Friday, April 13, 2007

Taking Action

The problem....

I've been talking to people, and most of them seem unhappy with their gameplay experience in EU. The game has taken an evil path, that forces us to double or triple our cash deposits into the game to keep playing.

Most of them struggle with the current problem of bad loots, and reselling. Both combined are a deadly factor that kills any enjoyment the players used to take in the game. The current drop rates on items such as ML35, MK5, DOA Strikehammer, etc... is too low, and there was a skill nerf recently, that makes it 10x harder to skill up making it hard to play without constant depositing.

Balance in the future

Mindark talks about adjustments now, so that the future can be more balanced. Well, im sure they have their reasons to do so, but maybe the nerf was a bit too dramatic? It used to be ok to skill, but nowadays its really tough. While everyone likes a challenge, maybe most of the players lack the cashflow to keep up the progress. It would be ok if items still dropped, since you could sell the loot to keep skilling, but items seem to have stopped dropping. Combine this with agressive reselling, and you got yourself a very difficult challenge to overcome.

While talking about market tactics, lets take the example of Feodora Hat. There's no point in trying to strangle that market, because its an item that crafters are constantly making. Therefore the price is uncontrolable, and if any reseller tries to do some manipulation, he will end up with hundreds of Feodora's in his hands, and wont be able to make a profit this century.

Another problem is the droprate of blueprints.

There are a bundle of high level Blueprints that never dropped. There's a full book of Weapons BP's, with about 50 different weapons... And only 5 are usable.

Because the high end Bp's for those weapons are nowhere to be seen... or in this case, they never dropped. For several years now that crafters have been expecting the high end crafting blueprints... And here's how things are at the moment:

- If a level 9-10 BP drops, then the crafter that loots it has the monopoly on such item. As only 1 drops. Like the Evil BLP amp. Only 1 BP looted so far, in 5 years.

- The BP drops, but there's no resources available to craft the item.

- And if there are resources, the Chance of Success in crafting such item is too risky, as we are talking about 50-100 dollars per click, and usually you will need materials for 10 attempts, in order to make 1 - 5 items, with no guarantee's it will happen. Sometimes you fail all attempts.

Again, there is a reason BP's don't drop. In armor and guns case, it should be obvious that Mindark fears to put out something unbalanced, so they are still studying what would be appropriate for a lvl 9-10 armor. Crafted items should never be better then looted gear, and that makes sense. Loot should be a treasure, craft should be a means to get the treasure.

(L) vs Unlimited

Limited can have some good stats. Take Modified Korss (L). Its a great weapon no doubt. But for it to be profitable, you will have to loot it yourself. And there's no guarantees it will be. Because if you don't, you will have to buy it, and they usually sell for a % that takes away a big chunk of the profit you'd get by using one.

Because (L) has something unlimited doesn't. When the decay eats your weapon, you can never use it again. So, dmg/pec will only matter in (L) guns if you buy them for their TT price, or close. Anything above it and you are automatically rising the dmg/pec, considering decay+ammo burn+percentage.

Im a non (L) guy. I really like the fact that i can repair my equipment an infinite number of times. It feels like im not dependant on the market. Maybe that's why MA wants the future to be (L). So that everyone is part of the market, making it a well oiled machine.

The HighEnd Unlimited Gear

Improved Mk2, Mod Merc. The two most prized guns in the game. There's a myth that if you get one, you will profit beyond your imagination. That's false. Not even with those guns profit is guaranteed. What's guaranteed though, is that their are far more economic to hunt with because they decay alot less then most guns, have a higher speed and a better dmg/pec considering the ammoburn. This creates an illusion:

Profiting with those guns requires: several hours a day hunting, good loot management, good skills, and luck above all.

Last known Mod Merc or Improved Mk2 dropped years ago. And to make a small estimate, if 20.000 players log into the game and hunt 100 creatures in a day... thats 2 million loots per day. Now, Mindark says they got +500K players registered. 20K players per day isnt really a big number. So in 1 year... you have ~730 million loots (in this scenario). This past year, no mod merc, mod fap, improved mk2, improved fap has dropped... that we know of.

Adjusted fap has been found twice, Supremacy armor has dropped considerably, 2 parts of eon are known, and a few of shadow armor as well. But those only allow you to hunt bigger mobs like daspletors and aliens... that don't drop anything good, and are constantly overthrown from the Hof list by 5K exa's, 8K argo's, etc...

There's always the chance that mod faps and the likes have dropped, but such items draw attention and the community is tight. Usually if someone owns a mod merc or a mod fap, people know who that item belonged too, even who looted it back in the days. So... If such an item was looted this past year, theres 95% of chances it would of been known by the community.

Perhaps its the only future in EU. I can understand that. It would be stimulating to everyone though, if things still dropped. Players without goals are as good as beer without gas.

Hunt for your Life

I'll say it again. A Mod Merc + Mod Fap will only make a difference if you got high skills and hunt ALL DAY LONG.

Most players have a life. Few of them are willing to participate in EU +8hours a day. So why does Mindark fear these items dropping so much?? And i started this blog entry complaining about ML35's and Mk5's... Guns that compared to such good items like the Mod Merc's are total crap. Slow reload and high decay. What if everyone had a mod merc..or Imk2?

Well, then the lootpool would not generate so much income, as everyone would be hunting more economically, which would automatically adjust the loot. Meaning that those items would become less efficient and profiting in the broader scenario. So why don't they drop?


I really don't see Mindark suffering any bit if they include 5 of each good items like Adj V1, Mk5, etc per month, in loot. They have alot more players, alot more depositers, loot is now attributed in different ways, you can't trap creatures anymore, there are bigger markets and other professions other then hunting / mining / crafting..

They would only stimulate player's desire to loot one themselves, keep a hand on the inflation, and show that good stuff can still be acquired if you are lucky.

As many have said, including the previous blogpost, there isn't that feeling of "massive" in the tip of your fingers anymore, everytime you click to loot a mob. A 40K ATH can be a great feeling, but having an improved mk2 instead would be absolutely mental, for most players.

While i'd scream with a 40K ATH, i'd totally crap my pants with an improved MkII.



Chris Hackard said...

Nice post Jor I would probably crap my pants too if an Imp MKII or the like showed up in my loot.

What can I say you touched on just about everything that runs through my head on a daily basis.

I don't know why but somewhere along the line things changed and each Version Update while I hope for the better seems to move away from what has kept me involved in PE/EU for a long time.

The big splash of expensive LAs and high powered players making lots of cash off those LAs really only caters to a select few who might join EU and decide they want that for themselves.

I still think what would make better headlines is someone with very little making it to that status. Maybe that is what they tried to do with the Egg and then it got sold. Who knows.

I have always rooted for the underdog and bet on those long shots but these days those sucess stories are far and few between.

I just remember starting out and looking up to those well skilled players and how they did what they did and looted what they looted and that is what I aspired to be and kept me glued.

Snakecharmer said...

I absolutely agree.
It seems MA either has no idea what motivates people to play a MMORPG, simply doesn't care or has some reason unknown to us.
But i can think of only one reason why it would be bad to drop some high end items again.
I mean the prices on the existing ones will fall but a lot of players will be much more motivated and continue playing and depositing.
And it's not that MA hasn't done things that were bad for peoples investments in the past.
Only reason i can think of is that it would hurt some people who really threw tons of money at MA to get these high-end items and they don't want to piss these people off (which sounds reasonable and i can only speculate if MA would lose or gain if they make many depositors of low sums happy but drive away some big time depositors)

Dolly said...

something with nail, hitting and head.

The insidious lack of items (except maybe for tt stuff) is extremely annoying. Looting oil and more oil is plain boring, but what's worse, even entry lvl (m2875) and mid lvl (ml-35, fap-90) items are becoming close to unpayable - partly due to reselling, partly due to an unbalance between supply and demand. (actually this unbalance creates room for reselling!)

I wish i had the power to act!

just a little note:
Because (L) has something unlimited doesn't. When the decay eats your weapon, you can never use it again. So, dmg/pec will only matter in (L) guns if you buy them for their TT price, or close. Anything above it and you are automatically [b]rising[/b] the dmg/pec, considering decay+ammo burn+percentage.
should of course read 'lowering'