EHG: any thoughts on making non-cycle play relevant?

There is definite bias on my part in the question, once league/cycle play is available I feel like there is no point to play in the non-league mode (of course I’m sure that plenty only play non-league… but I refuse to acknowledge their existence).

I kind of feel like cycle play is for explorers, and non-cycle play is for builders, but as far as I’m aware, the only ARPG that had any building was in Torchlight (although Wolcen ‘kind of’ had some building in terms of the city) and that wasn’t tied to the cycle at all.

I have two itches; 1) Explore; get into a league, discover new stuff/build a new character, let RNG guide how I build my character, but I also have 2) Build; create a stockpile of resources from 1), and then build stuff. I think the pull of non-league play should be that, overtime, you can create characters and structures that help those characters to have a truly demented level of power. So maybe two months of cycle to one month of non-cycle (versus people just disappear after they’ve scratched the cycle/explorer itch).

Lol, yes, this is a bad time for this question with 1.0 coming up. Would be nice for non-cycle play to have something all it’s own, is all I’m sayin.

As a rule, people that play standard/legacy/whatever are mostly casuals, that don’t have that much time to play regularly and want to keep working on their characters, maybe over a year or two.
On the other hand, people that play seasons/cycles/whatever are usually people that like the challenge, like to make new characters and/or like to interact with other players (even if it’s just via trade or leaderboards).

Usually the only difference between cycle/non-cycle is that cycle players get to play with the new mechanics sooner and non-cycle have to wait until the end of the cycle for it to become core (if it does). On the other hand, cycle players will suffer bugs/unbalances in the new mechanics whereas non-cycle players will have those mechanics already honed in.
Also, whereas cycle players only have 4 months (on average) to work on their characters, non-cycle ones can keep pushing their min-max for a longer time and potentially achieve much greater power than the others.

What I’m trying to say is that both modes will have their place (much like offline play) and don’t really need anything else. Especially when you consider that the devs have stated that they want to bring cycle mechanics to the core game, for the most part.

To be honest, I don’t really think that Standard (or Legcay) Cycle needs to have any incentive. Either you want it or you don’t.

The fact that new content will be available in the Standard/Legacy is already majorly different compared to other ARPG’s and I am more interested in what they will offer in the Cycles compared to Standard/Legacy to make enough people want the reset. (I think the amount of people that do play fresh leagues but actually don’t want to is significant).

I really hope the cosmetics, achievements or other things they come up with for the cycle are amazing and incentive.

But to go back to you original post: Again I don’t think there needs to be any more incentive, either you want to take it slowly and build a character over multiple motnhs because you don’t wanna stres yourself or you don’t.


Personally I think it is the other way around. A casual player will drop in when a season starts, play the season till bored then disappear again, never to be seen until the next season starts. This is the very definition of a casual player.

Long-term (non-casual) players have the opposite outlook. They are in it for the long haul and want to build and min-max their existing Eternal chars for potentially years to come. They have no interest in transient content that disappears forever at end of a season. These are the non-casuals, who will spend 100s or 1000s of hours on the same set of Alts.

I think the key here is what will happen when a season ends. Have EHG even hinted at this? There are 2 extreme (and opposite) seasonal models in play right as far as the bigger ARPGs currently available go. One of those models is terrible (imo) while the other is excellent… to clarify…

D4 model: Pretty much nothing in the season transfers back to Eternal at season end. Whatever new mechanics were added for the season (and all the crazy builds that came from them) are gone forever and 100% transient. Your seasonal char transfers to Eternal but everything seasonal about it (other than cosmetics) is gone. This is the TERRIBLE model for seasons. This is why I quit D4.

PoE model: The highlights and mechanics introduced in the season, including new uniques etc, are added to Eternal after the season ends. This is the EXCELLENT model because it pleases all players, seasonal casuals or long-termers alike. It’s win-win because:

New seasons can still be announced with great publicity and fanfare and hence draw in new and returning players


Long-termers (Eternal players) stay interested in the game and keep playing, because it feels like new content is PERMANENTLY added to the game at regular intervals. This is why I played PoE for 3500 hours and looking forward to next 3500.

1 Like

Absolutely agree, that’s me to the tee.



Not really, that is more of a semi-casual player (like me) that will play 20 or 30h a week. We join a season/cycle, fool around with the new mechanics, get characters that are decent for endgame, don’t bother min-maxing and switch builds a lot.
Casuals are usually people that can only play up to 10h a week or so, so they don’t really get much out of a cycle.

Again, I disagree. Top players will most often be in leagues for a few reasons: leaderboards, sampling the new content and making new builds with it, plus the fact that they are the ones that can usually push a build into top tier withing a cycle time.
Not to mention the fact that top players won’t bother with standard/legacy because each new cycle the builds are usually re-balanced. So a build that you were working on for 1000 hours is suddenly crap. This is especially notable in PoE and extremely so when they decided to change the passive tree. With a single patch, all existing standard characters were suddenly dead. Top players didn’t care because they just made new characters for the league.

It should also be noted that the majority of the top players are in clans (in PoE and various Diablos anyway) and the top clans are mostly focused on seasons/cycles).

That isn’t to say that some top players won’t stick to standard or that some casuals won’t dip into a cycle. But from what I’ve seen from communities in D2/PoE, that is the general rule.

Yes. Like I said, Mike has stated in his stream that they want to bring cycle mechanics into core gameplay whenever they can/feel like it’s a good thing to add.

It’s not everything black and white, as it has been polarized in this thread. Lots of “grey” areas.
Some top players could enjoy both.

Im exactly like this, one more to the team.

Whether I’m casual or not I think it’s just words.
And I think the debate here comes more of the interpretation of what is a casual.
One of you is considering non-casuals people who can play lots of hours in a given period, just like everyday and many hours per day, while the other is considering non-casuals players who plays for long periods, regardless of how many hours he can play per day or how many days he can play in the week.

I like to think that I’m a more casual player, considering I don’t have many hours and many days to play in the week, but I play for the long journey, regularly coming back and evolving my existing chars. Sometimes trying new ones

I see your points, let me explain further.

You are using the term “casual” purely as the number of hours a player plays a game for in a given period. I ignored that definition because both types of player (seasonal / eternal) have a set amount of time they can (and want) to dedicate to the game anyways, so its a moot definition. Or put another way, the number of hours they have available to play will not affect their choice of format.

I was talking more about the player’s “dedication” to the game and their attachment to the characters they make. In case you could not tell, I am very much an Eternal player at heart (depends on season ofc, I’ve played plenty of PoE seasons). Whichever ARPG I play, I play as an absolute long-term min-maxer and confirmed Alt-aholic. I play 40+ hours a week and will play uninterrupted (by which I mean I will only play this ARPG, and no others) from week to week; potentially for years if it holds my interest, tweaking and polishing and experimenting with chars that have incredibly good gear that I have worked on for many many months if not years and am very attached to and fond of. I am absolute non-casual in that regard. In fact I am as non-casual as it is possible to be, verging on obsessive.

A player who makes a char for a season and doesn’t care what happens thereafter is what I’d call casual. They are just passing through.

This is the only reason I will play Cycles. I’m not a ladder person (I did a little with D3 back during s1-s6 but that’s really it.) If they make the cosmetics/achievements cool enough I will gladly do seasons for this reason. If not, I’ll just play Standard.

I do think new mechanic stuff is interesting and would try it out if the above reason is in place otherwise, again, I’d just wait to see if it hit Standard. If it doesn’t, no skin off my back.

All this is said being a casual. I dabble in trying to make builds and better understand the game but there are so, so many people far, far better than I am that I’d never try to convince people I’m actually any good. I just have fun.

Bingo. :slight_smile:

This is why I avoided the seasons in D4 and ended up quitting as a result. The idea that new mechanics could be added to the game for a single season, then cause a bunch of new and awesome builds to be born, but only temporarily, is horrible. I would not doubt become very attached to some of those mechanics and builds only for it all to be taken away after 3 months?! No thank you. This makes D4 seasons an absolute NO for me.

Fortunately sounds like EHG prefer the PoE model where the best bits of a season are moved into Eternal at season end. That model is typically enough reason for Eternal players like me to stick around for the long haul.

And if EHG want any more incentive, Eternal players staying with your game for long long periods usually buy lots of frivolous nonsense in your store, to express their on-going support for the game. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

Imo niether D4 or POEs models. Are good models. Poe being the worst one

POE tends to add just about every single league mechanic to the core game. This is why POE is such a bloated game. On top this. Each league mechanic. Messes with drops outside of these mechanics. I do not want this to happen with LE. This is why i have quit play poe.

What i think would be the best model is something in between d4 and poes content model.

For example poe would be better if they went down the road MTG (magic the gathering) does for there standard league play. When a new set comes out the oldest set is dropped out of standard play.

Doing a mix of d4 and poe models would be best.

The MTG model is the best way to get this mix. After say a hard limit lets say 6 cycle mechanics are kept in game. When a cycle ends the new one can be added and the oldest cycle mechanic is dropped from the game.

I also would like to see d4 model in away where EHG says a hard NO to making cycle mechanics go core. Not every single one needs to go core at some point. This will jist bloat the game up. Unless as i said old leagues get dropped out ( MTG model) D4 not adding every single seasonal mechanic to the core game is a very good thing.

1 Like

Nothing should be cycle-exclusive. Otherwise, are you also in favor of non-cycle exclusive content/perks/cosmetics?

Neither form of play should have an advantage over the other. They should be simple playstyle preference only: either you want to not have your shit go away, and play in a constant economy, or you want to start from scratch and play in a clean, fresh slate every x-months. That’s the only incentive needed and the only incentive that should exist.

To be fair, that is exactly what they are doing the last 1 year already.

They dropped out old league mechanics, combine different ones together and didn’t integrate every new into the core game.

It is a slow process though because they just don’t want to cut out stuff and leave people hanging so they want to find alternative ways to achieve teh same goals.

What I would like to see is something even more different.

Think of a rotation of popular mechanics. This will only fully work once LE has established a couple of Cycle mechanics but I would think of something like this:

We have Cycle Mechanic A, Cycle Mechanic B, Cycle Mechanic C and Cycle Mechanic D.

Now the Cycle woul be something like this

Cycle 1 - Cycle Mechanic A + C + introducing a new Cycle Mechanic E
Cycle 2 - Cycle Mechanic B + D + introducing a new Cycle Mechanic F
Cycle 3 - Cycle Mechanic A + E + introducing a new Cycle Mechanic G

So having old mechancis rotate, while always implementing a new one. But at the same time there is only 2 or 3 active simualtously.
I am just not sure how this concept would work in Standard/Legacy

1 Like

Ya this model is kinda what i was trying to get at.

Perhaps this would work great instead of having the oldest mechanic dropped out permanently. Drop it temporarily and rotate older mechanics in each cycle.

1 Like

That would split the players too much, I think. Comparing to PoE (which I agree is too bloated), imagine they would make a league rotating in only delve, heist and harvest. I wouldn’t play that league because I don’t like those mechanics. Likewise, there are players that spend all leagues delving. If delve didn’t make the cut they would also skip the league.

I like the MtG standard rotation idea better. Although you’d need to find new “equivalent” mechanics to replace the ones you’re dropping. And I don’t mean being the same, but using PoE again as an example, if you were to drop Harvest out you’d need to give us another crafting tool. It might not do the exact same as Harvest but it would have to give us crafting options.

As for doing the same as PoE and adding (almost) everything in, the thing is that most players may feel kinda overwhelmed by all the options in, but most players end up focusing on just one or two and ignoring the rest.
Having them all is kind of a mixed blessing: on one hand it’s confusing, on the other hand you have many different options for many different players so you end up with a larger playerbase than you normally would.

I agree with that.
And, to me, it answers the OP’s question: what makes the standard league relevant is that it is Eternal, to use D4 terminology. Meaning I can, when I feel like it, come back to a previous character and find him/her still evolving in the world I remember.
If, another day, I feel more like exploring new feelings and new mechanics, I go for seasonal content, with a new character.

When all the mechanics get added to the standard, you don’t get this feeling of coming back to an old friend, because everything has changed.
And the question “what is the point of having both standard and seasonal, if they are the same (even slightly delayed)” becomes relevant.

If they’re good I will splurge in the cosmetics store both as a means of support and because I’m probably one of the minority of aRPG players who really DO like the aesthetics of things. (for the longest time in d3 I resisted using Akarat’s Champion because of how much I hated the visual.) LOL

1 Like

I bought a lot of supporter packs for PoE over the years, but not because of the cosmetics themselves. It was because I could still get shop points with them while supporting GGG. I do like MTX, just not the equipment ones. I spent all my MTX on PoE on skills (most of them), pets (a few of them) and on a new portal (I got the rest of the portals from doing league goals).

If LE adopts the supporter pack model of PoE I’m bound to do the same. If we just buy points to spend on whatever we want, I’ll likely only spend it on skills/pets/portals.

As a sidenote, I’ve always hated the apparition MTXs in PoE. I got a few from the packs but I’ve never used one and it annoyed me quite a bit seeing all those over town. So I hope LE doesn’t plan on doing those.

1 Like

I don’t meant all these simulatnously, but in sequence:
Cycle 1, 3 Months
Cycle 2, 3 Months
Cycle 3, 3 Months

So if you don’t like a particular new cycle mechanic or the old returning once you either skip or play legacy

1 Like