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Tokens are supposed to be the kind of thing that typical players use up about as fast as they obtain them. They're supposed to be useful and general enough that they provide some assistance in almost any battle, but not so helpful or specific that you spend a lot of time saving them up for the perfect opportunity. Still, different tokens do have different effects, so it's possible to use them more efficiently by using the right token for the right situation. Basically, a player who uses their tokens regularly but with some consideration for ideal use should do better than a player who just fires off whatever tokens are available as soon as they're available, who should in turn be better off than a person who doesn't use their tokens (or uses them only occasionally). Even for a T3 character, T1 tokens should be useful enough that you may as well use them up as you get them.

For a variety of reasons, they're not fulfilling that role, and perhaps the largest one is just that they're such a hassle to manage since they need to be manually loaded and reloaded by bringing up both Inventory and the Personal Window. We have some fixes in mind for that, but they'll take some work. There may be some other factors that make players less likely to use them, some of which I may be able to fix in the spreadsheets, like by allowing larger stacks of them to be loaded at a time.

Adding an underlying value to them by including them in recipes might help make them feel more worthwhile, and use up any stockpiles, but to fulfill their original role, that value needs to be low enough that once tokens are made easier to use, they'd generally be more useful in combat than in recipe usage. Perhaps they'd be useful enough that certain lesser-used tokens get saved for recipes, but the temptation to save tokens in general needs to be minimal.
There isn't an MMO around that hasn't found some factor of its features turn out to be of far lesser value to the players than was anticipated by the Devs. Thank you for looking into it.
Virtute et Armis
For lesser tokens to be useful you would need something like:
  1. Separate new slots that only take the lesser tokens so you are not occupying a slot that could take something more useful in a crisis
  2. The ability to stack vastly more than the normal slots, something like 50 or more
  3. A function on these new "lesser" slots you can toggle on and off that lets the lesser tokens fire automatically immediately the previous buff has expired.

As for NPC shops there is a host of reasons why they are detrimental in open sandbox economies - not the least of which is they "fix" the price point of enough key items to prevent the economy functioning as a free market. They also remove any incentive for new players to undertake crafting as a business.
Perhaps the most scathing indictment of T1 tokens is that I throw them away now. You can't sell them because they are so common everyone has vaults full of them and don't want more. The T2/T3 tokens have greater beneficial effects and last longer. And with only two token slots, each limited to 9 items, almost all players load them with their best.

What is need is more slots on the paper doll (maybe token only slots if allowing more slots for potions and bombs to be slotted is seen as a problem) and each slot holding far more than 9 items. And allow us to combine lesser tokens to make greater tokens. Only then will T1 tokens have greater use other than loot for new players.
Two slots of 9 each for random effect (potions, tokens, bombs etc) buffs/heals is plenty. Any more would be unbalancing.
Who, me?
Token-only slots is indeed one possibility we're considering, though there are also issues with some tokens filling very different roles than others (healing tokens tend to require super-quick access in the middle of battle, where most other tokens are buffs that can be applied while under less time-pressure before the battle starts). The important point is that token usage needs to not compete with using other items, so that not equipping them isn't really a meaningful option, and token-only slots is the best way to achieve that. I'm not really comfortable just restricting one of the two current consumable slots to tokens, so yes, this pretty much calls for adding some more slots. That is definitely possible, but would involve some mildly complicated art changes and thus would take some time to figure out.

The 9 item limit is actually much easier for me to deal with. Those limits are set per item, and I could up the number for tokens significantly in the spreadsheets. I'll give it a try and see how it feels.

Auto-fire is an interesting suggestion, as long as you can toggle it on or off. Might even want an option to toggle it on for a single battle, and then it turns off when you exit combat or after a timer ends or something, just to keep you from burning through a whole bunch between battles. Definitely a fair amount of work to implement, but I'll throw a feature suggestion into our database for further exploration.

There is one little issue with auto-fire in that token usage actually takes a fair amount of time (2.1 seconds). That's a pretty long period of time to get blocked from other attacks for an automated action, and may just be a problem with token usage in general. If you have a choice between making 1-2 attacks over the next two seconds, or using a more powerful crafted consumable in slightly less time, or just firing off a minor token, then token's are a less compelling choice. I'll also give that a try, but let me know if that sounds potentially unbalancing to anyone.
Increasing the token stacking ability to 50 works pretty well. You still need to manually top them off occasionally, but definitely less often.

Speeding up token usage to .3 seconds also works pretty well, in that you can immediately fire off another standard attack right afterward. The exception is that tokens, like all consumables, automatically trigger the standard cooldown for all expendables, so they do block any actions hooked to the expendables cooldown for a short time. I can't change that in the spreadsheets, but we could look into fiddling with that in the future. On the other hand, maybe that's a good tradeoff, since tokens are still pretty powerful for such a quick action once the speed is increased.
It's like one of those things that while they CAN be useful at certain times, over the long term, they just aren't. While "levels" are fairly shaky grounds to relate things to I remember using tokens at lower lvls like 1-2, realizing I didn't need to (various wiz cantrips- cleric orisons) between 3-4 and then a long period that they simply were not as good as other options that became available. By then they simply were not needed as much. By the time that charges came in (which should have caused us looking back at T1 tokens) we all have amassed 100's of T2 and 1000's of t1 tokens.

To use them every fight, we have to often wait to fall from attack stance, if I remember right.

They drop way too often
They are not as effective as other powers
They are not as mindless to use as other options and require pesky reloads for less bang than other available options
There comes a time period in character development that you can get by easily without…

And while some seem a bit useful, many seem to do hardly anything worthwhile at all. Especially the T1 tokens.
Virtute et Armis
Having just checked through some that I thought did nothing, I see that I was wrong about those T1 tokens I doubted worked at all. They do give small bonuses to attacks and resistances. I wonder if at thae low levels they are designed for they are really noticeable in action or if it is a matter of just too small a duration to be worthwhile to bother to slot.

They don't FEEL impactful but they look (on character sheet) like they should. I think you are on the right track, Bob with some of your ideas. Not sure it will do much for the veterans but it might help much for the future.

There may be too many options to get the same affects with easier use and maintenance (loading, reloading, etc… )
Virtute et Armis
I think the maintenance aspect is the one that needs the most fixing, but that's going to take some code and possibly art changes to fix, so it's harder to work in around all our other priorities.

One thing to remember about the T1 tokens is that they used to be very weak when beneficial feats were limited by Effect Protection. Now that they're not, you'll find them quite a bit more useful, though obviously not as useful as some other options available to T2/3 characters. Still, once we can get them to feel basically "free" (easy maintenance, easy triggering, minimally get in the way of other options, not much else to do with them anyway), then it will make more sense to use them than to throw them away or stockpile them. You may not need them, in the sense that you'll still win your battles without them, but even the T1 tokens should give you enough of a boost to raise your average kills per hour and thus your average loot per hour.

Getting rid of the current stockpiles is another issue, but even lowly T1 tokens would probably be worth at least 1 copper if they were easier to use and there was less tradeoff between using them or other options. For now, just save them up to sell to new players once it's all fixed, or to use in some recipes if I figure out a balanced use for them.
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