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NWO desperately needs to go DLC

overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
edited March 2017 in General Discussion (PC)
DLC is a monetization model where the cash shop (zen market) sells only aesthetic items and the company makes its money by selling new content (mods) to players in the form of DLC.

A DLC game doesn't sell items that could help players significantly in overcoming pve or PvP challenges because it is well established that by doing so, you throw the game all out of whack. Instead, better gear is acquired by players as loot rewards for overcoming challenges present in the purchased DLC content.

Any of us who have been here since before mod 6 knows that Never winter is losing content over time and not gaining it, while cash shop items (stuff you buy with zen that you've converted to AD) has increased exponentially.

Each mod is simply a further exploitation of the games monetization system (micro transactions via the cash shop) with some tedious grind campaign to camouflage the deepened monetization system as "new content".

NWO as a micro transaction powered "mmo", is flying to its destiny at break neck speed. That destiny being the kind of game you find in Facebook, like mobsters. Those games also using the same micro transaction model as NWO.

The advantage of DLC is that the players pay for the DLC, so each one HAS TO have actual content or players won't buy it. NWO devs are, because of the business model, focused entirely on the further monetization of the game. Every line of code that is written, has to be written to be maximally profitable. Otherwise it is a waste.

In a DLC system, devs do not have to focus on further monetization. Their energy is directed to creating content of high enough quality that the players can't hand over their money fast enough when a new DLC comes out.

This is the answer to everything wrong with NWO. From higher quality, FUN, pve content, to a PvP system that is not embarrassingly broken. Last but not least, DLC is how you get return customers and grow your player base. Steam rankings alone show that NWO is slowly dying, riding a looong swan song downward curve into the kind of tiny player base you get with a micro transaction monetization model.

Here is an excellent article on the subject: http://www.gamedonia.com/blog/what-does-dlc-mean-your-games

I say all of this with the best interests of the game at heart. I recognize the challenge that the devs face in these circumstances and applaud them for their creative efforts in what must be an incredibly stifling environment.

PWE, want to increase your profits by %250 over the next three years? Hit me up in private. This info so far was free cause I love the game. The rest, not so much. ;-P
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Comments

  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    edited March 2017
    Oh I am in no way associated with any site that sells anything.

    I pointed out what I feel are problems in NWO as a micro transaction game and suggested a DLC model as a solution to those problems.

    To reiterate: Less and less content as time goes on rather than more. Lower quality (grindy) new content. Ridiculously imbalanced classes. A mess of a PvP system which is broken in so many ways that it is pointless to list them. A shrinking player population.

    Here is a comparative analysis of NWO and ESO (a DLC game)player populations over time: http://steamcharts.com/cmp/109600,306130#All

    This in addition to the plethora of current builds and ESO discussion across the web compared to the small and shrinking amount of current builds and NWO discussion.

    It is also important to point out that a DLC game like ESO is also free to play. It is the new content that players pay for.

    I have played NWO (with some breaks) since mod 3. The problems of back then have only gotten worse over time and this is reflected in a shrinking player population. As NWO's population shrinks, ESO's grows. Neverwinter has THE license (the Dnd license), which means compitent execution of the mmo would result in stellar player population. It's monetization system hamstrings it's growth, making that license not the goldmine it should be, but rather the only reason it is profitable at all.
  • wylonuswylonus Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    it would be "perfect" for Foundry to get DLC for new settings and textures
  • waykam#6825 waykam Member Posts: 4 Arc User
    Instead of going for DLC they could remove/increase caps so you get full AD for the queue list activities rather than just your first 2 from each list for VIP members. Then increase the amount of AD you can refine for VIP members as well.

    This would mean that VIP enables you to do whatever activities you want, rather than having the same daily grind to max your rAD.
  • nnrudsernnrudser Member Posts: 14 Arc User
    DLC is death. I stopped playing LotRO because of their ridiculous DLC model. Even VIP/Premium players had to pay for the new areas. I'm not paying $40 twice a year just to play the new zones. If the micro transactions are worth it then the game doesn't have anything to worry about. NWNO as it is now, is fine. I'll still pay for the VIP because it is useful. I will still pay for pretty, pretty cosmetics, mounts, companions, etc. What I WILL NOT pay for is access to new zones.
  • dameon2kdameon2k Member Posts: 75 Arc User
    I definitely would like to see the AD cap raised, mostly because I don't have 50 alts to move stuff to to make millions of AD a day and that gets tedious after a while. I see no reason it can't be at least 100K a day...it would give a single character the ability to make a million AD in a week in a half, and that player would have to invest real play time because invokes no longer give you AD. I was surprised the AD cap was not raised when they implemented that. They could at least give it a two-week trial to see how it goes. I am even more for having VIP having the cap raised more than free players, but still a raise for free players too.

    I don't want to hijack the thread, but just speaking on VIP. I would also like to see VIP increased more ranks. Adding more dungeon keys, an extra enchantment key, and one C-Ward every 30-days of VIP (which would be distributed every 30-days the account is active in VIP - not all at one time). I also wouldn't mind seeing a legendary mount become available for VIP subscribers, where we can pick the mount we want and as long as we keep VIP active we get to use the mount. Kind of what TERA and other mmo's do or just let us try out a different legendary mount every 30-days through a rotation.
  • frozenfirevrfrozenfirevr Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,475 Community Moderator
    No, definitely not pay to play, please. I can't pay. I like where Neverwinter stands now, that's what kept me going. I got to where I am without paying a penny, that surely is something.
    FrozenFire
  • aftershafteraftershafter Member Posts: 156 Arc User
    edited March 2017
    I like the current system. There is, to my knowledge, not a damned thing in this game that is only available through paying money and, if there is, it's not something required at the top tier. The very best items in the game are available if you want to spend time rather than money. The idea that this game is pay to win is simply false - it is pay for convenience and speed, and sometimes pay for *significant* convenience. That paying is ultimately optional though.

    I don't agree with all of their pricing model, but the general form of it I find acceptable, and it's their game so they can do the odd thing I disagree with without me jumping ship. Keep it as is - I've made it pretty darned high without doing more than a one time purchase of 6 months ViP, which I could have got without paying in a bit over a month. I can also see a clear course to the very top of the game without paying a dime. I like that system.
  • oldbaldyoneoldbaldyone Member Posts: 1,840 Arc User
    The odd thing is, I look at the Zen market, and I don't really see anything any sane person would buy that would be considered Pay to win. Sure, if you have a ton of cash to blow, you could buy a ton of refinement items to level your gear - if you do this, please become my friend because this is the biggest waste of cash I've even seen. Buying a mount? Not game breaking. Buying refinement items - not real game breaking because of the amount you'd have to spend to make progress. Buy companions? Not game breaking.

    Maybe its there, but I really just dont see it. Take into account that basically everything can be bought by converting AD to zen...and I don't see the problem.

    DLCs I don't think would have the impact you expect. We would jut be buying the same content we already get....with less people around to run it.
  • dupeksdupeks Member Posts: 1,789 Arc User

    The odd thing is, I look at the Zen market, and I don't really see anything any sane person would buy that would be considered Pay to win. Sure, if you have a ton of cash to blow, you could buy a ton of refinement items to level your gear - if you do this, please become my friend because this is the biggest waste of cash I've even seen. Buying a mount? Not game breaking. Buying refinement items - not real game breaking because of the amount you'd have to spend to make progress. Buy companions? Not game breaking.

    Maybe its there, but I really just dont see it. Take into account that basically everything can be bought by converting AD to zen...and I don't see the problem.

    DLCs I don't think would have the impact you expect. We would jut be buying the same content we already get....with less people around to run it.

    Well in PVP buying legendary mounts with broken combat powers in my mind qualifies as game-breaking. One could also make the case that masterwork borders on pay to win, since it's more about investing in resources than it is about playing content. Or buying up MW gear off the AH.

    Beyond that, there are a number of QoL items that are zen purchases (bags, trowels / picks, acct-unlock mounts) but I think that's probably a reasonable avenue to monetize a F2P game.
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    @oldbaldyone

    "The odd thing is, I look at the Zen market, and I don't really see anything any sane person would buy that would be considered Pay to win. Sure, if you have a ton of cash to blow, you could buy a ton of refinement items to level your gear - if you do this, please become my friend because this is the biggest waste of cash I've even seen. Buying a mount? Not game breaking. Buying refinement items - not real game breaking because of the amount you'd have to spend to make progress. Buy companions? Not game breaking.

    Maybe its there, but I really just dont see it. Take into account that basically everything can be bought by converting AD to zen...and I don't see the problem.

    DLCs I don't think would have the impact you expect. We would jut be buying the same content we already get....with less people around to run it."

    Because you can convert zen to ad, the entire auction house IS the cash shop/zen store.

    The entire refinement system is a massive expansion of items that significantly boost character power, available to be bought by zen. Every mod we get more of it. Check the player population sharp decline since late 2014 when the refinement system dropped.
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    edited March 2017
    I find it interesting that people will pay $120 a year for VIP but will refuse to pay $80 a year for a couple DLCs that offer exponentially more content than VIP provides. Most people will not do this. Thus a sharply declining player population.

    As concerns the AD cap, capping AD is critical to their monetization model. Because if you earn all the ad you want by playing the game you lose the incentive to buy AD for zen. A DLC (like ESO), has no such hamster. You buy the current DLC and all the items you could want are available through playing the game.

    It is not in NWO's financial interest to create engaging end game content. If you enjoy the grind you are less likely to buy zen to acquire the things that you could earn by playing the game. The whole point of this monetization system is to max out zen sales.

    This is why we have lost engaging and fun dungeons and have gained campaigns. The whole game is shifting towards campaigns that are designed to be so tedious that you say heck with it, buy the zen to purchase the items that you got tired of grinding for.

    A micro transaction model needs tedious content to survive. A DLC model needs fun content to survive.

    The problems of NWO are fairly obvious.
  • wylonuswylonus Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    OD13, you can tell that isnt a RPG format anymore, it seem more like casino format.
  • hawkeyelhawkeyel Member Posts: 389 Arc User
    This is not the first time this topic has come up .They have made it very clear that this game is and shall be F2P . The Mods are usualy rather fast at shutting down this topic so dont be very surpised when they do this on this one. TC.
  • namebrandsnamebrands Member Posts: 21 Arc User
    I could be wrong but if I want to say that waaaaaay back when Neverwinter was young on PC, that the first expansion, Sharandar, was a DLC type deal. At either rate, I don't believe DLC would work well for this game as the mods etc, are generally bare bones type deals locked behind time gates to make an otherwise 1 hour of content take a month to fully experience.

    It's just the nature of PWE games - they're just reskinned junk games intended to make as much as possible with as little as possible. Anyone play STO? Notice any similarities in NWO and STO? Similar junk with different skins. New mods are pretty light in substance but time gated to last more than an hour. Oh but hey, you can spend some Zen for some HAMSTER bonus to make it go a wee bit faster if it's not tied into some random RNG junk of course. People have been clamoring for changes to loot, changes to lame Heroic Encounters and equally lame time gated junk campaigns and all to little to no avail.

    It is what it is. This is the nature of F2P games. Now before you start talking about "well such and such f2p games aren't as stingy as this one!", well you're right, but that's PWE/Cryptic and their perogative. It's the way they do business and it's likely not going to change. Ever. The other argument is that "they do great with what little dev hours, manpower they have blah blah" - My reply there is simply that the reason they have limited resources is because they seem to constantly be sending said resources to spew out new reskinned junk games.

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't a hate rant or anything, just observations over the past few years. It is what it is. If you enjoy the game then great, play it. If you don't then find something you do enjoy. As far as them doing such and such to save a sinking ship - The ship wasn't meant to stay afloat all that long. It's probably too easy for them to spit out new disposable ships and target new "suckers" who aren't familiar with F2P tactics yet.
  • btairbornebtairborne Member Posts: 352 Arc User
    I'm confident this has been discussed at length in many internal meeting

    No, definitely not pay to play, please. I can't pay. I like where Neverwinter stands now, that's what kept me going. I got to where I am without paying a penny, that surely is something.

    Sounds like a reason they should go to DLC, I mean what use are you? In my mind, a customer they should pay no heed to. I'd rather they listen to PAYING customers.
  • urabaskurabask Member Posts: 2,923 Arc User
    edited March 2017

    Oh I am in no way associated with any site that sells anything.



    I pointed out what I feel are problems in NWO as a micro transaction game and suggested a DLC model as a solution to those problems.



    To reiterate: Less and less content as time goes on rather than more. Lower quality (grindy) new content. Ridiculously imbalanced classes. A mess of a PvP system which is broken in so many ways that it is pointless to list them. A shrinking player population.



    Here is a comparative analysis of NWO and ESO (a DLC game)player populations over time: http://steamcharts.com/cmp/109600,306130#All



    This in addition to the plethora of current builds and ESO discussion across the web compared to the small and shrinking amount of current builds and NWO discussion.



    It is also important to point out that a DLC game like ESO is also free to play. It is the new content that players pay for.



    I have played NWO (with some breaks) since mod 3. The problems of back then have only gotten worse over time and this is reflected in a shrinking player population. As NWO's population shrinks, ESO's grows. Neverwinter has THE license (the Dnd license), which means compitent execution of the mmo would result in stellar player population. It's monetization system hamstrings it's growth, making that license not the goldmine it should be, but rather the only reason it is profitable at all.

    The difference is that ESO transitioned from subscription based monetization to a DLC based monetization. Subscription based models prioritize getting a fixed amount of revenue per player in exchange for having fewer customers. Transitioning to DLC means they're gaining the players that would otherwise quit the game when their subscription lapses. Neverwinter doesn't really have that option because free to play games are already maximizing their player population.

    I could be wrong but if I want to say that waaaaaay back when Neverwinter was young on PC, that the first expansion, Sharandar, was a DLC type deal. At either rate, I don't believe DLC would work well for this game as the mods etc, are generally bare bones type deals locked behind time gates to make an otherwise 1 hour of content take a month to fully experience.

    Neverwinter has always been F2P.
    I8r4ux9.jpg
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    Three years ago I said PWE is where old fading brands go to die. The DnD license is still strong but not strong enough to be worth the effort of a Bioware. Fans can lament and blame the decline of their favorite brands as poor licensing and quality control. It the difference between a SWKotor, and a Neverwinter. It is also the difference between a Neverwinter Nights and a Neverwinter.

    WoTC and ultimately Hasbro doesn't care enough about its flagship brand to even ensure that it is licensing to monetization models that are proven to result in a high quality product. But when we look at train wrecks such as 4ed, we see problems go way deeper than licensing.

    There is the ultimate pathology of the sickness plaguing NWO.

    I only say this because I used to really enjoy NWO. Truly amazing high speed action combat. By some fluke of luck, the original NWO dev team pioneered this amazing combat system for their RPG heavy mmo license.

    So they had the DnD license AND a really really fun combat system. And some fairly good starting content. Oh the dungeons! Before you had to pay for a hamster dungeon key.

    They took what could have been a goldmine and turned it into a sewage processing plant. Still profitable but at the end of the day you have unhappy people and everything smells like hamster.

    Think about dungeon chest keys alone in the microtransaction model: First stage: no keys needed. Beat the boss, get the loot. Second stage: beat the boss and get the loot IF YOU BOUGHT A KEY. Third stage: Beat theboss and, if you bought a key, you get a CHANCE at getting the loot.
    DLC model: buy the DLC, get multiple dungeons to play, beat the boss of each, get the loot.

    People are complaining that their chance of getting the loot (after buying a key and beating the boss) is too small, when they should be complaining about having to buy keys in the first place.

    And yes, you get "SOME" loot for beating a boss regardless of anything, but let's face the fact: what you are getting is garbage unless you get lucky.

    I will bet that PWE suits blame the devs for player population decline when ultimately, it is the monetization model its self that is to blame. So we should go easy on Devs, I am grateful for the occasional glint of creative gameplay brilliance that somehow manages to survive the hamster plant.
  • urabaskurabask Member Posts: 2,923 Arc User

    Three years ago I said PWE is where old fading brands go to die. The DnD license is still strong but not strong enough to be worth the effort of a Bioware. Fans can lament and blame the decline of their favorite brands as poor licensing and quality control. It the difference between a SWKotor, and a Neverwinter. It is also the difference between a Neverwinter Nights and a Neverwinter.



    WoTC and ultimately Hasbro doesn't care enough about its flagship brand to even ensure that it is licensing to monetization models that are proven to result in a high quality product. But when we look at train wrecks such as 4ed, we see problems go way deeper than licensing.



    There is the ultimate pathology of the sickness plaguing NWO.



    I only say this because I used to really enjoy NWO. Truly amazing high speed action combat. By some fluke of luck, the original NWO dev team pioneered this amazing combat system for their RPG heavy mmo license.



    So they had the DnD license AND a really really fun combat system. And some fairly good starting content. Oh the dungeons! Before you had to pay for a hamster dungeon key.



    They took what could have been a goldmine and turned it into a sewage processing plant. Still profitable but at the end of the day you have unhappy people and everything smells like hamster.



    Think about dungeon chest keys alone in the microtransaction model: First stage: no keys needed. Beat the boss, get the loot. Second stage: beat the boss and get the loot IF YOU BOUGHT A KEY. Third stage: Beat theboss and, if you bought a key, you get a CHANCE at getting the loot.

    DLC model: buy the DLC, get multiple dungeons to play, beat the boss of each, get the loot.



    People are complaining that their chance of getting the loot (after buying a key and beating the boss) is too small, when they should be complaining about having to buy keys in the first place.



    And yes, you get "SOME" loot for beating a boss regardless of anything, but let's face the fact: what you are getting is garbage unless you get lucky.

    I mean if you really want to argue the monetization is the issue you could throw out an example like this:

    http://steamcharts.com/cmp/109600,306130,230410,215280#All

    Warframe is F2P and has been steamrolling ESO because they have a top notch dev team that cares about their game and have the resources to back it up. The Secret World has been DLC since launch and is cratering so hard they're switching to F2P.

    The issue isn't the monetization; it's the studio that's making the game.
    I8r4ux9.jpg
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    @urabask

    """The difference is that ESO transitioned from subscription based monetization to a DLC based monetization. Subscription based models prioritize getting a fixed amount of revenue per player in exchange for having fewer customers. Transitioning to DLC means they're gaining the players that would otherwise quit the game when their subscription lapses. Neverwinter doesn't really have that option because free to play games are already maximizing their player population."""

    ...and yet the ESO population steadily grows and the NWO population steadily shrinks. ESO has more players than NWO, check the Steam analytics that I linked to above.

    So the f2p monetization format that NWO is using is causing it to have less players than DLC format ESO. This despite NWO having THE dnd brand, and the awesome action combat system that serves as the example after which ESO's own combat system is based.

    It is like Bethesda said, "Let's do what NWO is doing (high fantasy action mmorpg), but let's do it right. We'll be rich". And they are. They are even expanding to console. They are kind of using PWE as the test dummy to figure out what works really well and what just doesn't.
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    Warframe is not even an mmorpg, it is an entirely separate genre and type of game. I am talking about PWO's poor operation of its mmorpg's poor monetization model.
  • greywyndgreywynd Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 6,765 Arc User

    Because if you earn all the ad you want by playing the game you lose the incentive to buy AD for zen.

    Where can you buy AD for zen? Other players. I see nothing in the zen market that gives AD.

    I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender, so we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way, we'll fight you too.
  • urabaskurabask Member Posts: 2,923 Arc User
    edited April 2017

    Warframe is not even an mmorpg, it is an entirely separate genre and type of game. I am talking about PWO's poor operation of its mmorpg's poor monetization model.

    Oh christ, if NW is a MMO Warframe is too. They're both instance based dungeon games with story quests. Having laggy HAMSTER 30 player instances that no one actually wants to bother with doesn't make Neverwinter a different kind of game it just makes it a worse example of the same genre.
    I8r4ux9.jpg
  • frozenfirevrfrozenfirevr Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,475 Community Moderator
    edited April 2017

    I find it interesting that people will pay $120 a year for VIP but will refuse to pay $80 a year for a couple DLCs that offer exponentially more content than VIP provides. Most people will not do this. Thus a sharply declining player population.



    As concerns the AD cap, capping AD is critical to their monetization model. Because if you earn all the ad you want by playing the game you lose the incentive to buy AD for zen. A DLC (like ESO), has no such hamster. You buy the current DLC and all the items you could want are available through playing the game.



    It is not in NWO's financial interest to create engaging end game content. If you enjoy the grind you are less likely to buy zen to acquire the things that you could earn by playing the game. The whole point of this monetization system is to max out zen sales.



    This is why we have lost engaging and fun dungeons and have gained campaigns. The whole game is shifting towards campaigns that are designed to be so tedious that you say heck with it, buy the zen to purchase the items that you got tired of grinding for.



    A micro transaction model needs tedious content to survive. A DLC model needs fun content to survive.



    The problems of NWO are fairly obvious.

    Who told you we pay real cash for VIP? I have ~500 days remaining, haven't paid nothing.

    I'm confident this has been discussed at length in many internal meeting

    No, definitely not pay to play, please. I can't pay. I like where Neverwinter stands now, that's what kept me going. I got to where I am without paying a penny, that surely is something.

    Sounds like a reason they should go to DLC, I mean what use are you? In my mind, a customer they should pay no heed to. I'd rather they listen to PAYING customers.
    Pay to play games seldom have good communities. I have the potential to bring in more customers, and keep their customers happy.
    FrozenFire
  • worriedmammal8worriedmammal8 Member Posts: 61 Arc User
    I kinda like the system too the way it is. Gives people options, heck I even through them $60 not because, I had to but I wanted to support some since I've put some time into the game. Obviously thst wouldn't happen if nobody spent money on it, it is a business. They've got better I feel with mods past mod 6 which is when I stopped playing for a while because it sucked and wasn't fun. Now it's better but, thr Bop and BtA kinda suck sometimes. I miss the days of running a dungeon and getting a drop worth 200-500k. Or being able to complete my set with it. The one thing I think they should bring back is different sets though except with more flavors for diversity. People would run more dungeons for sure to be able to have a chance at those.
  • ghoulz66ghoulz66 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,748 Arc User
    DLC only works if the content isn't abysmal.......

    DEVs and management are still far off from that.

    Dunno wth there is to do in that dreaded world of cartoon craft that's kept it a paid subscription for so long, but they must be doing something right.
  • kangkeokkangkeok Member Posts: 1,123 Arc User
    i certainly dont wanna pay for doing content that i dont even know if its good. I rather to play the content 1st to see if its good enough to make me spend the money. Also i think DLC is a bad idea. What if people are skipping mod because they dont like it. For example if Mod10 is a DLC, u be seeing less people in this game and svardborg will be even harder to start.
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    @urabask In retrospect, I agree. It is how the company executes its monetization system more than the type of monetization system its self. I just think a micro transaction system is more apt to mishandling than a DLC system, but neither are in themselves, certain indications of the quality of a game. How PWE is executing its monetization system is an example of how to do it the wrong way.
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    @kangkeok I am using successful MMOs with good content and a growing player base as point of reference. If a DLC sucks, word of mouth spreads and people have a hard time finding groups. If it is good, word of mouth spreads and it is popular, people have an easy time finding groups for it.

    Whether you are paying for keys to hopefully win the lottery and get the new gear after you complete a new dungeon, or whether you paid for the new content, complete the dungeon and get the new gear without buying keys, you are still paying for that new gear. It comes down to whether you want to buy a ton of keys and beat the dungeon a few dozen times to get that gear or whether you want to buy the DLC, complete the dungeon once and get the gear.

    I personally HATE grinding. I work to have money to spend in part on a game that will entertain me. I don't work to spend money on a game that will just require me to work even more.

    Each to their own.
  • overdriver13overdriver13 Member Posts: 1,521 Arc User
    @greywynd

    http://neverwinter.gamepedia.com/Astral_Diamond_Exchange

    1. Buy zen from PWE
    2. Use the zen to buy astral diamonds from a player in the astral diamond exchange.

    The system is set up to make it unlikely if not impossible to sell ad for substantially more zen than you bought it for. Yes you can put 40 hours a week into grinding gear that you put into the ah to make ad which can then be transfered into zen but the $ value of each of those hours is a couple of dollars per hour at best. In other words, your better off getting a part time job at $7.00 an hour and spending your pay on zen that you transfer into ad for gear. That is a far more efficient use of your time.

    PWE has it set up that way because it is far more profitable for them to just receive your $$$ rather than for you to grind gear on their servers. And even if you do grind gear on their servers, everything is set up so that they profit from it, not you or your characters.

    The whole thing is a goldmine for exploits and gold sellers. THE most efficient system is a player setting up an entire account that is nothing but a ton of bots. So about two days of ILLEGAL and BAD work to get thousands of hours worth of grinding done automatically. And if you can't be bothered with that, there's always the gold sellers who do exactly what I pointed out.

    Exploits and gold sellers are horrible for a game and NO ONE should use them. But exploits and gold sellers THRIVE in a game where you can buy everything with game currency that you bought with real currency. A DLC system removes the financial incentive that gold sellers have.
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