Here is the official response to all the complaints about the Autumn Zodiac Event.
Dear Humans and Elves,
Over the last weeks we've been getting lots of valuable feedback on our Autumn Zodiac event from you, for which we are very grateful. Your feedback is very important to us, which is why we want to take the time to answer to it in some more detail, and include an outlook on what we plan to take with us for future events. This in an effort to offer transparency and actively involve you in our ongoing process of improving our events for you to play.
Accessibility for all players
We have to consider that our events are available to players of all Chapters, including the very newest players, who cannot yet craft Recipes, gain Vision Vapor or Enchantments from the Magic Academy, or complete Encounters in the Spire of Eternity. Therefore, we will need to offer alternatives for these quests, which we can do with Scouting- or Research-related tasks more easily for early Chapter players. For further-advanced players, the tasks to play some Encounters in the Spire or to craft Recipes should generally cause no issues to complete, and will remain the intended option for them to choose. Ensuring that the event is playable for people in the earliest Chapters of the game is also the reason why event quests never require Tier 2 or Tier 3 Goods productions, Sentient Goods or any other options that are only unlocked significantly later in the game.
Randomized Quests, Quest variety & abundance of Scouting quests
With our previous event, the Summer Mermaids, we introduced a brand-new mechanic to our events: randomized quest tasks. With these, it became possible for us to create a less linear event progression and allow for an open-ended quest line. This has allowed us to remove the cap on the number of quests we could offer in our event, meaning you can complete as many quests as you wish.
When analyzing the Summer Mermaids event, we saw that the randomness was not yet at the level that we would have wanted, and we attempted to address that with Autumn Zodiac, but we see that we've now seem to have flipped the scale to the other side. For upcoming events, we aim to bring back more variety, by limiting how often quests can appear in direct succession. This should prevent cases where you ended up receiving the same quest task back-to-back. We will be testing these changes on Beta with our next big event that is to come and invite everyone to participate in said test.
That said, we can see that the randomized quest system allows every player to play the event to their own capabilities, and not have their quest line end prematurely. Therefore, we intend to keep the randomized quest system, albeit with potential tweaks, such as looking into avoiding the back-to-back quests mentioned above.
An important point of feedback voiced repeatedly over the last weeks has been about quests asking you to Scout a Province, and other World Map-related quests like gaining Relics or finishing Encounters. For Autumn Zodiac we have already added alternatives for these quests, and we will keep doing so going forward. We hear your feedback that these kind of quests take a long time to finish in higher Chapters and could push players to Scout further than they probably should, which is why we want to address this. However, we will not completely remove World Map related quests altogether, but we see that we limit them.
New Quest types & level requirements
A big change we introduced with Autumn Zodiac is quests that require a certain level of Workshop or Manufactory to complete. These quests have been at the center of your feedback for several reasons, including not having (the time to build the) required level of building in your city, and because the task was difficult to understand. This type of quest will stay, but for future events we are keeping an eye on quest completion rates for this type, to confirm that the balancing is working as intended. Should this not be the case, we can still adapt the likelihood for it to appear during the event, as well as the balancing of said requirement. One thing we want to improve already is the in-game explanation on how these quests work. During Autumn Zodiac, we have already added hint texts, available in-game in the quest window, to give some more clarity for the requirements of those quests. Unfortunately, these hints are not available in the app, causing some confusion for our app-only players. For upcoming events, we plan to make these quest hints available on Mobile, too. This will not only help in events, but also with all other quests that have such hints (e.g. quests in the earlier chapters or for the Guest Races).
Rebalancing of Autumn Zodiac
During the first days of the event on Live, we had to make some adjustments to the event's balancing. This was unfortunately necessary, but we also understand why it was not an appreciated change, especially with the given timing. The rebalancing of a running event is not a decision that we take lightly, which is why we keep this as a last resort. For Autumn Zodiac, we definitely took action too late, as we should have made these changes before the event started on Live. Therefore we have planned a set of changes that allow us to take these decisions earlier. Please do note, however, that we won't always be able to avoid rebalancing certain aspects of a feature or event, even if it is already live, as certain developments (e.g. potential bugs or exploits) might sometimes force us to take action immediately.
Further changes to the ongoing event
Finally, we want to clarify that we do not plan to make further changes to the Autumn Zodiac event on Live. Even though we hear your feedback, we do not want to make yet another update that will affect the event now, after everyone laid out and adjusted their strategies after the initial balancing changes. As we have seen with the first quest adjustments, changing the available quests would also pose the risk of quests breaking or changing their tasks under certain circumstances, which is something we wish to avoid.
Thanks to our ongoing data analyses on the event, we can see that the event difficulty and player progression are currently at the intended level, and that many players are already successful in upgrading their Bears - with rates comparable to previous events such as Summer Solstice and Summer Mermaids.
We hope this post sheds some light on our intended changes to upcoming events as a result of your feedback. Please do let us know if you have any comments by posting in the Autumn Zodiac discussion thread. We would be happy to hear from you.
Thanks again to everyone who's voiced their feedback - we are lucky to have such an engaged community in our world of Elvenar!
Your Elvenar Team