Friday, October 10, 2008

Salvaging for Fame and Fortune

Tobold put an awesome article up a few days back regarding the leveling of Salvaging and Talisman Making, and I won’t pretend that the information I offer here isn’t a horrendous leech of his article. It is. That said, there’s some really good info in there, and if you’re interested in trade-skilling in Warhammer, stop what you’re doing, and go give THIS LINK a read, and be quick about it.

He basically discovered what has to be an oversight on Mythic’s part. The salvaging skill (think: disenchanting) requires a green item to salvage magical essences from, and is therefore limited from skilling up in bursts due to the random drop nature of greens in the game, and further limited by the fact that the skill required to disenchant high end gear is only gained by disenchanting lower end gear first. That’s a lot of greens you’d need to find or buy off the (ridiculously overpriced) Auction House...

Tobold discovered, though, that renown gear is totally okay to be DE’d, and even happened to discover that there’s a flukey item (Squidkickas of Vengeance) that goes for only 3s60c for some reason, while the comparable boots for any other class costs around 8s. He speculates that this is a bug, and after buying and disenchanting 55x of the boots, I’d have to agree.

The biggest deal (besides always having a readily scaling level of endless gear for pretty cheap at the renown vendor), is that disenchanting these boots ends up with Fragments (like WoW’s enchanting mats kinda, more on that later) that sell for RIDICULOUS prices on the AH. As previously mentioned, it’d be pretty rare to find a low level green that you’d have the skill to DE in the first place, and then you’d probably use the fragment that comes from it yourself to level Talisman Making, the complimentary crafting Tradeskill to Slavaging’s gathering skill.

What this means is that there are like no fragments on the AH at all. The ones that ARE there go for about 25s on my (and Tobold’s) server, and this is from a 3s60c investment that’s leveling your skill in Salvaging anyway. Do the math; wait … no. I’ll do it for you. 25s – 3s60c = 21s40c PROFIT for disenchanting an item that can be vendor purchased indefinitely.

DEing is an interesting process in that the gear itself determines what you’ll pull from it. Where WoW has basic ‘Arcane Dust’ or ‘Small Prismatic Shards’, with Salvaging, you choose the stat you wish to pull from the item. If the boots are +STR and +Weap Skill, you can pull a STR or Weap Skill fragment from the item. In this way, you can buy renown gear that has stats you want the final talisman to have (or that will sell on the AH). You also end up with magical essences that will be needed later, too. If the DE bonks, instead of essences, you end up with ‘whispers’ or ‘echoes’ of esences that can be combined to form magic essences (like motes form primals in WoW). Right clicking a stack of ten echoes makes a whisper, and 5 whispers make a full fledged essence.

After DE-ing the 55x sets of 3s60c Level 1 Renown boots, I topped out my initial Salvaging skill at 50. At that point, I need to move on to the next level of gear (level 9 renown or thereabouts). At that point, the cost becomes 14s40c per pair of boots (Cloaks, Belts and Jewelry don’t work! Make sure the tooltip for the item doesn’t label it as an Accessory!), but you’re still looking at 25s AT LEAST per fragment.. probably even more for the next level up from “noob skill fragments”. I’m using the fragments I receive so far, but once my Talisman skill topped out around 30 or so for the first batch crafted from the mats from the 55x boots, I put my leftovers up on the AH, and they’ve already started selling in the few hours since I began this.

This is an immediate “window of opportunity” thing. Once either A) people realize that this is an easy way to get fragments or B) Mythic makes it so you can’t DE renown items (similar to WoW and PvP gear) this avenue will dry up. I’m actually thinking they’ll go for B, and have stacked a few extra stacks of early mats just in case. As mentioned in a previous article, there really isn’t anything you need gold for at this point, so blowing 3g on a huge stockpile of level 1 Talisman Making mats isn’t a huge deal for me. I just got an achievement noting that I’d made 50g in my Black Orc’s career so far, so do the math. 15g for a mount, 4g for a last name (I fucked up and clicked twice, so 8g for me), maybe 5 or 6g for renown gear… you’re left with plenty of gold to burn, not even including the random greens I sell on the AH just to get them out of my bags.

The crafting of talismans is a slow process. Using the fragments you’ve gotten from DEing your boots, plus some magic essences that are leftover from the DE process as well, you still need 3 other items, all of which are purchasable from a vendor. The magic essence is purchasable as well, but you’ll likely have plenty as it is. You need a container, gold essence, and a curio. Special curios can be found with the scavenging tradeskill, but for the most part, the store bought ones will work for the first push to 30 or so… the tradeskill items themselves are rated in a fashion like ‘this can be used from level 1 upwards’ to ‘this can be used from level 25 (25 CRAFTING, not player level) upwards’ etc, so the store bought items (plus your elusive fragments) will get you up to 30, and then you’ll need an alt that scavenges, or the AH to push on further. I imagine the gold essence items are crafted as well from the Apothecary skill (maybe?), so eventually it all relies on other skills to get done. In the end, though, Warhammer doesn’t have enchants, and Talismans are pretty much the same as gems in many regards, being the only way to externally affect gear or weapon stats. Items have talisman slots, and equipping certain talismans will give you an increase in stats or resists. In the beginning, they seem really underwhelming, as they offer such minimal increases, and many are even based on a time limit… +30 armor for 8 hours. The 8 hours is PLAY time, though, not real time, so it lasts longer than you might expect. Plus you’ll have a metric fuckton of each talisman you craft in the beginning, so just carry 3 in your bags, and you’re golden.

For the initial push to 30, using all level 1 items, plus your level 1 fragments will be enough. After 30, I couldn’t seem to get skill ups using the bottom tier items, though. I grabbed some of the next level renown boots (the 14s40c ones), and got level 25 fragments from DEing those. I also got level 25 magic essences in the process, too, and using two level 25 items (frag and magic), and the rest level 1 (box, gold, and curio), seemed to consistently level me up again with each crafting.

I haven’t gotten much further than that, but I imagine that’s the way it’s going to be. Two level 50 items and two level 25 items will likely be the next ‘tier’ of crafting (I think maybe the boxes stay level 1?), and I’ll probably get level 50 fragments and magic essences from the next tier of renown gear (player level 15-20 gear or thereabouts).

Tobold has a follow-up entry on his blog as well, detailing the next few steps he took. It’s a good read, but the important thing is to act now, before Mythic nerfs the hell out of this. Or if they don’t, before everyone else figures it out. It’s not exactly a secret, but the sooner you get on it, the sooner you’ll have a head start.

Talisman making is going to be one of the few (only?) ways at end game to boost your items, so leveling it up now while you can actually profit for doing so is pretty frikkin sweet.

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