What's the point of terrible characters?

chamber44chamber44 Posts: 324 Mover and Shaker
edited January 2016 in MPQ Character Discussion
So, courtesy of RNGesus (he's a fickle deity), I am the proud owner of 3 Chulk covers, 6 Star-Lord covers, 5 Elektra covers, and so on, plus i've drawn 16 IW covers. I only have 1 JG, 3 PX, 3 Things, no Iceman, etc.

Now, i'm not really venting about my luck or that i don't have more good covers. I play casually-ish, enough to be a top 10 member of a top 125 alliance, but i pretty actively refuse to grind PVE and my roster is such that I can't usually hit 800 in PvP unless i'm in a good bracket. (plus, again, i can only really play for more than 30 minutes at a time a couple times a week due to family, work, etc).

My point is this: why do these terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad characters (Chulk, Fantastic, Bagman, etc) even exist ? Do the devs honestly think they have playable value? I get that in games there have always been characters that are stronger than others, but Chulk?

Perhaps, one might try to say that they could be part of a well-rounded roster, but if i were to max Chulk, Fantastic, and IW and try to play them, my team would be beat down faster than (insert joke here). And, given that 4*'s are still rare enough for many players such that opening them is fun, meaningful part of the game, these awful characters seem insulting. For casual players (60% of the players? higher?), opening such covers makes any effort put into playing seem wasted, and many of us don't really have that time to waste.

For example, the first time i ever bought something from the game, it was a Heroic ten pack. I hadn't been playing long, but i enjoyed it and wanted to start really competing.

I drew 6 Bagmen. Literally money wasted.

So, are these characters huge middle fingers to the players, are the devs that clueless to how the game actually works, or is there a third, less sinister reason?
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Comments

  • PhaserhawkPhaserhawk Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,676 Chairperson of the Boards
    A Magic the Gathering answer is that they make bad cards to keep power creep from occurring as well as keeping sets power level balanced overall.

    That being said, not a big fan of that.

    IMO, I would rather have an extreme niche card than just a bad one, or in MPQ, I would rather have an extreme niche character then something bad. Doc Ock is really good in some enviornments he's not good overall, but in high health goon nodes or Ultron he is a hero.

    Guys like IM40, Sentry, Yelena, Chulk, have little to no niche use, even IW can be usefully in PvE
  • simonsezsimonsez Posts: 4,663 Chairperson of the Boards
    chamber44 wrote:
    My point is this: why do these terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad characters (Chulk, Fantastic, Bagman, etc) even exist ?
    To give us a break on ISO we won't need to spend?
  • udonomefooudonomefoo Posts: 1,630 Chairperson of the Boards
    The problem for me is that all the worst characters are heroes. I'd love for them to put out more terrible villains, so we can beat them down in pve. Especially if they're not even roster-able like Gorgon.
  • PylgrimPylgrim Posts: 2,296 Chairperson of the Boards
    Phaserhawk wrote:
    A Magic the Gathering answer is that they make bad cards to keep power creep from occurring as well as keeping sets power level balanced overall.

    That being said, not a big fan of that.

    IMO, I would rather have an extreme niche card than just a bad one, or in MPQ, I would rather have an extreme niche character then something bad. Doc Ock is really good in some enviornments he's not good overall, but in high health goon nodes or Ultron he is a hero.

    Guys like IM40, Sentry, Yelena, Chulk, have little to no niche use, even IW can be usefully in PvE

    The MTG answer to bad cards is much more nuanced to that, and while I believe it doesn't excuse a few certain aberrant stinkers, as a whole it makes sense. However, none of those reasons apply to MPQ especially because there are comparatively much, much fewer "cards". Terrible characters (other than Bagman and Devil Dino that have been relegated as jokes or trophies and as such they're not widely available) have no purpose, they are either poorly designed or poorly balanced and as they are always busy with the next big new thing, there's no time to go back and fix them.
  • GrumpySmurf1002GrumpySmurf1002 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 3,511 Chairperson of the Boards
    They're bad in the face of the meta. It's not a character problem persay, it's a game mechanic one where every game option focuses on speed above all else.

    There's a serious overvaluation of protect tiles and burst healing throughout the game because of it.

    By herself, IW isn't so bad. Invisible, locks down tiles, decent single target nuke. But her mission is to extend matches and reduce damage, which runs contrary to the speed meta.

    Just have to look at the top 5 characters to know what the game is about:

    Iceman - self generation, high AP/damage AoE, stun potential, AP denial
    HB - self generation, large single target damage
    Jean - two separate high AP/damage AoE, stun potential
    Cyc - self generation, AP generation, large single target damage
    RHulk - self generation, AP denial, high AP/damage AoE

    The words "protect" and "heal" don't appear in there. HB is the only one who even generates either, but they're an afterthought compared to the rest of his blue utility (namely creating more red).
  • simonsezsimonsez Posts: 4,663 Chairperson of the Boards
    HB is the only one who even generates either, but they're an afterthought compared to the rest of his blue utility (namely creating more red).
    Nitpick: JG's green can too, but you're right, the problem is the lack of diverse game modes. If they ever came up with a mode or a minigame or an achievement system that rewarded you for playing long matches and/or taking minimal damage, characters that seem useless now might start to look way more desirable.
  • chamber44chamber44 Posts: 324 Mover and Shaker
    They're bad in the face of the meta. It's not a character problem persay, it's a game mechanic one where every game option focuses on speed above all else.
    but this is my point. The game is what it is, and yet Cho exists to mock the casual player's carefully hoarded LT's.

    By herself, IW isn't so bad. Invisible, locks down tiles, decent single target nuke. But her mission is to extend matches and reduce damage, which runs contrary to the speed meta.
    i can almost forgive this, seeing as how IW is such an old character. and i've fought against her when she hid behind invisibility (a tile that Falcon doesn't see, in case anyone was wondering. And if you were, why?) and got a couple good cascades that lead to her nuke. She's not entirely the worst. Just super-duper situational.
  • GrumpySmurf1002GrumpySmurf1002 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 3,511 Chairperson of the Boards
    chamber44 wrote:
    They're bad in the face of the meta. It's not a character problem persay, it's a game mechanic one where every game option focuses on speed above all else.
    but this is my point. The game is what it is, and yet Cho exists to mock the casual player's carefully hoarded LT's.


    Oh Chulk, he's different. I'm pretty sure Marvel forced him into the game and then they half-assed the design because they had a truncated timetable.
  • amusingfoo1amusingfoo1 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 597 Critical Contributor
    Oh Chulk, he's different. I'm pretty sure Marvel forced him into the game and then they half-assed the design because they had a truncated timetable.

    My knee-jerk reaction was that he was forced on them, and making him Totally Lame was their passive-aggressive way of complaining about it.
  • wiriuswirius Age Unconfirmed Posts: 667
    Bad characters exist because of a lack of playtesting to see "when theory meets design". Proper playtesting and vetting of a character really does take a TON of time. Often times, the game may not have the time for it to stay on schedule. Second, making an overpowered character is a lot worse in the game than an underpowered one. You can buff underpowered, but if you have to nerf? Hell hath no fury like a nerd scorned.
  • OneLastGambitOneLastGambit Age Unconfirmed Posts: 1,963 Chairperson of the Boards
    The correct way to design characters in a game = make each character have a strength and a weakness which can be exploited by another character like a game of rock paper scissors, that leads to using your entire roster and making people want to roster more.

    The incorrect way= make the new character more powerful than the last
  • MalcrofMalcrof GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 5,971 Chairperson of the Boards
    The only 4* i have yet to find a use for is Reed, maybe if i can get more covers he will be useful, but doubt it. Electra, IW, Starlord, etc.. are still good characters, and have their uses, I enjoy playing them in PVE, just because a character is not a PVP king, does not mean they are useless? Want to neuter Muscle? Bring elektra, Ever tried Starlord, IF, Psylocke? Get SL yellow out and watch the special tiles pile up fast, i've used that team on lvl 300+ goons.. and it works nicely.. and yes SL red keeps goons from getting out their CD's, so works wonderfully against Carnage/Goon nodes as well. Ninja got you down? Bring IW and splode those attack tiles, she also counters Daken, Bullseye, etc.

    Cho, i ony have at 3/2/5 (just how the covers fell so far) but any character with a true heal has a place in my roster (no reed heal yet, only 2/0/5). During the Inferno event, we got to use him fully covered, although majorly underleveled, and he is no chump, can't wait to test him out boosted.

    Sure they are not PVP powerhouses like others are, but PVP is not the only aspect of the game, and even the older characters that may need a touch of boosting, are still useful in those areas.

    The only one i will not defend is Reed.. Mostly because i've been reading comics for around 40 years (first couple years i couldn't read yet, and probably would have tried to eat the comics) and Reed has been one of those leaders that commands respect, and none was shown in his character design.. I may change my opinion when i have him fully covered, true heal etc. etc. but not yet.

    Then there are the surprises. Falcap.. initially i thought was useless, now he is used quite a bit, and i am itching to have him fully covered (5/3/2 how covers have fallen so far) same with Ghost Rider, my 3rd favorite Marvel Character of all time, (Thor has been #1 since the late 70's, 2nd is Namor), he is finally released, and i have yet to pull a single cover for him from a token (/cry), so he is stuck at 0/3/1 from his release event, pvp, and 2k ssim award. Someone fielded max Falcap, GR, PX in SSim last season, and i lost to it more than 5 times.. they may not look like powerhouses, but that team is magic with falcap popping GR's red every time a blue match is made, hidden PX tanks blue, so double buff on special tiles.. it adds up fast and my lvl 315 OML wept and died every time.

    Even Dino, in his weirdness, can be used, massive health, quick abilities, use him with KK and hood (or Doom), and you have a rainbow team that is serious fun, maybe not the most powerful, but very hard to kill, and games are allowed to be fun right?

    Even with my dislike for reed.. i think there are no terrible characters. They all have their uses, and witch championing , they can only get more powerful.
  • simonsezsimonsez Posts: 4,663 Chairperson of the Boards
    Malcrof wrote:
    The only 4* i have yet to find a use for is Reed
    As far as I can tell, his only use is as a body to stand next to Carnage that won't die. Sometimes it can work hilariously well. Right after that awful DDQ4 vs. Doom, I was using him in a PvE node, and he was the last man standing vs. a full-health high-level Doom and Moonstone... and actually won because Carnage had already seeded the board. In that situation, any other character would've gone down pretty quickly.
  • atomzedatomzed Posts: 1,561 Chairperson of the Boards
    simonsez wrote:
    Malcrof wrote:
    The only 4* i have yet to find a use for is Reed
    As far as I can tell, his only use is as a body to stand next to Carnage that won't die. Sometimes it can work hilariously well. Right after that awful DDQ4 vs. Doom, I was using him in a PvE node, and he was the last man standing vs. a full-health high-level Doom and Moonstone... and actually won because Carnage had already seeded the board. In that situation, any other character would've gone down pretty quickly.

    I actually like Reed. He has some good mechanics.

    Yellow is useful to keep him alive for extended period of time. I have a few games against over scaled juggs. I took a few head butts, but after a few heals, he is back to full health again.


    Black has no limit to the damage potential. Any cascades of red/yellow/ green will multiple-tap the damage.

    He plays very differently from other characters, and is slow, and hence not very popular in pvp. But in pve he can be a good character.

    If I have the iso I won't mind championing him. His usefulness grow when he can tank more colors. Reed is like vision and gamora. The higher their level, the better they become. (P.S. I max vision and have no regrets with maxing him)
  • hurculeshurcules Age Unconfirmed Posts: 519
    However terrible the 4*/3* are, they all have at least one good use: Legendary token at L271/L167 respectively.
  • SandwichboySandwichboy Age Unconfirmed Posts: 193 Tile Toppler
    Malcrof wrote:
    Cho, i ony have at 3/2/5 (just how the covers fell so far) but any character with a true heal has a place in my roster (no reed heal yet, only 2/0/5). During the Inferno event, we got to use him fully covered, although majorly underleveled, and he is no chump, can't wait to test him out boosted.

    That's not a true heal. It's worded as if it is, but it's just another **** burst heal power. There is nothing good about that character.

    And that's an awful lot of ISO to waste on a character you never use just to get a legendary token.
  • LukoilLukoil Posts: 266 Mover and Shaker
    edited January 2016
    Malcrof wrote:
    Cho, i ony have at 3/2/5 (just how the covers fell so far) but any character with a true heal has a place in my roster (no reed heal yet, only 2/0/5). During the Inferno event, we got to use him fully covered, although majorly underleveled, and he is no chump, can't wait to test him out boosted.

    That's not a true heal. It's worded as if it is, but it's just another **** burst heal power. There is nothing good about that character.

    And that's an awful lot of ISO to waste on a character you never use just to get a legendary token.
    huh? Did you even check it? It is a true heal. The problem is that it is VERY hard to trigger
  • BlackSheep101BlackSheep101 Posts: 2,023 Chairperson of the Boards
    Confirmed, TAH blackflag.png is a true heal.
  • GurlBYEGurlBYE Age Unconfirmed Posts: 1,218 Chairperson of the Boards
    It feels like the offense in this game gets overwhelming (ironfist hulkbuster, jean, list goes on)

    But the support always has hilarious and ridiculous draw backs.

    Heals typically dont true heal besides on wolverines who have lower health,
    Ex- Totally awesome hulk has a true heal that can't be used twice in a row essentially. The only power in game to stop itself
    Reed Black- The colors it activates with, aren't his strongest yellowtile.pngredtile.png , so he'll always be a side chick with limited uses
    Falcap- Expensive.
    Starlord- Countdown reliance, this is a match 3 game. What would be wrong with making his lower cost skill just last 3 turns regardless?
    Invisible woman- She's bad because of expense, otherwise, she's not bad, it's just why dodge damage if you can kill her in a hulk busted punch in a few turns.
    Elecktra- A support skill that can't create its own tiles without 2 casts, a move that deals damage per turn but is reliant on the board, (its match 3 stop using this crutch)


    They are too afraid to make support abilities that don't just create AP actually good.

    Thats the problem.

    There is also no node is this game you win just by surviving.


    Why would I ever need to hide from damage instead of being the one to do it?
    I can't win by having the most health in 10 turns. So why prolong it?
    In pve= less clears, not winning, enemy team building more ap,
    in PVP= Can be attacked during fight- less time better by far.


    it's why i even consider designs like ghost rider poor or in the bottom.

    Letting the ai get more turns in pve means more possibly unmatched tiles dealing damage to a team.
    So i can get 1 ghost rider black off damage enemy and then whats next? He's the only one left standing because i had to let him damage me.

    Look at how many other characters can deal more group damage then carnage for more AP but without hurting his team
  • Monged4lifeMonged4life Age Unconfirmed Posts: 420
    Electra and Starlord just need to be able to place their own tiles, then they would be massively more usable. There have been plenty of characters since who can place their own countdown tiles so why not modernise these two?
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