What is the most efficient way to enhance an armour? It seems to be the most asked question on this wiki. Many people answered it and people get different, sometimes uninformed, sometimes almost right answers. I have tried to answer the question a few times too on the wiki. My answers sometimes differed slightly, because there are many aspects that should be considered when you assess the best way of enhancing your armour. You can simply follow the rules of thumb that circulate. The most common I found were:
- Use Snakeskin Armor
- Have 4 Armorsmiths
- Use matching element armour for enhancement
- Use all 4 available Enhancement Slots every time
All those rules of thumb have a grain of truth in them. But all are also limited.
For instance using Snakeskin Armor will gain you 24 EP per armour if it has matching elements against only 10 EP per armour for Uncommon Storyline Armors if they match elements. But Snakeskin Armor takes 4x as long to make and it costs 6x as much to craft. So if you are in a hurry you might want to consider something else than Snakeskin Armor. The crafting costs of snakeskin may be higher but you may get the extra costs back because you pay less for the enhancement slots you have to use.
As I listed in a previous post on this blog the price of enhancement slots rises when you reach higher enhancement levels. So there may be a trade off between time and enhancement costs, and the most cost efficient way of enhancing armour may vary. Is there a phase in the enhancement process where Snakeskin Armor is not the best choice for enhancement? And if so: When is that? We need to compare the costs of different options. For that we need to find out what those costs actually are and a way to compare them. In this blog post I will show a simple method of calculating the costs of different options and of comparing them.
For enhancing an armour you have to destroy other armour. That other armour has costs. The first cost it has is the Boss Drop Materials needed for it. Those are different for every armour. Some drops are easy to get, like Stone Slabs and Chunks of Coral. Some are more difficult to get. Like Evil Jewels that are only dropped if you are lucky by the Dark Prince in the Epic level of the Haunted Citadel. The most commonly used materials for enhancement armours are found in the lower storyline levels. If you are an advanced player the costs of gathering them will be very low. So I will just assume there is an abundance of crafting materials available for the different armours.
Calculating Costs - a formula
Crafting an armour costs crafting materials, gold, and time. In this first formula we will focus on the gold. Enhancing an armour with another armour means that a certain number of Enhancement Points (EP) are added to that armour, which results in a higher level of that armour. What we want is to add EP and the armour used for enhancement is only used as carrier for those EP. For the armour being enhanced it does not matter what kind of armour it gets the EP from. EP are EP. Different armours have different values in EP they add when used for enhancement. For the purpose of enhancement we have to link the costs of enhancement to the amount EP added.
The costs of enhancement are not only the costs of crafting the armour, but also the costs of using an enhancement slot ES. So for an armour we can say the number of EP added by and armour cost (crafting materials, time and) gold for crafting and gold for an enhancement slot. In a formula:
EP added(armour x) = Crafting(armour x) + ES(target armour)
The crafting cost of a Snakeskin Armor is 3,000 gold and it adds 24 EP in enhancement if it matches an element. Suppose we want to enhance a Legendary armour with it at level 9. The price of an enhancement slot in that case is 600 gold (previous post).
24 EP costs 3,000 + 600 = 3,600 if using Snakeskin Armor.
If we use a matching Uncommon in that situation we add 10 EP for 500 crafting cost and the same 600 for the slot. That results in:
10 EP costs 500 + 600 = 1,100.
The costs per EP with using Snakeskin Armor are 3,600/24 = 150 gold/EP whereas the cost of using an Uncommon Armor is 1,100/10 = 110 gold/EP. So in this case enhancing with an element matching Uncommon Armor is cheaper than using a Snakeskin Armor.
At level 22 an ES costs 1800 gold. If we want to enhance an armour at that level the cost per EP of using a Snakeskin armour would be:
1 EP = (3,000 + 1,800)/24 = 200 gold
Using a matching Uncommon would cost:
1 EP = (500 + 1,800)/10 = 230 gold
At that higher level suddenly Snakeskin Armour is the cheaper choice. Under a certain level using an uncommon armour costs least, and above that level Snakeskin Armor is the cheaper choice. What is that level?
We can simply state that armour x is cheaper to use than armour y if:
Cost per EP (armour x) < Cost per EP (armour y)
So in this example: if
(3,000 + ES)/24 < (500 + ES)/10
Snakeskin will be cheaper and if not, the other armor.
If we multiply both sides of this inequality (is that English?) by 10x24 we get:
30,000 + 10 ES < 12,000 + 24 ES
That can be simplified:
30,000 - 12,000 < 24 ES - 10 ES =>
18,000 < 14 ES =>
18,000 / 14 < 1 ES =>
1 ES > 1,285.71 gold
An ES costs 1,200 gold in level 15 and 1,300 gold in level 16.
Cheapest option in gold (for now): Level 1 - 15: Element matching Uncommon Armor. Level 16 and up: Element matching Snakeskin Armor.