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6.0 in Summary - A Tale of Credit Sinks

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
6.0 in Summary - A Tale of Credit Sinks

KendraP's Avatar


KendraP
12.12.2019 , 06:18 PM | #1
First, compliments where they are due - I enjoy the new story and renewed imp v pub focus, and the gearing is not as bad as I thought.

Now on to the substance - the reason I just took a 2 week pokehiatus (i.e. playing pokemon shield, and for the first time since emerald I took the time to complete a pokedex) and dont feel bad in the slightest.

First - the failure to scale content to 75.

The game is obviously not getting new content at any sort of sustainable pace. I accepted this a long time ago, or I wouldnt be a subscribing player. That said, their solution to this in the past was to scale all content to max level, thus all content was still "relevant".

Obviously, we'd all prefer more new content. Because this seems impossible, I suggest they go back to their prior method of raising the level cap for content. This is also related to gearing because, frankly, I am struggling to see a point behind getting optimized everything for my toons, when there is only one operation that it's actually "useful" in. More on the gear later.

I'm not sure if trying to push the new op on people is a factor in this, like it obviously was with ossus and gearing circa 5.10. If so, I suggest this is misguided. You are obviously incapable of making new ops at an appropriate pacing to make this feasible. Give it up and scale everything.

That brings me to the next point:
Second: the new group finder operations

I like the idea of encouraging more people to do operations. All this has done, however, is ensure that people do not get the group finder reward. As a frequent pug raid lead and main tank, theres no way I'm taking 7 random people into a monolith, not with the average player in this game. I suggest reverting it back to the way it was, or maybe making it 2 options, where the one boss op changes daily also.

As it stands now, I usually just dont bother going for the weekly reward, or if I do, I do the same thing I do with MM FP and game it with a friend. I run frequently with my healer friend. So we take turns, I'll queue random, and he queues hammer station. Then flip and we both get the daily reward for random, and since we're a tank and healer combo, we generally get matched together.

For operations, for instance, I would queue with 6 others and my friend would queue the gf of the day, if we do another one, we switch who gets the gf credit. And again, since we are a tank healer combo, and even more so since nobody randomly queues for ops, 7/8 people get credit for random op, minus the random.

Third: Gearing, my thoughts

First and foremost, I do prefer this to Ossus, though NOT to 5.9.

I do not like not having a way to target a specific piece or mod/enhancement. Getting to 306 gear was relatively easy, now getting BiS mods for every set of gear I want? Complete pain that is totally dependent on the RNG gods, and its 100k a pop to pull a mod out of a useless piece to put it in a useful one. Ouch, and credit sink #1.

I have also noticed that because of my second point in conjunction with the fastest way to gear being stealth RR and MM HS, ops queues have dried up. The issue here, of course, is that there are such a huge variety of items now that I cant simply suggest you add BIS gloves to say brontes (or whatever).

Because you want credit sinks, I suggest two things here:
1. Add a vendor to sell mods/enh for credits and/or tech fragments (and maybe one of the useless ones or lower ilevel ones or something, pay to trade). I've gotten probably a hundred lethal 80a mods, which do literally nothing for me.

2. Re-add tokens to ops bosses. If you want to leave the cost in credits, whatever. But to encourage people to ditch the MM HS grind (of which I myself am guilty), Ops should be a faster gearing method than FP grinding. Maybe say credits and say bestia drops a certificate you can trade for whatever set piece pants you want. Leave the tech frag system in place as is, so then you have a choice of methods.

Next in this section: PvP gearing
Gearing via pvp frankly sucks. I'm not entirely sure what to do here, the daily and weekly crates are ok, just as they are everywhere else they exist. Maybe up the tech fragment accrual rate via pvp.

Next, crafted tacticals. The schematics for these should be obtainable in a predictable, reliable manner. Two of the tacticals I want, i either missed while I was off on my pokehiatus or they dont even exist yet. Given how absurdly expensive crafting is, I fail to see why the applicable crafting skills cannot learn these from their trainer. You seem to like credit sinks. Make them expensive and throw them on the trainer.

Finally, last comment on gearing is my personal pet peeve of 6.0, and credit sink #2: amplifiers.

I've been saying for months these things were conceptually stupid. They obviously do make a difference in dps/hps, and thus, are min/max tools. They are also absurdly expensive and overly random. Either drop the cost to something tiny (I'm talking like 500 credits) or eliminate the randomness and let me pick which one I want for say, 1 mill an amplifier. Or better yet, scrap them altogether. But since I know that's not happening, use one of my two other options.

Fourth: the guild conquest window

Could we make this update and tally properly, please?

Fifth, and finally: crafting

Aka credit sink #3. This is so absurd that augmentation kits are going for over 1 mill each. Just, basic things like stims and augment kits should be relatively inexpensive for everyone. Make the expensive stuff the aforementioned tacticals. Another idea: if you dont like my vendor for mods/enh idea, make BIS ones craftable. It will inevitably be expensive and time consuming, but it would be a guaranteed method of getting them. Today's changes are a huge step in the right direction. I feel there is still work to be done, and hope you will continue to monitor the situation.

Some Final Thoughts

Your credit sinks are hurting your loyal players who arent manipulating the system, while simultaneously helping those who are, and I deign say the largest beneficiaries are the credit spammers. Let's use myself as an example here. I work 8-12 hour days, 5 days a week, the occasional weekend. I don't feel like spending my off time on a credit grind that then goes into one repair bill. I have never bought credits off the spammers. I had enough left from selling charged matters that I went into this expansion with say 300 million credits. I've spent them on nothing except gearing, repairs, etc, (i.e. nothing cosmetic off the GTN) and I'm down to 94 mill. Given my schedule I have no way of revamping this investment in game. Were there say, a credit token avaliable off the CM for actual money, just maybe I'd do that. In the meantime, what am I to do when I reach the inevitable point where I'm too poor to buy gear? Sure, I can take advantage of my friends who have more time than I do, but that shouldnt be my only option. Cut down the credit sinks and/or add creds for coins.

TLDR: the decision to not scale stuff to 75 was stupid, the new ops gf sucks, amplifiers are as stupid as I said they were, gearing has a few more issues, fix the guild conquest window, and crafting needs more improvements and additions.

Nemmar's Avatar


Nemmar
12.12.2019 , 07:44 PM | #2
Ok, i can't read all atm so i will only address the first point, wich i think is the most important, to say i agree.

The random caps on some stats but not others is very bizarre. It is telling the player to get a gear set for level 70 ops and another for level 75 ones. I am sure that is not the intention and it devalues the worth of the new level 75 gear we can acquire.

So, there needs to be something done. Either as suggested raise all ops to level cap and unlock all stats, or if your intent is to not have to do that with every expansion, change the way gear scales (or in fact doesn't) in level 70 ops.
I mean, i guess you can just lock all stats so at least there isn't the need to have 2 gear sets.
Things like power trinkets and adrenals/stims not having any effect cause of this cap is punitive as well. Please change this.

Stormcrest's Avatar


Stormcrest
12.12.2019 , 11:09 PM | #3
All of these are good points, but a big part of the problem is probably that this game had a rocky development leading to a controversial launch, with stories about how Mythic (the DAOC developer) had to throw 90% of the game together at the last minute since come the initial release date allegedly all Bioware had going for them was pride in their writing and sound design. If there is any truth to this, it explains why the game systems are Spaghetti, and fixing seemingly simple problems might not be as simple as you think as fixing one thing can break another when it comes to code. As this was not "The WoW-killer of legend" and while profitable was not what was hoped I have no idea what their design team is like.

See, I have some belief that they could say fix the armor set I am upset about being bugged, but anything major like level balancing or *lol* "fixing PVP" might be nearly impossible from a code perspective. I've done a lot of beta testing, and was a tester at a time before it simply became code for "morons who we can ignore while we stress test the servers" so having talked to MMO coders I know it's not as straight forward as many people think as from a code perspective a seemingly simple fix or change can cause a massive cascade of changes to other systems and break more stuff than it fixes. This is why seemingly unrelated things can suddenly fail when a patch makes a change. Simply put I cannot see any kind of sudden, radical, change in SWTOR, and honestly hoping for more content based around the broken systems in place is probably more practical (and probably better for the game in keeping people playing) is probably more reasonable than hoping for serious fixes to things like oh say... targeting (referencing another message talking about unresolved problems multiple-years old). Besides there is no point to a bunch of content people no longer play due to burning out on it now working perfectly... that can kill the game as sure as anything.

As far as the credit sinks in the game, I myself have some issues here. I do not like the idea that my repairs now cost more than I am likely to pull down in your average FP. On the other hand like any other MMO the economy right now is a victim of inflation, this happens in any environment where money is produced limitlessly by just killing stuff. Pretty much every MMO in history has run into the problem that everything becomes unaffordable to "balanced" low level characters based on what high level characters can make in theory, and what proportional value winds up being with most of the game players at endgame.

The thing is also MMO companies also refuse to police their game, tragically the biggest victim is allowing cheaters, exploiters, and people who are let's simply call bad sportsman take over. Right below that though is the fact that there are entire tribes of math and economic geeks who pride themselves on decimating fictional economies faster than they would fall on their own to "prove a point", or even just for lulz. I was here from the beginning of SWTOR and from day #1 we had people playing the market and laughing about how they were going to tank things in record time. On my old WoW server (Shadow Council) there was at one time a player called "Azureheart" who basically managed to take over the entire bloody economy and set prices on everything almost single handedly.... simply put the GMs refuse to intervene in PVP, economics, or anything else, they let the players run rampant, and thus these problems exist in every game. If some day we see a GOOD MMO, there will need to be among other things full time PVP refs, and GMs whose job it is to monitor and maintain the economy if nothing else..... that said I do not see this happening in the current era. Perhaps when MMOs die out and "come around again" in some form decades later (I''ll probably be 80) enough old fogeys will remember to finally do it right.... simply put an MMO is a playground, and as teachers learned from the beginnings of schools, the adults need to supervise. The ability of a handfull of people to have a tremendous impact on a server in an MMO should be well documented right now, as is the fact that mostly those people will act to annoy all the other people for "lulz" just because they can.

As far as fixing Operations, FPs, and other things... I've returned over the last few weeks, and I like what they are trying to do, but simply put they need to tweak almost all of them if they want to have a true "looking for raid" mode where a bunch of casuals can wing what was formerly hardcore endgame content. If nothing else your average PUG does not have the patience or capacity to learn. For example I was running "The NEthema Conspiracy" I think it was called, I plowed through to the last boss, replacing people who gave up all the way... we got to the final boss, and eventually I simply could not find people who were willing to put in the effort to learn it. The whole "wipe until we get it right" mentality that caused me to be one of the hardest people on my server in my era of WoW just does not exist with this level of player. Of course when your looking at the current repair bills (20k per death on average) I suppose that also prevents people from being willing to learn when it could take 120k credits just to wipe half a dozen times trying to figure out mechanics and try different approaches.

I think one big problem is to make the FPS and Ops all "puggable" they need to not just change numbers, but also code things so mechanics change based on group content, and disappear entirely or become more forgiving when on " casual mode". They might do this to some extent already ( am new to SWTOR endgame, I never cared before, and really being a filthy casual nowadays the LFR-type stuff is the only reason I bother) but if they do, they do not do so sufficiently. What's more there are no clues to what the mechanics might even be in some cases.... for example when I started that NEthema Conspiracy thing (I think I aced a single player version before my latest absence) nobody knew anything about it in the initial group, and none of the bosses gave ANY indication of their mechanics that I could see.... that is broken design. I am still not entirely sure how the final boss was supposed to work, and suspect it might have been bugging.

KendraP's Avatar


KendraP
12.13.2019 , 03:07 PM | #4
I was operating on the assumption that they were short staffed and sweeping changes were unlikely.

That assumption is why I was saying 6 months ago that they shouldn't make large sweeping changes they would be unable to fix later.

Alas, they did it anyway, and now it seems its here to stay, and theres no outcry like there was back in 5.0.

I guess I'm going to have to decide how to come up with credits to support myself somehow, because it seems everyone else is fine with repairs being ridiculous and having credit sinks everywhere.

aerockyul's Avatar


aerockyul
12.13.2019 , 05:05 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by KendraP View Post
Alas, they did it anyway, and now it seems its here to stay, and theres no outcry like there was back in 5.0.

I guess I'm going to have to decide how to come up with credits to support myself somehow, because it seems everyone else is fine with repairs being ridiculous and having credit sinks everywhere.
That is pretty much how I feel about 6.0 re: the points you've mentioned (most noticeably gearing). I don't like it for multiple reasons, but the people I've talked to in-game love or at least like it with few complaints, and I hear you on the lack of outcry here that I was expecting. It's simply gob-smacking to me the number of people that love, defend, tolerate running the same content hundreds of times like that was intended or "the right way" to do something, and then YOU are the problem for not doing it, too. It makes me feel very ambivalent anymore about bothering to join group content again. I've just gone back to my solo ways and don't see myself doing endgame content anymore.

I'm just taking gear as it comes now. Not chasing, not even thinking about it other than collecting each piece that will help unlock the achievements someday, hopefully before they "fix" gearing again in 7.0 and invalidate all the achievements anyway. I'll not be wasting my credits on buying gear. My Space Barbie-related GTN budget is thin enough as it is.
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KendraP's Avatar


KendraP
12.13.2019 , 05:27 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by aerockyul View Post
That is pretty much how I feel about 6.0 re: the points you've mentioned (most noticeably gearing). I don't like it for multiple reasons, but the people I've talked to in-game love or at least like it with few complaints, and I hear you on the lack of outcry here that I was expecting. It's simply gob-smacking to me the number of people that love, defend, tolerate running the same content hundreds of times like that was intended or "the right way" to do something, and then YOU are the problem for not doing it, too. It makes me feel very ambivalent anymore about bothering to join group content again. I've just gone back to my solo ways and don't see myself doing endgame content anymore.

I'm just taking gear as it comes now. Not chasing, not even thinking about it other than collecting each piece that will help unlock the achievements someday, hopefully before they "fix" gearing again in 7.0 and invalidate all the achievements anyway. I'll not be wasting my credits on buying gear. My Space Barbie-related GTN budget is thin enough as it is.
Honestly, I've accepted the lack of new content. It's the inevitable fact that new content is going to be slow coming, in conjunction wtih their failure to "raise" the level cap on old content, resulting in a gear grind that's 99% pointless.

Storm-Cutter's Avatar


Storm-Cutter
12.13.2019 , 06:39 PM | #7
While there are new and sometimes large credit sinks in the game, there are still billions in the economy and lots of ways to relieve other players ( quite legitimately) of their hard earned credits.

With rare mats going at 250K to 1.5M each, with dyes and crafted items being in demand, with raw materials needed, there is still the opportunity to prize credits from their characters and put it in one's own bank.

If you reduce your spending to minimum and just play the game, credits trickle in. If you play clever, you can make millions every week, by doing conquest, dailies, FPs, ops, PVP, GSF and stuff.

You dont always have to have a full gear set, with augments, in the exact style of your choosing from the CM.... Just cut your cloth to suit your budget.

GL.
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phalczen's Avatar


phalczen
12.13.2019 , 08:10 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by KendraP View Post
First - the failure to scale content to 75.
Yeah, so they claimed that continually re-scaling all the old content every-time the level cap increased was unsustainable. So this wasn't as much a failure as intentional. But they never really explained why. If I asked once, I asked ten times:
1) Were the developers concerned about content being trivialized for players at level cap in near BiS gear?
2) Were the developers concerned that as the level cap was increased, and the delta between level 50s and capped players got wider and wider, that even Bolster would not be enough to make the lower levels competitive?

Maybe its a mixture of both. But whatever the primary motivation was, hiding it from us adversely affected the quality of feedback. We told them that the 1st version of the new scaling tech, that level locked players down to the original level of the content (think level 50 for EV/KP/EC, level 70 for GOTM, etc.), was still too easy. MM EC was apparently completed by a pair of players in 306 set bonus gear. But this new iteration, largely unchanged from PTS to live, with this strange level 70 scaling, seems more like a cop out than logical. I mean, the only reason to choose 70 is because they had already done all the work in previous expansions balancing the older content for the level cap at 70.

Personally, I think they should have just kept the original-level scaling tech and nerfed the player stats down to an iRating level commensurate to what the BiS was at the time, with a floor at the level of artifact crafted gear. So, a player going into any difficulty mode of, say, EV, would never have stats better than iRating 154. A player going into any difficulty mode of GOTM would be no higher than 258. And they would never have stats lower than iRating 228 (for GOTM) or 124 (for EV). This range would be compared to the range of the level 75 player's iRating, 270-306, and the "Veteran's Edge" stacking buff we have now would determine where in the range a player would fall. The stats in question would be mastery, power, Tech power, Force power, endurance, and critical rating. Accuracy and Alacrity would be retained since honestly these are sort of set goals rather than moving targets.

This would, in effect, keep harder but older content challenging (MM EC for example), but honestly, between set bonuses, tacticals, utilities, and upgraded abilities, a level cap player would still have a much easier time than an at-level player. SM EV would still be just as much of a cakewalk as it is currently, and fresh 50s wouldn't struggle.

It also allows the Devs to fix current issues existing with the scaling of the Eternal Championship, VM/MM Chapters, Star Fortresses, whatever.

I know lots of people just absolutely love the feeling of being powerful and curbstomping everything in their path because their gear in 5.x was so much more powerful with those excess tertiary stats plus a level sync often 2 levels higher than original. But most high end raiders would prefer the older content be more like its previous difficulty level. As I said, there are enough differences between a fresh 50 and a level 75 in 306 with full tacticals and set bonuses and all their utilities that I hardly doubt the level 75 will "struggle."
Quote: Originally Posted by KendraP View Post
Second: the new group finder operations
I dunno. I think this is more the players fault than the devs. Colossal Monolith is highlighted as the only problem. The event bosses (when relevant), TC, and Hive Queen are easy enough or recent in people's collective memory. That being said, to this day I still encounter pugs who have never done, for example, Xenoanalyst, and it won't be long until the same things said about CM will be said about Hive Queen. Its two issues really:
1. First , maybe the devs have some responsibility to nerf the mechanics of SM CM so that its easier for pugs, or provide more system messages to steer players to the mechanics. I think that's a reasonable request.
2. It also falls on players to do the research, read the guides, teach what they know to other players, etc. It's definitely been a while since I've done CM but the guide is still on Dulfy and still relevant. Its fallen on me many times to go over mechanics of the bosses in DP all over text chat to more than one pug. I enjoy doing that. I realize many pugs include people with such limited attention-span who wish they could just blast through TC and get their reward, they're the same people who won't wait for me to swap out my gear before the next boss in Hammer Station, or leave if I ask to do the bonus bosses in "the main 4" as I like to call them (Master Mode Hammer, Mando, Cademimu, Athiss). There are impatient people in this game and in the world but for every impatient person there is also someone interested in learning. I'd rather take the chance there's someone new to ops who is educable than the chance I'd upset someone by leaving CM checked.

Quote: Originally Posted by KendraP View Post
Third: Gearing, my thoughts
Yeah, this was definitely better than I expected. I was disappointed in the lack of crates associated with other weekly areas. I'm not sure the renown rewards are enough to partially offset the loss of a crate, but I realize they want people to play the new areas. I mean its basically what they did with Ossus. It isn't as much play your way as they made it seem, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be either.

Compared to Galactic Command circa 5.9 though, I think SoW is better. I've always preferred systems that awarded personal loot in addition to the rolls. It was far too easy, even in 5.9, to end up with nothing at the end of an op, and the unassembled component yield from disintegrating tier 4 crates was nothing compared to what we get now.

BiS takes long because of the multiple iterations of lettered mods more than anything else. What they bring in customization has its costs in RNG. I do wish that would get pared down a bit, as it would help mitigate the RNG. I disagreed with the removal of refundability but I understand they wanted a credit and Tech Fragment sink. I don't know that BiS means the same thing anymore, its not quite as clear cut as it was in 5.x. There is still tons of debate around stat budgets. But once you get your set bonus and tactical pieces for your mains, this becomes a place to spend the TFs on. I fully realize you could buy hundreds of random Mods and never get the Lethal 80 unlettered mod you're seeking (or whatever). Perhaps if the lettered variants can't be pared down, the categories of item modifications could be expanded to help people narrow down the range of mods they're rolling on (higher mastery vs higher endurance vs higher secondary/tertiary stat). Perhaps Kai could sell a random BiS item modification in addition to his other wares each weekend. I think the system needs tweaking just like GC did.

Quote: Originally Posted by KendraP View Post
Fifth, and finally: crafting
Totally with you on this one. The changes in 6.0.2 helped me to make Artifact assembly components/cell grafts/etc with less materials, and I learned the purple augments pretty quickly. But as for those purple augments, the rare exotic requirement for purple augments isn't worth the difference in tertiary stats over blues. Not to mention artifact grade 10 rating 228 augments have more tertiary stat than the blue grade 11s. And I don't think they touched the RE chance on biochem consumables at all. At least the artifact ones don't require any exotics. If it makes more sense for me to make the reusable grade 10 biochem stuff, and stick with grade 10 augments, then the system is broken.
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aristein's Avatar


aristein
12.13.2019 , 08:46 PM | #9
The capping player levels for most of the content is indeed weird, and doesn't work that well (makes end game gearing less valuable most of the time). But for me, I think it is the compounding that really screws things up;

1) They didn't just raise that mat costs to craft. They dramatically raised the mat cost compounded with having to make lots of green components to make a few blue components, to make a couple purple components....compounded with making fp/ops only mats required....compounded with making conquest only mats required....compounded with drastic drops in reverse engineering rates...compounded with mats from several gathering skills needed to make things.

2) They not only cap players level and stats, but they nerf companions, they buff mobs, and they make repairs costly.

3) It's kind of the same with credit sinks. They didn't just create all kinds of credit sinks, but it is compounded by lower credit rewards, higher repair costs, higher gear prices (1 million credits per piece), combined with higher gtn prices due to crafting being more expensive and time consuming. So now any casual player that doesn't farm and/or craft for the gtn is going to be poor.

Then when they go to "fix" the problem they created, they don't think about compounding. They just look at each change separately.
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sharkfishman's Avatar


sharkfishman
12.13.2019 , 08:58 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by aristein View Post
The capping player levels for most of the content is indeed weird, and doesn't work that well (makes end game gearing less valuable most of the time). But for me, I think it is the compounding that really screws things up;

1) They didn't just raise that mat costs to craft. They dramatically raised the mat cost compounded with having to make lots of green components to make a few blue components, to make a couple purple components....compounded with making fp/ops only mats required....compounded with making conquest only mats required....compounded with drastic drops in reverse engineering rates...compounded with mats from several gathering skills needed to make things.

2) They not only cap players level and stats, but they nerf companions, they buff mobs, and they make repairs costly.

3) It's kind of the same with credit sinks. They didn't just create all kinds of credit sinks, but it is compounded by lower credit rewards, higher repair costs, higher gear prices (1 million credits per piece), combined with higher gtn prices due to crafting being more expensive and time consuming. So now any casual player that doesn't farm and/or craft for the gtn is going to be poor.

Then when they go to "fix" the problem they created, they don't think about compounding. They just look at each change separately.
Great post. 100% accurate.
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