So, most players were against them from the start, their appearance in the teaser video was commented on as a very bad idea, and nobody at Flare listened, and introduced the most frustrating and unfair game dynamic in RR2. One where there is no benefit to the individual, and alliances have to count on their selflessness to make a difference.
I’m lucky enough I can fund myself, and managed to build up a fairly decent perk, the mechanics became known (3 items, maxing out at about 18%), the goal was being lucky enough to get a perk on the right item at the right level, I went through about 30 capes, upgrading each at least ten times, blowing tens of thousands on pearls before finally getting the perk.
To use the perks, I sacrifice a lot, 2500 leadership, start morale, ogre boost, blizzard boost, the items are so old, they must be falling apart, while all my other gear is much much better.
Nothing was done.
And now to rub salt in the wounds, Flare has introduced random skull perks on any item that can only be gotten through uber chests, out of 10 chests, maybe one item will be like this, meaning players now have to give up another perk slot and getting those chests not for their benefit, but for their alliance, and it’s all down to the luck in the casino anyway.
I myself got a quite excellent ice/blunt ring, that I won’t be able to use in war, as I have to swap in my old skull ring, which also means I have to keep my ice/blunt sword and gloves around to match.
It’s got so bad that some alliances spend the first days of war swapping around their members to maximise skull perks on the hardest map. Then when fighting against the hardest bases, players have to purposely hobble themselves to do so.
So, yes, the cats out of the bag and the horse has bolted.
What I would implore, given that these items now exist, put a maximum skull boost limit, so players can effectively get a full boost with 2 items, similar to the 100% limit on Scream, 10-12% would probably be about right.