Grand Experiment 2: Treading Water in the SCL 10 Post-Shardpocalypse

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  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 7,926 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @HoundofShadow said:
    SS's buff is one awesome change. Fire his black hole and wait for it to reach one before switching to full health boosted enemy to down them on the next turn. I'm talking about downing a 160-210k health enemy instantly.

    Instantly, after getting 12 black and waiting 3 turns.

  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 9,161 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Fun fact - if you drop a black hole next to an opponent's black hole, it can destroy yours on one of it's procs.

  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 7,926 Chairperson of the Boards
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    I've had matches against Surfer Jane where she destroyed the black hole right away. Not a smart move to run that team.

  • KGB
    KGB Posts: 2,933 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    @entrailbucket said:
    Actually, I'm curious how far this should extend down. If players should be able to trivially "punch up" by 120 or more levels, and you're running lvl350 4*, do you often lose to 3* teams in PvP? Would you feel good if you were losing to 1* or 2* teams?

    Should every player, from day 1 of playing, be able to clear CL10, or should it be too hard for, say, 1* rosters?

    If they don't give some incentive to level your guys up, you end up with softcappers exploiting scaling mechanics to win everything in "easy mode."

    As noted by Bowgentle, I am softcapping my 5* at 350 where is where my top 4* characters (the meta ones) also are. I typically run the easy to use punch up teams of Grocket/Polaris, BRB/Polaris, Shang/Valk, America+boosted char etc.

    I never get hit by 3* teams and below. I imagine that's because there are no real meta 3* characters capable of punching up like there are in the 4* and 5* tiers.

    Since I am never playing for placement in PvP, I would infinitely rather be hit and lose to 3* teams and below than be hit by dual 550+s (which happens once I break MMR around 750 points) or even the low 500s (which I see in my queue because a 400+ boosted to 500+ still qualifies as something MMR shows me for opponents). The reason being I would get an easy retal to get me to 25 wins (or 900 points whichever happens first).

    KGB

  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    While you are making black matches, you are also dealing damage to the other two enemies. Think on the flip side: if SS's black hole is cheap, it means that any 450 Surfer or SS with black cover + (boosted) champed 5* will take down most 672 characters with ease.

    Also, Black Hole is affected by random tiles destruction. Since AI isn't smart, it's normal for his black hole to be destroyed by ally mThor. It's down to reading board and timing your attack for SS if you pairing him with mThor.

  • Bad
    Bad Posts: 3,146 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Imo the goal to any gacha game is to develop your characters further, and so I did always.
    If there were negative effects on my play experience, I was/ I'm unable to notice them.
    Also developing characters saves time.
    However this game has this type of flexibility and also there aren't difficulty levels making imperative player's growth, or guild battles like other games do.
    So many players are hesitant to make the step to 5* land or ask for advice (I can remember our brand new mod doing it, and lastly I see him near my place in every bracket :D )

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 4,899 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @Bowgentle said:

    @HoundofShadow said:
    SS's buff is one awesome change. Fire his black hole and wait for it to reach one before switching to full health boosted enemy to down them on the next turn. I'm talking about downing a 160-210k health enemy instantly.

    Instantly, after getting 12 black and waiting 3 turns.

    I've done several hundred fights with Surfer this week, between PvP and PvE, and haven't cast his black one time.

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 4,899 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @KGB said:

    @entrailbucket said:
    Actually, I'm curious how far this should extend down. If players should be able to trivially "punch up" by 120 or more levels, and you're running lvl350 4*, do you often lose to 3* teams in PvP? Would you feel good if you were losing to 1* or 2* teams?

    Should every player, from day 1 of playing, be able to clear CL10, or should it be too hard for, say, 1* rosters?

    If they don't give some incentive to level your guys up, you end up with softcappers exploiting scaling mechanics to win everything in "easy mode."

    As noted by Bowgentle, I am softcapping my 5* at 350 where is where my top 4* characters (the meta ones) also are. I typically run the easy to use punch up teams of Grocket/Polaris, BRB/Polaris, Shang/Valk, America+boosted char etc.

    I never get hit by 3* teams and below. I imagine that's because there are no real meta 3* characters capable of punching up like there are in the 4* and 5* tiers.

    Since I am never playing for placement in PvP, I would infinitely rather be hit and lose to 3* teams and below than be hit by dual 550+s (which happens once I break MMR around 750 points) or even the low 500s (which I see in my queue because a 400+ boosted to 500+ still qualifies as something MMR shows me for opponents). The reason being I would get an easy retal to get me to 25 wins (or 900 points whichever happens first).

    KGB

    Well, of course you feel that the ability to punch several hundred levels up is good and necessary! You take advantage of that ability and are immune from it yourself. If you were playing for placement and you lost hundreds of points to 3* teams every event, you'd feel quite differently.

  • KGB
    KGB Posts: 2,933 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @entrailbucket said:

    @KGB said:

    @entrailbucket said:
    Actually, I'm curious how far this should extend down. If players should be able to trivially "punch up" by 120 or more levels, and you're running lvl350 4*, do you often lose to 3* teams in PvP? Would you feel good if you were losing to 1* or 2* teams?

    Should every player, from day 1 of playing, be able to clear CL10, or should it be too hard for, say, 1* rosters?

    If they don't give some incentive to level your guys up, you end up with softcappers exploiting scaling mechanics to win everything in "easy mode."

    As noted by Bowgentle, I am softcapping my 5* at 350 where is where my top 4* characters (the meta ones) also are. I typically run the easy to use punch up teams of Grocket/Polaris, BRB/Polaris, Shang/Valk, America+boosted char etc.

    I never get hit by 3* teams and below. I imagine that's because there are no real meta 3* characters capable of punching up like there are in the 4* and 5* tiers.

    Since I am never playing for placement in PvP, I would infinitely rather be hit and lose to 3* teams and below than be hit by dual 550+s (which happens once I break MMR around 750 points) or even the low 500s (which I see in my queue because a 400+ boosted to 500+ still qualifies as something MMR shows me for opponents). The reason being I would get an easy retal to get me to 25 wins (or 900 points whichever happens first).

    KGB

    Well, of course you feel that the ability to punch several hundred levels up is good and necessary! You take advantage of that ability and are immune from it yourself. If you were playing for placement and you lost hundreds of points to 3* teams every event, you'd feel quite differently.

    Absolutely I would. But how many players are realistically playing for placement? Top 10 in a bracket or is it more like top 5 (I was a T25 in my latest CL10 bracket with only 880 points so a T25 placement is still just a casual player). Or are we only talking about the Stone chasers?

    If we are talking T10 in a bracket of 500 players we are talking about 2% of the player base this matters to. Should PvP and character punch up potential really revolve around 2% of the player base? It's easy to see why it gets ignored by the developers when it only makes a real difference to 2% of players.

    KGB

  • dianetics
    dianetics Posts: 1,396 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    Competition for t50 is high but for t100 it is light.

    So I would guess t10 would be very high and so is t20.
    I know t50 competition is high because most players 40-60 are usually within 500-1000 points. But 50-100 the spread is much much greater.

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 4,899 Chairperson of the Boards
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    "Only" 880 points is a million miles away from a casual player's score. Casual players finish with scores in the 200s or 300s. You're likely able to score that much only because you're manipulating the matchmaking algorithm -- other players that can see you can't beat your teams.

    I don't really understand the purpose of this (why compete for rewards you won't ever use?), but at least the game has made it non-optimal to do it. Years ago, softcappers had such a huge advantage that they'd finish #1 in PvE every event.

    Anyway, I think that if a character can trivially beat others 100 or 200 levels higher, that's a pretty good sign that character is overpowered. If I was the developers I'd take a really hard look at those guys.

  • KGB
    KGB Posts: 2,933 Chairperson of the Boards
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    I call myself a casual player in that I don't care about the placement rewards. Casual players to me only play for the progression rewards in PvE and PvP. Non-casual players are attempting to finish T10 or more realistically T5 where the placement rewards ramp up rapidly. And yes, I know there is another level of casual which is players who only play a handful off battles in PvE and PvP but that's a whole other category.

    As for rewards, I use all of the ones I get since they are all 4* tier rewards (the 4* cover, 4* shards) with some CP points thrown in when I want to cover the 5*. Eventually once my 4* characters hit 370, I'll champ 40 to 50 5s and move into entry level 5 champ land.

    As far as beating characters 100 levels higher goes, I'd say it say they are never ever going to do anything about that nor should they. It's part of the strategy of the game to assemble teams of characters with synergy to win easy, medium and tough battles and to know what you can and can't win. Punching up is essential for winning under covered crashes when you are an early 4* player and for attempting CL10 in PvE. If it's really that much of a big deal then why not just make every PvP Balance of Power (all characters to 550) and then no one has to punch up or down :)

    @dianetics - I think the reason you see so many players bunched in that area is because they are looking for the progression rewards (4* cover, 4* shards) and to get those they all end up around 600-900 points. The placement rewards are so minuscule they barely register.

    KGB

    KGB

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 4,899 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    So you've just defined "casual player" as "whatever I do." You're actually a highly competitive player, and if you've got multiple fully covered 5*, you're in the top 5% of rosters quite easily -- you've just chosen to handicap your roster so you can exploit the matchmaking algorithm. I quite frequently finish outside the top 10 in PvP and I've got 10 lvl550 5*, am I a "casual" too?

    You didn't address my other question. How far should players be able to punch up? Should day 1 players with a few 2* covers be able to trivially clear CL10 PvE? Where is the cutoff? Can you think of any reason why they might want to make certain content too difficult for certain players to beat?

  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    It will take about a year or more to unlock SCL 10 for new players. Again, you are ignoring the power of synergy. Synergy can trump levels, depending on matchups. I've used 3* IM, 3* KK and 2* Storm to win some of the 2nd or 3rd round of CN nodes. The CN node levels are easily 200-300 higher than this team.

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 4,899 Chairperson of the Boards
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    In roleplaying games, can you typically march directly to the final boss and defeat him with lvl1 characters? Would you find a game like that satisfying?

  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 9,161 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @Sekilicious said:
    @Road_Warrior If you want me to split the odd conversation (How the game should be played vs. how it is? Who is and isn't casual? I'm having a hard time following where it started and where it is going) that spontaneously evolved on your thread please do not hesitate to ask. Normally, I would just do it but this is your personal thread so will defer to your judgement.

    No that’s fine, let people engage where they are. Otherwise this thread is me telling people I finished 1* Yelena or whatever at this point.

    Also I think it’s interesting, and largely germane to the “what does even rng based leveling look like” spirit of this thread.

  • KGB
    KGB Posts: 2,933 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    I define myself as casual because I'm not trying to win placement. If you're actively trying for T10 (T5 etc) placement and you're not happy if you miss it then your competitive (your alliance choices also says a lot about this too as I am in a very casual alliance that only half the time clears round 8 in boss events and never finishes better than T500 in any event).

    The only limit on how far players can punch up should be skill (gem matching, team synergies, in battle tactics etc) and effort (how many times your willing to repeat battles to win or get better). It should have very little to do with character levels. Now 1* characters are never going to beat 5* because the math makes it impossible but 4* beating 5* doesn't seem out of line at all. For what it's worth, the best time I've ever had in MPQ was WAY back in the day when the 3* cover node in DDQ was 4 waves (2 goons, 2 tile movers) and I would spend probably 20-25 minutes trying to complete it with 2* teams in the L70-80 range because I needed the 3* cover so badly. Without the ability to punch up I would have never gotten those much needed 3* covers or had so much fun.

    Two reasons to make content too difficult to achieve (there may be others but these seem like the biggest two):
    1) You're worried that if everything is too easy then players will get bored and quit.
    2) You're worried that if you give away too many resources too soon (Monty Haul style) then players advance too fast and get bored and quit OR they reach a level of play they aren't ready for skill wise and hit a wall they can't get over and quit in frustration.

    The role playing games example doesn't really fit here. Most computer role playing games now set the enemy level to that of the character level so it is possible to be L1 and defeat a L1 end game boss if you never level up (I did something like this in Elder Scrolls:Oblivion/Skyrim and the Dragon Age series when I finished way under leveled simply because I never bothered leveling up even if I was entitled to do so). Plus the point of those games (at least for me) is the story (I like to finish every side quest), not the boss battles.

    A big part of MPQ appeal is that the game isn't just boss battles (PvP). It's also for collectors (gotta have em all and then all champed), it's for people who enjoy the camaraderie of alliances/line chats, it's for people like Hound who love to figure out unique teams and synergies to defeat challenging opponents, it's for people who want to finish 1st in competitive PvP/PvE etc. In other words there are lots of things to do in the game which keeps people playing and coming back.

    KGB

  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 9,161 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    I would say what you and I are is "hardcore casual" in that we care about the game and we will sink time into it, but we aren't so hardcore we want to chase placement. I'd be curious what the banding of players looks like who fall into this group - because surely there are "i do DDQ every day" players and there are "i remember it's installed occasionally when i'm in the restroom" players, and some other plots on the graph in between where they are and where we are. Also people who are hardcore into only one or the other of the modes, stuff like that

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 4,899 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    Feel free to define yourself however you want -- you are one of the very top players in this game. You've chosen to define yourself via the few hundreds of players above you vs the many thousands of players behind you, and that's what the game is set up to make you do.

    They make content too difficult for some players to clear, and keep you focused on the few players above you rather than the mass of players behind you, because this particular game only exists to sell you stuff.

    When they stop selling stuff, the game closes down. Free to play players are tolerated to some extent, but if it's too easy to do well without spending money, revenue drops and the game closes down. It's played out thousands of times among games of this type -- these games only exist because they generate tremendous profits. A vibrant community with many players who love the game and talk about it is no defense against a drop in profit.

    People somehow forget this -- MPQ is, by its very nature, unfair. They literally sell competitive advantages for money -- it's not the Olympics. If, as you say, there should be no limit to how high lower level players can punch up, what incentive is there for anyone to spend money? How would they stay in business?

  • KGB
    KGB Posts: 2,933 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023
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    Don't all games exist to sell you stuff? Some via micro transactions like MPQ and others with the upfront game price like say Call of Duty. They also all stop when the stop being profitable.

    Also if you think the Olympics are fair, you're a dreamer. There is a reason the US and China win the most medals. They spend the most on the latest equipment, training, coaches etc. No different than spending a bunch of $ in MPQ. Just like there are upsets in the Olympics (lesser countries winning gold) there are lesser rosters punching up in MPQ.

    From a business point of view, the goal is to 'sell you the illusion' that spending another dollar will help you do better. It's the same idea that cosmetic companies sell women (and increasingly men) on when they offer beauty products (or hair replacement) that purport to make you look youthful again and more attractive.

    People will always spend money chasing the illusion if the appeal is crafted 'just right'. Eventually most people finally have that illusion shattered (women get old enough to realize no beauty product helps any more and MPQ players realize no amount of money they spend makes them any better / more competitive).

    If you think MPQ is in trouble profit wise they can always spin another illusion by raising the champion cap levels on 4* and 5* by another 50 levels to let 4* go up to 420 and 5* get to 600. Then offer a few stores featuring the meta characters and watch the money flow in as whales feel the need to chase the illusion that L600 characters are 'must haves' since they will be so much better than 550's and will boost to over 700 etc.

    KGB