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A few weeks ago, a new change appeared on the Beta server: the mysterious "uncapping of profession levels". Would you like to know more? In that case, you're in luck! [Siu] is dying to tell you all about it! And it goes without saying that this change brings with it some pretty big consequences...

What does it entail exactly? What are your intentions?

Warning: crafting isn't exactly being revamped. The aim of this change is to better organize the harvesting and recipe levels. For a long time now, we've been noticing that level "100" recipes were building up. We were finding it increasingly inconsistent that players were unlocking such a large number of recipes as soon as they reached level 100, so we wanted to split them up consistently and progressively so that craftsmen unlock equally interesting recipes on a regular basis, regardless of their profession.

This change obviously isn't being introduced into the game on the spur of the moment. We've spent the last few months working on ways to make getting items a more enjoyable task. We began with Astrub, bringing environmental quests, the first few profession levels and archmonster and dominant monster mechanics up to date, then we moved on to updating tokens, secure crafting and new Zinit zones.

We're really fond of crafting, so we'd like to use it to create a fluid rewards system. Our end goal is to make getting items accessible to everyone, with professions forming a bridge between the various methods of item obtention in-game, so that being a good craftsman is both interesting and worthwhile.

How high will the new professions levels go?

We're unlocking the maximum profession level and, at the same time, are adding new higher-level recipes and harvests:

  • The last harvests will be level 125 and will be used to make end-game equipment of levels 186-200
  • The last recipes will be level 130 and can be used to craft end-game equipment of level 200.

But the max. level won't be 125 or 130. You will still be able to XP your professions beyond this to continue to reduce harvesting time, for prestige, and to prove your investment and your length of service in your profession.

We decided on this exact number of levels because the game is naturally split into 13 level groups, each with 15 levels. We have around 26 resources in each profession which, once again, is perfect for creating something simple and effective: one resource every 5 levels and 2 resources each profession for refinement or components per level group. Crafting professions then simply followed this logic.

Level 100+, but also level -100!

Very-high-level content might be one of our objectives, but we haven't lost sight of everything else. We can use these level groups to clean up the whole profession system.

In fact, levels have been lowered for most of the recipes. Unlike before, when you needed to reach the maximum profession level to craft level 100+ items, you can now craft all items of level 155 and below BEFORE level 100.

This change will be implemented alongside the arrival of a new component or refinement every 10 profession levels. This may seem trivial, but it changes the way your professions gain XP. Advancing such and such a profession will no longer seem like a chore due to a lack of recipes in certain brackets. You will now have a simple and profitable recipe in all brackets, with no gaps.

We would also like to increase experience earned in all professions to get a fast and healthy progress curve that follows your character's progression. Which brings us to the following point:

Will there be an automatic boost for level 100 craftsmen at the time of the update?

In reality, we're increasing the maximum level. By uncapping it, we can add new "VHL" recipes on Zinit, with a new level progress cap to be exceeded during the update. Nevertheless, these new recipes only concern levels 120+.

We have therefore taken this opportunity to review the professions experience curve, as follows:

Of course, the levels of all your professions will be automatically adapted to this new curve during the next update. For example, if your handyman profession is at level 100, it will jump to level 115 when you next log in! Likewise, a level 35 Farmer will move up to level 40, etc.

You don't have to worry about book achievements either. They can be correctly validated, even if your level conversion takes you above level 100.

But you will need to get experience to perform the "Zinit 2" recipes.
 

What about craftsman seals?

Masters' Seals (level 100 in crafting professions) can now be obtained at level 60. As before, you'll need to talk to a Master Craftsman once you've reached the level needed to get the Seal. We have also added new special recipes so that all level 60 craftsmen can create new Masters' Seals.

For the time being, you'll still need to reach level 100 to get the Seal of Companionship in the 6 harvesting professions. It can still be recovered from Croesus Scruge (Astrub Mountains CM) for a sum of kamas, if you've had the misfortune to misplace it.

In the long term, we would like to review these unique items to turn them into interesting and significant stages, but that will be for a future update.

How does the equipment improvement system work? What does it do?

All items will have new rarities and you will be able to improve them through crafting, right up to "legendary" stage. Of course, if you already have a legendary item, it will remain that way!

For example, you will be able to drop common rarity items with insignificant characteristics on monsters you're fighting, but with the new improvement recipes, these items will increase in rarity and their characteristics will also be improved accordingly!

To improve an item up to legendary rarity, you'll need to complete various tasks to gather the materials needed to craft the recipes. You can get them from environmental quests, dungeons, repeatable quests, item recycling, resource harvesting and the creation of refinements, etc...

This new improvement system has three advantages:

  1. More fluid progress that is less dependent on luck, with regular improvements that give you a better sense that your characters are evolving.
  2. Added value for the various activities. Whether you prefer dungeons, working on your professions, completing quests, or even tackling the most complicated achievements, all activities are now fun and profitable!
  3. Depth added to the game and greater "item building" since all items in the final third (legendary) of each group are of the same level and have characteristics that are equally interesting.
 
Once again, this change won't be arriving on its own. We've taken a look at loot rates for all items and resources in the zones in question to make sure they're consistent, as well as dungeon machines that are being upgraded to the new model.
 
 

Will this improvement system only be found on Mount Zinit?

The second part of Mount Zinit is part of the continuity with Astrub and the new Zinit 1 content. But other zones will also undergo some pretty big changes to tie all the "Very-High-Level" content together and help you along with your rise in power in these new stages:

  • Group 156-170: Past and Present Xelorium, Kali's Henchmen and Steel Beak.
  • Group 171-185: Moon Island.

We'll be moving all equipment from these areas over to the new improvement model. This means that the way you get them is going to change, as will their levels. Likewise, these zones will be getting new environmental quests, etc.

Remember that legendary items are always at the top level for their group (170 and 185 respectively here). As some Moon equipment items were level 170, 180, 190 or 195 before the update, they will go to 185 in order to fit the new model and their characteristics will be balanced accordingly. This will also be the case for Xelorium and Steel Beak items.
 

What will happen to the profession blueprints on Moon Island?

With regards to the blueprints, we've decided to completely change the way you get them. Originally, you were supposed to get Moon Island blueprints from ecosystem fights. This is why they can all be dropped by environmental quest monsters at an upwardly-revised rate, in addition to the traditional Souper-Glou. Classic EQ monsters, night monsters, invasion monsters, dominant monsters and archmonsters will be rewarding in a number of ways!

The role of these blueprints in the new model is to set aside one or two essential items for the optimization of a specific build type. On Zinit 2, healers will have to find the craftsman with the "Healer" blueprint to fully complete their specialization. All while maintaining the intention of rare blueprints which are firmly anchored in the professions and trade cycle or, in other words, the life of a craftsman in game.
 

What are we losing with all these changes?

The aim of these changes isn't to take anything away from you. This is why most of your resources will be automatically converted into new resources with a new level. As for the ones that are disappearing, you will still have to convert your piles of items (in just one click) to a resource with a level that is perfectly equivalent under the new system.

Your rare, mythical and legendary equipment will still retain the same level of rarity after the update. The only things that will change are the way you get them and their level. Alongside this change during the update, we have put together a little kit to give you a helping hand temporarily.
 

Towards the Future

Improvements are still planned for the crafting system and will come later on. We are planning to develop this new crafting system, which goes hand-in-hand with the new "Astrub Model" across the game.

Fights will be more dynamic and varied, loot rates will be reviewed to establish a progressive reward system and dungeons will be balanced over the course of the updates, amongst other things, like an ecosystem that plays a greater role in a player's progress through environmental quests, which we're going to be make even richer and more fun...

Finally, the nations revamp is underway. It's fast approaching and will take better advantage of this new distribution of professions.

All we can tell you at the moment is that we would like to give nations a greater presence throughout the player's progress. The player should feel connected to these archipelagos, which will be enriched with resources of far more varied levels starting from the next update! It's no longer a question of your favorite nation being a mere springboard for the early levels. To progress, craftsmen will need to travel through the world to harvest resources that can only be found on islands (Forfut, Kelba, Moon, etc.) and return to the nation's zones to harvest resources in almost all level groups.

Finally, we'll leave you will this little reference table with the profession levels and what they correspond with.
 

Name of component or refinement Profession Lvl Item Lvl
Coarse 0 - 10 6 - 20
Basic 10 - 20 21 - 35
Imperfect 20 - 30 36 - 50
Fragile 30 - 40 51 - 65
Rustic 40 - 50 66 - 80
Crude 50 - 60 81 - 95
Solid 60 - 70 96 - 110
Durable 70 - 80 111 - 125
Refined 80 - 90 126 - 140
Precious 90 - 100 141 - 155
Exquisite 100 - 110 156 - 170
Mystical 110 - 120 171 - 185
Eternal 120 - 130 186 - 200

[Siu]
"See you".