Suggestion: Lingot-costing "Insane" practice
Lately, I have noticed people started complaining about difficulty of lessons. Difficulty seems to have gone down (less translations into target language) to keep users from leaving.
The second, ever-persisting problem, is the lack of stuff that can be purchased with lingots. People suggest avatars, owls and so on, but I think it should be something learning-oriented.
Hear me out - a solution to both problems: Why not make third type of "strengthen skill" (the two being normal practice and timed practice) where people ONLY translate into target language, without other way around, and without the "pick the obvious choice out of 3" practice. Perhaps put back 3 hearts limit (3 mistakes allowed) to make it even more difficult.
Where do lingots come in?
To be able to practice a lesson in this "insane" mode, one needs to pay 5 lingots to unlock skill of choice. For example, you chip in 5 lingots into "Verbs - 1" and from then on, you can practice "Insane mode Verbs -1" whenever you want!
The thing we achieve here is three-fold: We can finally use lingots for good, we can make easy lessons harder, AND it will not affect new members since it is only optional practice, just like Timed practice!
Example - How it would look once you unlock specific lessons:
I know it wouldn't end up costing as many lingots but I think it would be easier to implement and fit into the UI if different difficulty modes were sold as shop items to apply to the whole tree.
Difficulty modes unlocked after the completion of the tree would add something to do after the owl, which I've seen a lot of people asking for, so in that way it would add a fourth benefit on top of the ones listed above.
Splitting 'harder translations' and 'hearts' into two different difficulty settings would let you charge an order of magnitude more for the second and allow users to more precisely tailor their desired experience.
True, but you probably wouldn't unlock every single lesson (cough Basics-1 cough). You get 2 lingots per lesson completion, making the net loss only 3 lingots. It would be a way to focus on harder things, the ones you have most trouble with and want to master.
EDIT: Or, perhaps completing this practice would award you with 1 lingot for example.
This is a great idea!
The only problem I see is with how the algorithm for determining word strength works: if you get a lot of insane sentences wrong, suddenly more and more skills will lose strength and you will have to re-do them even though it's not necessarily helpful to you. Buying insane practice for all of them would be quite difficult unless you have a major streak that generates lingots.
If on the other hand you were to disable the algorithm for insane mode, then you'd also not gain word strength for this mode, which is not good.
So yeah, I definitely support the concept, but the Duo team needs to really think about the word strength algorithm to implement this (and many other suggestions dealing with harder sentences for that matter).
I think the "insane mode" is a great idea! I don't see the necessity for the lingots, though. Why not just unlock this skill after a specific skill has been gold for quite some time or directly after you got gold status for the first time.
I honestly don't see any reason for the lingots at all. Why hide such an interesting feature behind an arbitrary "paywall" just to justify their existence? Learning is more important than acquiring this virtual currency. And if you'd hide a learning tool like this behind such a paywall we'd also need some way to easier and quicker get lingots, so as not to discourage users from trying this mode out.