Blog

Coming with the Autumn Update: Elite Quest Re-Design
10/5/2012

Elite quests have been a part of the game since launch—accessible on a per-quest basis by pressing the "Elite" button in the Quest Map UI—and while the concept was sound, the experience has been less than ideal. So, we are going to unveil a new version of Elite with the next update.

What’s Changing?

Elite difficulty is now hand-tuned per quest. Before, the tuning was automatic. The system simply scaled the health and DPS of enemy units at a flat rate (220%). Now we have done a pass to adjust these settings as well as the AI in a combined effort to ensure each Elite quest presents a compelling challenge, that is appropriate for the level at which the quest is first unlocked. And that is really the key, we did not want to remove difficulty in these experiences, we just wanted to ensure highly skilled players could have something to strive for, without requiring they reach very high levels before giving Elite a chance.

Elite rewards now match player level. In the old model, Elite adjusted the quest level by 10 as part of what it did to increase difficulty. This meant that if you were actually able to do a quest at lower levels on Elite, you would get gear you could not use, because gear rewards are a function of quest level. In the new system, playing a quest on Elite ensures you get chests that match player level.

Elite rewards are now hand-tuned. In the old model, each time you completed an elite quest you would get the same rewards as the non-elite version but with additional Coin and XP. In the new model, the Coin and XP scales with your player level, and you get a 30-80% bonus over the non-Elite version. Also, when you play Elite quests, you will often have the potential to earn additional chests.

What’s Staying the Same?

Elite quests are still a challenge. While we wanted to generally make Elite quests more approachable, the quests are still really difficult! Yes you should give them a shot, even when you are lower level, but they will test your skills. Best of luck!

Elite quests are still full of big-scary red dudes. We considered removing the oversized flashing red units from Elite before realizing that it was a signature part of the experience to always have the enemy super-sized and terrifying. Forgive us for the brief transgression.

Have you given Elite a try? What are your thoughts on the upcoming changes? Share your thoughts here:
http://forums.ageofempiresonline.com/forums/thread/295224.aspx