Lastly i've had few discussions where i've had this idea, so here are some of my personal thoughts.
I think that huge majority of us keep playing this game mainly due to its combat design. There is just no other MMO game where the combat feels so good. The reason to it is that it offers a lot of personal input, meaning that what you click and how you click it - makes a difference. Also there is no cooldown limitation (not including SP skills)
, but rather a combo build-up system which is much more similar to real life in terms of mechanics and allows for more personal control/design.
All of it makes this game much more dependent on player's performance and his personal skills - which means that we could use this as main drive force to the game.
RPG system regarding stats/equipment is an old idea... which in my opinion is outdated. It is meant to imitate progress of your character as 'you', but in fact it does nothing but changing numbers on your screen. With Vindictus combat, where we actually have a way to progress in real way (personal way - improve ourselves)
, it is not needed anymore... and in fact i think it's actually disruptive and that it affects the game negatively.
People who play this game and stay, do it mostly because of the combat design (i think so at least)
, which means that they actually enjoy this personal progress, even if in part. What this means is that by having equipment depending, we make this game less attractive regarding its main asset - combat.
In a game where combat should be the deciding factor of who performs better, equipment depending destroys this whole idea, because in a moment when your performance should make a difference
- it doesn't, simply because there is some other casher or die hard farmer with some OP equipment/stats.
Ok, ok... i know what you're thinking.
How do you make such drastic transition? How Nexon will earn money? What will keep players in game?
I have answers to all of these.
So firstly... i think that people who play this game for stats/items are... well, you know what i want to say in here
All this system is fake and the reason it works at all is only because people believe in its meaning. It's the same as with money... we all basically just trade numbers/papers/metal coins... which don't really posses the value they represent, we only believe they do because it is better, more comfortable this way.
In case of Vindictus it's rather enforced on us, since stats make a difference in 'damage' which affects whether you finish battle faster or not, etc. but nevertheless, stats are just numbers on your screen - nothing else. So in case of Vindictus i would describe this idea as 'rat race' (it seems to be the best analogy)
1. Ok, so how would Nexon earn money?
a) Fashion (avatars, dyes, etc.)
fashion system should receive more adjustable interface which would allow for more changes according to personal preferences - for which then Nexon can charge people.
b) Pets - also advance their role, for example make them grow from little 'puppies' to big animals... add more life-like features which would give them more meaning + possibility to customize their appearance - again, add items that can be purchased with real money.
c) Advance social features/housing system/guild system - and then add possibility to purchase items with real money to customize all this stuff, like for example new couch to your house or whatever (i think you get my point)
When game is more 'player-friendly' and less 'cash-based' it attracts more players = even with less income from single player, you get more overall income because many more players spend money on your game. It's like you would for example make a game, and wanted to sell it for 1000$ to each person, you wouldn't earn much money because people couldn't afford on it, or simply wouldn't even want to spend so much money, which means that you would have maybe few people who would pay as much and that's it. Now, if you'd sell that game for 5$ for example, and instead of few people, there would be 100,000 people who would buy it - you would earn 500,000$ instead of just few thousands.
Just look at League of Legends, they have no cash-based systems that affect your gameplay, meaning that you can't spend for example 100$ to deal 5x more damage to another person, which makes this game much more player-friendly. They earn money mainly from skins (which would be avatars in Vindictus)
, and because the game is more player-friendly and allows for personal progress in terms of team-tactics, co-operation, etc. (it gives to people 'a purpose' based on real progress)
- they have enormous playerbase and they earn tons of money.
So what i'm proposing for Vindictus is basically what League of Legends has.
2. What would keep players in the game?
a) Well, it is partially answered in previous statement. With new social/guild/housing/etc. systems, people would have more things to do in game. People play MMO games mainly because there are other people who they can play wtih
. So it is important to advance systems that improve and give more possibilities for social interactions - that's one thing.
b) Second would be adding achievements, like in Einrach for example, rankings, etc. as mentioned at the beginning - making the personal progress in terms of combat as main drive force to the game, which means rewarding your personal progress with 'achievements', something to share with other people.
c) Another thing is, that with current system where items 'matter', players skip most of the content just to get to the newest battles - because they are profitable. Equipment depending makes most of the content that developers made unattractive and therefore it becomes useless, more like a 'struggle part' of the game which everyone has to do to get to the 'real game' at the end. Removing equipment depending would allow players to enjoy all areas of the game, because they wouldn't be dependent on 'items' anymore, and bosses of all areas could be adjusted to be challenging to players - so people would play the game as they like, and expierence it without any rush towards ending, discover the world with their own preference and speed.
d) Focus on development of PvP finally, it is also very essential part of the game, because players interact with each other and create 'content' for each other... which means that developers don't have to spend as much time on it as on PvE (where they have to design and create new maps/graphics/boss moves/etc. all the time)
. All they need for PvP system is to make a map, make proper combat/matching system (once but properly)
and then people will just keep playing it. PvP offers much more diversity in terms of combat than PvE which makes it less monotonous, and doesn't require as much workload from developers as PvE.
...(continuation in next post, since i've reached limit of allowed characters xD)...