How does discovering new patterns/recipes/schematics with reverse engineering work?
Is there a limit to some crafted items as to how “high” they can go? Will some not go beyond blue or purple? Can most items even go up to magenta-quality (super-epic or whatever)?
Does the chance to discover the higher quality recipes change with level or is it some fixed percentage? (I was burning my low-level materials on some enhancements and it only took me 3 items to get up to purple; lucky?)
3 Solutions collect form web for “How does discovering new patterns/recipes/schematics with reverse engineering work?”
So, the short version is, You Got Lucky.
Here’s the long version:
There are two kinds of reverse engineerable items. The first kind is simple. Reverse Engineer the item, learn the pattern for a slightly better version with a higher color-grade quality, up to Artifact grade (Purple). The chance to learn the higher-quality schematic is usually 20%, you can see the chance when hovering over the item. Most crafted item customizations (Armoring, Barrels, Mods, Enhancements, Crystals, Hilts) and consumables follow this system, as do some craftable weapons (but not most). A crit on crafting one of these results in two of the item rather than one.
The other system is a bit more complicated. Most equippable items, when Reverse Engineered, have a chance to teach you a variant of the item, which is upgraded. The new recipes name will have one of three prefixes, based on the additional stat that is added to the item:
- Redoubt _______________ items will have increased Defense Rating.
- Critical ___________________ items will have increased Critical Rating.
- Overkill __________________ items will have increased Power.
Unlike critical crafting with base items, a crit on one of these Prototype items will instead be called Advanced when they gain an augment slot.
These prototype items, like customizations, can be RE’d again, to give you a chance at an Artifact grade item. Once again, there are a number of variants – specifically, for each prefix, there are five variants that can be learned. These variant items will have new prefixes, and add two additional stats to the base item. These items will also have the suffix [Superior] unless crafted critically (i.e. with an Augment slot), at which point the suffix is changed to [Masterwork].
Overkill items can be turned into:
- Vehemence, which increases Power and Alacrity.
- Rampart, which increases Power and Shield Rating.
- Commander’s, which increases Power and Presence.
- Expert, which increases Power and Surge.
- Hawkeye, which increases Power and Accuracy.
Critical items can be turned into:
- Leadership, which increases Critical Rating and Presence.
- Tempest, which increases Critical Rating and Shield Rating.
- Fervor, which increases Critical Rating and Accuracy.
- Endowment, which increases Critical Rating and Surge.
- Supremacy, which increases Critical Rating and Alacrity.
Redoubt items are a bit of a special case. While 4 variants are known, to date, nobody seems to have been able to craft a +Defense, +Alacrity item. Whether this is a bug (people have invested a lot of time into researching this), or simply cosmic levels of bad luck is at this date unknown. That said;
Redoubt items can be turned into:
- General’s, which offers Defense Rating and Presence.
- Veracity which increases Defense Rating and Shield Rating.
- Anti-Armor items have added Defense and Surge.
- Exactitude will feature improved Defense and Accuracy.
The image below provides an example of all the variants that can be crafted of one item:
(H/T to the incredible research done by Slaign over on the official forums on this one.)
No there is no cap, it is random.
For example Skill Armoring 22 has 4 levels in order to get each level you have to reverse engineer the lower level to get the higher level.
In your situation you are lucky. My friend spend an entire day and didn’t get a single upgrade on a particular gem, next morning, first one.
The second, more complicated system in LessPop_MoreFizz’s answer has changed with the Shadow of Revan expansion (Patch 3.0). It still holds true for “old” schematics (skill levels 1-450), but there is a new and slightly simpler system for schematics over 450. It reduces the number of Purple/Artifact items from 14 to 9, eliminating 5 items that added both tank and DPS secondary/tertiary stats to the base item. (Note that it is still possible to add tank stats to a DPS base item and vice versa, but both types can never be added to any base item.)
Green/Premium items can be Reversed Engineered to learn Blue/Prototype items with increased Mainstat and Endurance:
- Fervor (additionally increases Crit and Accuracy)
- Expert (additionally increases Power and Surge)
- Veracity (additionally increase Defense and Shield)
Unlike the old system each of these prefixes is re-used for the highest tier, but it should not be confusing because it adds the same stats each time.
Fervor Blue/Prototype items can be RE’d to learn Purple/Artifact items with further increased Crit, Mainstat, and Endurance:
- Fervor (increases Accuracy further than the previous tier)
- Supremacy (removes the Accuracy added in the previous tier; increases Alacrity)
- Endowment (removes the Accuracy added in the previous tier; increases Surge)
Expert Blue/Prototype items can be RE’d to learn Purple/Artifact items with further increased Power, Mainstat, and Endurance:
- Expert (increases Surge further than the previous tier)
- Hawkeye (removes the Surge added in the previous tier; increases Accuracy)
- Vehemence (removes the Surge added in the previous tier; increases Alacrity)
Veracity Blue/Prototype items can be RE’d to learn Purple/Artifact items with further increased Defense, Mainstat, and Endurance:
- Veracity (increases Shield further than the previous tier)
- Shielded (removes the Shield added in the previous tier; increases Absorb)
- Exactitude (removes the Shield added in the previous tier; increases Accuracy)