First off, nice going with the last minute mea culpae (reprinted below). The account wide unlocks are a great way to handle most of the fireworks. For anyone who was saving for another alt, they’re taken care of. Even players who were not finished can still get their goals.
You have to agree that the backlash was certainly something that could have been avoided. Putting out fires of unintended consequences are never easy, and especially when decisions are made that impact things we (the players still here) look forward to. I know you have a ‘secret council’ of advisory players who probably advised you against this move. If you didn’t ask them, shame on you. Heck – give me a shout 😉 firstname.lastname@example.org
BTW – please give Trendy at least a big hug and an extra day off. She deserves it.
The original message from the forums:
There has been a lot of discussion, speculation, and general debate with the decision to adjust the way Summer Event ship currency is earned. This wasn’t a decision we came to lightly, but it was one that we needed to make to maintain the integrity of this event and these ships. I’m going to take a moment to give some history on these sorts of events, why we made this decision, and what we plan to do moving forward.
Our seasonal events came to pass as a way to give you something fun to play that doesn’t fall strictly in line with our standard gameplay, while also giving out a rare and powerful reward for doing so. We decided, as most of you would, that the most desirable reward we could give out is a ship and a system was designed to give you access to that ship. Over a specific period of time you’re asked to log in and play a short mission for about 55% of that time in order to earn a near lock box quality ship. This ship was earned per character and each character on your account had to turn in the same amount of currency to earn the ship. The ship wasn’t only powerful, but was a status symbol for someone that was there when the event ran. After a couple of years of participating in this system the general feedback from the community was that this was too tedious and far too much of a commitment for people with multiple alts that wanted the ship. This led us to have some internal discussions and make a change.
About a year ago we changed the system so that all you had to do was earn the ship on a single character on your account, and then every alt you had that could slot the ship project only had to turn in a single day’s worth of currency in order to get the ship. We were happy to make this change, and were even happier at how well it was received by the community. It meant everyone got their ships and didn’t have to get completely burned out on the daily mission to earn the currency. For a time, this was a great setup and both dev and player got what they wanted.
Over the last couple of seasonal events we noticed a trend that was different than we had seen in the past. General participation on the event was dropping, but the number of ships being collected was staying the same. Somehow people were playing less and still earning the ships from these events; we started digging into the numbers to figure this out. We initially assumed people were using the Lobi bypass option to speed their way through the events, but after digging deeper into the numbers that wasn’t the case either. It turned out the change we made to make earning the ships more alt friendly had completely trivialized play of the events. Players could earn currency on all of their alts in one year, and then spend the currency from a single character every year to get the ship immediately. While some few players would then re-run the event on the character that spent their currency, the vast majority wouldn’t. Again, this meant participation was down while rewards were still earned at the same rate.
I’ve written all of this to explain how we’ve gotten to where we are today, a new currency for every ship every year. This ensured that each year the players that participate in the event will earn the reward for that year, while still allowing alts to earn the ships after a single play of the event. We knew that shipping the alt friendly system as it was is our mistake, and we wanted to ensure that impacted players weren’t left with nothing. We created a variety of desirable rewards that would let players turn in their pearls and feel like they got something valuable or unique for them. While this satisfied me in the short term, after reading all of your feedback I want to take this a step further.
We will be making every event ship you’ve ever earned and every event ship moving forward total account unlocks. As soon as one character on your account owns a ship, every single other character on your account that exists now or you will ever create will have immediate access to any event ship you’ve earned. There will be no need for your alts to play the event mission, no hoops to fly through other than picking up the ship from a store. Hopefully taking this extra step will address any lingering concerns you have with the overall change. Thanks for reading this far, and I look forward to seeing you on Risa soon!