Da Man Cannot Keep Us Down!
And so the great Epic Token protest comes to a close, demands demanded, opponents opposed, and surprisingly, goals met. We won! I expected a reaction from the powers-that-be, but I did not expect them to rollback their plans, no matter how temporarily.
For anyone coming to this topic for the first time, a quick recap:
- Turbine announced their design for the new method of acquiring Heroic Hearts of Wood (currently called True Hearts of Wood but this detail is unimportant right now)
- Their new design had serious implementation issues for the player base, especially the F2P player base and those who want to earn their Heroic Hearts of Wood through primarily Heroic actions rather than a very lengthy Epic grind
- The DDO playerbase united in demanding changes to the design, both in (often vitriolic and often unfun-to-read) forum posts, and at an in-person protest that formed on Wayfinder sometime Saturday
- More details on Turbine’s design here, and more detail on the protest here
- By Monday evening the Wayfinder protest had grown to encompass three instances full of avatars in the Marketplace
- Massively picked up on the story and it soon spread to other gaming sites that I’ve previously never heard of including MMO Fallout and Gamebreaker
- Late Monday, Turbine backed off the least popular design changes
And I was there too, more or less, Monday was a work day but fortunately it was a work from home day, and I was able to park Brickie Lee in the thick of the protest and wander by every few hours to see what was what and take a few screenshots.
It was fun! Who knew civil disobedience could be such a good time? And did I mention that we won?
Was it the forum onslaught? Was it the protest? Was it the press coverage of the protest? Or was this something that would have happened anyway, albeit at a slower and more deliberate pace? Who knows, I am guessing all of the above apply to some extent.
I’m not going to quote the entire Monday night forum post from Producer Glin but here are some key excerpts:
When Update 20 goes out to live servers, there will be a new commendation available through select Epic Sagas that will allow players to barter for Hearts of Wood. Initially these Epic Sagas will offer an option to claim a Commendation of Valor; in time we intend to add additional methods to obtain “Commendations of Valor.”
A quest can overlap two or more sagas. In the situation where a quest is in multiple sagas, you will receive completion credit for each saga, for example, completing “A stay at the Inn” from the Update 16 Adventure Pack will reward credit in 3 Saga’s (b, c, e above). In this way, you can complete 5 sagas by playing 36 quests, and various combinations within that scenario if you prefer to skip some content.
This is pretty much the original design but with key differences including the fact that there will be additional methods, beyond the Sagas, to earn Valors.
But wait, there is more.
The prices on Lamannia are not final – inspired by the Lamannia feedback, the Heroic Heart of Wood will be greatly reduced from the price displayed in the bartershop today. We’ll be looking at your additional feedback and how players play through sagas, and adjust the costs appropriately. We expect the average player to, upon reaching the minimum level requirement, spend additional hours to obtain a Heart of Wood – but never hundreds of hours.
Since the heroic goal is 20, we are lowering the expectation of number of Epic quests needed to earn the heart.
And the one that seemed the most important to the most people:
Update 20 will not remove the Heart of Wood from the Twelve barter NPC. Next steps will be discussed at a later date, but eventually commendations will be the preferred method of exchange – ideally this is preferred by most players, today that is not the case and we are acting accordingly.
There is more, it is a lengthy post with lots of detail. Glin includes the overall scheme of why they are making these changes, specific metrics showing why they believe the existing system is broken, and the philosophy they are hoping to implement to improve it.
It is not just lengthy, but thoughtful. Here’s the link again. Go read it.
Glin’s paraphrase, via twitter: TLDR? Lower the Prices! Keep spending your 12Tokens!
My paraphrase: they didn’t realize the impact on Heroic players when implementing the new design with only one path to earn Hearts. Now they do. They’re still going ahead with their new design, they feel that they need to, but they will ease into it and continue to support existing paths until the new path is more built-out.
The goal, according to Producer Glin, is to wait “eventually commendations will be the preferred method of exchange – ideally this is preferred by most players”. So we’ll get them when we want them but will still have Epic Tokens until then.
That is a win. A clean win, no matter the naysayers. And yes, there are naysayers. Come on people, enjoy your victory while you can, they do not happen all that often.
Power to the People!
🙂 😀 🙂