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I have seen numerous "New" crafting ideas about merging items. The one problem I see with it is it doesn't seem to fix the problem of making people want to make more items while crafting.
I see another problem, we have a good span of Legendary weapons ard armor at lower levels some of them look nice or have an interesting effect. The problem with this is that these items are, low level. Thus not usable at higher levels.
Another problem I noticed is that at higher levels 2h weapons [Skorn] aside, tend to fall by the way side due to being... well kinda bad compared to alternatives. Understandably so in some regard, which is more fair someone needing to get 2 great drops to match with someone who got 1 great drop?
My proposed solution is to make a time investment for the player with 1 or 2 new artisans. Basically under the new system the new artisan would be able to take a piece of gear and randomly extract an effect from it. There is a 1 in 10 chance of any specific effect being removed, if the item has 10 removable effects then one of them (non-specific, just a random effect) gets removed into an "extract". If no effect can be removed then the item is simply lost. Any non-legendary special slot only effect can be done this way, except sockets.
"Extracts" can be merged with other "extracts" of the same type to push the effect up, so say Life on hit, you could eventually merge enough Life on hit Extracts until you push it to the maximum possible. However each one would have an item level and as such a required character level to use.
The Blacksmith gets a new type of item to make which starts the process of using extracts. It is an account bound custom. It has two special features, its ilevel can be upgraded in grades of 10 thus boasting what it can accept, plus a quality level which ranges from 1 to 6, with 6 allowing for 6 extracts to be added.
They are expensive and require a lot of input (Crafting mats we currently get salvaging, say a full stack each of both common and rare per 10 levels) to upgrade. Thus you can make one for a low level and upgrade it as you go. This should also work for legends so we can have more varity at level 60, but any upgraded legend should be account bound. to prevent AH confusion.
The artisan that makes the extracts requires a number of firey brimstones to enhance its magical quality to allow for more extracts to be applied.
Reason for the logic: right now we are at the position that the AH is currently the best source of great gear, so much so that crafting it ourselves is becomming an increasing waste until we get the better recipies as drops. This would allow for someone who is trying to avoid the AH to grind a better set of gear with minimal waste.
From an AH stand point item prices will generally fall over all and item turnover would increase as the best gear is more within reach and people might not want to waste so much for the legends and set items. but any item with an effect, essentially any magical item, would have some value.
Initally a lot of gold will pump into the AH as people with lots of money start making such gear as its a way to get good stats with minimal chance of fail, however with all the investment they do to get such items it will slowly grind out the AH and devalue the high priced comodities. As such these items will drop in gold price. We would also see a short spike in low level items as these are changeing hands quickly and destroyed. Since the items are being bought to be destroyed more gold is being spread out so as such the wealth is now being shared. and then subsiquently used to grind up their gear.
As to Sockets, well If one of the "Magical slots" could somehow be used by an artisan to add the socket it could still work.
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