Game Update 51, including massive changes to the Lavastorm zone, is currently on the Test server. Crafting items of note that are included in this update include stat changes to crafted held items, a new level 40 crafting quest for a recipe book full of appearance armor, two new red glowie collections, a new crafting mission for Far Seas Supply Division faction and tokens, and a new city crafting faction recipe book. Interior decorators will also find a new horde of plushies and other house items, as quest rewards, collectibles and faction purchases.
Since that is a lot to cover, I am not including the now-traditional mini-story directly in the preview, but will link to it instead, so that those who want some extra diversion and amusement can still get their fix, while not distracting others from the meaty details of the update.
At this time, there is no release date for GU51, as they try to hammer out various issues. You can read more from a March 9 post about it on the SOE forums by clicking on this link.
With this update, crafted shields, symbols, tomes, orbs and idols will get a revamp. All the old versions of these items will still exist (so if you really want a damage proc on your shield, instead of the new blessing proc or imbued hate proc, instead of better stats, get them made now!), but will no longer be crafted. Instead, new versions of the items will be slipped into place. This will include the standard progression of:
In the above examples, the "Pristine" one displays the stats on items that were made before GU51, and the other version shows what can be crafted after GU51. As you can see, the protection stays the same, but there is a solid increase in stats to bring them more in line with looted/quested items.
Added notes - shields. Round, tower and kite shields can be imbued with the imbued (hate gain/loss proc) effect that we currently see in imbued weapons, but do not have a blessed version. Bucklers can be imbued with the blessed (spell damage/heal proc), but do not have an imbued version.
Enter the intrepid crafter, level 40 or higher, to do some investigating, coaxing, cajoling, crafting and downright grunt work, in order to first find out more about the goblins, and then to obtain the prized recipes.. This quest series will result in several nice bits of crafting experience and achievement experience, two house items, the recipes for the appearance-only Sootfoot Magma armor pieces (including 3 different pauldron styles, and two different greaves styles), and a no-trade mold needed to create one piece of this armor.
I will put the quest writeup for the series "soon", but in the meantime, there are several things to note:
Enter two new red glowie collections that can be seen by epic crafters who are wearing their Earring of the Solstice as they roam the appropriate zones.
Unlike other red glowie collections, the glowies will be Lore and No Trade (instead of just Lore). However, also unlike other red glowie collections, the no trade rewards are actually useful, instead of just neat-looking house items.
Working specialty forges!
The Lavastorm red glowie collection will yield a fully functional Sootfoot Forge that will allow you to craft the Sootfoot Magma armor from your own home or guildhall.
The Zek red glowie collection will yield a fully functional Blood Iron Forge that will allow you to craft the various DFC Blood Iron Ore armor sets. As with the other forge, this one can also be placed in either home or guild hall.
Many of you may be scratching your head over that item, so here's some extra details:
First off, you'll be heading to the Overlook out in the Moors of Ykesha (this is where the new port stone from the Far Seas Supply Division vendor in Mara will take you as well). From there, you will talk to the balloon coordinator, and have a special conversation option that will send you out to where they need help.
It will zone you in to a sorry sight.
You get to see what happens on an adventurer's raid in a new light. Bodies of adventurers and mounts everywhere. The portal that was to allow the survivors to escape (their only way out) has been destroyed by a meteor, and the folks in charge of rebuilding it are behind. Once again, they need you, the mighty crafter, to help them out of this mess.
Once you talk to the foreman, you'll be scavenging armor and jewelry from the corpses of hapless adventurers, grabbing meat from the dead mounts, harvesting nodes in the area, and chasing down slow-moving residue for your materials. While you may not find 20 uses for a dead warg, at least it won't be drooling all over you anymore!
I'll add further quest details to the existing Far Seas writeup later. For now, however, let us just say that you might want to put some effort into chasing those void residue around now and then, as evidenced by this picture of Mum:
Yep, that's really Mum, in the flesh ... erm ... goo ... or something.