With live viewer numbers exceeding 500 on the version 5.0 preview stream, I think it’s fair to say a lot of players are both excited and wary about the incoming patch. Alongside others’ feedback, here’s my thoughts, from what I saw on the stream.
I think the Campaigns are a great feature, and love the idea of actually incorporating the lore of the world into the game – especially since I can’t remember anything that happened in the story! But I do see some issues:
Issues for new players as they come into the game.
First up, I sincerely hope that when a new player starts the game, they have a way to access previous campaign lore. Even more, I hope they’re encouraged to view it. The easiest option would be to unlock and display each past campaign’s lore once the quests for the associated kingdom are completed.
Second, key pool dilution has become a major problem for new players. And it will soon become a problem for existing players unable to buy the Elite pass for each Campaign.
Essentially, there will (probably already has) come a point where it will be almost completely impossible for a new player to obtain every non-cash item in the game, even if they join a top 10 guild that does 50 Legendary Tasks a week. I don’t know the exact calculation, but there is a hard limit to the number of Gem and Glory keys an individual player can receive per month without spending real money. The pool of Mythic and Legendary troops now in the game is so large that, on average, a new player can never get enough keys to both fully Ascend their existing troops and keep up with the influx of new troops.
Once the futility of the task becomes apparent to a new player, they are much less likely to continue playing than if they were given another option – some kind of hope that they might one day catch up.
Issues with the Elite-pass Mythic.
There is a Mythic only available initially if you buy the Elite pass with real money. On-stream, Salty said that wasn’t a problem because it will be available from keys and the Soulforge a few weeks later. However, that’s a straw-man argument. Why? Because there’s already too many Mythics in the game to craft them in a reasonable time from Diamonds. Additionally, the chances of getting that Mythic from keys is essentially negligible – it’s just never going to happen.
Are the devs and/or publisher insisting on milking players for more money? That would be very strange for a game they insist is constantly growing. All it does is alienate the existing players, and spread bad word-of-mouth. A lot of publishers have grown astonishingly greedy in the past 5 years. Has this happened to Gems of War? I bloody hope not!
So, unless it is just about money, I think a new way of obtaining the Elite pass Mythics absolutely must be added! And include anything else exclusive that might show up in future. There’s heaps of options; here’s just a few, off the top of my head:
- Make Elite-pass Mythics as common as Legendary troops from the respective kingdom’s Event Keys (but only if you don’t have a copy already).
- Make Elite-pass Mythics the only Mythic drops during Tower of Doom week.
- Introduce a new type of key.
- Include the previous Campaign’s Elite-pass Mythic as the final non-Elite reward in the following Campaign.
- Allow us to spend Gems that increase the chance of a selected Mythic dropping from any key to the same of getting any Legendary (eg: 2% chance of getting the selected Mythic from a single Gem Key).
- Halve the Diamond cost of Elite-pass Mythics.
I could easily keep going.
The potential for near-impossible tasks.
Campaign tasks cannot be generated completely at random, or some will be near-impossible to complete. The most obvious example: kill 6 Dungeon bosses appearing as the last task of the last week of the Campaign!
If I were building a random task generator, I would include rules like the following:
- Some tasks cannot appear in the second half of each weekly batch.
- Some tasks cannot appear in the last week of the campaign.
- Some tasks cannot appear more than three times in a campaign, and never in successive weeks.
- Some tasks must appear in a certain order within one week.
Issues with Doomed Weapon upgrades.
For most players, maxing all of their Doomed weapons is simply not feasible. It’s also very wasteful to buy multiple copies of Tier VII just for the Forge Scrolls.
I believe this does need to be addressed, with two approaches:
a) Stop introducing new Doomed Weapons.
b) Add more ways to obtain Forge Scrolls.
The first has the advantage of making life easier for the weapon designers. It also gives hope to new players that they might, one day, obtain all the Doomed weapons. The second has so many different possibilities, I’m sure at least one can be found that satisfies both players and publisher!
New user interface oddities.
- Gold tasks first is the reverse of every other similar thing in the game.
- In World Events, I suggest applying red borders to mark troops with special traits that we can’t otherwise tell exist.
- Rather than putting “Except Training Battles” next to every task, wouldn’t it be easier (and far less confusing) to change the text before Training Battles: “You will not receive any rewards, nor progress towards Campaign tasks.”?
Stuff that should have been fixed months or years ago.
- The results of past events should be visible for at least a week, especially Guild Wars. I’ve already shown you the most obvious way to include this in the interface.
- Improve the Filter behaviour and fix the double-arrows so they always move further than single arrows.
- Use (i) instead of (?) icon, where it’s more appropriate.
- And all the other stuff I’ve mentioned many times before: Gems of War GUI Pain Points
Unfortunately, headings and text formatting don’t mix with collapsing sections…