Break the hoard or not ?

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  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    I don't know if it's the 5* boost or the unhoarding of this batch of 5* that caused me to see fewer iHulkoyes. I'm seeing even more Wanda and Apocalypse, compared to the former now. I also see a lot of Knull, which should not be surprising due to his boost.
    Wanda is extremely vulnerable to the boosted 5*, so it can't be that.  If you have a lvl450 Green Goblin his black will probably oneshot her.  Their crazy match damage is also very good against her.
    Baby champ MMR here. 

    I definitely played Apoc/Wanda and was hunting high point Hulkoyes that I’d usually skip unless they were the only thing left worth points. I also hunted Wanda teams with mega-boosted Goblin/Cap. I hit the mega boosted (and everything else) with my own Hulkoye. It truly felt like Rock Paper Scissors for maybe the first time ever for me. 
    I didn't see anything different, but I didn't expect to and I probably wouldn't anyway, for a bunch of reasons that don't matter.

    BUT I wonder if other people who play more normally are seeing what you saw.  If so it means the meta is recalibrating.  Normally when this happens there are a few weeks while people figure out the new "best 2," then we see that team become dominant.

    If the meta is actually balanced (and I don't know what that looks like...it has never happened before), we won't see it settle.  Some people have been asking for that for a long time, but I wonder if they'll be happy with it in practice vs the idea of it.
  • helix72
    helix72 Posts: 992 Critical Contributor
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    I definitely noticed a significant change and a lot more variety of teams. Now, it may just be because some are toys people haven't played with in a while (the boosted classics), it may be because some are new toys (a lot of folks seem to have broken hoards for the current LL trio), or it may be because those new toys are boosted. In any case, I play PvP for the rewards, I don't particularly find it fun, and it definitely took me longer to climb to full progression. The question is if the novelty will last into the period after the boosts have worn off.

    I will also say it definitely feels more "balanced", there's a lot more "rock, paper, scissors" to picking teams, I can't just blunt force Hoko vs everyone. This makes it easier to beat enemy teams (instead of rock vs rock now I can run paper vs rock) but also makes your teams more beatable, meaning more hits on my climb.
  • Jimsta_rooney
    Jimsta_rooney Posts: 167 Tile Toppler
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    A lot of the top players have broken their hoard for this one, I would go for it personally. 
    They can't all be wrong right? 
    If you want the top rewards in pvp colossus /wanda will definitely help you. 
    They are probably pretty useful for c nodes too. 



  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Yeah, so people used to say they wanted rock, paper, scissors, but I'm not sure they ever actually did. 

    Having a truly balanced meta where lots of characters are good, but only in different matchups, means you have to invest a ton of resources in different guys to cover different matchups.  It also means learning how a lot of different teams work and switching teams all the time.  That's not attractive to people who just want to use the best two guys and win every fight super fast without having to think too hard.

    I don't mean to sound dismissive of this playstyle, either, it's perfectly valid and it's been the MPQ meta since pretty much day one.  I just wonder how many people won't like a more balanced meta because they liked the old way better.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards
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    You know the meta has shifted when 5XX players are putting Okoye/Wanda out instead of iHulkoye when you reached more than a 1000 point.
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    You know the meta has shifted when 5XX players are putting Okoye/Wanda out instead of iHulkoye when you reached more than a 1000 point.
    I guess it says something that "the meta shifting" means switching from one Okoye partner to a different Okoye partner.

    Maybe that problem will get fixed soon though.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards
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    It depends on  how you see things. I think you probably view change(s) in meta as, "Who made up the meta? Okoye is part of the meta? The meta didn't change much."

    What I see is that the meta has changed from an offensive meta to a defensive meta.  There's nothing offensive about 5SW. At best, she's 60% defensive/30% support/10% offensive.
  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2021
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    I would guess that Apocalypse would be a bettter partner for Wanda but not nearly as many have him at 550 than Okoye. Wanda hurts Okoye by deleting TU tiles from the board after all. But since Apocalypse was featured in far fewer stores and people chased Okoye for so long it makes sense. 

    Featuring a character in several limited stores with CP sold at a little less than $1 per (if you’re in a buy club) and then nerfing that character to oblivion is a bad business model. I suspect that Apoc and Wanda may be featured in the fan favorites store instead to deal with the Okoye ‘problem’. 
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    I would guess that Apocalypse would be a bettter partner for Wanda but not nearly as many have him at 550 than Okoye. Wanda hurts Okoye by deleting TU tiles from the board after all. But since Apocalypse was featured in far fewer stores and people chased Okoye for so long it makes sense. 

    Featuring a character in several limited stores with CP sold at a little less than $1 per (if you’re in a buy club) and then nerfing that character to oblivion is a bad business model. I suspect that Apoc and Wanda may be featured in the fan favorites store instead to deal with the Okoye ‘problem’. 
    Whether or not it's bad business to nerf characters that people paid for, they've done it several times in the past. 

    The problem is pretty simple, really: if people spend for Okoye (or x-force, or sentry, or OML) they don't need to spend for anyone else.  They need people to spend continuously to support a game like this, because mobile games in general have massive user churn rates and extremely high profitability expectations.

    You might also think "if they nerf a guy that so many players spent for, those players will all quit and nobody will ever spend again."

    I thought this too!  I thought after OML (and especially Gambit) that nobody would ever spend on this game or go all in again, having seen what happened to those guys and considering the large number of spenders who quit in the wake of those nerfs.

    Somehow this didn't happen, and I have no idea why.  I guess people forgot, or new spenders stepped forward.
  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Honestly what do I know about business models. I probably wouldn’t do it that way but whatever. Okoye has had people calling for nerfs for a few years now. I’m guessing the people calling for them will continue to be disappointed. 
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Honestly what do I know about business models. I probably wouldn’t do it that way but whatever. Okoye has had people calling for nerfs for a few years now. I’m guessing the people calling for them will continue to be disappointed. 
    Nobody knows, is the thing!  I very much doubt they're listening to anyone calling for a nerf to anyone, or opposing a nerf.  When they do stuff like this it often doesn't make sense, given what we know, but here's the thing:

    *We don't know anything!*

    Unless you have access to their internal metrics around spending or engagement or whatever else they track, you don't actually have any idea what the impact of these decisions are, or the reasons behind them. 

    When they make a decision that seems awful, or they do something that seems bad for the community, we have no way to objectively evaluate that beyond "does the game still exist?"
  • Daredevil217
    Daredevil217 Posts: 3,926 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Okoye has remained untouched for over three years. Show me an example of ANY character who got nerfed after three years in the game unchanged. That to me is more than enough time to say she’s probably safe. How many more years of “metrics” do they need to determine if she’s a problem?  My guess is they have the data they need and she’s fine. 
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Okoye has remained untouched for over three years. Show me an example of ANY character who got nerfed after three years in the game unchanged. That to me is more than enough time to say she’s probably safe. How many more years of “metrics” do they need to determine if she’s a problem?  My guess is they have the data they need and she’s fine. 
    We don't know.  This is another popular argument that people deploy in these situations.  OML and Gambit didn't last 3 years, but they lasted much longer than any previous meta characters did, and the devs came for them eventually.

    So no, I can't point to a character that lasted 3 years before being nerfed.  Before OML I couldn't point to a 5* that was nerfed at all.  Before Gambit there wasn't a 5* who was changed twice, or a 5* who dominated the game for that long who was changed.

    It's not our game.  We are not in control of it.  The devs set the rules and they can change them any time they want, for any reason they want.
  • Daredevil217
    Daredevil217 Posts: 3,926 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Do we know the longest a character has ran wild before getting nerfed?
  • jp1
    jp1 Posts: 1,080 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2021
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    The nerfing will certainly have to do with resources when/if they decide to do it. 

    Okoye doesn’t protect you from health packs or needing to place shields, she is easily beaten by AI (in proper circumstances) and player base alike. 
    Gambit meant you really didn’t need to shield.

    OML meant you really didn’t need health packs. 
    Both meant you could punch out of your league and achieve resource gain that wasn’t necessarily commensurate with your time/investment/roster. 
    Those are all resource issues which have a negative impact on financial gain (aka the only thing they care about). Hence, the nerf. This is also why they smash instead of finesse the character. Minimal investment, maximum impact, and increase your need for a new meta which in turn increases spending.

    It’s all fairly transparent whether or not they spell it out.

    tl;dr - The carrot has to stay on the stick to be effective. If you manage to catch it, they have to “fix” that issue.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards
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    R4G wonders when they will be nerfed.
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    We don't know what their criteria are, but there are some commonalities among all the characters to be nerfed:

    - Every character that's been nerfed has been really strong, either offensively or defensively.
    - As a corollary, every character to be nerfed has dominated the meta for at least several months.
    - Every character to be nerfed has had a designed counter introduced before being nerfed, and the counter hasn't reduced their use.

    There are plenty of characters that have met these criteria that *haven't* been nerfed, but every character that's been nerfed has met them. 

    What does that mean?  It means we don't know anything.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2021
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    I think we should simply focus on nerfs beginning from Gambit v3. Those nerfs in the earlier years of the game are common. Even our neighbour, GI Joe, nerfed and made changes to characters. I think beginning from 2018 onwards, the game has more or less stablised. They did a survey last year and majority doesn't want nerf. 

    Also, the dev has shared what metrics and data they use to determine re-balance. It  was answered in the Q&A held in mid 2018.
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 5,045 Chairperson of the Boards
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    As far as a poll, there's actually another commonality between all the nerfs: they were all massively unpopular, even the ones that seem justified now in hindsight.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "stabilized," though.  The various pre-2018 metas were all quite stable, until they weren't. 

    The Okoye meta has lasted longer than probably any other one has, but what does that mean?  Bishop and 4* Cap both got killed recently.  Thor was dominant for a long time until the Hulk showed up and killed him.  The Hulk might be on his way out due to SW.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Stabilised means nerfing characters less frequently compared to the early years. In the last three years, only 3 characters have been nerfed. I believe more than 3 characters were nerfed in the first 3 years of the game. Between Gambit final nerf and Bishop nerf, there wasn't any other nerf in those two years.

    Nerf also means the character become "unusable" regardless of whether it's in pve or pvp.

    Thor is still being used in pve, shield sim and pvp (sometimes).

    From Gambit final nerf thread, this was what was said:

    When reports came in that he was still at the top of the heap, this wasn't initially cause for concern - there's always going to be a "Best" character - and we set to making 5-Star characters who could compete with Gambit and round out a robust metagame.Archangel's Aerial Superiority and Captain America (Infinity War)'s Man Without a Country powers were both designed with the intention of creating counter-play with Gambit.
    Unfortunately, this clearly wasn’t enough, and Gambit is now seen as a more or less mandatory inclusion for players’ teams. Variety is hugely important in any game, and Marvel Puzzle Quest is no exception. When you're forced to play with or against a character over and over again, things get stale. 

    Okoye is not mandatory in PvP, neither is Kitty nor BRB. I think they are fine with Okoye being at the top. AI always fire teamup and you can put her at the back to drain her teamup ap.

    There are more variety now in pvp compared to Gambit's era. So, I doubt Okoye gets the nerf.