Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Unexpected Encounter – Tic Toc Tic Toc

All what I thought of would work, but I wanted something more elegant, less restricting and more encouraging, and after two days of intensive thinking the Muse of Gaming paid me a visit :) What if I had a period of time within which a player has to capture a Soul Gem or there would be some unpleasant consequences? I liked the idea right away, just needed to put a bit more thinking into it and figure out what kind of a timer it is and what consequences are, to hit the golden middle of not being too pushy, but still encourage people to advance further – and that's how the Astral Countdown emerged into the World of Undecima.  

The Astral Countdown will start ticking after a Town Class is researched for all new players (no point of restricting newbies) or on the next login for all existing players (if they have researched a Town Class already). I even thought of a little story behind it and here how it goes:  

"You have researched a Town Class and now your Town is bound to the World of Undecima. To keep developing your Town, you will need to capture more Soul Gems. The Time is ticking away and you can see your Astral Countdown in your Keep - by the end of this countdown, you have to capture one Soul Gem. If you fail to do it, you won't be able to do any upgrades or researches in your town and you won't be able to attack other players (unless they attack you first) until you do capture a Soul Gem.

With the steel of Might, the power of Magic, the spirit of Nature, or the light of Faith, prove that you are the worthy one."  

As I'm writing this post, the Astral Countdown has been implemented already and so far the response was good, even from the people this new feature was supposed to affect the worse (those big fat sitters who didn't want to advance further). There are some exceptions for people being attacked and for people returning back to the game after some prolonged absence as well. It's been running for a few days only and as the time goes, it may need to be changed and adjusted more, but all in all, the mission is accomplished and we'll see about the results later.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Unexpected Encounter – To Move or Not to Move

Jumping from the past to the present, I'd like to mention something that I completely did not foresee while thinking about the gameplay and of course it happened and I had to urgently find a solution for this problem.
The problem was unwillingness of some active players to advance to next levels. They would play, develop their towns, do their researches, attack either map objects (which was ok) or other players (which was not quite ok as it was pretty much farming, which I was trying to avoid in Undecima), and they would refuse to collect any Soul Gems to move on to the next level. The reason is understandable – it's easier to play on lower levels and there are more inactive and weaker players on those levels for raiding and flexing your muscles – but the result was not what I had in mind for the game and besides, it was putting off and even scary for new players to see fully developed towns with players that have 100K+ score located just a dozen fields away from them. 

After some serious brain wracking I had about a dozen of possible ways to neutralize this situation and encourage players to move on. Some of them included putting caps on development and research depending on your Map Level, isolating new players even more, adding restrictions on the number of troops you have on each level, or even advancing stronger players to the next level without collecting them a proper number of Soul Gems to activate a Soul Orb… But I did not like either of them.

… Will be continued next week :)…