I realize that the Lickquidator chapter has not yet been released, and these ideas may not work with what Pixelcraft has planned, but I thought I’d develop some of the ideas discussed in the Alchemica Sink thread regarding a Lickquidator development system.
The basic Lickquidator is free to play, but what if there was a way to level it up?
Introducing the Gem Frame NFT, a persistent Lickquidator “tech tree” that can be developed by spending alchemica. This aarcane artifact will be permanently inscribed with abilities, traits, and skins from which a player can pick and choose for their Lickuidator loadout. This would give players variety in their Lickquidator playstyle, and allow Lickquidator raiding groups to come up with their own unique strategies based on individual loadouts.
Players can expend alchemica to purchase:
Skins, affecting the look of the Lickquidator
Traits, which are like those provided by wearables (movement speed, health, regen, etc)
Abilities, allowing for different builds: Melee, Ranged, Tank, Support (healers, buffers, crowd control), Builder (if Lickquidators have a means of establishing map presence, see below), and hybrids of these
Frames start with a certain number of Trait and Ability slots. While the Frame can be inscribed with any number of Traits and Abilities, these slots limit the number of Traits and Abilities that can be equipped at one time. To unlock more slots, the Frame gains “patina” when the player uses it to summon a Lickquidator every 12 (or 24) hours, a system mirroring Kinship, although the score will not degrade if the Frame isn’t used.
Abilities and Traits themselves could be leveled up in incremental tiers by spending increasingly more alchemica, permanently increasing the base strength of Lickquidators summoned through the Frame.
Because the Frames are NFTs, not only could they be sold in the Bazaar, they could also be rented out, adding a new dimension to the lending market.
What if there was a way to sidestep the level-up system, and hop right into playing a turbocharged Lickquidator?
Introducing the Uber Lickquidator. Ubers are imbued with expensive boosts that greatly enhance their abilities. These boosts are not permanent and would be lost upon the Lickuidator’s demise. They are customizable, in that a player can choose the number, type, and magnitude of boosts before summoning the Uber. Each boost has an associated alchemica cost, allowing for relatively inexpensive, modestly-boosted Ubers, and monstrous money-sinks that can wreak incredible devastation.
If desired by the user (or perhaps as a balancing mechanic), Ubers could be larger than an ordinary Lickquidator, could perhaps be generated with a special title or glow, and could have Uber-exclusive skins (like the Mecha Lickquidator seen in the promo).
Does the Uber have its own, separate track on the Gem Frame, requiring a sunk cost of alchemica to unlock the higher tier boosts, which themselves have an expensive alchemica cost every time they are used?
Or, can the Gem Frame be used in conjunction with the Uber boost system, allowing for Uber Tanks, Uber Melee, Uber Ranged, etc?
Should some of the alchemica spent on the Uber be stored as a “rewards pool” that will drop after the Uber is killed? The downside here could be in big guilds investing heavily into boosted Lickuidators, using them to wipe out local infrastructure, then returning home and allowing themselves to be slain by fellow guild members to recover part of the spent cost. High risk, but high reward. Perhaps this would be desirable. But it could make the wilds outside the Citaadel especially dangerous, as it incentivizes this kind of adversarial play.
I also thought I would bring up the question of Lickquidator map presence. This would not be the permanent civilization created by the Aavegotchi, but a temporary corruption that can be easily cleared out by a party of Aavegotchi warriors.
Players of Starcraft are familiar with the concept of creep: a transient, destructible map presence that, reconfigured for the Gotchiverse, would give Lickquidators a combat advantage when they’re near the “creep” produced by their structures, such as enhanced movement speed or regen; the ability to build structures that teleport Lickquidators from one creep-zone to another; structures that serve as forward spawn points, to reinforce Lickquidator raids; and perhaps offensive structures that produce monsters or projectiles.
Rather than a biological aesthetic, the Lickquidator “creep” could have a crystalline / ghostly look, in keeping with the Gotchiverse setting. These structures would be produced with Builder abilities, a special type of Lickquidator ability unlocked through the Gem Frame.