First of all: THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT GAME.
Puzzle Quest 3 is fast and fun. I really like it.
I’m playing the game for some weeks now and I’m spending quite a lot of time into it. Of course there are some minor things, which has to be fixed (e.g. some equipment giving you +10 armor for something, but an opponent does 2000 damage…). But I have good fate these things will be fixed!
For me there is just a single thing, which makes me sick. And this is the upgrading system.
The dev team said upgrading is an important element of the game. In my oppinion then people should be encouraged to upgrade their stuff. But actually the game suggests the opposite. Do not upgrade until you have to or you really get a very good item fitting your character. For me upgrading is something absolutly not fun, because often I need to do it and then get some time later something better and the invested resources were wasted. And this is really frustrating.
The second thing is: why the hell is upgrading so expensive? I’m playing the game for a long time now and opened hundrests of chests matching the requirements (gold+, level 30+) but I did not get a single relict or glyphe from the chests. Also, I have still not collected enough ressources to upgrade a SINGLE weapon up to level 35. I have no clue how people should finish the story mode, which did not receive a free level 35 weapon with the software update.
And the point is: investing money does not help here. Once I saw a glyphe in the shop and I didn’t buy it, because it felt to expensive for me. I am really glad about this, because every upgrade needs two of them and I never got another one.
Upgrading should be fun. It should be “yeah, my ring is now level 17” or “wow, a new item, I really need relict X so I’m going to farm this dungeon”. (Actually, I did this once, but after about 20 games without anything I quit the game for two days, because I was frustrated.)
My suggstions here to make the game MORE fun for players:
Make abilities of equipments visible that people know which items provide which effect. Then players can view which items they want to have and face the specific dungons. You still need to get the chests and probably want to invest money to get more keys, but if you farm a dungeon 20 times, open the chests and get nothing you will not spend money into it.
(And you can actually exactly see what spells do, but you cannot see what items do.)
Give uncommon equipment an element bonus of +1 to allow people see what element these items are made of. This will make a lot of people invest into common and uncommon stuff.
Dramatically increase the stuff you receive, when you trade a high level item. This would encourage players to upgrade their stuff and when they find something better, they can trade the old item to upgrade the new one. In my point of view you should get back about 50% of what you invested into it. This is still a lot of ressources you lose, but the motivation to spend your resources will be much higher. So you are going to invest more and therefore will generally need more resources.
Increase the drop rates for relicts and glyphes. Really.
The end of the story mode is really hard. The dungeons with level 50+ are really tough too. AND THIS IS GREAT. Reducing the difficulty will remove this interessting part of the game. But with the current upgrade system, most people will never have the chance to win these battles. They will play the game until it becomes to hard or they are too frustrated. So you lose these people before they decide to invest money into it.
Make it fun to upgrade stuff. Then more people will invest into it.