The Magical World of Artifacts
Greetings, adventurers! The energies of Aeternum can be chaotic and unpredictable, as many of the island's explorers know well. But what is less understood is how these wild energies can be harnessed and focused into an object that grants advantages to those who possess it. Scholars and sages call these objects artifacts, whose origins are often a mystery, although they seemingly have a connection to historical events.
While their methods of creation are likely lost to time, their effects on those who take the time to bind their power are incredibly potent and appear to subtly but significantly alter the functioning of weapons and magic. As a result, they are often sought after by adventurers all across Aeternum who seek to enhance their attacks or catch their unsuspecting foes off guard.
The Power of Artifacts
Artifacts are the most powerful tier of equipment rarity. Originally introduced in the "Rise of the Angry Earth" expansion, their unique abilities redefine combat in the New World. Life staffs are designed to shine exclusively in healing, but with the Retribution Artifact, even a healer can take on a more offensive role. Other artifacts counter popular builds. Learn how the development team brought some of the most coveted endgame loot to life with insights into the goals, design, and balance of artifacts.
The goal of artifacts is to provide fun through appealing alternative playstyles. This tier of equipment rarity is unique, so we want to disrupt the current meta and give players the feeling of being overpowered without creating a major power imbalance. This means nerfing "required" artifacts while also improving underused or unenjoyable options. Developers greatly appreciate feedback on underperforming things. It's often harder to see what is underrated than what is overrated.
Artifacts start with rough themes. Then, developers prototype various ideas for benefits that fit those themes and either create a new strategy or counter one of the most effective tactics. Once the benefit is determined, the artifact goes through multiple rounds of testing. Many change during development if something doesn't feel right.
Not every artifact is designed purely based on power. Developers mainly focus on feasibility and versatility. First, they determine if an artifact is heavily used because it's the best choice or because it's easy to obtain. Next, they use this data plus player feedback to estimate which artifacts are more or less favored. Finally, they review combinations of items and balance them universally. This helps them consider builds that many consider overpowered without weakening less powerful combinations.
Compromises and Adjustments
Players often ask why only some artifacts have compromises. Developers add higher values or unique features to make artifacts even more satisfying. Compromises are meant to prevent these powerful traits from overwhelming the current meta.
For example, the healing buff of the Ankh Amulet is so strong that developers had to introduce a compromise and make balance changes. There are further adjustments in Eternal Frost that will cause Ankh and Life Staff abilities to no longer increase life steal. More adjustments are always possible, depending on the impact of these changes.
Encouraging more freedom for effective artifact builds encourages players to experiment outside of their preferred playstyle and ultimately create a more balanced and enjoyable combat experience for every adventurer. Thank you for your ongoing feedback and support! Let us know your favorite combinations of artifacts. See you in Aeternum.
If you're now eager to embark on your own quest for these powerful artifacts, grab your New World Key and dive into the adventure. And if you want to discover more games, check out our Steam Keys. Have fun gaming!