The fantasy crate suggestions channel has opened up a lot of discussion on rares and what makes a good/bad rare, I've been interested in rares and the crate system since its debut and I spent a lot of time in 2018-2019 hosting/doing PVP competitions on blue and trying to break rares and understand the ecosystem of these items. Suffice it to say there's a very short list of people who have my history and knowledge with Applecraft rares. You can even go back on my post history and see my old thoughts on rares through the years. I wanted to go over what I think about rares balance, and the main things to stay away from are when people are suggesting/implementing rares. This is mostly for apple's sake as I think she could use a bit of player-based context on how rares impact the game. Don't Avoid New Design Space: This is the biggest problem with the Pirate crate, its generally got all the other areas of rares balance covered, but I would say that only 3 items (outside of the broken scurvy cure) in the crate actually explores new design space, its a generally boring crate and the price of its key and the community sentiment around it is reflective of this. This is because the Pirate crate is mostly just theme-appropriate versions of already existing items. (Disguises, Biome wands, spawner). These items are a good backbone for a crate, but they shouldn't be all it is. The superhero crate is a great example of a good blend of basic items as well as new ones that do interesting/unique things. In general, I think the emphasis needs to be placed on rares that do unique things. (Supermans elytra, Ring of Fire, Enderbow etc) I would say a good ratio of unique vs theme-appropriate basic items would be 25/75. Efficiency 6 needs to stay the best thing: No pickaxe (or any rare for that matter) should be better at diamond mining then efficiency 6 unbreakable pickaxe strip mining, that method is already broken enough (extensive testing puts it at around 50DB an hour on average) and causes most of the economy based problems we have today, under NO circumstances should this be invalidated. Things like Blast mining or ore-finding concepts need to be heavily drawn-back in order to be put in a crate. I would go as far as to say it's just not worth trying to make items with these concepts. They sound cool but they cause too much damage to the economy and just aren't worth the risk. Potion effect rares are LAZY: We have enough of these, at this point the only ones I'd actually suggest implementing are various versions of spores boots (speed+jump rares) because it's such a staple effect for the server that the good versions of these items always end up crazy expensive and annoyingly inaccessible for newer/intermediate players. Every other potion effect we have enough of, We don't need the 500th fire immunity rare that only does fire immunity. Additionally, I think we need to extra stay away from golden-heart items, just give regular red hearts instead if you have to do that. It really doesn't matter what the flavor of your item is- if its an item that only gives potion effects/particles/glow we don't need it. Potion effect rares should really do something else other than give you that potion effect. Cooldown rares: Cooldowns aren't inherently bad design, but they are pretty close. I don't think I've ever seen an item with a cooldown where the cooldown was the most intuitive way to balance it. If a rare does something broken once an hour, it's still broken. I especially dislike rares which essentially win you a PVP match on use but have some insane cooldown- that's not good game design, don't do it. All the rare potions that give a pile of untested un-thought-out potion effects are great examples of this (Im_Drunks Gentemenly Jack actually makes you invincible). Come up with a more intuitive drawback. Introduce Rares that allow for counterplay: If it's necessary (which I think it might be) to introduce annoying status rares like Ice bow or Krakens blade, also put in items that can deal with those specific effects. This is really simple, just have it so every crate has at least one theme-appropriate offhand item that has a static no-potion-effects ability. The same thing can be said about rares like supermans elytra, If your opponent has one of them you should be able to punish them for using it as their chestplate slot- an item that prevents them from using the super-jump for example. the Kekkei Genkai from the advent crate is a great example of this, it balances out a broken blue rare- the melon of truth, and allows for there to be counterplay if your opponent has one and you don't. Essentially, if your opponent chooses a broken proactive rare as one of their equipped item slots, there should be a way for you to punish them for that choice. STOP making potion effect library books: These were a BAD idea to start with, the fire immunity one alone invalidates like several dozen rares, not to mention water breathing, poison attack, the list goes on. That crate basically canceled out a year of rares by itself. There should be a limit on the amount you can compress the rares slots in your inventory. One item shouldn't have the power of 4 rares combined. I will encourage that you REPRINT these items though, they already exist, the damage is done, might as while making them accessible to more people than the ultra-rich. The library books that are cosmetic are a great idea though, the ability to use the rares you want but have the glow you want is great. Biome/time/weather specefic rares: These aren't lazy or boring like potion effect rares, but they are just really clunky and generally just don't play out the way you want them too. I think if an item with these mechanics is REALLY cool and well thought out, it should make it in, but most of the time rares based around biome or time just end being duds. Vampire-based rares are a great example of this, where during the day they are useless and you get a drawback, but in reality you just take the item off and it becomes "strengh 2 during the night" and nothing else. Make all rares have a flat power level: These last few crates seem to continue a trend where some of the items are clearly much better than others, the superhero crate is the embodiment of this, but the pirate crate has a little power curve to it as well. Keep all the rares in the same range of power. Additionally, we've been getting crazy power creep as of late, nothing as insane as the library crate, but Blackbeard's cutlass is the most pushed thing I've seen in awhile- Power creep isn't necessary or useful, you can avoid it by doing side-grades to already existing standards. (Shadows realm jumpers are a great example) Overall here are the things I think each main crate should contain: -Items that Explore new Design space (25%) -Items that have counterplay to that new design space (also part of that 25%) -Items that are theme-appropriate versions of old basic items (biome wands should be in every crate until we have them all for example) disguises (keep reprinting old ones once we run out) various basic potion effect rares (mostly speed/jump ones, if you have to add a basic potion effect like lava immunity again, at least make it so it does something else) These items are a great 75% backbone of each crate. -A flat Power level (No power creep necessary) -Reprints of items from past crates that have an insane price and are widely needed (Hyperspace orb reprints are great, maybe start checking off the library books next ?) I would like to hear what Apple has to say about rares balance in general, and what her priorities are when making these crates so we as a community can give more appropriate feedback/suggestions. I do think that apple generally does a pretty good job with these crates, these suggestions are just to try and take them from an average of Good to an average of Great. I also wouldn't mind seeing some sort of rares balance committee put together so we can look through and make notes on what ends up in crates before they are released. I feel like it certainly wouldn't hurt apple if she had some sort of player feedback before she released crates.