They call it a patch but everything Is changing
As this article is being written, the bits and bytes of Update 17 Patch 1 are flying about, transitioning from Lamannia and Turbine’s testing environments to our familiar worlds of Sarlona, Khyber, Argonnessen, etc.
By the time you read this, the update may be complete; DDO may have already changed forever.
Am I being a little dramatic here? I suppose I am, not “everything” is changing, swords will still swing the same, spells will still cast the same, game play is not itself changing.
Yet this is by far the most significant “Patch” I can recall. Two all-new systems essentially reboot the game economy. An entirely new currency – one based on DDO Store-purchased Astral Shards – comes into prominence, whether for good or ill is yet to be determined.
It is also a fairly controversial “Patch”* and one that has generated a lot of discussion. Not just on the forums, but throughout DDO fan-dom. It even occupied an entire episode of DDOCast.
* I keep calling it a “patch” in quotes because it represents such a fundamental change. Two entirely new systems! More than I recall ever getting in a “patch”. If this had three dungeons in it too we’d be calling it Update 18.
Release notes are not available as this was published. The latest Lamannia release notes are available, and traditionally are all but certain to be identical to what is going live.
But I digress: back to the hyperbole and shameless fear-mongering. This is a blog after all.
Seven years of accumulating platinum. For naught? Plat seems likely to become severely devalued and even more inflated than it is already. And it is pretty inflated now.
This may not be a bad thing, not at all, in fact an economic reset might actually work to the benefits of those of us who are lagging behind in the plat accumulation game, leveling the playing field a bit.
It could go the other way too. Astral Shards are purchased with real money while platinum was largely earned with time spent in-game. This could provide a little too much emphasis on the size of the player’s wallet.
Maybe this is the pay-to-win nightmare come to life. Or maybe it is a perfectly-sized balance between those who are willing to put in time and those who are willing to put in money.
I’ve said this before but I tend to trust Turbine on these matters, at least until such time as they are proven wrong. They’ve been walking the highwire of balancing micro-transaction and subscription for four years now, invented an entirely new free-to-play “fremium” model, and kept DDO not only alive but thriving for all this time. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt.
Yet change is always scary and this change has the potential to be scarier than most.
Once you get used to things, BOOM!
We will see. One thing for certain: things will be different. They always are.
🙂 😀 🙂