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Journeyer
04.02.2012 , 02:22 PM | #1
Operation: Giradda's Palace
Please note: If Mighty Giradda does not take an interest in hosting this esteemed competition, many others would be pleased to be host to the galaxy's latest trend in entertainment sport. A sponsor will be found.

What is it:
An Arena-style Operation for solo, 4-man, 8-man, and 16-man teams. Mans can be replaced with womans as available. This Arena could be a standalone Operation, or an initially beatable "Boss" in an Operation, which would unlock the option to replay the Arena portion.

Why do we need it:
The main purpose of the arena is to provide challenges of gradually increasing difficulty that can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time, with group sizes players are comfortable with, and will provide challenges even for players who have achieved the game's current highest available tier of gear.

How it works:
Players or player teams fight through "tiers" of "gladatorial" combat consisting of boss-type opponents. These bosses are designed to take only several minutes to fight and exhibit unique fight mechanics. A "tier" of arena combat would consist of a specific number of fights, against opponents drawn at random from a larger pool of potential bosses. The tiers may be altered from "season" to "season."

Upon entering the Arena, each solo player or team leader is granted 3 Challenger Tokens. If a player or team is defeated, a token may be presented and spent to re-challenge the opponent who defeated the party and to continue in the arena challenge. Once all tokens are spent, the player or team is eliminated from the arena competition and rewarded according to accomplishments.

Players and groups may re-register in the Arena multiple times per day, if they choose. A "jaded" debuff will apply to players who engage in the arena more than once per day, reducing the reward structure for repeated attempts. (The Bioware Rewards Holding Syndicate may choose to reset the debuff after 24 hours, or after a server time).

Winning the Arena:
Since the main point of the arena is to provide a constant testing-ground for players, it is technically impossible to "beat" the arena. That being said, there will inevitably be a "final tier" of the arena at any given time due to development limitations, and players will on very rare occasions exceed what are believed to be the limits of possibility. A variety of unique vanity items would be available as a reward in the event that a player group is able to complete the final tier. This challenge would not be the normal goal; the rewards for completing bosses and arena tiers would be designed to be a suitable reward.

Rewards:
Rewards are granted cumulatively per defeated opponent and more substantially per "tier" passed. The credit and gear value rewards from the arena are balanced to cover repair costs at a minimal level, and to reward players with unique gear appearances and ultimately high-level PvE gear as difficulty tiers are beaten. Special vanity items are awarded for setting an all-time record for solo, 4, 8, or 16 man modes in a season.

The Leaderboard:
The arena operation would have a season leaderboard, showing daily and all-time leaders for solo, 4, 8, and 16 player arena challenges. A prominent display above the center of each fleet might show only the most recent leaderboard achievement, but all achievements are viewable before starting the Operation.

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Practical reasoning for implementing this kind of Operation:
  • ~The random selection of opponent lineup in each tier provides players with a unique playing experience each time through the arena.
  • ~The Arena grants tangible rewards at clearly understood target intervals, allowing the player to gauge success
  • ~The format for this Operation provides a reason to play frequently and in different arrangements of teams/solo
  • ~The Arena always provides a challenge (and rewards), even for players who are in highest tier gear
  • ~Time required to play the Arena can be adjusted in fine detail by adjusting specific "bosses"
  • ~Bioware can test new boss mechanics one at a time through participation in the arena
  • ~Bioware already has a huge assortment of bosses in the game, very many of whom would love to prove their dominance in the arena (with some tweaking for multiplayer and tier level), making for a strong head start.
  • ~Expanding an operation by adding 2-3 minute target boss fights to a tier is a faster change than writing a whole new operation. Adding a new tier (or swapping out a tier for a new pool) is reasonably fast as well.

Less practical but still important reasons for implementing this kind of Operation:
  • ~Players want more boss fights, more reasons to play every day, more reasons to group, more structured rewards.
  • ~Current Operations rely on being "completed" for a reward, making the top-tier gear drops meaningless (if the player can beat the hardest content in the game, receiving better gear just makes it easier and easier to repeat the same fight). This operation challenges players to go as far as they can, with continual room for more challenge.
  • ~Players have pride, they want to compete, and they want their accomplishments known. Arena levels are conducive to a leaderboard status, and foster rivalries and reasons to play.
  • ~This operation provides Bioware with a way to test short fight mechanics, player performance, etc. It also provides an alternate way to introduce rewards into the game for players unable to group for 8 or 16 player operations regularly.

Thoughts:
I'd love to see each tier of the arena be a custom set piece. After finishing X fights, you pass through to the next chamber of cheering spectators and a differently themed area (arenas are big circles--not hard to model--some nice detail in customization work would make this really have the right feel). The sky is the limit with this kind of Flashpoint, from spectator modes to gambling to team rivalries...If done right, it should capture the feel of being down in the pits, like Geonosis, and competing in a vast, organized sport.

I thought of this 3 days ago and hesitated to post each time, as I keep reminding myself that this is a relatively big thing to make, and I have yet to see "big ideas" implemented or even commented on by Bioware in this forum. But I've also decided that *not* posting it is a great way to keep it from happening too, so what've I got to lose? =)

Thank you all for reading, and please, please, ask questions, contribute to the overall described system, etc!

TLDR Version:
I propose a type of Operation with high repeatability and constantly scaling difficulty, consisting of short boss-battle gladiator fights and tiered rewards. Everyone wins if this is implemented.

Can I get a few "want" or "do not want"s and why? =)
I make useful, game-expanding suggestions.
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