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Gear Upgrade Delay and the Fear of Cost Reduction

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I have Awakened Tiger Soul Stage 1. After spending so much time in this game, I finally gather enough resources to be able to upgrade it to True Tiger. But I don't upgrade it, and let 80 oils sitting in my vault.


Why? Cuz the tier of Tiger/Dragon is gonna be the past. You may have not heard anything about new tier, but if you play this game for a long time, you know Tiger/Dragon Soul has stayed for long enough and can expect a new tier soon.


When a new tier appears, sooner or later, upgrade cost will be reduced in order to help players to access older tier with ease. It is a good thing, right? But it is also a bad thing for players who happen to have their gear upgraded when the life cycle of equipment comes to the end. Unless you upgrade your soul to the latest tier on day one, or at least in the middle of its life cycle, you will suffer from spending a lot of resources that should be saved for new tier instead. You can look at how many times people's rants whether an upgrade cost reduction happen. NCSoft can look at the increased number of tickets of asking to revert gear upgrade so that can enjoy cheaper costs too.


That leading the paranoid of players who decide to hoard materials instead of upgrade in hope for cheaper costs. Playing a RPG means you want your characters grow in some kind of sense. In this game, you want to get stronger, deal more damage, stay alive longer, and it can be done through gear upgrade. But since players are scared of wasting materials for an upgrade that they should have waited for cheaper costs, they don't upgrade at all. Thus, they spends weeks or months staying at the same spot. Like I said above, you play RPG and enjoy seeing your character's growth. When they stop growing, either cuz you are at max gear and have nothing else to upgrade, or cuz you are afraid of cost reduction that can happen any time and stop upgrading on purpose, the game becomes gradually stale. You log in the game, looking at the gear at the end of its life cycle, wondering if you should upgrade, then you don't cuz it may get cheaper soon. How soon? Only NCWest knows. And until they upgrade cost reduction hits, your character simply stops growing.


Yeah, it is rewarding if you wait, but at the same time, it becomes a race between either you get bored of the game first or the upgrade cost reduction hits first. The delay of awakening skill patch doesn't help either. I don't have any trust that we will have a "more polished" patch. More like they just want to delay it so that you won't be able to faceroll more recent dungeons, cuz it increases overall DPS of every class. Thanks to that, NA/EU becomes the last region who receives the upgrade. Even behind the younger regions like Thailand and Vietnam.


There are a few things now I can grind for now. Prophecy Necklace from Dens of the Ancient, for example. I cleared M'ao in around 5 minutes. If I have my True Tiger upgrade, I would clear her faster. But then again, soul upgrade cost may get cheaper soon, so maybe it is better if I delay the upgrade for now. Then again, instead of farming now, maybe I should wait for upgrade cost to hit first, so that I can upgrade soul and clear her more efficiently. Then again...



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I totally get wanting to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to upgrades and yes I'll admit the desire to wait for cost reductions is strong. Since yes we do know they will come sooner or later. However yeah it does create a bit of a vicious cycle in the player depending on how they are. I mean like...do you wait for the initial cost reduction, or do you wait for the cost reduction of the cost reduction since eventually cost reductions get later reductions as well.


For me anyway near the end of an event cycle I know there will be a new event and maybe a new patch which may include item cost reductions, since NCSoft has never done any sort of in-between surprise patch in the middle of an event cycle. So that time frame is considered safe to upgrade. If I'm close to an upgrade and its near the end of the currant patch/event cycle. Then I'll wait on it till the new event/patch cycle starts and see whats changed in terms of costs and if everything is still the same I'll do the upgrade then.

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The upgrades in this game follow these rules:


1. There is always a cost reduction at some point down the line. Be it weapon, accessories or soul / pet.

2. Upgrade now or after reduction - Up to you, if you are fine with your gear as it is now, you dont need it overly maxed for special content and you can clear current content without issues then ask yourself: do i WANT it now, or am i fine with getting it later?


People generally want something RIGHT NOW, so they upgrade, put in cost and effort knowing there are reduction somewhere down the line, then they cry because "Its unfair"...well it isnt, if you want something NOW, pay for it as it is NOW, if you want to save up, play the waiting game.


Personally i believe they should release already balanced costing, and leave ALL upgrade costs as they are, no reduction EVER, instead for new players they should implement the materials into quest rewards. that way there is no crying over reductions and wasting money, and new players will still have it easier, its just instead of removing something from an upgrade cost, they add the materials as reward and problem solved.

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@Kozuki I can sympathize with you. I was with this game through Z-drake. I had just max'd out all my accessories (I still didn't have Mystic or Soul Badge) and had my main hand at stage 5 Seraph. Then they announced a new tier. It took me 9 months to get there not for the lack of trying, but too much behind a PvP wall that was too difficult for me to play because of a 350ms ping. I wasn't going to subject myself to that insane grind again. I love the game, the story, and the immersion the game has to offer. But the grind...my patience limit was exceeded and exhausted. I came back after learning they made some monumental changes that put grinding for improvement acceptable in my eyes.


If they come out with a new tier, I'm in a good position to grind up to that tier because I'm still using my accessories from October 2017 (Oath, Scorpion, ect...). Still, in light of what it was when I started, it is still far less than it is today...exceedingly so. Maybe, the developers will further tweak the requirements for for upgrading to lessen the cost for the new tier along with the older ones. In the meanwhile, I'll be happy to continue as is because of my experience before what we have today. Again, I understand and see where you're coming from. I would offer that speculating right now until we actually see what they have for us is akin to putting the cart before the horse. A wait and see position is probably for best before getting a bit "worked up" over something that's not been revealed. Just my .02¢. :wink:

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