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  #1  
Old 11th October 2019, 01:57 AM
BackStab BackStab is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 29
Default Ascension Paths

Current gameplay issue: static or slowly moving top-N ladder for players and guilds => servers are vacated by players, company can't merge servers because top players will loose their positions and leave or complain => no fun for most players and smaller profit for the company..

Goal: more fun, keep more players at the same server they started on, rotation of the player top list, rotation of the guild top list, ability to merge existing servers without complaints.

Solution: implement Ascension Paths

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Ascension Paths is a well-known solution that greatly randomizes finite gameplay. Quite a few games support this already, and it would require a small-to-mediocre dev effort to implement if for S&F. Typically Ascension mechanism is implemented as a set of Paths or Runs, each having unique reachable goal, a permanent bonus awarded for reaching the goal which is kept between ascension runs, and a set of restrictions associated with each Run. Initially, players get classic Ascension path, but they are allowed to choose their future ascension paths after the completion of the classic path and restart of the game from level 1 afresh, keeping all permanent bonus params/items ascquired by completing previous ascensions but discarding all gold, regular items and stat gains.

Examples of Ascension Paths:
- classic (intro) path:
- reach level 100 having no restrictions to get a small permanent bonus (+1..3%) to hp or dmg or crit; could be taken multiple times to allow casual gameplay;

- advanced paths (doable but depend on game knowledge):
- "Rage of Odin" - reach level 100 without wearing any equipment except for weapon(s) to get substantial bonus to dmg or hp;
- "Gem-tastic" - collect 15 large black gems in the inventory to get a permanent +N levels to gem mine for future Ascensions;

- hard paths (may fail or never reach goal if played badly):
- "Lone Wolf" - reach level 100 in 3 months without joining a guild to get special Pet/Familiar;
- "Gold Rush" - collect N million gold in 4 months to get permanent bonus to gold from missions;
- "Master-Duelist" - win a pvp duel with top-5 players on a server to get a unique weapon/armor/talisman that is kept between ascensions;

- special event paths:
- ascend on Helloween day to get "Devil may cry" path for unique bonus;
- ascend on New Year Eve day to get "Santa's Blacklist" path for unique bonus;
- ascend on Easter day to get "Egg-venture" path for unique bonus;

Ascension goals and awards are only limited by the imagination - the funnier the better, S&F is a Comic-derived game. Of course, Ascension mechanism means new Hall of Fame sections, like "max number of ascensions", "fastest ascension of type X" etc. Also, instead of adding new content every few months (which is expected in current situation to keep players interested), game company may add new ascension paths (cheap to add) every other month, relaxing major content updates schedule;

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Major difference between the existing gameplay and the ascension-based one would be that S&F players will now periodically and willingly(!) go back to level 1 because it becomes rewarding to do so (permanent bonus!) and allows to try different gameplay options in a fun way (restrictions!). It will add greater variety too: all players, new and seasoned, will now have a chance to get into the Hall of Fame top-10 (by level), as advanced players will periodically ascend and temporarily leave top positions. Guilds will switch places because of ascending players - any guild will get a chance to get into the top because of this rotation. New players joining old server will not feel lonely or lagging behind at low levels for the very same reason: experienced players will ascend and get back to level 1 to try a new ascension path. Now, game servers can easily be merged, as seasoned players will be willing to ascend and discard their N1 position on server X to get ascension bonuses. There will be nothing to loose because of server merge anymore as there will be no fixed top-N lists! Merged servers mean more people per server, more active guilds, more player interactions. Of course, new game servers will still be needed because of hardware limits on the number of simultaneous players, but there won't be a need to launch a new server every month anymore, so total hardware management cost and overhead will be greatly reduced.

To summarize: with Ascensions implemented, S&F will be much more relaxed and fun game, more dynamic and lively. No more mindless grinding only to get +1 level in a month because you are level 400 already and there is nothing else to do.

Best,
BackStab
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Leslie Dunn12 (11th October 2019)
  #2  
Old 11th October 2019, 02:23 PM
IceAJeges IceAJeges is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 25
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Sry I don't understand, what will happen our all collected gear, pets, castle etc?

We lose everything because new system introduce? Or there will be an alias character we can play paralell, and unlocked bonuses make stronger the "main character?

I play only with one character in one server, I don't like that new server, start new character way, and I don't imagine why is it good to me start again from lvl1. These Ascension Paths are hard and boring long-term repetative contents. To reach everything in fortress to lvl15 it was insane, etc. etc. I would have to spend years again to do the same thing again, I don't want it repeat because of Ascension Paths.

Sry I can't image Ascension Paths why good :S

I have an old feeling. When Settlers Online introduced lvl50+ levels it was fun for a short-mid time, after we reached lvl60 to reach lvl75 it was nightmare because of there isn't new content just grind and grind the exp. They learned the lesson and filled with lots of content the game, and it is enjoyable now for long time. S&F should do the same thing. S&F now an empty game after you reach a lvl. They need more end content, vertical and horizontal as well. Ascension Paths would be one of them but I don't understand now, what is that and how would work.

Last edited by IceAJeges; 11th October 2019 at 02:25 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11th October 2019, 10:46 PM
BackStab BackStab is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 29
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First, if you don't want to ascend, you can keep playing just like you do now if that fits your style. There will be a button somewhere in the interface that will take you to ascension screen when clicked, but you are not forced to click it... But, even for advanced players ascension should offer bonus proportional to the levels gained as a compensation.

Also, the idea is to have "short" ascension Runs, like 3-5 runs per year of playing, so you won't have to build lvl 15 fortress every time you do a run. Every ascension run is supposed to be somewhat unique because of restrictions and final bonus, so it will not be exactly the same every time you take it. Right now I am lvl 340ish, and there is literally nothing happening - no goal at all, each day is literally identical to the previous one, people get bored and leave server (w26 is already 1-yr old and it feels).
With ascensions implemented, I will be able to tell myself that okay, in a few months I will complete current Run, will get special award which N1 player does not have, and I will get a chance to try another path with a different type of a hero (keeping name and bonus of course). That would be an interesting game, and will definitely keep more people from leaving the server.
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