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Instead of cost balance and cost reduction on universal materials (soul/moon/sacred/elysian), how about introducing higher tiers of them?


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tl:nr: Introduce new tiers of soul/moon/sacred/elysian materials, so that you can freely provide more supplies of old tiers without having to go through cost balance and cost upgrade. If this is too hard to understand, then try to think about the supplies of Blackstone/Silver Scale/upcoming Onyx Scale, and you will get the general idea.

 

+++

 

NCSoft makes this game's gear progression revolving around four basic materials: soul/moon/sacred/elysian. You see the usage of them everywhere, from gear upgrading to crafting and transmunation, which are also for the sake of gear upgrade.

 

As time passes, when some materials become abundant and other are too scarce, NCSoft attempts to cost-balance them, shifting demand from scarce materials to abundant ones. However, since it is cost balance, it may not make the thing cheaper. Sometimes, it becomes even more expensive or tedious to grind. Checking the recent complaint about cost balance of BT/TT accessories for more details.

 

Another problem is cost reduction. In order to make stronger gear become more accessible to new players, NCSoft occasionally reduce the total upgrade costs. While this is nice for new players, it also bring some problems:

 

-It is unfair for old players who have shoulder the old costs, and it feels like a punishment for them being playing longer than other people. Remember when it takes 6 Premium Transformation Stone to upgrade to Baleful/Seraph 3? Now giving the same number of materials, new players only need to grind those 6 PTS, while older players had to go through the grind that even worth more than 6 PTS in order to reach the what new players can achieve.

 

-Then, together with cost balance, NCSoft also reduces supplies of abundant materials in order to make them harder to get, forcing players to grind more in other contents. The nerf on SSP, Naksun... are proofs of this.

 

-Everytime a cost reduction is announced, there are always people who "accidentally" upgrade with the old expensive costs like one month before the announcement. Needless to say, people rush toward support, hoping for a revert so that they can enjoy new cheaper costs too. If you try to file a ticket in those days, let hope Support Team can still find your tickets while they are being buried by a tons of revert tickets. And of course, complaints are lively, like usual.

 

-Another problem with universal materials is that whale people can just stock a lot of those, and instantly upgrade any new piece of equipment that are not gated by dungeon clearing. For example, I remember Jonathan used to say that Soul is supposed to be a long term upgrade. BAM. Whale just upgrade soul to max Day One. After standing at the top of the world for a few weeks, whales get bored cuz nothing to do, as I remember a whale complained like that to our producer's twitter.

 

That's why, instead of cost reduction and cost balance, I think NCSoft can just introduce new tiers of materials, so that they can just freely increase supplies of old tiers to make upgrades become more accessible to new players.

 

For example (I will make up number for the sake of demonstration cuz I cannot remember the costs of old upgrades)

 

A certain upgrade used to cost 2,000 soul, 2,000 sacred 300 moons, 300 elysian and 20 PTS a year ago.

 

+Cost balance will try to shift moon and elysian costs toward soul and sacred, thus making it 3,000 soul, 3,000 sacred, 200 moons and 200 elysian. Maybe reduce PTS to 15, but asking for 50 transformation stones instead -> resulting in higher demand of soul/sacred, thus higher costs for upgrade. May not change a thing

 

+Cost reduction will reduce the cost, like it say. Now it only costs 1,000 soul/sacred and 100 moon/elysian, as well as only 50 PTS. Cheer from new players. Boo from older players who feel they should have waited instead of upgrade ahead then suffer.

 

+Now let try the material tier system:

-As time passes, NCSoft will just keep increasing the supplies of soul/sacred/moon/elysian until new players can quickly earn all necessary materials, while older players pretty much swimming in those. No need for cost reduction or cost rebalance, cuz players become more and more self-sufficient as more contents are released.

 

-Then, one day, when NCSoft feels the material inflation has come out of hands, they will introduce a new tier called True Soul/Sacred/Moon/Elysian. New shiny upgrades will require all players to grind from plebs to whales to re-grind, so hoarding materials won't help them. New contents will drop new materials, while people who need old materials can still grind older ones with ever-increased supplies. And guess what? NCSoft can take this chance to sell new tier materials to whale who want to rush ahead.

 

-There will be, of course, storage problems. However, storage problems mean good for NCSoft who wants to sell more Dragon Pouches, and character slots for even more storage space. They just need to focus on expanding even more vaults slots and character slots, especially premium vault slots to attract more Premiumship subscriber.

 

-As time passes, when the oldest tier material has become too abundant that no one cares if they disappear, NCSoft can just nuke them out of orbit safely, and make the second-oldest tier the lowest one.

 

+++

 

If it is too hard to imagine, let take example of Blackstone/Silver Scales:

 

-When Blackstone was first released, everyone wanted them for their Shiny Raven weapons. Some accessories also required Blackstone to upgrade.

 

-More and more dungeons with Blackstone and Blackstone fragments was released. Players build up a nice number of them, enough to be self-sufficient.

 

-When Silver Scale era began, Blackstone became a common drop. New players e can easily grind for them.

 

-At the end of Silver Scale era, Blackstone basically drops like candies. You don't see anyone complain for the lacking of Blackstone.

 

-Silver Scale went through a similar progression. When the final dungeon that dropped Silver Scale is released (The Shadowmoor), and the upcoming new dungeons will drop a new tier (Onyx Scale starting Dreamsong/Dens of the Ancient), Silver Scale supplies become a lot more diverse: aside from from daily quests and dungeon drop, it can be traded via Blackstone Fragment/Solar Energy, Yeoharan coins and Master Hong coins. It still requires some grind, but is a lot more accessible now. Like always, you don't see anyone complain about the lacking of Silver Scale.

 

-When dungeons with Onyx scales are launched, the cycle begins again.

 

Edited by Kozuki
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Hell No. We already have more than enough materials.

 

All NC needs to do is simply:

 

1. Release new accessories with already balanced upgrade cost and not do any upgrade cost reductions EVER

2. Change the dungeons difficulty to what it originally was and increase the amount of materials you get from them and gold.

3. Make raid weapon / accessories only obtainable from raids, not alternative methods with prisms etc and give players that cant do them an alternative path like right now with inheritor. that would put some value to gear.

 

Right now its basically giving free mats with all these brainded boring dungeons where people still cant even CC a boss.

the game right now is a mess and what you are suggesting would make it an even bigger mess.

 

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