Seriously, though, why was 50/50 Vaulted 4* ended?

GrimSkaldGrimSkald Posts: 2,012 Chairperson of the Boards
edited June 2018 in MPQ General Discussion

I've been mulling this over since last week, and I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around it, to be honest. I'm not trying to be sarcastic or "sea-lion" about this, but I really don't get it.  I will also preface this by saying that the ending of the 50/50 vault (or the division of "Latest" and "Vintage" 4* characters, if you prefer,) actually kind of benefits me more than it hurts me - I have all but the most recent 3 4*s champed and since the champ rewards get better the higher the character is, it means better rewards all in all.  To me, though, it does make the game a lot less fun since a) it's going to take quite a lot longer to champ a 4* after it's introduced, probably six months or more, and b) even after the 4* is champed, they're going to be much lower than the rest of my 4* roster and won't advance quickly like they did before.

For those interested, I made an examination of how vaulting affected the time to complete a character and what level it became, that's here:

So anyway, at this point I'm really baffled as to why they ended the system - it seemed like a great compromise between full vaulting (which was pretty much universally despised, at least when it came out,) and full dilution.  It allowed players to cover newer characters much more quickly, which in turn made new characters more exciting, and definitely made it easier for players to transition to the 4* tier.  It did make older characters harder to cover, sure, but dilution is doing that every time they add a new character.  The way I see it, there are three possible explanations:

1) From the game developers perspective, the vaulting system caused more problems than it resolved.  I... really don't see this.  Were we covering characters faster than they wanted us to?  Is 2-3 months too fast?  I know the more cynical of you will cry "money grab," but honestly it's really hard to buy a 4* out of vaults and, in general, not worth it to a 5* player.  It seemed like a good solution to token dilution to me, but perhaps it was too good?  Was it too much work to maintain, maybe?

2) From the player's perspective, the vaulting system caused more problems than it resolved.  To me, this makes even less sense than 1.  Sure, like I said above, higher level characters give better rewards, but with the 50/50 system I could regularly get new characters up to around 310 before they fell out of the "Latest" pool.  That means they will actually have an impact on my roster, and may see some play when they're boosted.  My Jubilee, for example, is 275.  She seems like a pretty neat character, and not a bad one to try and build a team around, but why bother without that leg up?  The system made it a lot easier to complete characters after they were introduced.

3) They needed to remove the vaulting system in preparation to another solution to dilution.  This is what I hope is the answer, but I'd love some confirmation.  Certainly the Saved Covers system does nothing for this.  Sure, they upped the chance of pulling a 4* in general, but from what I can tell it's going to come out to, in practice, a vanishingly small amount.

Anyway, that's my question as well as my take on the former and current situation.  I'd love to hear from a red name about this, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't chime in with your POV and your opinion as well.

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Comments

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,142 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2018
    I think you're seeing the larger plan for this unfolding already: The announcement itself came with better event-store odds for the 4* featured, and those stores are coming around more often with the increase in 4* PVP. Now, just a few weeks after the odds went flat, we are seeing a change to Hybrid PVP rules so that people who would not classically have been able to get to 900pts (or to the 2nd or 3rd event token levels) can now choose to grind to 40 wins and get a specific 4* every 3 days or so. This is pretty close to the 3* required node in DDQ with an added level of difficulty commensurate with the value of the cover you get. So in aggregate, players probably are going to get more 4*s generally, even targeted 4*s between versus and story, if they are willing/able to put in the work. This doesn't address the "well, I like Wiccan and want to try for more of his covers, how do i do that now?" question, unless there is some under-the-hood latest/oldest rotation on being featured we will need to determine.

    My personal tinfoil-hat theory about why it was done is this: What if we aren't going to be getting new release 4* characters as often anymore, and the cadence starts to favor 5*s? That obviously comes with its own ecosystem of changes that will need to happen (I further suspect we'll see an accelerated announcement of 5* feeders), but if we aren't rotating 4*s out of "latest" as quickly (or at all, if you think that the tier is going to solidify altogether like the 1,2 and 3s have done), then it doesn't make sense to have an odds distinction for 12 arbitrarily released characters any longer. 
  • PolarPopBearPolarPopBear Posts: 76 Match Maker
    I think you're seeing the larger plan for this unfolding already: The announcement itself came with better event-store odds for the 4* featured, and those stores are coming around more often with the increase in 4* PVP. Now, just a few weeks after the odds went flat, we are seeing a change to Hybrid PVP rules so that people who would not classically have been able to get to 900pts (or to the 2nd or 3rd event token levels) can now choose to grind to 40 wins and get a specific 4* every 3 days or so. This is pretty close to the 3* required node in DDQ with an added level of difficulty commensurate with the value of the cover you get. So in aggregate, players probably are going to get more 4*s generally, even targeted 4*s between versus and story, if they are willing/able to put in the work. This doesn't address the "well, I like Wiccan and want to try for more of his covers, how do i do that now?" question, unless there is some under-the-hood latest/oldest rotation on being featured we will need to determine.

    My personal tinfoil-hat theory about why it was done is this: What if we aren't going to be getting new release 4* characters as often anymore, and the cadence starts to favor 5*s? That obviously comes with its own ecosystem of changes that will need to happen, but if we aren't rotating 4*s out of "latest" as quickly (or at all, if you think that the tier is going to solidify altogether like the 1,2 and 3s have done), then it doesn't make sense to have an odds distinction for 12 arbitrarily released characters any longer. 
    If they were decreasing the 4* rate from 445 to 45 they could have just reduced the 12 to a comensurately smaller number
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,142 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2018


    My personal tinfoil-hat theory about why it was done is this: What if we aren't going to be getting new release 4* characters as often anymore, and the cadence starts to favor 5*s? That obviously comes with its own ecosystem of changes that will need to happen, but if we aren't rotating 4*s out of "latest" as quickly (or at all, if you think that the tier is going to solidify altogether like the 1,2 and 3s have done), then it doesn't make sense to have an odds distinction for 12 arbitrarily released characters any longer. 
    If they were decreasing the 4* rate from 445 to 45 they could have just reduced the 12 to a comensurately smaller number
    If there just won't be any more coming out, even that is too many. Obviously Wiccan just came out, so we aren't at full-on lockdown of the tier, but time will tell I suppose.

    But again, this is clearly a whole ecosystem of changes, being rolled out in stages. So if we only look at the draw rates out of the legendary stores it is probably going to feel punitive. But if you consider in aggregate all the ways to get 4*s, how attainable they are, I wouldn't be surprised if it at least balances out for the majority of players. Personally, i think this change to PVP progression is really going to make 4* transitioning much more attainable for most so long as the rotation happens in a way that makes it meaningful to grow a specific character on purpose. If we're looking at 1.5 years between runs, that is not great. But if you consider that 3* pvps have some arbitrarily chose 4*, and 4* pvps have a known 4* attached, the acquisition rates are likely going to be fairly healthy. 
  • GrimSkaldGrimSkald Posts: 2,012 Chairperson of the Boards

    It's not a bad point, but I don't see the game economy supporting a 5* every other week, even every four weeks.  They've done one 4* between 5s before, the 5* release averages something like 5 weeks but it's largely made up of 5445 releases.

    Possibly they're gearing up for something, though.

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,142 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2018
    Not in a vacuum, and not without further changes. An accelerated announcement to 5* feeders, with the 5*s being multi-fed for instance would help some. Or some new Elite-style token for 4-5* transitioners, maybe it is an earnable token that just lets you pull from Classic? Just saying that if you look at each change in isolation it is going to be like "what?!" but then in total, maybe it works out? hard to say from this side of the game lol.
  • PolarPopBearPolarPopBear Posts: 76 Match Maker
    edited June 2018
    Maybe a reward of a generic "bank" token? so you can pick a 4* to get 1/5 of the way to the 4 of your choice?  Might be abusable to gather them, hold the last cover and turn them into 5 champ levels for cheap though
  • JaedenkaalJaedenkaal Posts: 3,340 Chairperson of the Boards
    Well, vaulting certainly had a massive impact on the 4* PVP meta. It was crazy easy to get all the new characters up to champ levels shortly after release, and nearly everyone* had a Medusa/Gamora/Rocket combo going pretty darn quick after they were released. Of course it's too late to fix that, anyone already comfortably in 4* space pretty much gained the latest 15+ champs in only a few months, myself included. Coulson is still my second-highest level character despite not even (barely?) existing when vaulting was released

    I know it's awesome as an individual when you can get 4*s champed and ready to go in only a few months, but... maybe it's not good overall for PVP? Like, maybe the devs are aiming for a more gradual shift in the meta? I dunno. I feel like I'm grasping at straws now.

    Only other theory I can come up with is that the Heroes for Hire or Shield Training offers weren't perceived as valuable enough because it just wasn't that hard to get covers for new characters.

    *(fine, fine. Many people.)
  • mega ghostmega ghost Posts: 1,117 Chairperson of the Boards
    Weren't we told a new feature was likely going to be announced in the coming off-season? Assuming that wasn't Saved covers or the update to PvP, I've had my fingers crossed that this will be the answer — as, yes, the removal of the Latest pull percent bonus seems very much like a preliminary step being taken for something else.
  • StraycatStraycat Posts: 962 Critical Contributor
    Vaulting undoubtedly shifted the game toward 4*s. So much so I recall a thread about how someone 89 days in got their first 4* champ. So I would think the next change would try to shift the playerbase similarly to the 5* tier. This change definitely did not do that yet, but with a little time in dilution people should be able to build up a bunch of iso, which would help if a 5* shift were coming.

  • brollbroll Posts: 4,723 Chairperson of the Boards
    Weren't we told a new feature was likely going to be announced in the coming off-season? Assuming that wasn't Saved covers or the update to PvP, I've had my fingers crossed that this will be the answer — as, yes, the removal of the Latest pull percent bonus seems very much like a preliminary step being taken for something else.
    I was assuming it was one of those, but hey, it's the month of news right?  Maybe there's yet another big thing just over the horizon.
  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 2,571 Chairperson of the Boards
    The devs mentioned that they are working on new features.As usual, they are rolling things out in stages. I think the big picture is coming soon. Just hang in there till next month. 
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 4,053 Chairperson of the Boards
    To me, it seems pretty obvious.  There may be some kind of formula for average length to complete a character that the devs are looking for in general.   Latest odds made that timeframe pretty short in some cases.

    But here's the thing no one has brought up:  The Cover Bank feature has made it possible to avoid waste and would have gotten that timeframe even shorter.  Instead of selling off the 6th Valkyrie black, you can now bank it as a champ level.  4's can drop pretty quickly (especially with Latest odds) and bonus heroes work pretty well.  I, on a number of occasions, bonused 4's with covers on the vine and pulled enough of them (sometimes with rewards helping) to avoid selling off covers.  Caveat: I did use HfH a few times too, but didn't need to on a number of occasions.

    Anyway, I think that the first step to introducing the cover bank was to make all heroes equally likely to be pulled.  Keeping the Latest 4X odds would have made it too easy with the cover bank to brute force your way through RNG and cover more 4's more quickly with less hiccups.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,142 Chairperson of the Boards
    I too was able to bonus hero a 10-cover nightcrawler with 4 on the vine over to champ, only losing one cover to expiration in the process. One day I shall be nostalgic for that I'm sure lol
  • KahmonKahmon Posts: 610 Critical Contributor
    When they shifted the 3rd 4* in shield training from the newest 4* in packs to the one next to shift from latest to vintage most of us were extatic. Many, many players were able to complete the top part and get the extra cover of the new release character. By making it tougher to get newer 4*s covered, less players will still be able to do so.

    This may have been a way to incentivize players to spend more or crack into their hoards.
  • Pants1000Pants1000 Posts: 483 Mover and Shaker
    It’s possible there are changes coming to the 4* release schedule.

    Or the devs realized people weren’t spending money to chase new 4’s because they were still too easy to cover in a month or two.

    I remember back before vaulting when a Peggy Yellow came up people went nuts.  Getting one was like hitting the jackpot.  

    If that’s the reasoning, I don’t think it will work though.  Bonus Heroes just make it too easy to target the best characters and cover them relatively quickly.
  • brollbroll Posts: 4,723 Chairperson of the Boards
    bluewolf said:

    But here's the thing no one has brought up:  The Cover Bank feature has made it possible to avoid waste and would have gotten that timeframe even shorter.  Instead of selling off the 6th Valkyrie black, you can now bank it as a champ level.  
    Were people running into this a lot?  I don't think I had sold a cover for a a Latest 4* since a month or two after the split.  
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,142 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2018
    It happened to me a bunch; I had to let go of 3 Kraven's right before the odds went flat, which would have nearly gotten me the 13th cover I needed. Also Main Event I had to let go of at least that many yellows, and Chavez I had at 10 covers for a long time because I got 5 green real early and it seemed that's all they wanted to give me. Nothing like the number of blue Nick Fury's I've dumped, or yellow Flaptains, but still being able to bank them would have been nice. Even now, I have two Spider-Womans that are probably getting dumped because i need the iso (there are only 3 4*s who would put  me  in this situation being at 13 covers, and I've drawn 2 of the same color of the same one since the odds change lol. go figure)
  • JackTenrecJackTenrec Posts: 805 Critical Contributor
    As an almost purely PvE player, I've noticed something now that we don't have latest/vintage pulls, and that's that I'm a lot less interested in the game.  If the motivation treadmill is getting the latest character, pulling 13 covers, and then racing to get the ISO to level/champ, then I've got a lot of incentive to play to progression so I can keep up with CP/ISO income to get pulls for the latest shiny character, and to have the necessary resources to champ once the covers fall my way.

    As it is, most of my pulls now are champ levels -- which granted, are CP and ISO income -- but psychologically don't register as such.  It's not "oh, sweet, I got 3 CP or 1K ISO", it's "****, still no Shuri cover".  Since the Wiccan boss event, I've fallen well short of full progression in the couple of events that have run, and I'm a well-established 4* player slumming in SCL7 (so I'm already playing in low-effort EZmode).  

  • DormammuDormammu Posts: 3,379 Chairperson of the Boards
    The answer to why 50/50 latest/classics was eliminated seems fairly obvious to me:
         event vaults weren't selling

    Newly released 4-stars were quick and easy to fully cover through normal game play income, pulling out of Latest Legends. Hoarders could fully cover them as soon as they entered token pools. For everyone else, 13 covers were a certainty before the 4-star left the latest 12. So there was no urgency to spend in a vault and nab a cover or two during the release window/event. Vault sales = down.

    So what's the answer? Go back to dilution. Now it's not so easy to get those characters covered in a reasonable amount of time. And look at this! You now have slightly better odds of pulling 4-stars out of event vaults! Doesn't that look attractive? Don't you want the new shiny?

  • ZeroKarmaZeroKarma Posts: 513 Critical Contributor
    Dormammu said:
    The answer to why 50/50 latest/classics was eliminated seems fairly obvious to me:
         event vaults weren't selling

    Newly released 4-stars were quick and easy to fully cover through normal game play income, pulling out of Latest Legends. Hoarders could fully cover them as soon as they entered token pools. For everyone else, 13 covers were a certainty before the 4-star left the latest 12. So there was no urgency to spend in a vault and nab a cover or two during the release window/event. Vault sales = down.

    So what's the answer? Go back to dilution. Now it's not so easy to get those characters covered in a reasonable amount of time. And look at this! You now have slightly better odds of pulling 4-stars out of event vaults! Doesn't that look attractive? Don't you want the new shiny?


    No! I don't want the new shiny anymore! Rockett pointed out that anyone in the 5* tier barely looks at the latest 4* , much less using them for anything significant. 

    Sure, for people that are 4* tier and who don't want to go to the 5* tier this may be more interesting. But even for many of them, their highest level 4* from the vaulting period will have a significant level difference and be their go-to for a long, long while. 

    Regarding pack sales, it used to be that the new 4* could be found exclusively in 40 packs for their events. They were, in fact, the only 4* in there. The chances of actually getting one was pretty high for this game. (Probably why they killed it) By comparison, an 80 token vault with one cover, or 4x odds in a 40-pack with 65+ other 4* are a better example why people stopped buying them. 
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