Some thoughts as to alternate ways to introduce new equipment to work for without making the old equipment non-maximum. There are arguments flying every which way on whether or not increasing stats directly is okay, but this suggestion isn't about any kind of why.
Numbers here are NOT final numbers; assume that they would be balanced by someone that was doing real calculations of some form.
1. Lower primary status for higher secondary stats
Instead of a sword having 900-1000 damage and adding 75 to a primary stat and 50 to 2 secondary stats, have an alternative sword that has 800-900 damage and adds 100 to a primary stat and 75 to 2 secondary stats.
2. Divide from 3 secondary stats to more
Instead of 75 to a primary stat and 50 to 2 secondary stats, it could be 50 each to 4 stats.
3. Add more combinations of secondary stats
They aren't all filled. For example, you could have primary magic find, secondary healing and vitality, "Abbot's" or some such.
4. Add more secondary stats
Increased combo field duration, increase combo finisher chance, decreased incoming critical damage, increased boon duration. You can think of many of these, I'm certain.
5. Add stats only relevant to a certain region of the game, and not to future additions
It could be as complicated as infusion, but it could be something simple like +25 vitality (in the Fractals of Mist).
On the same train of thought but not entirely related, it might be nice to have a convenient way to rapidly switch out an equipment set (while out of combat), so people would be encouraged to progress equipment by getting "optimal" equipment for multiple different builds.
Feel free to comment on these or add other, better conceived ideas.
Methods for expanding equipment with updates without increasing stats
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