The TaoSpoons MPQ Exit Interview

TaoSpoonsTaoSpoons Age Unconfirmed Posts: 50
edited September 2015 in Off Topic
As of tonight, I've quit MPQ. This thread is less a goodbye thread and more an exit interview (hence the title) with my perspective on the game, posted to provide feedback to the developers and maybe spur on a bit of forum discussion.

1) Why are you quitting MPQ?
Exclusively because there's someone out there who plunked down enough cash to buy their way to a 2/2/5 Silver Surfer (for evidence, see here: I don't begrudge D3 its funding or the players for spending cash how they choose, but I believe monetary expenditure in this type of game should net you a small advantage or accelerate your progress only slightly. I view the accessibility of the Surfer through extreme spending as game-warping, I won't spend in response to compete with that, and I refuse to be walked on by those who do, even if that population is as small as one person. (edit: additionally, I believe this is indicative of a structural issue with the competitive implementation of the game that the devs would do well to address)

Bear in mind, this is only my personal perspective. I'm definitely not saying anyone else should think the same way or follow me in departing the game. You do you.

2) How long have you played MPQ?
I started in either late November or early December 2014 on my original account (TaoSpoons). My current account (TaoSpoonsphone) became my primary account thanks to an account merge. The creation date on my forum account should corroborate the bulk of my claim on time played, if you're keen on validating that sort of thing.

3) Where did you 'end' MPQ?
Check the roster on TaoSpoonsphone and you'll find I had one cover of every character in the game except for Iceman (though I'd have him too if I hadn't quit MPQ before Rocket & Groot ends), Silver Surfer, and Devil Dino. Most of my 3-stars were between level 115 and 140 and I had a few 4-stars in that range too.

4) Did you enjoy your MPQ time-played?
A few keenly frustrating moments aside, yes. I came into this game knowing it for what it was (a treadmill) and so I accepted its nature from the get-go. With frustration over that pre-emptively out of the way, it was easy to enjoy the game.

5) Did you enjoy the MPQ community?
I'm of two minds on this question. Anyone I've interacted with in MPQ Alliance chat or in LINE has been great. The forum community has vacillated between negative/toxic and fun. I believe it's currently much improved from earlier this year and I credit the general positive trend in the game and the work of the current forum moderator community with making that happen.

6) What is MPQ's most positive aspect?
I love how well-tailored to the Marvel theme the characters and match-3 gameplay variation is. Most of the heroes feel very well represented by their skills and power, as do various node types (Survival node, Gauntlet events, Ultron, etc).

7) What is MPQ's most negative aspect? (aside from the Surfer issue)
The time investment. I believe both PvP and PvE should allow for a more relaxed playstyle. PvE suffers from a requirement to optimally grind throughout the day; PvP suffers from a requirement to consistently monitor shards for the purpose of optimal shield hopping. I believe both encourage burnout, which is detrimental to the long-term health of the game. Whether the developers will address this any further than they have remains to be seen.

8) Did you have any particularly positive experiences in MPQ?
Yes! The first Ultron event in May was great fun, regardless of the server difficulties. That event was well-designed to encourage alliances to work together and also gave immediate feedback on group progress towards the common goal.

9) Did you have any particularly negative experiences in MPQ?
Yes. The account merge I mention in my response to question 2 left me with a large amount of ISO. This caused my account to be auto-flagged for cheating and I was sandboxed over a weekend in mid-July. The entire event left a bad taste in my mouth because:
  • I had to deduce I was sandboxed from my inability to rejoin my alliance, I wasn't directly notified in-game
  • The sandboxing occurred on a Friday of all times.
  • Customer Support provided nearly no communication on my issue, refused to be of further assistance after their first reply, and immediately closed my support ticket
  • Although my issue was resolved, fairly quickly, I wasn't offered even minor recompense for the inconvenience and the loss of alliance rewards during my sandboxed period.

That said, big kudos to David "Hi-Fi" Moore for helping me resolve the issue.

10) What advice would you give to new players?
Aside from "read the forum guides and save early HP for roster slots", I think the real thing to do with a game like this is to set goals for yourself and add your own level of fun.

11) What goals did you set for yourself and accomplish in MPQ?
To date, I have:
  • Acquired every hero available in the game (except Devil Dino) at a given point in time
  • Placed first in a PvE vet bracket
  • Top 10'd a PvP vet bracket
  • Hit 1300 in PvP progression
  • Beat Ultron Round 7
  • Beat DDQ, including DDQ-4
  • Beat Growth Industry

I wanted to, but didn't:
  • Place first in a lightning round
  • Place first in a vet PvP bracket
  • Finish Ultron, Round 8
  • Fully cover a 4-star

12) If you had your 'druthers, how would you shape the future of MPQ? (again, Surfer issue aside)
In spring of this year, the developer vision for the direction of the game was very unclear. At the time, I speculated that they might focus on building 3-star characters centered around specific game mechanics (locked-tile creation, boardshakes, etc) and create a series of 4-star "generals" who contributed enhanced synergy to those mechanics. That's a game I'd still like to see.

While I appreciate their current focus on punch-counterpunch character releases, I feel that strategy is better suited towards lower levels of the game, such as the 3-star rarity tier.

13) Do you believe you'll return to MPQ?
No. I believe the developers didn't fully think out their current strategy and have painted themselves into a corner. I don't believe they have a way to successfully resolve the situation without some major sacrifice. I'm out, and I'm not looking back.

14) 13 questions is an unlucky number. Is there anyone you'd like to give a hat-tip to before you go?
First off, superstition is bunk and this question exists solely to let me say goodbye to a few folks I've come to know through the game. The goodbye lists are spoilered so you don't have to read them if you don't want to. If that's true for you: you're at the end! Adios, and enjoy the game.

Giving a general shoutout to everyone in this list:
  • My original real-life friend alliance of Dongers Unite
  • Everyone in the Team Soylent network (SoylentYellow, SoylentGreen, and SoylentRed/S.h.i.e.l.d)
  • My occasional PvP merc alliance DoubleTrouble
  • My once-upon-a-PvP-shard merc with TheBest
  • David "Hi Fi" Moore, IceIX, and the forum moderators for the positive influence they have on the MPQ community

Giving a specific shoutout to the people in this list:
  • Demiurge Will for being gracious enough to respond when I asked him for help with an issue once
  • Lukewin, a stand-up guy who recruited me into SoylentYellow and who's always been a solid alliance commander, including helping people merc PvP scores and organizing the bulk of SoylentYellow T100 groups.
  • kmcgill, additional SoylentYellow commander and total sweetheart. Keep getting those lucky pulls, Kelly!
  • CrookedKnight: the SoylentGreen commander who offered me a position with SoylentGreen a few days ago because he saw I'd been angling for high PvP scores. I'm sorry to turn around and quit the game so soon afterwards.
  • Riddy: you lucky, lucky bastard. I envy your token odds so bad.
  • Dash16 and Youaintme: We joined SoylentYellow around the same time and I've enjoyed interacting with you both.
  • FierceKiwi, Mr Stoat, Denouement, AcesCracked, Nogard, and BlinkTag: a group of folks in SoyRed/S.h.i.e.l.d who I've enjoyed chatting about MPQ in LINE with.
  • EstherC, Bloo Sundae, JD Geek, and Briesch: folks from SoylentGreen who I enjoyed seeing in LINE chat.
  • JamieMadrox: Because he's the legend.
  • Daveomite: Because I love HPsuck!
  • Amazeballs: Because your name is amazeballs!
  • Babinro, Red Velvet, Malorick, Red Panda, Sc0ville, Saint Lucifer, Lena K, and a small host of other folks whose names temporarily escape me: Because you were the best of my shard nemesis and were great opponents who pushed me to compete higher and higher to keep up with you!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. You're probably one of the people who helped make my MPQ experience as bright as it was.

This is TaoSpoons, signing off and signing out.


  • DayvDayv Posts: 4,449 Chairperson of the Boards
    Moved to off-topic, because that's where quitting posts go.
  • GothicKratosGothicKratos Posts: 1,821 Chairperson of the Boards
    Good luck with your future gaming endeavors!

    I'd say if you still enjoy the game, just take it casually. Play DDQ when you feel like it and find a casual/retirement Alliance to play in and just take it easy.

    But you do you, as you said. icon_e_smile.gif
  • TaoSpoonsTaoSpoons Age Unconfirmed Posts: 50
    Good luck with your future gaming endeavors!

    I'd say if you still enjoy the game, just take it casually. Play DDQ when you feel like it and find a casual/retirement Alliance to play in and just take it easy.

    But you do you, as you said. icon_e_smile.gif

    Thanks, Gothic! edit: I'm currently in grad school, so no immediate game has taken MPQ's place, but I think the next thing I play for any length will be Fallout 4. I love that series!

    My issue isn't that I don't like the game - I enjoyed playing it competitively a lot, even though it took up exorbitant amounts of time! My main issue is that I feel it's currently broken where one-on-one competition is concerned because you have an outlier warping what everyone can effectively accomplish. Since competitive one-on-one is 90% of the game, I just don't see a lot of point in continuing competitively.
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