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While there is a sweet spot for easiest path to victory, there are other paths to victory that players can take within a limit.
"Stickiness" of user engagement comes from maintaining a natural tension between 3 pillars of EON Guardians game design:
- 1.Micro mechanics mastery
- 1.How efficiently can players output damage on the monster without being interrupted or taking damage?
- 2.Macro systems strategy
- 1.How well has the player prepared via: power level of gear, items crafted for loadout, and attributes of gear
- 3.Difficulty of monster + hunt
- 1.How hard is the monster’s attack pattern to navigate (micro)? How strong are the stats of the monster to resist damage or status effects (macro)?
Most of the macro systems will be familiar to RPG gamers. In order to add deeper layers of resource management, strategy, and discovery to each new monster battle. These systems allow us to limit the effectiveness of micro-mechanics mastery alone.
This graduates players into a new pursuit of knowledge to solve problems that cannot be overcome with brute force. Knowledge of monsters and the lexicon of weapons, gear, and items become the key to long-term success and a new source of fun and creativity beyond the action.
This is the question that players are asked to solve. This is very simple for players to understand as a driving mandate.
We can present various challenges to prevent the player from being able to find 1 answer and stick to it for their entire lifetime, or even for more than 1 monster in a row.
- Is your armor resistant or strong enough to give you enough chances to make mistakes and get hit by the monster?
- Is your weapon able to output enough damage to kill the monster inside the time limit?
- A player with an under-powered weapon could theoretically beat any monster if they master the attack patterns, a time limit intuitively adds a requirement that motivates aggressively seeking weapons with higher damage output
- This can also mean switching weapon types entirely, as a monster can be resistant to an entire class of damage (hammers are blunt, swords are sharp, arrows are piercing, etc.)
- Are you able to leverage status effect weaknesses to make your battle easier? (Consumable items, weapon modifications)
We can pose more and more specialized variations of these questions to drive players to more specific and high-investment solutions via crafting systems.