a major way.

Take random loot.

Up until MotU it was more or less the same type of system with the same type of effects. Even when crafting was introduced. It’s true that crafting in itself have not evolved as much as random loot and that is why crafting (at least in my mind) is only considered 3.0 where as random loot is at 4.0 or if you like even 5.0

So let me explain since my last post had a rundown of stuff to keep.

1.0 both for random and for crafting exist in the space before MotU. There were no significant changes to loot itself and only marginally addressed as such. Both had the same similar effects and due to some wonkiness with crafting power, crafting in itself didn’t scale well in above 10ish. So if you wonder why it seems like fairly simple recipes seems extremely expensive it is because once you starting adding multiple effects, the ML increased dramatically.

Random loot on the other hand just felt broken. You had low end stats with high end skills for level 13-15 items that were useless other than a change in (say for spot or disable device).

With the release of MotU random loot ended up changing in a major way while crafting entered 2.0 and staid there for the longest time. You can call it 1.5 if you like, making the new one 2.0 – but I prefer to see it as a whole new ball game. Partly because flexible shards is a major update to the utility of the shards and did genuinely extend the life of the system – even into above 20. Not so much a lot of the gear, but certainly for the things I mentioned such as alacrity and absorb.

Random loot however first entered a 2.0-2.5 with the introduction of a whole new system of gear with expanded new effects and with 2.5 adding augments to them. Functionally nothing changed – a few more recipes were added and augments didn’t change the effects offered, only the removal of the guild slot system and replacing it with augments.

Augments are a major change for sure, but it was just as much a major change to the philosophy of named items as it was a good addition to random gear.

Meanwhile crafting remained set with the same effects as before and nothing new added as per the new 2.0-2.5 system. Only difference is that you can disjunct augmented gear and have the augment remain on the item. This however added a wrinkle to crafting that more or less killed its viability. Augments raise the ML – the better or more augments you have, the higher the increase. 2 for example – say a yellow and colorless increase the ML with 5. That’s a pretty steep increase for a crafting system that is only functionally useful in the first 10-12 levels. And only as a change in for things like absorb after that. But even with the introduction of the augment system crafting remained pretty much solid with the same recipes.

By the time Shadowfell dropped and Random loot changed dramatically to 3.0 crafting is pretty much dead. You can make the argument that it’s still viable in the low end and I do believe I made some of that argument in my last post, but the changes over time haven’t exactly left crafting with much breathing room.

Shadowfell had a lot of flaws – it’s clear now by the storm of complaints with the removal of so many recipes and the sameness of effects that dropped. It was almost like going back to random loot 3.0 but with a lot more powerful effects. Little diversity, a few great items that completely overshadowed similar named items, buta majority of them lackluster and useless. It was like the golden period of Post MotU had ran into the hangover of post Shadowfell.

Random 4.0 and now Crafting 3.0 are a completely whole new diverse system with a new way of looking at gear generation. Crafting is once more back in sync with random loot with almost all the general recipes and effect that you can find on random and only with some differences.

Random can be more powerful and have a few unique effects that are more powerful such as draining and disruption and such where as crafting is more average, you can make the exact item you want (given the limitations) and with a few unique effects as well.

This is also a much better unified view overall when it comes to loot. It used to be more of a push pull relationship throughout the increase from 20 to now 30 and the different systems that stretched beyond it’s limit. The new system is very much like the metric system.

You have level 1 to 30 and now the incremental power increase stretch from 1 to 30 unlike before when so many effects were either static (like absorb) or capped at a certain point (such as striding and stats). The old system had severe limitations. Spell power capped at 120 even in the increase post MotU and stats were artificially stretched as well as weapon effects. Stats had before MotU capped around 10. A few old Epic items had 7 as stat, but many of them still dropped as 6. In the entire cap between 20 and 25 stats only increased 2 points to 8.

I know that some have complained about the ‘power increase’ with Shadowfell where stat items with 8 started dropping at 15 instead, but it was clear that items had to ‘stretch’ a little better to make sense.

Post MotU weapon effects got elaborate unique and rare permutations such as suns fury, but all it did was to add several effects together – it was still flaming, burst and maybe a proc. And as the level cap increased it was clear that the single flaming 1d6 and multi die burst had to change.

Shadowfell did that – it was really a logical step to remove the limitations and add a level progression in a natural way; but at the same time they removed so many recipes that the few that were left created a lot of boring flaming of whatever stuff with increased damage die.

Random (and crafting) 4.0 adds more effects to the pot, but in a way that the ML of the item increases most powers in natural steps. All effects except a few like sacred and waterbreathing etc now increase incrementally from 1 to 15. It seems the natural stat for level 30 is 13 with some power level stuff going as high as 17 (or more perhaps – my best is 16).

This makes a more natural curve of items. That’s even true with alacrity that starts low and don’t hit 10% until 14, or fortification that won’t hit 100 until 17 where as it was relatively low level before.

That makes it possible to create items with increased power over the entire level span, and it’s even true with named gear.

So when I mentioned the philosophy now spanning random crafting and named, random becomes the possible powerful item combo that can outshine crafted and named at specific ML. Random adding the sold whatever you need it to be and named with multi effects that might have more unique permutations that you can’t find on anything else.

Named items are finally on par with random and crafted and why we see more really powerful things but not always the best stat at a given level.

And that is where slavers fit in nicely. Slavers promises to be the green steel we never really got; a crafting system for named gear and for legendary upper end runs. A system where you craft the ‘perfect’ item and then add a set bonus to complete that end cap gear and you use random and crafted gear to fill in the rest of the slots.

The best part is of course that the new random and crafted system is a lot more flexible and adaptive to new permutations. If Turbine want to add in more interesting effects the foundation is already set.

Severlin recently said in an interview on DDocast that they want to do something with the augment system as well, by making it similarly flexible so they can add more interesting effects. The current system is too limiting and a legacy of the ad hoc of prior systems.

That sounds great to me – being able to have more diverse augments simply add to the over all features of all systems. And it would add a tremendous flexibility without always making things ultimately more powerful.

Lets just hope that Turbine match that with some increased difficulty settings on the high end quests just to add more challenge (or maybe smarter enemies) with all the increase in gear power.


/rant off.


One thought on “Timelines

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