How to Upgrade Items

In Season 2, all items use a system that looks-wise looks like Yorn’s upgrading system. Items no longer use Acrasium to upgrade early on.

In order to upgrade items, you must perform the following steps.

Step 1: Visit any Item Upgrading NPC. They are present in all major cities in the game now, not just Yorn. They are denoted on the map with a hammer symbol. In the screenshot above, from left to right is the General Refining Material (blue is armor, red is weapon), the Breakthrough Stone, and then the Advanced Refining Material.

Step 2: Fill the item’s EXP gauge using Fragments of Harmony (T1), Life (T2), or Honor (T3). These materials come from all sorts of contents such as Epona, daily contents, treasure maps from Chaos Gates, and dismantling. Several islands also reward this material as quest rewards. This step only needs to be performed once per upgrade stage, meaning that once you fill up the equipment’s EXP, it does not need to be filled again until you succeed and proceed to the next enhancement level. This step requires Shillings.

Step 3: For every attempt at upgrading, you will need to pay resources and currency. In this screenshot, it uses 228 T3 General Refining Material (Armor), 8 Lower T3 Breakthrough Stones, 4 Lower T3 Advanced Refining Material, 60 Fragments of Honor (the stuff you used to fill the item’s EXP with), 15,600 Shilling, and 220 Gold. This is a +14 Heroic shoulder attempting to go to +15. This amount is paid for every attempt until success.

Step 4: After you have enough materials to attempt to upgrade, you are brought to a screen that shows you a summary of what you’re going to attempt to do, as well as if you’d like to use Attribution materials to improve your odds of success. Protip, it’s pretty much never worth using these to improve your success chance, as their cost heavily outweighs what you’re likely to gain from using them, plus there’s a limit to how much each type of Attribution material can increase your success rates. On the right you can use special items with 100% success chance to upgrade, but usually these drop from much higher level content than the item you’re attempting to upgrade.

Step 5: Confirm your attempt. Pray.

Step 6: When you fail, your item will have a higher chance to succeed on subsequent upgrade attempts (up to a max limit). For this item in the screenshot, it has a base chance of 10% to succeed +15, and I’ve failed 3 times so now it’s 13%. In addition to failure, you gain Craftsman’s Energy, which is the +5.58% you see in the screenshot. If this amount accumulates to 100%, your next upgrade attempt is guaranteed to succeed. If you succeed before your Craftsman’s Energy reaches 100%, it will reset back to 0%. It is the pity timer. Also the amount of Craftsman Energy you get increases with each fail (in this screenshot it’s +5.58%, but maybe 7 or 8 fails later and you’re getting +10-12% per fail at this upgrade stage).

The game will show you how much Craftsman Energy you’ll gain if you fail as well.

In the above screenshot, this is saying I have 15.34% Craftsman’s Energy on the item currently, and by failing it will gain another 6.04%. You cannot use up Craftsman’s Energy before it reaches 100%, and it has no influence on your success chance prior to reaching 100%. If you use Attribution materials to increase your success chance, it will also increase the amount of Craftsman’s Energy on failure.

Note that at glance, this seems rather extreme. Especially when the maximum enhancement level is 25 on a given item. However please note that the game is essentially designed around reaching +15 at any and all gearing phases, and everything above that has a high cost for very little return. To make the matter clear, going from +24 to +25 costs several million Gold usually, for a net gain of about 2% more Attack Power. When you succeed into a higher Subtier or Item Tier, you will lose several item enhancement levels. This is because the item has a higher base item level, and by going down to lower enhancement levels you once again have a higher chance to succeed enhancements. A  +15 T1 Artifact item for example will lose 15 enhancement levels when succeeding to a T2 Rare item, meaning that you need to be at least +16 to Succeed to a +1 of the next Item Tier.

Carefully consider the sheer cost of upgrading beyond +15, as almost always there are cheaper methods of getting stronger.

The only other reason to upgrade beyond +15 is the sexy weapon glow from +20 and onwards. Which, you will lose after Succeeding to a new Subtier or Item Tier. Or if you’re a streamer and you want that sweet, sweet, gambling content.

As with Season 1, there is no penalty for failing to upgrade. Items do not downgrade or break on failure.

Weapon Enhancement Level Base Success Chance Weapon Attack Gain
+1 100% 0.5%
+2 100% 0.5%
+3 100% 0.5%
+4 100% 1.0%
+5 100% 1.0%
+6 100% 1.0%
+7 60% 1.0%
+8 45% 1.0%
+9 30% 1.0%
+10 30% 1.0%
+11 30% 1.0%
+12 15% 1.0%
+13 15% 1.0%
+14 15% 1.0%
+15 10% 1.0%
+16 10% 1.0%
+17 10% 1.0%
+18 5% 1.0%
+19 5% 1.0%
+20 3% 1.0%
+21 3% 1.0%
+22 1% 1.0%
+23 1% 1.0%
+24 0.5% 1.0%
+25 0.5% 3.5%

 

These percentage gains are relative to the Weapon Attack of the previous stage.

+25 has the largest single jump in Weapon Attack. Please note that Weapon Attack is not 1:1 with Attack Power. When increasing Weapon attack from 9,868 to 19,030 for example, I only observed an Attack Power increase of 28%. +15, which is the gold standard to achieve for any content Subtier, has 11.3% less Weapon Attack than +25, and costs a microscopic fraction of the amount of money to obtain.

The conclusion? It’s not worth pushing +25 unless you really want that sexy glow or you’re bored and rich out of your mind.

That being said, if the game currently has higher level content than the gear that is available, then it might be necessary to upgrade beyond +15 in order to challenge that higher content. For example, in KR it is not possible to challenge or harm Belganus (T5-4) at full +15 of the Lower T3 Heroic gear. This is because you do not have enough Attack Power to breach its AP Gate, and it’s more intended that players get Mid T3 gear in order to properly take on Belganus. However, we do not yet have Mid T3 gear, so currently only highly geared players may take on Belganus properly.

 

Credit by Saintone’s

This is information aggregated during my time playing Lost Ark on the Korean servers post-Season 2. As this is regional, some information may not apply to the RU, JP, or Global versions of the game. You can find gameplay of LAO Season 2 KR from my Twitch or YouTube channels. For corrections or questions you can reach me on Discord at Saintone#4599.