Note: I have started a lot of new save files in Siralim 2. (Probably foolish of me, but I enjoy playing through the early game different ways and trying different approaches.)
In general, everything in Siralim unlocks gradually to avoid overburdening a new players with too much complexity early on.
An exception to this is Legendary Artifacts and Legendary Crafting materials. It appears to be possible to get all 500+ Legendary crafting materials to drop very early in the game (or appear on an artifact drop).
I think there are several issues with this approach:
- It feels very cool (as a new player) to get a Legendary artifact to drop early game. (Or perhaps to save up 10,000 Crystal to craft your own … though see my other post on new players and resources). However, many Legendary artifact traits are completely worthless early game.
For example, in my latest game, I got the material for the Waspid Queen very early on, but I am currently on Realm 27 and I haven’t seen a single Waspid yet. Similarly, Diamond attunement is a poor ability for a new player to get early on because not being able to control your creatures in battle makes constructing good teams significantly more complex.
In general, all of the early game creature abilities are chosen to be easy to use and understand. (That is, the first Mummy you see is the one that curses – straightforward – not the one that provides bonus stats based on how many enemies are cursed – requires a very specific team composition or spells to work.) But currently, the artifact system currently works counter to that principle, since you often find artifacts for more complex/special-purpose traits before more easily used/understood traits.
- It adds a LOT of complexity and things to learn/remember. Legendary artifacts and crafting materials can (with a little luck) dramatically increase the rate that players encounter new traits. This creates a burden of knowledge on a new player, because when putting together teams not only do they need to keep track of the dozens traits they have encountered, they also have all the traits that have been thrown at them by the artifact system.
Also, learning traits through the artifact system is more challenging because you don’t have the monster picture/race to provide context. For example, if I unlock a new Doom Fortress (through breeding) and it has an ability related to provoke, that makes sense – Doom Fortresses are all about Provoking. Additionally, I can associate that trait in my mind with the picture of the new Doom Fortress. If I later see it on an artifact, I can naturally think “Oh, I know that, it is an artifact for the Doom Fortress”. On the other hand, if I encounter the artifact first then I have a generic Level 4 Ribbon with some random trait which doesn’t connect to anything else I have seen the game. (Note: It is possible that I memorize and retain information differently than other people, so other players’ experiences may differ … but I think this is still a LOT of complexity)
- From a gameplay/balance point of view, luck in Legendary artifacts can create an uneven early game experience. That is, players who get lucky and find incredibly useful early game Legendary artifacts will have a much easier time progressing than new players who get artifact traits that are worthless early game.
In playing through the early game many times, I have noticed that luck in artifact drops makes a huge difference … Giving the Sphinx Justicar [First sphinx you encounter] an artifact that grants a large stat bonus for having all your creatures the same class is super-powerful early game … Getting a Waspid Queen artifact as an early Legendary, not so much.
Certainly, having some unevenness in the early game due to luck is perfectly fine, but I think that Legendary artifacts create much bigger swings than other forms of uneveness. (A lucky card drop early on is cool, but has limited impact.)
Bottom Line: Consider having the Legendary properties on artifacts and crafting materials unlock in several batches.
For example, I could imagine three tiers as follows. (Details are NOT important, just an example). Early game you can only get artifacts/materials corresponding to the basic “ex-tractable” creatures and the Tier 1 God units. Then at some point (kill the Realm X boss) you unlock traits for the creatures that can be bred from basic “ex-tractable” creatures (e.g., Any Mummy + Any Doom Fortress type recipes) and some additional God units. Then you unlock all artifact traits.