Hi Everyone -
Passing this message below along from the team.
From Marvel Puzzle Quest’s release until now,
every tile that’s dropped from the top of the board has been random, with the
same drop rates for players and the enemy team. But our brains have this quirk
called negativity bias: we remember the worst things that happen to us the most
clearly (when the enemy team got a 6-match cascade and downed our whole team)
and forget the times when we got just as lucky. Negativity bias probably helped
us survive until we invented video games, but it’s making us enjoy Marvel
Puzzle Quest less.
Most experienced players know that the drop
rate is random, but newbies in particular sometimes come away thinking that the
AI is cheating and getting extra cascades. It’s our most common complaint from
new players. MPQ isn’t alone in this - this was one of the most common
complaints in previous games in the Puzzle Quest series, despite the tile drops
being totally random in those games as well.
We think game developers ought to make games
for the pleasure of people and their actual brains, with all their quirky
biases, not for some Platonic ideal of fairness. So in order to make the game
feel fair to more people, we’re making it a little bit unfair, in your favor,
and limiting the cascades that the enemy team gets in Story and Prologue
missions. (In order to avoid disrupting the current balance when you’re
fighting other players, we’re keeping the behavior of Versus battles
This will have a relatively modest effect on
the balance of the game. With the previous, random drop system, the enemy team
was only cascading into 3 or more matches 0.66% of the times they changed the
board. But we’re hopeful this will reduce the number of phones that get thrown
across the room and improve people’s first impressions of the game.
This will go live starting tomorrow with the daily patch
on June 13th. Here are the precise details on how the new behavior works: