Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this thread, for those of you who haven't read my reply to a recent post on the Goblin Onslaught public instance, I recommend you also stop by there for some ideas I have input. Bare with me, this will be a journey to what I think can be done to change the level cap (endgame) climate of Lord of the Rings Online.
First off, according to the title of the thread, I would like to point out that farming in this game is not just limited to public instances and landscape mob grinding.
As much as people say they want variety in content, and multiple instances to run, since the unification of currency sadly, since all paths lead to the same destination, the paths of least resistance are taken, which is only human nature, no matter how much we like to tell ourselves otherwise.
The problem stems back to pre-mirkwood with SoA and Moria instances. I will start with what I feel is the best example - Moria instances. There were Six Fellowship instances, Each one upon completion would drop one coin, and one lucky member of the group would win the coin, this coin would provide access to the entry level raid gear set, the Moria cluster set.
Unfortunately, this became very grindy, because players would farm these instances day in and day out, and it all became luck of the draw of who walked away a winner, while 5 members of the group walked away with little or nothing to show for their time.
One way that this was changed was the introduction of Moria medallions, medallions of Lothlorien, and Medallions of Dol-Guldor. This was a step in the right direction, because it allowed all players to work up to earning their pieces based on the amount of time spent in the instances.
For a few days or weeks, this seemed like a great solution to the problem. But, as we are all aware, soon, it just became a farm. in GLFF, LFF, Regional, Kin Chats, all you would see is: LFM Grand Stairs, LFM Sword Halls, LFM HoC.
What happened was, the runs that were easiest, and most time efficient, and those which dropped the highest rated teal items in the game became all that was run. It's sad that all of these wonderful instances went unplayed for so long because they either seemed tough, lengthy, or loot-insignificant.
Fast-forward to the current endgame climate: Further unification of currency, based on Mark/Medallion/Seal barter system furthered the boring, repetitive farm. Today when you look in your chat channels for groups, you largely see: Sambrog Farm, OE farm, School farm. None of us are exempt from this path of least resistance, we have all taken the easiest road to acquire the gear necessary for our desired builds.
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Here is where I propose a change, it may not be the best idea, but it is a start, and I think overall it would be better than what we have now. I will use Moria instances as an example for a few reasons. First, because I think they are wonderfully fun instances that I hope will be scaled in the future. Second because each instance provided one gear piece to the cluster set. GS=boots, Forges=Chest Fil Gashan=Gloves, Skumfil=Leggings, Sixteenth Hall=Shoulders, Dark Delvings=Helmet.
Now as I mentioned before, the grind came when there was only one coin provided for the entire group to fight over. This created animosity between the new-comers and the long time grinders, those with bad luck against those with good, the casual vs. the consistent players.
(I want to make it clear here, but the use of Moria instances is just a suggestion that fit the outline of my idea, I would like to see this implemented into other new content as well, as the general new currency system, as I do not want just scaled content.)
My suggestion: Have the same setup, but change one key thing about the way the gear is acquired, which is similar to what we see with the currency unification system we have today. we see 2 items of a set costing 31 seals, 2 items of a set costing 61 seals, and 2 pieces of a set costing 91 seals, for a total of 366 seals.
I would like to see Grand Stairs offer 5 Grand-Stairs (boot) medallions to each player who completes the instance
I would like to see Forges offer 5 Forges (chest) medallions
so on, so forth throughout the instances, so instead of grinding The School of Tham Mirdain or Sambrog over and over and over until the gear is earned, there would be a variety of instances to run, and to be required to run, to earn the full set of gear.
Enter Teal loot: teal loot can be acquired in one of two ways, 1. From grinding the instances until the desired teal loot drops, aquiring 5 tokens for the instance each run.
2. From a barter outside of the instance or at a skirmish camp for a large portion of that instance's medallions.
It is completely common for someone to run an instance 10 times without getting the desired loot, this fact is what keeps experienced players cycling back throughout the old instances to help new players and to acquire their loot. This is not a problem, the problem lies with players doing the runs 200-300 times without seeing their gear piece drop, meanwhile they see it or the opposing class equivalent drop for countless other members of their changing or reoccurring Fellowships. So, a hefty instance medallion barter for these items would be fantastic, and would hold the interest of a lot of players.
I can't tell you how many champs and burgs I know that quit the game or lost faith because they still don't have their boots which are essential to maximize DPS, same goes for many classes and many items.
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Turbine has tried and failed to encourage running longer/more difficult instances by having them drop more seals, but the fact is: people don't care if the instance drops more seals, if it isn't very easy to do with a pug, and it isn't quick, they'd rather get their seals elsewhere.
Which is why instead of INCREASING rewards for a certain instance,>>>> DECREASE<<<< requirement for that instance's loot item.
Example: Let's say I want Annuminas Champion's Bracelet, We can all agree that Ost Elendil is the easiest most puggable run. Next would be Glinghant, and finally Haud Valendil being the longest and arguably most difficult of the annuminas instances.
At 5 medallions per instance, per run I need:
>>>>Annuminas Gold Champion's bracelet: 100 Ost Elendil Medallions, 75 Glinghant Medallions, and 50 Haud Valendil Medallions.<<<<
This means it would take 20 runs in OE + 15 Glinghant runs + 10 Haud Valendil runs.
>>OR Have it drop for you in the meantime, with current Random Number Generator Loot Chance, at which point, The Annuminas Medallions (having no further use provided you have all the loot you want) can be converted to Unified Seals/Marks/Medallions, which will still be used for Legendary Item upgrades among other things<<
Personally, I would love this system even if it required more than 20+15+10 runs, I feel like doubling that number would still make it doable, and at least instead of a hope and a prayer for the items wanted, there would be distant promise of it.
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It is a shame when I feel like doing something different, even if it's just as simple as doing Maze or Thadur instead of Sambrog, or library instead of school, and I cannot get anyone to join my group because there is another instance that drops the same reward, and can be completed easily by a variety of group makeups in less time.
If you care about the future of this game, and you agree or disagree with this post, please feel free to post your suggestions.
Let's keep it constructive folks, if this thread gets derailed with arguments or criticisms that aren't constructive towards achieving a fun environment for players, I will open a new thread, and hopefully with the success of this thread, or the repetitive postings of similar ones, we will see some positive changes that we can all benefit from