In End Game, provide players with some sort of list of goals with surpise rewards they can work towards. If there are already plans to implement this in some fashion, then perfect!
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First off, I want to say I’ve played Siralim 1, 2, and 3 before Ultimate, and have enjoyed them all. I can definitely say that Siralim Ultimate is my favorite by far! I feel like it has combined the best of all the previous Siralims. The new sprite arts really help makes it stand above its predecessors too, making it feel like its own game worthy of abandoning the numeric title for Ultimate. I hope all the monsters get new sprites, but I know that’s a LOT of work for an artist.
On to my actual suggestion. I’ve completed the story now, and felt that ‘what do I do now?’ feeling I got after beating Siralim 3. To be honest, I never played much end game in Siralim 3, not because there wasn’t lots to do, but because I didn’t have a clear goal in sight to motivate me to keep playing. I feel Ultimate could definitely improve here as well. The addition of achievements would help, but Siralim 3 had those too and it wasn’t quite enough to keep my interest. There was no real ‘reason’ to keep going. I could make my monsters ever more powerful… but why bother?
I think the best thing that could solve this is by providing post main story ‘quests’ that act as guide posts perhaps. First one could just be ‘build the reliquary’ but after that’s done, they could be much longer and require more time commitment to accomplish. Maybe even something like reaching max favor with a God, completing all the projects that grow the castle, finding a Nether Orb, or whatever other difficult task there might be in the end game that I don’t even know about. I don’t even know what these relics are that my monsters are supposed to be tuned too!
Having these long-term goals be more visible to the player would help give that motivation to achieve something beyond the main story. Even better if they had a few more sentences of post main story content to go along with them. It’s amazing how much a bit of story content can feel like a good reward for a tough task. One of the worst things about any JRPG is a short ending with no interesting story development after beating a final boss. The game itself could be awesome but if the ending sucks, the whole experience leaves a bad taste in the mouth, like there was no return for all that time investment.
Another good reward for completing hours of end game content besides additional story snippets would be added challenges. When I think back on Siralim 3, I honestly felt like the hardest challenges in the whole game were found inside that Tavern Brawl. I don’t much like PvP in games, and don’t want that Tavern Brawl to be re-instated, not in the least, because I felt like participating in it in Siralim 3 actually spoiled a lot of the game’s content. I saw some trait combinations in the Brawl that blew my mind, but I felt like copying them after seeing them in the Brawl would be like cheating (I didn’t figure it out myself just copied it from the brawl, you know?). However, it does lend itself to a good idea for end game motivation.
There should be some kind of ‘contest’ in the end game, maybe have other kingdom’s throughout Rodia that all compete for having the strongest monster team. You would climb the ladder facing harder and harder challenges, maybe challenges would even put restrictions on your team, like having to complete it with a specific specialization, or only being able to use monsters from a specific class or race (fusions included!). They’d be like extra ‘puzzles’ that you’d have to think beyond your ‘kill-everything-in-one-turn-realm-farming-squad’ in order to complete, and that would honestly make farming those realms much more worthwhile and exciting!
I think the main thing is making such challenges clearly visible to the player as soon as they complete the Main Story. Once I lost that ‘beat boss at realm X’ quest in the top right corner, I felt like there was nothing more I needed to do, which is a shame because I know there’s TONNES more to do! Having even one more sentence from Everett saying something along the lines of ‘Hey, now that everything is hunky dory I heard other kingdoms are hosting a Monster Tournament! You should focus on getting our castle and monsters stronger so we can compete too!’ would go a LONG way to keeping me interested in exploring end game content. Just a hint that there’s more ‘story’ or ‘challenges’ to be found is the key here, even if it’s just a one-line ‘compliment’ from Torun in the end! That alone would be worth it!