So I offer an alternative suggestion. It doesn’t fix all the progression problems and I’m still happy to have some sort of additional progression in tandem (but maybe not as much as lvl 25-50). What it does do is allow people who want to play more of a “main” to do so and see tangible benefits of doing so, but also with some additional risk/replayability.
Basically I suggest this: now that we are all restricted to 1 account each, allow each account to create 1 special character (let’s call these angelic/demonic characters for lack of a better creative lore term atm). These characters only require 10% the exp to level to lvl25, have 50% more HP and hit for 150% damage to a normal 25er (these values could be adjusted eg maybe 50% on more HP on priest is OP but basically they should dominate). Their drawback is that they suffer permadeath (basically upon death, you are back to lvl 1, all exp is wiped and all items equipped and in inventory are dropped - ie soulbinding doesn’t work).
Here is why I think this system would benefit the game:
- 1. People could enjoy playing these characters as mains and dominating with them. Eg say someone like JF/Tyrargo could have a angelic/demonic saurian slayer and round people like he wants to. Dominating is something ppl enjoyed in ROK (usually via obtaining OP weapons) and lament not being able to do as much in EO (so we cater for this market)
2. There is a risk/reward with dominating. Right now if Tyrargo is hunting you he could do so with impunity and zero repercussion (and he has done so in the past). But if he was using one of these chars then he may kill you easier, but as a victim you might now find it worth setting a trap for him (eg asking a guildie to put a secretly faded chanter in your party). If you kill him then he has to level 35mil again before he can come back after you. (The combination of points 1&2 should revive the Pking element from ROK that was lost in recent no-exp-loss etc changes, but do it in a better/more fair way than early EO)
3. It helps even out the "bigger numbers = always better" PVP dynamic cos now you have a choice to bring one of these ‘uber’ characters to try and offset the numbers imbalance. 3 could actually beat 5 If one of the 3 was a demonic/angelic char. None of the 5 may want to risk their own demonic/angelic chars.
4. It promotes more leveling in a nice way. Basically levelling 35mil is not very hard for anyone and most people won’t find this too tedious. Yes it would hurt to lose your angelic/demonic char but you could get it back in not too long. With more repeated leveling of these chars, more game areas are used and there is an incentive to PK again. Eg JF is re-levelling his demonic-Saurian slayer Tyrargo - maybe let’s go hunt him! (i.e. the main chars being re-levelled and targeted for PKing are likely these uber angelic/demonic chars)
5. It increases the market for (currently useless) grey and green items. Who wants a dreadfang? Only newbs or perhaps as fodder when crafting comes in. But with this system you will want dreadfangs cos it’s unlikely u r gonna equip your demonic saurian slayer with a devils horn (cos its likely he will eventually die and you will drop it). So the market & usefulness for green items especially will increase.
6. Could add some spice to events if these chars were added (eg you could gamble to win the whole thing by bringing your angelic/demonic char but if someone else does too then one of u will be crying). Alternatively you could ban these chars from some events (or have angelic/demonic char only events) if it makes for better balance.
7. Allows ppl to try different race/class combos quicker than the tedious grind of lvling a normal 25er. I’m never going to level an elemental guardian for example (I know others have, but with my lack of time and for very niche use, it’s just not worth it). But with these angelic/demonic chars only needing 30-35mil exp I just might do so. And when it dies evenetually, I might try levelling an intelligence-build gnome elder (something else I think is not worth it now but could be viable as an angelic/demonic char)
8. Allows people to do OADs undermanned (ie improves numbers needed for PVE dynamic). Perhaps using these demonic/angelic chars you might be able to risk doing mana caverns OAD with only 3 ppl. This would reduce the strain of always needing big numbers and big guilds etc to do things.
9. Allows new players to get into the game and enjoy interacting with others in endgame action much faster. Right now, the perception of new players is often that they are stuck grinding away alone slowly while their guildies are off doing some keys, bosses and other 'fun' stuff they cant participate in (level-locked zones/areas makes this even worse cos u may not even be able to level with others if say you are at lvl 20 and your guildies are 23+ leveling in dreadlands). With these type chars at least the newbie could quickly get a character that could help do 'cool' stuff and interact with others on endgame content. This should help new player interest/retention.
10. It opens a new paradigm for casual players, which could help playerbase growth. Basically some casuals may decide to only play their one angelic/demonic char and enjoy doing that. (Hardcore players can still invest in building their versatile army of 50+ regular 25ers). With this option, a casual can enjoy endgame content in a short amount of time-investment and not overly care about farming the best purple equip etc cos their angelic/demonic char should be quite competitive to normal chars, and if/when they die they can happily enjoy the replayability. This could help if trying to cater for mass market (esp if EO is serious about trying to enter the realm of games for tablets/apps etc where ppl want more instant gratification).
Basically what I’m suggesting doesn’t solve all the problems of ongoing progression but it does add a lot of “replayability” and it caters to a lot of “markets” of players and what they liked about ROK (eg pking, dominating etc) while adding some helpful counterbalances to current EO (reduces emphasis on numbers for pvp/pvp, adds risks to pking/dominating, allows people to focus on a “main” if they choose, revives economy for green items etc etc).
Hope this helps. Peace.