First, what are the overall goals here?
- to make transmuting less painful to level up, it should be about on a similar difficulty level as tinkering in terms of speed and expense
- to make transmuting products more useful and better distributed in terms of which stats on what slot and what rarity
- to make it less confusing for adventurers to figure out how to get adornments made and who to go to
- to make it less confusing for crafters to learn how to be transmuters
So, what are the problems with the current system that need to be addressed in order to meet these goals? In no particular order, here are the complaints I've seen most in game and in this forum:
- The first recipes you get are red difficulty, which can be scary to beginner transmuters.
- It is annoying to not be able to break down components above your transmuting level. It is confusing and unintuitive that you only get transmuting skill-ups from breaking stuff down up to skill 100.
- Transmuters don’t get the majority of the adornment recipes, or even the best ones consistently. It is ununtuitive which class gets which recipe.
- The RNG can mean long streaks of no skill ups when making adornments, which is frustrating.
- Higher level recipes require huge numbers of components, which gets very expensive.
- There are not enough items readily available to break down to produce all the components you need.
- The availability of different components is imbalanced (e.g. some levels you have hundreds of fragments but no powders).
- The adornments available are inconsistent, lacking in many slots, and very mixed desirability (some overpowered, some stupidly useless).
And here are some proposed solutions to each of the above points. Once again, these are still under consideration, not yet set in stone.
- Levels of the first recipes will be adjusted down a bit so there are at least a couple yellow or white.
- We will separate the "transmuting" (breaking stuff down) skill from the "adorning" (making adornments) skill. The transmuting (breaking stuff down) skill will be granted when you choose to become a transmuter, and will level up to max from breaking stuff down, just like mining rocks levels you up in your mining skill. Adorning (making adornments) will skill up separately and will only level up by making adornments, just like making armor levels up your armoring. The breaking-stuff-down skill will level up as fast as any other harvest skill as you break stuff down. The adorning skill will level up similarly to tinkering speed. This point is probably the biggest change, but seems to make the most sense as this makes the transmuting system consistent with our other systems, as breaking stuff down has always been intended to be the "harvesting" skill for the transmuter, and making adornments their primary function. This will also allow people to break stuff down even if they're not interested in levelling up in adornment making, which should make components more available on the broker, since everyone could learn to break down their own attuned old gear.
- Transmuters will get all adornment recipes. At the same time, we will allow anybody to become a transmuter, even if they are already a tinkerer, so that any class that loses the ability to make adornments will be able to get it again if they wish. Nobody will therefore permanently lose the ability to make adornments. The adornment recipes will be all new ones, the old ones will be removed entirely as we don’t want to support two separate systems.
- The frustration in leveling transmuting at present mainly arises from the difficulty in obtaining components. Adorning skill levels up at the same speed as tinkering, and if we correctly address the lack of availability of components, it should be equivalent, and much less frustrating. However, we could tweak this curve a little for both if necessary - probably a subject for discussion during beta.
- The number of items required will be fixed across all levels. So if a level 5 item might require 3 fragments, 2 powders, and 1 infusion, the equivalent level 85 item will also require 3 fragments, 2 powders, and 1 infusion.
- We will address the shortage of items in a number of ways. See #5 - reducing the numbers of items required so that you don’t need as many. And see #2 - more people able to transmute will also reduce the cost of the components on the broker, and make more items available as people not interested in making adornments can still break down their old gear. We will also make more transmutable items available if necessary, one option we are considering is to make some of the items that are discovered from scrying stones transmutable.
- We will add recipes to convert a number of lower rarity items (e.g. fragments) into fewer higher rarity items of the same level (e.g. powders). Note: this will only work within a level range, you will not be able to convert lower level items to higher level items.
- This will be addressed separately with a complete revision of which adornments are available with which stats. This is a different discussion; more on this at a later date.
If you've read this far, you probably have some opinions already, so please take your time to think them through and post any feedback (positive or negative) in this thread. If you don't like the ideas, it would be helpful if you can explain why and what a better solution would be, of course!
Edit to add a couple answers posted later in the thread: To answer a couple of the questions raised: Yes, if we do this the intention is that existing transmuters would maintain their current skill level. So a 350 transmuter now would end up with 350 transmuting and adorning skill. Yes, it is intended you can both tinker and make adornments. Yes, we can look at automatically granting you the tradeskill arts when you sign up to be a transmuter (or tinkerer). Yes, we can look at having a less annoying spell effect when you break stuff down.
Edit to add a couple answers posted later in the thread:
To answer a couple of the questions raised:
Yes, if we do this the intention is that existing transmuters would maintain their current skill level. So a 350 transmuter now would end up with 350 transmuting and adorning skill.
Yes, it is intended you can both tinker and make adornments.
Yes, we can look at automatically granting you the tradeskill arts when you sign up to be a transmuter (or tinkerer).
Yes, we can look at having a less annoying spell effect when you break stuff down.
This will definitely be something to think about. I may even have to try to get into the expansion beta or get onto the test server just to see how this will work. As a level 400 transmuter I've got a pretty big stake in this.