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End game systems

I’ve been thinking about what I hope to see from LE end game systems so would like to pen a post to share my thoughts and hopefully get some devs’ thinking on their philosophy. I want to begin by saying that I think deep and interesting end game systems are, IMO, important for the longevity of an ARPG. The other key element is promoting a vibrant ingame community and encouraging lots of player interaction. I think that’s the whole point of an online game and I believe the devs agreed as much when they explained why there were no plans to introduce player housing.

What led me to muse about this were the reflections as to why I have been losing interest in the current ARPG top dog, and my conclusion is that, increasingly, its end game systems serve to isolate players, putting barriers that discourage players interactions. Some examples of these would include the Atlas, Incursion Temples, Betrayal Board and the Memory Nexus in the current Synthesis league.

(Edit: for those who are not familiar with POE, what these endgame systems have in common is that they typically have their own progression. To use one of the simpler example, for incursion temples, you clear mini areas (11 times) and make choices in each mini area to shape a larger instance/dungeon (i.e the Incursion Temple). The issue here is that you can only activate these mini areas in instances you create, so friends who join you to play would not progress their own Temple. The other systems I mention work similarly, each system “progresses” towards a reward only in instances you create or host, so everyone is incentivised to “host” their own games).

While these systems are deep, they also forces you to focus on your own progress through these systems, which basically implies you are disincentivised to group with other players as each individual would want to make progress on their own Atlas, Nexus, etc.

I mention the above as an illustration of such end game systems. My question to the devs is not about POE’s systems specifically, but what they think of such end game systems in general. In a way, they can be seen as an extension of character/account customization but over the years, my sense is that the way they isolate players bring more harm than the interesting innovations they introduce. Or perhaps there are ways to balance the two?

I would love very much to hear from the devs how would LE’s end game systems avoid such pitfalls. And also from fellow travelers what you think of the points I raised.

I don’t know much about PoE’s end-game systems, so it’d be hard for me to comment on them specifically.

However taking a look at some of LE’s planned end-game systems:

  • Monolith of Fate
    Allows you to play new quests, exploring different choices throughout the eras. Presumably these quests can be done via co-op, but depending on how the quests are unlocked it may discourage party play (can’t play with your friends unless they meet the pre-reqs) or encourages it (you can party and play with your friends who have unlocked certain quests, even if you haven’t yourself, or choices made that quest somehow unavailable to you.)
  • Gates of Memorium
    Level-scaling mechanic. Makes beginner levels more appealing to vets, which should bring more players into the early game, which often feels dead in a lot of games.
  • Time lost Colosseum
    PvP, inherently not very isolationist
  • Lost Memories
    Complete certain quests to get access to special items/benefits.
  • Epoch’s Call
    Finding random aberrations in time, basically easter egg hunting. Both this and Lost Memories seem to be mostly solo activities, but I don’t really see them as promoting isolation, especially if they can still be done in co-op.
  • Some reincarnation of the arena
    How it affects player interaction would largely depend on how it’s implemented.

Personally I don’t think having end game systems that are solo oriented inherently discourage interactions. I believe that it’s the lack of options that does. If I can achieve the same or similar character development irregardless if I’m in a group or not then I believe it creates the most fluid gaming experience.

Thanks Geo for replying first :slight_smile:

I agree. I think it is ok to have some solo-oriented systems. But the issue is with the game designing most, if not all, of the end game systems around individual character development which are the cases in POE.

Precisely because I think LE hasnt fleshed out alot of details of their end-game systems, I am very interested to hear what the devs think about POE-type of endgame (referring to them only for convenience, I know Sarno is sensitive to commenting on competitors :stuck_out_tongue:). And if they haven’t completely narrowed down their philosophy on endgame yet, what they thought about my view re endgame systems in online ARPGs.

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Added an edit to the OP to elaborate on what I meant by the POE system.

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