Since posting our Devblog article on Enchantment and deploying the ALPHA version of Enchantment, we've paid very close attention to all of your feedback. Now it's time to share our feedback with you!

You shared an enormous number of your reactions with us, and we chose to focus on the points that stirred up the most debate:

  • Too much emphasis on randomness.
  • The difficulty of achieving perfect optimization.
  • The excessive cost of attempts to modify an item.
  • The risk of regression (example: an item losing a socket).
  • Concern about having less powerful characters in version 1.64.
  • Potential loss of investment in equipment optimization.
  • The complexity of the Enchantment system.

We've been working to find solutions and compromises that attempt to respond to these concerns without abandoning the goals we've set for the Enchantment system.

Summary of planned modifications

  • The number of sockets on an item can no longer be reduced.
  • When changing the color or order of sockets, the result will always be different from the previous one.
  • The cost of modifying an item's sockets (number, color, order) has been significantly reduced (divided by 5).
  • Items acquired before version 1.64 will have at least 2 sockets when version 1.64 is released. (Not possible due to technical limitations)
  • Items acquired before version 1.64 will be able to keep their Smithmagic bonuses as long as they have not been identified.

Details of planned modifications

The following modifications are still under development, and will be progressively deployed in the ALPHA version.

No regression

The number of sockets on an item can no longer be reduced.

When attempting to modify the number of sockets, there will be only 2 possible outcomes:

  • The number of sockets does not change.
  • The number of sockets is increased.

When modifying the number of sockets, the colors of the existing sockets will no longer change, in order to encourage players to increase the number of sockets without running the risk of changing the colors of existing sockets.

Purpose: these changes reduce the risk of "bad luck" and random negative results by ensuring that the modified item cannot become worse after attempting to change the number of sockets.

Attempted modifications always change something

When modifying the colors or order of sockets, it will no longer be possible to obtain the same result as you started with; the color or the order of the sockets will always be modified.

Purpose: this change reduces the risk of "bad luck" and random negative results by ensuring that the item will always be modified when the player attempts to modify the color or order of the sockets.

Reduction of the cost needed to modify an item

When an item is sacrificed, it will add 5 modification charges to the main item which can be used to modify the number, color or order of the sockets.

Purpose: we want to significantly reduce the cost of using Enchantment. With this modification, we have divided its cost by 5.

In our initial proposal (presented in the Devblog article about Enchantment), we mentioned the possibility of maintaining the state of an item's sockets when increasing its rarity through crafting.

We soon realized that this approach was much too permissive, and that it made the option of modifying a high-rarity item's sockets totally obsolete in comparison.

We therefore decided not to maintain the state of an item's sockets when increasing its rarity, but in exchange, we have substantially reduced the cost of modifying its sockets (by dividing it by 5 as explained above).

We studied a very large number of potential modifications to try and save the idea of maintaining the state of an item's sockets, but we came to the conclusion that this goal was simply not compatible with our desire to index the difficulty of Enchantment to the item's rarity.

In addition, not all items have low-rarity versions, which introduced a serious imbalance between items that were supposed to be balanced with respect to one another.

For example, a legendary item A with a common version could become far easier to enchant than a legendary item B with no common version.

We don't want to limit the number of viable items for players; on the contrary, we want to increase the number of items that are interesting and worthwhile to use.

Ability to keep the bonuses of old smithmaged items

We have already partially announced this change, but we want to provide a few more details.

When version 1.64 is released, characters' previously-acquired equipment will be unidentified, and players will be able to equip them while keeping all of their old bonuses (i.e. the ones provided by the Smithmagic Runes).

Purpose: we want to allow you to transition to the new Enchantment system at your own pace. We want to give you the option of keeping the same equipment between versions 1.63 and 1.64 (even though we believe that the possibilities available in version 1.64 will allow you to become much more powerful).

Minimum of 2 sockets for items acquired before version 1.64

Not possible due to technical limitations
All items acquired before version 1.64 will have at least 2 sockets when version 1.64 is released.

Purpose: we want to minimize the risk that players will be "unlucky" enough to wind up with an average of less than 2 sockets on their old items.


Q & A

Why use a randomized system instead of a deterministic one?

We don't have a specific preference for random or deterministic systems; we feel that both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses.

It's a matter of using them both wisely for the right functions and in the right contexts.

We chose to use random mechanisms in Enchantment for the following reasons:

  • The game already includes many deterministic mechanisms (in item acquisition, for example), and we want to offer a different experience with Enchantment.
  • Players currently have a very high degree of control over their optimization goals, and can achieve them in a deterministic way.
  • We want to add another, complementary approach, one which consists of making each gaming experience different by asking players to work with what the game offers up to them. Rather than choosing a single maximum optimization (with access to all the available possibilities) and committing to achieving it, we want some players to adapt to unique and different contexts over time (i.e. the combinations of sockets, colors and orders that the game will offer them), while also giving you the possibility to invest resources (items, kamas etc.) to modify those contexts.
  • Determinism generally involves more complexity in the interface and the in-game experience, since it requires showing players (through gauges, counters etc.) an exact state of progression, such as when the next deterministic event will be triggered.
  • Trading allows players to circumvent the random aspect of Enchantment.
  • Over time, the effects of good and bad luck are smoothed out with an increasing number of Enchantment attempts.
  • We want to propose objectives that are theoretically accessible but statistically improbable. There is no guarantee that players will be able to achieve these objectives, but the possibility of achieving them is always there. This approach is very difficult to accomplish with a deterministic system.
  • Determinism prevents us from offering extremely rare events, and we believe that the game will be more interesting with the possibility of creating unique and unbelievably rare items.
  • The very large number of choices offered by the Enchantment system make it possible to circumvent a significant portion of the randomness. Each socket color and each possible order has its own use and its own potential. It's not easy to do exactly what you want, but it's very straightforward to do something effective and well-optimized with whatever context the game presents to you.

These reasons don't mean that a deterministic Enchantment system would necessarily be bad, but we decided that a deterministic Enchantment system would not allow us to achieve the objectives that seem important to us in terms of gameplay and functionality.

Why not use shards to modify equipment (instead of sacrificing an identical item)?

We want the difficulty of enchanting an item to depend directly on its availability.

We want this difficulty to be completely dynamic, and we want it to adapt to the supply and demand associated with each piece of equipment.

The only way to ensure this behavior is to require players to sacrifice an identical item.

In addition, we want optimizing a particular piece of equipment to require playing the content that generates that equipment.

For example, we don't want players to be able to optimize an item from Nogord by attacking huge numbers of Gobballs.

There will still be a small part of our content (dungeons, areas, etc.) that's optimal for generating equipment (and therefore shards), but we don't want players to concentrate exclusively on this small part of the content to optimize their equipment.

We believe that it's much healthier and more interesting in the long term to give players an incentive to play a diverse range of content.

Why is maximum character optimization becoming more difficult in version 1.64?

For a given level of power, character optimization is actually becoming easier in version 1.64.

Reaching the maximum optimization for a character will be more difficult in version 1.64 because the new system will allow you to develop considerably more powerful and specialized characters.
We think that this additional power should require a greater investment on the player's part.

Why does the difficulty of enchanting an item depend on its rarity?

Indexing the difficulty of enchanting an item to its rarity makes highly accessible items more attractive to work with because they are easier to optimize. It will potentially make these items more competitive with rarer items.

Conversely, rarer items will be more difficult to optimize and will not necessarily always surpass more common items (for a given amount of investment).

This approach will allow us to expand the viable equipment and optimization choices considerably, while also increasing the value of currently neglected items and creating very rare items of potentially even greater value.

This also makes Enchantment very accessible for players who want to check out the feature or who have a limited "budget" to optimize their equipment.

How do I max out optimization on equipment that's harder to acquire?

In the Enchantment system we're proposing, players are not supposed to maximize every single one of their enchantments.

It's still a theoretical possibility, but we think each player should set their own objectives here.

No part of the in-game content will require you to achieve the "ultimate" optimization of your enchantments.

The choice we're offering players comes down to finding the ideal sweet spot between the power of their items and the difficulty of enchanting them.

This choice is different for each player, and can change over time.

Rather than proposing a single optimal target, we're offering a very large number of possible optimization goals, some of which are probably inaccessible in the short term but potentially achievable over a much longer period.

Will my character become less powerful in version 1.64?

Your character will not become less powerful in version 1.64.

You'll be able to keep the same equipment as in version 1.63, and you can decide for each item when you want to switch it over to the new Enchantment system.

For a given level of investment, the new Enchantment system offers a wider range of possibilities and greater power.

Items will have 2 sockets on average, and will allow you to choose effects that add more power than the old Smithmagic runes.

Will the investment I've put into my equipment be lost in version 1.64?

Your investment will not be lost in version 1.64.

You'll be able to keep the same equipment as in version 1.63, and you can decide for each item when you want to switch it over to the new Enchantment system.

All optimizations (Smithmagic runes, powders, Smithmagic hammers, metamorphos, metamorfrags, exquisite runes, epic runes, relic runes, etc.) can be converted to their equivalents in the new Enchantment system with no loss of value.

This is true of all optimizations, whether they have already been applied to your items or have not been applied yet (appearing as items in your inventory).

Is the new Enchantment system more complicated than the old Smithmagic system?

We think that Enchantment offers a considerably better ratio of depth to complexity than Smithmagic.

This is a new feature, and it's normal for there to be a learning curve.

We believe that once people have gone through the learning stage, they'll find Enchantment to be much more accessible than Smithmagic is.

Nevertheless, we will make every effort to continue improving the interfaces and explanations provided for Enchantment.

Thanks for all of your feedback. We're happy to see how important the game and its ongoing development are to you. We'll continue to pay close attention to your reactions.