Wands version 1.5.0 was recently released, so it's time to revist my wishlist!
The Wands community is really thriving on and competition for the top 10 is at an all-time high. Wands is currently available on (and cross-compatible with!) Gear VR, Daydream, Pico, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Oculus Go, Mirage Solo and Mi VR (whatever that is). That's a lot of platforms! Notably absent is still PSVR. The Oculus Quest is another potential platform that would be great to see Wands on.
I'm looking forward to seeing how Cortopia continue to build on Wands, and to that end I've compiled a list of features I think the game would really benefit from. They've already put a ton of work into the game and probably have other projects coooking, but if development continues on Wands here's what I'd like to see:
• Single Player Campaign - Not only would a campaign story mode help players learn the ins and outs of the game before they dive into competitive play, but there is a massive audience of gamers out there who aren't interested in online competition at all and would purchase this game if it had compelling offline content.
• Bot Match - Another critical feature missing from the game is being able to duel against a bot offline in any arena using any loadout. This is different from a campaign mode in that it should mimic the online dueling experience as closely as possible.
• Robust Tutorial/Training - Ideally this would be integrated into a Campaign Mode, but the game would benefit from building on the recently added Workshop tutorial by taking a similarly detailed approach to explaining the dueling gameplay. The Basement lets the player experiment a little, but doesn't really provide any real guidance.
• Bring Back Spectating - This was one of Wands killer features when the game was released! It was a shame to see it fall by the wayside. There are so many great ways to utilize this for marketing, esports & tournaments, real world spectating (think about bringing two Gos out at a party and letting everyone watch on a TV), recruiting new players, creating user content (videos, screenshots, maps, etc), learning from better players & obsessively studying strategy, etc. This feature really set Wands apart from all other VR games in my opinion and could be a big selling point.
• Skill Based Matchmaking - Player retention will improve when players get more "good matches". On busy nights I'll see 10 noobs and 10 pros on at the same time and half the matches are noob vs pro. This is frustrating for everyone involved. In fact, the more people are on, the more frustrating it can be. It should be the opposite: the more people on at once, the more good matches everyone should be getting and the more likely they will be to keep playing.
• Send Players Back to Queue - Ranked play is about testing your mettle against random players and climbing the Leaderboard. Being able to play the same person over and over may seem like a good idea, but it really isn't. For one thing, it makes the queue seem dead for other waiting players. Players need to re-enter the queue frequently to make sure no one has to wait very long for a game and for the matchmaking to have more opportunities to find a better match for players. The other issue is players finding a weaker opponent who is willing to keep rematching: the stronger player is able to farm points which degrades the integrity of the leaderboard and the weaker player needs a little nudge after a while to hopefully find a better match. I suggest standardizing around something like a best of 3 format and getting rid of the option to rematch at all (for ranked play only, that is....players should be able to endlessly rematch to their heart's content in friendlies).
• Standardize Season Length - Announce up front how long a season will last and exactly when the season will end. Players will be much more likely to commit to competing when they know exactly what they are committing TO. Ideally, the seasons should all follow the same predictable cycle (something like 7 weeks on, 1 week off, all seasons start and end at 12am UTC).
• Randomize Starting Position - Minor issue, but the maps are asymmetric so the fixed starting positions constitute an unfair advantage. You should not be able to control which spot you start on by hosting or joining a game.
• Targeting Pickup Feedback - Another minor issue, but we need to be able to CLEARLY see when a pickup is being targeted by another player. That means being able to see exactly when the attempt starts (or stops).