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A masterwork item (MW) is an item that can be enchanted to +12 instead of just +9. An item does not need to have a +12 enchantment level currently in order to be a masterwork. The masterwork status merely indicates that it CAN be enchanted to this level. Masterwork items are identified by a "Masterwork" prefix, as well as a golden tooltip border and this icon: masterwork icon. A Masterwork item may also increase the power of some of its effects. For instance, an effect with a 7.5% modifer might become an 8% or 8.5% modifier.
Remember that masterworking an item merely makes it POSSIBLE to enchant it past +9. You still then have to do the actual enchanting process, and enchanting top-tier items to +12 is an incredibly expensive prospect. You should only consider doing this for the very best gear, and it's not something you need to worry about when you first hit 60. In fact, all of TERA's PvE content can arguably be done with +9 gear, perhaps only really requiring a masterwork weapon. PvP can be a bit more harsh and +12 may be necessary to stay competitive. Nevertheless, having all top-tier masterwork items represents the pinnacle of gear progression in TERA. In fact, enchanting an item to +12 is such a momentous event that the entire server is notified each time it happens.
Masterworking an item piggy-backs on the enigma re-rolling system. Every time you re-roll an item there's a chance that it can become a masterwork (except for items that specifically state they cannot be made into a masterwork in their tooltips). There are two approaches you can take to masterwork an item:
Method 1 : Use a Common Enigmatic Scroll followed by a Common Identification Scroll, just as if you were re-rolling stats on the item. Each attempt has a 1 in 200 chance (0.05%) of producing a masterwork. With this method your expected average number of attempts (the over-under) is around 1350. Each attempt has a vendor cost of 5g77s50c.
Method 1 scrolls:
Common Enigmatic + Common Identification = 0.05% chance to Master Work
Method 2: Start with a Master Enigmatic Scroll scroll. When an MES is used the resulting enigmatic item will have a golden "?" instead of the normal blue one. When this golden enigmatic item is identified using an Intricate Identification Scroll (sold by the general merchants for 52g50s) there is a 3% chance that the item will become a masterwork. With this method, your expected average number of attempts (the over-under) is about 22. The cost of each attempt is affected by the current brokerage price for ME scrolls on your server.
Method 2 Scroll:
Master Enigmatic + Intricate Identification = 1/33 chance of average success , 3% chance to Master Work
Which process is better? Well, the numbers suggest that using the common scrolls becomes cheaper on average once ME scrolls cost more than 300g. However, the common scroll method also involves clicking several thousand scrolls, and the value of the time spent clicking can't be ignored in your decision.
Regardless of the method you choose, once you have created a masterwork item, you MUST use a Master Enigmatic Scroll and an Intricate Identification Scroll in order to re-roll random effects on that item. This makes the process of re-rolling for the desired effects on masterworks much more expensive than for normal items. As long as you use these expensive scrolls for re-rolling, the item is guaranteed to remain a masterwork.
There is one final wrinkle with masterwork items. Every masterwork has a hidden bonus effect that is randomly set to 1%, 2%, or 3%. This modifier affects the ilvl bonus and the amount of base stats such as attack, balance, etc. Strictly speaking the very best +12 masterwork item is the one that has the random 3% bonus, though practically speaking this difference is dwarfed by the gains from simply enchanting to +12.
You can use this tool to see how the hidden bonus impacts the base stats on a number of endgame items. The only way to know the value of the hidden bonus on your masterwork is to compare its base stats against this tool or against other identical masterwork items at identical enchantment levels. Every time you re-roll a masterwork this hidden bonus is reset, so you can perfect it by re-rolling just as you would for normal random effects. Unfortunately, there is no way to lock the bonus modifier like you can with regular random effects.
In KTera the masterwork process was called "luxing", and you may still hear it referred to by that term from time to time. The luxing process in KTera is somewhat different than the masterwork process in North American TERA, so you may find misleading or confusing information about the process when searching for details.
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