One of MindArk’s primary long-term goals is to make Entropia Universe as affordable and entertaining as possible for all participants. Toward that end, MindArk is continually experimenting with various adjustments to in-game systems, with an eye toward lowering cost to play while maintaining a reasonable level of revenue that enables continued development and marketing of Entropia Universe.
Reductions in Cost to Play
On September 11th, we initiated a temporary test in which the MindArk fee for hunting was lowered significantly. In the long term, we hope that a lower MindArk fee will result in increased overall activity and new participant retention, and thereby compensate for the lower short-term revenue. We plan to continue experimenting with these revenue settings in the near future to gather more data.
Early data show positive results from those experiments:
As noted in a previous Developer Notes, Loot 2.0 drastically lowered the costs for armor decay and healing, which we can now confirm has led to a substantial increase in the usage of those mechanics. This is an example of the type of positive changes we are hoping to identify and implement in other systems: changes that benefit participants (in terms of lower cost to play) as well as MindArk’s revenue, resulting in a better overall gameplay experience and growth of Entropia Universe.
Loot Distribution Changes
As many participants have already noticed, changes have recently been made to hunting loot distribution, specifically regarding loot volatility and loot sizes. The overall net hunting return was not affected by these changes, but rather the frequency and size of various loot outcomes as a means of promoting more interesting and exciting loot outcomes and removing some of the more frustrating outcomes that were previously possible (especially on larger creatures).
Effects of Critical Hits/Damage on Loot
Finally, we have noticed several misconceptions in recent community discussions regarding Critical Hits that we would like to clarify. Critical Hits do not have a direct impact on loot value calculations per se. Since loot is now based on the actual cost to kill a creature in Loot 2.0, dealing more damage via critical hits (or by having higher damage per pec) does result in smaller loot events for a given creature, but this effect is directly proportional to the lower cost to kill and allows more creatures to be killed (i.e. more loot events) for a given amount of PED spent. Also, the composition of loot improves in such cases and results in a lower proportion of Shrapnel in loot. In other words, the use of items or consumables that provide increased Critical Hit Chance or Critical Damage can never have a negative effect on loot returns.