5-Star Rarity & Silver Surfer Announcement! (In-Depth)

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  • AXP_isme
    AXP_isme Posts: 809 Critical Contributor
    20three wrote:
    So maybe it's a good thing that when my day starts getting ruined by Silver Surfer penetrations

    I'm so puerile. I read the whole thing and this was all that stuck with me, apologies OP but also icon_lol.gif
  • Dayv
    Dayv Posts: 4,449 Chairperson of the Boards
    20three wrote:
    Are things like this allowed on the board?
    They are, but there's no need to start a new thread for it. This fits just as well in the announcement and discussion thread, merging it there.
  • HossDrone
    HossDrone Posts: 43 Just Dropped In
    Gray post Deixide. You said everything I was thinking. I'm in the same position you are, unable to win 3 star covers in pvp unless I spend a lot on shields which I do on occasion but earning that hp takes a lot of time and grinding.

    To quote a song: "its frustrating/the nerds say that's half the fun/ yeah well I got a girlfriend and **** to get done"
  • GurlBYE
    GurlBYE Posts: 1,218 Chairperson of the Boards
    deiXide wrote:
    Silver Surfer is my favorite Marvel character, so I am elated over his inclusion in MPQ.

    That said, as someone on the bottom end of the spectrum, the continued tweaks to the top end are disheartening. I am fortunate enough to be able to play frequently enough, and am currently slogging (trudging? wallowing? stumbling?) my way to a single cover-maxed 3-star. Right now, I use 2-star characters for 90% of the matches I play.

    My goal right now is to get as many 3-star covers as possible, without dropping the price of an Xbox game for a chance at a single needed cover. I get one cover on average every ~4 days from progression rewards in PVE (barring the gauntlet it seems), I do Deadpool's TBE and get 2 tacos daily, I get as many heroic tokens as possible through progression in PVP and placement in PVE, I hit the 10-pack Season progression reward, get three out of the four 3* covers from the Simulator, and I play every PVP event and aim for a top-100 finish when I roll a lucky bracket.

    On the surface, this seems like a pretty varied system for beginners. Build your 2*s, get lucky and get heroic tokens that yield gold covers, spend $$$ on slots, get lucky some more, and get one guaranteed (if you previously got lucky) cover per day. The problem is, outside of this, I'm competing against people who have been playing much longer and have been much luckier than myself (my 3-star conversion rate has been 9% on heroic+ tokens).

    It seems like the more that's added to the top end, the worse the odds get for the bottom end, and the more players compete to shove the beginners out of any bracket that gives a 3-star cover. I have all 40 3-stars with at least one cover, and most of the ones I have decently (halfway+) covered are considered terrible. The game is structured so it actually hurts you to level up without knowing what you're doing. To date, I haven't seen a single patch balancing crummy characters (rag, qs, iw, 2*bullseye, bagman, etc) since I started playing in earnest, although I do recognize it happened in the past. To me, the existence of characters that can't compete just worsens the odds and dilutes the pool. Furthermore, the game has actually "punished" me for doing well and/or getting lucky, giving me a 4* cover I won't be able to use for years. Yeah, I'm told those 2 Elektra covers are great to have, but they don't help me compete right now.

    I would love to get a glimpse into the numbers behind this game. I'd like to see where the power curve really is, what the truly average player is working with, how much the whales pay, etc. I can't imagine anyone but the top 1% is seriously fighting over 4-star covers, and now 5-star covers. I'm certainly not asking for a handout, but when the majority of the current 4-star playerbase was trudging through the 3-star transition, they weren't competing against players 2-3 tiers higher than them, begging for table scraps that the top end doesn't eat. I know I have no shot at 3* placement awards competing against fleshed out 3* rosters, much less 4* and 5*. Let me compete against my own weight class.

    TLDR: If the goal moving forward is to continually add to the top-end, the barrier to entry will continue to grow. Further consideration to insulating or segregating players at the bottom and middle would be welcomed.
    Gold star worthy commentary the issue is the forums are flooded by people on the upper end, so they don't notice the further and further divide along the bottom and just cite DDQ anytime something below 4 star is mentioned.

    One person even cited it as a good way to get your 1st 3 star cover of some characters. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Linkster79 wrote:
    I did read it and watch the video. I didn't see or hear anything about any new story events. I dunno maybe I am missing it somewhere. I see legendary tokens as progression rewards, Deadpools Daily and as part of a 40 pack but no news on new story events for the release. Is there a new story to accompany Silver Surfers release?
    The intention is to block (almost) completely the option to whale 5*s, so no PvE with Surfer in tokens. The only way to get 5*s will be legendary tokens (various ways to grab them, like PvP PvE and DDQ) and end season alliance reward.
  • There should be some sort of drawback to using a 5* in pvp, to keep the game balanced. Perhaps the reward for attacking a team with a 5* is doubled what it otherwise would be, to encourage players to try and win an otherwise unjustifiable battle?

    If you have the option of choosing between a max level 3* team and a team with a 5*, but both give only 70ish points, why on earth would you pick the latter when chances are you'll lose? But if that latter battle would score you 150 points, then it might be worth it for some.

    This would keep the players with 5* teams from skating by with no defensive losses. If there's a ton of people specifically trying to attack them (even if a small percentage actually wins) it could negate the benefit of having an overpowered team and therefor keep players from constantly using these characters all the time.

    Just a thought.
  • TLCstormz
    TLCstormz Posts: 1,668
    TLCstormz wrote:
    PVP THIS........PVP THAT. 1300 THIS.........1300 THAT. Gosh that gets old.

    Why is no one talking about how **** this will be for 2 > 3 Transitioners or even stagnant 3* players who CANNOT make a dent in PvP, because they flounder with their 100 leveled rosters, for the sake of keeping their PvE enemies manageable?

    Ice, what is being done for THEM? If the only option / suggestion / plan / means that you all have concocted is "lol, hit the double progression, cuz people do it all the time", that sounds extremely lackluster...........

    bw-midvale_zpsouzr3aex.jpg

    So, you and your 11 bros, INCLUDING two message board community building "examples", enjoy insinuating that people are mentally ****, and making fun of the possibilities?

    Congrats!!! :+D
  • Stax the Foyer
    Stax the Foyer Posts: 941 Critical Contributor
    TLCstormz wrote:
    So, you and your 11 bros, INCLUDING two message board community building "examples", enjoy insinuating that people are mentally ****, and making fun of the possibilities?

    Congrats!!! :+D

    No, I'm simply saying that sometimes the solution is right there in front of you.

    I have no idea where you're getting that bizarre reading of the strip from.
  • Der_Lex
    Der_Lex Posts: 1,035 Chairperson of the Boards
    TLCstormz wrote:
    TLCstormz wrote:
    PVP THIS........PVP THAT. 1300 THIS.........1300 THAT. Gosh that gets old.

    Why is no one talking about how **** this will be for 2 > 3 Transitioners or even stagnant 3* players who CANNOT make a dent in PvP, because they flounder with their 100 leveled rosters, for the sake of keeping their PvE enemies manageable?

    Ice, what is being done for THEM? If the only option / suggestion / plan / means that you all have concocted is "lol, hit the double progression, cuz people do it all the time", that sounds extremely lackluster...........

    bw-midvale_zpsouzr3aex.jpg

    So, you and your 11 bros, INCLUDING two message board community building "examples", enjoy insinuating that people are mentally ****, and making fun of the possibilities?

    Congrats!!! :+D

    I don't think you're mentally ****, but I do think you're not very good at correctly interpreting a cartoon. Although I do appreciate the irony of not getting the meaning of a cartoon that pokes fun at how even the smartest people sometimes miss what's right in front of them. That and there's no way I'm not going to upvote a Gary Larson cartoon, because the man is the greatest **** cartoonist to ever walk this earth.

    As for your complaint, PvE is getting the same top progression/top placement token rewards as PvP. The only 'added feature' is that you'll get a token when you hit 10.000 in prog (and as an alliance reward, but that's a different matter altogether). Since PvE doesn't have seasons, there obviously isn't an equivalent. But to hit that pvp 10k you need to get an average of 850 points in pvp (assuming a shield sim score of 1500, the amount decreases the better you do in sim), and that really shouldn't be too hard if you have a roster that has any business gunning for 4/5* characters.

    As for the people who keep their levels low to do better in PvE... it seems that nothing is being done for them, and I really don't think anything should be done for them. It's not the devs' fault that you decided to hobble your roster and focus on one play mode only. The whole 'you need to stay underleveled to do well in pve' is a myth anyway. I'm a F2P player with properly leveled 3* and 4* characters and I still get PvE top 10 whenever I'm inclined to (and whenever there are no real life things that get in the way, same with hitting 1300 in pvp), and I'm not the only non-whale out there who's able to do so.

    You have the same opportunities to get tokens as every other player. Whether or not you make use of them is your own decision.


    I think Deixide is bringing up a far more pressing issue, that the placement reward structure needs looking at, especially in PvP. The 2-3*transitioners that really need those 3* covers are not getting them, because the playerbase has 'leveled up' enough that the top 50 of players are in the 3-4* transition. I don't think anything needs to be added for the top players, but I do think the reward categories for covers need to be extended to top 250 at least.
  • Lemminkäinen
    Lemminkäinen Posts: 378 Mover and Shaker
    deiXide wrote:
    To date, I haven't seen a single patch balancing crummy characters (rag, qs, iw, 2*bullseye, bagman, etc) since I started playing in earnest, although I do recognize it happened in the past. To me, the existence of characters that can't compete just worsens the odds and dilutes the pool.
    Making Rags or 2*Bullseye better would make the PvE a lot more difficult since you face those characters a lot. I mean, the optimal solution would be to have way more varied PvE characters but then the difficulty level would need some looking into.
    Furthermore, the game has actually "punished" me for doing well and/or getting lucky, giving me a 4* cover I won't be able to use for years. Yeah, I'm told those 2 Elektra covers are great to have, but they don't help me compete right now.
    This is a great point. I have almost all 3-stars (I'm missing exactly one which I would really like (Luke Cage) and then three that would be nice to have (MoStorm, Punisher, Spider-man) and then some chaff (Sentry, Rags, QS, IM40). But each time I draw a new 4-star I feel like I'm being punished by it. Of course that's not a rational thought (it's always better than getting a 2-star!) and it doesn't diminish my chances of getting further 3-starts or 4-stars but when I need to come up with HP to slot that Prof X I have to say that I would've been happier getting a Gamora green or whatever.

    Four-stars are going to languish for a really, really long while un-used since there are so many of them and the covers are so hard to get. I can't make the PvP 1000 progression quite yet but once I can, that's the only way to truly get them - the new DDQ sounds like you'd need something like 5-7 covers for the four-star to have a chance of succeeding. And that's once a week. Well, I have 8 four-stars (three have two covers, the rest at one) so it will be a very, very long time until I can get anything out of that new DDQ.

    That leaves the upcoming ultimate grind award of PvE Legendary token. And yeah, that's doable. But since there are, what, 16(?) four-stars currently, there's a 50-50 chance of getting a new one from the token and needing to find space for it in the roster. Getting to that 5-7 covers seems like an almost insurmountable task - and it still doesn't do anything. You need 10-13 covers to make the four-star actually useful! (Well, some exceptions, like getting five yellow for Thing or whatever can give some of them a weird niche but that requires a lot of luck).

    And I'm expecting more four-stars to be released at a rapid pace throughout the fall.
  • acescracked
    acescracked Posts: 1,165 Chairperson of the Boards
    About the point raised that players don't level characters to make pve easier. That is just a wrong tactic. You can very easily succeed in pve with a developed roster. I took 2nd, two other alliance mates took 1st and 2nd, a bunch of others took t10.(in the pve with Mr. Fantastic as the reward)

    There are a bunch of other high level PvP players who do the same. You really can have your cake and eat it too. Just there is no automatic win button. Be a smart player, put in your time to develop a roster. What a worse game this would be if everyone could win. It is fine that some fail.
  • Stax the Foyer
    Stax the Foyer Posts: 941 Critical Contributor
    Der_Lex wrote:
    I think Deixide is bringing up a far more pressing issue, that the placement reward structure needs looking at, especially in PvP. The 2-3*transitioners that really need those 3* covers are not getting them, because the playerbase has 'leveled up' enough that the top 50 of players are in the 3-4* transition. I don't think anything needs to be added for the top players, but I do think the reward categories for covers need to be extended to top 250 at least.

    I don't even know if placement awards will really fix the core issue. Between DDQ and progression awards, the rate of covers that a new player can get without being particularly competitive in PvP or PvE is probably equal to or more than a person playing competitively a year and a half ago (and getting ranking awards) could get. 3* covers are far more available than they used to be.

    The fundamental problem that transitioners face is the dilution of those covers. With 40 3* characters instead of just a handful, it's easy to get a whole mess of covers, but it's hard to completely cover any of them. Ranking awards would help a little, but it would still be more than 4 seasons before a character is featured again in a PvP, assuming everyone gets a turn.

    I know we used to complain about MoStorm being the default progression cover for a time, but repetition of covers would really help transitioners build some usable characters. If they announced a particular 3* (preferably one of the stronger ones) as the featured 3* character for each month, and gave them out as a progression award in most of the events, that would give people a chance to focus on and build up a given 3* character. (I'll make a post in the suggestions forum about this, later on, so it doesn't get lost in this discussion).
  • Making Rags or 2*Bullseye better would make the PvE a lot more difficult since you face those characters a lot. I mean, the optimal solution would be to have way more varied PvE characters but then the difficulty level would need some looking into.

    I have indeed seen this logic, and fully support it, as written. That said, I think people get caught up in this argument and the conversation dies there. No one wants a high-level Rags or Bullseye or Moonstone (or 3* SM, or QS, or IW, or IM40, etc) ruining their day because they're now viable for the player, but that doesn't mean this problem can't be solved. These NPCs are also playable, and therefore further dilute the cover-base by making it statistically more cumbersome to actually develop a competitive roster. Especially when compared to the time prior to 15+ 4/5* characters being released in semi-rapid succession, and a 40x3* character base.

    I can think of several solutions here, the easiest being to change these characters on the player end, but leave the NPC variants untouched. As an example, clone Ragnarok's database entry leaving the existing numbers for PVE fights, and pushing the updated ("fixed") entry to players. It's not like we don't have PVE-specific mobs like Ultron and Gorgon that would make this seem nuts. New, certainly, but not unfathomable. If the devs need suggestions for this conundrum, I'm sure many of us would be happy to propose solutions.
    Four-stars are going to languish for a really, really long while un-used since there are so many of them and the covers are so hard to get.
    (cut)
    And I'm expecting more four-stars to be released at a rapid pace throughout the fall.

    This was ultimately the point I was trying (and probably not succeeding) to make. It's not that getting 3*s isn't easier than it used to be, because factually it sounds like it is. With that in mind, old players had a chance to ease into new covers and characters over time, and many were "prepared" for the rapid influx of 4*s (and soon 5*s) by having already completed the 3* transition.

    New players not only have to compete with those well-rostered vets also fighting for the same 3* covers (even indirectly), but also have to draw from a much larger pool of covers than they did even 6 months ago.
    The fundamental problem that transitioners face is the dilution of those covers. With 40 3* characters instead of just a handful, it's easy to get a whole mess of covers, but it's hard to completely cover any of them.

    Agreed, although we really should define "easy" in this scenario icon_e_smile.gif. I, for one, don't expect to cover all 3*s overnight, but I am concerned that the currently defined "ease" factor is unfortunately creating a greater proportional divide between a beginner and someone who plays the same amount, but already has a veteran roster. This, plus the aforementioned competition over the same rewards with players 2-3 tiers higher, make it difficult to make noticeable gains.
  • SnowcaTT
    SnowcaTT Posts: 3,474 Chairperson of the Boards
    deiXide wrote:
    I would love to get a glimpse into the numbers behind this game. I'd like to see where the power curve really is, what the truly average player is working with, how much the whales pay, etc. I can't imagine anyone but the top 1% is seriously fighting over 4-star covers, and now 5-star covers. I'm certainly not asking for a handout, but when the majority of the current 4-star playerbase was trudging through the 3-star transition, they weren't competing against players 2-3 tiers higher than them, begging for table scraps that the top end doesn't eat. I know I have no shot at 3* placement awards competing against fleshed out 3* rosters, much less 4* and 5*. Let me compete against my own weight class.

    TLDR: If the goal moving forward is to continually add to the top-end, the barrier to entry will continue to grow. Further consideration to insulating or segregating players at the bottom and middle would be welcomed.

    This is a problem with MMR - but MMR in this game has always been broken. A good fix (still) would be allow people to choose which (or all) PVP they want to join in: 2* and below to earn 3*, 3* and below to earn 4*, 4* and below to earn 5*, anything to have better chance to earn 5*. Don't make it "easy" to earn the next level, but if you are well covered in that level it should be easy. The harder the bracket you choose, the better the rewards - no more need to have the game try to put you in a bucket (or gamers try to control what that bucket is).

    On your summary, I think it's a different problem. I think the barrier to entry -must- be made easier to get to, which should continually frustrate those that have been long in the game. It's what we've seen before, and we'll see again.

    2* transition hard -> 2* transition easy! (covers fall from battles) Oh, but now there are tons of 3*'s, so that transition will take a lot longer. But you can hit 2* much, much faster than anyone who did it before you!

    3* transition hard -> 3* transition easier! (DDQ, higher heroic drops). Oh, but 3*'s don't rule anymore, now it's 4*. But you can hit 3* transition much, much faster than anyone who did it before you!

    4* transition hard -> 4* transition easier(?) (Legendary tokens). Oh, but now there are 5*'s. But you can hit 4* much, much faster than anyone who did it before you!

    The corollary here is that anyone who was just starting previously could relatively easily pay their way into the higher (or highest) tier. Get in a newbie bracket PVE, win your 4*'s when introduced, whale them up and off you go.

    The nice part of 5* is you can't really whale it (you must superwhale it). But as newbies get 5*'s - supposedly much, much better than 4* - they'll be able to jump the previous transitions and use their low covered, high level, high attack 5*'s against anyone who has been in the game for a long time. Why wouldn't the vets get frustrated and leave? And the newbies will be excited if they can jump quickly into the highest tier....until they are vets, and 6* is introduced, and they are over-taken by six-month players. Vicious cycle to create vet burn-out.
  • mohio
    mohio Posts: 1,690 Chairperson of the Boards
    I've made variations on this suggestion before, cause I've long seen that the problem in 3* transition is the sheer number of them diluting your chances of getting 13 (or even 12) of any single one. I actually thought the vault idea wasn't so bad since it allowed them to focus rewards on just a subset of characters at a time. Anyway, to my suggestion:

    I think they should designate (even unofficially) a handful of characters as intro or beginner 3*. The list would be something like some of the first 10 chars, hulk, gsbw, spidey, im40, hood, cmags, doom, you get the idea. Now, run a little weekly gauntlet type pve that gives out 3x of these chars and only has them in the token packs. It'll still take several weeks as it rotates through the chosen stable of characters, but at least it will feel like real progress for a change. I know with all the gsbw rewards lately I managed to get up to 3/3/3 in my alt account, but this still leaves me several covers away and as she was just rewarded in both pve and PvP it will probably be a long time until she comes around again. This is a bit disheartening.

    Alternatively or in addition they could run separate PvP content for "beginners" that awards only these characters with no chances at 4/5* so vets will hopefully stay away (require only 1/2* chars used maybe?).
  • SnowcaTT wrote:
    But as newbies get 5*'s - supposedly much, much better than 4* - they'll be able to jump the previous transitions and use their low covered, high level, high attack 5*'s against anyone who has been in the game for a long time. Why wouldn't the vets get frustrated and leave? And the newbies will be excited if they can jump quickly into the highest tier....until they are vets, and 6* is introduced, and they are over-taken by six-month players. Vicious cycle to create vet burn-out.

    Your points about matchmaking are valid, and having played dozens of games over the past 3 decades, I would agree with you. Some of what D3 does is puzzling, and honestly a welcome change, clearly rewarding their vets rather than their beginners. This is a stark contrast to standard business practices and traditional gaming patterns. For example, Comcast gives great deals to hook new subscribers, but offers far inferior rates to their existing customers. This makes sense, as the goal is to draw in the customer, make them sticky somehow (through feature set, lack of competition in the space, etc), and move on to the next customer.

    It's this type of practice that D3 seems to be skirting with these changes to the top-end 1% (guessing there), which is why I have been posting in this thread. Rather than hooking and retaining new players, which is necessary for long-term success, it seems that D3 has been on a steady track to incentivize and reward their top-end. This is great, but it makes me wonder about those numbers again - they're clearly doing it for a reason. But I do think small incremental changes can be made to allow for proportional gains for dedicated beginners, while continuing to incentivize the top to keep whalin- err, playing. Right now, it seems heavily weighted to one end with back-to-back 4* releases over the past few months with no balancing or focus on beginners. I think outright giving or making 3*s more available is not the way to go (to avoid that noob power creep you mentioned)- I think allowing beginners to narrow their focus on what they achieve is a better solution, along with right-sizing of "weight classes." Maybe we can call them "whale classes".

    To your point, I can see how you feel that way, and I would too. But I think it pre-supposes a lot. Notably, we are assuming that a "noob" can roll a lucky 5-star or two and start competing at the top end. We will have to see how that shakes out. Even if I were to pull a Silver Surfer in the first week, I seriously doubt it will suddenly allow me to go from 500-600 point PVPs to 1300 with no other changes. Pound-for-pound, 1-cover Silver Surfer will be superior to say, a 166 Luke Cage, but I doubt he will be able to carry the team on his own. But again, we're talking about "What If?" rather than established history.
  • PuceMoose
    PuceMoose Posts: 1,445 Chairperson of the Boards
    I am a little confused on the new Deadpool daily node for a legendary token. Are you required to *use* the required four star for the challenging opponent, or do you only have to *have* the four star to be able to send a character of your choice against a powerful opponent? I don't see my 2/1/1 Hulkbuster or 0/0/2 Antman doing so well if it's the former. It could be that nobody will know for sure until the first one releases in a week or so.
  • Der_Lex
    Der_Lex Posts: 1,035 Chairperson of the Boards
    Ice was pretty specific in the Line chat about this. It's a 4* essential node, so you have to have and use one specific 4* in a one on one battle.
  • CrookedKnight
    CrookedKnight Posts: 2,579 Chairperson of the Boards
    He also said in this topic that he's had decent success with the fights with his real roster, and his 4* characters are not exactly world-beaters. (http://mpq.gamependium.com/rosters/IceIX/) There's hope.
  • CrookedKnight
    CrookedKnight Posts: 2,579 Chairperson of the Boards
    He's been clear: Each 4* fight is a one-on-one between that day's essential character and a "rival" chosen by Demiurge either as an appropriate foil for the character or as an interesting in-game matchup, in terms of powers. You can still boost and use teamups, which will let you make up the days when you have to use one of your weaker characters.