List of Gripes and Questioning Development (300+ Hour Player)

Hello AGS,

My hope with this post is to outline outstanding items that either just rub both hardcore/casual players or are items that are just such questionable development decisions, that will affect the longevity of the game. Now I get, that there is the content, that’s in the game and that you have to elongate some of the grind to keep players, but at the same time, there are quite a list of things that just don’t make sense.

A big part of this is the balance that AGS has taken between allowing solo/smaller companies to grind, vs. if your a huge/mega company, or if you took advantage of exploits but didn’t get perma-banned. I can clearly say, that with leaving/disbanding my smaller company and joining a larger one, it was night and day as far as being able to get geared and the current decisions to elongate some of the grind, will more than likely run off a good chunk of casual and even hardcore players, mainly due to RNG and the fact that bigger groups will just be able to roll the RNG faster than a smaller company or small group of players/solo.

In the end somethings need to be re-evaluated sooner than later and adjusted. Because the time investments are disproportionate to the yields, even if you want to elongate the current content.

GATHERING-
Overall with the lack of feedback/information on Luck in all aspects of the game, it can be down right discouraging to gather. You could do everything right, min-max your gathering, and still go hours with barely anything to show. On average from those who did get geared in my smaller company, they spent the better part of a month farming to get just their 5-man geared in voidbent. I couldn’t spend that time the first two weeks just farming, so I had only one peice of voidbent, in which I had to BUY my void ore, because I didn’t have my mining min-max (was missing 1 trophy, jewelry, and GS580+ pick).

Now lets ignore Voidbent for a moment, how do you expect smaller companies/groups to then mass craft the amount needed just to get acceptable weapons, jewelry, and off-gear? It’s just not realistic as your looking at weeks and weeks of gathering to then hopefully get lucky with rolls.

CRAFTING-
Mass crafting takes a lot and any company under 40 active players (like 20+ hours a week active) will not be able to craft and gather enough to go through the rolls to get “acceptable”. Acceptable being defined as 1-2 less than ideal perk, 20-30 GS off from min-maxed. Yes, having casual players feed resources is an option, but again, I only see this behavior in well organized large/mega companies. The average company playing your game, doesn’t do this/have this option. Thus your actually pushing players to join a large/mega company and even then, they may be on the low end of the totem poll to get geared.

Stonecutting:
Why does crafting 6 Voidstones give me +46200 Stonecutting, but 6 Corrupted Loadstones only give me +18… Doing Corrupted Refinement is so poorly rewarding for something that gates the vast majority of key creation. This is a large misstep as with the current key issue that will become more apparent as players hit HWM 585+, leading to more leaving because raising your stone cutting to 200 is an absolute slog fest compared to Leatherworking, Smelting, Weaving. Lets not even get into how ridiculous one key is, which is another aspect that will drive players who have invested 300+ hours into your game away.

Armor & Weapons:
From personal experience, doing just Ori Gloves/Boots, I got lucky with 5x (2x Acceptable, 1x Being “ok”) rolls on Gloves, but I’m at about 20x rolls for Boots and haven’t gotten anything useable, with only 2x of those being good for another role within the company. Now that was just materials I was able to gather and grab. Part of why the amount rolled was so low, was also getting the specific charms. Overall the costs associated are pretty high, especially if your going for 580+ rolls, which again not a big issue for mega/large companies, but the more average joe company isn’t going to be able to mass craft for months and even when they do, they will be long behind the gearing curve, again borderline forcing players to join larger companies. This will drive players away from the game when they realize the amount of time and investment just to get “ok” rolls on gear.

Charms:
Like… why are perk charms so low compared to stat ones. Some even more so than others. I also can’t find Great Axe charms on the AH, like the search just doesn’t even show up. There should be some kind of exchange for charms or conversion option, plain and simple. I have to just drop some of the charms I have, because I already have 100 of it in the bank and donated 50+ to the company. Having ideal perks make a HUGE difference, even more than the 30-40 stat points between GS 520-600.

Refinement
There are so many useless “rare” low-tier (Tier 2-4) materials that become absolutely irrelevant. For example Fae Iron, why can’t that be converted into Steel Bars or even be able to convert these “rare” materials in some way to legendary counterparts. I feel like this is an overall overlooked aspect that would make crafting so much less a pain.

COMBAT-
Why are things like 250 strength affecting dodge/animation cancels still in the game? I’ve herd that other classes have issues with their 250/300 as well. Like this is a big QA item. As players get 400+ attributes, it becomes critical in PvP to have the right stat distribution, yet we are penalized for it. Then you obviously have a ton of weapon talents not working as intended or at all. This not only subtracts from the experience of the combat system, but it leads to such frustration from players trying to play at the skill ceiling.

PROGRESSION-
Imagine, if you couldn’t solo run Scorched Mines or other ePOIs due to the enemy AI. Yes it would promote more group play, but at the same time, I would bet a majority of players would struggle to ever get to GS580+ drops. Here are some affecting items:

  • Portals are Under-rewarding, especially 65, making them one of the least done content for watermark increasing.
  • End-game Expeditions are basically off limit till your HWM is 580+, as your wasting a key basically, even if the chests/mobs weren’t so bugged with low-end drops or horrible drop rates. I should not be getting grays and greens in a end-game dungeon. I’m 500+ hours into your game, and I still see no reason to do expeditions or waste my keys (Avg HWM is 580 on Armor and 560 on Weapons).
  • OPR/INVASION/WAR Chests are typically underwhelming until you get your HWM up. Even then, you can end up with greens for content you just spent 25-30 minutes trying to complete/compete in. I have a higher chance of raising my HWM just farming Elite Supply Chests and such solo than actually doing group content.
  • I still believe the current HWM system needs adjustments. Weapons should be grouped (Melee/Range/Caster or by Primary Stat scale at the very least) because as more weapons are added to the game, the HWM grind for weapons will only become a frustration. It’s horribly disproportionate compared to Armor or even Jewelry.

INVASIONS-
This content should not be impossible to complete until your almost or close to min-maxed. Our only win on the server was due to lucky spawns/broken spawns. My assumption is the goal of Invasions are meant to be part of the progression, but instead you force owning companies to kick/spam players in hopes of maybe winning. So why the heck are players allowed in at level 50? Why the heck do you allow companies only to pick 10 players? Like this is overall a terrible experience for everyone and most just see it as a free gold/azoth event and on lower-pop servers, many cities that don’t earn much just slowly downgrade because re-upgrading is just a waste of money as a whole. Invasions need to be toned down. 50x GS550+ players with half-decent coordination should be able to complete it, if your intention is really to keep level 50-59 players in this content, then it needs to be even more drastically down scaled. It just doesn’t make any sense from a tester/players view. So many contradicting decisions in this mode.

WARS-
Intentionally or unintentionally, some territories were taken using exploits across servers. Now with certain aspects of the game fixed, death-balling as defense is even further effective, leading to laggy experiences, because split tactics just aren’t great for attackers. I’ve already made comments/points about how to change/improve this, the defenders should have the advantage with siege and there should be counter-play to that, but death-balling is being way overly rewarded on defense, leading to a very stale meta in WARS.

I’m sure there is more and I’ll comeback and update this thread. But when you consider all these things, the game becomes very discouraging if your not in a large/mega company.

In all honesty, if I couldn’t have dedicated 12-20+ hours a week in this game, I probably wouldn’t be playing it. So there is a lot of aspects that affect not only hardcore/time invested players, but also more casual base, which will define the growth of the game. Looking back, the time I’ve spent in NW, I would be fully geared and able to do Savage Raids in FFXIV competitively (literally have groups asking me to leave NW to do this), yet I’m just barely getting to the “min” spot of min-max in end-game.

This is my favorite type of combat and I love many aspects of the game, but if it wasn’t for having a great company and enjoying what I could, I would have quit like many others.

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@Aodan,

Thanks for taking the time to write this out. There’s a lot of points here. I’m sure there will be debate on many, including replies of do it for the challenge and ‘git gud’…because that’s just the answer to everything in the toxic underbelly of these forums.

But beyond the specifics, there is a theme here which is important, and one I’ve touched on previously in other posts, but he’s put a tight point on it, and I want to thank him for that.

  • This is a AAA game aiming for broad market appeal that’s stuck in the cross-roads of territorial control and traditional MMO. I’m personally skeptical of the viability of this business strategy choice or that there’s sufficient territorial control players to keep the game alive if they do succeed in pushing it back towards more of the hard-core mindset that cohort wants. AGS is far more likely (my opinion) to just shut it down at that point.
  • The legacy territorial control aspects create a compelling reason to join the dominant faction/company and reap material benefits, in both gearing and the economy, at least while levelling. To roll with the minority, it’s okay to seek a challenge to a point, but there has to be a point to the challenge.
  • There is a lack of equilibrium mechanisms to keep any server at a 3-faction state (one or two will effectively wipe the others). The geographical shape of the island itself (contiguous territories) isn’t even shaped in a fashion to encourage multiple factions long-term. It’s shaped like Mongol provinces or European countries in the Roman area that encourage dominance.
  • The game’s in a state in which neither casuals nor the hard-core territorial control factions are pleased, yelling at one another, and this isn’t good for the game or their brand. I respectfully believe that the co-existence model isn’t working well, and it’s only co-existence for those who haven’t left.
  • Many of the decisions lack internal consistency with respect to the vision that they’ve put out, which is just frustrating people more (e.g.: the globally linked markets undermines a concept of faction based conflict, even if I do understand the economic reasons why they want to do it).

I’ve played over 400 hours, and recently made a new character on a dominant faction/server and gave up crafting entirely. Having a lot more fun with that one than my lvl60 (even though I don’t really play either actively anymore), because the benefits to rolling with the winning side are sizable.

If the devs can’t create meaningful benefits to being an underdog and staying with it, this community will continue in a direction of bitterness and attrition. Much the same holds for PvP mechanics itself.

Thanks for reading and again to the OP for a detailed post.

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