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Can a mobile ARPG be a mental challenge?

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  • Can a mobile ARPG be a mental challenge?

    Premise: simple to learn but difficult to master games are the best kind. It ensures longevity and years of enjoyment. See D2

    Can a mobile ARPG achieve that aspirational heights where few scaled before? Why don't we give it a shot. Aim high so even when you fail, you land higher than where you started.

    With the above in mind, let me discuss something about game resources with Eternium.

    In many RPG games, there are game resources that must be managed, think hp, mana, memorized spells/day etc. We have some of that in this game but a critical part of the game, the utility spells don't really obey this resource constraint. Essentially the cost to any skill is simply its cooldown. This is simple but at the same time limiting. The reason is given the limited skill slots (3 currently), one only needs to consider its dpc (damage per cast) potential vs how much I can spam it, in other words, dps. Since the cooldown is set for each skill, the decision tend to be black and white. Therefore you have what's considered the cookie cutter skill load out and everyone do the same thing. familiarity breeds contempt. If all we do is the same over and over again, eventually the freshness and the excitement of the game will be gone as the experience becomes just a little less visceral the 20000's time you are seeing it.

    So what can we do to combat this, given that Eternium is at its core a mobile game that comes with its own set of interface limitations?

    Choices, players must have lots of choices. Give a player a blank canvas to paint, the developers will be surprised to learn what masterpieces that can come out of it.

    In my earlier post I addressed the physical skill part of the game where certain things can be done to close some of the gap between mobile and pc users (see normal attack switch fix). In this post I'm attempting to address the mental skill aspect of the game. In short a player should be reward to find that weird combination of skills, effects, stats and gear that the cookie cutter players missed. Any proposed change should also preserve the current game setup in that the potential complexity must be optional, only useful to those that want to take a walk on the path less traveled.

    Suggestion:
    Skill Rune System.
    This is actually an expansion on my earlier skill rune idea. I will only use a few skills to illustrate. I play mainly warriors so I will use its skills as examples. Frankly I see a lot of potential in BH and mage skills as well but I will let those players chime in.

    Any skill will have its basic effects and comes with its standard CD. Runes are available to add/enhance effects/dmg but has a cost in increased CD
    Shockwave: mainstay of any warrior build
    Current SW effects: 800% weapon damage, pull enemies in front of warrior, also deal 800% of total DoT damage on target over next second instantly 15sec CD

    Basic effect: 800% weapon damage and pull all enemies in front of warrior within range
    Base CD: 10 secs
    DoT Finisher Rune: (I'm not going to dream up fancy thematically correct rune names at this juncture) Deal 800% total DoT damage on target over next second instantly, add 5sec CD
    Amp Damage Rune: Targets receive 50% more damage over next 5 seconds stackable to 100%, add 10sec CD
    Weakening Rune: You receive 20% less damage from targets over next 5 seconds, add 2sec CD

    Battle Rage: another top choice
    Current effects: Move towards target at blazing speed, 20% damage boost, 1000 haste, 5 sec duration, 30 sec CD

    Basic effect: Move towards target at blazing speed, 500 haste, 5sec duration, 20 sec CD
    Titan Strength Rune: 20% damage boost, +5 sec CD
    Blade Dancer Rune: +500 additional haste, +5sec CD
    All Day Rune: +2sec duration, +8sec CD

    Deadly Throw:
    Currently effect: 7 attacks for 1600% damage, if shield user, 33% shield armor added to damage, if DW, 1000% bleed damage, 15 sec CD

    Basic effect: 7 attacks for 1600% damage, 12 sec CD
    Eat my shield Rune: Add 33% of shield armor to damage calculation, +3 sec CD
    "Rytrik" Rune: 1000% bleed damage stackable 2 twice, +3sec CD
    Twice is better Rune: 25% chance DT triggered again, +5 sec CD (for those that want to draw less often but have somewhat similar dps)

    Basically now developers have two levers to fine tune a skill. If an effect turns out to be too good, just up the cost in CD. When players can tailor the skill effects to the specific build they have, the choices quickly become endless. The added benefit is that everyone can have their own little secret combo as the skill loadout will not tell the whole story anymore (what runes are those top players using?) Because quite frankly half the fun is speculation how something is done.

    Thoughts? comments? Red (Developer) Adrian (Developer)
    Last edited by Arionthe; 12-07-2017, 12:24 AM.
    GAQO KITO REZO 1934

  • #2
    'Bleed my child'? You might want to edit that... kinda disturbing.

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    • #3
      I was hoping for some more substantive input... but in your honor the name was dropped. Anyway while on discord, I came up with an apt analogy to describe the playing experience difference between PC and mobile.

      For those that are driving, you will get it.
      Stats and gears are like a car, you can have the exact same car, even the same driver, but the driving condition will go along way to determine who can get from pt A to pt B first.

      Mobile playing is like driving in a fog at night, using a PC, on the other hand, is like driving in broad daylight on a 4 lane highway. Same car, same driver, but a much different driving experience.

      It will never be the same, but at least let's equip the car with fog light (normal attack switch), heads up display with infrared (skill buffering), and finally just pop in the autopilot software (skill rune system). There you go.
      GAQO KITO REZO 1934

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      • #4
        From my understanding for games in general, its less about character skills; more about game content. Most arpgs have an endgame build, whether it be for skills or equipment. They are furiously tested by the top players patch after patch to find out the best combination/synergy in each criteria, and the result is 'that build'.

        Imo releasing an idea like yours would only set eternium off track. Most people are waiting for newer content, increased inventory, and multiplayer. Character skills are usually changed every now and then anyways so there will probably be new builds in the future. One thing, though, is that auto target could use a huge rework.

        I totally agree that pc and mobile is different, but the driving analogy is a little off. The way of where to go in this game is clear. Its just that gameplay is a lot more crisp for pc players. It should be more like driving an ordinary car vs driving a luxury car. Pc players just have it a bit easier to achieve high level play.

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        • #5
          I like the driving analogy. We are all playing on the same road but.....mobile players are in a 70's pre computer truck. No power steering, no cruise control, no Sat Nav. What, you want power windows and heated seats? Gotta upgrade to a PC.
          And I think the rune name is funny.
          Last edited by Skizzity; 12-07-2017, 04:35 PM. Reason: Rytrik Rune

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          • #6
            I tend to think of game content as the game world that us players look to conquer. Skills/stats/gears are the tools at our disposal to do so. To me build choices are paramount to keep a game fresh even when the contents are the same. Why we were willing to kill diablo for the 10000th time? It's not because the animation is any different. It's the thrill of finding that new combo, new strategy, a new way of achieving the same result. So I think build diversity is a game multiplier. It makes the same old content new. What I suggested is just a system to allow greater build diversity and also easy way for developers to calibrate the skills and their associated costs (CDs).

            If the foundation is there, new runes/skill modifications can be introduced over time. I know it is a significant undertaking. But I think it's an effort worth making to keep this game relevant for a long time. Heck every skill can have just one rune for now, essentially duplicating the current skills. But with the system in place, this opens up possibilities.

            If each skill has 3 runes, the total number of possible permutation of skill combinations will be mind boggling. To Faelyn point about top players play test the best builds patch after patch thus new cookie cutter builds rises to the top. I have two counters.

            1) This game is played under two wildly different environments (PC and mobile). What works on PC doesn't work as well on mobile. Think Full Assault vs Full Stalker. Compromises are made when you have to think about the interface limitations of the platform. Thus there is no best build. There is only the best build that suits your playing style under the your playing environment.
            2) Gear, specifically jewelry has out sized influence on one's performance in this game. However no one has a tailored set of jewelry for every imaginable build. This means small compromises are always made. The grind needed to acquire the gemstones to just test out an idea? That's probably beyond the reach of even the most dedicated player. So there is still much mystery left. Thus when resources are limited, one can't just randomly test out the most efficient build every patch. There will be more guesswork involved in Eternium.

            I recall no one wanted full assault until Red made one. Was Red the only good BH player? Of course not.

            Let's give players' imaginations more credit. Let's make the ground more fertile for their ideas to germinate. After all, what does my suggestion hurt? It just lays the foundation for everyone to be different and still have fun.
            GAQO KITO REZO 1934

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Arionthe View Post
              1) This game is played under two wildly different environments (PC and mobile). What works on PC doesn't work as well on mobile. Think Full Assault vs Full Stalker. Compromises are made when you have to think about the interface limitations of the platform. Thus there is no best build. There is only the best build that suits your playing style under the your playing environment.
              2) Gear, specifically jewelry has out sized influence on one's performance in this game. However no one has a tailored set of jewelry for every imaginable build. This means small compromises are always made. The grind needed to acquire the gemstones to just test out an idea? That's probably beyond the reach of even the most dedicated player. So there is still much mystery left. Thus when resources are limited, one can't just randomly test out the most efficient build every patch. There will be more guesswork involved in Eternium.

              I recall no one wanted full assault until Red made one. Was Red the only good BH player? Of course not.

              Let's give players' imaginations more credit. Let's make the ground more fertile for their ideas to germinate. After all, what does my suggestion hurt? It just lays the foundation for everyone to be different and still have fun.
              1) That does not mean much, only that the best builds for pc and best builds for mobile are different. Whatever the playing style, it revolves around putting out as much dps as you can to beat the 10 minute mark, and there are set combinations to do just that whether you are on pc or mobile. That is the current meta. Technically i can build full tank and damage reflect on a warrior and pass trials, but i will not advance in the game because i wont get it within the 10 min timer. The main point of this game in the end is to further improve in trials, is it not?

              2) I am sorry but you just point out the obvious. If jewelry is important, then get jewelry. Simple, you either do it or you dont. There is no reason to create jewelry for every build because the build is mostly about dps in this game. The majority or other builds are not viable to compete. Viable to have fun, maybe, but not viable to climb. Again, its simple. The best builds center around the best combination of select stats. Other builds and stat importance will not rise until the meta changes. Discoveries are also made by mistakes at times.

              I am not putting down your suggestions, but you do leave a lot of room for argument. Do take note that my points mostly refer to competitive players. As a casual you can do anything you want to just have fun.
              Last edited by Faelyn; 12-08-2017, 08:06 AM.

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              • #8
                1) your statement is mostly true for the current meta. That is partly my motivation to suggest the skill rune system. So we have a more intricate skill rune combination foundation to allow for true tailored builds and, with luck, greater build diversity. Even if the end goal is DPS because the only end game content at the moment is high end trials which favors DPS over other considerations, this may just be a temporary situation as more end game content is released. However having a flexible foundation that allows greater build diversity will only become more valuable when other game modes show up. I take pride in taking the path less traveled. That is why I like to tinker and theorycraft what might work. Even with the limited skill foundation we have today, and even with the singular goal of DPS to pass high trials, you can still take multiple paths towards the same goal. Trials are made up of two parts, trash mobs and the boss. You can calibrate your build for excellence in 1 vs the other, or both. But at least you have some choices to be made. I play a shield warrior. Admittingly the current meta favors DW over shield warrior quite substantially (no matter what Red might think, actually would be interesting to see Red (Developer) weight in here), but I'm a pure mobile player. I no longer have the finger dexterity of my quake 2 days. So I compromise and decide on a build that fits my aims. I also play differently, chose my gear and stats and skills a bit differently. I'm only 1 level lower than the current highest shield warrior on trial. This is with a significantly less sheet DPS and xp gear. This is just to show that even with the current limitations and the DPS > all setting, you can still do it differently.

                2) Unlike top players in D3, jewelry is the limiting factor in this game. The grind time needed to get that perfect set is long even with the currency boosters. So less is definitive, more room for guess work. I sorta know what I want, but the investment needed to get exactly the pieces I need is foreboding.

                I still think choices, and the presence of a lot of choices will enliven the game. If there is the best, it simply motivates me to do it differently and still come close.
                GAQO KITO REZO 1934

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                • #9
                  general suggestions- mana pts, more kinds of items, maybe a new character, bring back the old Eileen skin(we have Annabelle), use the previous font style, change name once more, more set items, companions can equip items too.. man, the list can go longer than expected.. I hope the devs can hear my ideas out.. will post again if I remember something

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