Last month, the online horse game Star Stable was among the many MMOs that held a Halloween event that added a bunch of spooky and fun-sounding quests, but it also required that players collect and use a soul shard currency to open them, which likely brought up the question of why. According to a dev blog from earlier this week, it’s to give players options.
“This type of mechanic was a new experience for all of us, game team and players alike. It might sound bananas now, but we were actually really excited to put power into the hands of our players, to let you decide when and in what order you wanted the content to be unlocked. We wanted it to feel truly impactful, to give player actions meaning and consequences in the game world.”
This “power to the players” intention doesn’t appear to line up with the reality of execution, as players on social media and Reddit paint a wholly different picture, expressing frustration at the soul shard mechanic’s stinginess, annoyance at its length of grind time especially for those who don’t have much play time to themselves, and the perceived tone deafness of the blog post in question. “How in the world can charging 35 soul shards (a huge amount) to unlock one portal and 10 for another portal be anything but SSO manipulating the *players* and not the other way around?” reads one reaction.
It should be pointed out that Star Stable Entertainment notes that dev blogs like the one above are written in advance and assures that the social media team is forwarding feedback, but by and large this year’s event doesn’t appear to have made too many people happy. Meanwhile, content updates and events for this month are already lined up.