Most new players WILL quit the game after beating the story. Without question.

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by Spaz, Dec 30, 2015.


Does this make sense?

  1. No.

  2. Yes, but I prefer what is currently in the game

  3. Yes, and I'd prefer this over the current content

  1. Spaz

    Spaz Green Slime

    Hi everyone, my name's Spaz, and this is my first post on the forums.

    I recently bought Secrets of Grindea and I've played it for sixteen hours, four for the story and the remaining twelve were spent getting wrecked in arcade mode. By wrecked, I mean, wrecked. I've played it for TWELVE HOURS and I haven't even seen the fifth floor. Don't get me wrong, I love this game. That's why I've played it for as long as I have. Most people who play games wouldn't play Arcade mode for twelve hours and never make any progress. To put it in perspective, my deaths per floor looked a bit like this:
    • First floor: Approximately 200
    • Second floor: About 150
    • Third floor: 43
    • Fourth floor: 16
    • Deaths from things that I would consider "cheese": 50 <--- THIS NUMBER SHOULD NOT BE THIS HIGH

    This mode isn't fun, it's frustrating. Dying to the same thing over and over without any progress is extremely frustrating. Additionally, in twelve hours I've found seven of those weird blue statue things. If I compare Arcade mode to the closest thing to it, the Binding of Isaac (which I have over 300 hours in) you can unlock around 15-20 things in the first twelve hours depending on how good at the game you are.

    Having a system like this in the game will not encourage new players to continue playing the game, if no progress can be made within at least two hours, players will quit. End of story. Alongside having to restart with each death, it is restarting with an entirely new character, which also isn't fun at all.

    A better thing to do for postgame content would be similar to what Blizzard does to offer content after finishing Diablo III, adding an adventure mode that can be played with increased difficulty (up to an absurd amount) and offering better gear with dungeons that can be entered that are created randomly. The good thing about this? You get to continue playing the character you've already leveled, getting better gear with higher stats, and gaining new abilities and skills.

    Or perhaps a mix of the two, adding the "building a town" aspect along with random dungeons that give new gear and levels to your character, which would encourage newer players to continue playing the game after they've finished the storyline.

    Just my opinion, you're welcome to disagree.
  2. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    I get where you're coming from. However a big switch to something like this is a lot of work when arcade mode is already very well fleshed out. The issue I've seen with Arcade at the moment is newbies find it too hard, and the pros find it too easy, and that's due to the way Arcade is structured (and how unbalanced skills are, but that's another topic.) It shouldn't take an absurd amount of hours to get to floor 5, but nor should the pros be able to get S ranks on every floor with moderate ease in every run. Arcade gradually makes it easier for better people, yet leaves the bad people to struggle. I can get around 20 Essence in a good run which takes me ~45 minutes, yet you're stuck with only 7, and this stuff is used to buy permanent upgrades which are a major part of all the Pros runs.

    Binding of Issac combats this by making the game steadily harder, which I personally think is a better solution and potentially requires less work. I'm trying to think of a few ideas for how to do this in Arcade at the moment, while I try and beat floor 10.
  3. GoodStuff

    GoodStuff Friendly Moderator :)

    I think your title is a little bit provocative and overdramatic. You should specify that most people would quit Arcade too quickly due to its difficulty curve. I have put over 20 hours into Arcade and I've only reached floor 5 2-3 times. I agree with Arcade being hard for newbies but I'm fine with it. I don't really like roguelike games and I'm fine with just playing Story mode and get 100% there. :)
  4. Own

    Own Moderator

    Isaac is not a game about skill. Skill can help, but your progress in Isaac is largely dependant on how lucky you are. What items you get, what crazy combinations they result in. Most streamers of BoI just hold R until they get a starting room with a good item in it, even. It's difficulty can't really be compared to Grindea's Arcade Mode, as a result.

    Arcade Mode is nothing but skill, no luck factor beyond whether or not you get tiny stat increases from various equipment. It expects that, if you're dying a lot, you take some time to figure out why you're dying so much. Are Rabby's killing me? I kill everything but 1-2 Rabbys and circle around the room, figuring out their attack patterns, where they attack from, if there's a good spot to shield, if hitting and running is okay. Is Gigaslime killing me? Running from the spinning blade attack is a guaranteed death sentence. What else can I do? Shield? Let's try that.

    If you could continue playing a character with retained levels it would be an entirely different type of game and the initial floors would quickly become pointless, where everything dies in one hit as you march through it. That seems boring.

    I'd think that new players, if they really wanted a place to truly challenge themselves and master the game mechanics after coming out of Story, would want a place to sink many, many hours into. If they could beat Arcade in just a few hours as a result of grinding up levels or having it turned into a cakewalk, they wouldn't continue playing the game either. Because if they beat Story once and they're done with it, chances are they're the same about Arcade. Why cater content towards one-and-done players instead of those who prefer longterm challenges?


    On a related note, though, those 4P boss changes can't come quicker. There is a difference between a challenge and a brutal boot stomping players new players and advanced players alike.

    The Zoo tends to wipe the party because there's no visual indicator for who the boar is leashed on, or where he's going.

    The Terrorweed tends to wipe the party because, similarly, who it's digging at has no visual indicator. And it has so much HP the room fills up with thorns well before most of it's HP is gone. :p

    Boss & Block wipes the party because Boss's snowball storm has no visual indicator who it's leashed on before it starts whipping them out. Would also be nice if whoever Block was leashed on had a mark around them.

    With Marino you have a tiny square of space in the blizzards and when he does his ultimate, you're never sure who he's going to charge at when he's swiping side to side.

    Arcade rooms are far too small with 4 people in them without them having some idea of who is the target, and who the rest of them need to flee from.

    I'd love it if hydras had a visual indicator for who is about to get charged down as well in co-op, but that's not quite as necessary as the others. Much of the damage in co-op comes from things you can't really avoid because you get hurt by something that was aimed at a friend and you got in the way. Really frustrating.
    Quazars likes this.
  5. Ardeof

    Ardeof Rabby

    Arcade games have been known to be some of the most difficult games to play. In fact, it's quite likely Arcade Games were designed that way intentionally. The point is that money is/was to be made from those who thought they could defeat the game. After losing x amount of tries, the person would have to put in a somewhat trivial amount of money to try again. Those who lost track of time and amount spent ended up wasting a lot of money on a couple of hours of playtime.

    The purpose of SoG Arcade Mode is a bit different. It's supposed to be a "difficult" way to get extra play time out of SoG, with some rewards added on.
  6. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    That is mainly the speedrunners. One of my favourite streamers if I ever watch any streams is Diabetech, and he can take practically any run to the Blue Baby without much of a problem. In fact I booted up Rebirth the other day and managed to take a run straight to the blue baby, when being incredibly rusty (although I did have a couple very good items.)

    The point is the difficulty curve is too sharp compared to other roguelikes. I'm playing Downwell more recently and I'm already around 2/5 the way through easy mode after only 4-5 hours play time.
  7. Evanz111

    Evanz111 Green Slime

    It's definitely possible to complete Binding of Isaac using skill without getting lucky item drops, but is it fun? Hell no. It takes ages to kill anything and makes you incredibly weak, just having to dodge and attack for 10 minutes to kill a boss with a huge amount of HP. I've seen hundreds of hours of Binding of Isaac but I really don't like how much luck influences your run. I much prefer the way SoG does it with skill being the focus and the success only slightly being influenced by luck.

    I don't understand why people defend The Binding of Isaac as much as they do, I feel like content creators on YouTube have influenced it so much.
  8. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    I agree, I like it being based around skill. But you need a certain amount of skill to get anywhere, and that amount of skill is currently too high. It's a 4 hit kill from a single Rabby with no HP upgrades, compared with later floors giving you so much more leeway. And the pros only get it easier because they get more essence with which they can buff their HP... the thing the newbies need. What it needs is to have it the other way round. Make it easier for the new people and harder for the old timers. That way it becomes more appealing to both of them. Own doesn't play much arcade anymore because he finds it too easy and really has no motivation. Yet you get people like Spaz here (and me, when I started) who can't even get to floor 5.
  9. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    First off: thanks for the feedback!

    One thing to keep in mind about the Arcade Mode is that it will change naturally over time, which is part of the reason why we are pretty conservative in the changes we make to it now. For example, most players who go there now come after Story mode, which is ~50 % completed. When the game is done, they will have roughly double the amount of playtime and experience in Story before going Arcade (the more difficult half, to boot).

    Also, there are plans to test out an idea Own came up with a while ago, which is to let Candy and Muffin both curse the run (giving more score) or make it easier (giving less score). Unless people have too much pride to eat Muffin's easy mode cakes, that should help some with the difficulty issue!

    While I get not everyone enjoy the difficulty curve, I actually think it's better this way in the game's current state. I think having the core principles for success (learning how not to take damage) present even in the first two floors is actually a service for many players. The difficulty of the mode is not artificial at all - it's just the way the game is when health isn't thrown your way all the time!

    Why? Isn't it the nature of a skill based game that if you're really good at it, you'll do good consistently? It's not like they magically just got gud one day, either, but spent a ton of hours. Their playtime would be more suitably prolonged by Candy's curses, I feel!

    Also, on the topic of unlocking the perks... apart from the "X Start"-things, which do help newbies a lot, they honestly don't do that much. Own, SoyAntionio, Pokesly etc would destroy Arcade Mode without any problem whatsoever with no perks equipped, and with a wide range of builds (although getting the high score is of course reliant on the broken stuff).

    That said, essence generation at the beginning could absolutely be a bit easier, and we should probably throw in an early quest that gives you enough to buy an "X Start" perk!
  10. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    The easier they find it, the less inclined they become to play, which will probably be amended by the curses/treats. Personally I'd make them obligatory rather than optional. I believe that in Downwell, another Arcade game I've been playing, you only unlock hard mode after you've beaten easy mode. Something like this, or similar to it could be used for arcade. Say you have to pick a treat at the start of your first run. If you make it past 1/2 of the total floors, Muffin then makes it optional for you, as in, you can go on without one. When you beat all the floors with a treat, or get through 1/2 of them without one, Candy arrives with her optional curses. That way you technically get a progressive difficulty curve.

    [Edit]: Achievements for completing runs with all curses? It'll give the completionists something to really go for.
  11. Evanz111

    Evanz111 Green Slime

    More achievements in general would be awesome, are there any plans to add more? (Sorry for off-topic question)
  12. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    These guys are the pros of the pros, not the pros in general. I'm talking roughly top 10% of players... and that includes me :p Lets do some more maths. At the time I'm taking this study, there are 6851 people on the Steam Leaderboards.
    6851 / 10 = 685.1

    Therefore everyone above place 685 on the leaderboards is in the top 10%. I currently place at #123, when I died at the end of floor 10. The person at place 684 has their highscore sit around the floor 6/7 transition, so people dying at the first sight of the flying fortress or the last boss of the pumpkin woods. That's only 10% who have gotten over 1/2 way through Arcade. To back up what Spaz said:
    6851 / 2 = 3245.5

    That means the modal person is roughly at position 3245 (rounded down because I bet someone else is probably on the leaderboard by now.) Their score is 51150 (the person at 3246 has exactly the same score mind you) and they got to about the middle of floor 3. I understand it's not designed as an arcade game, but it would be nice if half of the players who even bothered to try arcade mode got further than ~20% of the way through it. It's almost not even an overdramatic title.

    The point here is it should probably be more welcoming. Assuming most players are male, boys don't like cop-outs. If muffin was implemented as an optional thing, I don't think people will be inclined to take it, they'd rather just not play it at all. If muffin was obligatory from the start, they'll probably give it a go.

    P.S. While we've got the numbers:
    (123 / 6851) x100 = 1.80%

    So I sit in the top 1.80% of players, when I die at the end of floor 10 and often take damage on floors 3&4, and always will on all subsequent floors O-o I don't think I'm going over the top when I have 150 DEF xD
  13. Own

    Own Moderator

    Most people die in the first three floors and stop playing do so from a number of reasons, none of which would be fixed by nerfing the mode.

    1. The game mode doesn't appeal to them. It's a roguelike. They bought the game for the ARPG, level grinding, gear buying, permanence, etc.

    2. They're bad at shielding bees. Because they never used their shield in story mode. They just sucked up the damage and gobbled up HP orbs. I would hate Arcade Mode if it catered to HP orb gobbling. Either you learn to use your shield on the first 3 floors of Arcade or you really shouldn't bother with it. :p

    3. They don't know you're meant to shield the burrowing plant boss because, again, they never used their shield in story mode. When they killed the halloweeds in pumpkin woods, they just ran circles around it or DPS raced them to death to see who died first.

    Arcade mode is for people who want to master the game mechanics, but it requires a basic understanding and use of the mechanics. If they're not willing to use their shield, or at least try to, the game shouldn't go out of it's way to ignore a vital mechanic for them. No amount of nerfs solves the underlying problem of "I don't want to / I don't know how to use my shield."

    Forcing what are essentially cheats on people to make people feel better about using them rubs me the wrong way. If they die in the first few floors often enough, they'll either look up tips or use Muffin. Having Muffin active from the start sends the message that "this is how the game is meant to be played."

    That said, I do hope Muffin / Candy's tricks and treats are phased in in a way that feels natural.

    Die # times vs Bees, Muffin gets an [!] over their head. Talk to them, they've unlocked a Treat that causes bees to be permanently on fire if you absolutely can't fight them. I wager most beginners would love to have that.

    Die # times vs Boars, Muffin gets an [!] and dialogue signifying they've unlocked a Treat that makes boars permanently Chilled.

    That way players aren't bombarded with a ton of options to ponder over which to enable / disable at the start. Same with Candy's tricks, where each trick in a mini-quest that you have to use it once alone up to floor # to have it toggleable with everything else for real runs.
  14. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    This does give mathematical weight for the argument that Arcade Mode is too difficult for most players to beat as it stands!

    Now you're contradicting yourself. You're saying that the mode is so easy for pros that they just quit playing out of boredom, while you're also stating that not even most pros can reach Temple of Seasons? I think you should drop the "it's too easy for the pros" since it doesn't make any sense that it shouldn't be possible for the best of the best to be consistent even after 100+ hours practice, and it also undermines your own position regarding the difficulty.

    EDIT: Forgot to address the point you were arguing against: that perks aren't what makes the pros be pros! I think even if you unequipped all perks, you'd do very nearly as well as with them.

    I agree with both of you to some extent. I actually like the forced handicap thing in theory... if it could be implemented in a smooth way that doesn't feel too contrived. Then it would probably really help with how playing with a handicap is perceived.

    As G-Meister said, it's a better feeling to throw away the crutches than to begrudgingly pick them up.

    I like Owns idea on how new Muffin effects could unlock, with some basic ones present from the start and more specific ones unlocking as they make sense to the player.
  15. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    Arcade mode is optional. If they try it at all they have some incentive to play it, or just to see what arcade games are like. If they don't like the feel of it, fair enough (and they probably won't submit their score to Steam.) If they do, we need to catalyse on that and hold their interest. I think more than 10% of people should be interested enough to get past floor 6. They had some incentive to play, probably realised it was too much effort and stopped.

    I'm pretty sure more than 10% of people use their shield. It's more likely a combination of a lack of understanding and being put off by the transition if they haven't tried hard mode yet. Also, anything can be fixed by nerfs/buffs, it just depends how many other issues it causes when it's implemented :p One muffin perk could be Bags tips. If you take any damage in a fight, at the end bag will give you a tip at the side of the screen. It doesn't necessarily need to be a nerf, it could just be a perk that cuts your score.

    In fact, to make it seems less weakling - like, instead of having treats decrease your score, have the most OP ones be the standard, yet cut all scores down, such that a "no trick no treat" run has +10% score and will give you the same scores as people have now.

    I was going to make a counter argument but I completely forgot what it was. GG, G, GG ._. I guess I'll just roll with you until I remember what it was. Might've been me confusing myself with pros and pros of pros.

    After you've recieved your introduction into arcadia:
    *a shout from off the bottom of the screen* "WAIT!" Muffin sprints up the path and greets the player panting "Wow... looks like I got here just in time..." *huff, puff* "It's dangerous up there, and you look severely under prepared. You'll want one of these, take your pick!" He opens his pouch of treats, and the player picks one. "I'll always have a fresh batch cooked up by the time you get back, so come speak to me if you ever want a different one." "You'll probably want to take some careful studies of the creatures attack patterns, a collector told me to tell you." "Healing is sparse, so tread carefully! I'll be on the stump over there."

    P.S. I gifted my friend the game for Christmas. Got him to do his first Arcade run today. His first impression was "I spose I would play it but not when I could be playing skyrim." 1500 score, died in the 2nd or 3rd room. Run two, 2550, in the Beehives boss fight (probably due to a lack of understanding.) Run three, 2850, died to trying to shield Vilya's attacks. He's hooked at the moment, trying a few more times, so I spose it's not too difficult for everybody. He's progressing much quicker than I was ._.
  16. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    I'll sneak in a quick "yes" for this question :p

    Maybe he has a good teacher!

    Speaking of teachers, sometimes I'm toying with the idea of having the teacher NPC or some collector (or maybe the reading girl) as an analytics NPC back in Arcadia. After every run she would get an exclamation mark, and if you talked to her she gave you a pointer or two based on data collected during the run - at least something regarding what killed you/did the most damage.
  17. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    As a thing to have as a general run pointer, that would be nice, although it would be much more helpful to get a few notifications at the side of the screen after you've completed a room. This means you can get specific help on specific things. For example, say you take a normal hit from a boar and a a hit from a bee without shielding in a room. At the end of the room, bag might have two tips: "Try and get the boar out of the way before you attack any other enemies." and "Shield the bee if you can't time your hit right." Maybe if you get a C rank in a room in the Flying Fortress he'll say "Speed up! Try and hit multiple enemies at once to clear the room quicker." Maybe getting an S rank but taking 2-3 hits in a room he'll say "Slow down, tiger! If you take that many hits too often you'll be dead in the blink of an eye" along with any of his other tips.

    It would be a lot of work, such as to program in a certain response for certain situations with certain enemies in certain combinations. If you think it's a good idea to take forward and worth putting the time in, I'm sure a few of us here wouldn't mind sharing a few tips, right guys?
  18. Own

    Own Moderator

    Expecting people to beat Arcade at all is a challenge on it's own. Telling them to go faster, and risk dying, probably isn't the best advice. Especially since some builds really can't go above a C. (Insect Swarm, Summon Plant, etc)

    I watch streams of new and not-so-new Arcade players. Not... really, if they're anything to go by. They'll use it vs bees, but only because they have to. They'll run circles around the F1-2 burrowing plant boss all day until it pops up.
  19. Ardeof

    Ardeof Rabby

    Just to throw in a comment about Arcade Mode while we're sort of on the topic (from an experienced player, currently ~15th highest score in Arcade Mode) I find Smashie and Bashie need a bit of an adjustment. As it is right now, getting Marino is the only way to achieve a competitive high score in Arcade Mode. Trying to fight Smashie and Bashie without losing too much health or time is not achievable. The issue is wasting a lot of time running around poking at the enemies once in a while. This method will often result in character death, because the rogue boss has about a 80% chance of hitting the character when it's doing the "red targeting". The amount of time required to run around and tactically poke the AI would reduce score drastically to the point of losing hp being worth it.

    The second method which i've tried is perfect guarding the snowballs. This is by far the better method, but the character has a 100% chance of losing hp. The main reason is the number of snowballs outweighs the HP of the shield, even the one with 325 hp. Once the rogue boss is finally defeated, a very slow and sort of boring battle of hitting the block once or twice happens. Where it lands, gets attacked, and then the character moves to dodge the next attack from the block. In hindsight, the rogue's snowballs could be avoided and then shielded later on, but that's a very niche situation and i'm unsure if it'd even work because of how the hitboxes work in this game.

    So if there's anything to change in Arcade Mode, other than making things "easier/harder", it's to make sure bosses are parallel in difficulty. If Smashie & Bashie are this difficult to battle, and have such a huge disadvantage in RNG when it comes to Highscore runs, then Marino should be the same. Either a nerf to Smashie & Bashie or a buff to Marino to make things more fair. Otherwise those who have perfect runs all the way through except for the 50% chance of Marino would have a much lower score just because of being unlucky with Smashie & Bashie.

    tl;dr: Smashie & Bashie need to == Marino, or close to it. :)
  20. Own

    Own Moderator

    Marino and Boss&Block were the reasons Seasonne was the last set of floors I managed to get the double S-Rank for. They're the most brutal bosses in the whole of Arcade Mode. Marino's more tolerable if you know you can stun him by perfect guarding his four-hit combo, but perfect guarding Boss does nothing but damage him while you get Block stomping on you. PGing Boss should make his snowballs stop and stun him, honestly.

    That or they should be able to hurt each other, like baiting Teddy/Freddy into beating each other up.
  21. Ardeof

    Ardeof Rabby

    Marino can be defeated as fast and as easily as Giga Slime. All it takes is some good positioning and flamethrower, and Marino's down within 30s, no damage taken. The only time when Marino is difficult is when i've done something wrong/different, and end up not having an opportunity to attack him while snowstorm goes on. That being said, Marino can be dodged and isn't really that hard to defeat. Worst case scenario is you take a chunk of damage, usually.

    Edit: It's also a fairly quick battle, unlike S & B.

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