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Paying to Skip the Grind
DISCLAIMER: I don't really expect this to make it in or plan on pushing for it too hard, but I wanted to throw the idea into the wind.
I've found that with working a job and being in college, it's gotten increasingly harder to find time to grind up a character in SL2. I want to ask how you guys would feel about the idea of a donation item or a mechanic where you can pay real money to be able to level cap your character. The way I'm currently imagining it is that whether it's a donation item or a mechanic, it would probably have a long cooldown period (like maybe 1 or 2 weeks) or is only usable once per character.
I've got a few reasons to throw this out there:
1. As I previously mentioned, I get quite busy with life, and find it hard to open up time to grind up a character in SL2. Frankly, I'm also a little tired of doing it after 9 years! I imagine this would help other people in similar circumstances.

2. Sometimes, there are types of characters that are really odd starting out at Level 1. I believe this was a concern brought up a while back when Korvara was launching too, the whole idea that somebody of an important combat position or something along the line starts out as a Level 1 warrior fighting Jammers is very weird. This could probably help people that are making a character along that line.

3. Some games already let you pay to skip the grind, such as FFXIV or World of Warcraft, so I think the idea doesn't seem too weird.
I was wondering if you guys think it'd be worth considering. Thank you for your time.
[Image: Fern22.gif]
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[-] The following 5 users Like Fern's post:
  • Lewdcifer, Miller, Poruku, SolAndLuna, Turadis
This works quite well in different games due to a lot of de-emphasizing the levelling process in of itself, MMOs thrive on their end game content the most out of any genre of games as the bulk of their multiplayer content, so it makes the most sense that they have levelling skips, especially when the campaigns for those games can take upwards to half a year to complete, probably even more.

SL2 is a different ballpark, SL2 has some amount of emphasis on creating and developing a character through their in game experiences, and while the levelling process can basically amount to being basically Schrodinger's IC, I do think there is value in that process. That's not to say that this will take that away necessarily, but I think that there are a lot of fair criticisms when it comes to the levelling process, some that I have noticed when alone, those being boredom, a lack of self-sufficiency in half of the builds in the game, just a lack of available items without first needing to trade someone.

The early game without friends is incredibly rough, there are a lot of issues I have personally with it being so melee-unfriendly, and how easy it is for your character to just die to no fault of your own other than your build operates too closely to the enemy. I also have some issues with the end process of levelling, with lvl 55-60 being an absolute crawl, I think 55-60 really needs some EXP adjustments as a whole.

Dev likely will not go for this option, but I would probably like it if Early Game was improved via base damage on base class abilities, and if the later EXP curve was tuned down a bit, the fact that training on dummies worth roughly 10% of your EXP bar every in game hour is optimal unless seriously geared, from 55-60 doesn't make the process very involving.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Autumn's post:
  • Fern
Dummies are actually about 20% of your EXP bar-- since bonus EXP (Brain food, etc) applies to it.

Early game is miserable though.

Try making a level 1 character in Korvara. Go into a level 1 dungeon (Beach Cave).

Watch as you get slapped for 90% of your health from ONE singular enemy that started their turn in melee range with you. This problem is inherent throughout the entire leveling process. Mages, and super long range attackers are about the only people that can, effectively, deal with this stuff.. Or dancers at low level (ice dance kills and does.. a LOT of damage at low level).

I'd prefer if the grind was cut down-- especially on the LEing side of things. Right now? I do a ton of thing at level 60, and go adventuring etc. I don't LE, however, because it makes zero sense IC to go on the Backwards grind of "oh yeah suddenly I just lost all my power teehee. Can't even lift up my normal weapon at level 1."

It all around could just.. use a facelift. Getting Legend Inks, in general, could just be changed to "Acquire X amount of EXP" -- and that entire amount of EXP could be the amount of EXP you need to go from 1 to 60 again.
Regarding the original idea itself... to be entirely honest, I don't see why it wouldn't work fine. Just some amount of Asagorians/Patrions to boost up to a high level once per character, and a choice of two classes to unlock and level boost along the way along with their base classes. Could even put them at something like level 55 instead of 60, and 30 instead of 35 for class levels, if there's concern for it removing IC. If concern is on it being pay to win, limit it to keys where one level 60 (or LE'd) character exists already or something - they've proven they can get to level 60 without shortcuts by then, after all.

For that matter, there's still the hunt for equipment, and enchantments, and quality tools, and memory shards, and optional obtainables if your class has those (youkai/copy spells/etc), and consumable items, and a healthy supply of the specific food you want to use, and any prerequisite LEs for crafting, or stats for the ones that need it... it all just takes up a lot of time, usually even after you get to level 60. It can sometimes take a good while to get everything you need, doubly so if you're trying to get them shortly after getting to level 60, as you don't have any money to really work with just yet.

And in a sense, there are actually a handful of reasons for why you'd want to at least provide someone the ability to at least skip the most openly noticeable issue, and the one with the least shortcuts available to people.

1. If you want to take part in events, you don't have the luxury to show up underleveled, which makes the problem fairly similar to the one found in most MMOs - either grind up and get all of that gear so you can attend, or be dead weight.
2. Every "capable combatant" character, including some roles, showing up rustier than a door in an old abandoned shack, only a cloak and a basic longsword on their back... well, to be honest, it both gets very old very fast, and also makes people see IC and mechanics as two massively different beasts altogether, when they're both interconnected and should at least carry some of the same basic principles.
3. Villainous characters having to grind in the same areas kinda limits the amount of things some of them can do, too. It usually ends up with them either looking (mostly) okay until they get everything they need, or otherwise trying to avoid interaction until after they're fully prepared in one way or another.

At least in my mind, it makes sense for that kind of idea to be included for those that are willing to pay for it. It's not like it removes the ability to just achieve it the normal way, nor does it devalue it either.

I don't disagree with the other points as well, especially LEs needing to be replaced with something else - speaking as someone that's LE'd enough to get a full legend book, it's painful and mind numbing, doesn't matter how much I enjoy the game if I'm running around killing the same enemies for 5 years. But, I also agree with the idea of having some sort of shortcut available for the people that either don't want to grind or don't have the time to actually enjoy the game otherwise.
[-] The following 1 user Likes SolAndLuna's post:
  • Fern
Point 2 is a really big one.

I like the idea. I don't have time to LE. Please let me just skip it.
[-] The following 1 user Likes caliaca's post:
  • Fern
I am not entirely against it, even though I am a person that likes to have proper progression systems in place that reflect time and effort. My greatest fear is just that the Character Factory mentality is increased with such systems. A lot of good roleplay is lost when people keep dishing out new characters and spread themselves thin over 30 different ideas. That lack of commitment and time can be very harmful for certain RP groups and I have seen many, many die down simply because "Yeah I am busy on all those other characters, so I have no time for this since not much is happening there." Which is ironic, cause them being absent on other characters prevents things from happening in that group, if you know what I mean. Thats really the only worry I have.

However I also do not really consider the 1-60 grind any meaningful progression, at the moment as its really just "Hop and done!" for many of the Veterans, and I have done it countless of times now aswell.
I would like to see other progression systems added though that are not mindless dungeon grinding (Milestone systems for example, for beating difficult PvE content, or something)

Either way, I have no strong opinion about it, it is what it is.
The grind is nothing more than a chore. I would take this in a heartbeat, yes please!

You still need to gear yourself anyway, and the only way to p2w on that is selling currency then buying stuff
Honestly, I feel like the game could use more horizontal progression/account-based features, like some of the prominent MMOs. I also feel as if an experience is so unpleasant that people would pay to skip it, that should be addressed rather than glossed over.
The grind is a chore to get to level 60 where a lot of people want to be before roleplaying a character. Some people just want to skip it so they can focus more so on roleplaying without feeling held back by mechanical implementations.

You can get through it in like three-four hours if you know what you're doing and run an optimal grinding set up, but it's still a time sink that everyone has gone through dozens or even hundreds of times; changing the experience isn't going to really fix that, there's only so many times you can repeat something until it grows stale regardless of how enjoyable it is. So I'd rather development going into something more worthwhile.

I don't see any issues with the suggestion, it should probably be a once per character sort of deal though. You still have to get all the shards and find your gear too.
It's a three to four hour affair if you're a mage/dancer or paired with one.

If you're running duelist or rogue? It's a 7+ hour affair. If not more.

Some classes get to go through the grind relatively fast (Rebia mages, I'm looking at you). Other's don't. I'm not exactly.... keen on the idea of monetizing the grind.

I genuinely promise you, that the problem that the issue that we're seeing brought up here isn't a matter of 'first time play thru'. It's a matter of having to LE roughly 4 times, sometimes more (depending on if you want crafting levels to actually run a craft in any capacity because every craft is locked behind level 6). It was brought up in another thread, but I'm going to just suggest the same thing from there.

Remove LEing dropping you back down to level 1. Have it reset your stats, but keep your level at 60. Your EXP bar will change into a BONUS LEVEL bar. Get the requisite amount of EXP to fill it up from 1 to 60, like a normal grind? Fantastic! You get 2 legend inks! Now you can LE again and do it over again.

What's the main benefit of this over some other method? You are still viable for fighting. You aren't a world leader changing their build (Or paying for a fucking fruit of fluidity to do it because if you're level 1, you're susceptible to being coup'd 500x easier) and suddenly useless. You're not a villain who, magically, has to RP being a 'good' or even 'weird/quirky' individual until you finally get the LEs done and you can start being a menace to society.

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