Before we get into into the new content that Neverwinter Ravenloft is going to introduce, we have to talk about some pretty significant changes to old systems first. One of the changes is not less than the hottest topic on the feedback front. And that has a reason, because the devs once again mess with Astral Diamond earn rates. After Mod 12.5 brought random queues, this is the second major change to the AD economy within the last months. And while Swords of Chult more changed how Rough Astral Diamonds could be obtained, Ravenloft swings the nerf bat.
What Will Change?
But first things first. What’s actually going on and how are the devs trying to tackle it? I coincidentally had that ZAX backlog article up last week that pretty much explained the issue: There are simply too many Astral Diamonds in the economy! Currently there are not enough sinks, which devalues the currency and, among other things, inflates the ZEN/AD exchange. In the linked article I also said what you can do about it:
- Remove the ZAX exchange limit to let the market regulate itself
- Add sufficient AD sinks
- Nerf AD generation
Turns out the devs decided to go with 3). With M14 Rough Astral Diamonds will have an account wide refining cap of 100,000 per day. This obviously means that AD generation does no longer linearly scale with your characters and could be a substantial nerf depending on how extensively you farmed for RADs on each and any given day.
Who Is Getting Nerfed the Most?
The math is fairly easy. The current character refining limit is 36,000. Meaning that if you are able to cap three characters per day, you’ll see a decline in Ravenloft thanks to the new 100,000 account hard cap. As adjustment to the new system random queue rewards will be account gated as well. Only one character can earn those first run bonuses per day. Granted, the bonuses were significantly raised, overall they still won’t contribute as much to progress as before. To reach the daily cap you will have to farm additional Salvage.
I’m not sure that makes farming 100,000 ADs longer than currently, it’s just that a portion of the AD generation was moved away from the random queues. You can do everything on your best main, which for example might add to overall speed depending on how geared the alts are that you currently use for random queue farming. The bigger your account is, the bigger the nerf will be. New or casual players that only operate one character on the other hand might even see an small increase in earnings.
Is Another Hard Cap the Answer?
I’d like to point out that some change to the AD economy was necessary. People feel nerfed, but at the end of the day you couldn’t do a whole lot with your ADs anyway. If this works, the currency will get more valuable. A basic example is once again the ZEN exchange. With fewer ADs in the economy, it should fall again. You might not be able to farm as much ADs on a daily basis any longer, but the same ADs will also net you more ZEN. This is a bit speculative at this point, but just know that fewer Astral Diamonds might not mean less “value” for you.
That being said, I’m still critical of the path they’ve chosen here. It decreases the relevance of alts and adds another hard cap in a game that already features tons of progression walls. In 2015 I created the chart on the left to visualize how daily progression works in Neverwinter. And guess what, it still applies. If people want to put the time in to farm Astral Diamonds through refining, just let them. There certainly would have been other ways of taking ADs out of the economy without completely shutting down “hardcore farming”. I can’t stress enough how annoying it is that long-term players that build sizable accounts over the years tend to suffer the most from such changes.
Another reason why I don’t like hard caps is because they are not flexible. Now the 100,000 might make sense, but who knows what’s going to happen during Mod 14 and beyond. If suddenly the economy needs more ADs, players are unable to supply them themselves. Right now you could just gear another alt or two if in need, but with a hard account cap you’re actually dependent on the devs to make adjustments. And let’s just say swift reactions is not really something we are blessed with around here.
Let’s Get More Meaningful and Rewarding Ways of Spending ADs
As annoying as this nerf is to some folks, it was probably an inevitable change for now. I do however would like to see more meaningful and rewarding ways of spending ADs instead of simply limiting what players are able to do. The devs hinted that they have future plans there, so that’s encouraging I guess. But overall it nonetheless looks like some of us will have to get along with fewer Astral Diamonds per day than we’re currently used to.
What’s your opinion on the AD refining cap nerf? Is it justified or should the devs have come up with a better solution to deal with the economy issues? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board! An overview of our full Ravenloft coverage can be found in this article!
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