Weapon Path & Gem Hammer Changes

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source: http://www.bladeandsoul.com/en/news/weapon-path-gem-hammer-changes/

A heads-up on a few progression changes coming to Blade & Soul.

Over the last few months we’ve been collecting your feedback on weapon upgrade paths and costs, as well as looking at data on how well players are progressing. With those things in mind, we wanted to share some changes coming to the game over the next few weeks.

Weapon Upgrade Paths

Currently, we have two paths players can take while upgrading their weapons, which we describe as Moonwater Plains and Silverfrost Mountains—named after the areas you collect the materials for your weapons. On June 1 the final tiers of Moonwater Plains—the Siren and Pirate weapon paths—will be retired, and any weapons on those paths will be diverted to the Silverfrost Mountains path at the next applicable evolution.

To clarify, True Profane will now only be able to progress to Oathbreaker and True Siren will only be able to progress to True Oathbreaker.  The path from True Pirate will remain unchanged and can only progress to True Breeze.

Part of the reason for our timing with this change is that in an upcoming in-game event you’ll be able to reduce your upgrade costs with a new item called a Nebula Weapon Upgrade Stone. These stones can be used in place of an Evolution weapon to reduce the amount of materials and gold required for weapon upgrades, and can reduce your upgrade costs by 10–40%. We’ll have an official announcement for the event with further details next week.

To give you some more background on our decision, in the original Korean version of Blade & Soul these weapon paths were retired at the release of the Silverfrost Mountains expansion. When we looked at average player progression at the time Silverfrost was going to come out, we made the decision to give players an option on how to progress, and kept the old path. While Pirate and Siren are considered to generally be cheaper routes to take, it requires continuous farming of lower-level dungeons to obtain the necessary materials. We think the player experience would be better served by being able to play in the new Silverfrost content, while also removing some of the weapon upgrade path complexity and short-term upgrade costs. With the weapon upgrade discounts provided by the Nebula Weapon Upgrade Stones in the upcoming in-game event, we think this is a great time to retire the old paths, help everyone upgrade faster, and get players into more of the content they want to be playing.

If you’ve been collecting Pirate Emblems and other upgrade materials for the Moonwater Plains weapon path, you have until June 1 to choose this path.

Gem Hammers and Gem Sockets

A while back we had identified an issue with players potentially losing the gem sockets they unlocked with Gem Hammers when they upgraded their weapon to the Silverfrost Mountains path. While this is how this system is intended to function, and has functioned in other regions, we agreed that it could be improved. Since then we’ve been continuing to work on the functionality, and starting May 11, any gem sockets opened with Gem Hammers on your weapon will no longer reset when transitioning from the Moonwater Plains weapon progression path to the Silverfrost Mountains weapon progression path. You’ll also still have the chance to gain additional gem sockets beyond the ones you’ve unlocked. Due to your feedback this is a change being made for other regional versions of Blade & Soul as well.

In addition, we’re making changes to the number of Gem Hammers needed to unlock additional gem sockets, and unifying costs for all Moonwater Plains and Silverfrost Mountains weapon paths.

Here are the number of Gem Hammers required for each path and socket number:

Weapon Path Socket 1
Cost
Socket 2
Cost
Socket 3
Cost
Socket 4
Cost
Socket 5
Cost
Socket 6
Cost
Max
Sockets
Moonwater 1 1 1 3 4
Silverfrost 1 1 1 3 5 8 6
Seraph/Baleful
(Legendary Gem Hammers)
1 2 5 7 15 22 6

To help cover the potential loss of gem sockets due to the upgrade to Silverfrost, we’ve previously distributed Gem Hammers to anyone who was affected. We’ll being running another distribution of four Gem Hammers to any new characters affected with the May 11 maintenance. More details on this process can be found in our Gem Hammers for Affected Players forum post. If you’re in the process of upgrading your weapon to the Silverfrost Mountains path, please feel free to go ahead and do so.

We know that this has been an ongoing process, and appreciate your patience as we’ve worked to provide compensation, and implement an impactful change on how this upgrade process works moving forward.