First, I don't like Shadow Gears, but it is what it is.
I do believe that there needs be gears that is decently farmable and good enough to bridge gaps between the poor. There are some instances that drop such gears such as:
Bakonawa Tattoo / Other tattoos - instance only and 1b/150-200m
Black Rosary - Guild Dungeon 300m
Geffen Magic Tournament gears - Farm coins to get gear, most gears cost 100-200m
All these things are farmable and are methods to make money and are accessible to every player. But like any economy, there are the consumers and producers. Let's assume consumers are the rich and producers are those that farm gears and other stuff.
Gears that are easier to farm will be farmed by newer players who can't play harder endgame content yet due to gear discrepancy (this is fine). There are different tiers and levels of game play, in a way obtaining certain skill sets, levels and gears is like unlocking levels of endgame. However, the more certain gears are farmed, the cheaper they become because there is no cycling out. This is due to one thing. Safe to 7 certificates. Eventually farming for certain items do not become worth it, even though the gear itself may still be good. For example, almost all the ET gears, valk armors, variants, naght swords, valk shield, etc. We needed to have NPCs like Eve Natalia and Mimic to cycle these things out because you know that there is no cycling out of gear right now and 90% of the gears in game is not worth farming.
My proposal is that Safe to 7 Certs should be completely removed from the cash shop, from groove packs and lucky boxes. It is fine to keep certs being produced from the Mimic Eat Gear and Eve Natalia.
Safe Certificates are the primary reason that there is no "cycling out" of gears. Most of the equippable items in game have become obsolete and the existing Cash Shop gears that are exponentially better than others. The quantity of Safe Certs are making the end game gear too cheap for it to be considered even a goal to be able to obtain. Mid and End game gears that come from PVM should be something one should work towards, especially a decently upgraded one. Upgrading anything has become using Certs to +7. Many of the newer players I've met don't even know who Suhmi is. There should be gears cycling out of the system so that there is room for an actual supply and demand market. Right now there is just too much supply of anything from Endless Tower, anything from MVPs.
If there were fewer certs, they would be used a lot more sparingly so that people would take the risk of using Normal Ori/Elu or Enriched Elu/Ori on lower-mid tier items. This would cause more breakage. Breakage would mean more of this gear is bought and attempted to be upgraded. The prices of these more "obsolete" gears would increase.
Many view price increases as a bad thing, but it actually is not. Let me explain.
Price increases of lower to mid tier items that are obtainable via easier to kill MVPs or via normal mob hunting allow the lower levels to obtain zeny easier. This gives incentives for poorer and starting players to actually hunt monsters to obtain x weapon or x shield to sell. Selling the more "obsolete" items would also be easier since more would be breaking, then bought up to try to be upgraded again. This sort of lower tier inflation would not affect higher tier items since Certs would still be obtainable via eat gear. Cert prices may increase, but it'll always be obtainable by anyone because of the constant availability of Level 3,4 weapons, shields, armors and headgears from monster drops. (i.e look at prices of morrigane helms, goibne's set, bone helm, muffler, pauldron, stone bucklers, etc).
MVP Cards and Gods prices won't be affected. These items are untouchable to this sort of inflation because they would only be touched by actual zeny decrease/increase and supply and demand. All sales and purchases are accountable due to the sparity of god items and MVPs compared to the rest of the gears. Additionally, there's no "decrease in circulation" of gods and mvps aside from accounts being banned or players stop playing. Causally, a price increase of low tier and mid tier items would start to close the gap between poor players and rich players. The eventual inflation would allow those players to be able to obtain harder to obtain items. Harder to obtain items would actually be more expensive so that middle class players have a chance of getting god/mvp tier items.
There is a huge disparity between players who own 10mil and those who own 10bil. And it's nearly impossible to get to that point of earning 10bil without spending a lot of real money on this game. Before certs, hunting items was extremely rewarding so becoming rich through MVPing was extremely possible. Now, it is really difficult unless you're lucky.
I know in a way this may be taking away certain "revenue" from the cash shop.
Cash Shop Revenue
Many game models follow a vanity cash shop model and it's been successful. Costumes, dyes, new hairs, etc appeal to every player, not just girls. If new costumes and certain headgears were cycled in with temporary effects - think Alora Hat Box that gave increased EXP. For example, every two weeks a new Alora box comes in with 1 new costume and 3-4 Alora costumes (You can +8 a hat and make that into a costume), and make sure that the old costumes lose their exp effects (or whatever effects), then people will keep buying these boxes for its effect and as a collectable.
Other things such as back wings, more different types of mounts, even costume gear that lets you transform into something else that is only purchasable in the cash shop (then lose its effect) would be a model that could be successful.
@ Doomsquare: New instances and MVPs that have tons of HP. Have you done Demon Temple, Faceworm Queen? Do you not notice that you get PENALIZED for doing too much damage, when the MVPs full heal, or heal like 10% when you deal over a damage threshold? kRO wants instance play to be longer yet are putting gears that increase damage. #logic.