Oct 212013

Lahar's Barter Window
He is still called the “Epic Trader”, but there is no longer anything epic about the items he trades

Among the other, fun things we are going to be getting in Update 20, we are also going to be getting a new currency. Because, apparently, the 200+ currencies in the game already are never enough.

To wit, we are now going to have the chance to be awarded something called “Commendations of Valor” when we complete a Saga. In turn, these new Valors can be exchanged for Hearts of Wood, and in fact will be the only in-game way to buy a Heart of Wood. Tokens of the Twelve will continue to exist but will no longer be exchangeable for Hearts.

From the latest Lamannia release notes:

NEW: Epic level Saga rewards now include the option to select “Commendations of Valor:”

Commendations of Valor are a Bound to Character currency which fit in the Ingredient Bag.
If you remove the Commendations of Valor from your ingredient bag and doubleclick on them, a shop interface will open in which you can spend your Commendations of Valor for the following rewards:

  • Heroic True Heart of Wood (Bound to Character) currently requires 900 Commendations of Valor on Lamannia.
  • Iconic True Heart of Wood (Bound to Character) currently requires 1150 Commendations of Valor on Lamannia.
  • Epic Heart of Wood (Bound to Character) currently requires 2000 Commendations of Valor on Lamannia.

True Hearts of Wood are no longer available at The Twelve.

Emphasis added.

I have no idea why Turbine proliferates new systems with every release. Is it just too difficult to reuse an existing system? To their credit, they did exactly that, once, with Heroic Commendations. Note to Turbine: the world did not come to an end, you can safely do that again.*

* Actually they have done that twice, the other time being Epic tokens. But keep reading.

The constant addition of new currencies and exchange systems that have no connection to existing exchanges is maddening. But this one is special, because they are not only adding yet another currency, but also deprecating another without actually removing it. One that has been itself a key game mechanic since Update 1 (October 2009): Epic Tokens. Now called Tokens of the Twelve, this once-critical currency will now be useful only to buy augments from Lahar in the Twelve, which as far as I know, contains no special or unique augments that cannot be purchased elsewhere.

Tokens of the Twelve are made redundant. Not removed from the game, not re-used in the new system, still a key reward for many quests, but no longer desirable. The Token currency system is just left lying there, truncated and cuckolded, more useless flotsam for your bank slots.

And then someone on Lamannia finished a Saga, on Epic Hard, to see what was what. His reward included 17 Commendations of Valor. 17! A number so small, it is nearly in the range of numbers that should always be spelled out rather than shown as a numeral.

The forums erupted. There are/were many more threads like the three I’ve linked but some were flame-O-licious and deleted and besides, you get the point.

Turbine employees provided clarifications. Not helpful ones, at least in terms of quenching the raging forum fire, but here they are:

SqueekOfDoom in this post:

Commendations of Valor:

  • Bound to Character
  • Completing an Epic Saga will grant Commendations of Valor. The amount depends on the Saga and the difficulties you ran the individual quests on (like other Saga rewards). I have not checked how many Commendations of Valor each Saga grants.
  • Double clicking on a Commendation of Valor brings up a Barter UI with the following options:

Heroic True Heart of Wood – 900 Commendations of Valor
Iconic True Heart of Wood – 1150 Commendations of Valor
Epic Heart of Wood – 2000 Commendations of Valor

  • All Hearts of Wood obtained through the Commendations of Valor are Bound to Character.

Emphasis added again.

This did not quench anything, but made it worse. Bound to character? Could they make this any more unappealing? Let’s find out from Cordovan in this post:

With Update 20 and the upcoming new types of Reincarnation, we’re adding additional value to Epic Sagas and updating the method of acquiring True Hearts of Wood to better fit with our current content and level cap.

Epic Sagas will allow you to earn Commendations of Valor that can be spent on the following rewards:

Heroic True Hearts of Wood
Iconic True Hearts of Wood
Epic Hearts of Wood

The number of Commendations you earn will increase if you challenge yourself and earn higher difficulty Saga rewards.

With these changes, the old “endgame” route of earning Reincarnations has been retired. Heroic True Hearts of Wood will no longer be available from the Epic vendor in The Twelve.

To answer a couple of your questions:

  • Tokens of the Twelve are not being removed, and will still be usable at The Twelve to purchase a variety of Augments, as they do now.
  • Any True Hearts of Wood you currently have are still able to be used after Update 20.

We’d love to hear your feedback after running Sagas on Lamannia and seeing how things work. Remember that Reincarnation is not yet ready for preview, however. Thanks!

Emphasis added yet again.

So nothing in Cordovan’s post to fan the flames further, although the confirmation that they are intentionally killing off the Completionist end game is discouraging to me personally.

Because I have been playing the Completionist end game for four years and still have five lives to go. It would be heartbreaking to not be allowed to finish, it is quite discouraging to even consider this as a possibility, however remote it may be.

But that is just me. There are other ramifications:

  • There will be no in-game way to earn a Heart of Wood. You can argue that there is, just grind enough epic sagas, but it is simply not feasible. The shortest Epic saga is ten quests, and would have to be repeated 53 times. Not realistic
  • Even if the values “17” (Valors earned from one EH saga completion) and “900” (number of Valors needed to buy a Heroic Heart of Wood) are placeholders and get changed before the new system goes live, one will not be able to buy a Heart of Wood without running Pay-To-Play-Only content. There is no Free-To-Play Heart of Wood
  • Some quests (Devil Assault) and content packs (The Sentinels of Stormreach) are severely downgraded by this as Epic Tokens were the main reason you were running these quests
  • There is far less reason to run any Eberron epic content other than Gianthold. For most of us, I suspect there is no reason at all
    The BtC nature of Valors means that you cannot pool them, or pool Hearts. The reincarnating character will have to earn the Valors and buy the Heart itself
  • You are going to be playing your Heroic Completionist well into the Epic levels. Even when you are on one of those lives you don’t actually like playing. Like Paladin (although again, that may be just me)
  • The nature of Sagas is changed. Instead of being a nice reward for a lengthy quest chain, they become a must-have, with lots of end rewards (skill tomes, XP, guild renown), that can never be selected because one needs those Valors!

As for me, to be honest, I usually buy my Hearts of Wood from the DDO Store, and it appears that I will continue to be able to do that at least for now. The prices are even the same. My completionism fetish should continue unabated.

For everyone else that is still running Heroic TRs or trying for Completionist, I suggest that you turn in your Tokens of the Twelve now, without delay. And store them in your Shared Bank so they don’t get bound to a character. Yes, I know they don’t stack, but a cramped bank seems better than throwing away years of effort. [Edit] Samius points out that these Hearts will be BtC too, and while I can’t login to double-check right now, he is usually right about these things.

Changes like these remind me how badly Turbine needs a player ombudsman.

🙂 😀 🙂

  11 Responses to “Spend Your Tokens of the Twelve Now!”

Comments (11)
  1. Vote Geoff for DDO Player Ombudsman!

    Didn’t you have an article on that, somewhere?

    In other news, join the Occupy protest on Wayfinder 😉

  2. Thanks Geoff. You put into writing what I’ve been hearing all day. 🙂 Ppl have been trading in for hearts or grinding out tokens to get hearts before the changes go live. And yes, there’s a lot of flaws with the new idea, that Turbine needs to address asap.

  3. You’ve summed up exactly what we’re distraught about. Huzzah, Player Geoffbudsman!!

  4. I think that hearts bought with epic tokens are BtC… just saying.

  5. I was thinking over the weekend, if LoRO has a PLayer Council, why doesn’t DDO?

    I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, Turbine sells us on 1 idea, that we don’t truly like, and then after it is implemented, changes it. Sagas were sold to the community as a nice little bonus in XP, and then they addded other rewards, and as you have said, those other rewwards have been pretty much made unappealing to what appears to be a growing segment of the player base, in favor of the Commendations of Volor which seem to be the new “must have”

  6. Thanks for the “low-down” Geoff!

    I’ve played for 3+ years and reached level 20 on 2 of my 10 characters. I have not yet (nor even) contemplated TR’ing a character. When (and if) I decide I’m ready to restart a character I’ve toiled over for months (years 😛 ) I’ll probably buy a TR token from the store as well. Maybe that’s what Turbine is really after….

    Belroos – Thelanis
    The Silver Dragon Kindred

  7. Nice write up Geoff!! I can’t understand the logic behind this either. I hope they really reconsider this in some fashion.

What do you think?

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