No doubt you've seen a few posts and images of Red items. "Red items" are any items with a red name. They are a tier above Yellow in quality, and they do not have any prefixes. I.E "Cotton Boots +72". Red items share the same modifiers and designs as yellow items, but they do not show prefixes. The difference is entirely based on scaling.
Now you're asking yourself. "If these items scale, then surely they have to exist legitimately placed in the game?" Wrong. The reason they appear and even scale (wayards of 255+) is simple. An Algorithm.
Cube World is a game that is designed around infinite levels. Every item isn't created by hand. When loot is created it is given a modifier. This determines its look, prefixes and stats that it scales. The algorithm takes the item and generates it based on a list of text strings, modifiers, and more, to create the item.
When an item is dropped, a few things are decided. The source of the item: If it's a chest, the seed determines what drops from that chest. If you delete the world and recreate the world, that chest will always drop the same items.
When that item drops, what is it? Is it an immediately equippable item or is it a blueprint?
Any equipment can be a blueprint. Which means it is impossible to learn every recipe in the game. You can turn any piece of armor you want into a blueprint. The materials for blueprints are always the same. A yellow greatsword will always cost 16 Iron / 2 Diamonds regardless of its power level. This is to simplify it. When you have so many recipes, altering the materials based on power level would require a new algorithm. It isn't impossible to do, but will likely be added later.
So why do red items drop?
When any given piece of Gear is dropped, it is created based on the enemy or source. When it drops, it is then determined what items it would be. (A blue print, weapon, etc). And it is then given a rarity.
Red Items are placeholder items. Wollay created an algorithm that allows him to literally add infinite tiers of armor very easily because this algorithm automatically adjusts the stats as the rarity goes. The reason Red items drop, is because of a bug. They are not supposed to exist in their current form, and are simply placeholder data for when Wollay decides to add new tiers of items in other updates.
With harder content you need better tiers. With new materials, you need new tiers and so forth. If you find a red item, either from a boss, or a chest, or anything, you should consider yourself lucky! Red Items are simply a bug, but they do work.
Most Red items are indeed obtained by cheating. The rarity at which they drop is so low that the chance of a person obtaining a legitimate red item can almost be described as "Winning the lottery". Only items from chests, which are produced from seeds are guaranteed to be Red.
Feel free to hunt Red items, but remember. They are just placeholder items. They may be better than yellows, but they are not designed for the current game balance. They are balanced for tiers above +4. If you want to be super OP, by all means, look high and low for them, but don't forget that this is alpha and alpha comes with a lot of extra baggage.
In closing, red items are "Legitimate", but they are in no way "Features". They are bugs with the loot generation and algorithms that cause them to falsely be created. Obtaining them will not harm your game, but the game is not balanced around them, so use at your own risk.
Edited by Mistress Rarity, 10 July 2013 - 08:37 AM.