Properly refighting bosses, and obtaining boss cards.


Boss cards were an idea kicked around in the early days, some even got made. They ultimately were scrapped. Understandable, because grinding bosses for cards would be boring and tedious. Plus a good portion of the bosses are humans, and humans don't drop cards.

But what if they weren't humans? What if it wasn't tedious re-fighting?

Hall of Memories Revamped

The Hall of Memories is no longer a place you go to inexplicably open portals into the past where you refight bosses. It's now the sleeping quarters of the Collectors, where you can get some rest. Alternatively, the Hall of Memories is replaced and your childhood bed is where you go for this event.

All you do is go to your bed and go to sleep. You're then presented with a menu of bosses you have killed before, and from that boss selection you choose from a short list of options. Each option is a hero from the past. These heroes have set names, genders, equipment, skills, spells, utilities, talents, cards, potions, pets and levels you cannot change. There is no way to outlevel this challenge, you're forced to complete it with the stats you have been given. This makes every conflict with the dream boss a carefully balanced battle that familiarizes the player with all the skills in the game.

You kill the boss as each hero and in doing so you achieve mastery over it and awaken with it's card in your hand. Examples:

Rick O'Shae - Begins the battle with only the Smash skill. (If you want to be gimmicky with these, weapon cannot be swung and Smashballs don't appear. Kill Giga with normal slimes launched with Smash.)
Pyra - Begins the battle with only the Reaper's Blade Skill and Burning Weapon. Your normal attacks do no damage, but Burning Weapon + Reaper's Blade can take it down.

Wally - Your weapon does little to no damage, but you have a Thorn Worm Shield equipped and increased perfect guard timing talents. Make him defeat himself, or run around and try not to die as he keeps breaking your shield.

Alternatively, instead of the gimmicks, you could just have each character be a well balanced build designed to give a fair, if not slightly difficult, fight worthy of being considered 'mastering' a boss.

As for how to handle humans?

You're not getting the cards of humans when you master them. The entities depicted on the cards are eerie, dark shadows of that character. You mastered a nightmare monster modeled after them.

Only problem is I'm not sure what benefit boss cards could actually provide to make them special.
I don't like the idea of getting cards from "non-human humans" in general. It ruins the lore imo. You say they're "dark eerie shadows of the character", but that's really just a vague ambiguous term that doesn't hold well in the SoG universe. All the cards you can get in grindea are legitimately from monsters. The closest you get to spirits are things like ghosties or some of the skeleton enemies. But even then, explanations are given that can satisfy the issue to an extent. Nothing that you obtain a card from lacks a physical entity. That is, no cards come from dream-like dimensions. Another issue is that it's possible that non-monster creatures never drop cards because they aren't monsters. The game seems to suggest this. This places larger complications on getting "non-human human" cards from dreams. It's okay for human bosses not to give cards. Just make sure that there's a good number of non-human bosses and you're set.

As for grinding cards, I actually would prefer grinding the boss out the normal way. In terms of the lore, people usually have to spend a bit of time grinding to unlock a card. It should be the same with bosses. And the equation that influences card drop rates should help with that issue anyway. If balance is really a concern, force players to a certain level, allow them to pick a build, and then save that build for the boss fight. (They can change the build later if desired.) This gives players more options, compared to restricting them to a predefined (and potentially bad) build.

As for gimmicks, a lot of the gimmicky challenges wouldn't make sense. And they would actually create the "long boring" experiences that people would want to avoid, but with the potential of additional frustration. (For example, imagine a pyra situation with any ghost ship boss. From what I see, most folks would dread that.)

I think boss cards could be cool. But honestly, I'm fine with or without them. I'd like to see more craftables from boss drops though at the very least.