Well, I personally hate these tiered events - get rid of them.
Lets just be honest here. The items in these tiered events are being specifically sold as a product. Instead of attaching a price tag to these items, they are grouped into spending gimmicks called tiers.
It is these items in these different tiers are what people want, and they are willing to buy these tiers.
When you get to the upper levels, the items in the item mall, for the most part, are of no use to people except for the OPs. Most people are not buying OPs to use them for their original purpose. It is just a way to exchange one currency to another $$ to AP to OP.
Aeria should be selling all of these items that they offer in these tiered events directly in the Item Mall.
Then when Aeria want's to "encourage" people to spend more, then start having BOGOs or similar events.
I'd disagree with this - the tiered events are a great 'bonus', if they were removed I'd no longer spend/buy AP.
You pointed out the big problem with these tiers. Your interest is in these "bonuses"
It is not that you can't afford these "bonuses" Its the fact that you can't directly buy these "bonuses"
Lets take for example, you want to get a PLH to link that stat 7 lapis you have. A tiered event comes up where you spend 10,000 AP to get that "free" PLH. You are spending 10,000 AP in the item mall on what? OP hammers?.
Now lets look at an alternative incentive to spend AP. A PLH BOGO for 10,000 AP.
In both cases you spend 10,000 AP, and in both cases you get a "Free" PLH. But in the latter case you bought the PLH from the item mall, and you have 2 PLH's for that 10,000 AP.
What would you rather have after spending 10,000 AP, 2 PLH's or 1 PLH and 10 OP hammers?
The only reason people are buying these "tiered" events is to get their hands on the items that are "free" "Bonus" items in these tiers. Most of these items are not sold in the item mall. In reality these "free" items are being directly sold in these tiered events.
All I am saying is get rid of these tiered events, and directly sell the items. Then periodically through the month, Aeria can have these BOGO like events such as buy 2 GM +1 links and get a 3rd +1 GM link for free.
People then have the option to buy any thing they want at any time they want. Those that want to wait for these specials can wait.
This also may speed up the whole ticket process. Instead of Aeria getting slammed by a 1000 tickets at one time and we having to wait 2 weeks to get them filled, these tickets then get spread out over a month so that the GMs are only having to deal with 30 or so tickets a day. Things can get processed a whole lot faster.