Live Update #3 is on the servers this morning. There are many changes, some of which I’ve been blogging about. But here’s something that requires your immediate attention. Many items have now become attuneable which were not attuneable before. A quick check this morning gives me the impression that any armor, weapon or jewelry item that gives a stat buff is now attuneable. This implies that crafted and quested items have all become attuneable.
Before you start to hyperventilate about losing the resale value of these items, the patch notes also state that any NOTRADE item can now be sold to a vendor. So you can recover cash from the item, but you can’t sell it to another player (or pass it on.) Twinking is dead.
But for your immediate attention, be aware that some of the items you are wearing are not giving you any benefit. If they just became attuneable, they will be in the equipment slot, but do nothing for you until attuned. That should be the first order of business for all of your characters when they log in.
I predict that this change to quest and crafted items will create a better market for them. One of the things that happened in Everquest 1 was that once the bazaar was implemented, the price of the lower level items dropped considerably. Since these items rarely leave the game, merchants were soon awash in them, and it was easy to equip a lower level character with very nice stuff. Too easy, probably, which meant that the low-level game became too easy, even ignoring the effect of powerleveling. An attuneable item will never be used by more than one player, eliminating this problem.
This seems like a fairly radical solution, however. I earlier speculated that before SOE did this, they could increase repair costs, to encourage folks to vendor stuff that’s green or gray rather than repairing it. But it may be that this would be too much of a penalty to folks who die a lot, making players a lot more risk-averse. This is a fantasy game, after all; the players are supposed to be heroes.
It’s also true that an attuneable item has less value than a non-attuneable item, because its resale potential is lower. Not zero, since they can be sold to vendors. So it’s hard to say whether the price of crafted items will go down or up in the long run.