How do you kill a god?
Easy: 2 ways - go kill him, or build a tower.
ive been thinking about this game a lot. playing it, playing other similar games, and then thinking about it some more. ive had this feeling like something was missing.. that the 4x and asymmetrical(rpg) aspects of the game weren't entirely integrated, and subsequently were suffering a rocky honeymoon. for some reason i wasn't drawn back to the game like i expected; but i was determined to find out why.
after many games, many weeks, and much pondering i finally figured it out. every game began wonderfully, the 4x and roguelike elements exciting my creative juices as i personalized my path to victory; but then ultimately all of my creativity was funneled into 1 of just 2 possible choices for how to end the story - attack sk or defend against sk. what appeared to be a sandbox turns out to be a ride. problem: for all its 4x rmg mechanics, sorcerer king has the replay value of a linear rpg.
reason: there are only 2 possible ways to end the story.
4x games inherently foster fun and creativity via a sandbox of emergent systems, which ultimately culminates in a story. A beginning, a middle, an end, and a revelation. Explore, expand, exploit, exterminate, repeat. Replay value is a function of the revelations revealed by the story, just one more turn becoming just one more game.
With 1 big bad Sorcerer King's asymmetrical design solves the notorious end-game problem, however we basically only have 6 possible beginnings to 2 potential stories.. kill, or tower. Thus I am now playing AoW3 with my custom asymmetrical RMG settings, because every story is different.
An asymmetrical 4x RELIES ON a wide variety of victory conditions for replay value.
How do you WANT to kill a god?
solution: more victory conditions.
Besides the standard victory conditions, every Sovereign should have their own unique method of emerging victorious;
and the attribute points such as bravery that are awarded from some dialogue trees would also be a great way to integrate additional victory conditions.
Just some ideas..
Wizard: accumulate x mana for an ultimate spell, bumping threat at intervals.
Commander: accumulate x logistics for an ultimate sneak attack, bumping threat at intervals.
Tyrant: construct outposts in all 8 tiles surrounding 50% of the shards.
Guardian: raise mountains in all 8 tiles surrounding 50% of the shards.
Priestess: accumulate x destiny's favor for divine intervention, bumping threat at intervals.
Tinkerer: craft set of x ultimate artifacts, bumping threat at intervals.
x is based on map settings.
Here are some more ideas from RaginCajun, and Natasin.
This is the thread for victory conditions, please share your suggestions too..