Normalizing low-level non-artefact gear was fundamentally a good thing for the game, given how RNG based old Forging was and how rare it was to actually receive any gear of worth. However, in this new system, the benefits for creating "premium" gear add up to no more than a few points of given stat. This lends non-artefacted fighters to pretty much having nearly the exact same resists as each other across classes, which is quite frankly, flat and boring.
What I propose is thus:
- Return the "Augment" enchantment to the Augmentation skill.
- Rework this enchantment to take a percentage of a "bonus pool" assigned to each weapon/armor stat at its point in creation, based upon the skill (smith rating) of the smith creating it.
For example, creating a suit of fullplate as a Legendary ranked smith will result in a 52/53~ set of armor (thereabouts). Posit the bonus pool for fullplate is 10% of each stat - this means that there is 5 points in the bonus pool for each stat. What the augmentation enchantment would do is take a bunch of reagents and make a roll for improving one of the stats at the expense of lowering the others
. Every point of stat modified would be drawn from the bonus pool, meaning that once a stat has been elevated beyond that stat's maximum, it will not progress any further.
Augmented: 57/47 (absolute best possible repeated augmentation rolls)
Failing an augmentation roll simply consumes the materials for the enchantment with no effect and does not damage the equipment in any way.
A good deal of depth could be introduced to Achaea's basic gearing system through this method, depending on the weighting given to stats on different pieces of gear. Obviously, speed would need to have relatively small pools given its extremely high base and influence as a stat, but having weapons that can be oriented towards harder hitting at the chance to miss seems interesting enough in its own right.
This will essentially induce variance in player-made gear as a direct result of some economical action. If this system doesn't appeal to you but the idea of gear variance does, then by all means, throw out some of your own ideas about what could be done to fix this gap, or if it's even really necessary.