Realm 1 is a mistake

I want to apologize in advance, because this may be harsh. I love Siralim. But I think that the way the scaling system is currently implemented is a problem, particularly for new players.

Realm 1 is far, far easier than Realm 2, because the enemies have no artifacts and no spells. But because the monsters keep scaling with you, the treasure and experience are fine on Realm 1. The most time-efficient way for me to level and gather resources is to play Realm 1 over and over. The game, as it is now, incentivizes boring play.

Being stuck on Realm number 1 for the first several hours (at least) of gameplay also makes it feel like I’m not “making progress”. I really wish the system was set up so that it made sense for you to explore increasingly-numbered realms. Maybe the monsters on Realm 1 could scale with (level / 2) instead of (level - 3), with rewards being lowered if you’re in “too low-level” an area.

I know you might not want to make those kind of large changies to the level balance right now, but I really urge you to do something about how boring level 1 is. Before the Steam release I hope you’ll consider a minimum of something like:
– “Taper off” the whole “no artifacts and spells on dungeon level 1” thing. Maybe the monsters on level 1 could have a (Player level - 15)/15 chance of having their artifacts and spells, so that if the player is level 15 or lower they don’t have any, and if they’re level 30+ they have their normal number. (Alternatively, give each of them a (Player level + Dungeon level - 20)/20 chance of having artifacts and spells on any dungeon level).
– Add some sort of prompting to the player if there are important game things that they need to go to deeper dungeon levels to find (e.g. shopkeeper guy). I’m not saying you have to hold their hand or take the joy of discovery away, but it would be nice if there was a little more hinting from the NPCs that going past dungeon level 1 would pay off.

I disagree with this, mainly because slow-moving players need a safe haven as otherwise even realm 1 could be too hard for them - I have bad memories of wiping quite frequently on realm 1 due to being incapacitated by spells and/or debuffed to nothing by them.

I’m not opposed to having a “safe haven” – if you’re wiping frequently in Realm 1, that’s definitely a problem. But the way it’s being done now, Realm 1 is:
– Much more boring than Realm 2
– Much easier than Realm 2
– Only very slightly less reward than Realm 2

That combination is the problem. I feel very, very strongly that something in that combination needs to change. I feel much less strongly about which of those would be the best to change.

[quote=“creidieki, post:3, topic:594”]I’m not opposed to having a “safe haven” – if you’re wiping frequently in Realm 1, that’s definitely a problem. But the way it’s being done now, Realm 1 is:
– Much more boring than Realm 2
– Much easier than Realm 2
– Only very slightly less reward than Realm 2

That combination is the problem. I feel very, very strongly that something in that combination needs to change. I feel much less strongly about which of those would be the best to change.[/quote]

Possibly making the “advanced” rewards less likely in it? Things like sigils, rarer materials, pills, or whatever. You don’t need those as a new player, mainly basic resources (especially granite) and ritual energy. That way there’s more incentive to move forward, but it stays a place to farm for people who haven’t quite eked out a good team setup yet.

I would be okay with that, as long as it’s clearly communicated to the player. I still don’t love the “sharp boundary” between Realm 1 and Realm 2, but I’d be much happier if it were a sharp boundary on rewards as well as difficulty.

If this is the way you’re doing it, I’d recommend something like:

– Change the name of Realm 1 to “The Near Realm” to help communicate to the player that it’s different.
– Add 1-3 pieces of NPC dialogue to the castle explaining that The Near Realm is easier and has less rewards (maybe “our guards patrol the near realm” could be the flavor).
– The Near Realm generates maybe 25% more breakables and resource nodes and 50% fewer of the other things (telescopes, pentagrams, chaos statues, etc.). It can’t generate legendary crafting materials, artifacts with legendary things, certain spells, etc.

That seems pretty fair, and the thematic explanation is cool. I would be fine with that getting implemented into the game, as in the early game where I don’t want to leave realm level 1, I mostly just need resources and energy, along with some basic crafting materials. It’s not as sharp as a boundary as you are saying, though; I’m pretty sure realm level 2 gives an enemy party only one spell and rarely gives them artifacts.

I’ve seen enough threads about people barely making it to the third floor to disagree. The gentle curve is necessary for people who don’t understand teambuilding, are too terrified to use spells yet, and don’t want to spend granite on anything except higher creature tiers - each circumstance an understandable event on its own, because the game encourages swapping characters, saving spells, and expanding tiers.

I definitely echo what vagrantsun is saying on this one. There are many who struggle early and realm 1 is great for training wheels. Though I think you must not go past it quite enough, because I notice a clear boost in favor from loot rng when I hit realm 4 and a very nice one at realm 10. Your perspective is probably skewed from not going very fast past realm 1. I find progress in games when I dare to progress. It’s your choice to feel stagnant on realm 1 or to push into the solid realms. Realm 1 is meant to be very clearly easy for the new players. I personally don’t think we need help knowing that; it’s clear enough that it’s the first realm, meaning that it’s easier than any realm after it… kinda self explanatory. :stuck_out_tongue:
Though I would have to agree that legendary materials probably shouldn’t be available there; though I’ve yet to ever get one in that realm.

I think now that enemies in realm level 1 no longer spawn with spells or artifacts, it’s safe to bump up their level a little bit. I just started a brand new save file to test some recent changes I made to the early game for the upcoming patch, and my creatures were barely getting scratched in realm level 1. I don’t think it would be a problem to start enemies at your level (instead of -3 levels) and then scale from there.

I completely agree that this is a hard game and needs a “gentle curve”. But right now, the gentle curve is implemented by making the easy battles INCREDIBLY BORING. That’s the problem. If you need a “gentle curve” then do it by making the Level 1 monsters more levels below the party, and maybe by making them less likely to have spells and artifacts. The systems in any game incentivize certain player behaviors and strategies, and right now the game is incentivizing boring play.

[quote=“Juncboks, post:8, topic:594”]I definitely echo what vagrantsun is saying on this one. There are many who struggle early and realm 1 is great for training wheels. Though I think you must not go past it quite enough, because I notice a clear boost in favor from loot rng when I hit realm 4 and a very nice one at realm 10. Your perspective is probably skewed from not going very fast past realm 1. I find progress in games when I dare to progress. It’s your choice to feel stagnant on realm 1 or to push into the solid realms. Realm 1 is meant to be very clearly easy for the new players. I personally don’t think we need help knowing that; it’s clear enough that it’s the first realm, meaning that it’s easier than any realm after it… kinda self explanatory. :stuck_out_tongue:
Though I would have to agree that legendary materials probably shouldn’t be available there; though I’ve yet to ever get one in that realm.[/quote]

I admit that I don’t know how treasure is balanced. I don’t think the treasure in Realm 2 is enough better than Realm 1 to be worth the extra difficulty and time of fighting there. If it is, then my criticism is that that isn’t obvious and isn’t communicated to the player.

That sounds like it’s going to encourage me to stay in boring land longer, but I’m willing to give it a try if you think it’s for the best.

I don’t know - while I agree the battles can be very simple, artifacts and spells bring a lot of RNG into the mix. If you’re just looking to do low-risk farming, it’s annoying to get wiped because the spell roulette picked Snow Storm and then Mind Storm, leaving you completely incapacitated. I prefer boring over randomly losing because the game chose the strongest spells to cast, rendering my team either unable to act or unable to do damage.

I’d be fine with a spell blacklist for low level realms, or a one spell per combat round limit, or things like that. And one of my above suggestions was to “phase in” enemy spells over 15 or 20 character levels. I just think that it’s a problem if the only way to make battles easy is to make them really boring.

That would work okay; the main issue is just extreme debilitating effects, basic damage spells or weaker/less annoyin effects like stunning one monster is a lot less bothersome. 15-20 character levels isn’t very much, though - some people might take till level 50 or more to really get rolling.

Yeah, I meant something like “0% chance at level 15 up to 100% chance at level 35+”. Sorry for being unclear.

I probably should have mentioned this before, but the new loot system will probably solve a lot of the problems mentioned as well. The jump in the chance to find better loot between realm levels 1 and 2 is the highest in the game.

Allowing enemies to spawn with spells will bring back the age-old issue of certain players getting steamrolled by bad luck, and I don’t think it’s good practice to only allow certain spells to spawn at that realm level anyway - it makes things feel artificial.

[quote=“Zack, post:16, topic:594”]I probably should have mentioned this before, but the new loot system will probably solve a lot of the problems mentioned as well. The jump in the chance to find better loot between realm levels 1 and 2 is the highest in the game.

Allowing enemies to spawn with spells will bring back the age-old issue of certain players getting steamrolled by bad luck, and I don’t think it’s good practice to only allow certain spells to spawn at that realm level anyway - it makes things feel artificial.[/quote]

That actually makes me feel a lot better about things, and will probably make my game play more interesting. I encourage you to add an NPC to the castle (and maybe a note to the library somewhere) mentioning that loot gets much better as you go deeper (I know it’s mostly obvious but with the game so open/freeform I think it’s worth hammering that home). Thank you.

I happen to think it would be better to leave the scaling start at (level - 3), but I don’t feel anywhere near as strongly about that.

That information is found when you interact with the Teleportation Shrine. It says the higher your realm level, the tougher the foes and more valuable the treasure. I think a few NPCs mention it during their Castle Quests as well.

Oh wow, you’re right. Heh, whoops. Sorry. I think I had started tuning that message out. The loot differences between Realm 1 and Realm 50 or so are noticable now, but I’ve only been able to get that high by spamming silver/golden tickets and (when those run out) using hound tail + flee.

I’m definitely on the side that realm 1 is fine the way it is and we should wait to see what this new loot system brings to the game anyways. I just got a new tablet as a reward for being with my phone service for so long and started a first thing. Walked into realm one and the quest was to kill nethers… definitely waited till I cleared the map, then tried. Got one shot and lost one the creatures second turn. Went back into a new realm one and upon opening a chest, it turns into a mimic and cleaves both of my creatures to death. Great start…

I recognize that it was more bad luck than anything, but I notice that people generally end up with bad luck over anything else.
A nether clearing duty probably shouldn’t be given until the player level is at least 20 so they at least have some supplies to try their hand at not dying so quickly. :stuck_out_tongue: