Q: Is the Netherlight Crucible supposed to be fully RNG on Tier 2 and Tier 3?
A: The artifact traits in your weapon have always been a steady form of progression. However, the relics you slot in your weapon is subject to RNG -- the loot might not drop or other factors.
Well what's a problem with relics? Relics point to a specific index and for each spec that can use that relic, that specific index will map to a specific trait. If a holy relic is a bad trait for one spec and they wanted to change it, that would change the relic for all the other specs that could use it, because of the way the index works.
They wanted to fix that with a system that gave relics a random second trait in 7.2, but it was pulled at the last second. This was supposed to help classes that were searching for specific relics but was determined to be too random. The Netherlight Crucible is slightly different; while it has some randomness, players will not be able to choose their worst trait because they simply won't pick it.
Q: Why is the Netherlight Crucible good, but Reforging bad?
A: Reforging wasn't great because of hit and expertise management -- e.g. when you got a ring and had to reforge 10 other items because of it. They don't think it was an interesting system, since if an item didn't have your best two stats, you simply just reforged to your best stats. In some cases, it was hard to evaluate upgrades as well.
Q: How much of the new Artifact Power will work in 7.3 PvP?
A: The first trait from the Netherlight Crucible, Netherlight Fortification, on each relic will work in PvP, but that only equates to a fraction of a percent upgrade since it applies before the scaling. The remaining traits will not work in rated PvP.
So, after yesterday's Q&A, it's become apparent that there's still some confusion about the Netherlight Crucible and how it works. We've been keeping an eye on your discussions about the topic, and wanted to give some explanations where we can, as well as open up a thread for any additional questions you may have.
Q: How do the Relic "talents" unlock?
A: As your Artifact increases in level (by spending Artifact Power), your Relic slots will level up as well. When you first unlock the Crucible, you'll have access to the first additional trait (a +5 increase to your Artifact's item level) in each slot. The second row unlocks at Artifact level 60, 63, and 66 (for the left, center, and right Relic slots respectively), and the third and final row unlocks at Artifact level 69, 72, and 75. This should all be pretty apparent when you look at those slots in-game, but may not be showing clearly via datamined info.
Q: What did you mean by "it can't double roll a trait"?
A: Just that you will never be able to upgrade a Relic to increase the same Artifact trait twice. If your Relic already has a bonus rank of Wrath of the Ashbringer on it, that trait will not be one of the three options presented in the bottom row of the Crucible's upgrade tree.
In other words, there's no risk of having your Wrath of the Ashbringer relic be "ruined" by not rolling a second bonus to Wrath of the Ashbringer, because that could never have happened in the first place. However, if you get a relic without Wrath of the Ashbringer, there's now a chance that it'll gain it from the Crucible.
Additionally, those three options will always be unique; it won't, for example, give you the "choice" between Deflection, Deflection, or Deflection. Aside from making sure you always have options, this means that your odds of having your favorite trait appear on a Relic you'd otherwise have discarded are actually pretty decent.
Q: How do the ranks for the first two rows work?
A: There are no such ranks. We think this is coming from some confusion about how the Netherlight Crucible is showing up in datamining, versus how it actually operates in-game. Once you've unlocked a row in the Crucible, you just select the option you like, and that's it - there's no additional leveling up of those options beyond that.
For those peeking into the data (or anyone else who might be curious): this is because of how we built the system to allow the unlockable effects to stack between each relic. It's just a subtle behind-the-scenes optimization on our end.
Hopefully that will help clear the air about how the Netherlight Crucible works, but we're sure you have more questions, so ask away and we'll do our best to answer what we can! We'll aim to provide an update sometime next week. Thanks!
Before the patch, if you get a relic that doesn't have the trait you want, you throw it away.
After the patch, if you get a relic that doesn't have the trait you want, you can plug it into the Netherlight Crucible and maybe get it anyway.
That's about all there is to it!
BlizzardOkay, here's a first pass at some answers. Thanks for all the discussion so far.
Q: Why are you adding this system? What’s with the RNG?
A: The Netherlight Crucible (aside from being an important part of the 7.3 storyline) is intended to help with an issue with Relic availability that players have been reporting for some time now. As Ion explained during our last Q&A, there are technical issues with the way Relics were built that limit which bonus traits can be available from raids. This has caused a number of raiders to feel as though their best bet is to run Mythic Keystone dungeons constantly in the hopes of having a Relic with their ideal bonus trait drop (and Titanforge for a high item level).
Those who were following development of Patch 7.2 may recall an earlier take on an improvement for this issue, where we experimented with adding a single, randomized second bonus trait to Relics. Ultimately, we decided that was the wrong approach, and wanted a system that put a little more control in players’ hands. So, while the Netherlight Crucible does still have an element of randomness, it presents you with several options to choose from.
To be clear: we believe that having some element of randomness is important. Our goal was not to simply allow players to choose the precise bonus traits they wanted (you already do that, more or less, when spending Artifact Power). We still want there to be those exciting moments where a Relic gives you a great outcome. The Netherlight Crucible is intended to make Relics more valuable on average, not to make all Relics be equal value.
Q: Will I be able to trade Relics with other players to see who gets the best options at the Crucible?
A: No. Previewing a Relic at the Netherlight Crucible will bind it to your character and remove the ability to trade it. This is because those trait options don’t actually exist on the Relic until you attune it to the Crucible, in a process similar to enchanting a piece of gear. It also prevents raid teams from feeling like they need to send everyone who might be interested in a Relic back to the Vindicaar before continuing.
Q: Will the Netherlight Crucible work on Relics acquired prior to 7.3 release?
A: Yes. However, keep in mind that it will take some time (likely several weeks) to unlock the later stages of the Netherlight Crucible, where the additional bonus traits come in. We don’t expect that stockpiling Relics prior to 7.3 will give any real advantage in practice.
Q: Doesn’t this just mean I’ll want my best two traits on each Relic now?
A: For the hardcore min/maxer, yes, there will still be a “best” outcome for your Relic configuration. However, there are now more Relics that can achieve that state (as Relics with your second-best trait can now roll your best trait at the Crucible), and you’ll encounter fewer “bad” Relics along the way.
Q: Why do I have to go back to the Netherlight Crucible to upgrade my Relic? Didn’t you want to get away from mechanics like that?
A: Players often compare this to the old Reforging system, and our dislike of having to visit a vendor after each and every upgrade. That hasn’t changed. The Netherlight Crucible only affects Relics – you won’t need to visit the Crucible every time you pick up a new pair of boots.