This game is so focused on making crafting rewarding that it makes adventuring feel pointless.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aetrion, Sep 7, 2019.

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  1. Superbitsandbob

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    The revelation that drops are limited per day has essentially killed my interest in the game pretty much. What if I play during a time coming towards the end of the daily reset? Now I see why after so much time grinding, all I seem to get are basic + rings. That's pretty much it. I mean, on top of other issues if you are an adventurer and not a crafter or dance party goer, there is now this! Just....beggars belief.
     
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  2. Cora Cuz'avich

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    Not all drops, only a few highest ones, like deeds, and I think the orange bundles. Most stuf is just really rare, plus SotA math.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  3. kaeshiva

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    Don't misunderstand - my main wow experience was back in vanilla days and my foray a few years ago was admittedly short lived. The cmparison was never meant to imply that "you must have raid gear to do anything" but rather, that getting raid gear was the end game, the stuff you eventually wanted to get. Yeah, you don't "need" it anymore than you "need" the best gear in Sota, or any other game, but its the implied long term goal. I think you've actually captured most of my point, in that zooming to high levels without understanding how to play, only to get there and find that you either a) don't need to get anything else, or b) can't get it without some sort of tedium isn't a good long term player retention plan.

    Honestly, if you think crafting gives you a progression that is rewarding, it shows your ignorance of crafting in this game. If you're not crafting gear, there's no reason to level anything beyond 80 or so, which can be achieved like, on day 2 of playing the game just from quest reward producer xp in starting areas.

    If you are crafting gear, the cost-for-benefit curve is so steep that someone who invests 1 million XP to grandmaster a skill can add "6.3" to a stat on first enchant, and someone who spends another 107 million (in the case of the enchanting subskills) for level 140, they can now add 6.7. Seriously. The exceptional chances, success chances, all scale similarly. You have a linear benefit for an exponential cost which results in a terrifyingly effective softcap. Exactly like adventuring. Worse, considering that adventuring xp can be gotten quite easily in excess of a million per hour and crafting XP you'd struggle to do better than a couple hundred thousand in the absolute best case circumstance without enormous unsustainable cost or first time bonuses.

    I don't disagree with your assessment of where we are in the game, but I think you've misallocated the reasons for it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  4. Aetrion

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    The difference I see with crafting you can decide "I want to make a great suit of chainmail" and then actually work to get that, and if you enjoy crafting/trading you don't have to do anything outside of your chosen profession to get there. Whether or not the system that takes you there is as good as it can be is up for debate obviously. Personally crafting bores me to tears because of the resource grind, but then if it wasn't for that grind there wouldn't be a way for dedicated crafters to set themselves apart from "crafters of convenience", so I figure it does benefit people who are really into crafting somewhat. If I imagine I really enjoyed running around and gathering resources then the fact that I get some nice gear that I got to partially design myself out of it at the end and there is always room to make something even better seems like a satisfying reward.

    The thing I would like to know is what you think would make for a better and more rewarding crafting system or progression. I'm here to advocate for every single change that I think will make the game more popular overall, but I'm not a crafter, so I would like to know what it is crafters really want out of it all. What is the most satisfying activity for you to engage in in the game, what do you consider a good challenge for crafters to overcome, and what would be a good reward for doing so?
     
  5. Vladamir Begemot

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    Polish everything first (UI, SFX, player movement).

    After that is done, next level crafting is more interactivity within the world.

    Electricity, automated watering, stuff like that. Crafting melding with housing in an interactive way.

    Then NPCs that craft for you (taking a long time, that's fine), live in your house, eat your huge quantities of food (which rots over time, and becomes only useful as compost).

    Eventually we have a Sims MMO, which seems to be a pretty popular selling point of the game (housing) and a giant market in general.

    No idea with gear, except in the way it intersects the above, ie kitting out your NPCs who you send in the world to mine.
     
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  6. Aetrion

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    Hm, so what you're saying is you want the game to shift to an economy simulation in the vein of something like Anno ultimately? Maybe something along the lines of Black Desert Online? That does sound interesting, the only time I get into crafting games is when they are about setting up complex systems, like when I play Space Engineers. I could see the crafting system be a lot more fun when it's more about managing a town and the various NPCs in it than about just clicking rocks till you're sick of it.

    My big questions would be if every player sets up their own economic empire or if this is a collaborative effort they have to undertake, and what the method of consuming all the goods that these processes manufacture would be. I'm not particularly fond of setting up a system where adventuring is made into even more of an item sink.
     
  7. Vladamir Begemot

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    I don't know, it's far enough out there that I don't really want to even dream about it right now.

    But the key, the whole point of mucking about in games, is interactivity. Increase the interactivity of player <-> game, and player <-> player, and you are on the right road.
     
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  8. kaeshiva

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    No, you really can't.

    Crafting is 100% reliant on adventuring, it does not and cannot finance itself (even if you do sell to players, you'll make less money than just being a gatherer/selling resources)
    You have to be an adventurer to be able to harvest anything at anything approaching a viable rate considering how many materials it takes to actually make something worthwhile. You have to be an adventurer to finance recipes, fuels, and if you actually want to make gear people want, prepare to grind cash adventuring to afford a lot of expensive rare-drop-supply-bag-rare-chance-of-the-one-you-want recipes. In addition to the adventuring requirements (and subsequent need to level and gear yourself for combat), if you want to make a great set of chainmail as per your example, in addition to the blacksmithing skills, you also need to level textiles/tanning for straps, and smelting, and alchemy and enchantment to add stats to it, and so on. Even assuming you've done all of this, you'll never get a return on your investment for crafting gear, unless you "pretend like" you couldn't have sold the resources for more and ignore the millions you've sunk into recipes, fuels, etc. etc. Even at incredibly high levels, and even with the recent changes, crafting is an extremely wasteful undertaking, and even with skills in the 140s you'll likely not make something you can turn a profit trying to sell. There is absolutely no 'crafting faucet' for making gold to pay for crafting, unless you count agriculture, which is land limited, time limited, and tedious, and well, you want to make chainmail, right? So, unless you're prepared to drop a whole lot of RL cash on either crafting materials or infrastructure to set up a massive farming operation and dedicate hours a day to working it..you're going to get nowhere fast. And absolutely not without doing things "outside of your chosen profession."


    I'd expect that with enough experience invested in crafting to have grandmastered it all 30, 40, 50 times over, you'd be making exceptional items near 100% of the time. I'd expect you to be able to avoid - completely - the RNG nonsense that results in wasting 90% of the materials you work with. I'm not saying failures shouldn't ever happen, but relying on luck as the cornerstone of the system is extremely poor design. You should be able to set out to make something, and, provided you pass the skill checks, make it. Required inputs and consumption should be adjusted to suit.

    I'd expect that if we are going to force players to waste hundreds of hours gathering and refining materials and end up with a random, crap result more often than not, that those random, crap items have some sort of use, whether its trading them in somewhere, breaking them down to get a reasonable amount of materials back, or selling them to a vendor to recoup some of what was lost. At the moment, you get like less than a tenth of a percent of an items value back. That chestpiece you spent 15,000 gold making? You can salvage it for 8 metal scraps. This is insulting.

    I'd expect a crafting system to have some sort of way to finance itself without relying on the dubious demands of the player market - such as a crafting work order system, or by actually being able to sell stuff you make for more than pennies on the dollar. We used to have a few of these options, and they have all been systematically nerfed. There's nothing left.

    I'd especially like viable fuel gathering options in low tier / low combat zones, to truly allow someone to "advance their chosen profession" without spending 95% of their time doing "other things" to finance it.

    We have a truly fantastic level of customizability with styles and material bonuses, and then it just falls apart when you start fighting the dice rolls over, and over, and over again.

    And it seems the powers that be have determined that it is necessary for a crafter to waste hours and hours of their time on unwanted, unusable, unsellable failures for <economy reasons> that have been argued back and forth ad nauseum and have yet to come up with a compelling or satisfactory reason why so much waste is necessary, but have come up with plenty of reasons why its bad: player disillusionment, low level crafters cant compete (lack of recipes/financability), shopping is awkward and tedious, vendors everywhere are rammed with junk, can't craft custom gear for hire because of wildly variable prices completely contingent on luck, can't price anything, skill level at high end becomes less and less relevant, and can't craft anything without going out and financing it via adventuring first. Simply getting rid of RNG would fix all of that and well, I can't think of any negatives to doing so, other than people would be able to make what they want and resource prices would drop to more reasonable levels and maybe we'd see less people botting the mines to sell ore for cash. Would it fundamentally change the economy? Absolutely. That's when you make choices - actual choices, not randomly assigned luck rolls - by the crafter relevant in creating gear that is desirable, and skill level potency determine markup.

    Lastly, crafting needs to be able to compete with best in slot adventuring drops, or, at the very least, if crafted gear is just fated to be "second-rate" at least being able to customize it would give investing in crafting a lasting purpose. Instead of burying our heads in the sand saying "we can't fix it, because the economy" - we need to face reality and realize that the "economy" is already a mess and the best way to earn gold is to steamroll trivial content and sell junk loot to the npc, rinse repeat. Anything else is relying on luck. The whole supply-demand-consumption is out of whack. And making crafted gear lose durability and become useless even faster is not going to help crafters when it takes such a considerable amount of time and effort fighting the RNG to make anything viable to begin with. Then you just find that people embrace mediocrity since as has been pointed out, you don't "need" top tier gear to do anything. Nobody's going to pay a crafter top dollar for a piece of gear that they can use for a few days and it becomes tatters.

    Other games address this problem with 'binding' equipment preventing resale of stuff you've used. Its a popular mechanic. I'm not saying that I necessarily want to see it here, but it is effective at removing items from the economy without needing to make them disposable. We have no such consumption. In the absence of consumption, the only other way you can keep all the junk from entering the economy is to stop forcing people to make junk. Set out to make a piece of gear, pass the skill checks, make it, use it, sell it. If there is no demand in the player market, then if you want to "work your trade" then there needs to be another outlet that is worth your time. We currently have no such outlet. Possibilities such as selling to NPC or dramatically improving salvage have merit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  9. Griffler

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    Spends weeks or even months gathering supplies to make an exceptional soapbox with all the masterworks and enchants I want... crafts 100, 30 are exceptional, 10 get the masterworks I want and have enough dura for enchants, winds up with a single soapbox that is "good".

    Mossy Handle...

    Rare RNG chance of the drop...
    Rare RNG chance of getting the component upon salvaging, even with 140 skill and all possible buffs.
    Rare RNG chance of getting an exceptional crafted item with said component, even with 140 skill and all possible buffs.
    Rare RNG chance of getting the desired masterworks, even with 140 skill and all possible buffs.
    Rare RNG chance of getting the desired enchantments, even with 140 skill and all possible buffs.
    Don't forget the rare RNG chance of a supply bag with an even rarer RNG chance of a recipe you need to actually even make anything with the handle.

    This is the nonsense that needs to be addressed.

    Drops mic, steps off of soapbox, soapbox breaks from low durability.

    This combined with constant bugs coming back in the game after being fixed and nerfs due to "fixes" to bugs that are left in-game for incomprehensible amounts of time without being addressed. Combined with seemingly having the Devs expect its players to invest way too much time in their game without any reward is quickly driving me, and others, to toss up our hands and give up on this once passionately loved project.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  10. Aetrion

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    @kaeshiva I think you have a lot of really good points about the RNG in crafting making it not very fun, because that's the exact reason why I don't craft in SOTA, you have to be willing to craft hundreds of items to get a few good ones. However, I do think there is a question as to how it would affect people who want to play crafters who can actually produce sought after items if it's relatively easy for everyone to craft their own stuff.

    I think the fact that you can't make good money with crafting is kind of a flipside to the idea that gear is mostly destroyed by adventuring. I would personally prefer bound gear over gear that falls apart as a method to remove items from the economy, just make it so it doesn't bind when first acquired, but maybe make it so that you can stop the gear from losing max durability by making it a signature item for your character.

    Do you think the cost of crafting individual items needs to go up if the RNG is removed, or should it simply be relatively cheap to craft exactly what you want? Also I'm wondering how to retain people's ability to distinguish themselves as a crafter and create things that are truly sought after if it's much easier to craft. I would totally craft if all I had to do was gather stuff for maybe a day and make exactly what I want, but that would mean I'm not buying anything anymore.

    Artifacts are definitely a problem, and have taken over way too much. They are totally build defining for all sorts of characters, where you simply can't even get close to max power for a specific spec without using them.
     
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  11. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ABSOLUTELY :rolleyes:


    AND THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ABSOLUTELY :rolleyes:

    You nailed it, @kaeshiva ;)

    Sadly, the only 3 people who could fix this crafting abomination - @Lord British @DarkStarr and @Chris - can't seem to find the time to read threads such as this one, much less respond.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  12. kaeshiva

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    So there area few elements here:
    1- the ability to make what you want
    2-making appealing choices that are desirable to a potential customer base
    3-making skill level relevant enough to add value to high lvl crafted items


    1- At the moment, its all just a crapshoot cause you have little control whatsoever and usually the stuff that ends up getting sold is "eh, that's kind of ok maybe someone will use that."
    We absolutely must get rid of the RNG crap as step 1 to being able to further develop the crafting system beyond it being the "gear lottery" that it currently is.

    2- There is enough variety and enough possibilities in material choices, styles, masterworks, stat bonuses, etc. that a crafter who knows their trade could make decisions about what combinations of materials and bonuses are effective in combat and make things to suit. The crafter who understands what customers want will be more successful than the crafter who just makes random things willy nilly. Without the RNG problem a crafter would also be able to take commissions/custom orders and build something according to a customer's spec, something that is sorely missing from our current system because cost estimations of this can vary 1000% depending on luck. Pattern recognition in this space would also help devs to identify underutilised/undesired variants that potentially need a boost.

    3-If everyone can craft, then who are the customers? There are a lot of people I know who detest crafting. Absolutely hate it. But they've gotten enough producer xp in gathering over the years they've played that they easily grandmaster the crafting skills they need to be self sufficient. And there's no real reason to buy something from someone else, because nobody else is selling what you want either, because they can't, because RNG. The power curve in crafting is so very slight that anyone can be a grandmaster in a relatively short amount of time and people who passionately devote themselves to it see little return for their efforts. And because of the 'random choice crap' you're often better making your own stuff so you can at least make your own limited selections to try and get something close to what you want.

    In the absence of RNG, there'd be no reason for people who don't like crafting to undertake it, not when they could bring materials to a dedicated crafter's workshop and actually leave with what they want. They could find crafters who make the sort of gear that they want, and now the crafter has a regular customer.

    If higher levels of investment in crafting were more potent, there'd be a real desire to seek out work by a true master or specialist if you wanted high end stuff. Lower level artisans still honing their skills would offer the lower price alternatives. At the moment, there's little difference in the end products (usually less than 1 stat point difference if same options are chosen), and the high level crafter only has slightly better success chances. What ends up happening is all the rng mistakes are often GIVEN away for FREE (we have a "yard sale" guild chapterhouse for exactly this purpose, free +18 garbage for new players, etc.) since the only other alternative is trashing it- and if you can get "kinda ok stuff with lots of stats" for FREE well, there's simply no market for lower level crafters at all.

    Increasing potency beyond GM would also encourage collaboration - ie, my husband's a lvl 145 blacksmith and I'm a lvl 145 enchanter and we work together to make everything to have the best possible outcome.

    The main thing that needs to be addressed is consumption. And removing RNG will address a lot of it simply by preventing unwanted crap from being made in the first place.
    As for consumption, well, easier to make ---> easier to break seems fair to me, as does a bind functionality, perhaps only if you coto repair something (just an example) - still allows hand-me-down capability but only to a point.

    I'd love to be able to 'vendor' gear to a smart NPC appraiser who looks at the components used and offers you a (more) fair value for it. You could even add special npcs in variuos towns, this guy teaches you white iron recipes if you do a quest, and you can sell white iron items to him at a markup (for example). Since the recipe-acquisition-rng is another hateful aspect of crafting this would offer an alternative to that, too.

    I don't think the cost of crafting individual items needs to go up, but perhaps the amount of effort does.

    I'll give you an example.

    I can craft / have the recipes for canvas furniture (deco). I'm totally capable of making it, and have plenty of materials to do so, but it takes a long time to refine all the wood, make it into timbers, then poles and boards, and then to refine all the cloth, and then to make it all into canvas fabric, and so on. So if I see someone selling a canvas couch I'll look at the price and think....I'd rather buy that than go through the effort myself since that couch is exactly what I want for my living room.

    Apply the same logic to gear - making bespoke gear should require effort, and there's already a lot - in the hours and hours of gathering and the hours and hours of refining and component-making. But most of that effort is because you need to make 100 of anything to end up with what you want fighting the RNG. If RNG is removed, then I would suggest additional 'work' steps to turn raw materials into finished products would be needed. Those earlier work steps also provide a niche for apprentice crafters learning the trade.

    At the end of the day, a final piece of gear should only be being made if someone is ready to put it on (self-gearing, custom orders) or if you're trying to establish a business. And like with any business, you need to understand your customers, your competition, you need to promote your business, and so on. You shouldn't be churning out inventory simply to try and beat the RNG and then trying to figure out how much money you might maybe be able to get for it.

    Lastly, debunking the myths of
    "nobody will try to sell anything" - people absolutely will, hey, people do it NOW when its just extremely uneconomical

    "but we'll all end up wearing same thing" - we absolutely will not, if you've ever sat in a room when a bunch of players give a new player advice, everyone's got a different opinion on what's good, what's optimal, etc. Sure, some gear types are better than others, and some are just downright bad, and actually being able to make choices will quickly identify which material types/bonuses nobody ever picks and they can be balanced.

    "resource prices will tank" - they probably will, and they probably should. In early days selling ore to the NPC was actually an acceptable thing - Annika in soltown even asks you for it. Its unthinkable now because so much is needed/wasted due to the RNG. We have people buying ore for RL cash (and people cranking out ore to earn RL cash) because you waste so very much of it trying to get what you want. And then there's the whole mining-botters situation which has caused the respawn rates in mines to be nerfed to a level of near pointlessness. Yes, if less resources are needed, then resource prices will stabilize. Other economic stabilizing mechanisms could be added - in a system where resource costs are now lower, gear degradation could be bumped up, since its actually replaceable now. In a system where you can go mine for a few hours, go home, and replace your chestpiece, (or message a crafter and place an order, or go to the shop you know about where you get most of your stuff and buy a replacement) its not the crisis that it is to try and replace your 1-in-a-million-lucky roll.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  13. Aetrion

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    Not seeing anything in your post that doesn't make perfect sense to me, so the only response I have to give is: Make sure the devs see this. Maybe put it in its own topic. I don't know what they read.

    One thing that comes to mind: Maybe extreme levels of crafting could unlock special patterns you can use so that top end crafters can make gear that just looks awesome. Sort of like in real life designer clothes aren't necessarily more functional as clothes, they are just more stylish.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  14. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    Good luck with that..........
     
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  15. Cora Cuz'avich

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    I suspect we'll never get this. They seem really big on the idea of gear that earns reputation, but what would be the point if it broke quickly? I don't think they will consider that a valid fix for crafting, as they'd rather have this one cool thing at the expense of a lot of other cool things.

    Though, it occurs that maybe part of earning a reputation involves a durability buff. So gear would break a lot, but if you managed to keep a sword in one piece long enough to kill x number of whatevers and get a Sword of Whatever Slaying, it'd last a while. But it'd take a lot of balancing to get that to work so that reputation items last long enough to be worth it, but not so long that it ends up as the same problem. And balancing things is one thing they never put much effort into getting right.
     
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  16. kaeshiva

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    A costly consumable item that could restore durability to a weapon, that required very high level crafting in that skill to make, is another potential way around this. Of course, that's assuming the RNG nonsense goes away, if so, such 'restoration kit' or whatever could be designed to cost more than crafting a new one, but would let you retain gained properties such as reputation.
     
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  17. Aetrion

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    Yea, I would much rather have a system where the complexity of repairs matches the complexity of crafting but items can be maintained infinitely than a system where items break down just so you're forced to make more.
     
  18. bugmaster77

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    Did you notice that not a single person responded stating that such a cap does NOT exist? No devs, no players. The complete lack of a response tells me that there is indeed a cap/reset on drops.

    This thread is titled incorrectly. It should read "Exploiters draining the game of new players".

    As I stated before in this thread, this sort of cap/reset system is HIGHLY exploitable and cleanly explains my own experiences and frustrations with SotA. I look at peoples vendors and wonder how the hell they get so damn many artifacts, day after day, that they can keep vendors stocked like they do. Then I look at how my own experiences--both solo and and in groups--and compare. They simply DO NOT. I've had exactly 3 artifacts drop for me since I started playing. I started playing shortly after the game was released publicly. THREE artifacts. Hardly sufficient vendor stock. Most of the artifacts I have were given to me by veteran players.

    Now I know why this glaring discrepancy exists. A single, short-sighted decision on the part of the developers, combined with a willing group of participants--OTHER PLAYERS. That's right, other players, that knew about this, exploited it and profited from it, profits in the form of real dollars or in-game gold.

    Due to the fact the the days "quota" of artifact drops can be mass-farmed by people that knew about the cap--and more importantly, the reset time for that cap--new players are quite literally preyed upon economically. Since artifacts don't drop for them, they have no choice but to earn in-game gold and buy the artifacts from exploiters, who then are free to resell that gold for real dollars.

    Now, granted, new players are not going to have any clue this is the reason for their never getting decent drops. But, like me, they are going to SENSE something is not right. They never seem to be able to get ahead, making most of their gold by selling the meager harvest-able crafting materials they find. There is a subtle, creeping impression that you are simply supporting an economy, never really part of it. Some undefinable feeling that the cards are stacked against you. Even after devoting over a year of character development into the game, for me, this sense never really went away. NOW, I know why.

    So, when you all ask yourselves why there is no player retention, you have your answer.

    You've turned new players into marks, cows to milk, pockets to pick, or whatever analogy you wish to paste in here, it doesn't matter.

    Veteran players knew about this. Chris knew about this. He had every means to see that drops were going to specific players/groups of players. Spreadsheet city. RMT ftw.

    To be honest, I feel sort of used. Guild members have read my post here asking for confirmation/denial and not a single one of them even responded to my request when I stated this was possibly grounds for me leaving the game. To the contrary, I feel some even tried to steer the discussion away from this subject, even when it CLEARLY has to do with adventuring feeling pointless--It isn't the crafting, IT'S THIS!

    (If you guys were hoping that me receiving no response would mean I would stay, well...you should all know me better than that.)

    Look, I can handle a game company hitting me up for cash, but when the PLAYERS are doing it, I'm out of here.

    Cozy Firesong
     
  19. Vladamir Begemot

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    None of the players know, and the devs haven't read most if any of this. Lack of denial from people not involved in the conversation isn't confirmation.
     
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  20. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    There is no need for confirmation on this, it is historical record on a Chris stream where he said it himself.

    Oh, and when was the last time you remember Chris saying: "Oh, well we certainly did that wrong" .... ?

    The GLARING mistakes missteps ......... how do they miss them ?

    Oh well.................. I guess we'll all see in the end, won't we.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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