Sacred 2:Item quality levels vs Enhanced Perception - Magic Find - Bargaining

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Item quality levels vs Enhanced Perception/Magic Find/Bargaining

By Antitrust

Re-posting my SIF topic here, maybe it'll be of some use still :)

All info was tested before Ice & Blood, so there could be differences in the expansion or CM patch.

I've posted many times what I suspected about the general concepts of this issue. Thanks to the research made by Cthulu and the recently published details of MF and EP, many things fell into place, so I can explain it in less vague terms. Any improvements or corrections are welcome.

There are 16 different item quality levels or tiers. They start with "tier 00" (junk items), and gradually improve to "tier 15". You can see just how better or worse the tiers are, compared to tier 01 (normal white items).

00 (75% quality) junk items no bonuses (example)
01 (100% quality)
02 (102% quality)
03 (104% quality)
white items 1 bonus (example)
04 (106% quality) white items 2 bonuses
05 (108% quality) blue items 2 bonuses (example)
06 (110% quality)
07 (112.5% quality)
08 (115% quality)
blue items 3 bonuses (example)
09 (117.5% quality)
10 (120% quality)
11 (123% quality)
12 (126% quality)
yellow items 4 bonuses from now on (example)

special item models become available
13 (129% quality)
14 (132% quality)
15 (135% quality)
yellow, set and unique items mostly sets and uniques are dropped when these three qualities are chosen

Non-quest legendary items should be in the last three tiers, probably in 15 (unless they have special rules, which is unlikely). They are so rare probably due to their low number, compared to the hundreds of sets and uniques. They might also have some sort of a rarity value assigned, making them even harder to drop even if the high tiers are selected. Or they might be only dropped by bosses or monsters of specific rank.

Obviously the tier 15 has an extremely low chance to be picked, while 01 and such are picked very often.

Each quality level allows a specific number of bonus slots (number of bonuses the item can have). Each bronze/silver/gold socket will occupy a bonus slot if the item becomes socketed. E.g. a white item of quality 03 will either have a bonus or a socket. A yellow item will always have 4 bonuses, or 3 bonuses and a socket etc. There can be up to two sockets on a random item.

There seem to be some very rare exceptions to this, like rare items with 3 bonuses. There should be a logical explanation though (maybe the item got some extra elemental damage that counts as a bonus and is not displayed, or maybe a bonus occupies two slots?).

Differences between qualities
So what is the difference between a 09 yellow item and a 15 one? It seems that some bonuses can't spawn (or at least very unlikely to) on the lower-tier items, and some bonuses seem to be considered "better" than others. There doesn't seem to be a difference in actual bonus percentages/values, so a 09 yellow item will have the same e.g. "chance to evade %" as a 15 one (assuming the same item level).

This means that high-quality rares are more likely to be good items (from player's point of view).

Lightsabers are in tier 12, which is why high level chars have difficulties shopping them (see below).

Skills/MF (magic find)
Enhanced Perception and "chance to find valuables" (and the side effects of Survival Bonus, map revealed etc) affect the tier from which the item is dropped. They increase the chance that the item is dropped from a higher tier. This specifically lowers the chance to get a low-tier item, improving the quality of the drops. (for original explanation by Llama8 see here)

It is especially effective on uncommon monsters (champions/bosses etc). Some monsters have limits on what item tiers they can drop, e.g. some of them can drop from tier 09 and up, so even a small quality improvement is actually rather significant. Cthulu's research at Dark Matters addresses specifically this issue in details.

All monsters are supposed to have a chance to drop items of any tier above minimum, though some monsters can't drop certain items (according to their drop lists or whatever).

Bargaining works just like EP, but it has diminishing returns that depend on character level.

Characters without Bargaining skill will be offered items from tier 06 and lower. Bargaining increases this limit, so merchants can offer higher level items, up to tier 12. This limit is the reason why set and unique items cannot be bargained (they start at tier 13).

Increasing Bargaining will gradually increase the quality level, reducing the amount of low quality offers. When tier 12 is reached, any additional skill points invested seem to only increase the amount of offered yellow items. If Bargaining is high enough, white/blue items will not be offered.

Bargaining Mastery should push the minimum/maximum allowed quality of a quest reward higher (most likely by 1-2 tiers, though it might depend on the skill level).

The skill level that is required to unlock the higher quality levels depends on character level (the exact formulas are unknown). Low-level characters can reach tier 12 with just a few skill points, and can even get to the point where mostly yellow items are offered. High-level characters require more investment.

Below is an example of Bargaining for character levels 15 and 200:

Level 15:

Quality 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
Required Skill Level 0 1 3 7 10 13 17

Level 200:

Quality 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
Required Skill Level 0 19 83 159 394 * *

* You can't get enough skill bonuses to unlock these

Patch 2.40 reintroduced the requirement of 75-hard-point mastery, which has a direct impact on achievable quality levels. The breakpoints are actually different for skill level 75 and above, you need much more skill points without hard-mastery. Without 75 hard points in the skill, the quality levels you can unlock are very limited at high levels, so yellow item ratio will be lower (you only see an increase after you hit a quality level breakpoint). Console users might be using an older patch, so this might not apply to them.

At high levels (until about char level 150), soft Bargaining can unlock up to quality 10 (you need more than 600 skill points for that). After that, only 09 can be unlocked without hard-mastery. By the time you're level 200, you won't even see yellow items at merchants (unless you can get a suit with about 600 skill points, which is possible but a bit difficult). No more 1-hard-point shopping sprees...

Skill points between the breakpoints are totally useless, so don't bother making a full shopping suit unless you're sure you can hit the next breakpoint.

Here are the early-game breakpoints:

Char level Tier 10 Tier 11 Tier 12
20 14 18 24
30 22 30 40
31 44 18 61
50 42 62 89
60 55 85 129
70 70 115 190

Here are the breakpoints for a level 80-90 character (both with or without mastery):

Char level Tier 10 Tier 11 Tier 12
80 (soft) 89 156 297
80 (hard) 79 101 132

Char level Tier 9 Tier 10 Tier 11 Tier 12
90 (soft) 60 113 218 529
90 (hard) - 88 117 167

Assuming you master the skill, here are more breakpoints for those that are interested:

Char level Tier 10 Tier 11 Tier 12
100 98 136 196
110 109 158 247
120 122 187 322
130 137 224 444
140 154 274 670-680
150 175 345 1300-1400
160 201 453 5000-10000
161 204 467 *
162 206 482 *
163 209 497 *
170 232 638 *
180 272 1029 30000+*
190 323 2397 *
200 394 * *

* Extremely high numbers. Skills become bugged around level 32000.

Originally published at DarkMattersfor review and discussion.

See Also