Keystones Pt. 2

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    WB Gamer

    Old thread for reference.

    https://community.wbgames.com/t5/General/Keystones/m-p/1797037#M7031

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    WB Gamer

    i was just about to do this... keystone discussion will never go away... i fail to see why a discussion several months old that was still in use was closed!

     

    Anyway.... so keystones are still a MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR issue in the game... 1 keystone for daily quests doesnt cut it. I farmed 6 level 6 rss nodes to empty last week and NOT ONE KEYSTONE... so yeah we need this sorting out...

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    WB Gamer

    So, let's do some math (note that these are from somewhat limited observations and may not be completely accurate):

    • Level 6 gathering tiles have about a 20% chance of having keystones and when they do it's, on average, 1.2
    • For the shrine between 21 and 25 there is a just over 3% chance of getting keystones per wish, generally 2 keystones
    • The storehouse, at level 26, gives 9 keystones (if memory serves) approximately every week

    With gear and buffs it takes me about 3.5 hours to deplete a level 6 Lumber Camp. Let's round that up to 4 to accomodate for time to find them and troop travel. We'll assume that I can nominally deplete 24 in a day, 168 in a week; so that gives me about 40 keystones in a week. Let's say I use all of the allowed wishes in a week on building materials, so that's 1,400 wishes; so that gives me 88 -- though I haven't actually tracked how many give one vs. two keystones. And then, of course, we have 9 keystones from the storehouse. So in a week I can have accumulated, nominally, 137 keystones. Upgrading the wall to level 26 costs 1,729 keystones, the keep 3,535, other miscellaneous building are another 1,300 or so; so a total of 6,564 or so. That means it will take 48 weeks to get to level 27 or $600-800 USD. 

     

    So what does that mean? Basically that you will not increase your keep level without significant spending. Note that prior to the shrine and the storehouse as well as the advanced packs it would have taken 164 weeks or $3,200 USD. It's gotten significantly better since launch, but they've addressed it primarily by making packs better -- after all 48 weeks is basically never in this game. They may continue down this road, addressing keystones almost entirely through packs; it's certainly the easiest solution for them.

     

    I wanted to add a bit on why I think they've just been increasing the number of keystones in packs as opposed to some other method. With packs they have pretty fine-grained control over how many come into the system. They can put per-player limits, control when they appear, the frequency, maybe even a set number of times they can be purchased overall -- I don't know. If they were to, say, put them as drops they are stuck a little bit. On one hand, if they make them a token drop as some have suggested it gives the appearance of bowing to the loudest voices while not actually making much of a difference -- something that I would expect would only cause the volume here to go up. On the other, if they make them closer to what was in the beta servers then the value of gold relative to other packs goes up and the importance of stamina goes up as well -- tilting the playing field towards folks who spend a lot of money and have a lot of time, instead of just the former. 

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    WB Gamer
    As much as I don't like you in game, I like you here, LOL..
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    WB Gamer
    they currently have a 99.99$ pack that offers 650 keystones. maybe we should just buy 1 pack per every keep level we want to upgrade ??
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    WB Gamer
    Now, what's not really talked about is the other resources. The same buildings as above require around 650m wood. With the same gathering I could pull in around 25m a week and with my production gear on and buffs I crank out about 180k an hour; so another 29m per week. So that's only 12 weeks, or $800 USD, or so. I haven't benchmarked some of the other building packs, but I recall the normal Advanced one has less.wood than the Resource pack.
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    WB Gamer

    the balance has never been found... were not asking for keystones to be like bricks and drop in the 100's from caravans BUT i feel there has to be something done. I'm fast losing motivation at the moment because i simply can't go any higher without FURTHER significant expense... all i can say is that when the Keep Level 40's are introduced that they have to do something... and lets not mention the fact that the Dragonpit is going to require keystones.... i hear about 5400 for a level 26 dragonpit!

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    WB Gamer

    I figure I'll get some remaining buildings done and then my Workshop up to 26 and then ... I'm likely done. At least with building and most of the research. Is getting to level 27 worth another $500 USD or so? It would give me, I don't know, a march size that's 2,500 more (with the expanded research). Sure, any march size is good, but it doesn't make that much of a difference. Getting to player level 40 will be a bigger boost. But then? I suppose I may replace losses of troops as they happen, but I might be able to squeeze with just normal upkeep, at least for a while. 

     

    As I've said before, this appears to be by design. Getting to keep level 27 isn't going to make me more likely to attack people, nor will staying at 26 make me less. It's not like my allegiance is going to say "whoah there, you must be this tall to join the rally!" If I were measuring my progress in game by what keep level I was I'm sure it would be disappointing. At present players need to understand that keep level is a product almost solely of spending. Each keep level, each tier, is reach only by spending increasing amounts of money and that to engage in PvP, which is basically what the end-game is, you need to be at least keep level 22, preferrably keep 26. You should set your expectations based on that and look at what battles you've won, what enemies defeated and, yes, what Seats of Power you and your allegiance control for your measure of accomplishment in the game.

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    WB Gamer
    When i get stuck on a level for any amount of time, I start to lose interest. In the past I have waited, saved, and purchased the advanced pack (which is ridiculously expensive in AUS $)
    My next keep is 25. It will cost me several weeks wages to upgrade, in keystones, soldier pine, bricks and wood. Not to mention every other building that must be upgraded first.

    I'll sit at 24 until I give up and find something cheaper to play.
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    WB Gamer
    The unfortunate part about increasing the availability of keystones in the manner they've chosen to, namely through packs, is that it perversely increases the gap between free- (or nearly so) to-play players and paying. While a $99 USD pack may now have 5 times the number of keystones in it it's still $99 USD. Folks who weren't going to buy that before probably aren't going to buy it now. But folks who were buying, who might have stalled out at T8s or early T9s will be able to get higher than they would have before. This is going to lead to an increase in the number of keep 26, 27, 28 relative to the levels 19, 20 or 21. That means bigger rallies, so even folks who had accumulated large numbers of T7 troops are going to lose ground and they will definitely not be wanted to defend or rally. It will also make the race to domination accelerate considerably for new kingdoms. Being someone who has spent I'm in the group that's been advantaged by this, I don't think I would have made keep 26 without those packs. But it is disheartening to see people in my allegiance, folks I've been playing with, in some cases, for close to a year slip further and further behind in relative power.
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    WB Gamer
    Kawaru I wish somebody would listen to what you say because you constantly make great points. And it is sad that the a number of people with t7’s feel useless now and like they have no purpose in playing.
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    WB Gamer

    So, let's do a little math. I'm going to start with the idea that folks should be able to get to level 22 within 6 months without spending. So, that's roughly:

    • 343M Food
    • 932M Wood
    • 41M Stone
    • 12M Iron
    • 79,983 Bricks
    • 24,388 Soldier Pine
    • 6,023 Keystones

    I'm going to take a shortcut and assume that for half of that period you can field two simultaneous marches and deplete two tiles per day and then for half of it you can do three of each. So with 91 days in each quarter, going after level 6 tiles you'd end up with 1,183 tiles, which would give you somewhere in the neighborhood of (assuming gathering appropriate tiles with bonuses and wood otherwise):

    • 32M Food
    • 39M Wood
    • 5.8M Stone
    • 1.5M Iron
    • 3,733 Bricks
    • 917 Soldier Pine
    • 275 Keystones

    I don't know the stats on the Shrine at those levels, so I'm going to overestimate a bit. I'll assume that over those levels you'll have something around 6 wishes per day plus the 5 for completing the daily quests. So with those 2,002 wishes you might expect something like:

    • 255 Bricks
    • 139 Soldier Pine
    • 66 Keystones

    Now, you can hunt for Bricks and Soldier Pine. I'm going to cheat here, again, and base things on levels 15, 16 and 17 creatures as a reasonable average. So with 182 days and roughly 13 creatures per day gives us 338 of each caravan and 2,366 creatures in total, for something like:

    • 32M Food
    • 33M Wood
    • 4.5M Stone
    • 400k Iron
    • 8,627 Bricks
    • 1,754 Soldier Pine

    But that's not all, of course. There's also the Daily Quests. Those appear to be reasonably consistent, so over those 182 days we would get:

    • 3,094 Bricks
    • 2,730 Soldier Pine
    • 182 Keystones
    • 73M Wood

    I don't have good data on the Storehouse, but I would expect that to be fairly negligible on the Keystones, call it another 60 at most and 300 Soldier Pine. Daily and Progressive Rewards maybe another 150 Keystones and 1,000 Soldier Pine. Note that those values are completely made up :). I can't really begin to calculate the Port, but I expect it'll help on the resources and bricks, but I've rarely seen Soldier Pine and never Keystones. So where does that leave us?

    • 32M Food since the loose Food can't be stored, and then a certain amount from the Port
    • 137M Wood, plus a certain amount from the Port
    • 10.6M Stone
    • 1.9M Iron
    • 17,709 Bricks
    • 6,840 Soldier Pine
    • 733 Keystones

    So that puts us, at best, about 15% of what is needed for Keep 22. Keystones are the worst, of course, at about 12%, but that's to be expected. On the other hand it's pretty close to what you need for Keep 19, it's actually at more than 70% of the Keystones needed. I'm not going to do the math here, but I would hazard a guess that it would be possible to get to Keep 19 in 8 months without spending anything. Maybe. Possibly. But to get to what you need in the way of Keystones with the packs that have 1,050 and spending the 80k gold on Keystones would take 5 of them. Eyeballing the resources I'd imagine you would need a good two or three resources packs as well. So $800 USD or so should get you there. I would also add that this is an extremely rosy view of things, especially the resources, since it doesn't take into account healing, troop production or PvP. I also didn't include allegiance gifts, but those could make up the shortfall on resources. Similarly events may give some additional bonuses, but those are hard to generalize and likely aren't going to change the big picture much.

     

    The TL;DR version of this is that in order to be engaged in the end-game, which is basically PvP, you need to have a non-trivial amount of T8 troops. This means getting to Keep level 22 which is going to take an absolute minimum spending of $800 USD and 6 months of time, likely more than that since the above represent a really optimistic view of what can be accumulated. What any new player should be asking themselves is "Is this game worth playing if I'm not willing to spend $800 USD?" Given the current level of content unrelated to PvP as well as the general frustration from the constant predation of higher level players my gut sense would be "no" for most people. The next one is "Is it worth spending $800+ USD to play this game?" Having spent (significantly) more than that, I doubt I could answer affirmatively to that question. 

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    WB Gamer

    I'd like to add that from a strictly utilitarian perspective folks -- at least on a mature server -- who do not have T8s provide basically no in-game value to an allegiance. They cannot rally, space being at a premium. Since the reinforcement and Seat of Power changes, which I agree were necessary, they cannot defend, either, for the same reason. They are unlikely to purchase much in the way of packs, so they effectively won't meaningfully affect the game play of anyone else in the allegiance. They may provide some meta benefits, additional eyes on members, recruiting, etc. as well as helping the social aspect. But in game lower level people basically exist to be target practice and make the game appear more active. 

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    WB Gamer
    From what I have observed in the past 2 months or so is that the amount of keystones dropping from resource nodes (including other building materials) has been seriously reduced. From 12 marches a day to lvl 6 nodes, I barely manage 1 keystone per day. Sometimes no additional reward from the lvl 6 nodes whatsoever. Being on of those F2P who have grinded since the launch of the game, I have come to a point where I will need to wait another 100 days to upgrade to keep lvl 21 and probably till the second anniversary for lvl 22 lol.
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    WB Gamer
    The Bravosi recipe event had excellent tier rewards in terms of keystones. Probably the best since the launch. If they were to have such events once a month, it would still make the grind a little more fun.
    I am not mentioning the leaderboard rewards because it is broken. Somehow I a 6 mil player am put up against 20 mil+ players.
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    WB Gamer
    The problem is, at least in my bracket, the only way to get those higher reward-tier keystones is to spend money to complete the event.

    So either you drop the cash on an advanced material pack, or you drop the cash on a Braavos currency pack... either way you aren't getting keystones unless you're buying them, which I think we can safely conclude by now, is the only way you're ever going to get them.
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    WB Gamer

    To echo 's comment, I spent a number of days hunting a whole lot of Braavosi; killed somewhere on the order of 2,500 level 28-30. Had somewhere around 6M Corsair Trophies. For that I ended up with just about 2.5M points, if I recall. The $99 USD Coin had the capacity, I think someone told me, of close to 60M points. Basically if you were competing against folks who were buying packs you would lose. Heck, I spent somewhere on the order of 350k gold which is more than $200 USD worth. So, yes, the rewards were good and with the addition of the Slate buying the Coin packs made more economic sense than a lot of other things. But make no mistake, because of the way the leaderboard event rewards scale in order to get the good rewards you generally are spending more money than the rewards will be worth.

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    WB Gamer
    I hoping a keystone event for the anniversary
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    WB Gamer
    Yes we need keystone events!!
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    WB Gamer
    WB is literally passive forcing you to spend money if you want to continue playing this game. I am keep level 20 player and played this game for around ~8 months . Now I am loosing interest as it's hard to get keystones. Also top 3-4 players spend enough money that is more than enough to run a server.
    I am on server 186 after kingdom merge. 2-3 days Before merge some spent $$$$ with both hands and reached Keep level 30 in a day. Because of these people we are not getting keystone events as they are ready to spend whenever required.
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    WB Gamer
    Giving us a better way to get keystones isn’t going to make people spend that much less, in fact, it would probably make more people spend. There will always be “whales” in any game, but whales need FTP players to entertain them, or they get bored with each other and find new games.
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