Thoughts on More End Game Alternatives to Mapping

I stopped playing this league like 3 weeks ago because because I don't feel like running another map anymore. Most parts of the map is worthless, only the boss and harvest seeds matter. Fully-juiced map is a nightmare to run both in terms of surviving and performance, and it is so stressful such that I start refusing to do even if it guarantees exalt drops.

I don't feel burning out of the game, but I feel burned out of mapping. I have lots of good projects to do and craft, but to do them through mapping makes me quit the game. When I think about crafting my gear for my new character I have to run 100 more maps for the seeds I just instantly quit the game and stop thinking about it ever again.

I'm not saying mapping is bad. It is probably the most sophisticated and interesting end-game system ever created in ARPG, however everyone has a limit to what he or she can take. I'm thinking of alternatives to mapping so I can take a rest from time to time and enjoy the game more.

Do we have them so far? Sure. I'm listing them here, and soon you will find a pattern. They are all nerfed to compensate for the current league, and they are either under-developed or the fun part is non-accessible.


1. Incursion

Incursion has two major bosses, the atziri you can find in the lv3 room
and the boss. The rest of the Incursion is basically 1 single point of reward rather than a in-depth content worth full-clearing. It's clear to us right now that these two bosses give underwhelming rewards in general, and most of the rooms are either a gamble or nothing. Also we have to run lots of maps to even get a temple that is worthy of entering. GGG even nerfed the loot drops from incursion map encounters.

I personally think that Incursion still has room for unique loot drops. Here are my thoughts:

a. incursion exalt: similar to conqueror exalts, this currency can augment a rare item with a incursion mod. Make this drop from only lv80+ temple and only from the incursion boss

b. add interesting incursion bases just like map bases like crystal belt. I personally find it a very interesting aspect of the game. Make them do some theme-related stuff like +xxx if corrupted or sacrifice % of mana to life per second and stuff.

c. give more meaningful ways to customize the temple. The reward types of each encounter is almost identical to every other mechanic: weapon, armour, currency, legion, gems, ghost and boxes (which are very boring) and other rooms that can give niche uniques. I don't feel that this is good enough. Most of the temple-wide upgrades don't make a difference, or you just can't feel them at all such as the tempests and the ghosts. Yes you can get lv86 bases off the temple but so does everywhere else.


2. Delve

Unless you are SSF or delver, you don't do this in Harvest. Not to mention you basically don't find a boss in your delve for the entire league, or you are lucky enough to find one but he drops absolutely nothing. It is very easy to fix this, for example increase the spawn chance and diversity of the delve bosses so you can see them more, and make them re-doable but with a significantly higher sulphite cost. I don't mind if I spend 10k sulphite just to do the boss again, at least I have a choice. I'm sure some people will like this.

I like finding special notes in delve, but they are just way too underwhelming in terms of the time you have to invest in them. I one time found a fossil node that gives me abyssal fossil. It's a hidden node so I literally have to search all adjacent nodes for the wall, and fight it for a whole 2 minutes. after i get the fossil I searched on trade and it can only sell 80c. Hello? Since that day I swear I would never do hidden nodes again.

My thoughts:

a. make bosses repetitive with a very high cost in reruns
b. make nodes more interesting and rewarding so that people are willing to spend more time in delve
c. maybe delve bases as well? It can give some very niche attributes such as less area of effects.


3. legion

OMG I love and hate legion at the same time. I love the build possibility it gives, but I hate its rewards and the rare mob one-shots. I think legion in map is fine but the reward and damage should be refined (again, and again....), but the x-way legion encounter needs to go. I don't mind if it is timed but I really don't like killing a boss 100 times just to hope it drops the thing I need for once, while skipping so many mobs along the way.

My thoughts:

a. rescale rare mob damage in maps. The one-shot is just crazy
b. redesign the legion encounter. My idea is that you put the player in the center of a real battle, each legion force charges at you. When they all reach the center they either attack you or attach each other. Your task is to clear the whole thing before the timer ends. This way there is no repetition in a single encounter, and player won't feel like they are forced by build choice because if they play a slow build they can just ignore everything and kill the 5 bosses before the timer ends, which should be far more than sufficient. The generals will have a much higher chance of dropping a jewel per kill, and more kills will make the overall chance dropping a jewel higher but evenly spread out among the ones kills, which enable target jewel farming for SSF players. I also think this will have more replay value than what we have currently because it's not that repetitive in one run.
c. time for more generals per legion faction? Maybe? Please?


4. Breach

This is the most heavily nerfed content IMO, especially in 3.11 since all of the uniques are basically next to useless. It is basically a xp run and no more than that.

My thoughts:

a. Re-balance the uniques, of course
b. remove the timer.
c. make stones just like maps, meaning you can make them magic, rare, corrupted with unique pool of modifiers, just like the vaal areas. This way we can roll for some good stuff either making the boss even more challenging but with better loots or make the mobs drop more stuff
d. breach-specific bases? maybe? like Chayula domain can drop armour with implicit chaos res
e. Increase the diversity of the layouts. I think the breach domains have a lot of potential.
f. rebalance the splinter drops among all contents. I really don't think that legit breach encounters should give the lowest amount of breachstones overall.


5. shaper/elder/uber elder farming

This is the only alternative to mapping I kind of enjoyed. Here are the ideas The only thing I don't like is the horrible RNG range I can get from uber elder. I think awakener in terms of loot drops does a much better job than this (well maybe because lv86 influence bases are much depreciated now but still)

My thoughts:

a. Guardian maps should have a bit more interaction with the main game play. I'm sure GGG is working on this somehow but still it feels kind of odd.
b. Guardians should drop more interesting stuff. I'm not suggesting influence exalt again (you can) but at least something like guardian bases just like sacrificial garb. Right now I only get fragments.
c. Create some interesting influence-related map currency or even watchstones that can drop from uber elder just like the unique watchstones, so that you know every time you do uber elder it's likely that you get something unique and game-changing. Right now I feel like we are just doing it for the watcher's eye and it's basically a gamble. It can be rewarding, but not interesting.


6. Synthesis

I missed the actual league mechanics, but not the crafting. I think it can be a very good alternative to the mapping system, if you can make it self-sustaining.

My thoughts:
a. bring back the memory map somehow, without bugs and chance of failures please. Nobody likes that. It would be the best if we can self-sustain the memory maps so that we don't have to do maps, but one still can pick up memory fragments just like in the league. I think this can ease some pressure from mapping


Finally I think it is a good timing to revisit all the previous content. Lots of these things are good with great potentials, but limited due to the size of the league and GGG's streamlined way of production due to the tight development schedule.
Last edited by colossalaiur on Aug 13, 2020, 1:47:53 PM
Last bumped on Aug 13, 2020, 1:43:33 PM

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