Random Pre Change Month Musings (in General)
I am pretty good at seeing patterns. At least I think I am. One pattern I am noticing is the decreasing cost of buying any sort of tank gear, where I see the mage gear holding steady if not increasing is cost. I asked myself why. Here is what I came up with.
I think the reason stems from a combination of NUB and NW to PR link. When a new user starts out, and either through mentoring or just asking question in chat, they get clued in enough to understand what is going on, it make almost no sense to start out with a tank character. The NW to PR link is difficult at best to manage at low levels, and as you gain in MPR becomes a little easier to deal with. So I think once they see whats going on, they end up starting a single mage or mage team without a tank. There is no cost for ammo, and a single mage or mage team with a proper tattoo can be plenty potent. So they are starting out all mage. Then the NUB kicks in and the begin to rise quick. Too quick in my opinion, because before they know it, they have a strong character, heck in some cases a top 10 MPR character in only a few months. Without any incentive to switch along the way, they stick with and continue to augment their mages. Now I will say once you get into a certain range of the top characters in the game the power of a mage begins to fall off. With high NW and big AMF (or seekers), tank teams begin to decimate mages. Buy now however, they have quite a bit of cash saved up since they have virtually no expenses from an all mage team. No reason to buy base gear at this point. What is a top 10 MPR character going to do with a base BTh. So they look for big weapons and armor to help them switch over to tank based attacks. With no one buying base items, the price of high NW items drops as the cost of high NW items is usually calculated as a base price plus some percentage of NW.
In the end I think what ends up is a decreased demand for base tank gear, which in turn hurts the high NW tank gear market. But since some many are starting out mages, and they are rising so quickly and with some much cash being made, along the way they have no trouble picking up mage items to augment their team. So the demand for mage items stays high, while there are very few successful low end tank teams, and many successful low end mage teams.
You say so what! I am happy tank items are falling. But you should not be. Not because I am a camper and I want you to buy my gear for more money. But because this pattern basically says that creativity and diversity of strategy in new and rising players is hurt in the sense that they are all being mages. Makes no sense to be anything but mages. I find myself suggesting it to new players simply because its truly what is best for them.
Solution, if one is needed..... I'm not really sure, but I believe that if they were not rising so fast as mages they would begin to look to other ways to climb the ladder and begin to diversify earlier, thus creating more variety and thought in strategies. Sort of the if it's not broke, dont fix it idea, and since it doesn't really get broke until you start to crack the very upper levels of characters, they are not switching until they have to, which is quite late in their development.
No one may care. I understand that, but I think the NUB is actually hurting the diversity of the game. When you consider attrition, they few characters that do actually rise up and begin to challenge the upper levels, then begin to look to ways to make their strategies better or to win the tough fights, the number of players in the pool is pretty small, and thus we have a ton of new player mages, a good amount of medium level mages, even fewer high level mages, and then they start to look to tanks or other ways to beat the large characters.
Just my LONG 2 cents. Take it for what it is worth. I like the idea of diversity. I like the idea of being able to suggest diverse strategies, but with the power of mages and NUB and the difficulty of the NW to PR link early on, its difficult with good conscious to suggest anything but a mage team, and I think that hurts the game overall.
I agree with Sefton. I found a BoM in auction for 50K!
But I think it is because Mages are so powerful. Especially combining the NUB with a RoE.
I think tanks are becoming a speciality minion, where people make them just because they want to.
A Single mage is much better of making a Wall minion than getting a tank. Especially if you don't use a ToA.
Tanks without ToA s aren't worth putting money into.
At the moment, I would never advise anyone making a tank character over a mage. It's just not worth it.
Also, prices have been driven down by the existnace of some very good items.
No-one wants any other bow than an ELB. Or HoE for a helm, or one of the top 4 weapons if they haven't got a VB.
All the lesser items aren't selling well, as people only want to use the best, so save for those.
I'm sure this was mentioned as a possible side effect of the NW-PR link, and I thik we're seeing it.
People are unwilling to invest in anything bare the best...
August 24 2005 10:25 AM EDT
My char Jack Crow was a ToA tank when he started (actually he was a non tattoo CoBF tank when he started but that's another matter...) but I switched to mage around 350k score. And it wasn't because of the NW/PR link. It was because armed with a compound and a katana (then vorpal) Jack could just not compete with ELB tanks.
Add to that the cost of ammo and the fact that the lower level weapons just get to a point where it's too expensive to up their levels and I just had enough. FB mage here I come. And I haven't looked back.
But if I was starting I think I too would do the reverse and start mage and build up my char and cash until I got to the point where I could buy decent weapons and most importantly actually use them at a level that was useful!
August 24 2005 10:31 AM EDT
I intentionally tell all my mentees how and to be tank, I even give them proper gear cause I find this so important.
August 24 2005 10:42 AM EDT
While you mention market for tank gear - I think some of that market drop is to do with the rental market. Items (especially body armours) can sit in rentals for ages. And if you look at who's renting what it's mostly higher level players. I used to buy items in CB1 just to invest some money into and chuck into rentals and I know a lot of people did. But it's just not that profitable anymore to do so.
Also, with farms being less productive and appealing, there's less desire to kit a farm out in good gear.
Nexium, if you tell your mentee's to go tank from day one, you're doing them an injustice. The first 8 xp any charcter makes should go straight into a DD spell.
But if you're playing for fun, strategy and efficiency doesn't really matter! ;)
August 24 2005 11:24 AM EDT
Well, I'm still not turning tank, even if I buy up some of the "tank gear". Another issue is that some new players are just impatient. I personally have no problem buying base items because I can take my time with the forgers. That's just me I suppose, but I bet the new players rise so fast that they absolutely must have everything now.
Personally, I never saw myself as a mage team. When I first made this team my focus was on the backlash damage. I only choose the familiar over the ToA and ToE because Familiars add more HP to feed the GA. Then again I was never advised by anyone.
Sure I bought a MS at +22 from Ranger yesterday, but if you looked around that day you would have known it was the ONLY MS for sale. When I heard he had a base Adam I asked him right away how much would it cost to buy it from him.
As for a solution, you have to start making the low end equipment more appealing. My idea to lower the cost of accuracy on lower weapons might help with that.
You can start giving tanks another advantage at the low end. Maybe make ST help you resist magical damage, but have it's effectiveness level off so it doesn't have a strong effect in the high end, or make it only apply to real ST.
Another small solution is to make the sling a lot cheaper. It's sucks when every team beats you because you can't afford an attack in the first three rounds of combat.
I know these are lame solutions but I'm just trying to get the gears going for some of you people.
August 24 2005 11:28 AM EDT
Also, a lot of the high AC tank gear just feels worthless. Unless I have a wall, I'd rather have DB's or EB's than CML's. Not to mention that with a ToA tank being so effective, why use a BoM?
August 24 2005 11:40 AM EDT
That is the other problem - if you're a ToA tank there's a limit to the armour you can use. Unless you have 'real' ST and DX there is no point to you wearing bonus giving gear - and obviously you can just forget body armour and cloaks.
August 24 2005 11:42 AM EDT
Personally I love all these mage teams that think they can get away without a tank. I've been feeding off them since day one. AC+TOE+AMF+Bloodlusted Morgul = piles of dead mages. I'm doing extremely well against mage teams and I can usually fend off equal level TOA teams.
I can understand where you're coming from, though, Sefton. My tank thrives only because it's been crafted into a specialized group. Non-TOA tanks are not worthless. I feel that I've proven that, but they are very tough to work with.
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