Persil's list of 10 major problems with MPQ

Persil
Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
I've been playing MPQ for a year and half. It's a great game and I do appreciate all it's good points. However, there is also much stuff - both technical, as well as conceptual - which needs fixing. I understand that the game is just one of many D3's projects and probably not the most important one, so some things won't be ideal ever. However, there is an increasing number of serious issues and I feel like it's not fair with the community to leave them be.

Si I prepared a - sujective! - list of 10 biggest problems. I don't want to only criticize, so I also include some example suggestions of how things could be fixed. Today starting with first issue, which is...

1) Event design

In many weekend events, loosing even 1 goal and scoring like 138/140 gives you... rank 250+. Let's say it: in these, nobody gets rank 6-25, 26-50 etc, not to mention people who lost a game (often due to technical issues) and land on ranks 500+. This is frustrating and makes people rage quit, also giving them feeling of wasted time. It also feels like the designers don't want to get more people playing as there is no room for them - if 10x more people start playing, what would be the ranks for those events? Rank 2500+ for one mistake?

And then event timing. I live in EU and there've been weekend events where last node opens at midnight, with the whole event closing 4 hours later, at 4 am. If I go to work/school in the morning, how can I finish the event? Not playing the last nodes typically means loosing all rewards. Do I really need to resign from sleeping? Of course, game design is about making people come often, etc. however not allowing people to get sleep is a bit too far.

Finally, Duel Decks events. There is no real mechanic to encourage people to try other side and, even worse, the events feel extremely biased towards one side. I've played Dyxos vs Kalemne a few times, with Kalemne side always winning - people will just stick to it knowing that it won all previous events, prefering to get 500 crafting runes for duplicate. Same goes to Zendikar vs Eldrazi - I know that in the past Eldrazi were considered stronger, however now it's not the case: Nissa always wins.

Possible solutions

Rework the tier system. Either make the events more difficult so that only a few people get top rank. Or do score rewards instead of tiers.

Change event timing. Give people more time to finish last nodes so that they have 8-10 hours, say, instead of 4. I know that the new events have been better about this, however please fix the old ones.

Think about mechanics for Duel Decks which will make people choose different side. Maybe an additional helping supports on the battlefield for the side who lost last time?
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Comments

  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    edited October 2020

    2) Server problems

    This one is well known and gets worst during weekends. Last weekend we had serious connection problems, same was three (or so) weeks ago, and there were many similar incidents over past year or two. Each time this blocks people from playing, causes loosing matches or destroying users' experience in other ways. It's surprising given that weekend events are the main focus and people shouldn't be blocked from playing them.

    Possible solutions

    I guess only the developers know what is the reason. However, clearly something is not working - maybe it'll be good to change the server provider?
  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler

    3) Elite pack rotation choices

    In June I decided to start saving Jewels for one of the desired card packs - RNA Mythic+ with Killer Instinct. It's October and I still can't but it as it hasn't been in official rotation since March! (not counting V.I.P.). It's even worse with GRN which hasn't been since January. It's October, people! I saved more than 4000 Jewels and can't spend them.

    I do get that rotation is good. However here rotation means people haven't been able to buy some Packs for almost a year! And GRN and RNA are in Standard! Why in 2020 I was able to buy XLN or DOM (which are Legacy) a couple of times, and not GRN or RNA?

    Here is a page which traces the rotation: https://wiki.mtgpq.info/wiki/Elite_pack_tracking

    I have to admit that this has been probably one of the most fun stopping issues with MTGPQ. What's the point of Jewels, if I can't spend them? What's the point of playing events, if I won't spend the Jewel reward?

    Possible solutions

    An easy one: reschedule. Of course, newer packs should be more often (and the newest should be every week), however don't forget about other packs. It shouldn't be that some Standard packs cannot be bought in like 9 months.
  • Smokincookz
    Smokincookz Posts: 210 Tile Toppler
    About the elite pack rotation- I’m not 100% sure on this, but it seems like when they put an extra elite pool option for VIP, the same pool is hidden from non-VIP players for a long time. I can’t say for sure, but I had the same problem as you when trying to pull BSZ. 

    I noticed, in the history, the particular M19 pool was more frequently available to VIP, only showing up rarely for others. I swear, before VIP got the extra pool, the rotation was more consistent. But, that could also be from the lesser amount of sets we had in standard at that time. There wasn’t enough data then to say for sure. About a year ago.

    With more history to look back on now, it should be easier to see if there is this pattern. VIP should get extra, but not being VIP shouldn’t get you negatively snubbed either! Especially since non-vip can’t craft MP’s, and will get far fewer non-dupe packs. These need to rotate the same for non-VIP’s as they did BEFORE VIP was introduced- unless I am mistaken and they are the same.

    It seems like non-VIP’s have things being taken away from them that used to be free/normal, and they attempt to sell it back to us with VIP!


    Especially if you have full Legacy, VIP is a very bad deal for those of us who do. So, we’re locked out of the option, or must concede to waste the legacy portion. A shame. That’s a different topic though, which I hope is included in an upcoming segment in this list of yours! 

    Maybe under “product policy”, or whichever category you think is best. Keep it up!
  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    Smokincookz - I think your points are accurate. I'm not a VIP member so I wasn't planning to mention this as I've no experience here to judge. I was considering joining VIP, however seeing how the devs continuously degrade it, it makes no sense. I think your description of VIP problems is good enough - let's count it as a bonus, 11th point ;-)

    Regarding Elite Packs - you can track history here: https://wiki.mtgpq.info/wiki/Elite_pack_tracking
    Being in VIP pool doesn't exclude packs from being in regular, too - even for older standard/legacy ones. Best example are WAR packs. It's just GRN/RNA packs which are unfairly treated, being even worse than much older sets. I don't mind waiting, however GRN #1 hasn't been in the common pool for 10 months! Even though it was Standard most of this time.

    Anyway, time for next part soon...
  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    edited November 2020

    5) Resources and pricing decisions

    Once we get all good Planeswalkers to lv60, Mana Runes become useless. People reported having millions of this resource and not being able to do anything. I completed my collection of nearly 30 PWs (out of whom I really use only 10, others having just for private collection) two months ago and even I have already half a million of useless Mana Runes. Having a currency which becomes pointless is imho a significant design flaw.

    I can't also understand some pricing decisions. Standard cards are way more useful than Legacy as the former can be used almost everywhere. It can be seen in the crafting, where Legacy cards are cheaper than Standard. So why Mythic+ Legacy packs cost as much as Mythic+ Standard ones?

    IMHO same applies to Vanguard packs. I can spend 400 Jewels on regular pack and have 1/3 chance of getting Masterpiece, or spend same 400 Jewels on Vanguard card and have 0 chance of getting Masterpiece. Why? I do get that they are Vanguards, they can't be obtained from regular packs nor from crafting, but still - they are just Mythics. After playing for 18 months, I have 220+ Mythic cards while only 18 Masterpieces. It's the latter that has real value.

    Also, we can predict what is the Standard/Legacy rotation scheme. I can spend 400 Jewels on Mythic+ ZNR card which I'll be able to use in Standard for nearly two years, or spend same amount on ELD or THB which will be in Standard only for less than a year. Why do they have the same price? This applies to crafting, too.

    Possible solutions

    Easy - just vary the prices. And make some way to spend Mana Runes once you are done with levelling PWs. I don't mind it being something expensive - just please give us any way to spend them!
  • jtwood
    jtwood Posts: 1,261 Chairperson of the Boards
    @Persil I'm looking forward to the other 5 items. :smile:
  • gillkonam
    gillkonam Posts: 70 Match Maker
    Why we cant have non dupes on rares in Pw is crazy. Id rather it be limited to rares. Theyve made rare pw as rarer than mythics.
  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    edited January 2021
    After a little break, let's continue :)

    6) Stupid AI

    AI does't have to be amazing. Actually, if it was better, people would win less games which could turn them away. Still, there are areas where AI is silly and could behave more realistic, without spoiling the fun (or actually making it better).

    An example - Greg can't play multi-mode cards. Cycle, Split, Adventure - AI never uses them. While I understand that programming AI to make decicions could be a tricky process, it strikes me that it hasn't been programmed at all. Not even "choose a random side of the card" or better "choose random side, and if you can't cast it, try the other". This would not be that complicated to program, and would make the game more believable. Or with Adventure - "play spell first, then creature" (as it can't be played the other way) - the last one has been suggested to the developers, they promised to check on this... a year ago. And nothing changed.

    Another thing - cases when AI can win in a given round, and instead decides to not. Two  ago, I had a match in Planechasing Fblthp. I was done - Greg's turn, his creatures able to kill me in that round (let's say I like to play it with **** cards, to gain experience). What did AI do? It decided to... use 3rd ability and shuffle all his creatures to hand. Why? There are many more strange examples of using abilities by AI - e.g. Sarkhan having 30 Loyalty and most of the time using his 2nd one (summon dragon) instead of 3rd (summon three creatures which would devastate the opponent) - however this one with Fblthp is one of most striking.

    Possible solutions

    Fix multi-mode cards - e.g. as suggested above.
    For PWs abilities, I guess it's more tricky and would need individual check with each one.

  • jtwood
    jtwood Posts: 1,261 Chairperson of the Boards
    Persil said:
    After a little break, let's continue :)

    6) Stupid AI

    AI does't have to be amazing. Actually, if it was better, people would win less games which could turn them away. Still, there are areas where AI is silly and could behave more realistic, without spoiling the fun (or actually making it better).

    An example - Greg can't play multi-mode cards. Cycle, Split, Adventure - AI never uses them. While I understand that programming AI to make decicions could be a tricky process, it strikes me that it hasn't been programmed at all. Not even "choose a random side of the card" or better "choose random side, and if you can't cast it, try the other". This would not be that complicated to program, and would make the game more believable. Or with Adventure - "play spell first, then creature" (as it can't be played the other way) - the last one has been suggested to the developers, they promised to check on this... a year ago. And nothing changed.

    Another thing - cases when AI can win in a given round, and instead decides to not. Two  ago, I had a match in Planechasing Fblthp. I was done - Greg's turn, his creatures able to kill me in that round (let's say I like to play it with **** cards, to gain experience). What did AI do? It decided to... use 3rd ability and shuffle all his creatures to hand. Why? There are many more strange examples of using abilities by AI - e.g. Sarkhan having 30 Loyalty and most of the time using his 2nd one (summon dragon) instead of 3rd (summon three creatures which would devastate the opponent) - however this one with Fblthp is one of most striking.

    Possible solutions

    Fix multi-mode cards - e.g. as suggested above.
    For PWs abilities, I guess it's more tricky and would need individual check with each one.

    The AI can cycle now. They added that feature a few releases ago. It doesn't do it very often, but it definitely does do it from time to time.
  • Bubbles_CS
    Bubbles_CS Posts: 316 Mover and Shaker
    Also, they mentioned that the Fblthp AI is...slower than the rest. That much is intentional.

    That said, while I think it would make sense for the AI to use the ultimate more often when it can, I would also be frustrated to play against the timer to win before the AI can ultimate. I’m kind of glad the AI doesn’t ultimate more, but it could be dialed up some, slowly over time. I agree that Greg in general needs to be a bit tougher.
  • Rant_Ent
    Rant_Ent Posts: 49 Just Dropped In
    why this post is not sticky on top of the page?
  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    The AI can cycle now. They added that feature a few releases ago. It doesn't do it very often, but it definitely does do it from time to time.
    Indeed, I encountered it today, I think for the 1st time. Greg cycled Shark Typhoon. Not sure though whether it can cycle any cycling cards, or just specific ones. Shark Typhoon has additional effects when cycled, so Greg may see it as casting.
  • jtwood
    jtwood Posts: 1,261 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2021

    JTWood's list of 1 major problem with "Persil's list of 10 major problems with MPQ"

    1. Persil's list stops at 6
    :D:D:D
  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    edited February 2021
    Haha! I'm building tension :smiley:

    7) Bugs

    Sure, each game has bugs. The problem with MTGPQ is their number, and that many remain for months. The game is filled with problems. You can see it even from the number of threads in the "bugs" subforum - just in January, it had about 100 active topics! While some are duplicated and some may even not be bugs, at the same time there are many people who don't use forum, or who don't report bugs. I personally know of many minor issues which don't break the game and as such are not worth reporting.

    The biggest problem are those bugs which break the game. Last winter (2019/2020) we had softlock issues when opening menu during animations. After many weeks, it's been fixed. This winter, we have another softlock issue (there are already many people reporting it). And, because of the ill event design (problem #1 above), each softlock in ranked events = loosing the whole event and often landing in rank 200+.

    Since mid December 2020, this softlock happend to me 7 times in ranked events.

    Bugs are everywhere, even outside the game. The new version of this forum was bugged (many people, including myself, where unable to write posts). The Quest Journal is bugged. New events are bugged. You can even find old bugs coming again (my favourite: Christmas Event 2020 had exactly the same issue with missing charges it had in 2019, despite the devs knowing it and fixing it a year ago - will it become a new MTGPQ winter tradition?). Even the... page for reporting bugs, has bugs too.

    Possible solutions

    Not really. IMHO it will be worse and worse. The more mechanics are added, the more problems between them and the old ones, will occur. With so many bugs, it's clear that the devs can't cope with all of them. Maybe it's time to really, really focus on fixing the game for some time.
  • TheHunter
    TheHunter Posts: 224 Tile Toppler
    *coughs*
  • jtwood
    jtwood Posts: 1,261 Chairperson of the Boards
    Xucachris said:
    *coughs*
    :smiley:
  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    edited March 2021
    Ok, here we go :wink:

    8) Interface and how the info is presented

    11:50 GMT. Starting to build a deck for an event. It's ranked, so I'm careful. After 10 minutes of thinking, I'm nearly done. Then - boom! - 12:00 and the game returns me back to main menu, without any warning or a chance to save the deck. Why? Because some other event just got new nodes. This is super annoying and shouldn't happen!

    Another one. The game timer, used e.g. for free boosters in the Vault, often shows rubbish. I got used to that if I want to make sure how much time is left till next pack, I need to return to main menu, and then go again to the Vault. Very often, the timer will show e.g. 2 hours left, and after going to menu and back to Vault, will change to ready. Even better, I once managed to have it say it's 6 hours 28 minutes till next pack (I have a screenshot). But hey, it comes every 6 hours, so how has this happened? I really don't understand why the timer is so broken.

    Why, when buying new PWs in the Vault, it shows us info about their Lvl 1 abilities? We don't care about Lvl 1. Why can't I check Lvl 60? Or even better - get a description of abilities at different levels? This is easily available on wiki. That's what I do - instead of checking useless info in the App, I go to wiki. But should it really be this way?

    Same with PvE events. The enemies are always the same for a given node, yet I can't get info who am I playing against - need to check wiki.

    Also, regarding events. The special rules descriptions are lazy. Why there is only a general info about the whole event? Why can't each node get seperate icon which, when clicked, would show what are specific special rules for this node? Best example is "Duets of Mana - Tears and Memories". In the description, it has a general info for "Ajani themed encounters", "Sorin themed", "Mu Yanling themed", "Vivien themed". I got to the 3rd fight, which is "Ixalan's Wildlife". How am I supposed to know which of these rules apply? It's not obvious. What is more, in some events I can use same PW for all nodes. In others, I can only use him/her in one noe. In some events, I can change PW once I started playing. In others, I can't. Why there is no info about it? Why do we need to guess, check wiki or write down notes?

    Staying with events. Why we can't edit our nodes when having 0 charges and waiting for new ones? Or, similar, why we can't edit nodes before the event starts? Both of these would be super useful.

    Then, the card abilities descriptions. Very often they don't explain what they really do. "Mana field" says "irradiates an area of effect to the gems around it" but it doesn't say what is the size of the area! In "Colors of Magic" event, the special supports have "you gain X life", "Create X Thopter tokens" etc. but it doesn't say what is X (sure, we can deduce it's the mana bonus, but it should say it to be clear).

    Next - Inbox. I've been playing this game for two years. Why, every two weeks or so, I get message "New to MPG? ..." - why there is no check e.g. "if player_timespan > month => don't show this message"? Same with "Join a coaltion" message - guys, I've been a member of coalition for 18 months...

    Then the Maintenance - it's not coordinated with events, at all. Last time, it started just after new nodes to "The Colossal Tussle" have been opened. Many people started playing, just to find after the match that they need to close the App, loosing the game and thus droping from Rank 1 to Rank 200. However, according to Marcela, there is some hope this will be resolved.

    The interface (and all around it) just feels not comfortable, at all. Sure, it works, however often is just not too handy.

    POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

    To be fair, the last interface update which we got a few months ago, did improve things a little (in particular, moving the inbox icon to the top was a good idea). However, this is just one small step and we need much more.
  • TheHunter
    TheHunter Posts: 224 Tile Toppler
    Hi, the 12 o'clock boom thing isn't so bad now - I've noticed my partly constructed decks stay in the event slot even if they have <10 cards allocated. The rest of it, 100% with you, so maddening.
    Are you George RR Martin real life? Expecting no.9 some time in September   :wink:

  • Persil
    Persil Posts: 137 Tile Toppler
    edited March 2021
    Xucachris said:
    Hi, the 12 o'clock boom thing isn't so bad now - I've noticed my partly constructed decks stay in the event slot even if they have <10 cards allocated.
    Thx, good to know!
    Xucachris said:
    Are you George RR Martin real life? Expecting no.9 some time in September   :wink:

    Haha :D I will speed up. I assumed that (almost) nobody reads this topic, so I wasn't in rush. I'll try to finish this month.

    There are 3 points remaining: #9, special mentions, #10. I assume #9 will be the most serious so far, and #10 will be even more important.

    PS. Back to the topic about AI using Cycling. It happened to me again. However, in both cases when AI cycled cards, there were extra effects to that (e.g. "when cycled, convert gems"). Not a proof, however it gives an impression that AI cycles only in such cases.