It seems that a LOT of people have been raising a stink and filing /bugs and /petitions about how easy it is to get void shards in certain TSO dungeons. I will admit that the current situation is exploitable in a couple of different ways.
The first exploit that people discovered was the sharing of cleared instances so that other members who had not initially been present during the group could come into the zone and get harvest/clickable updates and get their Void Shard.
The first attempts by SoE to close these exploits was to close the Lava Wall in Deep Forge under certain conditions (i.e. turning in the void shard quest). However there were complaints that this locked people out of coming back and getting that named if they wanted. Recently, some of us noticed that the Automated Hammers (required to kill Doomsmith with lower DPS groups) despawn under similar conditions. I had suspicions but there seemed to be no good reason for this behavior. Now I have my answer:
Starting with the Frostfell patch, all the Deep Forge missions require a kill.
The Cold Heat mission I can deal with. It requires killing an automated hammer in addition to collecting the idols. This seems to have the desired effect of making it difficult to share an instance.
However the mission Liquid Hot Mag-ma now requires killing the named Overseer.
If you are a frequent reader, you know that Deep Forge has been my “Example A” of easier TSO instances that allow even casual groups of 4-6 players to work towards getting void shards.
It is obvious that the named mobs in Deep Forge — Doomsmith, Overseer, and Firelord Kaern — have been tuned up in difficulty the release of The Shadow Odyssey. With the recent tuning up of Deep Forge’s difficulty, I have been encouraging people to merely skip the nameds and work towards their void shards. I have recently found myself in groups who were not able to kill Overseer who were previously able to kill him with no problem.
I have not checked out the other missions, but if they put named kills on more missions then they’ll certainly be slowing down the flow of shards for at least one group of people: Casual Groupers. I’m sure well-informed players will be able to dodge the bullet and find more devious or coordinated methods to rack up the void shards. However the main people who will feel “screwed” are casual players.
I can tell you if you are in a low DPS group, Evernight Abbey is a one hell of a lot of clearing work for 1 shard if all you can get now is the Void Shard. Remember this zone was flagged “easy” by developers.
P.S. According to the recent SoE Developer chat, the 3 TSO instances which take place in The Void will soon reward Void Shards as well. I wonder what circumstances will be required to get them.