Love the changes. Almost feels like a whole different game. It feels like a lot more will change in 1.010, so I'll only speak in general terms.
Some general thoughts:
- It seems we've had upgrade stone inflation. Cost of maxing out a character decreased by a factor of three or more and at the same time upgrade stones are much more common. Trash mobs drop the equivalent of 3-4 upgrade stones worth of consciousness shards and boss mobs drop 25.
- I'm kind of hesitant to suggest this, but it makes sense logically: Since it's possible to trade for upgrade stones, they become superflous.. redundant.. obsolete. Why not introduce a 4th Iari which sells upgrades directly for consciousness shards? They imbue you with consciousness shards to make you stronger.. kind of makes sense.
- Stash rooms have been marginalized since you can buy almost everything you can find in them. I think the items which are also found in stash rooms need to be a lot more expensive, or removed from stash rooms altogether. There should be enough incentive to visit stash rooms to make it worthwhile to the player, without making him feel like he's looking for a needle in a haystack.
- I think enchants which are too specific, like "purple right arm enchant" should not be in the store. Make the player gamble for them. I think having "random enchant" is good enough. It should be expensive enough to encourage players to get enchants the regular way -- the option to buy them should be there as a "consciousness shard dump".
- Consciousness shard numbers are needlessly inflated. We can reduce all costs and drops by a factor of 10.
I agree about the upgrade stones. Ever since the changes with those, well..... The game hasnt exactly gotten any less difficult, and I still get killed by things, buuuuuuuuut, I still have about 700 upgrade stones. That's WITH 2 of my current characters fully upgraded. It is, right now, EXTREMELY easy to fully do 10 upgrades per character.
You could cut the frequency of the stones appearing in half and I'd STILL have a crazy excess of them.
Also, yes, some costs of stuff need changing.
I would say..... dont change the options for enchants in the store..... the ability to buy by slot is a very useful thing..... but DEFINITELY increase the cost. Alot. So that it doesnt make the charge system pointless (particularly since that's such a good mechanic).
I think most of the costs are about right, actually. Because they cut down the grind/busywork. I'd much rather be able to inexpensively buy Wood Platforms (One of the most basic tools in the game!) at my home base than have to grind through buildings.
Ditto with having to grind through maze rooms for enchants, and Miniboss Caves for Upgrade Stones. All this stuff in the store does it cut down on that grind, really. And with the Upgrade Stones...I dunno if you guys are talking single player or multiplayer, but in Multiplayer, having inexpensive Upgrade Stones is ESSENTIAL.
When the continents are at the higher tiers (And it's set on an appropriately high difficutly), you pretty much have to get your character fully-upgraded to stand a chance. Not only do even good players die a lot, but newbies start with not even enough Upgrade Stones for an HP Increase. Being able to quickly buy these lets players "Get back into the game" quicker. You can go out, kill a few enemies, maybe find a stash...and get back with enough Consciousness Shards to get your character decently upgraded.
Before the shop, this was an absolute chore. You would have to try not to die as you struggle to find your way to stashes and hope that they have enough Upgrade Stones to make a difference.
Now, I'm not saying to ignore the fact that Stashes are less useful now. But bumping up prices isn't the answer, IMO. A better answer would be to make BETTER stuff in Stashes. Have a Stash have 50 Upgrade Stones, 500 Consciousness Shards, 20 Glyph Transfer Scrolls (Some do!), a Full Enchant Canister or something similar. Something that you COULD get in the store, but would be significantly faster to get from a stash.
Because that's really the problem. The Stashes usually suck, period. In most of them, I'll get about 5-10 upgrade stones, some boxes/platforms, about 30 consciousness shards, and MAYBE 10%-20% enchant. That's garbage and makes you have to grind through a half dozen of them to get anything worthwhile.
And IMO, the less grinding the game has, the better.