DAoC Decay DAoC Items
Equipable DAoC items degrade with use. Use of an item is defined as actually being struck for armor and actually hitting a target for weapons. After some number of uses your item will loose a condition point. This condition point may be repaired by a smith NPC, or a player with tradeskills in the same craft as your weapon/armor. When you repair a piece of equipment the durability goes down.
THE DURABLITY DISPLAY FOR ITEMS DOES NOT SHOW DURABLITY OVER 100; IT IS NOT A PERCENTAGE. This is a known bug, and has been in game since release. Don't /appeal this in game, as you'll do nothing but clog their bug system. If you really want this changed send a Herald Feedback form. Trust me though, if this was an easy fix it would have been done years ago.
The display bug for durability is mainly responsible for the lack of understanding of item decay, as most people see their items stay at one hundred "percent" durability, and suddenly quickly fall in durability.
From my testing it seems that all items have a base durability of one hundred, with two extra points for each quality percentage over 85%. So a 86% quality item has 102 durability points, and a masterpiece item has 130 durability points.
Repairing an item looses durablity equil to the amount of condition restored, plus one extra durability point. This extra durability point seems trivial at first, but in fact if an item is only repaired at 99% condition half of the durability loss will be "extra" durability for which the user never used the item. In addition, AT CONITIONS VALUES OF 90% AND BELLOW THE ITEM WILL LOOSE CONDITION AT TWICE THE RATE OF CONDITION LOSS FROM 100% TO 91%. In example, if at 100-91% condition a sword degraded a con point after four successful hits, at 90-70% condition it would degrade one con point in two successful hits. Thus 90-70% takes the same number of uses as 100-90%. Life is measured in number of times the item dropped condition, as adverse to loosing durability from the "extra point" repair penalty. It is clear from the graph the worse case local minimum is when constantly repaired at 99% condition. The item will only be usable for the time it takes it to drop 50 condition points. Whereas the local max at 90% the item will survive 90.9 condition point drops. Below 90% condition drops off quicker, and thus item life is impacted adversely (NOTE: the graph dots after 90% occur at twice the time frequency of the dots before 90%).
It is worth noting a second time that durability loss on high quality items will not be immediately noticeable. If you wish to examine durability loss you must first make sure the item in question is below 100 durability points, so that you may see the con+1 durability fall off.
Suggestions As was shown in the previous section, the optimal repair point is 90% condition. However, in practice it is wiser to repair at 91% condition, as it is unlikely you will be able to repair your item in the field once it drops to 90%, and any use after 90% will quickly degrade a large portion of the gain from waiting to repair.
Weapons and Armor
Unfortunately in DAoC, especially RvR, waiting until 91% condition on armor and weapons is not an option. Thus one has to ask, what is the optimal performance to life ratio to repair at?
For masterpiece items, I suggest repairing once your item reaches 98% condition. In practice you will only ever RvR with weapon and armor at 100% and 99% condition. A masterpiece item at 99% condition is the same as a 99% quality item at 100% condition, which a large portion of the player base uses. By waiting to repair once the item reaches 98% you loose 1% efficiency of your armor and weapons only half of the time you rvr, and gain 133% on the lifetime of an item repaired at 99% condition.
For 99% quality items, I suggest repairing at 97%. Well your weapons and armor will be significantly less powerfully than a masterpiece user, they will also degrade faster. Thus to maximize the life of your set until you can afford masterpiece I highly encourage repairing at 97%, as you will gain a whopping 150% increase in life over repairing at 99%. This will effectively make your set cost a mere two thirds the price of a set repaired at 99% condition.
Jewelry does not loose effectiveness with condition above 70% . I thus highly suggest only repairing jewelry at 91% condition to maximize it's life span.