Alright so after grinding through a game with the new DLC installed (shameless plug for the "Anti-Slipper-Movement") which I quite enjoyed I was once more totally unprepared for the end.
ONE OF THE MOST DISAPPOINTING ENDS TO ANY GAME.
So what I guess everyone knows is that when you finish your game you are facing one of 4 little cutscenes depending on how you won. This is all fine and looks good to me.
But after those amazing screens you are faced with THIS abomination:
Beneath I have written about what is depicted here and how in my opinion that should change. I have enlarged the results for anyone wanting a tl;dr
So this screen tells or shows you what exactly?
0. A picture of your sovereign
So apparently your sovereign which accompanied you on your path through this game is only worthy of a picture. There is nothing of any value to be gained from this except maybe sympathy points from how good he/she looks or something. It would indefinately be better if you could see the same stats of your sovereign as ingame, all of his equipment and general stats like hitpoints, spellresistance, and all of the other ones. All of his Enchantments and Spells, all of his Traits in which you invested so heavily. It would just be good to have the ingame interface for your sovereign right here. Just to take a last look at his or her glory.Also it would be best to not alwaystake the sovereign, because I have heard of a tactic that uses Destiny's Gift (on your sovereign for the +3 hp) and Paragon to pump up a hero to insane levels, so the hero with the highest level should maybe better be displayed here.
1. How did you win?
Conquest, Diplomatic, Magic or Quest Victory
Alright, this is fine, nothing wrong with seeing how you've won, right?
2. How much Population you had at the end of the game in numbers.
For example 35078 (people? bananas? cars?)
So not only was this number totally irrelevant during the playthrough but it also never really showed anywhere except maybe in the govern screen which you really only visit from time to time. Displaying this instead of something much more relevant, like for example your number and level of cities with maybe their names or the count of military troops you had at the end of the game, maybe even the maximum of cities you ever controlled. No no no, we get to stare at this irrelevant number of people under our reign...
3. The amount of time you needed to win.
For example 199 years
So again, this number is all good, but at the same time its not only irrelevant during gameplay except for the turn limit, but also we count in turns, not years. Yes I know, each turn is supposed to be a "season", but I don't like that the game changes this to years. Did I really take 199 years to win or was I missing 2 seasons? Years is not quite ... exact ... enough.
4. Your points.
For example 20172
So what exactly is this number? It is not the same as your power rating, because during this particular game I had definately not a powerrating of 20172. No, it tells you of POINTS which magically and hidden from the player are calculated and do not really tell the story of how great your kingdom (or empire) really was. For example the same game which generated these 20172 points also could generate a point rating of 0 if I had just decided to wait out the turn limit (which was 2 turns away) to win. Seems fishy? Because it most certainly is. So apart from the mysterious calculation of this rating it also shows some background story depending on this rating. Each rating "unlocks" a particular ranking in the middle which is associated with a character of the lore in this game and his story at the right side. Apart from the bummer that unlocking a higher ranking does not allow for reading of the lower ones which are all quite interesting, you can only guess which characters are associated with a ranking above the one you just achieved, because it would only show a grey questionmark. This not only takes away anticipation for your next game, but also makes this ranking table very boring. You can only see your points for this particular game and the corresponding story of a character and nothing more except for some names which seem vaguely familiar because some of them are in the tech tree.
5. The amount of real time you invested into this game.
For example 10:51 (again: hours? apples? politicians?)
In all seriousness, this seems a fine stat to display since I want to see how many time I exactly invested into this. Even though it lacks an indicator as to which this really is. It could be days, hours, rotations of the moon around the sun, anything basically.
If you hit the "Back" Button it takes you back to some generic statistic graph which displays some data graphically about how much land was covered by your empire (or kingdom) and the other players during the playthrough of this game if I remember correcctly it also does al ittle more, but I am not sure about this. But again, this is nothing exact because of the nature of the display wihch is graphically. However it is informative even if only a little and I am glad at least something is there... depicting the playthrough even if this little.
If the diplomacy and AI interaction in this game would be a tad better it would display the declaration of wars and peace there as well.
There is so much interesting information during a playthrough of this game it is a shame that those informations are not here.
Take for example Age of Empires II. A game so old it can barely breath today (even though an HD rerelease is out on Steam, but thats not the point), did a better job at the achievement screen than our legendary game from 2013. There were ressource gains, number of units produced, killed and maximum of units at once under your control, the same for buildings and techs. Building a wonder in AoE2 (the equivalent to our Forge of the Overlord) were depicted in a graph and their destruction as well. Things like these, that are very important for the aftermath of a game. It only draws a picture of what can be done with the achievement screen in games. (I am aware that I am comparing 4x and a classic strategy game but this aspect is very similiar in both games)
So this brings me to my first few points:
Information about the game that had just ended during the "Score" screen is too small and should be improved upon!
Especially the ominous "points" should be crystal clear for the player
High scores should unlock the lower ranked stories
Values should be clarified in their metric
The depicted champions picture should be enriched by the ingame interface for him/her, allowing for easy access to all of his traits, equipment and stats.
The next big thing is that you can after pressing the finish button NEVER RETURN to this screen ever again without loading an old game and finishing the game again which could potencially yield different values. The ranking of your games is not persistent. There is no local highscore or anything. This is a thing that would make it possible for people to compare themselves to other players finishing a game and would potentially increase the amount of people finishing their games. It seems to me at least, that in this forum is a good amount of people not finishing their games because its grinding through an AI defending their empire (or kingdom) and there is no real reward apart from 8 Steam achievements (which are one time things) and 1 of 4 cutscenes.
There is even the possibility to implement an online ranking for everybody to partake in and reach global popularity. To share your highscore online should of course only be an option.
So these are my 2nd and last points:
A local and/or online highscore ranking would improve comparability of playthroughs and incentive to end a game!
A possibility to return to these screens from a "save highscore" function or something similiar
Thank you for reading and pleae comment below if you agree with me on some parts, where you disagree and/or what other solutions you might want to describe.
Please keep in mind, this is only my opinion and does not in any way means that I do not like this game, because I most certainly do, but it is just anticlimatic if the last AI resigns and just like that you stare at this screen and the game just ended and there is really no way to just .. well .. say good bye to your sovereign and your kingdom (or empire). If you say this is too emotional, yes it is, but at the same time my proposed changes would also allow people to compare themselves and to me this is also an important factor.
I would really just like to have a second or even third, fourth, etc look after a few months at my best game without having to reload a save where I hadn't even finished yet.