(14 June 2019) Planar fragments are accessed via your character sheet. There are two options for accessing them. The first brings up the equip screen where you can equip your fragments. The other one brings up a list of all fragments so you can quickly manage them. You can buy specific fragments by going to the Store -> Equipment -> Planar Fragments. There are three tiers of fragments that may be bought here.
While the costs and reputation are static, there is some variance with the tiers themselves. The lowest tiers can actually return a Tier 1 essence for Planar Defense Force Rep, but for the rest of them Tier 3 is typically the highest you can get. One notorious fragment that many people have trouble getting is a Tier 1 Death Fragment. These can be obtained from an honored coffer.
Essences also drop from mobs, dungeons, raid rifts, and raids. The higher tiers tend to drop better quality fragments. For example in Intrepid Rise of the Phoenix you are very likely to get a Tier 2 Fragment, and Tartaric Depths has quite a few water fragments.
The rarity of a fragment is denoted by its color, white for common, green for uncommon, blue for rare, purple for epic, orange for legendary. At infusion level 0, when you initially obtain a fragment, a planar fragment is assigned a random amount of stats to it. If it has only one stat, it is considered common, two it is uncommon, 3 it is rare, 4 is epic and 5 is legendary. This means you know the stats for that many of the total 5 you will end up with at level 12. The other importance that rarity plays is how often a secondary stat can get upgraded. At the watermark levels, 3, 6 ect, the primary stat will get leveled up. Depending on the rarity of a fragment, there is a possibility that one or more secondary stats can get leveled up also. The higher the rarity, the more likely an upgrade will occur. This means the best essences will likely occur with a higher tier rarity
Every planar fragment has an infusion level. This will start at level 0 and goes to level 15. The beginning few tiers to upgrade are cheap platinum wise, cost some planarite and have a high rate of critical success. A critical success means that when you hit upgrade it advances to the next level infusion. As you infuse up the levels the stats on the fragment increase at a level relevant to there tier (see below) and the associated costs to upgrade escalate platinum wise and will go from planarite to items you receive when you recycle a fragment of the same element type. These items can also be obtained from rares and bosses. At stages 3, 6, 9 and 12 you will have another stat added if it has not already been placed by rarity. This correlates to the amount of stats at each level: 0: 1, 3 : 2, 6: 3, 9: 4, 12: 5 with a significant boost in all 5 possible stats at level 15.
The last part of the fragment is its Tier level, and this is where most questions become a little complicated for people learning how to place fragments. There are 6 tiers of fragments with Tier 6 being the lowest, or worst and Tier 1 being the highest. What this means is that stats at Tier 1 increase more than stats at Tier 6.This may lead to the illusion that having a higher tier regardless of what stat is the primary, or the one that gets upgraded the most is better than a lower Tier because the advances in stats are less.
The problem here is that the players may not be counting in the factor of the weight of the stats. Simply put what a stat weight indicates is the relevance and importance that the stat has in relation to other stats. Let’s say for a moment that a class has a Crit Power rate weight of 2.0 and an attack power weight of 1.0. In this scenario because Crit Power’s weight is 2 and attack power weight is 1.0 it takes 2 points of attack power to equal one Crit Power.
If we had 40 Crit Power and 40 Attack Power would mean is we have that 80 Crit Power weight to 40 attack power weight. Crit power wins because the weight is higher. Now use these same weights and you have a choice between a fragment that offers a 60 attack power or a 40 Crit Power. Even though 60 is higher, because the relative weight of Crit Power is 2.0, its value would be 80, meaning you would want to choose Crit Power over the attack.
This further gets complicated because each tier gains more of an increase that a lower tier. A tier 1 stat at it infusion level 0 may gain 14 crit power per level versus only 8 at a lower tier. This means you now have to tiers to consider when determining which fragment to equip.
Luckily for us, Trion has gone ahead and made one particular stat for dps and heals a god stat and simplified it all for us: Crit Power. With very few exceptions Crit Power is the stat that you will want to concentrate on until you get it around 37.5 %, soft cap (ie before the stat starts returning diminishing values and becomes pointless to increase) is 40%. Raid buffs and food will get you the rest of the way there. Yes, once you get closer to this cap things will change, but for someone just starting out and actually even quite a way into it, in my opinion try to up your Critical Hit Power.
There are exceptions to this as you level up your fragments and, by association your essences.As your crit power goes up if you have on critical hit chance added it will become more valuable to actually use a chance stat. However, as long as you are adding chance as another stat on your fragments it should stay at the pit where it is needed.
Once you get closer to your CP caps and are getting essences upgraded from the Raid Rifts, you can check out your callings forums or many other places out there to determine stat weights and what you will want to upgrade.
You will notice as you level a planar fragment you may get a stat that is worthless to you. For example getting a dodge, guard or block on a dps essence is not useful at all. Since every essence has 5 stats, all 5 that you are assigned play an importance. Personally I have broken more level 12 stats than I care to remember. It feels like flushing platinum down the drain. Getting all 5 stats with desired, especially with a high tier that you desire (death and fire CP’s say hello) is a frustrating exercise and very difficult to do. Be prepared to be very unhappy with this, or to accept that some of you essences will not be perfect.
You may noticed I mentioned a couple of stats over and over. While you are upgrading and choosing your fragments here is something else that will make it look like you know what you are doing. Go to your essences, if you have any that have dodge or block and you do not have guard of at least 10.76%, start tossing and buy ones that do and replacing with guard. If your Crit Power is not 37.5%, I highly suggest finding an essence that has Crit Power on them.
There are two essences you can obtain with reputation for dps/heals and two for tank. Once you have those two it is recommended to look for level 67-70 greens at the auction house. because they actually may have higher stats at 67 than a 70. I know of no other reason level means anything on your focus. Remember, greater essences are way more rare than lesser essences. Those two big great essence slots you have can be filled by a lesser essence. Go that way.
Once you have basic essences that fulfill your stats there are other ways you can then go to get better essences. Queens Foci’ Looking for Raid has a relatively low drop rate for essences. Raid Rifts have a much better chance at essences are are currently dropping best in slot.
TLDR: Choose Crit Power for DPS and HP/Endurance for tanking.