Summoning Costs and Scaling

I know you’ve recieved some feedback on this and patched it recently, but I’d like to talk a bit about why I think there’s still a problem with the way summon costs work.

Right now, 90% of the in-game economy works a single way; costs scale as you increase, and so do the benefits.

  • Artifacts crafted get more expensive, and the results get better, scaling with your level.
  • Enchantments get more expensive, but the stat caps get higher, scaling with your level.
  • Power Rituals’ minimum cost increases, but you’re able to put more in for better rewards, scaled by level.
  • You can put more gems into nether eggs, scaled by level.
  • Even though the cost of specific rituals doesn’t increase as you level, more expensive ones unlock as you level - effectively scaling alongside you.

There is one exception to this rule - Summoning creatures. No matter when you summon a creature, that creature is level 1. It never gets better in any particular way. This means that there is an outright, uncontestable advantage to summoning every creature as early as possible; the longer you wait, the more you are paying for something you could have spent a fraction of the money on earlier, with an identical result.

This isn’t, IMO, interesting gameplay, and results in boring minmaxy behavior when taken to its extreme. Additionally, keeping costs the way they are discourages players from experimenting or changing up their lineup; when one summon costs 1/3 of your currrency, it’s hard not to think of all the artifact buffs or rituals you could have spent it on - this is doubly true for players who are struggling; they may not even have enough resources for a single summon! In the end, this is taking one of the more interesting parts of the game (experimenting with captured creatures) reducing it to a side element.

Some ideas on options for potential improvement:

Option A: Just plain lower the costs a LOT. honestly? I don’t think this would unbalance the game at all, given you still have to level your chars. Having lots of lv1 monsters isn’t actually that big an advantage, and getting the particles in the first place is the real challenge. This would also let players experiment a lot more rather than being forced to stick with a permanent stable.

Option B: Implement a scale cap based on unlock tier. This is a happy medium, in a sense. Scaling of costs caps out at a certain level based on the tier of monsters it’s from. Creating upper cost limits like this would place it more in line with rituals, and allow players who wait to summon to catch up, without significantly changing the game’s current economy.

Option C: Monsters summon at the same level as your average party level. This is going in the reverse compared to the other options, basically bringing the system in line with everything else in that the benefits scale as the costs scale. Players would be getting some bang for their buck and immediately be able to drop new recruits into full scale combat. This is the one I’m least a fan of, honestly, as it doesn’t entirely solve the “not much room to experiment” issue, but any of these are still preferred over the current system.

Thoughts?

I completely agree. I don’t know what I was thinking, but after you summon 6 creatures, the cost of summoning a new creature increases by 500%. This is being cut drastically in the next patch, which will make the cost of summoning a new creature far less significant than it is now.

Yikes, that explains a lot. 1/5thing the price should definitely help. o_o

I’ve been mulling over this very subject myself. I knew that after your 6th creature, summoning costs jumped to multiple times the previous level. When I was short on resources (typically in the early levels) I tried to get around that by removing the 6th creature from my party and releasing it from the stables so the costs would drop back to more managable levels.

The cost increase beyond the 6th creature was definitely prohibitive in scope when it came to experimenting with various creatures. I pretty much resorted to summoning only the one that I was absolutely dead certain would be a great improvement over one of my existing creatures.

While at the early levels, the summoning (after the 6th) would have taken at least half of all my resources (or even more), at lvl 65, the cost scaled back somewhat to being about 1/5th to 1/8th of my current stockpiles (typically costing 100k of each resource whereas I have about 500-800k of each). So it does get better at higher levels but I still wouldn’t go around summoning creatures on a whim just to check them out so it’s still sort of prohibitive.

I’ve been wondering what potential balance or “sense of achievement” drawbacks a lower cost could have, but I couldn’t think of anything gamebreaking so far. The obvious upside is that you get to experiment with lots of different lineups which I think is probably a central theme of the game so that could be a good thing. The downside, if any, is that summoning a creature won’t feel like such a big deed since getting particles is pretty easy at this point (I have 10-30 of every type all the way up to tier 10 - and I could probably have more if I wasn’t too lazy to diffuse things instead of just killing them) and the only serious effort was in acquiring the resources.

However in conclusion, it seems the benefits of a lower summoning cost outweigh the cons and I agree that the jump beyond the 6th creature could use a serious reduction (if it is to be kept at all). For a rewarding summon that requires considerable effort you already have the nether creatures so I think it wouldn’t hurt the game if normal creatures were cheaper and thus easier to experiment with.

The power cost increase is being removed entirely since that is the resource that most significantly holds back new summoning. The brimstone and crystal costs are being reduced as well, but not removed entirely. The end result should be a much more balanced experience.