First off, /applaud SE!!
While not as effecient as an AH, the modified retainer search function is about as close as we can get to an AH. I've sold items I've been trying to sell for months because the full search feature, including all market wards, no longer penalizes us for chosing one ward over another. I would still like to know why the resistance to an AH. Is it resource prohibitive or intensive? It would be nice if in one of the upcoming "Ask the Developers" SE articulates or elaborates why they are so opposed to an AH.
Thank god for the SP adjustment!! While I haven't yet had a chance to party to assess the modification to party SP bonus, I can say the solo SP increase is indeed a blessing, as well as behest and leve SP. Frankly, I'm still amazed at the SP rank requirements beyond rank 30. 65,000 for conjurer 39 ; ; daunting when compared to fffxi, where level 75 was 42,000. Beating that out soloing doblyns @ 85-90 SP was just too much.
That said, however, I do have a concern about SP consistancy in a couple of (battle) regards. I don't understand the very vast range of SP from doblyn to doblyn, nor some significant differences in SP one mob to the next that cons the same color difficulty.
To clarify - while I understand there is likely some level 'range' for green mobs, per se, I was seeing SP anywhere from 120-185 (please don't quote me on the absolute #'s). Why is this so random? That's a 50% difference in SP, which is alot. Today I killed a green antling and got 88 SP. Why is SP not consistant by color across all mobs? I don't care if it's a doblyn, antling, or marmot, color should equal difficulty, and SP should be consistant, both within mob classification and mob to mob.
Regarding crafting SP changes - as it relates to local leve's. It would appear some smoothing is in order, rank to rank. While I can't say for certain this is how it works, it would appear it's something like this:
If I'm R29 and take a R30 leve, I get some pretty positive SP results - pick a #, say 800 SP per synth. If I'm R31, however, and take that same leve, I might get 300 SP. I believe it was stated that SP was adjusted upwards for above-rank-difficulty, but adjusted downward for below. This, however, is the result of that, and, frankly, imho, just not fair.
To go along with this, I have the same issue for the random range of crafting SP, as with battle. I don't understand how one synth I can get 350 SP and the next (same recipe) 210. Some huge swings - and I don't want to hear how quality affects this, because that's not the issue here. I could make 2 synths exactly the same quality and durability and this is the sort of SP range swing I see.
Anyhow, it appears we're headed in a positive direction - most encouraging.