Augmentation is not a skill itself, but is an important mechanic. While Transmutation lets you change the treasure effects (mods) on your gear, Augmentation lets you add one additional treasure effect (mod) to a piece of gear. With Transmutation you distill items into phlogiston and use a transmutation table to make changes. With Augmentation you decompose items into beads and baubles in order to extract a mod from one item and place it on a different item.
Learning augmentation is a multi-step process. Visit Nightshade at the Kur Mountains Outpost to begin a series of quests that allow you to augment gear. There are four subcategories of augmentation taught by the following NPCs:
- Jewelry Augmentation - Neck Augments and Ring Augments
- Weapon Augmentation - Main hand Augments, Glove Augments, and Off-Hand Augments
- Armor Augmentation - Chest Augments and Leg Augments
- Ancillary-Armor Augmentation - Helm Augments and Boot Augments
Some challenges must be completed before receiving skills from these sub-trainers. For example, Malgath is reached after defeating multiple Wolf Cave mobs; Poe is in an obscure corner of Myconian cave; Gribburn requires learning Goblinese and gaining favor with Hogan; and Syndra requires resolving a problem.
To learn Weapon Augmentation, for example, a player travels to Malgath in the Wolf Cave and gains his favor in order to train the first level skill called "Decompose Main Hand Weapon". This skill will allow the player to take any enchanted (green or above) main hand weapon and break it down into "beads". The level and rarity of the weapon determine how many beads the player receives. Decomposition also occasionally results in the creation of a Prism, which are reagents used in Transmutation.
Weapon Augmentation teaches the player to extract "mods" from weapons. Extracting a specific mod effect costs beads. The crafting menu says it costs up to one bead per level of the effect(e.g. a staff that requires level 60 fire magic would cost up to 60 beads for a successful extraction of a fire magic effect).
Extracting a specific effect requires a "crystal" as well. Putting the wrong type of crystal(e.g. using a redwall crystal because they're more readily available) will result in the item and crystal being destroyed, and the player will receive a message stating that they used the wrong type of crystal.
Using the right type of crystal requires matching up a specific gem's primary and/or secondary effect with the effect of the item. These effects are notated on the gems page.
For instance, extracting a psychology effect from a sword, the player uses tourmaline as the crystal in the extract augment recipe. The weapon and crystal are both destroyed in the process, but create an augment that can be placed on another weapon. The player's augmentation skill level determines the success of the extraction; the skill level should be within 10 levels of the weapon's level.(A level N player has a 100% chance of extracting a level N+10 power, but only a 10% chance of extracting a level N+20 power, and a 0% chance of extracting anything higher.) If you fail to extract an augment, the item is lost anyway. Even if the weapon and crystal are destroyed, the player still receives Weapon Augmentation experience
Assuming everything went right, the player receives an augment which can be applied to a different weapon. (In the past, augmentation resulted in oils, which are no longer used in the mechanic.)
The next step of augmentation is applying the extracted mod to another item. The attachment skills are learned from Nightshade once you have sufficient favor. The recipes for attaching items fall under the lore skill-line. The recipe uses a reagent specific to the type of augment--a ring or neck augment requires an ectoplasm for example. You can apply one augment to an item using the lore recipe. For additional enchanting options, please see Transmutation.