Is It Time to Unbind Svardborg Marks?

I’m a big fan of how the devs implemented the Artifact Weapon progression from Module 10 to 12. What they did is introduce the best-in-slot Relic Weapons first and then follow up with the inferior Ascended and Chult ones for alts or casuals. That allowed gearing characters depending on activity, wealth, and build or play style without missing out on the current progression. I really hope the devs will continue with this approach and transfer it to other areas as well. It’s so much more convenient to invest time into something knowing it’ll at least stick for a couple mods.

Relic Weapons Are Hard to Get Nowadays

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That being said, there is definitely one distinct disadvantage to introduce best-in-slot early in the progression. With new released content, players obviously have more and more moved on from Storm Kings Thunder. That’s no shocker, but the missing population makes it hard to acquire the Relic Weapons nowadays. You are still able to farm almost everything solo, but that stops with the required reagents that only drop from Svardborg. Finding decent groups to run, let alone farm, the trial is hard. Plus it doesn’t help that the random epic trial queue is not too populated as well. Running other stuff for AD makes much more sense.

So getting the thirty legendary marks is incredibly hard. You might reason that you don’t absolutely need legendary, and purple quality only requires ten runs. That’s fine, but the only way you are currently going after Relics is if you want to strive for best-in-slot. And since the weapon damage plays such a significant role in overall DPS, “bis” means legendary. If you can’t bring the Relics to legendary, then it’s better to go with another set instead. The better set bonus doesn’t make up for it.

Is It Time to Unbind Svardborg Marks?

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Which begs another question: Is it time to unbind the marks? It has obvious pros and cons. I’m not sure how much of a pain it actually is, but the Svardborg mark grind has to be unreal right now. The Relic set, and with that a “bis” state, is largely unavailable to most new players. Unbinding the marks would not only make them available on the Auction House, but also open up a new farm/resell opportunity for those that already own their set. Almost everyone farming for legendary marks will end up with a surplus of epic and blue ones. Flipping those for AD and buying the legendary ones you need would lessen the grind.

It’s not unconditionally great however. Unbinding the marks would crash the market pretty soon. I’m sure the legendary ones could still sell for a decent amount, but blue and purple will go for pennies. It’s a tricky balancing act, because you don’t want Relic Weapons to suddenly become super easy to grab. They are better than Ascended and Chult, so they should be harder to farm. So you probably would either need to tweak the drop rates or only make legendary ones unbound.

Other Options?

In the end unbinding might not be the best way to tackle the problem of “bis” equipment in outdated content. Maybe a choice pack that let’s you pick the mark you want is already enough. Farming specific chests in Svardborg is a pain and it would help tremendously. But hey, that’s a discussion we’ve had ever since Underdark rings, and guess what… it never happened.

With the announcement that Module 13 will introduce a new tier of Artifact Weapons, a new important facet was added to this discussions. Because considering the grind, and knowing what’s next, it now makes even less sense to go for Relics. This illustrates why you need to make gear easier to obtain gradually. It already happend in other areas all the time, why not with the weapon sets?


Anyway, do you have other ideas of how to make Relic Weapons more obtainable without making them a complete walkover? Is unbinding the way to go? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

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j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

2 thoughts on “Is It Time to Unbind Svardborg Marks?

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2018 at 12:26 pm
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    Unbinding them may well crash the price, but atm they are worth nothing if they can’t be sold. But I suspect Uber-BIS players would prefer them to be unbound so they can sell off all the spare Legendary Marks they have and don’t need.

    But are the SoMI weapons needed for Mod 11, 12, 13 when even new players two weeks in the game have Wootz, Teak etc? I know I can be bothered. I went to SKT once and almost went blind, although the giants etc were easy enough to kill.

    But price always drops when supply increases dramatically, even if it does not outstrip demand. EG, the new Legendary Enchantment Stones were 1,000,000 AD when they started dropping. Now they are about 100k. I have ONE from a VIP lock box, and that’s all I have ever seen drop. Similarly, blue carts for the Siege of Neverwinter were about 24k+ the day before the event started. Now they are just a few thousand.

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  • Avatar
    January 22, 2018 at 5:19 am
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    Another option is to consolidate the mark types, similar to other RP consolidation efforts (yes, there are still BtA, BtC, and unbound RP sources of each type that they didn’t consolidate despite repeated requests, though consuming BtC immediately now makes more sense given that 2xRP is no longer an event). No real point in maintaining 3 distinct types at each tier. Consolidation would reduce the inventory need and make it easier to acquire the needed 30 as there is invariably one type that is lacking, which would reduce some of the current grind on acquiring. It would also give players more flexibility on grinding keys, which is another gate on current participation.

    The banner unlock is one of the few motivating factors for some people to join MSVA, but that normally requires a specifically-designed group composition to maximize survival chances and doesn’t foster continued runs once acquired.

    As the article indicates, Mod 13 will remove the BIS distinction for relic gear, which would be a good point to unbind the marks for MSVA. The overall demand would be dropping further anyway.

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