Currently, Follower upgrade crystals are awarded for completing certain sidequests; up to 3 follower crystals are awarded for each class playthrough of the storyline. This leads to the following Follower levelling progression, without regard to any additional crystals earned through current or future methods:
Eveline’s maximum number of crystals able to be obtained is substantially greater than other followers due to:
These crystals are awarded at the completions of Chapters 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15. As noted on the chart, this results in a max evolution that far exceeds that of the other followers.
My assumption is that there will be no changes to this follower crystal system as modified by the 0.35 follower server push. The developer has decided to gate follower progress behind multiple playthroughs and provide additional crystals through a proposed event system. The rate of acquisition of additional crystals is undetermined but I think it is reasonable to assume that it will not be quick and it will likely be random, but this is pure speculation.
Without knowing what these changes actually hold, I feel there is still an opportunity to make a positive change that benefits all. My proposal would be that instead of having 5 Eveline crystals awarded as chapter completion awards, instead 1 crystal each should be awarded for these same chapter completions for the following: Eveline, Auri, Brie, Adhakus, and Northelm.
The proposed evolution chart would look like:
With these changes I think the following benefits would be realized:
- More reward from doing the first playthrough - By allowing 1 chapter completion crystal for each of these followers, a rarity of “Rare” can be obtained on just the first playthrough which will allow players to acquire resources a bit earlier and give a greater sense of reward for the first playthrough
- More value to additional playthroughs - these additional crystals for your resource producers can now will now allow them Legendary rarity; in the old system, the 4 primary resource producers/managers are trapped at Epic with 5 crystals remaining to produce a future evolution. This small concession of additional resources (food, ore, capacity) will give the player a greater since of investment and accomplishment without compromising the issue of progression since the gear producers are still trapped at lower rarities.
- Auri’s first crystal could be introduced earlier - presently Auri’s first crystal is not available until Chapter 10 aligned with her side quest introduction. This leads to one of the most often asked questions for new players: “When do I get the first Auri crystal?”. The Chapter 6 completion could be the new Auri crystal reward which would allow a boost to new players for retaining gold and bridge the way to the first sidequest
- 5 full playthroughs of the exact same storyline plus all sidequests is quite frankly a tedious exercise and an after-the-fact choice made by the developer to slow progression; these additional advancement possibilities make the playthrough exercise more palatable to players and likely will increase player retention
- All of this is accomplished without changing the number of overall crystals awarded for playthroughs
I personally think this would be a great change with a small sacrifice (Eveline at Legendary 45, instead of Mythic 46) and without much concession from developers’ intent to limit progression (crafters are still stuck at Epic).