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Other Thoughts and ideas about the Rift, Rewards, Guilds, In game purchases and some minor things.

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by RancorSnp, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. RancorSnp

    RancorSnp New Member

    Jul 23, 2018
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    (I was hoping to divide this into collapsible sections with spoilers but since I have no idea how to do that this once again going to be a mess, I tried to use text size difference instead, hope it helps and sorry about that.)

    Rift match making :
    Rift matchmaking is having a big issue with the addition of resets, the issues are caused by the fact the point of resets makes gold 1 players a valid opponents for the top 3 players. I think we can all agree that rift reset has been a good idea to solve the issue of top players not being able to find matches, but it did not work out well.
    1. Discord player have since came up with multiple ideas to solve this issue, my personal favorite, and having the most following has been Fel’s idea of having reset tiers. Reset tiers would work in similar fashion to the new system, but would push back players to different values hopefully allowing the top players to once again separate from the average mortals, but would still allow players to climb up to the level where the top players can find matches. The ideas for the reset tiers so far were to have players reset to the last multiple of 50 or 100, or have the reset tiers scale up with rift ranking.
    2. My idea was to introduce dummy players, dummy players would be AI bases that the player would be matched against if they did not find an opponent. The dummy player should be based on player’s fs and increase in difficulty every time it’s faced until the player has lost. The obvious problem with this solution is - how does the AI player even attack the player? Do they just get a set score? Do they rng their performance?
    3. An idea suggested by Beldr was that the players should be matched against each other based on their fs rather than / or in addition to their rift ranking. This one aims to help against players dropping the rift ranking on purpose, but I believe it would tend to be inaccurate or too easy to cheat on, unless additional safety measures are take
    4. Another solution from DisplayName was to make rift give players a set of fighters to use, instead of using their own collections. This way it would all come down to skill and knowledge, but sadly it would also mean every investment players did in defense variants has been a waste of valuable in game resources. I’m very much against this idea for the rift, but I do believe it would work as a separate game mode, it does actually remind me of a “card game” game mode we came up with with Fel a long time ago, where player would get a deck of variant cards he has to use in the order of the draw to beat challenges or another players deck. Of course at the time of this suggestion rifts weren’t a thing yet.
    I think these are some really good ways to solve the issue of rift matchmaking we have right now, but sadly I believe the real issue with the rift is more fundamental, and the reset system only made players notice it more. Rift isn’t fun to play when you can’t win. While some attempt has been made to solve this by awarding players rift coins per node cleared, it still does not help when you can’t clear nodes.

    The first one being there is too much on stake in the rift, the rewards are too good to pass on, and a loss sets you back a lot. The game stops being a game when you NEED to win, it gets frustrating and you stop appreciating the fun factor. The latter is our rewards system, top 10 players are unmatched because the game made them unmatched. Yes they are without a doubt some of the most skilled players around and they would still perform superb even without their overpowered collections. But they have both the skill and overpowered collections, because the game has been rewarding them for being on top for years. the gap is much harder to close if the player you try to catch up to gets better things than you do.

    Why % reward systems are bad
    And with this we come to my second point of this post the % reward system not only isn’t fun it is the reason behind the power creep that made the game less enjoyable. I’ve been vocal about how much I despise the % reward system, and I’ve suggested some little adjustments that could be made to it over the year I’ve been playing, but this time around I’m going full out and will say : remove the % rewards altogether.

    Instead create a normal reward tiers with the same rewards, maybe improve on the low tier rewards so the new players are no longer being spit on by the game while the older players get the good things. Even if the milestones are very high and still only x% of the players can reach them, it’s a clear goal for everyone interested to go for. No longer a player will spend 20 hours of their weekend only to get nothing because they were top11, no longer chat will be filled with questions of how much points do I need to get and then crying when they stopped too soon. Make it obvious and fair for everyone. Prevent players just leveling up their fighters from affecting what rewards newer players get, and stop the scores climbing higher and higher.

    Another big point I want to address is the coming ever so closer guilds, and my concerns about this gameplay feature. So far all of the content has been fairly competitive and I am worried that the same will be true for the guilds. I believe that if anywhere, your guild should be one place where player should be able to relax and have fun, especially if everything else is one big competition. There is little worse than completing a guild quest, only to realize you get less rewards because your friend who was playing longer than you contributed more to a quest.

    But what should even guilds be like? What features do we need or want? One obvious thing that probably comes to mind of most players is raids and while I agree that guild raids are fun, I do not think they are a necessary feature that needs to be from the very beginning.

    The most important thing about a guild is working together to achieve some goal and build something together with your friends. So the necessary features are guild quests, which are daily (non expiring unless cleared) missions that all of the members contribute towards. A treasury, where players can donate their gold and theonite (it’s very important to set a limit on max daily contribution, this limit may be player level dependent) which can later be spent by the guild on guild upgrades.

    What could the upgrades be? I’d like to be very clear about the fact I do not think players should be able to make their fighters fs any stronger. But the guild upgrades can still be very beneficial by improving the amount of items / variants they can hold in their collection, improve coins, theonite, skill points and exp gain for it’s members, or maybe even have things straight up rewards these. If we wanted to improve on the fighters in any way, I suggest temporary secondary stat buffs that a guild can purchase for a few days at a time. Without touching any main stats as not to make fighters stronger, let players enjoy resistances other filler stats and very minor buffs.

    Of course guilds come with a risk of players gathering in the guild that gives them the most benefits, that’s only natural. To prevent it from happening the maximum member count should be made into an upgrade as well, combined with the daily donation limits it will force players to create multiple guilds so they do not have to wait for days or weeks to enjoy bonuses.

    The guild does not have to be limited to just using guild contributions as it’s currency either, as guild only resources can be introduced and offer upgrades increasing the gains of these resources. I do think it would be a little too much for sgm but we could have one extra resource : reseach points. Research points are fairly common practice in mmo’s they basically present players with a bar that counts up on it’s own regardless of what players do or do not until it maxes out. Seeing how prominent the idea of labs is in Skullgirls universe I think it would be a lot of fun if every guild could work on it’s own lab improve upon it, and hire NPC’s (and level them up!) that affect research points and upgrades.

    But with all that cooperative centered features mentioned, the guild does not have to be only cooperation, as there is one kind of competition that most people are okay with in a guild, guild wars. But I honestly think these are a topic for a different point in time. What I will say for now is that guild wars should be more about prestige than rewards ( as not to discourage lower ranked guilds ) and shouldn’t be too intrusive, either giving guild masters complete control over when and where or make them a seasonal event.

    In game purchases

    With all the big topics out of the way, I’d like to talk about something a lot happier and nicer, spending money :) . SGM has always been highly regarded by it’s player base for the fact it's very free to play friendly, and we all hope that will never change.
    That said we are also all hoping to get the new skullgirls character(s) playable, and we realize it takes a lot of money to create a skullgirls character, and that money has to come from us.

    While I would personally love to see the new character crowdfunded I fully understand the logic behind it being completely funded with in game purchases, so I have talked with discord players (Fel, Riot, Ryouhi, Sheik) about their ideas of monetization and these are what we came up with :

    We have agreed that pay to win is not okay, but there is one in game benefit we would be okay with which is increased exp gain tickets (they should come with an increased exp gain event every now and then too so free players can also enjoy it). That said only a few people did see this discussion on discord, so I’d much appreciate if forum users also commented on whether they are okay with this or not.

    But since all the other in game benefits are not okay, the only logical solution to the players not spending enough would be cosmetics. I am honestly not sure how viable implementation of cosmetics in sgm even is, but a few ideas thrown around were voice packs, intro animations, alternate card pictures, alternate taunt animations, hats (and other accessories)

    Of course another idea for in game purchases is the support fighters system I have proposed some time ago :)

    And with that I think I think I am done for today, I will list a few more things that do need anywhere as much text to explain :

    • Allow max level characters to earn mastery levels, the mastery levels would do nothing other than display a number and count up to infinity, so the player still does see an exp bar move after every fight and does not feel pressured to stop using their fighters when they hit the max level. Mastery levels could reward player with skill points.
    • A very big deal I have no solution for at the moment is giving player some use for multiple nat diamonds of the same type, who are too expensive to invest in but can not be in any way removed. Suggested by Ryouhi is to allow player to reroll them / turn into shards. (but what when the player has all the nat diamonds?)
    • Allow players to pay the recent move upgrade cost +5% again, to reroll the last stat distribution, allowing bad moves to be more useful, but remain hellish expensive to work the stats the way you want.
    • Rift fights could use rewarding players with exp, so players see them as more valuable, and become more likely to use weak teams on attack (Maybe improve long shot bonus for the risk to be more attractive?)
    • Allow players to sell a fighter that’s already been invested in, returning x% of skill points, keys and coins spent. Hopefully this will make players more eager to experiment with new variants seeing as they can just destroy it to return some of the resources spent if they do not like it. (I would not mind being able to grind characters into coins based on their total exp but I do understand it would be another beginner trap)
  2. Liam

    Liam !Robot
    Hidden Variable Dev

    May 17, 2017
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    Thanks for putting all of this together! Love reading posts that are made with community collaboration.

    I'll make sure that we spend time going over this feedback in one of our upcoming meetings. =)
    Ryouhi and RancorSnp like this.
  3. Ryouhi

    Ryouhi Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Yeah, very much agree with everything said here. It was a necessary change for the highest tiers and their queue times, but right now matchmaking just feels like luck of the draw. I'm D4 myself, and maybe i'll be matched vs a G1 player, maybe i'll be matched vs a Phenom or D1 player.
    Personally i think including base FS may be the best way of ensuring fair fights, but that's one more layer of thing to consider for matchmaking which will again increase queue times. Hopefully we get something worked out soon.

    This is my main issue with rifts overall, fundamentally. I don't mind losing my streaks in PFs (well... i do but not to the extent of losing a rift battle) since you can relatively quickly rebuild it and if you put in the elbow grease, you get your rewards. With rifts, we have some of the most valuable rewards in the game, a bunch of essence shards for all tiers and in no small amounts. Especially when you join the coveted Diamond tier, the rewards get too juicy to pass up, so you need to fight tooth and nail to stay in it.
    This makes every match so much more stressful than it needs to be. I'm usually so on edge i can't even enjoy playing the match, instead getting angry at every little mistake i make, as it could decide over winning or losing. (this may be more of a "me"-problem, but yeah)

    I've played with this thought a lot in the recent months as well.
    Having a clear goalpost for how many points you need would be much more motivating for players and actually show newbies how they are progressing in the game, as they see with every PF they are reaching higher scores.
    Also, like you mentioned, PF cutoffs seem to keep rising and rising, which isn't so much of a problem for veterans, it's just a few more fights for them, but makes it harder and harder for new players to find their place in the upper tiers.

    Yay for more social stuff in the game! I wanna hang out with my discord buddies in game and work towards stuff together.
    I agree, guilds should not increase combat stats. I've seen other games do this and this basically makes it *mandatory* to find a guild, otherwise you will objectively be weaker.
    Having it be more focused on "meta" bonuses like you suggested would be great.

    Personally, i'm really excited for smth like a good ol' Marie raid with all your friends.

    One more suggestion - something i've seen in a nother gacha game - something like a personal training room for players.
    A place you could set a few of your fighters to accumulate XP over time on their own. Or collecting excess XP from Max level fighters you can then offer to the fighters you have training. This would not leave you feeling like you keep wasting XP by using maxed out fighters. This would of course be less efficient than carrying said fighters through a fight, but it'd still give some safer XP for those low levels.

    Also agree on all fronts. Only thing so far i considered pay2win was when you could refresh fighters in rifts, but this has since been removed, so i am happy with that.

    And i'd love to see "cosmetics" as in game purchases. I need the female announcer and weebcock voices pls.
    Depending on the demand, maybe this could be a viable option to produce more of them in the future?


    Well, to keep it short, this is a great summary of things i agree with.
    Hope my own rambling isn't too unstructured right now, as i'm tired as heck haha.
    Great work on writing this up however!
    BallotBoxer and RancorSnp like this.
  4. RancorSnp

    RancorSnp New Member

    Jul 23, 2018
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    Thanks for taking time to actually read my post and reply!

    I do like the training room idea, it does sound like a nice quality of life addition for leveling fodder up before they are used up to evolve fighters. And honestly any solutions to the feeling of exp waste are welcome.

    As for the Guild raids, I am also really excited about them, and I'm happy you bring them up because I should have talked about this feature more, instead of just saying it does not need to come in the same patch as the guilds are added, but I didn't want to double post and editing this in runs the risk of people not noticing it appeared.

    A discord user SickoMode was just sharing their raid ideas earlier today, and suggested that the guild raid be a 24 hour weekend event, where the guild fights a Boss Marie with infinite health and the goal is to deal as much damage as possible in that time. Ranking the guilds by damage and reward the accordingly.

    To which I counter proposed a change to the reward system, to difficulty levels, the guilds would pick a difficulty they attempt the raid on, and the rewards would depend on the difficulty "cleared", we could even make new difficulties guild upgrades, having the players unlock new difficulties before they can challenge them but this may be pushing it a bit too far.

    I also do not think that the guild raid should be this time consuming, especially with elemental pf and medici players have to participate in during the weekend. To prevent the guild raid from being another pf to grind, we could limit the amount of attempts player can take during one raid, only allow using a fighter once, or both of these at the same time.

    Another fun idea we could add to make raid more interactive, is we could have optional challenge nodes, if the challenge is passed a player would receive buffs to help him out against the boss, while failing a challenge would count as one attempt at the boss. And of course once again there is room for "NPC's" (the npc's in my ideas are pretty much upgrades represented with a character from the skull girls lore) players could invest in to change the rules of the fight.

    One last thing I have to say about the raids for now is about ranking players withing the guild, as said before I believe that the rewards should be even among the participants, so it's a cooperative experience, at most I could see set milestones for rewards to prevent players from just attempting once to claim the full rewards. That said if the players can see the scores of their guild mates it may encourage them to compete for fun - as long as they still earn the same rewards so it's a healthy competition rather than trying to steal the rewards from eachother
  5. Dusty00

    Dusty00 Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2019
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    @RancorSnp This is a wonderful post with thoughtful ideas collected from the discord community. Perhaps I should join so I can participate in these exciting conversations!

    I'm actually on the fence about getting a Guild system for this game. With our current content, my phone's screentime tells me that I spend an average of 4hrs on SGM everyday, and around 7~8 hours per day on weekends. I definitely want to echo what you said about not making guild related activities more "time consuming". I've said several times in other threads, but SGM needs a huge overhaul in terms of content across all modes so that players can continue to enjoy the game without feeling burnt out.

    A major "cleanup" of the too many types of resources in the game would help keep the focus of this game to "playing" rather than "managing resources".

    Finally, I love what you said about too much at stake with Rift mode, especially the rewards. Like @Ryouhi said, it's become very stressful to HAVE to participate in rift because it's the only way players can earn some of the most valuable resources in the game: elemental shards, diamond shards, and diamond keys. As much as I love the rewards, I have to say that the 1 week that Rift was closed was actually a very needed break from SGM. I wouldn't mind if Rift is every other week, or if there are scheduled down times.

    In short, I really hope this game doesn't get too bloated with too many features and requirements for players to enjoy (and continue to enjoy because you're forced to play a new mode because that's the only way you can progress). If new game modes are to be added, then it should be a requirement to first streamline existing content!
    RancorSnp and Ryouhi like this.
  6. Pepperlunatic

    Pepperlunatic Active Member

    Jun 16, 2017
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    So I've discussed with several people in channel 800 and here is what they have told me about the problem with the suggestions about rift battle above:
    1. tier reset just simply created more matching issues
    2. dummy player removes the element of pvp and just makes players who uses more tickets to win which will make this game p2w
    3. fight score matching is not good because each characters have different average fs which can makes the matching inaccurate and punish players who has more stronger cerebella to fight against higher level players.
    RancorSnp likes this.
  7. RancorSnp

    RancorSnp New Member

    Jul 23, 2018
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    You raise a valid concern that forcing the player to participate in too many different kinds of events may feel overwhelming, I honestly did not consider it as I tend to think of new features more as alternatives to the PF.
    I do not think we are at the point where adding guilds could be too much for the players to handle, but especially with set milestones on the PF's that I propose players may feel forced to play all of these features.

    This is definitely something worth considering, how do we make players think they have a choice of what to spend their time with, rather than pressured to do everything at once?

    While not a solution to the problem, a thing that multiple players have mentioned on discord, with I believe Beldr being the most vocal about it is to reduce the amount of rift fights you need to play weekly to get the rewards to 5 or even 4 a week.

    Thank you very much for taking time to discuss this with other players in game! Even more so for the fact these are players who might not participate in discord nor forums discussions, I believe channel 800 is korean chat? These are some of our best players and we usually only hear from few of them.

    1. For now I do not see why would tier reset create more match making issues, and I'd love to hear about it in more detail. In theory we are hoping that the top players just separate themselves from anyone who isn't D1 or 2, but again that is just a theory and it might flop as soon as we test it out in game.

    2. Yes the dummy player removes the element of PvP, but if the fight against the AI is really hard to win, it wouldn't be so much pay to win, but then they may feel punished for not having a player in their matching range, quite a problem isn't it?
    As I see it there are two solutions to this problem, and it may be good to implement them even if dummy player system is not added in the game - Either a) Remove the ability to buy more tickets. OR b) Have the matches bought with theonite only reward rift coins, but not affect the rift ranking score... which I already can see some issues with as soon as I wrote it.

    As for 3. I do agree

    Once again thank you for taking time to discuss it with other players, and I'd love to (and I assume our developers would as well) hear some of their suggestions on how to improve the rift
    Pepperlunatic and Ryouhi like this.
  8. Pepperlunatic

    Pepperlunatic Active Member

    Jun 16, 2017
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    I guess they were worried about facing Moor after a score reset :D. It would be ideal to make sure to seperate D1 and D2 from other groups but still people were very pessimistic about that actually working from what I have heard from them.

    Overall, everyone in channel 800(probably except Moor who has nothing to be afraid of) consider Rift Battle as stressful and unfair game mode that has irresistible rewards(pretty much what everyone agrees on). There was also concerns about lack of opportunities to get diamond keys considering diamond keys cost 1000000 canopy, very low rate in accursed experiment in the near future, and only top 200 can get diamond key regularly. Consdiering how difficult it is to make Rift Battle better, it would be important to make Diamond Keys more accessible other than rift battle, ridiculous amount of canopy, and luck.
    crx, Dusty00 and RancorSnp like this.

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