Everything is OP
Hey y’all, I wanna try opening up this channel to some more serious discussion. I know, I know, it’s annoying. But I want to solve some lingering issues with vicloc, before it becomes even later and later, and thus harder to “fix”.
I think we can all agree that, because we have always had rules against Gachapon and against receiving items/mesos from outlanders, there are only two real sources of “OP shit” in vicloc today: events, and APQ. So I want to talk about both.
With respect to events, there are basically three components of events that could have game-mechanical impact: equipment, scrolls, and potions. Of these, we would probably agree that the most problematic is equipment. Thus, I want to suggest (tentatively) that all event equipment that has game-mechanical effects (WATK, MDEF, DEX, WACC, SPEED, etc.) be banned entirely. This would obviously not include NX equipment (unless the NX equipment has stats, like the NX pendants from the previous Christmas event), nor would it include items like Maple Bandana White. The only issues I forsee with this are:
- We already have at least one event-equip-with-stats in circulation.
- This would mean banning Sweet Fork Cake and Magical Mitten, which is not really the target of this ban, and would make certain jobs impossible (e.g. besinner).
- In the same way that one generally wants events to be engaging & rewarding for Maple Islanders, we would also want the same w.r.t. events for viclanders.
The first issue is not a big deal, I don’t think. I have a 4/2/2/2 Blue
Maple Bandana, but I don’t really use it except to get +2 INT on
(the lack of WDEF on the bandana makes it not so good for other purposes). So
I’m more than willing to give it up entirely (i.e. transfer it to an
outlander, or just NPC it).
The second issue is maybe not a big deal either, but in my opinion, it’s worth making an exception for these two items specifically. This should be uncontroversial, I think, as these claws are vastly underpowered, other than for odd-jobbed use.
The third issue is a thornier one, and brings up the other two components of events that could have game-mechanical impact: scrolls, and potions. If we limit our event restrictions to just banning equipment-with-stats, then we still have NX equips, hairs, faces, chairs, scrolls, and potions that can be earned from events. Viclockers would still be able to, for example, do event raffles, and then simply offload banned items to an outlander (or destroy them outright), and keep any other items. But I can forsee some people having issues with even these other items as well:
- Allowing scrolls means introducing Chaos Scrolls and White Scrolls to vicloc, which some might see as overpowered and/or an unnecessary complication.
- Event potions can be pretty powerful (Rice Puffs, Unripe Onyx Apples, New Year Rice Soups, Chocolate Baskets, …), so some people might see those are overpowered as well.
Personally, I think that because these items can only be obtained on a time-limited basis (events only), and because they are consumable (use one once, and it is destroyed permanently), we can get away with placing no restrictions on these event USE items. Banning these items in addition to banning equips-with-stats would leave events essentially cosmetics-only (chairs, NX equips, hairs, and faces) — that’s not exactly the end of the world, but for anyone who was concerned about motivating events and making them exciting, this would probably be bad news.
And then, with respect to APQ, there are basically three kinds of items from APQ that have game-mechanical impact: scrolls, equips, and potions.
The scrolls available from APQ do mean introducing dark scrolls (particularly, 30% scrolls) into vicloc when there is otherwise no way to get them (other than some events). But I suspect that this is a non-issue, as the scrolls are not that numerous, and it gives APQ a special flair, with some items being exclusive to APQ.
The equipment available from APQ can be somewhat special. In normal APQs, as far as I know, the only notable equipment items that are awarded are Amos’s Royal Cape and Amos’s Spirit Cape. These are basically just normal Adventurer Capes that offer a modest amount of WDEF and MDEF for their level, and have the ordinary 5 slots. This is kind of nice because it’s another source of capes, which tend to be a bit scarce in vicloc. The really powerful stuff, though, comes when you do an APQ as a party of only married couples (3 couples making up a party of 6). In this case, the bonus stage is more elaborate, with a pre-bonus stage giving the chance to get special capes and earrings. The capes are special because, other than being essentially normal Gaia capes (level 65 capes with a modest amount of WDEF and MDEF for their level), these capes have 7 slots each. This means significantly higher potential for getting stats (STR, DEX, INT, LUK) on a single cape. But the fact that these are level 65 capes limits them only to high-level/endgame viclockers. And the special earrings offered are Cecelia’s Earrings, which have an advantage over other vicloc earrings due to their high defences (10 WDEF, 55 MDEF; they have the normal 5 slots). These earrings would be endgame for basically any non-mage, and even for some mages. I personally don’t really see much issue with the equipment items, although it could be argued that the earrings (despite being rather hard to get, as you have to do an APQ with all couples and then be lucky enough to somehow get a pair of earrings during pre-bonus stage) could make other vicloc earrings less special, e.g. getting Pink-Flowered Earrings from Zombie Mushmom.
Then we have, of course, the potions. The big daddy of them all is the Onyx Apple, although we do have two more slight offenders: the Amorian Basket and the Crystalized Pineapple Chew. I think Crystalized Pineapple Chews are awarded by APQ bonus stage but I’m not 100% on that one. In any case, the main concern for baskets is the +40 WACC and +40 AVOID — this is considerably better than other sources, viz. +5 WACC from Sniper Potions, +5 AVOID from Dexterity Potions, +20 WACC from Bless, +20 AVOID from Bless. And Crystalized Pineapple Chews are basically 7 minutes of Rage, effectively displacing Rage, Warrior Potions, and Drake’s Blood, when used. Onyx Apples are much worse, of course, granting +100 WATK and +100 MATK for 10 minutes.
The idea of making APQ only available when in a vicloc-only party has been floated before, but there seem to be two issues with this w.r.t. APQ being OP (granted, APQ being OP is not the only problem that such a restriction would be trying to solve):
- It doesn’t actually make APQ any less OP — all of the same rewards are available, and viclockers are more than capable of completing all stages of APQ on their own.
- It would effectively limit the experience (experience in the ordinary sense, not the EXP sense) and rewards of APQ to those who logistically are capable of partying up in a full APQ party of 100% viclockers. This would effectively mean banning APQ for members with odd timezones or schedules, and would make APQs in general scarce or impossible.
With all of this in mind, there are a few ways of potentially “resolving” the issues with APQ, that I can think of:
- Ban APQ entirely (leaving weddings intact, of course).
- Leave APQ as-is, and accept that the special potions it gives can be useful when used sparingly (e.g. for APQs, SPQs, difficult area boss fights, etc.).
- Leave APQ as-is, with the exception of banning a certain set of items from it. For example, Onyx Apples & Amorian Baskets could be banned as a special exception.
- Ban certain items from APQ, unless the APQ run that the items are from was completed by an all-vicloc party.
Looking at the list above, (1.) would certainly do the trick (APQ can’t be a problem if there is no such thing as APQ…), but would seem to be the most unfun resolution. This would just remove content from vicloc entirely. (2.) is fine, except that it doesn’t do anything to address worries about APQ being OP. (3.) helps to solve APQ being OP, by removing the main bits that are deemed to be overpowered, although it requires determining exactly what bits those are, and makes the rules more elaborate. (4.) is similar to (3.), although it allows the OP bits to exist to a lesser degree. This doesn’t solve the issue of those items being OP (as the items themselves are unchanged), but could give APQ a special role by encouraging viclockers who want to SPQ (or maybe do some other difficult thing, I’m not sure) to APQ as a party of viclockers in order to accumulate the powerful potions necessary to have a reasonably smooth SPQ run. Personally, I’m leaning more towards (3.), but I’m really not sure.