Salvage and Dungeon End Chests
In our continuing effort to improve the player experience and our gameplay flow, we are adjusting some of our reward mechanics with the Heart of Fire update. The first change we’d like to discuss is that equipment and rough astral diamonds are being separated from each other in M15. A short sentence, but one which immediately creates a lot of questions and likely some concerns. Let’s dive right in to the why and how of it all.
It is fun and exciting to receive a large amount of rewards for content. It is also great when we can have easy to use catch-up mechanics such as the Seals Vendors. The issue is that this becomes a nearly impossible balancing act since every piece of gear we give out in those mechanics is salvageable for RAD.
By separating the RAD rewards from equipment rewards, it will allow us to continue to be able to make equipment affordable, to be given out as a catch up, and to drop more regularly while also being able to hand out RAD rewards for a wide variety of content (There will still be rare chase items that are not easy to acquire). Dungeon end chests will now reward RAD directly along with their equipment rewards. The seal store, campaign stores, tradebar store and stronghold equipment store will all have RAD for sale for their respective currencies. Heroic Encounters will also award RAD on completion. Existing sources of direct RAD such as experience overflow rewards and certain weekly quests will continue to reward RAD as they have previously.
All of this also allows for easier dials to tune for balance of time/difficulty to rewards. Direct RAD rewards are easy to fine tune whereas the salvage system was tied to the rarity and level of equipment only, which severely limits the ability to tune rewards as we either need to raise or lower the drop rate of equipment and there are often many other reasons on why we’d want to have those drop rates at a given frequency.
What about the VIP salvage bonus? That has been turned into a bonus to RAD from Dungeon End Chests, Heroic Encounters and Experience Overflow rewards.
We aren’t trying to say this will be a boost for all players and that RAD will be overly abundant from these changes. For some play styles and AD generation methods, the amount of RAD generated will decrease and some play styles will inevitably change. We want to be straightforward about this and also wanted to give plenty of heads-up so that players can both salvage all of their saved up equipment before this goes live, and start figuring out what changes they will make to their play styles.
So why now? We have spent a lot of time over the past year looking at both the AD economy and the player experience. We have made a lot of changes with both of these in mind, from the new Refinement system, the RAD refining limit becoming per account instead of per character, Random Queue adjustments, Hunt design changes, and more. Our work isn’t without flaws, but it has all been done with the goals of creating a better player experience and more balanced economy overall. M15 is no exception. We have some exciting new changes to discuss as we head into preview, but I would like to share one more change with you now to show our overall approach to experience/economy adjustments.
Dungeon Chests and Keys
Standard/Epic/Daily keys will be no more. Starting in M15, non-legendary end chests will be able to be opened for free. This means for most queued content players will get a chest to open on every run without needing to have keys in their inventory. On top of this, the chest loot for both standard and legendary chests can now be rerolled for a small amount of AD (currently 5,000 AD but as with anything, things are subject to change). Overall the daily key mechanic was frustrating, and needing to spend AD on keys for additional dungeon runs in a given day wasn’t a great experience. After all, it is very unlikely that a player will only run 1 piece of queued content per day.
There are probably two questions that many of you have right now. The first is: What happens to all of your existing keys? Standard/Epic/Daily keys will be turned into reroll tokens upon logging in. Daily and Epic keys exchange at a 1 to 1 ratio. Standard keys transfer at 2 keys to 1 reroll token (if you have a left over single standard key in your inventory, that still gets turned into a reroll token). There will be a trade in within Protector’s Enclave for keys that are in mail, auction house, guild banks, and anywhere else where they don’t automatically convert.
The second question may be: Because the chests are free to open, and now that there is a reroll aspect, are loot chances going to get worse? The answer is no, our rate of rewards will not be reduced because players can reroll the chests. There will continue to be rare pieces to make sure there are items that have good value to players, and common stuff such as RP (during this switch over several dungeons actually received an increase in RP rewarded). The reason for this was to both remove a frustrating key mechanic as well as create another AD sink to help the economy.
We realize this is a big change and will take time to absorb and figure out. As always we want to open this thread up to discussions and questions and will be reading all of your feedback.