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One reason why players aren’t too thrilled about the upcoming Salvage changes in Module 15 is the fact that it’s yet another nerf in a long list of economy / AD related ones. We’ve already that it sometimes feels like the only answer the devs have in terms of balancing the economy is to take away the current best way of generating wealth. Of course MMOs as evolving games always need some adjustments here and there. And well, if there’s too much of X, nerfing X seems like an obvious choice. But if that’s all you do, it’ll get annoying for players over time.
So we thought that adding some context to the discussion is interesting and could help. So let’s sit down and compile a (probably incomplete) list of economy / AD related nerfs. Have fun with it!
Removing Profession Nodes from Various Solo Lairs
In the very early stages of the game profession or skill nodes were actually useful. During the vanilla days they dropped Rank 4 Enchantments, which was a nice reward back then. Players figured out that nodes would refresh every time they entered certain solo instances. So a fairly interesting cat-and-mouse game ensued. The devs removed nodes from the lair everyone was farming, and the playersbase would then move on to the next best location, until that got nerfed as well. It might sound funny, but actually was a pain in the butt. Unfortunately not only players but also swarms of bots farmed the nodes, which is why the devs felt they had to step in.
Add a Loot Cap to Profession Nodes
Just removing nodes turned out to not be enough. New modules brought new lairs, new nodes, and new areas to farm. So the devs decided to target the issue more globally and simple add a loot cap to profession nodes. Players could only loot about 20 skill nodes within a certain period of time. After that, you would only get vendor trash.
Strip Refinement from Profession Nodes
The above nerf hit legit players more than bots (which applies to most stuff on this list by the way). Why? Because bots could just switch accounts and characters and bypass the new shiny cap. So the last play the devs had was stripping refinement from nodes altogether. RIP. They added Insignias and other stuff as replacement, but is anyone actually still farming them?
Rework RAD from Invocation to a RAD Bonus
This might be a minor one, but it still had massive impact on how accounts could utilize their alt toons. Back in the day, full 50-toon accounts were the norm. Not that anyone could actually play so many characters, it was all about simply logging in once per day, grab your daily Ardent Coin and some RADs. At some point the devs decided this is too good and changed RADs from invoking into a bonus instead. You could still use it by transferring Salvage, but the whole process got a lot more complicated.
Rework Invocation to a 6-Step Process
Not sure whether this happened at the same time they changed RAD to a bonus or it was an individual nerf/rework. But the second big change to invocation was changing the reward structure to a 6-step process. Logging in once per day and get all the rewards was changed to six pray cycles with increasing cooldowns that gradually dish out better rewards as you move up. It was a clear nerf towards alts, because you suddenly had to go through the whole account six times per day instead of just once. Theoretically doing the full cycle was more profitable than before, but it was a pain. I know I never did it on all of my alts, but I know a lot of folks that actually put in the work.
Before 2017 the chests at the end of dungeons would let players look into it and only consume a key on accepting the contents. If you didn’t like what you saw, you could cancel and move on. The devs suddenly declared this as bug, and wanted to fix it after it had been live for years (literally!). A shitstorm ensued, Cryptic rushed to rework the system, and added more loot to compensate for the change.
I guess it’s controversial to include this here, because it didn’t directly target player income. But Keygate did indeed impact the way players would farm dungeons. After all, it wasn’t even as bad (and I plan to write about that soon), but given the outrage at the time, this definitely felt like a nerf.
Let’s move on to the next “gate”. Coalgate unlike Keygate is not controversial at all. It was a clear nerf to the economy. In the early stages of the game Coalescent Wards were not a ZEN store exclusive, but also available on the Trade Bar store. Opening the right lockboxes back in the day was very profitable because the contents on average were worth more than one Enchanted Key. That’s still the case today in some situations, but back then it wasn’t even close. A big reason for that was Coals being available on the Trade Bar store because it directly added value to lockboxes.
That however also led to the fact that Coals at all times were much cheaper than their ZEN price tag. You bet that the devs didn’t like that, right? So what they did was remove Wards from the store, stating that it was unintended that items featured on both the ZEN and the Trade Bar store. Yeah… I mean, it could technically be true, but let’s say the explanation didn’t convince everyone. What made matters worse was that the devs pulled an evil bait and switch on consoles, because they first announced Trade Bar price reductions and when people had stacked on Keys and ZEN (thanks to well-timed sales), they changed their announcement and instead removed Coals entirely. It was a mess.
Thanks to Cloud in the comments for adding some info on Coalgate. Our initial post was slightly wrong.
This is the first part of our list of AD and economy related nerfs. Yes, that’s not nearly everything that got changed throughout the years. So stay tuned for more!
Have you witnessed or were you impacted by some stuff on this list? What’s your personal toplist of worst economy / AD related nerfs? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!
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