Prodigy release patch thoughts and concerns
Hey everyone, I’ve seen a lot of discontent and critical feedback about the latest patch and I’d like to try and offer my perspective. I was originally going to respond to a thread about these issues but then so many more threads came up that I felt like it would be ignoring the others if I only responded to one, thusly I am making this post. I want to mention that in no way am I trying to discredit or lessen the opinions brought that are not my own. I would merely like to offer a different perspective and provide some information that might let you see the situation in a different light. Now, with that said, even before this patch containing the Prodigy hit the live servers, there was a negative stigma from the downgrading system and a preview of the cash shop oriented focus. Fortunately downgrading was removed, but much of the cash shop oriented items were not touched. I have seen that because of this removal of the downgrade system, players are under the impression other p2w methods are being forced on them. While I certainly agree to an extent, as the game has slowly phased out methods to acquire cash shop currency and items, I believe that some things, namely badges, are being incorrectly cited as a main focus. We should instead be directing our energy towards solutions to acquiring things for the normal player such as pet gems, pets for pet set bonuses, accents, and rare emblems, as well as improving the new player experience.
The first point I’d like to address is about costumes. Costumes have been available from the start of the game in the form of Kagerfield badges. If you paid 15 inferior badges, you could obtain a random costume piece (from a select pool) in a specific slot. In addition, you could also salvage these to receive 10 or 15 inferior badges. This made some looks highly accessible, but these costumes were not free, and they came at an opportunity cost of increasing your badge level to further strengthen your character. Once you had a costume piece in every slot, you no longer require these random pieces to progress your character further and they exist only for aesthetics. Kritika is a free to play game, that being said, I am not surprised at the recent change to the costumes and their availability. Despite that, there was an undocumented change to Kagerfield and that he now breaks down any costumes for 10 or 15 average badges (30 or 45 inferiors). This moves the costume system into a place where they can charge for cosmetics and allow players who farm for random costumes to enhance their character more quickly by salvaging costumes they farm; by making appearance altering items more difficult to acquire it will allow for other things (like downgrading) to stay out of the game. Kritika has been very generous in the costume department for a long time compared to all other MMOs I have played, and they did not implement this until there were several other ways to acquire costumes for stats. While the pool of options to choose from for free cosmetic customization has decreased, the availability for purely statistical value is still there, it just needs to be farmed for. A criticism I do have is that the costume attribute changer should still be purchasable from Kagerfield. I believe that this item was very helpful and should remain in the game should the desire to change ones selected attribute for a costume piece instead of getting an entirely new one.
If anyone is wondering, here are the ways to currently obtain costumes:
-60 Action Zone Coins for NPC costume in Windhome (random piece of your class)
-1000 Red Megaboss Souls for the Guard costume in Xanadu (all 9 slots of your class)
-Farm Belladonna’s Manor in Starhenge (Eeri and Belladonna can each drop 1 box for prodigy/rogue)
-Farm Letter Runs in Xanadu (3 star intruder can drop NPC costume box of all classes)
-Starhenge Daily Surprise Box (can contain a random NPC costume box of all classes)
-Farm Luciana’s Pavillion in Xanadu (NPC costume box for Psion)
-Farm Sentinel’s Way in Xanadu (NPC costume box for Monk)
-Farm Memory of War in Starhenge (NPC costume box for Gunmage)
-Farm Memory of Annihilation in Starhenge (NPC costume box for Warrior)
-Farm Perumagion Pathway in Starhenge (NPC costume box for Reaper)
The costume situation is a tradeoff, rather than just a straight removal. We will receive more badges overall for our efforts, but our costume selection has decreased without expending Kred or participating in events for costumes. Overall, the whole situation wasn’t handled extremely well and there should have been more transparency as to why they were moving in that direction, as well as the change that the costumes break down into green badges instead of white ones should have been noted.
Prodigy scroll event
The second point that is worth discussing is regarding the prodigy scroll event. While this event is extremely rewarding for those players who spend money or have a large amount of kred available to them, it feels inherently bad that these are gated behind the cash shop. The leveling event for Prodigy gives you 3 scrolls which will provide you with minimal reward and only serve as a means to encourage you to spend money in order to get more scrolls for the good items. Encouraging players to spend isn’t inherently a bad thing, but making these kind of items with no means to get them through grinding or players efforts is disheartening. These scrolls should have been farmable in some fashion, encouraging players to play the game rather than just rewarding those who pay.
Let’s talk about some numbers regarding the prodigy scroll event. Each Prodigy Scroll is worth roughly 500 kred in regards to the deals, granted you get items at discount at the same time but there is generally heavy RNG involved when it comes to getting the items you want from these deal bundles. If you buy Kred in the largest amount available via EMP, you will receive Kred at roughly a 20% bonus on your investment. 12,000 EMP will cost you $100 (USD) which roughly equates to each dollar being worth 120 Kred which makes a prodigy scroll is roughly equal to: $4.1
Let’s do some basic math:
To obtain one of the new emblems is 10 scrolls (5,000 kred / $41.6)
To obtain a Swimsuit Selector is 6 scrolls (3,000 kred / $25)
To obtain a Lifegaurd Costume Selector is 15 scrolls (7,500 kred / $62.5)
To obtain a Glittering Complete Winds Selector (legendary pet) is 50 scrolls (25,000 kred / $208.3)
Now, all that being said, the argument could be made that these are just bonuses tacked onto purchasing normal items. While that is a very good argument, the total value of what you are purchasing is not seen as worthwhile to compensate. Items in general feel too expensive, and it leads to a situation where players feel compelled to spend enough for this failsafe. In the case of enhancement items, these feel overpriced, and the gotcha items likely won’t get you what you’re looking for on average which, again, leads to the point where these are seen as the means to obtain the item and not as a failsafe. In the past, these failsafes were not in place and I’m glad to see that they are, but I think we can take it one step further in the right direction and adjust the acquisition method on these fail safes that isn’t so gated behind purchasing poor chance boxes or adjust prices accordingly and make it feel like a nice bonus rather than required.