So, 2 days after patch, just as i feared, Aakas is a ghost town. Just yesterday there was 20-30 people in service center and outside, everyone busy with instance related activities. Today, i find one afk avatar at storage inside service center, and 1 treasure hunter underground who just completed the instance. And having spent 1h afk'ing ingame while writing this post, i have only seen instance globals from 2 persons so far. Some key prices almost halved. I am frustrated myself, but i will try to be as objective as possible and share my impressions of what went wrong. 1) Items Armor dropping only first few hours when instances were introduced. I can understand the concept of hooking people up, but even drug users get it easier. Everyone gets their first dose free. So when i got here 1 week later, armor drops were a story of a distant past already. And it doesn't have to be armor, can be small things, like housing decorations, some ceremonial armor (meaning no protection, just looks), small cool looking weapons (just a bit above tt stats), anything your imagination can come up with, just give people items. I have had quite a bit of experience with instances in Lotro, they are exactly what keeps people ingame after leveling up. They are fun, there are always some kind of rewards (even if it's token currency, like arkoins), and most importantly you get to loot items. Of course some items are rare, some take lots of run throughs to get, but most importantly you always get something for your efforts. Here, having run over 15 instances now, i got item once. I understand that MA controls items, but it doesn't have to be anything super-fancy. Like that Bukin blade, from one of FPC missions, it's small, low dps, but it is a very cool item. Something like that with an arkadian design and you get people running instances just to get it for themselves. Another solution would be having bound items. (Just like many other MMORPGs have btw). Any items you loot, has to be rolled on, or randomly asigned to one of looters, like it is now, and it becomes bound to that avatar. You can use it yourself, but you can't sell it. I understand it goes against accepted norms in our RCE, where everything can be traded, but i am only suggesting this for instance loot. Think how many more people would run instances just to collect that special armor set for themselves, or help other soc members to get it. 2) Arkoins The concept of a barter currency is great, and is used in may other MMOs. However, first of all, usually it is fixed amount per instance. And barter brokers are released together with barter currency, not 2 weeks later. So people just after update, go to brokers, go "Wow, i must have that!" at items, and off they go grinding at instances. Fixed amount dropping is good because you know exactly how many instances you need to run to get that special item that you desire. Even if is hard or frustrating, you know that just 1 more instance and you have it. That's what keeps people running same instances over and over again. As well as items dropping inside instances themselves, as mentioned earlier. And of course the amounts have to scale with the level of instance. The way system is now, it is simply unsustainable. All my arkoins that i've got were before the patch. Since then, not a single one, despite running many high lvl ones. So you really must have fixed barter currency drops to give people at least something, besides robot tt junk. To avoid market saturation and/or 24/7 bots, there are ways for that. You can make 2-tier currency, one sellable, another bound. You can make it only dropping once per 24h period. Once again, i'm referring to Lotro, which has imho mastered this system. There are daily quests, which give you barter currencies, but you can only do them once per day. There are daily and bi-weekly quests inside instances, for which you get barter currencies. You can run instances more often than that of course, but you won't get barter currency, only (chance of) items. And returning to other MMOs. Nobody would run instances if there was virtually no chance to loot items, and only once in a blue moon chance of barter currency, even if people only spend their time there, unlike here where they actually spend time and money. 3) Design/Fun Factor First of all, let's get one thing straight. What we have here, is not 10 instances, it's 1 instance which is scalable, or has 10 difficulty levels. Usually in other MMOs, what is released are so called instance-clusters, that is several different instances united by one theme. Design is lacking. While some rooms do look cool (the bridges, or the one with overturned chairs), others look like having been mashed up in quake editor by an undergraduate student. Also it is in essence one big copy-paste exercise, too many parts are being reused over and over again. It gets dull and boring very soon. No interactivity. There are no lever to pull, no hidden doors, no puzzles, all place is just static. If it is treasure hunting, add some fun (think about all the trips that pharaoh pyramids used to have), even if it gets familiar after a while, it would keep the things exciting and people engaged at least for a while. Too long. Once again, referring to Lotro, the time of long instances is over. There used to be some that would take a full team of 6 people, 3 to 4h to complete. Now what they are doing, is actually redesigning old instances and spliting them up, so that you can complete them in 30mins or so. All raids are split up into so called "wings" or sections, which you can basically do one at a time, over span of the whole week. What adds to the feeling that it's too long is the lack of innovative design, mentioned earlier and same mobs all over. "Boiler room" in key 3 with all the Ubos comes to mind. Sorry, but that just plain being lazy, putting 40 mobs in one room in a neat lines. Who do you think would enjoy doing this, day, after day, after day? Well, those are my thoughts for now. TL;DR More various items, fixed arkoin drops (possibly with restrictions), more interactivity inside instance, reduced instance time to complete.