Upcoming Change: Character Level Shift

IceIXIceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 3,546 Site Admin
edited July 2014 in MPQ General Discussion
We're currently planning on making a change (likely during the week of 7/1) to alter the starting levels of each of the rarities of characters past 1*. The max levels will be shifted according to this same amount, making the new top ends change accordingly. Characters will automatically shift the number of current levels equivalent to their rarity. This change will be retroactive, so all characters in the game will automatically be adjusted to the new levels. These changes are intended to make gaining a brand new rarer character immediately useful for those players topped out or transitioning from one rarity level to another. The changes to levels are as follows:
Rarity    Current (Base)  Current (Cap)    New (Base)     New (Cap)     Change
1*              1              50               1             50          +0
2*              6              85              15             94          +9
3*             15             141              40            166         +25
4*             30             230              70            270         +40

Leveling costs are unchanged with those costs simply shifted as well. So a 3* character leveling from 15->16 will cost the same amount as a post-shift 3* leveling from 40->41.

Edit: The character level shift that we shared last week will be going live today (7/2). Once this goes live, players are recommended to play a Versus match in each of the current active Versus Tournaments to assure the updates take into effect for their own defending teams.
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Comments

  • IceIXIceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 3,546 Site Admin
    Over the time in playing the game, much of the player base falls into natural gameplay patterns. Some of these patterns run along with what the designers intended while some methods of gameplay don't meet up with precisely what the concept of "normal" would be. This isn't always a bad thing, as quite often, the player created gameplay concepts actually work out to the net benefit of the game as a whole. Other times, things designed to be balanced don't actually always work out that way in practice due to player gameplay strategies and perceived value of different mechanics.

    One of these cases at current in the game is how many players value the various rarities of characters. Over time, we have found that while there is a set of players that see and invest in the value of higher rarity characters, there are quite a few players who never see that value and thus end up "capping out" at either maxed 1*s or 2*s. This is currently also actually feasible as a max leveled team of 50s can feasibly defeat 85s with some damage and the same with 85s on 141s, so players decide that they don't want to spend the time leveling the next tier of characters as they're doing "well enough". Additionally, 4* characters are not valued since they are hard to obtain and are only seen as trophies instead of theoretically long term viable characters.

    One thing we know from our data is that there are a ton of players with a roster with several 3* characters at their lowest level and handful of maxed out 2* characters. The same is true to a lesser but still notable extent for several 2* characters but maxed 1*s being used. To us, this means that players aren’t getting what they should out of the more powerful characters that they have. It also means that players are, possibly unknowingly, reducing the breadth of their roster which harms them when things like Heroics come up and they don’t have the ability to compete due to a smaller roster of effective characters. This change should give those players an easier way of seeing the power of these other characters and immediately give them a roster with most depth and utility than they currently have.

    The general immediate gameplay fallout that is anticipated from this is that people at the top end of 1* and 2* play that are also fighting "outside of their weight class" against the next rarity up will be met with more powerful enemies. However, the vast majority of these players also have the seeds of the next rarity of characters in their rosters who are generally perfectly feasible but don't have the Iso invested into them. With that next higher rarity showing immediate bonuses and relative strength, this should make those characters that were left sitting on the bench immediately useful in a fight. Or at the very least, those characters will be noticeably more worthwhile to pour resources into to make them contenders and thus allow the player to progress. Meanwhile, the players that are sitting comfortably within any given tier and fighting at their weight will simply shift their characters the same as all the others and be relatively unaffected. This will have a slight knock on effect in PVE due to a sudden boost in effective level, but this will quickly sort itself out as all players got a relatively even boost and enemy scaling will return to an equilibrium to compensate.
  • IceIX wrote:
    Leveling costs are unchanged with those costs simply shifted as well. So a 3* character leveling from 15->16 will cost the same amount as a post-shift 3* leveling from 40->41.

    I was about to say something bad, then I read this. Thanks for the info.
  • edited June 2014
    IceIX wrote:
    Additionally, 4* characters are not valued since they are hard to obtain and are only seen as trophies instead of theoretically long term viable characters.

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  • Nonce Equitaur 2Nonce Equitaur 2 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,269 Chairperson of the Boards
    Interesting change.

    When will X-Force get his buff? And are there any characters you can talk about other than the eventual Void and Iron Patriot?

    These new levels are interesting, so that might make a Level Cap tournament even more interesting. The basic idea --- all characters under level 80 (or 60, or 100) can compete. That will give players a reason to bring out their back bench, and also reward transitioning players.

    So ... this block of stats... what sort of health increase and changes to tile damage are we looking at?? Whoever maintains these lists is looking at a huge amount of work updating all the starting and max damages. Oh tinykitty -- that's me!

    Max Tile Damage .... Crit .... Power cost ....... Max HP .. Namelink to stats (link to discussion) .. env
    70/09/62/55/10/09 - 3.5 - 12/__/10/12/__/__ - 8162 - [goto=nickfury4]Nick Fury[/goto] (Director of SHIELD) 4
    70/10/62/09/55/09 - 3.0 - 19/__/14/__/12/__ - 6996 - [goto=invisible4]Invisible Woman[/goto] (Classic) 4
    55/62/10/09/70/09 - 4.0 - 10/15/__/__/15/__ - 9328 - [goto=wolverine4]Wolverine[/goto] (X-Force)

    67/12/60/11/10/52 - 3.5 - _9/__/_8/__/__/12 - 7250 - [goto=blackpanther3]Black Panther[/goto] (Man Without Fear) 4
    11/12/60/67/10/52 - 4.0 - __/12/__/11/15/__ - 5075 - [goto=blackwidow3]Black Widow[/goto] (Grey Suit) 4
    67/60/52/10/11/12 - 3.0 - 19/11/12/__/__/__ - 7250 - [goto=captainamerica3]Captain America[/goto] (Steve Rogers)
    08/09/09/52/67/60 - 4.0 - __/__/_5/PA/__/PA - 7250 - [goto=daken3]Daken[/goto] (Classic)
    10/52/60/67/11/12 - 3.5 - __/_7/_7/11/__/__ - 5800 - [goto=daredevil3]Daredevil[/goto] (Modern)
    09/09/53/41/10/47 - 3.0 - __/__/_9/__/__/12 - 5440 - [goto=doctordoom3]Doctor Doom[/goto] (Classic)
    67/12/52/60/11/10 - 3.0 - PA/__/PA/12/__/__ - 5075 - [goto=falcon3]Falcon[/goto] (Mighty Avengers)
    12/67/11/10/52/60 - 3.0 - __/_8/__/__/_5/10 - 5075 - [goto=humantorch3]Human Torch[/goto] (Classic)
    60/67/52/12/11/10 - 3.5 - 14/13/20/__/__/__ - 7250 - [goto=ironman3]Iron Man[/goto] (Model 40)
    10/09/11/57/44/51 - 3.0 - __/__/__/_5/__/11 - 4148 - [goto=loki3]Loki[/goto] (Dark Reign)
    52/60/67/10/11/12 - 3.2 - __/_2/_5/10/__/__ - 5800 - [goto=magneto3]Magneto[/goto] (Classic)
    10/67/60/10/10/52 - 3.8 - __/_8/10/__/__/_6 - 5800 - [goto=psylocke3]Psylocke[/goto] (Classic)
    10/51/10/11/51/11 - 3.0 - __/_6/__/__/10/__ - 7111 - [goto=ragnarok3]Ragnarok[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
    67/12/52/60/11/10 - 3.0 - 12/__/_5/PA/__/__ - 5800 - [goto=spiderman3]Spider-Man[/goto] (Classic) 4
    52/67/12/10/60/11 - 3.0 - _8/11/__/__/_7/__ - 8700 - [goto=sentry3]Sentry[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
    12/60/67/11/52/10 - 3.0 - __/_9/_9/__/12/__ - 8700 - [goto=shehulk3]She Hulk[/goto] (Modern)
    11/60/10/12/67/52 - 3.5 - __/_9/__/__/10/_9 - 4350 - [goto=storm3]Storm[/goto] (Mohawk)
    67/12/60/11/10/52 - 4.5 - 14/__/PA/__/__/_9 - 4350 - [goto=thehood3]The Hood[/goto] (Classic)
    11/60/12/10/67/52 - 3.0 - __/14/__/__/10/PA - 9788 - [goto=thehulk3]The Hulk[/goto] (Indestructible)
    10/52/11/12/60/67 - 4.0 - __/_8/__/__/_8/_7 - 5800 - [goto=thepunisher3]The Punisher[/goto] (Dark Reign) 4
    60/67/11/10/52/12 - 3.5 - 12/_8/__/__/14/__ - 8700 - [goto=thor3]Thor[/goto] (Modern)
    52/60/12/11/67/10 - 4.0 - PA/14/__/__/_9/__ - 5800 - [goto=wolverine3]Wolverine[/goto] (Patch)

    39/45/09/11/50/10 - 3.0 - 10/10/__/__/_5/__ - 5340 - [goto=ares2]Ares[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
    10/11/45/50/09/39 - 4.0 - __/__/11/_8/__/PA - 3315 - [goto=blackwidow2]Black Widow[/goto] (Original)
    09/08/09/41/32/37 - 4.5 - __/__/__/PA/__/16 - 2190 - [goto=bullseye2]Bullseye[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
    50/45/39/09/10/11 - 3.0 - 19/11/12/__/__/__ - 4450 - [goto=captainamerica2]Captain America[/goto] (Modern)
    08/09/09/32/41/37 - 4.0 - __/__/__/PA/__/PA - 2920 - [goto=daken2]Daken[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
    11/39/45/50/09/10 - 4.5 - __/10/10/PA/__/__ - 2670 - [goto=hawkeye2]Hawkeye[/goto] (Modern)
    11/39/50/45/09/10 - 3.2 - __/14/13/_9/__/__ - 3560 - [goto=magneto2]Magneto[/goto] (Marvel NOW!)
    09/45/11/50/10/39 - 3.0 - __/11/__/_5/__/17 - 4450 - [goto=moonstone2]Moonstone[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
    39/11/45/50/10/09 - 3.0 - _7/__/_9/13/__/__ - 3560 - [goto=spiderman2]Spider-Man[/goto] (Bag-Man) 4
    39/11/45/09/50/10 - 3.5 - PA/__/11/__/12/__ - 2670 - [goto=storm2]Storm[/goto] (Classic)
    45/50/10/09/39/11 - 3.5 - 12/_8/__/__/14/__ - 5340 - [goto=thor2]Thor[/goto] (Marvel NOW!)
    39/45/09/11/50/10 - 4.0 - PA/12/__/__/_6/__ - 3560 - [goto=wolverine2]Wolverine[/goto] (Astonishing X-Men)

    19/07/22/25/06/07 - 4.0 - __/__/_9/10/__/__ - 1540 - [goto=blackwidow1]Black Widow[/goto] (Modern)
    19/22/07/25/06/07 - 4.5 - __/_7/__/_8/__/__ - 1320 - [goto=hawkeye1]Hawkeye[/goto] (Classic)
    27/31/24/08/07/07 - 3.5 - _8/10/19/__/__/__ - 2700 - [goto=ironman1]Iron Man[/goto] (Model 35)
    07/22/06/07/25/09 - 3.0 - __/_6/__/__/_6/__ - 3520 - [goto=juggernaut1]Juggernaut[/goto] (Classic)
    07/27/07/08/31/24 - 3.5 - __/_5/__/__/10/_9 - 1620 - [goto=storm1]Storm[/goto] (Modern)
    06/07/07/19/25/22 - 3.5 - __/__/__/_7/__/12 - 2640 - [goto=venom1]Venom[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
    06/07/19/25/07/22 - 4.0 - __/__/__/20/__/13 - 1540 - [goto=yelena1]Yelena Belova[/goto] (Dark Avengers)
  • franckynightfranckynight Posts: 582 Critical Contributor
    edited June 2014
    Interesting tweak.. Cant wait to see it implemented..
    Edit: on what basis is deemed the rarity of a character? Number of days? Usage rate?
  • Odd numbers make me feel unsettled. Why can't we can't we get a nice even 100/175?
  • xavierixeqxavierixeq Posts: 20 Just Dropped In
    So just to be clear those characters with only 2 powers that level cap lower than 3 power characters are not being scaled? or is that just not listed on the chart?
  • So for a 3 star character will 25 levels be added to existing characters out do we need to now level them 25 additional levels? I'd rather not have to put that much more iso into my characters.
  • IceIXIceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 3,546 Site Admin
    Interesting change.

    When will X-Force get his buff? And are there any characters you can talk about other than the eventual Void and Iron Patriot?

    These new levels are interesting, so that might make a Level Cap tournament even more interesting. The basic idea --- all characters under level 80 (or 60, or 100) can compete. That will give players a reason to bring out their back bench, and also reward transitioning players.
    X-Force is still on the docket, but after Hawkeye (Modern) and Magneto (Classic). We've purposefully held off on changes to characters between getting other necessary-for-long-term-game-health changes out there. Too many painful changes, however well intentioned, isn't generally a good thing for the player base. And Magneto, as we all know, is one of those pegs that's currently sticking up a bit high and is going to cause some pain in coming back down to Earth.

    We've discussed a Level Cap Tourney internally, as well as a Star Restricted Tourney (so you get say, 6 stars that you can apportion how you want). We still need to solve the problem of how to make the special rules Tourneys actually effective for the user base though. Currently, every time we ran them with few exceptions, fewer people played and fewer people purchased stuff during them, making them pretty well unsuccessful as effective Tournies. We love the idea of those styles, but we need to solve the problem of how to get and keep people interested in them to bring them up to snuff first.

    As for other characters, Void and Iron Patriot are a little off still. I know we've got Normy's art done, but unless someone was ninja-designing, his moves aren't ready yet. We've got another X-Men coming somewhat soon, as well as another 2* (!) character to give a break from the 3* rush that has happened recently. Other than that, we've got some others that are starting into the pipe but not far enough along (or that I'm allowed to) tease.
  • Seems like a strange change. The only reason I can imagine doing this is for MMR purposes, that giving bigger numbers to the 3X141 teams makes it easier for them to be quarantined from the guys with a mix of 85 and various level 3*s.
  • edited June 2014
    So for a 3 star character will 25 levels be added to existing characters out do we need to now level them 25 additional levels? I'd rather not have to put that much more iso into my characters.
    It says levelling costs are the same, I.e. you get +25 levels for free.
    Phantron wrote:
    Seems like a strange change. The only reason I can imagine doing this is for MMR purposes, that giving bigger numbers to the 3X141 teams makes it easier for them to be quarantined from the guys with a mix of 85 and various level 3*s.
    From my experience, MM doesn't work like that. My cumulative levels often add up to 350 or less and I still have to fight maxed out teams (212+141+141) more than half the time.
  • IceIXIceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 3,546 Site Admin
    So ... this block of stats... what sort of health increase and changes to tile damage are we looking at?? Whoever maintains these lists is looking at a huge amount of work updating all the starting and max damages. Oh tinykitty -- that's me!

    <snip>

    I've got a 166 Hulk in front of me. His stat line goes:
    At Max Level: HP: 11475 Tile damage: 12/70/13/11/79/61

    Versus

    At Max Level: HP: 9788 Tile damage: 11/60/12/10/67/52

    Course, normal caveat of "pre-release info" applies to that bit.
  • IceIXIceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 3,546 Site Admin
    Interesting tweak.. Cant wait to see it implemented..
    Edit: on what basis is deemed the rarity of a character? Number of days? Usage rate?
    Stars = Rarity.
  • IceIXIceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 3,546 Site Admin
    xavierixeq wrote:
    So just to be clear those characters with only 2 powers that level cap lower than 3 power characters are not being scaled? or is that just not listed on the chart?
    Yes, they'll cap lower, at the +9/25 levels just like 3 ability characters.

    For 2 ability characters:
    2* new cap - 78
    3* new cap - 140
  • Nonce Equitaur 2Nonce Equitaur 2 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,269 Chairperson of the Boards
    IceIX wrote:
    We still need to solve the problem of how to make the special rules Tourneys actually effective for the user base though. Currently, every time we ran them with few exceptions, fewer people played and fewer people purchased stuff during them, making them pretty well unsuccessful as effective Tournies. We love the idea of those styles, but we need to solve the problem of how to get and keep people interested in them to bring them up to snuff first.

    Most of those tourneys have been restricted roster tourneys. When there are only 8 or less characters allowable, and you venndiagram it with the average person's roster, and people are facing battles against the tiny intersections, then you're basically looking at playing the exact same team against the same team 30-50 times to win. It was obvious that it wasn't going to do as well. On the other hand, almost all rosters I look at have a backend with a wide range of characters, and everyone has a different back end. With these level changes, virtually all players will have a strange mix of characters under level 75.
  • killerkoalakillerkoala Posts: 1,185 Chairperson of the Boards
    Wouldn't it be more prudent to fix the bracketing and MMR bucket thresholds. with bracketing why would guys with a 14 141's be in same bracket as guys with only a solid 2* roster.
    As for MMR, why are teams of 141's taking pot shots at guys with only level 85's in pvp. just because 141's are working their way up, we lose points in pvp tournaments from a team that totally out of our weight class. and if we even thought of retaliating it wouldn't be worth it, 7 point while we lost 40. and also about MMR when you get to a certain level, say having one or two 141's, why would it become "MMR hell", where all you get to fight are all 212/141/141 from what i hear.

    Changing start and end levels doesn't change a roster problem of not having useful characters cause it's not only level numbers cause if our level number goes up so does everyone else's and scaling in PvE events, it's also the availability of covers to make powers useful. I don't think moving levels would fix a more pressing matters as i stated above.

    thx for the heads up and possible implementing time, in the middle of Dark Avengers event.
  • Too bad prologue healing, or any form of team healing, wasn't one of those emergent gameplay elements (this post will sidebar into healing then back into how that is relevant to level shifting). I did a little prologue healing but I found it ineffective after a while, so I stopped. Instead, I got better at managing health during a fight. This meant leveraging my powers vs focusing entirely on attacking and then healing later. I thought that was good, engaging gameplay to balance defensive play with offensive.

    Something that was actually interesting to me was removed. It's hard for me to believe any new changes are really done to make the game more interesting, but rather to increase $$. Healing in this game is the same as energy recharging in many other games (facebook games are a common culprit). It's not a fun element at all. There is a lot of difference between what devs say they want to do, and what they actually do.

    Instead of taking away team healing (let's face it, that's what it is, not "true healing" but removing team healing), focus on how to create better gameplay choices that don't punish the player. This paragon shift might create teams with more protectors, but with the lack of choices in the game, devs are going to think we're using the same characters too often and nerf them, rather than focus on the real problem of creating diverse characters with usable skill sets.

    This level shift is a band-aid. Yes, the immediate change is that some of the higher rarity heroes will seem more useful because the level gap is a bit bigger. It will also lock people out from content faster as they stick to their bracket of level 85 (or soon, 94) 2* heroes. And of course, we'll start running into level 350 Juggernauts in PvE as the game scales up one stars beyond what any designer ever intended for balance (he's strong, but balanced for a level 40, he's OP at double or triple that level with the autoscaling of numbers).

    If the problem was to make players use higher rarity heroes more, then the solution is to give players more ways to gain covers because that 3* with 4 covers means very little. The game makes money from cover sales, but it's all RNG (no guaranteed covers?) so it's not a very attractive option. Other forum posts have suggested various ways to get players covers, especially that hard to get initial cover color, so I don't need to reiterate them here. The only real option is to do well in tournaments, and while I do quite well, I don't think it yields those covers very fast. And they are only designed for people with high time investment. Of course that has changed now, as I mentioned, since I can't even strategically make sure I have enough health left when I finish a match (not prologue healing, healing during a real fight, something your heuristics and stats don't tell you and just looks like healing to stay alive).

    Also, I work with Josh Sawyer. He's a smart man when it comes to game design, and he loves presenting the player with a challenge. His article quoted in the other thread provided no direct solutions for MPQ of course, but they're still useful to think about. So make the game more engaging, not remove the engaging elements. If you want to solve any of your problems, look to the game. That's what players are doing and recommending to their friends. They aren't recommending the game to their friends and telling them how awesome that waiting for heals thing is. Want to fix players not using their 3* heroes? Give them more chances at getting the 3* heroes and I guarantee players will use them over the 2*. Broader changes might be in order (e.g. making lower level heroes more useful in higher levels, or giving players more than 5 covers per color but still limiting total cover count), but that's another topic to dive into.
  • wade66wade66 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 212 Tile Toppler
    I would recommend using the 3* token you used in the no holds barred tournament as prizes for the proposed specialized event. Most of the people who would want to use their 1 or 2 star characters can use just about any 3* cover, so you could use those and create a prize structure similar to how the subs in the pve works.
  • mohiomohio Age Unconfirmed Posts: 1,690 Chairperson of the Boards
    Since I don't know how 2*s scale vs. 3*s I'm having a slightly tough time figuring out *exactly* what this changes as far as 2*-3* transition is concerned. If before 2* 85 was roughly equal to a 3* 100, what will a 2* at lvl 94 be equivalent to? 115? So, maybe now people will only need 9 covers instead of 10 to make their 3* heroes usable?

    This could be a huge boon to players in the 1*-2* transition though, since getting a level 40 or 50 3* with strong abilities might be more useful than a level 40 or 50 1*.
  • IceIX wrote:
    Additionally, 4* characters are not valued since they are hard to obtain and are only seen as trophies instead of theoretically long term viable characters.

    You do realize that's because IW and xWolvie *aren't* viable characters, right? IW is, according to walkyourpath, a mid-tier character who requires 3 times as much ISO as a 4 star. Wolvie suffers from obscene mana costs and an utterly worthless yellow.

    That said, for the most part this change seems fine. It'd certainly be nice to have my featured character be useful. I have a bunch of three stars sitting at level 50 right now, and I only really use them in featured tourneys when they either cover an unused colour or provide some form of utility. (Like GSBW for green generation) +25 levels, with the 50% buff works out to 112. Not too shabby.

    Of course, level 249 characters aren't going to be a ton of fun to fight either.

    I assume that abilities will scale the same as base stats? How much damage does a 166 Call of the Storm do?

    Also: Why have you guys abandoned all discussion of the healing changes? Is anyone else ever going to come on these forums?
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