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Mighty Quest For Epic Loot: How to make this game concept better?

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Hello everyone,

 

I've been lurking around in these forums for many years now. This might be my first post, but I hope I am familiar enough with the rules, and that my post would be taken positively.

 

I would like to get your thoughts on the game "The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot". For those who do not know the game, I would say it's a Clash of Clans meets Torchlight II kind of game. The main objectives in the game are as follows:

  • Build your castle
  • Attack castles of other players with your "heroes"
  • Win to gain castle points, which will be used to determine your rank, or die in battle and lose your points
    • You get rewarded for gaining and maintaining ranks
  • Loot crafting materials and "hero" gear
  • Repeat

the-mighty-quest-for-epic-loot-gameplay2

 

That's it. Pretty simple and straightforward. The game looks good and plays well. However, the game is losing audience constantly (http://steamcharts.com/app/239220 for reference). Here I am summing up the points that I've witnessed, in addition to what I heard from other players:

  • There's not much variety in game play. While there is creativity in castles built by different players, you're doing the same thing over and over, which is attacking castles.
  • Buying game packages makes your castle unbeatable. These packages provide users with epic grade defenses, which otherwise would take months to farm.
  • After a certain level you hit a plateau, where castles become exponentially hard to beat, and progression slows down a lot.
  • After you hit the level cap, only thing left to do is grind for epic loot.

So, here I am asking, what would you do to improve the concept of this game?

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Oh I played that for a couple days.  One problem is that you can pretty much only have negative interactions with other players.  It doesn't build community in a positive way that many online humorous games do.  Another thing is it has no minigames.  And the crafting isn't something you can really play with.  I don't think you can even change the colors of your castle decorations...?

 

I think the first thing I'd do to improve the concept is allow players to design several dungeons, with the cost of elements used in the dungeon determining the dungeon's level for other players.  That would facilitate experimenting with different elements and layouts because you could compete your designs against each other.  Also I'd go play Overlord 2 for some inspiration, since the concept is kind of similar (for a single-player game where you don't actually design dungeons).  And I'd absolutely have NPC adventuring parties.

Edited by sunandshadow

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I don't think you can even change the colors of your castle decorations.

No you can't. Customization is very limited in this game.

 

 

 

Another thing is it has no minigames

From reading your posts over the years, I expected that you would mention this biggrin.png I think that you have a good point on minigames, it's something I want to experiment with in my designs.

 

 

 

Also I'd go play Overlord 2 for some inspiration, since the concept is kind of similar

Think that's a game I should play.

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I'm sorry to hear you are loosing players. I was watching this game some time ago while it was in closed beta (I believe?) and it looked very appealing. Later if felt of my radar but when I "rediscovered" it after full release I didn't even tried it. The reason in my case was one of the points you mentioned - the "pay to win" model. Most of the reviews on steam point it out and for sure you are loosing a lot of potential customers because of it.

 

Disclaimer: I have no market experience in games area so following are just my speculations and may not be valid at all smile.png

 

First and foremost I would change financial model. No amount of money should be able to protect your castle from good and dedicated non-paying player (also the other way). Some advantage is ok, but not "pay-to-win". Maybe limit of what you can buy at all or add more random rewards for paying players (only chests of random loot).

I would also add many decorative items (both paid and "farmable"), so players can choose to pay because they want their castle look better instead of feeling forced to do so.

In short term it for sure will cut your revenue but may be better in longer run.

 

 

 


There's not much variety in game play. While there is creativity in castles built by different players, you're doing the same thing over and over, which is attacking castles.

This may not be quite true. I think there is hardly any game more repetitive than Diable 3 and there is a lot of whining on their forums about it, yet the game still holds strong playerbase with more and more new players buying it. You may want to implement "ranged stats" In your game (maybe even for traps) so players will always have something to upgrade as there never will be "perfect roll" on everything.

 

 

 


After you hit the level cap, only thing left to do is grind for epic loot.

Game should start, not finish on level cap. See Diablo 3, World of Warcraft or basically any other MMO. Maybe add NPC castles only available for top level players that offer greater rewards? Like unique decorations or custom skins for your minions?

 

Also I'm not sure how your games handles returning players? Is your castle completely destroyed and your rank down to 1? Or can you pick the game again after few weeks without much penalty?

Edited by Deflinek

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I played that for a bit. The biggest problem I had was that the player interactions were too simple. I felt like I was playing alone, basically, and the game became a more boring path of exile.

 

And yeah, Overlord/Raising hell/Overlord 2 are awesome. I haven't tried the new RPG they just came out with yet, though.

Edited by conquestor3

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I'm sorry to hear you are loosing players. I was watching this game some time ago while it was in closed beta (I believe?) and it looked very appealing. Later if felt of my radar but when I "rediscovered" it after full release I didn't even tried it. The reason in my case was one of the points you mentioned - the "pay to win" model. Most of the reviews on steam point it out and for sure you are loosing a lot of potential customers because of it.

 

Disclaimer: I have no market experience in games area so following are just my speculations and may not be valid at all smile.png

 

First and foremost I would change financial model. No amount of money should be able to protect your castle from good and dedicated non-paying player (also the other way). Some advantage is ok, but not "pay-to-win". Maybe limit of what you can buy at all or add more random rewards for paying players (only chests of random loot).

I would also add many decorative items (both paid and "farmable"), so players can choose to pay because they want their castle look better instead of feeling forced to do so.

In short term it for sure will cut your revenue but may be better in longer run.

 

 

 


There's not much variety in game play. While there is creativity in castles built by different players, you're doing the same thing over and over, which is attacking castles.

This may not be quite true. I think there is hardly any game more repetitive than Diable 3 and there is a lot of whining on their forums about it, yet the game still holds strong playerbase with more and more new players buying it. You may want to implement "ranged stats" In your game (maybe even for traps) so players will always have something to upgrade as there never will be "perfect roll" on everything.

 

 

 


After you hit the level cap, only thing left to do is grind for epic loot.

Game should start, not finish on level cap. See Diablo 3, World of Warcraft or basically any other MMO. Maybe add NPC castles only available for top level players that offer greater rewards? Like unique decorations or custom skins for your minions?

 

Also I'm not sure how your games handles returning players? Is your castle completely destroyed and your rank down to 1? Or can you pick the game again after few weeks without much penalty?

 

I would've loved it if this game was mine, but it is owned by Ubisoft biggrin.png I agree with you regarding pay to win model being unacceptable. What I am trying to do here is take opinions on what could've been done better. Maybe one day, ten years from now, I will be able to create something that plays better rolleyes.gif

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I played that for a bit. The biggest problem I had was that the player interactions were too simple. I felt like I was playing alone, basically, and the game became a more boring path of exile.

 

And yeah, Overlord/Raising hell/Overlord 2 are awesome. I haven't tried the new RPG they just came out with yet, though.

That too is an issue. I am not sure if asymmetric/asynchronous interaction plays well for a similar game type. Given the immersive experience it provides, probably users expect more out of it.

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I don't see that the game is losing audience from those numbers.

What I see is a slightly broader spike that coincides with the date of the open beta release, and a very high, narrow spike at and around the date of release. Paste the numbers into a spreadsheet and plot them, you'll see what I mean. Below are the average concurrent users:
sQmtPne.png

That could mean three things, in my opinion:
1. Maybe your audience craves for an update, another release (maybe one where you can customize more) will create another such spike. Also note that the graph is lowest during the 3 months after the watchdog-themed clothing/bandana additional content was removed. Coincidence? Maybe. But I would read it as "audience wants more fancy clothes".
2. Maybe the spikes were just "release hype", and the audience overall thinks the game is just bad, or at least it doesn't appeal to them. They played it for a day, it wasn't fun and they went on (hopefully it's not that one!).
3. Maybe these are just the normal numbers that you should expect. Note that it shows "481 playing now, 24-hour peak 788", not "481 played last month". That is, concurrent players. 500-800 concurrent players is not that bad. Sure, a company like Ubisoft would likely expect more. But consider that by its design and all, this game is more a not-all-too-serious "indie niche game" rather than, say, Assassin's Creed. Most indie developers of such a game would be extremely happy having 500 concurrent users (... at peak times, not on the average!).

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1. Maybe your audience craves for an update, another release (maybe one where you can customize more) will create another such spike. Also note that the graph is lowest during the 3 months after the watchdog-themed clothing/bandana additional content was removed. Coincidence? Maybe. But I would read it as "audience wants more fancy clothes".
2. Maybe the spikes were just "release hype", and the audience overall thinks the game is just bad, or at least it doesn't appeal to them. They played it for a day, it wasn't fun and they went on (hopefully it's not that one!).
3. Maybe these are just the normal numbers that you should expect. Note that it shows "481 playing now, 24-hour peak 788", not "481 played last month". That is, concurrent players. 500-800 concurrent players is not that bad. Sure, a company like Ubisoft would likely expect more. But consider that by its design and all, this game is more a not-all-too-serious "indie niche game" rather than, say, Assassin's Creed. Most indie developers of such a game would be extremely happy having 500 concurrent users (... at peak times, not on the average!).

 

I like your point of view, looking at the issue from a chronological perspective. To be honest, I do not have enough supporting data to correlate the spikes and drops of the numbers of user, however, I was judging by numbers of average players since March 2015.

 

As you said in point 1, it is something that happens in other online games as well. Take any of the major titles that receive updates each 6 months to 1 year, they will have spikes when the new content is released, and then user numbers start to fall down. However, this is not the main point here. I was looking for actual solutions to make the game more playable, and make players want to stay past the 10 hours playtime plateau.

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How about you get a dockyard attached to the side of your castle and you get a flying boat that you can upgrade and use to dock to the entrance of an enemy keep, which allows you to organize a raiding party and bring a bunch of monsters to flood into the front door with you. Maybe space for setting up a turret or other piece of useful raiding equipment.

 

Additionally, you could collect resources for upgrades and skins for existing content to decorate your work in new ways. Perhaps you could collect "morph energy" that allow you a reroll on an existing epic weapon to recycle existing weapons. Also if you got say 10 identical weapons you could use a device to combine them into weapon of a higher grade, but they have to be the same kind of weapon to start with. So collect morphs to change unwanted weapons until you get 10 of the same type, then repeat for higher levels. Maybe 10 could be too low or high, idk what the drop rates are like. The point is to have multiple activities running at once, preferably one kind feeling long term and at least one more feeling shorter term. By the time they've done one task for too long they've probably got a drop that will remind them of another task they could do.

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