[Dev Blog] End Game Update Part 2 - January Update

January End Game Update

In the January update, we will release another large set of changes to the End Game in New World. Be sure to check out our previous update here. The main goal of these changes is to increase the Gear Score of items in the game to 625, so you can handle the difficult challenges introduced by Expedition Mutators. We wanted to increase Gear Score without invalidating all the gear you have worked hard to earn to date, and in a way that integrates with our current systems to give you multiple paths to achieving that gear. Read on to learn the specifics and then try it out when we release the PTR.

Umbral System

The Umbral System allows you to upgrade any GS (gear score) 600 item you have acquired up to GS 625. A new non-tradeable resource has been added to the game called Umbral Shards, that can be acquired through a variety of means, which we will discuss below. Once acquired, you can use them to upgrade an item from the inventory screen by spending as many Umbral Shards as you want. The amount of Umbral Shards required to raise the Gear Score of an item will increase as its Gear Score increases.

Acquiring Umbral Shards

You can acquire Umbral Shards in 3 different ways. The most efficient way is through running Mutated Expeditions. Mutated Expeditions award Umbral Shards based on their Difficulty Level and the Score Rank you achieve upon completing them (for more info on Mutators, Difficulty Levels, and Score Ranks, see the PTR release notes). Completing a Mutated Expedition at your recommended GS level early on will reward you enough Umbral Shards for many upgrades, while, as you reach GS 625, it will only give you enough Umbral Shards for 1-2 upgrades, depending on your Score Rank.

In the December Update, many players reiterated how important it is to be able to achieve End Game gear through a variety of means, so we’ve added two other ways to earn Umbral Shards that should allow for a variety of avenues to accommodate different play styles.

The next way to acquire Umbral Shards is by opening Gypsum Casts after the Expertise of that item type has reached at least Expertise 600. Yes you read right - the Expertise cap is increasing with this release, all the way to 625 to match the new Gear Score maximum. The higher the Expertise of the slot you are opening a Gypsum Cast for, the more Umbral Shards you will get.

Lastly, Umbral Shards can be acquired through Crafting. Once you reach at least Expertise 600 for a gear type, any time you craft a GS 600 item of that type, you will earn Umbral Shards. The amount of Umbral Shards earned will increase as your Expertise level increases.

Expertise Cap Increase & Gear Scaling

As discussed above, the Expertise cap is being raised to 625 in the January Update. Expertise will increase to 600 through the current ways - Gypsum Casts and random bumps in the open world.

When you reach Expertise 600, you unlock the ability to upgrade items of that type via Umbral Shards, as well as the ability to acquire Umbral Shards from Gypsum Casts of that type, or crafting by GS 600 items of that type. An item must have rolled a Gear Score of 600 to be eligible for an upgrade.

Once at Expertise 600, you can increase Expertise by upgrading items through the Umbral System. For example, the first time you upgrade any Great Axe from 600 to 601, it will increase your Great Axe Expertise to 601.

In January we will introduce a previously discussed change, which will adjust the effectiveness of your gear based on your Expertise. Based on previous feedback, we will only reduce the effectiveness to the mid point of your Expertise and the item’s Gear Score, and we will only scale items that are purchased from the Trade Post (after the patch) or acquired through Player to Player trading. This means any crafted item, any quest reward, or any item you purchase from the Faction shop will be exempt from any sort of Gear Score scaling.

Expertise Quality of Life Changes

We’re also introducing a few QoL changes to further improve the Expertise system:

  1. Whenever you craft a GS 600 item, if your Expertise for that item type is under 600, it will trigger an Expertise bump. This will be another great way for crafters to get their Expertise to 600 (in addition to the already released Emerald Gypsum from Trade Skill Aptitude Reward containers)
  2. If you get an Expertise bump from a random drop in the open world, the loot ticker will now show which item gave you the Expertise bump
  3. If you get an Expertise bump from opening a reward cache, the opening sequence will highlight which item gave you the bump
  4. You can now craft the Topaz Gypsum Attunement Potion at any Arcana Station as well as any T5 Camp
  5. You now have increased odds of getting Topaz Gypsum when killing enemies while attuned