So, in general, Aetolia does a great job of giving us lots of do, but often it feels like things trail off a bit as far as the motivation goes, with there being little reason to continue using so many of the great mechanics. Bashing, in particular, loses its appeal after a certain point - the excitement of being near to a new reward wears off. These sorts of rewards are important, as they are the long-term goals that keep us excited and invested.
I think a simple, overarching sort of system could help address this, providing flexible and ongoing rewards which could be easily slotted into current content as well as future releases: flexible currency. The item itself could be whatever you want to call it (bones of conquest, shards of ylemite, etc), but the concept is simple:
- Do things
- Earn currency
- Spend currency
At the most simple level you could have something like this:
- Killing players yields x currency
- Killing mobs has a x/100 chance to drop currency
- Completing x quest (perhaps on a day/week/month timer) rewards currency
- Qweddyn sells currency for credits. This gives people who are time-starved an option of playing along.
You could incorporate lots of stuff into this, to make things even more enticing:
- Fighting in Giovelli's rewards based on how well you do
- Turning in ylem mist has a chance to proc currency rewards
- Tapping a minor or killing an eld has a small chance to proc currency drops
You could even consider ways to reward cities with the currency to distribute.
Players could then buy things with currency. This could be as simple as a mob selling some stuff, or more engaging. Consider, for example, a new tradeskill that lets people design mounts and minipets. Awesome, right? Have the creation of each mount or minipet require items you can only purchase with currency - suddenly there's a cool reason to go bash or PK or gather ylem, as you can grind out your own minipets and mounts, and there's a bunch more stuff to do on multiple fronts. Maybe there are special areas or events you need to spend currency to purchase access to. Etc, etc, etc.
The idea here is that this system would be really flexible, allowing admin to easily introduce new content - either from the gaining or spending side of things - and instantly make it compelling, as the reward system is already in place. It would also be CENTRALIZED - no matter what you're doing, you're progressing your character and working for what you want. No juggling tons of different types of essence or tokens, or trying to hunt down gems from an event that happened a year ago. With this system, there would always be something kinda cool to work for as background content, and everything you did would help you advance in that, so you wouldn't have to feel like you're hindering yourself by swapping activities.