Royal Guardian
Characters
William Hououin
Platform
iOS, PC
Hi all!

During the podcast yesterday, we were talking about sockets, and how they were preventing new players to really experiment with the mechanic of gnogging, and how they could end up leaving the game because of it.

And I thought, what if low level players (I think level 40 would be the best place to start using sockets) could gnog all they want without using sockets?

I think sockets mostly exists because the game is f2p, and It’s a very legitimate thing to charge money for.

But low level players will most likely spend on storage, mounts, or starter pack way before a “currency” to improve their gear.
It’s when you get better at the game that you really want to fine tune your feats and all…

What do you think about it ?
 

IrishElf

Citizen
Forum Moderator
Platform
PC
You're right, there has to be income for V&H to exist. Sockets are not necessary, I used dropped gear a lot, no socket usage in the 10 rebirths on my 2 main characters.
 
Royal Guardian
Characters
William Hououin
Platform
iOS, PC
You're right, there has to be income for V&H to exist. Sockets are not necessary, I used dropped gear a lot, no socket usage in the 10 rebirths on my 2 main characters.
Just to be clear, I wouldn’t remove sockets from the game, just below level 40, then you would still need to use them to gnog
 

Anthem

Bog Frog
Platform
PC
I like the concept but I would have 2 concerns. 1) As soon as the players reach the level to need to buy sockets They will be very upset at having to pay for something they had gotten for free. It could be viewed as a pay wall to a new player. 2) I hope most people understand that a FTP game has things you are tempted to buy. I view sockets as a fair item to sell. At least in the past you could level to 50 without any sockets and The Otter do give a lot of free sockets away. I do think it would help if how the gear and runes work was a bit easier to understand.
 
Characters
Tiffa, Ruby Wolf
Platform
Android, PC
I think having a Few Quest that reward Sockets should be added and having the option of using gold in place of sockets (50 gold/Socket)
would also be useful for the true Free to Play players
 
Reactions: CaraLox and Orryn
  • Likex2

Orryn

Hunter
Characters
Orryn
Platform
Android, PC
I think the gnog economy just needs to be improved a tiny bit. Feel like there needs to be an in-game way of making or getting sockets, even if it's arduous. I think there should also be a full range of socket rarities. Give beginner players all the common and uncommon sockets they need to experiment with, but rare, epic, and legendary sockets are needed for advanced gear crafting and perhaps rare and epics could be obtained in game, but sparingly. Maybe add them as a very rare drop on bounties.
 

IrishElf

Citizen
Forum Moderator
Platform
PC
Just to be clear, I wouldn’t remove sockets from the game, just below level 40, then you would still need to use them to gnog
But they really don't need them below 40 now. It's when you get higher up they come in handy!
 
Reactions: Myst
  • Likex1

CaraLox

Jack Of All Trades
Characters
Loxana/Mrs Doubtfire/Cara Lox
Platform
iOS, PC
But they really don't need them below 40 now. It's when you get higher up they come in handy!
true, but how many don't know that until they've wasted them all. My very first toon used up all his sockets :/
luckily he got more through calendar and winning some, but he's also mostly just a villager now anyway.
 

SprigOfHalcyon

Master Farmer
Royal Guardian
Platform
Android, PC
I like it. Very easy idea to code in. (probably code it by item level rather than by character level to avoid some weird thing).

One thing to point out, though: Now that darrig keys can be purchased, there is a way to "buy sockets" with gold.
 
Reactions: Orryn
  • Lovex1

Zar

Great Adventurer
Characters
Zarola, North....
Platform
Android, PC
1) As soon as the players reach the level to need to buy sockets They will be very upset at having to pay for something they had gotten for free. It could be viewed as a pay wall to a new player.
As some have mentioned above, my first thought was "pay wall" as well. I don't think that players should have it all free till a certain mid level. (I quit alot of games that were free to a certain point, then require you to "buy" something in order to survive or to play half decent.)
I know Ginny talks about sockets if you ask her, but I think their should be a quest that emphasizes on them more and have the quest in Ardent instead of summers Hollow.
 
Reactions: Leyaa
  • Likex1

Zazie

BRA Member
Royal Guardian
Characters
Zazie, Shiny, Skip, Auntie
Platform
PC
I know Ginny talks about sockets if you ask her, but I think their should be a quest that emphasizes on them more and have the quest in Ardent instead of summers Hollow.
I'll agree with that. I would also like that "follow-up" quest to give a better explanation of the rules regarding when it will charge for a socket. Not many new players understand that you won't have to spend a socket if you simply transfer all of the runes from one piece of gear to another. In short, they don't understand the basic concept that you have to spend a socket to upgrade or to replace a rune because the tutorial quest never teaches them that!
 

Arjuna

Grand Priest
Characters
Arjuna, Lord Villian
Platform
Android
1) As soon as the players reach the level to need to buy sockets They will be very upset at having to pay for something they had gotten for free. It could be viewed as a pay wall to a new player.
It really is a paywall. Some players get around the paywall by grinding it out to higher level and really saving all the sockets they come across along the way. I don't have a problem with it, and I am sure it's a good revenue earner for the Otters. I want them to make a good income from this great game. But it is a paywall nonetheless.

I kind of like William's idea as it seems every new player who announces themselves in world chat gets this same advice to save their sockets.

As a healer, I can always tell a toon who does not bother to upgrade their gear. In the dungeons or later elders they are the players that require my near constant attention to keep them alive. There is an absolute difference in the abilities of players who run with full upgraded gear vs those who don't. I've got some info for them... In the boss fights they become my lowest priority!
 

Anthem

Bog Frog
Platform
PC
Re "Paywall" I do not think it is a pay wall because of the free sockets we are given. If you level fast It may be a hard. If you slow down and wait for the calendar, events or achievements you can get enough. Free play is not always fast play.

Many players put Items shop items in the AH or sell straight to other players To make gold. There needs to be low cost items like sockets in the Crown shop for the people who want to make fast gold. That way V&H gets there income and free players get there sockets.

After the first time I played an MMO and waisted all my starting items, I always hold free starting gifts until I am sure of there game value and best use. I hope others will do the same. But I would almost rather free sockets where not given on the starting calendar. I would like it given as part of a gnoging test/quest to players at level 40ish
 
Reactions: Zazie
  • Likex1

Joleen

BRA Member
Royal Guardian
Characters
Kavita, Katona, Chephirah, Avani, Lash LaRue
Platform
Android, PC
There is tremendous power to be had in gnogging. I gnog every single spot I have (and I constantly upgrade) and that gives my toon the performance I expect. I still think providing a way in-game for FTP to obtain sockets is the simplest answer. The ones who don't or cannot use sockets to the max will never know the difference I am speaking of, but combat charts tell the story.

I used to sell sockets in the AH and privately to friends. It was a good way for me to make some gold and provided sockets for those who can't/won't spend RL money. I didn't exploit people, but always kept socket sales at the old 1:3 ratio: if it costed me 50 crowns, I sold it for 150 gold. I know not all players sell in an equitable fashion, but at least in my mind that number is fair.

Of course the cheaters honed in on sockets and ruined the private sale of sockets because that is the big money-maker for the devs, and we want them to make money so our game will go on and have exciting developments!

I cannot help but wonder if one possible solution is for the devs to sell unbound sockets for a higher (RL) price than bound sockets. This may prevent exploitation and still let some sockets trickle back into the market for our FTP friends?
 

KAVE

Adventurer
Royal Guardian
Characters
See Signature
Platform
PC
Here is what I feel are the pros and cons of sockets:

Pros
  • They serve as a source of revenue for the developers. Obviously, revenue is a top priority
  • They act as an inhibitor to maxed out builds. Without sockets, everyone could be at max potential without much cost
  • They enhance the economy. Premium resources are good for the market
Cons
  • They nullify the depth of the gear system until end-game. Players are unable to explore and customize their builds without wasting these resources. This results in players who have no idea how to build their characters during end-game
  • They are an indirect pay wall. If players struggle through challenging content such as Pyrron, and have to spend sockets in order to progress, this will hurt them later on once they eventually run out. I know level 90+ players with less than 10 sockets because they blew them all while leveling. Guess what? I'm one of them, because I spent a ton when level 90 was the cap.
  • How do you balance content? Are we balancing content for maxed out builds or free to play players who don't use any sockets? Level 1 to 30 is fairly easy but difficulty ramps up in Traven and especially Pyrron. How do you balance content when the disparity between fully slotted and partially slotted players is so wide?
  • They potentially result in a net loss of revenue. I have seen responses on the Discord poll from newer players that they are quitting due to one of the above reasons. The lack of customizability without shooting yourself in the foot for once you reach end-game, or the progress wall once they cannot advance without spending sockets. Loss of customers means a loss of potential revenue.
Those are my opinions on Sockets. They aren't entirely evil nor good, but I feel the system could definitely be improved upon.

New players need to be eased into the system without punishing them for customizing their gear. Honestly, I find that to be the worst part. Customizing gear for a large chunk of the game is a waste... so are we really giving players a good impression of the gear system at all?

Potential solutions are tricky, since this is a revenue source. Maintaining that attribute should be the priority when discussing our options. Perhaps decrease the amount of free slots on gear based on its level?
  • Level 1 to 30: No sockets
  • Level 31 to 60: 2 sockets
  • Level 61 to 90: 4 sockets
This will ease players into the process and allow them the opportunity to actually experiment with their equipment. I am sure, with 36 sockets for a maxed out build, that most of the profit comes from end-game players. So, what is the harm in allowing new and mid level players some leeway? By the time they reach end-game, not only will they understand the ins and outs of the gear system, but they will likely have a solid stash of sockets remaining before having to purchase additional ones.
 

Anthem

Bog Frog
Platform
PC
At first I liked the tiered socket Idea but after thinking about it I don't like being penalized for leveling. Like with Ranching tools, they cost more the higher your level. I want to be rewarded for leveling not punished. The cost of crafting does not bother me because I am getting a better quality Item for my time/money.
As far a experimenting with builds by the time my newer toons have hit level 30 they have found maybe 1 ring and not enough gear drops at level to have anything to experiment with. (I do have a Membership and find I level with very little combat.) So sockets is only part of the reason people can't experiment with builds. The other problem are event zone Exp. I wanted a mount for my alt. I gained so many levels I can not get gear at level because I can't enter the zones at my level until I can get the Meds to unlock the zones. No point in using sockets in gear 10 levels below combat. Anyway there are many reasons folks don't get to experiment with there gear. Sockets is only a part.

.
 

Giruv

Merchant
Characters
Verrier
Platform
PC
They serve as a source of revenue for the developers. Obviously, revenue is a top priority
I think it's not entirely true, From what I can tell, there are very few player that actually buy them with crown and then use them like many other consumable in the shop. They're really good as a bonus, like from AS but really bad to buy, as they're not permanent

And I thought, what if low level players (I think level 40 would be the best place to start using sockets) could gnog all they want without using sockets?
I kinda doesn't like the idea because it is exploitable, let say just send someone a complete set of gear for high level and they gnog them before level 40, and then they won't have to spend socket at all, except for trinket i guess

I prefer the other idea from the podcast, where once you use a socket, the slot on that specific gear become free to gnog, so as long as the gear base doesn't change you don't have to spend a socket. Also I think they can just increase the amount of free slot a bit may be to 3 on most gear (half of the max) to tone down the gap of fully socketed player and player that don't spend socket.
 
Top