Got back into VT2 recently and got up to speed again and had some suggestions for Fatshark. This isn’t terribly new, but given what I understand to be your goals and direction, why not consider:
- Make Deeds Craftable. Call it 100 scrap for Recruit, 2x for Vet, 4x for Champ, 6x for Legend, 9x for Cata. The level of the deed you choose when crafting, the map / challenges random, and the rewards 1-3 Emp chests of that difficulty based on map & challenge modifiers.
- Include in the rewards 1 red dust a set chance on Champ and above (17%, 33% Leg, 66% Cata).
This means a player can turn ~60 wins (assuming 10* scrap per win) into a Legend Deed with 33% chance of a red dust (the red dust is shown as a reward when crafted). This solves several issues:
- Creates a usage for excess scrap
- Creates a reliable methodology for upgrading to reds
- Does so with increased challenge and endless replay-ability (random deed traits)
- Gives you a system you can tweak (by changing chances & weightings of maps and challenges) and add to (new maps, new challenge types)
- Gives you another place to implement some of the new tech in weaves (add them as new challenges)
- Becomes somewhat self-serving: The best way to get more scrap is to get more chests per run. The best way to get more chests per run is to do your spare non-red dust deeds.
- Gives a new type of mission that players will want to look for in lobbies and quickplays (Deed & Deed * (red dot))
- Gives a good reason for mid-tier or more casual players to engage in the game (rather than the true die-hards) - gives them something they want (red dust) in a reliable fashion. This should boost average player engagement.
With management over the chances (2% chance to draw The Pit because it’s the lowest success rate) and weightings (+0.8 Emp Box modifier) you can fine-tune how players spend their time in missions by essentially reweighting what new deeds will be RNG’d into. Depending on how closely you wanted to manage it, you could rotate deed maps / challenges weekly or monthly giving players to hold on to scrap to save for ‘more beneficial’ RNG weeks where they might get maps or challenges they like.
For players, keep in mind that even if deed crafting sounds expensive (and it should, once numbers get tuned - 1000 scrap for a Cata deed isn’t that insane) since you can share these deeds your actual rate of red dust gain is anywhere from 1x to 4x the return on your spend, since these are completed by groups of players. To FatShark, I’d point out you have a couple of levers (deed cost, map rng, challenge rng, reward modifiers) that you can essentially turn into a reliable ‘player spends X time to get Y reward’ and model out your playerbase engagement.
For reference on author, I’ve got the mastery portrait completed and I’ve been in product strategy for ~15 years. I feel like this solves a host of your engagement issues in a game that I really, really enjoy.
*Ed: Note, looks like average scrap per legend run is more like 10 scrap. Numbers have been updated accordingly. Also updated Champ coefficient and added a post script that lays math out simply.
Numbers above would suggest that to craft a red dust deed on average it would cost:
Champion: 2350 scrap per red dust (400 / .17) or ~235 wins
Legend: 1800 scrap per red dust (600 / .33) or ~180 wins
Cata: 1360 scrap per red dust (900 / .66) or ~136 wins
(easy to expand as well: Veteran at 8% (200 / .08) = 2500 scrap or 250 wins)
Now if that sounds daunting, divide it by ~3 since you’re likely to be getting red dust from other folks deeds as well. All the numbers can be played with for balance, the important thing is this puts control in the hands of the players and engages them while at the same time creating more replayability using an existing system that you can expand upon and tweak over time.