A detailed analysis on end game

Discuss anything related to Shop Heroes gameplay.
adamtan
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby adamtan » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:34 am

i understand that cloudcade needs to earn money.

however, the right way to earn the money is to allow players to spend money to improve their enjoyment of the game.
having an end-game that creates enormous time sinks (ie fusion) that prevents players from enjoying the game actively is silly.
forcing players to spend money in a manner they feel is not worth it is worse.

the following are reasons why i (gladly) paid cash for packs :
1. i do not want to spend a lot of real time to craft for gold (bought wizard pack for ocarina)
2. i do not want to spend a lot of real time dealing with item breaks (bought packs with legendary items for support)
3. i do not want to spend a lot of real time dealing with long healing times (bought packs with legendary items for healing)
4. i do not want to spend a lot of real time dealing with long recovery times (bought packs with legendary items for energetic)
5. i do not want to spend a lot of real time dealing with crafting for gems to open chests for a very low chance to get BPs (bought packs for revive gear)
6. i do not want to spend a lot of real time crafting mythics (bought packs with legendary gear with meaningful skills - aura of protection, protect 2, etc)

what i feel works is allowing people to use money to buy tangible achievements or improvements to gameplay (as illustrated above). they are paying cash for guaranteed (100%) improvements in gameplay. asking people to part for cash for gems while not guaranteeing outcomes for gem use makes it feel like a losing bet. compared to paying for gems, i feel buying a pack with good legendary gear that i can craft within a week gives a strong sense of achievement and satisfaction.

there are many other ways to earn money from players that i suspect would be popular due to the 100% guaranteed outcome
1. paying cash for mythics (as per what is done for china region).
2. paying cash to buy items that permanently reduce fusion time (there's one pack for this)
3. paying cash to buy blueprint fragments
4. paying cash to permanently boost resource regeneration (to reduce dependency on city)
5. paying cash to buy items that permanently increase mastery (there's one pack for this)

i believe the gem system and gaming experience for mid to end-game is ruined because CC is trying to turn SH into a gambling game to earn more money by using fusion failure as a gem (and therefore cash) sink. if you have 100% fusion success all the time, the game will be immensely more enjoyable. i suspect CC will earn more money if they offer players a guaranteed outcome for cash. we may not win in real life. there is no need for a game to mimic real life. if we can win all the time in the game, it will be more enjoyable.

For non-paying players, consider allowing the castle to reduce fusion time when raid is not ongoing. or create a new building for fusion boosts.

For end-game content, consider copying the playbook from everquest. it's an ancient game and there are still many players on it.
even as new content and levels of heros go up, the equipment is sufficiently powered to allow players to feel more powerful with the same amount of real time spent in the game.

how does this translate for shop heroes?

increase the maximum level of the shopkeepers to 150/200/300.
increase the maximum level of buildings to 100/150/200.
increase the maximum level of workers to 100/200 etc
increase the amount of xp gained by workers with top level recipes so that the rate of worker progression using top level items is steady. ie takes the same time to level worker at 54 with lvl 54 item as level 20 worker with level 20 item. that way even end game players do not feel that it takes forever to achieve something.
increase the boost by buildings at higher levels so that eventually with the top level buildings, you can finish top level quests in an hour.
provide mechanisms to keep the crafting time of top level items capped at 2h.
provide mechanisms to keep fusion time of top level items capped at 8h.

what is the common idea in all this? allow the player to feel a sense of tangible achievement. everquest does this. and my brother is still happily paying money for expansion packs 15 years after starting on the game.

most of what i suggested likely do not require big changes to the fundamental gaming mechanics of the game as it is.

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Shiroe
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby Shiroe » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:09 pm

No offence meant, adamtan, but that first part sounds a bit like wanting to skip the grind of a grind game like Shop Heroes, but at a small whale instead of big whale budget. ;)

All those extended levels and other mentioned tweaks: faster crafting, higher procs, so more high quality items flooding the market, completely turning it upside down, but no mention of contents that the extra gear would be useful for after the now easier/quicker to complete horns quest.
(probably slower progress through the chests for many, since farming gems from the tradehouse would be more difficult with price drops because of oversupply/people able to easily craft-and-trash their own precrafts for high level moneymakers instead of offering a gem on tradehouse to not let the precrafts occupy cauldron slots, while still keeping craft slots busy...)

Unfortunately right now, slowly fusing together the super gear is the end game content.
as of 2016-09-11: Player level: 44, City: Eolythes, Blueprints: 517, Mastered: 419, Crafted: 78.61K
(except for tier 1 and some tier 2 artifacts mostly running my shop/gearing self sufficient)

Alocart
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Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby Alocart » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:04 pm

Sorry Shiroe, something about your post rubbed me the wrong way. I know there was no malice in your post but i think there was more merit in Adamtan's post than you gave it.

I agree that Adamtan's reasons for spending money are very subjective. I started spending simply to support the developers of a game I was enjoying. I stopped for a variety of reasons but one was that the end game (I prefer late game) is unrewarding, which I think is a large part of Adamtan's post. To push that opinion aside because as a result of his changes the TH will fall apart is short sighted in my opinion. The TH should not be central to a players progression so having it shaken up a bit should not be a issue. The sad reality of the current game is that without the TH a player earns at best 120 gems a week from the raid and almost nothing else. While it does seem that CC has upped the drop chance of gems from dungeon runs the current progression model is still broken unless you ruthlessly rip off other players through the TH, so I welcome both the Op and Adamtan's input, even if I can see flaws with both.

Obtaining all patterns is easily over 5 years of gameplay without the TH and in that time frame I would be lucky to have crafted a single full set of gear, weather it be a revive set or a max power set. Which brings me to my last point, which is that it should be reasonably viable, time wise, to build multiple gear sets and play with each of them on our heroes. As it stands I will have left the game well before I finish a single set through lack of interest in the grind. The late game for shop heroes is a very subjective and open ended sort of thing, so saying the only in game reason for doing anything is horns quests... For reference aside from my own personal desire to master every pattern I want a variety of builds for my heroes. A max artifact build, a revive build, a wise build, an unbreakable item build and a max power build, all as unique sets to play with. I want all of these things at mythical before we even start talking about mythic + levels of gear. So for me there is a huge amount of scope to reduce the crafting/fusion time and speed up the gameplay to be more rewarding while having no impact on my TH usage and making the limited amount of time I want to play more rewarding. It would be a good way to bring me back to the willing to spend money on the game group. As it stands all I see is years of effort to finished some of my in game goals in which time CC will release some new fancy packs making much of my efforts wasted.

adamtan
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby adamtan » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:11 pm

Hi Shiroe,
actually i did not join the game to grind but to enjoy building and collecting. the fast pace of the early game was what got me hooked. i also don't understand whaling and why being a big whale (spending lots of money) is better than a small whale. if what you're saying is that i want to be cheap and be a small whale for the same benefits of a big whale, that's not my point and i didn't take any offence. what i pointed out is simply the stuff that CC has done which i fully agree with and i am happy to part with hard earned cash for. CC as a company need to pay for servers, rent and staff. they need to entice players to pay for the game.
as a working adult with limited time, i am willing to pay a certain amount of money to avoid wasting time grinding and doing stuff that isn't fun and play the game actively in the windows of free time i have. what i dislike is paying for a chance (opening chests for random rewards using gems). but paying for permanent improvements to game play i definitely will. to understand this better, imagine if your pay per month depends on a RND machine. effort put in for a random reward. would you continue working in the company? CC needs to understand the profile of their paying customer base if they want to remain in business and do well.

For all games i played (many MMOs, many "build and grow" types), new expansions and items will cause the dynamics of the TH to change over time. new and more powerful items will definitely become the "in" thing. and it is collecting the next "in" and "better" thing that i signed up to play this game for. (but collecting the next "in" and "newer" thing must not take up more time than collecting the last "in" and "better" thing cos as a human i only have so much time for a game)

on content - it is up to CC to create content. i am willing to buy as many packs as they can issue if (1) the packs have items that save me time and improve gameplay. don't issue packs with silly items like support I at mythic. make it support I at flawless. (2) the items are really cool to look at.

on slower progress for chests - make it much easier to get BPs from chests by greatly increasing chances of BPs. F2P is to entice people to become P2W. I have already given my suggestions on what one player (myself) is willing and happy to pay for. i think they understand this because a lot of the re-issued packs are for Revive / Energetic gear or like Ops Supply Drop that has a deeper emotional appeal for some. Make the for-pay BPs very much better (ie skills at legendary) and enough people will fork out their cash i believe.

slowly "doing anything" is not the way for this game to survive. i'm a collector and optimising type of player and if i can quickly make mythics in weeks, i will just be happily crafting my way to multiple sets of equipment - best for raid / arena / artifact collection and continue chasing the next shiner mythic to come my way. waiting 1-3 days for a fuse is not a good way to make me pay money for the game. making me pay money for instant fuse is not enticing i do not feel any permanent return for my money. however i am sure many might be willing to pay for a pack with an item that shortens fuse time by 5% as that is a permanent gain. if the folks at CC can't understand this, imagine forking out money to rent a tent to shelter your car versus building a garage. people can always justify *investing* in a permanent gain. it is for this reason that i think many users keep asking CC to remove using gems for craft upgrades / heals. if they have logs, they can probably see that people spend their gems to upgrade slots - permanent gains.

Hi Alocart,
on the point of "effort wasted", it is simply that CC made end game way too hard. if they change their mindset and acknowledge that the end game will keep moving upwards, they will make it easier to reach 60 level/item/city upgrade cos their next improvement will introduce level 65 / 70 etc with all new packs and F2P. if end game is achieveable with some but not super human effort, players will be looking forward to reaching the current end game in a reasonable amount of time and move on to the new "end game" as it comes because not too much effort has been put into the last "end game". This has all been played out in long running MMOs like Everquest / World of Warcraft / Final Fantasy 11.

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Shiroe
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby Shiroe » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:40 am

What I like about this game is that being a small whale, buying all seasonal packages, doesn't even give you a super big (p2w) advantage vs someone just getting their skills from chest blueprints, mostly just some extra options/easier spreadsheeting your wanted skills into the available item slots, since the good/end skill is at mythical, so small whales will also have to work to fuse up those myths and only big whales (or people who farmed lots of gems from the tradehouse) will buy those 10+k gems myths from the tradehouse to skip having to fuse. (or a few chinese getting them as freebie from support ;-( )
I'm fine with a big whale trying to skip half the game's content by spending/supporting with 100x the real money as smaller spenders, but for most players the game, for lack of other content yet, tries to keep us busy for year(s) with blueprint unlocking/mastering and gearing heroes. (pretty grind-y things)

I've been playing since august 2015 and I think I've spend about 130 euros over that time.
Since I was never a big moneymaker grinder and didn't really join in the mass gold->keys->gems flipping, I'm still
12 golden blueprints, 32 magic blueprints, 1 dwarvish blueprint, 42 primal blueprints away from owning all chest blueprints,
yet with those I do have plus only 2 useful package skills (Support II on Balmung and Revive II on Heart Ring) I do have the tools in hand to work on the current end game of "fuse your revive super team(s)" (though making it more difficult for myself there by refusing to make revive team(s) that run with orange/red faces at horns, even though that doesn't matter in the current ":trollface:" revive implementation)

About the tradehouse: "tradehouse is just a side feature of the game" statements from Cloudcade have stopped quite a while ago, I guess them realizing the players have made it a core feature of the game... :|
That unfortunately won't change unless blueprint progress for most is no longer as strongly coupled to farming gems from others through the tradehouse. :( So anything that majorly messes with the tradehouse right now majorly messes with the gameplay.
(vastly increasing supply of higher quality items could very well be as impactful as the introduction of the upper and lower price caps etc. (artifact lower cap I think go reduced from 1x to 0.2x within 1 or 2 months of introduction because of massive outcry)


Unlike those MMOs adamtan mentions, I'm wondering if there are "new and powerful things" to be added at Shop Heroes unless they change up a lot.
You've got your quest/raid teams you stack with "my heroes don't die (Revive), don't rest (Energetic), are super fast (Speedrunner, which they probably won't add more fitting in teams than the current 70%/75%) and have a bunch of party +min/max loot" to quickly fill artifacts from zero to cap/run endless endless raid and you have the arena teams with abilities only on the heroes, not items, and just raw item power + ability rock-paper-scissors.
Not many people will excitedly think "yes! This new item/content will make my team 1% better!". :|


What I'd like to see:
- content beyond being able to revive/energetic/+loot horns runs; once there's further content to work for/on, getting to that "horns runs" point might make sense to take less time. (though wondering what content you could make where neither the quest/raid nor the arena team would already be optimal without much further work)
- reduce reliance on tradehouse gem farming to make chest blueprint progress (essentially having to hope that not too many people progress in the game from the point where they are spending gems on the tradehouse towards where they try to farm tradehouse gems themselves, since that would cut into "your share", is a sad thing... :( )
as of 2016-09-11: Player level: 44, City: Eolythes, Blueprints: 517, Mastered: 419, Crafted: 78.61K
(except for tier 1 and some tier 2 artifacts mostly running my shop/gearing self sufficient)

Ronin
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby Ronin » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:01 pm

Alocart wrote:Obtaining all patterns is easily over 5 years of gameplay without the TH and in that time frame I would be lucky to have crafted a single full set of gear, weather it be a revive set or a max power set. Which brings me to my last point, which is that it should be reasonably viable, time wise, to build multiple gear sets and play with each of them on our heroes.


Without use of the tradehouse, counting 5 years of weekly keys from raid and the one-time keys from special order, you'd expect to still have 9 gold bps, 58 magic bps, all 23 dwarvish bps, and all 44 primal bps undiscovered (using 10% bp rate on wood-gold and 25% magic-primal).

Assuming you get 1 bp frag from questing every day in addition to the one from daily quest, you'd earn 3,650 bp frags over that period. Using those would get you the remaining gold bps and 39 of the remaining magic bps. You'd need another 10,000 bp fragments to fully unlock the remaining bps. Given that weekly keys would no longer give progress towards bp acquisition, you'd need another 13 years to fully unlock all patterns without TH.

I started in March 2016 (after a 1-week stint in the fall of 2015). I have 14 primals left to discover and by my estimates, have spent somewhere in the magnitude of 300k gems, almost all acquired via tradehouse, unlocking chests. Unlocking all chest BPs is much more difficult than you give credit for.

Alocart
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby Alocart » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:33 pm

Thanks for the maths Ronin, your right I didn't calculate it out and guesstimated based on my own progress. You did however forget the gems you get from raids (significant as it adds up to over 30k gems so if optimally used would be 10 primal BP or 15 dwarvish bps) as well as the random chance of keys and gems from dungeon and wheel. On average atm I seem to be getting 1 gem reward from dungeons a week and probably 1 key every 3 months. This all cuts around 2 years out of your bp frag farming, but your point is valid I did under estimate how long it would take. Although that also ignores gem costs in developing your shop which only makes the situation worse again. I considered 5 years to be too long a time frame for progress in a game that will get updates and the number served well enough for the point. Now at least we have something more concrete i.e. closer to 11 years, lets say 10 to make it round :) .

jeroti
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby jeroti » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:17 pm

I think the important thing to take away from Ronins post is he’s shifted around $3,000CAD worth of gems and still has a bunch of the most expensive BPs left to unlock. They could speed up the process a bit by removing quest artifacts from the chests and replacing them with more draws for BP fragments.

Ronin
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Re: A detailed analysis on end game

Postby Ronin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:17 pm

jeroti wrote:I think the important thing to take away from Ronins post is he’s shifted around $3,000CAD worth of gems and still has a bunch of the most expensive BPs left to unlock. They could speed up the process a bit by removing quest artifacts from the chests and replacing them with more draws for BP fragments.


I'm extremely wary of expressing gems or gem-equivalents (e.g. bp fragments) spent to the nominal real-money purchase price of gems, because gems are reverent expensive in real-money terms compared to their in-game availability.

My intended take-away in the reply to Alocart is that players should realize exactly how slow progression is if you don't use the tradehouse. Whether or not it should be so important to player progression, it most definitely is, so players really should consider the effective utilization of the tradehouse in tempering their projection of how long it takes to acquire BPs or gear their teams.


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