So, after I finished the single player content after playing 2 days almost non-stop, I wanted to share my thoughts about it:
First of all, I really enjoyed almost every second of the new missions and especially the puzzles. The faeria team did a great job on the actual content, especially considering that the goal was to teach new players some of the key game mechanics.
On the other hand, this update is a good example, of how to introduce some very good content in a terrible way. (See critics below, especially “6.”)
1. The normal missions
Normal missions were pretty much what we had already before the update and little bit more. I think they’re a great way for new players to get into the game. For a bit more experienced players like myself (though not “pro” by any means) they seemed rather easy, but then again, it’s meant for new players.
2. The epic missions
Those were pretty much what I had in mind, when I suggested “Scrolls like challenges”: Sometimes you were confronted with a alternative board or a preset board situation you had to deal with. Some of them were rather challenging and I even had to create a specific deck for the mission two or three times. I really liked Magda, Krog and Hoaka.
However, some expectations weren’t met (yet; maybe in the future? please?):
- Challenges that confront you with a half way into a game situation you had to solve, both with a self created deck (maybe from a selected list of cards) or a preset deck (but other than the “win this turn” puzzles!)
- Missions that are really, I mean really hard to solve even for experienced players. Like 20+ times with multiple deck configurations.
3. The Puzzles
Well done. I really love those “spot lethal” moments in Faeria and I wish there’ll be more in the future. The first 60-70% I solved after like 5 seconds, but then again, they were meant to teach new players some basic game mechanics. The top 30% were well done; some pretty tough nuts. I just wished there were some more.
- The first 60-70% were meant to teach basic game mechanics, which was a really good idea. However, I think, by finishing them as quickly as most of them were, even new players may forget about those taught mechanics like 10 minutes after the next puzzles. Some explanation window after some of those mechanics might’ve worked to let that information “sink in”. Or make the puzzles (and everything else; see below) repeatable!
I’m a bit torn between liking and hating the aspect that you can’t really repeat the mission. On the one hand, it tells the player to take this one very very serious, as you get a pack + 40 gold + 100-200 exp for him (which is by far the best reward the solo content has to offer, besides Rapala’s pandora coin), but you only get one chance to be successful. On the other hand, this mechanic is rather punishing for new players, as they are way more likely to lose against Fugoro; some might even lose to him every single time. And new players are exactly the players, who need those additional packs the most.
To me, it wasn’t much of a problem as I lost to Fugoro only 3 times. But everytime felt like a punch in the face.
Sure, the game told me before that I’d only have one chance to beat him, but that didn’t prepare me at all about the “unfair” stuff that he’s going rip my guts out with.
On the other hand the deck presented a formidable challenge, which I really appreciate. Plus it also taught you about some of the treasure cards you’re gonna face in Pandora).
So here’s my plea about that one: Keep the “only one chance to claim the reward” stuff (to keep things serious), but
- give as an option to practise against Fugoro as much as we want to (without getting the reward and counting a win as “beating him” of course.
More of those, please. I loved them!
6. Critics on the single player content in general:
As I said above, the content itself was very well done, but it is presented in a potential disastrous way:
First of all, the content needs to be repeatable!
Why on earth do you give us such a fun content, but then make it a single time experience?
Especially the epic quests (and Rapala and Fugoro as well) are such a great experience, that I would love to play again (even without the reward) with another deck.
Second, replace this “seperate lane” display with a full list of all missions/puzzles.
Seriously, how to make the unrepeatability even worse? Let’s hide both, what’s to come (which kills a lot of the anticipation) and what you already accomplished (so you’re more likely to forget about it).
Why not a list with every single mission on it, so you can look back at your success and also see what’s more to come? You could also censor what is to come (call it “???” until you unlock it) to raise the anticipation. (Take Scrolls’ list of challenges as an example)
Another problem of the lane display is that you have to beat a specific quest/puzzle to unlock the next one. (Right lane was mostly puzzles; left one mostly the codices we had in a nice seperate list even before the rework! Seriously!) Why not give us the next 2 or 3 puzzles, so you can (temporarily) skip one you can’t solve for hours? This way you wouldn’t feel as tempted to “cheat” a puzzle by looking up its solution, just to access the next one.
Seperate the Fugoro (and Rapala) Challenges from the rest of the lanes.
Why would you make Fugoro block your next mission in the first place?
You made this content for primarily for new players, right? Then please, don’t force the new players to do (and probably fail) their biggest reward challenges (Fugoro) in order to access the next mission to learn from.
What’s even worse, if a new player lost his first (few) Fugoros, he’ll be inclined to keep away from any further Fugoro challenges until he feels ready to beat them. Then he’ll choose to continue with the other 2 lanes, until he pretty quickly runs into Fugoro on each lane.
Fugoro felt like ~80% of the rewards total. In the worst case, if I’d lost (almost) all of them, I’d feel cheated and inclined to delete my account and either create a new one or stop playing Faeria completely for such a frustrating experience.
Sure, this seems like extreme behaviour on first sight. But, seriously, the last thing you want is to confront new players with frustrating experience!
And let’s face it, a new player is very very likely to lose most of his Fugoros, if he doesn’t stop after his first, second or third Fugoro and ask an experienced player how to build a deck or even play against him. Or if he doesn’t stop and gather some experience in some pvp battles/pandora. Or both. In any case, he’ll be inclined to stop the single player content (that is meant to teach him in the first place!) until he has enough experience to beat most Fugoros.
On another note: I’m not sure on this point, but do you face your first Fugoros on the left lane before you get access to all codices? Because, this would make it even worse, because it forces a new player into Fugoro matches before he gets access to the basic cards!
So, in conclusion: Very nice content, but a rather bad way to introduce it ingame, especially for new players, primary because of what I’d call the “Fugoro punishment”.