In my former articles (Part 1 Part 2) we talked about why grinding in Neverwinter feels so unrewarding and more than this playing Neverwinter feels unrewarding as well. Now we will look at a possible solution of our problem.
As said earlier we earn Astral Diamonds to buy nice stuff instead of getting drops directly from the content (or very rarely getting anything of greater value). This system causes several problems. At first the rewards in the playable content is simply piss poor. To get the items you need to improve your character you must go to the auction house or the ZAX.
Here is a simplified graphic to show how the economy of Neverwinter basically looks like.
As you can see the ZEN Market holds almost any valuable item. Of course a lot of items bind on equip and can be sold on the auction house. This way they transfer to the Astral Diamond Market, but their origin is still the ZEN Market. To get these items somebody must have spent money. As the ZAX rises it also devalues our earned Astral Diamonds: A really crappy system!
A last example of the current system and how broken it is and then we will move on to a solution. Coalescent Wards are only obtainable in the ZEN Market. You can get them as a reward from invocation, but the drop rate is less than 3% and it takes 6 to 11+ days for a chance. To upgrade Weapon and Armor Enchantments to Transcendent we need 34 Coalescent Wards, which would currently cost 34,000 ZEN or 320$ or 17,000,000 AD at the current ZAX. This translates into 473 days of refining ADs without a break and without spending your ADs for other items. Only the Coalescent Wards. Crazy!
Neverwinter’s loot system and economical system needs to be restructured and I’ve set up one possibility how you could do it: Delete ADs from the game and also delete any possible source to create it and implement this system:
Okay that looks more complicated as it is, so let me explain. Basically it is what a lot of player want from the game. You earn your Gear (Armor, Weapon, Rings, Neck/Capes, Belts, etc.) through playing the content. Then you can decide either to use it for yourself by finalizing the parts through the profession system, which also binds the gear, or sell it to the auction house. I would recommend to make Tier 1 account bound, Tier 2-4 character bound and Tier 5 account bound again, because Masterwork Professions takes a lot of time.
“But we have no ADs because you idiot deleted them, how can people buy stuff from the AH if we don’t have them anymore?”
With Zen! The only currency that can enter the system is ZEN from players that spend money. It is not exploitable, because nothing is generated out of thin air.
If you want something from the ZEN market you can either spend money and buy it or you have the option to play the game. Get some nice loot and sell it for profit in the AH. Now you have the ZEN to purchase items from the ZEN market. Of course it is very important that there are offers in the AH that are considered as desirable for a player or this system won’t work.
That is also the reason for the rework of the loot system. There must be a guaranteed drop from the boss at the end of the dungeon. As seen in the picture, dungeons are dropping parts. This is similar to Module 2 where Malabog could drop epic weapon parts. You needed the three different ones to produce a full (and BIS) weapon with your Weaponsmithing or Artificing profession. My system does exactly the same. You need the matching parts to produce weapons, gloves, shoes, belts, etc. Since you now have multiple sets of weapon, armor, etc. there are a lot of parts that can drop. So it is kinda important to sort out which sets drop in which dungeon and skirmish.
That’s it for today folks! Let me know what you think of the system in the comments or the forum. In the next part we are going to deal with a few more in-depth questions and the “Mysterious Merchant”!