So, when you learn all your engrams and start crafting your items you will notice everything you make is Primitive.
This is the base level for all items in the game. essentially the worst of the worst, it is pretty much useless.
Normally what would be required is for you to spend your hard-earned game time running caves and beacons as well as deep sea loot crates looking for blueprints or items. These would (hopefully) have better stats than their primitive counter parts. Everything from increased armour and heat/cold resistance to increased weapon damage
Blueprints are essentially (potentially) better engrams.
There are currently 6 levels of quality in the game. each new level brings with it a chance for the item to be better than the one below although this is not gospel. It is totally possible to find a lower tier item that has better stats than a higher one thanks to the RNG element of the stats. What each level of item does bring is an increased cost for crafting and repairing. The higher the quality the more it is going to cost your piggy bank.
The 6 levels currently available and there crafting costs are as follows
- Primitive – 1x crafting cost
- Ramshackle – 1.33x crafting cost
- Apprentice – 1.67x crafting cost
- Journeyman – 2x crafting cost
- Mastercraft – 2.5x crafting cost
- Ascendant – 3.5x crafting cost
As you can see those costs rack up pretty fast. So that’s a brief overview of item quality and the bleakness of running around collecting every beacon and box you find to open it up and find yet another metal irrigation pipe blueprint (SCORE!)
This is where the Upgrade station comes in! (fanfare)
So, the Upgrade station comes in 2 styles. Ramshackle wood for those swamp dwelling shrek lovers and shiny metal for the tek heads. No difference between the two other than the way they look.
It has 3 components! That’s right 3 not 1 not 2, 3!
Upgrade station – Put a piece of armour, a saddle or a weapon (not a blueprint) into this bad boy hit upgrade and the item will increase through the tiers in an eye watering display of resource consumption.
Augment station – Allows you to apply a crafted “augment” to your items to further refine its stats. Each tier of gear has maximum allowed stat. The augments allow you to reach these and defy that pesky RNG. The augments available are as follows:
- Negator – Reduces the stats of an item (I know right who uses this!?)
- Armour – Increase the armour value of your item (saddles and armour alike)
- Armour Durability – Increase the durability of your armour and saddles (can get hit for longer before it breaks)
- Hypothermic (Cold) Insulation – Increase the cold resistance of a piece of armour (increase the effectiveness of fur armour in cold environments for example)
- Hyperthermic (Heat) Insulation – Increase the heat resistance of a piece of armour (increase the effectiveness of desert cloth/ghille in hot environments)
- Water retention – picture it. You’re in the desert. Dragging yourself towards where you saw that oasis for a sip to drink. This helps you to require a drink less often
- Damage – Pretty sure this make you hit things harder….
- Weapon Durability – Its annoying having to repair that pick every 10minutes isn’t it? Not anymore!
Blueprint station – The final piece of the puzzle. Place a piece of armour/weapon/saddle in the blueprint station and turn it into a blueprint. Especially useful if you found an item you like and are worried about losing it. Create a blueprint from it and make as many as you like!
So here we goooooo. You’ve just made yourself a shiny new primitive metal pick. But you want so much more.
- Place your pick in the augment station
- Craft yourself some damage and weapon durability augments
- Click your pick and then in the centre click augment item
- Continue doing this until it will go no further (you may need to remove one of the augments once it hits max as it will continue to try to increase that augment instead of switching to the next one)
- Take your shiny pick of increased stats and place it lovingly into the upgrade station
- Click your pick and click upgrade
- OMG its now ramshackle!
Now we can either upgrade it all the way to Ascendant or throw it back in the augment station to increase its stats further. It’s up to you which way you want to do it and it will depend on the resources you have available. You can upgrade it to Ascendant before going to the augment station at all. It will all end up the same. All you need to remember is that each tier will cap out at a certain level and will go no further until advanced to the next tier.
Now you have gotten your shiny pick of awesomeness to a level your happy with but what if you lose it? QUICK! Put it in the blueprint station and hit create blueprint. Phew. That was close. Did you see that Pego behind you ready to steal it? Pesky little things. Now you can create a new pick with all the stats you have pumped into it at your smithy and put that blueprint somewhere safe for pego revenge attacks. The blueprint station will even refund you some of the resources from the item you blueprinted as a thank you for fulfilling its destiny.
Well there you go. That’s how we use the upgrade station to its full potential. Nothing more to do now than go out and carve your way through the ark. Go on. Shoo. Why are you still here?
WHAT! Who told you about that!? I bet it was goose wasn’t it….. Ok, meet me in the alley in 5 minutes and I will tell you…
(Scene – 10 minutes later. A deserted alley strewn with the debris of society. Pan left to a shady looking individual hiding behind a dumpster)
Were you followed? Are you sure! Ok ok sorry cant be too careful. So, you want to know about primitive abuse do ya? Fine. But I didn’t tell you ok
You know that rubbish about using the upgrade station to advance through the tiers to allow for better stats? Its all a lie. Its not required. Its just the man trying to keep us working class down with increased resource requirements! Hoarding all the ingots for themselves.
Primitive abuse as we call it is a way of getting the maximum allowable damage/durability/armour on a piece of primitive tier armour/weapon/saddle. What does this mean? Well.. would you rather craft 20 rex saddles at 5k hide a go or 200? Yeah, I thought so.
So, what do we need to do –
- Mindwipe – Craft a mindwipe tonic and put your crafting skill up to 500. Not much point in going further. Put the rest wherever you like.
- Take your primitive metal pick of uselessness and place it in the augment station like before and augment its durability and damage
- Now don’t place it in the upgrade station! Stop!
- Place your Shiny metal pick of not so uselessness in the blueprint station and hit create blueprint
- Take your blueprint back to the smithy and craft said blueprint.
- Notice something? See that the little crafting bonus percentage there? Those stats have gone over the maximum allowable for primitive! What is this sorcery!
- I wonder what would happen if I blueprinted this new pick and crafted it again…
- IT HAPPENED AGAIN!! it got even better
- Throw that old blueprint away and make another
- Keep going! Maximum weapon damage is 755.3% the process will speed up as you go due the increase being % based so 10% of 500 damage is a lot more than 10% of 200.
And there you have it. Maximum stats with minimum resources. This works for most weapons, armour and saddles. The weapon damage is fairly consistent at 755.3% but the armour value will be dependent on what you are crafting. Flak goes higher than cloth obviously and certain saddles will be lower than others rock elementals and platform saddles for example.
Now get out of here before we are spotted