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Story mode placement refactor for QOL

JwallyrJwallyr Posts: 140 Tile Toppler
I want to suggest a refactoring of Story mode placement that I think would have a HUGE QOL (quality of Life) benefit to the playerbase.

Currently, the well-known optimal strategy for maximizing points (and therefore maximizing your placement rank) is to begin the "ramp-up" exactly as soon as the event begins, playing minimal clears of low-point-value nodes to open up access to the highest-point-value nodes, and then play 4 clears (putting the node on a recharge timer) and work your way down in descending order of point value. Then you have the option to either tap (which I've heard is best to wait overnight but I don't tap so I haven't bothered to acquaint myself more fully) or wait until the last possible moment (for maximal recharge of point value) to begin "burning down" the nodes in ascending order of point value, typically with 3 clears to get all rewards and the maximum number of points.

There are a number of huge, glaring flaws with this process.
a) The emphasis is entirely on playing mass numbers of sequential games, roughly centered on whatever the "rollover" time is for the time slice, and failure to commit this solid chunk of playtime on the supposedly "casual" portion of the game dooms you to sub-par placement results.
b) Due to the emphasis on overall speed of the "ramp" and "burn" phases, players are penalized if they bother to tap through and read the storyline and dialogue of the event.
c) Due to the limited number and arrangement of time slices, players are forced to choose between competitive placement in Story mode and their real-life responsibilities (work, family, sleep) for a freaking match-3 phone game.
d) Players are heavily incentivized to turn off animations for abilities because they can significantly slow down the overall clear time. Result: I have never seen lots of ability animations because as my roster as developed (and new characters become useful), I have continued to leave ability animations off because of the impact to my play speed.

The fix: base Story mode placement on in-game time clears, with the only time being counted the time players actually spend in-game (i.e. not dialogue, not idle time, not time when you're not even in the app).

Suddenly players are free to tap through and enjoy the dialogue, are free to structure their playtime around their lives instead of vice versa, etc. Tapping goes away entirely, because the point value of the match has no bearing on placement. If the current structure (with later sub-events having greater point value) is considered desirable, a weighting factor can be multiplied into each day's overall time to achieve the desired result, etc.

Ability animations would have to be deducted from the in-game timer if the devs wish to correct that issue, but competitive players have the option to turn off animations, so hardcore players can choose not to be impacted already.

Progression rewards and point value of nodes can remain unchanged or be structured into a simpler "missions completed" system, but those are already easily achievable by dedicated players so I'm not super concerned.

As the primary breadwinner for my family and a man who wants to be fully present with my family, my desire to progress and remain competitive in MPQ has become a major stumbling block. Changes to Versus mode (That are outside of the scope of this post) have made it less of a draw for me recently, and Story mode has remained my primary method of participation in this game. I am rapidly reaching a point where I have cleared out my backlog of significant covers in danger of expiry, and the impact on my work performance and presence in my home life is causing me to consider quitting MPQ entirely. Outside of the Deadpool Dailies, every mode of participation in the game currently requires some combination of huge time commitment, setting aside huge contiguous chunks of time in extremely inconvenient parts of my day, or both, and I just can't afford that. If D3 wants to keep me as a player long-term, something has to change.


  • JwallyrJwallyr Posts: 140 Tile Toppler
    No comments? Does nobody care or did I just say it so well that there's no need to elaborate? :D
  • DormammuDormammu Posts: 3,000 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think a better solution would be to remove placement from PvE altogether. Take those rewards and tie them into alliance goals, like boss events.
  • JwallyrJwallyr Posts: 140 Tile Toppler
    I haven't done the math, but I worry that leaving the current points/recharge system alone and simply removing placement would
    1) remove Placement rewards without increasing Progression rewards to compensate
    2) fail to remove the incentives to structure play around the rollover times if you want to guarantee that you receive full Progression rewards.

    I have much less of a problem with there being some sort of quasi-competitive reward scheme for Story mode than I do the impact to my job and life because of the rigid scheduling of play required to achieve strong point totals.
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