Arena Improvements: Suggestions

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 :wink: ).

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 :wink: ).
  • 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 :wink: ). 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.


What do you think:

  • Are you happy with Arena-Endgame in its current form?
  • Are you looking forward to play it a lot during the upcoming cycles?
  • Do you have something to add to my critical PoV or suggestions?

Yes, but I’m not an Arena pusher and I use it mainly as a leveling tool for skills.

I’ll probably play it the same way I’ve played since the beginning: to level my skills.

I’m sorry I can’t add anything, I’m not the kind of player attracted to the Arena. The best I’ve done was around 110, but most of times I hardly reach 80. And I get bored very quickly, I have no incentive to go on.

A lot of really good suggestions in here, the only one I would caution against is anything like the PoE Lab run jewel reward. This was famously completely dominated by one person for years and was the reason even PoE eliminated this. All this is despite the person in question being banned multiple times.

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I like Arena type modes (lots of Crucible in GD) and for sure the recent map updates helped a massive amount with the performance of the zones (waaay too dark and patchy contrast for me but that is style). Sharing the Arena ‘tech’ between its own game mode and the monos is a fantastic use of resources and will help our long term activities.

I love a lot of your ideas, but try not to involve myself in speculation (mostly because game developers come up with better systems than I can anyway). I have a couple of things that might be able to be changed without taking too much time away from the devs and the core things they are concentrating on.
My experience is the modes need much more spikiness in difficulty. Almost all the time you are just blowing up packs of weak monsters (this is particularly evident in the mono arenas). Whether it is one rare per wave or 3 every 3 (whatever, more spikiness in the experience), just the monster variety (that you have to react to) would vary the experience a lot. I want to think, “Damn I’d have survived that final pack on my final wave if there hadn’t been Monster X I Hate.”
The pacing of both sets of Arenas seem to be a bit slow as well. They ramp up for sure, but after you’ve done the first round and are settled in, there are long periods of just right-clicking until you get to the end or something that makes you fight for your life (see above).
Arenas should get a modifier system, like the monos, to add challenge and replayability. As far as I’ve seen the challenge of Arena is mostly mechanical as you go up the levels (until you finally get a few dangerous mobs). I personally just can’t find the will to repeatedly grind up to 200 for no reason at all just to start testing my build.
Of course its a beta system and I get that :slight_smile: But if some of the smaller tweaks various people have suggested could be implemented WITHOUT the devs having to sidetrack their plans, then I am 100% for it.

Edit: I had a GD inspired daydream and imagined buying Blood Spires with my Arena points and banging one of those down to fire on my enemies for a few rounds hehe

I really really agree with only being able to start at wave 1 or 80 is just frustrating and makes arena a horrible experience when trying to push for ladder… spending 2 days pushing for literally ZERO rewards (if your character is already level 100) just to die 1-5 waves before your personal best and knowing you will have to grind it for 2 more days just to get to the same point again is just not fun.

I would much rather be able to start at say 10 levels bellow my personal best so i can keep trying to go deeper into the waves.

As Arena is now it feels like a really unfinished mechanic that was just put there to atleast have something to do after the story before monos came… and now it is mostly used to quickly level up skills after you respec. it is not really a game mechanic it is really just nothing. It has potential to be great and OP made some good sugestions. Just need to be cautious to not make arena the best and fastest possible way to gear up your character because then no one will bother with Monos.

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