Honestly, the only reason they need high level content in the way you describe is because they keep offering hero exp as if it is some kind of reward point. Early on, most of your masteries should be coming from your guild, so hero level doesn’t do much other add a few skill points to the hero only (and class level means a lot more) while also massively scaling up quests and pitting you against tougher and tougher PvP opponents. By the time you hit the mid 200s, mastery levels are barely impactful and you’ve already started to massively level off and it becomes progressively more and more meaningless in both impacting your score bonus/PvP matchmaking and the power and speed, and you’ve already unlocked every weapon unlockable with masteries. Now, I’d say that beyond that, level is just an easy way to denote how long you have been playing and categorize you accordingly, except the game is peppered with ways to get bonus xp but no real reason to get them other than “I want to see a bigger number when I look at my hero level”.
It would be simply a bad idea to gate of entire game features by requiring hundreds of hours of play to see them. It would be an even worse idea to divide the playerbase based on the currently arbitrary level number by either segregating them from the rest of the playerbase or giving them stronger tools to use. Plus, the simple fact remains that, unless you time lock your content, someone is going to blow through all of it before even all of the playerbase that is at the same level of progression has even seen it. No individual battle with the currently existing mechanics in the game is going to last more than a few minutes (even with hyper inflated stats, if it is possible, it wont take long) without revolving around some abhorrent design choices. Just making something not-obvious on how to tackle it doesn’t mean someone in a pool of hundreds if not thousands of players won’t figure it out immediately, and if it is intuitive, you’d hope most people would. Gems of War isn’t that complicated of a game - theres some nuance to some very specific things, but it is not complicated.
I don’t think new kingdoms are needed here. A few collectible hero weapons based on the higher levels of hero mastery points you need to obtain through leveling would do the trick. Spread them out, make them not total garbage, but also not better than every other option in almost every situation and don’t allow them in arena if they would break the whole experience. The idea of having a few things to chase after you hit a milestone that by in large doesn’t mean anything currently is a good one, but having it fundamentally and instantly change the game based on this arbitrary number is bad. It needs to be a natural evolution/progression of what we currently have without also interfering too much with what we do (eg., I want level 1000 because there is a shiny I can get after that point, not I need level 1000+ or I cant be competitive because the shiny is the best/only way to counter this meta-mechanic.)
My definition of “high level” content has nothing to do with level. I would define it as: Infinitely repeatable content that isn’t completely trivial when you have unlocked most troops and skill bonuses (or at the very least, something you can engage with, meaning I’m making relevant choices) and not have be subjected to the whims of player selection defining what the content is, like every currently repeatable not completely trivial mode currently does (PvP, guild wars, even Arena). The new guild events come close except for two major factors: they have a time gated entry fee (not repeatable) and they are only available during certain periods of time (not really infinite either). Bounty seems to be repeatable, but also appears during a very limited amount of time and appears more centered around having Bounty troops and cramming as many of them into your team as possible to maximize what you get for a given battle (kind of like Necromancy is for soul gain most of the time, but way worse because they start at +200% each for the weakest trait). So, in the end, most gameplay after checking the daily boxes involves being funneled back into PvP using the same teams versus the same teams until something huge and meta shaking happens, the novelty of which quickly wears off in comparison to how long it takes the next meta-shaking change to happen; completely trivial explores where you don’t even have to swipe gems for mana and cast two spells to win; Arena which has its own set of problems; or Treasure Hunt which is completely divorced from the rest of the game and gives no feel if progression at all.
If you define High Level content like that, then yes, we need to see a lot more of it.
- Giving a reason to actually gain hero levels: ok. (they could also stop pretending that xp bonuses are desirable as a means of power growth)
- New long term goals after you have completed current long term goals: good.
- New modes where it is actually viable to (repeatedly) spend your time but you have to tackle in different ways: great.
- Gating playable content based on hero level: bad.
- Gating anything that could influence competition mechanics based on hero level and dividing the playerbase even further: terrible.