You can only enhance/upgrade gear that has attributes locked. All the gear you have prior to this update would have all the attributes unlocked already so you can only work on improving new gear you have won since this update has started.
Start by going to a piece of gear and clicking on it. You can do this through the forge or through the Great Hall, doesn’t really matter. You’ll get something like this (Great Hall left, Forge right):
Two new buttons have appeared, “Enhance” and “Upgrade”. So what do they do? Well, basically, Enhancing gear means you unlock bonus attributes on pieces of gear that still have locked attributes. For gear we have gotten up until now, all bonus attributes have been unlocked, like life bonus on Ent gear or T4 attack bonus on Havoc, so this will only work with new gear that started dropping from the introduction of this feature. The necklace above was a gift for Kabam to start playing with gear upgrading and serves as a good example.
The other option, Upgrading, means you improve on the existing bonus attributes of a gear piece. Contrary to Enhancing, this can be done on any piece of gear. Now, how does this work?
2. Enhancing gear
So, Enhancing gear means unlocking locked bonus attributes on new pieces of gear. The Ancients of the Eldar set is a new set that can be Upgraded as well as Enhanced. Lets press the Enhance button, which brings us in the Enhance screen.
If you look to the top right on the screen, you see a bar, with the unlockable bonus attributes from left to right. The point is to fill the bar to the required level by sacrificing gear: each piece of gear you select gives a number of points, the higher the gear, the more points. Once you press Enhance, the selected gear is destroyed and the piece in question is Enhanced. If you were able to reach a certain level, that level’s attribute is now permanently unlocked for that gear piece. Congrats! Now on to Upgrading.
Enhancing gear with Mystic Charms I, II & III
Also found in chests are Mystic Charm Rings. These are only good for enhancing gear. Mystic Charm I will give you EXP+ 1800, Mystic Charm II will give you EXP+ 3000 & Mystic Charm III gives EXP+6000.
3. Upgrading gear
So, with all bonus attributes unlocked, it is time to upgrade them. Go to a piece of gear and press the ‘Update’ button. The screen below shows you what you are seeing (the right one is after you’ve successfully upgraded a level):
3.1 Crimson Crystals
Gear can be upgraded to level 9. On the top right of the screen, you can see the effect the next level has on the bonus attributes. Usually, the bonuses are around 20%. To the lower left we see the Crimson Crystals. These are the ingredients you need to upgrade gear, at least for the lower levels, and you will need increasingly more of them. When you have enough to upgrade, you can press the ‘Upgrade’ button to have a chance at upgrading your gear piece.
3.2 Valto runes
The chance aspect is where the next items come into play. Below the Crimson Crystals, you see the ‘Success rate bar’. Having enough Crystals does NOT mean you will upgrade your gear, it only gives a chance, denoted by the bar. When you do nothing and just upgrade, the chance of upgrading is really small.
At the bottom, you see which Valto runes you have in your possession. These runes temporarily increase the chance of successfully upgrading to 100%, or close to it at least. The runes come in different flavors, each with increasing effects. The normal ‘common’ Valto runes are enough for the lower levels of upgrading (up to level 3).
The ‘rare’ Valto rune is needed for larger bonus effects for higher levels of upgrading. From level 3 onward, the common stones do not fill the entire bar anymore, so the chance of a failed upgrade increases. The last two Stones give you a better chance at enhancing between levels 2-3 and 5-6 (TBC) – if you have them they only appear when you have reached these levels.
Acquiring Stones and Crystals
So we need Crystals for upgrading, and Vala stones for increasing our chances of successfully upgrading a gear piece. But where do you get these items? For one, they can be bought in the shop in certain chests. They aren’t cheap though so expect to spend some mithril if you want to upgrade a lot of gear.
Probably the best way to acquire them is through defeating Alliance Bosses. Yes, finally they have some real use. The prize chests for defeating Alliance Bosses have been enhanced to include the Crystals, Stones and even new pieces of gear. But remember, the higher the Alliance boss level, the better the drops from the chest. Dont expect anything spectacular from Advanced Forrest I chests….
Some of the items can also be farmed from campaign. Real numbers on drop rates are still unavialable to me, but Crystals, Valto Runes and Amber Stones have all dropped on me since the last update. They can be found in the campaign chapters High Pass, Mirkwood and Moria. Seems Mirkwood and High Pass drop Crystals and common Valto Runes, while Moria drops rare Valto Runes occasionally.
Lastly, expect these items to be prizes in upcoming events and tournaments.
What sets to upgrade?
The big question right now of course is: which set should we upgrade. Well, before this addition, the Orc gear seemed t be the best set for both attacking and defending, possibly in combination with an Ent shield. But right now, roles have split again.
If you want to go for pure defence, Ent set seems to be the more interesting set again, thanks to the double life bonus each gear piece has. That means that each upgrade of the gear gives twice the life bonus compared to other items. Meaning that with a full lvl 9 Ent set, your defenses are basically as high as is possibly right now.
But, that leaves out attack force. For pure attacking, you need sets with bonus attributes to attack. Right now, we have Orc, Havoc and Filthy_Few for that. Decide for yourself which set you want to upgrade, or with which troops you fight most. Havoc and Filthy are very attack specific, while Orc balances attack and defense more.