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#1 Arkham Creed

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:54 PM

In a recent, now locked, thread I tried to discuss the objective definition of pay-to-win, and quickly found that for various reasons doing so is….difficult, to say the least. So rather than rehash that argument I thought I would move on to some more specific issues. In today’s flame war….err….discussion I’d like to get the community’s thoughts on Black Lion Tickets and the weapon skins tied to them. Before I give my thoughts and open this up I’d like to propose one “postulate” for this discussion just to get us all on the same page. Specifically that Black Lion Chest and Claim Tickets aren’t going anywhere.

Like many of you I hate Black Lion Chests and once even suggested we boycott by way of instant deletion when they drop (didn’t catch on, obviously), but I’m a realist. Yes in an ideal world those chest and their ticket scraps would be a thing of the past and the weapon skins that go with would be in some way integrated into existing or new game-play content. But come on; what are the odds of that happening? NC Soft is making way too much money off those chests, so they aren’t going to just let them go. Instead we should be focusing on a way to make this system work for us, rather than simply demanding it be removed.

So here is my thought; Black Lion Ticket Scraps should be added to daily achievement rewards. And full, complete, Black Lion Tickets should be added to monthly achievement rewards. Of course I’d like to see their drop rates across the board increased generously, but either way this would make amassing tickets reasonable with little to no monetary investment, while still maintaining the Black Lion Chest’s place as the more “convenient” means of obtaining them. Under this system, with a little luck, a semi-dedicated player could manage to get a shiny new weapon skin with a month’s effort. Kind of slow and grindy of course, but still somewhat reasonable. And certainly better than the current “spend hundreds of dollars and you might get a skin” chest only system.


#2 FoxBat

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:23 PM

You can already buy/sell the items on the TP. If its "expensive" that's called skins actually having some prestige.

Maybe people would have more fun or Anet would even make more money if they removed trading and added some kind of daily grind like you suggest. But it doesn't seem like a radical change from the current system where you can F2P grind them out if you want.

Perhaps selling them for laurels would be reasonable, for those people who have all the ascended junk they could want already. Or more insidious/effective, sell keys for laurels.

#3 Gyre

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:55 PM

Anet has already doubled down on this system.  If you hold the skins you can turn a profit once they inevitably up the rate from 1 ticket to 3+, plenty of established precedent.  I don't see them making the tickets obtainable through any other method because it would remove the incentive to buy chests for tickets once new skins are released.  Of course there is always the TP so you've got to weigh luck vs. finances if that skin is a must have item.

#4 Reason on Cooldown

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 07:00 PM

So basically the plan is to flat out reduce ANet's income?  Where is the incentive for Anet to do this?  The plan should be to maintain ANet's income stream, but make it more player friendly.  For example, raising the price of BL keys, but making ticket scraps a guaranteed drop, and complete tickets a substitute rare drop.  One of the biggest problems with BL chests is there is a high probability of not getting anything worthwhile.  That's probably the biggest problem with their RNG nature.

However, you don't have to spend a dime on it if you convert gold to gems.  I suspect one day, if I play long enough, I won't have anything significant to spend gold on, and will transfer some to gems every so often.

#5 Arkham Creed

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 07:17 PM

View PostFoxBat, on 12 April 2014 - 06:23 PM, said:

You can already buy/sell the items on the TP. If its "expensive" that's called skins actually having some prestige.

Holding something to a degree of prestige is a subjective thing. So, that said, I completely disagree; if you just buy it it has no prestige value. At least to me. Frankly the only skins in the game that I hold in any degree of esteem are the non-tradable ones that you have to "earn." Those being dungeon skins, temple skins bought with karma, and the crafted ascended skins.

I feel that your choice of skin says something, and since most skins say only "I bought this" or "I got a lucky drop" I don't regard them as anything special at all. Just an opinion, but there it is; prancing around with gem store armor and ticket weapons doesn't earn one iota of respect from me. There is no prestige there. At all.

#6 Andemius

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:05 PM

View PostArkham Creed, on 12 April 2014 - 07:17 PM, said:

Those being dungeon skins, temple skins bought with karma, and the crafted ascended skins.

You are joking.

Those are perhaps the easiest skins to get. Dungeons are simple even without an optimal team, karma is moreorless useless so you don't need to work for that armor, and ascended can almost be bought straight off the TP - if you have enough asc mats - dragonite ore being the only one I've ever had trouble with.

#7 Baldur The Bold

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:22 PM

I would really like to have an aetherized war horn but unfortunately I would have to gamble either 1000gold or hundreds of dollars in order to get tickets. There are 0 available in the TP. GG Anet. Make me gamble in order to get a skin.

#8 Arkham Creed

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:51 PM

View PostAndemius, on 12 April 2014 - 08:05 PM, said:



You are joking.

Those are perhaps the easiest skins to get. Dungeons are simple even without an optimal team, karma is moreorless useless so you don't need to work for that armor, and ascended can almost be bought straight off the TP - if you have enough asc mats - dragonite ore being the only one I've ever had trouble with.

Yet you have to earn those dungeon tokens youself. You have to farm that karma yourself. And you have to actually craft up to 500 yourself and spend over a month actually crafting the armor. Yourself. Being able to just buy the mats or not you can't have someone else do it for you no matter how much gold or real cash you throw at the game; unlike literally every single other armor set there is.

I never said those sets got much prestige. But they are still the only ones that get any at all.

#9 Save 4 Less

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:34 PM

I'd rather just see Black Lion Keys become easier to get rather than just giving away the Tickets like they're just candy. They could sell Black Lion Keys for Laurels or give them out as a semi-rare Daily Reward kind of like how Transmutation Crystals and Black Lion Salvage Kits currently are. They could even make 5 Black Lion Keys a monthly reward or even give them out as Achievement rewards.

View PostArkham Creed, on 12 April 2014 - 08:51 PM, said:

Yet you have to earn those dungeon tokens youself. You have to farm that karma yourself. And you have to actually craft up to 500 yourself and spend over a month actually crafting the armor. Yourself. Being able to just buy the mats or not you can't have someone else do it for you no matter how much gold or real cash you throw at the game; unlike literally every single other armor set there is.

I never said those sets got much prestige. But they are still the only ones that get any at all.
My friend bought Arah Paths from Arah path sellers for his Arah Tokens so that logic that "you earn dungeon rewards yourself" is flawed while people still sell paths for gold. You technically don't do it yourself since you have 4 others as well. You can play as bad you want and still get carried through a dungeon by 4 other skilled players. I can't count the amount of "bad players" (by bad players, I don't mean players that are new and aren't familiar with the content, I mean players who know the content but are just terrible at it and refused to listen to others) I've carried through CoE or Arah for them to get ill-deserved tokens at the end. Sure it takes days to get enough tokens for whole set but that doesn't mean much when they're not hard to get all.

Karma isn't even hard to earn, I run Tequatl every night and I get at least 20k Karma from it. Even if you don't do Tequatl, Karma is so worthless aside from Obsidian Shards so it's hard to not have a ton laying around.

You can buy the Materials to get 500 crafting. I spent around 50g on Materials to go from 450-500 Weaponsmithing so I didn't do it myself, all my progress was off of the materials of others. You can even buy the Time Gated materials like the Deldrimor Steel Ingots, Damask, and Elonian Leather. That same friend who bought those Arah runs also bought Deldrimor Steel Ingots to craft his armor even though he has 500 Armorsmithing. He didn't want to wait a whole month to craft his set so he just bought enough Ingots to craft them immediately. Don't let the whole time gated crafting fool you, you can still "buy" your Ascended Gear off of others as long you have 500 of whatever craft. The only thing you really have to do yourself is get the materials of the Vision Crystal which is laughably easy. I don't know anybody who isn't drowning in Bloodstone Dust or Emperial Fragments and Dragonite Ore can be easily obtained by jumping on a World Boss Train.

#10 Mordakai

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 12:34 AM

Glad this is up for discussion.  Let's not assume that ArenaNet will not change: the April 14 update proves they ate willing to change their minds.

We must make it clear that Black Lion Chests in their current form are unacceptable.

Two things I would like to see:

1.  Guaranteed scraps (you still need 10 for a ticket!  I bet Anet would make even more money with more people willing to buy into a guaranteed drop.

2. Rare drops of keys.

Either one or the other would be an improvement.  Both would be awesome.

#11 Graka

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 04:19 AM

The black lion chests should be changed to a guarantee of one scrap minimum per chest, a chance at a full ticket being 1/10, and the raising of perm contracts to 1%. Along with this change with the April 15 update skins should be added to the chest, not items but skins such as a chance of any skin in the game including legendaries, but again only the skins not the stats.

Keys should be raised to a drop rate of 0.1% world drop rate from the low 0.001% that seems to be current. Along with this keys should be craftable from the professions requiring a good amount of mats to not make them a joke to craft while also making them valuable, along with this change they should be made tradable and sellable. A good rate for this might be 2-3 gold per key or whatever the current exchange is gems to gold for keys that cost in mats.

This to me would be a good starting point, and also setting up possibly the chests ability to contain any item off the gem store in varying percentage chances based on value.

#12 Andemius

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 05:08 AM

View PostArkham Creed, on 12 April 2014 - 08:51 PM, said:

Yet you have to earn those dungeon tokens youself. You have to farm that karma yourself. And you have to actually craft up to 500 yourself and spend over a month actually crafting the armor. Yourself. Being able to just buy the mats or not you can't have someone else do it for you no matter how much gold or real cash you throw at the game; unlike literally every single other armor set there is.

I never said those sets got much prestige. But they are still the only ones that get any at all.

As opposed to armor you don't earn yourself?

How do you buy stuff off the TP if not with gold you earn yourself. (note - earn encompasses "buy" in my eyes, as you have to work to earn money)

The only instance of a skin or item having prestige I can think of is if it was a random drop which only came from 1 chest after doing something not easy. Hall of Heroes Gw1 for example.

#13 Beyond Freedom

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 06:31 AM

View PostAndemius, on 13 April 2014 - 05:08 AM, said:

As opposed to armor you don't earn yourself?

How do you buy stuff off the TP if not with gold you earn yourself. (note - earn encompasses "buy" in my eyes, as you have to work to earn money)

Not everyone has to work to earn money. And nobody in games is impressed by stuff you can obtain by simply throwing cash at.

Edit: Actually I think we can go one step further than this. Whatever cash you might have to throw at a game is necessarily disposable income (excluding some edge cases where people actually have a psychological addiction or whatever and are spending the money for food or paying the rent on games instead). Therefore you didn't actually need this cash, so the question of how hard you worked to earn it is irrelevant.

And, what I said before. There are a lot of minors playing games that certainly didn't earn the money they spend. Some people have trust funds or other inheritances and never have to work at all. Some people would like to work harder and earn more but don't have the opportunity to do so by an unfair accident of birth. Games, especially MMOs, are virtual environments where people can go to roleplay that the imbalances and unfairnesses of real life such as this don't exist for a while. Hence the strong opinions about P2W and all that.

Edited by Beyond Freedom, 13 April 2014 - 07:05 AM.


#14 Cube

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:26 AM

How about they actually made those weapons actual rewards for actual content? Oh, I don't know. Maybe instead of dumping everything into fractals and the gemstore they could actually make a 3 dungeon path, for example the molten one(that's now in fractals) and have the dungeon reward the weapon skins? I mean you don't even need to have it just 390 tokens for a skin, you could even make it 1,000 or 2,000 or even more. Make it a hard and challenging dungeon so that players want to get those rewards and replay that content because they will show other players they are "elite" or for fun, whatever you wanna call it. It's better to keep players rather than just milking them then throwing them away.

That's the only solution that is acceptable to me. Get rid of the BLC, the RNG, make players want to play the game, nobody minds the occasional skin in the gemstore but it's making the game suffer, because were we could have content we now just have a skin with a price in the gemstore or chest...

Edited by Cube, 13 April 2014 - 11:30 AM.


#15 Improvavel

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 12:54 PM

Barbies.
All Barbies wanting to be unique slow flakes and everyone to look at them for one reason or the other.

If you want black lion keys with no money spent just farm them or use your own gold to buy them.

#16 Bryant Again

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:42 PM

I can't imagine them changing a whole lot, especially if it's a hot form of revenue. With fingers crossed I hope that at the very least they follow something similar to Graka's suggestion. But honestly, any road towards garunteed progress would be welcome.

#17 Arcade Fire

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 02:56 PM

Kind of relevant,

Does Anet have any plans to release skins that doesn't require a gem store purchase? Or is literally everything going to be a money grab.

#18 MazingerZ

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 03:12 PM

View PostFoxBat, on 12 April 2014 - 06:23 PM, said:

You can already buy/sell the items on the TP. If its "expensive" that's called skins actually having some prestige.

View PostArkham Creed, on 12 April 2014 - 07:17 PM, said:

Those being dungeon skins, temple skins bought with karma, and the crafted ascended skins.

View PostAndemius, on 12 April 2014 - 08:05 PM, said:

Those are perhaps the easiest skins to get. Dungeons are simple even without an optimal team, karma is moreorless useless so you don't need to work for that armor, and ascended can almost be bought straight off the TP - if you have enough asc mats - dragonite ore being the only one I've ever had trouble with.

It's almost as if ArenaNet were trying to place a higher value on things you can get through the RMT rather than things available exclusively through game-play.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#19 RandolfRa

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:51 PM

View PostImprovavel, on 13 April 2014 - 12:54 PM, said:

Barbies.
All Barbies wanting to be unique slow flakes and everyone to look at them for one reason or the other.

If you want black lion keys with no money spent just farm them or use your own gold to buy them.
Yep, that's how this game is. If you don't like it, you might enjoy http://www.eveonline.com/ instead. Internet space ships are serious business.

Quote

Does Anet have any plans to release skins that doesn't require a gem store purchase? Or is literally everything going to be a money grab.
Well the WvW tournament reward items for example are obtainable only through playing. Also, items that are bought with gold aren't in this context any different from items that are bought with gems.

Edited by RandolfRa, 13 April 2014 - 08:59 PM.


#20 Arkham Creed

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:58 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 13 April 2014 - 03:12 PM, said:

It's almost as if ArenaNet were trying to place a higher value on things you can get through the RMT rather than things available exclusively through game-play.

I think you're half right, just pointing the finger at the wrong people. Lets not forget that Arena Net is the developer and not the publisher, and as such they don't get to decide where the money comes from and what goes into the cash shop. Now obviously they have to be aware of where those skins are going, I'm not that naive, but that doesn't mean it was their decision.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and feel the same about blame. Arena Net might be going along with the plan, for whatever reason (assuming they even have a say in the matter), but it isn't their plan. Blame Arena Net for the poorly done re-skins and lazy and/or just plain bad designs, but NC Soft is the one behind the gem store and the RNG boxes.

View PostCube, on 13 April 2014 - 11:26 AM, said:

How about they actually made those weapons actual rewards for actual content? Oh, I don't know. Maybe instead of dumping everything into fractals and the gemstore they could actually make a 3 dungeon path, for example the molten one(that's now in fractals) and have the dungeon reward the weapon skins? I mean you don't even need to have it just 390 tokens for a skin, you could even make it 1,000 or 2,000 or even more. Make it a hard and challenging dungeon so that players want to get those rewards and replay that content because they will show other players they are "elite" or for fun, whatever you wanna call it. It's better to keep players rather than just milking them then throwing them away.

That's the only solution that is acceptable to me. Get rid of the BLC, the RNG, make players want to play the game, nobody minds the occasional skin in the gemstore but it's making the game suffer, because were we could have content we now just have a skin with a price in the gemstore or chest...

Of course that would be the best case, but as I said in the OP the odds of that are so low it isn't even worth bringing up. Our time is better served thinking of things vaguely within the realm of possibility.

#21 Improvavel

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

View PostRandolfRa, on 13 April 2014 - 08:51 PM, said:

Yep, that's how this game is. If you don't like it, you might enjoy http://www.eveonline.com/ instead. Internet space ships are serious business.

You saying that this game is about acquiring unique items no one else has?
Why would I be interested in EVE?
My policy is having fun in game and acquiring the skins that make my character look good for my own taste even if that is wearing the starter skin.

#22 Kymeric

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:36 PM

View PostImprovavel, on 14 April 2014 - 12:33 PM, said:

My policy is having fun in game and acquiring the skins that make my character look good for my own taste even if that is wearing the starter skin.

I agree.  I don't buy the "prestige" skin concept at all.  It's an MMORPG, and no matter what there will be players all around who have "earned" the same prestige skin.

I'd much rather everyone in game had a reasonable avenue to acquire the skins they find most aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for their characters rather than artificially limiting them so that some have rarity and thus "prestige".

The answer to "everyone would look the same" is making sure there is enough variety of desirable skins in game that variety in taste leads to variety in what people are wearing.

#23 typographie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 11:07 PM

View PostImprovavel, on 14 April 2014 - 12:33 PM, said:

My policy is having fun in game and acquiring the skins that make my character look good for my own taste even if that is wearing the starter skin.

Wait, I'm confused.. part of the game for you is acquiring the skins that you think look good, but other players doing the same are "Barbies" who just want people to look at them?

#24 icegrover

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:00 AM

View PostMordakai, on 13 April 2014 - 12:34 AM, said:

Two things I would like to see:

1.  Guaranteed scraps (you still need 10 for a ticket!  I bet Anet would make even more money with more people willing to buy into a guaranteed drop.

2. Rare drops of keys.

Neither will happen. They love their little lottery scheme they have going on. If it gets people to waste real money on virtual shit they don't need (and it apparently does), nothing shall change. Wishful thinking though, I agree.

#25 I post stuff

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:59 AM

Can't you already farm up a bunch of keys by making new characters and getting them to a specific point in the storyline? It takes about 15min. per key afaik, so I think it's safe to assume that a typical MMO nerd could farm up maybe 10 a session without breaking a sweat.

Some could even farm up more than it would be reasonable to buy.

I don't mind those things being added to daily and monthly rewards though. Even if it would suck for people that bought them for prestige. But all in all I'm just sayin'.

Could this be a case of "I played this game for too long, I'm bored, I cba doing X but really want the reward. Might as well go complain on the forum", hmm?

Edited by I post stuff, 15 April 2014 - 01:00 AM.


#26 Mordakai

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:41 AM

View PostI post stuff, on 15 April 2014 - 12:59 AM, said:

Can't you already farm up a bunch of keys by making new characters and getting them to a specific point in the storyline? It takes about 15min. per key afaik, so I think it's safe to assume that a typical MMO nerd could farm up maybe 10 a session without breaking a sweat.

Some could even farm up more than it would be reasonable to buy.

I don't mind those things being added to daily and monthly rewards though. Even if it would suck for people that bought them for prestige. But all in all I'm just sayin'.

Could this be a case of "I played this game for too long, I'm bored, I cba doing X but really want the reward. Might as well go complain on the forum", hmm?

I think you are missing the point.  You could farm 100 of these things and not get a single ticket.  The odds are terrible.  It is by far the worst aspect of the gemstore, and it needs to go if for no other reason to take away the criticism that Anet cares more about making money then about rewarding gameplay.

#27 MCBiohazard

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 03:03 AM

If they're not going away and that is more likely than the ship suddenly flipping a 180 midstream, then A-Net should stay the course it's been gradually doing over time (maybe accelerate the process a little) by stripping the drop pool of useless items and maybe upping the drop rate of the useful but not prestigious consolation prizes like dyes, makeover kits and scroll/tomes of knowledge. Cut down the massive list of common booster drops and make it so that you can maybe get something worth stashing in your bank at least if you don't luck out on a scrap, mini, backpack or everlasting item.

#28 Save 4 Less

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 03:06 AM

View PostI post stuff, on 15 April 2014 - 12:59 AM, said:

Can't you already farm up a bunch of keys by making new characters and getting them to a specific point in the storyline? It takes about 15min. per key afaik, so I think it's safe to assume that a typical MMO nerd could farm up maybe 10 a session without breaking a sweat.

Some could even farm up more than it would be reasonable to buy.

I don't mind those things being added to daily and monthly rewards though. Even if it would suck for people that bought them for prestige. But all in all I'm just sayin'.

Could this be a case of "I played this game for too long, I'm bored, I cba doing X but really want the reward. Might as well go complain on the forum", hmm?
It's less time consuming to just farm the gold for the ticket scraps rather than waste time key running.

I was at 9/10 Ticket Scraps for weeks. It took me 37 runs at around 22 minutes each to finally get one. This is for 1 ticket and keep in mind most new weapons cost 5 tickets (or 50 Scraps) after their promotion period is over. I could have spent that time just farming the gold and flat out buying the Weapon Skin I needed off of the TP. I got absolute crap out of the Black Lion chests too, the only really noteworthy things were 3 Transmutation Crystals, a Total Makeover kit, and one of those Level-up Tomes.

#29 Improvavel

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

View Posttypographie, on 14 April 2014 - 11:07 PM, said:

Wait, I'm confused.. part of the game for you is acquiring the skins that you think look good, but other players doing the same are "Barbies" who just want people to look at them?

Look good for my own taste.

vs

Other people look at me and be overwhelmed by prestige skin that you acquire by doing pirouettes while bashing a boss with the nose for 50000 times.

Edited by Improvavel, 15 April 2014 - 10:23 AM.


#30 RandolfRa

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:03 AM

View Posttypographie, on 14 April 2014 - 11:07 PM, said:

Wait, I'm confused.. part of the game for you is acquiring the skins that you think look good, but other players doing the same are "Barbies" who just want people to look at them?
Exactly my point.

Quote

Look good for my own taste.

vs

Other people look at me and be overwhelmed by prestige skin that you acquire by doing pirouettes while bashing a boss with the nose for 50000 times.
It is evident you can't see this discussion from any other perspective but your own. In the above you don't present a single argument. All you do is that you try to ridicule the opposing players as barbies and palette dancers (wtf?) in order to make your point of view look superior.
Lots of people see (or at least want to see) certain skins as rewards of dedication and skill. They want to show off their devotion. I don't think this is very unreasonable in a game that has no traditional mmorpg rewards such as vertical progression or power.

Edited by RandolfRa, 15 April 2014 - 11:34 AM.





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