I’ll start this topic saying that it won’t be a short thread and you need a modest amount of time in order to read all the suggestions I’m writing here. I warned you, so don’t complain for headhache after.
I tried the game in separate days for a couple of months and I liked it, but the free to play formula that is applying isn’t satisfactory for your average PC gamer. Only one free rotating character available monthly? (Moreover, it wasn’t properly regular, seen that Riptor lasted 2 weeks, Thunder was available for a month and Tj combo for around 3 weeks). No kind of opportunity of getting any character for free via playing the game frequently and constantly as a loyal reward? This is a huge hole that couldn’t go away easily when the PC version will be released. Unfortunately, most of you should know that the PC player is completely different from a console player: the first guy asks for more.
So it’s inevitable that a PC player, with this game in his hands, will make a direct confrontation with another well known fighting game that is going to be released in the same, exact, identical period of time as KI Season 3: I’m talking about Street Fighter V. Actually, as it is, Killer instinct isn’t a free to play game, it’s a well made demo that forces the player to buy at least a couple of characters in order to be competitive or, alternatively, enjoy the game.
So that’s why a PC gamer would be more interested in buying a game for 60 euros with the certainty of having a long time support, future characters that can be got for free, a well-know franchise available on a reknown digital platform that every single Windows user has heard in his life without upgrading the PC instead of spending 20 euros less for a game with a doubtful future and restricted to Windows 10 that might cost more in the mid - long terms.
Let’s be honest, what does it happen if someone is getting a character from the rotation that he doesn’t like and that’s the only one available? The answer is simple: he stops playing the game. This kind of merchandise model is the one that PC players hates the most, if not treated correctly. Just look at what happened to Rise of Incarnates. One character available for free, the rest had to be bought: the result was a shower of negative comments on the Steam reviews’ page.
So, in few words, Killer instinct needs, in my humble opinion, to have a revamp regarding characters system (how to get them, the combo-ultra packs, etc…), a in-game currency, a tutorial modify (you’ll understand what I mean if you keep reading) a change to the ranking system . 4 points that I’m going to explain in detail below.
PART 1: FREE LIMITED CHARACTER GAIN SYSTEM
Killer Instinct, in order to be considered a proper free to play game and not just a good demo, has to give the opportunity to the players to get the characters in another way than using real cash. But the real question here is: how? There are possible solutions:
1) IN GAME CURRENCY: Inserting a virtual money in a game will create an opportunity of playing the game to get the content you want, at least the useful one like playable characters. This virtual money must be separated from the real cash, so players that haven’t spent a single euro will have the same opportunities of competing (at least in long terms of time) as a rich guy with lamborghinis. In the days I played KI, I noticed an internal currency called KI gold: the devs can use that as virtual money, so you shouldn’t buy KI Gold with dollars/euros/insertyourvalue anymore. About the amount of necessary gold (I suggest to rename the KI gold as KI Koins…if you get the quote) needed to buy one character…that’s up to the devs to decide.
2) TOKENS: I know there are some cosmetics you can buy only with KI Gold, so in order to keep the cosmetics separated from the useful content, devs could insert a sub-system of getting characters: season tokens. Yep, a kind of ticket you can get for an amount of koins used to redeem a character from the internal store. In this case, different tokens can be made (a season 1 and a season 2 token), giving also the chance of trying the risk of the luck (random token, a ticket you pay less but gives you a random character among a restricted number of fighters or related to seasons) or to exchange a fighter you have with another of same season (swap tokens, at the cost of losing all your progresses with the previous character).
3) LEVELLING UP: Obtaining experience and raising your profile’s level will give you nothing except taunts, icons and bar backgrounds. To give more interest to the game, devs could insert juicier rewards when you level up. Of course, not every single level, but only when you reach an important step. Every 10 levels (10 - 20 - 30 - 40 and 50) would be a good idea. More important thing, the rewards don’t need to be free characters…but I can talk about that later.
4) TUTORIAL: Learning the game is always a good start. Everyone should do the tutorial which is actually well made (I did it too). But a nice reward will make the tutorial to be more pleasant.
5) RANKING UP (Just the first time): The ranking system has flaws, which I’m discussing later. With the upcoming ideas of a renewal of the matchmaking, people should get an amount of KI koins for the first time they reach respectively silver, gold and killer grade. The total amount I suggest can be equal to 1500 koins divided in the three categories (tbc, 500 when you reach silver, 500 for gold, etc…)
6) FRIENDS REFERRAL: People that persuade others to come playing KI need to be rewarded, expecially when they’re potential customers.
PART 2: INTRODUCING IN GAME CURRENCY
This point has been treated a bit in the previous part, but here’s a resumèe. The necessity of including a virtual money completely separated from the real cash would be ideal and open-minded, allowing people to enjoy the game a lot more than the normal. But the question is: what can you buy with the KI Gold or KI Koins? Here’s a list of suggestions of what you could buy with it and what you shouldn’t.
YOU COULD BUY WITH KI GOLD/KOINS:
- Characters (via token system for 1500 KI koins each)
- Fighter expander bag (from 1000 to 2000 KI koins, talking about this later)
- Some cosmetics (OPTIONAL)
- Story mode (OPTIONAL and only for the ones who redeemed characters via token, not for the ones who paid)
- Some power ups (like exp character boost, etc…)
YOU COULDN’T BUY WITH KI GOLD/KOINS:
- The highest part of cosmetics (if the OPTIONAL voice of cosmetics is adopted) or even every single cosmetic (expecially the ones reserved to the bundle packs)
- Bundle packs
- Shadow Jago (of course!)
- Some power up
- Any new character that came up in Season 3 until the end of it or after a period of time has passed (ex 3 months)
That means the actual store part where KI gold is being sold needs a change and being replaced with the tokens + fighter expander bag available to purchase via virtual money. (need an image of the internal store to make the things clearer)
Now that we have an idea of what you can get with it, you need to know where and how you can get these koins. That’s easy: only via ranked games. The idea I had in mind is something like this:
- You get a certain amount of ki gold after a ranked match, depending on victory or loss (10 by winning, 5 by losing. The value can be changed)
- In order to prevent abuse of this system, if you face an identical opponent for multiple times, only the first two fights will be counted for the Koins’ gain. From the third fight onwards you don’t get anything, except the calculation of matchmaking rateo.
- Ragequitting will be punished: you get 0 Ki gold.
- A weekly limit of KI gold someone could get should be implemented, up to the devs’ decision (this would also avoid an abuse plus will reward the previous benefactors that invested cash in this game).
- In mid terms of time, with the possible incoming of new game modes, there could be an opportunity of betting a certain amount of KI gold and taking part in a weekly tournament where the first 3 might get the jackpot.
- An optional action that could limit even more an abuse is to grant the Ki gold gain from a certain profile level (like level 5) and only after you qualified to a rank.
PART 3: A TUTORIAL REWORK##
I start this part by saying the tutorial, as it was made, is perfect to learn how to play Killer Instinct. However, in order to make people to be forced of doing it and avoid some complains later, the tutorial itself needs a little rework, expecially if it becomes the first step of rewarding a newbie that completed the first discipline. The idea I had in mind is something like this:
- FORCED TUTORIAL: before doing everything else, the player must complete the basic stuff of the tutorial (if I recall, there are 16 missions in the basic part, but I need an image to be sure). This is only for the newcomers, while the others don’t need to do it (again).
- BALANCE WITH REPRESENTED CHARACTERS: Season 1 characters are, in my modest opinion, well made. The tutorial can use every single fighter of the group of 8 equally distributed among the tutorial missions in order to give the player a good impression of the basics, plus finding the character somebody likes most. In few words, with the change of some commands (Jago instinct bar = / = Sabrewulf instinct bar), 2 missions per character should be covered in the tutorial.
- 8 FINAL EXAMS: After the 16 basic missions, the tutorial should implement 8 additional final tests, one per character, where every single aspect of them is analyzed (strong points, weaknesses, instinct, a couple of combo) and ending with a 1 vs 1 fight against the cpu.
After the tutorial has been completed, the new player will be rewarded with a Season 1 token that can help him redeeming one Season character of his choice.
PART 4: RANKING SYSTEM##
In the last few days I’ve read a topic about how more than someone weren’t happy about the actual ranking system. I played the game and I know what’s the problem: the lack of bronze and silver players with a huge concentration of killers and gold, ruining the experience to newcomers that are forced to fight veterans ready to open axes.
So how do you solve this situation? A solution is possible and that is to make sure that everyone, and I mean everyone, isn’t going to be safe n’ sound on their proper rank when the end of the month comes. A kinda of rank resetting, with the difference that you go backwards depending on your position in the current ranking season. To be clear as water, it should work like this:
- the first quarter of killers (1 - 25%) at the end of current season will start in KILLER rank in the following season
- the second quarter (26 - 50%) will begin the next season in GOLD with 750 points
- the third quarter (51 - 75%) will begin the next season in GOLD with 500 points
- the last quarter (76 - 100%) will begin the next season in GOLD with 250 points
- the first third of “golders” (1 - 33%) at the end of current season will start in GOLD rank in the following season
- the second third (34 - 66%) will begin the next season in SILVER with 500 points
- the last third (67 - 100%) will begin the next season in SILVER with 250 points
- the first half of “silvers” (1 - 50%) at the end of current season will start in SILVER rank in the following season
- the last half (51 - 100%) will begin the next season in BRONZE with 500 points
- nothing new
If this system is going to be implemented, as example, that means a KILLER that placed at the end of August as 15000th out of 40000 will begin as a GOLD with 750 points during the month of September. This would help not only to secure a part of white horses, the pros, but also to refresh some ranks that wouldn’t have enough players to face with.
But this isn’t the only modify necessary to render the ranking system as accurate as possible. In fact other changes need to be made:
- POINTS RESCALING: The actual system is rewarding too much the newcomers. In fact, expecially in bronze, with one victory and 2 - 3 defeats, you’re still up. And I’m talking about matches done in the same rank. So it’s mandatory to rescale points by giving a little bit less wherever it deserves and to punish more a loss of higher grades against low-ranked (a gold can’t lose only 25 points against a bronze when you lose the same amount even against a silver).
- DEMOTION RISK: This is optional. Not talking about KILLER and BRONZE rank, people that decided to taking part in the matchmaking are looking for a challenge. A demotion risk in SILVER and GOLD, with the spectre of going back, is a good challenge. After losing a certain amount of matches when your score is 0, you have to face a demotion match: losing it is the equivalent of being downgraded. The way of introducing it and how to settle it is up to the developers, but I need another thread to talk about that.
Now that I’ve explained my ideas, there are still two flaws left to cover: one is the reaction (and that would be unavoidable and rightful) of the “console payers” that spent cash and see new people getting free characters for free when they paid, while the other one being a necessity of a f2p limit, in order to be grateful to the console gamers that invested cash. The two things are related someway and I’m going to tell you how to solve these big flaws, concluding my long wall of text.
BIG FLAW 1: The payers’ complainers’ corner
Of course, this new concept of free to play, if ever being considered and so implemented, will make a ton of Console gamers upset because they paid for the characters and raising a question is mandatory: "Ehi, I paid 20 dollars for my f*****g 8 characters, why PC gamers can get them for free?"
I thought to this also before even writing in this forum, so don’t worry. Starting from the S3, KI, in order to being grateful to their beginning benefactors and to limit abuses of this concept of “free to play”, some changes should be done:
a) COSMETICS: The accessories, with the exception of colors, won’t be available anymore when you buy a character, independently on the fact you bought it with cash or with a token. Cosmetics and accessories can be bought only with real cash (acceptable) or with a high amount of Koins (ideal). However, for the ones who bought the character via the packs or in single stance before S3, they’re keeping all the stuff. That means only the PC gamers and the newcomers in the Xbox one console version will have to face the new system, not the previous buyers. Of course, this needs also to regroup the cosmetics into sets and sell them in one piece.
b) LOYALTY REWARDS: The Xbox players that had the game before S3 will get something, a reward from the devs based on their contribution (an ultra pack buyer will have a higher reward than someone who bought 2 characters). But what did you think about the substance of this “reward”? Up to the devs to decide, even if I have a couple of ideas in mind…(like Shadow Jago, a special cosmetic for SJ, special background/icon/taunt, a veteran grade, etc…)
c) PREMIER CONTENT: To give a reason to the buyers to keep trusting their money to IG and Microsoft, the devs can transform the season 3 access as a premier content. What does it mean? Until the end of the season 3, the buyers will get the incoming characters and only them. The f2p players can’t get these characters in anyway than spending real cash for a pack or for a single purchase…but only until the end of the season or after a period of time (like 3 months from the release)
d) RENEWAL OF THE BUNDLE PACKS: Considering the fact that the cosmetics could be available only by purchase, the bundle packs can be remade and divided in 3 different sets:
- ULTRA PACK = The same
- DANGER PACK = The former combo breaker pack (Characters + standard cosmetics)
- COMBO BREAKER PACK = Only characters without cosmetics
The prices can be rescaled, keeping intact the combo breaker set price and highen up the other 2 (considering that an opportunity of getting the characters for free might exist).
e) EXCLUSIVE SHADOW JAGO: This character might be one of the rewards, but restraining him for pc players unless being paid with a bundle or something special would be a huge gift to the loyal Xbox buyers that have invested money in the game so far.
f) FIGHTERS ROTATION: Just because new players are getting a character for free from the start, the free fighters rotation can be moved to higher levels (like from level 10): the newbies have already something that keeps them busy.
BIG FLAW 2: THE FREE TO PLAY LIMIT
This last part can be considered as another point to give console gamers and eventually pc gamers a reason to invest their money. I said you need the opportunity of getting characters for free, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put some limits. Think about League of Legends for example or even Warframe. The second, a third person action game, gives you the opportunity of getting the playable Tennos (aka fighters) for free, but at the condition you have the necessary material to craft it and a slot to host it. Well, Killer instinct can do something like that…I mean, the slots.
- Every 10 levels, you have the opportunity of getting 1 additional character for free. That means you can get a maximum of 6 character for free at level 50 (consider the one you should get from the tutorial).
- You can expand your available slots for characters redeemed by token via a tool. Do you remember I talked about a fighter expander bag before? Well, that’s your stuff: by paying a certain amount of KI Gold, you’ll get the opportunity of unlocking one additional character. In order to prevent abuses, you should be able to redeem one of those only from a certain level, possibly high (like level 30 - 40).
- Paid fighters, bundles, code redemption and rewards coming from friend referral won’t be counted for the free characters slots.
- As said before, you’re able to gain a limited amount of KI gold per week.
- For now, only Season 1 and Season 2 characters (with the exception of shadow Jago) can be obtained with tokens.
THE PEOPLE’S VOICE AKA IDEAS FROM THE OTHER WORLD
Having a good response on the topic I opened, different opinions came out. Some of those are constructive to help improving the game and, for this, I decided to mention them here below, with the original quote and author’s credit. For each one of them, I’m doing criticism in order to polish them:
1) SPECIAL TRIAL TOKENS[quote=“swordman09, post:30, topic:1303, full:true”]
Might I add a suggestion?
Maybe there could be a special token to try out any fighter for a week. That would include S3 characters as well.
CRITICISM: The starting idea is nice, but how to get it? I thought this trial token can be given once per month when you connected frequently and it allows you to test any character that has been released from a period of minimum 3 months (S3 included) in any game mode for a certain amount of days (3 or 7). The testing fighter won’t level up (remains always at level 1) and, after the trial, you can’t try him anymore until you tried every single other character (or, alternatively, after a span of time in weeks) you don’t own. You can’t pick bonus characters such as Shadow Jago (credits to swordman09).
2) CHANGES REGARDING KI GOLD GAIN IN RANKED
CRITICISM: Nothing to say regarding the penalty to repeated ragequitting, if not perhaps the entity of the penalty. I think a no-money for someday is counterproductive, but a 25-50% detracted profit of KI gold for a certain amount of matches would be ok. About the 5 gold for the repeated ranked wins and no gold for losses, that would be an obstacle at the beginning, when the PC community has to form. I can accept a rateo of 5/2 as victory/loss. Btw, good idea.
3) FULL CONTENT IN PRACTICE MODE
CRITICISM: One of the best idea purposed around here, except for the last part for which I can’t agree at all. It could be a little bit exaggerated with the system I proposed, but it remains a great typ.
4) PRESTIGE MODE FOR PROFILE LEVELLING UP
CRITICISM: Some ideas have been expressed in that topic I linked just over this sentence. If you agree with some of those or have different opinion, just write them in this topic or, even better, in the original thread.
Hoping to have your attention and consequently constructive criticism / wave of insults and opinions, I’m looking forward to responses. I apologize for my bad English, but it isn’t my native language, and if there’s someone kind, I need some images regarding the internal store of KI GOLD, an image of the matchmaking screen (possibly a gold/silver guy) and an image of the internal store of characters.
Thanks everyone and take your time to read.