How often did you experience this overwhelming feel of beating the game after a long campaign?
This could be a long way and the more paths you can choose to get there the better?
There could be several ingredients to victory.
The first one is the conditions. Essentially how you win. By eliminating all enemies, conquer all territory, follow a quest line, achieve economical or technical domination, etc. Do you have preferred ones? We believe that there should be multiple ways to win. This would give players more options to choose from and to apply different strategies to pursue these goals.
In terms of strategy war gaming there could be several conditions or mix of them: conquest by military force, out produce the enemy, have better technologies, win by attrition, use of diplomacy and propaganda. In best case scenarios you will have more than 3 ways to win with each of them define in-game decision you make.
In War Cabinet one of the conditions we have is the War Support indicator. This is how much of you society and government are willing to continue fighting. Yours getting too low and your country is forced to peace possibly on very unfavorable terms. Make your enemy lose theirs will grant you a victory.
The second ingredient is the challenge level. Certainly it’s not much fun If could win the whole campaign within hour or two. Do you like easy final fight? Reaching certain stage when you could not pass without countless reloads or cheating is also not very pleasant experience. Gradual and well balanced increase in challenge levels could be essential for the campaign fun factor. Difficulty setting plays a strong role his by modifying various game ratios in order to fit the level.
Third ingredient is the duration of campaign. In most of the cases winning strategy game takes much more time than beating final level in FPS. Nevertheless careful balance is needed here. If you play couple of hours per weeks and after 2 months you realize that you played through half the game timeframe could be quite discouraging. IMHO many players will abandon their campaign around middle stages and will start a new one. By this stage most often than not players have achieved comfortable edge over the AI enemy.
Last but not least is the ability to measure victory. You might prefer to know if it is a total victory. Many times the victory comes on a very high cost. Having a performance rating scale or a score board to benchmark against could vastly assist player to evaluate his strategy approach and results yield. If there are more possibility to track your intermediate success/failures this will aid evaluating decisions and consequences.
Share you view on victory paths and experience.