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I'm sorry but I have to agree with what they did. The surveys in beta pretty much handed the players everything they needed to blow through the game without hitting any kind of hitch whatsoever.
In beta, you could honestly max out your weapon and accessories after hitting 45 in a single day. Not to mention that you can hit level 45 in 15-25 hours of gameplay, so if you hardcored that then in less than 30 hours you could essentially max out your level and all of your equipment.
By taking away many of the transformation stones from the surveys, the developers have increased that difficulty and made it to where players must actually use the crafting system at some point on the grind to 45 and after in order to advance their weapons and accessories. This is a GOOD thing. You are not supposed to have everything maxed out in a single weekend, it is supposed to take time.
Furthermore, we are all in this boat together. We must Buy BNS Gold farm the Ruins until we get the recipe and then start the crafting process of the moonwater transformation stones in order to upgrade our gear. And to be qutie frank, I have done a large majority of the current end-game content including the new places without having my weapon upgraded. It takes a while, but it is doable until we have stones.
That's true, perhaps. I will stick to the idea that the main driving principle behind their decision to remove the stone from the surveys was so that people could not max out their gear super-fast. There are many of us in-game who would probably be close, if not already, maxed out our gear if we had not gotten held up by the moonwater stones.
I personally think it is a good thing, regardless of the reasons, that we cannot advance past that point just yet and have to work for it as both individuals and a community. Players will have to go out and farm the recipe, make the stones, and put them on the market for other players to buy and eventually the market will be flooded just like the other versions. Until that time, we must make do with what we have and/or farm the Ruins to advance the process more quickly for ourselves.
No, you don't max it out with one stone, but giving out free stones in Cheap BNS Gold surveys never made sense to me in the first place as it makes progression way too easy. You are right that we would still have to wait for other moonwater stones after the first one we used, but with this community they would cry about that as well. "Ohhh, we only got one stone and now we have to wait a few days before we even get the chance to fight each other on the market for more! QQ".
As far as what level I am, go back and read my other posts and you'll realize that I have already stated I have done end-level content which obviously means I'm end-level. Inform yourself please