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The ol' shard vs thread debate - resolved


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Just maybe we could do away with shards, or increase their utility. Tired of the debate. It's like hitting my head on a wall trying to explain to people who are explaining incomplete options to new players. They swear they fill their slots faster with threads. I say, go with what the rng gives you. Sometimes, if you get enough shards, use them. 

Can we haz this? Please? 

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What do you do with the "G'rai Matter" incarnate component option from the Vanguard crafting tables? Do you just drop shard, shard-based components, and shard-based recipes from the game, thereby reducing the rewards obtained from doing incarnate content, or will shard drops be replaced by thread drops? And given that it only requires four shards to make a common incarnate component, while it requires twenty threads, what changes would be made to the drop rate? And what happens to the Notice of the Well you get from the WST? It's all well and good to say "remove shards from the game; they're no longer needed", but it's more than a handwave; there are all sorts of hooks through the game code that will need to be changed, and quite a few decisions about the scope of the change that you don't address.

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Can we instead get a "no Thread drops/incarnate XP" option in the menu, for those rare characters on a Silver- or Golden-Age challenge run? (Ideally, they have to earn their incarnate powers through iTrials/DA, as it was on Live... assuming they're even allowed to get them in the first place).

 

And Shards do have some nice utility - they're a cheap and easy way to fill out your Alpha slot.  Only problem is, the quick-start veteran level rewards are even better utility.  If we didn't have those, there'd be a reason to save Threads for the other Incarnate slots. (Also, if can easily get on teams running end-game TFs, it's possible to build a T3 Alpha with just Shard materials in a day or two - assuming you get 8 Shards to drop across 8 or 9 TFs.)

 

(And I do get it - the whole "Shards are useless" misinformation campaign got old a few years ago)

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What about simply adding conversion formulas that let the player break Shards down into Threads?  It'd be a loss conversion: 1 Shard -> 3 Threads... IE less efficient for Alpha than using Shards themselves at a 1:5 ratio.  That way, players who don't want to deal with the split material formulas can just smash everything into threads, whereas those who maintain both get a discount in the long run... especially if they run a lot of Incarnate trials or if they're building all the T4 Alphas.

 

Oh, it's there, it's just ridiculously expensive.  Disregard this post.

Edited by ThatGuyCDude
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2 hours ago, Akisan said:

Can we instead get a "no Thread drops/incarnate XP" option in the menu, for those rare characters on a Silver- or Golden-Age challenge run? (Ideally, they have to earn their incarnate powers through iTrials/DA, as it was on Live... assuming they're even allowed to get them in the first place).

 

And Shards do have some nice utility - they're a cheap and easy way to fill out your Alpha slot.  Only problem is, the quick-start veteran level rewards are even better utility.  If we didn't have those, there'd be a reason to save Threads for the other Incarnate slots. (Also, if can easily get on teams running end-game TFs, it's possible to build a T3 Alpha with just Shard materials in a day or two - assuming you get 8 Shards to drop across 8 or 9 TFs.)

 

(And I do get it - the whole "Shards are useless" misinformation campaign got old a few years ago)

Here's a thought following this idea: how about two options: one for disabling threads and another for disabling shards. Why? So that those players that have completed their incarnate powers and don't want to buy things like super inspirations can just turn them off if they want. (Edit: Or if they don't want incarnate powers at all on that character, they can just turn them off. And for that, even add a disable incarnate xp option.)

 

(Edit again: At least back on Live, if you didn't want your character to go incarnate, you could just not do the iTrials. That isn't an option on HC. So adding those three options: disable shards, disable threads, and disable incarnate xp; will give players back the ability to make characters that don't even unlock incarnate abilities if that is what they want. Though that may also require a 4th option: disable Empyrean Merits.)

 

(Edit yet again: And maybe the ability to delete salvage that cannot be traded? So you can just delete incarnate salvage from your inventory if desired?)

 

Edited by Rudra
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32 minutes ago, Ghost said:

I didn’t even know there was a debate 

 

It comes up surprisingly often in help chat on Excelsior.  Not a constant debate, but it is a semi-regular discussion.

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4 hours ago, kelika2 said:

shards were there first, why not get rid of threads?

dealing with thousands of threads feels like a phone game where it takes 600k Units of Upgrading to upgrade a unit.

Shards can only be used to craft the Alpha slot components, whereas threads can be used to craft components for all 6 slots. You would need to create new shard recipes for all the abilities for the other 5 slots. Also, shards don't currently drop from incarnate content (missions or trials), so that would need to be changed as well.

Uunderdog - Rad/Rad Scrapper | Uundertaker - Rad/Dark Corruptor | Uun - MA/Inv Scrapper | Uunison - Grav/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temp Blaster | Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator | Uunstable - SR/Staff Tank

Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/TA Blaster | Uunseen - Ill/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator | Uunknown - Mind/Psi Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Elec Brute

Uunfair - Archery/TA Corruptor | Uunsung - DP/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - WM/WP Brute | Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster  | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator

Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - En/En Stalker | Uunbrella - Rad/Rad Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM | Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender | Uunsavory - Poson/Sonic Defender | Uunicycle - BS/Shield Scrapper

Uuntouchable - Ill/Time Controller | Uunferno - Fire/Fire Tank | Uunthinkable - Psi/SR Scrapper | Uuncivil - Thugs/Elec MM | Uunnatural - Ice/Savage Dominator | Uunshockable - Elec/Bio Sentinel | Uunfathomable - Elec/Dark Controller

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7 hours ago, Akisan said:

(And I do get it - the whole "Shards are useless" misinformation campaign got old a few years ago)

 

This is how I feel about it, with a *twist*... I think most of the "How do we explain ____ to new players?" is a worn-out consideration, with all the subtleties about the Incarnate content/system to be particularly tiresome... because those who want to "better explain Incarnates to newbs" (my words) also want to "better explain" all sorts of things like the invention system, contacts, TFs, leagues, Hamidon raids, Null the Gull, etc. etc.

 

I'm not at all against wanting new players to learn all the different parts of the game... it's more that I often get the sense that some folks want hypothetical new players to be able to master all elements of the game with nothing more than a couple of hours and clear instructions. The Incarnate system, is simultaneously a grafted-on mechanism for MOAR POWER that was designed to draw subscriber $$$ *and* (right or wrong, depending on the player) seen as the "end game" goal. My thinking about the shards/threads discussion is two-fold:

  • If a player is actively pursuing INCARNATE POWER, they'll do their own research how to achieve it
  • If a player asks "what do I do with all these ____ (shards/threads)?" that's the time to explain what to do with them
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2 hours ago, Akisan said:

 

It comes up surprisingly often in help chat on Excelsior.  Not a constant debate, but it is a semi-regular discussion.

Yeah, I see people asking about them semi regularly.  
I just didn’t realize that somewhere in some dark corner of the web, a debate was taking place.

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6 hours ago, Rudra said:

Here's a thought following this idea: how about two options: one for disabling threads and another for disabling shards. Why? So that those players that have completed their incarnate powers and don't want to buy things like super inspirations can just turn them off if they want. (Edit: Or if they don't want incarnate powers at all on that character, they can just turn them off. And for that, even add a disable incarnate xp option.)

 

(Edit again: At least back on Live, if you didn't want your character to go incarnate, you could just not do the iTrials. That isn't an option on HC. So adding those three options: disable shards, disable threads, and disable incarnate xp; will give players back the ability to make characters that don't even unlock incarnate abilities if that is what they want. Though that may also require a 4th option: disable Empyrean Merits.)

 

(Edit yet again: And maybe the ability to delete salvage that cannot be traded? So you can just delete incarnate salvage from your inventory if desired?)

 

I've suggested a less harsh version of this in the past - that Luna can turn turn off Shards for you after you open your Alpha slot. But it does make sense to me to give the player the choice to participate in incarnate stuff or not at all, especially if they can realize the error of their ways later and toggle it back on. I'd add Disable Astrals to your list, too.

 

I also support the creation of some kind of "shredder" that could be added to a base, maybe placed in Echo Plaza and Pocket D, that you can throw anything into and make it go away - with the appropriate "3 Body Problem"-donating-your-head level of confirmations needed to do so.

Oklahoman, Okie, Vayne Glorious, Sooner Magic, Treehugging Wacko, Boy Band, etc

Farming Incarnate Salvage - 1 salvage roll every 15 minutes!  ||  Why NO TELLS to join your little MSR thing?

Using DEMORECORD To Find Who Is Sabotaging Lambda Badge Runs  ||  https://www.twitch.tv/oklahomancoh

Excelsior Bases: The Sooner State (OK-8602), Atlas Records (ROCK-29730), Generic Heroes (G-16581), Sooner Nation (SOONER-8490)

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13 hours ago, Ukase said:

Just maybe we could do away with shards, or increase their utility. Tired of the debate. It's like hitting my head on a wall trying to explain to people who are explaining incomplete options to new players. They swear they fill their slots faster with threads. I say, go with what the rng gives you. Sometimes, if you get enough shards, use them. 

Can we haz this? Please? 

 

I'll usually use threads for the first Alpha Slot.  Emp Merits transferred from another character or the 120 you get with a level after 50.

 

Again, threads and incarnate salvage for t2 Alpha.

 

Shards and Notice of the well for t3.

 

Then for second t1, shards, then threads again for t2, then shards and notice for t3.

 

t4 will depend on lots of factors, but I can do it with 2 notices and shards, I will.

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10 hours ago, srmalloy said:

What do you do with the "G'rai Matter" incarnate component option from the Vanguard crafting tables? Do you just drop shard, shard-based components, and shard-based recipes from the game, thereby reducing the rewards obtained from doing incarnate content, or will shard drops be replaced by thread drops? And given that it only requires four shards to make a common incarnate component, while it requires twenty threads, what changes would be made to the drop rate? And what happens to the Notice of the Well you get from the WST? It's all well and good to say "remove shards from the game; they're no longer needed", but it's more than a handwave; there are all sorts of hooks through the game code that will need to be changed, and quite a few decisions about the scope of the change that you don't address.


To be as transparent as I know how - I should have never made the suggestion. I was just so ....I guess the word is frustrated. I see a new player asking a question. Another player answers the question with such certainty with incomplete information, they do a dis-service to the newer player and anyone else asking the question. 

We're all different as people. So, it's certainly reasonable that we're going to play different content with chances of different rewards. But it's very time consuming and a bit challenging to relay this to a newer player who may not understand certain terms used or what part of the interface to use to accomplish certain things in help chat. 

What I'd love is for every player who wants to answer the inevitable question about Shards vs. Threads to recognize that not everyone is going to do Speed Lambdas repeatedly, with maybe a BAF thrown in to get their loot. They see the threads drop, particularly at specific vet levels. But they never explain to the new player that because there are 5 more incarnate slots that will only take threads, and you need 5x more threads than shards to make the same thing, it makes perfect sense that threads drop more than shards. 

What I should have suggested instead was the vet level 1 drop 10-20 shards for the t-1 alpha (if they don't have it already) Or something along those lines so the folks that are literally pushing threads over shards can finally recognize if a player has shards - why not use them? They just tell them to convert into threads. In some cases, absolutely, the right, efficient move. But in probably half the cases, it's a foolish move. 

And I hate referring players to information on the forums. (I'll do it, of course) Having to tab out and read is just not my idea of a good time while trying to play. I get that we all had to learn the game in some fashion by reading, but the more we can get in game, the better. 

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4 hours ago, Akisan said:

 

It comes up surprisingly often in help chat on Excelsior.  Not a constant debate, but it is a semi-regular discussion.

The crazy thing, I was on Indom. I've been trying to be helpful, in a small sense. Just trying to help with GMs and such with addtional (if just slightly better than mediocre) manpower. 
There was no debate there. I didn't bother to argue. I just didn't have the energy. I also still feel like a visitor here. No sense in antagonizing some player I don't know over a question that can cause such a distraction, the player that asks the question leaves with more questions and confusions than they came there with. 

My old self would have made it clear - the content you do tends to determine which salvage you'll be using. Doing iTrials tends to encourage a player to use threads - because shards don't drop in iTrials. 
Doing TFs - you'll get both. 

I have a clear memory of getting t-3 in alpha on day 1 of being 50 by doing a TF train with K (I have no recollection of their global. Special K, maybe?) I took the shard component in lieu of reward merits, so it was a costly effort, but reward merits drop from the sky more cheaply than shards. Because of the cost of merits, it would be crazy to suggest that to a newer player. Still, I can't help but think players DID do just that on retail. I don't remember doing that, but it seems plausible. 

That doesn't mean it's the right advice of course. I just want a newer player to be told about both pathways if we're going to have two paths. 

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I've never been clear on which content drops which incarnate components.  I just find it easiest to fill my incarnate slots by using a combination of threads + empyrean merits for the rarer components.  My tired old brain can parse those two, simple things, so that's what I go with.  🤷‍♂️

 

I would not even tell anyone that that's the best way to do it.  That's just the way that works best for me.

 

The whole system is a bit too overcomplex, IMO.  Part of the problem (IMO) is that the power ladder diagram in the incarnates tab is designed in such a way that it is not intuitive to figure out by looking at it and reading the explanation text.  I don't know exactly how that could be redesigned to make it more sensible, but it would really be helpful if some work were done to that effect (again, this is JMO).

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34 minutes ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

Eliminate incarnate threads and shards entirely.  Replace them with incarnate potatoes.  Problem solved.

On the one hand, that's a lot of incarnate carbs to work off; on the other hand, incarnate vodka...

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3 hours ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

Eliminate incarnate threads and shards entirely.  Replace them with incarnate potatoes.  Problem solved.

 

Eliminate incarnate threads, shards, emps, astrals, and components and you just buy the tiers with inf.

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Farming Incarnate Salvage - 1 salvage roll every 15 minutes!  ||  Why NO TELLS to join your little MSR thing?

Using DEMORECORD To Find Who Is Sabotaging Lambda Badge Runs  ||  https://www.twitch.tv/oklahomancoh

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3 minutes ago, Oklahoman said:

 

Eliminate incarnate threads, shards, emps, astrals, and components and you just buy the tiers with inf.

 

Well, sure, *I'll* buy them all but what about the potato-loving masses?

Who run Bartertown?

 

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1 hour ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

 

Well, sure, *I'll* buy them all but what about the potato-loving masses?

 

Not sure, but I'll keep my eyes peeled.

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Oklahoman, Okie, Vayne Glorious, Sooner Magic, Treehugging Wacko, Boy Band, etc

Farming Incarnate Salvage - 1 salvage roll every 15 minutes!  ||  Why NO TELLS to join your little MSR thing?

Using DEMORECORD To Find Who Is Sabotaging Lambda Badge Runs  ||  https://www.twitch.tv/oklahomancoh

Excelsior Bases: The Sooner State (OK-8602), Atlas Records (ROCK-29730), Generic Heroes (G-16581), Sooner Nation (SOONER-8490)

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15 hours ago, kelika2 said:

shards were there first, why not get rid of threads?

 

 

Because shards are only used for *one* slot?

 

I mean, seems kind of obvious...

Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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7 hours ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

Eliminate incarnate threads and shards entirely.  Replace them with incarnate potatoes.  Problem solved.

Russet, Golden, Irish, or Idaho?

 

Also, "incarnate potatoes":

th?id=OIP.mDsK4URnRU55Yu_iIe5W5wHaEK%26p

 

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