Kongai‘s a really good game in it’s own right, and I was pondering why I don’t play it more than I do. Part of the reason as mentioned on previous posts is that the method of collecting cards still slightly wrankles me, which is offputting. But I’ve now got a big enough collection that it’s not really an issue – I have more card combinations available to me now than I’ve been able to use as it is anyway.
One reason is that I find to play Kongai well, especially against completely unpredictable strangers, my brain needs to be switched on so much, I need to be so alert, that if I am in a good state for this kind of playing level, I’ll usually end up playing something else that needs my reflexes to be good too – like a regular fighting game most likely. Thanks to my work and lifestyle my ‘quality gaming time’, when I’m mentally and physically fully switched on, is already a very precious resource for me – it’s not something I want to squander.
I also have noted that Kongai gives me the feeling I’ve ‘maxed out’ my own skill already. That might sound odd for someone with such a relatively small play-time on the game, but really, I do think I’ve got a lot of it sussed. I’m well aware my main weakness is a failure to ‘do the math’ due to laziness in certain situations when I really ought to be calculating moves more carefully.
Of course this ‘max skills’ impression is likely really quite a false one. I am sure there is still lots for me to learn, especially in the matchup area, and of course, I can also win more cards to improve my deck further to what I think I’d like it to be. This last point is especially apparent now that Kongregate has added some really nice card collection features so I can see all the lovely cards I’d like to get my hands on. It’s a really nice feature on it’s own that encourages me to play more.. but still doesn’t do quite enough to entice me.
Trying to look at this from a wider perspective, I was wondering about what I would do to resolve this, and I hit on what I think is a pretty good idea that would also completely solve the card acquisition issues I have. And it’s incredibly simple. Basically, an XP system: Instead of a random % ‘drop rate’ of getting a new card when you win a game, instead, give the player some points towards their next card. The amount of points could potentially be random, or perhaps related to the level of person you beat or whether it was a ranked or regular game. The reason why this would work so well is that most people love to see a progression like this – just take a look at any grinding in an MMO, XBox Achievements etc.. it’s so prevalent in today’s gaming scene I feel I hardly need to make an effort to prove this point. Then after a certain amount of points, allow a player to win a random card, or alternatively, allow them to save up even more points (double? triple?) to instead pick a specific card they want.
The amount of points needed to get to the next ‘levels’ would of course change with your card collection, so it would be very quick&easy to get the first few cards, increasing to much higher numbers later on; mimicing the effect changing % drop rates as they currently are, and mimicing the ‘level’ treadmill systems that so easily entices people to play.
I cannot think of any disadvantages to this idea over the current system of card collecting and I believe it would also encourage a lot more people to play Kongai, or at least get existing players more interested in playing it more – admittedly there doesn’t ever seem to be a shortage of players as it is, but I am sure Kongregate would always like more. The only reason it could possibly be bad for Kongregate is if they only want to use Kongai as a draw to get people to play their other games. But if that is the case, I am not sure why they allow people to win cards just by playing Kongai at all.