This post is designed to be very informational and spark conversation about the current Meta and future of Artifacts. I put a lot of work into making this post and I am ready for players to provide their input as well as criticize my own. It is broken up into multiple sections to make it easier to follow. The layout of the sections shows the Artifact in question, briefly reviews it if necessary, and then possible changes. If you have any thoughts or questions you can post them below and hopefully enough players will participate to invoke some possible change or additions! I encourage you to also put your ideas here or start your own thread if something in this post gets you thinking.
This first section is dedicated to simple missing description parts, bugs, or possible non-working parts of artifacts that could be added in the future.
Alpha Wolf Pheromones - Lore needs a period at the end to match other artifacts.
Fulgurite Talisman - Lore needs a period at the end to match other artifacts.
Cloak of Invisibility - Name needs changed to red, Lvl needs changed to 3 to match other 2500 artifacts.
At the moment, this section mainly deals with the icons for various Artifacts and suggestions to make Artifacts feel more unique or generally make more sense.
Owl Eye - The Owl Eye artifact used to be an Eye of Ender, which was fitting, but previously removed. A very fitting replacement would be a Sunflower ID 175. When held in the inventory, it is just a yellow circle with an orange center which would very well represent an eye opposed to the assumed placeholder of Blue Wool.
Bamf - The Bamf artifact also used to be an Eye of Ender, probably for a reference to Ender Pearls and how they teleport a player, but was made an eye to not confuse players in thier inventories with a potentially very key item for escaping. Making this icon a Chorus Fruit would be unique and make sense due to the teleporting effects of the fruit naturally in the game, opposed to the current Cyan Wool.
Ancient Worm Poo - The current icon for this artifact is a block of Dirt. It makes sense because it is brown and the purpose of the artifact is to eat dirt, but having an artifact with an icon identical to one of the most common picked up blocks behind cobblestone could be better if it were Cocoa Beans instead. This fits with the poo theme and gives a sense of uniqueness to the artifact, which would make it easier to differentiate from regular blocks.
Fulgurite Talisman - Coal currently being used to represent this Artifact works. However, the Talisman would feel different if it were Charcoal instead, which keeps to the theme and would also make inventories less confusing as Coal is a common drop.
This section is by far the most informational. This data comes from myself, my team and various other players from the server through experience. I highly encourage other players inputting their opinions or questioning why I made the suggestions if you don't understand the balance issues.
Wings of Hermes - Wings of Hermes is by far one of the best artifacts on the server. It is used for marking track locations, escaping to bedrock, and generally surviving an accidental fall. Almost every player that has knowledge of artifacts carries one of these at all times for the overall usefulness of the artifact. That being said, it is currently a Tier 1 Artifact at 100 Score. There are other "damage negation" Artifacts at Lvl 1, but they are not used as near as frequently used as Hermes. Due to how common and powerful it is I suggest moving it to the 2nd 500 Score Tier. The difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 is very small, but it is definitely deserving of sharing that tier with a Fireman's and requiring a little more effort to obtain. Fire / Fall resist are the 2 most common damage types outside combat and it makes sense to have them above the other, less common damage types.
Molten Body Armor - Let's talk about Molten Body Armor. You may have seen previously in a thread about player's favorite artifacts, that the Molten Body Armor artifact was a popular choice. This is because, without a doubt, it is the most powerful artifact on the entire server. For players that know about it, it is always carried in the inventory if possible, and is a MUST HAVE for PvP. This is true for several reasons. With the absence of the Nether / End, potions are not obtainable. Without the ability to make Fire Protection Potions, players are left without a way to nullify fire damage. In Vanilla 1.9+ PvP, damage factors outside Melee / Projectile are what makes or breaks a fight. This includes, Fire, Poison, Fall, Explosion and Mob Damage. 2 Players with "god sets" will usually not be able to kill each other without the outside help from one of these damage sources. Fire is the most common because of the Fire Aspect enchantments on swords. Specifically to MCRPG and it's lack of potions, fire damage is in fact the killing factor between 2 players if one does not have Fire Resistance from a Fireman's Jacket or a Molten Body Armor. In addition to this, the artifact actually SETS attackers on fire. This is extremely good for Axes, due to them not naturally being able to cause fire damage. The Molten Body Armor artifact essentially applies Fire Aspect to a player in addition to Fire Immunity on a server that relies on outside influence for kills. It is for these reasons that I STRONGLY suggest Molten Body Armor be moved to the 10,000 Score category. Yes, it is not useful for fights that take place in Water, however those fights usually only occur West at spawn when someone is attempting to flee. For EVERY other situation, this Artifact is a must have. The Fireman's artifact is rarely used, because the 2000 Score gap between the two Fire Resistance artifacts is not hard to close. Yes, I understand that it is chance based for what you may recieve, but all artifacts are farm-able and Molten Body Armor is more than fitting of a 4th Tier artifact Players can still have Fire Resistance with a Fireman's, which would give it more use, until they earn this incredible item.
Have the reflect damage effect constantly be active. However, it would be on a CHANCE basis and no longer reflect DOUBLE. For example, a 20% chance to proc would be 1 in every 5 hits someone hits me, it would be like me getting an extra hit in, and their current attack doing no damage. Over the course of a fight, this could be really useful and give players a reason to hold Trinket, especially if the fight is taking place in Water. Water fights only really occur while fleeing spawn, as mentioned previously, but would really be a game changer in terms of the Trinket actually being used. For those that understand the current META, the Thorns enchantment on armor is absolutely terrible, and the trade-off for having it's effects is worse than not having it at all. With this suggested change, Trinket would function as a more effective form of Thorns, without the negatives that come with it, which is fitting for an Artifact that is only rewarded at 10,000 Score. Even if this Artifact was unchanged and lowered in tier, I can't see it ever being used in it's current state.
This last section is all about possible ideas for future artifacts. This includes ideas from myself as well as other players. The goal of these artifacts are to maintain the current balance and almost vanilla feel of the server, but also fill in some of what feels like missing parts or mechanics that could change the dynamics of PvP while maintaining the current and old MCPVP-esque feel. Please let us know what you think about them, what you'd like to see, what you wouldn't like to see, or changes that could make them more viable. A lot of thought has gone into these, so make sure to read the detailed descriptions of what is going on behind the scenes and not just the short lore descriptions themselves.
Blast Shield - A very simple Artifact that belongs in the 1st 100 Score Tier. The first 2 levels of artifacts include various damage type immunities, but Explosion Damage seems to be missing. Would be useful when first starting out and for players that want to obtain Gunpowder from Creepers safely. It would also help against an Artifact mentioned later in this post.
Blowtorch - A simple, but effective idea for an artifact. When trying to obtain iron for a Structure, you can either mine, kill DEATHs, or take others over. Mining isn't as common because it takes the extra steps to use a furnace and have to keep those map chunks loaded while they smelt, which poses a potential danger of being tracked. It's not a super powerful artifact, so I don't see it fitting into any higher categories, due to the others being far superior, but I could see this being a very commonplace Artifact in inventories, especially when mining. Behind the scenes this essentially would be swapping the Iron / Gold Ore drops with Iron / Gold Ingots. Fortune doesn't effect Iron and Gold Ore yield in the default game, so it also wouldn't allow players to gain extra upon use with a Fortune Pick.
Stomper - You guessed it, good ol' Stomper. I thought about not being as blunt with the name, but for those that remember it, Stomper is such an iconic mechanic in old and current PvP game modes. For those have played with it in the past, the Stomper ability was essentially used for transferring your fall damage to other players, which could be used very tactically. It made a semi-appearance in Mistborn, when two separate abilities were combined with each other, so it's not unheard of for it to make an appearance in the Meta of this server. However, with the feel of MCRPG and the Hermes Artifact, I do not think it should negate fall damage. Instead it will essentially copy all fall damage you receive prior to armor to said player(s). What this means is that if you have full Protection 4 + Feather Falling 4 and take 1.5 hearts from a drop, the target would be getting the damage BEFORE your armor bonus is applied at a set ratio, not just 1.5 Hearts of damage like yourself. This would encourage players to work for Feather Falling IV armor, which isn't a necessity currently. Most fights take place at spawn or in water so Feather Falling isn't needed as much, especially with Hermes. If Stomper did NOT negate fall damage, players that want to use it effectively would have to use Feather Falling sets and know the ranges of drops to use them effectively in combat. This means players using the Hermes to Bedrock tactic would still be viable depending on the height. Due to this not being used every single fight, but still being a very good artifact, it should be Tier 3 with 2500 Score.
Basilisk Fang - This Artifact is a bit different than the others so I will do my best to explain my idea. To my knowledge none of the current Artifacts are chance based. This Artifact could potentially be the first, unless chance was eliminated by design. I think this artifact should be chance based because it opens up a new factor during fights. Behind the scenes, it would have a low, possibly 10% chance to cause Poison 1 for 3 seconds. Poison I on it's own is not super effective, but the damage goes THROUGH armor which could help in occasional small ticks during a fight. The duration is a short 3 seconds, so even a "lucky" player won't be constantly poisoning a target. I had this idea for 3 main reasons. First off, I really like the ideas of some Artifacts having counters, which really changes the mental in PvP and when to use which Artifacts effectively. The Tier 1 Bezoar artifact makes users immune to poisons, which is effective against Cave Spiders when building a spawner and allows players to eat Spider Eyes reliably for food early on. However, Rotten Zombie Skull trumps this artifact later, and Spider Eyes give very low saturation, so you don't see Bezoar being used often, which is okay for a Tier 1 artifact. However, with the introduction of an offensive poison, Bezoar could become a common Artifact. As mentioned earlier in the section about Molten Body Armor, outside damage is the world of difference in 1.9+ PvP. In MCRPG specifically with no potions (this is not the thread to discuss that), these outside influences are even more important. I thought this artifact would add a new mechanic for players to be aware of in combat, which was my second reason. As mentioned previously, sometimes fights end up in the water where Molten Body Armor is not used and Bloodless is also not needed. Basilisk Fang could add the extra edge needed to make water combat less safe for escaping and less long and drawn out. The final reason was for chasing. As it stands, skilled Ender Pearl throws in addition to Bamf can make a great escape tool. Once a target has cleared enough distance, it only takes 5 Seconds to Teleport away. This may seem long, but sometimes it is hard to close the gap. With Basilisk, if it procs on a target just before they Pearl away, the last tick of the 3 Seconds would get you just about an extra second to chase by disabling their Teleport Cooldown for a brief moment. This could be critical and again, would be chance based so not a free TP break. This Artifact would also not just be "another item to carry around and clog the inventory" because it would require skilled timing to use. A lot of players miss the "soup" style PvP, but with more artifacts, means more skillfully switching items in your hotbar much like the old Soup Style. I also may have named it Basilisk Fang for the same reference as Bezoar and Gillyweed.
Martydom - This was the Artifact idea I referred to in the Blast Shield section. Like many other artifacts, this is a better version of a negate damage Artifact, with a new effect. When holding this Artifact, if killed, the player will spawn a primed TNT at their last position. By default, TNT takes 80 game ticks to explode, or 4 seconds. If unchanged, this means that attackers are not going to just be killed instantly upon killing a player wielding this Artifact. TNT sounds dangerous, but a player wearing a "god" set requires 7 direct blasts (standing inside the exploding block) of TNT to die. This Artifact could be useful in a number of ways that makes it interesting. At first glance it may look like an Artifact higher scored players wouldn't want, but upon further inspection it could be quite good. Yes, it could be used for heavily damaging not-maxed armor attackers, but it shines when items come into play. A higher scoring player usually carries a lot of valuable items and this Artifact could be used as a last resort. If the player carrying valuables KNOWS they are about to die, but doesn't want attackers getting their items, the explosion from the TNT could destroy the items if lava is not around to die in. Keep in mind, by default, this would take 4 seconds to explode. Meaning attackers could still get items after killing a player, but if they didn't have a clear enough inventory, won't have the luxury of sifting through the good and bad items without consequence. I think this would be interesting, because it would also effect the way attackers may want to kill a target. If the victim dies to a long ranged arrow wielding Martydom, the items would most likely be destroyed before the attackers could loot. This makes it interesting if killing the player or loot is more of a priority. Martydom could also be used against players that are known for jumping down holes to bedrock with Hermes. A member of a team could wait with nothing but this artifact and purposely follow the target down and die to fall damage, spawning the TNT. Again, it takes 4 second,s if unchanged, to explode. A Teleport Cooldown takes 5 seconds. That means to use this method, it would require a reaction in less than 1 second to be used correctly. I believe an Artifact of this nature would for sure change the way people think about killing others.
Poseiodon's Pearl - Last, but certainly not least, is the Poseidon's Pearl Artifact. An Artifact I truly believe would vastly change the dynamic of PvP, yet still keeping it familiar with players that have used the Hunger Games Kit very similar to this. This Artifact, when touching water, would give a 3 Second Strength II Potion Effect to the wielder. Yes, this means if the player were to talk out of the Water, they would still have the buff for the remaining duration. Strength II may seem intimidating, but it only increases Melee damage by 6, or 3 Hearts. This is BEFORE armor bonus is applied. To give you a comparison, Sharpness V Diamond Axes do 8 Hearts of Melee Damage with a Crit and no armor. After armor bonus is applied, Sharpness V Axe + Critical Hit + Strength II still only does one heart of damage against a Protection IV set. That being said, having a Strength II potion effect with maxed Axes / Swords is not as OP as it may seem. Back to the Artifact itself, Poseidon would completely change the way people think during a fight. On most Hardcore PvP servers you ALWAYS carry a Water Bucket to combat Fire Damage when you don't have potions. With the existence of Molten Body Armor, this is far less common on MCRPG. With this new Artifact, it would ensure every player would carry a Water Bucket on them at all times. During a fight players can find ways to setup Water that would only effect them just enough to get 2-3 Hits of Strength II in which would speed up combat slightly and give the more skilled player an edge. Many 1.8 players do not like the "slowness" of the new combat and with the other changes / suggestions I mentioned, combat would become much more tactic and skill based. If this Artifact were to be implemented, it would also make running away in water much less reliable, because attackers would do more damage to you. It would also speed up combat when players are just generally fighting in Water, which tends to be slower than on land. If the changes to Trinket were made, players fighting in water could switch between Poseidon and Trinket to speed up combat even further, trying to proc Trinket while being hit with a Poseidon attack. Again, this is why I was unsure about chance in PvP and if it was designed to be entirely skill based or not in regards to the Trinket / Basilisk Fang. This Artifact would also function like Gillyweed in regards to breathing underwater. It makes sense with the theme and many other Artifacts are eventually replaced with a better version form higher Tiers. As a whole, I think an Artifact like this would change MCRPG PvP for the better. It forces planning combat near water, allows players to skillfully place buckets to get in stronger hits, speeds up water combat, and makes water less of an escape. Due to all of this, it would have to be the highest Tier 10,000 Score Artifact.
Tiers - The last section I wanted to put in suggestions was simply about the colors of the tiers of Artifacts. In it's current state, everything easy enough to understand, but I thought a small cosmetic change might make it more familiar. My first suggestion would be to make the 2nd Tier it's own color other than Yellow or "e". Only because every single Artifact has a "Lvl X" in the Lore, which is already Yellow. If Tier 2 had it's own color, it would be more consistent. If the staff is up for changing colors, the familiarity I was speaking about was the traditional incrementalism of magic items in most games. Going from White > Green > Blue > Purple > Orange. In minecraft, the "lighter" colors look way more appealing than the darker ones, so if the change is considered it would be green (a), aqua (b), light_purple (d), and gold (6) from Tier 1 to 4. To be clear, I actually prefer the current coloration of Artifacts, with the exception of Tier 2, but I thought I would make this suggestion and see what other players thought about it.
Possible Artifacts in Development
This section is for Artifacts either mentioned, or possibly in development. If I reveal any information that should not yet be public, just let me know and I'll be sure to edit it out. However, I thought it would be important to share these ideas so the other players of the server could have an input on them as well, while they are being made.
Silktouch Spawners Artifact - A few weeks ago hclewk hinted at a possible Artifact idea that would deal with obtaining placeable Monster Spawners, much like the Silktocuh Spawners plugin for those who are familiar with it. As a player, I think this would be incredibly useful and I am very for the idea. However, if this Artifact were to be implemented, without a doubt, it should be nothing less than 10,000 Score to obtain it. Finding the right spawners to setup a grinder is an incredibly important part in the Meta. Making an efficient grinder makes all the difference when getting materials to trade with Villagers, Farming and Enchanting. Offering the power to freely move spawners is ridiculously good. ESPECIALLY on a server without Potions, for those that would know how to use this Artifact to obtain a sustainable supply of Slowness Arrows. I think if implemented, it should retain Spawner Type, so players still have to work for finding the right ones. If every spawner became the default pig spawner, it would be pretty useless, because stacking animals for breeding is easier and more efficient in terms of item yield. As a core idea, I definitely support this. I didn't include it in my suggestions only because I knew it was already being considered.
Anti-Team Artifact - The idea of this Artifact came to be after some recent events with another player and the topic of 1vX. You can read about the origin here: http://forum.mcrpg.com/t/im-quitting-this-server/2405/12. Essentially this Artifact would function as some sort of escape or buff for players that find themselves in a bad situation where it is just them vs multiple other players, since the goal is to not always have a 1vX situation. I'm not going to repeat what I originally said about the idea, as I am personally against it, because I want players reading this to keep an open mind and hear their opinions as well. I included the idea of it in this post as I think it is something all players interested in the future of Artifacts should be able to openly converse about. I encourage anyone who is interested about what was already said to check back on the thread that I linked. However in this post I will copy / paste some of the important aspects I think it should have, if it were to be implemented.
Again, this is only part of what was previously said about the idea of a type of Anti-1vX Artifact. It is currently just an idea and I understand the concern for having players being able to more reliably escape from that sort of situation. If a balance can be found that can be countered or used in other ways, I'm all for more Artifacts.