I'm not real keen on the 'new' mechanic they introduced last year with it, namely that of the 'expiring' ingredients. I understand (at least partially) why they did it. But they said it was not only to try and curb the dupers (cheaters ruin everything), but also to "encourage" people to run it every year. Their thought, I guess, was that they felt they needed some incentive to have people run the content, otherwise, no one would. Which is not entirely true, mind you. Yes there will be those who no longer run it if they have "everything", but that'll be true no matter what mechanic is in place. However, there will still be those who run it because there are consumables that one can only get during the event and others because they like it.
Unfortunately, they apparently do not understand the strain that this mechanic puts on casual players, like myself. So, let's run some numbers and see for ourselves.
For my example, I am going to focus on the "Cloak of Night" (CoN), mainly because it is the one item all of my toons can use, and the one item* I want to get a full set of for each of them. So let's assume "ideal" conditions, such as always running the revel at +5 levels, a "challenge" bonus of 30% is active for the entire event**, and that each run takes an average of 10 minutes to complete***.
The requirements for each version of the CoN is as follows:
Or, for cumulative totals:
According to my calculations, and ignoring "chocolate" requirements at this time:
You will get some chocolates in the revels, though I cannot remember exactly how many. So, let's assume you can get 100 chocolates per hour, without a draught of midnight, which includes any runs you make:
And that is under relatively idea conditions, and we haven't even discussed keys, yet. Under non-ideal conditions, where let's say you're running at level and no weekend boost (but still managing to average 10 min/run):
Still assuming 100 chocolates/hr.
Now, you will pick up keys while you're getting some of the chocolates in the 'wilderness' area, but you may not pick-up enough for the L20 and L24 CoN.
So, somewhere between 22 and 28 hrs for the L24 CoN. And let's not forget that this would be PER CHARACTER.
Holy guacamole, Batman! As a casual player - you know, one that actually has to WORK during the week (not everyone can take a couple days off, just to run an event) - I can maybe do 2 hrs per night, assuming nothing else ever comes up (which you KNOW does and often). So if the event lasts for just one week, which it often does, there is little chance I could get even ONE L24 CoN. If the event lasts 2 week, I've got a better shot at it.
ONE. I have several toons, which means it will take me several YEARS to get the L24 CoN for all of them.
And that is just not right, IMO.
I suppose I should also mention that the 4 ingredients you get from running the revels (not the chocolates, mind you) are all BtA. So not only do they 'expire' and become worthless, you can't even trade other players for them. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to BtA ingredients (I've see the outrageous prices people charge for items), but if they are going to be BtA, they should not expire. Crystal Cove ingredients (including doubloons) are BtA and do not expire (and let's hope it stays that way). So why do Night Revels'?
Casual players just cannot devote that much time and effort into what is supposed to be a "fun" event. Because at this rate, it's not fun. And, it's now a discouragement to actually run the event at all (so much for the theory that 'expiring' ingredients encourage running Night Revels).
Something needs to change.
Exactly what, I'm sot sure. If they insist on keeping the 'expiring' ingredients, then change the way things are 'upgraded'. Let me directly get the L20 or L24 things - don't make me upgrade the L4 to L8 to L12 to L16 first. That's what I can do in Crystal Cove - 'buy' the base level items††.
Although, I will admit that comparing Crystal Cove items to Mabar items is a bit like comparing Black Apples to Green Dragonshards.
* Not that there are not other cool items - there are, but this is typically my main focus when the event comes around, because, as you will see, one usually has to focus on one item, as there's not much time for more than that.
** Which is not the case. At best, we might see it for a single weekend (unless extended due to bugs), or about 4 days.
*** Yes, some can be shorter, but others can be longer. It will depend on your toon (if running solo), your party (if you're not running solo), and your level. But taking into account selling/repairing occasionally, it's close enough for an "ideal" run.
† Yes, I know "cinnamons" is not the plural for cinnamon. But the actual ingredient is "pinch of sinister cinnamon", and I didn't want to use "pinches". So I took a short-cut - sue me.
†† The 'upgrade' option in Crystal Cove is another mechanic that I think should change. But that is a topic for another post.