Something that can discourage people from playing: the ranks system.
Allowing each ship in each Tier and class to have a real place.
/!\ …Yes, i did a wall of text again excuse me x)
Last editing: 13/09/2015 13:35 GMT+1
Care! My favourite solution c) is now the a)!!! It is for more easier approach that I moved it up.
Introduction: How to touch one of the cores of a game with tact
Here, I will aboard something that is the core of the game: the levelling path. The core of a game tells if there will be a lot or only a few players interested on playing it or not and of course if the player base will be huge or small.
Before that I start with all my personal experience, I will talk about the general feeling of new players (with medium-low skills) when they reach new tiers: THEY ARE SAD. Sad of being instant-killed because they have a brand new rank 7 and their opponent have a rank 9 full purple and max synergy with 2 more crew points (the R9 crew is strong). And when they finally reach the rank 9, they realize that this ship is not the same than the rank 7 they use to fly with… because this is not the same ship…because its synergy bonuses are differents, because its slot layout is different. Synergy bonuses and slot layout makes each ship different.
Until last month, I was fooled by the levelling system: I thought that a Rank 15 ship was better in all ways than a Rank 13…Wich seems normal in any games where you needs to progress through ranks. But in fact, someone told me that the ships of a same Tier and same subclass are differents and have to be played differently. This is not by ranks that you have to see a ship, but by Tiers. And I figured out that in star conflict, this is a big mess and discourage people from playing.
I) Problems apear now:
*PVP make players suffer when they reach a new rank because their ship is not rank max (not level, ranks!).
*PVE is unfair with ships not at top-rank.
*I was forced to play a ship R13 to access the ship Rank 15 that I wanted to play.
*One day I wanted to play differently and play the Rank 13 wich had had more crits than cooldown reduction but this Rank 13 don’t benefit the 2 last crew points and have less stats than the Rank 15.
*Current Ranks missleads people by letting them think that a rank above is better but in fact synergy bonuses ** and slot layout **makes each ship different.
*Current linear ranks encourage people to Tier-rush.
I was like: “Awww… How can I play the Rank 13 if it has less stats and crew points than the Rank 15? But wait, the Rank 13 is not the same ship than the 15? So why it is like this? I should then take the highest ship possible.”
Wich was wrong like I explained above. In fact, ships have ranks to “force” people to buy all of them. For improving diversity? For improving game lifetime? Because the devs didn’t know how to separate crew points from ships ranks? To avoid tier-rushing? I don’t know but it is like that.
II) An idea!
And recently, I had an idea! (BADUM-TCHIIIIII) It would needs a lot of work from the devs but would be beneficial for the game.
The idea is to allow each ships in each Tier and class to have a real place for them and to improve diversity of playstyles (YES! You will see Phobos and Silent-fox played again in T3, lol).
Prepare yourself…heart attack incomming… 3…2…1…0: I want to remove the ranks and make each Tier really different… hehehe… did I scare you? Let me explain how it would work because you still needs to buy all ships in a subclass before the level-max and it resolve the crew problem as well.
Note: I saw many games working like that like world of tanks (even if I hate this one) for example and it is really better. (link to trees here)
Each ship in a same Tier and same subclass have to be balanced to be playable, wich means that the Phobos and the Silent-fox will be as playable as the Achilles or the Hyena.
Things to tweak a little or to let as currently:
*The gameplay of each ship is different, remember: synergy bonuses ** and slot layout **makes each ship different.
*The levelling of a single ship have to pass by the purchasing and looting of new items and also by the synergy gains.
_ Things to modify: _
*The levelling of the rank of a subclass have to pass by the Tiers and not the ranks (since they don’t exist): stats to balance between ships of a same Tier
*I talk about Crew in the part 3)
2) Ship tree
On this picture, we can see my current Tier III for Federation for informational purposes:
I prefer to tell you that my favourite solution is the a) because it is the easiest to understand for new players but I made several for the sake of diversity.
a) You are ready for changes. (Easy to understand)
The ship tree become more vertical and there is only one column inside a Tier.
This is a temporary schema: (Note that even if the Wolf reach the level required for unlocking the next Tier, you will still need to buy and reach the required level with the Wolf-M as well)
White lines are pathes.
Red pathes are locked and green ones are unlocked.
b) If you want to keep 3 lines (Hard to understand):
On this pic that I modified, we can see the modified Tier III just reached by someone: no more ranks, only three columns with crew points to unlock and no more “direct lines” between each Tier and each ships:
*yellow ships are not bought
*green ships are bought
*Unlocked means that you can purchase this ship
*Red things means that you cannot purchase this ship
*L = level
*Orange squares on the left and on the right are locks between Tiers. You can see what is required to unlock them by clicking on them. (On the picture, I written directly on them, but it would be ugly in-game and it would not have enought space)
*numbers in red = Number of ships from the subclass required to unlock
*TL = Total level required to unlock
For unlocking and buying new ships:
1) New tier reached.
Example: Immagine, like in the picture above, the Tier III with Federation Fighters for example.
2) You have ships ready to be bought with credits, the ones from the same line (subclass) that unlocked the tier.
Example: If I follow the same example as above, it is the line from tacklers that unlocked the tier III so the two ships allowed (unlocked) to buy are the Silent-Fox or the Hyena.
3) You choose to buy a ship and now all the other from the tier are locked. You can only choose to buy one for the moment.
Example: Immagine that I picked the Hyena randomly because I found it usefull and nice and now the Silent-fox is locked and not purchasable for the moment.
4) I have now to reach the required level of synergy for the ship that I unlocked to be able to buy the other ships of the same tier and same class.
Example: The hyena need 7 or 8 level (sorry, I don’t remember) to be able to buy the next ship at the moment, so let’s say that it is 7 to unlock the other ships, wich means only the Silent-fox here.
5) If I want to buy a ship that is on another line (another subclass but same class), I need to fulfill the tasks on the ship’s lock. After that I bought one, it locks the others like for the main subclass at point 3).
Example: Immagine that I want to buy the gunships in Tier III Federation. I will have to reach the level required wether with the Hyena or with the Silent-fox because it require only one ship at the required level from the main subclass (tacklers here).
Example 2: In Tier IV Federation interceptors, when you want to unlock the Eagle-M, you have two choices: unlocking two recons (if you unlocked them previously) and reach the required total level with both or unlock two covert-ops (if you unlocked them previously) and reach the required total level with both.
6) I have to buy all the ships of the same line and reach the total level required to reach the next Tier, to be able to purchase a ship in the Tier above.
Example: In Tier III Federation Fighters, I bought all the tacklers (Silent-fox + Hyena) and the total level required to unlock the Tier IV is 7 (current Hyena to Wolf Mk.II) + 7 (current Silent-fox to Hyena) = 14 for example.
c) If you wants to keep 3 lines and no more locks between ships (Easier than b but still hard to understand):
Removing the lock after buying a ship at the point 3) (only to this point!) then the player could buy all the ships on the line at the same time if he have enought credits.
Thanks to that, this would be simplier to understand I think.
let me time to make a picture of the big mess x)
3) crew and contracts
Crew points work now by Tier and apply to all ships in the same tier but are unlocked with new ships like it is currently.
Contracts are unlocked at the same rate than crew points.
3 points given each new Tier.
There is still 3 points by Tier. 1 in each column.
When I buy a ship in a Tier, it unlocks 1 point. (Shown instead of ranks in the column)
When there is a hole in a column, it unlocks 1 free point when I buy the next ship. (I talk about it under)
If I have a ship in Tier III, it will use Tier I points, Tier II points and all currently unlocked points in Tier III
Some moving should be done or points will be allowed strangely, all ships must be aligned right and no more with ranks.
instead of having this:
Ship R7 / No ship R8 / Ship R9
We would have this:
No ship T3, Column 1 (and free crew point if I unlock the next ship) / Ship T3, Column 2 / Ship T3, Column 3
Like solution b**)**
4) PVE and PVP
Battles are now by Tier in PVE
Battles are still like currently in PVP
5) In any case
Premium ships don’t have the same synergy bonuses, gives free synergy, don’t need repairs and have more cargo.
The system to get them is still the same as currently but it shocks me to be forced to pay to gain a ship that works diferently from the free ones.
Voila! If there is any case that needs explanation for you, ask me in the comments.
I prefer you to ask me if you understood well before making a criticism, I know this is still without pictures and I need some time on Gimp before
The biggest work for developers will be to balance each ship in a same Tier to make them all playable Good luck!
Thank you for reading all, have a nice day, check the poll above and comment if you have more ideas or simpler ways or anithing