Blank Augmentation Gem Quests
The order in which you take your Augmentations can affect your gameplay tremendously. Here's some simple recommendations, in order of most to least beneficial.
- Pick up the Critical Protection augmentation to increase your survivability dramatically; this is one of the most valuable augmentations for the cost, for any character. This makes incoming melee damage much more consistent, and thus more manageable. Also important to note is that this can potentially reduce your chance to be critically hit to 1% (theoretical 0) versus monsters near your level or lower, when combined with high melee defense skill. (Author's note: if I personally had to choose only one augmentation and forfeit all others, this would be the one I'd pick).
- Get the Clutch of the Miser Augmentations. This has the dual effect of freeing up pack space and liberating you from the risk of leaving prized items on a body. Note: you will still drop any item with the Dropped on Death property as well as half of any Pyreals in your inventory (Trade Notes do not drop on death). Currently, Tier 1-3 and Tier 5 Rares have the "Dropped on Death" property. It may be possible for you to only require two of these immediately, and then do Enduring Enchantment before picking up the third, if you are low enough level and have had few deaths.
- Pick up Enduring Enchantment. This augment means that when you die, you no longer lose spell buffs. Combined with Clutch of the Miser augmentations, you now die and lose nothing, allowing you to immediately resume playing. The only thing you have to worry about is vitae.
- Get either Master of the Five Fold Path, Master of the Steel Circle, or Master of the Focused Eye depending on your offensive skill of preference. Nifty note: The +10 point skill bonus provided by these three augmentations count toward your "base" levels for affected skills. Meaning, for example: a maxed, trained Life Magic base skill of 353 would *effectively* increase to (353 + 10) = 363 after acquiring the Master of the Five Fold Path augmentation. The same is true of the Melee and Missile versions; this makes these incredibly useful for the purpose of wielding items which require a base skill level that is otherwise only achievable by those with the skill specialized.
- Pick up Frenzy of the Slayer. This augmentation increases all damage you do by 3% (+3 rating), and is cumulative with similar bonuses from trinkets and Sigil of Destruction Aetheria.
- Grab the Augments that extend spell durations (Archmage's Endurance)...if you ever buff yourself! There are five of these, so it will take time, but you will end up with spells of double duration...allowing you more independence and time to play. Level 8 spells will last 3 hours! (Note: This augment does not affect spells cast on you by items, or by others).
- Consider the +5 attribute augmentations as appropriate to your template. For mages with 100 innate coord/focus/self, +50 Quickness (10x Siraluun's Blessing) translates to at least 16 extra points of Melee Defense, further multiplied by any modifiers on your wand; for archers or melee characters with 100 innate focus and only 10 innate self, +50 Self (10x Steadfast Will) translates to at least an additional 12 points in all magic skills, 8 points in mana conversion, and 7 points of magic defense. For Gharu'ndim mages with Thrown Weapons, additional Strength provides an increase in TW damage output. Generally, you do not want to increase your innate Endurance unless you have an extremely difficult time surviving in general (in which case you will benefit more from a good teacher/patron than these Augs!), or plan on a pure PvP build for your character.
- If you don't have it, grab the Health Augment Gem (Asheron's Lesser Benediction).
- Based on your play style, grab the Infused Foci augments. This swaps a Foci for a pack slot. DO this before the Extra pack slot because it is much cheaper. Note: You still have to carry scarabs and tapers and the like.
- Grab the Shadow of the Seventh Mule augment for a new pack slot. Can't ever have too much pack room!
From this point on, things hinge immensely on your play style.
- The +3 damage reduction augmentation Iron Skin of the Invincible is very useful against hard-hitting spells and high level/boss creatures, and the most defensive bang for your xp after Critical Protection (especially when stacked with a +2/+3 damage reduction trinket and several Sigil of Defense Aetheria, as the effects are cumulative).
- Mages with low Strength will want to pick up Might of the Seventh Mule, so they can carry more weight and comps without burden. This augment is also good for looters, and archers that carry a lot of bows and arrows. Heck, if you just like being able to carry immense amounts of stuff and never be burdened, these are good augments.
- True Looters will want to both specialize Salvaging with Ciandra's Essence, and get more out of it (4x Ciandra's Fortune, for 5 augments total). Note that everyone gets Salvaging, so specialization is otherwise completely free.
- The Critical Strike enhancer Hand of the Remorseless is most useful for characters who frequently score enormous critical hits, i.e. archers. Very well-equipped mages may also see good gains from this augmentation at higher levels, when fighting very-high-health mobs. This aug is generally an afterthought once all convenience and survivability augmentations have already been taken. (Note: before you consider taking this, you should max your primary attack skill and all of its contributing attributes).
- The 5% XP bonus augment Quick Learner is... "okay"... if you still have (significantly) more than 80* billion xp to earn to hit the xp cap of 275, and if you intend to spend a vast majority of that time grinding monsters. If not, then either take it last (simply to benefit from the extra Luminance gained from killing eligible monsters) or don't take it at all. 5% of 80 billion = 4 billion, the cost of the augment. Generally, by the time you can afford 4 billion xp to take the augment, you've got less then 80 billion of XP to go. *(It's also very important to note that this bonus XP ONLY applies to monster kills - read the augmentation description closely before using it. Trophy turn ins and quest rewards are NOT affected, so factor that into your calculations).
For Mule Characters, the Augments to Specialize Tinkering and Imbuing are probably key, along with Spec Gearcrafting. The Stat Augments are only 500M each, making them the cheapest to pick up if you aren't playing those characters often. And Might of the Seventh mule of course lets them carry more loot easily, while the Infused Foci and Shadow of the Seventh Mule free up pack space for more Stuff.