Very interesting discussion. As for a definition of end game, I have generally accepted the one offered by JL since they defined it:
“So a player in end game would preferably be classified as:
1. Being in N tier with N tier’s full unlock
2. Tower level based on N tier (Lvl 88 to 90 Currently)
3. A mid long base that ends at Island 6 with 2 perches (Island 1 being closest to Castle/Den)
4. Offensive and Defensive gear at near max Elite 90%/90%”
I like how this discussion moved away from end game and started to look at the point at which players can contribute to the end game meta. Our priority as a community should be to try and funnel new players up to that point so we can get a competitive and lively end game dynamic.
I believe that 2 years is too long of a time barrier for a new player to face. That being said, it would appear that it’s an exceedingly complex task to apply corrective measures that can be applied to expedite the early to mid game experience that won’t that won’t end up either 1) devaluing the effort other players have put into progressing 2. Upsetting resource balance.
To clarify 1), by devalue I don’t necessarily mean that one person had to pay or grind to get to end game and another gets and easier rider, I mean that corrective measures should not allow new players to frog jump over current early and mid game players. An example of this would be if breeding “fast lanes” were introduced allowing players to traverse early game tiers at a much greater speed. Depending on how this could be implemented, existing player may have to breed themselves out of a mess to get to a point where they could take advantage of it and potentially be over taken by a newer player.
To clarify 2), using the fast lanes idea as a hypothetical example again, massive truncation of breeding makes tokens no longer the rate limiting resource (this is true now with tier-based discounting actually) and then introduces a timer limiting factor on it while the player tries to keep up with the massive levels needed to be gained each month to keep up with breeding and avoid den locks, rss caps, etc. Resource management in this game is complex even when only considering the basic and bare minimums. More premium resources like Cosmic Charges need further levels of detail and control to manage as they are also time-limited through exclusivity.