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Lack of rewarding gameplay and the economy.

It has to be said, the gameplay in STO these days is extremely unrewarding and the economy is a joke.
I feel as if the only reliable way to earn huge amounts of EC's these days is to open lockboxes and sell lockbox keys, and this isn't good.

I am especially struck by how little actual active gameplay drives the economy. Epic loot drops of high desirability and value which are a staple of most MMORPG's have been suspiciously absent from the game since its creation.
For a brief time it did seem STO was heading in the right direction with the Borg Task Force revamp and the Prototype Borg Tech drops(Though they were bind on pickup, and got undone when Cryptic caved to self-entitled whiners and introduced the Omega Reputation system) along with Mk XII gear drops coming exclusively from Elite Task Force missions.

That said there was still great value to be found subsequently in Very Rare gear drops from other queues, missions and warzones that commanded respectable prices, consoles, weapons, etc.
Unfortunately the entire loot system has pretty much been undermined by the crafting revamp and the introduction of reputation gear, fleet gear and re-engineering.
I can't think of a single piece of equipment that drops anymore that is worth even a fraction of high value lockbox weapons and crafted special gear that as of yet cannot be re-engineered.

And speaking of crafting, that too is something that Cryptic has heavily undermined the economic value of by introducing phoenix tech upgrades.
As a result and the frequency of those promotions, superior and experimental tech upgrades are only worth a mere fraction of what they used to be.

Alright so I'm rambling a little here, definitely venting a bit, but what do I want out of this?
Well it would be nice if Cryptic started thinking about the in-game economy a bit more, and perhaps actually put some of that lockbox RNG back into the game.
Dial back the phoenix promotions a bit maybe? or give crafted and dropped gear some nice unique procs or modifiers that cannot be obtained by simply re-engineering existing gear.
Give us some highly prized rare item drops from various sources that are "bind on equip" that we could keep or trade with other players. Like what if Elite TFO's had an extremely rare chance to drop unique Vanity Shields/Engines/Deflectors? Vanity shields seem to have been a big hit with the community lately, and the introduction of unique drops like that in TFO's would give people a genuine incentive to play them, to have a shot at that "shiny" that makes them feel special, or alternatively sell it to rich players who want to have that rare and special "shiny" and becoming rich in turn.

All that I'm saying, is that the game economy could use an overhaul, and reward more actions than just sitting on ESD buying keys and opening boxes.
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." - Q
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Comments

  • bossheisenbergbossheisenberg Member Posts: 590 Arc User
    Agreed the item drops are completely worthless in this game. I wish there was a way to shut them off altogether - all it does it clutter up the screen and the battlefield and reduce the quality of gameplay. I never pick up any of that garbage and haven't for years.

    It would be cool to see some ultra rare drops that could only be got through gameplay. The rarity system is a complete joke - stuff that is more common than a hypo are "very rare" - look at all the junk you get from the T6 reputation - all of the boxes are so common, you get 3 or 4 a day doing the hourlies, how is that very rare?
  • lordsteve1lordsteve1 Member Posts: 3,492 Arc User
    Fully agreed.

    The Borg random drop stuff was not exactly ideal and i;m sure it led to several cases of severe Space Madness over the years. ;)

    That said, what STO needs is a meaningful loot drop system that makes players WANT to go and run content. Items that are desirable and sought after to entice people to go get them.
    And secondary to that these unique and fancy drops need to be fungible, be that they can be traded to other people for a certain value. So if you can get that unique vanity shield from HSE you can keep it for yourself or you can sell it to those unable/unwilling to run the queue.

    This does two things:

    1) it givers loot a reason to exist and gives queues a reason to be played.
    2) it provides an income scheme anyone can get profit from if they are willing to put in the legwork. That means people can get rich, which will drive and economy.

    Pretty sure @ruinthefun will be along with a similar idea in short time as he has many a time before. Funny this solution keeps getting brought up....
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  • pwstolemynamepwstolemyname Member Posts: 1,417 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    Fixing the economy would be super simple. All we need are a few very rare drop exclusive items that that are not bind on pickup, and which have a place on high end builds. (As the OP identified, right now everything that drops is rendered obsolete by things that don't)

    Pop some shinies in the loot table for random drops at a super rare rate but don't put them in the loot table for ranked content rewards.

    That last condition is important. The rare item rewards from ranked content paid for my first lockbox and lobi ship, and for my first lobi set (via buying keys for ec). I had farming that stuff down to a science and always took first place.

    Point is, if valuable items were in the loot table for competitive content, then I and other well established players who don't need the help, would just go back to farming and crowd out the newer people.

    The most important thing about reviving the economy is giving the new guys something to trade to the old guys so as to give them a leg up, and us something to do with our EC. Otherwise it won't really be an economy fix, it will just be free stuff.

    It might also be a good idea to put a cap on how many a player can loot in a 24 hour period, not that i would start exploiting a certain patrol mission for drops...
  • kurziskurzis Member Posts: 82 Arc User
    literally the only way to make EC is to sell keys, missions reward in dilithium and the only way to convert that into EC is to convert it to zen and buy keys, this is the only game i've played where you have to visit the games cash store to acquire reasonable amounts of the main ingame currency.
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 50,229 Arc User
    Define "Reasonable".

    Reasonable as in maintaining regenerator and component stacks or reasonable as in buy a lobi/lockbox ship off the exchange quickly?
    By the time you hit endgame you're most likely gonna be using Fleet or Rep gear, and most people are probably just salvaging vendor trash to re-roll the gear they are using.

    I get a pretty decent amount at times from Ferengi Admiralty honestly. And rolling it on 6-7 charcters usually nets around 1 mil a day. In game relying entirely on loot drops... you're not gonna make ECs fast that way. But you don't have to sell keys as a sole means of EC income. Hell... I sold tech upgrades quite a bit myself. You just gotta know the sources. Its just that keys are the quickest since they sell for around 4 mil a pop.
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    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
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  • salazarrazesalazarraze Member Posts: 3,649 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    kurzis wrote: »
    literally the only way to make EC is to sell keys, missions reward in dilithium and the only way to convert that into EC is to convert it to zen and buy keys, this is the only game i've played where you have to visit the games cash store to acquire reasonable amounts of the main ingame currency.
    That's about as wrong as you can get. while the dil->zen->keys method is one great way to make EC, it's not the only way. A combination of this, selling your vendor trash (unfortunately results in inflation), admiralty (gives easily a few million a day / also results in inflation), R&D (yes, it shockingly still is profitable), and the best way of all; "BUY LOW, SELL HIGH" are all great ways to earn EC.

    For best results do all of the above, especially the "BUY LOW, SELL HIGH" method.
    When you see "TRIBBLE" in my posts, it's because I manually typed "TRIBBLE" and censored myself.
  • wideningxgyrewideningxgyre Member Posts: 629 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    kurzis wrote: »
    literally the only way to make EC is to sell keys, missions reward in dilithium and the only way to convert that into EC is to convert it to zen and buy keys, this is the only game i've played where you have to visit the games cash store to acquire reasonable amounts of the main ingame currency.

    This isn't true. I've made hundreds of million in EC either from selling stuff, like gear and upgrades, on the exchange. It's just a bit more time consuming than the other approaches described.

    I've always viewed the "balance" to the in-game economy arising from the tension between real world money and player time. You need to expend one or the other. Frankly, most of the activities about which people complain (including me) arise from not wanting to spend money or time/effort.

    At the other end of the spectrum, when you make stuff easy (think all the painful clicking and the number of people claiming they won't do it for the t6 reputations), it merely creates inflation and power creep. I'm not suggesting in-game mechanics should be needlessly (thoughtlessly?) difficult to prevent people from achieving things. Just that when stuff becomes readily available to everyone, it potentially loses perceived value.

    How much more boring would the game be if we all could reach epic gear, earn a billion in EC every few days, and buy every ship we wanted. Not only would it become boring, but the devs could would be in a neverending race to rollout the next new thing.

    That said, I would like the game to begin doing unique drops (even at low drop rates) for gear, equipment, upgrades, or even vanity items to collect in specific portions of the game. You haven't lived until you've farmed Savage Lee for an Umkempt Harold for 3 hours only to finally get the drop with the wrong mods or trying to get titanite chunks from the darkwraiths in New Londo.

  • warpangelwarpangel Member Posts: 9,427 Arc User
    lordsteve1 wrote: »
    Fully agreed.

    The Borg random drop stuff was not exactly ideal and i;m sure it led to several cases of severe Space Madness over the years. ;)

    That said, what STO needs is a meaningful loot drop system that makes players WANT to go and run content. Items that are desirable and sought after to entice people to go get them.
    And secondary to that these unique and fancy drops need to be fungible, be that they can be traded to other people for a certain value. So if you can get that unique vanity shield from HSE you can keep it for yourself or you can sell it to those unable/unwilling to run the queue.

    This does two things:

    1) it givers loot a reason to exist and gives queues a reason to be played.
    2) it provides an income scheme anyone can get profit from if they are willing to put in the legwork. That means people can get rich, which will drive and economy.

    Pretty sure @ruinthefun will be along with a similar idea in short time as he has many a time before. Funny this solution keeps getting brought up....
    It keeps getting brought up, yet Cryptic seems almost allergic to any reward that isn't the same old dil/marks.
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 50,229 Arc User
    Yea... special drop gear would be a nice addition. Maybe anything related to the Nexus or Viridian III can have a chance to drop Soren's pistol. That sort of thing.
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
    The nut who actually ground out a Delta Pack, Temporal Pack, and Gamma Pack
    The resident forum voice of reason (I HAZ FORUM REP! YAY!)
  • warpangelwarpangel Member Posts: 9,427 Arc User
    rattler2 wrote: »
    Yea... special drop gear would be a nice addition. Maybe anything related to the Nexus or Viridian III can have a chance to drop Soren's pistol. That sort of thing.
    That sort of thing actually does exist, a little bit. The AoY missions may drop 23rd century versions of weapons and kit modules. This is, unfortunately, a rather unknown feature and most of the gear doesn't have much demand. The weapons are more easily got from K-13 and most of the kit modules are almost identical to the normal ones.

    More would be very welcome.
  • alexraptorralexraptorr Member Posts: 1,192 Arc User
    I should add, and this is very important, that I'm not advocating for more sources of EC, there's more than enough of that. What I'm advocating for is the introduction of desirable high value items that players would trade amongst themselves, facilitating the movement of Energy Credits rather than the generation of them and keep the economy from stagnating.
    rattler2 wrote: »
    By the time you hit endgame you're most likely gonna be using Fleet or Rep gear, and most people are probably just salvaging vendor trash to re-roll the gear they are using.

    This right here is exactly what I'm talking about. STO the only full blown MMORPG I have ever played where ALL loot drops are entirely pointless come endgame. Even boss fights don't yield any meaningful drops "anymore".

    We get good gear from episodes, reputation, crafting, lockboxes and lobi. So why can't we also get good gear as regular drops? Have the drop tables populated with certain pieces of rare equipment that cannot be obtained anywhere else, have people actually get excited over getting a loot drop, rather than just vendor trash.
    I mean seriously, the way things are right now they may just as well get rid of loot drops entirely and have enemy kills dole out EC's and Salvage up front.(of which I am not an advocate for.)
    "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." - Q
  • where2r1where2r1 Member Posts: 6,054 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    So, it is not just loot drops in PvE.

    Strange Alien Artifacts....still net a Purple Mark 12 on crit. Yes, at one time it was top of the line ship console...now, not so much. Personal Mobility Shields...still only Blue Mark 11. None of this stuff from DOFF assignments stand up to Golden Mark 15. The best thing for DOFFing is Contraband?? Maybe??? Purple Tech Doffs from B'Tran?

    Nothing interesting or new added to R&D....people are asking for additions to their weapon energy types...matching Warp Cores...etc...

    Look at the Admiralty system: How many people bother to do Romulan, these days??? They should be giving out quality improvement tokens, not points. Come on, a Romulan hasn't reversed engineered that TRIBBLE, yet??

    You want people to stay and play the game....up the stakes.

    Seriously, this game has turned into collect-a-token-coin.
    Even Farmville had better loot drops for their collections.
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  • pwstolemynamepwstolemyname Member Posts: 1,417 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    What I'm advocating for is the introduction of desirable high value items that players would trade amongst themselves, facilitating the movement of Energy Credits rather than the generation of them and keep the economy from stagnating.

    To expand on this a little for those who have missed the point. I would ask everyone to consider this question:

    "What do I buy on the exchange?"

    I expect these to be the possible answers:

    1) "I buy equipment to help level up my character."
    2) "I buy stuff that people crafted or upgraded with dilithium,"
    3) "I buy lockbox keys."
    4) "I buy stuff that people got out of lockboxes."
    5) "I buy tech upgrades and or MKII weapons to upgrade with tech upgrades."

    What is missing from this list is anything that a new f2p player is going to have to sell. For new characters the Economy of STO is limited to getting EC from Cryptic, and giving it back to cryptic. There is limited to no flow between us. Only when a player reaches extreme end game, after getting fleet and rep gear do they start trading in significant amounts with other players, so the majority of EC that moves in STO is just flowing between those who spend dilithium/zen on things to sell to each other, with a few exceptions for those who make STO their full time job (I am looking at you Ratty).

    I don't consider this to be a good thing. New players will stay with the game longer if they are having fun, and a little RNG luck to give them something they could trade to the oldies for a leg up will help with that.

    On the other hand hitting up the exchange to look for things someone on the forum recommended for their build, only to see that it costs three months worth of their EC income is going to contribute to driving them away.
  • bossheisenbergbossheisenberg Member Posts: 590 Arc User
    It would be nice to see some elite items dropped only through gameplay that aren't tradeable. Something that shows to other players that you are elite, that you've been deep in the trenches for a long time, that you've put in work. I love what they did with the Arena of Sompek, with the titles that you can only earn if you really have what it takes to reach that level. We need way more of that sort of thing.
  • discojerdiscojer Member Posts: 441 Arc User
    Most RPGs I have played don't have valuable equipment drops, but they do is offer tokens or marks or some sort of currency from doing Raids which you then trade in (after getting enough) for pieces of gear.
  • alexraptorralexraptorr Member Posts: 1,192 Arc User
    It would be nice to see some elite items dropped only through gameplay that aren't tradeable. Something that shows to other players that you are elite, that you've been deep in the trenches for a long time, that you've put in work. I love what they did with the Arena of Sompek, with the titles that you can only earn if you really have what it takes to reach that level. We need way more of that sort of thing.

    The sad irony is that this is exactly what the Elite Honor Guard/M.A.C.O/Omega outfits used to be. But casual players with severe entitlement issues whined so much about not getting them(because they didn't want to put any effort into earning them) that Cryptic introduced the reputation system instead that just made them another buyable fashion statement.

    I myself am one of those no-lifers that originally spent months grinding for a full Elite Honor Guard outfit, and the euphoria and rush of emotions I felt when I finally got the final piece was like nothing I've ever experienced before or since in STO. The potential loot drop has always been half the fun of killing a boss in MMORPG's and RPG's.
    "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." - Q
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 50,229 Arc User
    What is missing from this list is anything that a new f2p player is going to have to sell. For new characters the Economy of STO is limited to getting EC from Cryptic, and giving it back to cryptic. There is limited to no flow between us. Only when a player reaches extreme end game, after getting fleet and rep gear do they start trading in significant amounts with other players, so the majority of EC that moves in STO is just flowing between those who spend dilithium/zen on things to sell to each other, with a few exceptions for those who make STO their full time job (I am looking at you Ratty).

    Hey Temo... I streamlined it quite a bit since I got started. ;)
    I'm not burning out like I used to.
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    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
    The nut who actually ground out a Delta Pack, Temporal Pack, and Gamma Pack
    The resident forum voice of reason (I HAZ FORUM REP! YAY!)
  • bejaymacbejaymac Member Posts: 448 Arc User
    "What do I buy on the exchange?"
    Sweet F*** All, don't need any of that garbage, and even if I did I'm not stupid enough to pay the ridiculously high prices the tossers put on that junk.
  • keladorkelador Member Posts: 318 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    The lockboxes super low RNG chance to get the top tier rewards is the problem as that normally means you need to spend more real world money on obtaining that item and that in turn that drives its value up in EC terms and that is what makes the econemy go completly out of balance with the game... If the chance to get a lockbox ship was say 1 in 10 then the highest price of a ship would be around 100mil and suddenly the market would be more reasonble as you can earn around 1mil in a few hours of gameplay.

    The game also locks too much of the good consoles and traits behind lockboxes what they could do is start to add weapons, consoles and traits that are on the same level as the lockbox one but only obtanable from super rare crafting blueprints that drop from in game content and are 1 time use this will bolster the econemy using items obtained through actual gameplay and that are rare and useful thus creating demand this also adds to the gameplay loop which is needed in my opinion.
  • mithrin71mithrin71 Member Posts: 19 Arc User
    There is more now than ever before that gives EC - Daley "complete task" event that gives ec, Admiralty and rep leveling and the important one is the crafted gear you make and sell -_- its an MMO, MMO IS GRIND.
  • bendalekbendalek Member Posts: 1,781 Arc User
    While I agree that the "loot table" needs a major overhaul - I'm reminded of the Plasma Disruptor // Canon's Beams you get from "Smash & Grab" (or whatever the Fed/Klink equivalent is) They are a great budget weapon due to the dual proc, But they still to this day max out (as a loot drop) at MkXI Blue. WTF? I know many would gladly run that mission 7 times to get a full set (as I once did for my very first Romklink toon) IF they would at the very least roll them up to say MkXIV or MkXV Blue.

    And why did they move the Breen Space set to some obscure corner of the mission journal? With only a tiny bit of "tweaking" that could be a very nice end game (budget) Space Set for someone, with unique visuals to got with it.

    In fact I think there is only one mission in the game that gives a MkXIII item, and the rest are MkX to mkXII

    However on the issue of EC value, let's not forget the prevalence of stupidity and/or laziness. Can you believe that people are paying 8000+ EC for Ensign BoFF manuals on the exchange?!? The same manuals you can buy from a vendor for what 200EC? L-M-F-A-O

    And then of course there is the Bot Farmers, who see an opportunity and flood the market with say Specializtion Training Manuals, that were selling for 250-350K plus, because you had to have a Captain with a high enough specialization skill to even craft them, then suddenly someone is selling dozens upon dozens of them for 50K each ... Nope not suspicious at all.

    The game economy definetly needs actual hands on supervision, but I doubt Cryptic would bother, as they seem content to let the player base (and gold seller site bots) make a mess of it constantly.
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  • dracounguisdracounguis Member Posts: 5,363 Arc User
    Inflation has gone out of hand while in-game drops value got cut awhile back. I'd not be surprised if 20% of the players had 80% of the wealth in STO. Unfortunately, I'd not really trust Cryptic to know how to 'fix' this issue without just making it 10x worse instead. Obviously, the vendor value nerf did nothing but hurt new players that didn't already have a huge pile of EC already. That and, of course, with our gamble boxes, luck = wealth.

    Plus, the players with EC 'play the market' and jack up prices on everyone else. Be nice if there was some good way to make all Exchange sales become BoA. That way players couldn't just re-post things just make profit at everyone's expense. I'd guess that would have horrible consequences I can't think of, :D but it'd be interesting to see if the pros would outweigh the cons.
  • ltminnsltminns Member Posts: 11,417 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    The 'pros' would be running the 'cons'. :)
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  • szerontzurszerontzur Member Posts: 2,267 Arc User
    Something I've wished for a long time is encounter groups having special loot you can only get from them. (Kill Gorn; have a very low chance to loot unique Gorn weapons/equipment/kit modules/pets, etc.) Unfortunately, a lot of that ends up as lockbox bloat that's (indirectly) locked behind a paywall instead of actual gameplay. Might be an interesting idea to phase out some of the older lockbox stuff into actual (rare)item drops from their respective encounter groups.

    Would love to see the exchange/trading have transaction fees(5%~) as well.. but.. I can hear the drama-flames roaring already at the mere mention of it.
  • dracounguisdracounguis Member Posts: 5,363 Arc User
    bendalek wrote: »
    However on the issue of EC value, let's not forget the prevalence of stupidity and/or laziness. Can you believe that people are paying 8000+ EC for Ensign BoFF manuals on the exchange?!? The same manuals you can buy from a vendor for what 200EC? L-M-F-A-O

    I know! Been a couple times I bought a manual from a vendor to find I really didn't need it. Go to the Exchange and post it for 8k and its sold w/in a couple hours. People either don't know about the vendors or are too lazy to run there vs saving 7.8k.
  • warpangelwarpangel Member Posts: 9,427 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    bendalek wrote: »
    However on the issue of EC value, let's not forget the prevalence of stupidity and/or laziness. Can you believe that people are paying 8000+ EC for Ensign BoFF manuals on the exchange?!? The same manuals you can buy from a vendor for what 200EC? L-M-F-A-O

    I know! Been a couple times I bought a manual from a vendor to find I really didn't need it. Go to the Exchange and post it for 8k and its sold w/in a couple hours. People either don't know about the vendors or are too lazy to run there vs saving 7.8k.
    8k EC is worth about as much as pocket lint to some of us.

    Much like real life, people who can afford it often pay to have things delivered rather than fetch everything themselves.
  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,608 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    It would be nice to see some elite items dropped only through gameplay that aren't tradeable. Something that shows to other players that you are elite, that you've been deep in the trenches for a long time, that you've put in work. I love what they did with the Arena of Sompek, with the titles that you can only earn if you really have what it takes to reach that level. We need way more of that sort of thing.

    The sad irony is that this is exactly what the Elite Honor Guard/M.A.C.O/Omega outfits used to be. But casual players with severe entitlement issues whined so much about not getting them(because they didn't want to put any effort into earning them) that Cryptic introduced the reputation system instead that just made them another buyable fashion statement.

    Reps were a measure to eliminate the hell of obtaining gear representing the next step up in player progression from independent random probability drops, not mollify "whiny fan entitlement" with respect to a few customization unlocks. There's also no direct way of buying reputation items. They require time spent in queues/zones/patrols/events, which is now consistently moderated by fixed requirements (no lucking out for your bragging rights), for the requisite marks and tier progress.

    And per the topic: just about everything you do in STO grants dilithium. Queues also provide R+D materials. Both can be used to generate a sizable income capable of buying just about anything from the exchange (save promo ships, realistically) through casual gameplay and careful saving. Add to that: admiralty (both EC and Dil), VR doffs from fleet marks, and the odd VR tac console or weapon. STO doesn't need to become more rewarding with respect to a single currency, as direct adjustments of this type wouldn't increase the purchasing power of most players but instead result in inflation.

    Deeper structural modifications are necessary to change economic relationships, and incidentally this has already been done in STO through the crafting revamp and R+D system (making most players capable of producing items of interest to top earners, pulling EC down the ranks. Ie. upgrades) as well as adding dilithium to just about every activity in the game. STO offers a lot of upward mobility, provided you recognize that it has an industrial producer-consumer economy (which is pretty darn flexible and something that should be a hell of a lot more accessible to players than the alternative serfdom of "to earn, all you need to do is grind your brain out for direct gameplay payouts.")
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  • sheldonlcoopersheldonlcooper Member Posts: 3,855 Arc User
    I agree - they are hooked on the keys as much as the players.

    Do I want to see special rare drops? maybe. the only gear rare drops i'd be interested in would have to be gold quality. maybe vanity costumes would work if they were special enough.
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