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Stargazer

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Upon the release of the new crafting system, I found myself torn between two different concepts. I was really excited at the promise of new unique items; yet I was incredibly disappointed that Gaia would decide to make old items craft-able. I know for a fact that many people share the same feelings as me, and therefore I would like to present you all with a well thought out take on this new feature. Below I've listed some key concepts that I feel strongly about. If you agree, or wish to add anything please feel free to do so by posting in this thread. I'd also like to encourage discussion on how you personally feel about this feature.


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As I said earlier, I'm really pleased to see a large amount of new exciting items, as well as really well done recolors. However; I do not feel older items should be craft-able. Older items that were released in past RIGs such as the Pale Marionette, Star Kitten, or Lucky are things that people invested in. Some users strive very hard to get things out of RIGs; and the concept that they can just be created now is deplorable. How is that any way to reward someone who invested in a ridiculous quantity of RIGs in the hopes of getting an item that they loved? What about all of the users that couldn't afford to buy the RIGs, yet worked very hard to quest for an item from them? I find it to be extremely distasteful if you can just release something that makes all of the time and effort; all of the hours and hard work users went through to achieve something now a meaningless waste of time.

This isn't the first crafting feature to hit Gaia, per se. Back when Zomg was released, a crafting feature was released along with it. This feature utilized "recipes" to create items such as Sundae Sweets. These recipes were for ALL NEW items; not items users had worked hard to buy previously. If the new Alchemy feature mimicked the same concept, and just stuck to creating new items, I would be perfectly fine with it; however it doesn't. I can't help but see this as a slap in the face to anyone who has the preexisting items that are now craft-able.


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One frightening thing I first noticed is that the current RIG, is included in the formula list. Not only is it included, but it is also available in the Cash Shop for a mere price of 1GC, as opposed to the 149GC it takes to buy the actual RIG. Upon further inspection; I realized that a good deal of past RIGs, if not ALL of them have formulas available in the Cash Shop for 1GC. Now please explain to me; why on earth should this be included? Even if the item requirements to make the rig are items out of the RIG itself; why would you do this? Why make a direct competitor to your site's income a feature of your OWN site? Do you honestly think that the same amount of people will continue to invest in RIGs from the Cash Shop when they can just decide to create it later on for a fraction of the price? Or better yet, the concept that users can just decide to create the ONE item they wanted out of the rig, and completely disregard the whole thing? My guess is that if anything, this will only cause the sales of the RIGs via the Cash Shop to decline. Not a very smart idea, when the one of the best selling items which help to fund the site a considerable amount is in fact the RIGs themselves. I've also noticed that various Cash Shop items such as Wed to Darkness, as well as EIs such as Dappy Dandy, and Antique Shop are now craft-able as well. Why not make MCs craft-able, while you're at it? It's the only aspect you're not already selling out to the Alchemy feature.

If I'm not mistaken, weren't a few staff members let go a while ago due to lack of funding? One would think that as a company, Gaia would be inclined to handle matters (such as this one) that could potentially put them into the same situation as before a bit more delicately. When I look at this feature from a business angle, I can't help but see a complete lack of finesse. This concept was rushed, and not well thought out in general. As something that can have a huge impact on the site, I feel this should be reviewed in more detail. I honestly would hate to see a repeat of staff members who I've grown to love and respect be let go due to some haphazard new idea.


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After reading various responses to topics posted in SF in regards to the Alchemy feature, it leads me to believe that the Artists are the ones in charge of this project. In my opinion, it's bad enough that the artists most likely control the drop rate in RIGs. But honestly, why leave them in charge of the Alchemy feature? This feature is a HUGE addition to the site that threatens to turn the ENTIRE economy upside down. Why entrust something that influences such a crucial and driving part of the site to someone with no knowledge of it? The whole idea of this would be very similar to handing an economist a paintbrush, and expecting them to paint a detailed mural in an art gallery where the aesthetics of the piece were going to be highly scrutinized by people; only imagine if the concept of people liking this piece directly impacted the revenue of the art gallery. If you were the person in charge of this gallery, wouldn't you prefer that an artist was handed the brush? Or would you honestly allow your financial well being to hang in the balance while someone who was ill-suited to take on the project was in charge of it? I for one, would pick the artist. My point is, how is this situation any different? You're asking ARTISTS to manage something that's not a part of their field. It's like handing a painter your check book, and telling them to spend all of your money investing in stocks that they have no grasp on. Leave the art to the artists; get an economist to decide on economic issues.

I know this came out sounding as if I'm trying to be harsh towards the artists, but I'm honestly not. I'm in no way bitter towards them; if anything I'm grateful that they put so much time and energy into trying to make something new and exciting. As I stated earlier, I simply adore the new items and the recolors; I just feel that they shouldn't have been charged with such a crucial role in this project, and that it was bad decision making on the part of the person who okayed this feature to go live.


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The formulas themselves directly impact almost everything I had mentioned above. This is another issue users are most likely going to be split on. Anyone who has an item that can now be created is going to think the odds are too high; and anyone who is striving to get an item will most likely think the odds are too low. The way I feel about this is that it directly impacts both the hard work of users who have the items already, as well as the possible financial gain for the site itself, both of which I spoke about earlier. In addition, tons of the formulas are very unbalanced; once again I'm guessing the Artists had all of the say in this. It's blatantly obvious that the current state of the economy was completely disregarded when these were thought out. The concept still stands that if the existence of these formulas cause ONE person to decide to craft something, instead of buying RIGs to try to get the item, that's a hit to the revenue of the site itself. With the already unbalanced drop rates of the existing RIGs, why would users NOT favor crafting over the rigs themselves? Granted crafting also has odds, but at least those odds would directly effect the item they wanted; thus giving them better ratio to work with when trying for an item. Now think about it, if that's the case, won't the formulas directly impact the income of the site itself? It's becoming very apparent that this feature is disadvantageous to the well being of Gaia.

Not only is all of the above a possible flaw, but also the concept of the flow of items themselves. Take the current Valefor Academy RIG recipe for example; lets say that requires x10 Evergreen Bound Brooms. Now even if a user bought 10 of these out of the MP and created a RIG with them, they would only have the possibility to get one in return. If you do the math on this cycle, it just results in pushing specific items to extinction, and only viewing them as nothing more than an ingredient. Also, how would you feel as an artist of an item if your item suddenly skyrocketed in price not because people liked it, but because they could use it as some disposable component in a recipe? Something about that in itself seems a bit depressing to me.



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Way back when the first cash items were released; they were thought of as DONATIONS to the site. I feel that as time progresses, the sight of that concept is being lost. Monthly Collectibles were originally created as a way for users to invest in the site, and to help it grow; hence the name "Thank You Letters". Now my question is this- aren't all Cash Shop items essentially the same thing? They all are bought, and the money Gaia makes off of them goes directly back into funding the site and helping it grow. Believe it or not Gaia, some users still buy things with a genuine desire to help the site grow and improve. What kind of message is re releasing older items that people bought to contribute to the site sending? Who's to say that things like old MCs will never be added to the crafting lists? I for one, will not stand for my past generosity towards this site to get thrown in my face.

In addition, think of the inflation these formulas are going to cause. Take the Persephone example; some of the items needed to make that are already pretty expensive to your average user on this site. It makes me feel terrible to think that someone could have been trying really hard to save up for one of the smaller items (such as the Spring Bride), and now will be very unlikely to ever reach their goal due to the high prices that Alchemy induced inflation is going to bring about. The whole system just shows a real lack of foresight on Gaia's part.

This could have been an amazingly fun feature if it was gone about the right way. I would have loved to see Alchemy only make new items genuine to the feature that were created with just gold shop items, or maybe even a few CS related crafting items if they were really looking to gain revenue through this feature.


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After reading all of this, can you honestly say you're excited about this feature? Or does the concept of all of the points I covered throw you into a state of uncertainty? Personally, I am extremely concerned as to how this will effect the site as a whole, and would like it if everything outlined in this thread was seriously thought over, and possibly reconsidered.

So what can be done to make this feature less threatening? I'm sure many of you may find yourself asking how this can be fixed. Alchemy does seem fun, after all; it would be a shame to see this feature go to waste. In response, I propose the following solution to you, Gaia.

I'd honestly love nothing more than to see this feature utilize GS items in favor of items out of past RIGs. That way it would guarantee that things do not inflate to the point that users with less capitol can't enjoy them. Not only would this prevent Alchemy induced inflation on things that users with less gold may be questing hard to obtain (such as my Spring Bride example earlier), but it would also make an excellent gold sink. If we limited the craft-able items to all new items like I had stated before; users would have tons of new things to aspire towards which may in turn help with the inflation on so many other items, as more varied things would be in demand. This CAN be a good feature; you just have to tweak it and go about things the right way.



If you agree with any of the points covered here, and think this feature should seriously be reviewed, then please sign my petition.

Click Here To Sign


If you're interested in rallying to support this cause, feel free to use this button anywhere you would like!
While everyone may not agree on every small aspect of this feature; I think it's safe to say that almost everyone does agree that as it stands, Alchemy is in fact unreasonable.

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Knew you'd be making a thread about it 4laugh

+1 heart
I was kind of surprised when I saw some of the RIG recipes being sold for 1 GC. If they're going to be that cheap then they should have a lower success rate, IMO. Otherwise the price should be something like $1.25 and only for RIGs from more than a year ago.
Get rid of it all together i say talk2hand
Not to mention, the prices of the items that are needed to make the formula items are outrageous! I think it's a waste of everyone's time & Money.
Ok. So I am completely in agreement with angel.
Last year, I attended Gaia's Feedback Panel at Gencon. We played small games and were requested to suggest ideas that might make Gaia more fun and exciting. What is mind boggling to me is that I remember requesting something just like this.

The idea of being able to craft your own items, and test different formulas is just too cool to leave out of something as big as Gaia.
Though what I had in mind was not exactly as what is happening now.

My idea of alchemy was that the items you were creating would be new. NOT older items such as Jet, Lucky, Pale, etc. Not only is this taking the hard work out of rigs. You're also going to see a HUGE decrease in sales of rigs, because people are just going to wait for the best items to come out. Find the formula for it and hope they can create it.

By having items that no one has ever seen before, prices are going to be based on rarity and demand. For instance with the Red Minis, only a few people have them, and people who do have them have worked more than their tail off to get them. (Unless of course they were a lucky raffle winner). If anyone were to see that THAT item was craftable, the demand for it would immediately go down. No one would care for it, if they could just make it themselves.

Not only are you going to have a problem with people being discouraged by the quest item, they just bought for 10m drop to 3m, but we all know there are going to be hardcore alchemists who are going to do nothing but craft single items.

I get that this might've been a ploy to get rid of inflation and I bet people who are questing the older rigs are going to be super happy that the prices have dropped, but seriously. Why not just make formula's for the Monthly Collectibles too, I'm sure everyone would just love to craft themselves a halo. :XP:
Gundamu's avatar

Supportive Seeker

You make sense. A lot of it.
Shadow Coon II's avatar

Dapper Man-Lover

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After reading everything, I can still say that I'm quite excited about this feature. 3nodding

I've been on here for well-over six years now and am actually one of those users who've purchased past RIGs, DIs/MCs, and whatnot in order to get items I wanted quite a bit. I even own a few multi-million gold RIG items, a couple of which were being touted as possibly acquirable in the Alchemy announcement. That said, I'm not even a little bit bothered by the potential of my items bottoming out worth-wise because of this feature.

If anything, I'm even more excited by the idea that I could possibly acquire more of them through means other than just playing Booty Grab for several hours a day, for months on end.

I'm eager to see how this all pans out. I'm not concerned with virtual worth, so re-releases of any sort have never bothered me, particularly when it comes to items that, unlike DIs/MCs, were never promised to stay exclusive in the first place~
Shintouyu's avatar

Heroic Lunatic

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Basically...
This could all have been avoided if Gaia only introduced and used new items in/for the recipes instead of requiring past items.
Prue's avatar

Stargazer

Shadow Coon II
After reading everything, I can still say that I'm quite excited about this feature. 3nodding

I've been on here for well-over six years now and am actually one of those users who've purchased past RIGs, DIs/MCs, and whatnot in order to get items I wanted quite a bit. I even own a few multi-million gold RIG items, a couple of which were being touted as possibly acquirable in the Alchemy announcement. That said, I'm not even a little bit bothered by the potential of my items bottoming out worth-wise because of this feature.

If anything, I'm even more excited by the idea that I could possibly acquire more of them through means other than just playing Booty Grab for several hours a day, for months on end.

I'm eager to see how this all pans out. I'm not concerned with virtual worth, so re-releases of any sort have never bothered me, particularly when it comes to items that, unlike DIs/MCs, were never promised to stay exclusive in the first place~


To the contrary, I'm not opposed to items being re released in moderation. But the opportunity cost of buying from Gaia goes way down when you can just mass re release them. In fact, re releasing items in NEW rigs is something I've advocated for a long time.

Not everyone will mind if items are handed to them on a silver platter, but many people who worked for said items might. Those people by and large are going to be less inclined to make purchases. For Gaia to just disregard that is fiscally irresponsible.
Rectify Your Wrongs's avatar

Informer

Signed heart
Gundamu's avatar

Supportive Seeker

Shintouyu
Basically...
This could all have been avoided if Gaia only introduced and used new items in/for the recipes instead of requiring past items.

This. As it is now everything doesn't look like it was planned out well.
Prue's avatar

Stargazer

Gundamu
Shintouyu
Basically...
This could all have been avoided if Gaia only introduced and used new items in/for the recipes instead of requiring past items.

This. As it is now everything doesn't look like it was planned out well.


Or perhaps it was, but by the wrong people. It would be like if you handed an engineer a paintbrush and told them to go paint a Monet. It doesn't work that way. People who didn't understand how the mini virtual economy works were put behind this project.
Shadow Coon II's avatar

Dapper Man-Lover

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Angel in a Bottle
To the contrary, I'm not opposed to items being re released in moderation. But the opportunity cost of buying from Gaia goes way down when you can just mass re release them. In fact, re releasing items in NEW rigs is something I've advocated for a long time.

Not everyone will mind if items are handed to them on a silver platter, but many people who worked for said items might. Those people by and large are going to be less inclined to make purchases. For Gaia to just disregard that is fiscally irresponsible.


Until we learn more about the Alchemy feature and what it'll even cost to make these high-priced items, any sort of judgement would be considered jumping the gun. For all we know, it'll cost a hefty amount of gold in supplies, perhaps a few hundred thousand for the attempt, and have a low success rate to boot. If that were the case, calling them a 'mass rerelease' or 'handing them out on a silver platter' would be a stretch, to say the least.

Perhaps I'm a weird case in all of this, since I don't view buying items with cash as an investment. For me, I buy and keep items because I want them. If the hat on my head suddenly became worth 10k, it wouldn't have any bearing on how I felt about it as an item, Gaia as a business, re-releases, or anything like that.

At the end of the day, I think finding a way to compromise is important, but pleasing the majority is crucial for Gaia as a business. Most users love re-releases of great items and if they can handle this in a decent fashion, it would be best for mostly everyone and moderately bothersome for the rest.
CleoSombra's avatar

Quotable Lunatic

The thread is long, so I'm just going to touch on a few things. >.x

Angel in a Bottle

Do you honestly think that the same amount of people will continue to invest in RIGs from the Cash Shop when they can just decide to create it later on for a fraction of the price?

Actually, crafting the RIG is more expensive than just buying it straight from the market. At least, that's how it is with Valefor, which calls for ten Evergreen brooms - the lowest I saw was 15k. Why would anyone spend 150k+ for an item that's 75k in the market?

In order for the recipes to be useful, the RIGs have to be really, really, really old, to the point that an individual RIG is worth more than the items needed to craft it. Additionally, becomes the RIGs are gone, the items needed to craft them are in limited supply. Once the RIG is gone, there will only be so many Evergreen brooms and whatnot in existence. If there are 30 floating in the market, that's enough to make just three Valefor's.

Quote:

If I'm not mistaken, weren't a few staff members let go a while ago due to lack of funding?


Not exactly. The lay-offs had more to do with reshaping the staff than with cutting back. Positions were ended in some areas and opened up in others (source). In the beginning of February, just two months after the layoffs, Gaia was "hiring like crazy."

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