I’ve been thinking and I think I have a good way forward that’s more like an actual game and less horrible casino design.
Branching paths are fun, lore is fun if you like lore but it shouldn’t be mandatory, rewards are nice but what’s painful is getting something that’s not equal to what you put in. With this in mind, here’s my proposal.
“You guide your shadowcorns through the winding paths of the darkest depths the shadowcorns inhabit. Along the way you stumble upon rewards. But you also find mysterious boxes locked away with secrets only the correct class of shadowcorn would understand how to unlock. Ultimately, the more aligned that you are with your shadowcorn, the more unique your rewards will be.”
My point here is that if you choose the right door for your shadowcorn, you are rewarded with a SC lootbox of that class. If you choose the wrong path you get a “normal” lootbox like the ones we’ve already seen. You should never feel shafted by the value of what you receive, just excited if you managed to snag a SC box.
There are two way to do this design wise:
Like a horoscope to find your alignment at the end of the path. You get two choices each step and in the end are rewarded based on if your decisions made would have been the same as that specific SC class. You get SC lootboxes based on alignment thresholds met, otherwise you get normal boxes.
You get a pick of 5 doors at each step, rewards behind each door and if you have a majority % with your class you get a nice LB at the end, if you have a perfect score you get the nicest one. Otherwise just normal LBs.
Both options will be a fair amount of work I bet, specially the 2nd one. But this to me feels so much more like an actual game, an the difference will be in whether you get SC lootboxes or not. I personally like the 2nd options better as it much better mitigates the issue with guaranteed wins that favors anyone that holds a large amount of SCs.
In the end you can just click through it and not read the fluff text, but if you do read it you should get a hint as to what door each class would pick, as well as a deeper understanding of your SC class.
I really think the concept of branching paths is really cool, but you using it as a lazy coinflip tool is horrible design. Branching paths is all about telling stories, and each time it’s been implemented by LG in the past it’s been pretty lazy, not really branching at all. If we’re going with branching paths for anything in the future, I sorely hope that it also actually branches, so that if your choice is A you are presented with a whole different direction and story to someone who would have chosen option B. I think that’s essential when it comes to making a game with this mechanic. We can’t all just end up in the same “room” on the other side no matter the choice you make. Then there’s no point to the choices made from a narrative perspective.
As a 3rd option, which I honestly think is much more doable and efficient use of the teams time instead of re-iterating on a mini game for a gated piece of the community, I’d like to present this too:
Scrap it all. Just kill this darling and distribute the rewards based on SCs held and rarity. Post any fluff story you have in the SC channel and move on. It might sound harsh or sarcastic even, but I truly believe this is the best option if we’re not ready to put in some serious work to make this mini-game hold water.
sidenote: I think the RBW admittance fee is silly seeing we already spent 10k UNIM to evolve them. But sure, add it if you want. Though any kind of jackpots design sucks balls as it’s fun for the 1% that wins, and sucks for the remaining 99%. I mean, no one here really goes out to play bingo on weekends, do we? Just put it in the treasure and forget about stupid jackpots that just edges on peoples gambling addictions.
Thank you for reading!