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.
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!
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