The game has changed a lot in the past couple of years- lots of new towers, dragons, events, different game mechanics, such that if a player from about a year back were to look at the game now, they might end up a little amazed.
However, the thing is, even as lower level players (that I will define as gold breeding or below) get to play around with seasonal divines and newer towers (flaks and turrets), new lineage dragons haven’t been released to reflect the change in available towers. This causes a few problems:
New players lose interest in the game- looking up to the very top tiers, the only place outside of seasons where new dragons are released regularly, can be demoralizing when you know that you’re likely never going to catch up to that tier in the lifespan of your gameplay. No new content is being released down in the lower tiers, and I’m not saying that each tier needs new dragons every few months, I’m saying that dragons could be reviewed and improved, and where necessary, some tiers could get some new additions to their lineups to buff the paths that newbies could choose to take.
Outdated spellsets- Most of the lineage dragons aren’t used in wars or regular flying, which is really odd, considering the name of this game is War Dragons, but maybe it should have been named Indisposed Dragons instead. Why? None of the spells on a dragon should ever be considered useless.
Early on, each tier introduces a few new spells. They haven’t been updated with tower changes, etc, and their design hasn’t changed much. For example, Evasion. Why isn’t it a 100% dodge of all projectiles, which would make it far more relevant? Or a chance of dodging projectiles and flak shots, like flash? By level 40+, we can build our flaks and turrets (didn’t bother checking the exact number), but none of the blue, orange, green, or gold dragons have resists against them. (I believe platinum-sapphire is where dragons begin exiting the stone age?)
I don’t think any game should be designed such that players think that they have to rush through certain parts of gameplay to reach a point where they can truly begin to enjoy the game.
For me, personally, it’s taken about 6 months to get through red to green, and start on gold. I’m looking forward to Whalegnawer and Consurgens, but in terms of my lineage dragons, not much outside of Ettin and Etzel somewhat, has been that fun for me to fly.
Additionally, the gradually rising level requirement for divines to get their third spell is another concern, since the third spell is often pretty important to the gameplay of a divine dragon (see Necryx) For Fall 2016 divines:
Now for Spring 2018 divines, aka our current season:
(btw, @MareZ, if you see this, I’m sorry for quoting without asking your permission but I wanted to give credit for the info ;-; )
Raising the bar to unlock the third spell doesn’t seem very friendly to newbies, which really isn’t good for any game that wants to appeal to a larger audience. See also: Tower balance changes, which benefitted a small group of people, namely those with level 50+ towers, and hurt everyone else. (hint: the noobs) Some solutions should be considered to make gameplay more accessible to even newer players.
Some possible solutions:
Tweak dragon spellsets and stats in earlier tiers instead of just adding new tiers. Especially in the later tiers, where due to the exorbitant egg token costs players can spend months breeding a single breeder dragon that they won’t use in regular play anyway. This should not be the case, and every dragon should be properly balanced. It’s not fun if everyone in the same tier favours the same few dragons- variety is fun!
If tweaking spellsets and stats would cause too much chaos (by way of players complaining how a dragon far behind them had been improved drastically, for example), maybe PG would consider adding new dragons to tiers, with more relevant, balanced spellsets and stats which would make them actually useful? Blue tier comes to mind, since many players just skip past it. Seems a little sad for an entire tier of dragons to go unplayed for the rest of the game.
I’m not sure if this is an issue, but adding backbreeds to existing dragons wouldn’t really hurt anyone, and would help the players who have previously made mistakes in breeding and need to get on track/ would like to get previous tier dragons at cheaper prices for whatever reason. (Also, more different breeding paths!)
Pick a level for divines to unlock their third spell and stick to it. Scaling dragons all the way to the top tier can still happen, but please, please fix a level for divine dragons to get their third spell, since most divine spellsets are built a. la three spells + 1 resist. The third spell definitely affects how a dragon is flown- Necryx, for example- and giving newbies time to git gud with flying dragons is a good thing.
Of course, the game has many other issues that require urgent fixing, and this is by far not the most pressing one, but I do think it is important that a game ensures its enjoyability for players outside of endgame range. Where players two years ago saw a hill as they looked at endgame, players now gape at a mountain. More exciting stuff along the mountain path seems fair, and keeps it fun.
It’s a fact that most established games will have an elite, small group of endgame players, but making it the place where new stuff is distributed when a vast majority of players aren’t ever going to enter that elite faction is just twisting the knife.
p.s. here’s an earlier thread about the same topic, if yall want to see some discussion: link