End of July Update, Starhenge Gear Explanation, and Designers Intent
Thank you for your patience, and your overwhelming feedback in the past few days. We have been working with the designers to get answers to your questions, but it will help to begin by looking at the future of Kritika Online and changes coming in the next update. We hope this information will provide more clarity, and open further dialog for feedback. It is a lot of information (with cool diagrams, even), so take your time, read through, and reply away!
Regarding the Recent Change to Starhenge Gear:
With our latest update, v153, we made Starhenge gear tradeable on the Auction House for Kred. Like we said in the patch notes, gear in Kritika Online will be ever-evolving and we wanted to get the current gear into more player’s hands. You asked for, and rightly deserve, more information—so here is what I was able to track down in my discussions with the dev team.
To start, we believe this diagram best explains our intent for the three types of end game gear:
(Quest Reward Gear is also included in the "low-tier" category.)
Please Note: The "100% guarantee" for medium-tier gear is guaranteed based off average play from between 10-30 days. If the item doesn't drop during that time period outright, you will have enough materials to make it craftable.
As you can see, we are only in the middle phase of Starhenge gear currently. By the end of July we will be moving on to the top-end Starhenge gear, which will be Bind on Account—not tradeable. In general, we expect players to fall into these three categories, based on their playtime. We want Low gear to be readily accessible, Middle gear to require effort and allow players to be competitive, and for the High gear to be for the most hardcore of players.
We believe that collecting gear is one of the best parts of an RPG. Previously, we felt we were lacking in this category because you are unable to trade most of the items you obtain, and it does not feel good when you get the same legendary item repeatedly. Therefore, we made the decision to change the Middle gear to be tradeable and allow players to earn in-game currency from the duplicates, starting in August.
This approach also has its flaws—for example, supply is outpacing demand right now. Due to this, we will add the ability to use these same items for enhancements.
A much simpler diagram with our intent for repeatable obtained items after the August update:
We will continue to monitor the supply and demand and ensure that pricing is stable and that players are having a rewarding experience regardless of how much time or money they are spending in Kritika Online.
Upcoming Auction House Changes
The Auction House is getting updated at the end of July. The biggest change is that we are vastly expanding what can be traded for gold on the Auction House. In-fact most items from the EMP Store will be available to sell on the Auction House for gold.
Crafting items, and dropped items will remain tradeable via Kred on the Auction House as bind on equip. This includes the current Starhenge items that we recently changed (see the above explanation).
In addition, the Auction House will have a minimum and maximum sales price of either gold or Kred. This price is determined by the data we have collected and we totally expect to get a few of these values wrong at first. However, we have plans to update these values in real time as we see the need. Fortunately, we built tools to allow us to do this in real time (versus in a patch).
That being said, we recognize that some of you have put certain items up for sale on the Auction House with prices outside these ranges. So with the end-of-July update, we will be returning your unsold items to you, and if you’d still like to put them on the Auction House (within the new prices ranges), you’ll be able to relist them.
We are going to continue to work to provide a safe and fun social economy for you, so please keep providing feedback and we will continue to listen and do our best to improve.
For reference, here is what items bind, and what trade types will look like at the end of July update:
Free Players—Design Intent
Kred is a unique currency in the En Masse version of Kritika Online. It was designed specifically for us to help prevent the game from becoming “pay-to-win,” because not only is it a paid resource, but it is also tradeable between non-paying players. We have been monitoring your progression—how fast you are gearing up, what you are wearing, and how much money you spent along the way. Our discovery was that free players were keeping pace with paying players. In fact, some of the highest-ranked players never spent any money.
It is our intent for free players to be able to compete with paying players. We believe we are on pace to match our intent, but we need to constantly monitor the situation. We love hearing your feedback and we always calculate and weigh each decision we make. Kritika Online does need to generate revenue so that we can continue to maintain and support the game and community, and finding this balance can be difficult—so please continue to provide feedback and call us out when we stray too far, one way or the other.
Money Circulation after the End of July Update
We want to improve the value of the money you earn, be it Kred, EMP, or gold. Giving more ways to utilize this money is one such way. With the end of July update we hope to diversify the creation, circulation, and spending of money. In the case of gold, enhancement was by far the biggest usage. Aside from crafting and merging, there weren’t many other ways to spend it. This is one of the driving factors in allowing many of the EMP Store items to be sold for gold on the Auction House. We fully expect this to accelerate gold usage, stimulate circulation between players, and overall drive more urgency to obtain gold.
The ability to do more with gold is important because gold is earned in game with time and effort, which we believe greatly benefits the free player. Of course, with this change we also need to closely watch the black market (gold farmers) and make sure that we continue to provide safer more efficient methods for the community.
We have been pleased with Kred circulation before level 65; it has worked as intended for trading gear. Unfortunately, at 65 there was not much gear in circulation. This was a reason for the update to allow Starhenge gear to be tradeable for Kred. Players can spend the time playing the market to earn Kred to cobble together their gear, as opposed to playing Starhenge over and over. We hope that this provides alternate ways of gearing up so you can start to experience more of our upcoming content—such as the updated Arena system rolling out soon.
This is a lot of information to digest. I hope you all realize that both Allm and EME are listening and taking your feedback seriously. It takes time to analyze the data and adjust to your feedback. We want to make smart decisions that improve the game for the community at large. We know every change won’t be for everyone, but we do hope that you engage us with constructive feedback and give us time to make adjustments. We are here to service a game we believe can be a ton of fun and we aren’t going to be able to do that without your support.