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Skill is definitely part of progress, though.
Originally posted by Phaserlight Regarding combat: I consider this to be even too general for what I'm asking. There can be many aspects to combat; i.e. is the enjoyable aspect finally having the right sword, ability, stats or whatever to defeat a powerful enemy (progress)... or is it more about developing the right muscle-memory, "connecting" to the game in the right way (skill)... Take a look at an older game like Contra; most of the "boss battles" involved memorizing the enemy's "pattern" and dodging in the correct manner or sequence. Pretty archaiac in one regard, but I don't think I'd be too far off the mark by setting this up as an adjacent design philosophy to a game like... Final Fantasy, where one's ability in combat involved managing character's health bars, mana, etc. Similarly with socialization, one could say that even socialization is a means to an end. Over the years certain games have built up entire virtual societies, complete with their own economies, castes, backgrounds, what have you... my poll is aimed more at the question why socialize? Is it the feeling of helping others on their way, making their journey easier, or keeping an eye on something valuable (wealth)... or perhaps rising through the ranks in a regimented military structure (progress)... being part of a secret society pulling the strings behind the scenes (influence)... Likewise, story might be about discovery, or it could be more about design or fame given the structure of any game... It's not a perfect poll, and I expect there to be some cross-over between categories, but I think the key-words provide a decent cross-section without having one or two "obvious answers". Thanks for the responses so far! The results are pretty enlightening, and some of the answers have been very insightful.
Well if combat is the core of your game then clearly improving the quality of that will have the greatest impact on the overall fun of the game. Removing obstacles that prevent combat from being fun, and adding obstacles which cause combat to be an interesting pattern to unravel.
But you've said it is fun, and further clarified that this is just a user complaining about rewards. That implies you had a certain effort-per-reward ratio, and it dropped with this particular event. And so it's a simple matter of maintaining an equal or greater effort-per-reward ratio. You just have to approach it from the player's viewpoint of how much effort it took to get the reward compared with how much the resulting reward helped them -- and compare that with earlier content.
Presentation is also a possible factor. If bosses normally leave a Treasure Chest when they die, but an event boss left a Massive Treasure Pile when it died, then clearly you're driving a different sort of player expectation (so even if effort-per-reward was balanced, you're driving an expectation that it shouldn't be.)
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