Undone by Elderspark

bken1234bken1234 GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 2,831 Chairperson of the Boards
I finished The Elderspark-- for the first time ever -- I played the whole thing. I like exactly two encounters. 1.1 (I only like the first encounter in one other PvE event, RatC) and 3.3. The rest is complete, absolute, total garbage.

I built for all objectives, though loosely for the Partner and Proliferate objectives -- because when I reviewed the decklists, PW abilities and special supports, it occurred to me that even with my high skill level and extensive collection I was going to take a chance either way -- I could water down my decks and risk losses and quicker matches, or I could go for longer very grindy miserable matches. I chose more balanced decks and the chance of lost objectives in how I played. 

I had two losses, they were very fast losses, like within 5 rounds -- 3.2 and 4.2. 

Skipping objectives made the event feel much less grindy, but why build an event like that? If I'm going to play an event, I want to want to do my best. I don't want to build to maybe do my best. I'm left hating this event just as much as I did going in. 

Final score 1230/1350 91%

That's my player perspective. 


My leader perspective is much worse, as I represent not only my top 25 coalition, but an entire alliance of 35 coalitions that range from top 10 to very casual -- and the mood across the board was not good this weekend. 

At the beginning of the event, I sent a message to my coalition:

Other TP9 Leaders issued similar messages -- the thing is -- we operate this way anyway, but this event stresses our players out so much that we have to remind them how to have fun playing a game.

I knew when the forum announcement was updated and I saw this event come up that I had to clear my weekend. My time was split between the forum and Discord. I built a lot of decks this weekend. I whined a lot, too. I begged one of my players not to quit the game.

I supported leaders who are giving up hope that D3Go! and Oktagon read these forums and even care a little about what we think. I supported them. did not disagree with them. 

This poll was done on 13 October. 44% of players said they do not like the event. I have not been very public on the forums lately. I'm reading them and I'm modding them, but I'm going to be honest -- The Elderspark breaks me. It makes me hate this game. Every time it runs, I run out of anything constructive to say. It's not just here, I'm not engaging in Discord either. I'm only engaging with @Brigby on critical issues. If actions speak louder than words, this event is proof that we are not valued. 

After the last time it was run, I asked Brigby, in a private conversation, to rehaul it. I gave well researched examples of why this event is unbalanced compared to other PvE events. I explained why it is unhealthy for the playerbase and alienates new and casual players. I even had the (In my very not humble opinion) amazing idea to make it individual. What we got was 8 hour recharges and the next run 2 weeks after half our collections were taken away. I'm not ok with this. This is the second to last straw for me. 

I'm going to end this with an apology to this community. I know everyone is frustrated, I can see it. Ironically I see it not in your words, but in your silence. You've literally lost your fire. Like me, you've just mostly given up. Many have left. I assume most of us who have stayed have just decreased our engagement and are spending much of our other time on other games, with this one as our secondary -- I guess we are at the point where we need to decide whether we want to fight for it or not. We know they're not listening.

We also know we can be much, much louder. 

The question is, are we up for it, or has The Elderspark undone us?


  • Gun BunnyGun Bunny Posts: 231 Tile Toppler
    The Mana curves for a lot of the higher end Encounters are ridiculous. I had a coalition member lose in seven turns because Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi outgained him on Mana 221-35. A +18 Mana curve with ramp cards in the deck, plus a Planeswalker ability that ramps as well? Immediately after all our reliable ramp got shown the door?

    Hell, the next encounter on that node has a +21 Mana curve.

    Even Ulamog wasn't that high (+20), and we still had access to good ramp spells to compensate, not to mention cheap removal options (Grip of Desolation, anyone?) without having to consider things like dealing with Vanguards.

    You get a bad draw, or the AI luck's into an early cascade, there's no way you catch up in time to win, let alone meet the objectives. It also doesn't help that the proliferate objective doesn't count every card with the ability (Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, among others)

    I've stopped submitting bug reports, and logging into the forums, because I really don't think my time and effort do a damn thing here.

    I hope I'm wrong.
  • Mburn7Mburn7 Posts: 3,318 Chairperson of the Boards
    The objectives required you to use bad cards that don't fit with the node fight at all
    The app freezes or crashes every time a zombie sneezes
    Every ability feels like its bugged, even when it isn't (but quite a few definitely are)
    The event lasts for 3 full days, going from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon
    Even the early fights (which I admittedly haven't played since the first time) are needlessly difficult.

    Extinction lost so many players before this event we had to let someone who randomly joined up Friday afternoon play, because absolutely nobody wanted the last spot.  In all my years playing I have NEVER seen so many people say "I don't want to play up this weekend because I hate this event".  Never.

    Just like Bolas casting the Elderspell was the beginning of the end for Ravnica, this event is looking like the beginning of the end for MTGPQ.  If Oktagon doesn't figure out how to fix things soon this game might not last until next Christmas.  And boy does that suck for all of us.
  • RaimonRaimon Posts: 1 Just Dropped In
    My two cents. I did quite well in this event (1340, all victories, only two objectives missed). My feelings are not so negative. But nonetheless I must agree with bken: many nodes felt like work, and not the pleasant kind of work.

    I built for winning and for all the objectives, which meant slow, defensive decks (mostly Karn). They worked, but they took me lots and lots of mind-numbing turns, many of them simply activating abilities to get some extra mana or lick a few hp from the enemy. 

    Objectives are OK, they present a challenge and add some variety to the game. But please, do not make them so slow and painful to achieve.

    And on top of that, the rewards are miserable for such a long and tough event. Not the most important thing, but insult added to injury.
  • Lucas_DopplegangerLucas_Doppleganger Posts: 1 Just Dropped In
    Guys, I'm an old player with history with MTG that goes back to Revised 3rd Edition, Legends and The Dark. The way you guys are moving the game overall is kind of boring. I always said to people I know that if you don't want to pay to win.... PLAY MTGPQ.
    Since you created VIP, this has changed a lot. gaining cards has became harder. If we had a crashless game, with actual competition, okay... but all updates comes with a high level of bugs and crashes.

    This event, for example, It's too long, too hard and too little rewards... I just finished with 1315. 

    I strongly recomend that you guys re-think the strategy as whole!

    Hope you take this into the best regards and deepest respect.

  • SighlockSighlock Posts: 4 Just Dropped In
    The best part of this game is the Coalition play. You gave us an opportunity to find other players that enjoy this game and can play together in a team. As a leader of BlackLotus, we are losing long time players every week. The game isn’t fun anymore. 

    The coalition events are what keeps people here and playing because of the friendships and teams we have created. These events are on the weekends which is also when most people can spend time with their families. The coalition events take so much time that people just don’t want to or can’t commit to it any more as it’s taking them away from their families and life.

    Please think more about the timing of things and make sense of them. If you are going to introduce and new standard which forces all players to rebuild decks, DON’T have the next 2 coalition events be the longest grinding events with poor rewards. The ElderSpark is too long and the rewards are poor. Period.

    I’ve been playing this game for over 3 years. I’m a VIP. I’m tired. Fix the damn bugs and freezes. 
  • KlepKlep Posts: 49 Just Dropped In
    Despite the increased recharge time, the event is still too long at three days.  That's 40 games, often long and involved as we struggle to stay alive while trying to meet objectives.  And this time included the burden of creating all-new decks because of the format shift - decks which are obviously less powerful both because of the strength of specific cards that left and the overall diminished card pool.  The 3.2 encounter in particular is close to unwinnable without specifically Leyline of Singularity - much like it necessitated Mistcaller before the rotation.

    I played the whole event.  I was fortunate to build or find good decks for each node, and I ended with a perfect score.  But it was a miserable slog, and I hated it.  Coming on the back of last week's similarly long event has made me exhausted, and I spent all last week dreading the weekend.  And with the rewards being so dreadfully poor, if I wasn't in a coalition I wouldn't have played it at all.  

    Of course, it doesn't feel like anything we say here matters because of the minimal communication we get back and the even more minimal changes.  
  • Merrick_FrontierYetiMerrick_FrontierYeti Posts: 7 Just Dropped In
    What Bken said - fix this very long (take forever to play), grindy (cards required for objectives, and I'm VIP with top cards in collection, make play slow and unbearably boring), and exhaustive event: rolling into Monday workday like we're in a terrible hunger games - take care of team by finishing yet another round of charges or take care of life (kids, wife, job... life outside the gaming weekend). 

    I am also a captain on a Top 25 team and this event alone had at least two longterm team members asking if they should just quit the game.  If devs don't care about the play experience they should at least care about the $$$ walking away from the game as dedicated players move on to other more rewarding gaming experiences.  
  • YammanigYammanig Posts: 39 Just Dropped In
    The event being a grind is an issue. I am also the leader of a t10 team and chat with other teams. On a whole I would say the main issue this event was the frequency of the freezes. Are we playing a beta game ? Seems new set old event means old bugs adding to new bugs. I played the event for all objectives missed 1 but had 3 losses due to freezes (each time was well into the game). 
    Speaking with players in my team 1 player out of 20 didn’t have any issues. Should we celebrate that 1 player in 20 didn’t have a freeze ?

  • Mburn7Mburn7 Posts: 3,318 Chairperson of the Boards
    Holy **** this is worse than I thought.  I'm seeing a lot of posts here from top coalition leaders, and if all of them are losing players due to this nonsense that does not bode well for the long term health of the game.

    @Brigby would it be possible for you to DEFCON-1 this to the team?  Their silence hurts almost as much as the event and freezes.
  • bken1234bken1234 GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 2,831 Chairperson of the Boards
    TK almost lost a player just hours into the event. It's not a secret, he posted about it in another thread. 

    I had a long talk with him this weekend. Reminded him that as a coalition, we would rather him stay with us and step back a bit more than leave the game -- it's who we are -- we don't have crazy requirements, we have several very hardcore players and a few pretty casual ones -- we manage to pull out top 25 every week -- we're a family. 

    After TE ran in October I told @Brigby this event does things to people, emotionally. I can't say exactly why, but it does. It just has an effect. It does it to me too. It causes severe reactions. It's not just one thing. For some it's bugs and freezes. Those don't get me, I've never had one. For some it's the fact that the first node has a difficulty of maybe 2 on a scale of 1-10 and then node 2 goes to 6. That's deflating. Then there's 3.2. Yah. I'll just leave that. 

    I brought it to the TP9 leader chat this weekend, I like to do this as they represent such a broad sampling of the playerbase from competitive to casual, week 1 players to first week players -- and got so many responses, the objectives are on crack compared to other PvE, we did an analysis of mana gains and found that this event has a slightly higher ramp than all other coalition PvE, but it also has more nodes than all other coalition PvE, double the event with the closest ramp, so you're getting pegged with ramp for twice as long as any other event. 

    So all this feedback I can come to one conclusion -- this event messes with people emotionally because you can only get your butt kicked for so long. Even if you're winning -- it feels like you're getting your butt kicked. 

    I went in and did the whole thing for the first time -- and I went in with the attitude that I was going to give it my all. I built intelligent decks. I liked my decks -- I even spent a lot of time in Discord fine tuning them, and had wayyyyy more fun with the community doing that than I did actually playing the event. 

    I came out feeling the same as I did every time. #UndoneByElderspark

    It's time to shelf this event.
  • YammanigYammanig Posts: 39 Just Dropped In
    It’s time to fix the constant game freezes or admit we are playing a beta game. I’ve lost count of the players I’ve lost due to being disheartened with the s
  • MachineMachine Posts: 559 Critical Contributor
    edited December 2019
    It's not just The Elderspark event, even though this event is king. It's about all the events that take 3 days, have a 4 or 5 nodes and **** rewards. Our team lost two players during the last Elderspark event. This run it has cost us one more AND on top of that, when the new The Great Tournament event came out, we had one player quit right after the release of the details of that event (3 days again, 5 nodes again, slap in the face rewards again). I'm the team captain of a top 25 team and I told the players in our team to play whatever charges they like and just skip the rest. The Elderspark breaks up our team every time again. I'd rather have a low team rank and keeping all the players in our team together and sane, than getting a great team score where our group falls apart.
  • jtwoodjtwood Posts: 757 Critical Contributor
    starfall said:
    I have to say, I played node 4 through, and found it easy, and not too much of a grind, with Ob Nixilis, Surveil, Blood Operative, and 5 Gates. A cheap PW, common/uncommon/rare cards.
    I didn't play nodes 2 and 3 because I couldn't be arsed. I have other better apps to use, play, and buy money for at the weekend.
    You and I lived the same weekend

  • OmegaLolrusOmegaLolrus Posts: 253 Mover and Shaker
    It's just... not fun. I've only been playing for a little over a year, but this event is the least fun I've ever had.
  • madwrenmadwren Posts: 2,026 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited December 2019
    It's no secret that I hate the event as well. Volrak summed it up nicely. It isn't the challenge that's the problem; yes, it feels like they turned on cheat mode for the AI, but that's how a lot of games operate. They turn every boss into an overpowered bullet sponge. That's essentially what they did here.  However, additionally, what drives me crazy is that every match--no, every TURN--takes forever. Tokens spawning, effects happening, the AI still figuring out what it wants to do with Vanguards on the board.  It feels like I spend half my game time just waiting for Greg's turn to finish. 

    In an environment without spell-based ramp, it seems like our decks run in quicksand. Some of this is simply an adjustment to life without BSZ, but I'll argue that BSZ abuse was the only way that Elderspark's time requirement  was tolerable before. =p  With the AI having insane mana and creature generation, an environment without fast ramp means that mana inequities are far more punitive than before.  Combined with the objectives forcing players to use so many terrible cards with proliferate/partner/etc, they're pigeonholed into a specific range of deck strategies. 

    I mean, I guess the only good thing is that you can trivialize a lot of the encounters by using Leyline of Singularity or Mistcaller, but...

    Anyway, there's been a noticeable reduction in the value of coalition play. The reward to investment ratio is extremely poor in several events.  At this point, it's hard not to feel that this is a deliberate strategy by Oktagon. 
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