Look everyone! It’s another Miniguy post! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to write one of these. Today, we’re going to take a look at a core gameplay system: Realm-ranking. This is all about improving the core progression loop. Check it out:
We’ve mentioned before that we’re explicitly ranking content in terms of difficulty. Part of the reason we’ve started doing this is to support the new progression system.
If you can’t watch the video right now, I’ll also explain the new system a bit in text, by quoting from the video:
In legacy, the core progression loop encouraged new characters to 1) skip early-game content, 2) do a 50/50 teleport into high-level content, and 3) try to survive a difficult area where your character didn’t belong. If you died at this point, no problem: you could just make another new character. But when you inevitably lived, you’d effectively start the game at level 20.
The result: there was no early-to-mid-game. There was just endgame.
In new RotF, we explicitly designate content as one of the three difficulty ranks: Easy, Medium, or Hard. You may have noticed these designations on our content blog posts: for example, Gate to the Underworld, which is Hard-rank, or Riverside Refuge, which is Medium-rank. Each Realm portal gets assigned a difficulty.
When you make a new character, you begin in the Easy Realm, gaining access to the next-level realm by clearing a realm of your current level, or by clearing a single dungeon of your current level. This progression system promises that there will always be people running content of all difficulties, so it’s a double win: you won’t be lonely while leveling up a new character, and the early-to-mid-game content that we design will actually see usage. Stat maxing fruit will also be a relatively common drop in early-to-mid areas, so it should feel rewarding to play through on a new character.
We want to make sure that encouraging players to play early-to-mid-game doesn’t conflict with our promise to make a high-speed, fast-paced bullet hell, but we also want to make sure that we make good on this promise deliberately, and not by keeping the broken progression system from legacy.
Thank you so much for reading. Watch the video if you get a chance—Google’s magic algorithms will hate us less. We’ll update this post with Skilly’s CT key puzzle in 15 minutes, so check back soon for a chance to get a key!