Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!

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Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Too Much Money

Robin Williams used to say that cocaine was God's way of telling you you had too much money. I think that Guildhalls are SOE's way of telling raiding guilds that they have too much money. Or at least, of trying to fix the problem that they have created. The top tier guildhall kept its buy price at 1000p even as the lower levels had their price cut in half. And there's no doubt that the top raiding guilds can afford it.

Raiding in the RoK raid zones drops cash. Lots of it. I feel that this was a fundamental game-design blunder, and we see the effects of it everywhere. Raiders get loot from drops. The best stuff can't be bought on the broker, so they aren't spending money on that. Consumables don't cost all that much. Repair costs will be high at first, but as the raidforce improves, they will decline. So the only thing left to buy are adornments and master spells. And the prices of these are astronomical, even 10 months after the launch of RoK. To me, that says that the game is suffering from too much cash.

I don't raid much. It's not that I don't like it, I do. But I also can't and won't commit 20 hours a week to doing it. Which keeps me out of most raid forces.

My guild, Shards of Glory, is small, but dedicated. We have several players that are sought after for raid forces and instance groups. We have several level 80 tradeskillers, some with multiple toons at 80 both adventure and tradeskill. We've got several epics now. We've leveled the guild up. We've seen players go from complete newbs to guild leaders and raid tanks under our tutelage. We are not crappy players. We made and decorated our own "guildhall" in a Qeynos residence.

It's going to be much harder for us to buy and maintain that guildhall than a raid guild. And we will get the best guildhall. But I am really aggravated by how much SOE panders to the raid guild and the raid force. And one particular aggravation is how much money drops on raids.

The game has five categories of reward: Gear, plat, status, experience, and titles. The best gear goes to the raiders, it's always been that way. Adventure experience is minimal on a raid, but each new raid zone brings a lot of AA. But that's as it should be, I think. AA is about doing different things at least once. There are maybe a few titles to be gained from raiding, but I don't think that's a problem.

Status is now rewarded for raid kills. I don't have a good fix on it, but with 24 members all gaining some with a mob kill, that's a big gainer. At least now there is a status reward for killing instance bosses. So that helps.

And money too. It seems pretty clear that the financial rewards from a raid are hefty. There is probably no more effective way to spend time plat farming than to be a member of a skilled and successful raid force.

I'm all for skill, and it's clear that grouping and raiding need incentives. But I like a game where there are tradeoffs, not a game with a big broad highway with a sign that says, "This way to all the rewards you ever wanted!" I'm a child of the sixties, my counterculture self rebels at this. I want to be unorthodox, creative, free!!!

(Never call me a dirty hippie. Toldain is clean, thank you very much!)

The RoK gear is very good at presenting you with tradeoffs. I have to face choices such as, "is +50 spell damage better than +20 int?" all the time. I have a dps set of gear now, and a mezzing set. And I think that's a good thing.

I'm really hoping that SOE has realized its error and is working to fix it or mitigate it in the next expansion.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Stargrace said...

I agree with the 'there's too much money' bit. Especially for raiders but for everyone in general. As a raider, a 75p every two weeks is the general split I see. That's a LOT of money - on top of any crafting / adventuring coin I earn myself. Yes, I'm expected to outfit myself with masters - which also drop on raids. Aside from that though, and the repair bills, I really have no costs.

While Nostalgia won't be getting a T3 hall (not with only three active members hehe) we will be getting a T1, which is enough (for now).

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Milia said...

I'm really enjoying the new energy we are getting as a guild from striving for the T3 hall. I think everyone is excited about getting something done that isn't expected from a guild like ours.

I was wondering if we could make a level in a day. How many people doing writs, and now the guild hall gathering quest, it would take in how many hours? As an evil toon, you can now get 10 writs at once - I'm not sure on average rinse, repeat time. Is it worth going back to Antonica / CL docks to pick up that quest? It is blue to Mil and gives the same amount of status as a blue adventure writ.

Work your math magic Tolly.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Milia said...

Stargrace:

Don't you have expenses for food, drink, potions and the fancy, one time extras that make raiding life easier (tinkered items, etc)? Or are those costs de minimus? For some of that stuff I think it would add up.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raid splits are very important to me since the only time I am playing the game, I am raiding. I don't really have the time to do much else because I can only dedicate myself to 16 hours a week to playing time.

In that time my guild can still clear all raid content on Butcherblock and I love it.

I only raid, I don't TS, farm or do casual instances. I can count on one hand how many times I have done each instance in RoK, I have still yet to go to the new Veksar instance.

I am not rich from raiding: repair costs, food, drink, potions, temporary adorns, spell upgrades, maintaining four sets of primary raid gear can drain plat pretty quickly.

With that being said, at the moment I have 56p, 23g & 1.1 million status to my name, that's not a lot at all.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Toldain said...

Yes, I think things are the way they are because of people with "raid only" playstyle.

I'm a bit surprised by your low status total, though. Grump had 20 million to dump into the DA guildhall. Did he get that grinding writs?

As to the cash in your pocket, it doesn't give the full picture. How many masters do you have? How much do you spend on collections for the AA?

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grump is insane, really he is... send him a tell sometimes... He raids quite a bit, and prior to joining DA he would attend any pickup raid that he could attend. (Grump has a raiding blog as well, I actually found your blog looking for his.) Deblin though is the guild status king, he does a lot of writs.

My status is low after a couple million donation to the guild hall, constant purchasing of status items to raid with.

I spend my plat mainly on temporary items, an easy 20pp a week is dropped on two types of temporary adornments, which are very expensive.

Food & Drink (Dodge/Parry/Thorns) can take a few plat per stack.
Crit, Thorns, cure and ward potions can add up, it's surprising how those little things can change an encounter.

I spent a lot of plat (Thousands over time) getting almost fully mastered, I am only two shy at the moment and the spells I need "don't effect epic targets" so they are almost useless.

I had spent a lot collections at the beginning of the expansion I was behind the curve on leveling so I used collections to catch up, I was at max AA's before I was at 80.

12:52 PM  

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