Facts: this applies for the RNG involved in crafting, what about the RNG when upgrading item to a higher rarity? That is being used. And in both cases there is a material sink, especially in case of high level items.
Please, just show me a picture of a player who has an item which is the max grade (rarity), im just asking a picture about one item, and not the whole char interface with these grades. Six months have passed since the servers are live, so snow me those chars which don't have to worry about their items anymore...
First off: RNG destruction of items when upgrading an item is one of the most frustrating experiences in MMO's and suicide on the western market. This game isn't the only one (by far) of it's kind, and people will be more than happy to leave for something different if they just lost their entire fortune to a diceroll. It doesn't matter if you argue they shouldn't gamble what they can't afford to lose, this isn't EvE, there is no risk vs. reward, there is no player skill, there is no other players involved which can help you minimize the risk, it's just a case of you putting a bunch of your cash into a slot machine to get better gear. And this is the ONLY way to get the best gear in the game. And what is for the vast majority of current gen MMO players a major goal of the game? Upgrading their characters looks & stats, and thus, gear. Thus EVERYONE will be doing it, and many many players will quit because of it.
And yes, while it's true you can make a sustainable economy with RNG only (I don't recall ever arguing against this) you have to make the RNG so damn frustrating to make it work that nobody *wants* to participate in it. Oh they will, people will bitch and moan and complain about it, but those hardcore few that stick with the game such as yourself will do it. Because they overlook it as a weakness to a game they otherwise love. That does not take away that it is a weakness, nor does it mean everyone else will be so forgiving of it's presence.
Dailato does have a point in regards to once the Items(s) exist, no matter how long it takes to get there, they will last forever.
But as rare as they currently are, and as costly to upgrade both in new mats and replacing items lost to failures. I would expect it to take several years before all the top players are in head to toe max gear.
If my math is right;
Jewelry items alone will require 243 attempts on average to get the 1 L50 item you want, and you have 5 slots to fill. And that is just at the Random quality level..
Armor and Weapons ~793 attempts for the L50 tier 3 item you want... and again of random quality.
So 11 armor/weapon slots and 5 jewelry slots will consume something 10,000 L40 items to get to a full L50 set.
With a 30% loss rate for quality upgrades and that number will skyrocket.
I haven't done the math myself but I'll take your word on it. This is exactly what I mean with the required RNG to keep the economy balanced. 243 attempts to get a single L50 item and then having a 30% *per* upgrade to lose it is retarded. That's a tiny (not going to do the math right now but I'm guessing it's less than 1%) chance to get an item up to the level where you want to use it AFTER you manage to get the actual item.
Imagine what will scare off more people (not bring them in, this isn't about conforming to popularity, just not scaring off regular gamers)
1: you must craft 1.000.000, on average, of a single item, which will use rare, costly materials at various stages, to get (probably) a single piece of the games top gear, and btw you can only craft based off a limited pool each day. The rest of the day you will spend grinding mobs for the rare drops required for crafting and upgrading to the higher tiers. If you're super lucky though you only need to craft like, 1 item (or you could perpetually fail to get a single item for eternity, it's RNG after all).
2: The best gear is available for an expensive, but not absurd amount of materials / gold. Your gear will decay with use and requires regular replacement based on how much you use it, and how often you die. Being a better player, grouping up, and making smart decisions on where to go will save you money in the long run, though you will still need to gather a significant amount of materials/ gold to continue wearing the top tier of gear in combat.
Advantages of option 2: Lower tiers are also useful because they are cheaper to maintain. Great gear means somebody is active (and good) *right now* rather than they got lucky and/or grinded a ton at some point in the past.
Advantages of option 1: ??? back to you guys on that one.