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Changing NF2 to Save It

8/1/2015 2:54:24 AM
Avatar dfacto

NF2 has all the signs of a dying game, and it's not because of the things most people mention. MM and waiting issues wouldn't be a problem with a big player base as noobies could fight each other, fleet battle and other game modes won't change that much in the long run, and small buffs to xp gain won't really solve the major issue.

The issue is that the entire reward system in NF2 is UNREWARDING.  Almost everything in the game is unrewarding!  Other than putting a salvo in someone's face, what part of the game really makes you feel good?  The question here isn't as much "why aren't new people playing" but "how the hell are us morons still slogging away at this punishment of a game?"

Let me break it down with points, and give a short suggestion how to fix things after each one:

1) Ship progression is cruel and ruins the game.  I'm at Sodak right now, and I need about 600 games to get Iowa, with no aide or premium.  Assuming I can play for about two hours per night (which is unrealistic on many days) that would still mean playing 6 games per night for 3 months straight to get the Iowa.  And then it will have weaker main guns than my upped Sodak.  What?!  Or what about the SS progressions in the KM where you move up the tiers and find you have less torps all of the sudden?

The amount of time you have to invest in the grind is insane, and often unrewarding.  It also has another big downside in that anyone who wants to switch nations will have to reinvest that unbelievable amount of time all over again to get to the same place they were before!  It incentivizes mindless grinding, often punishes you for the grind, and makes trying new things prohibitive.  It's BAD design.

Fix: This fixation on grinding for tiers needs to be eliminated completely.  Tiers should not be xp locked, but require a certain number of games be played to unlock the next tier ship. T1-5, T2-10, T3-15, T4-20, T5-25, T6-30, T7-35, T8-40, T9-60, T10-80, T11-100, for example.  The progression requires you play, but it doesn't crush you, it doesn't waste your xp or make you save it up, and it doesn't heavily penalize you for starting a new ship tree or a new navy.

2)  The upgrade system is boring and unrewarding.  I dont' care about more ammo, I don't run out.  I don't care about overheat duration, I'm on a battleship.  I'd gladly trade 10% speed for a big armor or accuracy boost!  But that doesn't exist.  The upgrade trees are rigid and half the tree is always useless. 

Fix: Give the player free choice of what to upgrade, and let it upgrade as we put in points, not as a big xp chunk upgrade after 200 games.  Make each upgrade point cost X exp, and let us put in points in all aspects of a ship's abilities up to a certain cap.  I want armor?  i put in as much as I want.  I want damage?  I put in as much as I want.  I want accuracy?  I put in as much as I want!  You need to put more control in the player's hands, otherwise it feels like the player is grinding for nothing.  You let us upgrade our crew, and that's mostly great, but let us do the same with our ships.  Every ships starts out as a bargain basement hull, and then we decide how great it will be.

3) Captain abilities restrict gameplay.  The only thing that abilties do is limit your ability to play different styles.  I have an acc/repair cap, so i'm excluded from being a great DD torper, or a sub cap, or a CV cap.  I have to start a new captain, or invest money (for something this stupid? NO) to change my stats and let me get the most out of my play style.  You're basically showing me how much fun I can have, and then slamming the door in my face.  That's bad design.

Fix: Let us freely redistribute captain points.  Easy.  We'd still need to buy and level up crew for the new roles, but that's much better.

4) If you switch to a new navy, you get stuck at the beginning.  If I'm a high tier badass, I don't want to play around with toy boats for 300 games, I know what they do!

Fix: Unlock all equivalent T5s of a navy if you own a T5 or higher in another navy.  I want to play Nagato, I don't want to grind up from the first DD and waste my time.  Let me skip up and incentivize the process for me.  Make me WANT to play more.


5) Ships are mostly all the same with some exceptions like kitakami.  If you've played a USN sub, you've played them all, minus some nuances.  Same for any other lines.  The differences are largely in the details, and that's boring.  You aren't giving anyone a great reason to try other lines when all lines are mostly the same.  Bam, player boredom.

Fix: I'm sure I'll get flak for this but since NF2 is already rather arcadey, why not remove flagship status, and add in special ship skills that everyone can use.  Give people an ultimate of sorts, that varies with navy and ship class.  Ie: IJN CVs get a "kamikaze" attack ultimate, with a wave of planes slamming into a small surface area.  KM BB line can have "Bismarck's Luck" with a guaranteed 5x crit shot (20x crit vs Hood ;P).  USN BBS get a "radar supremacy" ult with a 50% accuracy increase for 2 salvos, etc.  The details can be worked out, but I think it would be a fun way to add variety in gameplay and navy lines and spice up gameplay.  Those big ship line clashes will be a lot more entertaining with skills thrown in.

Some of these changes may seem like a hit on the earning's potential of the game, but one problem wtih NF2 is that it is incredibly greedy.  It wants you to invest so much to get a payoff, and it's crazy!  That's exactly how you get to the point we're at now: a tiny group of obsessives paying out cash to a dying game.  Get more people, and you'll get more cash, and keep the game alive for longer, so you make more cash!  Milking people of their money in exchange for some miserly fun is a horrible business strategy.

I'll post more later, but input is appreciated.

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