Gems, crystals, and globes. Regardless of your stance on these items balance-wise, I think we can all agree they are some of the most effective and powerful items in the game.
And yet you don’t actually obtain them by playing the game at all. Instead, they’re tied to a currency earned in silly weekly events that are, at least to my understanding, intended to be a fun little side event every week. Not a core gameplay mechanic tied heavily to progression.
But by simply being the only method out of HC to acquire event tokens, suddenly attendance is not something people do because they want to enjoy a silly, for fun event with the staff team. They do it because it’s the only source of the best items in the game.
On the flipside, this has led to practices I know the staff team is unhappy with. Players waiting until they’ve gotten their tokens only to leave the event, for example. And recently, more and more measures have been put in place to try and “reward” players with extra tokens if they stick around, or conversely not hand out tokens to players who don’t. And while this make make sense on the surface, when you start to unravel the mess that is Ludicolo’s shop it starts to fall apart.
Measures involving altering token distribution to encourage full event participation are a band-aid solution at best, and downright harmful at worst. Rather than solving the worrying entanglement of for-fun events and the most powerful items in the game, it exacerbates the problem. Instead of increasing event attendance by making sure the events themselves are enjoyable in a vacuum–a bribe is essentially being offered.
I understand that with event tokens already having a very well-established value, it’s difficult to simply remove the gems/globes/crystals from Ludicolo’s shop. But this doubling-down on trying to remove the ability for players to take their tokens and run is ultimately doing more harm than good.
So I propose that the current event tokens in the game be converted to a new currency, (say, “elemental shards” or something) that can be used to buy gems/crystals/globes at the same rate as existing event tokens, and a new “event token” currency can be handed out at events. These new event tokens should ideally be used to purchase solely cosmetic items, like music changers and disguises, which have no effect on gameplay.
I know something like the above isn’t possible to implement overnight. In the short-trem, a band-aid solution is probably necessary. For that, I personally think rewarding tokens for just showing up regardless of participation is understandably not optimal, but it is better than the alternative of a borderline bribe to sit through a largely-unrelated sidegame you may or may not enjoy. (Awarding tokens to the winners of competitive events is also totally fine, IMO)