The Art of ALTing: Solutions

This article is part of our “Alternate Characters Guide” that explains the current functions of alts and the best ways to utilize them. If it feels a bit disjointed, click through to our guide hub, get an introduction, and links to even more related topics.

Invoking & Inventory Space

In the first part of the series I was talking about Invoking and Inventory Space. I don’t think inventory space is a severe issue that has to be dealt with. I’m however puzzled why the devs don’t allow buying unlimited bank space on accounts or characters. With that the viability of ALTs as item holders would disappear immediately. And since this stuff costs ZEN it would also add more revenue than additional characters. What’s not to like?

With Invoking it’s not so easy. Over time the devs changed the Invoking mechanic to no longer grant ADs, but only a bonus. This was a direct answer to people generating ADs by just praying, but didn’t touch another issue. Coalescent Wards are still only attainable through praying and as long as this is the case, people will use their ALT armies for that. Hence the best option in my eyes would be to make Coals available through gameplay. I mean let’s be honest here. Although Coals are technically attainable for free-2-play players, it’s a true bottleneck and as close to pay-2-win as you can get. And the fact that the only way to legitimately “farm” them is maintaining a big account makes it worse.

I like the Dread Ring setup to be honest. The ability to run one daily lair for a chance of an Enchanting Stone is great. The drop rates are reasonable as well. You don’t get frustrated because Stones will drop, but not as much that it has the ability to completely devalue them. Maybe an option would be to add Wards to weekly quests in a similar manner. Our RNG Toolbox says Preservation Wards have a 30% chance to drop from Celestial Coffers and Coals 3%. Why not transfer that chance to weeklies? It would means running all the available weeklies you are probably walking away with a couple Pres Wards per week and doing ~33 of them nets a Coal. That’s 5-6 weeks for one Coal per character. Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Rough Astral Diamonds and Salvage

I think the system of farming Rough Astral Diamonds through the Random Queues and Salvage is already a pretty good setup. You are rewarded by actually playing the game, which is fine. There’s a problem with leveling dungeons however. Those can be completed by anyone starting at level 12 and grant the most RADs for a daily completion. Like PVP they are easily bottable and you don’t actually need a very geared character. It’s not really logical to get more AD for an easy walkthrough than let’s say Fangbreaker Island. The rewards should reflect the difficulty of the content.

In terms of Salvage you could probably make gear salvageable only on the character that farmed it. It’s still important to keep them BoA to be able to gear ALTs, but that would take away the ability to only use them to circumvent the refining cap. With this change however I’d like to see the cap raised to at least 48,000 per character, if not more. Players shouldn’t run into situations where they are stuck with hundreds of thousands of Rough ADs. What you also could do is allow additional refining at a lower effectivity. The first 36,000 Rough Diamonds grant 100% ADs, the next 36,000 only 75% and so on.

Professions and Events

Professions are a complete mess and probably need a full rework. Not only because of the shutdown of the Gateway it’s abundantly clear the system has failed on many levels and the devs need to look into it at some point. In terms of events I think the Protector’s Jubilee or Siege of Neverwinter give a pretty decent example of how events could be structured not to overly favor accounts with many dummy characters.

Especially the Winter Event, as much as I personally like it, needs some sort of rework. The ability to claim a Starlight Parcel per character in seconds is not a good setup. In exchange I’d like events to hand out more significant rewards for progression. Playing an event that focuses on a certain area (like the Siege does with Strongholds) is just a nice incentive to play them and makes the time invested meaningful. Ideally the event task should be one that’s not draining but also not as quick that it can be chain completed by many ALTs on a daily basis.

VIP farms

As I’ve laid out in the post about VIP farms, the concept might not be a real issue because it’s technically not allowed anyway. It is however been done because VIP subscriptions pay for themselves in case you are able to claim the daily Enchanted Key. I find it hard to change this by making the drops bound or attach the key to other activities. Requiring players to at least run a dungeon for the key for example would instantly exclude everyone who can’t play on a given day. That’s not a good solution. So you either live with the consequences or switch to a much more drastic approach.

That said, I personally wouldn’t mind making the VIP package only available through real money purchases. So you either spend ten bucks per account per month or you are no VIP. The packages would need to be removed from the ZEN market and offered on the website instead. That’s unlikely to happen though because it doesn’t fit PWE’s business model.


This wraps up the series about alternate characters. I hope you liked it! Do you have own suggestions how to deal with ALT farms or do you like the system as it is? Share your thoughts and ideas on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 40,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter inspired by the DPS builds of Envy and Rokuthy, he has built up ALTs of all classes and finished Module 5 with five characters in full legendaries and BiS/near-BiS level.

3 thoughts on “The Art of ALTing: Solutions

  • February 7, 2018 at 2:14 pm
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    I always enjoy J0Shi’s blogs and agree with almost everything he posts. But I disagree with almost everything in this article. When did Professions and Invoking, which Sgt Knox TELLS us to do, become not actually playing the game? Time Was, that was the main reason they could call it F2P, but the exact same mechanics is what made the game bottable. Dungeons are no the only Fruit.

    And who EVER created a character just to hold items? I put the same care into creating my latest character as I did with the first. Some I rolled to see the difference between Paragons (no load outs back then), the difference between Races on the same Paragon, and some just because I wanted one of each class for a particular race, just for fun and comparison (yeah, I know, this is not Baldur’s Gate and it takes a long time to equalise characters to properly evaluate things like that).

    When they do a Services 15 or 20% Sale, that usually includes 80% off character slots. So that is 10 character lots for 500 Zen, instead of only two. But some I bought with 15% off coupons, or at full price before there were coupons.

    I had 12 characters by Mod 3 and 15 in Mod 4, with 3 of the new SWs, and I have more than 20 now. True, I was also thinking of Dungeon Delve, Skirmish Hour, Professions and Invoking back in the day when I bought some of those slots. And I still have spare slots waiting on The Druid. But I can’t be bothered with Professions now. Most of the time.

    I have heard this sort of thing being suggested before. There seems to be a split in this desire, between those too cheap and skinflint to buy character slots, and the Uber-BIS. The skinflints can’t be bothered to spend cash, rank up Leadership and manually Invoke/Profess every day, so they did not want others doing it. At the other end are the Uber-BIS exploiters with only a single main and a vast army of multiple bot accounts they don’t use anymore due to their Gateway bot programs no longer working, the fact they do not get any actual AD from Leadership and Invoking anymore and apparently an in-game Bot to Invoke & Profess didn’t work anyway.

    They prefer farming dungeons for salvage and resources because the F2P cheapskates could earn more AD, and the Uber-BIS (in the early days of a new mod) can sell reagents for 1,000,000 AD, get the Dungeons and Skirmish AD and salvage a load of gear as well. So now they want a higher AD limit. Well, use your Alts for salvage.

    So the F2P do not have any Alt Army in the first place, and some of the Uber-BIS have a useless Alt Army they can no longer use. So nerf it!

    Those in the middle, who have always done everything Legit on 20+ characters, are the ones being penalised. Again. And which group spends the most on Zen, I wonder?

    I actually play all my characters. I can’t play all of them every day, but I want them all to have all the Boons up to Mod 8, as I am, indeed, an Alt-aholic and have Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Alts, depending on the level of their Artifacts and how many campaigns they have completed. I am playing my old Mod 2 Perma-Stealth TRs at the moment, characters 5 and 6, (to get those last few boons they never got due to Mod 6 making me abandon them), as well as some much newer Paladins (#16, 17 and 18).

    I like the salvage system just the way it is. I like having a high Bonus AD on all my characters that I can never use up. I always salvage on a different character, anyway. When I run all the weeklies the same day that I do the Random Dungeon and Skirmish I have well over the 36k limit, especially if I get 45k from a level up.

    Events like the Siege and Winter Festival are for new and F2P players to get something half-decent. They are not meant to be farmed by Uber-BIS with the gift that just keeps giving so they can get a ton of epic stuff they do not need just so they can sell it for AD. I am quite happy with the number of BtA Respec Tokens and Pres Wards I got from the Parcels. I did a few Gift parties, but most of my characters still have tons stashed for next year. Again! 🙂

    ~

    I do agree that Professions needs reworking. By the time we could make decent gear, better stuff had been dropping for a long time. I have Rank V Black Ice Shaping on one of each class, and some will still upgrade some Underdark gear, depending on how it compares to Ostorian Relic gear, but we need new recipes for BtA gear. Jewel crafting has been useless since the Personalised Rings became obsolete. But instead of updating Professions, they are giving us higher tier Masterwork that most of us cannot access.

    And I don’t mind a BtA Coal Ward being added to weeklies AS WELL as Celestial Coffers. I’m quite happy saving up 200 coffers for my 3% chance of a Coal Ward, thank you very much. I use them for Trans Weapon and Armour enchants that I use myself, not to sell to generate AD. I have bought some in a 50% sale, as well.

    I stopped going to Dread Ring when my last character got the last Boon during the last 2x Currency event.

    And I don’t mind if the AD per day is increased, although I don’t go to Dread Ring for Red Wizards any more.

    I just don’t want any of the penalties you’ve built in.

    As for VIP being Cash Only, well, they would need to increase their staff, fix all the bugs, re-write all the tool tips to say what actually happens, then fix class balance, remove the Zen Market and make everything earnable in-game, including Enchanted Keys. Then, it might be worth a subscription fee. But they make far too much money from the F2P model, which requires everything you suggest changing.

    But what do I care if some idiot has four VIP accounts? Let him get banned if he gets caught. I think it’s a non-existent problem.

    Reply
    • February 7, 2018 at 11:17 pm
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      Thanks for your detailed opinion on the topic! Cheers!

      Reply
      • February 7, 2018 at 11:36 pm
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        And thank you for your thoughtful blog! After the random queue thing, coming before the wounds of Keygate, Wardgate, Gatewaygate, Leadershipgate and Invocationgate had barely healed, I really don’t want anything else to feck me up. I am a bit sensitive to changes that could affect my beloved Alts. I am nowhere near BIS on any of them, but I am having fun.

        And one day I will resurrect one of my Mains and try getting in to FBI!

        Leave genuine, legit customers with 20+ characters on a single account alone. We have suffered enough because of Bots. And we all know that the bots that destroyed the economy and created the Astral Diamond Fountain were run by players, not Chinese Gold farmers.

        And most of those players are still there.

        🙂

        Reply

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