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What would truly difficult content look like?

There isn’t a whole lot of content in the game, if any, that is actually difficult once you have the troops and stats required to overcome it. The most difficult content right now is doing pure faction level 500 delves without potions, and even then, it comes down to which delves you’re doing (with Fang Moor and The Warrens being some of the most difficult), and how much gold you’re willing to throw at Hoard level.

But what if content came out that significantly ramped up the difficulty? What if there was “Dungeon” style content – troops with modified abilities and traits – that blew everything else out of the water. What if you were faced against four troops that all had:

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Do you think that’d be fun? Would you be up for the challenge?

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To make truly challenging content I think there would have to be more than the cudgel of stat-increases that most content has at the moment.

Requiring a player to solve puzzles would be challenging. I’m not sure what that would look like, but something like requiring a sequence of “unlock” conditions to let a player progress to the next board, or use their spells, etc… could be neat.

In a similar vein, countdown timers like Treasure Hunts have could force a player to tackle certain challenges efficiently. If done well, this could incentivize players not just to loop, or to use high-mana cards that take too long to fill. Or imagine a type of skull that would hurt the player rather than the opponent — and start dropping after a set amount of turns, and increase in spawn rate every 5 moves thereafter…

I like the idea of a marathon mode, where you’d have to kill as many endlessly-spawning opponents with your single team as possible. Include things that deathmark, curse, etc… to make sure someone couldn’t just endlessly tank with Sycorax. This wouldn’t really be challenging, perhaps — but could be if you also had to go in with a specific team (maybe a weekly challenge with some small carrot at the end: “This week, manage to churn through at least 100 undead opponents starting with only Baby Dragons on your team!”).

Ultimate Guild Wars would be a challenge. The game has a record of all the teams set in Bracket 1 every month — allow any player to play every defense team set within that month. (30_people * 6_defenses * 10 guilds) = 1800 battles a month, which would break down to an incredibly-difficult set of ~60 battles a day. Attach these to a leaderboard with a Power Orb — s/he with the highest total score at the end of the month wins!

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No, because that would mean yet another event to grind and unless they are going to start removing old things I think we are well past capacity.

I agree with Magnusimus. Mere stats is just … binary. Either you can or you can’t. And we have an awful lot of that. Get a troop with barriers or scaling abilities or self stat buffing and things get easier.

I suppose I’m being more than a little cynical here, but I can’t see such content being worth developing from a financial perspective. It appeals to too small a fraction of the player base, and there is little that can be monetized without compromising either the fairness or the difficulty of the content. I enjoy the challenge and strategy of doing PF500s, but people can and do just steamroll through them by buying lots of potions. This proposed content would forbid that by its very nature.

Back on topic, I think an interesting framework to be to introduce a mode with successive restrictions the further you progress—banning any troop that you’ve used more than four times, empowered troops, trolls, red mages, etc. This encourages the use of otherwise unappealing troops without (seemingly?) much coding overhead.

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I agree, this would be fun!

Like a delve, but the “persistence of death” would apply to the entire team each match, forcing a re-draft each subsequent battle.

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Remember how you could turn on “skulls” to make the Halo campaign more difficult? I would like to see a mode like that in GoW. There is virtually an unlimited variety of “skulls” they could come up with.

Enemy does double damage
Enemy takes half damage
Enemy starts empowered
Enemy starts first
Enemy has 50% chance of extra turn every turn
Enemy gains double mana
Enemy’s skull damage is lethal

You could also have “skulls” that affect the player too.

Player starts out all troops poisoned/cursed etc.
When player matches “x” color mana they lose that much health
When player matches skulls they give health to the enemy instead of taking it
Player troops get silenced after casting a spell
Player troops get entanged after doing skull damage

Turning on each “skull” improves rewards. Or they could make it a random 3 “skulls” or random 5 “skulls” so you can’t build your team to suit and just have to deal with it when match begins :crazy_face:

Obviously this is just a small sample of the “skulls” they could come up with. There could even be ones that benefit the player too. Or ones that just make a cosmetic difference to the match just for funsies.

I reckon this would be heaps of fun. Possibly even more fun that randomized scoring in world events? Nah, nothing is more fun that that!

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In my opinion, a challenge for a lot of players would be something along the lines of “player cannot get any extra turns”. Because so many of the teams and strategies utilized at the top end of things depends very heavily on board control and the ability to loop as to stop the enemy from doing things.

Mind you, developing these sorts of challenges would have to have commensurate rewards to be worthwhile. Otherwise, some of us would ignore it entirely and many of the rest of us would likely only do it to get whatever trophy was attached to it. Unless the developers compounded it by putting some sort of “score” mechanism on the mode and then requiring certain amounts of points for kingdom progress if they ever go beyond 30.

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Just grind ARENA. You’ll find what you’re looking for.

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Seeing as most of people complain about doing PF500… i doubt it would be fun for majority of playerbase… it might be fun for some extreme harcore players that are looking for extra challenges, but not at all for anyone else…

Fighting such battles would require:

  1. careful planning
  2. not being screwed by RNG every now and then

with factor #2 being more meaningful.

Personally I’d prefer DEV team to use their time and effort into something else: that could be fun, but not nessesary difficult (like Gnome-a-Palooza is fun, and isn’t difficult at all, at least once you grinded up for all verses).

I personaly think that game need a more dynamic pvp mode, that would involve:

  • breaking the meta teams we all know from current pvp system
  • teambuilding on every
  • carefull planning of your actions while playing
  • more active-active experience (in contrary to active-passive currently present)

And that’s where I see (sorry for self- advertising here) pvp tournaments could fill the gap:

especialy with addition of:

Edit:
I also like @Fleg idea of introducing a mode that would make things more exotic…or maybe just an exotic campaign
Like one, where all magic was shut, and every troop gets silenced once they cast- that would apply to all WE battles for whole 10 weeks.
Or a campaign where every troop would get fatigue, as they are used in battles → once your troop gets used 4 times it’s unavaible for current WE.

Ofc, this can be just another mode, with such extra challenges applied.

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Players are able to game just about any game mode as long as all troops are available. See delves, you can easily rush to level 500 without a single loss, even with the imposed color restrictions. It only gets challenging once you are seriously limited in forming a team plays well together.

I’d like to see a deck building game mode. A sequence of battles against progressively tougher opponents. Possibly represented as some randomly generated road you follow from start to end, with some steps containing mutually exclusive choices. Not all steps should be battles, some could provide positive/negative buffs or other advantages/disadvantages that persist throughout the road. You start out with a small set of loaner troops to build your team with, e.g. 8 random common troops, no traits, no bonuses. You get additional troops to use as you progress, e.g. as battle rewards. You can reconfigure your team any time you want, subject to the troops in your road pool.

Example road:
1.) [Fight easy battle, get random rare troop added to pool]
2.) [Fight moderate battle, get random epic troop added to pool] or [Get Hellhound added to pool]
3.) [All future opponents get Water Link] or [All future opponents get Earth Link] or [All future opponents get Air Link]
4.) [Select troop in pool, transform it into a random one of same rarity] or [Fight moderate battle, pick between War Sphinx and Winter Wolf to get added to pool]
5.) [Fight easy battle, opponent troops will be two levels higher in all future fights] or [Fight tough battle, your troops will be one level higher in all future fights]
6.) [Fight tough battle, pick two of four random epic troops to get added to the pool] or [Fight tough battle, pick one of two random legendary troops to get added to the pool]
7.) [Select troop in pool, get additional copy added to pool] or [Select troop in pool, get all traits]
8.) [Fight easy battle, all troops used get removed from pool]
9.) [Fight tough battle, all future opponents take 50% more skull damage] or [Fight tough battle, all future opponents take 50% more spell damage] or [Fight murderous battle, all future troop picks are one rarity level higher].
10.) [For the next battle your whole team starts with full mana] or [For the next three battles your last troop starts with full mana].

X.) [Collect the Phat Loot. Cheer.]

Lots of ways to expand on this. Could possibly be a roguelike mode, lose a fight and you have to restart, pick difficulty for shorter/longer roads. Could possibly also introduce some new currency that allows you to permanently improve your future odds, e.g. by adding more starting troop picks, adding slight stats boosts, adding buffs for the first few fights, adding limited number of extra options to pick from (like 1x [Pass], move on to the next step).

Sort of like Delve, just with a lot more randomness involved, requiring you to improvise to survive.

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So a cross between a delve and ToD.

And some Arena sprinkled in.

A very simple way to represent it would be as a chain of events. You would only ever see the current event, offering 1 - 3 event actions to pick from. Each action would show you what you need to do (e.g. fight team shown in preview) and what you would get out of it (e.g. a pre-rolled random troop added to pool), possibly represented as some card similar to Delve. A more fleshed out approach could even add a small story to each event, e.g.:

Goblins eat anything. This particular group of famished goblins if about to cook a {random rare troop}.
Will you:

1.) Fight the famished goblins (preview: random low-rarity goblin team, all starting Enraged), rescuing the {preview: random rare troop} to join your adventure.
2.) Wait till they have finished feasting, then fight them (preview: random low-rarity goblin team, all with Goblin Bond trait) for their treasures (preview: 2500 gold).

A lone hooded figure steps into the road in front of you. “The King of Thieves sends his regards”, it whispers, “and would like to return the favor of your visit”. There’s a glint of metal as it pulls a dagger from its cloak, as well as the sound of several muskets getting cocked coming from behind you.
Will you:

1.) Fight the ambush (preview: 1x Bandit, 3x Musketeer, all with Empowered trait).
2.) Make a run for it, leaving one of your companions behind to cause a distraction.

The road splits up here. The left branch leads into a dark canyon, the right branch through a sunny meadow. There’s also a barely perceptible path through some think undergrowth in the middle, more like an animal track than something built.
Will you:

1.) Take the dark path through the canyon (preview: permanent effect, +1 purple mana, -1 yellow mana)
2.) Take the light path through the meadow (preview: permanent effect, +1 yellow mana, -1 purple mana)
3.) Hack your way through the undergrowth (preview: permanent effect: +1 green mana, next battle: start Entangled)

Obviously only works if there is a resonably large number of events to randomly pick from and a reasonably good generator to string them together. Events would benefit from some rarity attribute (so there could be some very powerful ones you don’t see often, e.g. getting the real Zuul into your pool), some difficulty attribute (so tougher ones tend to show up later) and some desirability attribute (so the good/bad ones could be balanced out). Explicit resource rewards obtained on your adventure (like the 2500 gold from the goblin fight) could also first go into an adventure stash and only get paid out at the end (if anything remains), allowing events like this:

You stumble upon a hunter camp. Growling and hissing comes from several cages stacked around you, with some especially peculiar noises emanating from a box covered with a huge piece of cloth. One of the hunters notices your interest and moves over. “Care for a deal?”.
Will you:

1.) Spend your adventure gains (preview: 3000 gold) to buy the {preview: random epic beast}, adding it to your party [blanked out, not enough gold]
2.) Spend your adventure gains (preview: 1500 gold) to buy the {preview: random ultra-rare beast}, adding it to your party
3.) Volunteer to adopt whatever is in the mystery body everybody seems to be avoiding (preview: random common beast, rolled up only once option gets picked)

Once you have the framework it’s pretty easy to extend with additional events just through configuration.

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Yeah Arena is still a good place to die

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