A recent dev post on the New World forum detailed plans for the PTR for the release of new content. A big change is the an update the upgrade system from GS 600 to GS 625 with the use of a new end-game upgrade material: Umbral Shards.
How To Use Umbral Shards To Get To 625 Gear Score
Currently, the way to increase your Gear Score is through defeating powerful enemies and from Gypsum Casts. With this update, crafting a Gear Score 600 item will also raise your expertise if you are not already at 600 for that item. Going from 600 to 625 requires Umbral Shards, which can be acquired in 3 ways:
- Completing Mutated Expeditions.
- These are stated to be the most efficient way to earn Umbral Shards. The higher the difficulty level and the higher the Score Rank achieved the the more Shards a player will earn.
- Crafting a Gear Score 600 Item when your Expertise with that item type is also at 600.
- Opening a Gypsum Cast when your Expertise for that item type is also at 600.
Umbral Shards can only be applied to equipment if 2 things are true:
- The equipment item is Gear Score 600.
- Your expertise for that piece of equipment is also 600.
Some players make the point that it is futile to add in an upgrade system that still doesn’t address a lot of the grind and RNG in the current end game content.
It’s interesting that AGS explicitly states that “if you want to … gain a competitive edge in PvP.” but the best way to do that is through PvE. Players have been very vocal in their distaste for only being able acquire upgrade materials via PvE content. When some players only have limited time to enjoy the game throughout the day or week, they tend to want to experience the thing they enjoy most. And for some players, that is solely PvP, and they will continue to not be rewarded for doing so.
Expertise Gear Scaling and Improvements
Also in this update will be a Gear Score reduction for items from the trading post or obtained through P2P. After the January patch, items will have their effective gear score scaled down to the mid point of players Expertise and the items gear score, if their Expertise is lower than the item’s gear score.
And now whenever you craft a GS 600 item, if your Expertise for that item type is under 600 it will trigger an Expertise bump. If you get an Expertise bump from random drop in the open world, the loot ticker will now show which item gave you the Expertise bump. If you get an Expertise bump from opening a reward cache, the opening sequence will highlight which item gave you the bump.
Topaz Gypsum Attunement Potions are now craftable at any Arcana Station as well as any T5 Camp. And their drop rate has been increased when killing enemies and attuned.