Dear Dev-Team, Dear Travelers,
as a fan of this mode in general, here are my 5 Cents regarding Improvements of the Arena-Endgame. I’ll start with some critical thoughts and after that I’ll list some suggestions for Improvements.
Cons: Arena-Mode in its current form
- Arena is too straightforward. There aren’t special mechanics, enemies, bosses, buffs or something else, that make playing Arena feeling unique and engaging.
- Arena builds up too high “opportunity cost”, i.e. once you reached a high wave-count and quit or die, you have to repeat your historically achieved success over and over again, only to get to your old personal wave-record, where you can start (!) to improve your Arena experience.
- Arena isn’t rewarding enough (besides some good XP-boost). There aren’t special rewards like unique items or arena-specific currency, that you can use to improve your character. Besides that, you even didn’t enter the reward room, if you die (and that’s even true if you die e.g. at Wave 217, what’s not that bad for most of the player base ).
Suggestions for Improvement
- There could be a pool of Arena-specific Bosses, that awaits you every 10th Wave (so before you switch to another Arena). This Bosses should use the same mechanic as Shade of Orobyss, i.e. having a pool of attacks, from that only a few are selected. This randomized Bosses are really a USP of LE and in my opinion this fantastic mechanic shouldn’t only be enjoyable in Monolith-Endgame. You could start with 3 Bosses (1 Valkyrie-like; 1 Gladiator-like; 1 Beast-like), one of them awaiting you randomly at Wave 10, 20, 30 … And every 100 Wave they could spawn together but with a reduced selection of attacks (maybe 1-2 per Boss). When the game evolves, more Arena-specific Bosses could be added.
- You could think of some unique mechanics for Arena, like the Defence / Offense-Towers and unique Buffs in Grim Dawns Crucible. (Of course, you don’t want to copy that, but instead invent own engaging unique mechanics ).
- As mentioned by others before, there could be a possibility to start at Waves you defeat historically, e.g. every 100th Wave is a safe spot (matching the above mentioned big Boss-Event at Wave 100, 200 and so on ). Personally I think it’s not a good idea to start at the last wave you ever defeated, because this leads to one of the following scenarios - regardless how good one player is: 1. You’ll die a lot at every first Wave you encounter; 2. You’ll creep through only a few waves, die, repeat.
- The possibility to enter at higher Waves should come with a cost. This could be gold. But this could be also Arena-specific currency, that you gain at every wave, which makes it even more engaging (the more you play some lower Wave-Runs; the more you can try hard at your personal cap).
- This Arena-specific currency could also be implemented for gambling with an “Arena-Gambler” or buying good pieces of gear from an “Arena-Vendor”.
- In my opinion you should get to the reward room, even if you die. Put 2 (or more) chests in there; 1 (or more) of them only opens, when you reached the reward room without dying. In this case you could get rid of the barrels (that are sometimes only time-consuming to locate, destroy, loot every 5th (!) Wave).
- Implement some Arena-specific and really strong unique items, that are gated behind high Waves (maybe 500+, 1000+, 1.500+), so that players really have a big incentive to push themselves beyond their limits. This point may be odd for some readers in first place but look at it in this way: There are some very good items in PoE, that are (highly) gated (e.g. a jewel that only the winner (!) of the daily lab-run-competition wins; specific loot from Uber Elder, Sirus at high AL etc., that many people really struggle with to beat). Even in Grim Dawn, some of the best Gear-Pieces and even Skillpoints and Attributes are (highly) gated in view of the average player (e.g. top gear, that only drop from Secret Bosses in Ultimate/Elite; Skillpoints gated behind secret quests or Shattered Realm 25 in Ultimate) … And I don’t know a single comment on reddit etc., where people are complaining about this hard to achieve but good gear. I think for most of 'em - including me - it’s nice to have the possibility putting a lot of hard work to get one of the desired top items.
- Arena specific loot (for Wave 500+ e.g.) could be: Unique Chest piece with Health-Bonus; Life-Leech-Bonus and the following effect: Incoming Damage is distributed evenly over the next 5 Seconds. (The effect alone together with the Life-Leech allows players to stand more waves in Arena, giving a possibility to survive high damage spike through counter DPS and Life-Leech)
Thanks for reading. Hopefully I dropped some good thoughts to make Arena-Endgame more engaging for most of the future player base!
Edits: Some clarification; Grammar.