If this is TL;DR, scroll down to my solution and conclusion
I apologize if this has been done to death in the past before the new forums were implemented, or even since the move. I find the search field entirely useless for looking for specific threads when it's a two word entry and I get threads talking about every single bonus in the game.
I wanted to have a discussion regarding the Bravery Streak Bonuses, and the impact it has on the game. I'm not sure about other people, but I personally detest this system because of the problems it can potentially cause. Of course, I have issues with other mechanics like the Dungeon Scaling, but that's another thread for another day.
First, I want to talk about Bravery Streak Bonuses. Note that I quantify that with "Streak" rather than just BB in general. I feel that the streak is the second most damaging thing to getting successful groups together in FTP content. In many groups, I have encountered hostile people that, even when the quest is advertised as being Normal or Hard, they will DEMAND that it be changed to Elite so they don't break their streak.
Some surreptitious individuals have even ninja'd starting the quest on the difficulty they desire, rather than what the group leader and the people who joined them want. This often puts the quest too high to complete and results in wipes and the group going their own separate ways.
I will agree that "jerks will be jerks" and that a system is not bad because of "bad people". However, the problem is that the Bravery Streaks breed an environment that encourages this kind of behaviour. Has it existed in the past when people didn't want to lose their 10% Flawless Victory Bonus? Certainly! I am willing to acknowledge that this behaviour is nothing new. This doesn't change the fact that the 50% streak bonus for Elite streaks (which many of these "bad apples" are running) costs a person far more than just a 10% bonus on a single quest. It's costing them a 50% bonus on their first quest, 40% on the next quest, and so on as they build their streak up.
This is a huge problem. It is creating unnecessary drama that could've been avoided with a more elegant solution than the Bravery Bonus system. It is wasting people's time, which yes, it's a game, but that time is something that could've been better spent elsewhere. It also fosters an environment where people are more willing to solo or do small groups rather than PUGing the dungeon.
Of course, treating PUGs like they're worse than a "Veteran" is nothing new. It's in every game. But like I said above, the Bravery Bonuses are only fostering this attitude and exacerbating the problem.
Of course, none of this is new to any of us, right?
My Solution to Bravery Bonus
I don't like the system, but there's no point in spending 10 minutes whining without presenting an alternative to it, right?
The best solution in my opinion, is one that is less restrictive. My idea is simple, and removes the potential for people to be nasty towards one another: Increase "first time" bonuses across all difficulties. This would mean you would benefit from running a quest above level (even if you received a penalty for being too high), are not impacted for running a quest on Normal instead of Elite, and you cannot have any sort of streak ruined by another player.
My suggested values would be:
-First time Casual/Normal: 35% (up from 25%)
-First time Hard: 60% (up from 40%)
-First time Elite: 120% (up from 80%)
This would effectively roll the Bravery Bonus into the base First Time completion, reward a player for running on multiple difficulties (which helps FTP players, something that would keep them in the game and potentially keep them buying small purchases here or there or consider upgrading...), would help with the insane TR curve (which I hear they're changing anyways), remove the potential for griefing and drama, and allow a player to benefit from increased EXP from all quests regardless of their level in relation to it or not.
Less restriction, more freedom.
If others have different solutions, I'd love to hear them. I want a discussion going. The devs have been more active lately have they not? ;3
I'm also curious about something else. I would like to know why some people support the Bravery Bonus, and I would like to know if and why others would denounce it. Certainly, I take advantage of it, as I've recently TR'd and have just reached level 13, but I don't go out of my way to continue exploiting the bonus. Since I've been running every single quest (Every non-raid quest. Period... well except Glade Watch.... ) and have yet to do more than a couple quests above Level 8, my Bravery Streak hasn't been moving. In fact, for the last couple weeks, I have not benefited at all from Bravery Bonus. I've been stuck on a streak of 59 for quite some time. But then again, I'm VIP so finding quests that I'm over-leveled for, haven't completed, and are good EXP is not an issue.
Here are some alternative ideas presented in the thread: