Suggestion & feedback: Missions requiring rares/legendaries

Options
TheVulture
TheVulture Posts: 439 Mover and Shaker
[Apologies this is a similar topic to the thread immediately below! http://www.d3pforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2138 I just have a lot write inc. suggestions]

I have only been playing a month or so, but in that time I do think event mission requirements for rare & legendary characters has gone a bit too far.

I do fully understand why we have missions requiring rare & legendary characters to access (they promote sales, they make acquiring such characters more desirable, they stop them getting shelved after acquisition), but the latest event (The Hunt) has shown the weaknesses in the current implementation:

1. Dominance
It is fine to gate missions behind specific characters, and it is even fine to have those mission be valuable ones, but I'm looking at The Hunt: Alaska right now and 100% of the repeatable missions are gated behind no less than 3 characters.
That means of course that ranking is entirely dependent upon rare/legendary characters, as there's literally nothing else for a player to do on that map after the initial pass of 9 non-repeatable missions.
Obviously this is an extreme example (the other maps aren't as harsh), but it does nothing to engage new players or offer them so much as a lottery-odds win of actually obtaining any of the afore-mentioned 3 characters.

2. End-game
Considering the upper end of these missions - taking on 3 L240 characters - is currently the 'end-game' of MPQ (PvP tournaments can be more important but those are endurance - no single match will involve such level of opposition), I personally consider it a big negative for them that they are played under handicap-match conditions because the gating character occupies 1 of 3 character slots.
I openly admit that I was one of the (presumably many) L115 Ragnorak & L141 Grey Widow crowd before his balancing, with no other characters at max. beyond the Thor who got me to that position (while buffed during the previous Hunt) - one of the simple reasons being for this that there's no point dreaming up combos with a 3rd when the top PvE content only lets you choose 2 anyway.
Addressing this is a much a factor as balancing in the long term interest & viability of the roster of characters, because the game is designed so as to not let people even look beyond the basic teaming of DPS (Thor or Wolverine) + controller/healer (Spider-man/Black Widow).

3. Rare/legendary disharmony
Equally detrimental to the 'end-game' - and maybe even the game! - is that the promotion of 3 hard-to-obtain characters at once just isn't practical or desirable, at least in the current case.

Goal #1: The primary company goal here is to promote cover sales and/or fierce participation in events (to win appropriate covers), which in turn builds community/sales.
Flaw: Cover acquisition means nothing in the battles they are being used to gate - even buffed, one of these rare/legendary characters with even half their covers is zero use in any of the fights they are gating because of the extreme opposition.
I'm a completionist, I'm a paying customer of MPQ - am I so much as tempted to but a cover 10 pack to try and get an Invisible Woman cover... to take her at L30 with 1 power into a mission against 3 L200+ supervillains = NO.

Goal #2: A secondary company goal is to promote ISO sales and/or encourage frequent play to obtain ISO, by forcing these characters on to player's squads when there's otherwise no incentive to play them.
Flaw: ISO is ludicrously overpriced in the context of rare & legendary characters (else they are hugely over consumptive); if we imagine D3 are chasing people willing to spend $100 on ISO buffing required characters for an event (which I cannot think is a tremendous market) and who have somehow amassed 6 covers for each - split 3 ways that is 14k per character; enough to put Hulk & Punisher on L47, Invisible Woman around L62 (no data on that).
That expenditure will make buffed Hulk an offense-less meat-shield (with impressive health), buffed Punisher will be a maxed 2* in general strength but also have no offense, Invisible Woman will be sub 1* in all regards with likely 2k in health (including the buff) - so really no use what so ever in the gated matches.
(It's a broader topic for another time, but really when it takes more than $300 worth of ISO to level a single rare character then factoring that into sales objectives in general mightn't be wise.)

Goal #3: A secondary company goal in featuring 3 rare/legendary characters, beyond the above, is keeping higher-rarity characters in focus and desirable.
Flaw: This does not work when MPQ is on a roll of incredibly similar characters, who simply cannot vie for player's attention - even if D3 imagine the best case scenario of someone with deep-pockets, bags-of-time and a Pokemon trainer attitude, we are experiencing a sequence of characters that cannot function together.
Invisible Woman was (I believe balance priority confirms?) a dud at 1st implementation, and she has been followed by green/red/black powerhouse Punisher- followed by... green/red/black powerhouse Hulk - followed by.. green/red/yellow powerhouse Ares - followed by (if reports accurate)... green/red/yellow powerhouse Patch.
There is ever-diminishing incentive to level any new characters when they are, one after the other, pure offense and competing for the same tile colours - I think this should have been factored in to The Hunt.

4. Story-telling
I am sure this isn't a priority to many - particularly when The Hunt has been adapted to a new character (though I personally am very pleased that happened) - but I do like the writing & story-telling in MPQ, and it suffers when characters are shoe-horned into the event with no context or (necessarily) logic.
Not having any Invisible Woman covers, I have no idea why she pops up in the middle of each SHIELD base for a boss battle - because there's no mention of her anywhere, or the Fantastic Four, nor does she impact the narrative in any way.
Ditto for how the Hulk suddenly appears without warning following a dozen battles between spies & soldiers.

Suggestions follow...

Comments

  • TheVulture
    TheVulture Posts: 439 Mover and Shaker
    Options
    Suggestions

    1. Reduce the overall dominance of rare/legendary character gating by limiting to 1 character per event map (e.g. Hulk only in Alaska) and freeing up some repeatable missions to be un-gated (so 2 per map, say).

    2. Force character participation in a pre finale mission that unlocks the biggest finale - players have already flashed their shiny-rare character to unlock the hard mission, don't make them use it as a weakling 3rd wheel in it. For Alaska, for instance:
    > Outta My House (L65) - requires Hulk.
    > The New Guy (L130) - open to all players.
    > Last of 'em (L240) - open to all characters, once Outta My House and The New Guy both completed.

    3. Integrate the feature characters into the story more - I'm a big fan of having a playable guest version in an earlier mission (which would seem to be a good sales tool too), but if not that at least add a frame of dialogue saying the player is clearing the way for Hulk, en route to back up Invisible Woman etc.
    This is much more achievable with a single feature character per map, since of course there is no narrative reason to have 3 pop up at the end in rapid succession.

    + Minor suggestions

    Prioritize releasing some non-green non-red non-DPS characters!
    Prioritize releasing variable star rating feature characters (sadly Ares is probably not feature character material as a Dark Avenger), and not varying 3 - 4 star!
    Do seriously consider the ISO requirements of high-rarity characters and real-money cost (sure tired of hearing that); I'm no business guru, but I have to believe the company would make more money selling current HP and current ISO at current prices as a single purchase e.g. $100 Mother Lode = 20,000 HP and 52,000 ISO - HP is what draws people in, that amount of ISO is just a 'kick-start' on characters (it wouldn't even max. a 2*, after all).

    Written all that without smileys! icon_mrgreen.gif
    Drat...