World of Legends (2018-2019)
World of Legends was an MMORPG for mobile built for a casual audience, with a focus on traditional RPG elements (XP, Levels, Gear for your Hero) mixed with strategic battles where the player used their Hero to lead their troops in combat. It had catchy music and visuals to match, and offered players a unique experience in the cluttered landscape that is mobile MMOs.
In my role as a game designer on this project I was involved in several big revamp and redesign projects, ranging from the base combat system to collectibles players would pick up off the ground. I joined when the project was already well underway, and had already gone through several iterations for the combat and progression systems, and literally the first thing I did after joining was to take over the combat, progression and economy balancing efforts of another designer who was on his way out of the company, with several humongous and intertwined spreadsheets being sent my way. By the time the project ended (shortly after the early access version was released in early 2019), I had done design work for almost every system in the game, and managed the data for all the game’s abilities, equipment, sidekicks, monsters, bosses and rewards.
Below you’ll find some highlights of the work I’ve done on this project, as well as some screenshots (at the bottom).
Game Design (Implemented)
- Designed a revamp of the combat system that replaced a “swipe to attack” system that was cumbersome to use with a system that gave players more direct control of their Hero, improved how players would use Hero spells on the battlefield, and also introduced a time limit to battles with an “overtime” mode where damage and attack/movement speed was increased to force a conclusion to lengthy PvP battles.
- As part of this revamp, a mechanic was implemented that caused player’s Hero to path to and auto-attack nearest enemy if left alone for too long, so for easy battles, players could just rely on the auto-combat system.
- Designed extension for boss battle system, which provided players with a chance for unique rewards for each boss, but also added a cooldown for fighting each given boss
- Fine tuned system by adding a sink for in-game currency that allowed players to spend such currency in order to skip cooldowns on boss battles.
- Designed a major rebalance of “sidekicks” (troops used in battles), Hero gear and traits, and Spells to encourage players to experiment more with team loadouts and Hero equipment instead of just sticking to the established meta
- Designed a major revamp of collectibles system with increased variety in collectibles (implemented), “lore book” to keep track of tangible discoveries like collectibles (implemented) and intangible ones like lore objects and bestiary (not implemented), improvements to inventory system (not implemented), additional sinks for collectibles economy (not implemented), a player crafting and trading system tied to collectibles (not implemented), and a guild progression system (not implemented)
- Co-designed system for World Bosses that allowed players to fight enormous bosses in each zone asynchronously, with multiple rewards tiers for players based on how large percentage of the boss health they took down across multiple battles.
- Designed four World Bosses (one for each of the game’s four zones), each with their own unique mechanics, optimal strategies for players and unique rewards, and balanced the difficulty of these based on analytics data and player feedback.
- Co-designed Guild Quest event system that incentivized players to play together in guilds and work towards a common goal. The guild quests would show the same progress for anyone in a guild, and any member could contribute towards completing the currently active quest. The more such quests a guild could complete within a week’s time, the higher the reward given to every member in the guild at the end of the event.
- Co-designed and orchestrated level cap increase, which set out to increase the max level cap of player Heroes from 20 to 25. Required weeks of work, since it touched on every single system in the game, and every spreadsheet, every reward distribution scheme, every XP curve had originally been designed specifically for a cap of 20 levels, with no easy ways to extend the cap. In the end, this required an update to Hero gear, spells, sidekicks, reward chests in store and for quests, progression curves for Heroes, sidekicks and equipment upgrades, the addition of new mini-bosses, captains and mobs of appropriate levels, introduction of new quests for player progression, and design of new sidekicks to be unlocked as part of the extended progression.
- Designed two new Sidekicks – Pyromage and Satyr – with AoE damage and self-heal capabilities, respectively.
- Designed revamp to Sidekick system to remove the need to hire fresh sidekicks before every battle using in-game currency and instead rely on a system where the total size of all selected sidekicks (now always available after initial unlock) cannot exceed a total cap for sidekicks for one’s team. Allowed for more experimentation on team composition, less worry about running out of in-game currency to hire new troops, and less stressful decisions for players.
Additional Game Design (Not Implemented)
Additionally, wrote a number of designs for features that were approved, but ultimately cut due to time and resource constraints, such as:
- Designed an Achievement system with both meta and sub achievements (complete X sub-achievements within a meta-achievement to complete the meta achievement)
- Designed a co-op system for Boss Battles that would have allowed multiple players to team up and fight bosses together, while automatically scaling the difficulty of the boss to the amount of players taking part in the battle
- Designed a number of additional sidekicks with varying abilities that could introduce chaos on the battlefield.
- Designed crafting system that tied in with revamped collectibles system, which would have allowed players to use items collected from the map to craft both permanent (in terms of equipment) and temporary (in form of consumables) upgrades and boosts
- Designed guild progression system which would have given guilds a common goal to work towards long term, as they strive to obtain guild fame, reach new guild levels and expand their guild headquarters
- Designed player trading and gifting systems that would have added additional interactivity and reliance between players, and provided additional sinks to the game’s economy
- Designed party and friend systems that would have incentivized players to group up and adventure together for enhanced rewards and sociality. Players would also see bonus rewards when adventuring in the same zones as their friends.
- Designed system for collaborative quests for friends, guilds and the community as a whole. These would have players work towards common, shared goals in multiple layers of activity across all their social circles.
AI Design and Scripting:
- Used scripting language to script AI behavious for World Bosses and FTUE battles.
World Building/Level Design:
- As part of level cap increase efforts, found ways to work around restrictions on map size to extend map and create new areas for higher level mobs and bosses. Used terrain editor in Unity to form these new areas, apply the appropriate ground textures, and decorate with relevant props.
- Made improvements and fixes to existing zones to address issues with navmesh generation, pathfinding, monster spawns, player visibility, etc.