Discussion Topic: Master I scrolls.

Posted: January 2, 2008 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

I’ve been involved in a running discussion with a few old folks today regarding Master I spell scrolls in Everquest II.  A couple of questions were raised during the discussion that I thought were compelling enough to inspire me to bring in a slider wider audience:

  • Should Master I’s drop more frequently in group instances?
  • Should Master I’s only drop from Epic targets?
  • Should “SmartLoot(TM)” be applied to Masters so that only needed Masters drop?
  • Should Master I’s be tagged “no trade”?

Ok, let ‘er rip.  Start your engines and get to click-clacking on those keyboards.  I want to hear opinions here.

  1. Illuminator says:

    Master I’s dropping off of non-named mobs are IMO what has empowered the plat selling industry in EQ2 more than any other design mistake. At the same time, the rate is low enough that you will almost never hear an ordinary player say, “let’s go farm trash for masters!”. The system is so hopelessly random that a completely rotten and lazy player can acquire the best masters in the game that the most elite and involved player could not, and then that lazy player will hold the elite player hostage for unreasonable amounts of plat. Sure someone will say free will, but how much free will can you exercise when someone is waving your level 80 master under your nose? The current scheme is basically unfair, inequitable, and rewards all the wrong behaviors.

    As a Qeynos wizard I do not find it unreasonable at all to be acquiring my spells at great expense from the old and wise sages at the Concordium in SQ.

    But barring that, I now believe it best if master spells were a rare heroic and epic named drop that, when it does drop, is NO TRADE and dictated by SmartLoot. It will force you to earn it by consuming content, and leave the economy to handle the business of Adept 3’s. And only people who have all their spells (because they consumed the content) will have the luxury of selling vanity spells that drop in excess.

  2. Prrasha says:

    1) You’re not going to stop plat-selling by removing one way for the sellers to get plat from the legitimate player base. We play the game for fun, they play the game to keep their children fed. I know who I’m betting on. I’m all for throwing barriers in their way, but not barriers that mess with the legit player base.

    2) Master1s as smartloot: No-Trade loot is annoying enough (selling-looting-rights-to-uber-item-X spam… which is always done as a blind auction). Adding every Master in the game to that is not going to improve my gaming experience much. Perhaps if the game was meant to simulate the Wall Street trading floor…

    3) Master1s as epic-only: Master1s are the most-commonly-used item to transmute for Fabled adornments. Raiders have enough advantages over non-raiders without being the only source of Mana for ordinary crafters.

    Also, this now messes up the progression between the crafters:

    Equipment slots go Handcrafted < Treasured (overland quests/mobs) < Mastercrafted < Legendary (instance quests/mobs) < Fabled*

    Spell upgrades go Handcrafted < Adept1 (all non-epic drops are now Adept1, from overland trash to instance bosses) < Adept3 < Master1 (only raids).

    So the spell-makers, who already have the upper hand based on prices for rares (everyone wants spell upgrades, but incarnadines sell for 20gp), would pull even farther ahead of the other 6 crafter types if Masters were epic-only or no-trade.

    * – the upgraded armor fits the progression this way. non-armor-slot items are still more like Handcrafted < Treasured = Mastercrafted…

  3. Illuminator says:

    Taking masters off of trash mobs does not affect legit players because legit players don’t kill trash to get masters. That’s about as fun as watching grass grow. But plat pharmers spend 8+ hours a day in the same spot PBAE’ing trash to get masters.

    Combined with the fact that masters sell for substantially more than harvestable rares and are the most valuable asset of an endgame raider, we have an inverted system where plat pharmers gain disproportionate economic power.

    I acquired 6 tier 8 masters so far this expansion, and only one of them was from a named mob. I thought we were suppose to pursue named mobs; this has me wondering what is getting rewarded for what. I might as well park a conjuror and have my pet kill solo trash while afk, checking in every 20 minutes to loot any fabled chest before it despawns. What an amazing way to be able acquire end-end-game loot. It justifies a far greater outcry than anyone has yet given it to date.

  4. Prrasha says:

    For that definition of “trash”, I don’t think the platfarmers do it much, either. Maybe it’s just my server, but I watch the broker (daily) for masters for my 3 T8 characters, and there’s way more being sold by (apparently legitimate) characters with names like Illuminator than characters with platfarmer names like Dkatwloed.

    If you got 5 masters in T8 from mobs your pet could have soloed for you… you’re amazingly lucky. Even if it was 5 copies of Cleave Faith.

    I’ve played since a couple weeks from launch, and I’ve gotten 4 (maybe 5) master chests off of solo mobs. Even if you assume my playtime is only 1/2 hour per day, that gives a 24-hour-a-day plat farmer about one master per week from farming solo mobs. That ain’t going to feed his kids. (At your drop rate, it might, though.)

    But I will agree; If a hard-core raider can’t get at least one master per week, I’d say that the drop rates are broken. If we’re really on a one-expansion-per-year schedule now, you probably need to be mastered out by at least 20-25 weeks in to give you a reasonable amount of time to beat on the true end-game zones. That doesn’t mean the drop rate should be reduced to zero for non-raiders, just to keep conjuor spells out of the hands of platfarmers… it means the drop rate should be increased for raiders. That’s all.

    And according to the last patch notes, the drop rates were broken… drop rates were turned up for all level 85+ mobs, which is probably a fair part of what endgame characters are killing and expecting decent drops from.

    Also, I’m not sure that masters are the most important drop for an endgame raider (for an endgame mage, perhaps), based on broker prices. If I want to make a Fabled adornment, I’m probably buying Masters to transmute (or saving myself the RNG pain and just buying Mana from a raiding transmuter, who was probably smashing spare copies of the swashbuckler mez skill…) Of course, through the lenses of a conjuror, I suppose masters are uber-important. Try tank or scout glasses and see if you still think so…

  5. Laldail says:

    I agree with Prrasha on this. Plat farmers have very little impact on the market for master spells. The vast majority of masters drop during raids, where plat farmers do not exist. At least, not the professional ones. Raid guilds sell more masters than any farmer could ever hope to have in inventory to compete with.

    Personally, I’d like master scrolls to drop at least marginally more frequently in instance dungeons from named. These dungeons pretty much all have lockout timers and fairly minimal loot that really sells since most of the good stuff is no-trade. Farmers are not likely to waste a lot of time in them.

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