DarkStarr please consider making a policy before/when launching "the Vault" 25APR

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Spoon, Apr 8, 2019.

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What do you think? (multi choice)

Poll closed Apr 29, 2019.
  1. Portalarium needs an Official Rarity Policy

    52.2%
  2. Portalarium does not need an Official Rarity Policy

    8.8%
  3. Portalarium needs a Reserved list of things that never will be sold again

    49.3%
  4. Portalarium does not need a Reserved list of things that never will be sold again

    10.3%
  5. I think the Vault is a great idea, I will definitely buy expired stuff if it comes back

    30.1%
  6. I think the Vault is a bad idea, I will definitely need torches and pitchforks

    28.7%
  7. Arrghh, my valuable collection...... Nooooooooo.....

    16.2%
  8. There is no Spoon

    17.6%
  9. Portalarium please listen to Spoon, Save the Whales

    16.2%
  10. Portalarium please ignore Spoon, make corsets for the crown store

    9.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Please note that the spoilers are there so that folks like @DarkStarr can skip over the details since I know he knows them since we have discussed it with him when he joined the project after the kickstarter, but for the parts of the audience/public who don't know, the spoilers are there to provide context to what the petition/discussion is about.

    Part of the player base has requested that assets formerly in the store which has "expired" should be made available again. (Where another part of the player base has been in vocal opposition of this).

    This since some types of assets provide limited choices right now, like houses.

    For years the devs have said they won't do this.

    But in the last quarterly update this was a thing that is now going to happen.
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/q2-2019-schedule-update.153472/
    "
    Players will also be able to purchase items from the “Vault” section of the Crown Shop which will feature rare, previously-expired items that will be available for a limited time at a premium price."

    So things that some have considered rare, will now become available for purchase again.

    My guess is that this is a trial/test that they want to do and see what the reaction from the player base will be.

    Please feel free to visit Lux Sanctuary, the vendors are fully stocked with torches, pitchforks, and even tables for flipping for those so inclined.

    Although I would much recommend visiting the Thermae bath house instead to calm your senses.
    Maybe a steaming tub, an ice wake, or a relaxing reagent massage could bring back your inner calm.


    (Pssst, this spoiler ad is a joke, alluding to the common place drama in any given forum on the internet).


    @DarkStarr (and @Chris )

    I will repeat a request from the kickstarter days.

    Please for the launch of the Vault, then consider again looking at how MtG was forced by their players to create an official policy on reprints and in creating a reserved list. Which saved them a lot of contention in customer relations etc.


    MtG is short for Magic the Gathering.
    It is the oldest and most successful Collectible Card Game in the industry.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gathering
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collectible_card_game

    This is their reprint and reserved list
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/official-reprint-policy-2010-03-10


    This exist because just like in SotA some of the old stuff that had expired became collectible with some cards fetching really high prices.
    So the publisher thought they could cash in on this and created sets with old cards. Which led to the 1995 release of Chronicles
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gathering_expansion_sets,_1993–1995#Chronicles
    It was a great success sales wise, but also led to a total disillusionment from collectors. Since their formerly expensive collectible cards suddenly became cheap.

    Which in turn led to a great diminishing of reservations for the next set from stores. Who got feedback from the customers that they wouldn't buy as many sets going forward.
    To put it mildly it was a crisis.

    To prevent further escalation of that crisis, in 1996 they made and published a policy of what could and what wouldn't be reprinted etc and what their policy would be going forward.
    They also made a list of cards that would never come back.

    They have had some changes over the years but still remain in effect.
    There has also been some exceptions etc but I will not cover such here.




    For an example of a company that didn't do this, I point at WizKids who had a couple of successful product lines based on the random booster and "collectible" model but didn't make such a Policy so the player base expectation wasn't set to what the company wanted to do forward. Which then tanked their three main product lines with the launches of next sets.

    The first which reprinted too many of the old set but with cooler art (figs) making the old set undesirable. The second where they made only the new set tournament/rules legal making the old set obsolete over night with no warning. The third where the design changed from one set to the next making the new and old kinda incompatible.

    All of those decisions had worked for the Games Workshop's Warhammer line of figurines which they emulated, but they have missed that they didn't have the same audience and it didn't land well in the Collectible scene who was used to the CCG standard. Since all those Collectors suddenly had all their current collection from the old set made almost worthless over night, why would they buy into the new one when that was likely to happen again?

    Know your audience and make sure to set their expectations, etc.

    Going back through the SotA project we can also see that confusion regarding what was and what wasn't promised has repeatedly led to backlash from parts of the community due to misunderstandings. Where an existing reserved list and policy would have easily prevented the vast majority of those dramas.
    Such contention has also become a timesink for your project members who in lieu of such reserved list reference has had to wade through old sources to see what was and wasn't promised. (Chris and the Keep and Castle upgrades comes to mind).

    So I repeat my advice to establish such a "Reserved List" and creating a "Rarity Policy" which would make your jobs much easier going forward and prevent some potential hot issues and mitigate some of the drama.
    It would also help us hospitallers to answer questions we get by simply referring to those documents.


    (Please note that I'm not saying that any created reserved list would necessary have to increase after its creation, but rather that promises should be transparent for all parties. Plus would be a shortcut for yourselves to check when the need arises, especially good for new personnel who don't have the history).


    With such short notice until the Vault release (end of April) I'd also advice that if you so wish that you could call for a short term Collector Scrum community group (special invite only) which could write the "candidate reserve list" with references to Portalarium communication like kickstarter pledges etc. After which you could simply review that as you see fit.
    (I see a spreadsheet, column A - name of item, column B - quote of Portalarium statement, column C - link to the source for that statement).

    While for the Rarity Policy document one could take the text regarding the seasonal stuff, the returning stuff (like DarkStarr), the reservation of right to reskin with new name, etc. All things you already have written in communications but all gathered in one easy to reference Rarity Policy. Also with the a link to the EULA stuff about virtual assets. (Again a community Collector Scrum group could easily put up a list of such communications for review).

    Such a scrum group could also help flag if your premium prices is not on mark.


    Thank you for listening and good luck


    A good way to republish old stuff for new players in the Vault while keeping trust is to do what was said.
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...-store-be-obtainable-in-game.3557/#post-59537

    Take an old asset, keep the mesh and model, but give it new textures. Publish in the Vault under new name.

    Here is an existing example.

    This is a "rare" house, which should never return
    http://sotawiki.net/sota/Wood_&_Plaster_2-Story_with_Balcony_Village_Home
    [​IMG]
    While this is a version you can get in game:
    http://sotawiki.net/sota/Shingle-Roof_Two-Story_w/Balcony_Village_Home
    [​IMG]
    Yea the lower image isn't great since its night, but if you see it the roof tile texture are tinted a greenish hue, and the wall texture is semi brick-ish.

    That is the exact same model, the exact same mesh etc. The only difference is the texture and the name.

    Problem solved without drama.

    The first house keeps trust be being kept exclusive, while the lower one makes it so that the model is kept in use and available for new players.

    So for the Vault, create some Vault-House-Textures. Then apply those to some good looking house mesh/models. Rename them and launch that Vault.



    Happy hunting

    Spoon

    PS
    I set the poll to close in three weeks since that is the launch of the Vault.

    PPS
    If anyone wants I could easily list some 10ish community drama which would have been prevented or mitigated by having such a policy and list. Where each such drama resulted in lost players and expressions of loss of confidence in store purchases.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  2. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    I sold all my rares at premium prices I voted to bring them back, preferably super cheap. I’d feel completely diffrent If I had saved any. The commission free vendor thing worked well for me also I sold mine for $125 in the player market and was re able to buy them for $30 on sale in the store.

    This is how portal is going to make money hold rares and stuff at your own risk.
     
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  3. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck Avatar

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    There are many other creative ways for Portalarium to make money. Like create new rares and/or items that are actually desirable/good to entice players to buy. There are many ways to raise money!

    Why must they keep breaking their word and do things that upset those who placed their trust in them.

    Even a child understands the implications of making promises and then breaking them.

    First, decide if this game is to have items that are “rares” (items available only for a limited time, items of limited stock, items that are exclusive to certain packages, etc etc). If this is desirable then STICK TO THE PLAN AND NEVER RENEGE ON IT.

    Otherwise, completely abandon the concept of rares and set a standard price for everything and everything should be available for purchase by anyone at any time, all the time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  4. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    I agree and this is where I thought they were going, but soon realized they cannot keep pumping out new and expiring items on a regular basis and not suffer on the development side.

    What they need is a new and larger player base you can’t keep the stagnant player base we have now and keep the money flowing in. At a point the current base will not need or want new skins.
     
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  5. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck Avatar

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    Agree. So i guess i wasn’t explicit but when i said new rares/items i definitely did not mean reskinning things and/or the “meh” offerings they have been introducing with the recent releases.

    Totally agree on the need to increase player base. You’d think instead of doing things to divide the already dwindling player base (make some happy while upsetting others) they’d do stuff that makes everyone happy. Now before you say that’s impossible or that’s an oxymoron, how about putting their focus on decidedly less polarizing and/or controversial things.

    Like fixing bugs!!! who doesn’t like that? polishing up broken/bad systems. finishing up systems that aren’t completed, etc etc.
     
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  6. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    I have mixed feelings about this vault but only because I feel like its going to rile people up.

    On one hand, I think expiring digital content was kind of a silly thing to do in the first place - all these old houses, deco items, etc. still need to be maintained, kept up to date, be bug fixed, etc. because people own them. Except of course, being expired they have no chance of generating further revenue, ever.

    I understand expiry of rare pledge stuff, that was meant to be exclusive. But expiring other stuff, when the expense of making the art and doing the programming bit to make it function within the game, doing deco rules/surfaces etc. etc. has already been done, never made any sense to me. Artificially creating rarity may achieve a few 'grab them up because its going away' purchases, maybe, but if you're thinking long term, it seemed to be quite literally shooting yourself in the foot saying that no future player with money in their hands ready to buy the stuff cannot do so because of an arbitrary expiry.

    If people are going to spend $$, I know I personally would much rather see that $$ go to Portalarium to support the game. There's a lot of things I missed the boat on due to my personal finances not aligning with when things were available. I'm sure its same for others. I dislike the idea of paying twice what Portalarium got for something buying from a third party as this doesn't support the game it just supports someone who is using the game as an investment opportunity. And I mean no offense to those that do - I just personally want any money I spend on this game to go to the devs rather than to line someone's pockets because they capitalized on expirations. I know that allowing some of these items to come back is a can of worms. The easiest workaround I can think of is to just make the 'new edition' of these items slightly different in some way so that the originals retain their rarity.

    While some people buy stuff 'cause its "collectible" some of us just buy stuff cause we want the function/aesthetic of it. It makes no difference to me if my shogun house had say, a different style of hardwood floor to distinguish it from the original, or a different name. I just want a Shogun house. I don't care if its rare, I'm not buying stuff to reselling it, I'm buying it to enjoy it.

    I think Spoon's suggestion about a list of items/policy is a good one.
     
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  7. Thxforthememories

    Thxforthememories Avatar

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    Port created tons of items that were "exclusive" or "expiring", those words were used intentionally - to get people to think these items would hold some rarity and to "buy them before they are gone!!!".

    I think it is pretty icky that they marketed items in this way and then bring them back, but that is water under the bridge I guess. They don't have resources to make new items and houses, and most of the people who cared about such things are gone. I don't think Port is ever going to make items and mark them as "exclusive" or "expiring" again (as no one would believe them and now know that rarity of items is really not going to happen when Port will bring items back at will), so they should do what they need to do, even if that means bringing things back.

    An official policy as Spoon highlights would be great, but where on earth do they have the resources to make and maintain such a list? They had a list of pledge items and when the housing deed upgrade fiasco happened Chris mentioned that they could not remember what promises were made, and that stuff was written down. History has not shown they could care for any kind of rarity policy, but it is a noble thought.
     
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  8. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    It's nice people will be able to get stuff.

    I'm sure it'll be another bloodbath for those of us who already have stuff. I'm kind of used to taking the hits at this point, numb to it you might say.

    That being said, I've got a complete set of Grand Tour hats for sale if anyone wants to get them before they are ALL duplicated. The Cavaliers hat is still rare.

    A bunch that have been duped by Port (lets call it that from now on) are better from the store because they have dye slots. Darkstarr said to submit it as a bug on the Grand Tour hats, but of course no one ever acknowledged the bug report.

    Whatever. Stay in business so I can keep playing with my town.
     
  9. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    I also want to put a lot of things behind us and move forward. The value of items promised or not has changed dramatically. We are not in the same place as we were during kickstarter. I feel in so many ways It has to be a whole new mindset which I believe is on to helping this game survive not if our items stay rare or not. Yes it could be tied together for some as whether they will play the game because the rarity of items they have are compromised or not.

    What I'm seeing is a whole new world of players. So many are not spending any real cash on the game and have no plans to. Of course since Episode 2 will start out as buy to play the new content that choice will come up for some. Others will wait until its free. Anyway I'm not as interested in this subject as some. I don't care that my 2 place anywhere deeds lost value. I never expected them to have value anyway. That's not why I bought them. I was fortunate and got to pay for them in payments so it didn't hurt quite as much in my mind to get them over time.

    So while I know some players want to focus on things like this, I do not. Personally we still need some particular things to happen with this game for it to be able to be more successful and I truly want that to be the focus of the dev team and not looking back on kickstarter promises or having to micromanage items. Some things just don't work out. They have tried to address some promises and rarity and go forward but imo some especially those who aren't currently playing that much don't let things go.

    I know I'm a little off topic but I don't think that promising or not promising should be strict since we never know what the future will hold. I truly feel it was important to devalue deeds so this game could become a game that offers housing. It was not going to fly the way it was set up. Players were mad coming into the game and finding out they had to run through major hoops to get housing and who can blame them. Way too many of them left because of it. Some still are leaving since they don't do questing and don't want to. So until they change it so maybe one quest is the way to become a homeowner which I prefer or no quest is required they will still leave over it. This game either has housing as a feature everyone can reasonably acquire or it doesn't. Buying to have housing was ridiculous an seemed necessary at the time but since it is such a major thing in this game we needed to change that up. Ok sorry to get off track but I'm in a different place about the game right now. Anything outside of making it a still better game is what my mind is on. Anyway so I added a list is ok and now Carry on. I'll go into my cave again ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  10. Weins201

    Weins201 Avatar

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    Port has shown they care nothing for their player base, and actually "honoring" things that where actually sold or any semblance of the word for Rarity. I have a few items that should never be avail again as I paid for them very early on. I "earned" those items by supporting early and with "premium" prices. EVERYTHING I have in the game now has an value set by Port at 1/2, that is just by their actions alone.

    If they think they are going to being in new players and make money doing this go fir it, it is a last gasp for air.

    There are only so many times players can say , yell, scream, for them to pull their heads out. No one is going to reach in and help, The smell is bad enough now hey are running out of air.

    this is just another very bad decision of a desperate team who cannot seem to actually figure out how to proceed.

    If you get lucky enough to sell anything now for any reasonable value, (such as a hat set) you are one lucky and two scamming the buyer since the itmes are going to be avail again.

    PATHETIC.

    Editing -

    Lets look at it this way ad above you see Vlad trying to sell off a set of hats that players Earned by playing early releases. Should these items re given out again? NO WAY IN HADES.

    Now player beat the crap out of me for wanting the Death Bunny heads to hold some value and there is a lot of kick back because players called it Selfish, or Greedy.

    Look it is very SIMPLE if I played the game and had a change to get an item when it was out and it was here, paying, played, received, . . . . then I should expect some kind of recognition for doing so. I do NOT do it for Greed, or Profit. I did it to obtain something nostalgic from the times when I played. (PAYED / EARNED)

    Now if everything thing I have done is just vail again for $ this is complete pandering and BS.\

    If you cannot see or accept it so be it, however there are a lot of player who see it this way and it is just sad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  11. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Neither would change by having a policy. Rather the other way around.
    It is just that the "at your own risk" and that they might "bring them back, preferably super cheap" isn't in any fine print anywhere.
    So a policy is just proactive damage mitigation, in that it makes it clear that although some things are promised as exclusive - most things are not.
    So most things would not be protected by a policy - rather the other way around, it would become a carte blanche for what could change.


    Same thing in MtG which I referenced. In the policy it says that unless the card is in the list - there is no promise made that it will not be reprinted.
    Simple, clean.
    That meant that going forward from 1996 there was much less misunderstanding of the risk since the rules were transparent.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  12. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    .

    Most of the things though that parts of the player base is so upset about wasn't actual promises.
    Instead the players assumed that because item X was covered by an exclusivity promise then also item Y was included as well.

    I think that part of the problem lies in the lack of transparency, which would have been solved by a public policy.

    So for instance just because bundles expired didn't mean that the devs thought they had promised that most items in bundles had any exclusivity promises attached. (Only a few of the items did). Just that they stopped selling them as bundles. However since there was no policy statement it was easy for players to get the wrong impression.


    Which is the problem with proactive vs reactive damage mitigation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  13. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    I get it! That’s only common sense for most games like this. It’s implied by “expiring” that usually says not available any more. I’m not sure what items will be in the vault they said on many telethons when it came to much of this expiring content this is your last chance to get .... and going away forever. with the bundles expiring they last chance to get such and such house, but they are now running Chris stream deal if you upgrade ur lot you can upgrade ur house even the expired bundle ones.

    I’m not sure they would commit to a documented policy though but I am pretty sure we all would love to see one and would love for it to actually be set in stone.
     
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  14. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Agreed.

    Either make an item for the collectors.
    Make those items in limited & numbered editions and sell them at an escalating price model. First come first served, too late no action.
    (ie this is item X we will only make 1000 of those, ever. Each one will list its number, ie 123/1000. the first 200 will cost $10, after that for every week the price will go up with $5 per week (10, 15, 20, 25, 30) and we will list another 200 per week until the 1000 are sold)

    Or make it for everyone and don't make any claims to exclusivity.
    Like the seasonal items, or the returning items.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  15. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Once made then just like in MtG they wouldn't necessarily need to maintain it much. The link I provided above is from 2010 which was the last revision.

    This since going forward there is less need for exclusive stuff. And if they made a collector's edition of something then that would be selling faster if it made the list.

    So get the community to help them with the listing suggestions, review and remove all they don't agree with.
    Copy paste to the policy along with already existing texts about seasonals etc.
    Viola, damage mitigation for the next decade.

    The ROI on that time investment would easily pay off with the first mitigated drama.
     
  16. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    I'd disagree with this one. But mostly just in principle not as much in practice.

    I do think that they do care, a lot.
    I don't think they are actively trying to rescind promises.

    Just like Wizkids I referenced above. I remember talking to Jordan at the MageKnight world championships at gencon, back in hmm must have been 2003 give or take a few years. He genuinly thought that since people was used to the Warhammer franchise figurines, then it wouldn't be an issue with his collectible figurine lines doing the same things.
    Great guy, admired him and his mech stuff for many years. Pity that they tanked since the market changed under their feet.

    Instead I think that different members of Portalarium themselves sometimes don't think they have made a promise. Or that one part of the team made the promise but never consulted with the rest of the team. Which meant that the rest of the team actually didn't know about the promise. etc Like their first mistake with the halloween stuff returning which was promised not to. That was a Dallas only promise/mistake when he was doing the weekly updates marketing. Where Starr and team thought they had created a recurring seasonal, so the year after they did recur.

    So just the bi-effect of lots of hats and limited resources.

    Where pretty much all of such honest mistakes would have been solved or mitigated by having the requested Reserved list + Policy from the beginning.
    (Oh this brings me back to livestreams back in 2014 - 2015 with Starr and Dallas, they thought copying the MtG policy back then was a great idea but then promptly got caught up in everything else and it was never made despite reminders, hence why I thought it would be an idea to bring it up now again).
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  17. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Thank you everyone for the feedback.

    Here is our current thinking:

    1. Defining Tooltip: Items that are re-released into The Vault will have a tooltip that defines them as re-released and therefore different from the original items. This tooltip will say something like "Vault Edition" (wording not final).
    2. Premium Pricing: The items in The Vault will generally be more expensive than equivalent items currently in the store.
    3. Reserved List: Original Kickstarter / Pledge Items will not be appearing in The Vault. If the item was part of a Pledge then it is considered reserved. All other items have a chance to appear in The Vault.
     
  18. Vladamir Begemot

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    Could we please get some dyes on the Virtue hats so they compete with the store counterparts? Yes I did bug it after you said to, but it wasn't acknowledged.
     
  19. Weins201

    Weins201 Avatar

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    I agree with you point as a whole a policy would put in stone that these items can be brought back.

    My point is that I as well as a lot of players do not do this for a profit. Sure if I KNEW that I could have sold my 6 TF vendors for over 1000$ then replace them all for 180$ I would have been a fool not to do so.

    HOWEVER - doing so just show that the team themselves does not hold value to things they put in game.

    AGAIN I do not play this game for profit, but when I do accomplish something like killing an Arch Laupin and get one of his heads, my feeling is that head should hold some value NOSTALGIC value not $$$ value. This would go 1000% in showing that they actually care about the player base feelings as I am not alone. NOW how do you prevent those who do it for $$$??? Well then you have to actually control drops, and when a player gets 10 - 20 you can looks at mitigation.

    Again though since none if this is done, what is perceived, more relevant over time, is items like this are just thrown out over and over.

    Player who want to "Gather" just go "sorry not gonna waste my time anymore", and those who want to make $ advantage, will do so for a week then stop and some of their patrons will eventually catch on and also just stop.

    Nothing they have done ensure continued play nor entices new players to come and stay as those they meet will have no confidence in any continued success.

    We are only 1 year into "release" and the player base is stagnant, argue all you want about it but.

    Would a policy help sure it would but it solves nothing.

    What would help is they actually fix what is unfinished and broken and actually spend 1/4 of their time and effort and redesign not just reskin the items they are pandering.

    They are floundering, they spend more time and effort spreading themselves all over the place trying to communicate and piece mail what they are doing. Refocus and actually Focus would be the best step.

    Sure add a "policy" that say we reserve the right to redo anything. wait they already did that it is their TOS, they own everything.

    Stand buy it all you want but when you are standing there alone????

    Sorry to hijack your thread you idea is set in sound concepts but I feel just not where they need to focus
     
  20. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    I don’t know if this is possible or even how hard to do it might be but I’ll make the suggestion anyways.

    It would be cool if the vault items had a little gold virtue icon affixed to them on the skin so show they were a vault item. I’m thinking as an example the caviler hat instead of virtue symbol the it currently has instead a gold version of it. Or on some of the expired houses a gold virtue symbol on the door etc.
     
    By Tor likes this.