Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Advanced Talisman Making in WAR
I was traveling from Friday to Monday, having only my game-free netbook with me. And last weekend I couldn't play either, so I'm really falling behind with my leveling in Warhammer Online. Most guild members are in tier 3, and I'm still smack in the middle of tier 2, at level 16. But the few occasions where I had the time to play a little, I spent with crafting. And when I wasn't there, my goods were still selling on the auction house. I'm up to 120 gold, which is 8 times the price of the first mount you can buy at level 20.
I made most of that money from salvaging, making and selling ingredients to other talisman makers. Unlike the real world, where people do professions to make a living, in MMORPGs people do professions for fun, usually financed by adventuring, and more often a money sink than a money maker. As I had enough money now, I started on the talisman making money sink, to see whether ultimately by getting my skill up I could do useful or even profitably things.
The most important thing about talisman making is that the "name color" rarity of the talisman you make depends nearly exclusively on the rarity of the magic item you salvaged (disenchanted) into a fragment. A green name magic item gives a white name fragment, resulting nearly always in a white name talisman, which is pretty much worthless on the auction house. Only if you manage a critical success will you get a green name fragment and green name talisman, which sell a bit better. The only exception is if you disenchant a magic item which gives a bonus to wounds into a wounds fragment; then you get the same color as the item you disenchant, green item gives green fragment, gives green talisman.
What the other ingredients do is not directly obvious. The container does nothing, there appears only one type to be in the game anyway. The gold essence, curio, and magic essence appear to be modifying how high a bonus your talisman will have, and how long the duration is. If you take only the basic level 1 ingredients you can buy from a vendor, you'll get only "weak" talismans. But that appears to be sufficient to get up your skill, so I got my talisman skill up to 95 by salvaging renown items into fragments, and making weak talismans from them, which I then gave away to guild mates or vendored. No profit to be made there.
Then I tried to make better talismans that would sell better. Buy green renown item, salvage into white fragment, combine with hellishly expensive gold essences, curios from the auction house, and magic essences produced as secondary product from salvaging, and you get a white talisman with slightly better bonus and better duration. Looking at auction house prices for talismans it became clear very quickly that there was no profit to be made there. Having over 75 skill and using crafting level 75 materials I could consistently make "lesser" talismans, better than "weak" or "inferior" ones, but while they weren't bad, they just don't look sexy with their white names. And then I saw an epic talisman on the auction house for 75 gold, and while I don't believe that one will sell, I realized that making purple talismans was the way to go.
So I searched the auction house for epics with +wounds bonus, and found a level 11 one for just over 3 gold. Salvaged it into a purple fragment, combined it with the best ingredients I had, and made a purple name talisman. +14 to wounds, no time limit, not bad. So I put it on the auction house for 15 gold, over twice the value of the initial epic and the other ingredients combined. And it sold a few hours later! Of course then I went and made a second, identical one, and put it up again, hoping to sell it by tonight. The limiting factor will be getting hold of cheap epics, but fortunately I don't need high level ones for this. I just wished Mythic would make the fragments for the other stats also be the same color rarity as the salvaged item, and not one step lower. I don't see why it isn't the same for all stats.
So this is where I see talisman making now: Salvage cheap (relatively) green renown gear and use basic ingredients to level the skill up, then use fragments from salvaged rare and epic gear combined with expensive ingredients to make good talismans for myself and for selling. I should be able to get past 100 skill level in talisman making soon, allowing me to use even better ingredients. I don't even know what the crafting skill cap is, but it doesn't seem to be related to rank (character level), if I'd spend enough gold I could reach it. But as the "epicness" of the talismans I can make doesn't depend on crafting skill, I'm not sure the expense would really be worth it.
What is ultimately the interest of talismans? I see two things there: One is that WAR does not have a raid circuit with ever improving epic gear. Once you reach level 40 you should pretty soon be wearing the best possible equipment. Then buying the best possible talismans is the only way for further improvement. The other big use I see is twinking. There are no level limitations on talismans. My level 6 Black Orc has 4 talisman slots in his low level gear, if I would be crazy enough to put epic talismans into those I could significantly increase his power. Even just wearing the scrap talismans giving +3 to +6 to his stats for 8 hours to 2 days is already a quite nice stat boost, and more reasonable given the rate at which he'll replace his gear. The richer the high level characters get, the more willing will they be to twink their alts with nice talismans. All in all talisman making thus isn't unlike enchanting in World of Warcraft, only that WoW has more restrictions on using it for twinking, and only gets an easy way to transfer enchantments to alts with the upcoming patch 3.0. But compared to WoW crafts, talisman making is more fun, because you don't have to hunt after stupid rare drop recipes. So I'm having fun, and I'm turning a profit, what more could I want?