In the industry we have key metrics / data that all developers should be aware of (by the point especially, but may not be). Important data like
- 83% of players are casual, Playing less then 10 hours a week.
- 17% of players are hardcore, playing more then 15 hours a week.
- 46% of players do not engage in pvp combat (in any form)
- Roughly 53% of players will engage in PvP Combat. 0.8% Of the population likes "hardcore" loss where as the rest are against it (like diablo 2 Item dropping)
- The industry has over the years tailored matches down to "15 minute" maximum timers.
These things are important to be aware of because they
- Invalidate Unlimited Round Survival mode
- Suggest that survival mode should have significantly less time between waves
- Suggest that 1v1, 2v2 and potentially 3v3+ should be significantly faster then currently are.
- Suggest that combat Matches (1v1 etc) should be faster, and more punishing for mistakes (making it harder to come back from).
- Suggest that combat movement speeds need to be increased to reduce game time
- Suggest that income rates should be significantly higher for either (or both) base income and expansion income
- Suggests that "discovery conquest / Sector battle" requires a significantly smaller map
If all types of Game play (combat, Survival, harvesting, discovery) offer different aspects of income (IE Suvival has the most Experience for example) then you force players who pvp to do PvE (or the other way around). For this reason i feel a split between equal income rates is the best. While there is no metric data (that i can present with credible research) to prove this, as a player i saw this in many games in the past.This being said lets talk about the progression system a little then how they tie into each other
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It's important to understand which of the two it will be because it players a heavy role in the issue of the itemshop. having all of the Expressive forms equally rewarding allows players allows us to easily influence the economy as designers (because changing the base cost of the items will not/should not require any further modification from the income rates. This makes balancing the game significantly easier in terms of progression, and makes the optimization of income via the item shop much easier to manage.
- 1 trade run (discovery) offers 10,000 credits and 10,000 reputation, and 50,000 experience for 15 minutes
- 1 combat match offers 10,000 credits and reputation, and 50,000 experience for 15 minutes
- 1 Survival match offers 10,000 credits and reputation, and 50,000 experience for 15 minutes
- 1 Pirate, Patrol, Freighter encounter (discovery) offers 3,350 credits and reputation, and 16,600 Experience for 5 minutes (or 1 match)
- 1 Sovereignty battle offers 10,000 credits and reputation, and 50,000 experience for 15 minutes
I don't know what your projected progression rates should be but with the current system (with above changes) seems to be around where it should be. I would even advocate for reducing the values by 50%. In general League of legends offers a level every 45-60 minutes.This means that a player will obtain 2 basic booster packs, and 2 faction booster packs every 15 minutes. (assuming you make the change that i requested to make faction boosters cost reputation)
We should talk about the crafting system shortly. As i feel a crafting system would massively influence the above progression speed, which could be deadly/fatal to the game and potentially the company. If you insist on putting a crafting system it, my recommendation is for you is to
- Apply the above changes
- Reduce the above values by 50%
- Use the crafting system to speed up the progression to a level where players are not complaining about "grind".