Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 632
Ok my Feedbak on S7 and dil. This was started before the November 14th announcement so I?ve had to edit the 1st paragraph heavily but all my issues remain TH. Especially issue 2 which for me is the driving force behind my lack of play desire.

1. The dil rewards for time investment are very inconsistent. A fleet action gives 480/640 + a chance at other rewards, Mirror event is 480 + guaranteed other rewards, with max conversions an NSTF 720, ESTF is 1910, Romulan events are like 150 dil or less plus a token amount of fleet marks. Most dailies are 1440 but about the same length as a fleet action, the officer reports is like an hour for the same dil, and a chunk of FM's.

Basically once people get access to mark conversion running fleet actions for dil period is going to be a really bad time investment and ESTF's just got a huge boost, (and you ca bet anyone in ESTF ready gear now will have 10k+ Marks saved by time they hit high rep levels). Mirror event is no better than other fleet actions beyond guaranteed rewards, yet is a limited time event. Romulan events are just inferior period, you can get similar dil or RM to time from New Romulus, and the total FM rewards are too weak to matter. The Officer reports I can get better Dil + FM Combo's from mixing Starbase actions with other stuff. The other dallies are at least better dil per time compared to everything but ESTF?s which accurately reflects their once a day status, even if ESTF?s should be worse IMHO.

There needs to be far more balance in terms of what events and missions rewards. Your change this afternoon is a good step in the right direction but the system is still whacked out.

2. Anyone with alts just got hit very hard. Very, very hard. Before this jumping on and using something like doubling up on B'Tran or Officer Daily's to earn a quick burst of dil for that character was a nice convenience, and, (as your own average statistics show), was not something everyone was doing every day. I imagine most people did this across a few different characters once or twice a week at the most. That would be consistent with my own behavior.

With S7 however not only have you increased the starbase demand for dil and FM's, but you've also increased the demand for dil on a personal level. Each character is chewing up a minimum of 100K for a space set at the end of the rep teirs. Suddenly that littlie irregular injection of super easy dil has stopped being merely nice. If we want to actually be able to have and use more than one character it's outright necessary to be able to get them a decent big dil income easily with only a small amount of extra effort. There simply aren't enough hours in the day for doing it the long way at 20 minutes for 1440. And the cost across multiple characters in zen terms for just basic gearing is in the several thousand range. I.e. ?20-30 just to gear out a few characters. Not to mention the decent amount of money paid to get those character slots in the first place. There simply isn?t enough time in a week for even the most hardcore to earn dil across a several characters at the needed rate.

Even beyond that, most small and medium sized SB's are still going to notice the drop off in both FM's and Dil from this. Knocking such amounts off, (however small), whilst adding to the burden is not going to work well.

That?s not to say i don't believe these exploits where a problem. Serious dil farmers could stack these plus hardcore doffing to hit 7, maybe even 8 K dil a day for very littlie time investment, that was an issue and a big one. And it needed addressing.

3. There's some very serious concern going around about the reward structure of Fleet Actions. Currently anyone not in the to 3 gets nothing, in SB24 that?s not so bad as it's only 5 man, but for the rest it's a real smack.

Given how this along with STF changes impacts availability of higher end items this isn't a great situation to be in.

4. I touched on this with my comment about how the removal of B'tran and officer reports was going to affect SB's, but overall dilithium availability for time-input is down. Even without B'Tran and Officer reports people doing ESTF's where getting significantly more dil than now. givin a 1.1K base, 200 from EDC's, and the fairly common rare salvage drops in ESTF's the actual average was probably north of the 2K region per run. Obviously we don't want to flood the economy, as at the same time you noted yourself that a large portion of the player base clearly isn't refining enough to be doing regular ESTF's. but there?s no question it?s a sharp nerf for many.

All right what are my thoughts on solutions to this set of issues?

Point 1:

I'd much rather see STF's mirror Romulan event and add in some FM's, even ETF's, (despite being the highest difficulty content available), shouldn?t really be invalidating other methods of acquiring dil whe these other methods are pure dil and these are awarding rep marks as well.

That said i raised the issue myself that the Romulan fleet stuff is awarding limited rom marks and no dill to put into buying gear, so some direct dil output IS a good thing for both Rom events and STF's. But i think you may have pushed the boat a bit far with the new changes. There's also the issue that frankly ESTF's are awarding far more Omega Marks than anyone can reasonably use. People are easily going to have 10K spare by the end of their rep grind, which isn't going to be good when a large number of people start hitting T5 within a week or two and suddenly dump billions of Dil into the economy in short order.

At the same time based on your comments about the success of Fleet actions in getting the real casual players more dil, (i haven't been playing because of the changes, patched, logged on, then logged off and haven't looked back), and their otherwise limited rewards i think it's really important that they bring something significant that the STF's don't, so IMHO they really do need to make sure they bring the best dil per time of a non-limited repeatable. In short I think you over-buffed Sf, and over-nerfed Fleet action dil rewards.

At the same time I?d look at making sure the Mirror event is an actual step up over anything else rewards wise since the limited availability and potential personal schedule conflictions mean it really needs to be better than the other options to get people running it. This could be a pure dil reward, or you could make it award moderate dil, but say, Mirror Particle Traces that can then be converted to any other type of mark via a Doff assignment from an NPC/Console at the faction homeworlds.

Given that the gear rewards make FA's mixed in rewards to a small degree I?d consider adding some other small reward to Starbase actions, bit a small dil stipend, a single free embassy provision, a few mixed RM/OM, e.t.c. Though it's not strictly necessary IMHO.

What kind of values do i mean by this?

FA:'s 960 for space, 1.1K for ground
NSTF's: 12 OM, 12 FM's, 480 Dil Without Optional. 15 OM, 15 FM, 480 Dil With Optional
ESTF's: 25 OM, 25 FM, 480 Dil Without Optional. 30 OM, 30 FM, 480 Dil With Optional
Rom Actions: As normals Roughly
Mirror: Eithier 960 Dil and 40, Mirror Particle Traces, (50 with optional), OR a straight 1440 Dil
Dalies: 1440 Dil will do but the Officer reports needs a sharp look at, with the supposed 20 minute per mission requirements it's far too long relative to rewards by comparison to everything else
Starbase Actions: FM's s now, (but make sure comparability with NSTF's exists), possibly 240 Dil for the 5 mans and 480 for the 20 man, but that?s not absolutely necessary.

I'd also add a short duration, (5 min), 20 hr CD doff mission to the SB's that lets you convert 75 Rep marks to 75 FM's, (125 on crit with low crit chances). Obviously 1 mission per rep mark type. This prevents people mass farming ESTF's for FM's, but gives people another conversion option.

Overall, what these changes would do IMHO.

A). Keep peak dil where it belongs, on the most accessible and easy content for the most casual players. On pure dil rewards their in a good situation.

B). Keeps STF's and Rom rep events relevant despite that. The mixed rewards mean if you don?t want pure Dil or Pure FM's but a mix of those, (or a mix of one of those and rep marks), you can get it from running the rep events rather than the FA's.

C). If you want pure FM's with maybe a littlie Dil on top run Starbase Actions, which again keeps them relevant by comparison to Rep events.

D). It keeps the limited time/repeatability/availability stuff ahead of the endlessly repeatable stuff.

E). This constant varying in rewards encourages people to play varying content whilst allowing them to focus on what they need right now instead of feeling forced to run several different types of content in sequence for best effect. Choice is good.

Point 3:

I'm skipping over solutions to point 2 as I want to deal with that last. For point 3 i think it's important to make sure everyone walks away with something, and at the same time ensure that the number of people getting the top rewards is appropriately scaled with the number of players.

I'd make FA's award 1 green to everyone minimum. 3rd place would get 2 greens instead of 1. 2nd place would get 2 Blues instead of green's, and 1st 2 Purples instead of greens. And in the 20 man's the top 4 players would be 1st place, next 4 2nd, e.t.c.

This scales rewards to numbers and means no one leaves with nothing gear wise, which will keep it available to new players and characters. You still need to carefully consider the availability of MkXII gear to everyone, but generally this should bring things back into line IMHO.

Point 4: Given what I?ve said in point 1 and will say for point 2 this is more, something to be aware of and keep your eye on than anything else.

Point 2:

Okay the toughie.

The main point here is that there needs to be a way for people to either earn small rewards for their alts from doing stuff on whichever character is currently their main. Or they need a non-exploitable, (by dil farmers), method of earning quick bursts of resources for minimal time input.

There are two solutions to this IMHO. One simple but a littlie imperfect, the other better but significantly more complex for you guys and girls.

The Simple Solution:

Take an existing 20 minute, (approx), daily, (or create a new one), doesn?t have to be one that rewards anything but XP ATM either, and here what you do with it:

Raise the CD to 5 to 7 days. Make the rewards: 2880 Dil and 1 of 3 crates. Rom Crate, Omega Crate, Fleet Crate. Each crate contains 50 Marks of the appropriate type.

This give people the equivalent of a couple of dallies of Dil, plus some Marks on top from a fairly quick mission. Yet because of the long CD, the relatively quick completion time to rewards amount ratios, don?t make it abusable to farm huge amounts, it?s mostly of greatest use to the alts who need that ability to get a usable amount of dil for small time investment to stay viable.

That said you have stated you expected ultra casuals to buy dil with zen and this would represent a small but still significant boost to them which may be an issue with marketing, (If yours are anything like those in my job, necessary and just doing their job well, but still often a PITA for line staff ).

This leads me to the more complicated solution that avoids this but is rather harder on you guys as it needs new code.

Complicated Solution:

Implement an account wide refining cap as the starting point, (there no need to make the dill totals account wide, it would be nice if dil, marks, EC, and gpl where all account wide but it?s not necessary to this idea), as for what this is. Anything from 8K up to 16K works, I?m going to assume 16K for the rest of this, but with a few number changes it works just as well with a 16K cap.

Extra character slots do not add 8K each. No one outside Dil farmer refines even 16K per day regularly so there is no god design reason to give out that much. Very character slot instead increased all unrefined dil rewards by 10% and the refining cap by 10%, (1.6K). (Alternatively if it?s easier to code, any time you refine Dil you get a 10% bonus per slot to the amount that comes out the other end with this extra not counting against your cap, it?s pure refined dill on top).

This would basically mean that for the same time distribution you?d get more dil per character meaning you could get that littlie bit of necessary dil on alts from much less effective play time, (and the faster reward on the main would mean that you wouldn?t need to play that one toon so hard, giving you more time for other toons). Alternatively you can make full use of the boost on your main to get them through their personal rep grind faster then switch characters. Either way it takes the edge off of alting as your no longer utterly screwed over by the personal dil requirement increases.

There are a couple of obvious exploits here, (more on those and easy fixes I?m sure you?ve spotted in a moment), but even at it?s most exploitable, (+47 extra characters), it?s producing significantly poorer farmer output than what dil farmers could previously accomplish per account, (lets say 20 characters doing 3 Contraband dallies a day each, that works out at 120K, whilst the new system limits you to 91.2K max), and the per account zen costs for all those extra slots are going to be harshly limiting in terms of expanding to or beyond the old values.

That said theirs the obvious trick of people converting dil to zen, then buying extra slots, using the boost for that for more slots and so on and so on. Hardcore grinders could easily hit returns on investment at 28 days with current prices. I?s stil going to slow farmers down a lot even with several accounts. The solutions are fairly obvious.

1. Raise the price of character slots. Likely to be the most popular with Cryptic?s bottom line as it lets, (and encourages), people to spend IRL cash to boost their dil income, but at a poor returns on investment that means only real long timers will make it up, (much the same theory as LTS buyers have).

2. Cap how many extra count, either for everyone or for non subbed/LTS. Really cuts into the level of exploit possible on a single account, and lets be fair no ones playing more than 8 or 9 characters regular. Still bypass able with extra accounts though, but avoids casual abuse by all but the really serious farmers.

3. Require the slot to have a character of a minimum level or minimum playtime in. This would require them, (over a large number of slots on a single account), to put months of play time in to start hard farming, given the reduced efficiency their already under, just to get back to where they where they would need probably 6 months simply spent playing, or at least logged into), various toons on top of the zen investment, (and possible extra timesink there).

All right. Before I go I want to hit one last thing.

The doff upgrinder costs. Yes you explained your reasons. But those just don?t make any dammed sense. You would be hard pressed indeed to find any player who think that high quality doffs are worth the IRL Money/Dil equivalent price that packs put on them. The unique Doff powers available, and the other rewards that come out of them can and do make them worth the price IMHO. But the High Quality Doffs alone are, (on their own), overpriced by close to a full order of magnitude. The cost to high quality ratio is out by a huge amount. For that reason your figures make no actual sense because you?ve put a value on Doff?s that far exceeds their actual value. They simply aren?t worth that much to players, except maybe for whites that are still available freely in good quantities.

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