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Patch 7.3: Netherlight Crucible (Official) Preview + FAQ

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Netherlight Crucible is a new way to customize relics in Patch 7.3. It unlocks in week 3 of the Argus campaign, when you finish the story (Netherlight CrucibleNetherlight Crucible). There are three tiers of traits to choose from gated behind Artifact level.

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Argus presents new challenges and one last desperate bid to put a stop to the Burning Legion’s invasions of Azeroth. To face these challenges, the forces of the Horde and the Alliance have gained access to an ancient and powerful tool to help enhance Artifact weapons—the Netherlight Crucible.

The Netherlight Crucible is an ancient remnant of Argus that once served as a source of considerable magic. Though its potential power is thought by many to be a gift, empowering it would require great sacrifice…as well as a delicate balance of Light and Shadow.

During your time on Argus, you’ll work toward a new way to customize and enhance the power of your Artifact weapon. The Netherlight Crucible’s power is balanced with both Shadow and Light, providing powerful upgrades to your Artifact Relics. The Crucible will attune your Relics and soulbind them to you while unlocking access to 3 additional tiers of power. These tiers are unlocked by increasing your total Artifact level and are fully unlocked once you reach Artifact level 75.

The first of these is Netherlight Fortification which will increase the item level of your Artifact weapon.

The second tier offers a choice between Light power and Shadow power. Each of these powers is randomly chosen from a pool of 6 possible unique effects. This tier becomes available once your weapon has reached Artifact level 60 and your Relic slot has reached level 2. 

The third tier offers a choice of a second Relic trait that correlates to the either Light or Shadow depending on which was chosen in the second tier. These selections appear within the tree and branch from your previous selections. To begin unlocking this tier, you’ll need Artifact level 69 and Relic slot level 3.

ATTUNING RELICS

In the Crucible interface, an additional standalone slot can be used to preview a Relic’s potential traits. These Relics will display whether they can be attuned and will show as compatible with your Artifact weapon within the interface. Once attuned, these can be used to replace other Relics within your weapon.

The decisions you make in the tree allow you to choose whether to focus on third-tier traits that modify your class, or the unique powers that can be gained from the Crucible.

Netherlight Crucible FAQ

More clarifications about the new system were published by Blizzard throughout 7.3 testing.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Q: How do the Relic "talents" unlock?

A: As your Artifact increases in level (by spending Artifact Power), your Relic slots will level up as well. When you first unlock the Crucible, you'll have access to the first additional trait (a +5 increase to your Artifact's item level) in each slot. The second row unlocks at Artifact level 60, 63, and 66 (for the left, center, and right Relic slots respectively), and the third and final row unlocks at Artifact level 69, 72, and 75. This should all be pretty apparent when you look at those slots in-game, but may not be showing clearly via datamined info.

Q: What did you mean by "it can't double roll a trait"?

A: Just that you will never be able to upgrade a Relic to increase the same Artifact trait twice. If your Relic already has a bonus rank of Wrath of the Ashbringer on it, that trait will not be one of the three options presented in the bottom row of the Crucible's upgrade tree.

In other words, there's no risk of having your Wrath of the Ashbringer relic be "ruined" by not rolling a second bonus to Wrath of the Ashbringer, because that could never have happened in the first place. However, if you get a relic without Wrath of the Ashbringer, there's now a chance that it'll gain it from the Crucible.

Additionally, those three options will always be unique; it won't, for example, give you the "choice" between Deflection, Deflection, or Deflection. Aside from making sure you always have options, this means that your odds of having your favorite trait appear on a Relic you'd otherwise have discarded are actually pretty decent.

Q: How do the ranks for the first two rows work?

A: There are no such ranks. We think this is coming from some confusion about how the Netherlight Crucible is showing up in datamining, versus how it actually operates in-game. Once you've unlocked a row in the Crucible, you just select the option you like, and that's it - there's no additional leveling up of those options beyond that.

For those peeking into the data (or anyone else who might be curious): this is because of how we built the system to allow the unlockable effects to stack between each relic. It's just a subtle behind-the-scenes optimization on our end.

Q: What are the requirements to access the Netherlight Crucible?

A: Our intent at this stage of development is for there to only be two requirements: your character is level 110, and you have the account-wide achievement "Now You're Cooking with NetherlightNow You're Cooking with Netherlight." That achievement is given as part of the final chapters of the 7.3 story campaign, which is planned to open week 3 of the patch (so 15 days after release).

Q: Why are you adding this system? What’s with the RNG?

A: The Netherlight Crucible (aside from being an important part of the 7.3 storyline) is intended to help with an issue with Relic availability that players have been reporting for some time now. As Ion explained during our last Q&A, there are technical issues with the way Relics were built that limit which bonus traits can be available from raids. This has caused a number of raiders to feel as though their best bet is to run Mythic Keystone dungeons constantly in the hopes of having a Relic with their ideal bonus trait drop (and Titanforge for a high item level).

Those who were following development of Patch 7.2 may recall an earlier take on an improvement for this issue, where we experimented with adding a single, randomized second bonus trait to Relics. Ultimately, we decided that was the wrong approach, and wanted a system that put a little more control in players’ hands. So, while the Netherlight Crucible does still have an element of randomness, it presents you with several options to choose from.

To be clear: we believe that having some element of randomness is important. Our goal was not to simply allow players to choose the precise bonus traits they wanted (you already do that, more or less, when spending Artifact Power). We still want there to be those exciting moments where a Relic gives you a great outcome. The Netherlight Crucible is intended to make Relics more valuable on average, not to make all Relics be equal value. 

Q: Will I be able to trade Relics with other players to see who gets the best options at the Crucible?

A: No. Previewing a Relic at the Netherlight Crucible will bind it to your character and remove the ability to trade it. This is because those trait options don’t actually exist on the Relic until you attune it to the Crucible, in a process similar to enchanting a piece of gear. It also prevents raid teams from feeling like they need to send everyone who might be interested in a Relic back to the Vindicaar before continuing.

Q: Will the Netherlight Crucible work on Relics acquired prior to 7.3 release?

A: Yes. However, keep in mind that it will take some time (likely several weeks) to unlock the later stages of the Netherlight Crucible, where the additional bonus traits come in. We don’t expect that stockpiling Relics prior to 7.3 will give any real advantage in practice.

Q: Doesn’t this just mean I’ll want my best two traits on each Relic now?

A: For the hardcore min/maxer, yes, there will still be a “best” outcome for your Relic configuration. However, there are now more Relics that can achieve that state (as Relics with your second-best trait can now roll your best trait at the Crucible), and you’ll encounter fewer “bad” Relics along the way.

Q: Why do I have to go back to the Netherlight Crucible to upgrade my Relic? Didn’t you want to get away from mechanics like that?

A: Players often compare this to the old Reforging system, and our dislike of having to visit a vendor after each and every upgrade. That hasn’t changed. The Netherlight Crucible only affects Relics – you won’t need to visit the Crucible every time you pick up a new pair of boots.

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Pinch of the new, dash of the old, hearty helping of RNGesus...  VOILA!  New content :)

6 hours ago, Stan said:

our dislike of having to visit a vendor after each and every upgrade. That hasn’t changed. The Netherlight Crucible only affects Relics – you won’t need to visit the Crucible every time you pick up a new pair of boots.

 

Edited by PatrickHenry

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1 hour ago, PatrickHenry said:

Pinch of the new, dash of the old, hearty helping of RNGesus...  VOILA!  New content :)

*circle of life starts playing in the background*

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