Crowfall is quickly moving away from an RPG, from an MMO, and from a throne war simulator and morphing into a MOBA (yes, even the "MMO" side of it). I'm going to start by highlighting how this occurring, why this is a problem, and then how it can be fixed. I make this post as a strong urge to reconsider some of the game direction philosophies and mechanics changes that have happened over the past many months.
Crowfall is no longer an RPG: There is no progression. The "Easy come easy go" mantra that has ruined the game has made the crafting system near worthless, and 100% not worth the time investment. On day 1 of the dregs campaign, you can run to a wartribe and pick up epic (purple) gear with top end damage and stats that a crafter will be lucky to make within a month of torturous grinding (by the whole guild) and leveling up. The crafter needs to have legendary disc and legendary belt to have a hope in making a weapon better than what can be picked up on day 1. In MOBAs, you can jump in at the same level as everyone else and compete just the same as everyone else. The difference is, in MOBAs the only thing that really matters is player skill and team coordination. Crowfall does not have a robust enough combat system (especially at larger scale) to where player skill really comes into play (at least to the extend of a MOBA). So what you end up with is 2 blobs of people going at each other with practically the same skills and abilities, but the lack importance of player skill so it turns into (in a lot of cases) who has more numbers. This is NOT working!
Crowfall is no longer an MMO: There is no sense of progression. People play MMOs for different reasons, but they are almost always played to win...something. In WoW, you have end game raids to get better gear and progress your character. This works the same is most other MMOs. When winning a campaign, you should be rewarded for doing so. You should be getting items that otherwise are not attainable. There is none of that in CF (or almost none if you consider sparkly mining tools that let you knock down a motherlode in 4 swings instead of 5?). In most cases, the time and resources the guild puts into the campaign is far more than the victory rewards we get, all of which can just be farmed in less amount of time instead of trying to win. We've lost what an MMO is about unless we're working towards something.
Crowfall is no longer a Throne War Simulator: There is no victory. "Easy come easy go" has ruined the sense of ownership, the sense of controlling territory, and the sense of securing your borders. There is very little incentive for me to own a fort in my zone because it doesn't really do anything for me if I own that fort or a fort on the other side of the map. It's easy enough for me to get anywhere so why bother owning the single ingot fort in my zone if there's a double timber in the next zone over? The forts and outposts don't really provide any benefit or hindrance to the people who have nearby keeps so who cares who owns them? Why bother with forts and outposts when I can just claim and rank a castle with the same amount of resources as any other keep and get 2.5x the points of other keeps immediately? Where's the challenge when I can just import hundreds of stacks of building materials and level my town up within a few hours of claiming it?
Wartribe Loot (fixing the RPG):
Reduce wartribe top end damage and stats to max out at blue quality, and have appropriate damage values to what a blue vesseled crafter would have with a blue crafting rune and a blue belt on average
Reduce wartribe armor to max out at blue quality, and adjust armor values and stats to reflect what a blue vesseled crafter would have with a blue crafting rune and a blue belt
Rationale - Crafting should mean something, and crafting should be able to compete with wartribe gear at lower end crafting levels. Currently the system requires Leg Disc/Leg Belt to have any hope in being comparable, and even then you have to hope for good rolls.
Campaign Rewards (fixing the MMO):
Campaign rewards should include "end game" additives that can only be acquired for winning conquest or divine favor. These additives can be like hunger shards, but should significantly improve armor, weapons, jewelry, potions, or vessels.
Campaign rewards should include cosmetic upgrades - people love their sparkly things. Campaign rewards should include weapon/armor additives that are unique to the campaign and are visually appealing. For example, these additives would allow your sword to glow red with fire or blue with ice. These cosmetic rewards should only be available for winning conquest or divine favor.
Campaign rewards should include skins for not only weapons, but mounts, and maybe even siege equipment.
Rationale - If "uncle bob" is holding you back from making meaningful rewards, you are truly misguided. We need to make a game that rewards logistics, planning, training, skill, hard work, and effort. People like shiny things, give the people what they want.
Meaningful Assets (fixing the Throne War Simulator):
Forts and outposts should mean something. We are moving in the right direction by giving them loot chests, but they need to affect the outcome of the game. Have the points earned by owning the asset work towards a pool that increases the defenses of your keeps. At different tiers, you could have the buffs give you access to more wards, increase the health of walls and buildings, increase the power of the guards, etc.
Have these assets freeze in the zone when a siege starts, so that attackers are required to "prep" for the siege by trying to take forts and outposts ahead of time.
Rationale - Owning an asset should mean something and the owners should have ownership over their land. Give them a reason to keep the forts in their zone or to fend off people trying to take outposts.
The original vision has gone completely off the rails this past year, because loud voices want to turn this game into a MOBA that they can pop into any time and be just as competitive as the people that spent the last year working towards something. That is NOT what an MMORPG is. This is NOT an MMORPG Thronewar anymore, and if we don't start to right the ship, people's interest will quickly wane after launch, just as so many MOBAs and "MMOs" before it.
(P.S. This is not an exhaustive list of what needs to be changed. The point of this post was to bring to light the dangerous path we are on if we continue going down this road.)