Thursday, July 7, 2011

Augments: What, When, and Why

Something that makes crafting gear for profit a little tricky in rift are the augments that you can add. These are all small bonuses to an assortment of different that's like a rune or enchantment, but the catch is that you can only add them to a crafted items as it is crafted. So once an item is made it can no longer be augmented and using one of the higher level ones has a chance to fail to boot. So this chance of failure means you don't want to buy something expensive for it to just blow up when you're only going to sell it.

This is also a big reason for people to buy the mats instead of a cheaper pre-crafted item so that they can be sure it has the right augment for them. You can tell what augment was used based on the prefix attached to the name, but you can only tell how good it is by manually comparing the stats to a plain version of the item. Because of that, most people won't bother to look at what augment was used, only that it has one and matches up correctly. By that I mean that there isn't any wisdom or int on a melee dps weapon for example.

But when somebody goes to buy something from the AH the first question is the most important as it is an automatic yes or no on the spot: can I afford it? If your wares are too expensive then you're not getting a sale and that's the end of it. If it does happen to be in their price range that is when you get the continue with the rest of the silent AH interview. Anything with an stats appropriate augment is going to be better than without just like an item without a rune or enchant is not an upgrade without it. So better is better obviously enough. But augments aren't free.

The real question you need to ask before wondering if you should add an augment to an item or not is how long are they going to be using it. If it's only a leveling piece then the primary concern is going to be price. The average player will look for any gear that's blue and available and grab the cheapest one regardless of bonuses like that. Why? Because they don't care that's why. Sure it's nice, but it's not important enough to wait for a good deal because by the time you find one that item is going to be replaced.

However if it is an item that's going to last them for a while then things get a little tricky. This is one of two situations where having an augmented item is more important than not and it varies from buyer to buyer. For example if you are trying to just get geared enough to do t2's you'll want every tiny bit of extra stats that you can grab so that you can que for them. But if they know that they'll be getting boosted through dungeons and go straight into raids these extra stats are meaningless as they only need just enough so that they don't feel entirely worthless.

Then we come to the social player who just wants to look like they're good without actually being good. For these people you can just throw on any PoS augment so long as it has the right name. It could be a +1 bonus to strength and they won't care because they won't ever look or even care to. This, like most everything, comes down to knowing your market and who your customers are. One final random note about when to use an augment is for any high priced items. This way the little bit of extra stats may be that little extra push that convinces them to buy it.

Now let me give you a few specific in game examples. The Fleshreaper is a great 2h weapon that rivals some t2 gear. If nothing else the big reason to buy one will always stand: it's epic and you can have it NOW. But it is pretty expensive to craft and takes a whopping 4 plaques to learn the recipe which means not many can craft it outside of the people who "collect" every recipe then ignore them forever.

Since this item is rather expensive to make and sells somewhat slow you'll want to give a prospective customer every reason to buy it that you can, this means augment it. It doesn't have to be an epic level 20 platinum valued augment, but you don't want to throw on some PoS either. I try to add in either a max level green or a rare quality one any chance that I get for these types of items. Anything that is expensive and sells slow is when you want to throw on a good augment.

The other important example to consider is leveling gear. This is gear that's going to be replaced in a few days or a week at most depending on the range. Anything that is under level 40 will be replaced quickly while anything above may last until 50 and into t1 runs depending on the luck of the drops. When somebody is buying a good piece of gear to level and quest with, what are they looking for exactly?

They want something that's right for their spec and is going to last a long time without being too expensive for what is essentially a throw away item. Leveling gear counts as throw away pieces because that's exactly what you're going to do with them. Use them for a while then toss it. This means that price is the more important factor here.

Using one of my best selling weapons as an example, the bony hatchet, you don't want to augment these things. The reason is because it is going to be a total waste to do so more often than not. The only time I use one is if I find myself with a bunch of augs that I'm not going to use any time soon so I'll just throw them on because they're too much of a hassle to auction off. In short, use good augments on expensive high-end items and don't go out of your way to use them on leveling gear.

Thanks for stopping by!

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