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Shoenfein-DN

tl;dr - A rant on the Gameforge email/accouncement

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This came out as an email to people with Gameforge accounts.  I got this email about 2am.  I was still half-asleep, and my first read-through I took away a "finally" mindset.  After waking up a little, I read it as a lot of B.S., and a hail mary attempt to stop the bleeding.  Not only does it read-between-the-lines as fluff, but the timing is not lost on me that in the same week Cyan announces they are just figuring out that enchant rates are bad, and GameForge issues it's *oops* message.

I can't speak for the scope of NCWest staff's involvement in the community outside the game, but Gameforge has worked with Sywo, has reached out to him to discuss things, has run at least one promotion via his Youtube channel.  This tells us that they watch his channel.  The things that they outline as "we could not foresee" are items that Sywo, in his videos, detailed when he was trying out the 6.0 patch in Korea before it hit EU.  He was constantly adding verbal footnotes to his showcased features with "as long as they don't change this in EU and NA, it's great.  If they change it, it will be ****."   He's a hobbyist, and he knew.  NCSoft, Gameforge and NCWest are professionals in the industry.  They knew.  I don't believe for two seconds that they didn't know.  They may have grossly underestimated how many players would quit, and how much the revenue stream would dry up because nobody wants to buy enchantment stones that don't work - but they can't say they didn't know. 

On top of that, these fixes sound more or less meaningless.  Two transform scrolls per week?  That's a drop in the ocean.  Yesterday, I used 8 scrolls to get enough duplicate Normal Grade transforms to roll six of them for an upgrade - and got one normal transform that I already had.  80 million kinah to go BACKWARDS. I highly doubt that their "kinah drop boost" would cover that 80m, and two scrolls per week won't make a dent.

Many of us have seen MechEagle's stream or Youtube video of his use of 190+ *legendary* enchant stones to take a +10 item to +10 (or something less than 15....don't remember where it actually ended when he ran out, but failed).  In current, average-ish numbers on the DN server, at 35 million per legendary stone, that's a cool 6,650,000,000 kinah.  6.6 billion kinah...to FAIL.  There's no mystical dragon lord disrupting the flow of aether at work on enchant rates.  It's a computer program.  It's math.  This is not only foreseeable, it's DESIGNED this way.  And anyone that tries to sell that they didn't know that this would be upsetting to players...

I wanted to get a head start on knowing the economy we'd have, so I played in EU three weeks before 6.2 got rolled out here in NA, and the complaints on all of this were already in place in LFG.  So even if you want to pretend that you didn't know the impact the game changes would have - there was actual player feedback data that told you everything you needed to know.  By the time it reached us here, EU was already hemorrhaging players.

This assault on the player base may have worked in 4.5.  Back then, we were so much busier.  Think about how much we were doing on a daily basis.  Lower abyss sieges, Upper Abyss - outer forts, UA inner forts, Ingg and Gelk sieges, Tia sieges, Katalam and Danaria sieges.  Then all of the ancient coin daily farming quests, IS, EB, two maps full of BM camps that had to be flipped with a much lower turnover than now, and guards that respawned slowly, not to mention the daily War quests in all those zones in Katalam and Danaria.  For those of us that were crafters, there was hours of farming mobs, farming gatherables, time at the crafting tables producing the potions and scrolls that powered the world.  There was so much content, and VARIETY of content, even the players that were on all day could barely fit all of that in, and it was hard to get bored.

Now?  Wednesday everything resets.  By Thursday evening you're done with the week's content.  Players have nothing to do but sit around and notice how horrible enchanting is, how they aren't making kinah, how what they need is impossible to obtain.  It's ok for things to be difficult and take time to get - a lot of gamers enjoy the chase, I for one do.  But when you are standing around, everything in the week in cooldown, you don't have 6.5 billion kinah to burn through to FAIL enchanting, and there's no meaningful activity to move you towards your gearing goals, it feels dismal and hopeless.  Somewhere, NCSoft, a gaming company, lost sight of the concept that games are supposed to be...fun.

We don't need a game to feel dismal and hopeless.  We have real life for that.

 

[see mooMOOMooMoomoo-KT's post for more on the message itself]

 

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Aly-DN   

I don't disagree with you on any particular point and the message from Gameforge might be a reaction to Cyan's announcement of NCWest trying to get the 6.5 enchantment rates in our build now, but I don't think anyone can say for sure.

What the message seems to say is basically what we have been getting from Cyan.. that they hear us and are working with the devs. Ofc it also adds an apology and some detailed changes.

As the message says, some of the changes to the Aion systems just aren't going to change back to what they were. As you said, that's on NCSoft Korea and yeah, maybe they have lost sight of the fact that their games are supposed to be fun.

I guess I can't fault Gameforge for making the effort. Hell. They had to do something, right?

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Transformation Contracts have been added to the shop as a free item (initially 2 per account/week).

-An additional Kinah drop event has been started to provide some relief with the under-supply.

-Together with NCSoft, we have tripled the Kinah payment you receive when you sell items to an NPC.

-Resolved a number of bugs, including the drop in Contaminated Hellpath and in the Divine Fortress; the faction buff in fortress battles, Luna and Shugo Gold in the Gold Pack, Honour Points for ranks from Officer with 1 Star and much more.

The system for Hero Trials will be supplied with regular new quests and important items. This is planned to start in January 2019.

-Platinerk Inc., the successor to the Veteran system, will let you choose a box from various categories as a reward. Your in-game activity will also be rewarded here too. This is planned to start in early 2019.

 

all sound good to me

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23 minutes ago, Unskilled-KT said:

You think 6.5 enchantment rates will solve the problem?

Nope. 

I don't think anything will solve anything at this point.  I don't believe them coming out to say, "we're going to make the game a little bit closer to sucking less" is going to start bring back players.  I joined and played as a brand new player in EU - new account, new toon, and it's not fun.  You get to level 80 in a day, have about 6m kinah and mediocre gear, and a mountain to overcome with very little in resources.  Rushing to level 80 is great for botters, not great for new players they way they try to say it would be.

It will get progressively worse as players get poorer, and they will.  There's just too much money that gets sucked out of the economy, and not enough bringing it back in.  In the example of MechEagle's 190 enchant stones, for example, if he bought those stones @35m kinah each off the broker, that's approx 760 million in fees from just his 190 stones that the game is sucking out of the economy permanently.

Lyah (my his account rest in peace) did a video on YT outlining how it was impossible to stay balanced with kinah in-game as an individual.  It took about 30m kinah per week for scrolls, gold bar daily purchases and odds-n-ends, but if that toon ran all of his instances, got all of the drops (meaning the other 5 in the group lost all rolls), it came out to be about 21m per week.  Since that's divided up among 6 people (pretending 12-man instances are run by six to keep the math easy), that's an average of about 3.5 million kinah per week per player.   That means it takes 217 players to farm the kinah needed to rebalance the economy from MechEagle's one transaction.  And that is if MechEagle is the only one enchanting in an entire week, and nobody else makes a single purchase off the broker.  Every broker transaction adds to that requirement to fill the kinah falloff.  Making NPC junk from mob drops go from 1k kinah to 3k kinah really isn't going to mitigate that.

So no - I don't think that bumping up enchant rates, even all the way up to KR rates that Sywo hailed as "enchanting feels good again" rates won't bring back the friends I've had that all quit.  I don't think anything will.

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