With the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion for New World many new named items were added to the game that leave the third perk slot open. The named items can then be upgraded, for a hefty cost, in the gypsum kiln. This upgrade moves the gear to 700 GS (max) and allows the player to set the last perk. This is great for players wanting end game 700 GS gear, but comes with a big downside.
The named items, such as Woodgrain Breastplate, drop as 2 perk purple items from 626+ all the way up to 700 GS with 3 perks (3rd perk being random if it rolls as legendary). As a legendary drop it can be really good or not usable depending on the random 3rd perk. If its a 2 perk purple then chances are it won't be something that replaces other gear.
So the big downside is that while this gear is great to see in your loot bags its only because of the future promise of what it could be. There is no real live progression model with these items. One moment they are junk and the next they are possible 700 GS best in slot.
Personally I like how artifacts are implemented where there are quests to progress the artifact and unlock its perks. Players can try the artifact on and work through the quests and thus get a feeling of progression of the item through actual use. Then a final decision is made if a final upgrade of that artifact is worth the expense.
I'd love to see that applied to these named items. Instead of one big dump of resources; let me build it up over time. Maybe start with letting me slot the third perk and then slowly work up the gear score level. Give me a one time discount to swap out the perk if I find I want something else.
With that said; I still really enjoy these named items. I am charting a path to my upgraded gear and feel, for once, that I have actual control over reaching the destination. Previously it was mostly random luck as my build was unique that there was never anyone selling pieces I needed on the trading post so I was either waiting for PvP drops or hitting the crafting lottery. Now I can invest some time in farming up armor like the Woodgrain set and with a little patience and a pile of gold (about 30k per piece + perk mod cost which can be upwards of 50k for adamant) walk away with a 700 GS item. I'll take that even if it means its a leap to the end vs a climb up a ladder.