Some of the less-documented changes in the recent patches have been crafting and economy price changes in Reaper of Souls. (These apply to Diablo 3 on the PTR also.) Earlier in the Reaper of Souls beta crafting was mostly a gold expense, and it was much more expensive than now. Rares and Legendaries cost exponentially more to enchant than they do now, and since legs also require a Forgotten Soul material, they were very hard to upgrade for a month plus during the “no legs for you” patch.Legs drop much more often now and Souls sometimes drop from Rift Guardians, but there’s a recent change to enchanting prices on legendary jewelry that will really make a big difference to the long term economy. Currently, legendary/set rings and amulets cost zero gold to enchant. They’re not free, though. You need a Forgotten Soul, a couple of very common salvaged materials, and one Flawless Imperial gem. (The type of gem required seems to be randomly assigned to each piece of jewelry, and is permanent for that particular item. I’ve fed my DH’s amulet upwards of a dozen Flawless Imperial Rubies so far, without success rolling the Crit Chance I’m after.)
Changing the enchanting cost from gold to gems is a big change that should have long term economic ramifications.
Click through for more details and some estimates of the actual costs and scarcity of the materials required for this enchanting.
Enchanting Prices Evolution
Prices have varied quite a bit over the course of the beta, depending largely on the type of item.
Early in the beta enchanting has not been economized much, and prices were crazy and variable. You’d see 30k for a rare piece of armor, and then try a ring or amulet and get 1.5m for the first roll, with the usual ~10% increase per additional roll. Whatever the internal formula for determining gold prices went crazy on jewelry with a lot of mods, especially some of the imported Diablo 3 gear that had 5 or 6 primary affixes. (You can no longer enchant any legacy gear.)
Those early gold prices came down steadily, and today they are by far the lowest they’ve been at any time during the beta. They still vary a lot, with armor generally cheaper than weapons, but you’ll pay from 18k to 65k for the first enchant of most Rare items. Legendary stuff costs more gold, but not hugely more, and you can usually do 5 or 6 rolls before the price gets to 100k per attempt.
All legendary enchants also cost a Forgotten Soul, which was negligible at the start of the beta when Legs were dropping like mad. It then became a terrible bottleneck for a month+ during December and much of January when we complained about it on every podcast and Xanth wrote columns that (almost) had emoticon frownie faces at the end of every sentence. Now that leg drops have been boosted greatly and Rift Guardians can drop Souls directly, this isn’t as much of an issue for most players. Mileage varies on this; I currently have ~10 Souls and numerous other legs in storage I could junk if need be, but discussing this in the clan chat a number of other players were lamenting their lack of Souls for crafting and enchanting.
Crafting Costs and Recovery Rate
I think long term the gems will be the bottleneck. Currently it’s not for most Beta testers, since players have been storing up gems they couldn’t afford to upgrade (or just didn’t need to) and most of us have a surplus. I had 300-600 Marquise of each gem stacked up, which I hadn’t upgraded due to a lack of gold. That’s the same thing holding me back from more enchanting, since it costs 900k to upgrade Marquise to Flawless Imperial.
There’s no “typical” game in RoS, but if you spend say 70-100 minutes clearing all bounties in the two double reward acts, and do a Rift or two, you’ll pick up something like 5-10 Marquise of each type of gem, 2m gold, and 2-4 legendary items. That’s a very rough and generalized estimate, but looking at the costs you’ll make 2x the Forgotten Soul cost, 2x the gold cost, but at best 1x the gem cost in a typical game. (You’ll make WAY over the blue/yellow mats cost if you salvage even a fraction of the items that drop.)
I’m not feeling the cost that way since I had hundreds of gems stacked up. Ironically for a change that lessens the gold cost, I’m completely bottlenecked by the gold, since I’m broke in softcore in the beta, but have plenty of Souls and gems. Imagine this econ system upon launch, though. Most players will bring over gold from Diablo 3, but on day one no one will have more than a few Marquise gems, or any of the new level 70+ materials. Everyone will start storing up materials and gems as they level to 70, but there won’t be 2-3 months of accumulating gems with nothing really to spend them on.
Most players will find their lack of gems the main limitation on enchanting jewelry, and probably spend some hours cursing the lack of an Auction House or even the ability to trade gems. Even trading gems for gems would be helpful, since most players do not have a main char of every mainstat type, and will thus have very little need for at least one kind of gem.
Look at how widely the gems differ in price in Diablo 3 today, thanks to varying need and utility. Emeralds are the most useful in Reaper of Souls since Critical Hit Damage in weapons is sought by almost every character, but any player who doesn’t do a Wiz/WD will have almost no use for Topazes, while players who don’t do Barb/Cru will care little for Rubies. Without an Auction House or any way to sell gems in RoS it’s hard to say they have “value,” but they certainly have utility, both to socket into gear, but also for the inevitable “you’re going to have to roll that legendary ring/amulet a dozen times to get the affix you really want.”
Here’s the amulet my Demon Hunter is now wearing. You see the comparison to the Rare I had on. (That amulet was substandard, compared to the rest of my DH’s gear. I’d just had bad luck on amulet, while my rings were very nice quadfectas.)
You might not think it coming from D3 where ResAll is so valuable, but that’s actually the least useful primary affix on this amulet. That’s partially due to the numbers, and what Paragon Points can give you. A Paragon Point is worth 5 ResAll or 5 Vitality, so 20 points will get you 100 Res All or 100 Vitality… thus while you can argue the value of 742 Vitality vs. 94 Res All, there’s no arguing about the replacement cost. It’s easy to make up 100 Res All with Paragon Points, and impossible to do so for 700 Vitality. Plus every point of Vitality add the same amount of hit points. Every point of ResAll does no such thing, with additional resistance adding much less damage mitigation due to diminishing returns at higher values.
Hence I churned the Res All, hoping for Critical hit Chance. And I’m still hoping, something like a dozen rolls later.
The funny thing about the new cost is that it’s less gold, long term. Previously I’d have spent something like 250k for the first enchant, and that price would have gone up something like 300k, 370k, 500k, 650k, 815k, 980k, etc. Cheaper to start, but rising inexorably, until at some point it would become too pricey to continue enchanting. That happens a lot in RoS with rares, and I constantly find a Rare with 3 good Primary Affixes and one that’s crap. I try to roll that 4th affix to something good, often wanting one specific +skill damage with a good value, and if I get it in 8 or 10 rolls that’s great, but if I don’t I’ll just churn the item and try to find another one, once the price grows too high to keep enchanting.
This is especially true with rares, since you can find or gamble them in such quantity that you’re constantly finding almost great ones (which are still inferior to great legendary items 99% of the time.)
So, this new legendary cost is more to start (900k to turn 9 Marquise into a Flawless Imperial), but cheaper in the long run since the price never increases. (It even sort of decreases, since you find Imperial gems once you can do Master or Torment, each of which saves you 3 Marquise and 200k.) That’s only cheaper per enchant, though. I’ve spent much more trying to enchant up this particular amulet than I would have under the old system, since after 6 or 8 rolls it would have been into the millions to keep trying, and I’d have given up then. Now that it’s only 900k (or often 700k as I find Imperial Rubies) it seems worth it to keep trying. And trying. And trying.
BECAUSE BIGGER DPS NUMBARDS!
Enchanting Gem Costs and Disharmony
Another recent change to prices is to Crafting, and I’m less of a fan of it. Many of the better crafted items now cost 1 Flawless Royal gem to create. That’s the highest level of gem in the game, and it requires 27 Marquise and 9.8m gold to upgrade to. That’s a lot, if you don’t have a bunch of gold sitting around, imported from Diablo 3. It’s generally a one-time expense, since after that initial creation you’d only spend a Forgotten Soul and some gold to enchant the item.
But if you got a really terrible roll and even a great enchant wouldn’t be enough to make it top quality gear, you’re out the entire 9.8m and all those gems, and you’ve got to scrape that much up again to make another one.
I don’t mind some gems required for crafting legendaries, but most do not require any gems, while the ones that do require the highest level gem. That seems a weirdly binary system, when you’d expect more gradual increases, ranging from Imperial on some recipes up to Royal or higher on others. Especially when the special legendary materials that all legendary crafting requires vary so much in frequency as well. Everyone in the beta has 8 or 10 of some legendary mats and one or none of others, and it’s not like the best recipes require the rarest materials. It’s all over the place in scarcity vs. utility, and when you tack the highest level gem on top of that, the system feels crazy in terms of cost vs. reward.
Hopefully the devs will iterate the crafting mats and costs further, and we’ll get better balance between costs and utility. Buffs to some of the crafting recipes would help as well; far too many of them now are just “6 random affixes” without any special legendary property, making them essentially Rares with potentially higher stat rolls.
Also, as I mentioned in the last big patch write up, it’s no fun never finding the same crafting plans, since that means you don’t find any crafting plans. I’ve got 20 or so on my Blacksmith already, and that’s probably a factor in the fact that I haven’t found a single one for the better part of a week. And that’s boring. Admittedly, in the current Bind on Account system there’s zero reason you’d want to find a crafting plan your Smith already knew, but that system can be improved upon. Allow trading of plans like other legendaries, or exchange 1-for-1, or make them salvageable, with some chance to turn into a Forgotten Soul, or into the legendary material required by that recipe.
All are better options than the current system, where you’ll find a bunch of leg plans in the early days, one or two a week for some time after that, and then eventually once you’Ve got them all… NEVER AGAIN.
So what do you guys think of the changes to crafting and enchatning costs? I’m kind of a fan of the gem cost in Enchanting, even though it works against me since I’ll be bringing quite a bit of gold into RoS, at least in Hardcore. I like the system to require play time and gem finds, rather than just gold, since anyone can buy that now and spend it in RoS.
I’m open to debate on the prices and scarcity of the materials, but I think this change is moving in the right direction.