Gameplay Loop, Content Release, and Incentive Changes (Full Concept!)
Meet Your Maker has a solid foundation of gameplay that appeals to a variety of gamers. And the seemingly frequent updates that supply fresh mods, building objects, and other things to the game are great! I posit, however, that these two notions can be combined to help balance the game overall in a satisfying way.
What problems currently exist in game balance? For the purposes of this feedback and game design concept, let's focus on the lack of synthite available to builder mains. As one myself with well over 100 hours in the game I can personally attest to the fact that I spend around 75% to 80% of my time raiding instead of doing what I'd prefer. It is just a fact I have to accept in order to keep my bases up and running.
That said, I understand why. BHVR would like builders to also feel the need to do some raiding. This helps keep more players raiding and thus provides more raid attempts on bases, feeding back into the builders. If builders had no incentive to raid then we would start seeing even fewer raid attempts on average than we are already experiencing.
Which brings me to a new concept proposal I feel might solve issues like this (it helps with others too!) while also promoting an even healthier gameplay loop rooted in more satisfying gains.
Let's include content rewards for raiders and builders in addition to what is already existent upon completing a base. Release the base kit for a new building set, mods, traps, and creatures for free as has been done but then also include a portion of new items as rewards for either building with the new stuff or raiding bases containing it.
For example, recently, the awesome, icky, and colorful Hell-themed blocks just released. What if, in addition to this base set, there was another block, two more animated items, and three more color options for that set that are only obtainable through collecting the genmat from a base containing these cosmetics? This means that to complete a new set, builders would need to raid outposts fully and retrieve the genmat in order to collect everything.
For balance, there would likely need to be a cap on collecting as well as an advisor or other source that allows you to exchange genmat for pieces you don't own. For example, lets say you raid a base that uses 6 different things you don't have. You get one block or cosmetic unlocked at random for completing the base and you move on to the next. Unfortunately, the next base doesn't have anything new for you to unlock but that's okay because you can choose to "siphon" away some of the genmat to use as a currency to unlock things for your collection back at the sanctuary.
On the builder's side, perhaps they get extra synthite and/or prestige if a raider unlocks a new item while in their base? Nifty, yeah? Let's break it down into pros and cons though and then let me know your thoughts by replying. This is just a quick thought I had so feel free to pick holes in it or offer suggestions. :)
- Builders would have incentive to raid beyond just synthite, perhaps freeing up BHVR to allow for a little more to be dropped in successful outposts when raiders die (and/or offer synthite as a reward for using new cosmetics/traps/mods/creatures in your bases).
- All players would want to log in to raid often in an attempt to collect new things. Also builders would want to build with the new pieces, increasing activity overall.
- Raiders would have additional incentives to actually complete a base.
- Builders would have the incentive to use newer content, thus offering another way to try and keep the "meta" from becoming too common and stale. (IE, the only current incentives for building are to build for kills or accolades, leading to pretty common design themes across the majority of bases).
- Builders would also have incentives for trying to balance going for the most efficient kills over taking it a little easier on the raiders so that they feel they can escape, thus awarding the builder for using newly released items.
- Who needs a season pass or something like it when you can release cosmetics and other content into the gameplay loop directly?
- Gives players with every upgrade and mod complete something to grind for.
- Some raiders with lots of time in the game and only specific things left to acquire may begin skipping bases that don't obviously offer the unlocks they need.
- This may increase the number of raiders who are attempting to speed run as many bases as possible. (Personally, I could care less. Some bases I build specifically to slow speed runners down and others I build for speed runners to get through quickly but slow down dismantlers. To each their own, but this may be viewed by some as a con.)
- Can potentially lead to FOMO (fear of missing out) for gamers who don't have a lot of time to put in. Though, with the in-game genmat unlocks for cosmetics that might not be super bad.
- There is the potential for a lot of bases to be VERY similar after new content releases. Sort of like how after a new killer is released in Dead by Daylight. You'll pretty much only see that killer for at least a few days or longer (oh Wesker). In MYM, we'd see a lot of bases repeating design concepts initially to use the new things.
- Devs would have to introduce a few new bases on content releases to get the process started. This is neither a pro nor a con but would likely be necessary. Otherwise, there would be a pause while people unlocked things using the genmat market or advisor back in the sanctuary.