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Protean is a great step, but looking ahead

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TE, you guys did a great job adding interesting and compelling things to do in the game. The additional control, the boost to all towers in power and feel along with all the mods are a great addition. It feels more enjoyable as you see these thigns drop. I also like that there has been the glimpse of some incentive to both climb floors and to do AP resets. I can't help it, I always judge leveling games by their end game mechanics, and I look to those pursuits as goals and reasons that compel me to keep playing.

With DD2, I can now chase rarer mods and c8 materials as I climb floors 80+, or I can scrap that idea and look to the AP reset to increase skill caps and gain more gold/exp etc along with a new weapon and mod drop exclusive to AP reseting. These two systems oppose each other. I think that's a problem. If I'm going to mod gear and chase c8, then I really don't want to lose all the investment and leveling and gold and mats spent just to reset... and if I'm resetting AP, then I really don't want to climb floors and spend all the gold in the first place. I think that needs work. AP reseting is just too painful.

With AP reseting, it feels like you want folks to climb all the floors again, however, you have introduced trading. If a player has an alt account, they can just split screen or fire up a second system and co-op trade to the alt a set of c1-c7 max rolled gear. You find it all once, you trade it to alt, it holds all the gear, now you just blast the main up to floor 65 with alt in toe, and boom, you reset. Now alt trades you your max c1 gear, and alt runs you through a game of c1, c2 unlocked, trade the gear for c2 max to main, run a floor, etc and in ~4 hours or so, the main is back to c7. Now alt runs main through 65, boom, reset and repeat. So, the whole idea of resetting is being circumvented with trading and alts. The AP reset is so painful that if you do it, you don't want to use any mods and you don't want to upgrade, evolve or advance or tinker because you cannot trade and you lose it all if you reset... so reset seems more and more less appealing with more and more building, leveling aspects added to the game.

I think AP resetting would be far more appealing if it just reset your onslaught floor back to level 55 and you lost shard investment only unless you gilded your shards. The pets, the gear, etc remained untouched. Then folks would pursue gilding shards (and hyper shards should be preserved too, more later...) but the whole alt thing to work around c-level portion of reset is moot. Folks would use your crafting sytems to get gear to where they wanted if it wasn't going to reset, and investment into pets, weapons, mods, etc would be preserved. One might even search for c8 gear and use the matts if they knew AP reset wasn't going to destroy the time, gold and matt investment.

I also feel that the game still lacks something to do with all the power you gain - whether you are climbing floors, or you are AP resetting - why do you go through it all? Just for the sake of leaderboard? Just for the sake of saying I did it? Seems like there should be a larger purpose in gaining the power and boosting skill caps. There should be a content and compelling content reason to do it all.

I really like that shards can be guilded and you can preserve your investment finally after finding so many shards and gilding them together insulating you from some of the AP reset pain. However, why can I not preserve Hypershards from reset as well? These are pinnacle achievement items that you only allow 1 of, they took a huge painful grind and abtract loss of power to obtain, and to unlock them fully, you spend crazy amounts of gold... so why are they not too preserved through an AP reset? Shouldn't that just come with the hypershard price tag to earn and unlock?

Dusting is an interesting mechanic and its better than just scrapping them for gold, but not much. Right now I can farm 10 maps in 2-3 hours or so to try and find 10 shards I need. Due to RNG I will get all manner of things Idon't want. I can shard them for a pile of dust for that specific chaos level and then trade that dust for a single drop chance of RNG again, only to get the same shard I just dusted and now I'm spent... that is terribly frustrating. Why can't dust just be a pool of common dust regardless of level? Why can't you just have a dust price to 'build' the shard you want? Hearthston made this work well. Then I still need to play and farm for what I want, but if I don't get it, I can save up a common dust pile and finally just trade / buy for the shard Iwant. Isn't that a much cleaner system that removes all the wasted inventory space?

Speaking of inventory space, this update has made the game into Inventory Defenders... it's the mini-game that dominates the main game. I'm now saving drops for passives, saving gear saving relics and totems and shards... but you've added a rediculous amount of materials and dust... I see many organizing a bag of camp-c7 dust on left, then all the related materials to that floor on the same row... its a bag full of materials! WHy not get rid of all of these space wasting items and just make a resources screen? It could be a pop out screen that just tabulates all the various dust and materias you have, and you could even add all the fiddly pet foods and leveling items to that same resources screen - or have a seperate one for the pets. Those 1-2 resource screens would save a bag or two of inventory space. Moreover, why can't shards stack? Holy cow this is needed now more than ever.

Speaking of shards, my vault of all the spaces is full. It's busting and my bags are taking over. It's just crazy. You need a way to sort the vault. Seriously, there needs to be a way to sort it just like we do the bags with a master sort so I can filter and see how many of X I have in the vault. As it stands, I have to play this silly inventory shifting game between vault and bags and its only day 2 of protean and its getting unwieldy and frustrating.

When we do go to gild a shard, is there a way it can look in our vault and bags if we are in town or tavern? That way, we can just see how many we have in total vs. trying to micro manage two different inventory systems?

I mentioned at the beginning about content and reasons to AP and climb onslaught other than just for the sake of doing so or gainign power with nothing to use it on. WHat if... starting on floor 60, there was a unique boss encounter, mechanic heavy, or puzzle level - something akin to the incursion bosses, where it wasn't just another floor grind, but something compelling, interesting that had a fun loot table at that boss and you encountered something like this every 10 floors as you climbed? The higher you pushed, the more of these boss, puzzle, mechnic heavy encounters you beat, the more you unlocked of end game raid level challenges and there might even be special buffs, passives, one use items, whatever that gave you bonuses for fighting in now unlocked raid like rift layers.

I'm taking a page from Diablo III here, but lets say when you unlock enough floors, you gain access this new mode in the game at level 1 of that mode. That mode provided access to a special level with its own unique loot table. There might even be a gear set bonus on this loot and a special pet or new shard to farm... but it all drops at level 1, and you need the matts from the c1-c7 floors to level it... no worries, there is market and there is c-level expeditions to go find it...

When you have gotten what you could out of that level 1 raid rift level, you go back to pushing floors in onslaught. Why? cause you want c8 mats and you want to get to encounter the new bosses at each 10 incriment floor and you want gain those loots which eventualy unlock raid rift layer 2 after 50 or 100 floors.... and that then too has a new set of armor loots to raid for, with new set bonuses and again a new shard to obtain...

You eventually get to a point wher eyou must AP reset to progress, but it just puts you back to floor 55... you don't actually lose all the progress you have put into your character, its gear or the shards.

That is an example of a farm more compelling loot driven loop, that doesn't require you to lose your PROGRESS and your INVESTMENT which is what drives a leveling, character building and power increasing game. Players would want to get to those new onslaught bosses, those new mats, those new loot tables and would want to get the loot gear sets from the raid rifts, and then see what bonuses and buffs they could get, so they could push even higher and higher. It's no longer a look at me I pushed floor 400 cause you couldn't invest the time, it's a - this game is fun, and there is stuff to do at the higher levels Iwant to experience - and that's why I'm going to keep playing! FUN CONTENT and PRESEVERD PLAYER INVESTMENT will drive end game.

Thank you for listening.

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Tons of great feedback! <3 A lot of this is something we're aiming to address with our Onslaught and AP changes that are currently being investigated. I personally want there to be some difficulty spikes so there are goals to achieve, and make AP an applicable tool to accomplish those goals (via the increased stats and any AP changes that we make). It's our goal, it just takes time to really flesh stuff out.

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You guys rock, thanks for the quick reply and can't wait to unlock more secrets and see where the protean beans of the future are taking us! Keep up the great work folks, you are headed in a great direction. :)

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