UPDATE: The latest information is now available by clicking here!
Last week we updated Lamannia with a new barter option in place for earning Hearts of Wood in-game. While we would have been better if the information I posting here was released at the same time, we received feedback from the community on the most concerning issues that come with both introducing a new system and changing an old. Below, I intend to address a few facts on the system, cover some of the design thoughts and also address concerns that were highlighted over the weekend.
When Update 20 goes out to live servers, there will be a new commendation available through select Epic Sagas that will allow players to barter for Hearts of Wood. Initially these Epic Sagas will offer an option to claim a Commendation of Valor; in time we intend to add additional methods to obtain “Commendations of Valor.”
(a) Saga: The End of Eberron (Epic)
(b) Saga: Perils of Cormyr (Epic)
(c) Saga: The Planeswalker’s Path (Epic)
(d) Saga: Menace of the Underdark (Epic)
(e) Saga: Honor of the Huntsilvers (Epic)
(f) Saga: In the Wastes of Gianthold (Epic)
A quest can overlap two or more sagas. In the situation where a quest is in multiple sagas, you will receive completion credit for each saga, for example, completing “A stay at the Inn” from the Update 16 Adventure Pack will reward credit in 3 Saga’s (b, c, e above). In this way, you can complete 5 sagas by playing 36 quests, and various combinations within that scenario if you prefer to skip some content.
The points you earn from completing a saga will vary based on the difficulty you completed them in. The number of commendations earned on an all elite run is 3-4 times that of an all normal run. In addition to difficulty, the higher level sagas tend to reward more commendations as well. Since the commendation is the currency, the important figure is the cost of the Hearts of Wood.
The prices on Lamannia are not final – inspired by the Lamannia feedback, the Heroic Heart of Wood will be greatly reduced from the price displayed in the bartershop today. We’ll be looking at your additional feedback and how players play through sagas, and adjust the costs appropriately. We expect the average player to, upon reaching the minimum level requirement, spend additional hours to obtain a Heart of Wood – but never hundreds of hours. Since the heroic goal is 20, we are lowering the expectation of number of Epic quests needed to earn the heart. You will find that Iconic and Epic hearts cost more because you are expected to earn most of it during gameplay, if you approach earning commendations as your priority reward for Sagas. We are still working on these values, and next Lamannia update they will be lower (though still open to adjustment up/down based on feedback)
Saga’s have been intermittently off since they were introduced this summer. We approached this system with much consideration for delivering something this important, so it is not taken lightly, and we are focused on making sure that Sagas remain available for players who have already started engaging with them, even before the commendations were “the new thing”.
What are we solving?
• The saga system serves to spread out repeat questing and reward for playing a variety of content and more challenging content. It does not penalize for playing out of order and you can be on track for multiple sagas simultaneously.
• One thing, which players have already pointed out, is we are moving to a single game currency specifically for Hearts of Wood. New content, Eberron or FR, will not use Tokens of the Twelve, formerly “Epic Dungeon Tokens.” Originally intended as a hardcore option for the most Elite level cap builds – prior to U14 - the accessibility was made trivial for some when Epic levels were introduced. We left that unchecked and low priority for some time and there is an amazing disparity between players that can grind dozens in hours vs. the majority that takes days (20-30 hours) of gameplay to accomplish – we are balancing this system.
• Along those lines, for over a year DDO has not been adding to the Twelve tokens reward system, quite the opposite, and we will continue to deprecate this system over time. As this is being written, the design team is discussing a few approaches to how this will be done.
As of this writing, Update 20 will not remove the Heart of Wood from the Twelve barter NPC. Next steps will be discussed at a later date, but eventually commendations will be the preferred method of exchange – ideally this is preferred by most players, today that is not the case and we are acting accordingly.
I do want to point out that the name of the True Druidic Heart of Wood is changing to Heroic Heart of Wood and all existing true-hearts will be updated to match.
As we work to get Reincarnation out to Lamannia, we will also make initial updates to the bartershops with Hearts of Wood.
I realize there are more topics to cover on this subject and we aim to address this here, on the Lamannia forums, during development.