I am bewildered how some AE players like hana think that AQ3D could make a massive impact out of "copy pasted mmorpgs". Speaking from a typical mmorpg player's perspective, AQ3D has zero chance of attracting players of modern mmorpgs and here's why.
New releases are reskinned versions of old releases. Take a look at mogloween's monsters and darkovia's monsters. Do the monsters attack differently?Is there any aspect of gameplay that deviates from the same old kill and gather quests?If the answer is no, how do you expect to break the monotony and repetitiveness that is present in AQ3D's gameplay? Every single event boss, dungeon boss and normal monster is a reskinned copy with different hp and attack values. The method of killing them remains the same,as monsters do not have other skills that might force a player to dodge or react differently. Now there are some people who will defend AQ3D's repetitiveness by saying that all mmorpgs are grindy and repetitive by nature, and while that is true, other modern mmorpgs offer a variety of game modes to break the monotony of kill quests.
What do I mean by that? Let's consider pvp, something which a sizeable number of mmorpg players consider as end-game content. Other mmorpgs offer 1v1, 3v3, 5v5 battles and even guild vs guild battles that are reset on weekly/daily basis. Some even have a survival mode, where all players take part in a free for all pvp battle and the victor is the last man standing. In comparison, AQ3D offers nothing in comparison to tried-and-tested cookie cutter mmorpgs.
What about raids? Raiding in other mmorpgs is an interesting experience as not only do dungeon bosses have different attack patterns and multiple skills, they are also present in higher difficulties which enable bosses to have additional skills and stats. Some mobile mmorpgs have 10-man, 40-man dungeons where specific roles are required in order to clear the content. It is fun to attack a boss that isn't a mindless auto attacking drone; and it feels even more epic when you clear the boss with a huge 40 man team.Some mobile mmorpgs offer guild hunts where guilds form parties of up to 40 people in order to kill a special monster or a boss monster that spawns in the wild at certain times. These bosses drop tokens that give additional stats when the player has reached certain token milestones, and for balance reasons these tokens are capped to prevent players from getting unlimited stats. Some dungeons offer 3-4 randomized loot on dungeon completion, as well as a mini-auction of randomized loot which include gear and upgrade materials for party members to bid on. Some games host events that offer real-life currency for fastest raid completion to attract more players to their game. Dungeon loot from high level dungeons requires the player to identify the item before it can be used. As the number,type of stat lines is randomized, no two equipment are the same.High level dungeon loot also comes with different set bonuses, having 2-3 pieces of a set grants you set bonuses; these stat bonuses include a boost in stats, boost in power of an ability, grants a chance of inflicting status conditons on a monster, or grants a chance to proc a skill that isn't part of the player's skill book. Dungeon equipment can be upgraded to give better stat ranges, and can be socketed with gems to give a boost in stats. These gems can be further polished to give better stats. In comparison, aq3d's bosses are carbon copies of each other with no exciting attacks or interesting loot.
What about factions? Some mobile mmorpgs implement a faction system that allows you to gain faction reputation and medals. These faction medals can be exchanged for gear in the faction shop, while the level of your reputation limits the gear you can buy or the faction quests you can take. Reputation can be obtained by eliminating enemies in the faction map.Some mmorpgs allow you to auto-attack the creeps so you can do some other things while waiting for your character to farm reputation. Some faction quests require you to compete with other players for resources or sneak into enemy territory to gain intelligence, which is somewhat fun because you can get pked by other players while trying to sneak into the other faction's territory.
What about miscellaneous events that a player can do? some mmorpgs offer world trivia, where players answer multiple choice questions and gain exp and silver for getting a question right. There are also picture Q&As where players get exp and silver for choosing the right picture out of two that best describes a place or event. There are also random activites that players can do like setting up fireworks or inviting other players to dance, all of which give either exp, silver or some other item needed for character progression. There are also random events where you are asked if you want to help a player fighting a mini-boss in a storyline quest, and events where the guild gathers around a bonfire answering guild-related trivia.(e.g would be questions like who is the guild leader, who has the highest character rating, which is the most used class in the guild etc)
I've seen mmorpgs that have the same number of active skills as aq3d(5 active skills). The difference is that I can swap out skills to create a unique skill build, and each skill comes with its own unique ability. In AQ3D some skills are a carbon copy of each other with a different damage modifier(e.g warrior). In other mmorpgs classes have different abilities, for example, a cc-based skill, an aoe skill, single target skill, aoe heal, shield, aggro drawing skill etc. Some of the skills in aq3d just aren't well thought out.(Creating three different single target skills with a different damage multiplier DOES not alleviate the monotony and repetitiveness of combat.
There are a lot of things I mentioned that AQ3D can probably adapt to their game, as right now, AQ3D is one of the most bare-bones mmorpgs on the mobile market.
You're not the only MMORPG player, so you really can't speak for everyone. It attracted me as someone who played the most modern MMORPG releases like Black Desert Online, World of Warcraft: Legion, etc., though admittedly, it was more because of the nostalgia factor.
I said combat on mobile is fun, but there needs to be more depth added to it for sure. There's certainly room for improvement and that's most of what I said. Adding skills to dodge, important skill timing, and other gameplay elements and mechanics to combat and bosses especially would do a lot for AQ3D. I even agreed with you in that loot could use a lot of work like more meaningful stats and options to enhance. Citing other MMORPGs, especially ones that randomize stats on gear for "uniqueness" or progression is a terrible idea, though.
A lot of what you're bringing up is a lot of out of context features from other games and just because one game implements something well doesn't mean another one will. Overwatch popularized the loot box model to the point that they're a staple in most online games released today; that doesn't mean it is a good design decision and I wouldn't be alone in thinking that could be removed from most if not all games it's included in. You mentioned AFK farming, for example, that I've seen other mobile MMORPGs use. By definition, that isn't gameplay. You advocated for more engaging gameplay and then implied AQ3D would benefit from something that is the polar opposite of gameplay.
It's not hard to see that AQ3D does have potential to be a fantastic mobile MMORPG. I think it's still at least a year's worth of development away from being near that point, but I do believe if AE listens to feedback regularly and stays driven, they'll find that success. The reason why I did say that AQ3D has the potential to be that good and cut through the copy-pasted MMORPGs saturating the mobile market is because that's exactly what all those games do. They take and use features from each other to the point that each game becomes more or less a re-skin of the one that came before it. I tried nearly every mobile MMORPG and saw the same thing in each of them: gimmicky farming and looting, severe lack of world building and story direction, and the signature slew of eastern MMORPG tactics where you're handed everything in the game on a silver platter without putting in any effort. There were several I started playing and received top-tier gear within minutes and got bombarded by hand-outs so I'd continue playing the game. These are the games you cited and, somehow, these are the top rated mobile games in the Google Play store.
I won't speak for every MMORPG player, but I think I can speak for people who are tired of the generic Asian MMORPG both on PC and mobile with their pay-to-win, quasi-gambling business models that usually do have trouble retaining their player bases because there's no meaningful content or game world.
So although we disagree on some points, here's what we do agree on:
- Equipment Rework: meaningful stats and gear enhancement like slots for gems or similar upgrades in high-tier equipment.
- Class Development: build up on class framework so players can build the class according to what they like and want to use. They can still use a max of 5 abilities at a time, but that doesn't mean they can only choose from 5 abilities.
- Enemy Interaction: skills to avoid and ways to excel at combat past spamming skills and hoping your stats are good enough. Bosses should turn the environment around them into a battleground; players should need to dodge skills and abilities from bosses and make fights more challenging without insane math. FFXIV has a great boss model in their latest expansions - bosses are absurdly difficult, challenging, and rewarding to beat without turning them into a big sponge for 24 players.
- Factions and PvP: a nonlinear story could go a long way, allowing for players to branch out. That would pave the way for a PvP system to make sense in the game, even in the open world. I wouldn't mind something like that to get away from the Battleon bank grind
- More Social World: dungeon/party queues, LFG, player support, etc. I had hoped the random dungeon feature in Battleon would bring me to parties in need of some help, but it's as random as it says. I would enjoy going into parties that need some help on a boss and often do it anyway even though there isn't a system for it in-game.