Hey folks, Scott here again to give you an update on the state of the Neverwinter and the Astral Diamond economy. We’re going to be making a number of changes, all of which should increase the amount of AD most players earn in a given day. There's a lot here, so without further ado...
First and foremost, I want to make sure everyone knows the intent with Astral Diamonds, and why we’re making changes. AD is meant to be a currency rewarded by playing the game; Astral Diamonds are a representation of time. Zen is, well, money. At Cryptic, we feel it’s very important that players with time (but not money) can ultimately experience our games the same way as someone with money (but not time). This is why the Zen/AD Exchange exists: trade your time for money and vice versa. In order for us to maintain balance in this exchange, we need to make sure the general population can earn time currency (AD) in a predictable manner. Our goal: if you play Neverwinter, you earn AD. Before the upcoming changes, this wasn’t reliably the case, sometimes brokenly so. In order to correct this, we’re implementing the following adjustments.
Daily Quests & Hourly Events
Previously, there were separate daily quests that, if you remembered to take them, would reward bonus AD for completing Dungeons, Skirmishes, PvP, and Foundry. Unfortunately, based on our data, far too many people either didn’t know they needed to take these quests, didn't want to go through the effort, or they simply forgot. This lead to Dungeons, Skirmishes, and PvP not rewarding as much AD as was expected in our model. On top of that, though we were expecting players to use the Foundry daily to get AD, we found the vast majority weren't doing so at all.
We believe that simply playing content should get you your time currency, so we removed the daily quests and made things automatic. Now, simply play Dungeons, Skirmishes, and PvP, and you’ll receive significant bonus AD for completing the first 2 runs of each.
Along with the inconvenience of daily quests, we also previously scheduled events to run during fixed periods each day. So if you happened to be able to log in during very specific times, you would get bonus AD from the same sources as listed above. Only able to log in at hour X? Well, hope you wanted to play dungeons for your bonus AD. This meant only a few lucky people were able to bring in the quantity we want everyone to have from the content they wanted to play. To correct this, we are removing the hourly bonus AD events. And, like the adjustment to daily quests, we've put in tech that will automatically reward bonus AD for Dungeons, Skirmishes, and PvP at any time of the day. There are earn rate maximums per day (to make sure things stay balanced), but because you can now get bonus AD regardless of what time of day you're able to log in, we expect most players will significantly increase their earn rate.
Let’s look at some actual numbers:
Old: If you picked up the daily quest, you got 3,000 AD for one dungeon. If you had your chest key, you got an additional 3,000 AD.
New: 1. Automatically get 3,000 AD for each of the first two dungeons. 2. In addition, get 150 to 750 AD for each dungeon played (up to a maximum 7,200 AD per day from dungeons). Amount varies by time.
Old: If you picked up the daily quest, you got 3,000 AD for three skirmishes.
New: 1. Automatically get 1,500 AD for each of the first two skirmishes. 2. In addition, get 50 to 500 AD for each skirmish played (up to a maximum 7,200 AD per day from skirmishes). Amount varies by time.
Old: If you picked up the daily quest, you got 4,000 AD for two matches.
New: 1. Automatically get 2,000 AD for each of the first two matches. 2. In addition, get 200 to 300 AD per match played (up to a maximum 4,800 AD per day from PvP). Amount varies by time.
Across the board, these two changes are expected to put significantly more AD into the hands of anyone playing this queued content.
As you may remember, we recently disabled the ability to use the Leadership profession on Gateway. This was due to an extreme number of bots generating far too much AD, and creating havoc with the AD economy. By disabling the profession on Gateway, we were able to reduce this artificially inflated number. Unfortunately, botters found a way around this fix. As we looked into the data, and as we analyzed what we could do to fix this exploit, we came to the conclusion that the way to stop the botters was to remove AD from the Leadership profession. There will still be a few sources in there, but nothing that botters can use to continue breaking the economy. In some cases, AD was replaced with extra XP, but by and large, AD was straight- up removed from the profession. We know this will be frustrating for those who were not exploiting, but the downside of leaving AD in the profession was too severe. Once this work is done, Leadership will be re-enabled on Gateway. Remember, we want players to receive Astral Diamonds for the time they spend actively playing the game, so (beyond the exploit) it didn't really make sense to have something that runs in the background as a major source of this currency.
Leadership, while no longer a major source of AD, is still a good source for XP, Gold, and loot items. All of these things are valuable to regular players, but less so to botters.
Invocation & Salvage
At this time there will be no changes made to Invocation and Salvage. We are, however, looking into some better messaging so players know when an item could be salvaged for Astral Diamonds OR used as Refinement Points.
VIP is changing slightly. Previously, you received +15% bonus AD at VIP Rank 1 for Daily Quests. At VIP Rank 2, you received +15% bonus AD on Hourly Events. Now, at Rank 1, you will get 15% bonus on all runs of Dungeons, Skirmishes, and PvP. For PvP in particular, this is a new source of Astral Diamonds.
Beyond addressing the group content listed above, and the botting issue of Leadership, we are also looking at ways for the solo player to earn this time currency. We are evaluating content like Heroic Encounters and Campaigns as likely places to make adjustments, while watching the above changes to make sure they're having the desired effect on group play.
We believe we can make the Astral Diamond economy much more stable and uniform for all players. Want to earn AD? Play Dungeons, Skirmishes, and PvP whenever you have time! Check back soon for more information on future additional AD sources.