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The Pretty Good AE Debate


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Hmmmm, i'll share this video of some experience I had from star trek online, counteryolo explained two years ago a game-breaker that made architect entertainment look like a joke.  Watch the last section: Admiralty System

 

 

 

So, what I want you consider, and understand admiraly was nerfed for a reason.  You could get 30,000 dilithium every 10th tour of duty, additionally, you could get extra dilithium for bonuses with the admiralty missions.  You needed very, very little time to put these "admiralty missions" in.  No cost, no drawbacks.  You don't even need to play actual missions to use it.

 

You only needed 1-2 minutes per character to get a bunch of missions.

 

Counteryolo went absolute insane with the system, he wasn't the only one.  I USED THIS SYSTEM LIKE HE DID.  I wasn't anywhere near as insane the operation for farming dil like him but I used it for my first ships when I was unemployed.

 

500 dilithium was worth 1 zen at the worst the market has been for a long time.  When I started it was aroud 250 dilithium per 1 zen.  1 zen = 1 real life cent so 100 zen = 1 dollar.

 

He was earning 60 dollars worth of zen/month even if you went by the worst dilithium to zen ratio.  Before the market crashed it'd have been more then that.  Rich players with tons of characters and tons of admiral-rank characters could break it.  Jem'hedar characters were instantly admirals on creation.

 

Admiralty got nerfed to assure you got no free dilithium with tour of duty anymore.  All you got was "bonus dilithium" from ferengi(still had to grind it) and fleet-only dil from kdf(only good for fleet holdings).

 

Architect entertainment wasn't as bad as this but I'm in the same mindset as he was: I could think about that, whats preventing players from making an alt exclusively just to power level to vet level 100 in AE for free E-merits and then just convert them to merits?  Then dump a ton of items on exchange for instant huge cash, and also still have extra influence?  An AFK fire farming toon could easily be used this way, your making almost free money.  Not as bad as what admiralty was in STO, but excessive farming imo does this to economies, it eventually breaks them.  I've some thoughts:

 

How will this effect pricing of items on auction that are purchased mostly with Merits?  Will they go up drasticly in price or drop?  Fewer merits means fewer items being purchased, this means those items may see lower supply and thus higher cost.  This means general influence gains will become less valuable in content everywhere.  OR will prices remain the same or will they go down because people cannot afford the cost?  Prices rarely go down in my experience.  They didn't with nerfs to AE on live.

 

I'm still of the feeling AE was horrible for the game market.  I share the concern some may move on but I'm also left feeling it was a ticking time bomb no matter what was done.  Players are to dependent on it for influence and the economy was to heavily effected.  Only time will tell I guess.

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@DrunkFlux - there was also people taking advantage of the huge dilithium payouts by rolling alts and leveling the reputation systems that added to the dilthium exchange crisis which  exists there now.  This is why they got rid of those payouts in the last update.

 

With that said, there is one very critical difference between STO and Homecoming.  STO is a commercial product where real money is being exchanged so there is much greater reason for  concern.  There is no real money being exchanged to purchase anything within Homecoming.  Also important to remember, the market on Live was not seeded like it is here. 

 

This is not to say that people truly abusing the system here are of no concern at all, just there is a difference between the impact for a commercial product and non-commercial product.

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20 hours ago, MoonSheep said:

 

a well slotted IO build used to be reserved for your main alt which would be your pride and joy - in the modern era people can spin up a new fully kitted out lvl 50 every few days. IOs used to balance themselves through price

No the hell they didn't.

 

Prices were so stupid expensive you could never get a fully kitted 50 unless you forsook RL completely

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Apparently I'm a forum grouch.

 

My profile pic is my reaction every time I read these feedback threads, or sometimes general discussion.

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2 hours ago, Seed22 said:

No the hell they didn't.

 

Prices were so stupid expensive you could never get a fully kitted 50 unless you forsook RL completely

 

It depends what you mean by 'fully kitted'.  It was easily possible to fully IO out a character with sets that would make the character extremely shiny indeed.  It was just extremely expensive to make those last few tweaks like PVP IOs and purple sets.  We've been spoiled on Homecoming by the cheapness of the market, and it's led to an expectation that every character 'should' have purples, Winter sets, +5 boosts, etc.  The IO system doesn't need to be dialled up to 11 on every character for that character to have a good build, in the same way that soloing +4x8 isn't really a minimum necessary performance measure.

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Reunion player, ex-Defiant.

AE SFMA: Zombie Ninja Pirates! (#18051)

 

Regeneratio delenda est!

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40 minutes ago, Grouchybeast said:

It was just extremely expensive to make those last few tweaks like PVP IOs and purple sets.

 

Not sure what server you played on during the live days, however I remember sets like Mako's Bite going for 2 billion inf a piece on Triumph.  No thank you.  We definitely do not need to go back to those days.

 

As for the rest, speak for yourself.  I like feeling super and kitting my characters out to the gills.  You are more than welcome to build your characters the way you want, just afford me the same courtesy.

Edited by ShardWarrior
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On 7/14/2022 at 10:13 AM, Marbing said:

How about I ask you, why do YOU farm?

Various reasons. 

 

Sometimes it's for inf, sometimes for Emps, sometimes for social reasons, sometimes to get a toon struggling with lower levels to a more enjoyable level range, and sometimes because it just feels really nice to get on that character who can tear through things with ease for a while. It de-stresses me.  

The question I'm asking is that for those players who like to do most if not all in the AE, why are they wrong?

 

Should people who DON'T AE be forced to do AE content to get certain key achievements in the game?  No?  Why not?  After all, if you're saying that the AE players for some reason MUST go out and "enjoy" the other content, shouldn't the non-AE players have to go enjoy the AE content, too? 

 

By the way, you STILL have to leave the AE to get things like accolades, badges, etc. so this claim that the AE has become "THE END ALL BE ALL FOR ALL NEEDS" is just ridiculous.  

 

Before the AE people would run farms in PI endlessly for some other players to get their XP/INF, and back then, those two things alone got your toon to the highest levels of powers via SOs.   Now the AE has players who run farms endlessly for some other players to get their XP/INF and the OTHER added since then and are needed to get their toons to the highest levels of powers. 

 

And NONE of that hurts you, unless you somehow think you should be able to force other players to team with you when you want. 

Edited by Puma
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57 minutes ago, Puma said:

By the way, you STILL have to leave the AE to get things like accolades, badges, etc. so this claim that the AE has become "THE END ALL BE ALL FOR ALL NEEDS" is just ridiculous.  

To be fair, there have definitely been a few posters that have literally staked out the position that they shouldn’t have to play any parts of the game besides AE because they… don’t like the game. So to say *no one* sees is it that way is demonstrably false.

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1 hour ago, arcane said:

To be fair, there have definitely been a few posters that have literally staked out the position that they shouldn’t have to play any parts of the game besides AE because they… don’t like the game. So to say *no one* sees is it that way is demonstrably false.

Or perhaps if you are going to do the same missions over and over ad nauseum, then perhaps being able to choose your own venue and company might be part of it? Maybe being able to choose your strategy and tactics is part of it? If I'm covering a shift at work AGAIN because we have been short staffed since last year due to an illness that people pretend doesn't exist, you think I want to do a Task Force? I play this game to UNWIND, not get wound up. Should I maybe do Maria Jenkins another 200 times just to make sure I'm bored of it?

 

At some point the game gets stale. Yes there are players who are happy to run radios all day every day for years. I am not one of them. This is why I solo Giant Monsters. It's a challenge, and I'm not locked into a group to do it. Same with farming. I can unwind and relax, chat in general, craft some recipes and sell them at a loss. When I am on doing stuff, no one even knows I am there unless I say something. If my activity is in a zone other than a starting zone, like say St Martial, who am I causing harm to? 

 

If there was more open world content to do, I would be doing that. If there was level 51-54 mobs in Peregrine Island, and Grandville, and not just Dark Astoria, RWZ, and Cimerora, I would be organizing Street Sweeping teams which I believe was at once time an acceptable activity. Invasions are fine, but an outdoor activity where the Tab button used to target enemies actually works would be great. Sure, I can street sweep 50s, and sometimes I do, but not on a team.

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Smashing/Lethal Farmer and a Giant Monster Hunter on Excelsior

Monster Hunters: Blue Idoru (Main, Elec/Kin Corruptor), Kurodoru (Dark/Dark Brute), Canadian Content (Rad/Atom Blaster)

Try Arc IDs: 44869 "The Orb" - Smashing/Lethal Farm on the Troll Cave map with 99 mobs, all patrols.  45166 "Hail The Orb" - Smashing/Lethal Farm on the Dreck Freakshow map with 151 mobs, 61 Elite Bosses

Farmers: Freak Out (Rad/Fire Brute, Fire Farmer), Dara Kill (Dark/Spines Tanker, S/L Farmer), Freak Fire (Fire/Rad Tanker, Farm Everything), Blue Idoru (Main, Elec/Kin Corr, Farm Anything), Spidoru (Crabbermind, Farm Anything), various other fighters and support.

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3 hours ago, ShardWarrior said:

however I remember sets like Mako's Bite going for 2 billion inf a piece on Triumph

Sorry, but your memory is faulty. 

 

First, the /AH has always been cross server.  Initially red and blue markets were separate but they were merged long ago on live. 

 

Second, except for perhaps a fat fingered misbid, Mako's never sold for 2 billion.  The PvP uniques did and then they started being sold off market for even more.  Maybe some purples got there on a busy weekend, but usually the in-demand ones where in the 100-300k range.  And you could farm morality missions to get the hero/villain merits that could be traded to Botler and his evil counterpart for the PvP recipes or try to convert them.

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1 hour ago, Bionic_Flea said:

First, the /AH has always been cross server.  Initially red and blue markets were separate but they were merged long ago on live. 

 

Second, except for perhaps a fat fingered misbid, Mako's never sold for 2 billion.  The PvP uniques did and then they started being sold off market for even more.  Maybe some purples got there on a busy weekend, but usually the in-demand ones where in the 100-300k range.  And you could farm morality missions to get the hero/villain merits that could be traded to Botler and his evil counterpart for the PvP recipes or try to convert them.

 

The Auction House, split Blueside and Redside, was introduced in Issue 9, released to Live on 2007 Mar 06.  The Auction House sides were merged for Issue 18, 2010 Aug 16.

 

During these 3.5 years, things weren't that great on the Redside AH due to the smaller player population, especially as the Alignment System wasn't introduced until Issue 18 as well.  The merger was a great help.

 

As for the prices, I remember the prices for desirable salvage (eg. Luck Charms) getting into the millions and high-demand IOs getting into the 10s and 100s of millions of Inf.  But it was the Purples that were always high.  And the PvP IOs that were into the billions and usually traded off-market.  Creating a high-performance build was easily 10 to 100 times as expensive as it is now.

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5 hours ago, arcane said:

To be fair, there have definitely been a few posters that have literally staked out the position that they shouldn’t have to play any parts of the game besides AE because they… don’t like the game. So to say *no one* sees is it that way is demonstrably false.

I didn't say no one sees it that way, I said that it ISN'T that way, so the argument that it is is false.  

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On 7/14/2022 at 10:54 AM, Marbing said:

Yes there is. When everyone is stuck in AE because it’s the best way to get anything, then other players have a much harder time filling teams to do the content they want to do, and thus get sucked into farming or simply quitting the game. There are two sides to every coin. It’s about creating a balance and right now there is very little, as AE is the best way to do pretty much everything, so large portions of the current game population do nothing but that, thus making it harder (especially on the lower population servers) to get anything else done that requires a team.

Lets parse this out a bit.  
 
If I rolled an ice/sonic blaster and played nothing but AE arcs, by myself, how would I get to level 50 any faster than if I rolled that same blaster in AP and ran mission arcs?  I  mean...I guess travel time and all, but that's it. UNLESS we're talking about farming.

 

At that point, the issue isn't AE, it's farming.  And as has been pointed out, people farmed LONG before AE, and to farm well in AE takes you creating and planning a character and levelling that character to point it can farm and farm well for a very specific kind of map.   You know, we used to do that before the AE as well...for that Harvey Maylor Demon Farm in PI.   

 

But people will PL you in the AE so it's faster, you say?  Well...they can do that out of AE as well.  And have, historically, using many different missions and farms.  So I could just as easily have someone PL my ice/sonic blaster in PI running a demon farm, too.   Is it a little slower? Sure.  But we're talking a minor difference, really.  

We've done things, historically, to try and lessen this, like XP throttling (remember that weird MARTY thing they did?) and it just isn't worth the effort, in my  opinion.  Many of us are bored with the game's missions, and it's trying out new powerset combos and builds we enjoy, and the AE and farming lets us do that at a pace that keeps our interest, instead of destroying it.   

 

If people are playing AE to the point that you can't get a team for what you want to play, I'm, sorry. But honestly, you have no right to force them to want to play differently just so you can have a team.  

  

Edited by Puma
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10 hours ago, MoonSheep said:

 

it’s written in a rather hyperbolic manner but i do stand by it. the game has become easier and easier over time, identifiable archetypes no longer exist and there’s not really any team dynamic anymore. the original CoH experience is going the way of the dodo without any meaningful intervention

 

any suggestion to introduce moderation or balance is met with a very petulant mob

I not sure I understand the statement about the original experience going the way of the dodo. Yes, the game has gotten easier (as most games do, through natural progression aka leveling). In addition to the usual mechanics, the CoX devs gave us Incarnates and IO sets, allowing for diverse and complicated builds that can often become quite uber. Are you referring to the fact that there are lots of QoL improvements here on Homecoming?

Personally, that original grind on the NC Soft servers was rough and I am SO GLAD that Homecoming has made the game to require MUCH less of a time sink because my free time at this stage of my life is FAR more limited than it was back when the game first came out.

Here's something to consider....

What if someone who longed for moderation and balance just simply didn't go for that uber build, or just didn't max out all their incarnates. That would allow them to feel challenged, right? 
 

I play with folks that have great builds and we have lots of fun playing together on very diverse teams with excellent dynamics but we play mostly for the camaraderie. We play to have fun with each other. No one in our group of friends really cares what level of awesome overpowered-ness (or not) you bring to the team. It's all about playing with characters we have FUN playing. Good example: I know there are a few folks who think Empathy is a dead, useless set - one person (not part of our regular group) actually said "Anyone who has an emp should just delete them" on voice comms - but I play empathy, I enjoy it, and my teammates enjoy the support enough that I actually get requests to bring one of my emps on many nights.

I guess what I am trying to say is there are ways you can introduce challenge and difficulty from the player side, without getting EVERYONE ELSE'S experience modified by having the game itself changed. 

Want the original experience? Build a toon without a travel until level 14. Do all the lowbie content at +2 or +3. Don't get the Ouro portal, Team Transport, or mish port options. There are ways to "go back" to the way things were. I personally wouldn't, but hey - if hard mode is your thing, then that's awesome.

In the end, offering the MOST choices of how to play is going to benefit the MOST people. Folks who like hard mode can run the ITF and ASF on the highest difficulty and feel challenged. But folks who like a more laid-back experience can do it on a low setting and get that "I can kick butt! I AM a superhero!" feeling from their character - even when they don't have the time or inf to super-respec into the latest and greatest ultimate build. It's all about time. If you have hours and hours to spend in Paragon City, that's awesome! But if you have limited time and want to get the most fun out of what little time you can spend, then priorities are different. As for me, I live real life in hard-mode. When I have a precious bit of free time to play, sometimes I just want to throat-punch villains in Paragon City because I can't throat punch the real life villains.

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11 hours ago, arcane said:

To be fair, there have definitely been a few posters that have literally staked out the position that they shouldn’t have to play any parts of the game besides AE because they… don’t like the game. So to say *no one* sees is it that way is demonstrably false.

But if that's the way they want to play, what makes it "wrong"? I think that's the point Puma is trying to make - no one is saying EVERY player should be FORCED to do AE content, but there are plenty of people wanting to force the AE fans to do "regular" content. 

I personally think there's some awesome content in this game. Some I enjoy more than others - like Frostfire and most of the Hollows story. now that I don't have to try to walk/hover to the missions, LOL. Some content I think gets overdone -- Aeon, milked for D-Syncs, a few TFs that I hate because they are grindy and frustrating (Synapse, I'm looking at you, doing your TF with a meager few powers and enemies that kill your already weak endurance at that level). But overall there's a lot of good content. I don't *just* farm. I have severe altitis, and had several characters that I've played up through the regular content. But I do love me some fire-farming. It's something mindless I can do that lets me feel like a "superhero". I can do it solo, and I can do it while I am doing other things that require me to not stay at my desk (which is kind of an expectation if you are on a team doing missions).
 

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Some questions to pose into the aether:

 

How fast should a character get to 50?  Or to 50 +T4?

 

How much influence should a character be able to earn in an hour?  Or a day?

 

How many collective hours should players spend in the AE vs anywhere else?

 

I like farming as much as the next guy, but I don't farm as much as some.  I have done 1-50 on rare occasion, but usually I just farm a few levels here and there to get out of a slump or to get that shiny power or extra slots that will be game changing for that character.  But I don't care if someone else levels 1-50.

 

On the other hand, I like the rest of the game too.  I like all of it.  The costumes, the bases, the zones, the lore, the market, even some PvP now and then.  Is there a point at which the pendulum swings too far towards AE and away from the rest of the game?  If all anyone does is AE, is it worth the server load to keep 20 nearly empty zones running?

 

I think these are questions we need to think about and discuss.

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6 minutes ago, Bionic_Flea said:

Some questions to pose into the aether:

 

How fast should a character get to 50?  Or to 50 +T4?

 

How much influence should a character be able to earn in an hour?  Or a day?

 

How many collective hours should players spend in the AE vs anywhere else?

My thoughts are really along the lines that the exact details matter less than the idea that no one way of playing the game should result in disproportionate rewards compared to other ways. If people want to ae farm all day every day then all power to them but the rewards for doing so shouldn't be completely out of line with the rewards for playing the more traditional game all day every day (chance would be a fine thing, bloody real life...).

 

I never farm anymore. I built a fire farmer to check it out and pl'ed a few alts but I quickly found that what I enjoy is the levelling process the traditional way. I make enough inf by a bit of very light marketeering as I go along to meet my needs and that's good enough for me.

 

In general I am happy with how I play and happy for others to do their thing too. But, what I don't like is any nagging feeling that my time could be more profitably spent farming than what I'm doing. Of course traditional play is going to be a bit less rewarding, that's fine, but when it feels it's an order of magnitude less rewarding then that's not so good.

 

More importantly if it feels that way to me then any new players are likely to feel the same thing too. As much as I can see the appeal of farming, and I wish its proponents well, I think a farm is a terrible introduction to the game for a new player. There is so much to this game that gets skipped over in the confines of the ae building. The majority of content is sub 50 and while it's fair enough that a jaded veteran might want to avoid it (I love all the old low level stuff but to each their own), I don't think it's a good thing for new player to be given the idea that 'the game' is blasting to 50, racing to incarnate, purpling out and then wondering where the content is.

 

I think this is more or less the angle the devs are coming from too. They have stated several times that they don't have a problem with farming itself, but they are acting to reign in its more disproportionate rewards.

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There are various TFs and story arcs that have not changed in over a decade. A revamp of that content and re-balancing of rewards (yes our devs have already said they are looking at it) is something that should help. Some of the TFs especially are absolutely horrendously paced.

 

New content that isn't hard mode options should also help. And so will new iTrials.

 

The way to get people out of AE ultimately is to buff the rest of the game. It doesn't need to be buffed to AE reward levels. Just given a fresh coat of paint, so that us vets aren't doing the same damn stuff we've been doing for over a decade.

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4 minutes ago, golstat2003 said:

There are various TFs and story arcs that have not changed in over a decade. A revamp of that content and re-balancing of rewards (yes our devs have already said they are looking at it) is something that should help. Some of the TFs especially are absolutely horrendously paced.

 

New content that isn't hard mode options should also help. And so will new iTrials.

 

The way to get people out of AE ultimately is to buff the rest of the game. It doesn't need to be buffed to AE reward levels. Just given a fresh coat of paint, so that us vets aren't doing the same damn stuff we've been doing for over a decade.

 

That would work... for about a week.  Then everyone would be right back to AE farming.  Why?  Because even if you give everything a fresh coat of paint, and up the rewards a bit, AE farming would still give exponentially higher rewards with far less risk compared to everything else, and that's all many people seem to care about.  And no, buffing everything else up to the level of AE farming is not an answer.  You can never buff everything else up to match an outlier, because the outlier is... well... an outlier.  In the end, you have to nerf the outlier.

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11 minutes ago, Astralock said:

 

That would work... for about a week.  Then everyone would be right back to AE farming.  Why?  Because even if you give everything a fresh coat of paint, and up the rewards a bit, AE farming would still give exponentially higher rewards with far less risk compared to everything else, and that's all many people seem to care about.  And no, buffing everything else up to the level of AE farming is not an answer.  You can never buff everything else up to match an outlier, because the outlier is... well... an outlier.  In the end, you have to nerf the outlier.

 

The buffing of content is for those who do it because the content is stale. Nerfing the outlier would just move folks who do nothing but AE farm, to just PI farms. Those folks will never do regular content if it's stale and hasn't changed in years.

 

The team should be doing both buffs to content and nerfs (if they insist).

 

And there is a subset of folks who will NEVER do anything other than farming. Nothing wrong with that.

 

And no, please re-read what I wrote and not what you thought I wrote. I specifically called out not to AE levels. Please read again.

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34 minutes ago, golstat2003 said:

 

The buffing of content is for those who do it because the content is stale. Nerfing the outlier would just move folks who do nothing but AE farm, to just PI farms. Those folks will never do regular content if it's stale and hasn't changed in years.

 

The team should be doing both buffs to content and nerfs (if they insist).

 

And there is a subset of folks who will NEVER do anything other than farming. Nothing wrong with that.

 

And no, please re-read what I wrote and not what you thought I wrote. I specifically called out not to AE levels. Please read again.

He’s still right though because rebalancing an entire game around an extreme outlier would be objectively stupid.

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1 hour ago, arcane said:

He’s still right though because rebalancing an entire game around an extreme outlier would be objectively stupid.

 

Great we all agree. That's not what is being asked for.

 

Rewards are not the only issue with some of the terrible ancient content. Especially blueside.

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On 7/15/2022 at 2:49 PM, skoryy said:

Guild Wars 2 doesn't have a subscription and basically just sells cosmetics and RMT.

 

Seriously?  Think about what you just wrote here.  Is real money being exchanged for the cosmetics used in the game?  Then it's commercial product.

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9 minutes ago, Excraft said:

 

Seriously?  Think about what you just wrote here.  Is real money being exchanged for the cosmetics used in the game?  Then it's commercial product.

( neverminding all the expansions you pay for and such )

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5 hours ago, Bionic_Flea said:

Some questions to pose into the aether:

 

How fast should a character get to 50?  Or to 50 +T4?

 

How much influence should a character be able to earn in an hour?  Or a day?

 

How many collective hours should players spend in the AE vs anywhere else?

 

I like farming as much as the next guy, but I don't farm as much as some.  I have done 1-50 on rare occasion, but usually I just farm a few levels here and there to get out of a slump or to get that shiny power or extra slots that will be game changing for that character.  But I don't care if someone else levels 1-50.

 

On the other hand, I like the rest of the game too.  I like all of it.  The costumes, the bases, the zones, the lore, the market, even some PvP now and then.  Is there a point at which the pendulum swings too far towards AE and away from the rest of the game?  If all anyone does is AE, is it worth the server load to keep 20 nearly empty zones running?

 

I think these are questions we need to think about and discuss.

I have a question. the xp nerf incoming, evidently a bug, does it only effect AE? things have been going great for 2 or so years now, would it hurt to leave it? is this something the devs are rock solid on? I have never seen AE as mandatory, I prefer to level my toons in TFs. I am not a fan of the agro change as it will interfere with me soloing dr q tfs. I really dont care how long it takes you to level to 50, I just want others to pay me the same courtesy. I have farmed a little, not a huge fan of it, but I have zero problem with it.

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  • GM Widower changed the title to The Pretty Good AE Debate
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