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Crafter's Roundtable: Sinks (no, not the kitchen kind)

    • 1432 posts
    April 24, 2019 12:19 PM PDT

    We are back with a new Crafter's Roundtable discussion!  As always, these are brought to you by the staff at Pantheon Crafters.  Crafting is shaping up to be a big part of Pantheon, and we want it to benefit everyone who plays, even if they don't craft themselves.  We invite everyone who cares about crafting and the game economy to make your voices heard in this forum or over on our site!

     

    A few weeks ago, in the March VIP roundtable that was released to the public, we heard Brad McQuaid talk a bit about the economy. So, our Crafter's Roundtable this time is a followup on what Brad discussed during the roundtable! If you haven't listened to it yet, we highly recommend it - here is the link.

    The Question:

    In any MMORPG, items will constantly be entering the economy - whether that's via loot or crafting. This means that, without something to remove those items from circulation, all items will lose value over time as more and more of them enter the game. Cash behaves the same way. As coin enters circulation from mob drops, vendor sales, or quest rewards, the amount of money in the game will increase continually. Without something to pull money out of the game, inflation will take hold in the game economy. We heard Brad McQuaid and Ben Dean talk about this in the March Developer Roundtable that was posted a few weeks ago.

    With that in mind, what economic sinks can you envision that would help to stabilize Pantheon's server economies, long-term?



    Here's what some of our Pantheon Crafters staff had to say about the idea of sinks. Check our thoughts out, and then let us know what you think!

    Khaleesi said:

    Hording may be part of the problem... yes, I know from experience. But this may be able to be combated with some thoughtfulness.

    Storage fees
    For example, stored supplies and items may not be in a bank, but rather a storage facility where rent has to be paid dependent on the items present. maybe each item has a "rent" value associated with it. This would encourage usage of crafting materials and enable those willing to obtain the items a means to enter the economy and make some money.

    Taxation
    Maybe there would be an economy system in which the relatively wealthy will gain less currency from drops / quests making it harder to simply farm for currency.

    Item degradation
    I agree that items should wear out over time. Weapons and armor should eventually need repairs. This uses supplies and costs money.
    I love @Nephele 's concept of www.pantheoncrafters.com%2Fthreads%2Fneeds-dynamic-crafting-and-gathering-content.267%2F&hash=eadfc7e90b85c142ab9b2f7f4b9444e2">the whole world needing repairs. Inns, bridges, merchants and their stock.

    System benefits
    If the economy is becoming saturated with currency, an administrator could make some system resources available for a short period of time. These would be expendable items. There would be things like books that are read and give additional XP for a period of time, drinks that give regained full mana and food that regains full health on consumption, maybe even something as crazy as special potions with god commands.


    Nephele said:

    I think it's very important to have money *and* item sinks in the economy. I'll talk about each individually.

    Money Sinks

    For money sinks, I think there's several approaches that the game should use.

    First, and probably most controversial - I would like to see banks charge for item storage over time. In most MMORPGs, bank space is free and permanent. You go to the banker NPC, you drop your stuff off, and it's always there and accessible. Some games let you buy more space as a one-time purchase, but once you buy it, you're good for life. While that might work as a money sink early on, as the game matures, it stops being effective.

    So, what I'd rather see is a system where you're renting those bank slots month to month. Meaning that if you want to keep 2000 items in your bank, you're going to need to keep enough coin in there to pay the fee. www.pantheonmmo.com%2Fcontent%2Fforums%2Ftopic%2F8997%2Fcrazy-idea-for-bank-space-money-sink-and-alts&hash=e95bcce8b95a4d653456df7f1cc1024b">I've talked about this before if anyone wants to read more detail about how it could work.

    Second, I think there will need to be goods and/or services that we MUST purchase from NPCs. Ideally these need to be things that continue to be useful and needed even once characters are at the level cap.

    The trick to doing this right however is to be super careful about what items or services you use as money sinks. For example, it makes sense to use rented mounts as a money sink - unless you're planning to add the ability for players to tame, raise, and sell mounts in an expansion (which is something many of us might be interested in). Likewise, rented mounts only work until players have a permanent mount of their own, which is also something many of us are interested in. So it's important to recognize that rented mounts as a money sink may only have a limited timespan where it will be effective.

    Another option is cosmetic clothing and dyes, because we all know that people generally like dressing up their characters. However, if game designers put all the cool clothes on NPC vendors, and outfitters/tailors can't make anything that really looks nice - they're going to have some really unhappy crafters. So there's a balance that has to be struck when looking at this sort of thing as a money sink.

    As a final note on money sinks, it can be tempting to apply the money sinks to crafters more than adventurers. After all, crafters tend to be the destination for money that circulates in the economy - or at least, that's what many people think. The reality is much more nuanced. If crafters can gather everything they need to ply their trade on their own, then yes, they will end up with all of the money. But, if those crafters need to rely on others to get the things they need - whether that's adventurers for drops, or other crafters for components, or gatherers for raw materials, now that money is being spread back out. So, while there absolutely should be some money sinks for crafters, in general money sinks should be spread throughout the game so that all players, regardless of their focus, have some that they have to pay money into.

    Item Sinks

    On item sinks, a lot of us immediately go to item decay as a way to pull items out of the economy. Which absolutely works - but, let's be real. A lot of people really hate item decay with a passion. Why? Because it's not fun when your favorite sword breaks and you have to get a new one. It's also not fun when you have to go get your armor repaired after every single adventure. It might be realistic, and it might make economic sense, but a lot of people look at it as a burden.

    So, we should consider alternatives. I've debated item sacrifice systems (such as altars for Pantheon deities) extensively with some other community members in Discord and elsewhere over the last few years, and those are one option. Salvaging will also help to a degree, although on its own I don't think it will be enough. Personally, I wouldn't mind some kind of system that allows adventurers to attach minor boosts to the items they use, at the expense of making those items untradeable afterwards. But that still doesn't stop loot proliferation, so that's not a total solution on its own.

    If Pantheon goes with voluntary item sacrifices as one of its item sinks (whether that's some kind of deity/favor system, or extracting essence to make special enchantments, or something else), one thing I would like to see is that the value of an item when it is sacrificed should be determined by the history of that item since it entered the game. By this I mean if a player decides to sacrifice some excess stuff on the altar of their god or whatever, the god should be more interested in the stuff they have actually been using, rather than that extra piece of loot that was laying around in their bank for the past six months. There are two reasons for this. First, from an immersion point of view, I think it makes more sense if the value of an item is based on the item's history and the deeds it's accomplished. Second, it encourages those players who are sacrificing items to obtain new items to use - so, instead of just farming loot each week for their altar points or whatever, they're really using that system as a way to actively recycle and replace their real equipment.

    Either way, I think it's really important to say that only having a single system in the game to act as an item sink is a recipe for failure. To really prevent item proliferation and devaluation, there are going to have to be multiple item sinks set up - just as there will need to be multiple money sinks to help keep the amount of currency in circulation at only gradually increasing levels over time.



    Trasak said:

    I am still of the opinion that all MMOs should have item decay on items that are not bound. Without item decay on the “top quality” tradeable items they will eventually be the only items to retain any relative value as player equipment. Everything else will only be good for item sinks. The only way this does not happen is if the difference between entry level quality gear and top quality gear is relatively small compared to character power. People will not spend 100 times the time investment to improve their characters power by only 0.1% or even 2%.

    All that being said one pseudo-decay system that could be its own item and cash sink without requiring re-farming the item could be the idea of magical charges. All magical item drops with a certain number of charges. As some function of time spent in combat the charges on magic items will decrease. When below 50 or 25% of total charges the items magical effect halve and at 0 they turn off and are effectively just a mundane item made from the same materials.

    Based on the magical effects on said item it will require different sources to recharge it. All creatures and items will have different power source attributes. Body part items will be able to be harvested into the energy sources of the monster dropping it and likewise items will be salvageable into the remaining charges of its energy sources.

    Players will need to collect up the power source charges for their item and take them to an NPC recharge station. Characters will then place their item and 1 charge of each energy source for each charge they want to put back on their item. The character will have to pay for more and more expensive reagents for each different energy source on the item. For example recharging a sword of fire 50/100 charges would require the lowest cost reagent and 50 fire charges, a dark fire sword at 50/100 will require 50 fire charges, 50 dark charges and a next tier expensive reagent.

    This will eventually turn charges into a sudo currency with rare energy sources that appear on powerful items having the highest value. Raid items likewise will be the most powerful items but will also have the greatest number of energy sources including rare ones so recharging raid items will be costly. This will in turn cause a greater distribution of wealth as raiders will be forced to buy charges from non raiders in order to keep their equipment functional.

    There are many minor variations to this system like passive stats do not degrade or consume charges only procs and using click effects. The general idea is to give all magical items and creature drops some minimum salvage value and make using the best items in the game a cost trade off.

    I 100% agree that item storage in banks should include a monthly charge. I would go so far as to say that there should not actually be banks at all if coins have no weight. Rather than banks players can rent warehouse space for storage lockers that are a single giant sized box, see my item size breakdown in the mount discussion. Additionally there could be storage lockers in some of the crafting facilities to assist with moving items around. Mechanically your storage locker in a crafting facility could act as extended inventory to help facilitate crafting without requiring to constantly juggle your bags.

    Conversely for item sinks I strongly dislike the idea of sacrificing items for temporary buffs. Destroying items for a temporary buff just feels like the least elegant and most ham handed way of creating an item sink. Eventual those buffs will be considered “mandatory” and the game will become an exercise in farming the right items to sacrifice to have your needed buffs. The buffs themselves are also problematic as they need to be good to incentivize sacrificing an item which in turn contributes to mudflation of stats and effects.

    Item decay is one of those necessary evils you put in to give a game and actions consequence not because the activity itself is fun or pleasant, in fact it is supposed to be unpleasant. Just like death penalties, limited fast travel, limited commerce tools and time intensive leveling, item/structure decay is intended to force a circle of life into the item economy. Plenty of work can be done to fine tune the maintenance of item decay to not be too intrusive or punishing but items lasting forever will over time force the value of items stored to infinity in the item flux equation. All the voluntary item sinks in the world will not stop items stored from reaching infinity, only delay the rate it reaches it.

    Long term I strongly believe that VR will regret not putting in item decay once the server item inventories look like item inventories do on P99 right now.



    Now let's hear from everyone else! What systems should be in place in Pantheon to help drain excess cash and items from the game, in order to keep the economy stable?

    • 23 posts
    April 24, 2019 3:47 PM PDT

    I like the bank rent concept.  I also think a crafting tax is suitable be it in the form of fuel ala eq2, a component that must be purchased from npc's thats part of a recipe, or a direct tax/rent for use of a crafting table.  To keep the economy vibrant I also suggest not having a centralized auction system but rather players can hire merchants that manage kiosks in the streets or later down the road renting out actual storefronts.  These player stores can charge a variety of different rates that are dependant on how much inventory the merchant can work with, how many different items it is selling, or how many items it's willing to buy.  By not having an auction house style economy you also make market manipulation alot harder as you have to go to every merchant and try to buy up supply, a tedious affair.  This also creates geo based trading opportunities and such.  Of course player to player trades can happen normally.

    Item sinks such as sacrifices for deities or as means of salvage for certain trades materials can also be benificial if done right.  But nothing should feel like a chore or detriment, it should be designed as way to earn positive things.

    I'm also a big fan of item decay, not as in you lose it permanently thing but as in you need to repair it after so much use thing.  But again this has to be done in a manner that is not a chore or takes away from the experiance but as a way to positively influence your gameplay.  For example having higher tier armor kits to maintain your armor might give it a buff verse certain things, or it might make it a little better overall while makeing it resistant to damage for a certain deration.  Also a higher quality kit might be able to have more uses than one of lower quality.  Vice versa the lowest version of the kit might give a penalty to the effectiveness of the armor while making it less resistant to damage.  Spells should use components to cast and cheap easy to obtain components should burn up easier and more often, but also allow for crafted higher quality components that are more resistant to being used up by a spell but also the ability to possiibly manipulate the spell causing a variety of different effects such as altering behaviour or damage types.  Same can be said for ammunition and various other adventuring gear like climbing gear, light sources, lock picks, crowbars, etc etc etc...  Time and effort that is used to gather and craft these items, is time and effort that is not being directly used to inflate money supply and gear supply.

    The point here shouldn't be simply haveing sinks and hardships for players just for the sake of having them even if the game economy needs it; but rather to give the players another variable that is withen their means to progress and advance their character and experiance.

    • 347 posts
    April 24, 2019 9:29 PM PDT

    My long reply; https://www.pantheoncrafters.com/threads/crafters-roundtable-sinks-no-not-the-kitchen-kind.275/

     

    My short reply here;

    Sinks should at al times feel organic to the world of Terminus. 

    They should remain valuable over time and even as new content is released. 

    Ammunition sinks, even for spell flingers is a great way that to me still feels reasonable. It also provides a lot of community interaction opportunities.

    Sacrifices for buffs as return could be risky and they might lose their value as the game grows or they could be considered a Need rather then a choice. This could feel as a forced design.

    Rent on mounts, on inventory or on property is a reasonable way to design a sink into the game. Not everyone of these might need money, some might require other resources or efforts by the players.

    A faction sink, to me could be a consideration. You'ld gain faction as you travel and do things. But you'ld lose faction purely based on the concept of not doing anything with that faction currently. So if you're out there with the Ogres for months on end, you'll lose faction elsewhere because your 'influence' is degrading over time.https://www.pantheoncrafters.com/threads/reputation-and-or-resources-loss-desertion.241/

    Another possible sink could be linked to the progression of your character. Gaining exp and growing occurs naturally in the game. However unlocking or upgrading certain features or abilities on that character at leveling-stage might require more investment. This investement could mean; an amount of money, resources or mobs defeated, items crafted/harvested for example. 

    Since players and the game will continue to grow, this sink could feel organic and in place. Of course there should be Lore explaining the who's and the why's. (thinking about rites of passage etc).

     

     

    • 152 posts
    April 25, 2019 2:50 AM PDT

    Good question and a tough one, ill admit i didn't read everything above.

    My problem is mainly that some suggestions say that crafters should get a seperated sink compared to adventurers. But this means any1 chosing to do crafting will be 'taxed' twice. They will still have the same 'taxes' as an adventurer, because everyone eventually is, but will have to pay additional for their choice to be able to be self sufficient or help others, this doesn't seem fair to me. Thats why i think the tried and true tactics for crafters, their fuels, being the sink will be more than enough. Obviously the fuels need to be balanced and could alter over time. See below.

    Regarding item decay, i think its both a good and a bad thing. I really do not want to see dropped items saturating the market (its not to be avoided but still), for crafting items it is more likely the case, depending on the required ingredients obviously. Thats why i would suggest an upgrade path for the 'prime' crafted gear. Every upgrade will have a chance to fail and completely lose the item (or results into a downgrade instead) resulting into a sink. When adopting this type of system, you could also introduce a decay system, where after X amount of Y you will lose an upgraded level of said item, requiring you to get the resources again to upgrade it, causing a sink in resources for crafters where fuels will be a big part needing to be paid by the adventurer wanting the upgrade back, with still a slight risk of losing the item entirely. This will tackle both item and money sinks. Each repair upgrade could in turn require additional fuels, increasing the costs of repairing said item, hopefully resulting into either a resource sink to create a new item with lesser repair cost or a money sink due to increasing or increased fuel costs (you could implement this with a couple of variations but i hope the idea is clear).

    The standard rent sinks we know will eventually also be trivialized, experience from old games. Near the start of EQ2 a 1 room appartment was very hard to obtain, when getting near end game i could easily pay rent 2 months ahead for a day of grouping, more if i decided to farm. So renting to me is a continuous sink that will never really achieve its goal. At the same time though i do not really have a good alternative. Because the economy is based on real life, but without the decay we have in real life. Because be honest, have you ever seen a dwarf lose his 1k platinum while digging up ore's? While this decay type is a real issue in real life. So the only thing i can think off is taxes.

    Without paying taxes, you will not have acces to the facilities you need. No acces to the town, no acces to crafting stations, no acces to transportation and the likes. You will be forced to sell your things to shady merchants who pay everything but top dollar for your items, or have to craft your things on makeshift workstations where you can never achieve the quality of items you need to actually make it worth your time. Or Immersion will be forced upon you, requiring you to contact other players to get what you need. That's not an entirely bad thing?!?

    Anyway, anything but a complete sollution, but atleast it are my thoughts.

    • 23 posts
    April 25, 2019 12:00 PM PDT

    I don't like when sinks are there that makes getting established difficult.  So like systems that try to match inflation like npc goods increasing over time, or crafting fuels increasing over time I think are bad.  They should be tailored to what a newer player can afford.  However opt in systems such as housing, bankspace, or hired vendors could use limited supply combined with a bidding system. For example there's 100 houseing units in the capital, if you want a house or to keep the house you already have you need to bid on it every other week.  Winner gets the property and if the loser of the bid can pick up his stuff at his conveniance.  The same could be done with rentable bank space or vendars (Centralized auctioneer economies are broken economies... just saying.)  Using such a system I believe would essentially erradicate most currency inflation.  It would also decentralize the economy and force players into some of the smaller towns that will be in less demand and thus cheaper.  There could also be opportunities for item sinks as well with events connected to expansion of these things.  Maybe the city wants to add another 50 houseing, thats gonna require thousands of units of wood, cloth, nails, etc, etc....  But if everyone pitches in then rent will probably go down, for a little bit at least. 

    • 347 posts
    April 26, 2019 10:27 PM PDT

    decarsul said:

    The standard rent sinks we know will eventually also be trivialized, experience from old games. Near the start of EQ2 a 1 room appartment was very hard to obtain, when getting near end game i could easily pay rent 2 months ahead for a day of grouping, more if i decided to farm. So renting to me is a continuous sink that will never really achieve its goal. At the same time though i do not really have a good alternative. 

    @decarsul  How about a scaling rent? The rent will scale relating to the level of the character (craft or adventure). So if you bought your innroom at level 10 for 10 golden coins, your rent will rise with your next levels. So a higher leveled player will have to pay more rent. Housing should be an option where people need to work for to have and to brag about. In comparison to all players being able to purchase housing and not think twice about having the benefits of it without any difficulty. 

    Check this thread out for further indept conversation. https://www.pantheoncrafters.com/threads/rent-on-properties.237/#post-3433

     

     

    • 347 posts
    April 26, 2019 10:39 PM PDT

    Belzavior said:

    I don't like when sinks are there that makes getting established difficult.  So like systems that try to match inflation like npc goods increasing over time, or crafting fuels increasing over time I think are bad.  They should be tailored to what a newer player can afford.  However opt in systems such as housing, bankspace, or hired vendors could use limited supply combined with a bidding system. For example there's 100 houseing units in the capital, if you want a house or to keep the house you already have you need to bid on it every other week.  Winner gets the property and if the loser of the bid can pick up his stuff at his conveniance.  The same could be done with rentable bank space or vendars (Centralized auctioneer economies are broken economies... just saying.)  Using such a system I believe would essentially erradicate most currency inflation.  It would also decentralize the economy and force players into some of the smaller towns that will be in less demand and thus cheaper.  There could also be opportunities for item sinks as well with events connected to expansion of these things.  Maybe the city wants to add another 50 houseing, thats gonna require thousands of units of wood, cloth, nails, etc, etc....  But if everyone pitches in then rent will probably go down, for a little bit at least. 

    That's an interesting idea there. 

    Thinking about new players..they will most likely end up in the outskirts of a town to settle in (at the start). The question here would be, would it be possible to saturate even these housing facilities purely based on the population of players on that server? If that could be the case, the new players will struggle to outbid older players even at those distant townships. 

    Still, it's a nice suggestion and has quite some potential to it. It might create a lot of heat amongst a large group of players. But, I'm fan of a system where housing is something worthwhile and not for all (if you don't invest in it or keep investing in it). 

    @Belzavior How will you work this out in detail? How long is the bidding period? Can you bid on multiple houses in the same town or even in different towns? How do you message the previous owners that they have lost their home? What if they don't come to collect? How far would you allow the bidding prices to go? What kind of garantee system would you have in place, so that after the bidding occured the cash and/or goods are actually paid up by the winner? Would there be a queu in case you lose a bidding and hope to get that home next time? Is there a minimum amount of bid scaled to the kind of house or region it's located in? Is an owner allowed to prolong it's residency before a next bidding on that property starts? Does the player need to be in town to bid? 

    • 152 posts
    April 30, 2019 11:55 PM PDT

    Barin999 said:

    @decarsul  How about a scaling rent? The rent will scale relating to the level of the character (craft or adventure). So if you bought your innroom at level 10 for 10 golden coins, your rent will rise with your next levels. So a higher leveled player will have to pay more rent. Housing should be an option where people need to work for to have and to brag about. In comparison to all players being able to purchase housing and not think twice about having the benefits of it without any difficulty. 

    Check this thread out for further indept conversation. https://www.pantheoncrafters.com/threads/rent-on-properties.237/#post-3433

     

    I'm a little short on time writing this reply, so i haven't read the thread on crafters.com.

    Scaling rent could be good, but it should also come with additional benefits. Else i would just make an alternative character and let it give full acces to the house. If a level 1 and a level 50 rent the same housing, but the level 50 pays 50x as much, it should do more than just look nicer.

    In EQ2 this could be done by extending the allowed vendor boxes, i do not know if similar functionality will be presented in pantheon. Maybe you could restrict quality of crafting stations to the level of the owner. This would make it possible for a level 50 to use a crude bench in a level 1 owner house, while in fact he might need an pristine bench to actually do some proper crafting.

    • 1711 posts
    May 1, 2019 9:52 AM PDT

    Nephele said:

    What systems should be in place in Pantheon to help drain excess cash and items from the game, in order to keep the economy stable?

    1.  Dynamic adjustment of NPC sell/buy based upon supply and demand.  The more you try to sell an item to an NPC the less it will pay for each subsequent item.  The more you buy from an NPC, the higher each subsequent item costs.

    2.  Rent on bank space.  There should be a certain amount of bank space that is free.  You can add to that through a direct purchase and subsequent rent.  Each additional increase in storage space has an ever increasing cost/rent.  Thus adding 1 additional slot, for example, might cost 1gp upfront and 5sp a week but buying a 2nd slot could cost 2gp and 1gp a week.

    3.  Mounts, if any, should have a substantial upkeep in both food/drink, none of which can be player made.

    4.  Black Market for those with poor faction.  Each racial city should have a black market that can be accessed by races unable to enter the city proper.  This is akin to the tunnels under Freeport/seweres in Qeynos).  Selling here nets you less money, buying here cost much more.  This does require some races being unable raise faction with specific races (Skar might never like Gnomes and vice versa). 

    5.  Consumables.  This is a great sink. Food, drink, potions, ammo, reagents.  No player should be able to avoid the use of consumables.

    6.  Housing.  If it exists, there should be an upfront cost and then ongoing rent.  My preference for housing would be guild based however, not individual. There would be, naturally, fewer guilds so what space is available for housing could mean large plots/structures for guilds at far higher prices.

    7.  Bribes.  This plays somewhat into the black market, but money 'donations' to some NPC groups (think city merchant guilds) could temporarily increase faction enough that you could use the local merchants or not have the guards kill you.  For this to work there would need to be a local Merchant Guild faction in each city with a representative you could speak to and offer a bribe for this temporary access. Same goes for the guards.  There should be a guard that is susceptable to bribes who, if you paid enough, would temporarily allow you access to the city.  These access would appear as a buff so that you could see its duration and leave the area before it expires.

    8.  Currency Conversion.  NPCs out in the world that have some form of societal structure (Orcs, Goblins, for example) should not be using player race currencies.  They should have their own monetary systems. These currencies would need to be exhanged at a bank into the recognized currency of the player races.  Depending upon both your faction with the bank at which you are trying to covert the currency and the faction relationship between the NPC race and the race of the bank would determine the exchange rate.  That gold coin off the Orcs, taken Thronefast (where you are very well liked and where Thronefast really really hates the Orcs) would net a higher exchange than you exchanging the same currence over at the Archai city where they have never seen Orcs before and where you are not well liked.

    • 347 posts
    May 1, 2019 9:29 PM PDT

    Vandraad said:

    7.  Bribes.  This plays somewhat into the black market, but money 'donations' to some NPC groups (think city merchant guilds) could temporarily increase faction enough that you could use the local merchants or not have the guards kill you.  For this to work there would need to be a local Merchant Guild faction in each city with a representative you could speak to and offer a bribe for this temporary access. Same goes for the guards.  There should be a guard that is susceptable to bribes who, if you paid enough, would temporarily allow you access to the city.  These access would appear as a buff so that you could see its duration and leave the area before it expires.

    8.  Currency Conversion.  NPCs out in the world that have some form of societal structure (Orcs, Goblins, for example) should not be using player race currencies.  They should have their own monetary systems. These currencies would need to be exhanged at a bank into the recognized currency of the player races.  Depending upon both your faction with the bank at which you are trying to covert the currency and the faction relationship between the NPC race and the race of the bank would determine the exchange rate.  That gold coin off the Orcs, taken Thronefast (where you are very well liked and where Thronefast really really hates the Orcs) would net a higher exchange than you exchanging the same currence over at the Archai city where they have never seen Orcs before and where you are not well liked.

    The bribe sink sounds familiar. It could work as long as it's not allowed to be a system to skip content. If only the player needs temporary access, there is little need for permanently going through content. 

    • 11 posts
    May 5, 2019 4:10 PM PDT

    I was thinking a bit on farming low level content with a high level character. One issue with that is that a high level player could lock down content for the low level players, denying them content. The other issue with it is that it may seriously deflate the value of those drops, which is an issue more pertaining to this topic.

    What if, when a too high level player kills a relatively weak mob with good loot, the players power mangles the item. Instead of dropping "BiS Sword of Slaying at Lvl20" you would drop "Mangled Sword" that could be salvaged for crafting materials but is otherwise useless. If the player instead mentors down to a reasonable level, the mob would again drop the cool sword. It kind of ties into risk vs reward, but isn't an item sink, more of a restriction of supply.

    What do you guys think?

    • 973 posts
    May 5, 2019 5:21 PM PDT

    @Luceat

    A lot of people around here are really against trivial loot code, I think that includes the VR team.  I do however think the idea of "overkill" degrading drops to a lower quality is an interesting idea.  Something along the lines of a group at level should take 45 seconds to kill the mob and if it dies in less than 20 seconds the gear its has breaks is an interesting idea.  It focuses on the real issue that a single player dominating full group content faster than two groups of the right level could but still allows high level players to farm the needed drops but they need to down rank to lower level spells or weapons that do less damage.  The lower DPS will drop their kill rate and negate most of the issue.

    Rather than that though I am advocating for a time constrained crafting experience than a material constrained.  Most MMOs have had a very short amount of time spent crafting vs farming for materials to level a crafting profession.  I would much rather see each item take much longer to craft through a compelling mini game but require fewer than a traditional number of combines to advance.  The target would be that it would take around the time for a group to kill a mob to make an item and roughly the same number of items as kills to advance a crafting level (assuming only 50 crafting levels which are different then individual crafting skills).

    This would make crafting much rarer and more valuable. You would not be able to purchase mountains of material and just grind all the way to 50 in one weekend. For game balance reason it would make having crafted items be equal to the best in the game be acceptable as finding a level 50 crafter will be hard and you will still need materials from level 50 mobs to make said items.

     

     

     

    • 11 posts
    May 7, 2019 3:35 PM PDT

    @Trasak

     

    Time based loot degradation is interesting, but I think it's not a perfect solution either. For example, if the loot is from a rare spawn or boss thats on a long spawn timer, you may just tank him for 45 seconds before the instant kill. If its more common mobs, you pull half the zone before AoEing to death. But it is an interesting idea!

    I agree with you that a time constrained crafting experience is needed, not only from the economic perspective but also from the perspective of fun. Queueing 100 items while fetching tea is neither immersive nor satisfying. Building a boat after hours of work is an accomplishment, as long as those hours are not spent mindlessly.
    I just don't think time and material constraints need to be mutually exclusive, I think you need both to be constrained.

    Definitely agree on making crafted items strong and often be BiS. In fact, after slaying the giant raid boss, its a bit silly to equip his 14 meter long sword on your Gnome Rogue when you could equip a small army of gnomes with reforged swords from the same drop.