I hope you kept the receipt safe.
Extended Warranty (aka Safekept Receipt at rank 2 – the maximum rank of Epic skills for a long time) is a favorite skill of Laterus (founding member of STC). It’s a skill with a simple and relatively niche primary effect. The secondary effect makes it a surprisingly complex and nuanced skill. This is easily the most valuable skill in the game for F2P players and is surprisingly great even if you’re not
shovelling money into Reinhold’s pockets every month subscribed as a Royal Merchant.
So why is it so underappreciated? Why do so many people see this skill and immediately dismiss any hero who carries it? Heck, what makes it good enough that it can be called underappreciated in the first place? TL,DR: It’s never a bad choice but there’s often better options and it’s often hard to tell what the skill is actually doing for you.
Let’s take a deeper look as to why.
Them’s the Breaks
First things first, the simple primary effect. Extended Warranty grants a 40% / 45% / 50% / 60% reduction in break chance to all gear currently equipped to the hero who has the skill. This will roughly double the amount of time you can keep gear for any heroes using it. It’s an excellent choice if you’re not a Royal Merchant as it will extend the lifespan of your gear. Even if you ARE a Royal Merchant, this effect is still pretty handy since it will cut down on the amount of gold you have to shell out for repairs.
Now… for the way more complicated part. Fair warning, there will be some math here.
The Math Part – Basics
The second effect of this skill is that it provides a 20% / 25% / 30% / 40% bonus to the stats of all items currently equipped to the hero. To understand how this effect works in practice, let’s start by taking a look at how the game adds up stat values using a few practical examples.
Case 1: Basic Stats
First up is a very special volunteer – Joshua, my actual Warden (or at least, an older iteration of him).
Let’s focus on Defense first. Joshua here has three Defense boosting skills and three Tarrasque spirits that are granting a total of 305% bonus Defense. He has a total of 4,653 flat Defense from the following sources:
- 600 – base Defense
- 160 – 40 Seeds of Resistance
- 455 – Baross’ Backup
- 718 – Tyrant Plate Armor
- 666 – Tyrant Fists
- 756 – Thorn Baron Helm
- 393 – Maple Holy Grail
- 905 – Sakura Cloak
He has no skills that provide bonuses to equipment stats which makes this easier (and is the main reason why I chose him for this first example). In this case, we simply multiply the flat Defense value by the total of his bonus Defense.
(sumFlatDefense) x (1 + [sumTotalDefenseBonus])
(4653) x (1 + [3.05]) = 18,844.65, which by standard rounding rules is exactly what we see in his stats.
A Simulator string has been included in this hero card if you would like to do some experimenting yourself to see how the numbers change under different conditions.
Case 2: Intro to Equipment Bonuses
Next up, lets look at a hero with a weapon skill to see how a simple equipment bonus interacts with stat calculation. Our next volunteer is Natasha, my Sensei.
(Fun fact: This post has been in the works for long enough that this hero has actually been retired since I started working on it. I’m leaving this one here because she’s still a good example of this principle.)
Natasha has 3,907 base Attack from her items, seeds, and base stats. She also has 400% bonus Attack from her skills and Spirits.
- 700 – base Attack
- 160 – 40 Seeds of Power
- 1,698 – Épée d’Artagnan
- 321 – Kitsune Spirit Mask
- 1,028 – Crystalice Loop
The big thing here is the weapon skill, Sword Master. Weapon skills increase the flat Attack value of the equipped weapon by 200% (250% if it’s an Epic weapon skill). Crucially, this bonus happens BEFORE the item’s stats are multiplied by the hero’s total Attack bonus.
We looked at Defense in the prior example, but something to keep in mind is that all three primary stats (Attack, Defense, HP) are calculated via the same style of formula. Since we have a weapon skill on this character, we’ll add that and see how things change.
([baseWeaponAttack x (1 + sumTotalWeaponBonus)] + sumFlatAttack) x (1 + [sumTotalAttackBonus])
([1698 x (1 + 2)] + 2209) x (1 + [4.00]) = 36,515 which matches her Attack value.
(As with the previous example, a simulator string is available if desired as an additional exercise for the viewer.)
Math plus Extended Warranty
“But Archon, why are you spending all this time talking about how stats are calculated?” you may be wondering.
Well, that’s easy. Remember from the top that our friend Extended Warranty works by increasing the raw stats of your hero’s gear. All primary stats (Att / Def / HP) that come from their gear will be increased thanks to EW and then further amplified by any skills the hero has. For Fighters, this results in much better ability to take attacks: they use HP / Def increasing skills that scale nicely with the higher base HP / Def of their gear granted by EW. For Spellcasters, this gives them the ability to take attacks a bit better without losing out on much offensive strength. For our last example, let’s take a look at Hawke – an Arch Druid employed by Livvi over on our Discord server (thanks Liv!).
Extended Warranty’s equipment effect functions identically to what we saw with Natasha’s weapon skill (but applied to every primary stat aka HP / Att / Def on every piece of gear). You add an extra percentage to the item’s flat stat total and then multiply it by their accumulated bonuses. For this example, I want to do things slightly differently. Let’s look at how much additional defensive power (both HP & Def) Hawke is getting from Extended Warranty itself.
We have three items that are provide HP as a secondary stat – both Premium Brand Jams and his Pharaoh’s Pact. At Flawless quality, these items grant 102 (each PBJ) and 92 (PP) HP respectively. This is a total of 296 bonus HP before any additional multipliers. EW bumps these numbers up to 142.8 for the Jams and 128.8 for the Pact. This gives us a new total of 414.4, rounded down to 414. When compared to the items’ base value, Hawke receives an extra 118 HP from Extended Warranty, which is easily enough to live through another stray attack or two when fighting most quest enemies.
As far as Defense goes, there are three items that have it – the Ivory Queen Rod (448), the Garb of the Primordial (695), and the Forlorn Acorn (827). Mana Shield grants 65% bonus Defense on top of that. He’s getting a total of 3,250.5 Defense from these items and Mana Shield (448 + 695 + 827) x [1 + 0.65]. If we factor in Extended Warranty, those items jump up to 627.2 (IQR), 973 (GotP), and 1,157.8 (FA). Add these together and multiply by Mana Shield and we have a new Defense of 4,550.7 (rounded to 4,551). This is an additional 1,300 Defense, which helps a lot to take hits slightly better (especially when paired with the extra HP that is also here).
Overall, you get a good amount of stat power from Extended Warranty even if you have low (or no) skill bonuses to those stats.
Next up, some classes get a bit more out of Extended Warranty’s bonuses than others. This is typically divided into two groups: classes that have bonus stats from their innate skill, and classes that have an equipment bonus as their innate skill. Both types benefit greatly from Extended Warranty. These are:
Bonus stats from Innate:
- Soldier (Defense)
- Barbarian (HP)
- Berserker (attacker builds, scaling Attack depending on HP threshold)
- Dark Knight (Attack & HP)
- Mage (Attack)
- Cleric (HP)
- Geomancer (Attack)
- Chronomancer (Attack)
Equipment stats from Innate:
- Knight (Shield & all Armor items)
- Thief (Dagger – upgraded to all weapons when promoted)
- Monk (Ring)
- Velite (Shield)
- Mage (Staff)
- Druid (Herbal Medicine, Meal, Amulet)
- Sorcerer (Spell)
- Spellblade (All)
- Spellknight (All, extra bonus to items with innate element)
Any classes not on this list will still get some additional benefit from Extended Warranty, but the ones mentioned here are particularly good with it for reasons that have already been covered.
Other Equipment Skills
Now that we’ve touched on why Extended Warranty is pretty good (and in some cases fantastic), you may be wondering why these three similar skills don’t get the same love.
Maintenance is the Common version of Extended Warranty and thus has the same effect but with smaller numbers. The problem is that those smaller numbers definitely matter – it’s enough of a numerical downgrade to make a big difference (even though it doesn’t look that much weaker at a glance). Maintenance only gives a maximum of 30% bonus to equipment stats and has a 40% reduction in break chance. The stat reduction isn’t ideal but is at least manageable. It’s possible for Maintenance to actually work in a build, but it’s generally not that great of a choice in most situations. The lower break chance reduction value is pretty significant since it’s effectively a 1/3 reduction in the effect.
For the EXP skills Fast Learner and Super Genius, the problem is much simpler. Their bonus EXP effect does absolutely nothing if the hero is at the maximum level for your guild’s Training Hall, meaning half of the skill slot is wasted a majority of the time. They also have the same problem of a lower equipment stat bonus that we see with Maintenance. Super Genius equals it at 30%, but Fast Learner has a measly 25%. These two skills should basically never be used outside of levelling up new heroes.
Why the Hate?
Finally, let’s circle back to the question that was posed
four million years ago when you started reading this page. Why is Extended Warranty so underappreciated and why do so many people write it off? This one is a bit more nuanced and I think it’s due to four main factors.
- First and foremost, the other three equipment skills are pretty bad. They have a poor reputation and are generally very weak choices for serious use. Extended Warranty tends to get lumped in with them and can easily be seen as underwhelming as well.
- Second, math. If you don’t fully understand how stats in the game are calculated, it’s quite easy to write Extended Warranty off. Smite has 75% Attack / 50% Defense and those are bigger numbers than Extended Warranty’s 40%, aren’t they? This one is a very easy trap to fall into and I’ll be honest in admitting that it tripped me up when I was starting out.
- Third, numbers. A Spellcaster with Extended Warranty won’t be hitting nearly as hard as one with an identical skillset & gear, but with an Attack skill in place of EW. It’s easy to get lost in the damage numbers and ignore the surprising amount of extra hit-taking ability that it grants. DPS drops to zero if you’re a corpse and this skill does a lot of subtle work in helping to prevent that.
- Finally, Extended Warranty is rarely the best skill for the job. Impervious is the same rarity and can basically double the hero’s HP stat if you want some survivability. Do you want a little extra offensive power on a Fighter without sacrificing defensive integrity? Any of the Attack / Defense combo skills work well.
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that Extended Warranty is a hidden S tier skill and that you should have it on every hero. It’s usually on the niche side but it’s extremely powerful in certain situations. This skill is never a bad choice due to the unique strengths it brings to the table, but it’s often not the best choice. That being said, I stand by the introduction to this post. Many people tend to dismiss it outright, but Extended Warranty is easily the most underrated skill in the game.