Endgame Accessibility and Enchanting (/w Solutions)

Lordhelmos Profile Options #1

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I know there are a lot of threads about enchanting. Personally I have not really openly complained about the current enchanting systems of TERA until I started to think about how these systems will impact the expansion of the game.

The Situation:

Player A (Mr. Lucky): Queues for Balder's Temple shortly after hitting 50 and gets his enigmatic weapon in one run. This player is relatively unskilled but is lucky enough to only have to run Fane of Kaprima two times to get an enigmatic chest. He buys the rest of his sleeper gear from the broker for relatively cheap. While enchanting Player A +9s his weapon and chest with only four failures. He enchants his boots and gloves up to +9 with similar luck and only spends about 3000 gold.

Player B (Mr. Rage): Repeat queues for Balder's Temple but never sees a weapon after 20 runs. Mr. Rage is forced to buy all his gear from the broker for obscene amounts, breaking to the point of buying chronoscrolls for real money and selling them to afford his weapon. While enchanting this player is only able to enchant his gear to +6 and his weapon to +7 after 43 failures on both his chest and weapon to gain +8 on either. This player has already spent over 30,000 gold on advancement.

Enchanting and Progression:

Progression in TERA is very gear oriented. High + modifiers on gear and masterwork weapons are almost essential for endgame content (HMs and Kelsaik). Entry into endgame instances is dictated by item level, which is directly effected by enchanting and to a huge degree. Certain stat bonuses (such as +dmg to bosses and 16% attack speed on enigma weapons) are essential to beating endgame DPS checks.

Enchanting is directly linked to progression towards hard modes and true endgame in TERA. In a skill-based game with a live-action combat system, players that have experiences similar to Mr. Rage will be GATED from endgame (Hardmode) access not because of their lack skill or capability; but simply because of SHEER LUCK.

There is nothing more frustrating that knowing that your good enough, knowing that your a better player than than Mr. Lucky who 1 shot +9 in one go... but end up being left out of groups and being gated from content because your were just not LUCKY enough.

If the heuristics of the server are checked and entry logs into dungeons were looked at, what do you think you would see when looking at the entry records into hard mode dungeons? How often are they being done? How many players are gated from actual endgame content in TERA due to unlucky enchanting then coming on the forums to complain about the endgame not being there?

The reality of the situation is that many players will not deal with being barred from content (that is barely run) because they are unlucky. They might simply move on to what they believe might be greener pastures (TSW, GW2, Pandaland).

You have to think about the success of World of Warcraft, which was launched as an extremely accessible game in a world dominated by mainstream MMOs with extremely punishing game systems. Think de-leveling in Lineage 2, or corpse running in EQ, or the elitist and force-grouping community of FF11.

Then you have WoW -which at the time threw all of these systems in the toilet. People scarred from those systems that came to WoW immediately developed loyatly to their new game because they discovered that those those horrible things would NEVER EVER happen in Azeroth.

Dangers of New Content:

The problem is that new content for TERA is about to drop with QoA Part II. This will likely end up raising the gear scores and entry demands for dungeons / new game additions. The question is, how many of the general population will be gated from new content due to bad luck? How many will tolerate it?

How many people will realistically be able to attempt to fight Chandra Manaia just because they were lucky? How many good players will be barred because they can't get those +'s no matter how hard they try or how many chronoscrolls they buy?

While luck is perfectly acceptable to be a factor in progression, it should not be one of the main defining factors. Players should be gated from dungeons and content because they are not skilled enough. Players should be gated because they can't dodge or block attacks or because they haven't learned boss patterns.

Entry max-level content should be immediately accessible to new players then lead them up a progression ladder with a fair curve (not like the dominating random factor that sets the advancement pace in TERA). Endgame content should be hard, Kelsaik is a great example of this. However the ability to access and see this content should not so heavily hinge on dicey enchanting. The current system will give TERA considerable growing pains due to many players being stuck at normal FoK and BT and not being able to see anything more because of enchantment gating.

The end content is there, but players can't see it beyond the luck rolls. The majority of players that aren't lucky are more inclined to leave the game if their static group moves on without them simply because they can't +9. This is a very deadly problem for the future growth of the game.

The current system causes groups of friends to grow and progress unevenly. It puts unskilled players at hardmode ready levels due to luck while punishing skilled players who consistently fail enchantments.

TL;DR Accessibility:

The main point of this is that the enchanting system in its current form prevents ACCESSBILITY to TERA endgame based on chance and nothing else. The endgame of TERA might be there, but the majority of the population doesn't see it due to the chance gating. Hardmodes are left empty and Kelsaik is left unkilled on every server, every week.

Accessibility is hugely important to the success of the game. People that get "stuck" unfairly with nothing to do will just get bored and quit. And guess what? There's alot of places where they can go.

Content should be accessible to everyone, but actual completion or success should occur because of skill. Players should get stuck progressing not because their gear won't plus, but because the dungeon is freaking hard and the group is wiping more then a gerber baby with a smelly diaper.

Let us take a look at raiding in RIFT and the release of Sunwell in WoW. People didn't get stuck on progression simply because gear, they got stuck because the bosses were hard and had some insane mechanics. Take Akylios for example, who was a 4 phase boss with a 30min. enrage timer.

There should be HARD content in TERA to gate progression. Hell, it would be fine to release bosses that are too hard, then tone them down after world firsts to improve guess what: ACCESSIBILITY.

Now the enchanting system in TERA is the PRIMARY gateway for accessibility and does not work because it bars content access based on CHANCE and nothing else.

Can it work? Sure! However enchanting has to be changed to allow players to have the chance to realistically meet the gear requirements of dungeons with relative ease. Gating players through content should be done by making hard content and by forcing players to clear areas of previous difficulty before being allowed to advance. Gear should be supplementary and a preparation reward for the next tier of wipes.

If the enchanting system places +9 as the PRIMARY method of dungeon entry, the +9 should be realistically obtainable through systems that rely less on chance and more on repetition of content and learning.

Making Enchanting Work: Examples of system changes that support accessibility and allowing players to progress on more than just chance:

The Badge Currency System

The badge currency system is a relatively easy system that has worked in almost every MMO. By repeatedly clearing dungeons, players are awarded tokens that they may be able to use in order to purchase upgrades that allow them to more easily progress into the next tier of content. Many players may recognize these as marks of ascension from RIFT, or badge tokens from WoW. This is a good system and it works because it ensures that all players that clear a dungeon or segment of content always receive an award and are never STUCK in one leg of content long because of bad luck or gearscore.

So how can this system work with enchanting in TERA?

Simple. Create tier vendors that allow players to more easily progress through enchanting their gear. These tier vendors will also be used to implement a METHOD OF ADVANCEMENT THAT DOES NOT RELY ON JUST PURE CHANCE.

Example: The Tier 12 Badge Merchant:

Kapriman Brace (Cost: 50 Temple Marks):
Places an enchanting brace on the item that ensures a 100% success rate as long as a blue or gold item is consumed for the enchant. Soulbinds the item it is used on to the player. Only usable on Tier 12 items. Only usable for enchantment ranks 1-6. Soulbound.

Balderic Brace (Cost: 100 Temple Marks):
Places an enchanting brace on the item that ensures a 100% success rate as long as a gold item is consumed for the enchant. Soulbinds the item it is used on to the player. Only usable on Tier 12 items. Only usable for enchantment ranks 7-9. Soulbound.

Tier 12 Scroll of Divine Craftmanship(Cost: 500 Temple Marks):
Masterworks a Tier 12 weapon with a 100% success rate. The masterworked weapon targeted by this scroll becomes soulbound to the user. (Sleeper weapons now become masterworkable as each tier set will now have its own unique set of items). Soulbound.

Temple marks are earned by running Tier 12 dungeons, which include:

-Fane of Kaprima
-Balder's Temple
-Hard Mode Ebon Tower
-Hard Mode Labyrinth of Terror
-Kelsaik's Nest (Normal)

To entice players into expanding their dungeon variety, a new daily dungeon quest is added to the game that awards players additional temple marks for completing one randomly chosen dungeon per day. Also a badge limit per day or even week can be imposed on dungeons to control how fast players are able to accumulate badges.

Additional consumables can also be added to the tier vendors to allow for a currency sink. Once a weapon is masterworked players can then deal with the RNG system if they want that much of an edge, as badges only allow players to masterwork items and go to +9. This should be left as is in order to keep the value of gold high due to the presence of trying to perfect a masterwork weapon as a goldsink.

This offers players an ALTERNATE route of progression, improves the stimulus to engage in dungeon and endgame content running, and also prevents players from being gated from endgame access due to bad luck.

Players can either chance the enchanting system and if they aren't lucky enough they have the badges to fall back on. As long as players are participating in dungeons they will advance. Yes some players might advance slowly but this prevents players from being STUCK and that is important.

Accessibility is extremely important in any MMO.

Implement this system and I guarantee it will fix many western problems, because the badge system has worked well is every other game that adopted it.

Also this system provides flexibility and allows TERA to grow without completely redrawing the enchantment system.

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I say this all because I really do care about the well being of the game and I think TERA can become great.

-Lord Helmos
Edited by: Lordhelmos over 5 years ago
Komari Profile Options #2

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Why hello there! I fall under the Mrs. Rage category. It took 48 runs to got my Enigmatic weapon on my Sorcerer. It's still at +6 too, after 23 fails with Gold Fodder, 11 with blue.

That is correct ladies and gentlemen. Still +6 after a total of 34 fails over all. Chest stuck at +7, Boots +8 gloves +7. I lost track of fails on those.

Thankfully I play since enjoy the company of friends, but I sure as heck wouldn't mind an enchanting tweak!
Catfriend Profile Options #3

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Where do I fit in? I haven't wasted my gold, I sold things on the broker instead of to the merchant when that would net me more and as a result I've just bought my weapon about a week into being 60 when all I've done for the most part is rep quests.
Mr. Rage is also Mr Foolish With Money
KonpakuYoumu Profile Options #4

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This would be nice, but the real problem is scarcity of T13 fodder. You guys having trouble with T12 will realize this once you start getting T13 gear.

Game needs a cumulative bonus to success rate after a fail - 3% each fail - and it needs to apply to masterwork scrolls as well (Im at 86 failed scrolls for my T13 boots...).
hakumen9000 Profile Options #5

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RNG in this game is funny. Made a +8 weapon with only 2 fails but I failed over 20 times enchanting my shoes to +6.

KonpakuYoumu on 07/04/2012, 06:30 AM
This would be nice, but the real problem is scarcity of T13 fodder. You guys having trouble with T12 will realize this once you start getting T13 gear.

Game needs a cumulative bonus to success rate after a fail - 3% each fail - and it needs to apply to masterwork scrolls as well (Im at 86 failed scrolls for my T13 boots...).

At least you have time to play.
Edited by: hakumen9000 over 5 years ago
Testimony Profile Options #6

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Neutral
Nights.Into.Dreams Lvl.60
Mount Tyrannas (PVP65)
Elin Sorcerer
/Signed. Games which rely on enchanting need to have better base success rates, or take the system out completely.

I have friends that are over 57 attempts going for +11 on T13 and 37 attempts going for +12. This is after blowing 70-100 scrolls on masterworking, and that's when it was cheap. That's the ones that have succeeded gearscore wise. At some point you've just earned it.

This weekend and next weekend, an unholy [filtered] ton of people on Valley of Titans will start hitting revered and turning in for masterwork T13 pvp gear. Prices on literally everything enchantment related are going to skyrocket simultaneously. Then everyone else will start hitting it, and prices have already risen due to the people crafting t13. Does Enmasse really think people will put up with that when GW2 comes out (alongside many other problems in game) and they're left behind and start losing OW PVP and BG PVP automatically because they can't 24/7 and/or are unlucky even if they have 24/7 grind time?

This problem needs to be fixed.
hakumen9000 Profile Options #7

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Hopefully B&S wont have this problem.
Lordhelmos Profile Options #8

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KonpakuYoumu on 07/04/2012, 06:30 AM - view
This would be nice, but the real problem is scarcity of T13 fodder. You guys having trouble with T12 will realize this once you start getting T13 gear.

Game needs a cumulative bonus to success rate after a fail - 3% each fail - and it needs to apply to masterwork scrolls as well (Im at 86 failed scrolls for my T13 boots...).


I think this will self fix once the new T13 instances come out. There is no reason why a T13 vendor can't be added for:

FoK HM
BT HM
New Argon Instance
New ToT-esque instance
HM Kelsaik
Nexus Instances
Edited by: Lordhelmos over 5 years ago
Lordhelmos Profile Options #9

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Catfriend on 07/04/2012, 06:11 AM - view
Where do I fit in? I haven't wasted my gold, I sold things on the broker instead of to the merchant when that would net me more and as a result I've just bought my weapon about a week into being 60 when all I've done for the most part is rep quests.
Mr. Rage is also Mr Foolish With Money


You kind of miss the entire point here. Getting the gear is easy, the problem I'm outlining is enchanting the gear to mean gearscore requirements of high level dungeons. This is when you get gated on pure luck alone if you fail over and over.
MonVert Profile Options #10

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KonpakuYoumu on 07/04/2012, 06:30 AM - view
This would be nice, but the real problem is scarcity of T13 fodder. You guys having trouble with T12 will realize this once you start getting T13 gear.

Game needs a cumulative bonus to success rate after a fail - 3% each fail - and it needs to apply to masterwork scrolls as well (Im at 86 failed scrolls for my T13 boots...).


T13 Fodder isn't "Rare" anymore, since you can now purchase said fodder from Agnitor. >_<