Edit: This post is now outdated. EMC has moved to a custom anvil mechanic. I will post a completely new thread when I have time to do testing and rewrite it. The TIPS and USEFUL EXAMPLE sections are still perfectly valid if you play vanilla Minecraft, however. So, yeah, prepare for wall of text. RIP attention spans. I'm using this to share some of my experience from experimenting with 1.8, and hoping to generate some discussion about the new mechanics.If you just want long-term effects or economy stuff, skip the first paragraph. If you want enchanting tips, skip down to TIPS FOR ENCHANTING and ANVIL USE. For advanced anvil-penalty avoidance, see A USEFUL EXAMPLE. 1.8 Enchanting Rebalance Notes and MusingsAs all of you have undoubtedly noticed, the 1.8 update has had a massive effect on enchanting, particularly with regards to the ease with which players can now drop level 30 enchants on their gear. What most players haven't noticed yet, however, is the rebalance of the anvil mechanics. Like the rest of you, I am loving being able to repair my god-pick for next to nothing. The problem, however, is that these first repairs are a one-time gift that we will never get again.Enchanted items from before the update have been grandfathered in with 0 anvil penalty. It is impossible, however, to obtain most new top-level gear without incurring an anvil "prior work" penalty. In addition, the anvil use penalty now increases exponentially, and cannot be limited by naming the item. With EMC reverting to vanilla repair behavior, the requirement cap of 39 levels has been removed, and items will once again become too expensive to repair. So what does all this mean to you, in real terms?Enjoy your old items while you can. For most of us, they will last for a few repairs still before becoming unworkable. OP gear power-users will begin to feel the pain sooner, if they haven't already.Newer and average players will have a much easier time getting better gear, due to the new ease of high-level enchanting, and of combining items (in the short-term).Combining lots of low-level items is now a lot less practical. Under ideal conditions, an item can only be worked in an anvil up to 6 times. You will need to start with level-30 enchants in order to create a maxed tool or weapon and have a hope of repairing it. I don't expect the loss of this technique to be much of a burden, however, as it was mostly used by newer players, who now benefit from #2 above.The net effect is to make GOOD enchants much cheaper, and GREAT enchants more expensive (because they cannot be maintained).Despite the new ease of using an enchanting table, Enchanted Books will actually become much more important to the Empire economy. Veteran players, unable to maintain their OP gear, are likely to turn to books for replacements rather than go through the time-consuming and unpredictable ritual of building up items themselves. Likewise, many players who now find themselves flush with XP will likely begin dumping level 30's on books in order to save their levels for later. This will result in a glut of random enchant books on the market, and eventually, lower prices for them. Top-level books (ex: Sharpness V) obtained directly from villagers will likely remain extremely valuable, as they have no prior work penalties applied. Buyers on the auctions forum have already begun asking sellers about the origins of their books.All of this new, and random, enchanting means more repairs and more replacements will be needed. All of the veterans' unbreaking III gear is going to hit the level cap, and have to be replaced. Those that choose to enchant their gear on a table will be stuck with a lot of lower-quality items that either wear out faster, or get sacrificed to build up better items. Many newbies will be running around in the waste in high-level protection and thorns armor that, again, has to be repaired or replaced more often. All of these effects mean that diamond price inflation is actually going to accelerate in the months following the 1.8 update. Sure, there is an argument to be made that all of the additional fortune and looting items will bring in more diamonds and offset the loss. I don't buy it, however. There are too many players using diamonds, and not enough gathering them (or acquiring them by voting); this is the cause of our current diamond price inflation. Unfortunately, the situation is probably going to get worse, faster. EMC's best defense against diamond price inflation, barring an arbitrary and punitive server cap using the shop, or a series of massive giveaways, is to get more players mining. Popular events like Friday Night Mining may actually be our best hope.