Endgame Engagement

Bit of precursor/setup for this conversation. After/during the discussion about House Gear I brought up the question of whether or not the game would support Vanity armor. @SecretOwl correctly brought up that this would have a negative impact on the previously dev stated ideal that a player's gear should give an opponent an idea of their build/stats. My counter-argument to this is that if a build or couple of builds become prominent, then its going to cause everyone to begin to look the same and remove some of the 'Role Playing'-ness of the game. I think we seemed to come to an agreement that as long as there was a 'peak' function that would allow you to view your opponents actual gear then vanity gear would be helpful because it would encourage playing/crafting gear to outfit a character in a unique way, much like WoW's transmogrification update encouraged players to go back and run dungeons to gain unique pieces of gear, regardless of stats (because WoW began to experience the 'everyone looks the same' bit I was worried about.) For this bit another player mentioned perhaps the ability to 'scout' an opponent before the battle, which again would allow you to see their actual gear instead of vanity gear.

On this note: House vanity gear would be awesome because it could allow each house member to outfit themselves in a way that represented their house's ideology (e.g. a set of vanity plate mail for members of the Sword 'n Board house, a Cloak and Cowl getup for members of the Snake and Dagger house). It would also provide something for players to do in their downtime... which leads into the question @TheWizard asked "So lets talk about what endgame SHOULD do to keep an enthusiast engaged"

So fellow Exiles, how do you think the game should keep players engaged? Below are my thoughts, but I'm one person, so definitely chime in with your own ideas, and express any thoughts you might have on the proposed ideas. If a particular idea takes off, we might consider starting another thread specifically for that.

My thoughts:
House vanity gear: (Specific Idea) Once you reach a certain tier in the house you gain access to the house regalia crafting plans. As previously stated this gear would reflect the ideology of the house. 

House Honor Quests: (General idea with specific goal) Each house has an ideology and desire to increase their fame/honor/prestige/reputation among those living in Embermark. Toward this end each house could offer themed quests to its members: protection, revenge, discovery, etc. (I'm still not totally up to date with the houses, so this is broad scale guessing on themes).

House Sabotage Quests: (General Idea with specific goal). This is the inverse, and specifically PvP themed, verison of the above. Each house might wish to hinder the others in specific ways, and thus will dispatch their members to attack other house members, sabotage other house efforts (Interesting idea: success/participation of these quests might dictate the difficulty other house's Honor Quests are. this could offer a sort of Meta House compeition).

Follower Recruitment/Improvement: (Specific idea, general goal). The game I find myself playing most right now on iOS is Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. Its a now standard Dungeon Boss/Summoner's War clone with a SW theme, but the thing I like about it over those is there is a way to very deliberately work toward recruiting/improving a broad number of characters. This means that each day I may not hit a particular goal, but I am making measurable progress. In that same vain there could be quests specifically to help recruit a powerful follower, or to improve the effectiveness of another follower.

Lore Quests
: (Very general wish) As I'm guessing the Lore of this game will be deep and expanding, quests allowing us to discover more lore about particular regions of Embermark. This could also be used as a launching off point to discover even more quests. (So moving from general knowledge of an area to a specific story/lore reveal quest).

Arena: (PvP for Resources/Loot) Some enterprising individual somewhere set up an arena where those who enjoy it can participate in combat against others in return for rewards. This idea sprouts directly from the arena in GoH where you fight for rank, and at a certain time of day/week you are rewarded with resources based on that rank. The one aspect of this I don't like is that it has the potential to allow for snowballing (e.g. a player who attains a high rank gets more resources that allows them to increase their ability to maintain that rank, while lower ranks get fewer resources, and therefore increase the already existing power/resource gap. So it needs to be balanced) 

I would also LOVE to see the endgame engagement be a mix of PvP, PvE, Crafting, Story, and misc quests with a variety of goals.
HollowFinjinimoLaniatariamnoonene

Comments

  • HollowHollow Posts: 37 MARKED
    Thank you drakythe for writing this as a response to TheWizard's question. Personally, I like the idea of lore and house ideology reflected in house armor / weapons. To implement that within endgame house specific quests and reputation would definitely  extend the endgame. PvP - PvE goals and events could also contribute to the rewards of a season or house ranking. 

    To piggyback off of the original question. When a character hits lvl 50, has acquired preferred skills, and earned some great equipment - what then? How do they continue to stay engaged without a plateau for all players "evening out".  I've seen very few mobile games address this situation without hitting a pay wall or dramatic separation between players. Some ways to keep players "in".

    End game (pvp pve and event) earned schematics for gear hunts would be great as formidable goals.

    Again, as drakythe stated with the various forms of house shenanigans through Honor, Sabotage, Lore events would keep players engaged without worrying too much about level or contribution.

    I think the house system in EoE is a very strong element to the game design. Without player created guilds (not a bad thing) it leaves a lot of creativity for interesting house dynamics and gameplay. 
  • NezujaNezuja Posts: 89 mod
    I think there are three key factors that keep "end-game" players coming back.
    1. The "Loot Treadmill" that keeps players constantly seeking the best gear (e.g., Diablo3, WoW, etc.) 
    2. Some form of fair player vs player competition (e.g., LoL, Hearthstone, Overwatch, etc.)
    3. Completing all Achievements in the game (self-explanatory) 
    To that end I would say you have some great ideas Drak. 

    House Regalia: I love the concept of this idea, I think we'll have to wait for more info on houses benefits and lore to see if this would work.

    House Honor/Sabotage and Lore Quests: I would be surprised if this already isn't in the works. It's an awesome idea. 

    Follower Recruitment/Improvement: This is a fun idea and we would need to know more about the "minion" system the devs are planning before determining if this would retain players or not.

    Arena; I agree 100% with what you wrote. Competition is great and balancing it is key. 

    New Ideas:
    I think for those not interested in PVP there would need to be a PVE alternative to the Arena, something like a Grand Hunt where you go up against increasing difficult mobs and those that make it the highest get tiered rewards based on performance. This could reset at each season and have different themes each season.

    Bounty System : Since there will be such an emphasis on PVP it might be interesting to play with a bounty system that could provide rewards in the form of gold, gear, or house honor for players. This would introduce some complexity to character building since you might be asked to pvp a player who has gear/skills that are your weakness. 

    I'll throw more in as I get them but I like where this is going!
    Laniatar
  • Psycho_MychoPsycho_Mycho Posts: 69 Adventurer
    Great thread you all got going here! I agree with all your thoughts and ideas. For me personally, I am a seeker of achievements and getting the best gear possible, so those two things alone will keep me in the end game mode for quite some time. Here are some general ideas/thoughts that come to mind in regards to end game and just overall game enjoyment.

    Shared house chest (similar to LoTRO): I'm not sure how many items we'll be able to store on our person / in our own banks, but it sounds like there is a large amount of gear in this game. That being said, some sort of house chest were items could be shared amongst house members would be great because it is unlikely that you'll get all the items for a particular set on your own. Of course, if everyone in the house has similarly built characters then there is a chance everyone would be vying for the same type of gear. Also, the chest would need to have some sort of restriction, such as only available once you hit a certain level in the house. It would be unfair for someone to join and just take items from the chest. Unless of course there were multiple chests available at varying house ranking levels.

    Multiple Characters. I'm not sure if this has already been discussed anywhere, but being able to create multiple characters is a good way to extend game play. This way you can create a whole new build and relive the game. Of course, a shared chest amongst your accounts would be great, but not necessarily needed.

    One app I've been playing for quite some time and that I'm still not bored with yet is Castle Clash. I understand that Exiles is a completely different game, but what keeps me engaged in Castle Clash is all the heroes available in the game (I see the gear availability in Exiles being similar to the hero availability in Castle Clash). Because each hero has unique abilities, there are literally endless combinations that you can do. When the top players start to get into that end game, everything-is-the-same mode, then that's typically when a new game mode comes out (in addition to the new hero on average of once a month). In Castle Clash, your Might level is what increases over time, and there really is no limit to how high it can go (theoretically there is but no one is there yet). Therefore, there really isn't an end-game, but rather more events/heroes to keep everyone engaged. I see the player built story line in Exiles as contributing greatly to extended game play!
    "Do not trust everything you read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln
  • HollowHollow Posts: 37 MARKED
    Just going to add onto this after much thought.

    1.     House events – semi ongoing events that give rewards to houses and individuals based on ranking / performance.  The rewards would scale with level and rarity. I cant wait to see how the lore plays into the ongoing story.

    2.      PvP Honors – seasonal PvP events and goals would also scale based on rank and level.

    3.     A bounty system based on taking down players with a high kill streak, or a literal bounty could be placed on a player through a “list”.  The first to defeat the bounty gets the proposed amount. Side note-  may be possible to be exploited so maybe not.

    4.     As mentioned previously – house specific lore quests, gear, possibly a point/tenure system.  Maybe a system where you can spend the points earned at the end of a season toward a house specific recipe.  The slight differences between houses through lore, regalia, items, team members, ect. Keeps the game interesting and engaging.  It could always be a changing experience based on season and player motives. 

    5.     Individual honor – I’ve suggested this previously, but the main thing that makes me want to keep coming back to an MMO comes down to character individuality.  Yes – gear and lewtz are important for making your character powerful and different from everyone else.  However, I’m a huge fan of the other variables in character development. The aspects that make people feel attached to their characters (maybe not making them want to split time between multiple characters) based on the time they spend and how it pays off.  If possible, these would also set EoE apart from other mobile MMO’s in a great way.  I’m not a Dev, so I don’t know how feasible these features would be to add – but I do know they would definitely add to the experience.

    Things like-

    Titles -  Earn-able titles from ranked seasonal achievement. Difficult to attain and equip able / interchangeable. Seasonal meaning they are event specific and unattainable after the event.

    Seasonal gear – Gear earned that can only be rewarded for a specific season.  Makes characters feel unique based on what they have earned. There might be a lot of gear, but nobody will be able to get the  ____ from season ___ after completing ____.

    Tenure – There hasn’t been a lot explained about tenure bonuses and the advantages of being a fixture at a specific house for a long period of time. However, it would be devastating if a leaderboard player ~1-10 all of a sudden dropped from Blue and went to Red.  It should feel devastating to house Blue.  Because EoE is a guild-based game (without player created guilds) it would be interesting to have certain tenured players be given some kind of authority or influence involvement. I’m not sure how exactly that would work, but it would add another level of organization and intrigue.

  • NezujaNezuja Posts: 89 mod
    Hollow, in regards to the bounty system. How sweet would it be if your House had a "Bounty Hunter" tab that ranked other players who have killed members of your House and listed them as the top 50 greatest threats with rewards for those that could take them down.
    Hollowiamnoonene
  • TheWizardTheWizard Posts: 825 Wizard
    I'm including this discussion in the latest Game Dev Update (which is almost complete). Wanted to make sure you guys know I'm not just watching, but you'll be pleased to note it will also be a topic in our first "official" live chat.
    TheWizard
    I'll SMITE you
  • WinsomniakWinsomniak Posts: 15 Adventurer
    This is an interesting problem to tackle. I'd love to see you guys do something a little more out of the box than the usual carnival style content releases and power creep. The process of increasing gear/level cap on some interval always feels like a hampster wheel to me. Maybe I'm just burned out on the usual MMO model, but I have a few ideas nontheless!

    Lateral Progression Content Releases - Add new stuff to do and ways to progress without invalidating previous progression. For example, instead of changing the level cap from 60 to 70, introduce a new mechanic for progression like a faction system or subclasses. Instead of introducing a new dungeon with sword drops that deal 25% more damage than existing swords, have a new dungeon drop augments or enchantments or a new gear slot item. New stuff to do without previous endgame accomplishments becoming obsolete.

    Incentivize multiple playthroughs/characters - The bulk of the game is likely to be leveling up and gradual steady progression vs the sloped, slow end-game progression. Why not emphasize this gameplay by encouraging multiple playthroughs or characters? Meta or account wide progression, or content that certain classes clear more successfully than others. Bonuses to your camp perhaps? I'd rather try a new character/build than grind slow progression personally, and theres no remorse in 'abandoning' a character if their progress benefits my next character somehow.

    More thoughts to come,

    -Winsomniak

    -Seige
    Drakythe
  • HollowHollow Posts: 37 MARKED
    This is an interesting problem to tackle. I'd love to see you guys do something a little more out of the box than the usual carnival style content releases and power creep. The process of increasing gear/level cap on some interval always feels like a hampster wheel to me. Maybe I'm just burned out on the usual MMO model, but I have a few ideas nontheless!

    Lateral Progression Content Releases - Add new stuff to do and ways to progress without invalidating previous progression. For example, instead of changing the level cap from 60 to 70, introduce a new mechanic for progression like a faction system or subclasses. Instead of introducing a new dungeon with sword drops that deal 25% more damage than existing swords, have a new dungeon drop augments or enchantments or a new gear slot item. New stuff to do without previous endgame accomplishments becoming obsolete.

    Incentivize multiple playthroughs/characters - The bulk of the game is likely to be leveling up and gradual steady progression vs the sloped, slow end-game progression. Why not emphasize this gameplay by encouraging multiple playthroughs or characters? Meta or account wide progression, or content that certain classes clear more successfully than others. Bonuses to your camp perhaps? I'd rather try a new character/build than grind slow progression personally, and theres no remorse in 'abandoning' a character if their progress benefits my next character somehow.

    More thoughts to come,

    -Winsomniak



    Heres my issue with incentivizing multiple playthroughs -The game's narrative is based upon individual accolade or achievements, it will eventually become "Im on playthrough 5 or 6" instead of "Ive accomplished __". It would be great in theory , but in most games Ive seen with this progression it becomes more about a "plan" on what track everyone will take (and end on) instead of enjoying what they have already built.
  • WinsomniakWinsomniak Posts: 15 Adventurer
    Hollow said:
    This is an interesting problem to tackle. I'd love to see you guys do something a little more out of the box than the usual carnival style content releases and power creep. The process of increasing gear/level cap on some interval always feels like a hampster wheel to me. Maybe I'm just burned out on the usual MMO model, but I have a few ideas nontheless!

    Lateral Progression Content Releases - Add new stuff to do and ways to progress without invalidating previous progression. For example, instead of changing the level cap from 60 to 70, introduce a new mechanic for progression like a faction system or subclasses. Instead of introducing a new dungeon with sword drops that deal 25% more damage than existing swords, have a new dungeon drop augments or enchantments or a new gear slot item. New stuff to do without previous endgame accomplishments becoming obsolete.

    Incentivize multiple playthroughs/characters - The bulk of the game is likely to be leveling up and gradual steady progression vs the sloped, slow end-game progression. Why not emphasize this gameplay by encouraging multiple playthroughs or characters? Meta or account wide progression, or content that certain classes clear more successfully than others. Bonuses to your camp perhaps? I'd rather try a new character/build than grind slow progression personally, and theres no remorse in 'abandoning' a character if their progress benefits my next character somehow.

    More thoughts to come,

    -Winsomniak



    Heres my issue with incentivizing multiple playthroughs -The game's narrative is based upon individual accolade or achievements, it will eventually become "Im on playthrough 5 or 6" instead of "Ive accomplished __". It would be great in theory , but in most games Ive seen with this progression it becomes more about a "plan" on what track everyone will take (and end on) instead of enjoying what they have already built.
    Let's see if I can make it through this without anyone but TheWizard wanting to punch me in the face!

    You make an interesting point. Can you give some examples of games that broke down or had the narrative ruined because of this sort of progression mechanic?

    I'm not convinced that incentivizing multiple play throughs or "meta progression" detracts from the narrative for those who want to experience only one. A lot of players want to explore new characters/builds regardless, and will be talking about subsequent play throughs anyway. Depending on what "meta-progression" means, the gained perks could be a problem for new players catching up in say, PVP, but I've defined things very loosely here.

    In case your issue is actually with the ability to create multiple characters, that would be a completely different conversation. 

    Interested to hear your thoughts.

    -Winsomniak

    -Seige
    Finjinimo
  • HollowHollow Posts: 37 MARKED
    No punching of the face necessary friend.

    Its not necessarily that these games "broke" because of the multiple play through system. 

    One off the top of my head was -game of thrones ascent - where you were able to go through multiple playthroughs with each house and once max leveled could re-roll with one of the skills from the previous skill tree. Now yes you should get some incentive for doing this, but the drawbacks were
    1) never knowing who was which previous character
    2) no incentive to establish reputation in the first playthrough
    3) grinding became necessary to get to the final house
    4) gear didn't matter because you lose it all (or) as EoE will have it - have gear level requirements.
    5) This is what bothered me most - the character growth wasn't judged by the actual character, but Moreso what re-roll you were on. Lets face it, there would have to be a substantial reason to continually re-roll. (%boost , skill carryover, gear,ect)

    All this aside- EoE is being built on player based storyline. It would also kind of suck for higher influenced players to re-roll during certain events or rankings, that could leave room for some shenanigans. 

    Personally, I'm not opposed to having different characters to try different builds.
    Just my 2 cents.

  • FinjinimoFinjinimo Posts: 245 Hero
    HEY SEIGE!

    On the multiple playthrough idea... What if your username kind of acted as a 'surname'. So every character I play has a unique first name, but the same last name. Which means people can easily identify my characters, they know who they belong to, and there is something to be said for building the reputation of a family of characters.

    It also lets me have a Rufio Finjinimo, BA Barracus Finjinimo, Captain Planet Finjinimo, whatever.


    ...jiggly bits...
    Hollow
  • HollowHollow Posts: 37 MARKED
    Finjinimo said:
    HEY SEIGE!

    On the multiple playthrough idea... What if your username kind of acted as a 'surname'. So every character I play has a unique first name, but the same last name. Which means people can easily identify my characters, they know who they belong to, and there is something to be said for building the reputation of a family of characters.

    It also lets me have a Rufio Finjinimo, BA Barracus Finjinimo, Captain Planet Finjinimo, whatever.


    I think that would be a great idea to incorporate multiple characters and to keep reputation within the system. 
  • TheWizardTheWizard Posts: 825 Wizard
    i'm actually scared of this thread now, it's so smart...
    TheWizard
    I'll SMITE you
    Hollow
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