I was reading a post on the US LOTRO boards about a person who wanted legendary weapons to be much more rare. This poster also called for there to be deeds to do things like kill 10,000 orcs to achieve “signature” or “elite” status. Players who completed this deed would have rare and powerful characters.
Somehow, this person actually thinks that putting in a massive grind and tying it to a massive reward is a good idea.
It remind me of how people talked about Jedi when I first played SWG. People expected Jedi to be ridiculously powerful when compared to other professions. Many people were asking for Jedi to be kept rare, either for balance reasons or to stay true to the cannon. They wanted becoming a Jedi to be something that only the most dedicated of players would achieve. Some called for as little as one Jedi per server.
Later on, the developers revealed the method to becoming a Jedi involved massive amounts of grinding. Players would have to master unrelated and boring professions like cook, merchant, dancer, image designer, and fencer just to get a chance to start grinding Jedi. This is how they expected to keep the Jedi population down.
Jedi are so much cooler than a “Pistoleer” ever could be. More than half the server was either working on becoming a Jedi or a Bounty Hunter. Even people who weren’t particularly interested in swinging a lightsaber around wanted to be Jedi so they could have the strongest character. Yet somehow, people had expected that a massive grind would be enough to make the average player say, “No, I don’t want to be a big powerful Jedi. I’m happy being a weakling henchman.”
Massive power is a massive carrot. Super rarity is a super carrot. And awesome coolness is an awesome carrot. Putting these great carrots at the end of a longer stick just makes the game more grindy and boring, it doesn’t dissuade people from chasing their goals.
The rest of the server isn’t going to sit back and let you achieve “elite status”. If they have to, they’ll run macro programs or hire Chinese pro-gamers to kill their orcs for them. If you want something to stay rare, it has to be a challenge that gives almost no reward.
A nice title will do that just fine.