[Suggestion] Replayability

By on November 27, 2014 5:55:30 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

HenriHakl

Join Date 09/2011
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This suggestion may be in the category of wishful thinking, but I think Sorcerer King can take a page out of the other recent very successful asymmetric strategy game: FTL (Faster Than Light). A very nice feature in FTL that I think goes a long way to enhancing the replayability of the game is that whenever you finish the game with a particular spaceship, an alternate design for that spaceship is unlocked.

This goes completely beyond the cosmetic, the new ship design allows you to play the game entirely differently.

What is attractive about such an idea (other than replayability for the user) is that it requires very little in terms of new art assets; and it allows the game designers to explore an alternate interpretation of the "tyrant", "guardian" and "warlord".

Where, for argument's sake, the Wizard (normal) has the ability to use hypnotism to change the allegiance of enemies; the Wizard (unlocked) may instead receive units for free (no cost no upkeep) every few turns through his ongoing summoning rituals.

Where the Guardian (normal) can return broken land to healthy nurture, the Guardian (unlocked) might have the ability to prevent land she controls to become broken in the first place.

This has an additional advantage that (even more) unbalanced abilities can be brought to bear in the alternate form of the sovereigns; they represent a "Game+" form of play and it is okay for things to be (even more) derailed than in the normal game.

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November 27, 2014 8:26:09 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

Heh. 

Believe it or not, that's exactly how the sovereign concept started.

Originally you would ONLY get the Wizard and you had to win though the Wizard. Doing so unlocked 2 more Sovereigns.  And winning with those sovereigns unlocked additional sovereigns.  

On the team, I was the only one who wanted that however. 

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November 27, 2014 8:27:34 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

I like this idea.  This incentivizes players to play and finish games with just a little 'gift' of in-game content.

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November 27, 2014 9:38:13 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


Originally you would ONLY get the Wizard and you had to win though the Wizard. Doing so unlocked 2 more Sovereigns.  And winning with those sovereigns unlocked additional sovereigns.  

 

Please do not do that.....

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November 28, 2014 4:14:55 AM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Heh. 

Believe it or not, that's exactly how the sovereign concept started.

Originally you would ONLY get the Wizard and you had to win though the Wizard. Doing so unlocked 2 more Sovereigns.  And winning with those sovereigns unlocked additional sovereigns.  

On the team, I was the only one who wanted that however. 

Get the team on board then! I think starting only with the Wizard would be a bit too restrictive. But 6 starting sovereigns each with an "alternate" layout, and perhaps 1 hidden sovereign for finishing each of the 6 starting sovereigns. Niiiiice!

 

 

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November 28, 2014 5:59:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Unlocks are a terrible idea. 

 

 

 

 

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November 28, 2014 11:42:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That sounds absolutely awful.

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November 28, 2014 1:21:30 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

@Alstein and Heavenfall:

Please substantiate your opinions, it helps the discussion.

 

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November 28, 2014 2:13:45 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

Quoting HenriHakl,

@Alstein and Heavenfall:

Please substantiate your opinions, it helps the discussion.

 

Limiting playing options is not a good idea, because not everyone is going to want to start playing as the wizard (or what ever the default choice may be). Different people, different playing styles. Limiting that choice is a bad idea as it will reduce the number of people interested in playing the game.

Someone shouldn't be forced to play and win with a sovereign they are not interested in, just so they can unlock the one(s) they are interested in. That's not fun, that's tedium.

 

 

 

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November 28, 2014 3:31:57 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

I thought Henri was suggesting that each victory with a particular sov would then unlock a new power for that sov.  Maybe I read his initial post incorrectly.

I'm not a fan of what Frogboy was suggesting.

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November 28, 2014 3:37:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It still requires multiple playthroughs just to unlock the "stronger" or "cooler" ability. It's the same as what Frogboy suggests. I don't want to open a 4X game and say "ooh, all I have to do is play this game for 20 more hours and then it will get really fun/cool". It's an arbitrary limit with no other reason than to improve "replayability", which is actually "tedium" spelled wrong in this case.

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November 28, 2014 7:09:45 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

Actually no, the unlocking isn't about cooler/bigger/better. It's about different. It's about replayability. If you've played FTL then would you understand that the unlocked ships drastically alter the game - but they don't make it easier.

 

 

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November 28, 2014 11:45:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Exactly the kind of system I personally don't want, for the reasons I posted above. I hated playing through FTL with crappy ships just hoping to unlock the cool ones. It would suck even more in a 4X.

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November 29, 2014 4:49:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Same as reasons listed above.

 

Example of how wretched this system is: I've seen people in the original SF4 pay other people to unlock characters for them because it was so boring.

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November 29, 2014 10:08:47 AM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,

Exactly the kind of system I personally don't want, for the reasons I posted above. I hated playing through FTL with crappy ships just hoping to unlock the cool ones. It would suck even more in a 4X.

I think you may have had the wrong impression on the game entirely then. I don't think any of the unlocked FTL ships are "cool". I mean, all the ships are cool, they're all different and require you to play the game entirely differently. But none make the game easy or even easier. If you don't enjoy the game with the basic kit, then the game isn't for you - the unlocks won't make it better at all.

 

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December 2, 2014 7:17:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the game were like this I personally wouldn't play it.  I got into Fallen Enchantress because I could pick which race I wanted to use and design my own.

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December 3, 2014 2:38:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting HenriHakl,


Quoting Heavenfall,

Exactly the kind of system I personally don't want, for the reasons I posted above. I hated playing through FTL with crappy ships just hoping to unlock the cool ones. It would suck even more in a 4X.



I think you may have had the wrong impression on the game entirely then. I don't think any of the unlocked FTL ships are "cool". I mean, all the ships are cool, they're all different and require you to play the game entirely differently. But none make the game easy or even easier. If you don't enjoy the game with the basic kit, then the game isn't for you - the unlocks won't make it better at all.

 

OP is suggesting a meta-mechanic which I thoroughly disliked in previous games like FTL. I don't even know what you're talking about, honestly. It seems like you're saying my opinion isn't right, but surely you can't be that narrow-minded? I think FTL was a great game and I enjoyed it for my own reasons. Having to unlock ships I found to be much cooler wasn't one of the reasons I enjoyed it.

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December 3, 2014 11:08:27 AM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

It wouldn't stop me, because I know a day 1 mod would get rid of it. 


I consider unlocks to be bad game design in just about every situation.  It's part of the reason I won't play most CCG's.

 

 

 

 

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December 4, 2014 5:44:01 AM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

I beg to differ. Unlocks are a near-essential part that you (everybody) enjoy in games already. You start with tier 1 research and unlock higher level research with time and effort. Your heroes start lowly and level-up and unlock new abilities. Completing (and sometimes failing) quests unlock new possibilities.

Conversely, if you play a game, be it Sorcerer King or SimCity XXXX you generally do not want all the options from the start. There is little sense of accomplishment if all techs/buildings are available from the start and you get 999999999 gold at turn 1.

Naturally there are pros and cons with everything, having to unlock an alternate Warlord means that you do not have all options available from the start. Conversely, unlocking an alternate Warlord can give a sense of achievement. It gives a sense of continuity beyond the contained game you've just finished - the game isn't just over when it says "Game Over".

I think it is worthwhile to argue that the sense of achievement provided by games is one of the great driving factors that make games enjoyable in the first place.

Now, I completely understand and fully support the notion that nobody wants to start a game with a gimped set of options. I personally think that only starting with the Wizard and unlocking other sovereigns is a poor design choice. But starting with a lot of options, and then earning even more options, that is something I can get behind.

Then again, you cannot make everybody happy all the time.

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December 6, 2014 12:52:55 AM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

I don't want grinding in my games.  If I want grinding I'll play an MMO or some AAA crap.   One of the things I like about this genre is that it isn't grindy.

 

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December 8, 2014 9:46:11 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

What about a different approach to unlocks?

Instead of always starting with the Wizard as the only unlocked Sovereign, let the player choose which will be his first unlocked Sovereign. Then as a new Sovereign is unlocked let the player choose again. So it would provide an incentive for replayability while allowing the player to play his first game with his favourite Sovereign (or at least the one that seems more appealing before trying).

PS: But yes, there is a differnce between unlocking more choices (more Sovereigns) and unlocking more powerful Sovereigns. The first, I would like. The second, would be IMHO a very bad idea.

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December 9, 2014 2:20:01 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

I would not want to be forced to play with the same sovereign (even one that I liked) until I won.

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December 10, 2014 8:03:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not a fan of unlocks.

If I want to play with certain character why should I be made to slog through winning with others in order to unlock that character.?

 

 

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December 10, 2014 11:57:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the system was not too complex and certain classes were easier to play than others (not more powerful, just easier to start with), you could have optional unlocks like in the indie game There Is Only Power which Frogboy has played recently.  If you want to, you can complete objectives to unlock the other classes (and this is kinda fun for certain people or in certain types of moods, and I did enjoy the unlocks in There Is Only Power) or you click the "Unlock All" option and that is that.  So it's probably not worth making an elaborate unlock system, but if you find something simple that works, you could satisfy both those who like unlocks and those that don't.

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December 14, 2014 7:56:04 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

We're not doing the unlocks.  I was just pointing out that we had considered it early on and rejected it.

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January 12, 2015 12:02:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I do like a meta game idea.   The concept of dropping 20-40 hrs into a map and then just starting over eventually causes me to stop.    I'm a glutton, so it does take a few hundred (couple thousand from WoM on) hours.

 

Back in the old day with marriage/dynasties - would have been cool to keep track of a dynasty/family name/progress.

Now could be tied to a specific race - when you 'start' or 'reset' the game you keep track by race and/or sovereign in terms of score, time, kills/spells/quests/etc.  Whether the SK was defeated, etc.   IMO, that should be basic.

Maybe then tie it into rewards for replay - better starting gear (up to you if you use it), improved starting city stats, improved stats, etc, etc.    So you could play the game normal/standard at will but there was also a reward for playing it many times.  

Ideally, don't tie it to winning.  Possibly some other mechanic, (related to map size, time, shards, players, etc)  since many times the game will slog and I'll restart because I like early/mid rather than late game.  Haven't played SK a ton yet, so might be different.

Random roguelike - dungeonmans - has a nice mechanic.   The ability to start stronger on each successive playthrough - so yes, you need to go through the early game every time but its incrementally easier each time.   Or not, up to you whether you use the benefits.   Not a new idea, but done in a relatively sleek fashion.

Major gripes about the 4x system:

Each game is significant in terms of time/fun/thought - but once the map is over its gone.   In some games there is a scoreboard at least, but its very minimal.  Some of these huge maps takes 10's of hours (can be longer) and there should seemingly be some residual affect.   I haven't played it in forever, but seem to recall dominions had a nice recap ability or something.

The end game can become a slog.  Unit micro, city micro, gathering your forces, etc, etc.   Especially at the higher difficulties.  Streamlined methods are nice:

That FE spell that pulled all your armies to one area.  The ability to cripple/kill a civ by killing their sov.  Spell of winning, etc.    It was the quest victory for a long time, you'd find it and when you got bored you'd kill off the big guy and win.    Get your temporary score screen and then move on to the next map.

 

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