Ask anyone how many upgrade stones it took to get step 5 or 6 on their weapon. you will get mixed answers.
"It took me 6 stones in a row! EZPZ
"it took me around 25 stones, but at least i'm there
"I have gone through 80 stones and i'm still step 1. I'm gonna quit mabi!
Special upgrades are extremely important in high-level content. They boost your damage by huge amounts, but they are also HUGE money sink. player's are usually forced to wait for an event that gives out Stones of Luck or Stones of protection before they can reliably get a step 5 or 6 weapon. And when u go through so many stones and are punished for it, it doesn't make for a rewarding gameplay experience.
What are some ways to fix the problem, and make special upgrading better?
Make them more common
The biggest issue with upgrade stones is how rare they are. The cost to upgrade itself isn't that bad, only from 30/50k per attempt, but obtaining them is a different story. In Alexina, red upgrade stones are usually 100k each. so going through 10 of them is gonna hurt your bank account a lot. And unless you commerce and buy them for 250k ducats each, there's no sure-fire way to farm them. You either buy them from other players or hope you get lucky. Some changes that would be nice are:
Increase the Success rate
- make them available for purchase with adventure seals
- make them rewards for daily shadow missions or dungeons
This is a no-brainer. If you just increase the success rate, it might be a better system. less stones would be necessary, and then the price of stones would go down and newer players could actually afford special upgrades. I know the special anvil in Alban Knights Training Grounds can help a lot, but getting that is a whole other struggle.
If you don't wanna flat-out increase the success rate, you could implement a kind of bad-luck protection into special upgrading. Some ideas are:
Add some kind of Consolation Prize
- The more stones you use on a particular weapon, the higher the success rate becomes for that weapon
- there's a chance when upgrading that the next step will be 100% regardless of what it is (Maplestory has this feature with star-force enhancements)
Honestly, burning 2 stones and 60k and getting nothing out of it (from step 1 to step 0) is infuriating. It makes you think "why bother special upgrading when I could spend my money and actually get something out of it?" And it's a completely fair point to make. There needs to be something you get even if you fail. Some things that could be changed are:
Special Upgrade Transfer
- there's a chance the stone isn't consumed in the failed upgrade, or that the upgrade level doesn't go down.
- Every time you special upgrade you get a shard of that stone, and you can combine 5 into a new stone.
A problem I often have is getting a weapon, and then special upgrading it, and then getting a better weapon. it would be cool if you could Transfer your special upgrade level from one weapon to another.
even if it destroys the old weapon in the process, it would be well worth saving the agony of trying to special upgrade the new weapon. It probably wouldn't work for step 6 and higher, because then you could just keep trying for step 6 on daggers and then transfer it onto your new weapon.
Just don't lower my weapon's rank when I fail
Come on. It honestly isn't fair. And there isn't any lore reason for it. Did you accidentally make your weapon weaker by using an upgrade stone on it? Did the weapon get SO STRONG that it lost a rank? If you were to change anything, this is the easiest and probably most effective fix, especially with a success rate as low as it is.
Anyway, tell me what you think! What ideas do you have to improve special upgrading? Do you think the system is fair? How many upgrade stones have YOU burned away trying to step 6 your Baby?