Re-implementing the rarity-improving mechanic -- now with TL;DR

This post is intended to help brainstorm and pull together some ideas/reactions for @Jeto and the dev team, because she recently posted:


SUMMARY of this discussion provided here:


This post is intended for those who want the improve-gear-up-to-mythic mechanic returned.

If you don’t think that’s a good idea, please, keep that argument to other threads on this issue (there are plenty) or make a new one.


GOALS of returning and implementing the rarity-improving mechanic, as I see them.

  1. Attract a wider player baseboth casual and intense, both gacha and more “development” based

It’s been clear from forums and chat that a lot of players found the intelligent and “controlled” gear-updating mechanic a key part of their enjoyment of PQ3, and, in the wake of the 3.0 changes, have either stopped or significantly reduced their engagement with or enjoyment of the game now that that mechanic has been nerfed.

While some players may enjoy an advance-only-by-random-drop “gacha” style game, others don’t, and it makes best sense, commercially, for PQ3 to try to attract as wide a customer base as possible, appealing to several kinds of players and play styles.


  1. This mechanic must be returned as a core element of gameplay – in order to satisfy the one type of customer

Not to be confused with a necessary element of gameplay. Leaving in the other 3.0 changes, designed (I sense) to appeal to end-game and “gacha” style players, is fine. The two aren’t incompatible.

But if the devs & management want to win back departed players and appeal to new players of this “type”, then the advancing-gear-rarity mechanic has to be at least as practical and obtainable as it was before, not just an expensive or trivial “sidebar” that provides no genuine possibility of advancement.


  1. This mechanic must be available to players from the start of the game – in order to attract those customers in the first place

To attract new players who enjoy this sort of gameplay, the possibility of intelligent and guided advancement of gear has to be available from the very start.

If it’s implemented as an “end-game” mechanic, available only to those who have significantly advanced their followers (for example) or already invested a great deal of money, then it will utterly fail in attracting those new kinds of players … because that type of gameplay won’t be part of their initial experience and they will simply move on to some other, more congenial game.


  1. This mechanic must encourage microtransactions - so PQ3 stays afloat

On the other hand, from the business side, gear-advancement must be implemented in a way that, while accessible to F2P, must also encourage players to invest money here or there in pursuit of their goals. This is a business, after all.

4a) An observation – “improvement”-focused players will pay a lot.

In fact, this sort of gameplay easily lends itself to increased microtransactions. There’s a wide range of gear and, because successful gear combinations are both interesting and helpful to players, such players will have many different items they wish to level up.

Just returning this mechanic will encourage those players to speed up the improvement process by spending to get gear-improving items (runes, relics etc) so they can pursue all the gear they’re interested in.

Arguably, they’ll be even more interested than the “gacha” players since, rather than spending just for another chance to get a nice piece randomly, these players will actively be striving to improve their existing gear all the time. More of the pieces that drop will interest them and be worth spending resources on.


I see two possible avenues for gear improving:


I) HONING – Allow honing items up to the next rarity level

Add a new/final stage of honing to all existing menus. This stage would allow the player to spend aether to improve the selected item up a quality level.

When so improved, the ingredients used to hone the item wouldn’t be returned. They become part of the cost, along with aether, to so improve an item. This supports the “encourage microtransactions” goal above (#4)


II) FOLLOWERS – ability to “craft” items from one rarity up to the next

Allow leveled-up followers to upgrade items by spending aether. (Much like the – IMHO totally useless and pointless – “make a random item of X quality” ability they now have.)

On the one hand, this would encourage players to advance their followers as fast as possible, possibly buying follower crystals. (Goal 4)

On the other hand, this risks putting a barrier between new players and this kind of gameplay (contrary to goal 3).



I think PQ3 will attract the most customers – and microtransactions – if they pursue both paths. The two are not incompatible


A) ADVANCE GEAR BY HONING – additional honing step added to items that improves rarity

Pay aether to improve a fully-honed item’s rarity up to the next level. Honing materials are consumed, not refunded.

This is expensive (in terms of materials) for the player, but is also immediately available, even to the new players. It allows them (or those who are interested) to try out the mechanic, motivates them to start collecting gear they wish to upgrade, and gives them incentives to pursue further options in the game.

It also makes chest-drops interesting and rewarding again, in a way they no longer are. Since gear rarity can’t be upgraded presently, most items that drop now are useless and disappointing. But, if an uncommon or rare drop of a desired item can be improved up to higher levels, that makes those drops suddenly more appealing again.


B) ADVANCE GEAR WITH FOLLOWERS – Paths to “craft” existing items to higher rarity using upgraded followers

Also provide this mechanic, once followers are upgraded enough. This will make followers more useful/attractive and appeal to mid- and end- gamers.

The idea here is to provide a potentially quicker & more powerful path to gear advancement, that will encourage players to want to play more (and spend more) to improve the followers.

This will work best in conjunction with (A), because (A) gives the players a taste of the mechanic and - if they like it - a desire to improve it.

Plus (as noted above) there is a lot of gear to try out. Hundreds of pieces (especially if you want versions in different colors!) … Players are at no risk of running out of gear to pursue and spend resources on.


B1) EXISTING CRAFTING – tweak the “old” crafting methods to fit 3.0 system

The current “craft item” options are (imho) pretty much useless. Even under the old system, they were simply too expensive and too random to be of any interest whatsoever.

They can be made more interesting by having the improved rarity of the product reflect the current level of the follower

E.g. “Craft Random Weapon/Shield” would cost gold, ore, and aether. Its cost would increase with Soulchaser’s level, but so would the rarity of the weapon it produced.

E.g. at follower level 25, such crafting would generate only a common or rare item … by level 50, it could generate all the way up to legendary. (NOT mythic.)

Similarly, as they get unlocked at higher Soulchaser levels, the other ones:

  • Craft weapon/shield
  • Craft for set
  • Craft for slot/set
  • And (new - for level 45 or maybe 50) craft weapon or shield for slot and set [i.e. **fully specified**].

Likely, these would produce a range of possible qualities, but the ‘top’ option shouldn’t be vanishingly impossible. E.g. a level 50 Soulchaser should craft a rare 25% of the time, an epic 65% of the time, and a legendary 10% of the time. No less.

Remove the “Craft random item” for aether (and similar) options. These would now be redundant as they largely already are: that’s just another gacha lootbox.

Alternatively, leave these “gacha” options in, but lower the follower level at which they become available. (Or, at least, the epic and legendary ones). This will make followers more appealing to the “gacha”-style-favoring customers.


B2) NEW CRAFTING – UPGRADING – higher-level followers could improve existing items’ rarity

Higher-level followers should also be able to improve specific gear, for a cost. E.g.

  • level 40, convert rare to epic
  • level 45, convert epic to legendary
  • level 50, convert legendary to mythic.

The new, improved item that’s produce would be unhoned. [But see B3 below.]

This would, in effect, be an alternate upgrading route (in addition to honing), one that mid-game players would want to pursue (i.e. leveling followers) and reward high-end players with the quicker (if not less expensive) mechanic. Costs should not be identical to honing costs, though, otherwise what’s the point.

To upgrade rare and epic items should probably cost gold and relics. To upgrade a legendary item to mythic should cost one follower crystal. … This would give those crystals new and continuing value to players who’ve already maxed out that follower.

NO MORE than one crystal though. Again, there are a lot of different pieces to upgrade. Hundreds, once you start going for different colors. There is no chance of players running out of things they’d want to improve this way, and so raising the cost wouldn’t encourage more spending, it’d drive away players and result in less spending.


B3) NEW CRAFTING – OPTIONAL – make such crafting particularly attractive to end-gamers

As an interesting twist – and to provide optional “depth” to the sorts of players who enjoy this kind of gameplay – the following:

Allow any item’s rarity to be upgraded by the crafters in this way, regardless of the items’ honing status. (This also gives added value to the ‘upgrade by follower’ path to mid- and end-gamers, because it opens a possibility the ‘honing’ avenue doesn’t allow.)

However, the “base quality” of the item so produced will be calculated from the quality of that item at the time it’s upgraded.

E.g., Suppose I have an unhoned epic item of quality 300. If I use a follower to upgrade it to legendary rarity, its new base quality would be 300+X (whatever that X value or range of values is to move from epic to legendary.)

However, suppose I fully hone that epic item first. Now its quality number is 360 (or whatever it’d be; I have no fully honed epic items to consult yet). Then the converted unhoned item of the improved rarity would have a base quality value of 360+X (capped, of course, if there’s some max value.)

This would encourage even more customer engagement and spending… because, if a player (even an end-game player) has a particular set of pieces they really like, they now have the challenge of acquiring one such piece all the way down at rare and then spending the time & resources to fully improve it (through full honing and then crafters’ upgrading) to get the best possible (or close to the best possible) mythic version.

This would provide new challenges to even end-game players, who may feel they haven’t anything left to pursue, without requiring significant new content, just tweaking of the existing follower and gear system!



So … there’s my suggestion for the best way – both for the enjoyment/engagement of players and for the finances of PQ3 – to re-introduce the gear-improving mechanism back into the game.

I think it both preserves the existing 3.0 changes (that are of interest to some sorts of players), while also re-engaging the players who like the challenge of more deliberate and thoughtful gear improvement.

I think it adds value and interest to the (currently) boring “usual” drops, because it makes low-end gear of potential value again (at least to those players who wish to pursue that route).

I think it makes the improvement mechanic available to new players from the get-go (as it used to be) while yet offering “better” methods of the mechanic at higher levels that will inspire them to stick with the game to reach that level

It makes gear-improvement at a reasonable cost (doable, but not cheap) so that it will attract the F2P players, yet give plenty of opportunity/incentive/scope for microtransactions to speed up the process.

And it adds elements for end-game players (the B3 part especially) that will give them new challenges (and expenses) as they try to get the very best version of gear for their high-end play.





Is there a short verison of this to read or a summary?


I’d prefer to encourage a substantive discussion … i.e. not trading tl;dr soundbites or batting unreflective quips back and forth.

However, I went back and edited the “section” headings (in bold) to give a little better summary of the contents of each portion of the post and thus provide a very brief overview (if you simply read those lines in bold).

To actually see/understand the ideas and the reasoning behind those proposals, though, you’d still have to read.

I figure if certain forum-readers don’t want to take the time to do that (which is fine), then maybe this isn’t the right thread for them… especially since I’m mainly trying to encourage useful and thought-out feedback for @Jeto to take to the dev team to consider, so I’d like to avoid just trading “soundbites”. … We’ve got plenty of those in other topics already!

May I offer some advise? It is great to have someone with so much energy, time and motivation to help improving the game by giving thorough feedback. However, I am afraid that it is possible to write too much feedback.

I started enjoying your first posts because you write well, deep and giving really good feedback. However, I soon was discouraged to keep reading them. Why? Because I felt that you write too many posts, too long and most of them just repeating the same points once and again. Even when commenting other player’s posts and comments, it seemed like you were writing your previous posts again. The last point may not be completely true, since I haven’t read most of your comments deeply enough, but when I quickly looked at them they did seem to me to mostly say the same thing once and again, so I had no motivation to read the whole post to see if there was any new addition.

So I am afraid that Santandrix comment is probably what most of us have thought after seeing yet another great but too long essay from you. I would like you to take this not as a personal attack, but as constructive criticism due to an important reason: your feedback is great, but writing so often, so much, and repeating yourself once and again makes it lose strenght. At the beginning your posts and comments felt like “nice, a player deeply involved in helping make this game better” but shortly after any new post and comment felt like “another one again, not going to bother reading it”. If people feel discourage to read your posts, then that is a problem because you are not reaching them. And if I was a dev probably I would feel exactly the same.

This is a problem I also have, a tendency to be so thorough on analysis and feedback that I tend to write too long and repeat myself too much. But I have learned that sometimes more isn’t better. The best post is the one that is easy to read, stating your point with as few words as possible so that it reaches most readers. It is difficult to encourage a discussion when people don’t feel motivated to read your posts.

All that said, thank you very much for all the time and energy you spend on contributing towards our community.


No offense, but I think this is a terrible idea. With the mythic farming you can do now it would constantly be hurting you if you no longer got your resources back.


I believe that what Switch is suggesting is that after fully honing a piece you can then do an “extra honing” which would then evolve the piece to the higher rarity. Only doing that would “melt” the honing costs into the gear so that they cannot be obtained back. Resources from regular honing would still be refunded upon salvaging the piece.

If I am right in my interpretation, I find it fair. Evolving gear would become more expensive than before, but having the ability to do it would be better than nothing. Personally I would prefer to just forget about evolution in the new system and just go with custom crafting, but having that option is better than nothing. However, I agree with Kenpo that the regular honing costs should always be refunded.


I think these need to stay, although they are a bit weak at the moment. Random and low level mythics it seems, which is fine, if you had more control over what you get. What I like about it though is it rewards you for grinding and its also something the devs can monetize as well by selling aether for 250 gems and the other deals they currently have.


I know what they’re saying, but i don’t like it. I’ve gotten 4 mythic bloodfang twinblades, am I just supposed to hone them and discard when I find a better one and just take the loss? Am I supposed to not hone till I find a Immortal mythic version of what I want? Just seems like a real headache to me with the new system we have in place. It puts the player in a lose/lose situation since they’re frequently finding a better version of the mythic that they’re using. It would be removing one of the best aspects of the rework, in that honing is no risk/low risk at the moment.

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I was assuming that once you are at mythic you cannot evolve anymore, because it would be a matter of quality and not rarity.

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Exactly, but the quality makes a big difference. For example the first mythic blood fang shield I got was 520 block. Then a 537 and finally a 581. Upgrading the wrong shield, if you didn’t get your resources back would be very discouraging.


This rarity-honing, as specified in OP, would only be up rarity levels: uncommon to rare to epic to leg to mythic.

There’s no rarity above mythic. So no new honing stage being proposed for that gear.

In fact, honing, as is, would remained untouched (honing mats refunded when you salvage an item) - this only (new) exception being for when the rarity is improved.


Even so, Higure is right – this really is way too expensive as originally proposed.

I was thinking in terms of the grind/monetize side of things for that, but it would make the cumulative cost of upgrading rarity far more expensive than before, which was already high.

So maybe honing mats should still be refunded in full, and its only the aether that would be consumed by improving rarity?

That would certainly increase player engagement. And there’d still be a huge demand for honing mats, given all the different gear. Don’t need to consume them to stimulate microtransactions.

Indeed. I believe that the mechanism to “evolve” rarity and the mechanism to “evolve/change” quality must be different. The rarity “evolution” (or crafting) is a must. The main problem is mid players having problems to get their desired mythics. Having a mechanism to “evolve” quality is less pressing in my opinion. It is not as needed and I would be ok with a random reforging. In the end, I see getting exalted and immortal mythics more as a “luxury” for hardcore grinders or really long term players to chase rather that something everyone should easily get.

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I agree completely, but I also don’t think those endgame players should be punished with permanently losing resources if honing was changed to that, just kind of defeats the purpose of grinding in the first place.

See above. That was never proposed. At least not by me:

TL;DR Summary , as requested.

For fuller discussion of the below, see the more discursive original post in the thread. (Slight improvements in suggestions made below as compared to OP.)

@Jeto maybe this will prove more useful to you? :smiley:



  • Implement gear-quality-improving mechanic, integrated into 3.0 gear and follower system
  • Make this mechanic optional – players may advance this way or strictly through gacha style
  • Thus make the game appeal to a wider customer base
  • Some quality-improving mechanic must be available immediately to new players (to attract those customers)
  • Mechanic must retain appeal even to end-game customers, which will help with …
  • Mechanic must give more opportunities and motivation for microtransactions.



A) New Honing Stage

  • Add a new, final stage of honing for rare / epic / legendary equipment.
  • This stage would cost aether to improve the item to an unhoned version of next quality
  • This would be the version of quality-improving immediately available to new players
  • This would make aether have more value to players
  • To consider: should honing materials be consumed when this is done?
  • … Pro: would increase demand for those resources, and thus microtransactions
  • … Con: This would make such honing prohibitively expensive, worse than before 3.0, dissuading player engagement, especially new players.
  • … NB: There is a lot of gear to improve. No need to further inflate demand.
  • … SUGGESTION: Refund relics and runes, not gold/ore/aether.


B) Follower Crafting

  • This should provide an alternate route, more attractive to mid- and end-game players, to encourage buying follower crystals
  • This should not be the only way to improve quality, as it needs to be available to new players (see above)
  • Follower-crafting to interest gacha players should be retained too.


B1) Rework existing crafting to fit 3.0

  • Should have options (at increasing follower level) to make increasingly specific gear, all the way up to fully specified.
  • These would be unhoned versions. Honing would then add the relic/rune/etc costs
  • Gear up to legendary should be created this way. Not mythic … provided there is another follower-based avenue to produce mythic. (See B3 below)
  • Rarity of gear thus crafted should depend upon the follower’s level: Level 50 follower produces legendary version, whether it be crafting ‘random’ or crafting ‘fully specified’
  • If it’s a range of rarities produced (randomly), there should be a substantive probability of getting top option. Don’t further discourage your customer base!


B2) Adjust making random item for aether

  • Reduce the follower level for “make random item for aether” options
  • This appeals only to the “gacha” players, but it gives them something do do with aether.
  • Top tier for this - make random mythic - would remain at follower level 50


B3) Add Follower-based Improve Item Rarity option

  • This would add new functionality that honing doesn’t offer, designed especially to appeal to end-game players, as follows:

  • In this crafter version of quality-updating, aether is spent, but the ‘honing’ costs of at item are not returned.

  • However, even an unhoned or not-fully-honed item may have its rarity improved this way.

  • The base quality of the new-rarity-version produced will be based on the quality of the upgraded item at the time it’s improved

  • Thus, e.g., a fully honed epic item will produce the corresponding unhoned legendary item with a higher base quality value than would an unhoned epic item that was improved

  • To improve a legendary item to unhoned mythic this way (the final stage) a follower crystal is required, in addition to aether. Only at this stage.

  • By fully honing and then follower-improving an item from rare up to mythic, a very high-base-quality mythic would be produced. It would also be very expensive (as honing mats at each level are consumed).

  • This will create abundant new demand by very-committed (and thus likely to spend $) players for all sorts of materials, as they work to get the best possible versions of their gear through crafting (should they so choose). And they will have a lot of gear to pursue.

  • This is designed as an optional, high-end possibility for end-gamers with lots of resources who want to invest significant materials to get a guaranteed top-quality mythic by crafting rather than gacha luck.

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This is what I have an issue with, why are you pushing for honing costs not to be returned? That would be a very annoying and unnecessary change for the devs to implement IMO.

Returning honing costs is very important, because quality is just as important as the rarity.

Thanks for sharing your feedback and suggestions for the upcoming gear changes.

Like with any update and update cycle, we are working ahead of what is currently released or about to be released.
The changes we plan to implement in 3.1 and very shortly after in 3.1.5, are mostly, locked in. Which is why we mentioned in the Crafting Follower thread, it would be best to hold off on any further feedback or questions until we can announce those changes next month!

There is still some discussion and feedback being shared about the planned changes and I will definitely pass on this thread, and continue sharing any concerns or feedback from the community!

But just so you and anyone else are aware, we have the changes, it is just a matter of getting through a lot of studio closed holiday dates, and some final details before we can share them.


No, this is an entirely new and optional mechanic. Not a change/replacement for the existing one.

I imagine honing – including honing of mythics – working just as before

I imagine honing items up one rarity level also returning honing – or most honing – costs. Higure is right, it’s way too expensive otherwise.

Honing up mythics, then salvaging them when a better mythic drops, would continue to return all honing costs (as I imagine it).

You’re right – it would defeat the purpose of making honing a ‘way to explore’ things, which players like, otherwise.


What I am proposing in the HIGH-END crafter upgrading section (B3) is an entirely optional, new mechanic:

  • You get an item at a lower quality level
  • You hone it up as far as you choose
  • Then you use this “high-end” crafter mechanic to do the “special” honing.
  • It doesn’t refund the honing costs but, in return, you get a higher base-quality item at the improved rarity
  • You are, in essence, spending honing resources to ensure a high-quality item
  • Do this all the way up, and you get a very high quality (maybe even immortal) mythic one.

But all this is would be entirely separate from the “normal” honing (including of mythics) and the refunding involved, as is currently implemented.

It’s designed as a high-level challenge for bored end-gamers with nothing else to spend resources on.

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Ah, okay. Well, maybe the above can be food for thought for later improvements.

I do VERY MUCH HOPE that the plan involves letting new players have access to the “improve rarity” options right away … and that the costs are reasonable. (After all, it’s all still subject to scrolls & glyphs.)

If it’s something only players with high-level followers can do, that would defeat the purpose , IE of re-engaging the alienated players and of widening the game’s appeal to a broader customer base.

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This is what I have an issue with, why are you pushing for honing costs not to be returned? That would be a very annoying and unnecessary change for the devs to implement IMO.

Returning honing costs is very important, because quality is just as important as the rarity.

I agree with this. Honing costs being returned is one of the best things about this system. If you find there is something you like, and you honed it all the way up and found you liked it. You then have the option to spend some time grinding in the dungeon without waiting on relics/mythic relics. Overall its a speedier process than before.

Looking forward to seeing how all of the pieces fit together for us in the future.