First, when I type the title of this thread, it seems to type out 'mirrored'. This was very disorienting in regards to starting my post, causing me to have to type my title several times. FYI. (Edit: Oh, wow, turns out it actually showed up mirrored, as well! I'm on Firefox, by the by, in case that matters).
I also apologize if this feels long-winded. There is no tl;dr version, however for those who do read it through, I encourage other players to provide their own feedback on what is discussed.
This post is in regards to two features of the game that have been advertised, but have, as of yet, not had enough information released to answer my most concerned questions. I am aware that this may be because, well, the information isn't yet available. As such, if my questions cannot satisfactorily be answered right now, please treat this as a feedback piece that includes my opinion on what I would like to see out of these features. As someone that has put a significant amount of time into both aRPGs (including DiabloI/II/III, Path of Exile, TorchlightI/II, Grim Dawn, Marvel Heroes, et cetera) and MMOs (including WoW, SW:TOR, Guild Wars 2, Eve-Online and others), I have seen these features take on multiple forms, and greatly desire some clarification on them.
I have waited until after the Founding Program was launched to ask these questions to ensure my voice has some added weight and to ensure my opinion and feedback can help to shape this game.
Per my title, these two features are "Fortresses" (advertised on your main page about Inquisitor: Martyr), and "Seasons" (touched up on in the Open World video released previously).
I will start with Fortresses, as it has the greatest possibility to be a potentially "deal-breaker" feature. To ensure we're on the same page, the way I see it, now, Fortresses are very much like 'player-owned housing' in most MMOs. A place for you to escape the in-game world, to call your own and to customize and personalize to your own tastes. In addition, of course, to build for defense. You (The devs) have stated that these places can be attacked, in an indirect-PvP fashion.
A bit about myself and why this is important to me is that I am not a PvP gamer. In fact, I am about as far from it as you can get. I despise PvP. Hate it with a vehement passion. Will actively avoid it with every possible fibre of my being, where able. The only time I will partake in PvP will be in a purely voluntary aspect at a time of my choosing, with friends (ie: Overwatch is a good example, and then even very rarely, as I do not particularly enjoy the game. It is merely the only game which I can play with my friends). Other times, I will go so far as to cease playing with friends if they propose PvP (Eve-Online being a good example, here. If friends proposed going into lawless space, I would sooner log out than join them).
As such, my most important question in regards to this feature is: Will the indirect-PvP be a voluntary feature? Will there be the option to opt out of the PvP feature? If opting out is an option, will we still be able to have Fortresses as a player-owned housing system, or will we have to completely opt out of the feature in its entirety?
My preference would be that we have the ability to opt out of the PvP aspect, but still retain access to our own Fortress.
If, however, we do not have the option of opting out of the feature as a whole, or of the PvP aspect if we choose to own a Fortress, what are the penalties for failure to defend our Fortress? If a player's reward for successfully assaulting a fortress is simply some bonus loot given by the game, with no negative impact upon the defender, that is perfectly acceptable. I simply won't care if anyone chooses to poke at the Fortress I didn't bother to defend. However...
As a person with other obligations, I don't have a lot of time to put into gaming anymore. If there are negative repercussions to failure to defend a Fortress that I cannot opt out of, this would be the deal-breaker feature. A feature that would very likely, despite my having already purchased the game, force me completely out of playing it. The reasoning being that I don't want to put what little effort I have into progressing in a game ruined, or an incredibly rare item I was lucky enough to find in-game stolen, by some young punk (yes, I'm old enough in video game context to say that) with 5 minutes to spare.
It is my personal opinion that as soon as you add in an involuntary-PvP aspect (whether direct or indirect) to a game, the primary player it will attract will be the jerk. The person whose primary goal in partaking in this aspect of the game will be to find enjoyment out of ruining another person's experience. This can be seen primarily (but certainly not solely) in Eve-Online, where terrible, antagonistic, d-baggery behaviour is not only allowed per the game, but ENCOURAGED by the developers.
I have no interest in promoting, supporting, or enabling this kind of behaviour. If this type of feature is forced upon me, as a player who wishes to avoid this type of content, I would be hard pressed to find the desire to continue to play this game.
Most of my worry in regards to Seasons in an aRPG comes from my experience with seasons in Diablo 3 (D3) and Path of Exile (PoE). In this, my greatest concern is that both D3 and PoE release their seasonal content disconnected from their regular content. In this, to partake in the new or current season, you are required to create a whole new character who has no access to your previous characters or equipment. They are, essentially, a fresh, new character, as if you had just started the game from scratch.
I can see the draw towards this type of content, and I do not belittle those who enjoy it (like I do those who enjoy getting their entertainment out of ruining another's experience, from the example above).
As I mentioned above, I do not have a lot of time to sink into a game like this like I used to. In both D3 and PoE, I was driven from these games primarily due to their constant release of new content that I felt left out of. In PoE, over time, this simply disheartened me and made me feel unwanted because I didn't want to start a new character. Less so for D3, as their characters are simpler and easier to build, though each season felt like a grind, as I simply created the same character, over and over, grinded the same content over and over to get the achievements to get the loot, then never logged back into the game again until the next season. I had absolutely zero sense of personal achievement for completing the content and felt like I was being punished by being forced to start over again and again. It felt like a chore, which is not good game design.
Will your "seasons" be content that require the creation of a new character to partake in them?
My preference would be that they are not, despite my enjoyment of playing alts from time to time. I would not mind that seasonal content be found at various different difficulty levels (ie: Maybe some seasonal content for low level characters, some for higher level/max level characters).
I apologize for my long-winded post, and thank you for taking the time to read it and respond.