Jul 192016

Opening the Floodgates

Last night, as I wandered the halls of the Temple of Elemental Evil, it dawned on me – as much as I would like to make a ToEE light hammer for my gnome, I never will. Never. Because I would need to run the quest 15-20 times and that is simply not going to happen. The items are nice, very nice, especially the heroic versions, but not so nice as to be worth that much grind.

One could argue that the items were never worth that much grind – in fact, I did! – but when they were new one expected to have to grind them. They were the new hotness, and the expected grind was the whole reason the quest was released the way it was.

But that was then. This is now. None of the ToEE items are end game items. No one is going to run the quest 15-20 times for a now-obsolete weapon. It is just a waste to have such a fine crafting system laying useless and dormant.

And not just ToEE, but many other crafting systems, all of which took significant time to develop and polish, many of which are now languishing uselessly. No longer able to justify grindy repetition by being the new hotness, yet too grindy to attract the collector or build specialist who might have otherwise utilized their services.

Dormant. Useless.

I wonder if Turbine has some kind of in-code counter to track how often these systems are used. If so, when was the last time someone (anyone!) made a Tier 3 alchemical weapon? I would bet money that no one has this year. Not a single person, not even once.

Or an Epic Ring of Spell Storing? Or a ToD ring? Or even heroic green steel?

That last one might have gotten used if only because so many people duped so many of the ingredients that the piles will never run out. But I bet there hasn’t been more than a couple dozen legitimate, two-shard green steel items crafted in all of 2016, across all servers.

Forget making anything. Just try filling a group for one of these quests. Expect to be at it awhile, and even then end up short-manning the quest due to lack of response.

There are two solutions. One, the hard one, is to go back through all of the old raids and capstone quests and make them all Legendary, with appropriately Legendary loot. I would have to seriously consider 20 more ToEE trips if the result would be a Legendary Earth Maul. This is probably the right solution, in that it equalizes the playing field for all of the old raids, which would be awesome. But this is the hard solution and can only be applied to one quest at a time. It will take years to complete Legendary passes on everything.

The easier solution, much easier, is to open the floodgates on the crafting ingredients. Kick the rates up – way up! – enough to change the equation. Instead of:

Lots and lots of grind -> mediocre but interesting item

It would become

No (or very little) grind -> mediocre but interesting item

The outcome is the same, but the path is so much easier to follow. I would totally make ToEE armor again, maybe even for several of my characters, if I could do so in a handful of trips.

So, go through those loot tables, Turbine, and pump up the volume! Instead of three mushrooms per chest, how about 10-15? Have a couple of Epic Seals in every VON or desert or Red Fens end chest! Epic Shards in every capstone end chest! At least one ToD ring on every run for everyone! Multiple sigils in every Reaver’s Refuge chest! Power cells and refined shards galore! Whatever specialized crafting system materials I am overlooking, pump those up too!

Open the floodgates.

All of these crafted items are bound to character anyway, and none of it is end game. Upping the drop rates will allow us to mix and match stuff that was previously out of reach, increasing the fun potential. while decreasing nothing. It is pure win.

Open the floodgates.

Leave Legendary Green Steel alone, it is still the new hotness and needs no adjustment. Maybe leave Thunderholme alone too, there seems to be plenty of interest in Thunder-Forged equipment.

But for everything else, open the floodgates!

Come on! Do it!

Open the floodgates!

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  10 Responses to “Opening the Floodgates”

Comments (10)
  1. I wrote up a proposal to address exactly this while on the PC. The problem is that the crafting ingredients are unique to the content and it’s intended to be a bit grindy as a crude mechanic to encourage replayability. Mix in the RNG component to getting the “right ingredient” that’s only available in that content and you’re on a path to frustrating repetition.

    The solution for me was to embrace the nature of Stormreach as a city prospering on trading in exotic artifacts recovered from the depths of Xen’drik – and now the planes beyond.

    So I wrote up a proposal on unifying the collectible and crafting systems and allow crafting ingredients to be traded at some suitable exchange rate. That way everything from platinum and kobold prayer beads can be exchanged for everything from alchemical crafting ingredients, thunderholme raid ingredients, epic s/s/s, and any flavour of commendation.

    The exchange rates don’t need to be static, so you can dynamically shift the rates from “impossibloy extortionate” for new crafting ingredients all the down to “almost reasonable” for the older, deader content, and then tweak it whenever circumstances change.

    In a city thriving on trade, there’s absolutely no reason (apart from crude and what I believe are now obsolete meta gaming mechanics) why I can’t trade for a rare ingredient if I’m willing to pay the price.

  2. I had to get my checklist out to verify the 2016 totals. Not the full account ones, just for this year, as requested..

    Tier 3 Alchemical: 1
    ToEE Weapons: 13
    Ioun Stones: 14
    Heroic Green Steel: 8

    Then again…. I am a little obsessive. And have no life. But they’re not “dead.”

    I still have three more GS projects to finish for the year..

  3. I made a Tier 2 (non-duped) greensteel res scimitar this week, 2 ioun stones upgraded in the last month..

    I think drop rates for ingredients on the s/s/s system should be vastly improved (I have made 1 item through the years). ToEE grind was my criticism from the start – 1 huge quest should have been divided into smaller chunks more amenable to play time. And, of course, the Village of Hommlet should have been included and still should.

    On the other hand, I look at old unused crafting systems as the foundation of Eberron – magic everywhere, lost and forgotten.

  4. The S/S/S crafting system should be turned into a component for a legendary item–get your shard of the midnight greetings, seal & scroll–make an EMG–then upgrade to legendary by adding 25 raid tokens (Greater Tokens of the Twelve) at the “Altar of Legendary rituals.”
    No need to boost drop rates or upgrade the level 20 epic version of the items. That is pointless and will be a disappointment to vets that ground them. Just invent a decent level 28 legendary version and voila! People will run all that old content to get the s/s/s components and will cycle old raids for the Greater Tokens of the Twelve.

    A similar legendary upgrade path could be created for alchemically crafted stuff and ToD sets.

  5. I would like to see something akin to monthly bonuses for running various quests, to encourage visiting some outdated content. For example, September is Cannith month, +5% xp for doing Master Artificer and Lord of Blades perhaps. Would that help? If it were incentivized like that, hopefully it would generate interest and allow people who missed the boat when it was new a greater chance to experience them (and get some mats!).
    It would appeal to those who have all that stuff, because of the xp bump, and breath some life into older (and in many cases better imo) content.
    Idk I’m just rambling.

  6. I made a T3 Alchemical like 2 weeks ago! lol I must be weird.

  7. I’d make some more epic items, if I could only pull some shards πŸ˜‰

  8. Okay okay I get it. Some people still grind out the old crafting systems.

    Unless you are all just tweaking me – which seems distinctly possible?

    Either way, my main point still stands: it is time to remove the grind for all those old systems.

    • I’m not sure if you’re giving people too little or too much credit! (Or at least some of us too little, and others of us too much.)

      I look forward to more crafting systems, gotta fill up my gargantuan ingredient bags somehow, even this new Cannith Crafting one should be interesting, but I’m still going to make a few items with the old system just in case…

What do you think?

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