The following page explains Lost Ark's Honing mechanic and how to increase ilvl - equipment level.
ilvl - what is it?
Once you reach level 50, your character level will stay mostly the same and will no longer affect how powerful you are. Your gear is what matters now - its level signified with ilvl points. You'll soon notice a big quality spike: from basic items to Tier 1 items, which outperform basic gear in every way (as basic gear can only reach 250 ilvl). Lost Ark doesn't force you to constantly change your gear immediately after finding microscopically better equipment. Instead it focuses on upgrading your current gear via Honing.
As your ilvl grows you'll unlock additional content, such as new Guardian Raid bosses, new continents and new main quests.
You can't immediately equip items, e.g. higher-leveled jewelry, until your average ilvl amount exceeds the indicated value.
Honing - how to get started?
Honing only becomes available after the tutorial (look for it in your journal, under the Guides tab). In bigger cities, like the Luterra Castle, there are NPCs your map marks with a hammer icon. Interacting with them opens a new window. On the left you'll see your currently own and equipped gear. Select one of these items and click Upgrade.
In the new window you must fill the bar by spending Harmony Crystals and silver. Once it reaches 100% you can continue.
Now click Gear Honing - to do so and upgrade the item you need a Harmony Leapstone and a Guardian Stone Fragment (for armor) or a Destruction Stone Fragment (for weapons).
In the next window you'll see the upgrade chance. You'll only use the resources if you fail, you keep the item and the previous upgrades. At higher levels you can use gems and special, rare consumable items increasing your chance of success.
If you succeed you'll see information about the changes in your inventory. If you fail you'll lose the resources you spent. Failing increases the chance of success during your next attempt. Whether you wish to upgrade all your gear at once depends on you. Your ilvl is the average of all currently equipped gear.
Honing - tips and additional information
Below is some additional information:
- Only 6 first upgrade levels are a guaranteed success.
- Failing only consumes the resources you used to upgrade, that is the Harmony Leapstone and Stone Fragment (the ones visible above the Gear Honing button).
- The upgrade cost increases with each level, both in silver and the amount of materials.
- Upgrades are transferable - did you find a better armor but you invested a lot into the old one? You can transfer all the old upgrades to the new piece of gear. This, however, destroys the old piece of gear, so many players with high ilvl prefer to auction off their old equipment and start upgrading the new one from scratch. To transfer upgrades, use the Gear Transfer button to the bottom.
- The maximum upgrade level for items is 20.
- Nearly every activity rewards you with Honing materials: island quests, Chaos Dungeons and Guardian Raids, Una's Tasks and Dismantling high-level gear.
- Most importantly - remember to repair your upgraded equipment!
Honing is an integral part of the game and should be done whenever you can afford it.