***** Abigail Brand (Commander of S.W.O.R.D.) *****

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Comments

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 1,863 Chairperson of the Boards
    The only explanation that makes any sense is that they don't know what makes characters good (or bad). 

    People make the argument that they release "meta" characters very rarely, on purpose, so that people don't have to constantly chase new overpowered characters.

    If all the non-meta characters were average/mediocre that might make sense, but what would be their incentive to release terrible/underpowered/completely useless characters on purpose?

    The power level of new characters is random.  It's the only way this adds up.
  • TheRiddler
    TheRiddler Posts: 257 Mover and Shaker
    edited 16 January 2022, 05:27
    The only explanation that makes any sense is that they don't know what makes characters good (or bad). 

    People make the argument that they release "meta" characters very rarely, on purpose, so that people don't have to constantly chase new overpowered characters.

    If all the non-meta characters were average/mediocre that might make sense, but what would be their incentive to release terrible/underpowered/completely useless characters on purpose?

    The power level of new characters is random.  It's the only way this adds up.

    There is a term that I can't remember in marketing where you deliberately undersell a product to make another look better in comparison. So for example a brand might sell a 32 GB flash drive for $5.99 and right next to it on the shelf is a 64 GB flash drive for $6.99. The main reason that 32 GB product exists is to make the 64 GB look like a deal.
    I'm not saying that is the case. But I do think that could be a plausible alternative explanation.
    In my opinion the fact that the game is 8 years old (off the top of my head) and we will be close to a combined 200 4 and 5 star characters is a better explanation. It means from a development standpoint you have a bunch of things to keep in mind when creating a character.
    I also fail to see how developers on a 8-year old game can make a character like Apocalypse and give him higher health, match damage and do twice as much damage on cheaper powers and fail to realize he is considerably better than most other characters. For example he came out a year before Gamora and has 15k more health, cheaper powers, stronger powers, more consistent powers and skills that benefit most teams. In that example its just basic math there isn't much to figure out there.
    What has often made curious is how the top characters are released seemingly in groups. So going back and looking you had Black Panther/Thanos released back-to-back, Daredevil/Gambit/Thor released back-to-back, Jessica Jones/Okoye in the same store, Iceman/Professor X/Carnage/Beta Ray Bill all consecutive, iHulk/Apocalypse/Onslaught in a 4-month span, Colossus/Scarlett Witch/Knull etc.
    So I can see why people think that way because from time-to-time we get a group group followed by a mediocre group. In comparison to those above Kingpin/Doom/Marvel/Hela/Rescue all in a row. 
  • atomzed
    atomzed Posts: 1,656 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 16 January 2022, 03:42
    Not trying to defend against Brand’s underwhelming launch, but I think that the player base assessment of a new 5* release has not exactly been stellar. 

    For example, 5* Carnage and Cyclops was nickname Carbage and Sighclops because they were universally panned as useless. But suffice to say, they are not as useless as we deem them to be.  Carbage is played often when he is god boosted and is an absolute terror in CN for SCL10. Sighclops has become a great partner to SC, a definite great 5*.

    There were also other 5* which we see as “‘meh”, but during god-boost weeks, are an absolute terror. Killmonger skew the play style, with players avoiding match-5. Ronan CD damage is crazy effective. Heck, as poor Odin is, he was crucial for me during its boosted week.

    Again, I am not saying that Brand is good. In fact I find her quite meh and mechanics are too complicated. But I seen enough to know that the value of a 5* is in a team. This is often shaped by the boost list for the week, the pvp (whether it is 3*,4* or 5*) and the opponents in CN.

    D3 has the benefit of foresight, in the sense that they know the upcoming characters. We don’t, we only look at how the new 5* mix with the current characters. This may explain the differing assessment of the 5* between D3 and playerbase.
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 1,863 Chairperson of the Boards
    Abigail probably isn't going to be a lot better boosted, because she doesn't have a ton of relevant numbers to scale up.  She's always going to drain 1 AP, her yellow will always drop a CD to 0...her burst heal will increase, her purple damage will increase and her attack tiles will get bigger.  She would be much better when Hawkeye is boosted, though.

    As far as releasing good partners after the fact -- this makes no sense.  If Cyclops was created as a partner for Shang-Chi, why would they release Cyclops first, generate zero sales on him, then later release Shang-Chi, after everyone skipped Cyclops?  If there's a good partner for Abigail coming later... you'd release that character first so you can actually sell both characters.  Doing it out of order just costs you money for no reason.


    The good character groupings and the Apocalypse/Gamora conundrum are easily explained by my theory: they just have no idea what they're doing and power levels are random.  I also fail to see how that can possibly be the case after 8 years, but no other theory answers all of the questions.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 6,407 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 16 January 2022, 04:50
    I think some players are spoilt by the likes of Okoye, Thor, and Apocalypse etc, or even characters like Magneto or Ragnarok from  the early era of MPQ. Coupled with the mindset that MPQ is all about speed and how precious their time is, majority of the new characters released are perceived to be underwhelming because they don't fit their frame of what new characters should be at the minimum. 

    Anyway, I'm glad the developers haven't give in to such demands yet, and they have stood by their beliefs or data for the past 7 years or more.

    In any multiplayer game, high-end competition is going to be a somewhat different game than what most people are playing. There are fewer viable strategies and they’re typically a little less expressive and creative. We’re comfortable with the fact that some of the characters we release won’t find a role in that environment and are just there to be fun and interesting for folks that are less focused on being at the top. We do want the top of the leaderboards to be an interesting place to be, and intend to continue shaking things up with new characters and balance changes when we see a single team composition dominating. But speed will probably always be more important at the top than it is for most players.


    High-end players continue to be a minority and appealing to the majority is what makes sense.

    .
  • Timemachinego
    Timemachinego Posts: 198 Tile Toppler
    Sadly, I do think they really just don't know what makes a character good for an actual player or they simply wouldn't be making underpowered characters anymore. There's the whole different player types argument, but if they don't want characters to be DOA they should at least be providing them with numbers that a Spike won't sneer at. High skill / glass cannon characters like SC can absolutely work and be well received, I think the team might just be overvaluing damn near everything else that a character can do. Big Wheel is really neat but I'm not going to spend my hard-earned resources on him.
  • Bad
    Bad Posts: 1,890 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 16 January 2022, 06:31
    And that is what we say the people usually commenting in here.
    Now look what the top rankers are saying: crazy scores in order to get her shards.
    I would'nt underrate her defensive deterrent, as she heals all the team up to 3 times. In a good team, that could be a better regeneration than OML on his days.
    Imagine her on godboost healing for 5k at least each turn up to 3 times.
    Who knows if in the future many people will ask for abigail nerf, at least 4* players.

  • Timemachinego
    Timemachinego Posts: 198 Tile Toppler
    I still look forward to trying her with some troll teams in her PVP but I really don't expect much; I'd very much like to be proven wrong!

  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious Posts: 1,144 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 16 January 2022, 12:51
    atomzed said:
    Not trying to defend against Brand’s underwhelming launch, but I think that the player base assessment of a new 5* release has not exactly been stellar. 

    For example, 5* Carnage and Cyclops was nickname Carbage and Sighclops because they were universally panned as useless. But suffice to say, they are not as useless as we deem them to be.  Carbage is played often when he is god boosted and is an absolute terror in CN for SCL10. Sighclops has become a great partner to SC, a definite great 5*.

    There were also other 5* which we see as “‘meh”, but during god-boost weeks, are an absolute terror. Killmonger skew the play style, with players avoiding match-5. Ronan CD damage is crazy effective. Heck, as poor Odin is, he was crucial for me during its boosted week.

    Again, I am not saying that Brand is good. In fact I find her quite meh and mechanics are too complicated. But I seen enough to know that the value of a 5* is in a team. This is often shaped by the boost list for the week, the pvp (whether it is 3*,4* or 5*) and the opponents in CN.

    D3 has the benefit of foresight, in the sense that they know the upcoming characters. We don’t, we only look at how the new 5* mix with the current characters. This may explain the differing assessment of the 5* between D3 and playerbase.
    Cyclops has synergy with a few outside Shang-Chi as well. Colossus and Thor are examples. He was good with ProfX/Onslaught. It reminds me of the nerf-Okoye threads prior to Wanda’s release and boosted 5*s being a thing. People were complaining that the 5*s did nothing to combat the Okoye/iHulk dominance at the top of the meta while others were targeting that team with Apocalypse, Thanos, and Onslaught. Even now, some players are deriding Sersi, while others (yourself for example) are trying to get the message out that Sersi is great with Shang-Chi and Onslaught. Ultron takes down meta teams with Polaris and Valkyrie. We don’t know where Brand will end up because we haven’t tested her in a team yet. 

    People think that the developers don’t know what they’re doing because they become myopic about what makes a good character and are quick to attribute incompetence rather than then accept the player base probably doesn’t have all the information. 
  • dianetics
    dianetics Posts: 467 Mover and Shaker
    Certainly that does make some sense.

    But, the difference between the really good and bad characters is how well they stand on their own and let you build teams around them.

    When you have characters like Apoc, SC, BRB, and Okoye they let you build around them. They aren’t complimentary piece. Being a side show is fine, but when your power set is so niche that it only compliments B-tier characters there is a problem.
    It would be kind of like making another character that takes advantage of swarm tiles now.
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 1,863 Chairperson of the Boards
    The fact that you can cobble together some jank in pick-3 with Ultron and win fights does not make him a good character.  The fact that you *have to* cobble together some jank to win fights with him means he is a bad character.  The good characters are just good, regardless of who you pair them with.

    Sersi is great with Shang-Chi, but so is *literally everyone else*.  Wasp is great with Shang-Chi, because Shang-Chi is great.


    If you're choosing to run bad characters on purpose, to be different, or because you're bored, or because you like those characters, that's great and I commend you for it.  I do that.  More people should do that.  But don't trick yourself into thinking that makes them good, or underrated, or something...the bad characters are still bad.
  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious Posts: 1,144 Chairperson of the Boards
    dianetics said:
    Certainly that does make some sense.

    But, the difference between the really good and bad characters is how well they stand on their own and let you build teams around them.

    When you have characters like Apoc, SC, BRB, and Okoye they let you build around them. They aren’t complimentary piece. Being a side show is fine, but when your power set is so niche that it only compliments B-tier characters there is a problem.
    It would be kind of like making another character that takes advantage of swarm tiles now.
    I agree but should point out that as great as Apoc is with my limited 5* roster I struggle to find good teams for him. I target him in PvP all the time. I get that is because I don’t have Thor and don’t use boosts in every match since my HP is reserved for shields. In my roster, Apoc goes from being best of the best to solid-B+ character. Frankly, if Hank Pym was released and swarm mechanics suddenly became viable then Wasp would climb out of the trash tier and not look back. 
  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,476 Chairperson of the Boards
    I feel like characters who are so purely support characters that you wish you could bring them as a 4th character should potentially be rethought. I put Odin in that category, he is pretty toothless and inferior to Original Bishop. If someone isn’t good enough that you would take them into Pick 2, to me that character is DOA. Brand feels like this to me on paper but I haven’t tried her yet.
  • dianetics
    dianetics Posts: 467 Mover and Shaker
    edited 16 January 2022, 15:02
    You can put any good pair behind him and create headaches. Apoc 5witch and Col5.
    Apoc, BRB, Polaris. Hell stick him with Archangel and Sp1derman and you can make a winning team.
  • Tiger_Wong
    Tiger_Wong Posts: 692 Critical Contributor
    You guys and your steadfast policies and absolutes are a big reason why you’re wrong most of the time about what character is gonna be good/bad/usable. 

    Daredevil is a good character. He’s not good with everyone. 
    Jean grey is a good character. She’s not good with everyone. 
    IHulk is literally great only with damage boosters. Without Apoc and Okoye he’s what so many people thought he was on launch. 
    Put Kitty with Hulkoye and tell me how great she is. 
    You guys don’t even know characters are bad half the time So don’t get on people for trying to find other things
    and try to belittle them. Because if they don’t, then that’s how Gritty isn’t formed. That’s how we don’t get Hulkoye. That’s how we don’t get Scarlet Steel. 

    This is like the weirdest game for people to be acting elitist. 
  • dianetics
    dianetics Posts: 467 Mover and Shaker
    Woof. Come on now be objective a little bit here. Her interactions are not that great, she doesn’t do damage, and she doesn’t reduce damage.

    I don’t think iHulk is a good character he just works well okoye. The last character I called bad was Odin, and he almost never shows up in PvP.

    when the devs create characters that have no offense how are you going to win? Do you want to grind out a 10 minute win and frustrate other players for the lols? You are wasting your time and theirs.

    I don’t think this is an elitist attitude but more realistic is that character would even show up on a playable roster.

    I can find tons of bad synergies with characters too, but that’s not the point. Her synergies are with low to mid tier characters. She does not make them better. Take her with Odin and they both stand around and do little to no damage and laugh back? That’s not fun.

    Give compelling interactions that increase damage and make the game fun like SC and Big Wheel.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 6,407 Chairperson of the Boards
    A lot of gamers who strive to be at the top are usually "elitists". New players who come into forums have been seasoned to believe that when the "pro" thinks that x is bad, thinking otherwise makes you a "noob". I see this in many rpg(-like) games that I've played in the past. Likewise, for MPQ, only sharding Polaris, Juggernaut, R4G, Apocalypse, Okoye etc are the "right" choices. Other scenarios are choices of characters in "special" special stores, like Anniversary stores. When Dr Strange or OML are part of the choices, the players don't know how to play. 

    Likewise, when dev creates characters that don't fit this group of players criteria, the dev are thought to be not knowledgeable about what they are doing, and, only top players know how to design and create the "right" characters.

  • dianetics
    dianetics Posts: 467 Mover and Shaker
    edited 16 January 2022, 16:00
    I don’t know how to design. As I have said before I don’t care about characters, I care about mechanics.

    if she comes out to be top tier I will happily take the L.

    I was wrong about Col5 before, but I used him. I wasn’t wrong about Odin though. I like Knull who entrail doesn’t. 
    This isn’t a conversation about elitism, but about perceived value. I do like Ultron in certain circumstances. But Abby isn’t even on that level to me.
  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 1,863 Chairperson of the Boards
    A lot of gamers who strive to be at the top are usually "elitists". New players who come into forums have been seasoned to believe that when the "pro" thinks that x is bad, thinking otherwise makes you a "noob". I see this in many rpg(-like) games that I've played in the past. Likewise, for MPQ, only sharding Polaris, Juggernaut, R4G, Apocalypse, Okoye etc are the "right" choices. Other scenarios are choices of characters in "special" special stores, like Anniversary stores. When Dr Strange or OML are part of the choices, the players don't know how to play. 

    Likewise, when dev creates characters that don't fit this group of players criteria, the dev are thought to be not knowledgeable about what they are doing, and, only top players know how to design and create the "right" characters.

    So you think a new player whose only champion 5* is Abigail will be able to do as well as a new player whose only champion 5* is Shang-Chi?
  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious Posts: 1,144 Chairperson of the Boards
    I feel like characters who are so purely support characters that you wish you could bring them as a 4th character should potentially be rethought. I put Odin in that category, he is pretty toothless and inferior to Original Bishop. If someone isn’t good enough that you would take them into Pick 2, to me that character is DOA. Brand feels like this to me on paper but I haven’t tried her yet.
    Seems to me that 75% of the 5* tier and 90% of the 4* tier aren’t good in Pick-2, especially when not considering boosts.  I’m not sure if there is a game out there with that kind of balance. I do know there are none that have it with 260 and counting characters.