When salvaging items (i.e. destroying an item to recover components) in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning does it make any difference as to the quality of the item you use? I've received nice components with bonuses from bottom-level items, and received a single bottom-level component from an item that had a number of effects, so it seems like it might be random. Are there any rules governing the behaviour?
Nicer quality items have more components, so you can potentially get more parts out of them. The quality of the component is pre-defined based on what the item is.
For example, salvaging an Iron Longsword will never give you any other blade than an Iron Blade, while a Steel Longsword will never give you any other blade than a Steel Blade
It's random as to what and how many components you get, however higher blacksmithing levels will increase your chance at salvaging the item's components, so you'll likely get more pieces from it.
You can also save / load your game if there's a particular component of an item that you want, such as a life steal component, or mana steal.