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I'm going to drop in here because I'm annoyed as fricking hack at the advancement system, as is the norm for probably every NA Mabi player and there are enough of these threads already.
Shiro42 has a good idea and that's basically how it should have been done in the first place if the people responsible for the system in the first place didn't have their heads shoved someplace they shouldn't have been, but because I doubt they'll re-visit such a complex system simply because non-KR places depend entirely on RNG (did the multi-aggro mobs load defense/counterattack, or are they just rushing me and locking me in a corner this time?) I have a much simpler suggestion:
Let us (as in, the NA Mabi version) just compensate for the fact that everyone outside KR has to deal with latency just about every advancement test which increases the difficulty of almost every advancement test from godawful to ungodly: Shave 500-1,000 points off the requirements for A/S/SS ranking.
That would be so easy to do, it could be done by next month's patch, if not in just a day, and we'd no longer have to complain incessantly about the fact that we have to restart dan 3 advancement tests LITERALLY 50 times a day to get SS rank because we're always just under 500 points from getting it in the last 10 seconds because NA latency has fruited us at least twice in the test.
I agree that a lot of older content is a pain, but generally that's because it follows the philosophies of the original dev team which believed arbitrary tedium was the spice of life skills. Here are my thoughts on a few things:
Water: What you're asking for is not as simple as it sounds (speaking from experience) so I cannot recommend it. I can however recommend two things: 100% success rates for filling water bottles, up from what seems to be somewhere in the 80%-90% success rate it is now which is probably an oversight left in during the big life skill update. Filling multiple bottles in your inventory at a time.
Collection quest scrolls: These are in a weird state, iirc the armies of bots attacking simple mobs eventually developed the ability to collect fomor scrolls which could be turned in with quests to make money. Either the rewards were toned down significantly to make them not worth the effort, or gold inflation over the past 3 years has devalued their rewards significantly. I'm not sure what can be done in the former case, but in the latter case Nexon just has to stop throwing gold at players during events. There's already another forum topic about that though, I'll let them bicker over it there.
Gifts: I agree really, secret shops are one of the tedious things that came with the original release of the game and has since proven to be a pointless hassle (silk weaving gloves too). Making gifts stackable would be good for players that haven't filled their inventory with bags yet. As for the removal of secret shops, I would disagree; instead I would suggest going with the "Fleta example" and tying them to vaguely interesting side quests: do an errand, get access to rare shop items.
Silk weaving gloves: The original dev team of Mabi thought that arbitrary tedium was the spice they needed to make life skills interesting, not realizing that "tedious" and "interesting" are mutually exclusive. Silk weaving gloves was one of the things this awful philosophy gave birth to. Removing their requirement would be great, but at the very least increasing how many times they can be used before breaking would be great too.
Lately on the Nao server there's been a trend of people posting used skill books on the AH at either full price, or prices between 10-90% less than the current "legitimate book" price.
Aside from the seal missing on the book icon, there's also a red text warning above the purchase button to help prevent people from buying those useless books (though I wouldn't be surprised if people bought them on accident anyway.) Unfortunately as a person selling (legitimate) skill books on the AH I've also seen people post new listings that match the price of a much lower priced used skill book, so even if people aren't buying those used skill books it's still causing issues by influencing the prices of legitimate skill books.
The best solution I can think of is making it so that used skill books cannot be posted on the AH. It's only good for scammers and "price trolling", as I would call it.
A bit unrelated: I want to note that I'm noticing a huge increase in scammers post-merge. I'm not sure what can be done about it, but Nexon's been running MMOs for nearly two decades now so I would hope that if the problem could be brought to their attention, they would have some way to deal with it.