Open Beta Feedback Deep Dive: Crafting and Upgrading
One of the major areas of feedback we received during our betas was regarding our crafting system. We at Round 8 believe that crafting is an integral part of Bless Unleashed. It should provide the most reliable path to produce high quality weapons and equipment for a player’s character. The changes we’re making to crafting and upgrading are intended to make this system more interesting and accessible, and allow players to achieve greater results in the crafting system.
During the open beta, much of the feedback we received was in relation to the availability of materials, a lack of useful recipes, and lots of feedback regarding the difficulty of upgrading items, especially once an item reaches rare, or blue grade. We want to take some time to address each of these points today.
The Bare Necessities
We received some feedback about the availability of gathering nodes in the field. Players had to compete too much for these, and Round 8 wants to make some changes to help improve this experience.
In later areas of the game, there are special areas where gathering and mining nodes spawn more frequently than other areas. To help increase the availability of crafting materials to the lower levels, we’ll be introducing more normal gatherable nodes to the beginning of the game. Our hope is that by increasing the availability of nodes in the beginning areas of the game, players will be able to level their crafting skills quickly.
We also received feedback that crafting became less useful as players progressed. Our intent is that players should be able to craft some very useful gear, and that this gear should be useful throughout the game. To that end, players will be able to craft a much higher grade of weapons and armor than what they experienced in the open beta.
In order to be capable of creating this gear, players will need to put in the time to level their crafting to high levels. Items of higher grades will require more materials, and may also require rare drops from certain monsters. This effort and commitment to their trade will result in rewards which will be highly sought after.
We also want to take a moment to remind players about the Union system. We’ve spoken a little about this system in prior blogs. There will be three different Unions, and one of these will be geared towards players who enjoy crafting and gathering. This Union will offer benefits to further increase and enhance your crafting experience. We’ll have more details about all of our Unions later on. Finally, players will be able to acquire additional support items which were not available in the open beta to help boost their abilities as crafters. It’s our hope at Round 8, that by adding in additional items to craft including more consumables like elixirs and better gear, that players will enjoy adventuring in Lumios for longer.
Items and Upgrading
Gear and equipment in Bless Unleashed, as in many other MMOs, is part of an over-arching interconnected system which affects combat, economy, and progression. We’ve been considering different options to help make this system better for some time at Round 8. With your help, we think we’ve managed to pinpoint areas to improve, and increase the quality of gameplay for all users.
Upgrade, Not Downgrade
A key point of feedback we received in the open beta is that upgrading was too difficult, especially once items reached rare quality (blue). To make this better, we’re making several changes. To start, we’re making drastic changes to the success rates for upgrading items. By making these changes, we’re expecting the stress caused by upgrading gear to diminish quite a bit. However, it is still possible to break an item during this process.
We’re also introducing two new NPCs to help with upgrading. Upgrade Masters are highly skilled individuals that can attempt to upgrade items for you at an increased cost compared to the normal upgrade NPCs. Their prowess is such that even should they fail to upgrade an item, the equipment will be unharmed. In addition to this, an illicit group of individuals have also started their own upgrade shops. These underground, or dark Upgrade Masters don’t possess the skill that your standard upgrade NPCs do, and charge reduced rates for upgrading. However, it is possible that if an upgrade they attempt to perform fails, the item may be completely destroyed. We feel that this element of choice allows players a variety of paths to higher end gear. Whether you’re willing to risk it all for the ability to upgrade a piece of gear sooner or prefer to play it slow and safe, you’ll be able to make that decision.
We’ll also be making it easier for players to obtain repair tools moving forward. You’ll be able to purchase them for Artifact Cores now, and we’ll also be granting more repair tools through the Bless Pass as well.
Better Items, Sooner
We’re also lowering the requirements for gear to have special abilities. This means that lower end gear will now be found that has better effects on it. Players will notice more equipment with sought after modifications, like blessing modifiers, additional stamina, or skill effect increases in lower tiers (D-C) items now. We’ll also be introducing accessories like rings and necklaces earlier in the game as well.
For Sale: Slightly Used Sword Upgraded Many Times
For players who do not wish to work through the process of upgrading their own gear, we’ve added a new item to the limited time merchant. The Seal Stone can be purchased with Starseed, and can be used to seal an item which has been enhanced by the player. Once sealed, this item can be listed in the marketplace and sold to other players. However, as these items are so powerful, players will be limited to how many they can purchase, and an individual item may only be sealed so many times. This new path will allow crafters and gatherers more ability to profit off their skills, and increase the availability of higher end equipment for those who do not enjoy crafting and upgrading equipment as much.
It’s our hope at Round 8 that these changes to items and crafting will help to improve your experience playing Bless Unleashed.