Is the 4* tier dead?
fight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,051 Chairperson of the Boards
edited 8 January 2020, 08:29 in MPQ General Discussion
Vhailorx said:blankcanvas said:I agree he doesn't look great but to say the 4* tier is dead is a little premature. 2019 gave us some fun characters like Juggs, Thanos, Ronin, Creed, (*cough* Steve and his magic hammer *cough*), MODOK, Hammond Torch to name a few.
But you are right that dilution continues to be a problem. Rather than rolling out characters relentlessly, it would be nice to see how the developers plan to tackle this subject in 2020. (Assuming shards has something to do with it).There were many good 4*s released this year, but the 4* tier is still dead.Trash tier characters are always bad. They just dilute the pool, and 4* land is very dilute. (Northstar is in this tier, I think.)
But even good 4* characters are now just treading water. They do little to add to the variety of play for 5* players, nor can they compete with level 330+ 4* champs. and even for newer players on whose rosters the good new 4*a would make a difference, the 4* tier is SOOOOO diluted now that it's necessary to hoard for more than a month (while grinding hard) to gather aeven a handful of targeted 4* covers). Would you rather have 10 covers for sabertooth, or 5 each for sabertooth and 2099, even if you think 2099 is a bit better?Broken characters (worthy and to a lesser extent Juggs) are also bad because they invalidate all prior characters. Are there really any 4*s that matter for 5* play right now beyond bishop, worthy, and (when boosted or otherwise able to tank) Juggs? These characters break fundamental rules of mpq (they enable massive AP gain on round 2 in PvP, or they make aoe damage effectively zero cost). no one should advocate in favor the 4* tier because they want to see new broken 4*a. That is just a bad outcome for everyone.
I have seen this argument on occasion and to be honest, I don't quite understand it.
For one thing, I don't think the majority of the players are 5* players so I imagine 4* characters still play a significant part for a good portion of the player base (I see a lot of 4* level rosters utilizing Juggs for example). But I also don't buy the argument that 4* characters add little variety for 5* players. Before the arrival of Kitty, PvP was for the most part a sea of Okoye/Thor teams. Fast forward to the end of 2019 and now I see: Kitty/Grocket, JJ/Bishop, and Worthy Cap/Hawkeye teams in addition to the 5* pairs of Okoye/Thor and Iceman/Prof X.
At least from my own personal observations, I am seeing a greater variety of competitively viable teams being used in PvP than ever before.
Now I understand there are some players who believe that a team of two 5* characters should always trump a 5*/4* pairing considering the difficulty in acquiring 5* characters but if the goal is to maximize the amount of fun for the most amount of players then this middle road approach seems to be the best one. Not every player can keep up with the 5* release schedule and in spite of the dilution issue, it is still easier to champ a 4* character than a 5* character.
Is it a perfect system? No. Dilution is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. There are a variety of possible solutions such as rotating drop rates based on team affiliations or as in the Evergreen tokens power colors, developing new events that give greater access to 4* covers/shards, update to the rewards structure and so on.
But what I am trying to understand is what people who make this argument about the 4* tier expect. If a 4* character power set does nothing noticeably significant they are written off as a waste of roster space. In contrast, if a 4* character power set does something that impacts the meta, they are called broken. I think the problem lies in the conceptualization that the different tiers should operate separately from each other, specifically with each higher tier clearly dominating the preceding tiers, which I believe is bad game design.
The goal should be to intermesh the different tiers to expand possible strategies and thus the meta and I believe the 4* tier still has an important role to play in that regard. For example, Rogue was the MVP of my team for the Evergreen event. Her ability to lock out the other's team ability to gain green and the other effects of her Power Siphon ability really let her shine. If anything we need more variety in PvP and PvE event styles that give opportunities for new strategies and game play dynamics.
The argument that new characters invalidate all prior characters only holds true under standard game play modes and is not a unique problem to the 4* tier. The same arguments can be made in all tiers. Granted, the 5* tier has notably slowed down on the power creep and instead embraced a lateral expansion of the top tier which I think has been a smart move as it allows more players to participate in higher tiers of play. And a key part of that expansion has been 4* characters.
So I am struggling to understand what is meant when people say "the 4* tier is dead." Are you suggesting the dev team stop making 4* characters? What characters would players chase then? 5* characters? How would that shift appeal to casual players and people who are not 5* players? Dilution would still be a problem and there will still be characters released that don't do anything remarkable in terms of the meta. But on top of that, the situation would worsen for non-competitive players. Progress for them while now perhaps experienced as a trickle would halt to an occasional drop.
I think the recent introduction of shards, the mighty tokens, and non-competitive PvE events show that devs are still looking for ways to address the 4* dilution problem without disrupting the game economy. As they have noted, they aren't finished implementing shards and/or mighty tokens into game rewards yet, and I think it is wise they are taking a more cautious approach. If they went all in from the get go and decided to rollback rewards since it was affecting their bottom line, they would take a lot of heat. Instead, they can monitor how people are utilizing the new shard system and consider carefully where to expand them in the current reward scheme. And I hope they continue to explore successful 4*/5* pairings to make more 5* characters relevant. I think a fun, robust PvP meta is one that allows for a variety of team compositions, whether they be 5*/5* pairings or 4*/5* pairings.
While I am quite aware that the current PvP meta isn't everyone's cup of tea, I have been enjoying it. And I am sure I am not the only one.
Edit to add: Original discussion found in Northstar Character thread.