Crafter's Roundtable: Itemization Balance - Loot vs. Crafted


Staff member
Yup, we went there.

For this week's Crafter's Roundtable, we want to hear from everyone about how you think loot and crafted items can coexist in the game and both be viable without one eclipsing the other. Let us know what you think works to achieve a good balance, and what doesn't, and why!
I like symbiotic relationships. Let's say a piece of gear can have up to 5 attributes or properties, but they only drop with 3 randomly assigned attributes. Those attributes may or may not be desirable to your class or playstyle. Crafters would have a chance to 'learn' how to craft properties by extracting them from dropped items, destroying the item in the process. They would use their knowledge to reconfigure or enhance existing items. Maybe they would swap attributes on an item or add attributes to an item or 'god roll' stats on an item.

We know the named items will be static, so let's take those out of the discussion for now, but a system like this would allow crafters and loot farmers to help each other. Don't want to waste time with crafting? You can farm for that god-rolled item. Don't want to spend too much time farming, a crafter can take your 'less than perfect' item and god-roll it for you. Want to increase your crafting knowledge but don't want to farm for it? You can buy the items with the attributes you want to learn from other players. Just want to twink out your character with the non-named BiS items? Buy them from the best crafters in the game.
I would like systems for : Tweakin , Redesign and Legendary success (but only for looks and maybe a tiny extra stat) we could need mech's for "tweakin" other players items even "soulbound" with notrade flag. And maybe change in some way's high tier raid loot for new looks with maybe "epic loot" parts . As VR said before crafting will be possible to match raid gear but not much more than that. So a "gem slot" mech, dying, and so on. On learn topic do we need to destroy stuff we learn from ot might it be possible to learn without destroying stuff , if detroyed learn quick and keep item intact takes longer time . Maybe Enchanters (craft proff) could transfer stats between items . Its a big topic but balance wize i would like to see crafted items stat compareble to raid stuff but let the looks differ in some way.
@Bitter_Clinger , you bring up an interesting suggestion here. One, that I could see working ingame.
Important note: do not stumble over names or words. I'm just getting the idea across here.

There are many factors we don't know when it comes to loot. So for now, this is very much speculations but again, it's the gesture of it, to present the idea. For sake of it let's say that in the world there will be 6 different kind of fundamental stats (STR, STA, AGI, INT, WIS, PERC). These stats will have their effect on other stats (castingspeed, dps, crits, etc.), which I will not go into right now, as that is just food for more speculation and beside the point that I'm hoping to make.

Three different types of gear/item
1) items/gear without stats other than level/skill requirement and mitigation or damage ratio
2) dropped items/gear with certain stats such as STA, PERC, AGI
3) crafted items/gear that offer different stats such as AGI, INT, WIS

All stats are required if a player wants to have a stable character and optimize his stats so that he'll get the best buck for the gear/items he's using and is wearing atm.
What this means is, that the player will Always have to mix and match between looted gear and crafted gear. A player with only one or the other will not be optimal and would experience this suboptimal state. This is not meant as a punishment, they could still venture out there and kill, it would just not be the best he can get.
This has two upsides, a player is not dependent on adventuring to have a full set of gear, as they can craft it themselves (even though it's not an optimal set). Or a player can choose to just get their gear from adventuring and equip themselves that way (again not the most optimal fit, but it will do the trick).

So it's quite similar to what Bitter_Clinger is saying, crafting gear can be a worthy addition to one's gear/equippement.

I think player should want to look for and wear crafted items. That could only work if they are in fact missed out on if you only choose one method of equipping yourself.
Example: player has equipped a breastplate crafted by a player and is wearing a helmet they looted from a killdrop. During another fight a breastplate drops and it's an upgrade to his current one. Equipping this looted piece will result in a drop down in stats (provided by player crafted gear) but a rise in looted gear. To maintain his optimal stats including his new breastplate, he'll be looking to (for example) switch his looted helmet for a crafted helmet that offers the stats he lost with switching out his breastplate.
So his gear is getting upgraded as he goes, in adventuring and in crafting as he'll be looking to better and better crafted gear as he's progressing.
How to quickly read stats? It could be just by hovering over the new item to see which stats change and its up to the player to choose what gear to switch out on to keep the highest "player crafted stats" possible to keep him in his optimal shape.

What I don't see working out, is the scenario where crafted and looted gear consist next to each other without having any effect when combining. This will provide a window for players to venture off undergeared and possible surrender crafted items to the mercy of player market. Especially low level/content crafted items will suffer heavely from that.

Salvaging could be an addition to match up the usefullness of outgrown gear and low level crafted items. But it should not be the only mechanic that connects adventure with crafting. Again this could position crafted items in a very weak position.
Another option would be that looted items can be upgraded (when it's not attuned yet?) by crafters to optimise or shifts the existing stats on that item. I wouldn't suggest to offer more stats, just an improvement/increase or alteration of the current stats.
Experimentation would be the way to add new stats or appearances to a looted unattuned item.
Also there are other suggestions that could link looted items with crafted items. For example items that can be applied to looted items to add a buff or improve stats temporary or permanently. (Because this is a very big topic, I will leave it at this suggestion).

Not every suggestion I've said, should be ingame at launch, it could be a nice build up throughout expansions.


Staff member
Staff Writer
I like symbiotic relationships. Let's say a piece of gear can have up to 5 attributes or properties, but they only drop with 3 randomly assigned attributes. Those attributes may or may not be desirable to your class or playstyle. Crafters would have a chance to 'learn' how to craft properties by extracting them from dropped items, destroying the item in the process.
Or maybe you could hire your favorite adventuring ogre to smash up that shield into little pieces and get some good jewls or metal bits out of it. (those bits may have the enchantment on them for that attribute you are looking to extract)

I mean, how else can ogres participate in crafting anyway? I bet they won't make it as the most artistic of potters or delicate of jewelers.


Staff member
Staff Writer
I would like to see crafting be a value added system. Everything that drops should be able to either be made into a usable item or if already a use able item it can be improved or at least tweaked through crafting.

Ingredients would come from harvesting, salvaging dropped items and supply NPCs.

The common gear would come from common or predictable/unlimited ground spawns and common mobs. Most crafting experience will be gained through making common quality gear.

Good group gear would come from uncommon ground spawns and salvaged dungeon gear or limited quantity per day vendors. Mostly the group gear will really just be the common gear but with optional ingredients that move the item from a limited player value or NPC turn in item to a valuable piece of gear that will last a fair number of levels.

Raid gear will be exclusively made from very rare ground spawns or high danger harvest locations within the raid zone. All raid items dropped can either be salvaged and reconfigured into the appropriate class/item base/stat combinations that are desired or tweaked to fine tune them should a player want the as dropped form. In this way the actual variation on the items dropped in a raid zone could be reduced as the players themselves will reconfigure them with the help of their grand master craftsmen into the itemization they still need. There is still plenty of opportunity to include Lore Artifacts that can be neither salvaged or modified but I would limit them to one or two per raid zone.