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Crafting Improvements in Free-to-Play

Written by Marc Chang on September 15, 2015

Hi there! I’m Marc “Tongbei” Chang, commonly referred to here at Carbine as “Tradeskill Guy.” Tradeskills have some new and exciting improvements coming in the WildStar: Reloaded free-to-play update, and I’m here to break down the changes to item crafting.

Weaponsmith, Armorer, Outfitter, and Tailor are the four tradeskills that use CBC (Circuit Board Crafting), and allow you to craft items with stats. Crafting in WildStar allows you to choose which stats you want on the gear you’re crafting, and even lets you take on additional risk to overcharge it—giving better than normal results for the stats provided. Although these core mechanics of CBC aren’t changing, sockets, charge, talents, power cores, and even schematics will all have new functionality to make CBC more intuitive and coherent.

Overall, our goal with tradeskills in the Free-to-Play update was to smartly integrate the new stat changes with the crafting system to keep it deep and rewarding, just not as complicated.

Stats

Crafting an item really starts with the stats. You want better stats so you can hit harder, heal better, or defend more… defensibly.

The stats on crafted items are changing to be in-line with the overall itemization changes we’re making. Speaking of which, you should definitely read about how stats are changing in the Deep Dive: Combat Stats article. Aside from the game-wide changes to stats, the main change for CBC is that now you’ll get to choose the stats you want on the items you craft. You can even put stats normally reserved for higher-level items on lower-level gear!

Now that Assault Power and Support Power are core stats, you’ll even get to decide which of the two you want. Or if you want both, decide how much of each; the closer you are to a 50/50 split, the more total Power you get.

Elements and Sockets

All of the stats have been connected to WildStar’s six elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Life, and Logic. For example, Critical Hit is a Fire stat, and Armor is an Earth stat. Circuit Board Sockets have also been connected to WildStar’s six elements. When you start a craft, all your stat sockets will have random elemental types. If you see a Fire socket you’ll be able to choose Critical Hit without penalty.

But what if you got a Water socket, and you really want Critical Hit? Well, go ahead and choose Critical Hit. You’ll just have a slightly higher failure chance when you craft. Every time you mismatch an element, your failure rate increases. It’s up to you to manage your own risk.

Charge

Once you’ve chosen which stats you want, it’s time to customize how powerful they are. If you leave a socket’s charge at zero, your item will be exactly as powerful as any non-crafted item would be. As you increase the charge of a socket, its stat becomes more and more powerful, and your failure rate increases proportionally. You can decrease the charge of a socket as well, which will lower your failure rate. Experiment with over- and under-charging different sockets to get the stats you want and a failure rate you’re comfortable with.

Keep in mind that there is a failure cap. Once your failure rate reaches this threshold, you cannot craft your item until it’s lowered back below the threshold. Crafting in WildStar is risk vs. reward, but we still need to manage how much of either are possible. There are however ways to alter those limitations.

Talents

With new socket and charge mechanics, you'll have a slew of new crafting talents to go along with them: Reduce mismatch penalties, reduce failure chance, increase failure cap, elemental socket filtering, reduce material cost, and more.

One of the talents increases the precision with which you can charge your sockets. The more points in this talent, the smaller your charge increments become, and the more fine-tuning control you’ll have.

Power Cores

When you’re choosing which power core to use in your craft, the level of the power core determines the level of your crafted item. If you have a level 50 schematic but use a level 15 power core, your item will still be level 15. Similarly, the required level of the power core determines the required level of the crafted item.

The quality of your power core is also used to determine your base success rate—a higher quality power core means a less chance of failure.

Schematics

If the power core determines the item level, what’s the point of using higher-level schematics? Well, the answer is twofold.

First, the level of the schematic determines the maximum allowable level of a power core. If you want to make a level 40 item (with a level 40 power core), the schematic must be at least level 40. You can craft and use higher-level schematics and create items for your lower-level character with a power core appropriate for your level, but the opposite isn’t true.

Second, the quality of the schematic will determine the quality of the item, and quality is important for rune slot count. Higher quality items get more rune slots, and more rune slots mean more stats!

Faster Crafting

One of the biggest pieces of feedback we received was players wanting the ability to craft quickly. “I just need to make a helm for my work order, and I don’t care what stats it has!” Well now all you have to do after you start a craft is choose your power core. All the sockets will be filled with random (but elementally matched) stats, free of charge. Since this gives you a starting failure chance of zero, you can simply hit the craft button to guarantee success. No fuss, no problem.

Tech Trees

Expect to see entirely new and simplified tech trees as you level up your tradeskill. Within each tradeskill tier there will be three grades of schematics: Training, Prototype, and Capstone. To reach the Capstone schematic, you only need to make the Training and Prototype version of the same item. No longer will you need to craft psyblades to make a better greatsword. Of course, to earn all of your talent points you’ll still need to fill out your tech tree.

Part of the simplification of the tech trees is that accessories (shields, weapon attachments, and support systems) are no longer craftable. The Weaponsmith makes all six weapons, and each of the armor tradeskills makes all six armor pieces for their weight class (Heavy, Medium, and Light). Maybe we’ll be able to find some other tradeskill to craft accessories in the future…

Materials

Both Mining and Survivalist resources have been revamped for a more consistent feel and benefit throughout all tiers. Cloth materials (used by the Tailor) are also collected by Survivalists now, and have common, uncommon, and rare grades within each tier.

The Momentum system for Survivalists has been removed, as have Carcasses. Both were designed for interesting gameplay but neither hit the mark. To replace them, we adjusted the overall drop rates for Survivalists, and we plan to add a new and more interesting gameplay system for Survalists in the future.

Crafting Vouchers

Each day you’ll be able to take on up to three work orders—quests that ask you to craft different items in your current tradeskill tier. The work orders are randomized, so you never know what you’re going to get, except that you’ll earn some sweet, sweet Crafting Vouchers at the end.

Exchange your Crafting Vouchers for new goodies such as updated materials bags, more efficient harvesting tools, gathering buffs, power cores, and Elder Game schematics!

Elder Game Crafting

Introducing a new tier of crafting: the Master tier! Here you’ll find schematics that match the levels of Veteran dungeons and raids. Before you can craft one of these powerful items, you’ll need to save up enough Crafting Vouchers to learn the schematic (don’t worry, you only have to learn it once). However, we don’t want everyone pumping out items of that caliber left and right, so these schematics also require a special type of Matrix material. Different Matrixes are found in their respective instances and are tradable, but be careful, because if you mismatch or overcharge your sockets you could lose all your materials—Matrix included.

Now that we have a Master tier, we’ve done away with the Expert Research tier. No more Eldan Data Fragments to worry about, and no more confusing single-use prototype schematics.

The Master Craftsman

So with all of these changes what happens to all of your old crafted gear? Well it’ll all be replaced with Master Craftsman Imprints. By bringing these to the Master Craftsman in the capital cities, you’ll be able to recraft them to take advantage of the new stats and element changes. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have the right tradeskill or talents, the Master Craftsman does it all for you. Just choose your stats and you’re done!

We hope you’re looking forward to the streamlined stat and crafting experience as much as we are. If you’re already in the closed beta be sure to check them out, and if you’re not you can sign up right here. Also be sure to check out some of our other recent articles, like how we’re improving runes, making loot drops better, and smoothing out the first few levels.

See you at the crafting table!

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