- It's clear that if Demigod has a long tale it will be with a diminishingly small group of committed players.
- If and when GPG develops the property further it will most likely be in terms of a sequel, not an expansion.
Let's talk about what that sequel should look like. Hopefully if the feedback is good it will get back to GPG and we'll see the distilled results in a couple of years.
With any mechanics or UI or anything that bugs even slightly you should put down how it *should* work instead. Don't waste time complaining about how it is. Instead let's talk about how it can be.
I'll get some of the major ones out of the way right now:
1. Multiplayer Code and UI - excluding the initial clusterclown release debacle I'd like to see multiplayer code copied shamelessly from HoN. For this type of game it doesn't really get better than that. The key ingredients to that formula from a consumer perspective imo
A. Server/Client setup - lower ping, reconnection to dc'd games, A's slow PC doesn't cripple B's game
B. Lobby Win probabilities based on stats
C. Native statistics compiling. Bara's site and criteria are awesome. Put all of that in the game and make the most relevant stats instantly accessible. Imo those are wins, losses, time played, and disconnects
D. Exclusion options a la Supcom 2. Don't backslide on me ^^
2. Streamlined Social Networking - some of this is in or coming through the Impulse UI. Make it native or seamless for II.
A. Personal, team, clan, and general chat options
B. Easily accessible friends, group, and clan options
C. A notes and rating system outside of stats or friends status
D. Persistent status markers outside the game. If you want to get fancy tie them to signifiers ingame, and if you want a potentially rewarding balancing nightmare give performance bonuses for them. Favor items are a start. Now iterate that out.
E. Foster your community. Bring in community reps who talk on the forums and play the game. Sponsor tournaments and leagues. Do that alot. Hell, if you want to pay someone to do nothing else but organize that sort of thing I'd be happy to submit a resume, because you need to effin liase if you want to build the solid word of mouth communities are there for (^^)
3. Make Modding Native and Friendly. This doesn't need sub-categories, it's pretty basic. You need to let your players make maps and demigods without a sophisticated skillset or a $10,000 software suite. If that means the base game is slightly less pretty, guess what: no one cares as long as the gameplay is there.
Seriously, the maps and models are so beautiful in this game but when they have fundamental flaws, like Crucible, nothing can be done on our side to work that out. (I can't bear to think of how many artist man-hours you wasted on that map because you didn't think through the implications of bottlenecked play.)
4. Make Replays native. They need to be in on Release day, and they need to be as good as they are now.
5. Take out minions, or rehash the mechanic from the ground up. A single pet or set of pets is balance-able. An army vs. individual system is too difficult unless you have someone obsessively balancing for a year or two.
6. Tweak your Beta Schedules. Closed Beta, however long it is, should have a month of playtime with a game that is completed in all but name. Then you throw it wide open, or at least toss out 20k keys on Facebook. You need to stresstest the beast and the balance before you go to the presses, and that takes time.
7. Create a pipeline. Set a minimum number of DGs and maps that need to be in release (12 each). Then make twice as many of each *before release*, and parcel them out slowly over the space of a year, tweaking as the meta dictates. The recent Bioware approach of releasing extras immediately and over time is a good one both in terms of piracy-prevention and continuing revenue.
8. Either make Single-Player good or abandon it. A Mortal Kombat approach is viable, but you really have to polish that waaaay up if that's what you are doing. Otherwise you shouldn't waste your time or money putting together something half-assed when the game without it would be just as good or better
What else would we like to see in Demigod II?