Much ado about…..RAs

Over on the EQ2 Official Forums, some people have worked themselves into a tizzy about the Research Assistants. Some people are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the RAs. As of this writing, there are 45 pages (on a subject that was opened 8 days ago).

What a lot of posters don’t seems to realize is that, regardless whether people want it or not (and a lot of the posters do want it, and some want it with certain limitations), it will be introduced to the game. On page 39, I introduced a balanced (in my opinion, which, admittedly, is biased) idea which would provide a cost, but at the same time not make the RA impossible to use. Below is the text of my post.

Necrotherian wrote:

Having read through most of the pages, I have come up with a solution to a few of the concerns people have had. While these won’t please everybody, it should work for most.

1. At a minimum, the RA should only be usable by one character per account per server at any given time. IOW I could have my main contract the RA for a spell upgrade, then, once the research has been completed, I could have a different toon on that account contract the RA for an upgrade.

2. Once a toon has contracted the services of the RA, the Assistant will not be available for another upgrade for that toon until a period of time equal to twice the research time. IOW if my main has the RA research a spell upgrade that takes 30 days to research, the RA will not be available to research another upgrade for my main until 60 days, from the completion of the previous research, has elapsed.

3. The Research Assistant should require the donation of two items of the desired tier, of equal or higher level. The RA would also accept twice the number of the previous tier of items. The exception would, of course, be using Legendary items for Adept III, in which case only one would be required. To simplify that a bit:

Master I (Fabled) – Requires 2 Fabled Items or 4 Legendary Items

Adept III (Mastercrafted) – Requires 1 Legendary or 2 Mastercrafted or 4 Treasured

Adept I (Treasured) – Requires 2 Treasured or 4 Handcrafted

Apprentice IV (Handcrafted) – Requires 2 Handcrafted

4. Upon completion of the research, the toon receiving the spell will be obligated to pay an amount in gold equal to Spell Tier to the exponent of the Upgrade Tier. Note that, for ease of calculation, all apprentice spells are to be considered upgrade tier 1. Thus, a T3 (lvl 22) App IV would be 3g, a T5 (lvl 45) AdIII would be 1p25g, and a T8 (Lvl 80) M1 would be 40p96g.

The first addresses the issue with the RA being locked to a single character, and ensures that it will actually be useful.

The second ensures that the progression won’t be too quick, but still there is progression. Additionally, the time period is great enough that it won’t completely displace the M1 or AdIII spells on the broker. It will merely make it slightly easier to obtain those spells that are being sold for exhorbitant rates.

The third provides a requirement that will make it difficult, but not impossible, for very casual players to obtain M1 spells.

The last provides a money sink, but still makes the price somewhat realistic.

You would think that people would discuss such a solution, mais non? Only one person replied to it, stating that the amount of items was a trifle excessive. I honestly think that people don’t want to discuss things meaningfully.

Some of people who disagree with the implementation of RAs seem to think that having people upgrade to Master I spells or CAs will unbalance the game and make the content harder. I respectfully submit that, with the TSO expansion, content, to include solo content is already harder. I had to get a full group to progress past Chapter 3 of the signature quest.

Well, this post is way to long, as it is, so I will bid you adieu for now.

Until next time,
Necrotherian Lootsalot

(Edit: I posted about this particular subject over on Clockwork Gamer’s blog on March 13, 2009)

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