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Thoughts on SH game-design decisions [Copy link]

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2015-2-27 02:14:21 |Show all posts
Edited by Feanyar at 2015-4-17 11:31

Hi all!
I've been wondering alot lately what SH thought processes are, regarding recent decisions in game/card design. Mostly due to the chain of questionable events and the sudden introduction of mediocre monthly arena URs. We all know that there are some rather problematic issues in game design within The Gate. Some have been dealt with (mare scaling), others might be addressed soon (broken/failed evos) and some are really tough to fix (negative effect of levelups).
Usually I can understand game design decisions. Sure, I disagree on some of them since ppl tend to have different opinions and weight arguments differently - but I can usually understand why someone would make this or that choice for their games. However, lately some things have been bugging me and I cant really figure out WHY SH would make such a choice for The Gate. It just seems to discouraging for players, to detrimental towards a healthy future of the game, that I'd like to discuss them here:

A) Event Design:
There are 2 different events: Raid and Island Events. From a players perspective, raidevents are much more beneficial and fun. Why? You can play the game and spend hope however you want. You will spawn raids and can use rood to kill those. Having a raidevent ongoing is an addition to normal gameplay. You can still farm feederXP or hellforge-shards/mats or do whatever u like and get to participate in the event. Sure, if you aim for high ranks you need to dedicate too - but at least everyone can participate however they wish.
Island events on the other hand arent and addition. They are a substitution of normal gameplay. You have to choose whether u want to keep doing what u always do OR participate in the island event. In return you get nothing but EP-rewards (and rank), while using up all of your hope on the event island. The downsides are obvious: You get a ton of xp that you dont want, you don't get to farm SC, feederXP or hellforge - nothing. Just a full week of dedication towards the island event - even if you just aim for the item, not for the rank. Its usually a "ignore event" choice for most players since the cost is to high.

Usually you would assume that a gaming company is interested in keeping their playerbase motivated to spend time and ressources (money) in a game. I dont know the numbers ofc, so it might be that island events reward SH with a higher cashflow than raidevents do. In that case it's a valid choice to do both types: One, to keep your players happy. The other to generate income - if necessary from a business PoV (Point of View). Even such crazy events where the whales go ham like the one last week is valid once in a while.
However, the past 7 weeks of event were a series of disappointments. The balance between income and player's happiness was completely lost. 3 weeks with healeritems as event-reward in a row (I can live with a healeritem once in a while), followed by 4(!) island events in a row is just utterly frustrating for a majority of the playerbase.
Imagine you are an average player that started within the last 2-3months. Just after u stopped being a clueless newbie you are confronted with a series of useless events. That means: No item to improve your disciples, ergo (almost) no game progress at all during that time. Not even the monthly arena URs were/are desireable, since u most likely weren't able to gather enough honor for Chary/Cerberus in this scenario.
I just dont get why SH makes such a decision here thats equal with a slap to the face for most players (=those who aren't able/willing to spend enough gold for >1M EP on an island for toptier URs). It's discouraging an entire generation of players and basically telling them: "We dont want you here, the good stuff has been shared already." WHY?

EDIT: 17.April
What changed?
- Very few raid events. -- BAD (esp without eq. rewards)
- New "hybrid" event: Island for augment mats/shard, raids for cards. Interesting! If there were equip-rewards from the raids -- GOOD'ish
- Removal of equipment rewards! -- VERY BAD


B) New UR Design (esp. featured monthly)
Arena URs are a good, reliable way for people to get their hands on a top-tier UR. You know how long it takes you to get 160k honor (~2months w/o BScrolls), and u know that when u do so you will be able to get 8 copies of something nice! Thats good design. A reachable goal for players to get a reliable reward for being active. Or so it has been... Cerberus was the last allround-good arena UR.
Lava Myst. was already very situational in its use. Whether to buy or to skip was discussed at lenght in the forums.
Moon Mistress is just... junk. Sorry to say it, but it's true. Yet another liquid archer. One with mediocre dps and lousy skills. No dmg and no utility = junk. It's nothing anyone wants for a liquid team. There are just much better choices out there.
Why do u release a card that nobody would want?`Shouldn't it be the goal of every game/content designer to wave with the carrot and have the players play (and pay - for the impatient) to actually obtain this juicy reward?
Instead you basically slap em in the face and tell them: "Hah, nothing good for u to obtain here! Gratz that u saved up months of honor for... nothing!" WHY?

EDIT: 17.April
What changed? Fallen Cardea is useful again. Slightly troll-move by releasing KingOe into shops a week later. -- BETTER


C) Mare/Arena Shop: Card availibility.
It's been a talking point here in forums (and in kongchat) for a long time already - but the card availibilty in mare/arena makes this game tedious and frustrating. I understand that you cant give away everything, instantly and for free. Thats correct! Rewards need some delay in order for the players to stick to the game, play it - and pay if they choose to speed things up. You already have an efficient method of limiting the UR income of a player: Honor and Virago. It takes ~32days to get 8*5.5k virago (40 days for 7k card, ~46 for 8k). Thats at least one month for a completed card. Slow enough if u ask me - esp since there are tons of desireable cards for different elements/teams out there. And more are to be added to replace what you already got! For honor the numbers are kinda similar (variing on how many BScrolls you use = how much you pay).

However, the method you choose is to further slow down card delay by making the cards rare in the shops. Right now, its common for a player to sit there with enough virago/honor, knowing you have already earned a card by playing for it and all you need to do now is wait and hope for a lucky shop... thats frustrating and discourages from playing the game.
Wouldn't it be better to encourage the players by having a higher availibility of cards in the shops? That way the players would stare at all the nice and cool cards they *want* and think: "Omfg, I want that! I need to play more! Daily mare! And more honor! I need more Battle Scrolls!" Thats what motivates players to keep playing. To keep the game active and lively! And the more active the playerbase, the more cash for you guys. ;)

How to solve it? I think a full free-choice shop might be overkill (though not a bad thing overall). But a shortterm solution would be a 3rd cardslot for mare/arena, remove the SR from Arenashop (they are newbtraps anyways - noone should buy them) and fix the issue that certain cards can only appear in certain slots. That would reduce the pain and frustration players are currently experiencing. Maybe removing some of the weakest UR from shops too and downgrade them to SR (with raids and everything).

EDIT: 17.April
What changed?
- Removal of SR from arenashop -- GOOD
- 1 cardslot less in arenashop -- BAD
- addition of more cards into shop -- GOOD
- No new cardslots in shops, thus worse odds to see your desired URs -- BAD


Conclusion: TL;DR
A good game needs a healthy playerbase - please consider that you need to throw goodies at the players to motivate them to keep playing. Games need desireable goals! In games like this that inevitably means a certain amount of power-creep. But that is a good thing (unless it goes overboard).
In my opinion there are many things going wrong that hurt the game by driving away active players. Decisions have been made that I simply cannot understand. Decisions with bad effects on the players AND for SpicyHorse, since both are linked together.
I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts on these topics - and I'd love to hear what SH reasons for these decisions were. Did I overlook something? Or did SH just not think things through at all and acted on a "Ah, it'll be fine somehow" instinct?

EDIT: 17.April
Some good moves were made. I like the augments overall and look forward to guild to-be-realeased soon'ish.
Sadly, the major issues (no equips via event-reward, terrible odds to see your "targets" in shops) overshadow the good changes IMHO. Changes on issues discussed here went (mostly) in the opposite direction of what was proposed. Active playerbase is dropping as a result.


Cheers,
Fea

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2015-2-27 02:25:46 |Show all posts
i approve of this wall of text.
i would like to hear spicy's response to this

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Post time 2015-2-27 02:57:06 |Show all posts
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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2015-2-27 03:05:59 |Show all posts
3times healer shards really sucks to me but acceptable.
but having 4weeks of trio revent is not.
íf this game doesn't get new card like every week it becomes stale for me and less excitement.
if it's continue's like this people will quit as dread someone from kong did.
you really start to wonder why you are still playing this game after those trio events

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Post time 2015-2-27 03:38:30 |Show all posts
I disagree with the "C". I know it takes months to complete a card but that's the reason of a Collectible Card Game (CCG), easier=boring and I say this because I completed Lamia and Terasaur starting from 0 and only need 2 more Tefnut to complete her too. It took me months but I'm happy with the results, all this motivated me to keep playing the game, also the Arena UR, I got two and I'm happy with them. I agree the current one sucks but they can't release good cards all the time and also you have many other options there.
BTW.. I agree with the other points.

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Post time 2015-2-27 03:41:08 |Show all posts
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Post time 2015-2-27 03:52:36 |Show all posts
Since i got Tefnut and Lamia I began to think if it was indeed a good idea for SH to put these powerful cards in IM and Arena (Befafes) so they can be obtained relatively easy (well, compare to ranking top 50 in events). Also, the elemental advantage needs to increase so that people cannot rely on one strong deck of (let's say liquid) cards for EVERYTHING. At certain point, you started to feel like.. what's that point? I have Tefnut and Lamia already....

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2015-2-27 03:57:20 |Show all posts
cuddle13 replied at 2015-2-27 03:52
Since i got Tefnut and Lamia I began to think if it was indeed a good idea for SH to put these power ...

we already have boon for that i rather have elemental weakness reduced to like 20%

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Post time 2015-2-27 04:09:48 |Show all posts
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Post time 2015-2-27 04:25:35 |Show all posts
Why oh why are SRs and URs indistinguishable? Anyone else find it absolutely absurd that whenever Spicy releases a new UR they have to specifically point out that Jokers won't work on them? How are new folks to know that about individual cards? They literally have to know what all the SRs are and process of elimination what Jokers work on. Silly silly silly. It's one of those things that could never have been intentional but no one has bothered to fix.

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