I am NOT suggesting that we are actually going to do this. Right now there is literally a 0% chance of a Valley 2 expansion, though, because to me the game is complete and there's not anything else that I can think of that I'd want to add. In other words, we accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish, and I'm not sure what else there is to do.
Or looked at another way, what else there is to do that would be worth paying for as a consumer. For example:
- Yeah we could add more mage classes, but to what end? There are already a ton of them, and I can't think up any more types of spells that would be interesting and not completely unbalanced; except for reskins or variants of what is already there, but that's no fun.
- Sure we could add more biomes, and that would be interesting to a certain extent. But increasing the variety of monsters in the existing biomes is probably what would lead to more true variety. You only spend so much time in a given biome.
- So yes, we could add lots more monsters, but those get pretty expensive to add on the art side, meaning that they would take up a huge amount of the budget of any expansion that had any remote hope of breaking even. I'm not sure if that's really something that would be worthwhile for enough players for them to actually buy a "monster pack" sort of expansion. And I'm also not sure how many more types of legitimately-new monsters we could add on top of the 130ish that we already have.
- We could add more pieces to the strategic side of the game: more building types and other things on the map to make that more complicated. But is a more complicated strategy game really what people want out of Valley 2? That would slow down the game a lot, which is definitely counter to the flow that we were going for.
- We could add more bosses, and that would be interesting, but that has the same problem as the spells.
- We could add some sort of side quests, but here again that would slow down the game. And it would either be unbalancing, or else the game would have to be rebalanced around expecting you to have done these, and then these become non-optional and slowing.
- We could add some sort of entirely new adventure arc in addition to the existing game one: so you do something other than fight Demonaica. But that's almost like a whole new game (using existing pieces of the current game, I guess), and I can't really think of a good way to do that. If there were a really good design for this, then I guess it could be something inexpensive to us and to players. If we weren't adding many more monsters or other things that require new art (say 1 for each biome or something), we could just add in some sort of new secondary adventure flow as a new option, and maybe that would make for a nice mini expansion. But I don't have any particular ideas on how any of these would work in a rubber-meets-the-road level of thinking (aka, something practical that is not pie-in-the-sky vague months-of-coding and tons-of-art sort of wishing).
And that's basically all I can think of. To me, Valley 2 does precisely what I want it to, and that's why I'm not keen on an expansion. But I get the feeling like some people are wanting more, and the game is profitable enough that doing a small expansion would probably be able to break even pretty fast, so it's worth at least exploring the question. I doubt we could get to this at all until 2014, if this even is something that wound up having a good and focused idea that people would actually want to have and that we could implement reasonably.
But better a discussion than just writing it off, I guess.