Thanks for the detailed response, @JG1 and @kenymccornick. Maybe I should have started with this, but I’m speaking my opinion as someone who has done very well on the Kinship leaderboard almost completely by petting several gotchis consistently (I did buy 3 small Kinship Potions aftermarket, one for each of my top 3). So I’m with you in the knowledge that the Kinship leaderboard is not overrun by bots, and I’m also someone who would stand to benefit greatly from an unchanged Kinship leaderboard going into S2 farming. I wasn’t aware Kinship rewards had been cut (do we know by how much?), though I’m still pretty happy with the farming rewards I netted over the past two months.
I guess I consider it unacceptable to leave the Kinship leaderboard mechanics unchanged because the ethos behind Kinship is to reward engagement, and I consider it very important for that to be achievable for new players who buy into Haunt 2.
I also think that achievability needs to be immediately apparent to a new player, and my opinion is that the more complicated the process of “catching up” with kinship, the less apparent that achievability is to a new player. I feel less strongly about this point, but I’m someone who prefers simplicity, and Aavegotchi is already hella complicated, haha.
I understand that tracking Kinship from the start of a farming season is nerfing OGs on some level, especially if you take potions into account. But I don’t feel the need to consider potions too heavily because no matter how you handle it, someone is going to be “screwed,” whether it be the petters who couldn’t afford to pay for the advantage, or those who could pay and want to protect that investment. I commend the person who spent 13k (or whatever amount it was) on potions after S1 ended, but even if Kinship mechanics don’t change that’s a very bold strategy.
I guess the bottom line for me is that those who were willing to put in the time for petting up to now should be willing to do the same into the future for the potential upside in rarity farming. I know I will be. (hopefully no one thinks I’m talking about completely excluding H1 gotchis from competing, right? For the record, that seems insane to me, not sure whether that has been argued by anyone)
Now, I argue all this under the assumption that those with high all-time Kinship scores will enjoy significant benefits apart from season-specific rarity farming rewards. If those benefits turn out to be minimal, I’ll be disappointed, but I’m not sure whether my fundamental stance will have changed. I’m assigning a high value to creating a competitive environment for H2 players and H1 players alike. It’s a tough trade-off, and I understand the strong feelings.