i had 2 cents more to put in...
i was away from EL for a while (5 or 6 months besides the occasional log-in to see what was up with the GWARriors) because i realised that EL is one of the VERY few, if not the only, MMO that allows people to focus on something other than fighting (or on rare occasions questing), and since all i wanted to do was pk and such i figured there would be a better game for me out there... i did some very extensive searches and downloaded probably over 20 major MMOs and a few that noone is likely to have heard of. most of the major ones had very active PK scenarios and likeness/difference to EL... heres some observations and comparisons ive made:
-EL seems to be the most-played MMO that has losing stuff as a death penalty, with the exception of runescape but that is the worst game ever developed so i wont go there... i understand that the reason for this in EL is too give people a reason to need new armor thus supporting the manufacturers/alchers/etc (or giving all-arounders and self-supporters a reason to create items)
-EL seems to be the only MMO where item breaking is something you actually have to worry about, usually you just visit a blacksmith NPC every once in a while and ask him to repair your armor for a small amount of gold ... high breakage i suppose is for the same reason as above
-most MMOs that have exceptional PK have a reason to it that follows the plot of the game in some way, for example in Silkroad Online there is a very well-thought-out 3-way conflict system which consists of merchants trying to transport goods through dangerous areas to make money, heros protecting them, and theives trying to steal from the merchants, alot of successful MMOs also have faction systems to encourage teamwork and give players a reason to fight each other.
-one MMO i played that was very similiar to EL in the fighting aspects was call Ares: god of war or something like that, i cant remember exactly atm... it had a level cap at 160 that noone had reached yet and a very wide span of levels that were active in pk, as well as a similiar arena system and even the style in which players went about killing each other ( a crowd of players near the entrance to the pk map/area )
...the main notable differences were that Ares had a warring nations aspect to it, on character creaton you chose your nation and then you would fight people from the other nation. another obvious difference was of course that your very expensive armor and weapons were not lost when you died or damaged when you used them alot. the warring nations theme seemed to work VERY well with the fighting style of Ares (which as i said is extremely similiar to EL)
-the warring nations theme was also very succesful in Knight online, Rappelz (sort of), and rist your life 2: imcomplete union (despite that the game in general sucked). A less involved version of this would be a faction system, this could be implemented without changing the general gameplay of EL.
seeing this in other MMOs made me think that the reason players are unhappy with pk in EL is for two main reasons...
1) it would be great fun if it werent so damn expensive (think of no drop day?), i think that one honest downside of EL is that the fun of the game is too often sacrificed for the balance of the economy, but that is something that may be unavoidable in a game with 10 different skills to focus on and balance.
2) players dont have a REASON to fight each other, unless you get in some argument with another guild via IG and tell them to put their money where their mouth is.. but then PK is no fun because your doing it out of anger. Even if the reason is something as silly as Tom choosing the Red team and Jerry choosing the blue team, it seems to work in other games... although i think that the first reason has more of an effect than this.
rostogul stones, whether they ruined PK or not, have definatly had a huge effect on the game as a whole, i have to question if the system needs tweaked:
-rostogal stones keep you from losing stuff, thus taking business away from the creators
-rostogal stones keep you from losing stuff, thus allowing players to buy more expensive stuff, bringing business to the creators ()
-now that COL is craftable, everyone who can call themselves a pker has one and since everyone that pks has one you can't effectively fight without one anymore, this is a new need which gives cause for even light-core pkers to need rostos, taking even more business from the creators.
-rostogul stones bring ALOT of money to the EL shop and help support development, now that their price has gone up players often buy them for $5 each and either use them for themselves or sell them for in game cash... those that sell them for in game cash are helping the economy by bringing more money into the game. (correct me if i'm wrong on this part)
and i have to wonder if the last point ^^ is the reason they have not been changed, its understandable.
so ive said the facts, opinions, and problems... the question now is what to do about it? heres my proposal: (and its very simple, really)
just make a change to rostos so that when someone carrying a rosto dies, they drop the rosto into a bag and drop nothing else, whoever killed them gets the rosto. this is the effect that would have on the game:
-rostos would not cost as much because once they were brought into the game (via harvest or USD) they would be there until some idiot left them in a bag for 12 minutes .. this is not nessicarily a positive or negative aspect of making the change.
-YES, stronger people would horde the rostos, but is that a bad thing? NO, its not... this is (IMHO) the beauty of the idea... lets say for example luciferX has 80% of all the rostos in the game. All of a sudden, the problem i mentioned above about players not having a reason to fight, is SOLVED! 10 slightly weaker players now have a reason to go out and find that damn luci and get some rostos from him. this is definatly a positive aspect of making the change.
-it would also add more of a reward to pking (yet another reason to PK in the first place), since virtually everyone pks with a COL these days (meaning they have rostos), it is rare that you get a reward for winning a fight... in most MMOs that i mentioned above there is no reward, but at the same time there is no loss.. let alone one as drastic and expensive as the losses of pk in EL.
-ok, so what if someone hordes up 50 rostos and then stops pking? well, then fine, the rostos are good as gone.. people are forced to go without them (bringing more business to the creaters) until more rostos are brought into the game. this is also a positive aspect of the change.
-less USD would be going through the EL store, meaning less money to the people we are all ever so grateful for. this is a negative change but i cant say how negative because i dont really know how much of the USD spent in the EL store is on rostos... i'm guessing its a large %.
so making this change would 1) help the economy, 2) make pk more affordable, 3) give players a solid reason to pk, and 4) shut me up.
thanks to anyone who actually had the patience to read this, i hope ent does because i think i make a good point.