End Game Motivators

TLDR:
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!

Original Wall of Text:
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!

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I think that the Arena addition in a later update will help somewhat here and world bosses and creature masters when implemented will also give more end game stuff for us to do.

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I appreciate the feedback. Remember that we’re in alpha testing right now, though - not release, not early access, and not even beta. There’s a lot of content that still hasn’t been added yet.

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Not worried about having ‘more’ to do as much as having ‘direction’ to do it. I understand the end game has a certain ‘sandbox’ feel to it, which means players are expected to create their own personal goals, but I think it would be nice to at least have some suggestions or hints in this regard.

For example, in Siralim 3 if you got X number of different creatures in your menagerie, the menagerie NPC would reward you with a new creature! This kind of reward is great, but I think it would be better if we knew the reward existed before we got it. Then you can get a sense of achievement for completing the goal, instead of it just being a surprise that can easily be missed entirely if you talk to the NPC quickly. Then you’re left wondering where your reward even came from (this happened to me in Siralim 3 with more than one NPC creature reward).

Maybe having an in-game checklist of where such rewards might be found would be good. Would probably be better if it doesn’t even say what the reward is, leave that as a surprise, just knowing that the reward is there and a task needs to be completed to get it is enough to motivate continued play. I suppose the achievements list would actually be perfect for this kind of thing. Just have an icon that indicates there is a reward for a certain achievement, and maybe which NPC actually gives that reward.

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I should have put a TL:DR bit in the original post. I definitely ramble too much. I’ll edit the original post to do that.

In regards to the game still being alpha, there’s no problem there! I feel like there’s already LOTS of content I still haven’t experienced. The suggestion is really just having guideposts for all the content. After all, there’s so much of it that it’s actually a little overwhelming! The ‘what do I do now?’ feeling isn’t really a problem with there being nothing to do, it’s more like a ‘what do I do NEXT?’ feeling.

I definitely agree with your TLDR and will eventually read the wall of text. When I get confronted with tons of options all at once, I tend to stand still because I honestly don’t know what to do first. Siralim 3 kinda gave me that issue when I first played it and I definitely felt it here, in alpha. Honestly, I would really enjoy it, if the “tutorial” continued a little longer and eased us into the end game stuff. I actually thought the writing of the story mode was totally solid. Its kind of a shame seeing it disappear altogether, the moment you go into the end game. I sometimes find it hard to have a purpose in playing a game when there’s no story elements to guide me.

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I definitely agree that the current status of the End Game for Siralim Ultimate is quite lacking. Particularly compared to Siralim 3, which I’ve managed to play for 600+ hours on one file; I’m at 60 hours for Siralim Ultimate and can’t see myself playing nearly that long with the current available pursuits.

Obviously it’s still Alpha and many things will be added and changed, (like I assume the Arena, Gate of the Gods, and maybe even Nether Creatures?) but I want to personally say that one thing that gave me a lot of extra motivation in S3 was Nether Realms. Due to having increased challenge and loot availability, the rare chance to spawn Nether creatures, and the leveling system of Talismans, Nether Realms provided a lot of extra elements to pursue, all with the element of choice. While the way Realm depth is handled currently in SU is convenient, it’s also somewhat annoying having to constantly pay attention to potentially party-destroying realm properties, a challenging element which I felt was well-regulated to Nether Realms.

Otherwise, I feel that Talismans from S3 were much more interesting and varied than the current Relics available in SU. While the Relic system is very neat and allows for a lot of grind to work towards upgrading, it feels like the vast majority of them focus on or only really interact with Attacking. Anecdotally, but that makes most of them entirely useless to my party, and I’m sure to many other playstyles. The design space of Talismans felt much more varied and useful, and I think ideally a blending of the two would help long-term motivation.

One final comparison to S3, but the Prophecies in that felt like they had a much greater variety of tasks and loot. I recognize that Prophecies in SU are primarily to acquire Piety for leveling Relics, but I found that the rare chance to acquire Tomes from Prophecies in S3 became one of my driving goals. Now, with Tomes having been merged with Genes, limited to 15 per creature, and made available through the Training Mission, that will no longer be an endless source of advancement. Personally, I’d much rather see Genes and Tomes brought back as separate consumables.

Sorry to compare so much to Siralim 3, that’s just what I have the most familiarity and love for. Siralim Ultimate is of course better in many ways, but I’m worried that some of the implementations to streamline ideas and concepts has created an absence of variety and motivational aspects. Regardless, I love this series, and appreciate all of the wonderful work that’s been put into it! Zack and everyone else who’s helped out, you’ve really made a defining game here with Siralim Ultimate!

tldr; Siralim 3 had more variety for end-game motivators in terms of Talismans, Prophecy tasks and rewards, and Nether Realms, most of which have been a little too simplified or limited in Siralim Ultimate.

I want to reiterate (again) that all the content hasn’t been implemented yet. Arena, tavern brawls, gate of the gods, creature masters, guilds, realmshaping, skin hunting, nether bosses, world bosses, roguelike mode, and so much more is still on the way. Alpha isn’t the time when most of this will be implemented though, and a lot of it won’t even come in beta, so some of you might be better off waiting for early access or even full release if you want a fuller experience.

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I really do blab too much. I didn’t want this to turn into a ‘not enough content’ complaining thread. How many developers need to constantly remind people that their Early Access/Alpha game is still in-development? That’s gotta be annoying for them.

I still feel there’s tonnes of content already in this game. Gate of the gods, creature masters, world bosses and everything else on Zack’s list do sound like they’ll be exciting additions to an already great game, so it’s tough to be patient for them, lol.

I just want to re-state what my original intention for this thread was. Having some kind of ‘guideposts’, whether it be in form of achievements list or post story quests or whatever, that can give players goals to aim for, preferably with surprise rewards. What I mean by ‘surprise’ reward is that we know there’s a reward for completing the goal, but we don’t know what the reward is. Quests automatically have surprise reward in the form of a story bit. Even if there was a post story quest to max out favor with ALL the gods, and the only reward was Torun mocking me for how much of my life I’ve wasted by completing that quest, the post story quest would still have achieved its purpose. It is about the journey after all, but it’s nice to have a goal in sight, so that eventually you can have that ‘I did it!’ feeling after all your hard work.

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There will be achievements in the game, and I’m guessing at least some of them will be viewable before you get them, similar to S3. I’m not sure if that will be enough for you.

That said, I agree with you, right now, you’re thrust into the endgame, and even with the content that is there, there’s a sense of “well, what do I do now?” and that can be daunting for players.