I started playing a few months ago, and have some feedback I’d like to run by the community and developers.
I broke it up into two major sections: “New Player Catch Up” and “End game PvP teams”
New Player Catch Up
- TLDR: This game is very discouraging to new players after the first couple weeks after they get a feel for what it will take to “get into” the game.
I knew that since the game has been out for a few years, there would be a larger gap between me and long-time players, but I think the game needs a few changes to help retain new players.
I tried to break up my feedback into 3 sections: declaring the problems, my opinions, and then suggestions.
Major Issues I had:
- I didn’t realize how insanely beneficial membership in an active Guild was until after I joined one.
- The weekly content is very difficult to participate in due to:
- “Explore” lockout on Kingdoms until entire Quest line is completed.
- Missing weekly bonus troops, and/or insufficiently leveled bonus troops.
- High opportunity cost when investing souls/stones in troops.
- After a month of playing, I had the demotivating sense that I was stuck at the bottom of a very huge power curve to reach “mid-game.”
My opinion on these issues:
- Most Guilds in the in-game finder are inactive, so I joined some mostly-dead ones at first. Since I couldn’t get 1500 seals/week without spending a silly number of hours playing, it was difficult to find an active guild.
- Joining an active guild gave me a couple hundred new troops once Monday hit, and tons more gems than I’d gotten from the $5 daily gem pack. Basically, Guildies completing Tasks gave me a HUGE jump up the player power-curve and I previously had no clue about.
- Good guilds tell new players to invest gold in Kingdoms instead of Tasks, but it makes me feel like a freeloader.
2. Weekly Content:
- Most (at least half?) of weekly content ends up relying on “Explore” to get rewards. Beating KD Quest-lines to unlock Explore as a low level player is very slow, tedious, and offers little reward in itself compared to other endeavors.
- New players don’t have enough souls to risk on trying out bonus teams – or even access to the troops unless they joined an active Guild.
3. Troop investment:
- Lack of souls and traitstones make it very difficult to try out different team combinations.
- If you pick a poor initial troop combination, it sets you back because you have nothing to fall back on.
- Soul farming for your initial team(s) is grossly tedious until you have enough troops/souls to make a soul-farming team.
- Traitstone farming – I still despair at this. I’m glad crafting opened up some options here, but those options sadly require the souls I’m still farming.
4. New player outlook:
- Joining a Guild after that month in was crucial to keeping me in the game. Without the continual boosts from my Guild’s weekly Task completion, I would have quit.
- Fix the Guild finder to filter out inactive guilds.
- Make an in-game quest that funnels new players into joining a Guild.
- Give Guilds more incentive to invite new players on a “probationary” basis. Give guilds a couple in-game “quests” to assign new players so it’s clear what they need to do to retain membership.
- Weekly content:
- Open up “Explore” on all purchased Kingdoms, and do not require Quest line completion.
- Troop investment:
- Enable the “Refund” feature on troops at or under level 15 to promote low-level player experimentation.
- Massively increase Soul quantity and Traitstone rarity rewards for Quest lines to help jump-start new players.
- New player outlook:
- Addressing points 1-3 will improve this situation a lot.
- Offer a MUCH better “first time player” $5 one-time purchase – something comparable to a batch of weekly task rewards when in an active guild.
“End game” PvP teams
PvP is looking worrisome to me… so far it looks like the only viable options are:
1.) Team builds that deny opponent turns until dead.
2.) Nothing else.
It doesn’t leave room for much other things. Unless your deck actively denies opponent troops from chaining turns (e.g. Freeze) or can reliably chain turns (e.g. gem creation troops, Goblins) your team cannot succeed in PvP against higher level teams.
As a level ~140 player, I don’t expect to reliably defeat lvl 400+ players at all, but the lack of variety in strategy seems, well… boring.
...More yammering about PvP, effects of dumb AI, power-creep, and Goblins
However, I DO defeat lvl 400+ players if they don’t have a turn-chaining/denial deck because the AI is so dumb, leaving turn-chaining/denial as the only reliable way of winning at defense.
I also suspect that power-creep is partially to blame: how to keep adding troops that feel powerful and add new ways to win?
I got lucky this week, drew Queen Grapplepot and had enough glory to make a Legendary Princess Fizzbang: I now have an “end-game” team, and I didn’t even need to FT anyone. Since I get to go first, I can beat even lvl 1000+ Mythic teams of the exact same Goblin makeup 50% of the time – all depends on luck of the gem drops. I hate to use the heavily abused word “broken” – but it really is.
After having a hilarious blast PvPing yesterday, (mostly laughing at the Devour teams) I now feel like there’s no where for this game to go in terms of interesting mechanics. It doesn’t matter what your deck does if you can’t take more than 1 or 2 turns.
- Add “PvP Seasons”
- Make them have restricted troop sets that run for 2-3 weeks, designed around promoting novel team combos.
- Consider adding unique, global mechanics to a Season: e.g. all troops have doubled life, all troops stun with skull damage, 4-5 gem combos no longer grant extra turns, etc.
- Use as a replacement for the current Ranked PvP system, but keep and demote the old PvP system in terms of rewards and involvement with weekly-events.
— Thoughts everyone?
(Note to devs: All suggestions I consider to be ideas you’ve already thought of in terms of copyright, and claim no ownership or rights to them. Instead, my mention of these ideas is simply a “vote” for them, and not authorship.)