This article was submitted in the comments by Boris Pore, I found very insightful and decided it needed its own place in the guides section.
Another comment I wanted to make is about the Retribution set. Recently it dropped in price, so that you could obtain all 6 designs with the purchase of 80 chests, or about $2,000 USD. In addition they included 45-55 fragments of rare material in each chest, as well as enough crafting materials and steel to be able to produce an entire 6 pc set. Buying 80 chest would give you approximately enough frags for 6 designs, 40 rare materials, and enough steel and other materials to craft. For full Retribution you need 84 rare materials, so you're still short 44 pc. But if you already have a full Demon Hunter set it can be recycled and give you back 24 rare materials, so you're now only short 20 rare materials. Finally the gold cost of rare materials dropped too, from 100K to 64K. So you "only" need 1.28 million gold to buy the rare materials.
Of course compare that to when Retribution first came out. The cost for all 6 designs was much more, I did not pay close attention but I think around $5000 usd (not sure about this number). Also no rare materials were included. And at that time rare materials were 100K gold. You would have had to spend 8.4 million gold!!!!!
Never was Retribution an economical way to pay for increasing your stats. On paper it was a 30pt increase in normal stats over Demon Hunter (with a smaller increase to troop stats, and no increase at all to damage stats). Crafting and real money requirements were insanely high, it seemed like the type of item only a very high level high spender would buy when they had purchased everything else first. But with the recent price drop, inclusion of rare materials, and the recent introduction of high cost airship parts and new guards, it started to seem like Retribution may be worth looking into, and so I did just that. I will explain what I have discovered below.
I bought a few packs of Retribution to get an understanding of the crafting requirements for enhancement. So I will discuss that first.
Here are costs for enhancement of Retribution (this is per piece, not for the whole set):
TOTAL: 4,024,000 steel and 12,000 craftsman tools.
For all 6 pc of armor that becomes: 24,144,000 steel and 72,000 craftsman tools.
With my forge at lvl 30 and above I get a discount of 15% and up on steel. But the requirements are ridiculous. As a comparison, if I dismantle my Demon Hunter lvl5 set, each pc yield approximately 2 mil steel, and exactly 3000 craftsman tools. So for entire Demon Hunter lvl 5 set you get back about 12 mil steel, 18,000 tools. So you need an additional 12mil steel, but the big kicker is the 54K in craftsman tools you need!!! They are only sold in expedition store at 40 per day, and they have special gold events once in a while where you can win some if you spend exorbitant amounts of money, and of course the shooting gallery but prizes are around 1100 tools, and thats the last prize. The only way to get tools is to use gold, at 75 pc per tool, 54K tools needs 4.05 mil gold!!!
So the idea of getting lvl 5 retribution set again became unrealistic. However that wasn't the only problem, the biggest problem is the way the boosts increase at each level of enhancement, and that will be explained below.
The biggest problem with Retribution is the stat boosts themselves. Demon Hunter is basically 70% on all single stats that are not damage related, and once enhanced to lvl 5 they go up to 94.5%. Impressive! Triple stats (troop att/def/health) are impressive as well with the lvl 5 set resonance, you get troop attack and defense at 119.25% (74.25% plus 45%). and troop health of 126% (81 + 45). Retribution looks like Demon Hunter lvl 5 to begin with. All single stats that are not damage related start at 100%. Damage and damage received are identical to Demon Hunter, so no advantage there. Troop attack is 75% compared to Demon 55% (I don't include set resonance for these since they increase at different rates when enhancing). Troop def is 65% to Demon 55%. And troop health is 65% to Demon 60%.
But once I started enhancing my first Retribution armor, I learned the awful truth.
How does this play out when comparing demon 5 to Ret 5? For single stats you lose that 30pt advantage you had in the beginning (100 pts over 70 pts), as you now are comparing 120% to 94.5%. Thats a 25.5% increase. Not bad, but worse than the 30 spread you started out with. For troop stats you go from 75% to 90% for attack (remember lvl 5 enhancement is only a factor of 1.2 of original), 65 to 78 for def and 65 to 82.5 for health. Comparing to Demon 5, for troop attack you have 90% vs 74.5%. The initial 20 pt spread goes down to 15.75pt. Troop defense is 78% vs 74.25%, the initial 10pt spread shrinks to 3.75 pt. The real kicker is Troop Health, as Ret 5 is 82.5% while Demo n5 is 81%. I had to look at several pieces to understand this. This game is so messed up. For the Retribution armor it starts at 35% troop health and enhances at a rate of 4% to reach 20% at lvl 5 to yield final stat of 42%. The Ret Helmet starts at 30%, but instead of following the Retribution boost scheme, it reverts to the demon hunter boost scheme, and does 5, 5, 5, 10, 10 for a total of 35% at lvl5, so it gets to 40.5%, this way resulting in a lvl 5 Ret set that is higher than Demon 5. But only by 1.5%.
So Retribution lvl 5 is definitely better than Demon lvl 5. In single stats its a 25.5% increase. In troop stats there is a 15% troop attack advantage, but def and health is nominal. Damage is identical. However the craftsman tools requirements are ridiculous. The real question becomes is Ret lvl 3 better than Demon Hunter lvl 5? You need 5400 tools per pc to achieve lvl 3, after recycling Demon 5 (which yields 3000 tools per pc) you need 2400 pr pc, or 14,400 per full set. Thats over 1 million in gold. Not cheap but more manageable than 4 million. You get 112% stats vs 94.5%. For troops stats you take a hit, because you are only getting a set resonance boost of 33% vs demon's 45%, 12 pt difference. Plus your damage stats are all at +15% while Demon 5 is at +35%. To me it is hard to say, maybe a draw. But given the huge cost to craft the Ret set and then the enormous cost to enhance it only to lvl 3, it seems like it is a big NO!
My advice for other players is to stay away from Retribution until it becomes free like Demon Hunter did. Maybe another two months. LOL
I would like to thank Boris Pore to contributing this, great stuff that I would never have been able to figure out without spending big. Reading this I realize that my previous assumptions regarding the enhancement increments of Retribution were wrong and had depicted a wrong idea of the attractiveness of purchasing that set, great that has been corrected now.
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