Creating A Better System of Rewards - Incentivizing Builders and Raiders
Currently, we have a problem. There is a dearth of well designed bases active at any given time. This hurts raiders, because there is no fun content for them to raid, and it hurts builders because it results in a decreased player base leading to fewer raids on their outposts.
I believe the devs designed a really good game here, but I don't think they put enough thought into player psychology when it comes to rewarding players. Personally, and I'm sure this will probably be true of most people on these forums, but perhaps not true of the wider (now MIA) player base, the reward I look for is overcoming a particularly difficult outpost. However, I think that many players are motivated by extrinsic rewards.
Let's examine the rewards that are in place:
- Rank: This was improved as you no longer lose rank, but it still is not a good extrinsic motivator. For the hardcore player, it's largely irrelevant. Masters is relatively easy to reach (if you are motivated by the cosmetic rewards), and now that you can no longer lose rank it's not about how well you play but how much you play. For the more laid back player, now it's largely a system (in my opinion) that just hurts the player experience.
- Raider vs. Builder: You would think this would be a straight forward part of the game design. Raiders are rewarded for completing outposts as quickly and efficiently as possible, and builders are rewarded for killing as many raiders as possible. However, this mostly leads to builders creating maps that aren't fun to raid. Kill boxes exist because builders aren't incentivized to create fun maps, they are incentivized to rack up the kills. I imagine raiders don't mind dying to a brutal, well thought out, base design. But most people will see an outpost with an insane kill box and either Alt+F4 out or just quit. It's unfun for the larger player base (especially to the more casual players who are quitting in droves).
- Materials: Raiders are rewarded materials for 1. completing as many outposts as quickly as possible and 2. destroying tombs. Builders are rewarded materials for killing players. Refer to reward structure for point #2 for why that may be a problem. With the improved drop rates of synthite, this is less of a problem than it used to be, but overall I don't see this as a perfect reward system either.
- Upgrading your advisors and chimera. Alright, let's face it, 2 (maybe 3) of the advisor boosts are largely useless now. With the buff to prestige, you don't really need to use that boost. Parts are a dime a dozen, and synthite is still a relatively rare commodity so boosting genmat still doesn't make much sense. This leaves us with two advisors that you pretty much MUST run, which is boring. If it's mandatory, it's not a choice, and so not interesting. Additionally, chimera level doesn't really seem to matter, so what's the point?
Now, on to fixing these issues.
Fixing number four is, in my opinion, probably the easiest. 1. we boost synthite by 30% All the time, it doesn't need to be an activated boost. 2. For the remaining 5, we change it up. You can only have 2-3 active at any given time and each offers two boosts (one for building and one for raiding). For raiding, they give you some sort of extra effect. Say, a run speed bonus, an extra equipment slot, etc. Things to make the raiding experience a little different, with interesting choices that you might want depending upon your playstyle or the outposts you are raiding. For builders, I'm not sure what incentives the boosts could offer (maybe boosts solely target raiders?). Input on this point encouraged!
My idea for fixing #2 is perhaps a little more complicated. We need builders to create fun bases, and to do that I think raiders need some way to communicate their enjoyment back to the builder in a more tangible way. I suggest raiders be given a new resource based on the number of bases they raid. Perhaps, every 10-25 outposts raided they get one of this new resource. For the player that earns it, they can't use it for anything other than to reward it to builders whose outposts they enjoy. For the builder, this resource is valuable in some way. Possible options are:
- It gives a visibility boost to their outpost for a short time when they receive the reward.
- It increases the amount of time their outpost can be active for.
- It increases the capacity of their outpost by a small amount.
- If they receive X number in the life of the outpost, some other reward to the builder (perhaps cosmetic or tied to the specific outpost like a hall of fame).
Fixing #3 is complicated. Clearly it is a reward system meant to encourage play and activity. It's not a perfect system, but I don't see any improvements for it. Community thought?
Fixing #1, like I mentioned, might just be to scrap it and rethink the ranking system. Perhaps even separate ranks for raiding and building. The current system rewards raiding over building, but we need to encourage builders just as much.
The system is symbiotic. Raiders can't exist without builders, and vice versa. There should be some tension between the two, but ultimately the experience needs to be fun for both and the rewards should encourage the type of raiding and building that we all want to experience.
rootisonfire Member Posts: 36
I've been thinking about how to address the issue of materials in the game, and I came up with a random idea that could potentially solve this problem and add an interesting twist to the gameplay. Currently, we have five different categories for GenMat: suits, traps, guards, equipment, and weapons. What if one of these categories contained the cure for the Chimera, the legendary cure we've been seeking based on the game's lore?
Here's how it could work: For each player, the category that holds the cure is randomized, but it's universally set at level 40. The catch is that players don't know which category holds the cure. Once the cure is unlocked, it introduces a new material into the game. We can call this material something like "Chimera Essence" for now. This material could be the missing piece the game needs to address the scarcity of materials.
To obtain this new material when raiding, players would first need to collect the GenMat. After that, when they start destroying traps and guards, these enemies will start dropping the highly coveted Chimera Essence. This would encourage raiders to be strategic and not rush through destroying every trap and guard until they reach the GenMat treasure. Taking their time to meticulously dismantle traps would become crucial for acquiring the valuable material.
Now, how can this new material be utilized? I propose two different applications for it. Firstly, the material would be required to participate in tournaments. Secondly, it would also be needed to host tournaments. Builders who have enough Chimera Essence can initiate tournaments by selecting one of their mastered maps (prestige level 10) and categorizing it as "Explore" (artistic), "You Will Not Survive" (brutal), "Don't Get Lost" (ingenious), or Thrillseeker (Fun). The cost of starting a tournament would correspond to the rewards offered to the top 10 players who manage to conquer the map.
Here's the interesting part: The idea behind tournaments is that the Chimera is using the lure of the cure material to attract more raiders, as their genetic material is essential for creating the cure. In order to complete the cure for the specific GenMat type a player is working on, the gen in that category would need to reach level 100. Hosting tournaments allows builders to collect more GenMat for each raider death that occurs during the tournament.
By participating in tournaments, players can earn substantial rewards. The top-ranked players would receive a generous amount of GenMat, along with a blend of cells, parts, and synthite based on their ranking. For instance, being the first-place winner in a tournament would grant 20,000 GenMat, as well as 500 of each material. Second place would receive 15,000 Gen and 450 of each material, and so on.
Additionally, players would also collect any materials collected during the tournament run. This would further incentivize players to participate and perform well in these competitive events. No matter what, those who rank 10 or beyond all receive the same reward that is the same as a brutal level map + 50 of each resource.
This idea would not only address the scarcity of materials but also introduce a captivating gameplay element centered around the search for the Chimera cure. It would create a symbiotic relationship between raiders and builders, as raiders' participation in tournaments provides builders with more GenMat, while raiders can earn valuable rewards by conquering challenging tournament maps.
In addition to the rewards for participating in tournaments and earning GenMat, there would be additional incentives to encourage players to join and engage in tournaments. The Chimera would periodically announce changes in players' ranks, indicating that it's time to run the tournament again. This would create a sense of urgency and motivate players to participate in the tournaments regularly.
To ensure fairness and prevent last-minute pros from joining the tournament, players would need to sign up in advance by paying a registration fee with Chimera Essence. This would require players to plan and commit to the tournament, fostering a strategic element in their decision-making.
The tournaments would have a set duration, such as a week, during which players can attempt the designated tournament map multiple times. This allows players to refine their strategies, improve their performance, and aim for higher rankings. The time limit adds a sense of excitement and urgency to the tournaments.
The rewards for each category of tournament, such as Explore, Brutal, Ingenious, and Fun, would be tailored to fit the specific theme. These rewards would be exclusive and unique to each category, providing additional motivation for players to participate. For example, the Explore category could offer unique decorations, the Brutal category could provide special trap modifications, the Ingenious category could unlock new map building features, and the Fun category might offer exclusive raiding equipment, suits, or tools (such as a replacement for the grappling hook).
Participating in multiple tournaments would allow players to gradually unlock these exclusive rewards, even if they face challenges or frustrations along the way. The desire to obtain these rewards and test their skills against other players would drive them to give their best effort in the tournaments.
Furthermore, the overarching goal of the players would be to contribute to the progress of building the cure. While the specifics of this aspect are yet to be determined, it could involve accumulating certain resources or reaching specific milestones collectively as a player community. This would create a sense of collaboration and a shared purpose among players, adding depth to the game's storyline and lore.
In order to provide a more detailed explanation of the specific goals and constraints for each category in the tournament, we can introduce them as follows:
- Thrillseeker (Fun):
- Objective: Defeat as many guards and navigate through traps throughout the level within the given time limit.
- Constraints: The timer starts as soon as the player begins the tournament. Participants can attempt the tournament multiple times to achieve faster completion times and higher scores. The focus is on showcasing agility, combat skills, and efficient traversal through guarded and trapped areas. The goal is to destroy as many guards and traps as possible within the time limit. If all traps and guards on the map are destroyed before the timer runs out, the timer stops. In case of a tie, the player who also acquired the GenMat and completed the objective in the shortest time wins.
- Don't Get Lost (Fun):
- Objective: Complete the map in the shortest time possible without retries.
- Constraints: The "Don't Get Lost" maps do not contain traps. Players have the option to follow HRV for guidance, but doing so will result in a longer completion time. Navigating without HRV poses a risk of getting lost but offers the opportunity for a faster completion. The goal is to showcase strategic decision-making and efficient route planning.
- You Will Not Survive:
- Objective: Complete the map with the fewest number of deaths.
- Constraints: Participants can attempt the "You Will Not Survive" category multiple times. The player with the fewest deaths will be in the lead. In case of a tie, the speed of completion will be considered, followed by the combined number of traps and guards destroyed. The emphasis is on strategic planning, evasion, and minimizing casualties while successfully completing the raid.
- Objective: Discover and collect specific items listed by the builder throughout the map in the shortest time possible.
- Constraints: The "Explore" category does not feature traps. Players embark on a scavenger hunt, locating and collecting or destroying items specified by the builder. Each collected item checks off an item from the displayed list. Once all items are found and the list is complete, players must finish the designated route and successfully escape. The focus is on thorough exploration, attention to detail, and swift item collection.
By incorporating these additional ideas, the tournament system would not only address the issue of materials but also provide a competitive and rewarding gameplay experience, encourage player engagement, and contribute to the overarching narrative of the game.0
- Thrillseeker (Fun):
"Fixing number four is, in my opinion, probably the easiest. 1. we boost synthite by 30% All the time, it doesn't need to be an activated boost. 2. For the remaining 5, we change it up. You can only have 2-3 active at any given time and each offers two boosts (one for building and one for raiding). For raiding, they give you some sort of extra effect. Say, a run speed bonus, an extra equipment slot, etc. Things to make the raiding experience a little different, with interesting choices that you might want depending upon your playstyle or the outposts you are raiding. For builders, I'm not sure what incentives the boosts could offer (maybe boosts solely target raiders?). Input on this point encouraged!"
they just increased synthite economy and your suggestion is to increase it again? then the suggestion of an actual performance change in map related to boosts makes the game 'I can't afford my powerups so i can't beat this raid, better quit and find something easier' boosts should not directly affect performance.
"My idea for fixing #2 is perhaps a little more complicated. We need builders to create fun bases, and to do that I think raiders need some way to communicate their enjoyment back to the builder in a more tangible way. I suggest raiders be given a new resource based on the number of bases they raid."
here is an art build i made in normal that i upgraded to brutal at P5, 50 accolades, 56 raids.
here is an "XP" map that all the traps are acid, rewards no xp or loot. with 58 accolades, and 57 raids at the end of P3. a full prestiege lower with more accolades and raids, designed to waste the raiders time and punish them being rewarded more than art.
this is the core of your problem. raiders are garbage who can't be trusted to reward fun builds that took time and effort, and would rather play AND reward "free" bases designed to give them nothing.
the best solution i have to this is to make accolades given increase the lifetime of an outpost and i still don't like it because again, they play and vote more for XP maps than builds i put actual time and effort into making fun.
"Fixing #3 is complicated. Clearly it is a reward system meant to encourage play and activity. It's not a perfect system, but I don't see any improvements for it. Community thought?"
Give the builder resources equal to the raider for destroyed traps, give the builder a bonus to resources earned during the run based on the percentage of surviving guards/traps on the final run. give the builder the same reward as the raiders who open the forsaken tombs, reward the builder 25% of this amount for any tomb still alive at the end of the raid (to discourage tomb blocking) lower tomb loot 50% for raider, increase loot from trap/guard destruction 100%.
"Fixing #1, like I mentioned, might just be to scrap it and rethink the ranking system. Perhaps even separate ranks for raiding and building. The current system rewards raiding over building, but we need to encourage builders just as much."
Personally i advocate for bringing back and increasing the rank penalty for people who quit maps. the suit advisor boost is provided, you can't get kicked out of masters once your in it, and a true master completes the challenge in front of them, not quits. the fact that they removed rank penalty to cater to people who thought they should be master when they clearly aren't masters is gross. everyone wants their participation trophy. with information freely provided, there should be consequences for choices willingly made. This no consequence mindset is unbecoming of a game based around outposts of death.1