Marvel Puzzle Quest Developer Q&A June 2022 - Answers (6/20/22)

LakeStone
LakeStone ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 1,322 Site Admin
edited 20 June 2022, 17:10 in MPQ General Discussion

Hi Everyone –

We want to thank everyone for taking the time and sending so many great questions.  It definitely shows the love and dedication from everyone in the community and we appreciate the support!  And thank you to James Finley, Game Director at Broken Circle Studios for answering these questions for the community.  The entire team is super excited to participate in these and we will plan to schedule more of these in the future. 

We do apologize for not being able to answer every single question as that’s not due to the question(s) not being a part of our plans or anything like that but some things just need a little more time in the cooker before we feel like we properly answer.

Before you start reading, you may want to pour a tasty refreshment or find a comfy chair as we got through A LOT of questions and it may take some time to read.  I (LakeStone) apologize in advance for any weird formatting, condensing, typos or such as I put this up in the forums today.

We hope you enjoy reading and that you find it interesting.  And please don’t hesitate to ask questions that we didn’t get to in future Q&A’s.  We will open the next Q&A at some point in late July. Thank you!


Question - My question is simply whether we will expect to see a change in the number of movie/TV tie-ins? There are a lot of popular comic characters that haven't made it into the game yet because it seems releases are almost required for each new movie and TV show. (jsmjsmjsm00)

Answer - It can certainly be difficult determining what characters we bring to MPQ. There are so many factors involved, and one such factor is indeed a balance of representation in all forms. Part of this decision-making is about timeliness and doing what we can to move in-step with the great things happening in Marvel. Lately there has been some explosive and frequent releases in the movie and television space, and consequently it may seem that the focus of characters has shifted. Not the case; we're just celebrating!  One thing we've seen is the ongoing community requests for certain characters, be it from comics, shows, or movies. Demiurge showed with Black Knight that we're all listening to the community there, and we aim to keep that up! If you're a fan of the comics and other sources for Marvel content like I am, hang in there; There is a lot in store for you!

 

Question - What is your opinion on feeders? More specifically, should every 3-star and 4-star be a feeder, and should every 4-star and 5-star have feeders? Thank you for your time. (MegaBee)

Answer - We have lots of opinions on feeders. Feeders are crucial to progression in the game and they play a huge role in character value. Historically a set of rules was followed that aimed to thematically connect feeders. In the case where no narrative underpinnings existed, the usual outcome was that no feeder was assigned. While we are still determining what to do about characters that don't feed / aren't fed, every character created going forward is planned to function as a feeder (even if no narrative connection exists). We're excited about what this means for rewards and collecting!

 

Question - Been playing almost since the very beginning and still have no 5 star support and only a few 4 stars.  Will there be new ways to acquire and upgrade supports? (BriMan2222 / JHawkInc)

Answer - Supports are being overhauled. They aren't going away, and we plan on releasing more of them on a predictable release cadence following the overhaul. I don't have too much information to share at the moment, but we are revisiting how they are acquired, how they are upgraded, and how they impact gameplay in general. Something I can comment on concerns a question that many have posed over the years: what about Supports that *are* characters? Some of that has been answered with Hulkling, whom is now in the game as both a Support and character. I'm not a fan of the confusion and ambiguity regarding who or what can be a Support. Part of our overhaul will involve renaming and updating the art for Supports that are represented as characters (like Hulkling and Wong). The stats will stay the same, and your ownership of these Supports will remain intact. They will just be reimagined as artifacts or places of interest in the Marvel Universe.

 

Question - Can we expect to see any changes to Daily Quests & DDQs, if so approximately when, what format could it look like? (leviticuschom)

Answer - Many of us share the time-honored tradition of starting our day with the DDQ. YES, we are making changes to the DDQ. Yes, these changes will be happening soon. How soon? The updated DDQ has a planned release that coincides with 3/5 star co-releases in September. What's changing? DDQs are moving from a 5-Day format to a 7-Day format, making them much more predictable. Rewards (including the Latest Legends Token) are being reworked to factor in this change, so players need not worry. Rewards in general are being improved to make room for the inbound 3 star characters to aid in offsetting the cost for roster slots. And finally, we're adding some additional pins that highlight 3 star and 4 star teams to improve the accessibility of DDQs for newer players / provide value and utility for veteran players. Exciting things are on the way for DDQs!

As for Daily Quests, one of the things the Demiurge team was working on was an update to Quests so that there would be recurrent quests with events in general. We'll be picking that up and carrying it across the finish line. Stay tuned!

 

Question - All newer characters who have a power dependent upon board conditions or character stats have their power texts automatically updated during the fight (e.g. strongest team color, who Valkyrie is targeting,  most prevalent color tile, etc.). Are you going to update older characters so that their powers auto-update as well? (Godzillafan67)

Answer - MPQ has certainly evolved over the years, and continuous efforts are being made to make ability text more clear and consistent. Ice is working hard to establish a lexicon for ability text, and the dev-team plans to go through and systematically update ability text across the entirety of the game. The cadence for this is currently unclear, though the most obvious place for it to start is during any micro/macro rebalances.

 

Question - How does the dev plan to design characters in terms of abilities, synergies and ap costs? Will future gameplay become more like Hulkoye or Polaris/BRB (Marvel Passive Quest) where you can win matches without much trouble even while watching Netflix, compared to characters like Shang Chi, Big Wheel and Moon Knight where you need focus? (HoundofShadow)

Answer - Clearly there isn't one way to play MPQ, and it's always fun to see how the community utilizes the roster. With the sheer number of characters in circulation (and with so many more on the way), the possibilities are endless. That said, it is clear that there are dominant strategies, compositions, and play patterns (which you've pointed out). We're always looking for ways to keep the game fresh, and continuously building characters that feed into the current meta or play patterns is a recipe for something stale. Internally we talk about a "rock-paper-scissors" design philosophy in which one type of play is particularly effective against another.

Since the announcement of developer change, many have speculated nerfs to restrict and control the prevalence of highly popular and wildly successful characters and teams. Rather than focus our attention there, we are looking to the next wave of characters that can usher in new ways of playing and change the way we all think about the roster. The goal isn't to create characters that lean into any one style of play. Some players enjoy the more passive and efficient nature of certain compositions. Others like to pull off more nuanced victories with big setups and bigger payoffs.

When designing and building characters, there are many factors involved. Marvel characters have rich histories, exciting futures, and real connections with fans. A character's abilities need to exemplify what it means to be that character while also achieving a voice and value in the game. We believe that synergies are one of the most important aspects of play and we want to see more of them; after all, what really makes a team a TEAM is how well they all work together! In addition to exploring more synergistic possibilities through abilities, we're also taking into consideration what supports, affiliations, and other mechanisms can do to make team composition and experimentation an even more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

As for AP costs, actives versus passive abilities, and the frequency by which abilities can be used (or passives triggered), it is always case by case based on balance and the intent of the design.

 

Question - I know you said 1-2 Questions, but here's a fun one. As a long time MPQ players yourselves, which in-game characters best reflect their role in the comics, who do you like playing with? (leviticuschom)

Answer - Wow, there are so many to choose from! Will just grab a couple that are top of mind right now:

Best Reflects Role In Comics:

Captain America (Steve Rogers). The shield throws doing damage or stunning then coming back and restoring AP to do it again is just awesome.

Like Playing With:

Carnage (Cletus Kasady). I’ve always loved mechanics that ask the question ‘how bad do you want to win?’ Back when I played Magic: The Gathering rather seriously, you could almost always find me playing some sort of mono-black deck that was a rip-roaring race to the bottom. Carnage takes me back to those times I spent playing cards with friends, and speaks to my inner edge-lord.

 

Question - Some time ago (maybe a year?), there was a UI update that significantly shrunk the game on the iPad, and several of us with visual impairments were super frustrated that nobody had done any work with the disabled community to test or even focus group these changes.  There are accessibility consultants who specialize in this kind of work, and hiring one of them before you make major UI changes would be very helpful.

The game already has some significant UI issues in visual impairment starting with the tiles themselves.  For example, pink/purple and red are not only  very close in shading but as both are triangles with different orientations, very close in *shapes* as well.  Same with green and blue being squares and rectangles; the shapes are very close to each other just like the shades are.  It's pretty, but it makes it harder to see.  An accessibility consultant could've told the initial devs this in 10 minutes of looking at the game!

So the question is this: as developers, how are you considering accessibility issue in your work, particularly with respect to the visually impaired--including color-blindness, which affects about eight percent of men? (Wyntre)

Answer - Very sorry to hear how some of these changes have had negative impacts on the user experience. While I wasn't around for them, I know that from experience us devs are very well intentioned and are saddened when the choices we make don't quite stick the landing. What I can say at this time is that discussions are taking place to address clarity of the game's UI from numerous angles. Your question is well received and we will look into applying some positive quality of life improvements to the roadmap.

 

Question - Some characters had Supports that expanded their abilities. Some players thought that pieces of a character's balance were cut off and placed into the Support. Is this something that's going to continue? (JHawkInc)

Answer - It was never the case that characters were designed with missing aspects that were then made up for via an accompanying support. When supports were designed, part of the design approach was considering which characters the support in question would work best with. Consequently the support is always thought of as a bonus, and philosophically this is something we agree with.

 

Question - Many many questions: UI/QoL Updates (many forum members)

Answer - Many questions have surfaced asking about quality of life and UI improvements. Banners, boost inventory, and revisiting reward structures all immediately come to mind. Some of these we are working to improve right now (I hope everyone has enjoyed the modifications made to the reward structure for PVPs). Every day we are pursuing "what's next" in the long list of things that could be done to improve this already great game. Nothing is off the table, and many of the suggestions that fans are making are ones that we agree with. It all boils down to a factor of time, and the fact that MPQ is a mature game built with technologies that introduce complexities to seemingly simple fixes. This is especially true for UI. We're working on the next wave of improvements to MPQ, but know that it is an arduous process that will take more time than one might think.

 

Question - When opening tokens, is there a weight factor to favor character that are currently/upcoming featured? Not sure if it's confirmation bias or not, but I tend to get more of a particular 2 or 3 star while they are required or about to be in PvE. (AdeptusRevolt)

Answer - This is not the case. What you see in the odds for that pack is what you get statistically. No adjustments are made by the game to change the outcome to favor characters.

 

Question - Are there any plan to make trap tiles more intimidating? Currently, most characters with trap tile abilities are being looked upon unfavorably. For example, Mr Sinister, Moon Knight and Yelena etc. Traps are supposed to induce fear due to the element of surprise or fear of unknown. In MPQ, the threat level of trap tiles is probably 2 out of 10. (HoundofShadow)

Answer - This is something we've noticed while playing as well. Sometimes Traps can be dangerous, but usually as an adjunct to another power, like Doctor Doom's Purple. It does feel like they should be more individually scary. It's something we'll take a look at on a case by case basis when we look into balance passes on a character that has them.

 

Question - Are there any upgrades planned for PVP? I would like to see a minimum guarantee for points for winning a fight as well as an ability to refresh a node's points to see if a 40 pt fight that you queued up a couple hours ago when someone was climbing is still worth that much or if it dropped down to 20 pts or less. (Shardwick)

Answer - Versus events, MMR, and overall feel are something that we've been taking a long look at. There are many interlocking systems there, so it is difficult to find changes that won't have a ripple effect. For example, rostering and leveling up characters to compete in PVE can have a detrimental effect in Versus, and that's not really communicated to the player until they're hit with enemies they can't overcome. It's certainly something that we're keeping in mind. We've already made the change to win rewards, and that won't be the last change you see!

 

Question - Finally any more thoughts on returning CP to the 1000 point mark as it was for a short while. All of these might drive engagement for Versus. (Daz0273)

Answer - We're monitoring how the Versus wins change works out before we make any more modifications here. This is not out of the question, but let’s see if it's even something that needs to be looked at further.

 

Question - Are 6* characters still taboo or are they something the new dev team is considering in their future plans? (fight4thedream)

Answer - Never say never, but they aren't anywhere on our road map right now.

 

Question - Can the cap for boosts be removed please? I would really like to buy 99+ of them and not have to worry about replenishing and re-equipping them after every fight. (Bzhai)

Answer - While I can't confirm that the cap will be done away with, I can say that the cap will be greatly increased. As part of the answer for another question, UI changes in this game are particularly difficult to enact. This won't be an immediate fix, but know that it is our intent to improve this functionality and we are actively working on it.

 

Question - To encourage play of legacy characters, would you consider awarding a single shard for playing a character, maybe limit 3 or 5 per day. (rbGriphon)

Answer - This is a great idea! Hope you don't mind if we borrow it one day!

 

 Thank you!

 


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Comments

  • DAZ0273
    DAZ0273 Posts: 6,317 Chairperson of the Boards
    Thanks guys a really great thread with lots of interesting responses.
  • jsmjsmjsm00
    jsmjsmjsm00 Posts: 192 Tile Toppler
    I look forward to seeing how some of these ideas get implemented! Certainly there is a ton of room for improvement on the current game. 
  • Blergh
    Blergh Posts: 127 Tile Toppler
    "For example, rostering and leveling up characters to compete in PVE can have a detrimental effect in Versus, and that's not really communicated to the player until they're hit with enemies they can't overcome."

    Is there some reason they don't make a button on the roster screen that removes covers from Versus?

    Kind like the favourites but PvP limbo. Removes them from match making and locks them on the selection screen?  

    Hard to code? Too complicated for players? Open to exploits? All three? 

    Could build fives with no punishment. 
  • LavaManLee
    LavaManLee Posts: 820 Critical Contributor
    It is so great to get interaction from the Development Team again after so many months/years of silence.  Thank you so much!
  • Theghouse
    Theghouse Posts: 301 Mover and Shaker
    Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A! It's cool seeing the new dev team show their excitement for the future and becoming a part of the community.

    For those of us whose questions fell into the "just need a little more time in the cooker before we feel like we properly answer" category, do we need to ask those again for July Q&A or can we count on seeing those answers when the dev team feels good about addressing those issues?


  • tonypq
    tonypq Posts: 428 Mover and Shaker
    Any chance a change would ever be made with new 5* characters to get their own individual store and not lumped in with with previous new releases ?

    I really think it's about time to end the trio of 5s in the LL store. Players should be able to spend their valuable resources on the characters they want without having to be forced to pull for characters they dislike. With how hit or miss new characters are, it's a really buzz kill at end game to have to keep wasting tokens and CPs on characters you really don't like in order to get the one you actually do want. If the developers are afraid some characters wouldn't get used unless lumped into a trio in LLs as we have now, simply make the characters better so players want them in the first place lol. 
    It's ok to have stores of different types, there could always be trio stores with multiple characters, but it would be a breath of fresh air if new 5s had their own limited store you can use your tokens and CPs on.
  • Bzhai
    Bzhai Posts: 240 Tile Toppler
    edited 20 June 2022, 19:08
    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. You guys seem to be as passionate about the game as we are and it's great to see the minor issues being addressed. 

    Still a lot of questions in mind but I'll keep it for the next session. Can't wait to see it all unveiled in september.
  • Godzillafan67
    Godzillafan67 Posts: 383 Mover and Shaker
    Thanks for sourcing questions and answering them so completely! I'm really looking forward to MPQ's future.
  • Heartbreaksoup
    Heartbreaksoup Posts: 311 Mover and Shaker
    Roll on September!  I'm really looking forward to the revamped Deadpool Daily and Supports.
  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,591 Chairperson of the Boards
    I appreciate y’all taking the time to answer those for us. 
  • rbGriphon
    rbGriphon Posts: 2 Just Dropped In
    Thanks for the responses. I look forward to continued play.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 6,673 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 21 June 2022, 00:52
    Great answers to many great questions. Thank you.  B)

    every character created going forward is planned to function as a feeder (even if no narrative connection exists). 

    This part is interesting. Does this mean new 5* are going to feeder something else? Like Support?  :D Or does "every character created forward" refer to only 3* and 4* characters?
  • Seph1roth5
    Seph1roth5 Posts: 150 Tile Toppler
    Thanks for the answers, other than the omega red snub!  
  • fight4thedream
    fight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,579 Chairperson of the Boards
    Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. It was an interesting read and I enjoyed getting an insight into the dev teams design goals and thinking.  Good stuff!
  • LucasRaven
    LucasRaven Posts: 44 Just Dropped In
    Thanks for the emphasis on keeping us in the know 
  • bladewing
    bladewing Posts: 30 Just Dropped In
    edited 22 June 2022, 04:18
    Thanks for the Q&A. Are you still accepting questions for the next Q&A or do you still have to get through the old questions first?
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 6,673 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 22 June 2022, 04:32
    There will be monthly Q&A, and for unanswered questions, they'll answer once they're ready. These are the question types unanswered from previous Q&A:

    1) Implementing SCL for non-timed based events.
    2) retroactive rewards / changes in overall rewards like cps/hps/iso-8/dropped covers/5* classic covers (not including feeders) etc
    3) UI related: sorting rosters / banners /animations / pve nodes etc
    4) Roster Slot costs
    5) pve timeslice
    6) 5* shield training
    7) 5* boost
    8) Practice mode
    9) exchanging iso-8/riso-8 for something else
  • DevpoolMPQ_BCS
    DevpoolMPQ_BCS ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 15 Just Dropped In
    Theghouse said:
    Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A! It's cool seeing the new dev team show their excitement for the future and becoming a part of the community.

    For those of us whose questions fell into the "just need a little more time in the cooker before we feel like we properly answer" category, do we need to ask those again for July Q&A or can we count on seeing those answers when the dev team feels good about addressing those issues?


    Good question! It's our goal to be very vocal about what we're working on. There's no harm in checking in now and again, but do know we'll do our best to speak to things that in progress and coming up!
  • Godzillafan67
    Godzillafan67 Posts: 383 Mover and Shaker
    It is so great to get interaction from the Development Team again after so many months/years of silence.  Thank you so much!
    The players and community have all been so great! Transitions are a tough thing, but we couldn't have hoped for a warmer welcome. Being supported makes it so much easier to engage and we're really excited to be part of the conversation with you all!
    You brought gifts with you. I'm pretty sure most of us here can be bought off.