With Update 2.46, we plan on introducing several modifications to make it easier to obtain equipment (hats, boots, etc.).
Gains to character experience have gradually increased over the various updates (via challenges, achievements, idols, secondary character bonuses, faster fights, modular dungeons, stars on monsters, capturing and fighting monsters in arenas, etc.)
Characters are gaining levels more rapidly than a few years ago, but proportionally, we don't think they are replacing their low-level and mid-level equipment fast enough (despite the introduction of many mechanics to increase loot drops over the various updates). This encourages players to keep the same equipment for too long, whereas we'd like them to take advantage of the wide variety of equipment available in all level brackets more easily.
These are our main objectives:
Make it easier to acquire and renew low-level and mid-level equipment;
Allow for better synchronization between low-level and mid-level equipment renewal and character leveling up;
Reduce the number of fights required to craft equipment;
Balance the various low-level and mid-level equipment bonuses in order to increase the choice of viable equipment available; and
Maintain a high level of equipment destruction by generating Smithmagic rune.
Equipment recipes (excluding trophies and shields) up to level 100 have been simplified and harmonized. Our goal is to offer low- and mid-level recipes that are faster to craft.
In parallel, this change will simplify profession progression for low-level and mid-level equipment crafting.
In the longer term, we intend to review some of the level 100+ equipment recipes. We think that recipes for very high-level equipment are generally satisfactory, so it's unlikely they'll be simplified or modified to any significant degree.
RESOURCE DROP RATES
There will be a higher probability of obtaining resources from monsters (mainly low-level and mid-level ones) in order to reduce the number of fights required to craft equipment.
For example, common resources (currently 10% drop rate) will now have a 50% drop rate for level-1 monsters, 30% for level-100 monsters, and 10% for level-200 monsters. This will make it easier to obtain resources at low and intermediate levels when characters cannot easily acquire many loot bonuses.
PROGRESSION FOR HARVESTING PROFESSIONS
Progression for harvesting professions has been improved: The experience gained from harvesting has been doubled in order to speed up access to more harvestable resources.
The changes we are making have given us the opportunity to balance the power of items up to level 100. In most cases, we have increased the power of items that are too weak and reduced the randomness between minimum and maximum bonus values. Certain effects have been added or improved, while others have simply been replaced.
These changes are not retroactive: You need to use Smithmagic runes or New Leaf Orbs on modified items crafted before Update 2.46.
SMITHMAGIC RUNE GENERATION
Smithmagic rune generation is currently 10% higher overall than destruction.
In version 2.46, we decided to reduce Smithmagic rune generation by 20% in order to reduce this discrepancy between generation and destruction, and also to compensate for simpler recipes and increased resource drop rates.
It will be easier to produce low-level and mid-level items, so it will be easier to produce Smithmagic runes.
We think the price of Smithmagic runes is very low overall, and we plan on gradually reducing Smithmagic rune generation in future updates if it may have a positive effect on item and resource destruction.
However, we don't know what balance might be found with the price of Smithmagic runes. Some players are limited by the budget they are willing to invest in item Smithmagic, while others adjust the budget they are prepared to invest in Smithmagic based on their objectives. These two approaches to Smithmagic have different effects on the rune market, and we cannot assume that a X% decrease in Smithmagic rune generation will translate into a X% increase in the price of Smithmagic runes.
We will probably have to iterate to achieve the right balance.
Smithmagic rune generation is one of the main sources of item destruction (and therefore resources), so we think it's important to use this as leverage to increase or maintain sufficient usefulness and value for all resources and items.