h3. My apologies, but challenges were a waste of time.
I’m sorry to say that the idea of challenges is going to have to be removed. Well, more like changed beyond any recognition. I still like my idea, but it turned into more of a system where either it was easily abused (two friends constantly challenge each other, gaining tons of XP), or it was limited and boring (limited number of challenges per day, no XP gains, or a combination of the two). In the end, I realized I’d spent almost two weeks on this system which I’d built solely to make it a real challenge to get to the heavyweight division!
Then it struck me – instead of inventing gameplay mechanics that were cumbersome and potentially game-breaking, why not just use the mechanics I already have? Here’s what I mean: you currently have a system for choosing how risky your gladiator is going to be. High risk means a real chance of death if you lose. Low risk means less chance, or no chance at all. High risk means more scarring. Low risk means less XP and skill gains. So we have risk, and I want heavyweight gladiators to have “proven” themselves by fighting a dangerous battle (the original plan was that they needed to be involved in at least one deathmatch battle). So why not just require a certain level of “danger” before they can move up to heavyweight?
h3. Danger Level Overview
Here’s the general idea: a gladiator’s DL (Danger Level) will start at 0 and move depending on his risk. A higher risk will move up relatively fast, while a lower risk will move up slower, or maybe even move down. Obviously it can’t go below 0, and there will be some upper limit as well. A gladiator with a high DL will actually gain money faster, because the public likes him — he’s proven to be both dangerous and a winner (high danger + losing means death, remember), so there will be incentive to put your life on the line.
Additionally, a heavyweight will require a certain DL. Probably not terribly high, as I don’t want people to feel like they have to risk death all the time in order to get to heavyweight, but high enough that at least one very risky battle has to take place, or else a few low-risk (but not safe) battles.
The real catch here is that you can’t just be risky with a new gladiator and then go ultra-safe, having set him up for heavyweight! Since DL changes each time fights are run, a safe gladiator will go back down to 0 fairly fast. The boost is very temporary, so to get to heavyweight, you’ll have to be unsafe with a strong gladiator! That was exactly what I wanted originally, so this system is great. Plus the system works with all players, not just those willing to try and set up some wacky challenge.
h3. So what about challenges?
Challenges will exist, but in a totally different form. Like many webgames I’ve seen, it will be an instant challenge in which the challenger has the most to lose (since the challengee isn’t actually able to say ‘no’). The winner will take some amount of money from the loser (more if the winner is the challengee), and both gladiators can gain a small amount of XP. I’m not sure if I’ll do skill gains or not, but it’s not out of the question.
The main point of challenges will be something to pass the time, not a way to gain massive amounts of credits or XP. They’ll allow a fight with a gladiator of your choice, and give you minor rewards.
Much like other games, challenges will also have some kind of limit, probably one per day per gladiator or something.
h3. Still a ways out…
So yeah, after wasting two weeks of time, and running into new bugs before wasting all that time, the game is still about 10 weeks out. Just like it was four weeks ago :(