Update: Updated to reflect new shoe EH vit cost of
12 8 (yes you keep on changing this mynet). Thanks Mynet. Also on a side note Special Summons are now more expensive too (+3% instead of +5% per failed summon, a detailed anaylsis of this may be coming soon in a seperate post).
Mynet has made a number of
small changes that in isolation have a small effect on vit usage, but in aggregate have a serious impact, making vit and shoes much more valuable (and scare) than they used to be. Many of these changes were small and phased in slowly across a number of events, but they all point to the same thing: higher vit cost and more encouragement to use the now more expensive shoes.
So let's go over a history of the changes made designed to drain people of their vit, and of their shoes:
1) EH per step cost increased to
7 12 8 per step (from 6) [udpated for latest EH]
This change was made a few events ago, and while this may seem minor, it represents a direct and undisputed
17% 100% 33% increase in the vit cost of doing EH.
2) More steps per area.
This one is complicated, and it can be pretty strategy specific if this is helpful or harmful, but overall I believe it is harmful. One day I hope to have the math to back it up.
Area 1-1 used to be 11 steps (10 discovery steps, and then the final step). Since 1-1 is longer now, you are drained of more vit per each attempt to discover a BA (it's roughly 16 steps now, or almost 50% longer).
All areas longer means BAs are also now longer. This is particularly harmful to lower level or newer players, and even harmful to higher level players as the total amount of vit you need to complete a BA is now much higher. Higher completion vit on average means you are less likely to encounter a BA when you have sufficient vit to complete it. If you don't have enough vit, what do you do? Do you skip the BA? Do you commit to using a shoe? Do you just do it part-way and then leave it?
Any option you choose, I think you can see you're pretty clearly on the losing end, and this clearly encourages shoe use (I didn't count the total number of steps in some of the 7 or 8 vit areas but the amount of vit you'd need to fully complete a BA on one of those is massive; do they require a shoe even for higher level players?).
There is a hidden benefit to longer BAs, albeit I believe it is marginal compared to the cost above. Longer means you have more steps to encounter things you desire (keys, LAWs, FAWs). I don't have good enough data to know if they changed encounter rates any, but I will assume here that they did not. I'm fairly certain that the new ratio of non-BA vit consumption to BA vit consupmtion is not favorable to the player, as well as the challenges with longer BAs described above. I'd have to do some math and maybe run a monte carlo to check that assumption though, and how much loss may be strategy specific. Weighing the factors in a very back-of-the-napkin way tells me this is overall distinctly disadvantaged though.
Longer areas also mean you are encoutering more F/AWs in 1-1 if you are choosing to kill them. This may alleviate some of the sword/shoe imbalance (I'd have to run a simulation to check again), but if you are running no or low resource usage, it does so by shortchanging you on LAWs and EH keys. This also (indirectly) encourages you to spend on EH keys since from a ranking points perspective they are far more valuable and time efficient than sitting in 1-1 killing more F/AWs.
Update: I ended up with fewer keys than usual when EH opened this event. This may have been bad luck, but also may be attributed to the higher BA area cost. I believe this was true last event too but was masked from notice by the EH key ranking rewards and some shoe-use grinding.
3) Individual shoe maiden ticket exchanges out, campaign set purchases in.
And now for the most recent change. You may have exchanged in the past for the occasional sword, but I think we're all in agreement you need far more shoes than swords. Give the above adjustments also, I consider the value of swords to be 0 for the purposes of their value in the set, and thus the effective price of shoes is now 20 per.
All these little changes add up. They clearly point to higher vit consumption, more encouragement to use - and ultimately buy - shoes, buy EH keys, and make point multiplier event units more valuable. Maiden tickets give you much less bang for your buck now also. While I can't fault mynet for wanting to encourage more purchases as a business, effectively increasing your pricing and reducing player quality of life does take a toll, and doesn't leave players feeling good, especailly when it can be hard to discern the increased costs through a series of small changes that add up. Be careful where you tread, Mynet. Push too hard and may lose more than you gain.