Neverwinter’s Module 11: The Cloaked Ascendancy will come with four new sets of Ascended Artifact Weapons that match the Relic ones in item level. As soon as players found out on preview, a heated discussion started on message platforms. The new weapons are substantially easier to restore and use old Marks ion the upgrade process. Player that acquired the Relic ones in Sea of Moving Ice felt cheated, other applauded the devs for quickly moving away from the mess that SKT was.
New weapons do not represent bis
Despite all the noise, the balancing act on the new weapons seems just right. The devs made it known that they have no intention to make Relics obsolete. The set bonuses are what makes all the difference. Relics are a strong choice for offense and defense alike, the Ascended ones weaker and only boost specific areas. So let’s take a quick look on how you can acquire the new weapons in the Cloaked Ascendancy and who’s going to profit from them.
Restoring: No Heroic Encounters!
The upgrade process is pretty much on par with Relic weapons. You can buy the sets from a vendor in the River District and need to collect a sizeable amount of Reagents to restore them. Since the weapons use the old Marks however, most seasoned characters are probably only one Double Refining away from their legendary upgrade. What makes this a very casual approach as well is the fact that no required component drops from the master version of Spellplague Caverns.
Also: No Heroic Encounters everyone! As far as I understand it they are completely optional. The one Reagent that drops there can also come from Dig Sites and a campaign task. You need to put effort in grinding everything, but you’ll get there eventually. Other than a few Reagents that drop from the weekly instances I also can’t see a hard cap like Reclaimed Runes in SKT.
A full restoration guide is up here by the way.
The new set bonuses
If you already own the Relic Weapons at least at purple quality, there’s little reason to change. So that’s good news for those that feared the devs would be invalidate SKT with this module. The new weapons are for those that either didn’t want to or couldn’t acquire the Relics. It’s sort of a slightly less powerful yet still very viable set for the casual playerbase.
The Mirage set is the standard one in the Cloaked Ascendancy as you do not have to progress at all to buy it. It summons three Master of Illusions that fight for you and increases damage by 3% and 10% against enemies with Shields and Temp HP. As all the new set bonuses it lasts 10 seconds and has a cooldown of 30 seconds.
This is an interesting choice because it matches the Relic’s damage boost against Tanks. I’m not sure it’s at all viable in PVE, but PVP probably has quite a lot of opponents against whom the set will grant its full damage increase.
We already talked about choices in the campaign and here’s another one. Depending on what set you’re aiming for, you need to progress differently. The Aboleth set that increases damage by 4% and grants a random buff (2,500 Lifesteal, additional DoT damage or AoE damage) is unlocked by investigating Gyrion in the campaign.
Here’s your DPS set. It has the biggest straight buff at 4% and adds either Lifesteal, which DPS classes are in love with, or additional DoT or AoE damage. In case anyone has actually acquired this set and can provide some numbers about the damage, it would be appreciated.
Players unlock the Fey set by investigating Nostura in the campaign. It restores 10% of your AP on encounter use, increases damage by 3% and healing by 6%.
Hey, anybody running a Cleric focused on AP generation? Forget what I said about the Relic set being best no matter what! In this situation you might actually want to take a look at Fey. It’s basically the next tier of the Burning set with less Action Point Gain, but a nice damage and healing boost. It’s not a must have with all the sources of AP right now, but definitely a more than decent choice for DCs.
This set was set to outperform Relics in its original form, but has been nerfed since. It’s unlocked by investigating Kabal in the campaign. It enhances Defense by 5% and adds 10% of the player’s defense to Power.
This is probably the set designed for tanks. It needs very high amounts of defense to be able to outperform Aboleth, which DPS classes normally do not feature. For GFs and OPs that try to match the DR cap at 95%, it’s a sizable amount of extra damage though.
Overall we have four sets that really serve different purposes and cater to different builds. It’s a balancing job well done by the devs. All those that already have Relics can probably stay put and the rest has a more easier path to the next tier of weapons. I personally think it’s a clever move by the devs to deliver progression to those that felt or actually were excluded in the Storm Kings Thunder module.
What’s your take on the weapons? Do you like them, will you even switch from Relics? Make your opinion known in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.
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