Fun: What we learned
What fun means for you and what we learned from your feedback
Recently we've been asking you what makes a game fun for you. (See our blog post here and the related forum thread opened by znork here.)
You have given us so much feedback - thanks to all of you who made the effort to write down their thoughts - and it took us some time to go through all of it and discuss it within the dev team. But we finally made it, so here's an overview of what we learned from your comments. You're helping us making MMX a great game!
Indepth strategy / Challenge / Exciting combat
For many of you, fun means being challenged. It means for example that you need to plan your next move carefully, because otherwise your party might die. Challenge means enemies that are tricky to kill, for example because they are immune to certain types of attacks (but still have their weaknesses of course). Variation of opponents and environments as well as varying strength within a group of monsters also make combat situations more challenging.
Also, some of you have asked for "no adaptive difficulty", which means in a nutshell that that there are monsters in the game that you can't defeat when you're too low-level. So if there's a group of monsters you cannot pass, come back later when you've grown up. Many of you seem to like that.
Marcus (LE-Marcus): We'll try our best to find the right balance between a challenging and strategic depth. Also, there will be 2 difficulty settings to choose from. Also, difficulty will not be adaptive in MMX. We're aiming for a challenging gaming experience.
The excitement of starting new characters and making decisions that impact their future - that's fun.
For many of you, fun has a lot to do with the characters you play. Characters that matter, characters that grow and develop. A complex skill and stat system that is well balanced and where the decisions you make actually make a difference.
Marcus (LE-Marcus): In MMX, the classes are very different from each other, and skills/attribute points will matter a lot. There will also be options to customize your characters (but sorry, no paper dolls).
Have you ever taken the Bartle test? If you did, then you know how important exploration is for your gaming experience. Or how unimportant, if you're not so much into exploring. (The other factors are socializing, achieving and killing.) Exploring the map and discovering hidden things is one of the aspects that many RPG players consider fun. Another point that many of you seem to like is an open world with a non-linear game play, which means you can go wherever you want to on the map at whatever point of time you like. (Only if your party is strong enough to fight their way to wherever you want them to go, of course.) Besides, the map needs to be big enough and full of surprises.
Marcus (LE-Marcus) and Julien (Marzhin93): The Agyn Peninsula is an open world, and it is full of opportunities for people who like to explore.
A good story makes an RPG interesting - that's a statement that many of you agreed on. However, some prefer not to be "the chosen one" in the plot, but rather some adventurer that gets roped into greater events that force him to take side.
Julien (Marzhin93): We did our best to write an enjoyable story with some twists and turns. Besides, you are definitely not going to be "chosen ones". You will be just a group of Raiders that will make a difference.
It's such a pleasure to find stuff that's been hidden oh so carefully in a game. It feels like you outsmart the people who've been making it (as long as you push aside the thought that actually these things have been hidden for you to find them). ;)
Among the things that some of you put on their wishlist are little buttons that open gates, lots of different environments, hidden locations and artifacts.
Marcus (LE-Marcus): All of this can be found in the game.
There have been many calls for minigames, and especially Arcomage.
Marcus (LE-Marcus): Although we all think that Arcomage is great, we need to focus on the core gameplay first. So for the time being, there will be no Arcomage in MMX.
Main quests, side quests, quests that include combat, quests you can finish without combat. Interesting, varied and even weird quests. That's what you've been asking for!
Marcus (LE-Marcus): Of course there will be quests. We have a main quest line that advances the story. There are optional side quests to get rare items, unlock advanced classes or make grand master trainers teach you. Last but not least there are ongoing quests that may take a while to finish.