Improving Vindictus's Difficulty post-RISE
Since the RISE update, difficulty levels have received mixed responses, which degrade the game overall. New players love the lower difficulty for story and gear progression while veteran players hate it because the game is now "too easy," especially in Season 1 & 2 missions. Many players want to enjoy all the battles that Vindictus has to offer but not get bored because of how easy enemies get killed in one move. So how do you fix this? Well, I propose a possible solution: Difficulty Customization.
What is Difficulty Customization?
Difficulty Customization is the ability to set the battle to a difficulty on a sliding scale based on the following:
1. Party size (1-4)
2. Gear level (on a scale from 1-max level. The lowest level is set depending on what level is required to unlock that mission)
3. Actual Difficulty (on a scale of 1-10)
Instead of forcing players to play on one difficulty (i.e. Easy Mode for Season 1), every battle can be completely unique in terms of difficulty. You want Gnoll Cheiftain to be as tough as Dullahan? You could allow players to do that if this idea becomes real!
How does Difficulty Customization work?
Difficulty Customization is broken down into three multipliers: Party, Gear, and Actual Difficulty.
- When a player unlocks a Story Mission, they have the option to set the difficulty to the lowest setting to make story completion easier. For example, if a player was battling Season 1 Glas for the first time, they can set the boat to the lowest difficulty level: 1-player, Level 65 (because Season 1 Glas is unlocked at level 65), and Actual Difficulty: 0. This would be Glas's difficulty as it is right now in-game post-RISE.
- If players want a more intense battle, the host can raise the difficulty to the following example settings: 4-players, Level 100 (i.e. max level), Difficulty: 10 (the max setting). This translates to the following:
All enemies will have 4x as much health (one for each player); this includes raid bosses!
Note: You can still solo on 4-player difficulty if you so choose.
The DEF of monsters will be set to a number where only the minimum level gear stat can break through. In other words, if you
choose Gear Level 95 for, say, Gnoll Assembly Area, imagine fighting 100 gnolls but each gnoll has the same DEF as enemies in Donegal
(Season 3, Ch. 2, Episode 3)!
Attack Dmg/Att. Speed/Crit/Crit Dmg/ are multiplied by a factor of 10! Think of this like Season of Macha back in the old days. Now THAT is what I call a challenge!
- The host can set the battle to max difficulty or minimum difficulty by sliding the scales all the way up or all the way down for each criteria.
- The host can also set the Party Size and Gear Level difficulty to a party average (e.g. Att./Magic Att., DEF, Crit, Balance, etc.) by selecting "Party Average." The game will then average all stats and match the difficulty with the stats of the party. The host can then make the battle even more difficult with setting the Actual Difficulty level.
How do you reward players for completing battles on higher difficulties?
The current model of receiving drops is completely luck-based. You get a random drop that is, in most cases, useless, which brings frustration to players who have spent a majority of their time getting nothing out of their struggles against various foes. With that being said, playing on higher difficulties can increase more chances of getting better drops. Here is the table for how drops can be calculated:
- Party Size: The bigger the party, the more quantity of drops there will be. This encourages players to play with each other for more drops.
- Gear Levels: Specific equipment will still drop from enemies that share the same design inspiration (e.g. Dullahan armor/weapons from Dullahan). However, instead of limiting weapons and armor with stats suited to that level, every piece of armor/weapon can be customized like Season 3's crafting system. By increasing the difficulty via Gear Level difficulty, you'll increase the stats of essences you receive. For example, you can have Raider's armor that matches stats with the current level 95 gear if you play on Gear Level 95 difficulty.
- Difficulty Multiplier: The number of the multiplier corresponds with the amount of gold each player will receive. So if you play it safe on difficulty 1, you'll earn the minimum gold amount for the battle. But if you challenge yourself on difficulty 10, you'll receive 10x the amount of gold if you clear the battle!
Example: If you clear a battle that gives 300k gold on difficulty 10, you will instead receive 3M gold!
What about Royal Army Raids?
Unless anyone has a suggestion, this option would be unavailable due to the complex nature of matching players within a dedicated server.
What about Redeemer's?
Since Redeemer's is an 8-player raid and only offers one drop from clearing the battle, only Actual Difficulty will be available. Additional Boxes of Conviction will be rewarded x the Actual Difficulty level
. So, if you defeat a Redeemer's battle on Actual Difficulty 2, you will receive two
Boxes of Conviction instead of one. Pretty cool, wouldn't you say? Of course, you'll probably want to stick to Difficulty 1 or 2 since Redeemer's Mode is the most challenging aspect of Vindictus and can be even more insane if you allow, for example, Neimhain to attack you 2x faster and harder.
If you have any suggestions on improving this idea, please feel free to leave a comment in this thread. I would love to see this game become more fun, and I believe this idea can bring more replay-ability to this game!