At the release day of Neverwinter’s Shroud of Souls, we are wrapping up our preview series with Masterwork Professions. The update comes with some changes to the system as well as a full new line of recipes and gear. In this post I’m going to outline how the new stuff aligns in the progression and who will likely be able to profit.
First of all, let’s stop calling the system Masterwork Professions. It’s an irritating term as profession lovers find little points of interest in it. Masterwork is an economic system for the elite, and Shroud of Souls won’t change that. Although you can now buy the recipes outright, you are still going to need the tools from Masterwork v1. Catching up is made a little bit easier (see below), but I still wouldn’t recommend starting from scratch unless you really have some surplus ADs or know exactly what you’re doing. So in a way Masterwork v2 is only for the players that have already completed the old recipes.
Item level 480
The exclusive group that will make it to the top will find intriguing rewards. With Masterwork you are going to be able to craft item level 480 armor and jewelry. This is the old item level 160, fully empowered Relic gear. While technically best-in-slot, the Relic armor still has Everfrost Resistance going for itself. Fangbreaker Island and Svardborg remain relevant so you either need to cover the necessary resist differently or switch armor depending on the content you’re running (which some might already do anyway). The PVP stuff has item level 450, which is slightly over Prestige, but without a set bonus.
The new Rings outdo everything in terms of item level, but do not feature the same double slots. In most cases the current +5 / legendary Rings and Companion Gear will do more for builds although Masterwork Rings have the higher item level. But it really depends on what type of slots you need. The devs additionally learned from the last line of gear and did not include regular Neck and Waist pieces this time.
Artifact Sets, Weapons and Guild Hall Interior
Masterwork do not only feature armor and jewelry though. You’re actually able to fully gear up a character as there are also Artifact Sets and updated Stronghold Weapons included. The Artifact set bonus adds some Recovery and Movement and could be intriguing for support characters. Since you will be able to freely combine four Neck and four Belt pieces, it’s easy to find something that fits your build. Last but not least Masterwork will be a major source of Guild Hall interior and furniture.
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The acquisition of resources was slightly changed for Masterwork v2. The Explorer’s Charts are back, this time in the three Storm Kings Thunder areas, but you’ll also need stuff from the new temporary Merchants in Strongholds and from running endgame PVE dungeons. This makes the whole system a tad more diverse as it engages in more areas than just farming stuff during Double Professions. The Explorer’s Guild structure nonetheless remains a pivotal piece of all Strongholds. Please note that a long-standing bug is patched as well and the building now correctly applies the multiplicator for Explorer’s Charts at level 6, not level 1.
What hasn’t changed is the fact that you still need resources from multiple professions to advance. So you either do it all by yourself or need a reliable network to trade with.
As said the system is an economic one, so the possibilities of making some ADs are clearly there. Just like in Masterwork v1 sellers of Masterwork gear will be able to score sizable profit margins, especially in the first weeks. Experienced players estimate the prices to be a little bit lower this time. While this could mean less absolute profit, more players being able to afford and willing to buy the gear might offset this. It’s absolutely expected that engaging into Masterwork is insanely profitable and will eventually surpass the initial investment. At least if you’ve already completed the older recipes. It’s also going to be interesting how the market for Guild Hall stuff is going to develop. As purely cosmetic feature people could pay nothing or insanely high prices.
Everyone however has the possibility to farm charts, or dungeons. Explorer’s Charts were hands down the best thing to farm ever since Masterwork got introduced and I don’t see why this should change. Additionally the resources dropping from dungeons will be highly requested, so PVE farming will be a thing.
As said the additions are not the only thing in Shroud of Souls. The way to old recipes is getting a little bit easier as well. The same temporary Merchants that sell ressources needed for the new recipes also sell higher tier resources for the old ones. So you are actually able to dodge the cruel 20% RNG with Guild Marks. The structures are a guild wide effort though, so leaders most likely have to plan with their members. Also the Masterwork quests and Cases do now already unlock at Guild level 10, and the old Case’s Guild Mark costs were halved.
While this should be helpful, it doesn’t actually make acquiring Masterwork v1 easy. The devs themselves stated they still want the system to be hard to achieve. So if you were hoping to at least get the first recipes as casual, sorry. It’s still a massive task and requires a well organized endgame guild or a huge amount of AD.
At several points you should however be able to engage with the system earlier and in more ways, which is a plus. Overall however Masterwork will remain a system for the upper 5%, both in creating and affording the materials and end products. The good news is: The gear does not exactly render everything else useless. Relic gear is on par, and still needed, Prestige only slightly worse. The only thing that might again be absolute best-in-slot will be the Tenacity Rings. So nobody should be feel forced to buy into the gear and in case you choose to skip it, that’s absolutely fine.
What do you think about the new Masterwork recipes? Are you aiming for something or even plan to be a player in the market? Share your thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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