Essence Metamod Crafting

As you know, the upcoming Essence challenge league starts on September 2 alongside the Atlas of Worlds expansion launch.

In this challenge league, you fight dangerous monsters to find Essence items that can be used to craft powerful rare items.

When designing this league, we had to answer an important question: How do Essences interact with master metamods, specifically the "Cannot roll prefixes/suffixes" ones?

While we were very happy with the power level of rares created with Essence crafting, we were worried that master metamod crafting would allow the creation of almost-perfect rare items too quickly. We decided that we wanted to try to allow this feature (as it is clever and awesome), but didn't want to commit to it too early, just in case we wanted to change it at the last minute. We started playtesting intently.

The feature grew on us until we were happy to mention it to journalists on our press tour and to show ZiggyD when he was in the office last week. The community either thought it was cool or dangerous, depending on how much they understood about the system.

Since then, it has become clear that we can't allow it to function this way. The crafting becomes absurd for cheap costs, generating near-perfect rare items for a relatively small investment. While we knew (and liked) that some of this was possible, the trivialisation of amazing rare item acquisition is a lot worse than expected.

That's okay though. The feature isn't released yet, and it's what our testing period is for - to find these problems and adjust things so that the system is impactful without ruining the game/economy. The only problem is that we had already discussed it with the community and might have set some expectations.

Our solution is that Essences will ignore master metamods when rolling an item.

I want to be transparent with the way that we picked the solution. These were the other options and our opinions of them:
  • Have it so that you can't apply an Essence to an item that already has an Essence mod on it. This is a pain to implement (as the Essence mods are just regular mods on items) and also undermines a lot of usability with the Chaos-like functionality of top Essences.
  • Have it so that you can't apply an Essence to an item that has a "Can't reroll prefixes/suffixes" master metamod on it. This option is easy to implement but somewhat inconsistent. Our team felt that this was an ugly solution.
  • Have all essences only work like Orbs of Alchemies. Currently the top two power levels of each type also work like Chaos Orbs, and this was the source of the master metamod problem. While this is the cleanest solution, we like the QOL benefits of having the top two tiers act like Chaos Orbs. We decided not to do this one because it'd affect many players negatively.

The option we chose is cleaner than the other options, and doesn't impact most players. It's also somewhat explainable: Essences are primordial and more powerful than crafting mods applied by Forsaken Masters.

At the end of the day, this master metamod Essence crafting was something that less than 1% of our players will be wealthy enough to attempt, but would dramatically affect the rare item economy for everyone. Essences already apply a large boost to the potential of rare item crafting, so we feel that this particular case was a bit too far in the direction of "the rich get richer".

We're really pleased with how Essence has been going in playtesting so far and are happy that we've had enough time to playtest it much more deeply than we have for previous leagues. It's a lot of fun to take on the difficult Essence encounters and save the items up for crafting or combining.

Thanks for reading, and for your feedback that helped make this decision easy! We're looking forward to seeing you on the first weekend in September for the Atlas of Worlds and Essence league releases.
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Last bumped on Aug 18, 2017, 1:24:47 AM
wow really nice work ggg, ignore the masters. My wife left me
Seems reason-able. I still fully expect mirror-worthy rares to come of of this league. If it requires a bit more effort on the player's part that's a good thing.
Designing Cospri's Will: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1665314
Designing Cospri's Malice: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1717008
Iron Heart & Iron Fortress too!
Good to know how they work regarding meta mods. This might be the first time I get my masters to lvl 8. Im still happy with the decision.
"Teamwork is OP"
-The one and only one Dark_Reaper115 at your service.
If we can use them like chaos spam in end game they would be have same drop ratio like chaos and this dont hurt doesnt rich people, or after we use essences if we need to use exalteds when this means rich players get richer. But good work I trust and sure, your decision will be the best.
IGN : WalkOnTheEarth
Awesome explanation. Cant wait for Essence League :D
Can't wait!
IGN: Chocobar/Jerlestarter (Betrayal)
GGG_ForcedMeTo_SSF (SSF Betrayal)
4th option make the essence mods not better than t1 stats
I totally understand the choice you've made, and I'm happy that we're informed about this mechanics so we don't plan on crafting items which won't be possible to craft. It would not have been reasonable to implement crafting options which easily let you create god tier items in a league that's not voided.

**Can we see the Essence League Challenge rewards now ?**
Isn't this just one more situation where something doesn't apply 'just because' without any in-game explanation for those who don't check outside sources? I know that doesn't apply to most people but I am sure there are those who just play the game and would be in the dark regarding these sorts of situations since there is never anything in-game explaining that particular things don't work in certain situations even though they function normally in all others.
"Danger is like jello, there's always room for more."
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