1. Reverse Goddess? Slightly extreme but, for female players, I would love to see the "Goddess" feature have the harem girls replaced with a male cast from the three kingdoms. Yes it's the 'Sexy Three Kingdoms' but this game has players of both genders and while I don't mind having to go about playing rock paper scissors with other girls, I'd far prefer playing where a muscular hunk slowly strips down as I win. And let's face it when it comes to browser games female customers are common enough that having a male only customer base is unacceptable.
It's a low cost investment to get a secondary set of art drawn up, dialogue is already so minor that an intern could do the job for that, and given how this game already struggles to keep favorable votes on Facebook and goes to the extent of holding events to bribe players into rating the game better. Actually improving the game towards a western audience seems like it would be a good idea. The game relies on eyecandy to lure people in, this is the nature of games under this publisher, in a western market as a translated game actually having eyecandy for both genders expands your playerbase by a sizable scale, not only that, it sets the game apart from other games like it.
In short, give me Ma Chao stripping down and showing off those abdominal muscles, or Guan Yu in a loin cloth in my harem, in terms of price for development, it's probably one of the cheapest features for the highest return I could suggest and would at least stop some female players from coming in and getting offended at how sexist this game is. I wouldn't be surprised if that was more than just a few of the 1* ratings on facebook.
2. Customer Support, I'm of mixed opinions on this, the people are very sweet, but I feel their grasp on english is perhaps. . lacking. I would highly suggest perhaps taking on some volunteer staff who can answer questions for players of various languages who can then translate or submit simplified tickets to the original customer service staff. As of right now when I interact with the customer support, I feel like I'm talking to a student whose grasp of the language is rudementary at best and will miss about half of what I'm inquiring about.
3. Game Translations / Dialogues. This is a browser based game! These are so important but this game lacks these so heavily, I literally cannot find explainations for 80% of the games features. These don't need extremely elaborate explainations but half the time if you mouse over the (?) the explaination you recieve is lackluster or confusing to say the least. My suggestion would be to run some forum based events for both in game descriptions and forum FAQ's. Reward players for sharing their detailed knowledge on the game and in turn make it easier for new players to learn about these systems. As it stands even if I ask around in Nirvana chat most people can't answer what Guild Tech level is used for or what the Saint golden rune stones are used for. The dialogue for Goddess is another that could use some new options.
4. Leveling / End Game Power Progression, Consider opening up end game progression abit more or making use of VIP level to lower timers on things such Imperial Mausoluem Treasure Hunt, the biggest thing I've found coming into the game as a new player on an older server, is that in some ways, it's not possible to catch up in power and without the help of a guild, it's very hard to gain the necessary fame to recruit stronger partners. This becomes an issue because a servers health requires either constant merging of old servers or new players joining. Plenty of players are turned away by just how hard it is to catch up to the crowd and most players I imagine only stick around from the server opening crowd, this is a bad design formula and should be changed. While the daily exp reward exists and will over the span of about a month bring a new player up to the level of current players, this incurrs a critical problem, a new player cannot gain the currencys of Chakra and other items like the older players leaving them extremely weak for their level and unable to do content, in this sense you see players who will be 30 levels higher than a player but still be far weaker in power rating. This is due to Saint partners being locked behind high fame requirements and a lack of resources being available for players who are just joining the game.
5. Fix some of the events!!!!!
Nian Repel Event, This event broke my heart, me and at least 20 guild mates spent over 500 gold each, I personally shouted for over 3 days trying to get people to join this event to get the Elite armor lotteries to occur. These are items only obtainable via event and the event wanted 80 people, I'm not sure how many people the server I'm on is clustered with for events (S120) But we never made it more than 50 people, and we had to sit there for the entire event and could never trigger a single lottery. This is absolutely horrible design and should never happen. Please make Elite armors purchasable by gold or lower the requirements for these events. As it stands absolutely nobody can obtain them because of poor event design and all we're left with is firecrackers that couldn't ever be used and sit in our storage.
Additionally, for events such as 'God of Wealth', 'Christmas Sled' and 'Monopoly'. . It's pretty blatantly obvious that the game is cheating you with the dice rolls and randomly stopping your sled. This isn't such a big deal but for some people it does get annoying to have to watch the game act in such a fashion, adding in a skip animation for these events would be highly appreciated because it is rather disheartening to see when the animation fails to cheat properly, ie your sled finishes first, but your then awarded 3rd place prize anyways.
Lastly while it may take some effort, please switch up the prize pool on events! This is so important for running a game.
For example, when running Mystery Vendor event. Take the time to edit the cost of items, make it so certain editions of the event discounted towards certain items, this can go a long ways towards causing players to plan around events and can do a lot for drawing interest.
Additionally adding in some better prizes to some of these more common events would be amazing. Having the options to spend 2k Diamonds in Mystery vendor to get 20 Yun Chang or Zhou Yu Summon Card Fragments, or 5k diamonds for a choice from a handful of Random Elite armors being added to the shop list. Things like this can heavily revamp these otherwise boring and dead events that most players just go through the motions with. Albeit some of these items are meant to be cash shop exclusive but finding some ways to spice up minor events can do wonders for player interest.
With events like God of Wealth, Christmas Sled and Monopoly, being able to swap out the items would help a lot, this would make players more inclined to spend gold as the events change. Perhaps the 888 gold prize on God of Wealth is swapped out one time with 888 Talent, or Christmas Sled replaces Luck and Golden stone Fragment with Pills. Needless to say there are countless variations the staff can play with without having to make brand new events, simply changing around the prizes and editting the existing events can go a long ways towards holding player interests in the existing events. Titles make great prizes that could be used for some of these events as well, older titles that have already been used in events could be brought back to give players a chance to obtain them as well as releasing newer ones occasionally.
6. World Events/Bosses
Would love to see world bosses recieve more hp, most events now players nearly instant kill the world boss and make it impossible for others to join the event at all.
Additionally I would love to see some better event variety, the Three Kingdoms time period, while a time of war, also brought forth many scholarly pieces of literature and should not only be seen for its bloodshed. I would love to see something akin to the imperial scholars exam. Where players could compete based on trivia and knowledge every week for prizes and rewards across the server and perhaps for a limited time title.
7. Chakra, This gets listed on it's own because of how insanely important Chakra is, this one currency is the single most used currency in the game and is also one of the hardest to get, even recieving a few thousand extra from gold spending every couple days does absolutely nothing given the dozen or so various sytems in the game that drain Chakra by the hundreds to the thousands per click. Please, make it easier to obtain Chakra, I'm not saying just throw the stuff at us, but consider increasing the amount we obtain from gold spend, accumulated recharge, and I would even go so far as saying increasing the value of Chakra by a full 100% from Thatched boats would go a long ways. The game provides very little means for players to obtain Chakra and the sheer demand for this currency makes it extremely hard to increase power as a new player.
8. Reward Based on Merits, This five part daily quest is a good reminder of the various systems in the game, however it has two big flaws that could use some adjusting. First it does not scale up with you well, this means as you get higher level, the value in doing these daily quests becomes lower and lower, until it's essentially not worth your time due to how poor the exp gain is. Secondly it does not adjust to cover new features as you level or detect features you do not have access too. This leaves new players unable to complete it because it requires them to donate 90 gold to a guild they are not in or unable to spend gold on upgrading thatched boats since it's not unlocked yet.
Consider expanding the quests for this and changing the reward to a exchangable token, something players can use to then spend on things like Talent points, Chakra, Yellow Tokens and Pills. By swapping away from a minor exp reward and instead making it into a daily quest where players can then focus their gains into currency they need most for increasing their power it would become a far more valuable system tool.
9. Children, I'm of two minds on the child system in this game, namely due to the fact that towards the end most players swap out their child for saint partners and the cost for raising a child is very high. They gain a reasonable amount of health but they definitely lose out on skill upgrades and the damage potential that a Saint partner gains. I know that the original post states that little would be done about partner rebalancing but, due to the extremely high cost of raising a child in this game I would still hope that it would be possible to use them during end game. Perhaps adding them to Partner Skill page or giving some means to upgrade child and their skills beyond what is currently available. In the end I do hope some way to upgrade your child is available because what's currently in game does not keep them comparable to the Saint partners and they fall off very fast despite having a far higher cost than the Saints.
10. Guilds, Guilds and the players we play this game with are a major part of this game, they go a long way towards making STK a fun game, and to the goal I'd like to point out a few of what I consider shortcomings in the current guild system. As guilds level they unlock better features, generally speaking however these are rather minor benefits, of course this is not to say a guild should recieve overpowering benefit but that the current system tends to limit what a guild can currently achieve.
In guild events such as Guild Fortune Sticks, it's very easy for any active guild to reach the maximum goal of 2k points, raising it and adding in new tiers and prize rewards would encourage guilds to stay active, this in turn keeps servers active and the game healthy. Likewise the Gala daily Guild event is only geared towards guilds having about 6 players, and requires at least one of them to have VIP lvl 10 to achieve it's max tier. Adding some more prize tiers before demanding a lobster from players would be nice.
Additionally allowing guilds to perhaps spend to customize and upgrade their Guild Fortune Wheel would be a nice feature, this would allow guilds to invest time and effort towards rewarding their active members, being able to swap out Coin bags for Luck points, or increase the Fame gained. Perhaps replacing the Potion Scroll with a Chakra or Aether Token. This enables a guild to minorly influence their growth in a desired direction.
Additionally being able to as a guild master upgrade various aspects of your guild would be a nice feature as well. Perhaps you have super active members and your guild is being bottlenecked in it's growth so you'd like to increase the daily contribution limit for Guild Attributes, or you'd like to raise Guild Tech level faster so you increase the limit of gold donated per day.
11. Marriage, The marriage system in STK provides, a small but reasonable buff to couples, depending upon the ring purchased and the gold/flowers invested into it. However when it comes down to it when compared to most marriage systems the game is very lacking in what it brings to the table. Half of the players I've met seem more inclined to marry an alternate account than another player as the marriage itself has no real purpose towards any means past the ring.
There are plenty of ways to go about changing this, the question becomes how difficult it is to implement such changes.
A. Implement partner raiding, where couples can spend their energy doing normal raids together in a co-op fashion for miniscule intimacy gains per raid or per every so many raids. This can then be further detailed by rewarding players who have high intimacy by using intimacy to factor in small increases to raid exp on a percentage scale, (For example, every 100k Intimacy = +1% Exp gained per raid with couple in party.) This rewards players for playing long term in groups together and actually has a purpose for players to marry other players rather than low level alternate accounts.
B. Have the married couples stats have an affect upon the children they have. Similar to inheritance or perhaps even something as simple as, (Mother = Mage, Child gains +100 Magic, Father = Barbarian, Child Gains +25,000 Hp) When you can use the parents levels and classes to actually determine a buff to the offspring the married couple has and thus directly reward players for actually having and looking after their spouses in game.
12. Meditation, This is going to sound like a broken record type suggestion however. Consider allowing players to set the focus of their meditation! Exp gained over time is fine, personally for a small game I think encouraging players to remain logged in is a good idea. But the problem becomes that while exp is always an option, there are other things players constantly need and having some method to upgrade Meditation, (Either to switch the focus to something else like +1 Chakra for each 15 second cycle. Or to add on bonus rewards.)
For example, VIP tier could be used for a system where upon players could use their gold to upgrade Meditation along a path similar to the Potential tree. First level provides +1 Chakra every minute, second level adds +1 Aether every minute, then +1 Luck, +1 Talent etc. Even enabling players to upgrade the EXP gained per cycle in meditation adds some extra depth to this otherwise automated system.
13. Optional Subscription, This is a suggestion that is not for everyone, I say this upfront due to the nature of subscription based services when it comes to games.
However, for a small game having a stable set of income from a game is a good and healthy way of motivating a publisher to continue producing content for it and actually justifying having a development team. To this end it takes very little effort on a game publishers side to set up a completely optional subscription service where players can pledge monthly sums of money in return for care packages. When it comes to doing such a thing I think it's a good idea to figure out with the community several key points.
1. What is a reasonable cost of a subscription when it only is providing regular in game items. Is it worth having different tiers of subscription? If such a system is done by hand, (Similar to how Goddess currently does Daily Energy, this type of thing may not be worth doing at all due to the extra work it would put on her.)
2. What should be put in a subscription? In some senses these are people who are committing to put their money down each month for the game which is a more stable form of income for the publisher, same time if it's too much than other players feel pressured that not having it is holding them back. If it's too little than people are likely to rather spend their money on the bi-weeky events just to obtain the accumulated rewards.
2a. Some easy methods to help justify that is having title rewards for subscription lengths, minor things that are exclusive to the service that directly reward the player beyond what they might obtain from short term item gains from the bi-weekly events.