Dark Age: Artificing

Overview

This post is about a new system which I have developed for the Dark Age Ultima Online shard. This expands the previously existing crafting and magic systems to allow players the ability to customise their gear further, as well as providing long-term incentives in the PvE realm.

Lore

Artificing is an old art, going back to the times of the Zealan Empire and perhaps even beyond. It is part alchemy and part jewelcrafting, melding gems of various kinds and imbuing them with power to then apply them to common, every day items and make them become something… more.

It is known that gemstones accumulate ambient mana, but it is the application of Artificing which truly allows a person to extract this power. Once the resulting artifacts are socketed into an item, those with Magesight can see the threads radiating from the them, tightly interlaced with the object’s Weave. This type of magical augmentation can provide many different benefits, although the process is both time consuming and expensive.

Yet, after having been nearly entirely forgotten, the Minervan Conclave has rediscovered this art, and from there the knowledge slowly spreads through the Federation.

The Artificing feat

You will find the new Artificing feat under Crafting → Tinkering → Jewelcrafting → Artificing.

As most other feats in the game, it has three levels of proficiency:

LevelCostDescription
I1000Can create Lesser Glowing Gems.
II2000Can create Greater Glowing Gems.
III3000Can create Jewels.

Anyone can socket one of the artifacts resulting from the Artificing process: no particular skills is needed.

The artifacts

Glowing Gems

These are the root of Artificing: condensing the power gathered in ten gemstones into a single one, with each type of gem (rubies, diamonds, etc) providing a different bonus. The resulting Glowing Gem can be of one of two qualities: Lesser or Greater. However, a Greater Glowing Gem is fairly unusual and created as part of the process with a 10% likelihood.

The exact bonuses of each gem type are left for the enterprising Artificers to discover.

Jewels

If Glowing Gems are the root, then Jewels are the crown: powerful in unusual ways, they provide the type of choices previously reserved for Feats. They are old magic, shattered at some point in distant history and now restored.

Jewel.png

These are created from Fragments: the broken parts of the original Jewel. As with the Glowing Gems, you’ll need ten fragments of the same type to fuse into a restored Jewel. There are no Lesser and Greater variants.

Unlike gemstones, Fragments aren’t common and therefore the full list is provided here so you can decide what types are of interest to you and how character builds might be affected:

ArtifactFragmentEffect
Aberrant MirrorFragment of a Strange MirrorYour spells pierce resistances when near someone with another Mirror.
Black Stellated OctahedronFragment of the VoidYou can cast while moving, but any backlash is more powerful.
Face of the MountainFragment of the GuardianA successful parry blocks any attacks from the front.
Profane BarbFragment of the ProfaneAttacks with this weapon tear the Weave surrounding your target.
Skirmisher’s GraceFragment of the SkirmisherFlanking attacks ignore armour.
Stone of the ImmortalFragment of the ImmortalMaximum resistances are increased to 80.

Character limitations

A character can equip up to five items with artifacts in them, with a maximum of a single jewel. E.g. it is possible to equip four Lesser Glowing Gems and a Jewel, but not three Lesser Glowing Gems and two Jewels.

The process

To create an artifact you will need three things: ten gems or fragments of the same type, an auric infusion and an auric chamber. You’ll also need an item with a socket so you can make use of the artifact. Assuming you have the ten gems or fragments, lets go to the other parts:

Auric Infusion

The process needs a catalyst, the alchemical concoction called “auric infusion”. This is created in a crystal decanter (which is crafted by a glassblower) and requires both Alchemy III and Warpstone Processing III:

Auric infusion creation.png

The resulting auric infusion is consumed in the artificing process: you’ll need one for each Glowing Gem or Jewel you’re making.

Auric Chamber

The Auric Chamber is the crafting tool of Artificers, and can be created by a tinkerer using 10 silver ingots (in Tools → Auric Chamber).

Auricchamber.png

Once the Auric Chamber is placed down, double click on it to bring up the Artificing interface. If you click on the left orb, you can add the gems or fragments into the chamber. Clicking on the right orb will let you add an auric infusion.

Auricchamber3.png

Once the chamber finishes the process, you’ll be able to take the resulting artifact from the top orb.

Socketing items

Now that we have an artifact, we need to place it in an item. When an item (armour, clothing and weapons) is crafted, it will be given a socket if it is of Exceptional or above quality.

Socket.png

Like vellum, there are restrictions on the quality of the item and the type of artifact you’re trying to socket:

ArtifactMinimum Item Quality
Lesser Glowing GemExceptional
Greater Glowing GemExtraordinary
JewelMasterwork

As mentioned before, anyone can socket an item as it requires no specific feat.

Removing socketed artifacts

Although anyone can socket an item, the opposite is not true! Removing something which has been socketed is tricky, as the Weave of both items becomes very tightly coupled. But it is technically possible, if you are willing to fiddle with forbidden magic: a rare, single-use item of obvious demonic origin can be used to unravel the threads.

Orb of Unravelling.png

These orbs are not trivial to acquire, therefore consider well what artifacts you’re socketing into which items.

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